4-day weekend

I am beginning a 4-day weekend and I have some ambitious gaming plans.  First, I am going to start a Necromancer in Diablo 3.  The patch came out on Tuesday, but I haven’t had time to play it yet.  I’ll probably be level 70 by Tuesday.

Next, there is an achievement in Rock Band 3 that I haven’t completed.  It is to play all 70+ core songs (not downloads) in one sitting.  I am going to complete that at some point this weekend.  I’ll keep you posted with my progress.

I’ve also been into Fallout 4 again, and I hope to push the main story line fairly far ahead as I’m curious as to how this ends.  If you haven’t played this one, I recommend it!  Both Fallout 3 and 4 are excellent games with amazing story telling.

10m play

Genre:  Match 3 with RPG elements
Platform:  PC

I just discovered 10,000,000 yesterday on Steam.  I haven’t gotten much accomplished around the house as a result.  I need to do my taxes, balance the checkbook, do a load of laundry, vacuum, start planting my garden, mow the lawns, etc etc.  But no, instead 10,000,000 has sucked me in all day yesterday and today.  In fact, it took me over an hour to write up this post because while getting screenshots, I ended up playing it more.

That should be reason enough for those of you that like match 3 games or casual games to go out and get it.  You are an adventurer stuck in a dungeon and you can earn your freedom by scoring 10,000,000 points.  This isn’t a quick task.  I played through the entire game in about 7 hours, but I started over immediately after completing it.  You start in your home dungeon area, which consists of some rooms and a bed.  You unlock the rooms and upgrade them as you go.  In these rooms, you can upgrade your weapons and armor.

Before entering the dungeon, you are given three tasks, which award you with either gold or experience, both necessary for upgrades.  The game play itself has you at the top of the screen, meeting monsters or loot chests along the way.  You only have so much time to play, and you can eventually get upgrades or food items which allow you to extend that time.  The longer you’re in the dungeon, the higher your score.  The monsters get tougher, but you rank up, which increases your score multiplier.

There’s not much more to this game than that, but it is super fun.  Check it out on Steam or on your mobile device!

hr-machine

Genre:  Puzzle, Educational
Platform:  PC

Have you ever wanted to learn how to program computers?  Human Resource Machine (available on Steam) will teach you in a fun and simple way!  You will be having so much fun, however, that you might not realize you’re learning!

In this game, you start as a fresh employee of a large corporation.  You start out where everyone seems to start in fake companies, in the mail room.  You start with a very basic set of tasks – move items from one conveyor belt to another.  You do so by issuing your character a set of commands.  The levels grow increasingly complicated and it can get hard to keep your commands and jumps straight.

This game really does a good job of teaching those without any programming skills, and even those with a low-level of knowledge, the logical thinking which is necessary in programming.  I have a mid-level of programming knowledge and I was just itching for some of the tools that I’m more familiar with (if…then statements, please!), but it is still a really fun game.

If you’ve ever wanted to learn programming but found it too daunting, try this game first.

One of the biggest problems I have with handheld consoles is hand cramps.  It seems that they are not designed for larger hands and long-term playing.  As a result, I have found a couple of comfort grips that have worked well for me.

I never required any kind of grip on the Nintendo DS or original 3DS.  Those were much smaller units and felt just fine in my hands without a grip.  However, with the 3DS XL, this changed.  The device is significantly larger, which is great for screen real estate, but it just wasn’t comfortable to play.  Fortunately, I discovered the Dreamgear comfort grip fairly quickly.  It’s a soft rubber that slips over your 3DS.  It’s actually two sleeves, one for the top and one for the bottom.  It also helps to absorb some shock if you drop it.  I also have one for my New Nintendo 3DS, which is necessary because the switches and buttons are moved around.  You have to take it out of the sleeve to change carts, however, which you didn’t need to do with the 3DS XL.

The PSP is terribly uncomfortable to play without a grip.  I recently got the Nyko PSP Charger Grip.  It’s hard plastic, so it’s not as cushy as the Dreamgear, but options for grips for the PSP are surprisingly limited.  I got this one because it’s got an extra battery pack in it, so you actually charge the grip, which charges your PSP.  It’s comfortable enough and extends play time in more than one way.

I found both of these on amazon.com.  If you’ve experienced discomfort while playing either the PSP or 3DS, those are what I recommend.

atgames-sega-mini

So when Nintendo announced that it was coming out with its mini-NES, pre-loaded with 30 awesome titles, SEGA came out with an announcement stating that it was coming out with something similar for the 25th anniversary of Sonic.  I want to give everyone an honest warning about what this product actually is.

This device will be manufactured by AtGames.  I have the one released in 2014.  We got some play time with it this weekend and it’s just ok.  The first problem is that the remotes are IR, meaning that you must have line of sight.  As you play the games and naturally move around, you might lose that line of sight and you are SOL in fast-paced games like Sonic.

Next, it doesn’t work well with my Vizio HD TV.  It comes with a cable with only the video (yellow) RCA connector and the white audio.  This means that we only have black and white on this TV.  We do have color on an older TV, but beware with newer HDMI TVs.  Because it only has one audio connector, it’s only mono sound.  I’m not sure why they did this as Genesis games were in stereo.

Next, the 80 games are actually only 40 Genesis titles.  The rest are homebrew filler games.  Don’t expect 80 awesome Genesis games.

Otherwise, it does play the three Genesis cartridges that we have and it is fun to play the older games.  It was only $40, so it’s not like we’re out a lot of cash.  Buyer beware for the new model coming out soon.

Genre:  RPG
Platform:  SNES

I had never heard of nor played Earthbound when it was out for the SNES.  It’s too bad I hadn’t, as this little gem goes for upwards of $200 for the cart only on Ebay now.  I decided to see what all the hype is about.

I found the ROM online some time ago and I’m playing it on my GCW Zero.  I’m not too far into the game, but it’s certainly not as I expected.  Based on the box art, I expected maybe a hardcore Japanese-inspired mech game.  This is almost the exact opposite.  You play as a kid who is trying to find out what a mysterious “meteorite” is that landed not too far from your house.  That’s about as far as I am into the story right now.

I will say that the kid’s parents in this game should get a nod for “worst parents of the world”.  At one point, I went to talk to the mother and she gave me some sarcastic response like “yeah, you’re cool, whatever…”.  What?  They also don’t seem to care that you are running around the town in the middle of the night and trying to interfere with police investigations.  Whatever.

I do look forward to seeing what else this game has in store for me.  Please, if you’ve played it, no spoilers!

I just watched this video on YouTube.  It’s a guy who creates his own mini SNES by using a Raspberry Pi Zero chip.  He sculpts the enclosure himself out of plastic and clay and does all of the soldering himself for the connections.  It looks like a lot of fun!  I can follow what he’s doing, but I have never done anything like this myself.  I bought my PSP for the purpose of modding it, but just haven’t had the time to do so.  Maybe some day!