Category Archives: video gaming

What am I excited about these days?

This:

As well as this preview with even more footage! EEEEE!!

Weekly Roundup

Currently in NYC it’s 94 degrees outside. With the 38% humidity, it “feels like” 96 degrees. Having this at the forefront of my decision-making process, I have opted to not leave this building until at least 5:30 tonight when these ridiculous temperatures have already started subsiding and have entered the “free fall” stage (somewhat misleading at this rate, but when it’s mid-to-high 90s, you’d be happy for mid-80s too!). That said, here’s what you’ve missed this week:

  • I am now an Astorian. After a ridiculous time of it battling brokers and relying on nonsensical advice (scroll down for review), I finally found a good deal (again, scroll down for review) that landed me right where I wanted to be in the neighborhood for an amazing price. The best part? My kitchen is awesomely huge (for you non-New Yorkers, shut it, this is *big* by our standards):
  • We are house and cat-sitting at the moment, and will be until I move into this new apartment. I’ve pretty much fallen in love with the feline and have decided that Toni really does want a new friend. I mean who wouldn’t when it’s something this cute:
  • I beat Bioshock 2 on Sunday (see previous mid-game review). Everything I said there still holds true, but I will say this about the ending: it’s probably about an hour or so longer than it really needed to be. Still thought it was a great game and really can’t wait for Bioshock: Infinite to be released!
  • I’m purchasing new running shoes tonight from The Running Company. While I’m not entirely positive that Super Runner’s Shop put me in the wrong shoes this time around, I’d like to have a second opinion and see what the former comes up with. Occasionally I have some soreness in my left arch (I have low arches so I may over-pronate), but that might just be a product of the fact that I need new shoes. I’m getting them now in order to have them broken in by the Queens Half-Marathon on July 30th! This way I’ll get tonight’s (blisteringly hot to be sure) training run in, I’ll also manage two long runs plus 2 1/2 weeks of training runs before the Half, so I’m pretty confident that the new shoes will be ready for Queens and the rat maze that it will be!
  • I had no idea that the North Atlantic was actually capable of creating real waves on its beaches until this past weekend. At Long Beach we not only got to experience swimming in an ocean that’s crashing all around you and the closure of the water due to a strong riptide, we got to see the ocean advance on the beach and send sunbathers scattering for cover. See?

Mid-game Review: Bioshock 2

***WARNING: VIDEO GAME NERD ALERT (if you are not interested in games in the slightest, you won’t much care about what is included in this post)***

The season of completing law school apps has started (and if there were any question about whether or not it had, you can look at the number of “apply to our random school in who knows where USA and we’ll even waive the application fee!” in my inbox right now).

As I begin to address the numerous things I need to accomplish in the next 2 months in order to execute the perfect “applied in September” rolling admissions strategy, I’m using up every last second not spent at work, running (Queens Half-Marathon is at the end of this month!), or finishing necessary errands on Bioshock 2.

Initially, I tried the original Bioshock, didn’t like it, and eventually ended up trying it again a year or so later and loved it. As soon as I finished playing the original, I wanted to play the sequel. Sometimes a sequel will land pretty flat after an amazing debut game, but with the Bioshock franchise, that is thankfully not the case.

In the original you were expected to take down some Big Daddies in order to rescue/harvest (I always rescued) the Little Sisters (yes, you, a mere mortal, are expected to take down those big things encased entirely in metal). Rescuing them garnered you some ADAM, which you could use to level up. Harvesting them garnered you even more ADAM, but that also made you kind of evil and I have this weird thing with video games where I just gravitate more toward the more conscientious character. In the sequel, you are the Big Daddy and your job is to basically rescue (read: steal) Little Sisters from other Big Daddies, use them to harvest for ADAM, and then opt to either rescue/harvest them for more ADAM. Pretty much everything that made the original game great is back in the sequel, so there’s not much to complain about if you really liked the first game. Additionally, there are some new odds and ends that I like better in Bioshock 2:

  • First, the research camera is actually far more workable in the sequel and I can actually use it without getting killed/seriously injured. You aim it at the enemy you want to research, start recording, and then go about your business taking it down. The entire scene is recorded for posterity and you garner research points, which go toward increased abilities against different enemies you’ve researched as well as additional capabilities (e.g. plasmids for example).
  • Also, while a lot of the weapons from the original make a return in the sequel, there are some new additions like the spear gun and drill, which are loads ‘o fun. Unlike the original game where you can get away with relying on one or two weapons to the exclusion of everything else, you will most likely need to cycle through all of the weapons as different weapons work better on some enemies and not others (e.g. Splicer versus a Big Daddy).
  • The boss fights in the sequel remind me a lot more of a, you know, boss fight. They seemed sort of like formalities in the original game, but in the sequel they are far more defined and even somewhat difficult. I beat the Preacher last night who was kind of a pain in the ass, and I will say that it’s always funny how in the video game world, you can always tell when something’s about to go down because you will come across a literal cache of weapons, power ups, items, etc. It’s one of those “gee, I wonder if a boss fight is coming?” moments.

I haven’t finished Bioshock 2 yet, but I’ve played through about 4 levels or so and I’ve loved every minute of it. It’s fun and seriously mindless entertainment that is always helpful when the rest of your day is consumed by working hard, running hard, and navigating the seemingly endless world of applying to law schools.

Communication Blackout

That might be what you all will experience from me on this website for at least the next 72 hours. Here’s why:

I just picked it up today, and plan on going straight home after work to play. My initial reaction when I finally got it into my hands?

EEEEEEEEEE!!!!

My reaction after getting over my initial shock and excitement?

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

😀

Random October Musings

On a blog about musings! Fancy that.

  • I just pre-ordered the new Fallout: New Vegas game from Best Buy. ZOMG! OMG! OMG! EEEEE!!!! It comes with free Fallout coasters! HAH!
  • I’m leaving for Boston tomorrow after work for a whole weekend of *poke* “hey! Love me! Pay attention to me!” to the law student whose starting to come under the fall semester finals crunch.
  • Apparently NYC is in for another massive storm tonight. Gotta love those Nor’Easters. Just try not to send golfball-size hail through my window this time, or tear the trees down in my backyard.
  • I finally bought a platform metal bed frame two days ago, and it’s supposed to be delivered next week. I’ll have a big kid bed again soon! Just in time for some major Fallout playing!
  • Remember that dude that Vice President Cheney shot in the face five years ago? Apparently he’s  now cognizant of the fact that he could have died during the incident. No kidding Sherlock! The best part is that he is the one who’s apologized to the Cheney family as opposed to the other way around. Cheney still hasn’t apologized to this day. Still.
  • The Chilean miners are out! Talk about a scary ordeal to go through!
  • While it looks more than likely that the federal government will appeal this week’s ruling by a federal judge to place an injunction on DADT, that’s not stopping many people from pleading with the Obama administration to make a decision to not appeal. I feel like it’s a foregone conclusion that he will because he is clinging to the rationale that as the federal government, it’s his duty to defend its laws in open court. I just wish he’d be a bit more practical and realize that the GOP stopped “playing by the rules” years ago; continuing to do so will only lose Obama many of the issues he called priorities during his campaign.

EDIT: To add this gem that I didn’t find until after I’d posted this. As Dan Savage puts it so eloquently, “f*ck your feelings!

Fallout: New Vegas (10/19/2010)

We’ve made it kids. The upcoming release of what is arguably one of the most highly anticipated games of 2010 is here. 9 more days and we will be able to explore the apocalyptic world of Fallout once again, this time set in a town called New Vegas.

I realize what this post makes me: a nerd. A totally unabashed and highly vociferous nerd (though, don’t lump me in with the Cheetos-crunching, Red Bull-swigging crowd…they can’t even spell “unabashed” and “vociferous” let alone use them correctly in a sentence). I can’t help it though. Fallout 3 is easily one of my favorite Xbox games ever, and I spent more hours than I’d care to admit over the internet playing it. It was gritty, well written, often amusing, and an often terrifying portrait of what humanity would do to itself if it were ever thrown into a post-apocalyptic environment. There’s no government, no world order. It’s every person for his or herself, literally. The sheer brilliance of the game comes from the encounters you have with various characters, and you have to decide “is this person going to try and screw me over? Kill me? Steal all my precious things?” You are then forced to make a decision on how you want to interact with that character, and even saying the wrong thing could end in a bloody battle. Characters, and so-called “communities,” battled over radiated water and ammunition. If you decided you wanted to play as the conniving, selfish type, you could wait for them to kill each other off and then swoop in and steal the supplies that were battled over. You also have the option of being a “good” or “evil” character, and other characters would react to you in kind (apparently gossip is alive and well after the apocalypse…). Other times, you would end up in these fights and have to get yourself out of them alive. Sometimes you’d use more ammunition than you’d get back in these battles. Fallout 3 took you, the player, deep into the heart of a wasteland DC and not only did you have to navigate your way past dangerous mutated creatures and “mutants,” you’d have to get past overly zealous military personnel, thieves, and even religious fanatics. For those of you who know me offline, it should come as no surprise why I loved this game. It illustrates exactly what I personally believe would happen should we ever, god forbid, face this kind of scenario. It reminds me of books I grew up on, and loved, like William Golding’s Lord of the Flies where mob rule becomes inevitable once societal order is eliminated and replaced with anarchy.

The good news for people like me with this release is that it very much looks like it will live up to its predecessor. The exact same people responsible for Fallout 3 worked on Fallout: New Vegas. So when you stop hearing from me in about a week and a half, you’ll know why. I’ll be glued to my TV, Xbox, and another dystopia courtesy of Bethesda Game Studios!