Sunday, February 17, 2008

Hit-and-Run post #3: Non-music gaming update

Contrary to Mrs. Addicted's testimony, I do other things besides playing Guitar Hero games, despite the lopsided representation on this blog. Here's updates on some of them.

I recently finished reading Blink, a gift given by a friend of mine a while ago. Very highly recommended, it describes the two centres for decision-making in the brain, one of which is your front brain is able to slowly and logically reason things out. The other acts with minimal information and makes decisions that get interpreted as instinct. This book is an in-depth analysis of that part of the brain and what split-second decision making is good for.

I'm in the middle of another gift, a copy of Wicked, the story of the background of the characters featured in the Wizard of Oz. I expected something that would tie in the Wizard of Oz movie which it does very loosely, and possibly the musical, which it doesn't even slightly. Nonetheless, I'm a little over halfway through and I think I'm enjoying it. The subject material really forces you to re-assess what normal is in the context of a story, and I like it for and despite that. Because I have very little to connect it to, save for Hollow Chocolate Bunnies Of The Apocalypse (I'm not making that title up, it's a phenomenal book that I highly recommend), it's hard to preperly categorize it, but I'd recommend it to anyone looking for some fiction that's decidedly different with a feeling of realness to it.

Thanks to my schedule these past couple of years I've had a lot of trouble playing games that require an investment of an hour or longer at a stretch, especially if it's a single-player game. I haven't yet made appreciable headway in Zelda: Twilight Princess, and am doing my best in Fire Emblem on the Wii, which thankfully is both turn-based and equipped with a save feature that you can use after any and every turn. It's a good game and I highly recommend it if you like turn-based RPGs.

I've been helping out Mrs. Addicted when she gets really frustrated playing Super Mario Galaxy, and I find that while it's a little disorienting (by design, I figure), it really is a lot of fun. I copied her savegame file to another slot so I could take it up when I want to play but the Mrs. isn't around and I don't want to start the game from the beginning.

On the DS I did manage to finish Puzzle Quest, promptly handed it to the wife's maid of honour (yes, the wife's maid of honour, I had my own, too. Kinda.) and promptly apologized. It took her a few days to understand why I apologized, but she was nice enough to accept it then.

I still don't have a functioning left trigger on my DS, so I'm restricted to a couple of games that don't need it like Brain Age and Picross. They're challenging but not always entertaining any more (I love logic puzzles more than most, but 20x20 grids in Picross where you have to guess to make progress isn't always the thrill ride the brochure makes it out to be). Meh, helps me get some reading done between now and the new DS which I'm hoping we can get before August.

One last thing on DS gaming. Get a copy of Professor Leyton and The Mysterious Village. If you like puzzles at all, GET THIS GAME. It won't cost you $40 to get new and it's a game that actually features good animation and voice acting, making it worthy of a purchase for that novelty alone, even if the content were centred around cake (which it thankfully doesn't). I played about 15 minutes of it on a friend's cartridge and told him I'd buy it off of him when he was done.

Other gaming:
At one of our recent nerd coven gaming meetings, I had the chance to play a card game called Fluxx. It's not a deep game, but the fact that the rules of the game are actually contained on the cards and depending on what gets played/discarded, it becomes a sort of Calvinball card game. I picked up a copy because this kind of game suits me just fine, but Mrs. Addicted found she enjoyed watching me play more than actually playing, so I'm on the lookout for more people interested in this kind of weirdness.

Oky, this is kinda long for a hit-and-run post, but I feel a little guilty for not updating very often, so I'm making up for it by giving what, four posts today? One of them even managed not to talk about Guitar Hero. Until now, that is.

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