Crashing Castles

Good morning you happy people… and this time I actually mean it.  I am not sure what it was… the fact that I was completely exhausted by the end of the day, the hour or so I spent playing with friends… or the 15 minute walk I took before bedtime…  but something helped.  I went to bed around 9 pm and slept the entire night through without any panic attacks.  Probably some of the best sleep I have gotten in awhile.  So thank you all for the varied suggestions yesterday on the subject.

Crashing Castles

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One of the best side effects of the steam sale, is it is a great opportunity to get your friends hooked on amazing games when they get priced on the cheap.  I’ve been a huge fan of Castle Crashers for years, and used to play it with some friends on the Xbox 360.  When it was released on steam… I picked it up immediately because seriously…  it is worth buying on every platform you own.  Right now it is going for the absolutely bargain basement price of $4 as part of the daily sale… and should be up there for at least another 24 hours.

As a result I got recruited last night when Ashgar picked up multiple copies of the game and gifted it to anyone who didn’t already have one.  I have to say this was exactly the type of fun I had been needing.  For me, Ash and Tam it was much like coming back home to our side scrolling fighting game roots… and we all adapted pretty quickly.  Rae on the other hand, we could tell never really played that type of game… this compounded with the fact that she was playing with the keyboard…  made the evening frustrating for her.

On that note… I highly suggest you pick this title up especially if you hail from the era of Final Fight and Double Dragon.  But if you do so… I also highly suggest you have a gamepad to play it on.  This was designed to play with an Xbox 360 controller… and I feel it plays best when I use that.  It is completely playable on anything else however… but just remember all the tips and suggestions given in game… will be geared towards that specific controller.  It won’t say press heavy attack… it will say press Y.. so if you are using something else there had to be a bit of translation in your head.

Just as a note to anyone on my steam friends list.  I will almost never turn down an opportunity to play some castle crashers.  There is something about this game that is so pure and fun that it just takes me back to the days of feeding quarters to gauntlet or teenage mutant ninja turtles and playing with three other friends.  I really hope they create a sequel someday that is just as fun.  The only game that I might like more than this as far as side scrolling beatemups… is Guardian Heroes…  if it ever made its way to steam I would be immensely happy.  Speaking of which… I need to get some people together to play the D&D Shadows of Mystaria steam port.

Granite Falls

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Right now on my little warrior I am slowly making my way through the granite falls area.  Stonefield has always been one of my favorite areas in the zone, in part because it was the area shown in the original cinematic trailer for the game.  Additionally the town of Granite Falls is one of the prettiest in the game, and the falls themselves have always looked extremely epic.  Sooner or later I will end up having to buy the Granite Falls dimension so I can have my very own copy.

I am up to my favorite quest chain as well, involving the crypt near town.  Essentially giving me ANY quest chain involving undead and I will be happy.  I started working on this over lunch, and got about halfway through the sequence of quests before I got drafted for castle crashers last night.  My hope is that today I will push through the rest of Stonefield and move on to the Scarlet Gorge area.  I feel like this is an area that just does not get enough credit in the game.  I will have to play up another character when they have gone through with the redesign of the zone that is supposedly in the works.

Defying Reason

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Also over lunch yesterday I decided on a whim to boot up Defiance for a little bit.  I have an odd relationship with this game.  I like it mostly… but I just can’t seem to take playing it for very long.  I am happy to log in, kill a few rounds of mutants, maybe complete a quest… ride around in my dune buggy for a bit… and then log.  I figure it would be much more enjoyable if I was playing regularly with a large group of people, but solo I seem to have a very short attention span.

I guess overall I just don’t like shooters as much as I once did… and the whole behind the back shooter thing works well but feels just awkward enough to give me a low tolerance for it.  I really like the television show and the world, but so far I see little resemblance between the two other than having my very own “cat woman” telling me what to do.  I just wish that the story had been set in the St. Louis area that we are vaguely familiar with in the television show… instead of out in California.  Additionally since I am NOT from the California area and have never been… there just isn’t the same payoff as there is for other people.  I didn’t realize that Mount Tam was an actual place…  but I would have been able to pick up landmarks in Missouri.

Ultimately it is a good game… and it is pretty enjoyable…  but I have the same patience with it that I have for Borderlands 2.  I seem to be happiest when I play in spurts, unlike my friends that can literally play Borderlands 2 for hours and hours on end.  Defiance definitely scratches a similar itch for me…  and I finally found a weapon that I like.  Essentially it is a heavy energy machine gun thing… reminds me of shooting a BAR in the WW2 area shooters.  I can take down the baddies pretty successfully with it…  but I cringe at the thought of eventually out leveling it.  I have yet to find another weapon that I enjoy anywhere near as much as it.

I think this will continue to be one of those titles that I boot up every now and then… but never really dig too far below the surface.  Additionally the game feels very “un-social”, and very much single player.  I rarely if ever end up encountering other players when I play, and if I do they are usually buzzing around on their way to the next objective.  I am sure this changes as you get higher in the content, but I am still in the starter area essentially.  I could push through I am sure and get to the next area… but I figure why force myself when I seem to be enjoying little spurts of play here and there.

Wrapping Up

Well it is that time again… I need to wrap this up so I can get on with my morning and get into work.  Today is trash day, so I need to make sure that is out by the curb.  Additionally I really need to run some stuff by the cleaners.  If I don’t get a start on these things I will end up extremely late for work.  Right now I am essentially the boss, as mine is off on vacation… but it sets a bad example if I start slacking myself in the process.  I hope you all have a great day… and here is hoping that today will be relatively panic free.

Late to the Dance

Yesterday for whatever reason was extremely rough.  I felt like I spent the entire day sleep walking, so when I finally got off work I came home and took a nap.  Naps are such glorious things at times, I wish I had known that back as a child when I tried to actively evade them.  When I got up I cooked dinner and while still extremely groggy settled in for a bit.

Elite Ready

One of the things I have been attempting to accomplish over my lunch time gaming break is to finish all of the Ashora and Steppes daily quests in Rift.  Usually I manage to chew through Ashora, but rarely do I make a significant dent in Steppes.  However yesterday for whatever reason I seemed to be able to do both without much issue.  This put me fairly high on the daily infinity stone count, and creeping close to that piece of gear that would tip me over 300 hit. 

After all was said and done, I was sitting at 2 stones away from the gauntlets.  Last night I went back out to the Steppes and wandered down along the coastline.  I knew I had left a carnage quest partially finished down there, and as a result I pushed through those last few stones rather quickly.  Still feeling pretty worn out, I decided to go ahead and port back to Tempest Bay and purchase my upgrade.  While I knew I did not have the juice to do any random elites last night, I at least was Elite ready for the grouping tonight.

Late to the Dance

Since redoing the loft I have found myself playing around on my PlayStation 3 a good deal more.  Quite honestly, the loss of my gaming loft as viable space pretty much marks the end of me regularly playing console games.  I simply did not have a TV that was dedicated to gaming, and I never wanted to monopolize the tv downstairs in case my wife wanted to watch something.  So as a result I have essentially been a non-console gamer during this current generation of systems.

As a way to catch up, I went ahead and signed up for a years subscription to PlayStation Plus, as this gives me around a dozen games immediately to play around with.  Namely there were a bunch of titles that I had wanted, but never really had picked or played… namely Sleeping Dogs, Darksiders, The Cave, Ratchet and Clank All 4 One, and Little Big Planet 2.  Since they release new titles for free over the network on a regular basis, I figured it would be an excellent way to passively acquire titles.

Darksiders

I knew this game would be right down my alley, but for whatever reason over the years since its release I have never actually played it.  Big dude, in bigger armor, carrying an even bigger sword really is my ideal game archetype… and this game does not disappoint.  Everything controls extremely well, and it feels a lot like a modern golden axe at times.  I had heard this in the past compared to Legend of Zelda, and I can kind of see the similarities but to me it feels more in line with the old school final fight style fighting games.  I played this for quite awhile last night before my ADD kicked in, but I am sure I will be devoting many hours to running around as a badass horseman of the apocalypse.

Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One

Since I was pretty tired still, my gaming wanderlust was in full effect… also I had a whole stack of games I was wanting to try.  The next on the list was Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One.  I remember being a big fan of the Ratchet and Clank games on the PS2, so this was pretty much a no brainer for me to try out.  I went into it knowing that this was basically a streamlined experience designed to be played with four players.  I was okay with this, and while the world was not nearly as intricate as the ones I was used to from the PS2, it still retained all of the enjoyment of the earlier titles. 

My only takeaway is that the game seemed really easy with Ratchet and Clank as an AI controlled bot.  Clank seemed to always be targeting and taking out the mob types that were difficult for me to get with my wrench.  All of the controls were essentially the same as before, so I regained my ability to play the game rather quickly.  I did not play terribly far but I thought the “driving a space taxi” sequence was extremely fun, with me steering by moving to one side of the taxi platform or another.  Should be a great game to return to and give it more time.

The Cave

The last game I went on a tour of last night was The Cave, and I did so on a very cursory level.  I fired it up, and selected a team of the Knight, the Monk, and the Twins.  Each character feels extremely interesting and has some special ability… that I have yet to really figure out what it is for.  Right now the game seems like it is going to be a puzzle and exploration game.  Essentially you have three characters to control, and various puzzles will require one or more characters to solve.  It has the interesting and humorous writing that is trademark of Double Fine games, so given the time I am sure I will get into it.  Having not played it terribly long, all I can really say is that the world is gorgeous and full of interesting visuals.

Crashing

At this point I was past going, so I decided I needed to head to bed.  I still have Sleeping Dogs downloading as well as a couple others.  Having access to a fresh font of games will definitely make the ps3 feel more useful.  Also having access to a place to set it up, on a dedicated tv… with a comfy love seat to sit on will make it that more likely to get used on a regular basis.  It was absolutely glorious sitting up there with a fan on me happily playing away in our newly renovated loft.  I am going to have to try and resurrect my long red-ringed xbox 360 and get started back playing those games as well.

I have a ton of things to deal with, and today is trash day… so I bid you all goodbye.  I hope you have a great day, and that you survive the rest of the week.  I will be heading downstairs myself to take out the trash, and try and deal with the front door that appears to not be wanting to lock.  It is always something…