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Talk Strategy

2 Feb 09

Hello. Happy Groundhog day. In case any fans are caught in a time loop today, I didn't want to let you down.

I'll just give a quick update. For a long time, I didn't have nearly any time to game. If I don't game, I don't want to write about gaming. Even now that I'm getting a little more time to play, I'm still not playing the in depth games I love. I tend to play more lighthearted action games that are easier to walk away from. They're fun, but don't give me much insight into gaming.

I do want to get back to regular updates here. However, I'm still deciding where I want to take the site. Just another blog is boring and not worth the time using HTML and content management software. I didn't really enjoy trying to be a news and review site. Not to mention that others did a much better job with it. I'm really trying to figure out how to get refocused on game 'strategies and stories.' I'm open to any suggestions.

Until I figure out that direction, I'm afraid I can't tell anyone to expect regular updates. I'll post as things strike my fancy, but I'm not going to burn too much fuel without a destination. Of course, I'll be happy to post any submitted stories. There must be some new games people would like to promote. I've had a little fun with Red Alert 3 and Tom Clancy's Endwar. Then I've heard good things about the new King's Bounty and even rumors of good stories from Left 4 Dead. Perhaps someone will step forward.

Until next time, keep the faith and play a good game for me.

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6 Jun 08

Ha! I'm back. I'm sure some of you didn't expect to see me again so soon even after my promise. Here. Let me explain why regular updates are hard now then I'll get to the game I mentioned. In short, I don't get much game time right now. When I do, I'm often tired and still time limited so I tend to play less invovled games. I also haven't had the time I used to to keep up on the industry news and events. When I start thinking about all that I tend to get bitter.

27 May 08

I've been away again. Actually, I'm recently back from a vacation with the boys visiting Grandma and Grandpa in Nebraska. It was a good trip but a long drive both ways. The boys did well traveling, but it wore on us. David did spend time playing with his Leapster learning (game) system. That's my boy.

I haven't been playing nearly as much as I'd like. I did get a little Ghost Recon: Summit Strike with Grandpa while we were there. Part of me should have been offended playing on a old SD set with just stereo sound and wired controllers on an original Xbox. I wasn't though. We had fun. Even with old AI, snipers would still surprise us and take one or both of us out. Or we'd round a corner to find a group of enemy soldiers and fire panic bursts that may or may not work. One minute we'd work together to take out an entrenched enemy, the next we'd accidentally frag ourselves by bouncing a grenade off a wall it was supposed to go over.

Now that I think about it that might be a triumph of game design. Playing felt more like a Ghost Recon game than it felt like 'last gen' gaming. Maybe that's why people are so happy with GTA IV. It feels familiar when playing but everything is bigger and prettier and better. Perhaps that's the trend we should be looking for. Of course, I've only scratched the surface of GTA IV. It's that not gaming much thing again.

Next time I'll tell you what I have been playing. It's somewhat surprising even to me. I'll give you a clue. It's on the Wii. Oh, and I promise it won't be too long a break before I get it to you.

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1 April 08

The site redesign is finally done. Look it over and let me know what you think. Ok, that's a pretty lame April Fool's joke. I will finish someday. I promise.

Today was the annual Home Theater upgrade. When you're on a budget, you start bare bones and slowly build up over the years. This year was the A/V Receiver. I got a Denon and have to say it's quite nice.

Upgrading is pretty much geeky fun. Well, the first part is. Looking through all the specs, comparing features and prices, reading user and professional reviews, then trying to keep all that information straight to make a good decision. Then once you've selected one, finding the best price, getting all the cables and accessories that you need, and watching the shipment tracking website. That's all great geeky fun. Even the unboxing is fun.

Actually doing the set up reminds me why I wouldn't do this more than once a year even if money weren't an issue. I do love HDMI. One cable replacing five or more connections. Unfortunately, it's still hard to get away from the spaghetti mess with a receiver. Even after all the connections were made, I had one pair reversed and missed two connections completely.

Now that's it's up and running I'm back to the fun. It'll take me a while to figure everything out and tweak it just the way I want, but it's pretty sweet. Maybe I should have hired an installer. Of course, if I had money for an installer, I wouldn't be doing this piecemeal. Enough of this, time to get back to the new toy.

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29 Feb 08

Happy Leap Day. Yes, I didn't want to turn down a once every four years event to say hi. (And give you the opportunity to insert your update joke here). I keep wanting to get back to regular updates, but it's often overwhelming looking at all the work. I get started, run short of time and don't finish. It doesn't help that none of my site update ideas have worked out very well. That's mostly my fault so I shouldn't complain.

Here's the game plan going forward. I'm afraid it's not too pretty. I have a couple of non site related projects that are higher priority. I'll work on the nuts and bolts of the site when I can. I'm starting to post news items that catch my eye. As for the backlog of news, I'll probably put a few highlights up but that's it.

I'll start updating the games blog again as I play. It might not interest everyone. I really haven't had time to play much in the strategy or tactical genre. I've gotten a bit of time in with Call of Duty 4 and Universe at War. Mostly, however, I've been playing action games and sandbox games. They're easier to play in short bursts, and I'm not lost when I start them up again. I plan to post on some industry topics, some vision of the future pieces, and some game analysis.

Just so you don't think I've been gaming all the time, here's what I've been playing since September:

World in Conflict: Recommended
Overlord: Recommended
Assassin's Creed (360): Recommended
Rock Band (360): Highly Recommended
Pixeljunk Monsters (PS3): Recommended
Call of Duty 4: Recommended
Universe at War: Recommended for genre fans
Crackdown (360): Recommended

The following games I haven't played enough to make a recommendation on:

Mass Effect (360)
Call of Juarez (360)
GRAW 2 (360)
No More Heroes (Wii)
Eye of Judgment (PS3)

Of all of those, I completed Crackdown and Assassin's Creed. So not exactly a ton of gaming. In fact, my fondest gaming memories of the period are of my son playing Link's Crossbow Training on the Wii with the Zapper.

I hope the delays between updates will get short and stay short. Thanks for understanding.

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31 Jan 08

Rumors of the site's death have been greatly exaggerated. We will be returning soon. Just don't hold your breath.

26 Sept 07

I apologize again for disappearing. I've been working on a few projects and frankly haven't had much time to update. Actually the problem is that I have ten minutes here and five minutes there, but it's hard to get anything done without a solid block of time to work on the site. I've mentioned before that I could do it if I gave up gaming, but I refuse on the grounds that I'm not yet insane enough to abandon gaming to run a gaming site. I'd like to say I'm going to be doing better in the near future, but frankly, there are so many quality games coming out between now and the end of the year, I don't know how I'm going to play just the ones I'm getting let alone the ones I'm interested in and find time to work on the site.

I will be better about updating the gaming blog. It's not too impressive right now, but I plan to keep the laptop close and plug away at it. I'll also try to keep some news updates coming in. When I get the chance, I'll work on some screenshots and movies. Again, if there are games you want information on, screenies from, or movies, let me know. If someone actually asks for something, I'm much more motivated than just wading through all the information the PR personnel push my way.

I was going to do a big write up on World of Conflict. I still might, but I'd like to actually get this posted before I go to bed. I'll just say that from what I've played, it's a great game. If the game type has any interest to you, don't hesitate to pick it up. I do have some nits to pick with it, but it's so fun they're no excuse not to get the game. I was worried that the fast pace would put me off, but I haven't felt overwhelmed. It's also great eye candy. So just go pick it up and support Massive. This is their third great quality title in a row.

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