Archive | December 2009

My 10 Minutes?

I’ve been keeping a game-specific blog on for a little over 3 years. My favorite part of reading video game magazines was reading the letters section from other readers, and the blogs on 1up are like a never ending letters section of a great video game magazine!

I usually use it to capture what I was thinking about a given game (it is fun to re-read years later). Sometimes I think I have an original thought or response to something I read or heard regarding games and just want to get it recorded somewhere. Most of the time I would like to get genuine responses from other enthusiasts and see a topic from other perspectives… when that happens it feels like an interactive letters section.

Today my annual “loot drop” post, generally about the gaming goodness I received for Christmas, was highlighted in the “community spotlight” on the front page of the site! That is really exciting!

Loot drop 2009

Game Stuff:

  • New Super Mario Bros Wii
    4-players really is a blast, I’m enjoying it much more than Super Mario Galaxy last year.
  • Uncharted 2
    This game is gorgeous and the voice acting is really good, I’m only 5 chapters in right now.
  • Phantasy Star 0
    My sister is thinking about picking this up also after she saw that the characters were cute and that mags made a return. When she heard that there was no Hunter’s License required, that was just icing on top!
  • PS3 Dual Triggers
    Since adding these to my controller, I’ve added 4 more gold medals to my WipEout HD Fury career track that were previously bronze medals. They feel great!



I was blessed again this year with a lot of great gifts from friends and family! This must have been a huge year for the video game industry; I know of new PS3, Wii, and 360 households throughout my social network. I can’t think of many families that don’t have a modern system, and that is really unusual I think. 

My brother gifted the entire family with a German boardgame, as is his tradition. This year it was Le Havre, made by the same folks that made Agricola. It has a great balance to it:

  • There is nothing random providing benefit to other players, all random elements are available to all of the players.
  • The resource consumables are repopulated in a much easier-to-track manner by being populated systematically each user turn.
  • There are many strategic options for obtaining the most points by game end, and a lot of flexibility for using resources or cash.
  • The game will move itself along with pre-sorted card decks making it very difficult to block player strategies or stall the game.

It took us about 3 hours to play the first 4-player game. Now that we have it down though, I would expect the game time to be cut in half. I won the first game with 160 points, my brother had 136, Dad was at 120 and my sister-in-law was somewhere near 90.

15 years of Playstation

I saw via various twitter and blog posts that today marks the 15-year anniversary of the Playstation! Interestingly, I’ve been married nearly the same amount of time. March of 1995 I was married, and within the first weeks of marriage, importing the Playstation from Japan.

While engaged, my then-fiancé and I were big fans of Cybersled in the arcades. She probably just liked blowing me up in a futuristic tank, or maybe she played because she won so often, but I know we had a great time! I remember reading in the pages of EGM about the Playstation, seeing the controller and identifying that it would map so easily to Cybersled. Later on, I learned that Cybersled would be among the initial launch titles. Then another feature really piqued my interest…  the Playstation would support linking 2 systems together for head-to-head play! As you can imagine my thoughts were running away like crazy. I was basically picturing the same arcade experience my fiancé and I enjoyed, in our future living room!

So when I should have been saving money up for a down payment on a house or something practical, I spent $806 on an import Playstation, an extra controller, Cybersled and Toshinden. Obviously I knew what was going to make this marriage work: countless hours of my wife blowing me up in a futuristic tank! Laugh if you want, but my wisdom in this has led to 15 years of happily-ever-after.

Eventually I did get a US Playstation as well. My brother and I looked for every system link game we could get our hands on. Colony Wars, Bushido Blade, Armored Core and Wipeout were our most frequently played. We would bring two TVs together and link up our Playstations and have LAN parties before such a gathering had a name (at least in our neck of the woods it was unheard of). I never did have that system link experience with Cybersled though. It turns out that the home version wasn’t as good as the arcade version, and really, the arcade version wasn’t that great to begin with.

So there it is. The unlikely system seller that caused me to import, the life-timing that couldn’t have been more wrong for me to buy, and my greatest memories came from the little-known system link capabilities.