Monday, January 27, 2014

The Playlist - Milestones

I'm not usually one to make a big deal out of arbitrary events but admit that they can be an excuse to have a bit of fun. On that note, this week, I'm celebrating my hundredth post! It seems like just yesterday I started writing (time flies) and I would like to thank everyone who has read and enjoyed my stuff over the past months. With that out of the way, last week was super busy with podcasts, posts, and Punch-Out. Where can you find all the stuff I worked on? Keep reading this article (and my next hundred) to find out.

What's Up?
As promised last week, I managed to get a ton of writing done and squeezed in a couple podcasts too. Most of it is already up now!

For GeekBinge, my latest Descant (Hard Times for Nintendo Hardware), where I discuss Nintendo's recent fortunes and how I feel they can turn things around, is live. I was really choked that my concluding point about abandoning the hardware business was the main thrust of a feature Gamespot piece literally hours before my piece went up. I swear I'm not a plagiarist! At least my earlier (and frankly more interesting) idea of soliciting third party developers for the Mario and Zelda franchises wasn't usurped by more prominent sites. I guess that means it's either a really unique or really crappy idea; for my ego I'll assume the former. Late last week I also recorded a Screenbytes podcast that should be available in the next few days (not sure on the exact date). The flow felt really good and, despite going way off the topics we intended to discuss, I think it's one of the best podcasts I've recorded. Next week, I'm hoping to have my review for Broken Age go up (assuming that I can actually complete the game and write about it in time).

For StudentCom, a short piece entitled Are Massive Online Games Dying? went live earlier today. I really wanted to weigh in on WoW's declining subscription figures and consider what this means for the future of the genre. You'll have to read the whole thing to find out what I think but *spoiler alert* the MMO isn't going away any time soon. By request, I'm working on a short piece about game economics and consumer price comparisons. I have a lot of ideas on this topic and may need to split them into a few different articles. I intend to cover why games differ in cost across countries, how much console price actually influences sales, and the use of proprietary currencies like Microsoft Points.

For the Sofa, my usual Weekly Roundup was on time and I also published a new Sofa Story (The Magic Spot) discussing an amazing kill streak I had in Team Fortress 2. I also recorded my fourth Passion for Pixels podcast and should be uploading the first of them in a few days. Fair warning, it's a bit rough around the edges in terms of presentation (the content is all great though). This week will probably just feature my regular pieces and not much else as I make time to work through Broken Age when it releases.

What I've Been Playing
Gaming wise, I didn't have all that much time with most of my free hours spent writing or recording. My weekend was a wash (at least gaming wise) due to out of town visitors and birthday celebrations.

Chrono Trigger / Final Fantasy 7
Okay, I just can't bring myself to slog through Chrono Trigger. It's not that I'm not enjoying my play sessions, it's just that I would rather play something else. I think one of the key drivers of this sentiment is that I'm playing on an emulator with a keyboard setup that takes away from the nostalgic experience. Also, as I was playing this for discussion on a podcast and we subsequently decided to discuss FF7 instead, I have dropped this one from my rotation. For FF7, I mostly just played around with mods and fiddled with getting my Steam version to play nice with them; little actual progress.

Outlook: FF7 is on the list but may take a back seat to Broken Age next week.

NES/N64 Classics
While out a a friend's place, we relaxed a bit with some old school Nintendo games from the Wii Store. I made it up to Bald Bull in Punch-Out before my reflexes failed to dodge his brutally powerful uppercuts. We then switched to Megaman 2 where we downed Woodman but failed hard on Bubble Man's stage. After seeing the continue screen, we opted to play something a bit easier instead. Wave Race 64 seemed like a good idea and I managed to dominate the first championship series. It was nice to win a game! After that, we decided to be a bit more social and shut the Nintendo off.

Outlook: Classic games are always great, no specific plans to play these again any time soon though.

Star Wars: The Old Republic
Mostly auction management including an absolute steal of a deal that will no doubt provide fodder for a future Sofa Story. I also played with my gunslinger who is made in my own image. It's kind of funny to see such a fat guy rolling nimbly into cover; he's a sassy talker too with flippant remarks for any situation!

Outlook: Like FF7, my ability to get through Broken Age will determine how much time I have here.