Sunday, May 22, 2011

Packed and Ready

I know you are wondering, "Tim, what are you going to be playing this summer?"

Well, last week I was getting all sentimental about leaving for 14 weeks. Not so much because I'll be in strange lands with new people and the real world attacking me from all angles, but instead I will be leaving my consoles behind.

I was packing and unpacking all my stuff and came across my library of video games. I then had these desires to play and replay a bunch of those games. Infamous. Valkyria Chronicles. Eternal Darkness. Resident Evil. Donkey Kong Country Returns. Half Life 2.

The list goes on, trust me.

But with my PS3 and Wii hooked up to the TV in my parents' living room, I don't have that opportunity to play my console games this summer (however, Half Life 2 is on my laptop, but I didn't pack my mouse :-\). My gaming opportunities will come from my new Nintendo DS Lite, if you recall. And I'll tell you what games I've packed for the summer.

1. Advance Wars 1+2

Advance Wars was one of the first games I had for my GBA, and since my DS Lite can play GBA games, I am taking full advantage and bringing along both of these stellar strategy games. They will be great for short bursts of gaming, allowing about one or two missions at a time.

2. Fire Emblem

DUH! What would I be without Fire Emblem? I don't think any further explanation is required.

3. Golden Sun 1+2

Golden Sun is the very first game I bought and played for GBA. It is fantastic. The sequel is even better in almost every way. There's more reasoning than their awesomeness to why I am bringing them along:

4. Golden Sun: Dark Dawn

Yup, the third game of the series, and the first actual DS game on the list. I hope to play through all three games in order and see if the world is truly doomed (like how yesterday was supposed to be the rapture according to one guy).

5. The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

I needed a Zelda game on this list. Honestly, when I was at Best Buy, it was either this or Pokemon White. I don't have the patience to play a Pokemon game anymore... Who am I kidding? I played Pokemon Red last summer, and Pokemon Crystal a month ago. I am not ashamed!

6. Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow

The sequel to one of my favorite games of all time. I searched quite a bit for this game. No Gamestop in my area back home had it, but the ones in Ann Arbor did, for $18, AND with a case! That's a steal. The lowest price you will see this game going for online is about $40.

7. Plants Vs. Zombies

My dad bought this game for himself, and in the less than two weeks I was at home, he played this game four at least 2 hours a night. I can see why. It is ridiculously addictive and I see it being perfect for short bursts of gaming in car rides or any other situations.

There you have it. The seven games that will feed my habit for the summer. I do not think I will be disappointed by anything that I bring along. But I really should have packed a mouse so I could play Half Life 2...

Friday, May 06, 2011

Five Years of Gaming Memories

I'm not about to get sentimental. That's not my thing. So don't expect this to be a generalized reflection of my time in college, no. Instead, I will reflect one some of my fondest memories in video gaming during college. If I forget to mention something that you remember, call me out on it and I will include it. Let us begin.

Freshman Year

The very first night in the dorms, I asked some of my floor mates if anyone wanted to play Mario Kart. I think it was Tyler, J, Amber and myself. Needless to say, nobody wanted to play Mario Kart with me for the rest of the year.

Nick had Guitar Hero. Nick would let me play Guitar Hero in his room. Nick and his roommates soon got sick of me playing Guitar Hero.

Tyler and I would play ROMs on our computers, and it mostly ended up with me getting frustrated that Tyler was playing the same game I was. He then had WoW commitments, and I would play ROMs some more.

Jim and I walked to GameTraders and I bought Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus. For about 8 straight hours, we played that game from start to finish, and then went back to collect every single crystal.

There was a LAN Party with a Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament. We said that we would train and then run that shit. Well, nobody wanted to pay $10 or whatever to enter, so we all just became really, really good at Melee. There were many epic Fox vs. Falco battles.

The Wii came out! The first day back after winter break, we all made Miis on Jim's Wii, and played Wii Sports like it was our job. I got my Wii the week after, and Bowling became the most popular game. We once sat around in Jim's room and as they were drinking in their dorm, they wouldn't let me stop playing until I completed the Bowling trick shot mini games. It didn't take too long.

Sophomore Year

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption came out that August. Finest controls for a first-person game I have ever played.

Bad news: Jim and I wore roommates, so we played Melee a shit-ton. In March, Brawl came out, and we went to GameStop at midnight to get it. We played for the next 7 hours back at our room. We even came back from Spring Break a day early to do that.

Bill invited me to play Brawl with him and his friends down in the lobby. One guy was spamming Pikachu's Down-B attack, and the next match I guaranteed I could win with Pikachu and never once use Down-B. Success. I also whooped ass with Ice Climbers, and Bill gave me free sandwiches.

Halo 3 was huuuuuuuge. We must have played through the campaign about a dozen times. Straight through. One sitting. We'd play online together, and I would go down to Clark's room, and we'd play on separate TVs. I had an XBox Live account that was about to run out, so we played online all night until I got to level 30.

Jim had Super Mario Galaxy and had me play through with Luigi. I got 60 stars and beat Bowser in one afternoon.

Oh dear. We went to a speed dating event, and Jim invited these two girls back to our room to play Super Mario Bros. 3. We played through the game twice. Whatever happened to those girls?

Guitar Hero. Guitar Hero 2. Guitar Hero 3. I'm pretty sure that's what contributed to the ganglion cyst I had in my left wrist. Clark and I played through all of those songs, and would have Pro Face-offs playing Through the Fire and Flames, getting super tired halfway through the song.

This was also the year I earned my first 100 game winning streak in Freecell.

Junior Year

I bought my PS3 that summer, and I played a bunch of Call of Duty in my dorm. Everybody did. I was so much better at World at War than I was at Modern Warfare.

Clark got Rock Band, and I learned to play the drums. Then I got really good at playing the drums. Then I got better than Clark at playing the drums. We had a rock session with John before he moved out of Saxe. That was one of my favorite jam sessions (especially with John singing Freak on a Leash).

Steve and I would play Mercenaries in Resident Evil 5. We had such great strategies for every character combination and on each map. Those SS rankings kept coming. We knew exactly how many enemies were on each map, where the chickens were, and when the run away from the executioners.

Senior Year

When Modern Warfare 2 came out, I sat in my bedroom for about 10 hours and played the campaign straight through (because PSN was soooooo busy). I don't think I turned the lights on in my bedroom. Danny must have mocked me once or twice.

We had this idea to have a party in Y-11 and advertise it as having a "live band." The live band was me playing GH, but people could sign up and sing songs. We had a practice night doing that with Danny, Josh, Joe, Derda, and Laura. It was a big success, but we never got around to having that party.

Josh had Rock Band, so we got to have quite a few late night Jam sessions. Josh is nowhere near as good as I am, but his appreciation for rock music is respectable.

I almost forgot! Josh got the new Tiger Woods game, and he, Danny, Rob and I would play two full rounds until about 2 a.m. We created characters. Josh created himself, Danny created a woman named Beau Kochy, and I created a woman named Sandy Beaver. Josh owned the game, yet was the very last one of us to hit a hole-in-one.

We went to O'Kelly's on a Tuesday, and Joe doesn't drink, so he wasn't comfortable there. I wasn't comfortable because I had to go poop really bad, and I was not about to poop at the bar. Joe and I decided to head back to Y-11 and play Spec Ops missions on MW2. Anyway, I'm clenching as hard as I can, and Joe is driving carefully because the snow had made the roads pretty bad. As he turns right onto Deerfield, he loses traction and spins into 270, so he has to drive the opposite direction until he can find a spot to turn around. We somehow made it back before I shat my pants.

Aaron brought his Gamecube to nationals in Louisville, and we played Mario Party one night. Danny and I were a team, so we took turns, and then decided to play spoiler and screw over whomever was in first. It worked, and we won. On the last night, we had a huge Mario Tennis tournament and drank a lot of beers. I also remember not wearing any pants...

Victory Lap

I played a lot MW2 in the fall, but it was hard because the internet at Tallgrass is terrible, so I played plenty of single player games.

Joe and I would play Firefight mode in Halo: Reach, and we even had a 3 hour match that just never seemed to end. Probably because we were invincible and had bottomless ammo. Somehow, that game is still fun after 3 hours.

Over winter break, I was at home and Ben invited me to play Diablo 2 online with him. Ten hours later, we were halfway through the third act when we decided we should probably go to bed.

I downloaded Mass Effect for cheap when Steam had great sales, and one Monday afternoon after my graphic design class, I played Mass Effect for about 11 hours, breaking for lunch and dinner.

In the fall, there were quite a few people at Clark's and we decided to have a huge jam session with Guitar Hero and Rock Band. This one girl had quite the pipes and knew all these hard rock songs, which was awesome. We rocked until about 5 or 6 a.m. and then played Tiki Topple until the sun came up. That was also the day Danny asked me to be the minister at his wedding.

This was also the year I earned my second 100 game winning streak in Freecell.