Thursday, October 18, 2007

Inserting some smart defaults (I hate blank landing pages)

Just inserting some text from my "Extended Info" app. I find that I like the basic structure of the app, but find it hard to edit and promote so that my friends can give me feedback.

Games on my radar
  • Super Paper Mario (released, Kyle has a copy)
  • Eternal Sonata (9/17/07)
  • Beautiful Katamari for 360 (10/17/07)
  • Ratchet & Clank (10/30/07, preordered from Gamestop)
  • The Simpsons (10/30/07, looks like a Kingdom Hearts like romp through Springfield and beyond)
  • Assassin's Creed (11/15/07, preordered from Gamestop)
  • Mass Effect (11/20/07)

Games I'm playing now

Halo 3 (360)
  • Status: Currently playing in a half-hearted manner.
  • Current Fun Level: The single player so far is like Halo and Halo 2. Sadly, this means it feels about 8 years out of date. I've just played too many *awesome* story driven shooters for this one to feel anything other than blah. Try, instead: Prey, Bioshock, HL2... The community features look cool -- too bad I'm not a hard core MP guy, though...
  • Owned/Rented: Own it (thanks Kyle).
Orange Box -- Portal (360)
  • Status: Currently playing Portal. Am almost done with the final chapter (before unlocking the bonus materials).
  • Current Fun Level: Pretty fun. Love the feel, writing, and gameplay. I'm sure I'll be wanting more content once I'm finished. Got stuck on Chapter 18 (thank for saving me from a button discoverability nightmate). Put my girlfriend (never played a console FPS before) through an informal usability session chapter 1. She got frustrated and quit -- which generated lots of ideas about how to improve the "complete newb" experience.
  • Owned/Rented: I own it (no thanks to Gamstop, but that's another story).
Portal.swf (Flash Game)
  • Status: Just discovered it. It's like Portal (Orange Box) but 2-d flash based.
  • Current Fun Level: Pretty fun. Controls are a little shaky (wish I could map "space" to jump; mouse aiming issues when perf takes a dip). I worry that the puzzles may get too difficulty too quickly.
  • Owned/Rented: I believe this is freeware:

Habbo Hotel (PC Browser)
  • Status: Created a character and wandered into some of the public rooms.
  • Current Fun Level: It's like a big chat room populated by crazy teenagers. Fascinating from a social network research perspective.
  • Owned/Rented: Free so far (I haven't purchased any coins yet).

Carcasonne (360 XBLA)
  • Status: Cheesing out the last single player achievement.
  • Current Fun Level: The solo game is quite relaxing and enjoyable. There are UI issues (and one of the coolest features is completely hidden) but it captures well the joy of a tile laying boardgame.
  • Owned/Rented: Purchased on XBLA.

Overlord (360)
  • Status: Currently playing, sadly needed to help me past the first hour of gameplay.
  • Current Fun Level: OK (it is getting cooler, but suffers from some serious usability issues). I just went on a cool dungeon crawl the other night (through the dwarven lands) that was quite fun.
  • Owned/Rented: Played the demo and loved it. Renting it via
Demos I've played

Puzzle Quest (XBLA)
  • Status: Played the demo. Quit before I got too far because I want to buy it and get some achievements!
  • Current Fun Level: Very fun. I've played a PC demo before. Gem matching games can be very fun and relaxing. This version adds just the right amount of RPG elements to give it a more strategic feel.
  • Owned/Rented: Plan to purchase it as soon as I play some more Orange Box and finish Overlord.
Simpsons (360)
  • Status: Finished the demo.
  • Current Fun Level: Pretty darn fun. Good writing, fun game mechanics, irreverent look at gaming conventions. Kind of like what The Bard's Tale did for RPGs, but for platformers.
  • Owned/Rented: Not sure... Might buy it depending on reviews. But it might be a renter because there are a lot of games coming out.
Jericho (360)
  • Status: Finished the demo.
  • Current Fun Level: Dark. Interesting characters. Questions: Will I actually want to change between 9 characters? Will I be able to feel attached to them all? Will I want to play some of the archetypes or just focus on the 2-3 that best support my typical gaming style?
  • Owned/Rented: Definitely curious. Most likely a rental, but...
Games I'm done with

Bioshock (360)
  • Completed: Yep. On easiest.
  • Overall Fun level: Very fun.
  • Owned/Rented: Played the demo and loved it. Bought the game.

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