So I spent the past hour staring at the screen this afternoon and then that's when it hit me: I am burnt out. I admit it, this holiday season strapped on the combat boots and gave me a few swift kicks in the ass. When you're typically used to whipping up an editorial column and find yourself struggling to find the right words to say, that's a sign that it's time for a break.
Yeah, you can bet come next week, that's exactly what I'll be doing. But before that time, there's a few loose ends that need to be tied up. The team has been dropping hints to take a vacation but y'know, I am stubborn like that. That's not to say that I haven't been making an effort to play my 360, far from it. In fact, over the past few days, I spent a lot of time with NBA 2K6. I was originally planning to put out the cash and invest in this year's version of Live, but the collective opinions from media and sales associates at the local EB influenced me to think otherwise. And man, I am really glad they did. This game is pure awesomeness. The presentation and visual integrity is off the hook. Too bad I can't say the same about my win/loss record. To date, the AI has been schooling me with authority so it's going to be awhile before I move on to human competition (that means you, Rich). It doesn't help matters any that I've practically lost all my natural b-ball gaming skills. It's like I am starting from Square One, knowing when to pick, when to set plays, and set up situations for my men to post up. These are basic fundaments you NEED to have down to a science.
In no particular order, I also been spending time with Need for Speed Most Wanted, Perfect Dark Zero, Call of Duty, Quake 4 and Project Gotham Racing 3. I've even picked up some new Xbox Live Arcade games like Geometry Wars, Bejeweled 2 and Wik, (I'll talk more about the latter another time.) One thing I want to do more than anything is to unlock some of the 360-specific achievements. Some of them seem friggin hard and it's making me green with envy that I am not able to catch up. Yup, I am competitive.
Meanwhile, I've been playing Animal Crossing: Wild World off and on. It's such an addictive game and was surprised how much fun I was having. I even wrote a fictional narrative, which um, I actually need to get back to. Overall, the DS edition is leaps and bounds better than the console editions, mainly for the fact that you're now able to interact with other players. Thanks to the Nintendo's wi-fi connection, players can hook up with anyone (provided you have their friend code), opening up opportunities to trade items, go fishing, or simply snatch up all their fruit and sell it your own town for cash. Currently, I am working on getting the biggest fish to impress Tortimer, but some punk in my town (Milford) has the record with a fish measured at 41.5 meters. And then there's the matter of redecorating my house. Ironically, my real life home looks a lot more appealing than my virtual home. I've been helped to understand that the Happy Decorating Crew (an anonymous group of people that discreetly evaluate your interior decor talents, or lack thereof) rate you according to the theme you've set up and/or the number of rare items in your possession. If you have too much clutter, don't expect to get too many points (hint: pay off your loan so that you can get Nook to make something a bigger place).
I could go on, but I'll save my wonderful adventures for the highly anticipated chapter 3. My only complaint with the game is that you're pretty much SOL if no one is ever on. To get the most out of this game, you HAVE to interact with other players, otherwise the fun factor will get dull very quickly.
Before I turn things over to the rest of the crew, I just wanted to acknowledge to everyone with a DS and is an active patron of this site should drop over to our forums and give us your friend code. Why? Simple, we want to play against you. I can promise you though that if you go against our site designer, David Sherer, who inarguably is our best player, expect to get rocked once or twice. I don't recall ever beating him and if I did, chances are, it was due to fortune shining brightly in my corner.
On an unrelated note, we've recently started to put our heads together to discuss some new aspirations for the site, mainly in how to improve our already solid potential as a resourceful gaming site. Sure, we know many of you like our clean cut look and enjoy the writing, but we're not resting our laurels. We want to do more. Much more and in the months to come, expect to see a number of changes that you should all enjoy. Yeah, I know that's pretty cryptic by now. Don't worry, it will all make sense soon.
Well, this month's edition is a wee bit lighter than usual. Some of us have just been overwhelmed by the aforementioned holiday craze and went into "vacation mode" a bit early. OK, enough talk, my 360 is calling for me.
··· Chris Scantleberry