Here’s where I’ve been the past month

I legit haven’t played a console game since my last post. What was that like 4 weeks ago? Yea… I’m not doing so hot. Last post ended with me being hopeful that I would have some time during my staycation to play some games. I ended up working a full week that week. Then my kid got very sick 2 weeks in a row starting around Easter, which means work from home and sleepless nights. THEN I decided I would hold work accountable and actually take my time off like planned. I ended up getting called in to work YET AGAIN during the re-do and didn’t get a chance to play games. Work has become a huge problem in my life. They are finally hiring somebody to boost the team headcount and hopefully that means I can actually get away from this damn place.

Other than that…

I’ve been catching up on comics! I used to read DC comics a few years back and slowed down when we had the baby. I’ve been missing it lately and decided to find a local comic shop near the new house and start up a pull list again. I’m also going back through some of DC’s greatest hits that I’ve missed out on in the past and that has been fantastic! Learning some of the deeper history around these characters and the story lines that changed the comic game has been educational to say the least.

One of my good friends also called me up the other day and basically said “we’re getting the band back together!” But in our case, it’s a online gaming clan instead of a band. I’ve been working with him on getting some of the website, chat server, and other type of infrastructure set up so we can have all the tools we need to do well and communicate. I haven’t done the clan thing in a while and forgot how much fun it could be. (If anybody is interested in joining a FFXIV clan then leave a note in the comments and I’ll get you invited).

Back to the topic of the Backlog though. I’ve been working on getting some sort of schedule created so I can actually accomplish this lofty goal. Like any other adult, I have a lot of responsibilities in my life and it hasn’t been easy to find which items to stop doing in order to work on the Backlog. I hope to have a schedule/calendar created that will ultimately lead to me making literally any progress on one of my games. Good luck to me.

Decisions, decisions…

I wanted to make a post about how I picked a great new game to play and how I was on track finally with working through The Backlog. I can’t make that post today. Instead I’m going to talk about some of the difficulties I keep having over and over again with this project. And while I admit a lot of this post might come off as me complaining, I certainly am not complaining about anything.

Last Friday I had some time to myself in the afternoon, so I decided to go about picking which game I would play next from The Backlog. If you’ve been following the blog so far, you’ve seen a picture of my game shelves. Picking a game is no easy task. In theory it shouldn’t be a problem, or rather it’s a positive thing instead of a negative thing. I have 1500 different video games to play. Any one of them should be a fun time. But, funny thing about my brain (or probably humans in general, I doubt I’m special in this case), having so many options makes it extremely difficult to make a decision and pick something.

Here’s my basic thought process when I go to pick a game: Do I want to play something serious like Heavy Rain, or something light hearted like Sonic & Knuckles? Should I play an RPG because I want a good story, or should I play something that will test my skills as a gamer like a NES platformer? Old school or current gen? How do I know I’m going to have the most fun possible when I pick a game out? Am I even going to stick with it this time?

So, it takes me about an hour to choose something, and by the time I pick the game I’m not even sure I want to play it. Obviously, I know this is a problem that I need to work on. Choosing how to spend free time and have fun shouldn’t be a chore.

After all that, I did end up picking a game… Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne.

SMT Nocturne Title Screen

I played it for about 90 minutes over the weekend and it’s pretty good so far. And then my other big personal issue came in to play. I have a really hard time sticking with stuff that I’ve started. Early Monday, on my first day of a week-long staycation, I decided that I really wanted to play Final Fantasy XV. I don’t normally get an urge like that (as seen above, normally I just burn myself out trying to choose) so I went with it. So right now, I’m on vacation (at home) and going to hopefully be putting some quality time in to FFXV.

I only got to put about 20 minutes in to the game so far before work called to interrupt my time off, but I’m fairly certain I will get to put some good time in during the rest of this week and actually feel like I accomplished something.

See ya!

PS: I added Amazon Polly text-to-speech player at the beginning of every post today. I hear you can also subscribe to my blog as a podcast now, but I have no idea how to do that. I’d be interested if anybody knows how that works.

PPS: I took some pictures because I thought this post would be about SMT Nocturne. Here’s a gallery of some that turned out decent.

So I Broke My Game

PS2 and Mad Maestro on floor

In case you missed my Twitter post, there was an unfortunate incident that left Mad Maestro in a state where my PS2 can’t read it.

Long story short, I was trying to test out my current gaming set up to see if it would wake up the baby if I were to play while he’s sleeping. While I was getting everything loaded up, the baby ran into the room and knocked over my PS2. It seems like there is now a scratch on the disc and now the game shows up as Disc Read Error in the PS2 browse menu. I really hope it’s just a problem with the disc itself and not some bigger issue with the system not being able to read the older blue back games now. I didn’t find another blue back game to test yet but at least the normal silver back games seem to be working fine.

Thats the bad news, the good news is you can’t hear anything in the baby’s room while I have the TV or computer turned up how I usually have it (pretty loud). So I can now enjoy my Backlog gaming while he’s sleeping and not feel guilty about waking him up.

Pausing Crash, Starting Mad Maestro

So I had a couple of problems with my plans to play Crash Bandicoot.

First, my wife and son have been sick for about the last week and that’s left all the normal chores and errands to fall solely on me to complete. So I had to choose between keeping up with life stuff or playing games, and I’m not 20 anymore so life stuff is going to win that fight every time. The family is on the mend though and I’ve got a lot of time off coming up at the end of the month, so I will get back on track with my Backlog journey shortly.

Second, I did have a little bit of time in between taking care of the family and doing the chores/errands to play the game, but came across an interesting bug while doing so. It turns out that the game has difficulty saving when it is being emulated, and as I was playing it on the PS3 that was exactly the case for me. I got it to work about 50% of the time, but after the 3rd or 4th game freeze at the save screen I’m going to have to put a pause on it until I can get a good setup with the PS1 hardware. I’ll hopefully be stopping by a Goodwill in the next few days to grab a CRT TV and finish out my retro gaming hardware setup.

This is where it freezes

Now on to the good news…

My PS2 still works well with my current TV setup so I can pick from 150+ games in the meantime. I chose to start with Mad Maetro, mostly because I think I can beat it quickly and finally score a win.

So far it’s working well and is pretty fun. It reminds me a lot of Parappa the Rapper but is classical music themed instead of hip hop. Hopefully I can report back this weekend with some good news and 1 game down. See ya!

Now Playing… Crash Bandicoot

I started playing Crash Bandicoot over the weekend so this post is a little late. So, as it turns out, I’m actually pretty bad at video games. I guess it’s like any other skill where you get worse if you don’t practice. Oh well, maybe I’ll get good at games again if I can stick with this project. Here are some screenshots I took while playing:

 

As you can see, “screenshot” is a kind of relative term for what I did here. I’m not really sure how to get these great images that I see on other blogs. This is just me taking a picture of a TV screen with my phone camera. Maybe I’ll look in to taking better screenshots some time.

Hope you enjoyed this short post, I’ll be back hopefully later in the week with something a bit longer. See ya!