Thursday, July 30, 2009


Here comes the weekend and it's already shaping up to be a busy one. I bought a new Gamecube today and a copy of Blast Corps for the Nintendo 64. I'm hoping to clear a little out of my back catalog and maybe over the next week do a run through of Starfox 64 (as is my tradition).

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


FURTHER READING is a little jam packed today. Nearly all of the entries were discovered before 5 p.m.! That makes my job a little easier in that I can schedule this post, kick back, play Battlefield 1943 until I hit 100 matches and then go achievement hunting elsewhere. I might even get a little Team Fortress 2 in today!

FLASH REVIEW: Upgrade Complete

Upgrade Complete is a flash game from Armor Games. It takes about 20 minutes to get through the full experience, but it was 20 minutes well spent.

Ostensibly the game makes a commentary on video gaming as a whole and the upgrading aspect many games employ to allow players to customize and power up their experience. Really it's a shmup with a lot of upgrading. You can upgrade the entire game really, from the graphics to the menu.

The game starts you off with nothing. You don't even have the actual shmup available to you at first. Instead, you have to use the 1000 credits they use to upgrade the game with gameplay. After this, you continue grinding through each wave of enemies, gaining credits from each enemy you kill until you can afford to upgrade all the other aspects of the game.

Part of the charm is starting with Atari style graphics and moving up to something much flashier and detailed. In a way it made me think about how little graphics have to do with a game. The upgraded graphics did little to enhance the gameplay so I probably spent a lot more time with the Atari graphics, grinding to get enough credits to upgrade the rest of my game.

The game play has enemies falling towards your ship and your ship has limited mobility. I found that the most effective thing was to cover as large of an area as I could in order to lay siege to as many enemies as possible. While you can get stuck on a wave, you only need to upgrade your ship in order to catch those two enemies that always fall by on the left side. Eventually, you'll also discover that Upgrade Complete can be a bit of a grind. You have to earn enough credits to upgrade your game, but you also have to earn credits to upgrade your ship to progress through the waves. This means that repeating waves after failing them will only continue to build up your stockpile of money.

Of course, Upgrade couldn't possibly keep you from upgrading the ship you pilot in the gameplay when it offers upgrades for every other aspect of the game. This ends up being one of the more intricate parts of the game, especially since you can add extra missile launchers instead of upgrading your current missile launcher. I ended up spending the cash on the regular guns and spreading them out as far as I could. Then I upgraded my lighting gun to catch any enemies that slipped past me and my cannons.

I'd recommend Upgrade Complete to anyone with a sense of humor and some time to waste. It's fun, not particularly addictive and entertaining for the time it takes. This means you can pick it up, play it through, maybe use it in a conversation about video games, and then never think about it again. You can check out Upgrade Complete for free at Armor Games:


Delay of Game

I should apologize for my disregard of PLAY READ WRITE over the past few days. I've been doing a fair bit of not gaming with lots of responsibilities around the house. My brother picked up Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars so I'll most likely be reviewing that next, and I've been working my way up to 100 matches in Battlefield 1943, but what I wanted to talk about today is about the recent slew of games that are being pushed back into 2010.

From Bioshock 2 to Splinter Cell Conviction, games are being delayed from the holiday season into the next year left and right. These are huge tentpole releases that developers and publishers plan on selling millions of, and I hope that moving them to a less crowded time of the year will bring them that financial success.

Let's face it, games like Halo: ODST and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 are huge dominant games that crush all who stand in their way. These names are so big that the little guys have to scamper out of the way as fast as possible, and for good reason. We want these titles to do well, so long as they are of good quality, but we also want smaller titles that are still ingenous in their own right to do well this year too. Sometimes the best way for games like Splinter Cell or Singularity (another shooter from Activision) to do well this year, is to be moved to next year.

Look at Capcom's recent strategy. This year, Capcom released Resident Evil 5 and Street Fighter IV, their two (arguably) biggest franchises, in the early part of this year, and each of those titles still produced big sales. Why can't more games be published in the rest of the calendar year? High volume sales are possible if the titles are quality.

In any case, I'm very happy to hear of these delays. It may mean that we have to wait a little while longer for titles we want to play badly, but it will mean that new franchises can be born, new risks can be made, and success can be had in the business sector of video gaming.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


A handful of interesting posts here and there have filled up the FURTHER READING quota for this weekend. I have to explain the first: I'm a huge fan of Futurama and IGN has a post about the cast getting back together for the new episodes that were ordered. I'm hoping that the full cast return, I can't imaging half of the characters without the voices of Billy West and John DiMaggio. Anyways, that's why the first entry of FURTHER READING is

Friday, July 24, 2009


I'm posting FURTHER READING from the future today. Busy weekends mean I manage to get out from in front of the video games and the computer, and how can that be a bad thing? I gamed a lot this past week, finishing Fable II and writing a review, playing Team Fortress 2 and informing you readers on the etiquette of a spycrab, and continuing my grind on Final Fantasy Tactics A-2 (which I'm still very far from completing).

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Today was a busy day around the office... well, my office... my very small office of one person. Today I finished and reviewed Fable II. What should I review next? A couple of interesting bits of tid today for FURTHER READING and I hope you'll find them of interest to you too.

REVIEW: Fable II for the Xbox 360

Fable II is the sequel to an Xbox game I never played. It centers around... well, you, whatever you choose to be, whoever you choose to be, and really whatever path you choose to walk. The way the game presents these choices, and their effects, is remarkably effective. Fable II is really a very personal experience in that it asks you to decide exactly how you want to shape yourself and how that will in turn shape the world. The main campaign shows little effect of this, but the people in the shops and towns do.

Fable II starts out strong, introducing your character and the villain early in the tale, along with morality choices and economics. Don't forget, things cost gold, and gold doesn't come without some work. Soon after the tale gets under way, I found myself working obsessively for the blacksmith. Jobs are small minigames that require you to make timed button and I was hooked on making as much money as I could by getting a long string of successful hits in. I'm not one for this sort of thing but I was having a good time and wanted to get a healthy start on buying decent equipment for my character.

The next quests were fun and had me straying from the main story line repeatedly. The characters in the game have lots of personality, mostly due to the terrific British voice acting cast, so their problems are either hilarious or heartfelt. It was almost like a world full of living breathing distractions. I wanted to dance for everyone that would applaud and fart for anyone in the town square that would have it (and a lot of people liked it when I farted). In a way Fable II truly allowed me to be myself in a video game world.

The combat also varies itself enough to have depth and nuance so that you'll never bore of feeling like a powerful combatant. Some of the less powerful enemies never fail to entertain either. Whenever I came across a battle with Hollow Men I rejoiced. They're probably the easiest enemies to dominate, but when Fable II throws tens of them at me at once it was always fun to swing my sword and crack their bodies apart three at a time.

I continued down the campaign trail and each area it opened was new and varied, as were the enemies. The final battle culminated in a big challenge, but overall I felt like it was appropriate for the level of experience I had reached. There was one climactic disappointment though.

[SPOILERS] After the end of this final battle, you travel to the top of what's basically your batcave. Lucien, your villain kills your dog and puts you to sleep. You enter a dream world, shoot some bottles, kick some chickens, and boom your back to the spire. Essentially, Lucien was trying to control you through a dream world. You are face to face with Lucien in the spire. After this, you pull your gun out and immediately shoot him. He's dead. The end. [END SPOILERS].

I know I'm pretty late to the party here, but Fable II is/was great. I'm even going to play it through again as an evil character, and I usually can't do second playthroughs in quick sucession. As a game world Fable II succeeds in so many ways, and on so many levels. It has a cast of characters that exude personality (so much so that they repeated character models are easily overlooked). It has a reactive community (to the point that you're own desires will come out in your character). Most importantly, it's fun.


Business cards need a house too...

I picked up some business cards before I made my way to E3, and now after seeing this Famicom business card case, I've realized that they are incredibly naked.

At about $30 (and an import at that), I'd have to come into some pretty expendable cash to make this purchase.

Imagine: "Oh hi, [insert game journalism professional here]. You do great work! Maybe we could talk sometime. You can check out my writing at Let me give you my business card.... What's that? Oh yeah, petty cool case huh?"

I'm sure I'll be able to keep that at the back of my head until I run into that extra cash down the line. In the mean time you can check out the product page at Geek Stuff 4 U:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Another late edition of FURTHER READING means I've been out having fun again. Man I sure do wish I was going to Comic Con though. Seems like there's so much to see and do down there, but could I possibly wade through the rising levels of comic books nerds to see all of the great video game stuff going on in San Diego?

Playing TF2 for Hats

I want so desperately to get a hat drop. These random unlocks in Team Fortress 2 are so infuriating at times. I've been playing quite a bit lately hoping that I'll somehow stumble across any hat for any class.

Valve recently added the cosmetic unlockables to drive TF2 players like me crazy. They don't really do anything other than show off what a fancy-pants player you are, but that doesn't mean I don't want one so bad I can taste it. My main classes are Soldier and Medic so obviously it would be great to receive a hat for either of those two classes, but even if I got a hat for a different class, I'm sure that one would surge to the top of my "hours played" list.

Have you unlocked a hat? What's your story? If you haven't unlocked a hat yet, which one are you hoping to find?

Personally, Valve has almost broken my spirit, but I'll continue logging hours in the game until I find that hat. Even if I don't, I'm still having fun with the game and the community surrounding it, especially due to my buddy p90 and what a good heavy he is to partner up with.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I wrote a lot today and there's still more than three links in FURTHER READING! What a day!

The Crab is a Spy!

Observe here the rare and endangered spycrab. You may have seen the spycrab in your favorite Team Fortress 2 server. They are elusive creatures, but from time to time they will appear in packs.

Of course the spycrab isn't your average TF2 player; there's something special about someone who goes into a server and dedicates most of their play time to crab walking among their team mates, much like people who play Rose Ball in their time off.

Spycrabbing is really just a delightful offshoot of TF2 for players who have too much time on their hands or want to spend their round in a whimsical manner, oftentimes to the chagrin of their fellow team mates, and the delight of the opposing players. A spycrab can be a free kill, a wasted player slot, and so much more.

Like many things in life, there's a specific etiquette to crab walking. First, select the spy class, they don't call them spy crabs for nothing. Second, select your cigarette case, but do not select a class to disguise as, merely hold it in front of you. Third, crouch down and look directly upwards. Fourth, move back and forth slowly, walking side to side. Make sure you prepare yourself and then begin crab walking in a highly populated area.

The idea here to be seen by as many people as possible. Are you playing Goldrush or another payload style map? See if the other team will let you live as a spycrab in their area after the cart has moved forward enough to leave a distance between their spawn and the action around the cart. Are you playing on a control point map? Do the same, but stick to a specific point. If you're near the action, the other teams soldiers, demo men, and heavies will be firing in your general direction and probably won't concern themselves with the loss of a spycrab.

In a way, crab walking is like taking a survey. How many players will take your actions in a light hearted manner? How many will walk past you, maybe laugh, watch for a while, and continue about their game? How many players will take your actions derisively and decree you a wasted member of the team? How many will kill you everytime you make it all the way over to your spawn for fear that you'll come after them and backstab them?

Hopefully you'll be able to find other spy crabs and continue the species long into the life span of Team Fortress 2.

I'm including this video, but I warn you to turn the volume off before you watch:

A Star Commentor

I received a star from Mike Fahey on Kotaku today.  Their new commenting system has greatly improved the quality of conversation and reduced a lot of the noise that has kept me from reading any of the comments section in the past year or so.

When I first started reading Kotaku, commenting privileges were scarce and thus many of the comments were insightful, easy to read, and added volumes to the conversation.  Since then however, the multitude of new readers has amplified the usual internet noise/banter that makes the whole world sound like 13 year-olds.

Now that I've got this star, I think I might actually spend some time looking at comments and even making my own.  To anyone that stumbles across this blog from my name over at Kotaku, please make comments as you see fit and hopefully you'll find enough items of interest on this blog to return on a semi-frequent basis.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Late edition of FURTHER READING for Monday.  Its been a long weekend, but it seems like its going to be an even longer week.  I'll be plugging away at Fable II in hopes that I can get the review out the door by this weekend, and even then I'll have a lot to explore in Albion.  Here's what you should check out today.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


FURTHER READING is brought to you by Kotaku today. I read a lot of Kotaku and I read a lot of Joystiq, but I'm wondering what are some other good gaming blogs that create a lot of content. Bonus points for blogs or websites that even update on the weekends. Here's what you should read this weekend:

Evo 2009 Championship

I've been watching the EVO 2009 stream over at all morning, and I'll probably keep watching through the rest of today as I mill about online and on Fable II.

As a sports event it works, especially if you have any clue as to what's going on in the game.

One match in Street Fighter IV, for example, had a fighter focus dash canceling to an ultra combo.  Knowing what that means, knowing the level of play that those moves come out makes watching it that much more entertaining.

Watching the Guilty Gear finals this morning though has been much less entertaining, especially when the commentators don't even have the base knowledge of the game and fighting system to let the viewers in on the technical aspects of the fighting.

Granted they have to fill a lot of space, and they have to do a lot of talking for a lot of time, but I wish the announcers could have been slightly better prepared.  They get off topic pretty often, which is understandable, but they should be commenting to the people watching online, and not to each other.  Until I step into their shoes however, I really can't complain that much.

The stream will still be up so long as there is EVO action going on, so hop on over to and see some of the finals action for yourself.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cracked explains World of Warcraft is usually pretty hit or miss with their content in my mind, but this explication on what playing World of Warcraft was definitely a hit.

In the past few weeks my counter strike community has closed its server and most of the players have migrated to World of Warcraft.

The pressure is mounting, but I'm doing my best to remain steadfast against playing the game. I've never been one for MMO's, mostly due to the monthly fee I'd have to pay to play. Besides that, there's always the amount of time it would take to get up to speed. Maybe you can call me lazy, but there's a lot of effort I'd have to put in to play WoW with my friends that have already been playing for the past couple of weeks.

Anyways, please check out Cracked's feature on learning World of Warcraft with Super Mario Bros. at

Friday, July 17, 2009


Seems like there have been some mysterious goings-on in the gaming industry today. A trio of accidental slips today have revealed or broken the release date of some big names in gaming. Sometimes I think the video game industry has the sloppiest companies out there....

Thursday, July 16, 2009


There was plenty to read and write about to today, most exciting of all for me was the possibility of a soldier update. What did you find most interesting today? Hopefully one of these will start a conversation among you and your gaming friends:
I started playing Fable II today so my goal right now is to get through it and get a review up. Hopefully I won't get too distracted by blacksmithing....

Will the Soldier be updated next?

Is the Soldier the next Team Fortress 2 class to be given the update treatment?

I certainly hope so. The Soldier is my favorite class and I've been trying to play it a little less until the update comes out. I'm excited to see what kind of unlockables come along with the update too, maybe the Shovel-stinguisher?

What I'm not looking forward to is grinding to unlock or waiting for a random drop. I still have yet to unlock the Jarate for the Sniper class.

The post also alludes to a possible new game mode in King of the Hill. The soldier references painting and defending a hill twice in his blog post, while also deriding all of the time us "women" spend on the internet instead of more manly pursuits. We'll have to wait and see exactly what the next update holds, but until that time, you can read the full blog post by the soldier at the Team Fortress 2 blog.

1 vs 100 will be free to Silver Live players this weekend

Microsoft sent along a press release letting us know that Silver members of Xbox live will be allowed in to 1 vs 100 play this weekend. Maybe those Silver players who haven't joined the Gold ranks of Xbox Live will be enticed by the community game show. I've only played around with 1 vs 100 during the extended play sections. Its hard to make sure I sit down and play during the live show, but I'm always interested in trying it out. Maybe I'll hop on tonight or later this weekend.

The extended play is fun, but ultimately there's only a competitive aspect and little else. The questions are easy, and if you don't know the exact answer, an well-educated guess will usually net the correct answer.

I've always thought that the ramifications of 1 vs 100 as a primtime program are much bigger than the game itself. Having programming on a video game console certainly positions it to become the center of a family's household, and in many ways that's what Microsoft set out to do with their Xbox machine. I think slowly over time the PC and the Xbox will look more and more like eachtoher, especially with the small revisions that are sure to start with Project Natal and beyond.

Anyways, get out there and play some 1 vs 100 Silver users!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


FURTHER READING's delinquency is inexcusable to be sure, but I have to offer my apologies. I've been running desperately trying to find a job. I've found where to apply for some writing jobs at UGO (parent company of 1up), but I'm also trying to find how I can start getting my name out even further, or possibly finding a job at an actual game company. Several calls have got me leads to a few places, but I have to continue diligently working to find work.

Like I said, I have to say that I'm sorry for being so tardy with FURTHER READING, so I offer a super sized FURTHER READING with blogging back on track tomorrow.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Today was a hot day in California. I keep thinking each morning that we're going to have a nice 80 degree day and each day I'm proven dead wrong. To beat the heat I stayed inside and read (or watched) this stuff:

WRITE UP / 07.13.09

Today was a busy day of gaming for me. Plainly put I picked through as many games as I could and played what I managed to in spurts.

1) I woke up and played a couple of rounds of Battlefield 1943, but without Zach on and playing as well it wasn't as much fun. Despite this I got through two and a half rounds before turning it off and doing something a bit more productive. The teams in each of these rounds were pretty even though, which is extremely fortunate after last night's terrible matches where a lot of the players on the other team were quitting early on and leaving one player stranded behind them. My team came out victorious of course and I even scored the highest on the last game I played.

2) A couple of hours later I tried playing Street Fighter IV online. I won two out of the 10 or so matches I tried to play. The other 8 matches I spent on the ground or frantically trying to sweep my way out of corners. One opponent spammed Sonic Booms as Seth until I cursed loudly at the end of the two rounds. Its as if a whole opened up in the universe, a boot came out, and kicked me in the ass. As much as I'd love to play more SF IV online, I can't imagine I'll be in the mood for such punishment in the near future. That play session still netted me an extra 30 gamerscore points though, 20g for winning my first match online, and 10g for setting a new title and icon.

3) I also played about 20 minutes of Mirror's Edge before I realized again why I put the game down after enjoying it so much. Before I had stopped playing ME, I was trying to complete the speed runs the game rewards achievements for. The speed run for Jacknife is about 10 minutes long, but my obsessive nature has me restarting every time I think I've wasted a second or two, even though I'm sure if I just completed the mission I'd have it cleared under the wire. My previous time on Street Fighter IV had me feeling pretty defeated though so I put the game back on the shelf.

4) I played Peggle on my iPhone for a breif time as well today while I was watching the latest section of the Bonus Round on Gametrailers. I've been trying to complete each map at 100% but Birdy's Crib continues to evad me. Each attempt I think I get closer and closer to completing it, but towards the end of the level, the pegs are too disjointed and spread out for me to get each one with my remaining shots.

PS3 Slim Video Drops in to Back Up the Rumor

I don't know how badly video game companies can keep secrets anymore, but Sony is doing a good job of raising the bar here with their redesign of the PS3. Judging from the video I think they've made a good decision in making it more like a set top box that will fit along with your surround sound system and the like.

Much of the video game community feeds on rumor and speculation like this (at least those that aren't drooling over new Madden '10 screens), so it makes sense that this slow trickle would keep the people biting at the possibility of a sleek new design for the struggling PS3. If I were still working at Best Buy though I'd have no qualms about telling people looking at buying a PS3 to wait it out and see what was coming down the line. Who knows, maybe it'll never come out. PR people love to deny things until they're white faced and falling over, but when will Sony let them off the hook?

Another question I have is when this business of design and redesign will end? It starts with 15% changes to each new iteration of the Nintendo DS, then the removal of a drive from the PSP, now the PS3 will look like a regular old Blu-ray player but still be able to play games.

In a way its a very smart business plan, what with techies and people with disposable income snatching video game machines and media players up like the last one they had doesn't work anymore. But despite this, I kind of miss completely new console and handheld iterations. When the DS and PSP originally debuted it was the kind of thing you could drool over endlessly, but now, the DSi is only barely maintaining its place at the back of my conciousness, and I shrug over the PSP-Go, wondering if I'll ever invest Sony's handheld.

Hopefully we'll see something a bit more official from the PS3 slim, but until now we can only ponder and wait to see what's coming in the next few months.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


It was a busy weekend of Bruno, hanging out with Jenna and Ryan, and playing Battlefield 1943 with Zach, but its not over yet.  These past few weeks have been extremely slow in gaming news, and FURTHER READING has been feeling it.  Honestly it was nice taking a vacation from looking at nothing happening on the industry news front.  That doesn't mean there hasn't been quite a few interesting tid bits though, and so FURTHER READING will soldier on.  Each weekday you can point your browser here for FURTHER READING and the usual posts, but there will only be one FURTHER READING over the weekend.  This doesn't mean that there won't be other posts, reviews, and musings each Saturday and Sunday, but FURTHER READING will post each Sunday night from now on.  Also, if you're stumbling upon this blog and you have a site that you're looking for writers on, please drop me any line as I'd love to be given regular assignments and to contribute to other places on the web which might net me new readers.  Here's what piqued my interest this weekend:

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Dragon Quest IX launch throug the eyes of Tim Rogers

Tim Rogers has an interesting write up about the Japanese launch of Dragon Quest IX, a holiday of sorts in the land of the rising sun. In said write up, he asks a specific question about the nature of gamers lining up for a hotly anticipated release.

"I wanted to buy Dragon Quest IX, and not just stare at people in a line, so I walked around the corner to the Bic Camera. Bic Camera, like all the other shops in the area, wouldn't open until 11am, though they had a table set up out front with hundreds of copies of the game — and not a single customer. This is interesting. Maybe. People would much rather wait in line for something than not wait in line for the exact same thing. Why? You know the thought experiment about what happens if you place a donkey perfectly equidistant from two absolutely identical bales of hay? He starves to death! Bic Camera and Tsutaya were not identical bales of hay. At the end of the day, however, they tasted the same. (From the Tsutaya exit, I could just barely see Dragon Quest series producer Yuji Horii standing inside, numerous flashbulbs going off like popcorn all around him. I recalled that time I saw him smoking a cigarette outside of Tokyo Game Show, and I said hello to him, and he did an amazing job of pretending that he didn't think I was a psycho.)"

Having worked both sides of this phenomenon, retail and within the line, I can offer a unique understanding of what's going on.

I see the central question as "why would anyone want to wait in line for a hotly anticipated game when you could just pick it up in an instant?" The answer would have to be that lining up is one of the few community aspects that require gamers to be in close contract with each other anymore. The death of the arcade and the advent of online gaming has only encouraged gamers to stay in doors. Game launch's or console launch's allow gamers who are already interested in the same title or console to coerce and interact with each other in a friendly manner. Friends can be made!

That's not to say lines can be a little less than friendly. In 2006 when the PS3 and Wii were launching, it was like A Tale of Two Cities. The Wii line was friendly, but the PS3 line was held up every so often and people's cars were broken into. The people waiting to pick up the PS3 weren't fans, they were scalpers.

Hopefully we'll continue to see launch day lines (for those that choose to participate) and other forms of communing with fellow gamers.

REVIEW: Battlefield 1943 for the Xbox 360

Battlefield 1943 is a sort of remake to Battlefield 1942's Pacific Theater. Redesigned maps and gameplay are letting console gamers get in on the multiplayer action that PC gamers have been enjoying for years. This new iteration takes controls, engine, and gameplay from DICE's Bad Company series (the second of which is coming out soon). This means that gameplay will have players running, driving, and flying around these maps. Plus the new game engine allows for the destruction of buildings and trees so if you see an enemy slink in through a door, just blow a whole through the wall and take them out.

I haven't played a Battlefield Game since Battlefield 2, and even then I wasn't playing that much. Messing around on the maps now has me brimming with nostalgia. The theme music is there and so is the action. While most of my kills have been coming from shooting the other team, there's something extremely satisfying to the vehicular action. Flying a plane (and being successful at it) is extremely rewarding and fun because of the sense of speed and the idea that you're scaring the crap out of the other team. Tank to tank battles are even, so you'll need skill to stand come out victorious. Of course if you have a pair of infantrymen with you, the other tank won't really stand a chance.

I guess what I'm getting around to is that Battlefield 1943 is an extremely well balanced game. I don't think I'd be having as much fun at it if it weren't. After playing all sides of the battle, I can say that when I take down a tank on foot, its not because the tank is underpowered, in fact I'll have died three times against three other tanks before taking this one down, but when I do its because I was better than the other player. Take for example my current situation with planes. I can score multiple kills with the bomber, but I can't really fly at all. I'll go up into the air, navigate a little, but my piloting gets squirrelly, or I'm shot at, and I come down. But like I said, BF 1943 is all about balance, so I find myself fairly decent at bringing planes down with anti-air guns.

The three classes are also pretty well balanced. The rifleman has accuracy without distance, middle of the road power, and mid reload speed. The infantry has a speedy reload, and a tank busting bazooka, but very little accuracy and distance. The scout has a sniper rifle with high accuracy and damage to other soldiers, but that's about it.

I've been playing the rifleman the most. Its the most well rounded and easy to learn. The nuances of balance have to be learned in order for a player to recognize what they're facing, and then take the most appropriate action. How's that work? After playing a little bit you'll recognize just how far a class's gun will shoot, how to approach a capture point as a certain class, and whether or not you should run from the tank coming over the hill or stand and fight.

After that, its just up to you to have fun with the game. Battlefield 1943 is easy to get into, easy to dedicate a lot of hours to, and easy to play. Most importantly, its fun. I'd recommend it to anyone who can get it.


Friday, July 10, 2009


FURTHER READING has gone mobile today as I'm out hanging out with Jenna and seeing Bruno.  How do I get the little dots over the U anyways?  That doesn't keep me from blogging though.  NOTHING WILL! NOTHING!

I don't know what happened there, but here are a couple of interesting tid bits to look at, play around with, or read:

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Most of my day has been spent playing Battlefield 1943 on Xbox Live. It was interesting to see the game go from horribly buggy with terrible connections, to surprisingly good. I've been thoroughly entertained for quite a few hours today, just milling about in the pacific. It helps that my friend Zach has been playing along too. I'll keep FURTHER READING short so I can get back to the game.

Quick Battlefield 1943 Impressions

Earlier today I finally got around to entering my code for my E3 copy of Battlefield 1943. I launched the game and found that it was marred with issues. Before noon, I could barely find myself an open slot in a match, and when I did find that slot, my game was extremely laggy and buddy. When driving one of the game's jeeps, it would bounce around as if ricocheting off of rubber walls. Everything seemed topsy turvy. This was due to the many issues players had been suffering for the past 24 hours. After reading about EA addressing the issue and adding more servers all day long, I decided to walk away and take care of some work.

When I finally returned everything seemed perfectly fine. I got a spot and started to dominate the other team. Capturing points on the map worked fine, there was no lag when shooting the other players, and it was fun racking up points. The only problem was that I couldn't join my friend's game. I waited patiently and joined together in a squad with my friend. We started a match together and everything worked out alright, but it was still frustrating not being able to join his match right away. I'm guessing that'll be fixed as the server load is matched to the player load over the next week.

I'm excited to play more and I'll have the official PLAY READ WRITE REVIEW up soon.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


So it turned out to be a very busy vacation after all.  Of course, I wish it weren't over, but it does give me time to get back to my blogging.

While I didn't play too many games on the flight home (too busy sleeping), I'm eager to get to my free copy of Battlefield 1943.  How has matchmaking been going on that game?

With so much time away from blogging (FURTHER READING and WRITE UP included) there's so much to read (and watch) in order to catch up.  Thus, a SUPER FURTHER READING is appropriate.

Electroplankton rerelease on DSiware

A couple of years ago, I found myself in New York City. Of course this meant I was going to pay a visit to the Nintendo World Store (just a few short blocks away!). I had always wanted a copy of Electroplankton for the DS, but unfortunately they no longer sold the title there. For the longest time you could only pick the game up at the Nintendo World Store and online.

I still don't have my own copy of Electroplankton, but it remains something I look up on eBay every so often. Now it'll be rereleased in parts on the DSiware store. Too bad I don't have a DSi either. Hopefully someday, Electroplankton will swim into my collection. Until then, maybe I'll find myself downloading it at some point.

Friday, July 3, 2009

WRITE UP / 07.02.09

I did less gaming on my flight than I thought I would.  A lot of the time was actually spent reading a book!  And that's what I'm going to do right now too, so to keep it short:
  • I played a little bit of Final Fantasy Tactics A-2 on the plane.  I think I'm progressing slowly, but I'm still eager to get my soldier switched over to ninja as soon as I learn that class.  One thing that's been frustrating me is the placement of some of the enemies from quest to quest.  Today I was battling gunslinging moogles and one of them spawned on top of this huge tower.  None of my units could climb that high so I was stuck knocking 13 points off of his health every 8 turns with my single archer.  That was more than a little frustrating.
  • I also played more Brain Age, but haven't touched the game in more than 24 hours.  How did my brain age actually slip from my first test I'll never know, but hopefully it'll all clear up in the next week.  The training that's open to me is kind of boring so I'll have to roll the clock back and make sure I get another stamp in order to continue unlocking new methods.
  • More Wii Play Tanks.  Jenna and I are trying really hard to clear the game, but we always seems to be cut down in the final seconds.  Hopefully in the next week or so we'll get through and I'll be sure to write something up about how good it feels to finally conquer the minigame.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Today was definitely a busy day.  Our flight went well, as did our evening here in Colorado.  Now that we're all set up, we can enjoy some more Wii Play (Tanks minigame specifically, Jenna and I are determined to beat it before heading home), as well as other gaming bits, like TF2 and Counter Strike: Source on a consistent internet connection.  Its too late now for that though, as FURTHER READING is about to turn into FURTHER DREAMING for yours truly.  Here's what I enjoyed reading in the past couple of days: