Category Archives: Gaming

This is where I talk about what video games I am playing right now. Fun times!

Viva Pinata: Viva Diversión

Viva Pinata is a family game for the XBOX 360. While it looks like it was created for children, it is strangely addicting. You entice pinatas to live in your garden, romance them to make more pinata, and accept challenges to gain happy candy.  This game was one of the original launch titles for the 360.

Currently in the game I am still trying to get a Roario and a Dragonache (the secret pinata).  I have most of the achievements in the game, but I am having difficulty getting the ones where you use an ex-sour pinata to distract Dastardos (the helper that kills your sick pinata).  One of my favorite in game tricks is to grow chili peppers to get money.  You plant the seed as close together in groups of 3, then fertilize them with the any-color fertilizer.  Because they are planted so close together you can fertilize 3 for the price of 1!  A planting of 27 chilies will net you about 10,000!  I am determined to get all of the achievements in this game!  I am at 3100-ish GP now.

I am looking forward to the Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise game that will be coming out 9/1/08.  There is supposed to be a co-op mode where 2 people control 2  cursors.  Jack and I are looking forward to being able to play this game together.

Lost Odyssey Obsession

I am back from my month long hiatus! Some of that is due to finishing up the semester, but a large part of the absence is due to video games. Yes, I admit it, I played video games for weeks at a time. Since I played games so much, I figured I should write a mini-review of the ones that I played and enjoyed and why. As the title of this post indicates, Lost Odyssey is my favorite, followed by Rockband, Mass Effect, and Oblivion. (I was only playing my XBOX 360 during this break)

Lost Odyssey – This is a “traditional Eastern RPG”, whatever that means. My understanding is that means that the fighting is turn-based, with random battles popping up with no warning and a long and emotionally involved story line. I like this game because of the turn based fighting, but the random battles can be annoying (esp when you get 3 and you are about 5 seconds from leaving an area and you need to save cause you are about to die). The graphics are very nice, and the character costumes, while not something you would really wear in a fight, at least follow the rules of gravity (this natural force has been lacking in FF women’s clothing). There are these dream sequences that are supposed to be a big emotional development part of the story, but I just skip them because they are not well written and very boring. The bosses are not too hard, if you figure out their weaknesses, but if you are the run in and start fighting type . . . good luck! This game is 4 discs in length (which is pretty astounding) and I am just starting disc 4 with over 45 hours of game time logged. If you liked Final Fantasy 12, you will probably like this.

Rockband – This is probably the best game I have ever played! It ranks as second place only because you need friends to play with you to really enjoy this game. You can play as either the singer, guitarist, or drummer of a rockband in solo mode, but if you have 3 more people to play with you, your band can have a singer, guitarist, bassist, and drummer. Way more fun! What makes this game different from Guitar Hero and Karaoke revolution (other than having drums) is the massive amount of song downloads. Every week there are at least 3 new songs to download and every month a whole new album! With that kind of variety, anyone can find a song they like (if you are willing to spend the points). I am partial to the vocals and the drums in this game. I usually stick with the vocals though, cause I am not afraid to sing in front of people and the drums are REALLY hard! I am working on finishing the game on vocals on Hard and Jack and I are doing the band world tour as guitarist and singer respectively. This past weekend, I brought the game to my parent’s house and we played Rockband with my bro for about 26 hours over 2 days. It was awesome! If you liked Guitar Hero or Karaoke Revolution, you will like this game!

Mass Effect – This game is one that I only picked up for a few hours during my break. I like this game because it has a great storyline with multiple different paths that can be taken. The fighting is real-time and you only control a team of 3. The AI on this game has been great to work with (I hardly ever end up cursing at the other members of my team) and the target help is a life-saver. I have already finished this game on “casual” level and am working on “hard” difficulty. Unfortunately, I played this game under Jack’s gamer-tag, so now I am playing it from the beginning again on my tag. I want those achievements! If you liked Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, you will like this.

Oblivion – Technically, the full name of this game is Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. It is the fourth game in the Elder Scrolls series and by far the best of them all. It is a highly detailed RPG with real time fighting that you see before you encounter. It sounds like the standard hack and slash where you pick up your sword and magic and go and kill some rats/spiders/zombies, but it is far more than that. The character classes are much more detailed that a normal RPG and there are guild that can be joined. I have spent about 10x more time moving up in the guilds that I have on the main storyline. My favorite guild to be a part of is the Dark Brotherhood, a guild of assassins. They have the best equipment and the most interesting quests. I actually use the guide a lot in this game, simply because there are so many locations and so many people it gets really frustrating to try and find a specific one. The NPC characters have schedules that they follow, which differ by what day that it is and they interact with each other fairly well.  If you liked Morrowind, you will like this game.

I hope that you have enjoyed my quick summary of my summer vacation games.  My goal this summer is to get 10,000 GP by the end of August.  I started in the beginning of May with only 800 GP and I am now up to 1535 GP.  Lets see how close I can get to my goal with the sever limitation of no FPS, Racing, or Sports games (I can’t stand them).

St. Patrick’s Day

Guild Wars St PatricksSt. Patrick’s Day is my favorite holiday.  Not only do I wear green, drink beer, and talk about my Irish heritage . . . my Guild Wars character gets dressed in green too!  Being a mongrel mix of Irish, English, German, and Scottish mean that there are very few excuses to celebrate my ancestry.  The vast majority of people do not distinguish the variety of European descents, but I am proud of my ancestors.  You don’t have to be a minority to have heritage!

For those of you who do not know, St. Patrick was a Irish priest that taught the pagan heathens of Ireland about Catholicism.  He used the shamrock to symbolize the holy trinity, so says legend.  St. Patrick’s day was the one day that the meat restriction of Lent was lifted.  It used to be celebrated by going to church and various other religious oriented doings.  Then, Ireland decided to publicize St. Patrick’s Day as a celebration of being Irish; mostly celebrated by drinking beer and wearing green.  That began the downhill slide (with pint in hand) of the holiday from religious observance to drunken revel.  Personally I prefer it that way!

This St. Patrick’s I had a very mild holiday.  Monday is never a good day for a holiday, especially one with this much beer as a traditional guest.  I had a single beer, not even from the isle, and watched Braveheart, which is not even about the Irish.  My favorite character in that movie is the Irishman though, especially when he says, “Its MY island!”  Compared to going to the pub last year, and drinking many beers, this was a disappointing holiday, but much cheaper!