Currently Playing

As I mentioned the other day, I’ve been mostly playing Metroid Samus Returns lately. You can read my “impressions” of that game here. But before the remake came out, I started playing Alundra.

Alundra is a weird game. Like many unhappy RPGs that happened to get released around the time Final Fantasy VII arrived, it got swept under the rug. I had heard about it back then, and years ago got the PSOne “Classic” version for my Vita. After playing through FFVII, I thought it was time to give this hidden gem (by reputation) a try.

It’s essentially a Zelda clone, and not an overly well done one. The best part so far is the amusing game manual. Anyhow, I only got about 2 hours in before I switched to Metroid. When I’m done with Samus’ adventure on SR388, I’ll return to Alundra.

To close out the year here I’m probably due to pay some time in Cuphead. The buzz and post release controversy is proving too hard to resist. I also want to spend more time with Fire Pro Wrestling and some other PS4 games I missed out on due to the Read From Memory series.

BI makes a case for PS4 ownership

Business Insider lists 16 reasons why now is the perfect time to own a PS4:

Maybe you already have one? Over 60 million people already do, and that’s because it’s a great system: It’s fast and easy to use, it’s got great games, and it does lots of cool stuff!

Maybe you’re not convinced? That’s possible: $299 is a lot of money to drop. But that price includes more than the console — you’ll also get a great game like “Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.”

When the big reveals were going on back in E3 2013, I was shocked at how inept Microsoft seemed to be with the XBox One, and how in tune Sony was to the obvious failures of the PS3. I’d argue that this round of the Console Wars-That-Never-End was lost and won at those respective press conferences.

I wonder where the PS4 will rank in terms of greatest consoles of all time.

Nintendo boosts Switch production

Via Digital Trends (and Gamespot), news that Nintendo plans to boost Switch production to 2 million units per month. From the piece:

However, as is often the case with Nintendo products, the company is having trouble meeting demand. In order to address this issue, Nintendo is increasing production of the Switch, Gamespot reported. The company is hoping to produce two million units per month in order to meet demand and satisfy its target production numbers.

The Switch has been a great success for Nintendo, though I have to admit I’ve often wondered if their production problems have more to do with artificialness rather poor planning. They have been making consumer electronics for nearly 40 years at this point.

I predicted they would ship 3 million units by the end of the year to North America, and they’re certainly on target to beat that.

Samus Returns Impressions

I promised to review Samus Returns by today but I’m only half done with it. Instead, I’ll give some impressions:

  • The graphics are good. Surprisingly done well, especially when using 3D mode. I was surprised at how SR-388 teems with life. It really feels like an immense planet interior.
  • The controls are alright. It takes some getting used to, as I haven’t played handheld platformers in a long time. Samus handles well enough, but sometimes you need more hand/thumb dexterity to complete harder moves.
  • The Metroid battles are pretty cool, especially when they start running from you midway.
  • Production values and presentation overall is good.
  • Despite being an entry in a series infamous for backtracking, this activity hasn’t been too obnoxious. Yet.
  • The “car chase” sequence with the Chozo mech was unexpected and tougher than I thought it could be (see point 2).

I have about 7 hours into the game at this point, with 16 metroids left, according to my counter. I’m guessing I’ll need another week or so to finish it all. When I’ve done that I’ll post an updated review. Thanks for reading!

B.O.B. Longplay (SNES)

As played by NOUFuzzy, an action-platformer, B.O.B., developed by Graymatter. I rented this game a few times in the early 90s, but never finished it. I think the video store owner sold the title before I could get to it. Go figure!

I haven’t done a long longplay post in a while. If I can dig up some more information about B.O.B. I’ll update this post.

Fantasy Baseball Season 2017 Summary

Well, the playoffs are in the books, and the Makers lost both of their “consolation ladder” games. The first was a close contest between myself and the former league champion, and for most of the two week session I was in control of things. But as my star players (those not DTD, which was a ton of them) started riding pine, my scores started to drop. The Makers took the loss 591 to 609. The second game was the same story, though the Makers were in the lead until the last weekend. They lost to their nemesis from the final week of the regular season, 458 to 519.

Roster Performance

Here’s the roster I drafted, by pick number and overall number, and their projected lines. As you probably know, I made a lot of adjustments over the season. I’ll take those into account in a later update.

Makers 2017 Initial Draft Roster

Round No. Overall Player Names/Position Projected Points Actual points
1 12 Miguel Cabrera, 1B 609 326
2 13 Madison Bumgarner, SP 586 180
3 36 Ian Kinsler, 2B 508 450
4 37 Johnny Cueto, SP 474 161
5 60 Evan Longoria, 3B 504 504
6 61 Gary Sanchez, C 374 480
7 84 Jean Segura, SS 434 398
8 85 Jose Quintana, SP 363 329
9 108 Adam Eaton, OF 453 99
10 109 Andrew Benintendi, OF 471 515
11 132 Kenta Maeda, SP 322 277
12 133 Andrew Miller, RP 272 257
13 156 Max Kepler, OF 428 404
14 157 Nick Markakis, OF 415 423
15 180 AJ Ramos, RP 349 212
16 181 Marco Estrada, SP 319 191
17 204 Ender Inciarte, OF 372 476
18 205 Howie Kendrick, 2B 337 258
19 228 Sam Dyson, RP 275 35
20 229 Jon Gray, SP 302 235
21 252 Joe Mauer, DH 351 430
22 253 Tommy Joseph, 1B 395 348
23 276 Chris Owings, OF 283 273
24 277 Manuel Margot, OF 341 318
25 300 Francisco Cervelli, C 211 167
Totals 9,748 7,746

Quite a performance difference, wouldn’t you say? 2002 point deficit between projected and actual during the course of the season. I made 35 roster moves, which I will talk about in a later post. But overall the Makers ended up with 7,070 points total. So all my machinations resulted in nearly 700 points less than if I had stood pat over the year. Of course, it matters when you score those points, as my 8-13 record shows (and our new league champion proved, with an 11-10 overall record).

Thanks for reading!

Xbox Smartwatch prototype

A few days ago I came across an interesting blurb on Trusted Reviews about the Xbox Smartwatch. Apparently somebody has unearthed a prototype from the scrapped project. From the article:

Back in 2013 and 2014, there were fleeting rumours that Microsoft was working on smartwatch for gamers. It wasn’t a massive surprise; wearables were the hip thing back then, and all tech firms were keen to get a slice of the pie.

I barely remember this device. Though in light of how Microsoft fumbled with the Xbox One around the same time, it’s probably a good thing (for them) that they scrapped this project.

For your lazy Sunday reading, photos of the device and more details are at the link above.