Dragon Age: Origins Xbox 360 Review

When this game was first announced, I was very excited. Bioware has a great rpg pedigree, ranging from Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic back in 2003, Jade Empire back in 2005, Neverwinter Nights, which was my first serious brush with the company back in 2002 and the Baldur's Gate series that got its start back in 1998 and is to this day one of my friend's all-time favorite game series. Given their more recent successes such as Mass Effect, War Hammer and the Dragon Age series, I feel it's safe to say they know their way around the genre.

They began to advertise the game as a 'dark fantasy' with videos that showed plenty of blood and some pretty mature themes. I believe the first Neverwinter Nights game was the first rpg I had played where your choices made a noticeable impact on events and characters around you, as well as potential 'love interests' for your character. I'm sure there were others before, but Neverwinter is the first I can really remember. These elements are carried over and expanded upon in the Dragon Age: Origins game, which gives you a good deal of customization to start. You can choose from multiple races and classes as well as a gender and appearance. Each of these race and class combinations give you an Origins story (hence the subtitle) that you get to play through that sets the stage for the overall storyline that comes along later as the story bottlenecks to a specific plot point and then opens up again quite a bit to allow you a good deal of exploration and freedom.

The game has been out for awhile, and I've played through it twice and started it a few other times. I have a very Dragon Age heavy review theme coming up this weekend though now that I completed part 2 last night, so here is stage one of this weekend's theme.

Graphics - 7:

The graphics don't really hold up great, and honestly that's kind of been a theme for some of Bioware's games in the past. For all their game-depth, some of their graphics engines are a bit underwheling and that is the case here as well. Colors are a bit dreary at time, and getting odd tears when the framerate struggles to keep up with some of the more intense action. Character animations are okay, but not great. The variety of landscapes is nice however, as you venture from one location to another. That said, there is a rather nice style to things, with the blood splatters on characters post-combat, and splash of red on the maps - things like that.

Sounds & Music - 8:

There is a lot of voice acting here, and most of it is pretty solid. There's pretty good variety to the sound effects as well. My favorite part however was the music - something that Bioware usually hits on the head with its games, and this one was no different.

Gameplay - 8:

Characters control fairly well, and the menus are pretty easy to navigate. The ability to map common items and skills to specific keys is handy and a real time saver, and I thought the radial menu was a nice way to handle the menu options on a console game like this. There are some interesting glitches from time to time, but seldom are they a real issue - none ever prevented me from finishing the game in any way. There are plenty of conversations that take place automatically, and lots of loot if gathering it is your sort of thing, though I'm not real fond of the 'gifting' mechanic used to help raise your party members' opinion of you.

The combat is something of an odd blend though, and worth mentioning. It's probably a bit more action-oriented than PC gamers are used to from their rpgs, and a bit more tactical on the console than it 'looks' to be at first glance. I found myself pausing and assigning duties fairly often in fights, and not all classes are created equally. You pretty much need a mage in your group for healing, but I didn't really care for playing one as opposed to the more entertaining (in my opinion) warriors and rogues.

Intangibles - 9:

There are choices you make throughout your adventure that leave you going: What if I had... I cannot oversell how much that helps this game's replay value. Some of the Origins stories are more interesting than others, but they too help add some variety to what is generally the most boring part of a roleplaying game - the early hours as you get your feet wet. It's a unique way of getting you engaged all over again. Add to it that you can wind up with different combinations of party members (I completely missed one on my first play through), and that your choices will often cause them to react accordingly (some will leave your party for good or even fight you if their approval drops too low or you make a choice they really can't abide by). There's a variety of endings handled in much the same way other games like Fallout 3 does where certain choices or characters are commented on at the end, giving it sort of a customized and satisfactory feeling. There is replay value aplenty.

There are also quite a few downloads for this game. These can add to your adventures and are generally well-done, but it's up to you to decide if you think they're worth buying - everyone's mileage may differ a bit (or you can acquire the recently released ultimate edition which includes all of this original content as part of the package).

Overall - 8:

I've played this game a ton. I'll probably play it again. I trade in about 80% of the games I buy, and put them toward new games. Bioware however, tends to make games I hold onto. Mass Effect and Dragon Age are going nowhere. A few technical problems with graphics and bugs can hold this game back with some players I'm sure - but if you enjoy roleplaying games where you actually feel like you are playing a role and your decisions have real weight to them, the experience is a lot of fun and one I have to recommend.

As a footnote, the content may not be real suitable for younger kids. A lot of roleplaying games are pretty kid-friendly, but this isn't one I'd like my youngest play. There's some language and some themes that are a bit more mature than most rpgs out there.


Gaming News and Notes from 3-30-11

Been a bit since I did one of these, so here goes:

Mortal Kombat may be requiring Online Pass? My disliked of this practice is pretty well-documented by this point, and sure - I have it on reserve and will be buying it free. There's some speculation that it won't be for just 1 system, but 1 user per system. I'll let you know...

Resistance 3 will be supporting both the Move and 3D when it comes to the PS3.

I signed up for the PlayStation Rewards program, but it sounds like it may be getting nixed.

The same studio that brought us SOCOM is getting ready to work on Resident Evil: Operating Raccoon City.

It looks like the 360 may be getting a disc format increase of 1GB.

There's been a lot of speculation for some time about what the Wii successor will and won't have, but Nintendo put to rest the likelihood that 3D will be part of the equation.

Super Street Fighter IV coming to the 360? Looks like it. It'll be interesting to see if yet another release of this game will generate sales or not, but given the recent resurgence of fighting game popularity, it could pay big dividends.

Last but not least, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning has been a project that caught my eye awhile back. IGN has had some articles about it, including this one, which also has a trailer. It looks like an action RPg, but the list of people involved is pretty impressive: Ken Ralston (Elder Scrolls III & IV), Todd McFarlane (Spawn) and probably most exciting for me is writer R.A. Salvatore, who has a ton of great books to his credit, but is probably best known for his work in Forgotten Realms for the D&D franchise. This game is a precursor to what will be an MMO follow-up from 38 Studios and I am very excited to see how this comes along.


KotL - Summoner

So, part of what I've been spending some time on over the last week was a demo of RPG Maker XP. I had mentioned this before earlier in the week. Now mind you, most of the code is in place, and graphically I'm using basic RTP graphic assets, but I think the 'attract' or demo mode turned out okay on it.

Basically, the storyline bouncing around in my head is a spin-off of my Kingdoms of the Lost MUD that I run with my wife. The premise is basically people dabbling in a kind of magic they don't know much about. Nothing too deep, but I get on these creative kicks where I want to not just play something, but make something (I do a lot of writing and already have the MUD) - this was just another outlet to help with that particular itch. Hopefully I'll regain some steam on it soon and do something with the gameplay - I have some stuff mapped out and implemented - probably about the first 10 minutes or so of the game. I may go ahead and try to get an hour or so of it out there and playable before too long. Anywho - thanks for taking a look and I'll add some posts here and there as I add things, especially if people show any interest in it. Basically though, it's a throwback the old 16 bit RPG era of gaming - one of my favorite times in gaming history.

Magic: The Gathering Tactics

This is an interesting one - I only discovered this game due to an ad actually on my blog at one time. For those who follow my blog, you no doubt noticed I had a string of reviews involving collectible card game titles. Usually these tie into some sort of an RPG or strategy game - two of my favorite genres. Well, the mixing of a strategy title and my favorite all time collectible card game in real-life seemed like a no-brain winner. What were my thoughts? Well...

So what is the game? Well, the idea of Magic: The Gathering for those who haven't played it is fairly simple. You start the game with 20 hit points, and you build a deck out of cards that fall into a few basic categories: creatures, spells, enchantments and mana. Mana is the fuel for these other 3 types of cards, and mana comes in four basic types: red, blue, white, black and green (fire, water, plains, swamps and forest). There are costs to casting the creature, spell and enchantment cards, and the goal is to take your opponent down to 0 hps. There is a huge variety of ways to do this.

So what is the tactics game? It builds on this premise using larger numbers (200 hps per mage, and creatures who are generally 1 hp and 1 power are now 10 hps and 10 power) - so basically they tacked a 0 onto almost everything. Mana cards are replaced by a mana pool that generates an additional mana point each turn, streamlining the process and deck building a bit. Many of the maps and all of the actual player vs. player battles are built around the premise of knocking the other spell caster to 0 hps. There is a story mode though that gives you alternate goals as well, for better or worse.

Graphics - 6:

This is a grade based on not only aesthetics, but performance as well. Most of the characters move around okay, and some of the particle effects look good on spells or creatures of fiery origins, things like that. It's fun seeing cards like Lord of the Pit brought to life. Now for the reality of things. First off, I have a pretty fast computer and this game can sometimes chug horribly. It won't even run on my kids' computer, which is an older one to be sure, but it technically meets the system requirements and I keep the drivers all up to date, and even then it usually crashes. If I shut down everything else on my computer, it goes more smoothly, but I think of an online game like this as something lightweight, and instead it sort of takes everything over.

Sound and Music - 7:

There's some okay background music, and while the voice actors are nothing amazing, there is a fair amount of voice over between scenarios. There's some cool sound effects too, like when fire spells erupt or when one of my imps cackles after attacking someone. All in all, this is pretty decent.

Gameplay - 5:

Some of this could be linked to the system performance visually, but when things get choppy, I often find myself having to click multiple times to get something to work - like targeting a spell or moving to a square. I also can't count the number of times I've found myself having to zoom in a lot just to click on a particular square, because when you don't you run the risk of clicking the wrong one and wasting a turn - some sort of a confirm/cancel to your movements would have been a life-saver. It ca also sometimes be tough to click on a target in general. What I mean is, if you are trying to click on someone's flying bird, well - it bobs up and down. This effect looks nice, but if it bobs downward as you try to click it, you may wind up clicking on something else behind it. It's odd, like it doesn't fully realize its vertical space.

Additionally, it doesn't let you save mid-battle. Huge oversight in my opinion. I realize this was probably done to keep someone from getting to a point in the map where they can save/quicksave out and come back in - try a few things, and if it goes badly, re-load it. Still, some of these battles can take a very long time, and the inability to save during can be frustrating. Worse, the single-player campaign mode requires you to be online, which means if the servers hiccup or your own ISP drops momentarily, you can be forced out of a match that you just spent 30+ minutes on, with no way to recover it. You just have to do it over again.

Intangibles - 6:

The game itself is free. From that standpoint, it's a good investment if you have some time to kill and want to give it a try. There's a few modes too - campaign, duels against other players, tournaments against other players and an auction house. Tournaments have a small entrance fee (usually 1 coin), and the auction house allows you to build your deck by purchasing cards using coins. How are coins acquired? Well, you get some right off from the campaign mode, and there are daily quests (like what you'd see from 'dailies' in World of Warcraft), and these yield experience and coins. Experience can be used to build your character up down some skill charts, adding another layer of strategy to the proceedings, and the coins can be used for the auction house or tournaments.

The catch to the auction house is that the cards can't be from the campaign mode. This encourages you to either buy packs of cards from the game using real-life money, or resell cards you have previously purchased through the auction house. This is one of the two ways Sony makes their money off of the game - card pack purchases and campaigns. When you play, you have access to chapter 1 of the campaign, which is pretty easy. You win a new card and experience with each map you beat. Problem is, the cards are not necessarily of any use to you - I had a red/black deck, so those white and green cards did me no good really. I would say out of the campaign mode, I won maybe 5 cards in total that made their way into my deck. The rest were purchased from the auction house after doing daily quests. and I did buy the campaign mode's other 4 chapters. I had enjoyed the first chapter quite a bit, and they had a nice sale going over Presidents' Day where you could get the 4 pack of levels half-off, so I bought it.

It was fun, I don't regret the purchase in and of itself, but some of the later chapters were poorly designed. The last stage of chapter five was particularly aggravating - it was clearly built with specific types of decks in mind, and I spent several hours on that one map, because my deck did not have the requisite types of cards to complete its objectives. Sometimes there objective-based maps work well, other times they do not.

It was far from all bad though. I enjoyed the overall tactics of the game, and while there were a few bugs here and there that crept up on the maps, they weren't very common and seldom created a bad gaming experience in and of themselves. Of particular note also is that you can actually build a real deck the way you like. That is something the Xbox Live version of the game has needed, and it gives you so much more power when trying to decide what you want to do with yours cards.

Overall - 6:

There's some decent value here. You don't have to pay a dime to play an okay strategy game, based on a tried-and-true fantasy world. Most of the mechanics are pretty sound, and I have run into very little downtime while playing. But, in a way, you do get what you pay for - there's some serious issues with the interface and performance, and it's definitely designed to try and get you to spend more money. Not exactly unheard of - the industry is of course trying to make money, but the experience still feels like it needs polish to make it worth further monetary investment at this point. I played pretty much daily for about a month, and it was fun, but about 2 weeks ago I just quit playing, and really haven't missed it yet. I'll no doubt poke in at a later date and see what improvements have been made, but right now it's just not drawing me back to the game and that to me is a pretty telling sign.

I made 2 videos of gameplay on the fly - obviously processing video for playback and recording at the same time can stress a machine, but this is much worse than just about any other game I've recorded as you'll see.


Chris' Corner - Pokemon White DS review

I've mentioned before that I would try to get some comments/reviews from the other gamers in my house - here's the first one, courtesy of my son and the biggest video game fan in this house (other than me). So, here's his first ever review - let him (and me) know what you think if you get a chance to leave some comments. I'm hoping he had a lot of fun with it!


Today I shall be talking about Pokemon White. I am Chris-not your lovely Chalgyr/Nick-I am his son. So, onto the Pokemon game!

In this game, there is a whole new region! It's the 5th generation game...I think. I don't really want to check online to see if I'm right. Now then, the game starts out with a new Game Freak logo when you start it up. There's also a kind of intro movie and then it shows a video that's like an in-game ad for it...weird, right? I know. Anyways, then after that you get to the title screen which looks a lot different than the other DS games. For starters, it has the legendary Pokemon-Zekrom, for this version-in 3D from different angles. Then it's time to start up. When you start up, there's a short movie which shows the professor-named Prof. Juniper-of this game. The first girl professor of the series! Anyways, that part is almost exactly like the beginning of all the other Pokemon games where it talks about what Pokemon are and the works.

So after you do the whole name setup and stuff it's onto the game! The beginning shows a picture of the starting town and professor Juniper walking into your house and then back out of it with the words "Made by Game Freak" I think, but I haven't seen the beginning of it for a while. So after that it shows a scene with you, Cheren(Rival/Friend, mostly rival), and Bianca(Same as Cheren but you fight her a lot less) in your room and there's a gift box on your table so after a scene of talking you get to choose from one of three starter Pokemon, like usual. The three starters are Oshawatt(An otter Pokemon), Tepig(A pig Pokemon, obviously), and Snivy(A something Pokemon, I dunno but it looks cool and it's what I chose). Oshawatt is a water Pokemon, Tepig is a fire Pokemon, and Snivy is a grass Pokemon.

So after you pick your Pokemon the others will pick theirs. Bianca will choose the Pokemon that has a weakness to your Pokemon, Cheren will obviously pick the one strong to your because you fight him more often. Then you will fight Bianca, and the result of the battle will be a close level up if won and a trashed room. Then Cheren will heal yours and Bianca's Pokemon and then battle you(without messing the room up even more). If you win you should level up. So then he'll heal you up and then you guys have to go downstairs and as usual, they won't follow you. So after that and a chat with your mother(she's not mad about the room!) you have to go to the professors lab and talk with her or something. But when you get there Bianca has to go to her house and Cheren wants you to go see how she is. So when you get there she's fighting with her dad about if she's allowed to go on the journey. so then she sees you and says something and leaves.

So hen you go to the professor's lab again and she talks about some stuff when you go in there and then she gives you and your friends Pokedexes and you go off on your journey. For the rest of the story, go play the game!

Now, for the features, some new things in this game for battles are the addition of triple battles which are like double battles but have three Pokemon on each side. There are two others that are online-only. Well, I dunno if they're online-only but I haven't seen them offline, not counting wireless. One of them is rotation battle which is where you bring in 4 to 6 Pokemon in is and you pick 4 of them. Anyways, in the rotation battle you use 3 at a time in a rotation circle thingy and you have 1 in the front and the other two in the back and they are inactive. So when one dies or you use the switch option, it will change which Pokemon is in the front. The other type of online only battle is a launcher battle in which you can have no hold items on your Pokemon and you get these points each turn (1 point a turn) and when you use the launcher option you can use your built up points on different items from the launcher and use them on your Pokemon.

There's also the game sync stuff which, at the time of typing is sadly down. But it's supposed to be up March 30, 2011. All I know about it right now is that there are features like the dream world and a ranked battle option for online battles. I can't say anything about the game sync features because I haven't been able to use them yet. Finally, for the last part of this review and features, I will talk about the trading. They have a new trading feature called GTS negotiations in which you don't need to have seen a Pokemon to get it. You and the other person can pick 1 to 3 Pokemon to choose from to trade to the other person. The GTS is practically the same except for the design.

So there's my review, I hoped you liked it.....or else. Now go eat a cookie or something. SIGNATURE~~~~ DX


Kingdom of Paradise - PSP review

There's been a bunch of good RPG games for the PSP over the last year or so, including Persona, a bunch of of Final Fantasy titles and Tactics Ogre - almost none of which I own or have had a chance to play yet unfortunately. Of my systems, I think my PSP gets neglected the most - but there's still some pretty good games for it. My wife picked me up Kingdom of Paradise quite some time ago, and it can be had used for a pretty good price as it has been out a few years now. It's an unusual RPG game, as it has action combat with RPG elements such as leveling and gaining new skills, all thrown against a sort of Eastern/martial arts backdrop.

Graphics - 7:

There's a lot to like here, whether it's how the attacks and spells animate and how good the overall backgrounds are. The actual character graphics seem a bit weak after playing games like Final Fantasy: Crisis Core though. Also it felt like a lot of the background assets were reused several times in different places, giving a feeling of 'been here and done that' a few times. There were a handful of times the camera got in my way/on my nerves as well, and is worth mentioning.

Sound & Music 9:

I actually liked this quite a bit. The music really fit the unique locale and helped set the mood for me much more effectively than the graphics did. There was also a surprisingly wide range of sound effects in both the combat and the surrounding environment that did a good job of keeping me engaged in what was happening.

Gameplay - 6:

I'm going to have to pick on it a bit here. The camera got on my nerves at times, as mentioned above, and while I could appreciate the unique style to combat, the control schemes were not to my liking. I also had a tough time with some of the intricacies of the various systems that were in place. There were some neat ones, like the elemental system - but there were times I thought that they could have been explained better. For me though, the biggest issue is the combat - things like blocking and attacking are handled with the same button (the PSP has a ton of buttons - couldn't they have figured out something different for that?) but attacking worked far better for me than defending did due to the timing and controls.

Intangibles -6:

There's some online stuff - but I didn't get to take much advantage of it. Where I was playing this game, I didn't have internet access until the very end. The main quest was engaging, but I think I beat the game in about 17 hours - which seems like a very short time for an RPG game. I also never really had much interest in another play through - once I had seen the story, it lacked the sort of variety in choices that games like Dragon Age and Mass Effect have that encourage you to play it a second time through for a different experience.

Overall - 7:

The game is being graded on something of a scale by me here. It's not as good as some of the newer RPG's out there, but like an Xbox Live or PSN game - Kingdom of Paradise can be had at a very low price (I saw it at Disc Traders in town for $3 used about a month ago). That's pretty good value if you're looking for a somewhat different type of RPG game and aren't too worried about getting more than 20 hours of play out of it. Still, from a pure quality standpoint, if price is not a factor, I preferred games like Crisis Core overall.

Space Invaders Infinity Gene - PSN review

So I figured I'd go ahead and toss in a fairly short review for a Playstation Network game I picked up somewhat recently. Space Invaders Infinity Gene was one of several games on sale awhile back when I had a bit of extra room on my credit card, so I picked it up as I recalled it having pretty solid reviews. Now, it's kind of funny, but I've only ever played Space Invaders a handful of times. I did not have an Atari as a kid, but a TI 99/4a - it was a cartridge-based game console by Texas Instruments that had a keyboard and access to the BASIC programing language. As a result, I got to play a lot of knock-off versions of popular games like TI Invaders (yup - Space Invaders close), Munchman (Pacman anyone?) and so on. It was never really one of my favorite games though, as I found the premise of back and forth and shoot somewhat limiting (I was never a huge Centipede fan either).

Still, when I picked it up, the game was like half off, so I was out like $4 if I didn't like it. Here's my thoughts on it:

Graphics - 7:

I like the backdrops more than the foreground characters. Sometimes there is so much happening on the screen that it can be a bit tough to know where you should or should not be going. That said, the game has a nice retro look about it with updated effects and interesting geometric backgrounds that are constantly moving around.

Sound & Music - 7:

The sound effects are pretty solid, with different types of sounds for different events taking place on screen. Considering how little actual variety there is in the gameplay mechanics themselves, I thought the sound arrangement did a pretty good job. Music wasn't bad, but wasn't great. It fit the theme and 'mood' of the game, which has touched-up-retro all over the place, including the very basic menu designs.

Gameplay - 7:

The game seldom feels cheap, at least due to gameplay. There's a variety of weapons that you can use and there's usually several tactics that will work on any given map thrown at you. That said, sometimes the frantic graphics do you in simply due to how much is going on at once. Menus are easy to navigate, and you're always building toward new unlockables (new weapons, extra lives, making the points you earn feel like they're actually good for something other than high score comparisons). Your ship moves pretty well, and they break the horizontal plane, giving you vertical movement as well that really livens up the experience compared to the classic inspiration. That said, the mechanic is pretty simple - dodge, shoot, dodge, shoot, dodge badly, die, come back, shoot more.

Intangibles - 7:

There's a lot of stages, and the swarms of enemies are brought to you in a variety of patterns and waves. It's a big improvement over the arcade classic. The ability to unlock things and make your earned points feel like they are giving you some tangible reward is pretty cool too. I've spent probably 10 hours playing the game, and at the price I paid, I feel like that's a pretty decent deal. I've played full on $60 games that took me far less time to beat - though I believe the regular price is $10. Also, it sure felt like some of the loading screens took a very, very long time to load.

Overall - 7:

Yeah, this was a hard average to come up with in my head. Solid, even good at times, but far from consistently delivering a great time for me personally. The frantic gameplay style has benefited from its modern makeover, though following up bouts of hectic shooting and dodging makes the somewhat long load screens a bit more irksome in my opinion. The game is not that advanced graphically or with sound, so the reason for the load screens does baffle me a bit. Basically, if you are a fan of the original game you know what you're getting overall and that may be enough to sell you on it. I don't suffer buyer's remorse, but it's not a game I see myself playing a lot more of in the future either.

Well, that was a bit longer than expected...

So, I posted that I was going to take some time off from the blog to work on my backlog and other things. First, part of the reason I needed the break has been a slight lack of spare time. The good news is I got pretty significant promotion at the software company I work for. Downside is I'm so busy lately that I work through about 90% of my lunches, which was a key time for me to do my blogging updates and stage posts for upcoming dates. So, overall it's a good thing, but it's going to cut into my time for awhile longer, I have no doubt. On top of that I've been fiddling around with a trial of RPG Maker XP. I have touched on RPG Maker programs in the past, but it's been several years. I've always enjoyed fiddling with game-making software and I love creating content. I do a lot of writing in my spare time and I run a text-based online MUD with my wife called Kingdoms of the Lost (think of it as an online game of D&D). Don't know if I'll actually 'finish' a game or purchase RMXP yet or not, but it's been soaking up some time and I'll no doubt throw up some video and/or images of what I've done later. So... about the reviews. Got quite a few coming, but I may lay off of the images/video a bit since getting all of that around does take up a bit more time, we'll see. The backlog's come along nicely. Here's the basic list of games I've beaten up on over the last few months that I plan to do some reviews of soon: - Punch Out! - Uncharted: Drake's Fortune - PSN's newer versions of Pacman and Space invaders - X-Men arcade game on PSN - Metroid: Other M - Risk: Factions - Puzzle Quest 2 - 3D dot heroes - Kingdom of Paradise - Faerie Solitaire - Marvel collectible card game for my PSP - probably others I'm not recalling off of the top of my head And I've still got several games I'm plugging through right now: - Dragon Age 2 - King's Bounty - The Legend - The Witcher - The new Castlevania game - Tiger Woods 2011 - Fallout: New Vegas List of upcoming stuff: - I have the Move I won back before Christmas, and sadly I have hardly played it, but I have some games for it I want to review such as Sports Champions, Tiger Woods 2011, Eyepet, and Singstar - I have a pre-order on the upcoming Mortal Kombat and since fighters tend to be easier to get through than RPG games, expect a review on that the weekend after it's release, like Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (and unlike Dragon Age 2) - There's some free games and content I've been seeing posted on various sites like IGN, and released through the RPG Maker community so I hope to take at least a brief look at some of these and share my thoughts - Plenty of Retro Reflections coming - I've been playing quite a few games w/ my son of late it seems like - Speaking of kids, and wives - I was thinking about getting small blurbs or reviews from them as well. Might range from a few sentences to a few paragraphs, but they all play things I don't (like Beat Sketchers for my oldest, Pokemon Black/White for my son's DS, Little Big Planet for my youngest and my wife has a slew of iPad apps and some cellphone games) - probably nothing as detailed as what I put out there for my reviews, but quick opinions and/or ratings about games we have access to that I myself haven't had much/any chance to play So nyway, that's what I have on tap going forward. I'll go ahead and toss out a review tomorrow night barring anything unexpected and just try to keep content rolling out pretty steady every few days for the next several weeks and see where it lands me. Thanks for your patience, and feedback is - as always - appreciated and keeps me invested in trying to generate this content. :)

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