Gaming thoughts 1/29/12 - what I'm up to

This is going to be a long post.  I appreciate anyone with the fortitude/interest/lack of anything better to do that sticks with it, and fully understand those who do not.

It has been a busy, busy month for me.  Christmas, New Years, two of my kids having birthdays, a lengthy process at work where I was applying for the vacated manager's position of our tech support department, managing festival/holidays on my online MUD, getting tax returns around, getting a new car thanks to this story - and yes I've still been managing to squeeze in a fairly high volume of video games!

Now?  Now it feels like after about 6 weeks of craziness, I can stop and take a deep breath.  For starters, I did get the job.  *accepts applause and fanfare now*  Seriously though, I am excited.  Of course, the pay hike doesn't hurt, but the change in responsibilities presents several new challenges for me, and like most gamers, I love new challenges wherever I can find them. 

The next birthday around here is not until the end of April, so I have a respite coming from there.  Our next festival for my MUD won't be until the spring thaw one a few months out.  It may not sound like a lot of actual work, but well, you can certainly keep busy with this stuff:

I have been trying to narrow down the focus of what I am playing lately too, so I can get some titles closed out.  This last week has been:

- Skyrim on my PC: So much for closing things out.  I get distracted by every little area, side-quest and person in these types of games.  Loving it, but this is not a game I will likely beat any time soon, which of course pushes back my review time on it quite a bit.

- Street Fighter 4, Dead or Alive and Samurai Warriors for my 3DS: These are mostly filler games.  When my wife wants to watch a movie or something on Netflix that only marginally interests me, I'll flop down in bed with one of these guys and play.  This 3DS has been a wonderful little system that has led to the complete neglect of my PSP in general and Lunar in particular

- Sakura Wars for the Wii: This is an interesting, unique and very odd little title that merges RP/dating sim with turn-based strategy using mechs.  I am all over the place on this game and am about 5 hours into it so far.  I have absolutely no idea what my end review will look like, despite the fact I'm about 1/3 to 1/2 way through it.

- Heavy Rain: I have started and stopped on this title way too many times over the last 3 months.  I almost never think of it first when I'm looking at my consoles.  Then someone will say something on a blog or forum and I'll be like: Oh yeah!  Like Sakura Wars above, I'm a bit all over the place on my feelings here on this game.

- Rage, MW 3 for my 360: Bang!  Yeah, I just fire that console up lately to shoot things.  (I guess I did play Alien Hominid the other night too, so that continues my theme of using the 360 to shoot things).  Beat world 1 of 3 in Alien, only just started Rage, and still haven't done anything but online multi-player in MW3.

- NBA 2K12 for my PS3: I recently wrote up a review for this game - and it's clear I'm loving it.  Here's a video I have posted so far, with hopefully more to come that are far better done (I just started playing with the editing tools).  Adding to the fun?  My wife (warning, her blog is very sarcastic and not meant for the easily offended) just bought me tickets to a Pistons game this Friday against the Milwaukee Bucks as an early Valentine's Day present. 

Additionally, I have been trying to improve the networking for my blog, and those associated with it.  Last night alone I probably spent more than six hours going from one game blog to another, looking for ones who were active, interesting - but maybe not in our general 'circle' of sites that have frequented my blog or that I had been visiting.  I've also been posting copies of my articles on some other sites like Gather and trying to do some promotion via Twitter, Facebook and more.  I've seen some new faces already start to follow me here today, some new commenters to posts and even seen where a few other blogs are now linking to one another and posting to each others' sites, which is very rewarding to see!

I've also been writing quite a bit, staring at my RPG maker project Kingdoms of the Lost: Summoner that I'm hoping to get back into on some level.  I am half-tempted to pack up what I have of it and just punt it out there for those who may be interested in it just to get some feedback on it, but I realize that I'm moving at half the speed of smell on that thing.

 Now, the topic of taxes.  See, my wife's going to Disney World with her best friend and that happens to overlap Valentine's Day - hence why we're making my Pistons Game (have I mentioned I get to go to a Pistons game?  Because I'm going to a Pistons game.  Just in case you hadn't heard), and she gets to splurge a bit on her trip with her share of our tax returns.

Me?  I have some options.  I can sock it aside for a future game console like the Wii U, or the Vita, or maybe a handful of extra games, or perhaps a new TV for my bedroom.  I'm strongly considering that TV since one of ours seems to be on last legs.  I've been looking at 3D tv's since I really, really like the effect in movies and on my 3DS.  My wife is fairly indifferent on it.  Thing is, I'm still a bit unsure which would be better (keep in mind, these are lower end tv's I'm looking at, like the 450-600 range).  And I found a couple of candidates that seem good - but I don't have any experience with either passive or active 3D, and don't know which, if either, will work worth a darn on my PS3 or 360 and am curious if anyone else out here has any experience on this matter? 

I understand the technical differences, and will probably go plop down at the local Best Buy since they have a demo room for this sort of thing, but I've read how a lot of the tv manufacturers are really pushing active, and that Sony itself is pushing that - but does this mean Passive won't work as well?  I've generally read better things from consumers on the passive vs active front and am leaning that way based on those conversations, but any additional insight on the matter would be appreciated as well!

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