Video Killed ...

Random – I suck at Video Games. Although I really enjoy the immersive experience of the Xbox 360 and the immediate gratification the games provide, I'm just terrible at them. 

I was going to post a review of Saints Row The Third, and then realized anyone who would care would be like,"Dude you're about 9 months late." So no review coming. The game is sweet and really fun but like I said in the opening paragraph I suck at video games, hence I've barely scratch the surface of the story in this game and spend lots of time just driving around breaking stuff. (Honestly I did the same thing with the entire Grand Theft Series, never really made it very far and got distracted by all the other cool stuff to do and remain confined to the first "Island"). What I like about Saints Row is the map isn't locked so I can go where I want and do what I want.

It's convinient that if I get tired of randomly exploring the city I can just call up on of my Saints and they'll give me something to do. Last night I played through that crazy Genki thing killing mascots and dodging traps. Weird as hell but super fun. I also randomly came upon a helicopter mission, which I failed miserably at but I didn't have to complete it to keep playing the game. This is super important to me as I have very little time to spend playing video games and when I do I just want to play for a while and come back to it later. I think that's part of the reason I like fighting games very little commitment needed (unless you play online, then you just get pummeled if you don't practice).

Rambling on ... I'm not sure where I was going to go with this other than to talk about a video game that I really like, which I don't have enough time to play seriously. A friend of mine puts aside the hours of midnight -2 am to play video games while his family sleeps, this seems like a good idea until you realize sleep is necessary especially when you no longer live on Red Bull and Doritios. So I've decided to try and get a few hours in every few weeks, this will be a good break from painting and terrain building without seriously hampering my progress.

Sometime I hope to get a chance to play Borderlands, Red Dead Redemption, Space Marine and several other games that are sitting in the shrinkwrap waiting for me to play. Once I do look forward to another semi-relevant review.

If you have any other games you think I should have sitting in my que to maybe play someday let me know.

Time to Kill – App Review

Elder Sign: Omens – As a fan of the Cthulu mythos I was excited to see that Fantasy Flight made an app version of the Elder Sign dice game. I really like their games set in the Mythos but it can be difficult to find opponents willing to sit down for several hours to grinds through a board game. The card game is really fun however it's difficult to squeeze into game nights as it's only two player.

For about $5 you can download this great little game for your iphone (and ipad as well I think). The graphics are beautiful like most Fantasy Flight products and the sound quality is pretty good. 

To start the game you choose which monster you want to face. The three choices match up to easy, regular and hard modes essentially. Then you choose four investigators, from a large selection of characters, each of which provides different in game benefits. 

The game requires you to "solve" mysteries or play through stories. Much like the Cthulu card game these are based on Lovecraft's work and are tied to the mythos. in order to beat a story you have to "roll" dice to generate the correct symbols. Digitally this feels a little more like random chance (yes I know there's not a skill to rolling dice–but physically doing something gives the semblance of control) but the different colors of "dice" have different probabilities of getting a certain symbol. By matching the correct symbols you defeat the story and unlock a new one. Once you've collected the correct number of elder signs you win the game. If all your characters go insane, die or the monster collects the right number of doom symbols before you collect your signs you lose.

The first couple of playthroughs this felt really random and I lost horribly. Once I figured out what the character abilities actually did the game made much more sense and I felt like I could exert more control over what happens. The trick is collecting the right bonus items to help make the difficult "rolls" easier. Also character selection plays a role in this as some characters get bonus dice, free re-rolls or can solve multiple "cases" in a story. 

For the money this is a pretty fun game that you can play solo or pass and play with friends. I like it better than some of the random finger sliding games available for the iphone as it feels like you did something when you finish the game.