Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Gaming Tuesday- 2010 Wrap-up Edition

Gamerscore Last Week: 23775
Goal: 23850
Gamerscore Now: 23785

Achievements Unlocked

Call of Duty: Black Ops

Easy Rhino 10G

$ for HPA: 25.25(+3.10 this week)

Two weeks ago I presented my five nominees for Game of the Year, but I'm going to recognize some specific areas of gaming.

Most Addicting Game: Minecraft

Once you got into Minecraft there was no stopping you.

Best Arcade/Downloadable Game: Limbo

Limbo is just a great game to play through. A creepy side-scroller that is really very unique artistically, but sticks to the basics of its genre.

Best Narrative: Red Dead Redemption

Rockstar provided an amazing story in this set in probably the most impressive open world in any game to date.

Best Single Player: Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

There's not much between Assassin's Creed and RDR in this category. Both present great stories and tons to do outside of the narrative. However in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood you can perform aerial assassinations and that never gets old.

Best Multiplayer: Call of Duty: Black Ops

There's no question about this one. It's still early, but Black Ops may just be the best Console multiplayer to date.

Best Character: John Marston, Red Dead Redemption

He's awesome and Britt5091 thinks he's hot.

Pasta's Game of the Year

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

After weighing all the options, it became clear to me that Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood is the best game this year. Its tremendous single player along with a unique multiplayer make it the best gaming experience of 2010.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Gaming Tuesday Update

Article- Activision Suing EA Over Call of Duty Scuffle

There weren't many things to discuss in Gaming Tuesday this and there won't be room next week for this. More is out about the Infinity Ward/Activision Spat. EA has been named the third party. In released evidence in the case, Jason West and Vince Zampella's alleged plans to "derail" Activision's Call of Duty series in collusion with Electronic Arts.

West and Zampella, former Infinity Ward executives, were in contact with EA executives and supposedly discussing their departure from Infinity Ward and Activision to create a new 'independent' development company. They are also alleged to have tried to withhold pay raises and benefits for IW employees, so that they would be more attracted to taking a job with their new company.

It's a poorly kept secret that the IW that existed prior to all this was not a fan of Activision allowing Treyarch to handle follow-ups in the Call of Duty series. It is Infinity Ward's baby. The new evidence also shows a text message exchange between Jason West and and IW employee, which seems to show the Infinity Ward intentionally put out a trailer for MW2 the same day as one for WaW DLC dropped.

Initially this seemed like it was just Activision being greedy by getting rid of West and Zampella. I thought they wanted to cut out the original IW employees after the ridiculous success of Modern Warfare 2 and replace them with puppets who wouldn't demand a bigger share of the revenue. However the more that comes out about this, the more I think the greed lies on the other side.

Thanks for reading and please comment.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gaming Tuesday- Extension

I'm giving myself an extension until next week for Gaming Tuesday. I haven't had much a chance or much of a will to play a lot of Video Games lately. Also there is virtually nothing coming out to discuss. There is one thing, but not much detail to go into.

The first DLC for Call of Duty Black Ops was announced earlier this week. It will be out on XBox live on February 1st and will not be on the other consoles until later*. It includes four new multiplayer maps, Stadium, Berlin Wall, Discovery, and Kowloon. Also there will be a new Zombie map called Ascension. Not much is known about these maps besides the things you can guess by their names.

That's about it in recent gaming news.

It'll be a much longer post next week as we look back on the year in gaming. Vote for your choice for Game of the Year and comment on last weeks post or else I'll have to decide all by my lonesome.

Thanks for reading.


Monday, December 20, 2010


I've been kind of neglecting this place. I mean to post more often, but nothing has really been worth posting about as of late. Also, I'm doing a rather ambitious reading project that is eating up a lot of time, but I suppose a quick update is in order.

I spent quite a few posts talking about finals and then my not so patient waiting for scores to be posted. Well, I did quite well on them. I got A's on all three of them. I however don't mean to rub it in your face if you didn't do so well. I always find it awkward when a teacher hands back a test and I've done considerably better than the people around me. Everyone likes to compare test grades and it just is strange. I'm also normally the first person done with tests, which is another awkward thing*. I was first to hand in my Math and Bio finals, but not in Mythology where I was not even close to being the first one, but I got 101/100 on it, so yay!

God, I sound so smug.

I got a D on a math test the day after this. I also failed Home Ec in middle school. Summer quarter I had to drop a class because it was too hard. I'm not good at any social interaction. I don't like Bananas. I'm allergic to fish.

That's better.

Today, I got my hair cut. That's another weird situation for me. I mean I never know what to say other than, "shorter." I'd really like to say, "do whatever the fuck you want." However, I don't think they would do anything, because they always tell me that they don't want to cut my hair off.

Arrogant and whiny. Exactly how I wanted to come off. Now I'm going to stop the metaphorical digging.

Thanks for reading


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Gaming Tuesday

Gamerscore Last Week: 23725
Goal: 23800
Gamerscore Now: 23775

Achievements Unlocked

Forza Motorsport 3

Driver Level 50 50G

Goal: 23850
$ for HPA: 22.15(+1.20 this week)

Pasta's Game of the Year Nominees

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

This follow up to the very well received Assassin's Creed 2 had many fearing that this new installment in the series would be rushed and perhaps just a money grab by Ubisoft. However this game did not disappoint. The series returned with all the strength of Assassin's Creed 2 and built on it to make a better game.

The addition of multiplayer provides the gamer with something new and different, but where this game excels is clearly in the single player. A deep and detailed story, both in and to a less extent out of the animus, keeps the gamer engaged. Tons of things to do on the side as well as just goofing off by climbing buildings and assassinating unsuspecting guards provide many hours of gameplay outside of the story. Add to that a fun training mode,which also adds the element of competition with it's leaderboards.

Brotherhood was clearly one of the top games of 2010.

Call of Duty: Black Ops

No matter how you feel about Black Ops relative to the others, no one can argue that November 9th wasn't the biggest date in the gaming world this year. Sentiment had largely turned negative on its predecessor, Modern Warfare 2, and eyes turned to Treyarch to 'fix' the series. As the release date approached Treyarch was talking big and as more and more people got to play the game(both in the private beta and through pirating) their talk was being confirmed. The release of Black Ops set records surpassing Modern Warfare 2, which no one would have believed not too long ago. It was deserving.

The single player campaign was unique in some ways to any other in the Call of Duty. The playable character is actually defined as a character. There is no bouncing back and forth between story lines. While it is unique, it is still kind of ho-hum; it's another solid Call of Duty campaign with the same type of elements and gameplay.

The Multiplayer is the strength of Black Ops. It took fantastic strides to improve the multiplayer experience in Call of Duty. The game is balanced and frustrates the player as little as a Call of Duty game possibly can. Of course there's Zombies. That helps.


The surprise game this year was Minecraft. These other games, one could have predicted last year that they would be on lists similar to this. Minecraft largely came out of nowhere and sort of took over this summer. Thanks to Machinima's Seananners' promotion, this game filled a void when most gamers had grown tired of MW2, but little else was out there. It was the perfect game to fill the void.

A game with no story, no objectives and still in Alpha shouldn't be fun, but Minecraft was all of those and gamers fell in love with it. Elaborate structures were built, zombies and exploding penises were pwnd and many chickens were no-scoped.

NCAA Football 11

I know a lot of people won't like this. A sports game for Game of the Year? He's gone mad.

NCAA Football 11 is the first Football game in the era of the Next Gen consoles that has truly impressed me. Pretty much everything about this game was made better. The game play so much better than anything that came before. The menus have a nice interface. It is the first time that I can say the NCAA is decidedly better than Madden. NCAA Football 11 is perfect for what it is meant to be.

Red Dead Redemption

The tale of John Marston's path to redemption in the dying days of the old west, Red Dead Redemption was arguably the most ascetically pleasing game ever, but it didn't stop there. It featured an amazing plot set in a vast open-world environment. Aside from playing the story, the player could do everything, from hunting Grizzly Bears to playing some hands of high-stakes poker.

One could spend all of his or her time in the single player and probably not run out of things to do in Red Dead Redemption, but there was another aspect to this game. Multiplayer in Red Dead Redemption was fun, but it really lacked any sticking power. The best part of the multiplayer was the free-roam mode. One could run around in the single-player environment with other players and go and bust up gang-hideouts or just have shootouts in Armadillo. Of course, one antagonistic asshole could ruin the fun of that experience and unfortunately there were plenty of those around.

There was also, the Undead Nightmare DLC that came out in October. It added a few more hours of story and loads more to complete challenges and to just pwn some zombies. Did I mention it had zombies?

This game has been pulling in loads of hardware from far more legitimate sources than this and deservedly so.

Those are the nominees for my Game of the Year. I will announce the winner in the final Gaming Tuesday post of 2010 on December 28th. There will be a poll in the sidebar where you can vote on which one you think deserves to win*. Please do take the time to vote and perhaps leave a comment below this post to tell me your choice and why you feel that way. Those will definitely be factors in which game I choose.

You may think my mind is made up, but it is not. I'm actually quite torn between all these games.

Thanks for reading and please comment.

*The poll will close at midnight, Tuesday, December 28th

Friday, December 10, 2010

Pasta Salad Tackle Football

The Sports blog I have told you about in the past few posts is now public. From this point forward, I'm going to try to keep the two blogs exclusive to each other. I'm not going to talk about that blog here or this blog there.

So, if you're interested the sports discussions I used to have on this blog will now be on that blog. It will be entirely dedicated to those topics and I hope to make it more in-depth and up to date that I could ever keep it here.

So, officially introducing my brand-new blog:

Pasta Salad Tackle Football

Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Random Wednesday- Christmas{ish}

Finals are over! I took my last two finals today. I think both went pretty well. Now comes the period where I compulsively check Blackboard way too frequently to see if scores have been posted yet:

"Michael, it's 2 in the morning. She's not going to post the score tonight."

"Maybe she went out to a bar and will post when she gets home."

"It's Wednesday. She didn't go out and even if she did she wouldn't be grading papers there, now would she?"

"She could have gone to a special bar where all the teachers go to grade things."

"And where's that?"

"You know at that corner where those roads meet. Hold on let me check Blackboard again."

"Go to bed, Michael."

"In a minute, I need to check another class."

Anyway here are somethings that are sort of Christmas-like, but not exactly. They just remind me of this time of year.

Well, I need to go check Blackboard. Goodnight.

Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Gaming Tuesday

Gamerscore Last Week: 23620
Goal: 23700
Gamerscore Now: 23725

Achievements Unlocked

Forza Motorsport 3

Entrepreneur 10G
Driver Level 45 45G
Year 5 50G

Goal: 23800
$ for HPA: 20.95


As last week, there's not going to be much a post today. I'm studying for a mythology final and the breaks I'm taking are generally to do math problems to study for my Math final tomorrow.

Thanks for reading


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Pushing it Back

I said in the last post that my brand new sports only blog with a super secret name would launch today. I'm afraid that I'm going to have to push that back. The new target Launch date is Friday, December 10th. I thought I would have more time to polish that site and come up with a good opening post, but this past week has been busy and stressful and I'm not even started with finals yet.

I've got my nose to the grindstone studying for Biology tomorrow and Mythology on Wednesday. I'm not sure if I'm going to find much time to study for my Math final. What really sucks is that I have actual work due tomorrow along with having to take the final in Bio; two papers and two labs.

Ok. Back to work. I'll leave you with an awesome song, "Black Santas" by Lauren Fairweather. I can't wait until I get my order from her and Matt's holiday sale.

Thanks for reading and please comment.


Thursday, December 2, 2010


I have decided that I need to make some changes around here. I've been thinking for a while about the things that I can do to make this blog a better place for anyone who reads it and for myself as the poster.

I talked in yesterday's post about how surprisingly significant of a day Monday ended up being. It's weird nothing changed IRL, but still I'm pretty heart broken about it. That day also got me thinking and I decided that I needed to make some changes with my own blog.

The first thing I've decided that I will no longer post about sports on this blog. It is an important part of my life. I'm an unabashed fan of sports, but I feel that the two sports posts a week clash with the rest of what I'm trying to do. Also, I don't really want to turn some one off, because I have two straight posts about sports. I also don't want someone to think this is exclusively about sports and then end up getting posts about my adoration of The Cookie Monster.

Don't fret if you are a fan of my sports posts. They aren't going away for good, I'm going to start another blog that is sports specific. I hope to have it it viewable by everyone on Sunday, December 5th. It will still be a work in progress, but I'm really liking the title I came up with*. I'd like to have other contributors to that blog. We'll have to see where that goes.

Obviously this means that Buckeye Sunday and Browns' Monday will no longer exist here. Gaming Tuesday and Random Wednesday will remain. Gaming doesn't exactly fit the mold either, but I feel like it is much closer than the frequent sports' posts.

I also have decided to end daily posts. I shouldn't have to make posts about how much I don't want to post. So, I'm going to end any feelings of obligation of having to post every day. I don't posting will ever become sparse on here, but I think fewer posts should improve quality. Also taking away those two theme posts with a template would make it that much more difficult to come up with something decent everyday.

I'm going to work to improve the interface as well. I want to try to make it a easier to find posts on certain topics. So, expect to see some new things and some construction projects around here. I'm not really proficient with HTML, but am trying to learn a few things.

Thanks for reading and please comment.

*You'll have to wait to see what it is. Although it may already be listed in my profile, but if it is, you can't see the blog yet. It is super exclusive ;)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Random Wednesday- 5AG

I've never been through a grown-up break up before. I think how I've been feeling since Kristina announced the de facto end of Five Awesome Girls on Monday is the way it would feel. It's weird how much of a ritual* their videos became in my daily life. It is probably pretty weird to think of it that way.

I'm a pretty cold** or stoic*** person, but I definitely got choked up at this announcement. In fact, I actually almost lost it when Kayley posted this just a little after the 5AG announcement. Monday really made me realize how much I identify with the community. So, it was definitely saddening to know that a big part of that was going away, but it also was nice to have that realization. 5AG was my introduction to a brand new world that I didn't even know existed a year ago. That is now a world that I can't imagine my life without. Nerdfighters are just awesome.

The 5AGs a probably one of the biggest reasons that this blog exists. Prior to this one, I had started several blogs that I just quit on. I got tired of posting things that I know no one would read. I wanted something that would gain me attention. The 5AGs and a few other influences made me realize that it shouldn't be about that. You shouldn't seek fame, but rather try to have fun through the mediums of the internet. If viewers come, then that's awesome, but it should still be about having fun for yourself. The only way ensure failure is to worry too much about mass appeal.

I don't want it to seem like I'm angry about this. I'm so very appreciative of 5AG. I don't think they could ever understand how much Five Awesome Girls has meant to me. It saddens me, but I can understand and respect their decision. It isn't really over anyway. The videos will still be there and it's not like Kristina, Lauren, Kayley, Hayley and Liane are going to drop off the face of the planet :)

Still, I can't help being a little heart-broken though. But of course today is still awesome.

Thanks for reading and please comment.

*Ritual is definitely the proper word
**If you are describing it as a character flaw
***If you are describing it as an attribute