Archive for the ‘Video Games’ Category

I Simply Must Have it

Tycho, from Penny Arcade, made an attempt to link me to Chris Kohler’s liveblog of Rock Band. There was an error on the page, but luckily, I have access to Google, which happily sent me to the appropriate place. Now I send you. Go here, and read about a night with Rock Band. I simply must have it. Screw you, Guitar Hero 3 and your inability to let Paul and I play “Paint it Black” in duet mode!

When does this game come out?

November 5th, 2007 • 3:36 pm • dinane • Posted in Video Games5 Comments »

And in Other Good News

I would just like to announce that I have officially beaten The New Super Mario Bros.!

It took a crazy long time, but I finally did it, this morning on the train. It was awesome. I thought I wasn’t going to ever finish it, and I was down to my second-to-last life, but then, there I was, fighting off Bowser and resucing the Princess!


January 19th, 2007 • 9:14 am • dinane • Posted in Video Games11 Comments »

18 out of 18

I didn’t get home until well after midnight. Actually, I’m pretty sure it was after 1 AM. So, let’s just assume I got into bed around 1:30. I was tired. I was drunk. But the bed was warm, and I was fast asleep in moments.

And, it seemed like only moments later, Mike’s alarm was going off. I squinted at the clock, made grumbley annoyed noises, and rolled over, but didn’t fall back to sleep. I got up shortly after him, and got dressed. I wore a sweater and jeans, along with some nice wool socks, thinking that would be sufficient to keep me warm.

We packed up a bit of food and water, grabbed some chairs, and were out the door at 5:45. The sun was still asleep. I like the sun. I missed the sun.

First stop: Target. The internet had told Mike that there were supposed to be around 50 of them there. We did a quick count of the people in line and thought we’d be pushing our luck, so we drove across the street.

Second stop: Circuit City. It looked promising, but Mike wanted to check out some other locations to see what the options might be.

Third stop: Sears. Six guys told us that they’d talked to the manager and there were only six. Oh well. Moving on.

Fourth stop: Best Buy. We didn’t even park the car. The line looked ridiculous. It extended just to the entrance to the Gold’s Gym.

Fifth stop: K-Mart. Four dick-headed guys made fun of us while also saying the store only had four. Hate beams shot out of our eyes, but we moved on.

Sixth stop: Back to Circuit City.

We parked the car, took our stuff, and set up our chairs. There was a tent and some people sleeping on folding chairs up towards the front of the line. There were unprepared people in front of us just standing around. They had gotten there just before us. We probably would have beaten some of them if we’d just gone straight there, but who knows.

After a short while, a bearded guy sat on the pavement next to us. Then, the kids from the front of the line, two of them in giant black parkas, tried to sell us their place in line. Mike told them to go away. They assured us that we weren’t going to get one, but we stuck with our hopefulness.

As time went by, we took turns trying to get a count of the people in front of us. There was a sign on the door that said there’d only be 18. We were about 23rd in line, counting ever body. But word was some of them were just keeping the real buyers company. So we kept hope.

We kept hope as a moron drove by and tried to sell us a coupon he was pretending was a ticket for K-Mart. We kept hope as a moron drove by and asked seventybillion times what we were waiting around for. We kept hope as we watched Target hand out tickets around 7:00.

The dejected from across the street came to join our line shortly after. I talked to a guy who said he’d gotten there around 6:00 and was about 5 people away from getting one. We totally would have been on the cusp if we’d stopped at Target. We might have gotten one, we might not.

It was around 7:30 or so when the manager came out to tell us for sure that there were only 18. He also told us that they wouldn’t be handing out tickets. We were all stunned. It was definitely in his best interest to hand out 18 slips of paper and send the rest of us on our merry way. But that’s what he said.

The counting resumed in earnest. The people directly in front of us did a pretty accurate count and decided that they had no chance. It was a mom and son, he was about 14. They moped over to their car and went home.

At the same time, the people in front of them, a husband and wife making a half-assed attempt to surprise their kids (who had doubtlessly woken up and “wondered” where Mom and Dad both went) got worried that they would fail. So she took the car and went off in search elsewhere.

Meanwhile, the line got longer and longer. Word had it that Best Buy had handed out tickets. They ran out of tickets just at the Gold’s Gym door. We would have been on the cusp there as well.

Counts now had us at actual 21 and 22, with two people vocally saying they weren’t going to buy one. Rumors of a third abounded, but as in anything there was no guarantee. The black parka kids came by and told us that we would be 18. Hope. Stupid hope, but hope all the same.

Two completely different vehicles pulled into the lot around the same time. One of them carried a giant sign for a new Dollar Tree store opening up next door, and the other was the tell-tale black and white of the town police.

The officer went into the store and talked to the manager. He came out and gave us all a pep talk. He reminded us that there were only 18. He told us that we’d better all behave. He told us he didn’t want to take anyone away. We asked him to tell that to the people in the back of the line. He did. I felt better.

Because up to this point, it hadn’t occurred to me that someone might trample me. But recently people had been talking about horrible bad things that the people in the back of the line might do when they open the door. The sight of the police officer really made me feel better.

It was cold. By this point, I couldn’t so much feel my toes. But the line kept “moving” in that way that happens with traffic on the highway when the road it closed up ahead. I ate a few crackers. Mike had a fruit leather. We shivered.

Then came the greatest call ever. The guy in front of us received a call from his wife. We heard his half of the conversation.

“Where are you? … Cosco? … They have 44? … You got what? … A ticket? … You were number 44? … Does that mean I can go home? … What’s in the bundle? … Who cares. We can sell the game we don’t want on eBay. You can really buy it? … Buy it. I want to go home.”

I told the man that I loved his wife. He hung up, wished us luck, and took off to his warm lovely car.

Warmth would be nice. I was pretty cranky about being cold, tired, and hungover.

We were now 20th in line for 18, where two people had vocally said they weren’t buying one. With the rumor still going of a third, we told the bearded guy behind us that he might just get one. We rolled our eyes at the people behind him, who stretched on into about 40 or 50 people.

The count down really started at 9:00. It was under an hour to wait, and we were all anxious. Minutes ticked by rather slowly, but they continued to move. If only it had been warmer, we could have played DS, but our fingers would hardly dislodge themselves from their pockets. So we just stood and waited.

The police cruiser came back with a friend at about quarter of. They stopped their cars out a ways, I think to give us space and not make anything worse. They really did a great job.

And finally, we saw the manager and his lackey emerge from the store. They were carrying something. Blue slips. Could it be? Tickets! Really? Awesome! No trampling for us! I think the cops probably talked them into printing out something just to make things go a little smoother. As people took their tickets and a sheet of coupons, I started to get jittery. Three left. Two left. You’re handing that to me?! YAY! Thank you!

I turned to our bearded friend to apologize. The manager screamed out that anyone who couldn’t pay would be not be allowed to put it on layaway, so the next few people in line might want to wait to see if they could get it for real. So instead of apologizing, I wished him luck. The opened the doors shortly afterward, and let in people with the blue tickets. It seemed so Willy Wonka, if only the tickets had been gold.

Mike ganked the ticket out of my hand (I didn’t have my wallet with me anyway, I’d put my bag in the car once we stopped sitting), handed me his car keys, and was the last one admitted into the store. I stood outside with the other ladies who had rejected a ticket so that we could get one. I blame it on a frozen brain, but it didn’t immediately occur to me that I could go sit in the car and turn on the heat. When lightening did strike my brain and wake it up, I ran for the car and put the heat on super high. I shivered and started to warm up.

Mike called my cell, which was somewhere in the trunk at this point. I found it and he said I could come inside now. So I did, and met him waiting in line to pay. They kept everything behind the counter, and had a matching ticket taped to the side of each box. We got Zelda, we got the truck racing game, and we got Tony Hawk. We got an extra set of controllers and asked for some things they didn’t have. No classic controllers. No component cables. Oh well. We can live in low-def for now.

On the way home, we stopped for hot chocolate at Dunks. Home was lovely and warm.

Man, were we lucky. We could have been on the cusp at any of three stores, but the idiot manager at Circuit City and his reluctance to hand out tickets really worked to our advantage. We could have been 19 out of 18, or even 20. But when we got home, we didn’t head for naps and pouting. We ripped apart packaging, hooked up cables, and challenged each other to a game of tennis before moving on to bowling, golf, and truck racing.

And that, my friends, is the story of how we got the last Wii in town.

November 20th, 2006 • 9:34 am • dinane • Posted in Video Games112 Comments »


Never has it been so hard for me to attend a rehearsal. I mean, seriously. This was a technical. Or was it a dress? Who knows! At least we have another dress today. And tomorrow. And Thursday (though I think it’s some kind of weird invitee/open – dress, so that ought to be special).

Anyway, this was the kind of rehearsal that everyone wants to go to. Is excited about. You know, looks forward to?

Not me.

It was really difficult to leave the house at 6:50 last night. Why? Because there, on the floor by the stairs, sat a box. And it sat conveniently next to the box that the first one came in, making comparing the sizes easy.

When I came in the house, Mike was already home. And that’s why I didn’t have to carry in the box myself.

“YAY! Yay, yay, yay, yay, yay!”

“Too bad you won’t ever be able to play it.”

That was mean, sure, but it may as well be true. The arrival of a pre-ordered video game should be an exciting time. One with the unwrapping of tape. With the fighting with the case. With the putting stickers on the guitar!

But no. I had to leave the box there, and let Mike have the excitement. He was nice enough to play with his guitar from the first game, giving me the opportunity to play the virgin red mini-Gibson. He told me all about it when I came home after 10:30. I lived vicariously through him.

Saturday morning, my precious. That’s when I’ll see you. Saturday morning.

November 7th, 2006 • 9:07 am • dinane • Posted in Theatre, Video GamesComments Off on Behave!


Shortly after posting that previous post, I checked my email. This was there waiting for me!

November 2nd, 2006 • 9:04 am • dinane • Posted in Music, Video GamesComments Off on EEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For the Love of Tetris

On Friday, a little collection of my friends got together. It was quite the adventure, really, considering that Paul and Kelly live in Canada.

Okay, not actually, but as I said to my coworker, their town is practically in New Hampshire, which is practically Canada. I mean, come on! The leaves on the trees were already brown and… well… not on the trees so much any more! (At our house, we are just past peak. The colors were absolutely perfectly gorgeous on Friday morning. I was almost “moved” by the beauty. In Boston, we’re just starting to see some change in colors. There’s one giant yellow tree in the Public Garden and a couple smaller-looking [perhaps just farther away] in the dark gold and red varieties. I see a good number at the tail end of green, however, and I suspect that today’s relative coolness will turn them right to shiny gold.)

Mike and I did our best not to get lost, and failed at that. Luckily, we didn’t stray far from the intended destination, and were soon at building K. (Who letters their buildings rather than numbering them? Canadians!) Their place is rather nice, actually, and quite spacious.

Tara came, dinner occurred, Jeremy came, etc., etc., etc….

Really, what I came here to talk… *ahem* write about was the Tetris. I’m not exactly sure what transpired that got us to that point, but we were eventually playing Tetris 2 for the NES along with the new Tetris for the DS. Holy falling blocks, Batman!

I have been playing a lot of Tetris on my DS on the ride in to work. I’ve gotten rather good at it. Sometimes, if my mind drifts, I see “Tetriminoes” behind my eyelids. That’s probably not healthy. But whatever. I think that my skillz (note the use of the “z” for emphasis!) at the more standard Tetris are what caused my downfall at Tetris 2.

At least that is what I’m going to believe.

How could the creators of such a lovely simple organized game, in which there are always four blocks falling from the sky, and they all connect in easy to understand ways, possibly create such a hectic pile of insanity? I mean, really. Do there have to be pieces that disconnect from other pieces? And matching by color? Good grief! (Yes, I know… thank you, Charlie Brown. Maybe I should be Charlie Brown for Halloween. That might make my affection for that phrase seem less insane, if only for a day.)

What is my point? Oh, hell if I know. Basically, Tetris. Blocks. Falling. Rotating. Settling. Tetrising.

October 17th, 2006 • 8:32 am • dinane • Posted in Life, Video Games6 Comments »


I laughed at him. I did! I laughed and poked fun at him. I shrugged nonchalantly as his determined face said we were going. I had to go to the grocery store anyway, we may as well tack on a trip to Best Buy. Plus, I though, maybe if I let him get Guitar Hero he’d stop looking all puppy-eyed about a new TV (which we totally do not need!).

So off we went, in the “driving mist” (so would say Jerry Remi), to the mall. Since I got my umbrella, I have become a slave to it. It used to be that I could care less if it was misting or raining or downpour-ing. But that fateful day that I was soaked through to the bone (I swear, literally) from a torrential downpour coinciding with the green line trolley never arriving and my walking the half mile to the orange line directly had an effect on me. So I pulled out my umbrella and popped it open for the 50 foot walk to the door.

Unfortunately, our parking placement put us right by the pet store. I hate pet stores. It’s so depressingly sad to see the puppies in there all boxed up and nervous. But Mike headed straight into the store. And we looked at each puppy in turn. Some of them were playful, but mostly they were listless. Bored and lonely, they laid in their cages, having given up hope on ever getting to go home with someone. The poor cute babies. I wanted to rescue them all. But that I cannot do.

So, down the escalator to Best Buy. When we got in there, our attentions were instantly drawn to the new Madden game. It sure looked pretty! But neither one of us could really figure out how the hell it worked. Plus it was the X-Box 360 varietal, and we don’t have one of them. Distracted, we separated. I played a bit of Paper Mario before deciding that I really am not a fan of RPGs, which this was. Something about spending three times as much time reading as getting to do anything caused me to just shrug and walk away.

I found Mike, and he found Guitar Hero. We then headed on the required tour of Best Buy. It is by far Mike’s favorite store. And I can’t say I don’t like it either. So we looked at things and listened to things and poked at things for a while. I tried to pull Mike away from the TVs, but he wouldn’t budge. Luckily, I think his brain has at least a portion that understands that our TV is plenty huge, thank you very much, and also quite bright, even if it’s a whole (gasp) two years old.

We checked out and were soon heading over to the grocery store to buy the fixings for a sister to strawberry shortcake – raspberries, cream, and angel food cake. We took those and the game home and soon Mike was “tuning” his guitar. I went to the kitchen to whip cream and macerate raspberries. In between, though, I watched Mike learn how to “rock out.” And I could see I was doomed.

Mike totally loved the game. Absolutely. Also, he seemed to be playing it without regard to his pained wrist (which has been getting better, by the way). It must have gotten him completely. He beat a couple venues on easy mode before deciding he needed a break. I politely and shyly asked for a turn. He grinned, I think knowing that I was doomed, and also proud of himself for getting the game despite my teasing that it is totally a kiddie game.

Well, what can I say? It looked like fun!

And it totally was.

Soon, I was “rocking out” and man, oh, man, was it fun! I played through one venue on easy mode before I had to leave the house. I was only gone an hour and a half or so, but when I got back, there was Mike, with his guitar, rocking out in the last venue of easy mode! He had been practicing! Phrases like “best game ever” were uttered, and when he tired of trying a particularly difficult tune, I got another turn.




For those not in the know, this game is made by the same loonies who made Karaoke Revolution. That alone should have told me in advance that I’d be addicted to this game. I mean, seriously, I played through Karaoke Revolution 2 in one sitting… standing… day. I love music. I love video games. This is pretty much the basis of these games.

This all happened on Sunday. Mike got nearly all the way through easy mode, and I did up two venues. Yesterday, however, Mike was distracted or something, and he let me play for a long while. I blew through easy mode, and even got part way through medium.

And, by the way, these songs are the ones floating through my head today.

Also, I have to make sure I’m not a moron today – I must not blow off the gym in favor of playing Guitar Hero.

I wanna be a guitar hero!

September 5th, 2006 • 8:35 am • dinane • Posted in Music, Video Games2 Comments »

The Alien Queen! She is Slain! I Win!

I totally love using extraneous exclaimation points.

I just beat the primary game play portion of the video game we have in our break room. It was very satisfying. And, as a bonus, one of my coworkers, who surely wouldn’t have believed me had I told him of my results, witnessed the endgame. So, the alien is slain, and there was a witness!


June 28th, 2006 • 3:24 pm • dinane • Posted in Video GamesComments Off on The Alien Queen! She is Slain! I Win!
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