Once again, I have left you, dear reader, high and dry with nary an update on my life and its twists and turns. Oh how it must make you weep to see the same boring posts day after day as you excitedly refresh your browser. It makes me weep also.
I had planned on posting earlier in the week, but alas, things came up. Namely, the guy who was supposed to review "The Darkness" for GameShark was visited by the ruby tinged spectre, the Red Rings of Death, and no longer has a working 360. As I was about half way done with the game, I offered my services up, powered through it and wrote a review. It hasn't been posted yet, but I till tell you that I enjoyed it immensely. More on that later. Now, what does me writing a review have to do with not posting? I'll tell you.
I have a finite well of ink and wit (the wit well is much, much smaller than the inkwell) and if I use either up to write something, I have a hard time refilling it for something else. This is how I know that I couldn't ditch my day job and become a full time freelance writer who flits from project to project. I know that the best thing a writer can do is write, all forms included, as it helps hone's one's skills, but it doesn't make it any easier to actually do it. Also, from a practical standpoint, work has been busier and now that I'm reviewing games, oftentimes, my "free" time isn't free anymore. Oh sure, I'm playing games, but you'd be surprised how unappealing that notion becomes when you're slogging through your third Transformers game. Oh, almighty dollar, why must you tempt me so?
I also think that part of the problem is that I got married to the idea of this site being less of a blog and more of a column back when I first started it, and had dreams of becoming the next Dave Barry. Because of that, I don't feel like I can write things unless I have a full column structure in my head and that's becoming increasingly harder to do as I become older and more scatterbrained. If I can learn how to be funny in smaller chunks that are written more frequently, I think most of my problems will be solved. Oh sure, I can write the longer pieces when I need to, but smaller and more frequent may be the way to go. It's strange that I think I have to write a certain way because I feel that people don't want to come here and revel in the minutia of my life while I check my friends' sites every day for just that. I guess I expect my readers to be smarter than I am and want more out of their leisure time. Kidding!
I've been hanging out at the Blog for the Sports Gamer more often these days. I used to hang out there before the Great Football Ban was placed on our home like a death shroud, but recently came back as both Dan and Bill, two of the site's contributors, work for GameShark. They write more about non-sports gaming things than they used to, so despite my complete and total ignorance about most sports and sports games, I can usually find something of interest there. Plus, at times Bill will drop some knowledge about the inner workings of GameShark which I always find fascinating. It's also interesting from an anthropological perspective as I've always felt decidedly un-male due to my lack of interest in professional sports. Oh sure, I love football, but more so, I love the Redskins and they happen to be a football team. If I didn't have a team to route for, I wouldn't follow the sport, as witnessed by my ambivalence towards college football. Reading about their interest is vaguely interesting, that is until they start discussing which sliders need to be adjusted to get the various football video games to act appropriately and not like your cornerbacks are on 'ludes. 'Ludes man. Fucking 'ludes!
Back to The Darkness. I daresay that I loved this game. I won't talk about too much and instead will just point you to the review when it drops, but I will tell you that I was sad to see it end, partially because I wasn't going to be able to play it any more, but mostly because I really liked the character of Jackie Estacado and enjoyed spending time with him. Granted, I was him in the game, so that helped. I'm not sure if I would want to go out and grab a beer with him given that at any moment he might impale me and devour my heart. I've seen it happen.
I've obtained all but 6 of the achievements in the game, which is a pretty high success rate for my slacker ass. Unfortunately, the 100 wins in a MP match achievement was 22 wins away from my grasp when a nasty bug reared it's ugly head and reverted me back to 50 wins. If you play matches with automatic map rotation turned on, the game doesn't save the number of wins unless you enter into the single player mode and do something that saves your game. Bummer. Given that I obtained the wins in a less than sportsmanlike manner, it's hard to get too upset, however if I had been battling it out in public matches, I'd be pretty pissed. I guess this is what happens when you tack on multiplayer. Let this be a lesson to developers and gamers alike, sometimes a good single player mode is all you need!
Through various bouts of game trading I have managed to pay for Metroid Prime 3, Mass Effect, Mercenaries 2 and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. In any other year, you would count me as being done for the holiday season with all major releases covered however this season is an anomaly that will try man's soul and wallet and as such, I have barely made a dent in the onslaught. Note the lack of mention of Bioshock, Two Worlds, Stranglehold, Jericho, Halo 3, Super Mario Galaxy, Phoenix Wright 3 and The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. On the plus side, when I finished my bought and paid for games, there will be no shortage of excellent titles to move on to. On the negative side, there isn't enough time in the day to play all of these games. I can only hope that the Jan - Feb months prove to be their usual gaming wasteland, devoid of quality titles, as publishers and developers alike expect gamers to be fat and happy, sated from the feast of holiday releases placed before them. Only then will I be able to give all of these titles the love and care they deserve.