Tag Archives: Games

Hello . . . Hello . . . Hello!

Sounds a little echoy in here. (Yeah, I know that’s not a word.)  So my blog has been a bit empty lately.  I have no excuses, but I’ll make up a couple anyway.  I could say that I’ve been immersed in deep thought working on my latest novel.  I could say that I’ve been visiting family for the holidays.  I could say that I’ve been travelling for work an awful lot.  These are all true, but the real reason for my silence is Dragon Age: Inquisition.

I have been very busy with work and travel, but I’ve been spending much of my free home time with the latest Dragon Age game.  I’m not a huge gamer compared to many, but I do like to play on my PS3.  It is how I unwind in the evening.  Usually it might be one or two evenings a week, but since I got this game I’ve been playing too much.  There, I said it.  Luckily, my wife doesn’t read my blog, so she doesn’t have to know that I admitted my obsession.

I promise to do better, right after I beat the crap out of the big bad guy and his dragon.

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Is there such a thing as a Free Game?

I’ve always liked playing computer games.  Okay, I’ll be more precise:  I’ve always liked playing computer games since the home PC became popular.  I know I’m dating myself, but before that I used to frequent the arcades.  They’re still out there, but arcades were much more popular back in the day before PC’s and game consoles.

I’ll admit I bought my first PC so I could play games.  Well, maybe my first couple of PC’s.  Then I started writing and the internet came along, and I used my PC for much more.  I finally decided to go the console route and bought a PS3.  I figured I didn’t need to upgrade my computer for writing or the internet, so it would be cheaper to buy a game console.  This has proven to be true, for me at least.  I am a frugal gamer and wait to play games once the prices drop.  I know—it’s lame because I’m talking about games everyone else played 6 months ago.

Anyway, back to the question:  Is there such a thing as a free game.  Yes and no.  I recently started trying out “free” online games.  I’ve found a couple that I enjoy, but I’ve also found they’re not entirely free.  The games I like are free as long as you are patient and can tone back your competitive spirit.  They offer perks and upgrades and shortcuts to people who are willing to pay.  For just a few dollars you can buy enough jewels/crystals/gold (depending upon the game) to buy better equipment, or build that building faster, or gain VIP status.  This tactic is genius.  So I can tell myself I’m saving money by playing for free, and yet pay a few dollars now and again to get ahead.  It’s not really paying for the game when you do it like that—right?  A couple of dollars here and there are no big deal.

So, I did mention that I’m a frugal gamer.  Even though I’m tempted—because I hate being passed up by other players—I have refrained so far from paying as I play.  So I don’t move up as quickly as those cheating bastards that pay for their jewels/crystals/gold!  Wow, that actually felt pretty good.     

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Best PS3 Game of 2013: Tomb Raider

I consider myself a casual gamer.  Yes, I went through the phase of wild-eyed, up all night, play until you can’t see the screen gaming, but I’ve mellowed in my middle years (or as my kids would say, “Old man times.”)

In the old days I gamed on the PC.  I started out with MS DOS based games and worked my way into the early Windows games, but kinda bogged down when Windows XP came around.  I basically got tired of having to upgrade my machine to play the latest games.  It can get expensive.

Nowadays I play on a PS3.  I switched to console gaming a few years ago so I could keep the same computer for more than a couple of years.  Of course, now the PS4 is out, but I’m waiting until Christmas next year when they have more games and the prices drop.

I’m a casual and frugal gamer.  So I don’t play every new game that comes out and I like to play the whole game, not just sprint through the main storyline to see how fast I can beat it.  Also, I wait until the prices drop, so I might be playing a game that the hard-core gamers played six months ago.  That being said, I played some pretty good games in 2013 but by far my favorite was Tomb Raider.

I’ve never played a Lara Croft game before.  I’m typically an open world RPG game player.  I like games such as the Elder Scrolls, Dragon Age, and Kingdoms of Amatur.   I do like shooter games that have a more open world as well.  I liked Fallout, Bioshock and Mass Effects.  I typically don’t like games that send you down a predetermined path, especially ones where you have to hit buttons in a particular order to get through a scene like God of War or Castlevania. 

I was a bit skeptical of Tomb Raider but to my surprise it was a very fun game to play.  Yes, you follow a determined path through the game, but each area allows you the freedom to move about and you can go back to previous areas if you missed something.  Also, there are scenes where you have to hit particular buttons, but it wasn’t outside my skill area.  The storyline was engaging, the weapons upgrades were doable, and the action was challenging enough but not too hard for this casual gamer.  All-in-all I thoroughly enjoyed playing this game.  It was just the right amount of action, puzzles, and storyline for my game tastes.

I am surprised I enjoyed this game more than Bioshock Infinite.  I enjoy the Bioshock games and I expected it to be the best of the year, especially with all the hype, but it was just a bit too hectic for me.  Of course, right now I’m playing The Last of Us, and I think it would have taken the title if I had played it sooner.

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