Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Back to school!

Maybe it is the feel of fall in the air, or because I was lacking in card based combat. Or (most likely) because they bribed me with a 2500 gold prize I won for participating in their Facebook game. Whatever the impetus, I jumped back into Wizard 101 last night for an hour or so while I waited for my DVR to get a good lead time on Heroes.

I forgot how much fun this game is! I haven't played since mid July, though I've religiously banged in the codes for special weapons and pets that came out in Beckett's MMO magazine. I had a whole slew of new goodies to claim, as well as lots of new systems to begin exploring. Crafting has entered the game, an auction house, Grizzleheim, and there are a plethora of housing items for me to obsess over.

My favorite teacher, Cyrus Drake, was waiting for me, dripping with contempt and expecting answers as to why I hadn't finished the latest class quest with my level 29 Myth Wizard, Morgrim Hexmender. I just shrugged at him, and assured him I'd get right on it. The I skipped out of class and went in search of more housing goodies.

The last time I played I was on a mission to collect all the dropped and picked up housing items in Wizard City, so I could fully furnish my home. Thanks to the Friendly Necromancer's handy housing item chart, I was ready to farm to my little heart's content.

My first goal was to collect Rattlebone's feet. I'd been successively battling him in hopes they would drop, and had a bag full of junk that I'd gotten instead. Lucky for me, they dropped on the first fight! Woohoo! I have skeleton feet! I then stopped by my old dorm room to pick up all the furniture there, as well as hopped into the shopping district to get the little door from the pet shop. Let the decorating begin!

The wooded cottage actually has quite a bit of space for decorating. There are both indoor and outdoor areas, with a nice copse of trees and a river running through the grassy area out front. The Life Pedestal still seems to be broken (I couldn't get my Unicorn Statue on top of it) but the rest of my furniture looks great!

My next target is The Harvest Lord, who has a pumpkin and a smokey pillar that drop. It's nice to use these lower ranked targets as practice to get back into the game and remember what all my spells do. Soon enough I'll be back in Marleybone, completing my homework for Professor Drake!

Monday, September 21, 2009

DS is it!!

Most of my gaming time lately has been wrapped up in the latest Professor Layton adventure to be released stateside, the Diabolical Box. I fell in love with and devoured the first game, the Curious Village, because it was perfect for portable gaming. Easy to drop in and run through a few puzzles, or collect some hint coins, while standing in line at the grocery store. Diabolical Box takes the excellent formula from the first game, and makes it even better with a whole slew of quirky new characters and mind bending puzzles. Add in an interesting and innovative story, highlighted by superbly animated cut scenes and video, and I'm in gaming Heaven!

The puzzles range from the mundane to the complex, with many classics and many that are just plain tricky sprinkled about. Additionally, there are three mini-games that you can jump into whenever you like, new weekly downloadable puzzles from Level-5, and unlockable puzzles from completing mini goals during the storyline. The story itself has 138 puzzles, with an additional 18 unlockable for completing these goals, and (to count today) four weekly puzzles. On top of all this, the games interact with each other via passwords that unlock more puzzles and concept art.

Now I eagerly anticipate the next game in the series (according to Wikipedia there have been four and a half games released in Japan already) to be released here in the US so I can get my puzzle on again. In the meantime, I'm hunting down the soundtrack, as I love the music that is liberally sprinkled throughout the series.

Also, prompted by Stargrace's excited Twitterings, I picked up Scribblenauts yesterday and have been tearing through that ever since. I spent a good hour last night playing around on the log in screen, combining different tools and a variety of prehistoric monsters to see what kinds of trouble I could get in to.

Lots of good portable gaming to keep myself occupied on my commute for a while. Too bad I drive.... Time to look at getting back on the train!

Friday, September 18, 2009

My Fall TV schedule

Inspired by Ysh and Pete, here's my Fall TV line up. I arrange by network because... Well, why not?

The CW
Supernatural, Smallville, Gossip Girl, Vampire Diaries
I'm a CW whore, but I have to agree with Ysh, Vampire looks kind of lame. It might get the axe from my DVR schedule soon. Supernatural is still my Buffy replacement. Smallville, even though the story lines are getting as lame as the final seasons of Charmed, still has its... well.. charm. (Not to mention Tom Welling! *drool*) But Gossip Girl? LOVE IT!!! True, scripted, FANTASTIC mind rottiness. XOXOX

Brothers & Sisters, Desperate Housewives, Castle, Eastwick, Better Off Ted, V
Ah my "adult" brain candy rot show - the Housewives I expect to get even MORE ridiculous this season. Brothers & Sisters makes me cry, and I love it for that. Great ensemble cast. I'm giving Eastwick a chance. Totally can't wait for V, based solely on childhood memories of Jane Badler (Diana) swallowing a whole Chincilla on our TV. And Better Off Ted must come back as Ted is my current tv husband (he beat out Carter from Eureka and Will from Glee) and I can't get enough of him. And Castle is a must watch. Captain Hot Pants!!

Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother
The half hour comedies live on the TiVo in my bedroom, as I don't need to see them in HD. I can't wait to see what's in store for the boys when they get back from the North Pole. And maybe this season we'll actually find out WHO the mother is. Plus, NPH! How can you NOT watch NPH?!?

Fringe, Glee, Dollhouse, Family Guy, The Simpsons, The Cleveland Show
Yay Fox! You actually kept some good shows for once!! Dollhouse is going to be smoking this season. Fringe has already started off interestingly, if trite with the whole "We're killing off the main character!" drama gimmick in the first episode. But I fully expect Glee to be canceled within six episodes, because this network is run by asshats. I'll get my raunchy humor out of Family Guy. Simpsons is a winner. And I'm giving Cleveland a chance.

Merlin, Heroes
Ah Heroes, the trainwreck full of people I either don't know or don't care about. But I'll keep watching, hoping that this season something significant will happen. Or at least somebody hot or somebody with an amazing new power turns up. I do hope Merlin comes back. It is a new twist on the boring buddy comedy formula.

BBC America
Torchwood, Being Human, Doctor Who
I'm almost all caught up on Torchwood. About half way through Season two. Then Children of the Earth, and I'll be all set for next season. I LOVED Being Human, and I really hope they get picked up for Season 2. Doctor Who I'm fairly behind, though, and need to play some catch up on Netflix once I'm done with Torchwood.

The Food Network
Anything on this channel, What Would Brian Boitano Make?
Curse this channel for all its shows. I love them all. Edge of the seat, nerve wracking, nail biting terror for Chopped and the cake contests, and all of it. But my hat is off to WWBBM. This is the single gayest thing I've ever seen on TV. Ever. Beyond Queer as Folk. Blows the socks off South Park Big Gay Al episodes. This is pure, 100% homo in all its glory. I LOVE IT!

The Cartoon Network
Batman Brave & the Bold, Star Wars Clone Wars
I've got to catch up on these. All of last season is on the TiVo, but I haven't sat down to plow through them yet. I've heard too many good things about Clone Wars to skip it. Batman? Well, its Batman! How could I say no?

Phew!!! That's a LOT of TV. I'm sure some of these shows will get pared down asthe season wears on. Or they'll get dropped. But for now, I'm looking forward to a GREAT fall!!