Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Video games galore

I hope you all had an excellent fourth of July weekend.

This was the first 4th of July weekend in three or four years Jer didn't have to work swing shift. I've been taking his time for granted since he changed positions; it's easy to forget all those years of only seeing him twice a week. But we lived through the dark times. And now I've adapted to spending whole days without speaking to anyone, which is a useful skill for an aspiring writer.

Speaking of Jer, he's gone and got me hooked on something. Do you know about Steam? Many of you already do, but for those who don't, it's a way to play games on your computer, cheaply and instantly. You download the free Steam app, purchase games, and use the app to access and download games through your "library." You can also connect to your friends and view their games or chat. Right now Steam is having a huge summer sale, so you can buy game packs dirt cheap.

One of my absolute favorite games is called "The Longest Journey," and right now you can buy it and its sequel "Dreamfall" for 75% off or $6.24, which is a steal. (Click here for info.) It's a beautiful adventure game with a great story. If you think of video games as first-person shooters with no soul, then you need to check this one out.

My next favorite game and its sequel are also on sale, Syberia for 50% off, $7.49. (Click here for info.) The artwork is gorgeous, and the story is interesting with some nice puzzles.

A good general pack for adventure games is the Telltale Complete Pack. It's 79% off at $49.99 and gets you 17 games, a $235 value. It includes the classic Sam & Max games and Puzzle Agent, plus the Strong Bad game, and Tales of Monkey Island. Great stuff in there.

You can probably tell I'm not a big shoot 'em up fan. Interactive storytelling is what I like and recommend.

Speaking of games, I finally got around to trying "Get Fit With Mel B" on the PS3.

I was surprised I liked it. It uses the Move controller -- Sony's answer to the Wii and Kinect -- to track your exercise efforts. After you set up a profile and start a workout, Mel B demonstrates exercises on the left side of the screen, and the Move camera shows you in real-time on the right. The first workout I tried was dance-themed. If I hadn't done aerobics videos before I might have had a problem, but I was already familiar with most of the moves, so there wasn't any ramp-up time. (There was an optional tutorial for each exercise, but I skipped those.)

Anyway, I worked up a sweat. And I like how the game counted down the exercises and maintained a good pace. My only other comment -- having only done one workout so far -- is I would have liked a longer warm-up, but that's easily solved. I'll just stretch on my own first.

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