Fall 2016 – Update

It’s been a while since I gave a site update, so here we are!

My main focus is still the same: burning through my backlog and sharing my thoughts and reviews. I am still currently in the PS1/N64 era of gaming, but the end is sight. To give you an idea on what I have planned for the coming months, I have a list of games that include classics like: Legend of Zelda – Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, Resident Evil 2 and 3, and Baldur’s Gate II.

Currently, this campaign is in a bit of a holding pattern. I’m clearing my gaming calendar for the upcoming Final Fantasy XV release. I’ll be picking the game up at midnight tonight and once I do, I’ll be dedicating all of game time to finishing it so that I can provide you with a review as soon as possible.  Once this title has been filed away, I’ll be pursuing my playthrough campaign full steam ahead.

Of course, I’ll still make the occasional exception. For example, in the coming days I have some interesting articles planned to hold everyone over until the XV review is posted. These include an update on the current status of No Man’s Sky and FFXIV, a plethora of Star Wars content, as well as a few other surprises. So stay tuned as I wrap up 2016 and look forward to the future. I have some big plans on the horizon and 2017 is going to be a good year for this blog.

Updates: Looking ahead to 2016

Happy New Year! I hope this new year finds you all in good health and good spirits! As per tradition, I wanted to take a moment to give everyone an update on the status of the blog.  2015 saw this site dominated mostly by two things, my Final Fantasy playthrough initiative and Star Wars. Yes, it has taken me a whole year to play through and discuss Final Fantasy IX-XIII, which doesn’t sound like much progress, but in reality that’s a total of eight games, one of which is an MMO with multiple expansions. Plus…. it’s MY blog so I can do what I want, according to my own timetable   😛

This year will see my big Final Fantasy push come to a close within the first few months. I’m currently playing through Lightning Returns. Once that’s finished, I’ll provide some thoughts on XIV (I game I play nearly every day). The backlog will finish out with Dissidia and Type-0. So once I’m all caught up with the series, it will be about time for XV to drop. I am looking very forward to being able to play and review XV while it’s still fresh.

Gamewise, once the Final Fantasy stuff is out of the way, I’ll resuming my regular schedule by playing through a number of PS1 titles. This will be followed by Gameboy Color, N64, the onward to some of the PC games from the turn of the century, etc. Believe it or not, I really do have a plan… it’s just as twisted an convoluted as my cluttered mind.  Essentially, this site serves and both a trip down memory lane for me (in terms of gaming), as well as a great project to help me plow through the endless backlog that many of us gamers find ourselves with. At the rate I’m going, I can foresee me clearing the out the cobwebs on nearly everything I want to play within the next 3 years.

I hope those of you that read this blog regularly enjoy this journey with me. I do see site analytics and while this site is not a traffic hog, it does see a lot of regular activity. There’s a handful of what seem like steady readers. I don’t know if they are silent friends or strangers interested in what I’m doing, but they are there and I hope they like what they see. The rest of the traffic on this site is often driven from search engine results. People looking for reviews on certain games, etc.

2015 saw both the birth and hiatus of the RetroSensei Podcast. I’d really like to be able to give a return date, but that’s still up in the air. Running a podcast is pricier than you may think. It’s not break-the-bank expensive, but if you want to do it right, there are costs involved. For me, this ended up being close to $20 a month. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but as I mentioned before, due to unforeseen home repairs I found myself in a position to save every dollar I could manage.  For those interested, the repairs are going well. The kitchen floor has been repaired/replaced. This leaves me with some remaining plumbing work, and the installation of a new septic system. This is a several thousand dollar job, but one I hope to complete within the coming months. My biggest obstacle right now is the weather. It has rained here for what seems like two months straight. So at this point we are waiting for the ground to dry out and toughen back up before we start digging. — In a nutshell, once the time is right to relaunch the podcast, I will make sure everyone knows.

Christmas was good in terms of gaming this year. My kids are both full-fledged gamers now. My oldest son has actually discovered the world of Steam. He’s spent the last few weeks enjoying games like Quake and Half-Life. The two of us have even played a few Deathmatch rounds together. My youngest, is still very much a junior gamer. He’s Lego and Mindcraft obsessed.

That’s the status of things currently. As typical for me, I have a weeks vacation that I take every January. During that time, I plan to finish up the last FFXIII game. So I hope to have all my Final Fantasy posts out of the way by the beginning of March. Once this is done, things will begin to be a lot more diverse. So stay tuned and have a happy new year!

 

October is coming…

Autumn is here! This is probably my favorite time of year. I love the crisp air, the falling leaves, the pumpkin spice everything… I also like spooky things. Creepy stories, scary movies and of course horror games.

Last year was a bit lacksluster on the blog here. For October I played and reviewed Blood and Blood II on the PC. In 2012, I was a bit more ambitious. I attempted to play every Castlevania title. I made a pretty good effort, but I did run out of time. My Castlevania marathon extended all the way into December.

This year, I plan to something similar. Starting today, almost all other games are on hold. I’m going to focus on a number of horror-themed games from now until the end of the October. If it goes well, and the mood still feels right I may extend it into the first part of November.

There’s so many to choose from that I’m not really sure where to begin. To start, I think I’m going to go a bit casual and kick it off with Zombie U. Next up, I may actually tackle Castlevania: Lords of Shadow II.

Below is a list of some of my horror-themed games, if there’s anything on the list that you would like to see reviewed, please feel free to comment or reach out to me through another method. (Many of you seem to like tweeting me):

Potential Spooky Games For October:

Slender: The Arrival
Silent Hill
Resident Evil
Fatal Frame
Corpse Party
Amnesia
Ghostbusters: The Video Game
Walking Dead

Also accepting suggestions

Steam Summer Sale 2013

Just a friendly reminder to all the PC gamers out there that the Steam Summer Sale is on! It’s like Christmas for gamers. This is the one time of year where Steam slashes prices on games in crazy amounts. Sometimes 75-90% off.

Lots of good deals have been had so far this year. The sale runs until the 22nd, so keep your eyes peeled for any good deals that might entice you.

Of course, my Steam ID is: RetroSensei

Post Christmas 2012

Well, Christmas 2012 has come and went. Being a father these days, I tend to view Christmas much differently than I did as a child. As a kid, Christmas was HUGE. It was like the Mecca of all days. I remember the excitement that I used to feel. As a dad, I try to make it my goal to recreate that same level of energy for my kids. It’s not easy with money being what it is, etc. It seems like no matter how much you do or how many gifts you get, it’s never enough. I’ve come to learn that while I might feel this way, the kids don’t. Most children are oblivious to things like finance and they don’t seem to be keeping a tally of gifts. Regardless, I decided to start early this year so I could maximize the number of gifts under the tree. My wife and I hit all the black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, and really snagged the best deals we could find.

All in all, my kids made out like bandits this year. As you can see from the pic above, the youngest got a HUGE cardboard castle and tons of various toys, the type that most four-year olds tend to enjoy.

My oldest, the gamer, received that Wii U that I mentioned a while back. I got him the white model (basic set) and a copy of the Scribblenauts Unlimited game. He also snagged a copy of Paper Mario: Sticker Star – courtesy of his mom. Both boys will enjoy a little time away from the TV thanks to a new 14 foot trampoline. (Even gamers love to bounce).

As for me, my wife gave me a gift card for the PSN store. Which I promptly used to purchase some classic titles that were missing from my physical PS library. Namely, Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil: Director’s Cut. On the PC front, I really hit the Steam holiday sale pretty hard and bought myself a few PC titles.

All in all, it’s going to be a lot of fun being the 8bit-dad in the coming year.

Now that my legacy Castlevania playthough is all done, I’ll be posting my first impressions of the Wii U. As well as, some updates to other things game-related, so stay tuned.

Merry Christmas to all my reader.

What I’m Playing : Spring 2012

Flash forward from my last post. I’m now a 33, married, and a father of two. Also, I’m still a gamer. A lot has changed since my Atari and NES years. Games are now high definition, online, and with advent of the 3DS, now they are even 3D with no glasses required.  In the coming posts, I plan to wax nostalgic a bit more, but first I want to take a moment to detail what I’m playing now.

At any given moment, I break my gaming down into three categories: Console, PC, and MMO. I am the proud owner of all three current gen consoles, and despite it’s lack of power, I often find myself drawn to the Wii. Nintendo has a way dishing out some of the most strangely-appealing titles. This is true of their first-party offerings as well as their third-party releases. My most recent Wii purchase, and the console title I’m currently playing is the infamous Xenoblade Chronicles. xenobladechronicles_NAbox-5B1-5D

Xenoblade is a title that almost didn’t see a release in North America. It’s a Japanese-style RPG that Nintendo of America felt would have hard time finding a market with western audiences. I find this a bit amusing, because it seems Japanese pop culture is huge with the age 8-30 demographic these days. When Nintendo announced the title would not be coming the US, the backlash was much louder than expected. An online movement known as Operation Rainfall was launched in attempt to bring Xenoblade and two other nixed titles to the US. Needless to say, as far as Xenoblade was concerned, Op Rainfall was a success. Xenoblade Chronicles was released in the US as a Gamestop exclusive title in April of 2012.

I’ll do a complete write-up of the game once I have completed it. For now, I’ll say that I am thoroughly impressed. I am a big fan of JRPGS and this one does not disappoint.

On the PC front, I’m currently riding the Diablo III bandwagon.

The original Diablo was on of the first PC game titles that I purchased with my own money. It is a classic dungeon crawl (which I LOVE) with an overhead view. A combo that’s rarely done right. Diablo III has been twelve years in the making and I must say it was worth the wait. I purchased it solely for the single player content, but like many others, found myself sucked in to playing with friends.

My only complaint is that the game is dependant on connectivity with Blizzard’s servers, even in single player mode. Which, since launch, have been up and down. This has been less than convenient for me. Luckily, over the last few days, things seem to have stabilized quite a bit.

Finally, in the MMO world, my currently subscription is the infamous Final Fantasy XIV.

960613_125615_front-5B1-5D

Let me preface this by saying I am a die hard Final Fantasy fan. This is a fact that I’m sure will come to light as this blog continues to develop. Perhaps that explain why I’m stuck with this game through thick and thin. Anyone familiar with the title will no doubt be aware of it’s tumultuous history. Upon release, the game was a total flop. It was rushed to market, plagued with UI and server problems, and little to no in-game content.  Not long after it’s release, the development team was sacked and replaced. The new executive producer conducted a massive evaluation and deemed the current game largely un-fixable. The solution, rebuild the game from scratch.

It has been almost two years since the title’s release, and the long awaited version 2.0 is just around the corner. I must admit, even my faith in the title was shaken in the early days. But many fixes and refinements have been put in place and today the game has made a complete 180. I’m excited to see what the future holds with the 2.0 release.

On a side note, I’ve kept and “in-character” blog since the games release which can be found here:

http://ffxivkijimuna.blogspot.com

In closing, as this blog continues to develop it will be host to both nostalgic memories of my retro gaming years, as well my experiences with the latest and greatest titles. As my sons get older and begin diving into gaming, it is my intention to use that interest as a way to bond and spend time with them. That is truly the main purpose of this blog.