Holiday Crunch-Time!

Happy Weekend TAY! I presume the majority of you are off from school now for a break and I hope many of you have some holidays from work. This of course doesn't mean that the next couple of weeks aren't busy for many, but it is definitely a more festive craziness than the usual work/school grind.

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I was busy this past week trying to get last minute things together for Xander's 8th birthday. Secured the Halo: Master Chief Collection at Costco for $15 less than everywhere else and that was the last of the shopping. I'm so glad to be done buying stuff as I imagine this weekend is going to be crazy at the stores. I actually did most of my shopping online this year, how about the rest of you?

I didn't have a chance to play a whole lot last week, but I was happy to have my gaming rig back in action and I had my weekly session of The Elder Scrolls Online.

We finally finished up with the Aldmeri Domain and have started with the Ebonheart Pack's area. This means we have finished two of the three faction areas. Seven months to complete two faction areas likely means I am in for at least another 4 months if I consider Craiglorn after that. Definitely the longest span I've spent with a game outside of my Civilization daily email turns (oh, and I guess Dance Central as well if I totaled up the hours danced.)

We've hit veteran level seven and I'm gearing up for some new weapons and armor after a respec. It will be nice to finally be able to make the character I really want to play, as I've now pretty much finished leveling all the skills in the game.

I also had a chance last week for a small amount of ZombiU. I was all fired up to go back and play and of course the game didn't disappoint. I went back in fairly cocky since my character had survived for a long time and I felt I had a good handle on the game. My next mission sent me to an apartment building and right off the bat I was swarmed and killed by a horde of zombies near some elevators. I lost all my high powered weaponry and now have to try to seek out my zombified character to get my stuff back or look for other weapons elsewhere. I started with the next character, returned to the apartment buildings with a new sense of fragility and caution...and promptly died at the same elevators. My third character had a good throw with a molotov cocktail in a doorway and took down several of the horde but it was a messy and frantic victory. How I love this game.

Xander and I had a great time with ToeJam and Earl 3 on the Xbox last week. He is really loving the game and I had forgotten just how much fun the third installation of the series turned out to be. I'm so happy it has true widescreen support as this makes the split-screen action look like a modern day entry. HumaNature Studios really need to revive the series and make another entry. I think this could be retooled to become a diablo-style hit that would appeal to the whole family and the online crowds. At the very least, they should have ported the third game elsewhere. The lack of backwards compatibility with the 360 makes ToeJam and Earl 3 locked to a machine that most gamers nowadays don't own. The Dreamcast prototype (not quite the same game as the Xbox version) was released on the internet, so that's available for the curious with a Dreamcast, but I think the X-Box game holds up extremely well and could easily be at home on a modern console.

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Toe Jam and Earl 3 (and to a lesser extent ZombiU) has made me acutely aware that I should probably invest in some video capture device. I'm so accustomed to having videos and pictures available all over the internet for newer console games and of course my PC games can be easily captured on the same machine. However, games such as ToeJam and Earl 3 don't seem to have many good videos available online and there is a distinct lack of images available for both ZombiU and ToeJam and Earl 3.

I'm heading away this weekend, so my gaming will be whatever my iPhone or Xander's Vita provide. I'll likely install The Binding Of Isaac: Rebirth on the Vita before we go. Don't think I'm ignoring your replies, I'll get to them when I am back home.

Have a great holiday time for those that participate and I hope everyone has a chance to get in some gaming this weekend amongst the last minute shopping and preparations to either be going away or to be receiving guests.

So, what are you playing this weekend?