Earth Will Never Be The Same (Especially When It Is Remastered)

Happy Weekend TAY!

I hope everyone who had tons of snow this week have dug themselves out and are ready for a nice relaxing weekend of gaming.

I had a terrible week of migraines last week, which seem to be more and more weather related as the years go by. The resultant insomnia that comes with my migraines made for a hazy week of consciousness.

I did manage a little gaming last week though. The highlight being that I started Halo 2 Anniversary with my son.

For me, Halo 2 was the most memorable and influential of the Halo games (bearing in mind I have yet to actually play Halo 4). It was an amazing mix of bringing what was fun about the original Halo and actually delivering on the desired interaction with the world you yearned for in Halo CE. It is so much fun to watch Xander's amazement at being able to pick up the Covanant energy swords, his shock when we actually were able to play as the Covanant, and his kid-in-the-candy-store descisions with all the new weaponry and the ability to dual wield many of them. He's absolutely loving the game, as am I.

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**sample of the beautiful pre-rendered cutscenes for the Halo 2 Anniversary, spoiler warning applies**

The high performance splitscreen play is surprising considering how amazing the visuals are with the Xbox One remastering. It isn't quite as silky smooth as the Halo CE Anniversary splitscreen, but I find there is hardly anything to complain about unlike the mixed reviews of the splitscreen performance would have you believe. Being a bit of a framerate snob I find the complaints about the splitscreen performance completely unwarranted, though possibly it has been patched since the critic's reviews. Also, I am not finished the game, so maybe there are bad performance issues to come later in the game.

I also managed to get in another session of The Elder Scrolls Online last week as we continue our march through the murky swamps of Shadowfen. The mood online is mixed with the re-release and the loss of the subscription entry barrier looming. Some of course are just bitter as their private pay-walled community is going to be soon invaded by the dirty free-players. I think the more the merrier, I am extremely happy to be able to ditch the monthly fee. The bigger problem for many is the amount of changes coming over the next couple of months that will radically change some aspects of the game and the in-game economy. Ingredients for provisioning are being condensed and while I think this will make for a smoother system, it certainly makes some provisioners a little angry. Many of players have spent a lot of time collecting or buying high priced ingredients only to now have those ingredients useless and worthless. I'd don't dabble in provisioning, so I can't really complain but I can sympathise with the anger at the changes if you've spent the better part of a year collecting and buying a horde of these ingredients.

I snuck in a small bit of Grand Theft Auto IV at the beginning of last week before the migraines descended. Even with a break and some distance from the game, I come back with the same feelings as when I left the game; it is fun in the missions but the travel to the missions is a terrible bore. Since you spend a substantial amount of time travelling to and from missions, this really wears on me. I have invested so much time with the game now that I feel compelled to finish it and I really want to know what happens to Niko in the end, but I come away with yet again not fully understanding the appeal of the GTA series.

We also bought an Asus VivoTab 8 last week. It is a sub-$200 Windows 8.1 tablet that we bought for Xander to become familiar with something other than iOS and perhaps something to take to school with minimal collateral damage if it doesn't survive the experiment. I've been fairly impressed with it so far, though I need to wear my reading glasses when using it. I of course tried to install Civ V on it, which supports touch interface. Note to world: Civ V doesn't run on an Asus VivoTab 8. T_T

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Anybody have a cheaper Windows tablet and know of any games that run well on them? (yeah, Little Inferno sort of works) I don't imagine I have much horsepower for gaming, so I'll likely have to delve in to the cesspool that Microsoft passes off as an app store.

I've got a pile of work to do before Monday, so I doubt I'll have any time for gaming this weekend, but hopefully I can get a hour or two with GTA IV.

So, what are you playing this weekend?