Happy Halloween!

Ok, so Halloween is likely over by the time you read this but I hope everyone had a blast and that many of you are continuing the fun with fright filled events this weekend.

Xander was a Ghostbuster for Halloween this year and the store-bought costume was of surprisingly good quality that came with an inflatable proton pack. We had a cold and rainy time trick-or-treating and now it has started to snow here for the first time this fall. I better get the snowblower gassed up and the snow tires on, if last year was any indication, it might never stop snowing for a while now.

I had a good week of gaming last week as I was down with a cold and had little energy for anything but gaming.

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I finally was able to get back in the saddle with Grand Theft Auto IV.

GTA IV is slowly starting to grow on me. I still don't know that it is really a whole lot of fun to play, but the writing and the characters have a certain crazy charm that keeps me wanting more. I enjoy going from skit to skit and watching the madness unfold. Niko Bellic is also a great character to play as and it doesn't hurt that he's been given particularly good dialogue coupled with the amazing voice work of Michael Hollick.

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The driving is also growing on me somewhat. It still isn't great, but you can start to see the type of simulation they were trying to achieve. There is something fun about how they handle momentum and it definitely feels more realistic than other GTA-style games I've played. This coupled with some satisfying collisions and crash modelling almost makes the driving fun...almost. The cars are too bouncy and the controls are too squishy to make for a really satisfying drive. I'm all for a more realistic simulation with driving, but there has to be some compromises that can be made to make it a little more fun and exciting.

I think that the inclusion of police AI similar to the police in the first Mafia game would have been a great addition to GTA IV. Having police that chase me when they observe me speeding or blowing through red lights was such great, nerve-wracking fun in Mafia. I'm really surprised that more games don't have more traffic rule penalties as game elements. Was I the only one that enjoyed that aspect of the original Mafia game?

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I also had a couple sessions of The Elder Scrolls Online last week. We are continuing to explore our newest location of Greenshade and my friend and I just hit veteran Level 4. With the upcoming 1.5 patch and the new content that is included in that patch, I think we are still in for a long commitment to the game. I'm also interested in seeing how the new facial animation system turns out in the new update, it sounds like it is fairly sophisticated.

So, hopefully some more GTA IV and The Elder Scrolls Online this weekend for me. Xander and I finished BattleBlock Theater last weekend (which is a FANTASTIC game) and we've moved on to Trine which we are both enjoying, so if I can drag him away from Mario Kart 8 with his mom, maybe I'll play some of that this weekend as well.

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What are you playing this weekend?