Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Return of the Oakstout

Well, my trip to Arizona is finally over....and I'm soo sad. The high every day was in the 70's, the freakin 70's, it was just a little slice of heaven for sure. I'm back in North Carolina this morning and it's in the mid 30's, but with any luck I can survive the next few days in this bitter cold weather till I leave for L.A next wednesday.

Well, lets get back to what I've been playing, shall we.

Normally, when I'm out of town, I'll take my nintendo DS, but I never seem to have time to turn it on. Well, this time, my participation was limited to only a few video rolls and running a speaker timer, so I managed to get about 6 hours of play in. So, what was the one game that I brought that kept me busy for that many hours and didn't bore me? Why, Final Fantasy III.

It plays like every other FF game. You start off as a kid, who is chosen to save the world. Along the way, you pick up companions till you form a party of 4 characters. I did not realize how huge the game was till I had completed a major story quest and the game started playing the intro credits after 2 hours of game play. Then the game really started to open up. I could then select Jobs, or classes for my characters, which can be changed on the fly, except during combat, to assist you with any challenges that you might face.

The game is challenging and fustrating at times, but I stuck with it. Most of the fustration came from the fact I hadn't played a FF game in forever and I didn't bring the instruction manual, which made figuring out how to save my progress difficult, but after repeating the same section over 6 times, I realized that you can save the game anywhere but in dungeons or towns, which helped tons, after the fact.

It has me wanting to pick up a PSP so I can play Final Fantasy 1 & 2, but for now, I'll just get Final Fantasy 4 for the DS, which will be cheaper for sure. I might even give Chronos Trigger a try, which I hear is a pretty awesome RPG. I had forgotten all the fun I had with Final Fantasy II back in the day, and this DS game just renewed my love for the genre.

As far as other gaming news, I do plan to pick up Rock Band 2 in the next month or so, if I can manage to hold on to a little bit of per diem from my Arizona trip and the next two trips I have coming up. My only problem is, I hear Los Angeles is expensive and I do love the New York night life a bit too much, so I might just come back broke. I just have to learn not to spend too much money Shoe Shopping. (Sorry, Inside joke there!)

Also, because Bildo insisted on getting the PC version of L4D, instead of the Xbox 360 version, what a loser, I'll probably end up putting the PC version on my short list of games to aquire. I can't help myself, that game is just so much freaking Zombie-lishus not to play with all my buds.

Speaking of buds, I'll have to also find time for a wee bit of WoW this weekend. I've got a standing invite with a bunch of friend's from my college days, problem is, the invite is for a Wednesday get together every week. Problem is, this wednesday I'll be out of town again as I have been for the last 2 weeks, so I'll have to make some time for them this weekend to level my Paladin up, before they get too far ahead of me. The good news, they've promised to give me a hand catching up, which is a good thing.

One last note. Scottsdale, Arizona is a fantastic place to visit. Everyone I met was extremely friendly, no one copped a "tude" of any kind. The area is simply beautiful and as mentioned above the average Jan. temperature is around 70. Also, did I forget to say the humidity was zero. I'm hoping to get some pictures to post soon. I have to beg co workers to send me theirs since my camera decided to crap out on me right before my trip. The good news is I went with the wife today and bought a brand new point and shot camera, so I'll have plenty of pictures when I get back from California and New York. Course, I'll have to remember my flicker password. lol

Ok, thats about it. Don't want to bore people too much with my adventures.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The First Leg of the Journey.

Well, here is a quick update.

I'm back from Charlotte, NC, which for me is just a quick t. The event, which we have provide equipment for 5 or more years now, went extremely well, or at least it did on our part. If I haven't mentioned it before I work for an Audio Visual rental and staging company. The rental half, a part of the company I spent around 12 years of my life in, does the simple things like provide flip charts, small screens with video projectors and 100 to 200 person sound reinforcement for use in small venues like corporate boardrooms or the local Holiday Inn. The staging part, which I've been a part of for 4, almost 5 years, is much bigger in scope and size. We provide corporate rock and roll shows without the band, as a co worker once explained.

We do all the high end video projections, usually 20,000 lumen projectors, with rock concert sound, lights that could, at times, but a Trans Siberian show to shame for much larger corporate crowds. When someone wants to let the entire company know when the next big product is going to get released or if they plan to lay off tons of people, then regretfully on that last part, they call us to help them tell everyone. These shows can take 3 days to set up and only hours to do, like the one we just finished in Charlotte, NC or they can take only a day to set up, but last an entire week, which the one in Arizona I'm about to head out to do.

The bummer of it all, besides not being a huge fan of planes, I've recently discovered, is the fact that I found out this afternoon I have the dreaded Pink Eye, which I absolutely hate. Lucky for me, I know when I have it and got some eye drops, but still it will take a few days for the crap in my eyes disappear.

I'll be in the land of the Cardinals, the team that beat my beloved Panthers thanks to our "need to be traded" quarterback, Jake Delhomme, for about a week, so don't expect any posts again unless I can get some free Internet at the hotel, which considering the hotel, I doubt it. lol Anyway, happy gaming, I'll post if I can, if not, expect something next weekend if I'm not still jet lagged. After Arizona, I'll be back for 4 days then I'm off to Los Angles, which will be my first trip to the west coast. The boss man has added a few extra days on to the trip so we can hang out at Disney Land for a day, which should be nice.

Crazy thing is, the economy has been in the crapper for about a year, but in the last year, we have been doing more shows out of town and away from the south east than in the history of my stay with the company, which, happy to say, has been 17 strange and wonderful years. Until last February, I'd not been on a plane since I was 12 lol, now I've been on a plane twice and tomorrow will be the start of a month full of plane trips. lol

Anyway, see you loyal readers in a week.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Nose and the Grind Stone

Well, this posting is to inform everyone that I won't be posting for about 2 weeks. I'll be in Charlotte, NC this week , then I fly out to Scottsdale Arizona next Saturday at 5am to spend my second week of grueling work. Because I'm not sure about the hotel's internet or how much free time I'll have to actually post, I just wanted to forewarn my plethora of readers. Ok, maybe the three or four that read my blog. lol

I will try to blog on the road if possible, but no guarantees since I won't be playing anything while I'm gone. I do have a few ideas for blogs that don't involve me actually having to play anything and if I get a chance, I'll try to put those up.

I will still be lurking on other blogs and forums, so beware. lol

I'll see all of you, hopefully, in two weeks.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Dead Rock!

I only have only have time for one quick post, since its late and my brain is fried from the last one I worked on.

LEFT 4 DEAD rocks, nuff said.

I'm not a fan of first person shooters on consoles, but this game just keeps me coming back for shear zombie killing madness. Co-op is by far the best I have seen in any game, console or otherwise. Not much to the game in general, you play as one of four survivors that have to make their way through zombie infested areas, killing and sneaking by both normal and specialty zombies. Doing everything they can to block your path on the way to rescue.

Most maps or scenarios are sectioned off, so you only have to make short runs to safe rooms where health, ammo and gun upgrades can be found. There are several different ways to protect your comrades as you make your way along the route, but beware that some specialty zombies will call upon the masses to try and rout you, forcing everyone to fight off hordes of zombies. At times you can't even move due to the shear volume of undead trying to eat their way through you and your fellow survivors.

The game has several different difficulty settings, that restrict the number of healing packs, pills and ammo sites along the way, making each shot count and making the survivors do everything in their power to see everyone out safely.

So, please purchase this game. Why? Because if you want to even have a taste of the game you'll have to because Valve decided to remove all the demos from both their Steam service and console downloads.

But seriously, the game is freaking great. It will scare the crap out of you. Sure, its a FPS and there is a lot of senseless blood, gore, and violence. But the game also offers a strategy element as well because every game is different due to the awesome new innovative director A.I. The Director places enemies and items in varying positions and quantities based upon each player's current situation, status, skill and location, creating a new experience for each play through.

I can't recommend this game enough...and I hate FPS, especially now that they make me motion sick. But with Left 4 Dead, I'm so caught up in the action that I don't even thing about getting dizzy. lol

So, if your looking for some zombie killing fun and want to hook up, look for me on Xbox live at gamertag, OAKSTOUT.

Oh as a side note to MMO players out there looking to get into a guild, I have some advise.

If the guild you want to join has a website, and on that website, the leadership lists what the objectives, goals and guild mission statements are, then please read them thoroughly, understand them, ask questions about their ideas and concepts. If you don't understand or they seem confusing then talk to people, find out what the guild is really like. And whatever you do, don't sign up if those ideas don't coincide with your philosophy of play. It hurts guilds when people join without fully understand what they are signing up for, especially if they leave later saying that the guild isn't going in a direction they feel works with their style of play. This is all great, you don't have to stay if your not happy, but sometimes when this unfortunate event happens, disillusioned players exiting the guild will decide they need to poach other members on their way out and that's just not cool.

Sure, you can't expect the guild to stay honest to their mission statement or objectives, because they will change as the guild grows, meets and exceeds their expectations of goals, but don't expect that to happen only after a few months Honestly, it might take years before a guild changes how it does things.

So my advise, read, believe and comprehend before you sign up. And if you aren't happy, go, but don't feel you have to gut the guild for your own personal vendetta. That sends everyone a bad message.

These are just some helpful tips from your local Angry Dwarf. Now get out there and kill some zombies.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Prime Directive

Every geek or nerd on the planet understands what the term "The Prime Directive" means, but for those just learning the true zen of geek-dom, here are a few quotes from Wikipedia...

In the fictional universe of Star Trek, the Prime Directive, Starfeet's General Order #1, is the most prominent guiding principle of the United Federation of Planets. The Prime Directive dictates that there can be no interference with the internal affairs of other civilizations, consistent with the historical real world concept of Westphalian Sovereignty.

it had been indicated to include purposeful efforts to improve or change in any way the natural course of such a society, even if that change is well-intentioned and kept completely secret.
Granted, if your a honest to goodness, no holds bar geek or nerd, you understand exactly that this means not to interfere with the normal progression of a society. Societies that are slow to develop, should be able to grow, advance and prosper in their own natural manner without interference from technological advanced societies. Even if, the lesser society, already has figured out what the advanced society has to offer in the form of superior technology and proposes an exchange of goods and/or services for such items, the Prime Directive is very clear, "NO!, means, NO! and your not getting your grubby hands on our cool, awesome crap no matter how many dilithium crystals, fruit baskets or virgins you promise us. We don't want another "Return of the Archons" or another society full of Nazis on our hands, do we?"

Enter the age of RMT (real Money Transaction) also referred to at times as Micro Transactions. (You honestly didn't know where I was going with this did you? lol)

Basically, you exchange real moolah , greenbacks, dead presidents, legal tender or cold hard cash for virtual items inside your favorite MMORPG. Previously, this action had been discourage by game companies and players a like. A basic example of RMT is Gold farming. Farmers give the player an in-game virtual item such as gold, and in exchange the player gives the farmer $20.00 of their hard earned dinero, which was earned outside the game. Players have railed against this particular action for years. Why? Because as stated above, it does interference with the internal affairs of a virtual world. It purposefully causes improvements or changes things in a way that alters the natural course the game society.

Bob, the night elf rogue, who spent months gathering up items and materials to be sold at the local virtual auction house, who worked hard to make the 5,000 gold necessary to purchase the ever exclusive elite riding skil inorder to progress forward on his quest to getting an awesome dragon mount, is going to be pissed when he discovers that some bored rich kid decided to purchase the gold in 5 minutes for a few hundred dollars. I mean, maybe Bob the night elf rogue won't be pissed, but Oakstout the prot warrior will be.

Here is the real, deal rub, game companies already understand how RMT or in this specific case, gold farming, causes a sever imbalance in the game as a whole. How do they know this? Because they spend real money to craft software and services to help stop gold farming and ban people who do it for life. They do this because they don't like gold farming, ergo, they don't like RMT. Now I am generalizing, but still, to op out of one aspect of RMT and yet approve another is not right.

All MMO's have a End-User License Agreement or EULA expressly stating what all players or End users are and are not allowed to do inside the game's virtual world. Breaking a EULA in most all circumstances will get you banned from every playing the game. Here is a section of the World of Warcraft EULA...
exploit the Game or any of its parts, including without limitation the Game Client, for any commercial purpose, including without limitation (a) use at a cyber cafe, computer gaming center or any other location-based site without the express written consent of Blizzard; (b) for gathering in-game currency, items or resources for sale outside the Game; or (c) performing in-game services in exchange for payment outside the Game, e.g., power-leveling;
Clearly, Blizzard does not approve of RMT or the exchange of in-game items for sale outside the game. Who knows how long this will last, but for now, Blizzard is not planning on breaking "The Prime Directive" at least in my eyes.

So, my question is how can a company like SoE, who does their part to ban gold farmers, can do a 180 and decide to integrate RMT into EQ2? Granted they are only offering potions to increase XP, some house items. and few cosmetic only armor. True they aren't letting you buy phasers, photon torpedos or tricorders, but how does letting someone purchase the ability to double their XP fair to people who don't have oodles of disposable cash? If the argument is, that people who have cash, but don't have the time to level up a character normally, then, why not just let them buy a level 80 character? Why go through the hassle to earn things naturally as you play the game? Why not just whipping out a credit card? If you can't put in the necessary time to reap the rewards in an MMO fairly, like everyone else, then you should be playing solitaire or mine sweeper instead and stop causing game lag by logging in.

SoE went so far as to specifically alter their EULA, when they added the Station Cash and purchases, to reflect an entirely new policy. Previously, SoE had a a EULA, similar to the one posted above, that restricted players from actually OWNING anything inside their virtual world. Seems a lot like SoE took a page from Kirk's Kobiashi Maru manual.

MMO's by nature are time consuming. You don't jump in for 5 minutes and level up to 30. You have to spend the necessary time playing the game inorder to learn your character properly. It's true, that MMO companies don't want players floundering in the lower levels, especially when all the older players have moved on to end game.

So, to remedy this dilemma, some well established MMO's, specifically WoW and EQ2, have altered the way XP in certain areas is handled, by doubling the amount of XP for completed quests and monster kills, so you don't have to spend as much time down below, especially when another expansion is being released.

However, this adjustment benefits all players, not just those with disposable income. The concept of SoE being able to offer XP bonus potions for cash is just pure greed and since it changes the natural course of a player's leveling, it violates the Prime Directive, plain and simple. Even if they don't offer skill enhanced weapons, armor, trinkets or communicators, well not yet anyway, this little ripple in the fabric of game play will most certainly cause an inbalance to the natural play of others, who can't afford to purchase such items.

I enjoy playing MMORPG's. They are challenging and fun, but all that would change if RMT got added to the game I was playing, especially after I had spent many months working my character to the pinnacle of his or her potential only to lose out on great gear because my credit card was over the limit.

Live long and Prosper, unless it ends up costing you cash.

Editors note: I have added and changed a few things, therefore this is officially my second draft. Sorry to all!

Friday, January 2, 2009

The life support

Well, it's been a fact for some time that PC gaming is slowing getting the shaft. If you don't believe me, take a trip to your local electronics store and see how much shelf space there is for PC games compared to the vast areas assigned to console games and systems. Gamestop, the Mecca for PC games when I was growing up, now has maybe one display shelf set aside for computer games in a corner, under a flickering halogen bulb. It depresses me to be honest.

So, who will save computer gaming as an industry? As a gamer, I know it won't be me. I find myself spending more time playing console games, another thing that depresses me. I'm sure that over half of the gamers who started out playing on a PC, now have a console system of some sort that they spend hours playing.

I truly believe that I can put my finger on the solution. I have identified the team of doctors that, if all goes right, could possibly revive this semi terminal patient.

This healing team, has the world's number one MMO, boasting over 11 million subscribers, which currently is only available for the computer. They also announced last year, the revival of two of their top selling computer game franchises, Diablo and StarCraft. These titles alone should be enough to breath some much needed life back into an already suffering industry. They have already started with their latest expansion, which topped the sales charts back in November when it was released.

Yes, that's right, the company gamers love to hate, Blizzard, is going to be the computer gaming industries Savior, at least for the next 2 years. But Oakstout, what about Valve and their Steam service, won't that help? Not really, especially since they release just about all their computer games on to console systems as do many other computer software companies. They have no loyalty to the computer gamer. They want to make money, and right now, console gaming is a huge industry. Blizzard isn't porting any of their games to consoles, yet. To my knowledge they are dedicated to games for computers. They want to supply addictive software to the computer bound individual, their loyal consumer. lol

People want less hassle in their life, especially when it comes to their relaxation and entertainment vices. Why would people want to upgrade a computer, spending possibly a few thousand dollars, just to play a new game, when they can just as easily purchase a console system for a few hundred dollars and never need to upgrade.

Let's face facts, computer gaming is dying. It's been on life support for some time because people are moving away from computers as their main source of gaming. Consoles, with their intergrated hard drives, voice and text chat ability and graphical processing power, have become the new thing in video gaming. Before, a console couldn't touch what a computer could do with pixels, now, you can't even tell the difference. The whole family can now be involved in gaming, not just the teenage son or daughter sitting behind a keyboard. Consoles are bringing familes together, which isn't something you would see in an ad for a computer.

Computer games will be our decades 8 track tape or beta max, when it's all said and done. In the mean time, Blizzard might be able to keep computer gaming on life support the question is, for how long?


Richard Garriott, the creator of Tabula Rasa, who's name appears in the title of the game, who recently departed from NCSoft a very short time before they announced the cancellation of the online sci fi game, therefore signaling the failure of yet another MMO game, recently revealed in a BBC interview that he wants back in the MMO business.

This time, he wants to try his hand at creating an online fantasy world.

I want to know...why do the MMO God's hate us soo?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Old Year

Well, 2008 had its ups and downs. I started off the year jonezing to try Tabula Rasa, but as luck would have it, I missed the sale at by a week. At least the year started off on a good note.


I purchased my first next gen console with some left over xmas money. The Xbox 360 has been tons of fun this year. System worked like a champ for a couple of months, then I started having problems with the disc player. Course, I only had the problem with DvD movies, not games, so it must be a flaw in the laser, but I over came that obstacle in December, but I'm getting ahead of myself.


Took my first plane flight in over 30 yrs. Definitely not one of my favorite things to do, but I over came my fear so I could visit the Big Apple. It also wasn't the last time I would be on a plane in 2008. Let me say, if you ever get to see New York city, go, don't wait to be asked again. Sure, Times Square is a bit scary if your not use to crowds, but man, it's still very exciting. I get to go again in Feb of 2009, so I'll take more pictures.

World of Warcraft still was my MMO of choice. I managed to level up my mage to 70 and started working on getting my epic flyer and into a decent, end game progressing guild, which apparently was an issue that lasted for several months.

March, April, May

I started to get the itch to try something else. With the persuasion of my friend Scott, over at Pumping Irony, I decided to give LOTRO another shot, but in the three months I played, I never really got as much enjoyment out of it as I did with WoW. I'm not a social butterfly when it comes to joining a new MMO, which meant I ended up soloing a good bit in LOTRO, which wasn't as easy or as much fun as in WoW. LOTRO also had some graphical glitches in its texture rendering that just drove me completely nuts. Not to mention it would crash every now and then for some unknown reason.

April would be a very bad month for me. I lost a wonderful friend and colleague, Larry Payne. I've not mentioned it on my blog, because I hate thinking and talking about sad things and this is a gaming blog, which is no place for it.

Larry, a person I am proud to name as a great friend and a soul that made the earth a better place to live in, was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in January of 2008. At first he didn't tell anyone about it, hiding the pain and holding out hope that it wasn't anything serious. Eventually, he revealed the truth with the hope that treatment would be able to stave off the disease a bit longer, but by then, the diagnosis wasn't good. He had already reached stage 3 of the disease by the time the doctors had figured out what it really was, and as his body had already started to deteriorated the ability to treat him for the disease started to fade. He lost his fight in April. He will be missed by many.

Also in April, I apparently f#cked up my shoulder. I didn't figure out the seriousness of it till my arm just stopped working one day while I was reach for something up on a high shelf. I saw a quack, sorry, Heath Professional, who suggested physical therapy, which I did for 3 months, only to find out the pain wasn't going away. Eventually, I would get an MRI, be told that surgery was next on the list. By then, I'd lost my faith in my current quack, I mean doctor, and decided to seek out another healer, who, worked with the training team for the Atlanta Olympics. I'm happy to say, he did a fantastic job and I'm recovering well.

The month of May saw the release of a much awaited Indiana Jones installment that resulted in the raping of a good character and franchise. I'm just glad I didn't have to pay to see it otherwise I would have had to kill someone. Sometimes, its good that movie characters don't get a revival treatment. Let dead dogs lie. lol

May also so the release of a much hyped game, Age of Conan. I was once again, seduced into playing it by a friend, who, forgot to mention he was only planning try it for the first 30 days then disappear, sorry DS, I had to call you out on that my friend. lol That little bit of info might have prevented me from getting the game and a new game controller so I could combo like a pro, but alas, I can only blame myself for anything I get myself into. Besides, I also sucked a few friends into getting the game, sorry Steelrat, so I'm just as guilty, since I also left after 3o days. The game was fun, but plagued with bugs to the point that I would have enjoyed a root canal more. Being able to run around naked does not make a great MMO, nor does creating over hyped and yet difficult to accomplish attack combos. The game had no depth to it, and so I retreated back to my stand by, WoW.

June, July, August

Due to my problems with Wordpress, I moved my sight over to blogspot. Not my first choice, but I didnt' want to pay for my own address and I'm not a web designer or programmer so it's easier for me to find a sight that has all the tools in place for me to post my badly grammered blog. lol

In June, I purchased a Wacom drawing tablet, with the intention of doing my own web comic. If I ever did, I'd have call it procrastination master, because I get involved in things like that, but quickly let it fall to the way side. I also gave Spore's creature creator demo a test drive. Lots of potential, but when the game finally got released, it wasn't as fulfilling as the creature creator, sad to say. Blizzard also announced Diablo 3 to the public, finally. No release date was announced, just sometime in the future. The publicly released game play looked fantastic, so I'm hoping to get a crack at it in 2009.

July is the month where I extended my next gen console acquisitions and captured the much evasive Wii. Picked up a few games for the wife and myself, like Super Mario Galaxy and Dr Mario. That kept us entertained for a while, but eventually, like all things, it just started to collect dust. I also expanded my gaming by purchasing a Nintendo DS lite. Something for those out of town jobs. Course, I don't play it as much as I should, but I do tend to give it a work out from time to time.

July and August brought with it the WAR and all it's hype. I would spend several blogs railing against the hype only to be seduced by it. Sadly, due to it's lack of PvE I saw myself logging in less and less. But on the good side, it helped me discover a great bunch of people and bloggers. Because of WAR, Casualties of WAR or CoW was formed. This worked great and even migrated over to WoW, when WAR started to lose its luster with some and WoW started to force its dominance back onto the MMO world with the release of Wrath of the Lich king.

The old 26" monitor in my man cave finally died, or at least appeared to die. I was able to talk my lovely wife into letting me purchase a 32" Samsung HD LCD monitor. I don't have HD programming yet, other than thru the Radio Shack antenni I have hooked up to it. I just had to watch the Panther's play in HD and it looks awesome.

The Rest of the Year

I ended up working a lot and prepared a bit for my December surgery. Picked up a few Xbox games, Fable 2, Gears of War and Fallout 3, which are fantastic and tended to take me away from the burn out of MMO's. All three are excellent games that I would recommend to anyone. Fable 2 does have some control issues, but nothing that should prevent anyone from having tons of fun.

November saw me returning to WoW with the creation of the CoW guild on Rexxar. I turned my back on my two level 70's on Darkspear due to my lack of interest in End game, and started over with a dwarf warrior. So far, it's been a blast.

The guild is very social and is interested in helping others rather than advancing to end game, which is a change. Everyone in my old guild on Darkspear was leveling like mad and I just couldn't get into that frame of mind anymore. The chase for the purple wasn't my end all goal anymore, I wanted a slower approach to WoW. I needed to experience the game in a different light so I could regain my interest in it again. My little dwarven warrior is 33 and I'm almost to exalted with Darnassus, which will net me the ability to purchase a cat mount. I can't wait for my dwarf to be riding around on a night elf mount. I think next I will tackle getting a elephant mount or a mechanical chicken like the gnomes ride around on.

I've also decided to give EQ2 another try. Picked up the new expansion, but have yet to give the game any of my holiday time, but I hope to remedy that once the year gets going.e

My last big purchase of the year was a PS3. Having gotten the chance to play Little Big Planet over at a friend's house, I just had to have it. Besides, it doesn't hurt to have a blu ray player for that nice 32" monitor. lol I managed to also pick up Assassin's Creed and Hot Shots: Out of Bounds for the PS3. So far, Hot Shot's is a very fun game, except that you'll spend 2 hours down loading all the online updates.

Also managed to get Gears of War 2 and Left 4 Dead for the Xbox 360. Have yet to try either, but they got high marks from other bloggers and online mag reviews.

That's about it for a year in review.

I hope to continue my fun in WoW till the next WoW killer comes along. If it doesn't, I've still got three next gen consoles to keep me busy. lol