Tag Archives: Wordpress

The Top 10 Videogames I Didn’t Get to Play in 2011

I did this type of list last year–and by last year, I mean 2010–and to say that it was well received is me being honestly humble; The Top 10 Games I Didn’t Get to Play in 2010 ended up gracing the home page of WordPress.com for a week and change, meaning that anyone and everyone visiting the site saw an adorable puppy with sad eyes drawing them into a post about missing out on a bunch of popular videogames. And it got looked at. A lot. Around 15,200 views and over 140 comments in just a few days, a high majority of them from really nice commenters, too. Thanks, WordPress people! We’ll see if I can bottle magic for a second time.

10. Batman: Arkham City

He may be the hope that flies through the night sky in black, but he’s also unplayed. Same with the previous game Batman: Arkham Asylum. The game(s) seem really cool, with a mix of action, stealth, and as many cameos the devs can squeeze in, but I’ve somehow managed to avoid all things batty. Not on purpose. I like Batman much more than Superman (but less than Spider-Man). Maybe I’ll grab one of these in 2012 to help get in the mood for The Dark Knight Rises.



I like weird games, mostly because weird games take chances, thus earning the adjective of being weird. Stacking seems like a weird game, which is why it is intriguing to me. Plus, the way the characters hop around the world reminds me a little of how I design my Supertown and All of Westeros characters, even though those in Stacking do have arms, legs, noses, and ears. Good for them. The price tag (1200 MS Points) for this downloadable has always kept me at bay so I’m hoping for a sale sometime soon.

8. Aliens: Infestation

Here’s probably the first (and last) Aliens game I’m interested in. The goal is shooting alien creatures without remorse, and this objective plays out in a Metroidvania way, with a unique hook of main characters being totally and completely killable. You literally have X number of lives to beat the game, I guess. There’s some gorgeous spritework here, and the level design is ripe for exploration. Alas, I don’t know much about the source material, as I’ve only ever seen one film from the franchise, and I couldn’t tell you if it was Alien or Aliens, but it did have a robot at the end bleeding milk all over the place, but I’m a sucker for anything that shows its love for side-scrolling pilgrimages and does it well.

7. Alice: Madness Returns

I have a strange relationship with American McGee’s Alice; that’s a game that I actually played co-op with a girlfriend even though it was not a co-op game. She controlled the moving of Alice, and I used items and weapons from the other side of the keyboard. It was a disastrous time, and we rarely worked well together, but it was one of the few games she ever became interested in, and was adamant about us playing it together. Ah, young love affection. What a farce.

And so that game has been stuck in my being ever since, evoking a time I’d like to not go back to. However, Alice’s next journey in Alice: Madness Returns looks like fun, maybe even darker than before if that’s possible. The game got mediocre reviews, but I’m more interested in just going at it all by my lonesome.

6. Red Dead Redemption

Here’s a game that was also on my 2010 list, meaning a whole year went by and I’ve still not been able to ride a horse, skin a bear, and shoot a unruly vagrant. I want to, I really do, and I was close to purchasing the Game of the Year edition, which nicely collects all the many DLC packs into one package, but instead went with Mass Effect 2. I still don’t love Grand Theft Auto IV, but I named L.A. Noire as my game of the year, and have hopes that Red Dead Redemption is more like the latter and less like the former. Yeah, yeah, I know people refer to it as Grand Theft Horse, but maybe there’s more to it than that. Or maybe you’ll see this title on yet another edition of this list come the end of 2012.

5. Terraria

This year, I was able to give Minecraft a spin thanks to a free, limited-time copy with the purchase of one of the Humble Indie Bundles. I struggled at first, both with what the point of the game was and then also surviving the darkness, but that was enough for me until it comes out on the Xbox 360. Terraria is seemingly Minecraft’s cousin, but it only works on a PC, and since I use a Mac…well, you do the math. The graphics and slower gameplay seem more appealing to me than that in Minecraft, but it’ll have to wait until I can get a new pooter.

4. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

True fact: I totally skipped Assassin’s Creed II and went straight to Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, and I’m totally at peace with that. Why? Well, AC:B turned out to be simply fantastic. A strong story, lots to do in a well-designed setting, and a unique take on online multiplayer stabbing. Though Ubisoft might be spitting out these games a little too fast, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations seems to be more of AC:B, and I’ve heard that the changes to online multiplayer are significant. I’ve held back because I’ve heard that for a game with revelations in its title, there is actually little to that point. Going to wait until the price drops down to $30 or so, me thinks.

3. Portal 2

So, 2011 was the year that I caught up with the world and played–and beat with minimal walkthrough assistance–Portal. Yeah, go me. However, I did struggle with a few puzzles, almost to the point of blunt frustration, and that’s been the biggest roadblock for Portal 2; I’m interested in the story and learning more about Aperture Science and their ultimate plans, but not having to deal with the mind-benders and brain-twisters to get there. Sure, I could read a wiki or watch videos online, but that’s just silly. Alas, I kinda doubt I’ll ever get to this one.

2. Kirby Mass Attack

Without a doubt, Kirby is Nintendo’s lab experiment. When they want to try something new or risky or off-the-wall, they just use Kirby as the flagship. Over the years, he’s been turned into yarn, forced to ride a rainbow, and also enter air kart races. His latest adventure on the DS (not the 3DS, mind you) involves clones. Kirby Mass Attack retains the look of those classic Kirby game, but throws in new puzzles solvable with multiple Kirby copies, and it’s all controlled with the touchscreen. This one was released right around the same time as Professor Layton and the Last Specter, and I only had enough funds to get one or the other, and so it’ll have to wait for a later date.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

The last great game for the Nintendo Wii. At least that’s what journalistic people are saying about The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, and I’m sure they are right as there definitely doesn’t seem to be anything else in the pipeline before the dumbly-named Wii U drops. And there’s always reason to be excited for a new Zelda game, but I still struggle with the idea of actually playing this on a Wii, with a Wii controller, doing Wii-like things. Visually, it’s so pretty. Like a painting come to life. It also sounds like a mighty slow crawl for those first few hours. Going to hold off for now and wait until it drops in price, but who knows how long that could take.

Well, I think that’s it.

Other contenders that I didn’t play and didn’t make this list include Solatorobo: Red the Hunter, Dead Island, Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation, Lost in Shadow, and Rayman: Origins. Yeah, I got some things to catch up on. We’ll get there, surely. But what about you, dear readers? What games from 2011 did you miss out on? Speak up below in the comments.

35 videogames completed so far in 2011, but aiming for 50

The last time I wrote a little bit about the actual number of games I’ve completed within a year, the post got featured on the front page of WordPress.com. The attention the post got was very nice if a little scary. Thankfully, there were only a handful of trollish comments to deal with, and the rest were just as excited as I was to be making progress with games and not just starting them and then tossing them aside for something shinier. We’ll see what happens this time…

So, it’s the beginning of November 2011, and I just beat my 35th game last night while Tara and I watched a badly taped version of The Goonies, which featured some amazingly amazing commercials from 1988. Remember camera film? They used to have commercials for camera film. Anyways, yeah, Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars gets all the glory here, but there’s plenty more to come. Two months left in the gaming year, and I’m wondering if I could cross the “50 videogames beat” mark, let alone reach it.

Looking at my backlog, as well as what’s still to come, I think it’s doable, but probably requires much more dedication from me than I’m capable of. See, I have gaming ADD, and whether or not it is actually a disease confirmed and diagnosed by a doctor, I have it; I absolutely love starting a new game, getting to see all of its mechanics and how it opens; very rarely do I push further past this bit magic and fireworks. Take, for instance, Radiant Historia, a stunningly original RPG for the DS that I gobbled up, but only until something else came out. Haven’t gone back yet sadly. Even my Chrono Trigger progress comes in spurts of activity, as I just can’t seem to stick with it for too long, always drifting away to something else with hopes of returning soon. And one game I do want to play of more is Professor Layton and the Last Specter, but Tara’s currently enjoying it, and I like when she finds a game enjoyable, so it’s all hers until she beats it herself.

And of course, November is loaded with big name games to help me climb a little higher. On 11/11/11, I’m picking up not only The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, but also LEGO Harry Potter, Years 5-7, the latest LEGO game for Tara and I to plow through. There’s other titles too that I want, but feel like I’ll have to resist in hopes of not breaking the bank (for example, Cave Story 3D, Super Mario 3D Land, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, and Jurassic Park: The Game to name a few). It’s a disgustingly great month to be a gamer.

In terms of the backlog, well, if you’ve been reading me for awhile now you’ll know that I’ve been slowly working on collecting as many decent PS2 games as possible before they disappear entirely from store shelves. So, there’s those. Namely Suikoden III, Ys: The Ark of Napishtim, and yes, probably to Greg Noe‘s horror, Escape from Monkey Island. See, I have plenty to play, but it just requires willpower and time, and if I also want to be a famous artist/writer, well it’s probably not going to mesh well with that. So while I’d absolutely relish in joy if I completed around 50 videogames for 2011, I know it’s also probably not probable.

You can read about every game I’ve knocked out of the 2011 park right here on Grinding Down by following this nifty tag. Or, if you’re into looking at lists, I keep one pretty up-to-date over at GiantBomb.  Other than that, good luck to all of you out there with a compulsion to complete all that you got and please wish me luck on fifteen more.

Grinding Down and the limelight

So, just before 2010 was kicked to the curb by the spicy and brand new 2011, I had a nice surprise thrown my way: Grinding Down got featured on the front page of WordPress.com! (In fact, as of this post’s writing, it’s still being featured. Go, sad pug, go!)

And just in case you are reading this post long in the future and a bunch of different blogs are being featured, here’s a quick screencap:

So freakin’ awesome.

And thanks to everyone that clicked “like” for the post, left a comment, or subscribed to my wee little gaming blog. That sure was kind of you. You certainly deserve some Princess Peach love for that! I have a lot of videogames to catch up on during this new year, and I hope to have a good time here talking about them, whether it’s ranting over Fallout: New Vegas‘s first bit of DLC or Epic Mickey‘s horrible excuse for a camera to praising the guys and gals behind Super Scribblenauts for actually listening to customer complaints and then going about fixing them. Hope you all stick around and join in on the discussions.

The times, they are a-changing

I missed updating Grinding Down this past Thursday and Friday. There’s a reason for that. It wasn’t just because I had nothing to muse about (I generally always do), and it wasn’t because my head just on a Scott Pilgrim holiday or anything. It has to do with something I can’t talk about publicly.

I’ve tried to create a schedule of sorts here. The plan, never truly laid groundwork, was to always update once a day, every weekday. Not too hard, really, considering I’m usually always playing videogames the nights before and have lots to say. It could be a review or just some open commentary or even a Top 5 list thingy. However, currently, I can’t do that kind of schedule any more. I will, however, continue to publish posts when I can. Like right now. And maybe another tomorrow. It’s all gonna be a mystery now. Just be aware that these changes are actually for the better; for instance, I’m getting married in almost two months!

But yeah. Some stuff that I’d like to talk about real soon here includes:

  • The Secret Armory of General Knoxx DLC
  • Random battles, the good, the bad, and the unneeded
  • Doing a first hour (well, first 30 minutes) writeup of a borrowed DS game for The First Hour
  • Grinding (gee, what a shock!)
  • Scott Pilgrim VS. The World (the movie, not the game just yet)

Keep your eyes peeled, dear readers. Just not every weekday.

If I was on LOST, I’d most certainly get blown up

So…Wordpress decided to change the Cutline theme, which Grinding Down has used since its very birth, replacing it with what you see now. Very similar, but there’s also some minute changes. Plus, all my sidebar widgets got thrown out of whack, and now I need to redo them all. Ugh. Annoying as all gets. But it’s not going to happen just yet. I will fiddle around with it later on, so don’t mind the mess, dear readers, as it is.

To add to the explosion heap is, well, craziness at the dayjob–which I can’t discuss–and then so much to do every minute of every day to get this wedding in order, as well as life, and the life of others. Seriously. I have this to-do list written down, and every time I cross something off…I add two more items. That’s not how sanity works, ‘kay?

If I was to relate the above image to something videogame-like, I’d mention that I played some more Red Faction: Guerrila last night. And things exploded. Felt good. I just needed to run around and knock buildings over. Let me be. Maybe tomorrow there will be more interesting content here, but I can’t promise y’all the world.

Paul, out!

Happy anniversary for Grinding Down!

That’s right, my silent and stalky readers. Grinding Down is now celebrating its one-year anniversary. Woo-hoo!

::confetti and Daft Punk tunes::

Back in March 2009, I decided I wanted to take another stab at videogame journalism, but at a much more relaxed pace. Well, maybe too relaxed in the beginning. See, I posted a few times in March 2009 and then quickly forgot about the blog until the summer hit, wherein I found myself with a lot of topics to muse about online. And since then, I’ve been pretty good at keeping this thing lively (just not on the weekends, which is fine by me). There’s some reviews here and there, but it’s more of a home for randomness, reflecting on older games, and having a bit of fun with pictures and words. That really doesn’t plan to change much.

But yeah, a whole year of grinding. Bow-chicka bow-wow! Er, forget I just wrote that. There’s cake and punch in the back.