Archive for the Personal Category

Still In Hospital: This Sucks

Posted in Blog, Personal on January 13, 2013 by slateman

h3Still in the hospital. Surgery last Monday, home Tuesday & Wednesday, back to hospital Thursday and here I sit, Sunday morning, with at least a day or two left. They’re taking care of me though; I’ll make a full recovery. All my articles will have to wait though. I wanted to finish my Best of 2012 one. I guess in the big picture, that’s not so very important, is it?

UPDATES…..

Posted in Blog, Borderlands, Cubing, DoDon Pachi, Games, Godflesh, Personal, Resident Evil, Street Fighter, The Walking Dead, Yankees on November 2, 2012 by slateman

It’s been a long time and a lot has happened. I’ve had some ups and downs these past few weeks but the good has been rather good. Let’s see…

First off, I’ll be getting a new cube any day now and I’m pretty psyched. It’s a cool one, it’s the curvy copter, and it’s a jumbling puzzle. It should be spectacular.

My Godflesh site turned 17 years old a few weeks ago. That’s insanely old.

Resident Evil 6 and Borderlands 2 – Making progress. Taking forever. Well worth the cashola.

I also picked up Street Fighter X Tekken as well for cheap. I’d played it several months ago and look forward to having it in my library!

The Yankees – I couldn’t even write about this. I still can’t.

The Walking Dead – both the game (episode 4) and show (episode 3) were solid. The game may have been a filler/connector episode and the show an introducer, but both were strong and make me yearn for more. Sadly the game’s sequel must wait quite a while.

Hurricane Sandy – :( So much destruction. :( :(

EPISODE VII!?!?!? I’ll post some thoughts on this soon. It may actually have a chance of being good. Four words – Pirates Of The Caribbean.

DoDonPachi: Maximum came out on the iPad and was on sale so I snatched that up. It’s kinda fun. It’s cool seeing the returning characters/stages/music and it is a pretty good challenge on later levels. I may pick up ESP Galuda II as well.

Enough for now?

Planet Tony Hawk: Closed…Done…Forever

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Games, Personal, Reflection, Tony Hawk Series on September 13, 2012 by slateman

Back in 1999 I started what would become the largest Tony Hawk-related gaming site in the world. I would peak at over a million hits a week. I created no fewer than 400 pages of articles, previews, reviews, guides, tutorials, images, videos and editorials about Tony Hawk, his line of games, his skating, and everything in between. It was my baby (along with Crumbling Flesh). It opened doors for me to go to California several times a year, meet new friends, make connections, grow personally and professionally and to meet Hawk multiple times. I had a good run. I had a damn good run.

So, when Skate came out after seven years of annual Hawk games, something was ready to give. Another entry got some good scores but that was the beginning of the decline. We saw Activision scramble to make a pair of peripheral-required games, a motion game on the NDS, numerous mobile titles and a new download-only game. The heyday is over. It has been for a while, but today was my eye opener.

As I received Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD a few weeks ago, I was psyched to get back to the site. I wrote a new FAQ, started making updates to my awesome Hawk History article and got ready to do some catch up. The problem was, I couldn’t log in. My email stopped working. No one would reply to my requests. I had that inspiration and it was burning bright. It felt like it did back in the old days. Gap lists for THPS. Stat icon locations in THPS3. My empassioned slagging of THAW. Even when it was bad, it was oh-so-good. I poured my heart into this site and I was tremendously excited to continue that devoted dedication.

Today I received an email saying that all Planet sites were archived and no updates would ever be made to them again. Wait…What? Yep. Archived. Closed. Done.

Wait…WHAT?!?! Apparently someone dropped the ball because I never got an email. Even in the midst of all the crap mail I get, I never came across a message saying, “Hey, your site, you know, the one you have worked on for 13 years of your life…yeah, that one. Well, it’s going to be closing.” I never got the opportunity to say, “Goodbye.” Just one day, it was inaccessible. Two weeks of emails and waiting yielded the news. “Gone. Closed. Forever.”

First of many meetings – NYC 2001

I interrupted the writing of this article to put my kids to bed. I held my son and rocked him to sleep, feeling his hands clench and relax on my shoulder as he dozed. Is this a big deal? Listen, my four kids have their health. I have a job. It is just a game and it really wasn’t my baby; my baby boy is my baby. This post is not to whine about how I’ve been wronged but rather to rue the loss of control over something special.

It is a premature and unexpected ending of a massive 13-year journey. It is painful to know I had no say in its fate. The money ran dry years ago but that excitement of updating something you’re so proud of remained…until I realized I could no longer share that passion.

Planet Tony Hawk was the source of great happiness and pride. It allowed me to do so much, see so many things and go so many places. I enjoyed almost every minute of it. It’s been a great ride. For anyone who took part in that adventure, you know what I’m talking about. And today, I’m done with that journey forever.

Back From NY!!!

Posted in Blog, Personal, Photos, The Walking Dead on August 15, 2012 by slateman

I spent a week visiting my family back home in NY. I’ve got some new things to write about…I started playing The Walking Dead (PS+ free!!!), Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, and have decided that Alcest’s Les Voyages De L├óme may bethe best album of the year. Until I get there though, enjoy this pic I snapped late at night @ camp a few weeks back. A long-exposure of the moon yielded a pretty good shot!!!

Moonlight Exposure

Double Rainbow: FTW!

Posted in Blog, Personal, Photos on July 1, 2012 by slateman

Double Rainbow!!!

Beautiful day followed by heinous storms followed by SUN! Double Rainbow time!

Ziplining!!!!!

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Personal, Video on June 23, 2012 by slateman

After the last day of school, we went up to Grand Falls in Canada with Erin’s cousin’s family and went ziplining! Although my foot was a disaster, not going was not an option. I convinced Erin to go and we have a video of each of us! Many thanks to everyone over at Zip Zag for making this an awesome experience! Videos below!

Summer Vacation Updates: Gout! Games! Foliage Ocean!?

Posted in Blog, Cubing, Games, Personal, Reviews, Ys with tags , , , , , on June 23, 2012 by slateman

Update #1: The Gout Sucks! I really needn’t say more.

UG&G

OK, I played Ultimate Ghosts & Goblins several years back when it first appeared on the PSP but this week’s $5 sale well…sold me. I’ll be heading out to camp next month and figured I’d stock up on some portable gaming. Of course, this is a poor decision because UG&G is one of the most brutal gaming experiences ever. I knew this having stopped playing all those years ago due to sheer frustration and outright disgust ad the developers. It’s cheap, difficult and evil. However, it’s also classic. It’s a good mix of old and new, but I think it needed to draw from some other sources as well. Its save system is archaic, and while this may appeal to the hardcore gamer, I am disappointed in the layout. Much like Maximo missed out on opportunities, this game could’ve benefited from some tweaks here and there.

The Glory Of Ys

Now, this is what I’ve been waiting for. Back when the Vita launched, we all sensed the drought of killer games. It happens after each hardware launch. However, as I went through the PSN store to see what they had, Ys Seven and Ys: Oath In Felghana were the only two there. No Chronicles??? Supposedly there was a problem and so this game just snuck in there recently. Oh, I’m psyched. Now, I admit that I liked playing the game on the NDS several years back but something happened to my cart, and I never finished it. I’ve run through Book I on the PSP as well IIRC, but something happened once I got to Book II. (Are you seeing a trend here?) This all means I’m friggin’ thrilled to finally get to this. This too will be summer gaming at camp. Headphones, those classic tunes, oh man, this is going to be sweet!

Rochard

I purchased this game several months ago and really never got a chance to dive into it. It seemed a cool concept but only recently have I dug it out to try it. It isn’t perfect and the story is entirely skippable. However, the gravity gun and control over gravity itself are both just awesome ideas. Now, the rest of the game is the generic Metroidvania that we all know and love. And even this generation, this game was done, and done better, with Shadow Complex. Now that game friggin’ rocked. However, while this is just a generally-good game, the inclusion of gravity control and the gun make it different enough to be enjoyed in its own right. I recommend this…I Like would be the review caption.

Celceta

Finally…Ys Celceta is now suffixed Foliage Ocean In Celceta. Of course, it’ll be renamed when localized. And it will be localized, likely by XSeed. I’m looking forward to it, the game drops in September, let’s hope for a translation in early/mid ’13? Now, I haven’t bought any of the PSP games retail (got Oath and Chronicles digitally) but I do hope for a nice packaging. I’d love to shell out some cash for something like that. Music CD, map, some nonsense that fools like me pick up. We’ll see. In any event, the screenshots show a nice world map in the upper-right-hand portion of the screen, a sleek HUD and I’m psyched.

OK, this was a long update but had a lot to cover. My cubes finally hit the U.S. so I hope to have them by the middle of next week. That’ll be cool as I gave my student my Windmill Cube. :) I’m curious how similar the Fisher Cube is to that one. Let’s get this gout totally cleared up (OMFG So Bad!) and life will be pretty good!