Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Nintendo 3DS: Totally Legit or Money Suck ?

Tonight I witnessed and took part in an unsettling unboxing of the new Nintendo 3DS. After watching my boyfriend play with animated creatures projected on his chest, I was ready to dive into the hand-held for myself. Here's what I found.

Let's start with the positives of the system. The additional dimension is crisp and clean. Graphics show through in both 2 and 3D very solid and fluid. Internet connectivity is ready almost immediately out of the box. There are also additional features that allow you to unlock new games based on Mii friends collected. You can leave it on standby and keep it on your person to use it as a pedometer. This will help you unlock even more features. Netflix and music videos will be available when Wifi is accessible. I'm actually pretty excited about that because I would much rather watch episodes of Dexter at work than, ya know, do work.

So, unfortunately, that's about it for the positives. The 3D feature is really fussy when it comes to angle. Even the slightest adjustment to angle outside of head-on will result in an unplayable distortion in viewing. The 3D itself can be turned on and off, but also increase and decreasese intensity. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes before you can find a comfortable level. Once I finally found a setting that didn't stress my eyes, my brain was so strained that I had to shut the game off. I also found that switching from one game to other had me changing the intensity and therefore finding balance all over again.

After having played these two games, I don't think the 3D feature really isn't anything valuable. Sure its kitschy, but it definitely didn't add anything to the games. Changing from 2D to 3D didn't dramatically change the value of the gameplay or my life. The launch titles aren't very strong and don't utilize the new dimension well. The mini-games that come pre-installed on the system are mediocre at best. Using the camera and the 3D allow moderate fun for a small amount of time. Maybe a small child or an absolute tard would like it for longer ? Just guessing.

I was so desperate for a fun new system. I haven't had a hand-held console in years. But I can't help but dish out a big ol' glass of haterade for this fairly useless system. Fingers crossed that Nintendo pulls out some amazing titles to repay the consumers for spending their hard earned dollars.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

We've Moved!

Hey loyal readers!

Remember when I warned you about updating your bookmarks?  Hoped you listened, because here we are.  Our blog is now at  We are now, as we have always been, The Achievos.  We are in it to win it.  Yes, we love Xbox's achivements, but we also realize and respect that gaming isn't dependent on that certain method of measuring your success.  We game on the PlayStation, the PC, handhelds, heck...we've even been known to play Facebook's mindless social games for hours on end.

If it's a game, we'll play it.  Then we'll let you know if you should.

Thanks for reading
~Linz & Debbie

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I should've had it!

I have a couple of game reviews, and something hilarious just waiting for you.. but I can't post that now because I am so full of rage that I have to blog about it to you, my willing public.

I have spent the last two days.  TWO DAYS.  working towards Ace of Adventure - a Peggle achievement where you get 20,000,000 points in a single play through of adventure mode.  And Adventure mode is like, 55 levels.

Why have I spent two days doing this?  Because I have gotten through it and gotten a 18,800,000 (fill in the 0's with random numbers, because I can't remember exactly) -- and not the 20 I needed.  That's right, I've missed it, twice, by a little over one million points.  I could seriously commit a crime.  I bit my Xbox controller.
I am going to punch this bird in the face.

So I am feeling incredibly gipped.  I understand that I haven't reached the achievement level yet, but darnit, shouldn't I get something for my days of effort other than a rage induced headache?  Achievements like this one are so frustrating.  It's for like, 30 gamerscore and it is so time intensive.  Admittedly it's not as annoying as achievements for games like Mass Effect or Fable II that require entire game play throughs...but it's kind of right there, and Peggle, although fun, is certainly not on the same caliber as a game like ME - therefore not warranting these hours of my life.  And yet here I sit, night after night.  I just want to 100% this game, but I am so over it right now.  Peggle, you're going back on the shelf for a while.

Sidebar: we're changing the web address of the blog.  It'll still be a blogspot, but no longer You will soon need to set your bookmark to - so you might just want to make an extra bookmark now so you don't miss out on any of our awesomeness.

Friday, March 18, 2011

My Name is Debbie, and I'm a Compulsive Gamer.

Ever feel like you have to reach the highest level ? Collect all the trophies ? Have the most mind-blowing score ? Me too. But my "want" has turned into an "need" and its time for me a turn it down a notch.

As previously discussed several times before, I have an addiction to crappy social games like Mafia Wars and My Tribe. Even though I had stopped having fun almost immediately, the urge to push forward took over. I had to level up. I had to harvest my cotton farms. There were totally fictional wars to be fought every single day. It got to the point where I was getting up 30 minutes early every morning just so I could do maintenance on my games before work. I use the word "maintenance" because it clearly was not "playing" anymore.

I finally broke the habit but it was painful to walk away. Every once in awhile I think about my little tribe members. Are they okay ? Have they starved to death ? Maybe they need more moonberries. But its time to move on. They aren't real and it isn't fun to stress and worry about a game.

Then the game Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood came along. On my quest for multi-player achievements, I realized "this just isn't fun". But I kept going. The servers for that game are usually pretty empty so I would have to dig through online forums to find people that were on the game or willing to play. Then we would spend hours and hours playing in order to try to reach the next level. Even though it seemed impossible and was well beyond fun, my obsession kept me from quitting.

Finally, I peaked when I spent no less than four hours on XBL discussing the best strategy for assigning skill spheres and other abilities in Final Fantasy X and other games in the series. We looked up notes on our laptops and downloaded pictures of the the skill grids. One only person in the four man discussion was even playing a Final Fantasy game.

So with that in mind, I don't think there is much I can do about my compulsion. I can only hope that my friends will step forward when they see me getting sucked into a truly worthless campaign. When I begin to ramble on about strategy, I pray that they will walk away and not encourage my ridiculous behavior. And those that don't endorse the game playing at all, well i keep my fingers crossed that they will see the light or fade away.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Save Yourself and Cut the Rope !

I don't know about you but I have played the hell out of Angry Birds. I finished every level, went back and earned three stars, and I even toppled the Angry Bird Seasons. I think its safe to say that its time to move on. Welcome to my new mobile addiction: Cut the Rope.

Cut the Rope is a puzzle strategy game where you have to get a delicious piece of peppermint candy into the mouth of an adorable little monster. The candy swings from a rope and its your job to use the different mechanisms in each box to get him his yummy treat. There are air bubbles, fans, spiders, and more. Manipulate these in just the right way and you will find success.

There are stars to gather in each level, three to be exact. Not only is the game based on star collection, but also on score and time completed. There isn't a timer, but some the puzzles in the game are set up so that you have to rush to avoid a spider stealing your candy or try to catch the occasional disappearing star.

The game isn't perfect. One of its downfalls is that you can't always see below the screen. The puzzles can be lengthy and there is no way to scroll up and down or side to side to examine the setup before starting each one. The other problem is more significant. Sometimes the space in between moves is too small. When you are trying to cut the rope, it can be way too close to an air bubble and you accidentally pop the bubble instead of cutting the rope. Or you want to cut the rope but you slide the base that its on instead. For this reason, I think this game is probably better on the bigger iPad or other tablets to avoid these things from happening.

Either way, this game is pretty fun. It is currently available on iPhone, iPad, and will be available on the Android OS in the very near future. So if you are looking for a new game to keep on your phone, Cut the Rope could be it !

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Happy Mar10 Day!

In honor of March 10, aka Mar10 (Mario) day, I want to throw down a review of The New Super Mario Bros for Wii.

This game is the same concept as the original (side scroller, basic baddies, magic mushrooms), but with a fresh and new face slapped on it.  And, to top it all off, you can play with four people at once.  Same screen.  Same time.  Insanity.

The multi-player is obviously where the fun is at on this.  It is probably one of the most maddening and crazy multi-player games I have ever tried to play, but that is what makes it a blast.  I have been playing this game with friends and laughing so hard that I have tears streaming down my cheeks.  You can totally help out your friends by literally carrying them, or, on the flipside, you can totally screw them over and throw them off cliffs.  Or bounce on their heads at inopportune times and make them fall down holes, or into bad guys, or away from that mushroom they were going for.  Basically there is more screwing with each other than there is helping each other when you get a lot of people in there.

They added in some awesome new items too.  There is a mushroom that gives you a helicopter helmet and when you shake your Wii-mote you fly up into the air.  There is the original fire flower, but there's also a freezy flower where you shoot snowballs that freeze the enemy.  They also added Yoshis in some levels, which is always welcome as an increase in total cuteness factor.

The level design is so much fun.  They are side scroller, but there are hidden secrets all over the map, most of which will lead you to the three large gold coins you collect in each level.  The music is awesome as ever, as it is your typical Mario score.  There are 8 worlds, and, as you probably guessed, each world is themed.  There is ice level, sand level...  I don't know what to tell you - this game is not out of the box at all for the Mario franchise.  It has everything you would expect, but, probably because of that, it is exactly as fun as you would expect too.

If you have a Wii and somehow have not played this yet, go pick it up.*

*That is, go pick it up if you have at least a little bit of patience, because seriously, you are going to want to punch your friends and loved ones in the face when you play multi-player with them.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fable III's Traitor's Keep Sets the Bar

It's hard to hide that I am a total screaming fan-girl for Fable. But even I can't hide from the obvious fact that Lionhead Studios has been less than dedicated to making quality DLC. Fortunately for us, the string of laughable attempts at add-on content has finally come to an end. I present to you, Traitor's Keep.

As the newest content for Fable III, Traitor's Keep explores several new islands in the kingdom. There has been an assassination attempt and its up to you to track down your would-be killers. Solving this mystery will take you to three different islands with four new mini-bosses. There is a new demon door, new side quests, and even more collectibles.

Traitor's Keep provides a great example to other developers what new content should be. This DLC was the perfect size. Completing Keep in it's entirety took me about th
ree hours, but there are still relationship quests and random exploring that can be done. The story line is fun and compelling with its own plot twist. And the graphics are just as good as the main story, especially in the prison.

So I obviously recommend buying this DLC. It is a lot of fun and totally worth the meager price of 560 MS points. Forget Understone. Pretend you never played Knothole Island. Traitor's Keep is the way too go.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Happy Birthday, Blog!

Hurray!!!  Game On has reached the Big 1-0-0!

That's right, Debbie and I have been here providing you with entertainment for 100 entries.  And I can't wait until we're celebrating our 200th.  Or our 2,000th.  It is so much fun writing this blog that I hope you have even one-tenth the amount of fun reading it as we have writing it.

It is so fun, in fact, that during this short lapse Debbie has got a stockpile of blogs waiting for you.  She was patient enough for me to find some internet somewhere out in the big wide world to post that graphic that I made for this occasion (lol).  So prepare yourself for a big ole pile of awesome coming your way soon. We'll hit 200 before we even know it.

Thanks for reading.  Game On.