Weekend Wrap-up

I don’t know where this hit of gaming goodness came from. I mean, its February, not December. E3 is still a ways off. Its supposed to be a quiet time for gaming, and yet there are SO MANY great games laying around my house.

I spend a LOT of time this weekend playing Champions of Norrath on the PS2 (exclusively on the PS2). Its a fairly basic hack & slasher a la Diablo or the console versions of Baldur’s Gate. I enjoy this type of game on the PC, but I love ’em on the console. Kicked back on the couch, a bottle of Woodchuck Amber close at hand, the home theater system lending power to every slash of the sword…it’s just a wonderfully visceral experience. I played a bit online with a friend, and that worked well too, once I took my router out of the loop. Its nice to see the PS2 getting some online cooperative love.

Besides CoN, the Unreal Tournament 2004 demo was out this weekend (you can get it for Windows, Mac OS X or Linux). Good lord, what fun. I’ve always preferred Unreal to Quake, and UT was one of my favorite and longest lasting games. UT 2003 was good, but this version really breaks loose. There’s a new game mode called Onslaught that has teams having to control linked nodes in an attempt to assault the opposing base. These nodes act as ideal choke points and really keep the action pumping. And the even bigger change is the addition of vehicles, both land and air. Finally a game that makes Halo seem dated. I loved this demo so much that I already pre-ordered the Special Edition.

But wait, there’s more! I’ve also been sucked into Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town for the GBA (though I play it on the excellent Game Boy Player accessory for the Gamecube. This isn’t a new game, but I was just turned on to it. Yeah, its a farming sim…but its incredibly addictive.

And still NFL Street and Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles await my attention. The first is a really fun arcade football game that I really enjoy. FFCC though, I’m still deciding on. Its another action-RPG but I’m not sure the single player game will hold my attention.

Anyway, even with all this gaming I found time to watch a whole bunch of A&E’s Horatio Hornblower movies. I loved the HH books, and I’m loving the movies, too. I bought all 8 at Christmas, and watched the last 5 or so this weekend. Very nicely done and highly recommended.

Thank goodness for 3 day weekends, eh? Of course, I still wasn’t ready to come back to work…. 🙂