Sorry, I’ve been slackin’ on the blog. Since last we spoke, I’ve started and finished [round 1 of] Dead Space which is a really fun horror themed space shooter (think Aliens / Event Horizon in a video game). Ground-breaking UI, fun gameplay, great weapons, amazing sound, top notch graphics. I highly recommend it.

I picked up Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise, which the missus and I are playing a bit. I’ll talk more about Viva later after we have played more of it – hopefully it won’t fall by the wayside as the first Viva did, we both enjoyed the first Viva game but just stopped playing it for no good reason (well, my reason was the first gears  came out, I believe. Gears of War 2 comes out soon).

This weekend, we both started playing Fable II. The missus generally sticks to puzzle, board, or Piñata games, but I think given the relatively easy to master controls she might give Fable II a chance. I am a probably 5 – 10 hours into Fable II and while I think a better “World Map” and the ability to occasionally find loot and items from dead enemies would be a nice additions, my impression (so far) is that Fable II is a very solid Action-RPG. The graphics are very nice, the sounds is good, gameplay is fun. The NPCs (non-player charactes, the “other folks” in the game) have fun lines and are entertaining to interact with.  The addition of a “golden path” (which was also in Dead Space) is really nice and keeps me from having to continually flip over to a map screen – I hope more games introduce this “golden path” system. The dog in Fable II is a great addition and works really well. The last big Action-RPG I played was Oblivion and this feels like a bit like a more polished, more guided, but smaller scoped Oblivion. I think they have the controls nearly nailed. The only problem I have is that when you are around NPCs if you accidentally press X/Y/B on the controller you will pull out a weapon and scare them. As other games commonly use Y for “info” or B to “stop interactions”, I keep accidentally pressing these. No big deal, I’ll learn eventually – it is just my muscle memory thwarting me. If you are an Action-RPG game fan you might be asking yourself “Fable II or Fallout 3” and I don’t yet have an answer. I plan to play both, but decided to start with Fable II because (a) it is a shorter game and (b) it came out a week earlier. After I play Fallout 3 I’ll post my verdict, but that may not be until sometime in December.

We went to see Body of Lies with a friend this weekend. It was a very interesting movie about a CIA agent stationed in the middle east starring Leonardo DiCaprio and a rotund Russell Crowe. To me, DiCaprio did a better job in this movie than Crowe (which is an oddity for Crowe, he’ll usually the movie stealer). If you see the trailer and the movie intrigues you, go see it, you’ll likely enjoy it. We recently re-watched A Beautiful Mind, which was as good as I remembered. If you somehow missed it, add it to your Netflix queue.

We are continuing to enjoy Netflix for new movies AND if something is in the theater that we don’t think we’ll make it out to see, I just do a  “Save It” for the film and it will appear in my queue once it is released on DVD (this is even true for movies that haven’t come out in the theater, yet). We’ve also been using Netflix to re-watch old movies (like A Beautiful Mind) and old TV shows (Night Court and Laugh In are coming soon, I believe), which is a lot of fun. If you have an Xbox 360 (with a “Gold” Xbox Live subscription) and Netflix, starting November 19th with the fall dashboard update you will be able to watch Netflix “Watch Instantly” movies and TV shows right from the Xbox 360, which we are excited about. My “Watch Instantly” queue is getting quite large in anticipation of this.

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