Bookshelf Battle

A couple weeks ago I was challenged by a certain guardian of a magical bookshelf to put my Star Wars toys to use in creating my own bookshelf battles.

An Episode I battle between the Sith Infiltrator and the Gungan bongo sub.
An Episode I battle between the Sith Infiltrator and the Gungan bongo sub.

Now for the LEGOs!

Luke fights off an scout trooper on a speeder bike.
Luke fights off a scout trooper on a speeder bike.
I guess we jumped to Ep VI.
I guess we jumped to Ep VI.

Because Star Wars LEGOs are expensive, when I was little I would get the generic spaceship-type LEGO sets and pretend they were from Star Wars.  So the guy on the white snowmobile thing is clearly a snow trooper on Hoth, and the ship Luke is flying is a [__]-wing spaceship.  There were like 12 different weird looking starfighters in the movies; who’s to say this wasn’t one of them?  We’ll call it a Q-wing or something, ok?

Back in Ep IV, Luke and Obi-Wan are coming to get in the action in the landspeeder.

These are not the books you’re looking for.

Stay tuned for future battles 🙂

Xbox, Go To…

So what might you be playing on an Xbox One?

monocle XBox
“I say, old chap…what shall we play today?”

Ryse: Son of Rome (exclusive): I watched my husband play the story, which was surprisingly interesting, though short.  The combat system is pretty cool and the graphics are great (they are also…graphic).  The game tries to integrate voice commands, but they’re pretty superfluous.  I’m pretty sure I annoyed B by yelling “Fire volley!” to his archers at inopportune moments…also, this is not how boobs work.

Zoo Tycoon (exclusive): I only played about 5 min of this game; I should go revisit.  I love love love the Zoo Tycoon franchise, and I told B he had to get me this if he bought an XB1.  I just haven’t been in the mood for an open-ended world-building type game.  Also, I prefer the aerial viewpoint of the old PC version.

The LEGO Movie Videogame: Charming as we’ve come to expect from LEGO games.  We bought this over LEGO Marvel after seeing the delightful movie.  The story is of course fun, and has voicework from the movies, but the real fun is the open world parts, and I found it easier to unlock/buy fun characters as you progress than in other LEGO games.

It has an unfortunate occasional glitch in multiplayer mode where the two screen halves swap back and forth rapidly, which renders it briefly unplayable.  But that’s really nothing compared to the LEGO Harry Potter glitch that prevented me from ever using Polyjuice Potion, and then got me trapped in the Potions classroom permanently when I tried to correct it.

Zumba Fitness World Party: An excellent game to have fun dancing and look like an idiot in the comfort of your own home.  I think it has a good selection of songs and difficulty levels for routines.  The little image that shows how the Kinect sees your body is quite accurate, but the game doesn’t seem to pick up on whether you’re actually doing the correct moves or not.  Pretty much as long as you’re moving, you’ll get a “Great!” or whatnot.  And the motion menu controls are a little touchy, but it is nice to not have to reach for a controller in the middle of a workout.

Also, I played this while B was logged into Xbox Live, so he now has several Achievements for Zumba.  Tee hee.

Need for Speed: Rivals: I watched my husband play the tutorial level for both racer and cop–the cool thing about this game is that it encourages you to play both.  Seems to me to be a standard online multiplayer racing game with pretty cars and sweet graphics.  B bought this after we saw the Need for Speed movie, which was not horrible, so congrats EA! Your shameless marketing ploy worked!

Amazon reviews indicate some server connection bugs; we personally had the game freeze during install, which forced us to look up how to actually quit the game, because a typically-useful feature of the XB1 is a nuisance here: whenever you return to the home screen, and then start an app again, it returns you to the spot you were at previously.  So we kept returning to a frozen screen.  To actually quit an app, hit the Menu button (3 horizontal lines) and select Quit.

If you want more opinions, here’s Kotaku’s list of the 12 best games for the Xbox One.

The family that games together…

She's been wearing this ugly robe for a year and a half.
Sortisi Sed’jarak, Twi’lek Sage

Last weekend’s Double XP promotion in SWTOR was a great excuse to get back to playing an old character, Sortisi (I first mentioned her 2 years ago here).  She’s actually the first character I created, based on the character I played in the beta, but she languished at level 17 as I got caught up in my bounty hunter, and then moved on to other characters.

When I went back to playing her (which involved rearranging my whole UI to avoid misclicking), I truly remembered why: my husband had also created a Jedi Consular (Meileili) so that we could play those characters together.

Yeah, cuz that totally happened.

B and I play TOR several times a week, typically at the same time in the same room.  But I cannot remember the last time we played “together,” with our characters in the same place, on the same quests, grouped.  

We simply have different styles of play: I play on a PVE server, and he plays on a PVP server with his guild of real-life friends.  He enjoys end game content, like Huttball and ops, while I tried Galactic Starfighter once three months ago and just didn’t get it.

Of course, no couple’s gaming interests are going to sync perfectly.  In board games, he likes Die Macher and Battlestar Galactica and I prefer Ticket to Ride and Catan.  But there’s still plenty of overlap: we just got 7 Wonders and Dominion for Christmas, because they were both on both of our wish lists.  I’ve even played the Star Trek deck building game with him…more than once.

We’ve never played any console games together fully, except the LEGO series.  And that’s only because I bought him LEGO Star Wars one Christmas, and after he tried to act grateful, I informed him there was co-op mode and I bought it so we could play together.  He was still dubious at first, but I think he’s enjoyed most of the LEGO games so far, and it’s very easy to have players drop in and out of these games, so we can switch back and forth between single player and co-op as needed.

Going back to TOR: it’s my first MMO, so I think B really wanted me to enjoy it when I started, and he thought that playing together would help me ease into it.  Therefore, he created a toon of my same class on my PVE server; that way, we could run all the quests together.

Obviously that isn’t exactly how it played out, but playing Sortisi with Meileili is actually still beneficial in another way: Sortisi is my first healer, so learning how to play that role with a more experienced player on DPS sitting next to me is great for feedback.  He was able to give me some gentle hints about who I should be healing and when.  Hopefully this will help build my confidence (and competence) so I can heal for pick-up groups on heroic missions, etc.

I guess it’s all about finding a balance between your gaming needs and your relationship needs.  For us, playing different games at the same time seems to be a good default.  That way, B never has to yell “2 is jump!!

Although I’m sure he will forever remind me of the time we played Mario Kart, and I sat on a “?” cube just to get blue shells to throw at him.  It’s a legitimate strategy?

Star Wars Old and New

This is the VHS edition that I own.
This is the VHS edition that I own.

Last weekend was the 30th anniversary of the release of Return of the Jedi (my personal favorite of the Original Trilogy).  A book on the making of ROTJ will be coming out in fall, and Huffington Post gave a sneak peek in this article.  It details a 1981 conversation between George Lucas and several colleagues regarding the back story of Anakin  Skywalker, what would later become the prequel trilogy.  The basic plot is the same, even at this early stage, but several details are fascinatingly different: anyone is able to use the Force, and Yoda is like a Jedi guru, not a fighter.  (I kind of like these ideas!) “Mrs. Skywalker” also stays with the Organas for awhile before her death, explaining Leia’s line about memories of her mother.

Last night I unintentionally caught the first part of “LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles” on Cartoon Network.  It was surprisingly awesome!  It completely throws canon out the window, and that’s what makes it so hilarious.  The Millennium Falcon as a floating nightclub.  An Admiral Ackbar cameo.  “Welcome to Kamino: Come for the clones, Stay for the weather.”  Plus, it features some of the original cast voicing their characters.

And speaking of Star Wars LEGOs, check out the lifesize LEGO X-Wing in Times Square:

LEGO X-wing

It’s basically a giant advertisement for The Yoda Chronicles.  Eventually it will go to LEGOLAND in CA.