Friday, April 1, 2011

March Brewed, April Brewing - Coffees Consumed, Games Played

Coffee Beans:
     Happy April Fools!  March has been brewed and consumed, like a good pot of coffee; though there were a few bitter moments(delayed flight and major car repair!) coffee left sitting around too long!  If you missed the post earlier in March, the Reader Points page is updated through February, and March's Reader Points should be up by Monday.
     With April upon us, let's take a look back at the coffees I consumed and games I played, during March!

Coffees Consumed in March:

  • Maxwell House French Roast Ground Coffee - My wife actually asked me last week what blend this was while she was making the grocery list, and said she wouldn't be purchasing it this time, because she thought it was a little too strong...if there's such a thing!
  • Community Coffee Carnivale Cake - Even if you have never been to Louisiana, you may know of Mardi Gras; as Louisiana, and New Orleans in particular, seem to be famous for celebrating it.  Well, Mardi Gras is a big event all over the state now, and Community Coffee, like any good business I guess, saw Mardi Gras as a good opportunity to introduce this special seasonal blend of coffee.  My mom had picked it up for us, and she brewed it while we were down.  The description for the Carnivale Cake Coffee reads, "This medium roasted Central American flavored coffee has a perfectly balanced blend of vanilla and cinnamon.  Enjoy the flavor of Mardi Gras in every cup.  Made with the top 1% Arabica premium and specialty coffee beans."
  • Tasters Choice Colombian Instant Coffee - I gave these instant coffee packs another try, and I still can't say that they're strong enough for me.  If you enjoy the Tasters Choice Instant Coffees, if you can leave a comment letting me know how you prepare them, with how much water, that may help me.
  • Caribou Coffee Reindeer Blend(Medium Dark Roast) - Somehow this coffee has survived since Christmas morning, and has now lasted into April!  With finals starting at the end of this month, I don't know if this will last to the beginning of May.
  • Seattle's Best Coffee Organic Breakfast - This was a surprise coffee for me by Mrs. Coffee.  My wife had gone to the store last Friday, and came in and said, "Here's some new coffee for you!  You're readers are probably tired of seeing Maxwell House on the site."  The coffee is described as "Rich, elegant, earthy".  When I read that, I said, "What's earthy supposed to be?", and my wife jokingly replied, "Perhaps it tastes like dirt?"  The coffee has a nice flavor that isn't extremely strong, but more of a medium blend taste.
Video Games Played in March:
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops(PS3) - You may recall I mentioned playing this over my spring break to Louisiana with my brother-in-laws, and also a few multi-player matches when we got back in town.  The multi-player matches on the PS3 seem not to be as laggy as they were when the game first released, but there are always a few matches here and there, that really make me wonder what's going on.
  • Rage of the Gladiator(WiiWare) - After a user request for a video battle against Amit the Charmer in Challenge Mode, I fired up Rage of the Gladiator and recorded a few matches.  If you missed the post, you can read about the match, and watch a video of the battle against Amit the Charmer HERE.
  • Resistance: Fall of Man(PS3) - I finished Resistance: Fall of Man's single-player campaign on March 18.  If you own a PS3, enjoy FPS games, and are perhaps looking for a lower priced PS3 FPS game, I suggest you give Resistance: Fall of Man a try.  I really did enjoy my time with the game, and I might be doing a video feature on it in the future.
  • Dementium II(DS) - I finished Dementium II on March 21, and enjoyed my time with the game.  I was surprised at how long the game was, as I recorded 9+ hours according to the game's clock.  I thought that the game kept to its atmosphere pretty well, though I did think it ended kind of abruptly.  I guess the way it ended, leaves room for a Dementium 3DS?  If you like horror-ish type games, with a psychological element, you would probably enjoy Dementium II.
  • Greg Hastings' Paintball 2(Wii) - You may recall(or not) that I received Greg Hastings Paintball 2 for the Wii, from Majesco back at the very end of September.  I put together several video "previews" of sorts on the game, but never finished the game's single-player "Career" mode...until March 30!  I'm putting together a more detailed video "preview" of the game, now that I've finished the game's "Career" mode, and the video preview should be up by next Friday.
  • GoldenEye 007(Wii) - I saw that Dustin from had purchased GoldenEye 007 just recently, and for the last 2-3 nights, we've been hopping online and playing a few multi-player matches together.  Just to be clear...Dustin is the one playing it, not Daemion.
  • Demos! - Art of Balance(WiiWare):  I really enjoyed the Art of Balance demo, as I think it's a game you can play while drinking a cup of coffee.  Controller in one hand, cup of coffee in the other!   Fish'em All!(WiiWare) - This was actually a lot better than I was expecting, not really sure what I was expecting, but it wasn't what I played, that's for sure.  In the demo you control a fisherman, and run back and forth on a dock, while fish are jumping out of the water.  You're supposed to swing the Wii Remote to "catch" the fish, and it's all about timing...the game gets crazy though, and starts throwing random objects into play that you must avoid.  I actually won a free copy of this just in the last week, and I may do a game-play video of it soon.  PooYoos 1(WiiWare) - Being a parent, I decided to see what this was about...if you have a young child, you may find this demo interesting...if not, run for the hills.  Fight Night Champions(PS3) - I downloaded this on my PS3, and just in the last week gave it a try with my new Nyko Wireless Raven controller.  The demo didn't really keep my interest, like a past UFC Undisputed demo did, but the character models did look very realistic.
         All of the games I finished in March were from my backlogged list: Resistance: Fall of Man, Dementium II, and Greg Hastings' Paintball 2.  How many games are left to complete from my backlog?  Well, from my "official" list I have another six games to finish.
         With April now started, it's time to pick up some other games and try to finish what I've already started...or perhaps haven't started in some cases!  The first game on my list to finish during April is a MONSTER of a game some would say.  I think I should be able to finish probably at least three more off my backlog in April...but who knows what will happen schedule wise!

         What video games did you find yourself playing during March, and did you perhaps try any coffee blend, or other beverage, that you enjoyed?


    1. My sister in law picked us up some more trader joe's organic coffee. I'm a coffee snob now. I'm not a fan of mass produced coffee anymore.

      As far as instant I have the same problem. They're never bold enough so I usually just do 6 oz of water with whatever scoop they say. Even the starbucks via instant isnt strong enough for me.

      As far as games this month I went to a video game party with some high school friends and we played mvc3, halo 1, tekken tag, left for dead 2, and mvc2. I had a blast.

      Be sure to check out my blog because I'm going to be doing a giveaway in celebration of 2 years of blogging. There might just be some coffee involved too!

    2. I've been watching DVDs a lot lately, but I usually try to keep up with the Wiiware demos released. I like Soccer Bashi quite a bit and I think I will be buying it soon. I also played a bit of Art of Balance. I'm on my second playthrough of that game and I really like it.

      I got Super Mario All-Stars so I played that once or twice. I'll probably go through Lost Levels during summer.

      Every once in a while I like to play Alpha Bounce on DsiWare. I have a love/hate relationship with that game, but I always find myself going back to it for a short burst.

      I like watching my brother play Starcraft 2 and I sometimes take over to finish or start a game when he's taking a break to eat.

      Finally, I got a 3DS with PilotWings Resort and played a bit of that.

    3. I take it you are going to play more of Monster Hunter Tri in April Coffee. Last time I remember playing with you you were HR 15 or so. I think I saw you online since but the room was full.

      As for what I have been playing I have been playing Tatsunoko VS Capcom and No More Heroes:Desperate Struggle. Also Smackdown vs Raw 2010. Borrowed S vs R 2010 from a neighbor. The other two I got recently.

    4. I've been playing a lot of games lately. This weekend's list consisted of:

      Dragon Age 2 (Xbox 360)
      Pacman Championship DX (PSN)
      God of War 1 (via the God of War Collection - PS3)
      King's Bounty - Legend
      Lots and lots of Fallout: New Vegas

      Of particular note for me in your list was Resistance - older title obviously, but I got it from a friend when he sold me his ps3 and a few games (he was done w/ it, I wanted a spare last year for when my wife broke her tailbone sledding w/ the kids)... Think that Resistance 1 was good enough that you'll be picking up and looking into 2 and eventually 3?

    5. Just the standard melitta for coffee this month.

      Also not playing much, but mostly VC in march. A few weeks out of town puts a pinch on that when the Wii is back home..

      Legend of Zelda
      Super Mario World
      Mario Kart Wii

      Revenge of the Titans
      Super Meat Boy

      ps: I noticed GoldenEye is $29 on amazon. Tempting.....

    6. @Robert
      I see Super Meat Boy is/was on sale for 50% off on Steam this weekend. I've heard it's a good platformer but real hard. Any particular thoughts?

      Golden eye at $29 is pretty tempting, eh?

    7. @Chalgyr I'll post something longer later on, but my quick take is to grab it at $7.50. I've purchased two copies so far and have absolutely no regrets. (pre-order for me, one gifted)

      Another thing to consider is they just released the 'Super Meat World' update which is an online level/chapter Portal so there will be tons of free content. (150+ levels on there now)

      Difficulty? It's very difficult, but also very fun and satisfying

      As for goldeneye, it's more than tempting. Ordered! :D

    8. Some additional SMB thoughts:

      While I'm a huge fan, I think I'm pretty fair and am not blinded by any 'fanboy' sort of mindset. At least that's what I'm telling myself.

      For a gauge of the difficulty I've logged 16 hours, died 2626 times and overall am 49% though the game. (62% light world, 33% dark) I think it takes a solid 6-10 hours to complete it if you're really good at platformers, which I'm not. I've gone back to replay levels to collect bandages, improve my times and just generally have fun and try different characters. Not really trying to tear through it just for the sake of completion.

      If you can run SMB on high detail (*IF*), it's really a beautiful thing at times. The detail in the saws, blood, background and dripping rain (1-17x is a good example) is just great. Although at times I really can't run it on high without the game chopping so I have to switch to medium. This is something you may need to play with some to find the sweet spot. I think people without a dedicated gfx chip have some issues and there may be some quirks with ATI chips. (may need to stay on low or ultralow detail)

      For reference I have a lenovo T400 with an ATI HD Mobility 3470 and it runs pretty well. (3gb ram, SSD HD) I formatted this weekend and put Win7 Pro sp1 on here and it 'seems' to run faster than xp sp3.

      While Meat Boy is the overall best character, it's also really fun to earn and use the other specialty characters from time to time. In fact, there are bandages that are impossible to get without the use of alternate cast. Each character has their own unique abilities and movements which can really help if you use them at the right time. These characters are primarily from other indie titles so it's a great way to introduce you to them.

      Warp zones and glitch levels really bring back the 8-bit era and are a nice change of pace. (while being slightly annoying with level loading delays and life limits)

      I've already mentioned the level portal which is basically the PC version of 'teh internets' which is on the 360 version. I've only played it for a few minutes, but it looks very cool and has considerable content. The new level editor should also be released soon which I suspect will generate even more user content.

      Before I get to the bad, I'd also recommend using a controller of some sort. I use a xbox 360 wired, but at this point most any xinput or directinput should be fine. The keyboard is fine - just not my sort of thing for this kind of intensive game.

      Ok, so onto the bad:

      - Isn't the friendliest at times for configuration. it's not bad at all, but for the less technically inclined it could be an issue. (eg: editing a text file for alternate button config, setting up command-line launch parameters in steam to adjust the detail, etc..)

      - It does crash from time to time. I haven't played much after the last update on Friday so this is mainly from my time in December.

      - It forgot my progress twice. Of course this was immediately after getting two difficult bandages.

      - No steam cloud support yet so you must backup your save files.

      - Not exactly clear documentation in the game folder or on their website. All the details are there, but are buried in blog or forum posts. (eg: use -windowed to force window mode, -meddetail, -lowdetail, -ultralowdetail, -highdetail, etc.. There are many switches that can be passed. The forums will have this)

      That was longer then I had planned. Better stop here and not spam too much of Coffee's post. :)

    9. @Charlie Chang:
      "I'm not a fan of mass produced coffee anymore." I really can't tell the difference most of the time, as all of my taste buds I think have been burnt, and are accustomed to coffee in general. There's only been one coffee that I drank black, in the last year, that really had a different taste that I can remember.

      I have the Soccer Bashi demo downloaded, but haven't played it yet.
      Being that you have a 3DS, and a DSi, are you going to trade off the DSi when you can transfer your DSiWare games over?

      "I take it you are going to play more of Monster Hunter Tri in April Coffee."
      Yes sir, played a few nights so far...just going through the single-player campaign right now.
      As for my HR, it's only four higher than what is was...HR 19, which is kind of crazy, because that's what my GoldenEye online rank was until last week.

      BTW, are you playing Tatsunoko vs Capcom online any, or just offline? I've wondered how the online community is still with the game.

      I was really impressed with Resistance 1, but I've heard a lot of iffy reviews for Resistance 2. I had a friend that played and really didn't enjoy Resistance 2, though I may give it a try one time soon though. As for Resistance 3, I don't think it's going to be necessary to play the first two games, for the storyline, so I'll be keeping an eye on it.

      I really need to just start playing Mario Kart Wii...but being that it technically isn't mine...I've held off on starting it.
      It was kind of hilarious timing as for you mentioning GoldenEye's price...I had already made my nightly pass through Amazon, and saw the game discounted and submitted it to another site so they could post it. When I noticed the list price had dropped, I figured that was news nobody would really talk about, so I decided to post it up...I hit submit, and your comment was the very next thing I read in my email.

      Do you own GoldenEye? I can't remember as it's been a while since I consistently played online.

      "That was longer then I had planned. Better stop here and not spam too much of Coffee's post. :)"

      Haha! I honestly think it's great if we have questions and can help each other out with answering questions and providing feedback. That's why I usually leave questions at the end of each post, to help get the conversation going. I don't mind long posts at all, and the information you're providing may help Chalgyr, or another reader that later stumbles upon the post, to make a decision regarding SMB.

      Thank you all for the comments and feedback...if anybody else has thoughts on games you played in March, or even beverages you consumed, feel free to leave more feedback! Or, if you have questions about any of the games any of us played, feel free to ask here in the comments as well.

    10. @Coffee I was laughing to myself after I posted a comment then shortly after I saw your main article. I'm probably not on amazon as frequently, but I have been skimming over the prices on my wishlist every few days to see what has changed. GE really grabbed my eye so I thought I would at least comment here as price comparisons/ROI has been a recent theme.

      (for reference ExciteBots is down again to $12.75 and Sonic all stars racing to $13.93. I also keep an eye on the classic pro controller as I think I would like that better than the original classic. It's only gone down to $15 recently and I'm looking for more like $5-10.)

      So Mario Kart is Mrs. Coffee's I take it? :)

      ps: For SMB also be sure to set vsync (ATI calls it vertical refresh) to OFF in your card's 3d settings. Otherwise weird things happen.

    11. @Robert:
      Mario Kart is Mrs. Coffee's, it was a gift to her for Christmas...and she played it Christmas day, but then we got distracted with Donkey Kong Country Returns(her gift to me), and she never went back to Mario Kart.

    12. Sorry for the late reply but I haven't really been playing online that much with T vs C. I got the game about 1 year after it was released. I tend to play offline more than online unless I am playing with friends. I am not really an expert at the game so I just play with friends and offline. The players are pretty good and many still.

    13. @Maxi:
      It's kind of interesting you mentioned T vs. C, as I've tracked that game for more than a year now, but only done a few stories on it.
      I'm glad to know it's offline/single-player is fun by itself.
      Thanks for the feedback!

    14. I enjoy playing online games such that games.. Thanks for the share!


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