Wednesday, January 9, 2013

December Brewed - "Coffees Consumed", "Games Played", & "Caffeinated Thoughts"

Coffee Beans
Did Santa Claus come to your town? I hope everybody had a great holiday season, and has gotten the new year off to a great start so far. December was a bit busy around here, maybe the total of "3" posts for the month was a clue? If you're reading this and missed the posts in December, there are basically 2 you might be interested in:
     1) Are you interested in ZombiU, but not sure about the game because of a few reviews you have read, or maybe things you have heard about it? You might find "Critics vs. Customers! ZombiU reviews, or zombie reviewers?" an interesting read.
     2) Want to see Bean 1 throw a Mario fireball? Watch the video embedded in the "Merry 'Mario' Christmas!?" post.

With another month (and year) gone, what coffees did I consume and what games did I play during December? You know the routine, brew yourself some coffee and let's take a look!

Coffees Consumed
Maxwell House coffee blends were the "go to" coffees for us during the month, with us finishing off a Maxwell House Original Roast container and a Maxwell House Daily Brew container as well. The Master Chef blend was a smaller container of coffee that Mrs. Coffee purchased for us in the middle of the month, but it didn't last us about a week with one of the Maxwell House blends.

I also brewed up some our Kona Blend Coffee, which is one of the coffee blends I received for my birthday last year. We still have some of the Kona Blend Coffee, as it's whole bean coffee and I use it as a "backup" coffee when the others run out, or start running really low. When we went out of town for a long weekend, Mrs. Coffee purchased us some Folgers Black Silk coffee in a small container to bring with us, and we enjoyed it while it lasted.

Games Played
Here's the "Instant Coffee" list of games I played in December: Trine 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, ZombiU, Nintendo Land, Rage of the Gladiator, Mario Kart DS, Mutant Mudds, BIT.TRIP Runner, Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed, and New Super Mario Bros. U.

Many games would be green with envy over Trine 2's graphics and art style.

Trine 2: Director's Cut - I have completed the main campaign in Trine 2, which took me right around 20 hours, and I am now working my way through the Goblin Menace levels. Like I mentioned last month, I'm still pretty much playing using only the Wii U's GamePad and not even looking at our TV. The graphics and art style have continued to impress me throughout the game, and I enjoy the slower paced design of the levels with puzzles scattered throughout. I have found that Trine 2 is an excellent game to have a pot of coffee brewed while playing, because of how often I stop to think of how to keep progressing through the levels.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 - Black Ops 2 could really be used by Nintendo to help "sell" the Wii U to the "hardcore" players, especially those that are married and/or have roommates they have share a TV with. The ability to play Black Ops 2 on just the GamePad, is absolutely awesome. I completed Black Ops 2's single-player campaign on just the GamePad early one morning, while Mrs. Coffee was using our Wii system (not the Wii U) to watch a show on Netflix. I have also enjoyed quite a few multiplayer matches using just the GamePad, while she uses the TV to watch something on Netflix.
ZombiU - I completed ZombiU's single-player campaign in November, but attempted Survival Mode a few times in December. I haven't made it far, or lasted very long at all though. I have now loaned out ZombiU to our neighbors, but I'm not quite sure how far he has made it now. Last I checked, he had made it to Buckingham Palace. If you own a Wii U, and haven't played ZombiU but are interested in the game, European Wii U owners just received a demo of it, and it might be hitting the North American eShop on Thursday. So, make sure to keep an eye out for a ZombiU demo possibly hitting the eShop this week if you have been interested in the game. If you missed the ZombiU post in December, here's a video of Mrs. Coffee and I playing one of the game's multiplayer modes:

Nintendo Land - I played this early in December, and then when we visited some family out of town one weekend later in the month. My cousin and I played Battle Quest together, with him doing the sword fighting and me using the GamePad for the bow and arrows. I still want to finish off the Metroid Blast levels here soon, but I have a few other Wii U titles to finish before the.
Rage of the Gladiator - I played a few rounds of this on Mrs. Coffee's iPhone early in the month, and when we were traveling out of town. It did get an update though, and I need to get that downloaded and see what it changed/updated.
Mario Kart DS - Bean 1 has made some incredible gameplay progress in this one. He can beat the Eyerok boss in the Level 1 mini-games (I think Level 1). He can now even do "power slides" in the game, and complete one of the mini-game challenges that require 4 power slides in a lap. When we were out of town visiting family, as we were leaving a parking lot, he said, "Daddy, can you power slide?" While it caused me to laugh, because I'm sure he was 100% serious, I had to sadly inform him we couldn't do it in our car. My time with this game during the month was helping Bean 1 beat the mini-game challenges. I think we have made it to the Level 4 challenges so far, but I think he erases them after he takes over, or they auto-erase when you leave that section of the game; I'm still not sure about it.
Mutant Mudds - I completed the main levels of Mutant Mudds on December 31st. When I finished the last level, I had 24/40 levels completed. Bean 1 started playing Mutant Mudds a good bit in December, and volunteered me to play the game all the time. Mutant Mudds released for iOS devices in early December, and is available to purchase for just $0.99 on them. While I don't own that copy of it, I am looking forward to learning more about Mutant Mudds Deluxe for the Wii U in the next few months. If you haven't played Mutant Mudds, but enjoy platformers, I do recommend it.

Max and Grannie will thank you for playing, too!

BIT.TRIP RUNNER - Even though we own a Wii U, I still have not done the Wii to Wii U data transfer. One reason is because the Wii U does not have the Nintendo Channel, so I still use the Wii weekly to access and record game data; another reason is because I know some of our game save files won't transfer over to the Wii U. So, for now we are using our Wii as we were before we got the Wii U. Bean 1 voluntold me to play BIT.TRIP RUNNER one night, so I put it back in the Wii and gave it a try. I still haven't beat it yet, but I am close. I think a good solid day (or two, or three) of playing might be the solution to beating it.
Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed - One weekend we were heading out of town to visit family, my cousin that enjoys games a good deal said that Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed would be one of the Wii U games he would be interested in playing. So, I checked Redbox to see if it was available to rent from one in our area. It wasn't. I checked with Blockbuster in our area and online, thinking they might have it to rent. They didn't. Next, I decided to give GameFly a try and put Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed first in my queue expecting it to ship out and arrive before we left. What I didn't realize is that GameFly does not follow the typical queue order, and they don't ship from the top down. No, they ship the first available game in your queue, even if it's not the first game listed. So, this game joined our Wii U collection right before our weekend trip, when I purchased it. While my cousin played it a good amount, Bean 1 wasn't really aware of the game being "ours", so we hid and "re-gifted" it to him as another Christmas gift. We haven't played it a whole lot, but I really do like how each level seems to be designed around the three transformations: driving, flying, and boating. It really seems to keep each race fresh, and the courses seem to be well designed from those I have played so far.
New Super Mario Bros. U - This was a Christmas gift for Bean 1, and we left it sealed until he requested to play it (or, requested me to play it). That day wasn't until December 31st, so I opened it up and he attempted the first level and I thought he was going to beat it. After he tried a few times, I was voluntold to play it. I completed World 1, saved the game, and Bean 1 took over again for a bit. He ended up finding the magic "erase" button, and deleted the file in short order. Fortunately, World 1 isn't that challenging. While playing through World 1 though, I did find the background in the game, how it's layered anyway, a bit disorienting at first. I will say that I haven't been "wowed" by the graphics in it yet (our HD TV is not hooked up yet, so that may help); not like I was/have been with Trine 2 anyway. The gameplay is solid though, as is probably expected in a Mario platformer, but I noticed something in World 1 with a pipe that has me wondering if it changed from the older Mario games. I may have to put on my investigation gear, and see if the difference is what I'm thinking it is, or if I just don't remember the older pipes systems correctly.

Caffeinated Thoughts
I have really been enjoying our Wii U, and the games on it so far. I'm still debating on whether or not to keep the GameFly subscription going, or end it after the first month. You also may remember me commenting randomly about our HD TV hunt that started during the holidays, and we ended up purchasing one Christmas Eve (yes, I'm THAT kind of shopper). The TV is still in its box though, as we have been a little busy as I mentioned above. After getting some painting done this past weekend, and ordering the mount today, the TV should be going up on Thursday if everything arrives as planned.

While 2012 ended slower than I was planning here on the site with posts, and I have a few posts "in the works", I'm debating on a few things for 2013 that may change the frequency of posts (and type).

If any of you received a Wii U for Christmas, or are planning on buying one here soon, feel free to add my Nintendo Network ID to your Wii U friend list. My NNID is Coffees. As always, if you have any questions about the games I played, feel free to ask me in the comments below or by sending me an email at: Scott(@)

Did any of you perhaps get a Wii U, or other game related items, during the holidays? If so, did you get anything you would recommend?

If you perhaps didn't get anything new, what games did you play during December, and did you find yourself drinking any coffee during the month?


  1. I got the coolest thing ever for Christmas: A Super Nintendo! Having sold mine years and years ago for a N64, the SNES has always been my greatest regret. And now I have it again, with Super Mario Kart and Super International Cricket.

    My two favourite SNES games! Boy was I spoiled!

  2. Trine 2 director's looks sick. Where ya been, bro? Haven't seen you post in a while...or I just haven't seen them...if that's the case, then my bad, XD

  3. Nice post, sounds like you have been quite busy. I checked out the video for ZombiiU and it looks cool. I hope we get the demo here in the NA this week or next. Anyways, had fun racing you in Sonic the other day, too bad the Wii U Chat doesn't work on connection.

  4. Happy Holidays bud. No Wii U for me, and you saw on my site what all I had nabbed. My son's got a couple gaming surprises coming up for his birthday next week though too, which will be fun.

    Going to give us any hints as to what you have plotted for the future of your posting here? :)

    Mind me asking - what kind of TV did you get? I still remember when I got our 52" Samsung. It was a weeknight, we were busy - I wound up staying up until nearly 4am getting that sucker set up - i was too excited to leave it in a box, lol.

  5. That is very cool - never played Cricket, but I have Kart - and a few dozen others. We still have my old SNES from sooo many years ago - and my game collection for it to match. :)

  6. That. Is. AWESOME! Man, we still have my N64, but the SNES we had vanished, and nobody is exactly sure where it went (some think it was loaned out to some cousins, others think in a box somewhere in an attic). I still have some of my SNES games too, but nothing to play them on. I have even looked at the NES/SNES third party machines, that play the cartridge games, but aren't "official" Nintendo products.

    Super Mario Kart had many hours played on it, but never played the Cricket title. I wonder if that was more of a regional release back then, and maybe didn't even release in North America?

    Do you own any of the DKC games by any chance? Those were my favorites for a long while.

    Thanks for the comment and feedback!

  7. Yeah, the posting was very limited, especially once we got the Wii U because of switching cables, and then being out of town a good bit in December. So, you haven't missed much (if any) probably.

    Thanks for the comment, and for stopping by!

  8. Same here for Sonic! Being that it was the "New Year" with Sonic, I didn't mention it in this post. That's saved for "January Brewed".

    I'm actually interested in the ZombiU demo, because I want to see what they are "demoing" in the game to get people interested in it; I'm REALLY hoping they get a patch out for it, so that new players don't have to worry with the bugs/glitches some experience though.

  9. We still have the N64 kicking around too, though it's down to just a few games - Gauntlet Legends (brilliant), Zelda OOT, Mario Kart 64, Mace the Dark Ages and a few others I've forgotten about.

    I owned all three DKC games back with the original SNES. I plan on buying all three again now - they were my favourites back in the day too.

    You're right about Cricket. I doubt it was released in the US. It was developed by an Aussie team and probably just released in PAL countries. It's insanely addictive though - still one of the finest Cricket games out there.

  10. Mace the Dark Ages! I soooo remember that game, NOW that you mentioned it! I rented it and from what I can remember I enjoyed it at the time a great deal. I think it was the character Executioner that I really liked. I wonder which company has the license for that now, if any...

  11. "Going to give us any hints as to what you have plotted for the future of your posting here? :)"

    Hints? About what again........ *delay tactic

    There should be a super quick TV post tomorrow, when it's all finished (so, tomorrow = next week probably). As for the excitement level, one of the issues keeping the TV in the box was the painting and trying to decide exactly where it was going...then we were going out of town the weekend after Christmas, so I just decided to not rush it. The painting is finished though, and we have decided to wall mount it. Here's a hint for the TYPE of TV we ended up getting, it's not an LCD.

  12. I would assume Warner Brothers, since it picked up all of Midway. Makes me wonder what the chances are that we could ever see a Mace revival, because there was some real potential in that franchise.

    My favourite character was Al Rashid, the Arabian assassin dude. I will admit though that I just spammed his whirlwind attack and was basically invincible :P

  13. I waffled on wall mount or using the fairly large, nice TV stand we already had and just went with the later route on ours. I was camped in front of that thing an unhealthy amount the first few weeks after acquiring it. :)

    I'll keep an eye out today/next week for that post. ;)

  14. Well, with Bean 2 being in the *touch everything electronics* phase, and the Mrs. wanting it up...we went with a wall mount.

    We had it all ready to go yesterday...EXCEPT ONE THING. Who knew that the section of wall didn't have a stud every 16", or 24". The people living in the house didn't for sure! So, we are returning the first wall mount (everything was ready!), and the rushed another one out hopefully arriving tomorrow. The TV is operational, and upon turning it on late yesterday afternoon and firing up some Netflix show, Mrs. Coffee said, "I'm calling out!" (sick to work). She didn't though.

  15. ROFL - my house has been remodeled and added onto so many times over the years, I'd be afraid of trying to assume anything in that place was standard.

    Though - I have to say - if I had little beans like you still? I'd be inclined to mount that up too. My older kids scare me enough, and they know better.

  16. I say put out that cool multiplayer mode as a freebie to drum up sales and interest for the sequel (looking like Ubi is happy enough to greenlight for sure?)
    On an utterly unrelated note, shout-out to Jeremy "Lin James" Hardin, as I am a big fan. Good luck reaching those playoffs ;)

  17. They could include the multiplayer as part of the demo (still haven't checked out the demo, but I did download it), and make it part of the "30 plays" deal. I can only imagine that would help it sell a few more copies.

  18. "Maybe I should go find the studs first."

    LOL, I would recommend it. Saves you the trouble of having to return one, and could save you $10 for overnight it gets done on the weekend. Might be speaking from experience, or something...

    Glad to see Mutant Mudds still getting some play-time, at the rate you're progressing, Bean 1 may "finish" the game first if you're not careful.

    I remember trying out the VVVVVV demo and thought it was a very good idea, but I haven't bought it yet. It would be for the PC right now if I did though.

    I actually wanted to try out both deBlob games, but never got around to getting either one. Did you play the first one as well, or just start with 2?

    As for the Steam games, I should really give some of mine more time. But Mutant Mudds is the dominate PC game right now, because Bean 1 likes to watch me play it and he likes to play it as well (too much so!). I have a ton of PC games left to play, and haven't even started the majority of them...

    The Steam Big Picture thing, I should research it. Wonder if I could somehow stream it to the TV, and capture it...haven't really ever done external hook up to a TV from the monitor and not sure what it would require (special cable?). Speaking of Steam...guess what their deal of the day is, just helping keep you incomplete. :)

    As for the "It's "The Milk Cafe" from Breville", I looked at it. It looks like a metal blender of sorts at first, but then something about induction heating...and 2 spouts for Latte and another!? It all made sense with the accent of the lady doing the video though and how she started describing it. They knew the market they were aiming for, and my guess is that it was a lot more popular over there, than here (I'm just assuming it wasn't originally aimed at the U.S. market, but I could be 100% wrong)...

  19. Mudds: Yeah, I bet he will beat me. I think I put some time into the retro hidden levels, but didn't get far.

    deBlob: Did not start out with the first as I heard #2 was an overall better game.

    I thought I had you hooked up with VVVVVV for a second with a free Steam key, but it was for something else. Great game on PC as I beat it there first with the keyboard. Honestly the 3DS port didn't add very much to the visuals. It's just the controls and having the lower screen to see the map. I think they also included a number of extra maps, but that might have been added back to the PC version later.

    I'd definitely recommend Steam's Big picture. It's out of beta and generally working well from my experience. I'm not sure why, but it's very enjoyable to hook up a controller and, scroll, chat and even video/voice call in the interface with only a controller.

    For hooking up to a TV, I'd opt for HDMI when possible. It just makes things simple by pushing clear video and audio on one cable. At the moment I'm using a mini DisplayPort adapter to HDMI. (also allows for DisplayPort and DVI)

    Seems it's mostly mac and newer laptops that support mDP thunderbolt.

    This is obviously much better than the VGA cable I was using and the TV's audio is great compared to laptop speakers.

    Deal of the day.... Yeah, I saw that earlier and was going to email you. Was also looking at Deadlight which was on sale Wednesday. Held off on both though, but still plenty behind.


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