Wednesday, February 6, 2013

January Brewed - Coffees Consumed & Games Played

Coffee Beans
January. Another month, but the one that starts off a new year. With January rolling around, I decided to take the month slower, and do some planning. I like the idea of, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." a lot, but more on that later.

With January now history, what coffees did I consume and games did I play during the month? Can you guess (without looking!) what my most played game was during the month? Brew yourself a nice cup (or two) of coffee, and let's take a look!

Coffees Consumed
The Folgers Black Silk coffee started us off for the New Year, but didn't last us very long since it was a smaller container of coffee that we used most of when we went out of town in December. The Folgers Black Silk is a "Dark" roast coffee from Folgers, and if you enjoy bolder coffees, you would probably enjoy it.

After the Folgers Black Silk ran out, we went to our typical 200+ coffee cup container, that being the Maxwell House Daily Brew. It's more of a medium roast coffee, on the lighter side, but not as light as the Starbucks Blonde Veranda Blend we have brewed in the past.

After we ran out of the Maxwell House Daily Brew, I opened up one of Mrs. Coffee's Christmas gifts to me, the Café Bustelo Coffee Espresso. It was finely ground, to a powder, dark roast coffee. I believe it was originally aimed at the Hispanic market, after researching it a bit, but in recent years has started trying to grow its brand. I'm not sure if Mrs. Coffee knew about the coffee before buying it, or if she saw it at the store browsing and decided to get it for me on a whim. The coffee is definitely a stronger blend, and we enjoyed it while it lasted.

The last coffee we brewed in the month was Maxwell House French Roast. We have brewed this multiple times over the last few years, as it is one of the regular Maxwell House coffees purchased by Mrs. Coffee. While the description for it is "Medium Dark", I still tend to feel this is more of a "Medium" roast. Being a "Medium" roast is not a bad thing, and we really enjoy the coffee, but it's just that if you like the typical French Roast "Dark" roasted flavor, this isn't as strong as you would probably expect.

Games Played
Here's the "Instant Coffee" list for the games I played in January: Trine 2: Director's Cut, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, New Super Mario Bros. U, Mutant Mudds, Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed, Nintendo LandSuper Mario Bros.Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Mario Kart Wii, Assassin's Creed IIIRabbids LAND, Rayman Legend Demo, ZombiU Demo, and World of Goo.

Mushrooms, a staple for platforming success since the 80s?
Trine 2: Director's Cut - Last month I reported I had finished the main campaign, and since then I have been going back through the game attempting to find all the hidden pieces in the levels, and also attempting to unlock the Wii U's exclusive level (I think). With more than 40 hours in the game, I still haven't found everything just yet, but am hoping that I can finish it all up this month. If you have a Wii U and Trine 2, please add my Nintendo Network ID to your friend list, Coffees, and hopefully we can play a few levels online sometime.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 - Multiplayer. Multiplayer. Multiplayer. I put many hours into Black Ops 2's multiplayer in January, mainly Team Deathmatch battles. As I commented on the "Black Ops 2 Wii U patch available." story, I have not had any issue finding a match to join when I hop on playing Team Deathmatch battles. If you enjoy the basic Team Deathmatch battles in FPS games, and particularly the Call of Duty games, I can easily recommend you adding Black Ops 2 Wii U to your collection. I still greatly enjoy using the GamePad to play off just of it, while using our original Wii to "watch" a show on Netflix.

My Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 combat record, as of January 30th.
New Super Mario Bros. U - I beat the single-player campaign in January, after only about 12 hours of play. Now, I didn't finish the campaign with all the hidden Star coins, but right now there are a few things about New Super Mario Bros. U that I like, and a few things that I don't like. I'll give you one of each for now. I like that the game-play is solid as ever for a Mario platformer, and that is a positive. I don't like that the GamePad cannot be used in multiplayer, except in Boost Mode. That screams of programming laziness and nickel and diming of consumers to me. I can only imagine Christmas morning in some houses, opening up the Wii U and New Super Mario Bros. U with one Wii Remote, only to find out you actually need two Wii Remotes to play multiplayer. It basically makes New Super Mario Bros. U a $140 game to play local multiplayer, because you can't use the GamePad for it (see: the controller that came with the console). We have multiple Wii Remotes, but the fact that one of us couldn't use the GamePad for multiplayer and we had to unsync one from the Wii to the Wii U was a bit odd, and makes me wonder why they didn't just program the Boost Mode to be activated with a button press from the menu, still allowing the GamePad to be used for regular game-play.

Another version of "CoffeeWithGames", and why physical is better than digital...sort of.
Mutant Mudds - I wrote last month that I had "completed the main levels of Mutant Mudds on December 31st." Well, on January 8th I tweeted, "@JoolsWatsham @mutantmudds Just finished a little something. "Brewing" reference for the win! #100% #WorthEveryPenny". I had completed every single level in Mutant Mudds. The V-LAND levels. The G-LAND levels. The CGA-LAND levels. All of them, finally! Even after completing them, I am still being voluntold by Bean 1 to play the game some. Until Mutant Mudds Deluxe releases for the Wii U later this year, and Mutant Mudds 2 sometime later (maybe for the Wii U?), I'm sure I'll be playing levels randomly on the PC version, and maybe even some on the iOS version I grabbed for free last week on Mrs. Coffee's iPhone.

"...something new brewing."? Coffee? Has to be coffee!
NBA 2K13 Demo - I downloaded this demo from the Wii U's eShop, and played through 2 or 3 demo periods. I lost all of the demo matches I tried. This is not an arcade NBA Jam type basketball game, but I imagine that once you learn the ins/outs of the game-play elements and setting up passes and shots, that it could make for an interesting and realistic simulation of the sport. I have never really gotten into the NBA video games, other than NBA Jam in the 90s, so I can't see myself picking this up just yet, but I am glad to see Wii U owners with the option to pick it up.
Nintendo Land - This wasn't played much in January, but I did play a bit of the Yoshi's Fruit Cart mini-game and made some decent progress in it; the farthest I had made it yet. I still want to finish the Battle Quest and the Metroid Blast mini-games, but I think this will be a slow-burner game over the next several months.
Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed - I still haven't played this one much, but what I have played of it, I have enjoyed. Early in January, Jeremy (from NintendoFuse.com) and I hopped online in the game to try out the online races. He beat me soundly in every race, but the game ran well. We even experimented with the Wii U Chat, but didn't have much fortune getting a solid connection (we found out it apparently requires a higher speed broadband connection, than just the lower end speeds that some ISPs offer). This is a game I'm hoping to get through this month, and possibly provide some video coverage of as well.

Super Mario Bros. - We are still using our Wii. We use it almost daily for Netflix, and we still use it quite often so Bean 1 can play some Virtual Console games when he wants. Super Mario Bros. was one of those games in January. While he attempts different levels, if he gets stuck in a level by falling in a hole or hitting Goombas too many times, I'm quickly voluntold to beat the level. We didn't finish the game in January, but I did notice something in one of the levels that reminded me of a scene from Finding Nemo...
Super Mario Bros. 3 - This is another Virtual Console game I played randomly with Bean 1, or with him watching. I really hope that Nintendo figures out the Wii U Virtual Console quickly, and gets as many of the older Mario titles up on it sooner, rather than later. We didn't beat Super Mario Bros. 3 in January, as our play sessions usually don't last very long, but we make decent progress when we play...until Bean 1 resets the save file and we usually have to start over from the beginning. I'm still amazed that this game was released on the NES, and I think it is just one of the many games helps with the "game-play over graphics" debate.
Super Mario World - Another Virtual Console game, and another one Bean 1 would randomly select and I would end up being told I needed to play it. We beat a few levels at a time, like the other Virtual Console Mario games, and then usually move on to something else.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past - This is another game that Bean 1 requests to play, or watch me play. He actually gets around the world pretty well, and can attack and kill enemies, and knows where the secret entrance to the dungeon is and how to get into it. We were making decent progress in the game, completing the first dungeon, but then Bean 1 figured out the magic disappearing file act, which he thought was absolutely hilarious. Basically he would delete every single file and say, "It makes it disappear!" This happens quite often, so we have started over from the beginning several times. I'm hoping his magic act will stop soon, and perhaps we can make good progress in the game, because I don't ever remember beating this one when I was younger!
Mario Kart Wii - This is one Bean 1 requests to play occasionally, and it's one he enjoys and can now even complete races; sometimes finishing 1st! I actually enjoy the music in some of the levels, A LOT. Moo Moo Meadows is probably one of my favorite levels because of the music in it, at least right now. Bean 1's favorite level right now is probably Wario's Gold Mine, because is has "train tracks" throughout the level, which are really the tracks for the mine carts.

Every good assassin needs coffee?
Assassin's Creed III - What happens when you join GameFly trying to get one game, and they don't have it? Well, they automatically send you the 2nd game in your queue. This is how Assassin's Creed III ended up in our Wii U collection, and is still around. I haven't played it much, just one night really, but I did enjoy what I played of it. There has even been a coffee reference already spotted in the game (seen in the image above), which of course makes this a GOTY contender already, because finishing games doesn't matter around here, just how many (or any) coffee references are in the game.
Rabbids LAND - I started playing this in January, and so far have put a little over 5 hours into it. This is definitely a different Rabbids mini-game experience from the Wii titles, because of the board game setup. I haven't had the chance to play it with Mrs. Coffee yet, or Bean 1, so I don't know how the multiplayer adds to the craziness of it all, but I have enjoyed the ability to play it using just the GamePad with off-TV play.
Rayman Legends Demo - I downloaded this demo when it become available on the Wii U eShop, and have enjoyed it sporadically, as has Bean 1. He has almost completed one of the levels in the demo, twice now. He is close, soooo close, like one jump away from beating it close; but usually gets hit by an enemy right before making the jump.
ZombiU Demo - My neighbor has my copy of ZombiU right now, but I did download and completed the demo for the game. I was interested to see what Ubisoft used from the game for the demo, and I was a little surprised by their choice, but it definitely gives players a good overall feel for the game I think. If you are interested in ZombiU, but not sure about the game-play and style, the demo for the game will give you a good idea of what you can expect.

World of Goo - I decided to try and get Bean 1 interested in another PC game, other than Mutant Mudds. I have had World of Goo on my Steam account for a while now, but never really played it. I fired it up the last day of the month, and showed Bean 1 what it was about. Every time I would beat a level and the container would fill up with goo and the Goo Balls at the end, he would say, "It's coffee!"; which the goo does have a dark coffee appearance, so I can't blame him there. We have completed 3-4 levels so far, and if I install it on our PC like Mutant Mudds (I have the file from a Humble Bundle I think), then I think Bean 1 will start playing it more.

As for what my most played game in January was, that would be Black Ops 2 (or II) for the Wii U, as the image below shows!
1. and 2. were not games!
Caffeinated Thoughts & Questions
As always, if any of you have a Wii U feel free to add my Nintendo Network ID, Coffees, to your friend list. If you have any questions, or thoughts, about the games that I played during January feel free to share them below in the comments section, or even email them to me if you prefer.

Were there any coffees you consumed in January that were perhaps new for you, like the Café Bustelo Coffee Espresso blend was for me? Also, what games did you find yourself playing in January, and did any of them stick out to you particularly more than others?

18 comments:

  1. That explains why we haven't seen you around much coffee! You've been playing so many games, haha.


    Aside from my reviews stuff my entire last month has been all about Ni No Kuni, Dead or Alive 5 and I'm back into Zen Pinball. Unfortunately the Wii U has been underused as a result. I'm looking forward to something new coming out and grabbing me.


    Although I did plug a couple of hours into Balloon Fight. Best $0.30 I ever spent.

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  2. That is too many games than is humanly possible, but I guess all that coffee gives you and your beans the fuel you guys need!


    If you see someone named "Phil32" giving you a friend request, that is yours truly.

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  3. Haha, the games and the planning (TV, new equipment, setup). Just getting things setup and planned out for future posting and objectives. I did a lot of "behind the scenes" work, I guess.


    We still don't have Zen Pinball 2 on the Wii U yet, but I'm looking forward to giving it a try when it finally releases.

    I actually RUSHED to buy Balloon Fight, because I thought the $0.30 sale was just until February 1st, didn't realize it was a bit longer than that at first.



    Thanks for the comment and feedback!

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  4. I don't know how I would survive without the coffee, and the Beans actually don't get ANY coffee, but they have TONS of energy; it's incredible! It really is like a "Fountain of Youth" or something being little. They just go and go and go and go.


    As for the friend request, I got it this morning!


    Thanks for the comment and friend request!

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  5. I'm really looking forward to seeing what you do with the site now that Nintendo's not doing its data thing.


    More critic vs consumer pieces? Those are always fun to get me riled up! :D

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  6. Was looking forward to seeing your Ray Man Legends writeup at the end of this month....oh wells :\
    Also, on the topic of Ubi, just saw that NoA is working with them in offering a pretty sweet ZombiU bundle now. Having that Pro Controller bundled in pretty much makes it worthwhile by itself. I'm liking that aggressive move, but alas in the end good new games need to be released.

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  7. Alot of games there Coffee, no wonder you've been quiet. Speaking of Beans and mario, my oldest did pretty well at the original SMB last night. Got into using the stick and jumping.. and talking about mushrooms. And then, as you're familiar with, I was voluntold to play while she cheered along with each jump. (pipe to pipe)

    January was a bit lower than previous months, but no slouch by any means.

    3DS:

    - Gunman Clive - beat 3x, on my 4th run now. *in shock, I know*
    - Professor Layton and the Curious Village
    - Fire emblem awakening (demo)
    - Dementium II - playing this in a dark house at midnight may not be the best idea. has some freaky sounds when you use earphones.
    - Mutant Mudds
    - Art of Balance Touch (demo)

    Wii:

    - Liight
    - Zelda: A Link to the Past
    - Bit.Trip Flux (Demo)

    Luckily no one has erased my LTTP profile yet. I'm still near the beginning with only one pendant and having fun with it in small doses.

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  8. Critic vs. Consumer pieces will continue, in the slow-as-usual fashion. Data is still around, and it's not going anywhere, as of now...just re-organizing things.

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  9. I agree about the new bundle, and REALLY wish it was at launch here in the U.S., as I would be up a Pro Controller for the system. I bought ZombiU day one, but still don't have a Pro Controller.


    As for Rayman Legends, I'm not sure which route I'll be going now. Perhaps LEGO City and Pandora's Tower, but then Monster Hunter is a BIG deal for me as well. Trying to find a happy-medium with purchases.

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  10. That is an impressive list - and we had a bit of overlap - if not on the same systems. I do wish I had had the time to get into NBA 2k13 this year. I loved 11 and 12 - you're right though - they are much slower 'sim' like games than say, NBA Jam.

    We've had a bit of Mario Kart Wii getting played lately, and my son's been playing Mutant Mudds on his 3DS again. I sunk a lot of time into Black Ops 2 - same as you - multiplayer deatmatch - over the last week or two. I'm level 53 now, so prestige is in sight.

    I've been borrowing Assassin's Creed II from a friend for my 360. on the one hand, I can appreciate that it's well-made, but on the other, I'm just not really all that invested in it. I'm about 3 chapters in though, and I do plan to beat it, but I'm just not 'hooked' - I'm letting other things distract me, like my shiny new Fire Emblem for the 3DS

    Games last month:

    PSP/Vita - Corpse Party, Zen Pinball 2, Pinball Arcade, Lunar, Elminage, Wipeout, and JUST started Persona 4 Golden

    3DS - Hadn't really played it until FE a couple of days ago

    Wii - Mario Kart. Also, my oldest, youngest and wife got into Just Dance. I don't play, but I watch with amusement. My son and I have been playing some Smash Bros. too

    360 - Assassin's creed and Halo: Anniversary. I'm probably 80% done with Halo

    PS3: Black Ops 2 (only the online, I haven't touched campaign yet), Zen Pinball 2, Retro City Rampage


    iOS: Mutant Mudds, Guardian Cross, Marvel: War of Heroes, Rage of Bahamut, nightfall, Shadow Era


    PC: Some Magic: the gathering and some playing around with RPG Maker VX Ace

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  11. Another little Mario gamer in the making! Are you playing SMB or SM64 with her? The "Got into using the stick" made me unsure.

    Gunman Clive, beaten? Something is off about that, but I've heard good stuff about the game. With no 3DS here (still waiting on where to send the $5), it probably won't happen unless it hits the Wii U.

    On Dementium II, I actually won that from PureNintendo.com a few years back, and enjoyed it a lot. While it did make me wish the DS had a 2nd analogue stick at the time, I thought the setting/atmosphere was done very well. I would love to see Renegade Kid with a bigger budget and more time, to see what type of Wii U Dementium they could come up with.

    Thanks for the comment and feedback! BTW, are you still using the glorified hot chocolate machine?

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  12. Yep, the original SMB. Am using the Wii classic controller as the analog stick seems easier than the dpad. Still looking for the classic pro on sale, but the original will do for now.

    Gunman Clive: you know it. I'm all over a 40-70 minute game! Probably a good fit for the Wii U's gamepad too.

    The control scheme on Dementium II is exactly what I'm trying to get used to. It's a bit odd attacking and controlling with the same hand, then using the sylus as your on-screen mouse. Great sound and atmosphere though.



    Hot choco: lol, still using it from time to time. We tried to heat/foam half and half for coffee, but it affected the taste in a weird way. Back to regular cold cream like usual.

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  13. Beating a dead horse, but it's a shame that 3DS/WiiU data isn't available. I thought that was such a great feature of the Wii and you made use of it in an interesting way.


    #NintendoFail

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  14. Interesting no mention of Black Ops on the Vita, is it on the back-burner for later?

    I'm putting a lot of time into Black Ops 2 on the Wii U, and just reached Level 55 tonight, for the 2nd time...

    Now, will I Prestige again, or sit at 55? I have seen some CRAZY Prestige levels, absolutely insane (Level 7 and higher)...I can't imagine how many hours they have put into the game so far.

    On the iOS, there's another "Rage...." that could help keep you incomplete, but glad to see the regular there still getting played.



    Thanks for the comment and feedback! Oh, and your mention of RPG Maker actually led to me going and looking up the FPS Maker program you have mentioned before...

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  15. Good catch on that - yeah, my son's played it some on the Vita, but I haven't really given it a fair go yet. Part of what I want to do is beat up on Wipeout and Uncharted because they were downloaded PlayStation Plus titles, and between them about 5 gbs of my storage space is getting used up. I'll play them up, and probably remove them to free up some real estate.


    Good question on the prestiging. I plan to do it at least once, but once I get back up there? I may have to wait. My son plans to cycle through again though.


    Rage of the gladiator - heh, I haven't forgotten about it. I will probably keep watching my various ios daily updates for when it's on sale cheap or better yet, free. It'll get there eventually I suspect.


    Ah, the FPS maker - did you see the review I put up for it on Digitally Downloaded? Basically, there's some good ideas there, but it's tough to recommend imo. They are supposed to be working on a new one, but I'm not sure when it's set to release.

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  16. I had missed your review on FPS Creator, but just saw it: http://www.digitallydownloaded.net/2012/12/review-fps-creator-pc.html

    *Waits until October...

    I actually added a few Unity books to my "Wish List" here recently, since Unity seems to be a pretty solid starting place, with lots of options.

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  17. I've only played Borderlands 2 and Halo 4 this month. Though, I'm starting to get requests for reviews from indie game studios for Holygrenade, so that total might spike in the coming months. :D

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  18. Sticking to only 2 games in a month, impressive. Are both on the 360, or is Borderlands 2 on another system?

    As for the reviews, I'll try to keep an eye on updates on the side like the current one that is updated with the guest post.

    Thanks for the comment!

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