Monday, March 4, 2013

February Brewed - Coffees Consumed & Games Played


Coffee Beans
February was a busy month, but I found my time dominated by one game in particular. I mentioned in last month's "January Brewed" post, that I like the idea, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.", and with March starting up, CoffeeWithGames should get back to a regular posting schedule of a couple of posts each week.

While I didn't post much in February, I did put an unhealthy amount of time into playing a game. If you read the few posts I did in February you probably know that game was Call of Duty: Black Ops II on the Wii U. I even created probably the oddest Black Ops II video yet, at least not just game related, and shared that in my "Drones! What are they good for? Fox News' Charles Krauthammer & Black Ops II?" piece. If you missed the piece and the video, you can see the video embedded below:

March is upon us, and with it new games (and maybe coffees) are waiting in the wings, but what coffees did I consume and games did I play in February? Brew yourself a nice pot of coffee, and let's take a look!


Coffees Consumed
Maxwell House returned in February as our default coffees of choice, but there were a few more that were brewed up during the month.

The default Maxwell House coffees we brewed up were the Maxwell House French Roast and the Maxwell House Dark Roast. We still have some of the Maxwell House Dark Roast, and it has gotten March started off well for us, but the French Roast was finished earlier in February. Both the French Roast and Dark Roast are very similar in flavor, neither has a strong bitter flavor, but each provides a nice bold flavor.

Between brewing the Maxwell House coffees, we enjoyed several other coffee blends in February. One of those blends was the Kona Blend Coffee, which was/is sealed up in the cabinet and used occasionally. It's a a whole bean coffee, that I actually received it last year for my birthday, and I'll grind up some of the beans when we're running low on the Maxwell House, or if we run out. It's more of a mild roast coffee, but is a good backup coffee to have hidden away.
How much caffeine is too much caffeine?
Another coffee blend brewed up in February was a new one that we had never tried before. It was the Puroast Low Acid Coffee, Dark French Roast blend. The idea behind this coffee is that it provides a great tasting coffee, but has a 50% lower acidity than other coffees. The verdict? To me, and Mrs. Coffee, this coffee seems to be missing the "bite" that makes coffee, well, coffee. While our blend was the "Dark French Roast", which is supposed to be one of the strongest coffee roasts, it had a very light flavor. It actually reminded me of the Starbucks Blonde Veranda Blend we have brewed in the past, which I called "an extremely light blend".

If you like lighter tasting coffees, then I would recommend giving the Puroast Dark French Roast blend a try, but you should know that it probably won't taste like your typical French Roast coffee you have had before.

The last, new, coffee blend we brewed in February was Medaglia D'Oro Caffé Espresso roast. It's definitely a stronger blend, as you would probably expect with "Espresso" in its name. I enjoy it, and Mrs. Coffee makes sure to sweeten her's up, but it is definitely has the "bite" that I expect from darker roast coffees.

Games Played
The quick, "Instant Coffee", list of games I played in February is: World of Goo, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Mutant Mudds, Balloon Fight, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and Trine 2.

Bean 1's stats from a World of Goo level.
World of Goo - I made it through the first four worlds and when I get to the last level I'm not sure what exactly I'm doing in it. Bean 1, in typical fashion, deletes the save files quit often, so I have played through several of the levels many times. Bean 1 beats levels on his own, quit often, and even just completed a level from the World of Goo WiiWare demo we have.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past - We are continuing to make slow progress in the game, if the save file can last more than a few days before getting erased! Bean 1 still plays this, and runs around pretty well in the game and even knows how to switch between inventory items now, and I'm always amazed when he beats random enemies running around. Perhaps once Bean 1 is out of his erasing save files mood, we can beat the game. Until then, we'll probably just keep playing randomly and having fun.

Mutant Mudds - Has Mutant Mudds Deluxe released for the Wii U yet? I didn't think so! Bean 1 still opens this up randomly on the PC, and will play through different levels. I, of course, will end up playing through (or attempting to) a few of the levels, with him watching what to do.

My first effort in Balloon Fight.
Balloon Fight - My first eShop purchase, and it cost me a whopping 30 cents. This game is part of Nintendo's Wii U Virtual Console Trial Campaign, where they are offering certain NES games for just 30 cents, for 30 days (one game, every 30 days). Balloon Fight is definitely simple enough and plays well, but I find the sound effects are a bit on the tinny side. I haven't made it very far in the game, but I did post my first "high score" to the Miiverse community. Was it worth the 30 cents though? Absolutely.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II - Unhealthy. Unhealthy. Unhealthy. What was the cause of lack of sleep for me during February? Was it two little Beans running around, blogging late into the nights, or creating my next multi-million dollar invention (not sure where I misplaced the first)? No, the lack of sleep in February was because of Black Ops II on the Wii U. After getting the Beans in bed, I would fire up the Wii U and play Black Ops II on the GamePad late into the night, usually with some random Netflix series playing in the background. If any of you own a Wii U and are playing Black Ops II often, please add my Nintendo Network ID, Coffees, to your Wii U Friend List. I'll add you back and perhaps we can play some matches of Black Ops II together. 99% of my matches are in Team Deathmatch, though this last weekend I was playing a lot of Headquarters because of the Double XP being offered in it.

Trine 2 - I'm still playing back through Trine 2's levels, trying to collect all of the items and hidden objects in each level, so that I can access the last level. Trine 2 was on sale (still is in Europe) during February, down to just $14.99, and now there is a demo for the game on the Wii U's eShop as well. If you have been wondering how Trine 2 plays (and looks), definitely download the demo to give it a try. If you own Trine 2 on the Wii U, have you beaten it and unlocked the last level?

Caffeinated Thoughts & Questions
With a new month upon us, I'm actually looking forward to a few games releasing later this month, though I will probably only pick up one initially. While I'm interested in LEGO City: Undercover, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, and Need for Speed: Most Wanted, I'll probably only be grabbing Pandora's Tower when it releases.

Had Nintendo of America actually done their job during Wii's main life-time, and brought already developed games to the U.S., I probably wouldn't be diverting potential Wii U funds, to purchase a Wii game. U.S. Wii owners (and Wii U owners) can purchase Pandora's Tower later this month for just $39.99, thanks to XSEED Games.

Were there any coffees you consumed in February that were new blends, or just stick with your regular blend(s)? Did you play any games in February that you found particularly addicting, like I did Black Ops II, and are there any games you are looking forward to that are releasing in March?

11 comments:

  1. Good stuff with Balloon Fight. It's my most played Wii U game for both February and March so far... not bad for $0.30. :D


    My main game has been a replay of Ni No Kuni. That and Real Racing 3 which is the best free-to-play game I've ever experienced, and the first that has encouraged me to spend money via microtransactions.


    March is looking incredibly busy for me. I've already got Tomb Raider, Atelier Ayesha, Metal Gear Rising, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus and Dynasty Warriors 7 Empires...


    I'll need to order another bag of coffee beans from Zimbabwe.

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  2. I need to hop on the F-ZERO sale, before I forget about it, and the price goes up. With how I delay things, I'll probably delay long enough on one of them, and miss it.

    On Real Racing 3, I have heard lots of mixed opinions on it, and how they have the microtransactions implemented in the game. Being that I don't have an iOS or Android device though, I won't be downloading it anytime soon. Even with Mrs. Coffee's iPhone, I don't use it often enough to download games to it (I downloaded Fortune Street and never attempted it, same with Minecraft lite).

    Having extra coffee is never a bad thing, because if you run out (or low) unexpectedly, it can save you a trip to the store, and with lots of games lined up, it could be safe to order some extra now!



    Thanks for the comment and feedback!

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  3. I have a cousin that used to delete my save files when he was younger, so I can relate. I had to tell him multiple times not to delete my files lol. One time he even chewed the cord off of my blue N64 controller. Nowadays, he's playing lots of Black Ops II on his Wii U, and nowhere near my saves.

    I also just got myself a new coffee percolator, but can't seem to get a good cup of coffee out of it. Doesn't seem to be getting hot enough. Any tips?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Having multiple accounts is the best thing that ever happened to video games last generation. My kids no longer accidentally delete my saves on 360 or PS3. Man that is nice...

    Monster Hunter 3 and Pandora's Tower are both of interest to me. Balloon Fight... there's a name I haven't heard of in a while. I still have my original copy of F-Zero amusingly.

    You list of games was a bit longer than expected, since I know how much Black Ops II you have been playing.

    Feb was a REALLY busy gaming month for me. March is shaping up to be busy too, depending on how long it takes me to beat Ni No Kuni.

    I was back into high volume of games this month after a few months punctuated by playing just a handful of huge games. Up through today...



    Vita:
    - Zen Pinball 2
    - Plants Vs Zombies (beat it)

    - Persona 4 (just barely)
    - Corpse Party: Book of Shadows (beat it)

    - Ninja Gaiden Sigma
    - Lunar (finally beat it)



    PS3:
    - Pure Chess
    - Zen Pinball 2
    - Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch (this one's gonna take awhile)

    - Outland
    - Dead or Alive 5 (beat most of the modes)
    - Journey
    - Black Ops II (prestiged, got about halfway through another prestige)
    - Super Street Fighter IV Arcade (beat it several times with about 1/3 of the characters)


    Xbox 360:
    - Assassin's Creed III (beat 9t)

    - Alien Hominid
    - Castle Crashers (beat it)

    - Halo: Anniversary (beat it)


    NIntendo 3DS
    - Naruto Powerful Shippuden (beat it)
    - Fire Emblem (beat it)


    Quite a few mobile games (Angry Birds Star Wars, Guardian Cross, Rage of Bahamut, Marvel: War of Heroes, Need for Speed)


    I think the only Wii game I played was a bit of Mario Kart and Smash Brothers with the kid, and I logged a lot of levels on Guild Wars 2 on my PC as well. Bunch of smaller things like Black Tiger on the Capcom Arcade Cabinet or Jetpack Joyride out in the living room... I know you saw me comment on this on my site - but it felt like this last month was a very 'sleep is optional' month for me :)

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  5. "One time he even chewed the cord off of my blue N64 controller."

    LOL, I have had pets chew on controllers and mess them up, but fortunately the Beans haven't. The Wii Remotes are the closest thing they might have tried to chew on, but being plastic with no cord helps limit any damage.

    If he's playing Black Ops II online now, feel free to let him know he can add me to his Wii U friend list if he's looking for other people to maybe play some matches with.

    As for the coffee maker issue, the only thing I can think of is checking this link, http://www.ehow.com/how_5844536_fix-percolator-coffee-pot.html, and see if there are any helpful hints. I know sometimes coffee makers may just have a bad burner/electrical issue, and the only thing to do is replace them. We haven't had that issue, but some of our friends have just had them stop working before.



    Thanks for the comment and feedback! Oh, and were you playing anything in February that stood out?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nice list of games going on there!

    "Zen Pinball 2"

    I can't wait for the Wii U version to release, I'm looking forward to the Star Wars tables.

    When I saw you list Pure Chess, I actually went and turned on my PS3 to check and see if I had that $10 credit that some received last month. Unfortunately, I did not get the $10 credit (unless it's hiding in plain site), and I didn't download Pure Chess....

    " I know you saw me comment on this on my site - but it felt like this last month was a very 'sleep is optional' month for me :)"

    What I'm wondering is, did you do it without any coffee, or were you grabbing some on the way to work each day?



    Thanks for the comment and feedback!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Had Nintendo of America actually done their job during Wii's main life-time, and brought already developed games to the U.S...



    Amen. A tiny-ass company has demonstrated how to make (modest) money off a "niche title" and serve a certain breadth of the addressable customer base.
    Why could't a big-ass company figure out this magic formula? Was the expected return (and at very least, with the Last Story, XSeed has demonstrated there IS an expected positive return) too minuscule to move their corporate profitability needle? I almost hope this was merely incompetence at play (which can be addressed through personnel changes and/or copying a successful product strategy) as opposed to being symptomatic of where this new product cycle will also be headed.

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  8. "Why could't a big-rear company figure out this magic formula? Was the expected return (and at very least, with the Last Story, XSeed has demonstrated there IS an expected positive return) too minuscule to move their corporate profitability needle?"

    Exactly. Nintendo really got greedy with the Wii, which is understandable for a while, but when some of us were saying, "Where are the budget games?" Nintendo was still selling 4 and 5 year old games for $50. Or, in some cases (like Metroid Prime 3 and Metroid Prime Trilogy), simply not selling them anymore at all.

    Apparently, the piles of cash were so high from the Wii and DS successes at the time, that they blocked Nintendo's (specifically "of America") view of their Wii games, and prevented them from keeping them in production. Or, with Pandora's Tower, The Last Story, and Disaster: Day of Crisis, producing even a limited number for Wii owners, supporting their own console.

    "I almost hope this was merely incompetence at play (which can be addressed through personnel changes and/or copying a successful product strategy)..."

    I think rotating staff around is a good idea, and wish companies did it more often. Making some in higher up management/marketing positions clean toilets & parking lots, and those in cleaning positions moved into the other positions. Just do it for like 3 months, and see if the other workers can do any better. I doubt they could do worse at this point.

    Rotating jobs/positions allows the company to not fire anybody, but does perhaps allow the company employees to learn something new and perhaps appreciate positions they are/aren't in.

    Fortunately for consumers (not Nintendo & developers), the Wii U hasn't taken off like the Wii did, which I think is going to quickly result in lower priced games (perhaps a Player's Choice line) .

    ReplyDelete
  9. More coffee and tea as usual, no changes there. It looks like you had a full gaming month putting some time into the Wii U!

    For me the 3DS was lighter than Wii which is a change of pace. So far mine haven't figured out how to erase or I don't give them enough time to get into trouble with it. :)

    I've stuck with my 'beat one game per month' goal so far with knocking out Bonk's Adventure finally. I had this on the original TG16 hardware and have completed it countless times as a yute. Though my VC run from 2008 was left incomplete at the end and it's as good as anything else to knock out.

    This month I suspect it'll be Retro City Rampage on WiiWare.

    3DS:

    - Gunman Clive
    - The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
    - The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords
    - Professor Layton and the Curious Village
    - dementium ii
    - Mutant Mudds

    Wii:

    - super mario bros
    - super mario bros 2
    - bonk's adventure (beat)
    - wii ski
    - rayman origins
    - Retro City Rampage
    - MegaMan 9
    - Nickelodean Dance
    - Amazon Video

    ReplyDelete
  10. "I've stuck with my 'beat one game per month' goal..."

    That is outrageous!

    Can't say I've played Bonk's Adventure though, just seen it in passing on sites and the Nintendo Channel.


    Glad to see Mutant Mudds is still being played, I'm hoping Mutant Mudds Deluxe gets released this month for the Wii U, but with how slow NoA seems to be getting things done these days (where is Zen Pinball 2?), I don't know how long it will take once it's all submitted over.

    Your Wii list has a nice variety. Interesting seeing Wii Ski listed there, but did you use the Balance Board for it?



    Thanks for the comment and feedback!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Outrageous and unheard of!


    Yeah, Bonk is a cool series. I'm not sure if it's mostly nostalgia, but I like that it has a different feel than Mario/MegaMan and is kind of weird.


    Sadly my time with Mudds didn't yield any progress. I can't seem to get any further on the virtual levels.


    For Wii Ski I wasn't using the board this time, but have in the past. I have mostly written it off as a dumb kid/shovelware game. It's not that bad though.

    ReplyDelete

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