So, it's been a while since I posted. Basically, the nuttiness of the holiday has simply been keeping me busy as heck.
We started painting the kitchen in December, and ended up racing to get everything buttoned up before the holidays. There's still a little touching up to be done, but we at least got the room far enough along to be presentable to holiday visitors and attendees to our annual post-Christmas party (which is tonight!).
My parents visited over the holidays, which was great, and everything went without a hitch. Heather had to work on Christmas, but we went in to have lunch with her and her coworkers, and that turned out to be a nice time.
The other thing that's been keeping me busy is the Great Games Deluge of Late '07. Truly, it's been a great fall to be a gamer. Over the last few weeks, I finished Portal (a simply sublime religious experience) and Halo 3 (quite fun as well), and dove back into Bioshock with the intent of finally finishing it up.
The further I get into Bioshock, the more I like it. At first, gorgeous atmosphere aside, the game felt a little rote and repetitive. As the story began to progress, however, I surrendered to the plot and began to allow the designers to lead me through by the nose ring. Great stuff, and a truly wonderful setting rife with ambiance and impeccable art direction. Fear my wrench, you dirty Splicers!
Next on the finish-me list are Gears of War and Half-Life 2. I'm a few hours into both stories and am enjoying them thoroughly. I'm enticed with the possibilities of GoW multiplayer, as the gameplay reminds me fondly of paintball, which the crummy Northeast US weather has been keeping me away from.
Then there's Mass Effect. See my upcoming diary post re. that title.
Finally, the unveiling of the grand '07 geek present pile:
- Settlers of Catan (new redesigned 4th Ed.) - I'm very much looking forward to introducing my family to this great board game, and also getting my gamer friends together at the table for yet another enjoyable Catan session.
- Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magical Carrot (card game) - Zack (my 11-yr old son) had originally seen this game at Mepacon, and then bought it for me for Xmas when he came upon it when they were buying Settlers. I've been reading through the rules and it should be a hoot. Great game to play with Zack and my gamer friends.
- Rock Band (360) - from "Santa" to me and Zack. A definite improvement over Guitar Hero, and I'm excited to try this with a full band of four - this'll definitely get broken out at the party tonight. I've been enjoying playing with Zack, my little drummer boy, and also unlocking lots of songs on guitar Solo Tour on hard difficulty. The RB guitar is a huge improvement over the GH version - finally a neck-button design friendly to actual guitar players!
- Super Mario Galaxy - Was on sale at Target for $37 after Xmas, and couldn't pass up dropping some of my Xmas money on it. I'm only a few minutes in, but am intrigued so far. Invokes the delightful experience that was Super Mario 64 way back when (so much more effectively than SM Sunshine, which I just couldn't get in to).
- Call of Duty 4 (360) - Another fishhook-in-my-wallet $37 Target item. Haven't even cracked the plastic open, but am looking forward to doing so. By all online accounts, this game is sounding like a very serious contender for Game of the Year, and I simply love a great single-player campaign.