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Best Of The Year
Posted December 30, 2008, 5:29 pm by Steve
Categories: Video Games, Music, Movies, Life, Action Figures

Here it is, my top picks for 2008. No long, boring introduction. Just check it out and keep reading for the rest of my favorites of 2008.

Game Of The Year

Gears Of War 2
This game has stunning graphics, absolutely perfect game play mechanics and some of the best multiplayer design to come out in a long time. Add on an emotional and fleshed out storyline with just enough twists and unanswered questions for a sequel or two and youíve got one of the yearís greatest releases. The interesting story keeps the action flowing and varied. Tack in support for online and offline bots and Horde mode and Gears Of War 2 is easily the best game of the year.

Runner-up
Fable 2

Beat Down By My Son
Posted December 19, 2008, 6:58 pm by Steve
Categories: Life, Video Games
My oldest son, Justin (Gladiator Ninja), and I recently had a one-vs-one Gears of War 2 battle championship. The rules were simple, the first gamer to win 2 games is crowned the Conard King of Gaming. Game 1 was an easy win for me, and I think impacted my confidence level. A fast and simple 3:1 scoreboard on a map pick out by my son. Next, I pick the map which didnít seem to help. I lost 3:2. It was a good battle, however. The final game happened a few days later due to consecutive late nights at work. The concluding match was an extended event Ė the first player to 5 wins the competition. The rounds were pretty evenly split between the two of us leading up to 4:4. The final champion-determining battle was an intense 5 minute struggle for both of us. Despite near victories the round ended in a stalemate. The standoff round started and ended quick. Both of us coincidently roadie run for the sniper rifle laying in the top center floor of an elevate platform with stairs leading to it on both sides. I noticed him hiding behind a large pillar adjacent to the sniper gun. Thinking I was unnoticed I switch from my mid-range assault rifle (Lancer) to a close quarter combat shotgun. Two blasts from this up-close should crown me the king. I roll out in front of him landing a shotgun blast direct into his chest. He returns the favor almost in-sync with my shot resulting in over half my health being instantly drained on impact. I immediately start to fire off my finishing round and am fully ready to claim my victory. As my finger pulls down on the trigger Iím caught off guard by a quick melee attack from the butt of his rifle rendering me incapable of fighting and bleeding out. By my own son! I couldnít even bare to watch how he finished me off. His reward Ė Xbox 360 jammie bottoms. My punishment Ė getting beat down by a near-11-year-old. Expect a full rematch soon!
My First Bond Movie
Posted December 2, 2008, 5:23 am by Steve
Categories: Movies
Many friends find it hard to believe I just watched my first James Bond movie. I was able to get the Casino Royale Collectorís Edition Blu-ray dirt cheap and gave it a shot. Wow, impressive! From the intense opening action sequence to the plot twists to the introduction of his famous line at the conclusion of the movie, it had my full attention. The following weekend (day after Thanksgiving) a friend and I dragged our wives to Quantum Of Solace, which was also very enjoyable. I plan to purchase this Blu-ray too and spend a Sunday in 2009 watching them back-to-back. Now if I only had time to watch the whole franchise.
Addictions: Do They Run In My Family?
Posted September 25, 2008, 1:02 am by Steve
Categories: Video Games, Life

Some say I have an addiction or a bad obsession is more like it - according to them. They said my once casual practice has manifested itself to an excessive overuse or full blown disorder. There are claims I will isolate myself from social contact and focus almost entirely on my addiction rather than life events. I donít believe this entirely to be true, as the fact is sometimes, most of the time, members of my family are in the same room as me. They watch as I feed this need, for countless hours, being there with me during my different emotional states.

The concern isnít for me so much as it is for my family. It started only a few months back. My youngest son, Jacob, came to me with an untamed look spread across his face. We talked and he explained his current situation and feelings based on his recent actions. His explanation was a near identical match to both my physical state and emotional condition when I fall victim to this addiction.

Is this a genetic disease which results in a persistent use despite possible negative consequences that I can pass down to my children? I do not know. This will need to be researched more to identify an educated conclusion. I will end this post with a definition of this so-called addiction of mine, and possibly my childrenís:

Cheevos or achievies (officially known as Xbox 360 Achievements). These are accumulated points that total a Xbox Live userís Gamerscore. Similar to the old school arcades from back in the day when players would enter their initials (or a 3-letter profanity) next to their score which is displayed in the gameís leaderboard or top 10. Cheevos are awarded for completion of game-specific challenges, such as killing a certain amount of players in an online match or beating a boss battle.

SANDTROOPER
Another Fett Will Be Mine!
Can you really put a price on snagging quality Action Figures? As always, I recommend hooking ASAP whenever a new dude is found. This course of action however can prove to be...a bit unsettling on the homefront from time to time :)
Posted July 9, 2007, 2:30 pm by Chad