As many of you have probably noticed (it has been pretty darn obvious) I’ve been over-run by a series of real life circumstances.  I’ve at least resolved two of those issues, although one resolution has created another potential issue.

First off, I’ve temporarily resolved an issue I’ve been having with my job.  It isn’t a permanent one, but certainly much better then where I was previously.  I won’t bore folks with details, if you care to find out feel free to contact me in private.

One side benefit of my job resolution was the purchase of a new gaming machine!  After looking around and getting some nice helpful feedback from Twitter, I decided on an Asus laptop.  I was a little time constrained so I couldn’t do as much online shopping as I would’ve liked but I think I got a pretty robust machine for around my budget of $1100.  Again, if anyone’s curious I’m more then happy to chat more about it.  After I’ve gone through and set up my machine (still a work in progress) I’ve been checking out various games and it is quite exciting to see games as they were actually built and not on the super low crappy graphics.  As an example, one game I’m in beta for literally killed (forced shutdown) my previous laptop and I tried it briefly on mostly high level graphics to happily see it cruise right along.  I’m really excited to play various games now that I can actually start to enjoy more of the visuals of the game and not just the mechanics (I’m looking at you LOTRO and TSW).  I spent a good deal of last night just wandering around various zones checking things out Smile

The downside of this post is that I still don’t have as much gaming time as I’d like and as such am still leaning towards single player games.  However, the new experience I have with an actual real graphics card is pretty darn exciting and might really drive me to get back into MMOs again.  I’m still playing TSW and will probably have a post up here soon as I have some thoughts on their various issues of late as I still REALLY enjoy that game and hope it can survive.  As for LOTRO, I will also have another post up with regards to my take on things going forward, but to summarize I’m excited for Mounted Combat and for the upcoming story but very little else of Rohan is exciting me.  In addition to those 2 posts, I’m also in the midst of writing up a couple of long overdue hardware reviews for some of the new MadCatz products – their MMO7 Mouse, the newly released Strike 7 Keyboard, and the FREQ 5 Headset.

As for what I’m actually playing, if you follow me on Raptr or Steam you’ve seen I’m mainly playing Football Manager 2012 (FM12) and Pro Cycling Manager 2012 (PCM12).  They’re more or less the same kind of game but with different sports Winking smile  I’m actually getting back into PCM12 since the new laptop really handles it very well and the scenery of the races is just amazing.  I enjoy not having the game stutter every few seconds and it really makes it important when you’re trying to launch that final sprint at just the right time.  For anyone who’s interested in or has watched bike races, I highly recommend PCM as it is an enjoyable and potentially detailed experience.  As for FM12 I’m quite addicted and have worked through a few different saves mainly using Everton as my team but I’ve dabbled a bit with Manchester City as they just signed one of my favorite players Jack Rodwell and I wanted to get a feel for them prior to the launch of the new game.

Speaking of the new game, I’m pretty impressed with what they’re doing with FM13 as many sports franchises more or less roll out the same game with just an updated set of players.  From the various videos and postings I’ve seen, FM13 is essentially expanding and improving pretty much every system in the game.  Not that FM12 was a bad game at all, but holy cow does FM13 provide all sorts of new toys to play with as well as options for those who don’t want to dive that far into the weeds.  Of everything projected to launch this fall/winter, FM13 is certainly tops on my list!  If you want a good summary of what’s new, check out this section of the FM Story site for more information and video diaries of the new features.

I’m slowly getting out of my funk, and hope to not only be gaming more but also writing more about it.  I’m also kicking around ideas for a podcast of some sort, with the possibility of doing a video cast, but either way it would be more of a general gaming show and not one focused on any one game in particular.

Stay tuned for more updates…