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Just Three and a Surprise

On 02/23/2024 at 12:47 PM by KnightDriver

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I'm going to focus on the three titles that grabbed my attention, and most of my time, this week. Also a surprise new purchase at the end. 

Close to the Sun: I keep going back to it for Game Pass rewards. It's on Game Pass, so I get points for playing it, and more for an achievement. So I play a chapter and set it aside for the next day. It's a fun game for me in this context. I like a story game with a lot of exploration, collectibles to find, an odd puzzle or two, and occassional action sequences. I'm pretty far into it now but the cause of the disaster has still not been revealed. 

Pac-Man 256: I am quickly getting hooked on this game. I now play two interations of it, one stand-alone and another within Pac-Man Museum +. I get really frustrated with the original Pac-Man and Ms Pac-Man, even Pac-Man CE 1-2 can drive me a little crazy with its intense speed, but Pac-Man 256 seems to not bother me at all. I play it for hours. 

256 is similar to a rogue-like in that you play until you die then spend your coins to upgrade your special items that make the game a little easier next time. I think I just like the grind to upgrade and unlock everything, but it's also the endlessly scrolling maze, which since it isn't a single static maze, is more interesting to explore and use to avoid ghosts.

The power-up items too are interesting with things like lasers, fire, baby Pac-Men attackers, explosions, magnets to draw items to you and many others. I've unlocked about 2/3rds of them so far, and each can be upgraded 8 times. I'm on a quest to get them all level them all up. 

Dead Space Remaster: I finally got just fed the heck up with Forza Horizon 5. When does this game ever chill and stop making you race at break neck speeds? I need another road revealer achievement to go after. I always liked just exploring the world in an old muscle car. 

Anywho, I went down the list on Metacritic and tried to play some Microsoft Flight Simulator, number 13, score 90. It's also on Game Pass. I really want some sort of easy mode in it but from what I've learned, there isn't one. However, there is a new Dune 2 free expansion that I might try sometime later. 

Next on the list that I could play ('cause Game Pass) was the Dead Space Remaster at number 15, score 89 on Metacritic. I started playing on Story mode, and I got thoroughly hooked. I've played the original game but not all the way to the end. I really love the new extra sharp graphics. It's a joy to explore the Ishimura in all its ruined glory. The atmosphere is dynamic and exciting even though story mode is a little too easy, however, I love upgrading my gear and hunting for stuff. I used to be bothered by the over-the-shoulder view borrowed from Resident Evil (the camera is pulled a little farther back than in a game like Gears of War), but it doesn't bother me at all now. I can't wait to get back to it next week. 

And now the surprise. I bought the Commodore 64 mini so I could play the Temple of Apshai series. It's under $50 and I had Amazon gift card money. Here's a pic: 


Only problem is it doesn't come with an AC adapter with a USB jack, only the cord. Weird. But I'll use the one from my Retron 77 and keep the decks together in a bag when I'm done with them. So I'll play the C-64 mini next week. 

Until then. . .



Cary Woodham

02/24/2024 at 07:13 PM

I tried to get all the weapons and upgrades in Pac-Man 256 but it took too darn long.  Still a good game though.  It was made by the same folks who did Crossy Road, you know.

I love mini consoles, but I never got the Commodore 64 mini.  I've played the C64 a few times at friends' houses as a kid, and I think my middle school computer lab had C64s, but I don't really have any special memories with games from that.

Now go play the Bluey game on Game Pass!


03/02/2024 at 09:57 AM

I saw Crossy Road, a updated version of Freeway. I may have to give that a try since I liked Pac-Man 256 so much.

Just downloaded Bluey to my console for next week. 


02/28/2024 at 12:00 PM

I saw a C64 mini for sale at a local game shop. I never was into the C64, though. But Atari did recently announce an Atari 400 Mini, and that's right up my alley, given how much I love the Atari 8-bit line. 25 games and more can be uploaded to it. So I'm seriously thinking about getting that one. The only mini-console I actually have is the SNES Classic.


A lot of companies are actually doing away with packaging USB adapters and even cables with their products. Their rationale is that people likely have so many USB cables and adapters already that they don't need to spend money on including them. For my part, I've replaced three power outlets in my house with outlets that have USB and USB-c connectors built into them, and it's pretty nice without those wall warts taking up extra space and without having to keep track of them to begin with. The Switch still requires the AC adapter that comes with it, but I can charge the controllers right out of the wall outlet now.


03/02/2024 at 10:04 AM

I'm curious about the Atari 400 mini. I feel like getting it. 

That's pretty cool. I wonder if power strips now come with USB jacks? 


03/03/2024 at 01:47 PM

They do make power strips and surge protectors with USB and USB-c jacks in them. You can find them at Target and Best Buy. I used those before I started replacing my wall outlets with ones that had USB connectors, which is obviously a little more involved and requires a few safety precautions. My dad was, among other things, an electrician so he showed me some of that stuff.


03/08/2024 at 10:01 AM

My problem right now is too many wall worts. They won't all fit on the power strip I'm using. I had to do a kind of puzzle game to make them all fit. 

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