I never write that often about what’s going on in my gaming life outside of articles or commentaries, so I thought I’d take a moment to touch on some of my latest gaming exploits.

One nice thing about living in Vegas is that I’ve (so far) discovered three nice arcades: The arcade at the Circus Circus casino, the Gameworks next to the MGM Grand, and the Pinball Museum. Last night, I felt the need for some pinball, so away I went.

To be honest, describing me as “terrible” at pinball is a bit of a kindness on other people’s part. I’m usually “that guy” who ends up launching the ball only to have it home in that spot between the flippers where you can’t hit it, and there it dies, as do all of my turns. I can understand stupid moves in gaming, but when it’s that out of one’s control, I call “foul”.

That said, I actually like pinball, though I’ve never been all that skilled at it. What’s funny is that since the last time that I went to the museum, I picked up Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection for the Wii, and while I’m still generally terrible at the game (I’ll definitely attest that the physics in the game are accurate), I have been able to get some practice in to get a better understanding of the game, and have my own moments to shine.

Three of the games on the compilation (Pin*Bot, Black Knight, and Funhouse) were present at the museum, so I wanted to see if the video game version actually taught me any skill. To my surprise, I’ve actually started becoming a much better player, especially with Funhouse where I definitely got “In the Zone”, and was able to sink my ball in Rudy’s mouth (yes, the insinuation is factual, juvenile, and the machine actually had a little sign that enticed players to “Sink your balls in Rudy’s mouth”, so I’m apparently not the only one who snickers at the innuendo).

That said, the night was fun. Williams pinball games still have a lot of appeal to them, from Doctor Who, the Addams Family, Twilight Zone, and I even found a Spy Hunter pinball table, which I was unaware actually existed. *shrug* Live and learn.

But if you wanted to know if the Wii’s game can actually improve your real skills, from my experience, yes it does. It’s a testament to the folks who actually programmed the Wii game. It’s actually quite fun.

In other news, I finally got to play some Left 4 Dead multi-player for the first time last night with some friends of mine. My friend described the game to me as for someone who really doesn’t get into FPS games (him), he loves the action of this particular game. It’s a good point, as it does emphasize a lot of teamwork to survive, especially when a Boomer vomits on you, or a Tank starts smashing your teammates like rag dolls. the levels are also varied, and the elements of the levels randomly change, so I found a lot of enjoyment in last night’s venture, and will have to continue onward. Anyone else care to join my gaming ventures, drop me a line sometime.

Happy New Year, and I’ll be gaming with you in 2009.

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