Just a few quick comments.

I just dropped off my son after our spring break visit, and it was a great time.  Except for the part about splitting custody and the catastrophic relationship failure that preceded it, being a dad is everything that I thought it would be, and more. We went out fishing and my son (age 5) caught his first trout ever, redeeming the hour and a half drive and the hour of standing in the pouring rain.  I never get a lot of game time when he comes to visit because I like to do things that are more focused on him, but I don't mind at all.  Games are games, and games are always around, but getting serious quality time in the something that's more worthwhile and important. That said, I definitely encourage him to play he wants to, and he's becoming quite the expert at Cloning Clyde and Marble Blast.  ; )

Now that he's back with his mom and I'm back to my regular routine, I'm in the middle of reviewing Earth Defense Force 2017 right now and I'm absolutely stunned by the number of reviews which give it praise, or at least passing marks.

For those who don't know, you basically run around and shoot a bunch of bugs and robots.  The trailer on Xbox Live makes it look A LOT cooler than it actually is, but the actual product is pretty craptastic…. I'm severely disappointed here.

Besides that piece of junk, I've been spending a lot of time with Viva Pinata and I have to say that it's a lot better than I would have ever imagined it to be.  There are a few complaints I have with it like the way the menu system does not seem to be very well optimized, and I wish there were a few more time-saving shortcuts like being able to plant an entire garden's worth of grass with the push of one button and so on, but overall this is a fantastic title.  I don't have time in my schedule to review it right now and I don't think any of our other writers have it scheduled anytime soon, but it's definitely a good time.

For some irritating news, the wife and I just moved into a new place about 10 blocks south of where we were living before so a lot of our time has been taken up with moving boxes and unpacking, and so on.  The place is a lot better than what we had and there's a lot more room, but the downside is that when it was being constructed there was some problem with the cable that was installed in all the rooms.  Building homes to be cable-ready is a great idea, especially in today's high-speed Internet environment, but I guess the construction workers were either rushing or made some mistakes somewhere along the way because all of the cable outlets on our upstairs floor barely function.  As a result, I haven't been able to get the 360 back online without completely rearranging the way we have things set up, so I'm going to take a trip down to Best Buy and just go wireless throughout the entire house.  It would've been nice to not have to buy any more stuff and just use the existing outlets since there's one in every room, but whatever.

Hopefully I can get all that stuff wrapped up in the next day or two because I start a new gig that's going to consume every minute of my free time for the next month… it'll be a challenge squeezing in time to play, let alone time to review– and forget about doing any kind of home improvements.  Anyway, you might not be seeing much of me on the boards or in terms of written pieces over the next few weeks, but I'm still around.

Brad Gallaway
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