I was recently interviewed by @AmandaOchsner for What They Play, a website dedicated to educating families about videogames.

In it, I discuss my views on raising children in a house where parents play games, and why there's no inherent conflict in being a gamer and nurturing children at the same time. Click on over and see what I had to say on the subject if you're interested… it's a topic I feel very strongly about, and one that I'm not shy about discussing. Also, although I was the only one interviewed for the piece, I do want to say that my views are mirrored by my awesome gamer wife too… Raising kids is a team effort with us, and that certainly extends to our views on how games enter that picture.

Monster Hunter Tri Screenshot

In other news, I'm still putting time in on Monster Hunter Tri. I wasn't sure it was going to be worth the effort when I started, but I'm somewhere in the neighborhood of fifteen hours deep now and I feel like I'm going to push through until the end. (Well, the end of the off-line single player mode, anyway.)

Progress so far has been interesting. The first six or eight hours were extremely slow, and then I hit a streak where I was knocking out one mission after another. That really did a lot to raise my morale, and taking down the Royal Ludroth after wasting an hour and getting timed out of the battle on my first attempt put even more spring in my step. That joy was short-lived, however.

Regardless of how well you prepare, it seems as though the first time you encounter a brand-new boss-caliber enemy, it's pretty normal to either get crushed or time out of the battle. I went up against the Barroth for the first time tonight, and despite coming loaded for a heavy assault, he still gave me the business. That definitely took the wind out of my sails, but I'll be back…

All that said, I am a little curious as to how often it will be required to earn a new set of armor before being tough enough to progress. Granted, a lot of it depends on player skill, but from what I've played so far, it seems like every time I made a big leap forward it was after crafting a new set of duds. It hasn't been all that painful up to this point, but I'm starting to creep into the big leagues now and the thought of "farming" some of these more lethal creatures is a little bit daunting, especially with some of the tricks required to harvest particular pieces.

One last little bit of games news, the good people at NIS released Viral Survival on Nintendo's WiiWare service today. I haven't laid hands on it yet, but there's a video here.

I don't know why, but I've always been fascinated with the "collect X things and make a chain" formula. Flicky is the first thing to come to mind, but Super Rub-A-Dub on PSN was a good one too. Viral Survival looks like a good time, and some of those extra modes look pretty decent.

I haven't taken the plunge, but if any of you readers have feedback on it, leave me a comment and let me know what you think of it.

Brad Gallaway
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