Biking Barrington Hills

The weather was great this weekend and Megan and I took the opportunity to do another ride from our "Biking Illinois" book. This time we hit up Barrington Hills, which is a well known biking area in Illinois. Lots of really quiet country roads nestled in with horse farms. It is quite a picturesque area. 

The ride worked out that we were also heading up to the parents and in-laws places for an afternoon grill out so this was on the way. The ride was a ton of fun and I would love to head back to this area in the fall when the leaves change. Megan had some difficulties with the hills. We did end up cutting our ride a few miles short since she also got a flat tire near the southern end of the ride. We literally had just left a small ret area in the DuPage Forest Preserve when she got the flat. We were a mile away, but the road we were on had forest preserve on either side of us and almost no shoulder. We changed the flat there, but my small bike pump couldn't pump the tire back up to the 110 psi she needed for her bike. We got her back up to around 55 psi and worked our way back north on Old Sutton Road. 


September Video Gaming 2013

Another gaming update. So what have I been playing since I last posted in May? A good bit actually. 

Syndicate

Syndicate was a rather average cyberpunk FPS game. The graphics in the game were quite good for the Xbox, but the gameplay overall was pretty dull. Your basic run and gun shooting with a slow time mechanic that I often times forgot was even there. I was pretty disappointed overall since I really love cyberpunk on the whole. 


Shadows of the Dammed

Here is a game that I heard a lot of people talking about when it came out. It is supposed to have a lot of "B" movie charm to it. What it does have is a lot of teenage sexualized drama. I dunno what it is, but the whole over the top sexual thing with the Japanese really annoys me these days. It makes me think their society of men are just perpetually stuck in a sort of adolescent phase. Soap box aside, the overall game I am not really enjoying. The shooting mechanic has to be so precise to make a hit that I just find the game frustrating. I just don't have the time to mess around with perfecting perfect skill shots in a game in order to effectively progress my way through it. 

Overall the game just reeks of a bit too much Japanese game design in it in all the wrong ways for me. It is also of the horror genre, which has never really been an genre I have found interesting apart from the original Silent Hill. 


Overlord II

Overlord is one of my favorite games from this generation. The first game nailed the Pikmin clone while adding just enough of other elements to make it unique. Overlord II came around and it is basically just more of the same, all the way down to the training and origin story. It again, was rather disappointing since I would have liked to have seen more divergence from the first game. Still and OK game and the end boss this time around was a lot less frustrating (perhaps too easy). 


Saints Row: The Third

I normally hate open world sandbox games. Saints Row 2 and Crackdown really changed my mind this past generation and Saints Row: The Third was such a highly hyped game that I had to play it. I think it may have been a product of it being over hyped, but I felt the game was just "OK". It is certainly solid and still has one of the better shooting mechanics. It even had some really great moments with some songs, etc. Overall though I found myself bored, as I do with most sandbox games with doing the same actions over and over in the side missions. There is only so much driving and shooting one can do. 


Dishonored

Overall, here was an excellent stealth action game. A nice art style with good mechanics and interesting game play. I still felt a bit over-hyped for this game a bit, but it is definitely a world I would like to go back to. My only major gripe was the amount of backtracking and returning to the same levels.