My brother-in-law is a huge WoW player with like 6 or 8 level 70 characters. He's to the point now where he pays Indonesian players around $100 (a small fortune to them) to get a character to 70 for him so that he can use it to raid with. It's a different world out there. So anyway, I got to catch up with him quite a bit during my trip to Japan, and he's long been trying to get me to play WoW. Now, I'm actually ready to. In fact, Jeff actually gave me a set of WoW discs, one of his own numerous sets, and he's going to be letting me use one of his multiple accounts to play with, as well. So I'll effectively be able to level to 60 without paying a dime. I may even be able to get Burning Crusade and level 70 from that account, too.
Jeff had just gotten Wrath of the Lich King when I was at his place, and I got to play for about an hour. I created a Tauren death knight and dove right into main attraction, working directly for the Lich King to spread his evil influence across the land. I rolled through about 5 quests, and it seemed pretty cool. Previously I have played a Human warrior and Night Elf hunter each for a few hours. I think once I get my account info from Jeff, I'm going to go Horde and create an Orc warrior for my first real WoW character.
Yesterday was the rollout of the "New Xbox Experience," otherwise known as a firmware refresh for the 360. The biggest update yet, almost a complete overhaul, but still just a firmware revision. The big things here are Netflix streaming, which is crazy awesome amazing (for those of us in the U.S.), the party system (not sure if this is relevant to me at all yet), HDD game installation, and most importantly, the ability to delete game trials from your played game history. I played around with the new dashboard some last night. I created an avatar, an Xbox Mii, essentially, and installed Oblivion to my hard disk. I also played the Tomb Raider Underworld demo. It sucks.
Oblivion plays pretty well from the hard drive, with a good bit less time spent at loading screens (though still more than you'd like), and less pauses for loading while walking around the overworld. I finished up the Fighter's guild quest line last night. To this point, through the main quest and Fighter's guild, I've only been using my one character, who is now a level 27 Redguard Warrior. I think I'm going to roll new characters for the Mage's guild, Thieves' Guild, and Dark Brotherhood quest lines. If I'm not entirely burnt out with the game after those and want to do the Arena stuff, I might go back to my Warrior for that. This is all just the base game stuff, I haven't even bought Knights of the Nine or Shivering Isles. Maybe I'll play that stuff on PC someday, although I've still got Morrowind for PC I bought years ago and which never really ran well on the computer I had at the time. I want to play that, too.
On the flight back from Japan, I restarted my Metroid Fusion game. I had gotten stuck somewhere and decided just to toss out that entire save, which was only about 2 hours into the game. I've already gotten back up to speed and past the spot where I had been stuck, in the 3rd or 4th sector of the game. Not a whole lot to say about this now, but it plays pretty well. I just wish it was a DS game instead of a GBA game. Using L and R for functions that ought to be on face buttons sucks.