Could you please recommend me...
December 2, 2008 7:55 AM   Subscribe

I need some new blog recommendations. A video game one, too.

In the winter months, I seem to have more time on my hands.

I'm looking for more blogs/websites to read and more video games to play.

1. As for blogs, I'm looking for something that is humorous and left-leaning (think Stuff White People Like). And, something really humorous and "guyish".

2. Good review sites...that are geared towards PLACES, such as restaurants, bars, tourist attractions, rec plexes, or whatever. City doesn't matter.

3. This may sound bizarre. What I find the most therapeutic for my winter blues is not turning on more lights or getting more sun, it's playing hours of video games that has a tropical or sub-tropical setting. What are some games (for X-Box 360, Wii, or PS2) that has this setting?

Thanks a bunch.
posted by sixcolors to Grab Bag (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Mario Kart Wii has a couple of courses set on beaches.
posted by mikepop at 8:06 AM on December 2, 2008

Far Cry 1 and 2(360) are set on a tropical island I believe.

Or for old school, the Monkey Island series is excellent, but may be tough to find (also is PC only, I believe, but any PC these days can handle it).
posted by Grither at 8:10 AM on December 2, 2008

They're not great games, but Just Cause and Mercenaries 2 have tropical settings. GTA: Vice City is set in a fictionalized Miami. Super Mario Sunshine, too, takes place on a tropical island.

I don't know if you like golf games (I find I only enjoy 'em as 'party' games, which is to say with other people in the room and while intoxicated), but, as far as relaxing tropical and subtropical scenery goes, they're one of the most reliable genres.
posted by box at 8:16 AM on December 2, 2008

I haven't tried it but Endless Ocean, for the Wii, is set underwater in Hawaii.
posted by phoenixy at 8:20 AM on December 2, 2008

If you want to play Monkey Island, get ScummVM, which is a sort of emulator for all of those old LucasArts adventure games.
posted by kidbritish at 8:24 AM on December 2, 2008

Not sure if you're into point-and-click type games, but if you are then try these, all set in warm-weather climes:

- Chasm
- Archipelago
- Return to Archipelago

All links go to reviews of the games by the jayisgames blog, by the way.
posted by googly at 8:46 AM on December 2, 2008

My roomie runs a video game blog that I find to be pretty good, if you want to mix your gaming and your blog-reading up all Reese's Pieces style. Check it out here.
posted by kaseijin at 8:49 AM on December 2, 2008

I have recently begun a video game/humorous blog, and I hope it is what you are looking for. I could really use feedback from people such as yourself who are interested in this type of blog. I would love it if you took a look and let me know how I could improve the site to meet whatever needs/desires you have.
posted by Nixie Pixel at 9:23 AM on December 2, 2008

Rock, Paper, Shotgun is a reliably cool video-gaming blog with a lot of reviews.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:58 AM on December 2, 2008

Oh, and in case you haven't already seen it, there is always zero punctuation's amusing game review vlog.
posted by googly at 10:43 AM on December 2, 2008

Man oh man are you going to love The Sneeze...start with The Best Of sections, and go from there.
posted by Ash3000 at 10:54 AM on December 2, 2008

Super Mario Sunshine is about as tropical as games come. It's a GameCube title, but it works just great with the Wii provided you have a GameCube controller and a GameCube memory card. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is another GCN title with lots of open water and sunny skies.

As for blogs, if I'm allowed to plug my own work then I'd direct you to my blog about video games, Press The Buttons. It's commentaries, reviews, and fun stories. If not, then nevermind.
posted by Servo5678 at 10:58 AM on December 2, 2008

Best answer: If you don't already know about it's worth a look.
posted by BoscosMom at 10:58 AM on December 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

This is going to sound kinda weird, but I think Viva Pinata for the Xbox 360 might be right up your alley if you like weird animal sims or just smacking things with a shovel until they explode into candy pieces. It plays like a watered-down Animal Crossing and the setting is a bright, colorful island. The strange little pinatas who run around your garden plot are quite colorful as well. It's aimed at kids, but has enough gameplay for adults to like it if they're a bit imaginative.

They just released an expansion pack but I think the original is a part of the discounted "Classics" title series, which means you can pick it up pretty cheap.
posted by Spatch at 11:25 AM on December 2, 2008

BoscosMom's link to Road Side America reminds me of Texas Country Reporter. Lots of kitschy-feel-good stuff (mostly food related), but kitschy-weird, too.
posted by GPF at 12:10 PM on December 2, 2008

I'm only really qualified to answer #3...

Umm, ok, take this with a grain of salt, but Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 (though a pretty rubbish game) is amazingly chilled out and sunny in its approach. Whether you can look yourself in the mirror after playing it is another question entirely.

Quite specific, but EA's skate is actually a good game, set (permanently) on a beautiful day and has a generally relaxed pace to its skating. It's quite immersive, relaxed and stress-reducing, if you choose to play it that way.

Going a bit more old-school and PC, I can't recommend the first 3 Monkey Island games enough. The warmth of the anachronistic Caribbean just seeps through the screen, especially in the third one with its lush animation and rich music and audio design...
posted by slimepuppy at 12:16 PM on December 2, 2008

2. Good review sites...that are geared towards PLACES, such as restaurants, bars, tourist attractions, rec plexes, or whatever. City doesn't matter.

look at yelp - great site for all kind of reviews, etc
posted by knockoutking at 8:23 PM on December 2, 2008

The Dead or Alive beach volleyball games, which I'd totally forgotten about, take place on a beach, and, uh, emphasize graphics. Not my thing, but you might dig 'em.
posted by box at 7:43 PM on March 26, 2009

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