Please pardon the lack of posts; I've had a week or so where I just wasn't in the mood.
Gaming in brief:
- I finished the original Saints Row. It may unashamedly copy Grand Theft Auto lock, stock and barrel, but it's entirely excusable seeing as how it's exponentially better than any GTA up to and including San Andreas. (I haven't played GTA IV yet but I have a sneaking suspicion I'm still going to like Saints Row better.) The user interface is worlds beyond what GTA offers, the mission difficulty is set to "fair" rather than "infuriating", and - the biggest surprise - it has a fully fleshed out plot, complete with intelligent dialogue, characters you really care about, and subtle relationships you'll be thinking about long after you finish the game.
- Caught up some of the XBLA titles I've been meaning to try. The Maw is highly cute but so aggressively small-scale and challenge-less that it feels more like a demo or a toddler toy than a real product. Final Fantasy Crystal Defenders is one of the worst tower defence games I've ever played and it has the added insult of costing money to buy. Peggle is almost exactly the same game as the PC version, which is to say still totally awesome.
- I went back to Mirror's Edge to try to get more achievements, which is practically a first for me. In my house, once I put a single-player game back on the shelf, that's the last time I'll ever touch it, no matter what my intentions might be at the time. I'm speedrunning the story levels, and if the levels were thrilling the first time around they're even moreso when you play them this way. It feels like playing the game as intended; the only thing that stops it from being a perfect gaming experience is the punishingly high difficulty involved in getting a qualifying time at these things.