Last week I broke my hand and I have a hard time typing quickly. I wanted to write a long blog post about the new Assassin's Creed, but really, while I can type with my left hand, it is only one finger at a time, and the way I have to hold my arm weighs on me, on account of the cast. And well I still plan on talking about Assassin's Creed tomorrow, because well I was gonna do it tonight, but I ended up getting my Kingslayer title instead. That's right mutha fucker! Turthias the Kingslayer, woooooo. Anyhoo, see ya tomorrow.
Been a few weeks, yes I noticed. I do actually have something of an excuse though, in that I have been working at a new job, with hours completely different from that I was used to. To that end my body has been in something of a weird shut down mode lately. I barely go out, all I really do lately is work, come home, then play WoW. Ill pop off for dinner somewhere in there, but that is the basic itinerary lately. As a result of this, I really haven't had much to write about lately. Sure I have been playing tons of Warcraft, but really it's more of the same for now until Cataclysm. Luckily it seems like I am getting some spring in my step back, and just in time for the new Assassin's Creed game, for which I am very excited. I guess I can talk briefly about what I have been doing, and maybe write something more substantial tomorrow, get back into the groove of things.
WoW- Well at least one good thing has happened lately to me in the Warcraft universe. I found a guild that I seem to gel with a bit. The last two were not good for me at all, and I was starting to get worried I wouldn't be able to find people I liked playing with again. I had a good, tight group once upon a time, but they have, for the most part decided to stop playing WoW, or they moved servers. The guild is ran by the boyfriend of a WoW buddy I lost contact with for a while, and it seems they have a good group of people around them. Went raiding on Thursday and for the first time in my WoW-ing, got up to Sindragosa in 10 man ICC. We're going again on Sunday it seems, and I am looking forward to the chance of maybe, just maybe getting my Kingslayer title on Turthias. Other than that, not much has been going on my WoW world, got swift flying on my priest, and been leveling a human Warlock somewhat quickly. He is level 42 now. With WoW I am really just waiting for the expansion to come, so I can have an experience bar back on my Paladin and eventually throw him headlong into some new content. Till then though, I have been actually having a good time with this new bunch of people, let's just hope this one sticks.
I have been playing other games too, just not as much. Oddly enough these games are for the most part, throwback games I have not touched in a long time. Beautiful Katamari is one such game. I haven't touched it in a long long time, but lately I find myself picking it up every other day or so. Actually got a bunch of achievements I was missing too, which is really a good thing. It's been a while since I hit the 10k Gamerscore mark, but since then I have remained stagnant it seems. Mainly due to the lack of new games I guess.
Soul Calibur 4 is another game that is worming its way back into my life. I had the game, but I had to re-download it since my physical copy of the game was stolen a long time ago. I am terribly out of practice with this game though, and it shows. Floor 17 of the Tower of Souls is kicking my ass like no other, and it is at best, frustrating. At worst, I may throw my controller at my TV, but usually I am able to recognize such rage coming, and turn off the game before it actually happens.
With my new job, it seems my appetite for hand-held gaming has fallen to the wayside, though that is not surprising, don't have the dick-around time I used to. Alrighty, time to go about my day, expect something tomorrow about the new WoW book, which I read, and shall subsequently speak of.
I have been busy...and sick. So no update this week. Let's see how gaming jives with my new lifestyle.
I found out this week that my laptop is a useless piece of crap when it no longer had the space to contain the MMO juggernaut that is World of Warcraft. The new patch came out this week, breaking down and rebuilding the core concepts of so many classes. On top of that, established game systems were turned all upside down and changed. What does that mean for me though, a Paladin who likes getting punched squarely in the face and sometimes smacking things with a huge weapon? I just wanna talk about what this patch did for me today, I am not gonna go over this whole change to the game, because frankly, it's too much, I haven't played around with all the changes, and there are far better places to get that kind of information. So fuck it, let's get a move on. Cut goes here, so ya know, click on the title to read more.
Okay so I bought Sonic 4: Episode 1 the other day. I want to talk about it briefly, and I say briefly because...well there is not much to say about it. Is it good? Well that is really up to what you want out of a game that promises a return to form for Sonic the Hedgehog, whose image has been roofied, bent over while passed out, and raped viciously in the ass without protection, giving the small blue hero a maliciously resistant strain of HIV. So in the end what you're really asking, is the promise of a return to form a good one? Compared to the loads of dog shit Sega has shoveled at us for years now, yes. Is it a good game on its own? Meh, kinda, not really. Read on for something more detailed than...meh.
I've been scrambling a lot lately in World of Warcraft. Never really standing around just talking with people, shootin the breeze. No, anything social I have been doing in the game has been accompanied by a flurry of activity, whether it be heroics, questing for The Seeker title, or trying to get Rivendare's damn horse. All of this is being done for one simple reason: Cataclysm is coming out soon, December 7th actually. What always seemed as this nebulous, far off thing now has a concrete date, the beta is winding down and there is light at the end of the Lich King tunnel. While running around like a madman though, I have been thinking this entire time, how good is Wrath? Can I even really judge how good the expansion is, as it was my first full WoW experience. I got in on the game three years ago, when BC wasn't new, but not old either. So do I really have the experience needed to accurately talk about Wrath? I think so. I raided, did the PvP, did all the dungeons, so let's give this a go. Read on for more.
This topic has been floating around the internet now for a little while from a few places. Gamers, should they willingly be part of a subculture in society? It's a weird question really, as no other aficionado...of anything really has to deal with the social implications that comes from their love of something. They have no social implications. Someone who is part of a fantasy league for every sport is just thought of as a sports fan, but no stigma, good or bad is attached to that. Someone who commonly attends concerts for a genre of music isn't a concert...er (Unless you're a Juggalo...then you have a stigma attached to you. A funny funny stigma). Gamers though, have to deal with this grouping, and a lot of it is self-imposed. Now I am a guy who plays a lot of games, that is abundantly clear to anyone who spends more than an hour with me. I can throw my arm out right now, and including my computer, I can smack no less than seven devices that are made in some way, for the playing of video games. But am I a gamer? Do I want to be called a gamer? Hit the break for my answer, which will probably be long-winded.
Okay, there is something I have been thinking about for a while lately. I know there are people out there in the WoW community who hop from guild to guild like I change socks, and that works out perfectly well for them, it suits their play-style. But I was never like that in World of Warcraft. As a matter of fact, my guild history is a pretty short list. However, that short list comes with a long tenure in each guild, usually reaching some form of officership, if not being the GM. As Cataclysm looms just over the horizon, and I feel different WoW goals tugging at my brain, I notice myself mulling over what my guilds have meant to me, and how the people in those guilds have helped shape the way I play this game. I guess ill put the break here, so click on the title link to read more, as always.
I don't think I really ever spoke at length about the past addons for Mass Effect 2. They were fun times all around. The Stolen Memories pack in which you got the ninja-esque character Kasumi was pretty short, but it gave you a very different type of mission setup that was extremely enjoyable. Also to boot, you got a permanent character who fights very differently than anyone else in the game. Cloaking and backstabbing is certainly a different way too approach cover shooters. At the very least she is leaps and bounds ahead of Zaeed, who is just a Garrus clone with an awesome voice.
Overlord was more of a typical mission in Shepard's life. Run, take cover, shoot shoot shoot, move onto the next room of chest-high walls. What made Overlord worth it though was the different tone the missions carried. It was supposed to feel somewhat creepy, with all the dead rooms and fucked up experiments going on. However the tone I got from this DLC was one that made my ears bleed. That damn rogue VI voice screaming, my god I hated that. I think it was supposed to be startling, which it was maybe once or twice, but really what it did was take me out of the eerie set-pieces and just make me annoyed. Oh yeah this DLC also heavily featured the Hammerhead Hovertank...whatever. Platforming is fun on the thing, but heavy duty combat is annoying as it seems a can of soda has more durability then this piece of military hardware. Now I am gonna start talking about the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC. Now note at the end of this review I have the tiniest hint of a spoiler. You were warned.
Did I really just skip the entire month of August? Yeah I did. Whatever, I didn't wanna write at all, but that shit has got to stop. It isn't like I was devoid of ideas, but ya know, the will was not there. I need to come up with a schedule or something to that degree. Self-imposed deadline and the like, maybe that will keep me on the writing straight and narrow. Anyway, enough blabbing about how I didn't update, and let's actually update. (Edit: Now it seems like I skipped half of September also, what the hell is wrong with me?) Anyway, this is a long one, so there is plenty to read after the break.
I finally got to try the multiplayer function in Dragonquest IX today when my friend Steve stopped by. This function is really what makes the game fun. We honestly did not do much besides murder Metal Slimes in mass numbers, but doing it with a buddy really made things fun. My only complaint is how this cannot be done over wi-fi...and how draining this mode is on the DS battery. Other than that, the things executed in the multiplayer are done exactly as they should be. Bravo Level 5, bravo.
I have, despite finding myself in Azeroth once again, been playing a fair amount of new video games. Last article I wrote about Transformers: War for Cybertron before my brain turned to jelly at work, allowing me to only make the most rudimentary of noises instead of words. I think I was only able to really to communicate in Morse Code, and that was only achieved by banging my head against the table. Odd thing is, I have no fucking clue how to "talk" in Morse Code normally. Now today though, while I am at work again, I feel like I am in a more comfortable position, and can get back to talking about the games taking up my time as of late. And I shall talk about these games after the cut, jump, thing.
So it's been a while; a long while since I posted on this damn thing. Really the reasoning for it...I have no excuse. I have not been particularly busy, nor have I not been playing video games. I have been playing a ton of new games actually. I am not normally good with keeping up on new releases, for money reasons, interest reasons, etc, but these past 3-5 weeks have found me very busy in gaming. I guess I should break it all the hell down and talk about the games I have been playing, all of which have been fun in their own, unique way. Then after all of that, I want to talk about booze. Actually wait, let's talk about booze first. Ya know...after the jump.
Seeing as I do not play WoW anymore...it seemed to make sense. Not much to talk about right now. I decided im gonna go finish off Lost Odyssey. Anyway, I know my drawing sucks, but I kinda like it.
I have a hard time letting go of games. Ones I like really. The games I dislike tend to be used till I get bored, then just get tossed by the wayside, unfinished and unloved, kind of like your mom. When I was a kid, I was a completionist in games, a bad one. Come hell or high water (that didn't knock out the power) I was going to explore every nook and cranny of the video games I played. I was going to get every item, murder-fuck every monster in my path and claim not only the Princess but also the secret magic item that makes her wanna do more than shake Mario's fucking hand, giving him a feeling of accomplishment and the biggest case of blue balls since that stupid bitch got turned into a blueberry in Willy Wonka. I guess I should put a cut somewhere...why not here. Read on for more.
I beat the Pokemon League in Heart Gold tonight. Now I get to go through all of Kanto. When I finish that, I get to fight Ash. His Pikachu is level 88, what the fuck? I feel like Pokemon games are near endless as it is, without all this two games in one garbage (not that I have anything better to do). Nintendo should just make a Pokemon MMO, which would actually be endless, and declare victory over free time forever.
I started the Elite Four grind yesterday...then my DS died. I don't remember where I put the charger, ill find it when I get home. Lately though, since quitting WoW, I find myself typically playing about four games at once. First of all is still Just Cause 2, which I have not touched in a few days, however that does not mean I am done with it by any stretch. No, in fact I am looking forward to diving back into the game either tomorrow or Monday, depending on when I have time really. Since I have decided to actually start doing the missions, the game has gotten much better for me, so I definitely do not plan on quitting on the adventures of Poco Rodriguez yet. He shall avenge his window washer/inventor of a father, Ramon. Great, now I'm getting self-referential. Well, onto the stuff that I actually am playing lately. In the interest of keeping this blog thing as tidy as possible, we are going to do the jump cut thing right over here. Read on if you wish.
Before I get into the meat of what I really wanted to talk about, I guess I should talk briefly about something that affects no one but me, but it is kind of a big deal. Over the past month or so, I have really fallen off playing World of Warcraft. Ever since the people I played with quit, I had been struggling to find a reason to continue playing the game. I still enjoyed WoW itself, but the social aspect, which I had come to rely on as a normal part of my experience, kind of up and died on me. I tried to change things up for myself, with faction changes and such, and while I did find some good people to be around, I could not find something to recreate that feeling I had. So to that end, I decided to finally hang in the WoW towel. As of May...19th I think, my account is done. However, in my mind it was done for a bit before then, as I have already gotten rid of WoW from both of my computers, not to be seen again, probably. Anyway, I should talk about the thing I actually wanted to talk about today and that is grinding in video games. Well RPGs specifically. I guess ill put the jump cut...here.
It's been five days since I wrote anything here. Well I guess I should talk about the only game I am really playing right now. Pokemon...I needed a break from, always do that before the Elite Four, as being ready for them is an unholy grind fest. So I need some time, then I can level my party up and smack them around. I am also thinking of just trading my Palkia over and doing the whole thing with that. Would basically be unfair though. Read on.
It's odd how I typically sit on two sides of the enjoyment spectrum. I am, and have always been a fan of a story-heavy experience. Something like Lost Odyssey and Mass Effect are damn near perfect to me. A flawed game can still be great to me, provided it has a story worth following, which really is a rarer and rarer thing these days.
I am not sure I altogether get the idea of the Master Ball in Pokemon. I mean you get it from someone else. It isn’t like you find it in some ancient ruins, long forgotten. You get it from a guy, who could have just as easily used the damn thing himself. Professor Elm could have went and caught that damn Ho-oh all on his own, with no fear of failure. Boom, his, done, now it’s Elm! The fucking Poke’master. This, in game to real-life terms, is the same as giving a 10 year old (I presume he’s 10, like how the cartoon started) the activation codes to a nuclear arsenal. Legendary Pokemon are quite literally the most powerful beings in existence in this world, despite their usual proclivity to staying on a tower, or in a cave, or running around a map like a frenetic psychopath. I mean I remember in Pearl trapping the keeper of time or some shit, in a fucking ball, made of plastic, a fraction of its size. This does not seem practical or even remotely safe, kind of like keeping an un-pinned live grenade as a doorstop. That’s really it for that topic I guess, I mean what else can you say about the practice of giving these things out? Unsafe? Ill-advised at the very least.
So I am not a Modern Warfare player. Never have been, I think of buying it, if nothing else to have something to get heavy use out of Xbox Live. But that isn’t the point here. From what I read, there is some trouble in Activision Paradise. It seems that we have found out exactly how much blood Activision can get from a stone, with the firings of the two Modern Warfare creators, Jason West and Vince Zampella. Since they have been fired, a whole slew of department heads have left IW, shrinking the (As Activision called it) “deep bench of talent”. Respawn entertainment, the new company formed in the wake of this implosion, is already affiliated with EA, with more and more Infinity Ward people coming to the fold it seems each day. I remember an article, recently on Kotaku, in which there was a report detailing Activision’s reliance on Modern Warfare, World of Warcraft and Guitar Hero for revenue, and that the company would face some trouble if one brand were to ever not do well. It seems we’re gonna find out what happens when Modern Warfare implodes really soon.
I am admittedly late to the Poke-party. I did not start playing the Pokemon games until Ruby/Sapphire, as I never owned a hand held gaming system before then. I had always known about the products, and I actually watched the cartoon as a younger lad. But yeah, I actually missed the original Pokemon Silver/Gold entries, so these remakes are kind of a fresh experience for me. And last night, I touched briefly how like that cesspool of a game, Final Fantasy XIII, Pokemon is an RPG, but in the loosest of terms. While true RPGs are something like Oblivion (a boring game all told), Pokemon is basically an adventure game with health measured in hit points. But unlike FF13, I know exactly what to expect, and that is a relatively pleasant experience.
When I first started writing on this bloggity thing, I figured I could babble on and on about the game-play in World of Warcraft. And while I probably could, a good deal of it would come off as forced and seem like something I did not really want to write about. To that end, I am gonna change things up, and write whatever the hell I want about whatever game I want. However, I will not be writing traditional reviews on here. That I save for Joe's thing. So really I write for two things that no one reads. Fan-fucking-tastic. But yeah, I also changed the layout of the blog, going back to a basic, Blogger.com made one. I prefer this as I don't have ads for things I do not want to advertise, like the site in which I got the template for in the first place. Selfish I know. But yeah I guess I just wanna briefly babble about two games I have been playing lately, and while they're in the same...most basic of genre's they are light-years apart from each other.
What is one of the quickest ways to kill a new and still pretty small guild? The answer to that is probably one of the easier ones in the entire game of WoW, and that is: Absent guild leader. That is what happened to me recently. Read on to see more.
Actually a better question there would be why. The point is though, and I have no idea if this the norm, it only seems to be, that WoW players tend to stick to their faction. Since I have been playing WoW I have stuck to the Alliance faction of things. I liked humans, dwarves, etc. Lately though I have found myself playing more and more on the Horde side of my server. I almost have a Paladin to 80, and I even faction changed my shaman, making an orc out of it. I have a druid on deck I plan on leveling as soon as the new random bg system comes out. All the while, my other characters have been left out in the dust, not really being played. Why is this really? What causes someone with over two years of seeing the same people, to jump ship and go to the other side? That is what I want to explore a bit here.
Go onto any forum devoted in any way to World of Warcraft, you will find a thread on the site, often a long one lamenting the lack of difficulty in heroic dungeons. "Oh god, faceroll." or some crap like that. And while yes, heroic dungeons are often quite easy, there are very good reasons for this, as well as there are some ways to get around this entirely. Now before I go on with this...I understand this is the internet and no matter what people will complain. So really talking about this problem may seem a little pointless. It has just been something that has been on my mind though, so here we go:
I started playing World of Warcraft back in 2007, when Burning Crusade was the newest expansion on the block, people still had high hopes for a meaningful lore spot for Illidan, and everyone was super psyched to look like they were assaulted by a bag of Skittles. Back when I first started, I had one friend who played the game, and he played a Paladin. I asked him how he liked the class, and he enjoyed it well enough, but he also was by and large a role-player (still is) and could not tell me much about the mechanics and such of the class. So I decided to do some research on my own, mostly by visiting Wowwiki. When I read up on the various classes, I found two that caught my attention immediately, Druids and Paladins. Both these classes caught my eye because of the versatility inherit in them. Both of these hybrid classes could literally do it all, dps, tank and heal. So I figured either of these classes would be great to start with as I could find which role I liked doing and then go with it full throttle.