Why? Life happens. I may write for a video game blog in my spare time, but that spare time seems less and less. I get home from work each weekday with about 7 hours before I end up going to bed. Living in the greater Philadelphia area, approximately 3 hours of that is chewed up by watching the Phillies, especially now in the postseason. (How ’bout that Halladay no-hitter last night?) Even after baseball season is gone, that time’s gonna be funneled into the Flyers. (season opener tonight on Versus)
Weekends have even less time for gaming, since I spend most of the weekend with my girlfriend. Can’t play videogames because of sports and women? Am I developing a life? I might have to turn in my geek badge and soldering gun after a quarter century of dedicated service.
When all’s said and done, I think I now have less than 10 hours each week to dedicate to gaming. Coming from being used to making gaming a second full-time job, it’s a huge shock. My pile of games to play grows as my time to play them shrinks. I haven’t finished a game since last October when I was unemployed and powered through Brutal Legend in two days.
The current list of games I’ve been playing (and what I’ll spend the rest of this post on – I swear this is a gaming blog, not a “living a boring life” blog) is as follows:
Team Fortress 2
Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers
Assassin’s Creed II
Team Fortress 2
Yeah, it’s a game I’ve had for more than 2 years now, but the recent (probably not as recent as I think) Mann-Conomy pack has breathed a lot of new life and fun into the game. I had stopped playing right after the Sniper/Spy updates, so the weapon dynamic has completely changed with all the newer class updates. The number of achievements has nearly doubled, and the new item drop/shop/trade/upgrade system has made the game incredibly rich and complex, while still being fun and simple to jump into when you have 15 minutes to kill.
If you haven’t played TF2 in a while, break it out. It’s still able to eat 5 hours of your time in a sitting.
Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers
I’ve been a Magic player for 16 years now. I’m sure there are first-time readers stumbling onto this blog who were born around the time I started playing Magic. I was always quite good at the game mechanics, but had a very simple problem that kept me out of building incredible decks. Some decks cost $100+ just to obtain the basic resources to cast your spells. You could be looking at another $75-300 for your actual deck concept. It’s a game of outbuying your opponent, and I was always broke as hell as a kid.
The economic metagame is taken out of the equation in Duels of the Planeswalkers. There are a handful of fixed decks with unlockable sideboards (expansion cards that can be optionally added or swapped with cards in the base deck), each with roughly the same level of power depending on their core concept. I found this aspect highly enjoyable, because I was no longer at the mercy of my collection. (My actual Magic collection is expansive, more than 6,000 cards, but very few of my decks have all of what they need to reach their maximum potential. Furthermore, these decks are quite old and no longer sanctioned for tournament play.)
What I especially like about Duels of the Planeswalkers is the “Challenge Mode.” This is a series of single-turn puzzles that throw the player in the middle of a game in-progress (often in dire straits) with a simple objective: Win the game. This mimicked a series of similar puzzles published as a single photo in InQuest magazine back when I used to play heavily. It’s a fun bit of nostalgia, though I ran into a few cases where I successfully completed the challenge in a way the game wasn’t prepared to handle and lost.
Challenge Mode is my current go-to time waster when I sit at my computer and have a few minutes (rapidly spiraling into a half hour) to waste.
Assassin’s Creed II
Rounding out my “wasting my life on games that are nothing new” collection is AC2. I never played the first one, but the second one has me pretty deep. The storyline is presented in an awesome way, the ease of performing pretty badass assassinations on guards is a lot of fun, and the game does a great job representing boring collection systems (statues, feathers, seals, weapons, etc) in a slightly immersive way (having to drop items off at various locations, integrating it with the villa’s development)
There’s really just one thing keeping it from locking down my time 100%: Jumping puzzles. It’s not 2003 anymore. I know Ubisoft made Prince of Persia and probably even used the same engine to make Assassin’s Creed, but there’s nothing fun about jumping puzzles, especially with Assassin’s Creed’s wonky freerunning controls. I’ve abandoned several Assassin’s Tombs because the jumping puzzles were tedious and frustrating. It’s an unfortunate detraction to an otherwise perfect game.
So that’s too many words on why I haven’t done a Cataclysm beta live stream recently. Hopefully I can scrape together the time to do one in the next week or so. Stay tuned to this blog and I’ll let you know when I expect to do it. It seems my Vashj’ir blog posts were somewhat popular, so I’m sure some of you would like to see Vashj’ir live.
Did anyone who played this game think that this game just goes on and on? I’ve been playing this game for nearly 9 months now in various spurts but there have been times where I sat down and destroyed swaths of this game. Maybe it’s the side missions to get zoni’s or upgrades, or the thunderdome deal but holy cow this game is going on and on! Not that it’s really a bad thing. It does have that old side scrolling battletoads elements where you simply just destroy things in hilarious and imaginative ways. Even still after awhile I am getting tired of blowing shit up. Is this because it’s meant to be the end of a chapter in R+C history? You tell me, I cant really tell.
I roll solo as rich prepares for world domination. The world domination meaning..domination of bunnies! I talk about our absence, games I’ve been playing and some ups and downs. Most notably Mass Effect 2, Lego Harry Potter and the PSP Then what games I’m looking forward to and such. Put on a 2nd set of socks for the 43podcact.
I am stuck waiting for easily the longest intro to a game I can remember. It’s Little Big Planet for the PSP. Every time I log in I get this video…
This is real sweet and cute and I like it. But not every single damn time. There’s also the whole PSP starting up business which does take a small amount of expected time but then this 1 minute 16 seconds fucking long video plays every time. What gives? Everything about this game is great, it fits perfectly for the psp with it’s small-ish maps making for an easy pick up put down type of gameplay. This by the way is how I envision handhelds to be. More that another day though. But Seriously. what gives? Is this the game with the longest load times ever? Fat Princess didn’t have this and God of War doesnt.
Excuse me while I go order some food while I wait for this intro video to finish.
I love that title so much. It’s so “Corporate” that I am barfing on my shoes as I write this. On the Real…I need to rant here for a short amount of time. I’m not exactly aware if issues are coming up due to this being a WordPress blog and thus me not having any ability to edit my pages Meta data, but we certainly have seen a decrease in overall traffic the past 2 months. And especially year on year. So here are the things we DO do to make sure our little spot on the innerwebs is fun.
We effectively use keywords.
We use them appropriately – so we put in xbox in xbox articles.
The titles of our articles are not awful.
We talk about a good amount of Games in the time that they are relevant.
The breadth of games we write about is pretty good. I will admit we don’t write much about old Nintendo Games enough and that’s my fault but that’s certainly not holding us back.
Maybe the video game blog’s market is too saturated? Maybe our site sucks. Maybe we don’t write enough – like Kotaku. Maybe we should start doing Video Reviews to bulk things up or bring back the Podcasts. Maybe I should migrate this site to someplace I can actually do my wizarding skills. Maybe we should write more about World of Warcraft (gag)? I don’t really know the answers. I can only say that I enjoy writing about Video Games and our Adventures with them so even if one person ping’d this site on a given day – I would still be happy.
So, you have a office job. You work pretty hard for it. You spend some of your own time – not on the clock – to better yourself and the position. You go above and “beyond” in that sense. You take on overtime not for the money but for the betterment of everyone. You take on projects like writing blogs (FOR FREE) and extending your “outreach” and “profitability”. The side effect is you stop spending time on a blog you loved so much. Then the bad times come. Where you realize yet again that you are just a number. You are nothing. A Pittance in the great scheme of things. Maybe not viewed this way by others but by the ones who give you pay increases each year. And then you realize that it’s jus t not worth it sacrificing yourself. This is a situation that I’m sure many face.
So what do you do? Well. Here’s a soltuion! Write a blog in the morning! play games at night (NOT A FREAKING MMO), and write about the fun you had. Troll Kotaku and repost on your own site as if YOU TOO were a news site. I mean, who really cares about all that Anime RP Business over on Kotaku and who really wants to read that garbage anyways. They’re the Pitchfork of gaming! That’s about all I have to say about that jenny, this is a half assed solution anyways. I mean really, are you coming here for solutions to your gaming problems? I surely hope not!
So enough about other people, how about me. I’m currently settling in on a pretty awful cup of coffee at MY office job dreaming as I often do of Killing little things with large armies or staring down a scope and killing something that is ..well..little (1 pixel). Or spinning my wrists around with the wiimote. Richie has said he has Mario Galaxy 2 ready for me. But I dont have the neccesary toys to get it from him to my home. That’s my weekend dilemma.
So what are you normal gamers playing this weekend? What beefs are you having? Is work cutting into your game time?
We get together after a Kmart shopping spree and discuss lots of stuff. Rich talks a little about Overlord and Modern Warfare 2 while I spout some dragon age dragon tales. But not duck tales. quack quack. We also discuss some HDTV deals going on Black Friday and of course what video game deals are out there. News of the xbox crackdown. We dont believe the 1 million either. ❤ xbox. Enough already, check out the 33 33 33
I’m not exactly sure about the future. I’ve seen every Back to the Future so I suppose I have some keen awareness of generic time travel principals. You probably wont see me writing the “How to Time Travel” for Dummies, so Peter Molyneux the man we all love to hate probably wouldn’t have hired me to create the latest DLC for Fable 2.
Good: I hate to list this as a good, but I will. We get more Fable game play which is never a bad thing. I’m not one to change things when it works just for the sake of change. There’s more fun storytelling and zany blu-man group characters to kill. You’ll get some new clothes to go with the clothes that you don’t wear already. You’ll also get a solid 4 hours of game play if you race through this. It took me a span of 3 days of 4 hour play session to beat this which I found very delightful. You are given the ability to reskin your puppy which is beyond adorable as I became really attached to my dog. The dungeon’s are fun and engaging. They unfold before you instead of just running from end to end killing things inbetween.
Bad: Clothing. Whatever, I’ve mentioned this as my main beef with Fable 2. The rehashing of the gauntlet was cool but not needed. The single biggest thing is starting out in black and white. Be prepared after playing through the vibrant colors of the normal game that it turns into this. It’s part of the story but one that really needs to be noted.
Ugly: Nothing to note.
Hey, we spoke about this topioc on the 27th Podcast. It was quite a bit more in depth than what I’m going to put here but here is a list for the PS3 holiday releases. I’ll put up the xbox and wii here shortly.
-Guitar Hero 5 9/1
-Beatles:Rock Band 9/8
-Tekken 6 10/27
-DJ Hero 10/27
-Modern Warfare 2 11/10
-Assassin’s Creed 2 11/17
-Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 9/29
-Uncharted 2 : Among Thieves 10/13
-Ratchet & Clank Future : A Crack In Time 10/27
-God Of War Collection 11/10
The boys get together for a little holiday season review. We start this week with the XBOX 360 games. Some ps3 talk edges it’s way in too! Join us for the 26th_Podcast
In what has to be the poorest designed site of ever, I wont even go into “why” you just have to see it. But in there, somewhere, are according to kotaku, pictures of wacko-jacko’s arcade games. Their own look pretty impressive so I’ll just repost for ease. Muchas Grassyass.
I’ll tell you why…you give a game developer better and easier to handle tools to work with on a game platform, then you potentially have better and more advanced games in the future. UK site gamezine has reported that newer dev kits have been shipped out earlier this year. Is this exciting? Hellz yes! Think about Gears of War, then Gears of War 2….part 1 was great, but part 2…oh man, levels were significantly larger, graphics better defined, tons more enemies on screen…that’s just some of the benefits that time and improved tools can help developers to accomplish. Here we’re thinking things probably won’t get any better with current platforms, the next wave of games will hopefully prove us wrong. Check out the link, there’s some interesting stuff there.
I came across a Multiplayer CO-OP video of the new Madden 10. I cant lie, the graphics look really good in this video. It’s really evident the game has evolved over the past 10 years. I will say that it looks cool that they are saying they have added a new co-op. Maybe I missed it and it’s “on-line” CO-OP but hasen’t that been in the game for a long time now? I really seem to remember doing this with a friend in college on my little 22 inch tube tv and just saying what the heck. I may be trippin’ on this y’all.
So our wonderkid Mr Rivera hasen’t been to the Alien Crash Site in fallout 3 yet. So i’m going to be nice and post it here! It’s west of the greener pastures disposal site and north of the MDPL Power Station. If you havent been to the green pastures disposal site to pick up the bobblehead – Agility. Do it. There’s no way to tell yet if this is part of the 5th DLC Mothership Zeta, but it’s possible! Bethesda alludes to it otherwise “In Mothership Zeta the aliens have returned and they are pissed. The mothership answers the distress call sent out by the alien ship at the Alien Crash Site and abducts the player, making the whole DLC take place on board of the alien ship”. I’m sure they’ll just work it into the story. Oh and fyi Point Lookout is the 4th dlc. Here’s a sweet picture of what looks to be some wetlands country!?
Here’s a picture for the location.
Below you will find the patch notes for the next minor content patch. As we do not intend to release this patch on the public test realms, we thought we’d share the notes with you ahead of time. Please be aware that these changes are subject to revision until the patch is officially released.
World of Warcraft Client Patch 3.1.3
The latest patch notes can always be found at http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/
The latest test realm patch notes can always be found at http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/test-realm-patchnotes.html
Death Knight (3.1 Skills List / 3.1 Talent + Glyph Calc.)
* Frost Presence: Armor bonus is now 60% down from 80%.
Druid (3.1 Skills List / 3.1 Talent + Glyph Calc.)
* Improved Barkskin: This talent now also grants 80/160% additional armor while in Travel Form or not shapeshifted.
* Improved Tree of Life: The armor bonus to Tree of Life Form from this talent has been reduced to 67/133/200% bonus armor.
Hunter (3.1 Skills List / 3.1 Talent + Glyph Calc.)
* Hunter’s Mark: The ranged attack power bonus from this ability has been increased from 300 to 500.
* Master Marksman: This talent now also decreases the cost of Aimed Shot and Chimera Shot by 5/10/15/20/25%.
Paladin (3.1 Skills List / 3.1 Talent + Glyph Calc.)
* Eye For An Eye: This talent now deals 5/10% of the critical strike damage taken by the paladin back at the attacker.
* Hand of Freedom: The base duration of this buff has been reduced from 10 seconds to 6 seconds.
Rogue (3.1 Skills List / 3.1 Talent + Glyph Calc.)
* Overkill: Talent redesigned. Now increases energy regeneration by 30% while stealthed, and for 20 seconds after breaking stealth.
Warlock (3.1 Skills List / 3.1 Talent + Glyph Calc.)
* Chaos Bolt: This spell no longer ignores damage reduction effects of the target.
Warrior (3.1 Skills List / 3.1 Talent + Glyph Calc.)
* Blood Frenzy: This talent now provides 5/10% haste instead of 3/6%.
* Bloodthirst: Cooldown reduced from 5 seconds to 4 seconds, and rage cost reduced from 30 rage to 20 rage.
* Juggernaut: This talent now also increases the cooldown on Charge by 5 seconds.
* Death Knight PvP Gauntlets: The chance to refresh a Frost Rune when casting Chains of Ice has been removed. When equipped, these gloves now generate 5 additional runic power whenever Chains of Ice is used.
Raids & Dungeons
Ulduar – Mimiron
* The flight time of Rocket Strikes has been increased, and Rocket Strikes will try to prefer players at range.
* The Leviathan Mk II component of the V-07-TR-0N will become stunned during Phase 4 when the VX-001 component begins to cast the P3Wx2 Laser Barrage ability.
* Proximity mines now deal less damage and have a lower duration. A small arming time has also been added so proximity mines will not immediately detonate on creation.
* Druid Tier 8 Balance Set: The 4-piece bonus no longer has its effect consumed by Starfire casts in progress when it triggers. The chance for the effect to be triggered has been reduced down to 8%, as it was originally inflated to compensate.
* Ice Layered Barrier: Upgraded to item level 232. In addition, the stats in the tooltip have been correctly adjusted to 78 spell power, 48 haste rating, 16 mana per 5 seconds, 52 Intellect, and 50 Stamina.
* Pulsing Spellshield: The stats listed in the tooltip for this item were incorrect and have been adjusted. This item provides 69 spell power, 34 haste rating, 42 critical strike rating, 45 intellect, and 45 stamina.
“The fallen ones are a unique breed of true demonic origin, one of the few that I’ve been able to conclusively verify through sources other than the ancient Vizjerei tomes in my possession. (How I came by said tomes will, of necessity, remain my secret.)
As my readers are well aware, early Vizjerei writings are often little more than self-serving propaganda aimed at whitewashing heinous deeds committed by the mage clan. For instance, we now know that the goatmen were unwitting human victims of an ancient Vizjerei power struggle (see entry 009 for more detailed information on the khazra’s tragic history), whereas the ancient Vizjerei texts would have us believe that they were actually demons – lieutenants of Baal, no less!
Through diligent cross-referencing with other manuscripts in my vast library, however, I have ascertained that the Vizjerei depiction of the creatures known as the fallen ones is factually correct.”
Blizzard announced a much anticipated change (kidding). There will now be a round-trip ride from Orgimmar to Thunder Bluff. This was a pain for any Tauren who start leveling in the Mulgore area, which contains Thunder Bluff to get to any of the quests out of Orgimmar. It was easily a 10-15 minute run (felt like 15 years) and a giant pain early on. And yeah, I’d do that damn run to Org then hearth back to my inn in Mulgore and not actually get the flight path making me have to do that run all over again.Exact words from Blizzard Below.
“The Zephyr is getting set to transport players between Orgrimmar and Thunder Bluff in an upcoming patch.”
The wonderkid and I talked about this a little on the podcast, or was it the after podcast party? Anyways, here’s what I found from wikipedia. Seems like convinent timing of all this to go down but if it’s written is it true!?!?!?!?!?!
Punch-Out!! featuring Mr. Dream
Towards the end of the NES’s run, Nintendo’s license to use Mike Tyson as a special Punch-Out!! character expired. Therefore, Nintendo replaced Tyson with a fictional character based on a then-Nintendo tournament champion, Mr. Dream. A popular myth is that Tyson was removed due to his divorce from actress Robin Givens, and his conviction for rape, which did not occur until a year after the changeover. It is also believed by some[who?] that because Tyson lost the Heavyweight Championship to James “Buster” Douglas by the contract expiration, Nintendo made no attempt to negotiate a new one with him. In August, 1990, the game was re-released simply as Punch-Out!! (or Punch-Out!! featuring Mr. Dream according to Nintendo Power) only in North America. This version has become the “official” incarnation of the NES Punch-Out!!
Kotaku posted some screens from the new madden ’10 game. I just have to say that I really dont care about this franchise anymore. That’s just me. I’ve been playing it for a LONG time and taking away features to bring it back does not denote new gameplay (looking square at the hall of fame players subtraction and addition). This is such a beat argument I’m going to save that for the guys who know their stuff better than myself. Just sayin’ k? The screens look great. Boy do I love this gen’s console graphics we still have a ways to go with the grass but, eve’s. Posting a screen of Carson Palmer of the Cincinnati Bengals because this is MY blog people.