Saturday, October 31, 2009

Risen Review

My review for Risen is finished. You can check it out here.

I was looking forward to this game, so I was really disappointed when it turned out to be a stinker.


I finally picked up Borderlands last night for the Xbox 360. It was tough for me to decide which platform to get it on, the PC or the Xbox. In the end I chose the Xbox version because I know how there will be some people who will play the game online. With the PC version I wasn't sure how the multiplayer was going to be handled and if people were going to play it.

My first impression; the game starts off a bit slow. You aren't doing much for the first half dozen levels and it seems things open up gradually.

I will admit that even after reading about the game and watching videos on it, it still wasn't quite what I thought it was going to be. There is a slight ounce of reality injected into the combat. You will get the best accuracy when aiming down the barrel as opposed to shooting from the hip, and short controlled bursts more effective that trying to go full auto, which is a bad idea most of the time.

The controls for the vehicles are almost too responsive, I find myself over correcting a lot. I am also struggling with steering; the left thumbstick moves you forward and reverse, the right thumbstick controls left and right steering. My problem is that I want to just control the camera with the right stick and use the left stick for steering, kind of like when you are on foot.

Borderlands reminds me a bit like Too Human. Both games are combat focused, have limited rpg elements in the for of a skill tree, and you get tons of loot which I like. Too Human is more story driven and Borderlands seems more open with you getting odd jobs in between the story, which works for me because it fits the setting.

An hour into the game I was questioning my purchase, but after looking at the clock and realizing that I stayed up way too late playing, I came away from my first time with Borderlands happy. I look forward to trying out some online co-op at some point.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

How to Make an Unsuccessful MMO.

For a small indie developer it would be to make a blatant copy of the most successful MMO to date, but make the game less fun, less interesting and broken. I am of course talking about Alganon.

I would like to direct your attention to That's a Terrible Idea first. Once done there I would suggest heading over to Eldergoth next. Both sites feature a preview from the beta of Alganon, and they echo my sentiments exactly. I was given the opportunity to play Alganon this week and do my own preview for the game as well.

Alganon is a terrible WoW clone. I'm not talking about taking ideas from WoW, it looks just like the game. The menus, the graphics, the interface, everything looks like an exact copy from Blizzards behemoth. What might be the worst sin of all is that Quest Online thinks they can fool gamers into paying $15 a month for this game. Alganon should be avoided at all costs.

Champions Online Blood Moon is Live!

The new Halloween event Blood Moon for Champions Online starts today. There's a pretty significant patch that not only includes the event but some other content and of course fixes and tweaks. I am not going to list the patch notes, you can read those here.

Not only is there the new Blood Moon event, but the new Celestial powerset can be unlocked early and all characters created before today will receive a free retcon. I am really pleased with the changes to the mission sharing and the addition of some level 18 content in Millennium City.

I think I will be playing some Champions tonight, I want to get that new powerset! In case anyone missed it, here is the trailer for the new Blood Moon event.

Assassin's Creed: Lineage

The first video in the new Assassin's Creed: Lineage miniseries is all kinds of awesome. I'm looking forward to the other parts to the miniseries, but more importantly I can't wait for Assassin's Creed II.

The blog.

I spent way too much time today updating the blog with a new template. It took a considerable amount of time to search for a template that would look right, and then try to edit the html to remove anything that I did not want on the blog. All I know is that my html-fu is very rusty, but in the end I happy with the way things look now.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Blogger blues.

Earlier tonight I was messing around with some custom templates for the blog because I would like more space for the posts so I don't have to fiddle with the video sizes, and I thought a change would be nice too.

But what I didn't realise and I just noticed is that I am now missing my blog roll widget. Not sure how it happened, but it did. There were these warnings that popped up when I uploaded templates, but I ignored them, oh well. No time like the present to change things up right?

I don't pretend to imagine that I have a ton of readers, but I do like to link to blogs that I like to check out on a daily basis. So hopefully tomorrow I will have a new template up and get the blog roll fixed!

Can you say Knuckle Puck!

How would feel if you were this guy? Not good I would think.

Busy weekend.

Things are going to a bit busy for me this weekend. The wife has to work both Sat & Sun, I have a review of Risen that I need to type up, doing a preview of Alganon, and on top of that I want to play some Aion and Fallen Earth, and maybe a bit of Champions Online.

I was just browsing at how Risen has fared, and I noticed something; the PC version has an average score of 80% and the Xbox 360 version, not released in the US, has an average score of almost 59%. As far as I know they are the same game, so why such a wide spread in scores. I really can't explain it, maybe hardcore rpg's are loved on the PC regardless of faults and not so much on a console.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

More Modern Warfare talk.

1up has posted a article trying to explain what has the PC gaming community up in arms about Modern Warfare 2's lack of dedicated servers. For those interested, you can read it here.

I would like to quote the last part of the article:

"Whether Infinity Ward caves in and provides server browsing support at a later time remains to be seen, but for the time being, they seem to be sticking by their guns. And rightfully so -- no one has actually seen IWNet in action, so it'll be interesting to see if the hardcore crowd's fears are alleviated when Modern Warfare 2 is released."

As far as I can tell, no one has seen how IWNet works. But the description of IWNet would make one believe that MW2 is adopting the console matchmaking service. What would be great is if Infinity Ward would produce some sort of video that explained and demonstrated in detail what IWNet will be like for the PC gamer.

But in the end this IWNet is probably what us PC gamers believe it to be, a console port. Really what it boils down to is that Activision wants us to pay now for DLC just like the console crowd does, no more freebies like we have grown used to over the years. Infinity Ward can say it's about ease of use, about keeping cheaters out of the game or trying to stop piracy, but really it's about money.

I think I will just buy Activision games used from Gamestop, that way the developers and Activision will not recieve any of my money!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


It has finally happened. I am finally having some fun in Aion, and it only took about 45 hrs to do so. Basically I decided to give up on the Assassin and play a Chanter, and so far it has been the best decision since I started playing.

I played a Scout in closed beta and went Ranger instead of Assassin when the time came to choose. The Ranger wasn't bad but I wanted to try something different so that's why this time I chose the Assassin. I should have known the headaches that I was going to have because Scout became a huge pain to level up to 10 once the game was released. But I stuck with it and it's been anything but fun.

I have actually leveled all four archetype classes to 10 where you get you ascension quest and then choose your secondary class. If this sounds familiar, then you probably have played EQ2 back at launch. Of the four I would say that the Warrior was the strongest in the ten level tutorial and the Scout was the worst. The Mage and Priest fall somewhere in between, but both were pretty strong too.

Of the eight secondary classes I have yet to play the Cleric and the Spiritmaster. The Clereic would be the dedicated healing class and the Spiritmaster is a mage with a pet, and a stupid look pet.

The Chanter is a priest class and would be secondary healers. They could be compared to the Paladin in WoW, the Bard in DAoC, or better, the Warrior Priest in WAR. The Chanter is a melee class that has a decent heal and heal-over-time, but it's the Mantra's that make Chanters useful in groups.

Needless to say, I am having fun, the game finally feels a bit less like a grind, and I am living longer.

Response to Modern Warfare 2 for PC

It appears that Infinity Ward is aware of the outcry from the PC gaming community over the recent announcement or about Modern Warfare 2's multiplayer. FourTwoZero has a post with information on the new IWNET, how it works and why it will be better. You can read it here.

Now that you've read it, I would like to say that it sounds an awful lot like how multiplayer matchmaking is handled on a console. Rainbow Six Vegas 2, FEAR 2, OFP: Dragon Rising; these are a few of the shooters that I have that I can name off the top of my head that have similar matchmaking multiplayer and they all blow to play on the PC. The model seems to work great on the console, which I like when playing on the Xbox, but not on the PC.

I do like that the friends list that was introduced in World At War is coming to MW2, but that's about it. Which is unfortunate because I was really looking forward to getting this, but the increased price plus the crappy matchmaking has convinced me to scratch this off my list for now.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Activision screws PC gamers.

Before I say anything, I will direct your attention to the Joystiq article that I read about some not so great news about Modern Warfare 2.

The article itself is not very long, but the news alone is enough to make any PC gamer upset. So MW2 will not have dedicated servers like past CoD PC games did and instead immolate the console peer-to-peer model that does not work worth the damn on the PC.

If that wasn't enough, Activision has decided that the PC community has been treated way well so now we as PC gamers must now pay for DLC and the game will have a $59.99 price point as well.

I can understand paying for DLC, I have done it for a few games. But no dedicated servers and sixty dollar price tag? No thanks.

A couple years ago I wouldn't have cared about the multiplayer stuff, but that changed with Modern Warfare. I will play through the game once, but I will play online for months. The game itself looks awesome, and I am sure it's great, but why the need to charge more and cut out something that is synonymous with PC online gaming? If I wanted an console online gaming experience, I would buy the game for my Xbox. But I don't, I want it for the PC.

I was really looking forward to this game on the PC, now I am in wait and see mode. Guess that means more time for some Fallen Earth and Borderlands if I pick that up.

Dragon Rising Review

The awesome folks over at GameSquad have decided that my review for Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising was good enough so they posted it on their website!

You can check it out here. Please feel free to give out any constructive criticisms!

Friday, October 16, 2009

GameStop blues.

All I wanted was the amount of credit I would get for a couple of Xbox 360 games, that's it. So knowing that stores can be busy I decided that I would call a few different locations and ask for the amount for one game only.

The first store told me they were busy and to hold, but just set down the reciever on the counter or something. So for roughly the next ten minutes of so I listened as the associates helped a couple of customers and then proceeded to talk amongst themselves, not realizing I was still on the phone.

The next store actually did give me a quote, $9.00 for Resident Evil 5, rip off.

The next three stores all told me about the same thing; that they could not give me a quote over the phone and that I would need to come down to the store for that. I asked one associate if that was a store policy or corporate policy, and she said it was the store policy. I thanked her for her time and hung up.

So then I decided to call the corporate office for customer service to get some information and to complain. After having to explain in detail twice to the guy on the phone, he waffles some stating that he doesn't see how stores can give a quote without seeing the game because there are many factors involved in the pricing. I asked him if that was a corporate policy and he said no, and I told him that I worked for the company, I know they have prices on the computer and it's really poor customer service on GameStop's part. Then I thanked him for his help and I hung up.

Truth is that I did work as a store manager at GameStop almost seven years ago. My store was one of the best at customer service both in the store in on the phone, and my employees dressed well and the store was always clean. I rarely find a store that has those standards anymore.

I would not be nearly as upset if the policy of not giving quotes over the phone was something that was handed down form corporate, and it was explained to me in a professional manner. But to have one store give me a price, another going to but have crappy customer service skills, and then three that wouldn't is just no acceptable.

Ok, thus ends my rant.

Fallen Earth

I finally did it, I took the plunge and bought Fallen Earth last night. I didn't really want to but it from Steam of D2D so I was going to just pick one up at the local Fry's till I saw that I could purchase the game straight from the Fallen Earth website. I thought how awesome, I will save a few bucks and some time by doing the purchase this way.

So the download and install went ok, but that's about all that did. The downloader that I used from the email that I was sent only installed a small portion of the game and the other 4.0gb of files needed to be downloaded.

No problem I thought, I have stuff to do and I can always play on the Xbox to kill time. Don't know about anyone else, but that sounded like a great plan to me, but the Fallen Earth patcher apparently had other ideas as to what I was going to spend my time doing.

The patcher for some unknown reason will only download a certain number of files before it decides that it needs to take a break. It could be five files, it could be five hundred, either way it was going to be a long night if I was going to have to cancel and restart the patcher each time it quits out.

I did check the forums for some information and it seems that I am not the only one to have this problem. There were a few suggestions like try a different downloader or download the beta client from Fileplanet. Being the tired and not thinking one I chose to go with Fileplanet, but no matter each method was going to take me a while.

One everything was downloaded, installed and started patching, I decided that it was time for bed at 0230 in the morning and just left the computer running for the rest of the night to finish with the patch. Woke up this morning to find that the patcher had quit not too long after I had gone to bed. Eventually I was able to get the game to finish patching, but what a hassle. Not a great start.

But I did get to play for a short time today before work. I was able to make my way through the tutorial and am now hanging out in Depot 99.

Disney Pics

Just thought I would share a couple of pictures from the family trip to Disneyland. There are more than these, a whole lot more believe me. But I like these two.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Aion continues.

Aion continues to dominate my game playing time, and for good reason. I feel that it would be beneficial to play the game as much as possible and get as far in the game as I can in order to write a well informed review.

Right at this moment things are going a bit on slow side and I have only reached level 17 with my Assassin. The assassin class is proving to not be as fun as I had hoped and have many times wished I just chose Ranger instead. I do however have a level 11 Sorcerer and he's so far pretty fun to play.

The problem is that Aion is just not grabbing me like I had hoped it would. But niether is Champions Online for that matter, a game that I played a bajillion hours during the first three weeks and now have hardly touched over the last two. Good thing is that Champions will be active to at least the middle of December, so I have lots of time to play and get a few characters to level 40. That's the plan anyway.

In other game related stuff; I am putting the finishing touches on a review for Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising, and have started playing a game called Risen and will be doing a review for that one as well.

My Age of Conan account was canceled for now because of Champions and Aion and LOTRO has only about a week left till it's done. Here's the curious thing; I logged into LOTRO and I was having fun, and I was beginning to question why I am quiting that game. Damn you LOTRO, why can't I just quit and be done with you!!!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sabre Highlights

Here's some highlights of the Buffalo Sabres just smacking around the Detroit Redwings. Go Sabres!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

MUA2 Review.

My Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 review has been posted thanks to the nice folks at GameSquad. You can read it here. Any questions, comments or concerns, please ask!

Been a bit busy.

Well, no sooner do I get back from Disneyland then I had to drive up to Eureka for a friends wedding. It was nice, small and great to see some friends. But I am tired, tired of traveling, tired of not having a nice home cooked meal, and just plain tired. Thank goodness I get the next couple of days off to recoup and play some games.

On the gaming front I continue to play Aion and I hope to have a review for that by the end of the month. I also received Risen just before I left so I will be playing that and eventually reviewing that as well. I have played enough Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising to do a review, so I will be working on that this week.

Right now I continue to play Champions and Aion, but I really want to pick up Fallen Earth and am still have tempted to give WAR a try. But November is coming soon, and that means Modern Warfare 2 and Dragon Age and that should keep me busy for awhile.

Monday, October 5, 2009

It's a small world after all!

I am alive and well and happy to be back home! The family and I went to SoCal for a nice vacation at Disneyland, and we all had a lot of fun. But I will say that three days in the Magic Kingdom is just about my limit that's for sure.

It was nice to get away, not worry about work or play a video game and just spend time with the family. The worst part, other than having to be in SoCal, was coming home to the 100+ posts in the reader awaiting me. Oh yeah, and realizing that I forgot to set my fantasy football lineup, ergh!