Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sleep In Heavenly Peace...

Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Olivia Engel, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 6
Dylan Hockley, 6
Madeleine F. Hsu, 6
Catherine V. Hubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Jesse Lewis, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Emilie Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison N. Wyatt, 6
Mary Sherlach, 56
Victoria Soto, 27
Anne Marie Murphy, 52
Lauren Rousseau, 30
Dawn Hochsprung, 47
Rachel Davino, 29

Sunday, December 9, 2012

What I Think of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare

Have you ever been given a gift that you wish you hadn't received, but you're thankful anyways and try to enjoy the gift only to get super frustrated and now you want to somehow smack the gift giver? Well a kind hearted friend wanted to share the fun he was having with Chivalry and decided to gift me a copy, and believe me there are times I wish he hadn't.

Chivalry is a multiplayer first person melee combat game built on the Unreal engine so it's pretty and quite unique. It is also broken, flawed and at times seems highly unbalanced, yet it has its moments that make the game incredible. Unfortunately for me those times do not happen very much.

There are four classes - Archer, Man-At-Arms, Vanguard and Knight. There are a small number of maps and includes your standard multiplayer game types - FFA, TDM, Team Objective, King of the Hill and Last Man Standing.

Each class must choose a primary, secondary and special weapon. Everyone starts with three primary and secondary weapons they can choose and from what I can tell there are six of each that can be unlocked by accruing a set number of kills with each.

Before I delve into the bad of Chivalry, I must confess that there is still information that I do not know. There appears to be no sort of manual for this game so some of what I might say could be answered by having one, something to keep in mind.

So what is broken and flawed about Chivalry you may ask? I think this a great time for some bullet points!

  • Key bindings - a small patch supposedly fixed key bindings, but all it seemed to do was change some of them without changing the on screen prompts. Example: Use changed to I, still says E on screen. All commands must be bound to something and can't be left blank and you can accidentally have two commands bound to the same key. Example: Wanted to bind crouch to C since normal games do that which meant that war cry would be unbound, instead the game put both commands as C.
  • Level system - yep, just like every other multiplayer game Chivalry has a level system. With other games gaining levels gives the player something for earning those levels. Not Chivalry. Seems the only thing levels represent is that a player has spent far too much time playing this game, cause they do nothing else.
  • Weapon stats - each weapon has three stats: damage, speed and reach listed as percentages. There's even a detailed info screen that gives the percentages of primary, secondary and special. So what are the percentages based on? Is there some sort of rock, paper, scissors thing going on? The lack of information makes the percentages kind of arbitrary.
  • Team Objective - It's the mode I tend to play most with any online game. In those other games each side will rotate who is for example the attacker and the defender. In Chivalry each map has a predetermined attacker and defender. With so few maps it would have been nice to have each side to attack and defend. There's also a timer to complete objectives, what that amount is I have no idea.
  • Combat - My biggest gripe and I think the games best feature is the combat. It's unique, it's fast and brutal, and it's the most frustrating thing to experience. There are three attacks: stab, slash and overhand smash. These attacks can be blocked and parried by keeping the center of your screen on the tip of the enemies weapon. It's a neat mechanic. Unfortunately one can just circle strafe around while spamming left mouse button, or they aim high and spam over hand or aim low and spam stab. There is a finesse and skill to the combat that is extraordinary if played right, when on a server with 30 other players however, it just turns into a chaotic mess of LMB spam.
  • Combat part II - Balance is fubar. Man-At-Arms have weapons with the shortest reach, lowest armor but are the fastest. Vanguard has moderate armor and speed with primary weapons that have long reach and secondary weapons with a short reach and no shield. The Knight is the slowest with the most armor, primary weapons with long reach and can use a shield with their secondary weapons. What this all means is that the long weapons are king of the battlefield and Knights are the uber sauce on that field. I like playing the MAA for the speed and shield, but I tend to get one shot quite often.
So if this game is broken and flawed how can it be so fun? It's unique and different from other multiplayer games which tend to be of the shooter variety. It's a gorgeous game that one minute can be controller throwing frustrating and in an instant become the most awesome thing you've seen. Weapon movement is slow, but character movement is very twitchy and timing is everything in Chivalry. On occasion I get it right and it is glorious! I just hope the devs continue to support Chivalry and patch up some of the brokenness with the game.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Turkey Day.

I've kind of ignored this blog because of the ease of complaining on Twitter, and I have a bad habit of just hating people in general. Despite all of that, I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, whether it be with friends, family or just with one's trusted PC. Have a safe and happy weekend people, and don't forget to get your game on!

Monday, November 19, 2012


I love the Hitman franchise. I remember working at Gamestop when Codename 47 was released. I remember as a store manager going to Texas for a conference and having the pleasure of having a first look at Hitman 2 from the developers and being the only person in the room who knew 47's name. Which is 47 by the way. I have my work keys attached to a Hitman Contracts lanyard and a picture of 47 on my employee drawer to signify it's my stuff. I love the Hitman franchise. In preparation for Hitman Absolution's release I decided to replay the previous games in the franchise starting with Hitman 2. I've finished Hitman 2, Contracts and am still working to get through Blood Money and yet I still want to play more. Heck, I even love and own the Hitman movie! I love the Hitman franchise.

As you can imagine I was quite frustrated yesterday when I saw the PCGamer review of Hitman. Of course being a fanboy my knee jerk reaction was to believe the review has lost his marbles and has no idea what the heck he's talking about. Seeing a game I am super excited to play get a 66 was bothersome to me. Once I was able to calm down and think clearly I decided to re-read the review. The review itself is not bad and it was informative, however, it's clear from the beginning based on his admission to loving Blood Money that he was just looking for more of the same in Absolution.

If you were to believe this review you would think the game is complete rubbish, but a quick check of Metacritic shows that not to be the case. Just from browsing some of the reviews it would appear that the mixed reviews tend to dislike the change in direction of Hitman and what I found even more interesting is the ratio of positive to mixed reviews is lowest for the PC version. That could very well change as the week goes on, but I can't help thinking that PC gamers are much more resistant to change than our console brethren. Just a thought.

The whole thing reminds me of when Splinter Cell Conviction was released and the outcry of fans who felt Ubisoft has killed off the series with it's new direction towards a more action oriented gameplay. I too felt the same way about Conviction. Double Agent, a game all about stealth first and only stealth is one of my favorite games so how could they do that to Conviction! Then I bought and played Conviction and absolutely fell in love with the game.

The strength of previous Splinter Cell games was it's stealth gameplay, that's what the series was known for really. But Conviction's ability to balance the stealth with action made the game far less punishing to the player if they didn't stealth through an entire level. Sure a pure stealth or silent assassin run through a level is far more rewarding that just going through guns blazing, but Conviction was able to mix both and still be a rewarding experience.

To be honest I knew I wanted to buy Hitman, but it wasn't till I saw the Conan O'Brien bit on Youtube that I knew I had to preorder the game. After seeing that video and knowing the reaction from reviews I get the feeling I will have the same reaction to Hitman as I did with Conviction. That's my hope at least.

In the end I guess all that matters is what I think of the game and to not let the negative views taint my experience with the new Hitman.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Been A While, Why Not Talk GW2.

In my attempt to get back into the blogging swing again I was reading an article on Darth Hater that wanted first impressions of the recent release f2p patch for The Old Republic. There's only a handful of comments, but what caught my eye were the couple that mention Guild Wars 2. In particular the comments and notion that GW2 was developed as f2p from the start and how much better that model is as opposed to games that are failing that eventually make the transition to the f2p model.

To those I would say this: Your fanboism is showing.

Look, I get that there are those who love this game, are dedicated to it and will defend it to the ends of the earth. It's not unlike having a favorite sports team or picking a political party. Yes GW2 has no subscription and you can play the game as much as you like once you've purchased the game. That's the snag though, you still have to purchase the game (at sixty bucks I might add) and only then can you play the game.

True f2p requires you to purchase nothing what so ever which removes the ultimate barrier of entry, something GW2 does not do. This is not a bash GW2 post, on the contrary despite my incessant complaining on twitter yesterday there are quite a few things I do happen to like about GW2, there are also some things I don't care for as well. But if all that is required to be f2p is to not have a monthly subscription but still require a one off purchase of the product, then wouldn't all games sold now be f2p as well, regardless of genre?

What makes say Call of Duty any different than GW2? They both have strong online components, neither requires you to spend money after a one time purchase and you can play them as much as you would like. Yes one is a shooter and the other is considered a MMO, but that's not much of an argument.

Really it's just a matter of semantics and what I believe f2p is or isn't may not fall in line with what others believe. I do however believe there is a misconception to the true meaning of f2p in a MMO and am of the opinion that until GW2 has multi-transaction items and removes the initial purchase, it's nothing more than a very large coop game masked as a MMO.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

When Does Underrated Mean Bad?

I tend to toss out the word 'underrated' often when talking about certain games and in fact I see it used on the interwebs quite a bit as well. Rage, Syndicate and Darkness II are three games I've played this year that I would consider to be underrated. What exactly makes a game underrated? There really seems to be little criteria to make a game underrated except that it sold little and never met sales expectations. So it would seem to be an underrated game you have to be a financial bust and be liked by either or both critics and gamers.

So when I heard about Binary Domain I looked and saw that the game was receiving descent reviews and the most common thing said by those who enjoyed the game was that it's underrated. An underrated game with somewhat decent reviews and it's on sale, well that's right up my alley!

I was genuinely excited to play Binary Domain; the game looks good, has decent voice acting, but the story is what really made me want to finish this painfully brutal game. In the future there are these Hollow Children, robots that look and act human in every way and they themselves believe they are human. This has freaked out some of the world's leaders so they create what is called a Rust Crew, a group of people sent in to eliminate any and all Hollow Children and to take their creator alive if possible.

The story premise frankly is awesome, very Blade Runner-ish if you will. But except for a couple of pretty cool cut scenes and a nice plot twist at the end, the game does nothing with the story. This is the only game that I can think of where I wanted more exposition, more cut scenes to flesh out and expand the story instead of all the mindless combat that you get instead. What you get with Binary Domain is a cool story idea with lots of cut scenes to slow down the game and mounds of awful, crappy cover based combat with awful controls.

Ultimately Binary Domain is a boring, repetitive, formulaic and contrived Japanese cover-based shooter that misses the mark with the one thing that was even remotely interesting, and that is the story. I could have mentioned that the mouse and keyboard controls are awful, it doesn't support a wired Xbox controller like every other controller supported game, and there's a loyalty system much like KOTOR as well, but it doesn't matter cause the game is just bad. Underrated my eye, Binary Domain is garbage.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Games, Games, Games.

Things have been pretty quiet on the blog front. Guess that means I've been playing tons of games, right? Sort of.

I finished Sleeping Dogs about two weeks ago, and let me tell you that game is 100% awesome. It has just enough stuff to do in the world besides the main story to keep me interested, excited and not feel overwhelmed. I absolutely loved the game.

Last week I finished Binary Domain; a game that seems to be receiving rave reviews from gamers but has apparently sold like poo. What intrigued me most, and kept me playing as well, was the story. The problem is the story doesn't seem to go where I thought and hoped it would, and the game is so focused on its repetitive combat. Honestly it could have been so much better.

I did start Fable III finally, and I have to say I am enjoying the game so far. I hear that the ending is pretty bad, but it can't be Mass Effect 3 bad, right? I've played the first two games and not been overly pleased with either one but I've decided to go into this one with an open mind. For me the first two games always started off fun but as time goes on little gameplay elements start to nag at me to the point of frustration then eventual hatred. The one thing that I have a feeling I will get tired of fast is having to greet each and every person to gain their trust so I can lead some revolution.

But in between all of that there's still League of Legends. I've been in quite a slump over the past week, to the point I thought I was going to uninstall and quit the game for good. Unfortunately addictions are no so easily done away with.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Knee Deep.

I finished Sleeping Dogs yesterday and I must say it's pretty darn good. The martial arts combat is great, the graphics with the high-rez texture pack makes the game look amazing, the voice acting is top notch and the story is so good. I found myself invested in the story and the characters within the game, that's how I know I am enjoying a game.

Sure there are some issues with the game. Like the gunplay, it's not the best, Performance can be spotty at times, I had a couple of crashes for some unknown reason, and as great as the combat can be it suffers a bit in large group fights. Oh, and the cars take some getting used to with regards to the handling.

So I did finish the main story but I am only at about 89% completed, so there's a few more things I need to do including getting myself some Steam achievements. It's unfortunate that there's really little replay value in the game, even so it's still a great game.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Let Me List The Games!

I've got a friend coming by work today for a little visit and the topic of what we've been playing games wise will come up as it always does. I know what games I'm playing now, but this got me thinking about what games have I played and which ones have I finished lately, or even since the beginning of the year.

Currently I'm on a quest called the backlog meltdown which is proving to be tougher than I had anticipated. When I originally accepted the quest, I decided that whatever I had installed currently would be gotten to first and I would hold off installing anything new till then. But thanks to a Windows reinstall the other day, that idea unfortunately went out the window. See what I did there!

Truth be told, when thinking about it, it doesn't seemed like I played a lot of games. Yes I've gamed a lot, but if you take away the MMO's and the online shooters, I haven't finished a whole lot. One thing is for sure, I have a terrible memory when it comes to stuff like this.

So in the style of bullet points, let me list the games!

  • Batman Arkham Asylum - Played through in preparation for the sequel.
  • Batman Arkham City - Played through the story, collected and finished all the Riddle trophys.
  • Rage - Highly underrated game that I played through twice, missing only a couple of achievements.
  • Syndicate - Super good game, very underrated. Loved the gameplay so much I finished it three times!
  • Darkness 2 - Awesome game! Very surprised at how great this game is. Only Steam game I've collected all 50 achievements.
  • Serious Sam 3 - Technically I didn't finish this one as I raged quit on the unnecessarily hard final boss fight. Really sad this game turned out to be a turd.
  • FEAR 3 - I really like this game. It's not great, but the gameplay is pretty good. Played through bot Point Man and Paxton Fettel, meaning I've finished the game four times!
  • Max Payne 3 - My personal Game of the Year choice thus far. After setting this one aside thanks to some launch issues I finally took the time to play, and I'm glad I did. The game is awesome in every possible way, even the multiplayer is fun.
  • Diablo III - Almost forgot about the biggest launch of the year thus far. I love this game. Issues aside, the gameplay is phenomenal, it's everything I had hoped for and more. Finished twice so far as a Barbarian and Wizard.
Well there you have it, these are the games that I've finished so far this year. At least I think so, there could possibly be a game or two slipping my mind, but I don't think so.

So what's on the horizon? Right now it's Sleeping Dogs, next will be Binary Domain with some Max Payne sprinkled in. After that I'm not sure, Boarderlands 2 is coming really soon all the while playing some League of Legends and various MMO's as well. A quick glance at my Steam library shows me I've got plenty to keep me busy, and that's without making another purchase for the rest of the year.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Goodbye to July.

So July has come and gone and unlike past months I've actually showed the blog some love. Much to the delight, or dissatisfaction to those who have yet to dump me from their reader. Since I hadn't posted much I figured I would do a wrap-up of what I've been playing for the month. Here's a quick spoiler, it's mostly been League of Legends.

Don't believe me? Well just take a gander at the Raptr widget which shows the top six games I've played time-wise for the month. It should be no surprise that I love LoL and am pretty much addicted to the game. It's hard to explain why, but I find myself wanting to play it rather than something else. It really has made the whole backlog meltdown thing a bit difficult.

I've actually played or tried to play ten games this month. Honestly I don't think trying to setup my gamepad to work with Binary Domain or trying to log in to play Age of Conan counts, but that did happen this month.

The game that doesn't appear on there is Rift. Thanks to a free play weekend I was able to log into Rift for the first time in ages and I have to be honest, I like the game. What I find interesting about my history with Rift is that I know for a fact I have two accounts. I purchased Rift once from Direct2Drive and once off Amazon, both times when on sale. The first time I played Rift I cancelled after my first month, and then my account or the Trion accounts were compromised, something like that. So I never bothered to try and fix things.

That would be why I purchased a second copy, cause I wanted to play and I remembered having account issues before, so I figured why not start off fresh. Unfortunately the release date for The Old Republic was announced and so rather than get involved with a game I knew I would stop playing when TOR releases, I just cancelled and never bothered to play again during the free month.

I think I played only around four hours this whole weekend, but I really enjoyed it a lot. I find myself wanting to play Rift more if only it wasn't for that darn LoL! But I am giving some serious thought to subbing to Rift for a month, we shall see.

There were a few surprises to me after looking at the total monthly hours played per game. The first was that I played nine hours of TOR. Why is that significant? Well because I cancelled my sub on the 18th just before I was to be billed. What this tells me is that I played for far more than I thought, and that means I was getting hooked in again!

The other surprise was that I've only played thirteen hours of TERA. I've been struggling with weather or not to give up on TERA for sometime even though I quite enjoy the game when I do log in to play. What this tells me is that I haven't been playing the game nearly as much as I thought and that I can in good conscience give up on TERA without worry.

A couple of things to note as well - I finished FEAR 3 two more times, again, and I've actually played some Champions Online and really enjoyed that as well. I haven't played CO since the f2p conversion, and boy has it changed since then. It's good, it's fun and I think I am going to be playing more of it again!

So there you have it, the month of July. Not too exciting really...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Backlog Meltdown

So along with the inner debate that I posted about yesterday, I've also had this overwhelming desire to try and cut down on the backlog of games that I have waiting for me to play. Limiting my game purchases and cancelling my TOR sub are two ways I've helped kick start that plan. The one monkey wrench in the whole plan really is there are some games I would really like to go back and play.

I've come up with some lose guidelines to help with the whole process, you know, to help give me some structure this this otherwise silly obsession. At this moment I'm starting with games I currently have installed on my computer in order to keep myself from going crazy with the downloads. Also, some strategy games are going to be excluded from this project. The reason being that some of the strategy games I have require a great deal of time invested to learn and be able to play with some degree of success.

All this seems silly right? I've recognized that I have a spending problem when it comes to games. I also have a big problem with procrastination and using my time wisely, hence the backlog. You know I bought Onimusha for the PS2 on day one and I have yet to actually play the game? I still have it, and someday I'll get to it, but that's just an example of what I'm talking about.

This past week the worst possible thing happened - the Steam Summer sale. Massive sales on so many games that I could at some point play is like kryptonite to Superman. But I exercised some self control and made it out safely with less than forty bucks spent!

The four games I did pick up where Fable III, The Longest Journey and Dreamfall, and Machinarium. All four of these games I've really wanted for quite sometime and with the massive discount I figured now was as good of a time to pick them up. Not too bad if I say myself. I also purchased some DLC for a few games, something I'm sure I didn't need, but it was cheap!

The first game I decided to kick off this backlog meltdown was FEAR 3. Now I've played it before and finished it twice, and the only reason it was on the hard drive now was because I had a friend who wanted to play some coop, but they have unfortunately been addicted to Mass Effect 3 multiplayer.

FEAR 3 isn't nearly as spooky as the past two in the franchise, but it's a really good shooter that has just a few frustrating parts. Playing as Pointman gives you the typical FPS experience while playing as Paxton Fettel is where the fun really is at! Nothing is more fun then suspending an enemy up in the air and with the clench of your fist, you shatter them into a mist of blood and bone. It's pretty awesome!

So FEAR 3 is done and next on the list is....well I'm not sure. I was thinking of Kingdoms of Amalur for some RPG goodness, but the game is so generic and just way too long. I have Max Payne 3, Binary Domain, Modern Warfare 1-2-3, Arma II and even Battlefield 3 to choose from. The list is a little heavy on the shooter side, but it's a start.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The TERA-ble Inner Debate.

I don't know about anyone else, but I have a really hard time dedicating myself to a MMO these days. There are so many options to choose from between paid and f2p, I find I just don't have the time or discipline to stick with a MMO for any great length of time.

There was a time pre-son about five years ago where I had multiple active accounts. There was the Station Access, WoW, WAR, CoH, plus whatever console or non-MMO game I was playing at the time. These days for me that's just not a possibility anymore.

The problem for me today is that I have, or should I say had, and active account for The Old Republic since it released in December and an active account for TERA since it launched in May. Sometime around mid April into June I invested maybe ten hours into TOR. Between Battlefield 3, my growing addiction to League of Legends and now playing TERA, I found little interest or time to give to TOR.

In June I was able to get my first taste of PvP in TERA - and it sucked balls. It was at that point I started to question whether I was going to stick with the game after my four months were up. As it happens TOR finally started server transfers and patch 1.3 launched not too long after that so I found myself logging my time there instead of TERA.

The combat and the classes in TERA are amazing, they are so good. But I realized that TOR is actually the style of MMO that I most enjoy. TOR also has way better questing and story telling than TERA, something that has started to bother me quite a bit.

So what exactly is the TERA-ble debate? I decided at launch that I was going to give the game a fair chance and did a three month sub which ends at the end of August. I also know that I am not interested in the pvp, the crafting or the end game content. So I keep asking myself why bother playing till subscription expires knowing that I am likely not to play TERA from that point forward?

There are a few factors that are compounding the issue for me: I really love the combat and classes in TERA and would like to at least get one character to max level. However, I am really wanting to spend more time in TOR, everything about that game I love. Well, except the PvP. But I've also made a decision to limit the amount of purchases I make game wise till I melt down the back log of games that I have. That, my friends is a whole other post in and of itself.

So in a nutshell the debate is whether or not to stick with TERA till the end or just dump it and be done with the game entirely. In the mean time I went and canceled TOR seeing as it does me no good to have the guilt of paying but not playing in the back of my mind.

Monday, July 23, 2012

So Dramatic!

So this blog has been pretty silent for most of the year. My post a few days ago about GW2 was really something I thought up at the last second to keep from having another month with zero posts. Of course I didn't actually expect comments, so that was a nice surprise.

The reason for the inactivity has been for a couple of reasons. One is passion and the other was time. I had really lost all sorts of motivation months ago and began to question why I bother to even blog. What was the purpose? I don't pretend to be the best writer or the most popular blogger, and I certainly didn't want to start posting some sort of contrived, phony intellectual type article about some topic in the games industry that I could care less. I'm most definitely not popular enough to post one sentence links as a post and hope to receive mass amounts of comments, so that was out of the question as well. I guess I could do hateful and and argumentative posts about certain types of games and declare my opinion is the only valid one to have, but that too belongs to someone else.

I'm not the busiest man in the world; my job only takes about thirty hours of my life during the week so I actually nave quite a lot of free time to do things like blogging or playing games. The thing is reading the blogs on my reader and then trying to post something on a semi-regular basis takes a lot of time. It was just more time than I really wanted to invest for blogging honestly. Writing is probably the most time consuming portion for me, to the point of being agonizingly painful. Hmm, that's kind of like the same thing ain't it? I really like to write, I'm just not that good at it. It would, and still does take me a great deal of time to think about and put into words what it is I want to say.

Honestly I've just lost focus and become quite lazy when it comes to blogging. I'm going to continue to blog I think because I like having an avenue to voice my thoughts, frustrations or what have you about anything, mostly game related. It may not be interesting or even topical - heck, when GW2 comes out and I'm the only one not playing I'm pretty sure I'll have zero traffic.

Hmm, after reading through all this I feel like I've become all emo  and overly dramatic.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Hating on Guild Wars, Again.

I’m not sure what it is, but I have this tendency to dislike things based on them being extremely popular. It’s not always the case, but on occasion it does happen. One of those things I truly dislike is Guild Wars. I guess more specifically Guild Wars 2. See, I played GW back a long time ago, back when MMO actually meant something and not the generic term it is today. I enjoyed GW for about six hours, and then I was over it. I’ve tried a few times to give GW a chance, but I just don’t like the game.

My issue with GW2 has nothing to do with the game itself – I haven’t even seen or played the game. No, my issue comes from the notion that GW2 is the second coming, best thing since sliced bread, the savior of the MMO genre as it were. In all honesty it may very well turn out to be a great game, but I highly doubt it’s going to bring anything new and exciting to the genre.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Just kind of wondering! I guess the NBI should suggest to potential new bloggers that it might help to say something of interest, cause clearly I have not. Oh well, here's a few random thoughts I had to help make this post even longer!

Why do people want a game to fail? I have never understood what drives someone to hate a game or company so much that they want a particular game to fail and die. This random thought comes to you courtesy of Syncaine and his post about SWTOR. I'm not surprised because being a long time reader of his blog I know how he feels about theme park MMO's. The death of a MMO regardless of who makes it cannot be a good thing for the industry.

For the record I do enjoy reading Hardcore Casual even if I disagree with most of what is posted because of that very reason. It's nice to have a differing view on things to take me out of my comfort zone on occasion.

Every so often I'll see the word 'evolve' with regards to the games industry. It's mostly used when someone is hating on a game either out now or has been announced. All one has to do is look at the myriad of comments about TOR of the response to the new TES MMO that was announced.

What I think is that people are confusing evolution with innovation. I believe that the notion of evolution in the games industry, or for any multimedia industry for that matter is a myth. If you can think it, then probably it has been done in one way or another. The real problem is World of Warcraft - it's arguably one of the best MMO's to date but its popularity has caused there to be a lack of innovation in the MMO genre.

Diablo III is indeed awesome!

I spent the better part of four hours yesterday trying to get Max Payne 3 to run on my computer to no avail. Leave it to Max Payne to make the launch day issues with Diablo III look like a walk in the park.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Quick Impression of Diablo III.

I don't want to get into too many specifics or into spoiler territory, but I thought I'd post a quick impression about my time with Diablo III. It's good. No, it's damn good. Not only is it damn good, but I've also been playing a crap ton of it! There's my new rating system and unit of time spent playing right there.

The game is beautiful, it runs great, has wonderful voice acting, the story is quite interesting and the ease of dropping into a coop game with friends is awesome. The not so good includes having to log into a server to play, meaning it's almost a single-player game as long as servers are up, and of course the lag.

The game is so good, and I can be playing for hours and enjoying myself, but it's the little lag or high ping or even the random disconnect that seems to stand out more to me. Always online DRM isn't necessarily a bad thing if done right, just ask Ubisoft about the issues they've had to overcome, my concern is that other companies are going to adopt the same sort of DRM that Blizzard has implemented with Diablo III.

But enough of that nonsense. I am almost to the end of Act II and thus far Diablo III is wonderful.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Error Heard Around The World.

I will admit, on Tuesday I was one of those who grabbed a torch and pitchfork and took to their anonymous voice on twitter to complain about the "launch day" issues with Diablo III. Since when did single-player games have "launch day" issues anyways?

One thing I've learned over the years is that gamers can become a whiny, entitled, arrogant mob when it comes to games. It seems I follow some pretty level headed twitter people cause the outrage was pretty timid, but I can only imagine what the message boards looked like on Tuesday.

Unlike the Mass Effect 3 outrage a few weeks back, Blizzard I believe deserves all the scrutiny and criticisms they are receiving for their handling of Diablo III release. First of all, why do I need to log in to a server to play my single-player game? And second, how can you not be ready for the mass amounts of people who are going to try and play on midnight of release?

I want it to be know that Diablo III is great. No, it's pretty darn awesome actually. Unfortunately this MMO style server garbage has me frustrated with what is a very good game thus far. I tend to ramble a lot on twitter, most of the time it's ignored and for good reason. But one thing I said and I stand by is that in a month I'll probably forget that I couldn't log in to play my single-player game, but right now I am freaking pissed!

The truth is that all these issues will most likely be all but forgotten in a month or two and we will all have moved on to something else that frustrates us one way or another. That truth still doesn't make Blizzard any less responsible for botching the launch of a very anticipated game. It's a good thing Diablo III is amazing.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Nerd Rage.

I am a passionate guy. I tend to react and over react at times, I am not one for patience and I can be stubborn as well. So when I saw a link to an article on Kotaku called The Dumbing Down of Diablo III, I just had to read it.

Let me first say that I don't like Kotaku at all. I can't stand the layout of their website and most of the stuff they post is crap. But the title and the subject had me very interested in reading this one.

I read the article and I immediately felt some rage - why was Blizzard taking away customization, DIII will have no replayability, why do developers cater to the casual crowd - these were just a few of the thoughts raging in my mind.

Since the article was updated due to comments made I decided to scroll down and give them a look. The first two comments posted are videos of skill points and attributes in Diablo III. They are freaking amazing!! The reasoning behind the changes make perfect sence once you listen to the explanation of why they were made. Sure, who doesn't want greater control over their character. After giving it some thought however, that was my least favorite part of Diablo 2.

So in a few short minutes I went from homicidal nerd rage to being even more excited for Diablo III with some confidence that the game will be just fine. I wonder if there is a condition called Game Bipolar disorder.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

It doesn't seem like all that long ago I told myself that I was going to limit my game purchases to a few of the bigger titles like Diablo III this year so that I can focus on playing the stack of games I have already purchased. Well you know what they say, the best laid schemes of mice and men oft go awry!

The year 2012 started with me excited about just a few games - Mass Effect 3, Diablo III, and...I can't remember what else really. I can't remember when Max Payne 3 finally received a release date, but I am super excited for that game too.

So the plan was to play through some games including Mass Effect 1 & 2 before getting to Mass Effect 3 and play that till Diablo III comes, after that I don't remember really what the plan was going to be. It probably had something to do with not sleeping and taking out the Lord of Destruction multiple times.

Well since the New Year I bought and finished LOTR:War In The North and Saint's Row The Third, bought Kingdom's of Amalur: The Reckoning which I am currently playing, picked up Mass Effect 3 at half-price and a few other games thanks to Amazon's Spring Sale which included Darkness 2 and Serious Sam 3. Oh, and there is TERA too.

It's now May and the Diablo III release date inches ever closer with Max Payne right behind. To top things off I have been playing quite a lot of ME3's multiplayer and decided that sleep was overrated by getting into League of Legends. First world problems are such a pain are they not?

So where I was going with all of this is as of today when this goes up, Alan Wake for the PC is on sale on Steam! I really want to play the game but decided that I would pick it up at a later date maybe on sale. I didn't count on that sale happening now and at half price!! I don't think I can win on this on because I'm sure I'll regret the purchase if I made it and regret not making the purchase if I don't.

Guess I'll just go home tonight and play more ME3 multiplayer and then a round or two of LoL till I'm ready to pass out!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


I should really know better than to make fiscal decisions while in a sleep deprived condition. It was late last night, I hadn't slept well the past few days and I somehow clicked on the purchase button. Instantly I felt the regret. I had been somehow convincing myself to not make the purchase for a few days now knowing I am booked for the month.

Flash forward to today and Tera is now installed and I have spent about an hour playing so far. I knew I would like the combat, it looks pretty and was interesting. But the lack of sleep and the persistence of a few who have been playing finally pushed me into making the plunge.

I still regret the purchase, specially with TOR, Diablo III and Max Payne 3 just to name a few games taking my time this month, but I guess I'll just have to make the time to play. I know, what a problem to have, right?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Jaye: Heya blog.

Blog: Hey Jaye.

Jaye: are things?

Blog: Good, things are good...

Jaye: Did you see there is some sort of Newbie Blog Initiative thingy taking over the blogs today?

Blog: Well maybe they should have done the 'Get Off Your Lazy Ass Blog Initiative!

Jaye: Geez, what's gotten into you?

Blog: Well you write, then you stop, then you write again and then you stop. Are you going to make up your mind or what!!

Jaye: Wow, I didn't know you cared. I'm sorry.

Blog: I miss you!

Jaye: Hey blog, did you know if you do a search with the term 'funny random pic', you get all sorts of crazy results. This one was one that made me laugh out loud!

Blog: Sigh...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Well I finished RAGE this evening. At some point I might write up something more extensive on the whole experience. However, I will say that the story is not fleshed out which makes the structure of the game feel off and the ending is abrupt and confusing. With that said, the gameplay in RAGE is awesome, one of the best shooters I've played.

Not sure what game will be next on the list, but for now I leave you with a few more screen shots from RAGE while I prepare for more TOR!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Spoon Full of Cynicism...

So TOR is proving to be much harder to break away from than I thought it would. What that means is I did not install and play the Modern Warfare's like I had wanted. But not is all lost, I did install and play the first mission in Modern Warfare, so that's a start.

Before I get into that I wanted to bring up something that I thought was kind of interesting, at least to me. I have a slight backlog of podcast's that I have been making my way through, and this past week I was listening to the Gameinformer Show. In one episode there was a segment in which the hosts talk about Modern Warfare 3. One host in particular made a comment along the lines of how the Call of Duty franchise in recent years has been getting a bad rap from gamer's.

This statement really struck a cord with me because over the years I have become quite cynical towards the franchise myself. I loved the first MW. I remember being super excited about the game having a modern setting and being blown away after playing the demo. MW2 however rubbed me the wrong way, and not from a gameplay stand point, but because of it's peer-to-peer multiplayer - something I hated with a passion at the time.

I played the heck out of MW2's multiplayer, so there must have been something there that I enjoyed, but until recently I never touched the game's single-player. By the time I decided to play MW2's campaign I had a heap full of cynicism and I know it affected my enjoyment of both MW2 and Black Ops.

There came a point just before the release of MW3 when I questioned why I was so negative towards the CoD franchise, why am I still holding this grudge. So I decided to put all that aside and purchased MW3 - and at least with the multiplayer I have not been disappointed. It's for this reason that I thought I would play through the MW's in succession because maybe I have been missing what seems to be some great games. Well I already know that MW is great cause I've played it, but the next two in the series according to reviewers are just as awesome.

Well enough of this, it's time to smash Republic players in TOR!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Modern Shooter Time.

A few months ago in a time before TOR, I decided over a four day period to play through the single-player campaign of the shooters that I had on my Steam list. I started with Modern Warfare 2, then Black Ops, Homefront and finished with the new Medal of Honor.

Needless to say it was a long weekend as the only game I truly enjoyed was Medal of Honor. Which honestly was a surprise to me. I was already having fun with the multiplayer as it was giving a taste of what Battlefield 3 might be, but I did not think I would enjoy the story as much as I did.

I know I mentioned finishing Rage, but that hasn't happened because of my renewed interest in TOR. I never hated the game, but I wasn't finding it all that interesting at times. You could say I was a bit bored. Something I have been thinking about doing since Modern Warfare 3 came out was playing through the Modern Warfare's.

I have the next three days off, so this could just be the right time to do just that. Although I always have Wed-Fri off, so really any week I could do this. But as of right now I am only playing TOR since finishing WitN last week so I do have the time to tackle this task.

Honestly I give myself ideas like this because I have a tendency to waste time, and I really hate feeling like I didn't accomplish something during my time off from work. And besides, I have only played MW3's multiplayer, and by all accounts the single-player is decent.

Of course this all depends on if I can pry myself away from TOR's grasp...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Touch of RAGE!

I picked up RAGE on sale at a local Gamestop back in October, but like many games I didn't get to it right away. At the time I was the Witcher 2 and with Skyrim just a short few weeks away I wasn't sure I would be able to get to it, but I made the purchase anyways.

I'm really glad I did, even though I haven't played much, I really like RAGE. The game is so beautiful, the controls are really tight and the weapons are awesome. Why I waited this long to get back into RAGE is a mystery to me cause according to the timestamp, I haven't played the game since the day Skyrim launched. Big surprise.

So today I thought I would fire it up, get familiar with the controls a bit and take a few screenshots to share just how beautiful RAGE truly is!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

It Has Many Names...

I'm not one for New Year's resolutions, but I thought this year maybe I'll try to start a new trend. You see, I lack discipline and willpower, and that leads me to buy more games than I can play. What I'm hoping to do is to limit my purchases till I take care of some of the backlog...the pile...the stack. It's known by many names but it's condition is the same.

Beside The Old Republic, I am thinking that I pick one game to play and if possible stick with it till the end. I know what you're thinking, this is how you're suppose to do things. Well not only do I buy too many games, I also have a bad habit of playing those games for say a few minutes before moving on. I guess you could say I am easily distracted by shiny things.

I just finished War in the North so I was thinking of playing Rage next. But there is a good chance I might pick up Saints Row the Third and play that first. Of course I was also thinking of playing through both Mass Effect's before the third comes out. But then there's Space Marine, or even Fallout New Vegas with all of the cool DLC and......OMG TOO MANY GAMES!!!!

War in the MotherF@*$^ng North Yo!

Let me start by saying that this post was originally very different in tone when I first starting writing it about a week ago. But something strange happened - I finished War in the North and found that I wanted to play more. Then I finished the game a second time, and yet I still wanted more. So now with just over forty hours of play time and finishing the game with all three characters I will admit to having a very different attitude about War in the North.

Don't get me wrong, War in the North isn't great thanks to what I think are some not so great design choices and a terrible first impression, but in the end I enjoyed myself and wanted to play more which is all I could ask for in every game I play.

For those who don't know, War in the North is a hack 'n slash RPG from Snowblind Studios who made the popular Champions and Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance games back on the PS2. The story in War in the North coincides with the story of the Fellowship as they make their way to Mount Doom to destroy the Ring. Player's choose to play either a man, an elf and a dwarf. Clearly party composition was inspired from the movies.

The problems I had with WitN early on had to do with the game's brutal difficulty on normal. You start off with no skills, no gear, and to make matters worse the game has a few flaws that compound the issue. Many skills have extremely slow animations, you're given the ability to block but then the game tosses tons of enemies whose attacks you can't block, the ranged fov takes time to get used to and will cause one to pull out their hair, enemy ranged damage is way too high, and the camera's terrible mouse acceleration can make large battles super hard. None of these these issues in and of themselves are not a big deal, but for your first time through the game it can be very off putting.

However, and this is a big however, there is quite a lot to like about WitN. The sound and art design are amazing. The voice acting is some of the best I've heard in a game, the soundtrack is very reminisent of the movie trilogy, the character models look great and the locations you go to are detailed and varied. WitN is no Rage or Crysis, but it does look pretty good. The combat does still suffer a bit from some of the issues I mentioned, but once you unlock skills and upgrade your equipment the combat can be a thing of beauty.

I raged a lot on WitN on twitter a few weeks ago, but I am glad I stuck with it, because it's actually quite a good game.