E3! I haz you!

 

Yesterday was the cultimation of months of anxious spectation - I got the news I'll be going to E3!

Going to E3 has been something of a dream for me, getting to go to the show this year is extremely exciting for me, especially due to the hot state of affairs over at Nintendo and their new console. I've been a huge fan of Nintendo since a kid and getting to see their new system first hand is going to be amazing.

What will I be doing there, you ask? I'll be covering the show for the sister sites GameRevolution.com and PlaystationLifestyle. I've been writing for GameRevolution for just about three years now and I finally got the chance to go there myself and see what it's about. On the other hand, I'll be traveling there on my own dime, so I'm also taking the chance to work in vacation into it, combining fun and work. That should be an explosive combination.

My plan is to get to California on the 3rd of June and later going to L.A for the three days in the convention center.

Will I be updating my blog from the event? Yes. And no. I'll do my best to keep a blog going during the trip, but as you could expect, there will be plenty to do there and keep me busy. Regardless, I'll try to keep this updated, but the best place you could look for my articles and coverage will be the above websites, mainly GameRevolution.com.

I'll also be updating my status via Twitter. My handle is eduardoreb, so if you'd like to see the ramblings of a complete E3 first trip sailor, stop by my Twitter page. If there's something you'd like to see on the show and I'm able to cover it by pictures or text, drop me a line there, it'll be the most direct way of reaching me.

See you there! :)

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Long time...

Sorry for the lack of posts! I've been extremely busy lately. Currently, I'm playing with the thought of starting my own endurance run for Deadly Premonition after finish Alan Wake. What do you think, Zach?

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Check out my first paid review!



Check out my first (and probably last, for a while) paid review for GameRevolution.com - Tatsunoko vs. Capcom! http://tiny.cc/fvhn6

I say it's probably my last paid review, 'cause this one was a fluke, thanks to the Capcom PR troubles of late, I was able to pick up the game before GR's main office even had one, so I caught the review!

Also, I have a downloadable PSP Mini game review for Age of Zombies - http://tiny.cc/gu3on
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Reminded to remember: The Dreamcast's 10th Anniversary

 It's hard to believe, but today marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of the Dreamcast. I can't say it feels like yesterday, but man, it's a long time for sure.

I was finally able to nab one of the little plastic white boxes in late 1999, after having a chance to see it on different occasions. The game shown was always some sort of fighting game, but I knew there was much more to it. My new system came with Flag to Flag, the (now deceased) CART Championship Auto Racing Team game, Sonic Adventure and for some odd reason, Monaco Grand Prix. The first two were my choices, and the third, my father's. He thought he'd get into games again, so he got an F1 game for himself. His mistake. What an awful game to get back to - no official license, it pailed in comparison to Flag to Flag in just about every way. On the other hand, Flag to Flag was awesome, even though it was broken to no end in the fact that you could 'bump-win' your way through every race and take out literally the entire competition.

Anyway, before the Playstation 2, the Dreamcast really felt like a "new gen" console, a step above the then current crop of games. Graphics were a huge improvement from past systems, and for a while, it seemed like there wouldn't be a match to Dreamcast games in terms of presentation and feel. Even today, Dreamcast games look very good, specially when hooked up to a VGA monitor using the special adapter, and it's one of the few consoles that emulated almost flawlessly various arcade games.

I won't get into the history and the sad events of the Dreamcast's life, mainly because I'm just lazy to write about it, and since so many people will be doing the same, I'll leave it to all the other write ups about it. I'm here to remember it, hell, be reminded of it, since I still own my original system and it still works perfectly. The Dreamcast is the only video game I consider to collect games and items for. In 2003, after years of procrastination, I started my collection when I bought an original, nationally produced Shenmue game. Shamefully, up to that point, I had owned only a handful of legit games, with a bevy of burned copies I downloaded off the internet. But upon buying that Shenmue copy, something clicked, and since then, I've been building a healthy library of games and accessories. The rarest of the bunch are my Shenmue II European copy, which took lengths and lengths of effort to obtain and Garou: Mark of the Wolves that I bought while visiting New York last year. While both aren't exactly rare on other gaming system options, they are cool games to own on the Dreamcast for sure. Among the paraphernalia of items, I've managed to get one of the awesome arcade sticks from Sega, a Dreamcast keyboard, Seaman and even a mouse. Somehow, to me, the Dreamcast feels like something worth collecting and playing, even if it was killed off too early. I don't consider myself a collector, far from it, since I play every game I ever got for it and hardly keep them in shrines for 'mint condition'. My game collection has spread so far that it practically occupies an entire shelf in my room, among other assorted game crap there.


My shelf - sorry about the flash, it's a rainy day. Sorry for the mess, I'm just a lazy bastard. If you look at the bottom left corner, you can see the box in which my Dreamcast lives nowadays. The left-most column is my extremely slim Sega Saturn library. And yes, that's a James Bond VHS collection in the upper shelf.


It's worth mentioning how well the Dreamcast was supported in Brazil - TecToy, the local distributor, had a great line of games out for it, and to top it off, at reasonable prices. Unlike the current crop of games sold off at ridiculously overcharged prices, Dreamcast games were reasonable purchases, making it a good, current game system to own at the time. Sega had a great history with the Master System and Mega Drive in the past, supporting both way past their life cycle, to this day even, bundling both with built in games still found in stores, but it has been a bit different with the Dreamcast, as it's a rare find in stores, if at all. Either way, I'm thankful for the treatment it's been given, even going as far as owning a few of the nationally released titles like Vigilante 8 and Blue Stinger.

Am I sad about the history of Sega post Dreamcast? To be honest, no, not really. They had an incredible console in their hands, and messed it all up with the consumer. They took their main mascot and trounced it with awful games. But in that wake, they brought out a great little new series of games with Yakuza (Ryu Ga Gotoku), which to me is almost enough to clean their name.

What's important to remember today is not the series of mistakes Sega as a company made over the years, even though it's one hell of a laundry list, but how awesome the Dreamcast was and still, in a way, still really is. You doubt it? Look past its ridiculous name, and pop in a game or two, you won't regret it.

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An entire arsenal for E3 week!

So last week was the infamous E3 week, so I thought bullets wouldn't do the trick. Consider these explosive rounds, 'cause I'm mixing the games played in a bit of an in-depth look at one game in particular, with some E3 comments in the form of bullets right afterwards. Hold on, it's a long one this week!

  • For most of the week, I played Resident Evil 5 single player on short spurts. I made it to chapter 6-2 last night, right before a boss fight. So far, it's been a good game, feeling a lot like Resident Evil 4, making me call it RE 4.2. This might be considered a spoiler, so read at your own risk from now. The big talk about this game has been its setting in Africa, and frankly, I couldn't care less where it was set - no one complained when we were killing Spaniards, right? - so I won't touch on that.

    • The progression in enemy types is just like RE4: first you deal with normal, average people, with a maniac (or two) thrown in as a boss type, then we move on to fanatics (tribesmen this time) to actual soldiers, just like 4, going to a bit of monstery surprises like the Licker. I personally liked how the Licker was treated in this game. Instead of it being just a single or to the max two of them at the same time, like in past Raccoon City-era Resident Evils, we get to fight hordes of these things. As far as the other mutated enemies are concerned, I did like The Reaper quite a bit, even though its one-hit kill gets annoying, but nothing my Dirty Harry Magnum couldn't handle...
    • Now, as far as story is concerned, I'm not as negative about it as most people (especially press) are. It's a much better story than most CAPCOM 360 games out there - *sigh* Lost Planet *sigh* - and it's cool to get a big of a tie-in between all the games in the main series for Resident Evil. Although the whole Jill part was kind of obvious.
    • So far the game's been fun, with the one main problem being the dumbness of my computer controlled partner, which I limited to just a stun prod and ammo carrying duties. Sheva Alomar, however, is a pretty darn cool character that fits in Resident Evil and was all around well designed - she doesn't go over the top in features - like a lot of CAPCOM designs, even for this games' other females - and ends up being a cool sidekick to super hardcore buff man Chris. Chris takes the buffness from Army of Two and multiplies it by three. So exaggerated, almighty.
    • I'm pretty sure I'll just back to this eventually in order to tackle Veteran and possibly Professional difficulties with a real life partner in co-op. Just to close it off, yes, I am doing the rotten egg glitch so I can get money to update and buy everything. The reason for that is simple: I'm kinda tired of grinding in games, and coming from Marvel Ultimate Alliance, and just want to get through unlocking stuff here without many more playthroughs than I'll need for the BSAA emblems and treasures I'm missing. As a side note, most of the playing for this game was done before and after E3.
  • Broke open Portable Ops on the PSP and played a bit, through the tutorial sections in between E3 segments on the live coverage. Seems interesting for the bit I played. Save system might prove to be a pain though, since I like playing these types of games in short spurts and the save point is kinda far, but that might just be my wrong first impression.
  • Went back to Marvel Ultimate Alliance, for five minutes, in order to unlock some more 4 player co op achievements, thanks to help from a friend of mine from school. All I need to 100% the game now are the hard mode, 500 throws and all gold medals achievements. I'll leave those to later, gonna take a break from the game and lend it to another friend so I can play Halo Wars later this week.
  • Pokémon Platinum report: two badges in around 15 caught so far. My first Pokémon, the monkey thing, went through an evolution, now I'm trying to get a Machop to evolve, but according to guides it needs to get to level 29 for that, and I'm on level 23, I think. It's a fun game, but hell, like I said last week, it's just like the thing I played ten years ago. If people complain about Nintendo rehashing series, boy, they need to look at Pokémon.

On to E3 comments, then!

        CONFERENCES:

  • Overall for the conferences: Kinda disappointed all companies are gonna go the motion sensing route - I really wanted to see some things to set them apart from each other, but it seems they're all gonna fall in the same niche. If I had any choice, we'd all still be playing "kid's games" in the future.
  • Got kinda happy to see how close a lot of what was shown is to release, most being in the final months of the year. 2009 is moving so fast that it'll be November before we know it.

    MICROSOFT:

  • Microsoft put a very good show. Forza 3 looks incredible and will be a sure buy for me. I'll try the Cliffy B. game eventually too, looks to be pretty retro-in-an-updated-sort, if you know what I mean.
  • If I had any ability whatsoever in music games, I'd be excited for Beatles Rock Band, it looks awesome, but alas, I'm very, very bad at coordination based music games, so... it'll be fun to watch people play that.
  • Have no real comments on the Metal Gear announcement - haven't played MGS4 yet in order to measure how Raiden turned out to be. If it's an action game, well, it should be good, Kojima wouldn't tie his series to something awful, I'd hope. It'll be good to wait and see.
  • Natal is going to make that Tony Hawk Ride board seem pointless. And how I think that thing will generate lots of lawsuits... oh boy. Games are getting to a point where people should just go do what they're trying to emulate. I doubt any older folks will be playing RIDE because it's already too close to the real thing.

    ELECTRONIC ARTS:

  • EA conference started weirdly, but I am looking forward to a lot of games they showed. Star Wars Old Republic had an epic trailer, and yes, I know that is not game play, but at least they were honest about it, unlike some other people some years ago. The fact that the game will scale down to run on a lot of configurations has me anxious to see how it'll play out.
  • Dragon Age Origins seemed to be taking a turn to somewhere I wouldn't be interested, but frankly, I didn't see nearly enough to close a decision on it, and to be honest, I trust Bioware, and will wait 'til that's out to decide. If I get around to playing it, it'll probably be on a PS3.
  • Mass Effect 2 looked incredible, can't wait to put my saved game into effect on that game, seemed like they fixed all the stutters and texture pop ins from the first game, which has me happy. It's sure coming out soon too, which is awesome.
  • SHIFT has me interested for sure, against all odds and the rest of others' opinions on it. Even though it'll come out in a crowded racing season, there's nothing against trying it out a bit after it's released, at a lower price, right?
  • Didn't really care about the sports stuff to be honest, though I might try out the EA Active stuff if there's a demo at a store here, or something. I have no interest whatsoever in mixed martial arts, either.
  • Left4Dead 2 feels a bit like it's coming out way too soon after the original game, but taking the point it's a whole new cast and a whole new setting, it makes sense. There's so much you can do with the same four people in whole different environments. I loved the original L4D, and I'm sure I will enjoy the sequel as well.
  • Sad to not see any mention of Half-Life 2: Episode Three, but my money is on that they'll show it at their own event sometime this year, or in one of the other trade game shows later on. Hope it comes out this year, even though I doubt it. I know I sound ambiguous!

    UBISOFT:

  • Ubisoft started slow as a snail. Their presenter was bored to death, made it obvious with his jokes. The untrained presenters were also horrible to watch. This hit could be given to all conferences, but Ubi's was the most obvious with this sort of thing. All conferences had a few - if not all - of their presenters giving a stiff read-off-the-teleprompter presentation.
  • The James Cameron monologue started off well, but by the end it just seemed the guy was trying to buy time for something. I'd think one of the demos wasn't rendered yet or some other person was late. Missed the beard and short hair. Haven't seen the man in ages, and seeing his new way-past-mid-age-crisis look was just shocking!
  • When they started talking about soccer and the world's best player, I knew Pelé would be stopping by. Pehleh, as it's pronounced, gave a quick talk, which was interesting to see how it'd be translated. He called the game a "little game" or how we'd call a child's toy, but the translator was sure to skip over it. I have no interest whatsoever in the game.
  • Splinter Cell Conviction looked awesome, I loved the presentation and how the objectives and HUD are all seamlessly applied to the environments. Makes me want to jump back to Double Agent in order to finish it. Must buy for me for sure.
  • Assassin's Creed 2, incredible looking, very interesting premise, had a lot of fun watching the game being played. The nods to Da Vince were pretty cool as well, very curious to see what else made it into the game in terms of his inventions and theories. Double kills also rule the earth. I 1000/1000 the first game, and if the trailer and game play are any indication, I'll probably do the same for this sequel.
  • Rabbids seemed to be funny, at least in the menu part of the game where the rabbid seats inside the controller. The rest of the game... meh.

    NINTENDO:

  • Liked seeing new Mario and Metroid games at Nintendo, both Mario titles are tie-ins and sequels to games I loved to play on the Wii and the DS. Galaxy 2 looks amazing, just like first still looks to this day. The Metroid one looks like it'll be cool since Team NINJA is working on it, I just hope they don't ruin Samus' design somehow.
  • The Nintendo cardio thing didn't do much for me, but I'm willing to wait til Nintendo shows any use for it before I get all witty on it, like everyone seems to be.
  • Even with some interesting DSi announcements, I still won't get one!
  • Yay, new Zelda. Hope it doesn't take five years for it to come out. Haven't seen anything to get amped for it other than the simple notion that there will be a new Zelda game coming out on the Wii.
  • Resort was presented very well, and I'm kind of wanting to try the bow and arrow bits. I'm curious to see how they'll sell the games that need Motion Plus, if there's going to be standalone versions without the dongle, for people buying more than one game that packs it in. Otherwise a lot of users will have stacks of the thing at home. N64 Expansion Pack, anyone?

    SONY:

  • Sony had the most interesting presentation for me, seeing I do not own a Playstation 3, but plan to in the future. While they did not show the slim model at a lower price, like I was hoping, a lot of games shown had me very interested and definitely made me even more keen with the idea of possibly investing in a system.
  • Uncharted 2 seemed amazing, if that action is balanced with adventure and platforming bits, that will be one of my must buys with the PS3, along with the original. That Central American town looked insanely detailed and well worked upon.
  • Gran Turismo 5 looks pretty good, even though some of the additions make it feel like it's taking forever to come out because the director can't make up his mind about when to say "ENOUGH!", adding in other racing leagues like LeMans, NASCAR and WRC. Either way, all the cars look amazing, and if the depth in past GTs is anything to say in its behalf, it'll be a very good racer on the PS3, for sure.
  • GT on PSP? Ok, I guess. The new PSP? Horrible, horrible, horrible. And expensive to boot. If interested could be measure in numbers, mine would be in the negative zone.
  • God of War III. Even though I don't really like gore that much, it seems I'll have to look past it and enjoy God of War III for what it is: fun.
  • TrICO, a.k.a Last Guardian was a sure buy for me even before the trailer, now it's just another painful reason pushing me towards getting a PS3. That gryphon creature looks adorable, and everything in that trailer hits all the right buttons for me.
  • All the multiple people playing online games had no impact on me. I personally hate playing shooters online, and now having to depend on dozens of people in order to have a good online experience? Doubt it.
  • To close it off, I think that showing FF XIV before XIII is even out was more of a pre-alpha-beta-gama hype seed... I do not like the direction SquareEnix takes with Final Fantasy going online as a numbered chapter in the series. I'd make the MMO segment a whole different sub-series, leaving the numbered chapters as single player RPGs. Can't say in enough words how I am looking forward to XIII, and for the first time, I'm on time with finishing previous games, so I'll play it as soon as possible after it's out.

    E3 IN GENERAL:

    Overall for the show: An incredible expo, for sure, one of the better in the last few years. It definitely makes me want to get a Playstation 3, now with more than two or three games worth playing on it. Like I said in the beginning, it feels like all companies are going in the same way, but it'll be something to witness as they move forward and experiment with their own motion sensing technologies. Never know, they might break out with their own approaches to the concept. Like some journalists mentioned, a lot of smaller company games got crushed by the giants, and it would be a dream if they had their own spot in order to show the smaller games. Peripheral dependant games seem to be hitting their limit in terms of playing/pretending to be doing and actually doing it, RIDE being the most evident, but others, like DJ Hero, hitting close. Feels like the music section, especially, will hit a decline soon, with too many games coming too soon. It feels like it'll soon become - if it's not already - the new World War II type of game, in a surprisingly small period of time.

    In terms of coverage, I really enjoyed the major site's reporting on the show - GameSpot's E3 live show was enjoyable, especially with chat, for sure. GiantBomb's podcasts were awesome, both in video and audio formats. 1UP had some quick jab articles dealing with top lists, as well as hit-and-miss podcasts, with some annoying guests which quickly made their welcome void, returning or new ones alike. AREA 5 also had a lot of video content I still have to catch up, but considering how well they've been doing it with CO-OP, it's something to look forward to in the coming weeks. ScrewAttack, incredibly enough, had a lot of fun videos at the show, with fan favorite James Rolfe, the Nerd, giving his opinions on the games, along with the rest of their cast, good stuff, overall too, pleasantly surprised.

    I was sad that my plans for going to E3 got shot down as the show approached, but if effort and will are enough to make things happen, I will be there next year, some way, somehow.
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You Know You're Not At E3 When...

... you wake up Monday morning and go type up your bullets for last week. Oh well, maybe next year, right? Bullets are something I write every Monday, detailing all the gaming I've done the past week. Now it'll be posted at GiantBomb as well!

This past week was pretty experimental for me, with lots of trying out 'new' games. So without further ado.

  • Finished Marvel Ultimate Alliance, yet again, this time on easy, in order to get the few simulator discs that I missed in my normal difficulty run, including the one-time-only Deadpool disc. The bulk of my playing this week was dedicated to beating all these missions, and this was finally achieved on Saturday, unlocking Silver Surfer. SS is just awesome in the game. I went ahead and got some other achievements in this game. Yes, I want to try to go as close to 1250 on this one as possible - sue me.
  • Cracked open Pokémon Platinum. It was like jumping back to ten or so years ago, to the time I played my first and last Pokémon Blue game. Seriously, in all those years, the game's the same - same music, same sounds, with very few changes. This isn't to say it's fun and mildly distracting, but this will probably be the last Pokémon game I play, period. I gave it the chance of being a cut above the first game, but so far it's just a prettier version of the same game, with more pokémon thrown in. I chose the monkey one at the beginning, by the way.
  • Opened the other double pack game I got, Sega Superstar Tennis. It feels like the poor man's Super Mario Tennis at spots, but it's still fun. The controls are kinda slide-all-over-the-place, but hey, how can I complain, got this for free, right?
  • Played just a bit of Kung Fu Panda, one of the other free games I got in bundle boxes - good first impression, should be a quick one to burn through. Never watched the movie, shame.
  • Got Wiiware's Adventure Island: The Beginning for review. It's one of those games I can safely admit is good, but does nothing new. It's just okay... and it's Adventure Island. Eh.
  • Tried to get back to Resident Evil 5 yesterday, and it's starting to 'click' with me, after going through the first two chapters. Don't know if I'll press on in single player, but I was able to play WAY more than before yesterday, which was surprinsingly enjoyable. I only died once when I accidentaly jumped in an activated furnace. Heh.
  • Watched Iron Man a second time since theatres, now on DVD - have to say the film's still awesome. The extras are incredible for such a low price disc. Now I REALLY want to model an Iron Man from the golden age of the Avengers...

    This isn't really part of bullets, but I'd really like to mention it. E3 starts today, and I'm fairly interested in all of the conferences. I didn't follow the pre show coverage cause I'll admit right now I'm really sick of people trying to break news about releases just hours before the actual announcement. On the other hand, there's a lot to look forward to. I am really hoping Sony will drop that new line PS3 at a cheaper price, so I can finally buy one and play Metal Gear Solid 4 before it's completely spoiled for me *I'm looking at you and your articles, Shumi!*.

Anyway, see you guys in a few hours, if not personally, at least virtually in the billion seat capacity virtual audience for E3. Should be fun!

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And yet another cool giveaway from Blizzard (Blizzcon)




Damn it, Blizzard! Now I want one of these... too bad 1) the tickets are impossible to get and 2) I live so far away.

For those not into WoW, Blizzard is giving one of these in-game, World of WarCraft pets as a gift to people going to Blizzcon this year. For those not into Blizzard games - the one guy in the back - this is a cute little murloc creature from the WarCraft series wearing a space marine costume from StarCraft.

(image courtesy of WoWInsider.com)
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Insert Ghostbusters' quote here - my nostalgic 3D project

 
  


This is a "nostalgic" piece I've been working on for a while. It is none other than the Ectomobile-1, the "ECTO-1" from the movie Ghostbusters. That along with the DeLorean from Back to the Future, always held a place in my heart as my favorite movie ride. The original Ectomobile-1 was born off a 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor ambulance, turned into the iconic ride that the Ghostbusters drive around New York City in the 1984. Later, for Ghostbusters II, it turned into ECTO-1A, with even more equipment on its roof, more decals and the infamous marquee scrollers a'la the Wall Street stock exchange's. Personally, I always liked the first version better, and this was the version I focused on for this project. The hardest part, by far, was finding reference photos that did not stray off the original car. Luckily, I hit a good source of great pictures after a couple of days of maddening searching, and thankfully I did not have to go much anywhere else for most of the details. For those wondering, I've been working on this for about two months now, on and off at the beginning, then dedicated mid-way in. The video embedded on this blog post is the turntable of the model with three runs: wireframe, wireframe/s.shader and simple shader. Big thanks to my friend Rapha for the big help with 3ds Max. Final, fully textured version coming very soon.
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More reviews, SFIV and WoW

Hey, everyone.

Just got two more reviews published on GameRevolution.com, one for EXIT 2 and the other for GTA IV: Lost and Damned. Both are still at the front page, but if you cannot find them, check them out at:

http://www.gamerevolution.com/review/xbox360/grand-theft-auto-iv-lost-and-damned
http://www.gamerevolution.com/review/xbox360/exit-2

I'm currently reviewing Peggle for XBLA. It's Peggle and it's simple. Not much to it, really!

As for games, currently playing lots of Street Fighter IV. I managed to reach fifty victories yesterday, and my current win ration is at 2/3, which is not bad, considering my skill at games in general. Having lots of fun, the game doesn't seem to be getting any older. I'm playing a lot online with Cammy and Zangief, trying to get the timing right for the ultra and super combos, albeit the sometimes annoying lag. Overall my crappy wireless network is holding up well, but the match search in the game is what makes it a bit enerving trying to play online. It's hard to find a match I can join, it's so bad, I can only manage to join about one out of every six matches in the list. Just reads 'Unable to play'. Other than that, I've ran into some people just plain quitting mid match, which is a bit pitiful - come on, I'm not that good, but stay til the end. When I'm getting beaten, I stay til the end and even try a rematch or two, and if I have to leave after the first fight, I tend to send a message explaining why.

Overall, awesome game! 

For other games; I'm still drudging through Persona 3 FES, and it's really starting to go thin on me. I'm not really going out of my way to grind, but my level is not low, still dying to some annoying enemies. Whoever invented the concept of the main character dying resulting in a game over screen or the insta death attacks needs to get a kick to the shin and to the head, probably at the same time. From watching the GiantBomb endurance runs for Persona 4, seems it fixed those issues, but you never know... 
I'm still gonna insist a bit on FES, even though it's almost to the point of going back to the box. Haven't gone back to Dragon Quest IV in over a week now, I plan to jump back to it sometime today or tomorrow. It's not because the game's bad, it's really because of my lazyness to play it. 

World of WarCraft is almost, almost out of steam for me, I skipped a Naxxramas raid run on Saturday. I'm going to give another, and probably last real raid run next weekend for Naxxramas in heroic mode (25 people instead of 10 to be coordinated, yay, yawn). Naxxramas is cool and all, but it gets old quick. Same goes to the other raids in the new expansion - haven't tried Eye of Eternity yet, since people only want to group with players that are experienced in it. Why the hell is that? I mean, everyone started at the bottom, not knowing the damn fights, so why enforce it on those starting out? It's really a serious issue, I've been trying to play that level for months now, with no success. Message to raid leaders wanting others to link their EoE completion 'achievements': go bury yourselves in a very deep hole!

Out of raiding, I managed to get into a very good group that killed all of the Horde capital city leaders, earning myself a black war bear mount, which is pretty awesome. The group was very well put together and organized, and we flew through those kills in about an hour - Orgrimmar was the first stop, then Thunder Bluff, Silvermoon City and Undercity. Undercity, ironicly enough, was the hardest fight, since Sylvannas keeps teleporting all over the room, making the whole group chase after her. Orgrimmar was supposed to be the hardest, but even though we went there at a prime server time, not much resistance was found. Oh well, they must have been doing the same to Alliance cities...

Another issue worth mentioning is how bloody annoying daily quests are in World of WarCraft, especially the ones that deal with random item drops. For quite a while now I've been doing daily quests in the Storm Peaks region in order to get the special mount, that depends on a random drop generator once you turn in whatever quest you've done that day. No sucess on that, on about one hundred turn ins. This random drop issue is also relived in some of the seasonal events that are taking place every now and then. Some of the quests depend on that type of item drop, and it takes days to get just an item, sometimes managing to be even worse, since some drops depend on two random instances. I.E. Valentine's Day. It had a random bag of candies drop, and out of that bag, eight types of unique candies could be looted, which were necessary for a particular feat. Now, I'm not one to get crazy after 'achievements', but the seasonal ones are special since a rare flying mount will be awarded to those who complete them all. Since I completed the events since Christmas, I thought I had a chance, but... no, random drops try to drive me mad. With Easter coming close, there will be another event, and for that, eggs will be hunted. Out of the random chance of finding an egg comes the other random chance of getting the items needed for the particular achievement. Not worth the hair tearing in my opinion. Turns the game into a chore.

My WoW gametime will expire in July. I'll probably give a couple of months' rest, then come back with a two month deal just to experiment with the almost-end-of-the-year content, and probably stop for good. I still have a two month game card for Lord of the Rings Online, and I want to get back to that, at least to finish that card up - before they come up with the brilliant idea of closing the servers or some crap like that. I hope my PC can handle it one more time, since I had to take out a lot of upgrades I made over the years due to some lock-ups. It still locks up occasionally, but there's nothing else to revert back to. I'm now using my computer as it was back in 2002.

Anyway, that's enough rambling for now. Have fun, everyone!

 
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