Now Playing, Recently Finished and Want to Play for March 2013

Now Playing:

Recently Finished:

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Now Playing, Recently Finished Feb 2013

Now playing:

  • Dragonrealms, PC, Text Based MMORPG
  • Sims 3 + Way Too Many Expansions Thanks to an Amazon Sale, PC, Simulation
  • Hitman: Absolution, PC, Stealth TPS
  • La Mulana, PC, Exploration Action Puzzle Platformer
  • Anodyne, PC, Exploration Action Puzzle Platformer
  • Don't Starve (still beta, but a lot of updates since I played last), PC, Sandbox Wilderness Survival
  • Black Mesa, PC, FPS

Recently Finished:

  • Batman AC, PC, Open World TPS/Brawler
  • Spec Ops: The Line, PC, TPS
  • System Shock 2, PC, RPG/FPS
  • Fallout NV + All DLC, PC, Open World RPG/FPS
  • Defender's Quest, PC, Tower Defense/RPG
  • Dishonored, PC, Stealth FPS

Want to play:

  • Xenoblade Chronicles, Wii, RPG
  • Last Story, Wii, RPG
  • Alan Wake, PC, FPS
  • Heavy Rain, PS3, Interactive Story
  • Dead Space, PC, TPS
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Now Playing and Recently Finished Nov 2012 - Jan 2013

Well kinda fell of the wagon of doing this at least once a month, but I also wasn't finishing a lot of games over the holidays but... lets try to catch up.

Now playing:

  • Dragonrealms, PC, MUD (Just posted a rough draft review of this today, only took me 17 years to get around to writing one.)
  • Fez, 360, Exploration Platformer/Puzzle
  • Dust: An Elysian Tail, 360, Action RPG
  • Fallout New Vegas + ALL DLC, PC, Open World FPS RPG (third time through, I'll never get enough Fallout)
  • Darkness II, PC, FPS
  • Spec Ops: The Line, PC, FPS
  • Metro 2033, PC, FPS (Second time Thru and loving it)
  • Deadlight, PC, Action Platformer
  • Mark of the Ninja, PC, Stealth Action Adventure
  • Red Faction: Armageddion, PC, FPS

Recently Finished (at least for now anyway):

  • FTL, PC, Tactical Space Combat Sim.
  • Don't Starve, PC, Sandbox Survival (Beta) (also posted a rough draft review)
  • Homefront, PC, FPS
  • Hotline Maimi, PC, Top Down Action Shooter (also posted a rough draft review)
  • Skyrim Dawnguard + Hearthfire, PC, Open World Action RPG
  • Saints Row the Third The Full Package, PC, Open World Action

Want to play:

  • Batman Arkham City, PC, Open World Action/Stealth Brawler
  • Assassins Creed Revolutions, PC, Open World Action/Stealth Brawler
  • Resident Evil 5 Gold Move Edition, PS3, Third Person Shooter
  • Heavy Rain Move Edition, PS3, Interactive Story
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Already Bored with Mists of Pandaria. Free Writing.

First off I think I've spelled Pandaria like 15 different ways, and I just cannot be bothered to check which is right, sorry.

So as anyone reading my blog would know I promised a second part of my post regarding my experiences with MoP... that never happened because I just didnt really pay. I wish I could say if it was me, or if it was MoP or WoW in general. Maybe I just wasn't in an MMORPG mood.

MMORPGs have always been kind of a weird thing for me, I love love love the idea of a persistent world that lives and breathes with other real players even when I'm logged off, trouble is I usually hate those other players... Most of whom are just there to play some "look how much better than you, I am" game.

Certainly there are people who are redeeming, but I find the effort of finding them to be far too troublesome so quickly MMORPGS become more of a solo affair for myself... but really this does nothing to diminish the game because again all I really wanted is a persistent world with people IN it... that doesn't necessitate that I actually interact with said people.

L.O.L.

I am having fun with MoP, but the quests defiantly are starting to feel more and more stale... problem is I really doubt that there will ever be a system that isn't just quests, I've played Warhammer Online with their public quests, I've played Rift's. While I haven't actually played Guild Wars 2, I've read about it quite a bit, and while some laud it as revolutionary... I dont see it... I see a thin vein over text less quests. Now surely there does need to be some kind of substance to these games.... there has to be quests... or there wouldn't be a game. Much like there has to be a person in a horror film who stupidly puts themselves into unnecessary danger, for there to be a movie.

MoP does try to defiantly mix up the quests as much as it can with as much variety as the system allows. But progressing through the zones and at these extreme levels of experience points needed, not questing is really not an option. I suppose I could turn to PvP, but that really has no interest for me right now, and is something I like to do really only at max levels. Dungeons are maybe another way to go to level up and push into raids and endgame content... and I do really love WoWs dungeons, especially coupled with the dungeon finder that makes it incredibly easy to find what you need for a group, but there really arn't very many, at level 87 I think I have 4 available, two of which have literally zero loot for my character and the other two I've already run 5 to 10 times each, recently.

Oh well, I think its just a combination of things... I'm busy with other games... I'm just not in an MMO mood right now... I'm less interested in leveling up and more interested in endgame dungeons/raids ... even farming... I like just wandering around collecting materials and playing the auction house, or doing daily quests, which at least give some freeform structure to their rewards... where as every MoP quest has been engineered to only offer you two choices at most.

Also I feel constantly barraged from other sites and podcasts about how MMORPGS suck and are dead and dying and whatever... and I dont mean just subscription issues which is its own separate thing.

I'm so tired of everyone telling everyone else what to enjoy and how to enjoy it.

I think that's enough free writing for now.

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Now Playing and Recently Finished Oct 2012

Now playing:

  • Dragonrealms, PC, MUD
  • World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandara, PC, MMORPG
  • The Secret World, PC, MMORPG
  • Dishonored, PC, FPS
  • Punch Quest, iOS, Endless Runner
  • One Epic Knight, iOS, Endless Runner

Recently Finished:

  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown, PC, Turn Based Strategy
  • Diablo 3, PC, Action RPG (I'm calling clearing Inferno solo with my monk as finished. I'll probably play more)
  • To the Moon, PC, Adventure
  • Bioshock 2, PC, FPS
  • 10000000, iOS, Match Three
  • Walking Dead Episode 1, PC, Adventure

Want to play:

  • Heavy Rain (move edition), PS3, Interactive Story
  • Fez, 360, Non-linear Puzzle Platformer
  • Spelunky, 360, Precision Platformer
  • Dust, 360, Action RPG
  • Borderlands 2, PC, FPS
  • Resident Evil 5 Gold (move edition), PS3, TPS
  • Alan Wake American Nightmare, PC, TPS
  • Batman Arkham City GOTY, PC, Open World
  • Assassins Creed Revelations, PC, Open World.

Also I'm on the 7th book of the Drizzt series by R.A Salvatore and working my way through watching Star Trek: The Next Generation.

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Day 1 with MoP, Freewritting, Part 1 of 2. Mostly Battle Pets.

So, about a year ago... I told World of Warcarft....

"I think we should break up"

"It's not me, its you"

And I happily moved on, I had done quite a lot of cataclysm and while I will never have the patience to be a raider, I was very happy doing PuGs for dungeons... I dunno why, I just like it.

Fast Forward to Sunday afternoon "omg I should buy MoP"... Nooooooo.

Then I bought it.

"I just cant quit you!"

I've always enjoyed WoW, I have thousands of hours in, three level 85s and a couple in the 70s and a 50.... yes, its almost too much time put in to not just keep playing. Also, I'm pretty flush right now with cash, so money isn't really an issue. I'm a suuuuper cheap bastard, while most people are buying borderlands 2 for 59.99.... I'm gonna wait for it to hit 15 bucks.... I've been doing this for years, so when I do jump at something "new" it doesn't hurt my wallet very much at all.

Plunged on into MoP, was actually on as it "went live" on my 85 paladin... he recieved a quest asking him to come in to stormwind, but I thought nah, that content is gonna be there forever... lets get into the new race, new class... Monk class is definatly something that sold me quite a bit on MoP... it just sounded refreshing. More on that in a bit.

A weirdly large part of MoP is... Pokemon. Whhhhaaaat? Now I am not a copyright lawyer... anymore (just kidding) but between the movie Kung Fu Panda and Pokemon, I swear it feels like Blizzard is just begging for lawsuits, and why not? They could tie just about any company on the planet up in court and bleed em out of buisness with legal fees, and probably not even notice losing a billion dollars here or there... but... ok sorry rambling again....

Battle Pets are Pokemon, Battle Pets are Pokemon. Battle. Pets. Are. Pokemon.

It's actually good and bad... Its a fun system, that uses 99% of existing pets, and lots of new ones that you can trade or capture, to... well train and battle and trade. To start you can only have one pet "Set to fight" but that quickly changes once that pet gets to level 3, which unlocks a second pet, and then level 5 which unlocks a third.

I know, I can already hear you thinking something like... "THATS ENOUGH CHARLIZARD, GO ON PIKACHU! THUNDERBOLT". And yeah it is totally that. Is bat shit crazy how much exactly that... it is. That.

But it is fun, and if you like WoWs Pets and Graphics then... it looks great too. Pets have classes like beast, magic, dragon, critter, undead, as they level up they gain hitpoints, attack power, defence, and unlock new abilties like rend, or devour. Some abiltiies give status effects like a 5 turn bleed, and others "always go first"... stuff like that. Beasts are strong VS critter, Critter is strong VS... im not sure but you get the idea.

Its really a full game inside a game, there are quest lines, trainers to seek out and fight, (lol yeah trainers lol) and of course a bazillion pets to collect and level up, this could easily tie in with achivements that could give titles, tabards, and... other things that everyone seems to go so crazy for....

I'm surprised how much I actually like the whole thing. I didn't think I would spend even 10 seconds thinking about it, and now as I'm crusing around I cant help but look around for rare pets to try to catch. It's a good time sink / boredom breaker... and that is what MMOs need.

END OF PART 1

I'm tired, I'll try to jam out some thoughts on the monk class tomorrow or the next day. I will say the new starting area is just gorgegous but surprisingly boring... monk develops pretty slow and you really dont have much to click those first 15 levels. Its a real shame... but once your out and hit the 20s the class gets a lot more actiony with some pretty cool movement abilities that send you flying all over the place like a not copy written jack black.

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To the Moon, a wonderful story, a terrible game. (Buy it)

Just wrapped up with To the Moon, a retro graphical interactive story with some puzzle elements and extremely light action sequences, and I have extremely mixed feelings about it, its a wonderful story that everyone should buy and experience most defiantly, but its really just an interactive story any real attempt to call it a great game makes me want to scream foul.

If that sentance sounded confusing... good... because trying to talk about To the Moon as a video game... is extremely confusing. Very early into the game, it jokes with you for a second that its going to turn into a full on turn based RPG, less than 10 seconds later it lets you in on the joke and your game play for the next 15 minutes or so is what it is for easily three fourths of the game: Click to Walk and Click to Interact.

Go ahead and google some reviews and you'll see their just glowing, its amazing how loved this "game" is.

I just cannot, in good conscience call it a great game... The story is wonderful, moving, human, organic, mysterious where it should be, ambiguous in an interesting way. Similarly the graphics and music are masterful, sprite style graphics with lovingly hand drawn backrounds with a few hand drawn cutscene-ish sections that are beyond gorgeous and the music fits all of that and plays with and feeds into the emotions of the scenes with master strokes. BUT. The game-play... is not fun, its not interesting, its not clever... its just plain bad. Super bad.

A large portion of the game consists of clicking to walk, and then clicking to interact on something, even this is not done very well as the character you're controlling will often drift oddly (walk backward or to the side for a moment before turning) or try to path wrongly to where you clicked, but even not done well, this is the best of the game-play. For the first section of the game, you need to interact with or find specific locations or objects to move on, that's actually very fun because its all exploration and story and since the game looks wonderful and is written superbly and the music that plays while you do so is sublime... its a joy; however as you complete each stage you need to solve a "lights out" style puzzle to continue. It's so out of place that it just completely blows my mind, there is absolutely no reason to inject something like that into your story to artificially make it more gamey. The puzzles thankfully are very quick but even when the story ramps up and the exploration dies off a bit you continue to have to solve these puzzles again and again. Yuck. There are a few other game situations that actually change the control scheme a bit, like riding a horse or playing whack-a-mole, these sequences again are short but not particularly sweet, again the controls are loose and muddy, not that it really matters as there is literally no difficulty. These are defiantly forgivable as one-offs but really add nothing to the story, and end up just feeling very low in value.

It's all a great shame because had To the Moon had all the wonderfulness it already has plus some solid gameplay... whew... I dunno, it would be so good that its probably not possible to have happened. Maybe its impossible to separate or change To the Moon in any way shape or form, and much like the basis of the story it self, how much would change? And how much would remain the same?

Game-play aside, if you can even bear the thought of the words "interactive story" or just want something different, something that actually has characters and a plot and a setting and a story.... by the love of all that you find holy, buy this "game". Its a true masterpiece in every which way, except for... you know... the game part.

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Secret World 1.2 update, just some random free-writing (blog)

One of the things that I realized right away about TSW is that its obviously built in such a way that allows room for easy additons. Be it... more quests... more zones... more dungeons... more raids... more... soda pop.

Probably the most exciting thing about 1.2 is the first auxilary weapon, the first of "many" to come. While for a long time I thought this wouldnt really be a big deal, I now think it is, because it adds quite to the ability wheel and character points. 35 SP points and 50 ap per ability, of which there are 7, and a quest line to unlock the thing to begin with. For only the second monthly free content patch, thats a pretty good chunk to add into character developement.

Also a new vendor that can change the look of your rocket launcher, looks to be just setting up shop, likely we'll see more of these vendors with other aux weapons, and maybe even more with base weapons as well. Its an interesting parrallel to something like WoWs outragously expensive unnessisary mounts, its just a time/money sink and a status symbol... but thats exactly what MMOs thrive on.

Joining that new vendor theres a slew of new food types, I... am really at a lost as to why, its probably just something I missed or... just something someone thought would be fun, but instead of just one sad alien/monster vendor that sells tacos... (think food in EQ, EQ2, AO, or WoW) which buffs your out of combat health regen by a lot... now there is coffee, soda pop, tacos and something more Im already forgetting. Not really that exciting but again it has me wondering if theres more planned for this, or what.

I didnt actually use the dungeon finder but I looked at it, and it seems very straight forward and simple, you can pick all dungeons or specific ones, then your role or roles... you could tag yourself as just tank, or dps, or heals, or any combination there of. I'm really not sure if it auto groups and pulls you in or not... and I should probably check on that, but even if it doesnt now, I bet it will soon... its so funny to watch these fledgling MMORPGS make the same mistakes over and over just to watch them solved over and over in the exact same way... Ahh... Kids... will they never learn?

I did however, visit the barber shop to get my hair cut, I changed my hair style and my face "effect" cost me 200k in game PAX, which is really nothing at all... but I did also recieve 1 coupon for the barber and plastic surgeon to use free of charge, more coupons can be bought from the cash shop, but at 200k... you'd have to be crazy to pay money. The hair and face effect/makeup options still seemed very limited, especially Funcom saying multiple times that they more than doubled the amount of options... Really? Im not seeing it.... but its still on par with all the other MMOs out there.

Haven't gone to the surgeon yet, dont really want to change my face structure so... meh.

Also haven't really gone searching for any of the new quests added in yet, too busy working thru the area Im already in, and finishing up my second deck for the outfit it unlocks... which just happens to be a healing deck, which I may use for dungeon healing in the future.

I did crash once from what seemed to be an unbelievebly bad memory leak, but it only happened the once and didnt repeat at all.

Still having a lot of fun with TSW and loving these monthly updates, even if this one was a little delayed.

I know I'm really the only one out there but, I think monthly subscription models can still work, and as the only MMO I'm currently playing, and how much fun I'm having with it... it feels pretty worth it. Sure free is cheaper... but free is also cheaper.

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Now Playing and Recently Finished Sept 2012

Now Playing:

  • Dragonrealms, PC, MUD
  • Sanitarium, PC, Iso-Point and Click Adventure
  • Blackwell Legacy Episode 2, PC, Retro-Point and Click Adventure
  • The Secret World, PC, MMORPG

Recently Finished:

  • Blackwell Legacy Episode 1
  • Sleeping Dogs, 360, Open World TPS.
  • They Bleed Pixels, PC, Precision Platformer
  • Home, PC, Retro-Point and Click Adventure
  • Bioshock, PC, FPS
  • Dawn of War II, PC, RTS
  • Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising, PC, RTS
  • GTA 4: The Lost and the Damned, PC, Open World TPS.

Want To Play:

  • Heavy Rain (move edition), PS3, Interactive Story
  • Fez, 360, Non-linear Puzzle Platformer
  • Spelunky, 360, Precision Platformer
  • Dust, 360, Action RPG
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After a Night Sleeping on it.


It just seems like there should be a better outside the box way to create income. Straight up donations, optional ads, merchandise, someting. 
 
The pay only content is an enhanced smartphone website, HD video, and non-delayed podcasts.  Personally I was bummed that the entirely recoded, new website with all content of the full site is members only and non-subs get the standard website "As Is". 
 
A couple of things that really stick in my craw are that it just always seemed like giantbomb, or at least Jeff and Ryan, didnt want to be like other websites, memberships feel like a big step in that direction.  How long or how big will the next step be.  Also Giantbomb is built by the users as a wiki and I have a hard time not thinking we built it and now we have to pay for it.  I realize memberships dont have an effect on that right now, and I just hope they never will.  
 
Someone had a point that I cant shake, that it really does feel like giantbomb is being controlled more by whiskey media, and while thats probably just a misconception because it probably always has been it just feels like maybe this is how a good thing gets away from you.  Yes thats a lot of guess work but I like Jeff and Ryan and the other guys and I've been following their work for nearly a decade, I also know how it feels to look up one day and see something you built and realize its not yours at all anymore and wonder where exactly it went astray.
 
(Its a story in of itself but I do have another username with 10k points thats been around since the site was just a banner and one podcast about soft drinks) 
 
The only real point of my blog/forum post (which I did try to intentionally name some what indirectly to avoid being seen only as a flame or troll) is that GB has opened the door and there is no going back.  The community will always be split and thats just a shame. 
 
I appreciate those who have taken the time and effort to read and respond. Thank you. 
 
- Logan    
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