Four riders, emotions and Guild Wars.

A sinister pact, a fragile alliance and a shattered promise.
Two of The Four are reported missing, one last sighted in The Third Kingdom and the other trapped in the Forge Lands by some trick of the Crowfather.
Turmoil and despair churn at the feet of all creation and already humanity has paid the price. It wasn't like the stories, there was no resistance, there wasn't even a battle.
The earth broke open and humankind was wiped out in hours by demons or the wild chaotic earth that swallowed them, writhing in pain as the dimensions opened all around the planet.
Whispers pass through the realms, a corruption is spreading and a greater plan is slowly revealing itself as worlds and species begin to crumble, leaving only nothingness in its wake.
They say Death himself battles the corruption as he tries to redeem his brother War, falsely accused of starting the end times, who fights a desperate battle on Earth in which he clings to life and duty.
But what of the last two? Where are Fury and Strife?
When War was summoned his siblings must have felt his presence, sensed his peril and leapt to action, for is that not the bond the Four share?
Unthinkable, voices rumor, that the fierce but calculated rider named Fury would not take part in Death's quest or that his valiant brother Strife would see events play out from the sideline.
Where did they all go? Are they too working on ways to redeem War or assist Death? Time will tell.
Even more unthinkable would be to realize that The Four might be shattered, worlds apart and not imbued with the Charred Council's blessing, alone, lost and worst of all...mortal.
Where is Lucifer, the Ruler of  Hell? The mad queen Lilith? Samael the Blood Prince?
It would not be unlikely to see their hand in all of this somehow, perhaps Lucifer has lured Strife or Fury away with a false promise of helping their brothers to prevent their gaze from seeing the scheming that seems to surround this endwar. Perhaps all of the Horsemen are being set up by sinister forces that fear them, for many secrets have been kept from the Four throughout time for no other reason but fear of what they would do with the power.
Many rulers have lorded over Heaven, Hell or the lands between, but only one group is as renowned as they are feared, their unshakeable duty to the Balance and each other unquestionable.
They are the riders, the last of the Nephilim, the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

They are Strife, Fury, War and Death.


Speaking of the apocalypse, I got lost on the internet and somehow ended up at my ex's profile.
These things still hurt it seems, after quite some time I still feel terrible about it, seeing some new chick parade on his arm infuriates me even though it shouldn't and I can't help but feel a little jealous even.
"She's not right for him, she doesn't get him, she....she's not me." Horrible thoughts, so unneeded yet so present.
Bah, emotions. I hate love.
 
 
Guild Wars 2, what I'm expecting.
 
I'm a MMO lover, I've played WoW for years, tried almost any MMO out there and I'm somehow still playing Lord of the Rings Online since it came out.
Lots of hit and misses however, WoW suffered from horrible imbalance and a terrible drop system, Star Wars TOR had nothing to do after finishing your story and reaching level 50 and even Lord of the Rings Online is tiring me out with its RPG style of questing.
I should elaborate on that as Lotro has the best MMORPG quests and story out there, they offer a journey through Middle Earth, not just a grind, and the experience it amazing.
There's some faults and basically a lot of old school "go to a hub, gather quests, complete all of them at some crowded enemy place and head back" type of quests.
This works for me, it's pure RPG and the varied classes, customizable Legendary weapons and Skirmish system are keeping me entertained for years now.
But yeah, I need a new fix! A fluid one on the level of Warcraft's controls! Fluid animations, hectic but addicting PvP and a world to discover and love, 5 times over.
Will Guild Wars 2 give me that? Here's my expectations, I'll come back to this in my next blog.

Expectation: Weaponskills offering freedom of choice, but still clearly visible which specific weapons have the advantage.
Expectation: PvP and WvW scaling allows for any player to be useful to a battle and, more importantly, be able to hold his or her own and not be totally steamrolled by higher skills/abilities.
Expectation: Crafting is not a chore and materials are all readily available in nodes or shops for decent prices. Its items are also useful and are sufficient for their level.
Expectation: The personal story is going to stay interesting and not diverge into a shared path. It would be like SWTOR where even though you visit the same zones/planets you still have a quest line unique to your class. But in Guild Wars 2 this might be even more varied judged by backgrounds and other choices made.
Expectation: Dynamic Events are fun to participate in and offer quick rewards/experience if you happen to walk by and join in.

I wonder the most about the story, can they really give you so many varied stories based on your upbringing or beliefs? I can't see them do the effort to split their story that much.
We'll see, I'm very eager to see all of this for myself so no need to ruin my dreams just yet!
I started playing this morning and I'm loving it, a very polished game
I'll blog again when GW2 lets me go...if.
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Collectibles, writing and a Dead Island.

"Holy shit, leave me alone!" I shout hard enough to be heard across the street.

The man is unrelenting however and keeps moving forward, his eyes are filled with lust and madness.
"Shitshitshit" I mumble as I look around me for a means of escape.
Meanwhile, he growls and snarls at me as he makes his way towards me.
Looking back to him I can barely move in time to dodge the lead pipe he threw towards me and I bash into the wall.
"Pro tip: Don't walk into alleyways!" I curse towards myself as I see no other option but to fight.
The man seems to smile with whatever teeth he has left and then he lunges forward.
"Fuck off" I shout as I sidestep again and punch him on the back of his head as his momentum carries him past me.
I quickly grab the pipe he threw earlier from the ground and as he tries to rise from the floor I hit him.
The pipe makes contact and I feel his skull caving in.
He collapses with a sick gurgle and I pant to catch my breath, trying to wipe my hands on my jeans in an effort to wash away all the blood.
Futile, now my pants are as red as my hair and what good is fashion in a zombie infested world?
"Take a trip Tali, you look exhausted Tali, get away from all this nonsense Tali! That's what they told me so I did. But look at me now, in some half forgotten city fighting hordes of the fucking undead!"
My thoughts are disrupted when a pair of shrieks and cries are heard not far away, alerting me to the incoming presence of more zombies.
Infected, to be precise, and I take my stance right on time as the two mad men cut the corner and start dashing towards me.
As they walk into the pipe with dedication I absently wonder if I could make a profession out of this.

This is why I avoid alleys, usually.
Then, I realize my time is up.
A low pitched growl echoes and another zombie appears at the edge of the alleyway.
He's big, like wouldn't fit in your door big, and he seems to be pretty angry.
But by all accounts he's a zombie, so probably bitten which sucks in the first place and to top things off he was either into some kinky shit or he escaped from the looney bin because I don't remember straightjackets being that common on tropical islands.
The big brute has had enough of my mind he decides and starts running towards me, with more precision than his previous comrades and probably four times the power so I quickly look for an exit.
No door has magically appeared in the wall of the alley but I spot a dumpster and I call the operator for a quick lesson on parkour, Matrix style!
Actually I don't and I just start to sprint as hard as I can towards it, climbing the metal object with the grace of a retarded monkey.
But, I'm alive still and on top (just how I like it!).
The zombie ran into the dumpster and is now surely a mental patient after that impact, his lust for blood only increasing from the impact and the fact he's not able to reach me probably makes him all the more pissed off.
Like most men it seems he doesn't like being bottom so I taunt faith and walk to the edge of the container.
I look down and place my heel between his eyes, he stumbles backwards and positively flips the fuck out.
Good, I'm satisfied with that, so I turn and climb the wall of the alleyway towards a rickety looking road of wooden planks and rusted metal walkways, sounds of madness diminishing as I leave the dreaded alley behind me.
See those rickety walkways up there? Totally safe right?
I walk for a bit on the unstable makeshift high roads, trying to make myself believe I played enough Mirror's Edge to pull this off, and end up at a roof overlooking a small sidestreet.
I hear faint gurgles and cries so I quickly duck away and grab a big brick, ready to defend myself.
My horror quickly turns to laughter however as I see a zombie climb up the roof with even less grace than me climbing a dumpster.
He succeeds eventually and takes his first shambling steps towards me.
A thud is heard and teeth shatter in his mouth when I throw the brick at his face.
The weight of the stone versus the natural unbalance of a zombie makes for a spectacle as he backflips of the roof, disappearing into the nothingness he came from.
It's not the sunny ideal vacation I paid for but hell, I could get used to this.
But yeah, that's getting ahead of myself a little bit.
Someone wanted me to check out a water pump station and I've promised some people in a church I'd look for supplies, so I'll have to survive that first.
A glint catches my eye however and I turn to find a metallic chest staring at me (yes, chests have eyes now!), alluring me with the promise of hidden goodies.
I open the thing and find a pretty new shiny axe waiting for me.
Bingo!
I grab it with a grin and take a leap of the roof, nearly breaking my ankles and almost murdering myself by falling on the axe.
More gurgles and shouts are heard not far away and I clench the axe firmly in one hand.
This might not be what I expected it to be when I booked the trip but if there's one remedy for hating humankind its taking out a zombie apocalypse.

For now at least, I get bored so easily!
 
Each of these roofs could hold a collectible. And probably will. 
On a non zombie note did I tell you how much I hate time sinks with terrible rewards?
I don't mind collectibles but unless they're done in the style of The Darkness (one or two per level, hidden but not completely invisible or unreachable) or they at least offer you something for your time.
I fail to see the fun in collecting Assassin's Creed 1/2's flags/feathers, the rewards barely worth the time and more than likely the collectibles will be the last thing you do in a game anyway.
This same thing happened to me when I finished Darksiders 2 earlier today, noticing I missed around 30 stones and 10 relics.
Now that's not a huge number and I'm sure I could get them in a day but there's the point.
Am I going to sit in my room for a day, guide in hand, scavenging through every dungeon/nook/cranny again to check if I have collected this particular item?
I wish the game would somehow mark them on your map when collected or perhaps even allow you to buy a collectible radar on your second playthrough for like a million coins because I see no reason to walk through all of this again.
That's not to say it can't be fun and that there's people out there who don't like doing this kind of stuff but I've enough games to play and I don't feel that strongly about another 10-50G on my gamerscore.
The silly part is that I absolutely love MMO's and have leveled my fair share of characters, classes and crafting professions through the years.
Sometimes it just needs the right dressing I guess?
Props to the people who do 100% their games however, I only do it for the games I adore and if they offer me enough incentive too.
So I'll be stuck with two s-ranks forever (ME1 and ME2, ME3's ending burned all will to do my insanity playthrough) but that's life for ya.
Become an adventurer, meet interesting people and fascinating beasts, then kill them for loot.
So, Guild Wars 2.
I played the beta and was surprised by the smooth combat and fantastic world, not to mention the fun classes and skills that change per weapons!
I still think the Charr look like retarded hunchbacked Tauren but ah well.
Upon sorting through my wallet and finding 25 cent, 12 receipts for all kinds of stuff and a whole load of dust I came across two coupons for my local game store worth a whopping 46 and 26 euro's!
Alright that's 72 euro's combined and since I had nothing to buy with it I decided to  pre-order Guild Wars 2 and also get a present for my little brother's upcoming birthday.
I'm sure he'll appreciate Fallout New Vegas since he's literally not stopped playing Fallout 3 since it came out and I'll be losing a lot of time that could (should) be spend writing but alas.
Looking forward to playing a MMO that doesn't want me to pay per month while still offering a experience and options for me to enjoy from start to finish.
At least that's what the forums and the information tells me, if that all turns out to be true is for a later blog.
Not sure about the level scaling when you run around lower areas or how limited my bank space is going to be but we'll see.
I'm sure I can find 54 euro's of entertainment by just leveling a few characters and classes with this smooth combat system.
And I can log in whenever I want instead of paying monthly and feeling like I'm missing out/could have been grinding/instancing/all the other things that make MMO's so fun yet so time consuming!

Writing sucks, did you guys know? Because it does.
Sure its fucking ecstatic when you are writing your stories and sometimes you feel as if you just won a race or something upon completing a story or a particular scene but man does it ever suck the life out of you at times!
I'm currently working on the last few chapters of a novel and I'm feeling terrorized by it every time I try to tackle it.
To give you a basic rundown I'm currently in a situation where 4 major players collide, revelations all around as secrets get spilled and patterns recognized but the kicker here is that not all 4 players like each other and there's a lot of things going on at the same time.
Player 1 is working with P2 to get P3 but P2 has a hidden agenda which P1 and P3 know nothing off but oh dear here comes P4 out of the blue (not really, but kinda) and P2's on the verge of reflex murdering P4 so P1 has to prevent that while also keeping an eye on P3 because P3 has stuff she needs...or something.
Fuck! See? Things happening everywhere and while I got the situation, motives and story down writing the scene itself is a challenge!
I like it a lot however and I'm enjoying the despair it gives me, it's like the writer's version of a dungeon boss.
I'll get it down eventually, hopefully tomorrow before Guild Wars 2 launches Tuesday, so I can take a breather and edit/rewrite it later.

That's it for now, thanks for reading (again)!
Time to close off with something deep and artsy.
Or not, ha.
 

TLDR:
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Gaming, developers and communities. A rant.

Warning: This is a very long rant concerning gaming, developers and communities.
Satisfaction is not promised!

 
 
Here I am.
Sighing and moaning behind my desk and before you trip on your tongue my hands are not in my panties.
I'm just terribly sick and tired of the game industry, the developers, the media and the forums. 
You guys all disgust me, everyday again.
 
If it isn't a 'discussion' about how much someone sucks for not liking a game or something a developer said to another that now warrants a fucking essay from his side as a way of saying sorry its probably another franchise being gutted or destroyed because someone found something faulty with it.
 
Seriously, can you all just shut the fuck up for a moment?
I bought Borderlands, blind, because I trusted in the developers and the experience they wanted to sell me, hell I even bought all their DLC when it came out which I never do (and I only regret Moxi's arena, the Knox DLC is the best piece of DLC ever), and I loved the shit out of it.
But oh no, whines aplenty! The controls were off, the loot was crap, lack of story, Diablo did it better, it was a rip off from "insert whatever".
Now I'm perfectly able to nod and agree with some of those things but for fuck's sake people, it did what it had too and after a while a lot of people said: "Hey this game is pretty good and fun" and it popped up on more and more lists.
Darksiders 1 is yet another example of how hated it was at launch but how loved it later became.
People, you are making fools of yourself and the industry, all we gamers ever do is complain and complain.
We put faith in reviewers to bring us honest and interesting reviews but fuck it...I haven't read a review in months, years probably, because I can never agree with what is being told.
All I hear is "I think that..." or "This game derives from..." or even "This game is only 16 hours long."
 
First off, fuck what YOU think.
By all means please have your own style as a reviewer, a preference and a favorite genre, but come on be a bit more interesting about it.
I'm fine with their side of the story but just because YOU think the story is bad, doesn't mean it is a fact.
Just because you spend more time on the PC  than a console it's not automatically a fact that the controls are demanding.
 
Second off, fuck that deriving nonsense.
I'm way too pissed about Darksiders 2, how everyone is calling it stolen, ripped off or 'cleverly borrowed'.
Sure, it has a formula, but it's doing something good with it, no?
How come we attack and spit on a GOOD game for being similar to another game within its GENRE while every 2 and a half days a new FPS shooters comes out and we're all just like "Meh, shooter.".
Go destroy cheap cash ins, movie tie ins that suck (most of em) or crack down on that freaking indie nonsense that gets praised to heaven.
But oh no, call the rage police, a good game is actually good!
Seriously, stop bashing a game like Darksiders 2 for its genre and stop being dicks about The Darkness 2's length.
Because no matter how the fuck you put it, the action adventure genre is kind of empty and The Darkness 2 still beats out most FPS games in terms of story if not in length.
 
I kind of addressed the third issue in the previous bit as well but I feel like I need to say a bit more.
Its not about length (I know, I know) but it how you spend that length with the game.
Sure, I'll say it first: There's a difference in price/time when it comes to these things.
Indie games are often cheap, offer cheap thrills as well and aren't that long.
Very fucking short, more often than not.
But that's fine, spending a fiver and having some good easy fun is wonderful. 
What isn't wonderful is seeing franchises going down the drain while shameless yearly installments keep popping up.
Now note, and freaking note you shall, this is my opinion on the matter so THIS IS NOT A FACT.
I hate having to post that but come on, half the readers on the internet are pretty fucking dumb (please, by all means, attack me for that statement, it's pretty funny how everyone tells you the internet is full of morons but you're not really allowed to say it.) so I have to spell it out, no?
 
Ok so.
I loved Assassin's Creed 1, I liked Assassin's Creed 2 but everything that came after....please stop kidding yourselves it was pretty lackluster.
Sure, the game worked, the gameplay was wonderful, there was lots to do and the story has a lot of cool moments but I couldn't help but see the franchise being milked.
Ezio is a asshole, I don't like him, and my understanding was we'd be playing one character per installment which is pretty cool because you'd see a new personality every game and you'd have vast improvements or changes to the setting and combat.
Remember finding those statues? All those different assassin's? Don't tell me you didn't look at the girl assassin and got your hopes up, or some of the other pretty inspiring characters.
I loved the whole going back in time due to DNA and the overarching story but soon enough it became little more than the Ezio chronicle, taking over the entire series purpose.
Now granted, Ezio was alright as a character and probably the perfect lead character for the franchise to get some facetime but I really want to see more on their promise.
Looking at footage from AC3 I was pretty impressed, it looked great, the locale fresh and Connor seems to be pretty bad ass with his own set of weapons/moves.
But then I spotted it.
The same animations, the same attack patterns and the ever classic "You're surrounded by 10 dudes but they'll all patiently wait until you feel like stabbing or countering them".
Aaaaaaand my enthusiasm was gone.
Sure, I'll pick it up for 20 out of the bargain bin but despite the 'fresh' aspects it looks to be little more than a setting change.
I hope I'm wrong, but I hope the game also flops hard (it won't, of course it won't) just to show that "hey, effort please?".
 
I know, I'm sounding quite angry, unfair even, but it's a rant for a reason.
Feel free to discuss or nitpick in the comments.
But, moving on.
 
I've had this feeling a long time, ever since I saw my favorite games disappear and pure fun being shoved aside for multiplayer in every game, DLC and the removal of other 'old' things like local co op.
Don't tell me its unneeded, that it had its time because hey, SSX.
People tripped (and still are) the fuck out when that didn't have a free ride mode or local co op.
Its still a thing that lives with players and it's just terrible consumer <> developer contact.
Its also sad that there's a fangroup out there, praying and fighting for the return of a game and are pretty vocal about it (and what they want/aim for) or even that there's so many stories telling what aspects made the game for them (Yo, remember SSX3 going down the mountain? Awesome!) and the developer just cuts it.
 
Sorry, but, that's not good business, that's being downright silly and unrespectful to your customers.
In SSX's case the free riding, the stress free playing and insane tricks, made the game so loved and good.
Sure you can change a few things for a new formula, take the game to a new level but you can't just say "lets cut this loved aspect!".
Same goes for taking a singleplayer game and adding multiplayer.
In Mass Effect 3's case I'm willing to say it paid off, sure it's not perfect and the unlock system is pure bullshit but once you got the chance to play as your favorite race (Krogan!) you walk away pretty satisfied at the mode.
Often, however, this isn't the case and you're left wondering why they wanted to spend extra time and resources on it.
 
Now, let's leave games for a bit and go to forums/communities.
I'm burned out on all of them.
Sick, disgusted, mentally washed up and just downright done.
I'm not expecting every forum or community to be great but more and more there are people bending the rules, thriving on grieving others or in some games its even considered to be cool to disrupt other's fun.
PVP for that matter is awesome, if you're playing on a pvp realm or entered a pvp zone, beat it or eat it!
But ganking of lower levels combined with power fluxes from expansions or the 'trolling' of a group because you have nothing better to do is the worst for me.
I'm sick of that, sick of people.
I used to be a fan of online playing but after being harassed and stalked in online games I threw out my microphone and I rarely play together with people I don't know from real life.
I have retreated to playing solo a lot of the times and my opponents are usually bots.
Sure, that's a choice I made myself but it's disgusting how these communities are.
Even people who have never touched a game like League of Legends or World of Warcraft know the reputation of their random matches.
Blizzard and Riot and other companies are working on the rules and actively preventing cheaters/grievers to hurt players too much but it still happens because the simple fact is people are fucking idiots.
They cannot be trusted to play nice so the developer puts all sorts of crazy things into place to prevent issues.
 
But that fails as well, not being able to vote kick people from your group because of some bug (This player can't be kicked for another 6 hours! What? Why? Wtf!) or in some cases the system flips the fuck out and somehow blames you when a tank spawns on top of three of your teammates and you find yourself booted.
Think of it as DRM issues, the honest p(l)ayer is being blamed and punished by the bad behavior of others.
 
Last point, forums.
Come on!
Go read the 'blue responses' on Blizzard's forums, especially the Q and A's.
What do you see? You see hostile questions all the fucking time and developers/GM's trying their best to make their intentions known.
But that usually gets followed up with "Ah, so you don't want this or this to happen! Is that what you're saying?" which drags the discussion on and on and on.
Sure, Blizzard's not perfect and some decisions have been shaky and pretty major for people who barely even participate in the higher levels of the game but there's a sick influx of questions regarding "I WANT TO BE SPECIAL" or "OTHER PLAYERS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO DO SOMETHING I ONCE DID BUT NOW EASIER".
Its all 100% whining, its grieving and its immensely condescending for other players to read.
To each their own and really, if you worked hard for something you should be able to show it off but eventually a lot more people are going to get where you are and have that same reward, especially when the difficulty drops or changes are made.
There is no consistency in a online world, deal with it!
Also, it's unfair call out to be praised or rewarded in a game that largely doesn't rely on skill but several other factors such as gear or a good guild that helps you get it and works together well enough to actually clear the higher tiers in a game.
You can't tell me you're a bad ass because you have the best gear available in the game, that only tells me you spend lots of time with a group of others fighting and sweating for that.
You deserved it, no doubt, but it doesn't make you better than anyone else (at least, besides the stats of course!) and it most certainly does not give you the privilege to be a asshole or expect people to respect you.
I've met people in online games that were considered amazing, their gear was great and since they had the gear they probably had the skill to raid that high right?
Sure, but they showed a total disregard for group or boss battle mechanics, were dicks to new or learning players or ended up going batshit and wiping a group just because something didn't go the way they like and that tells me their gear is worth nothing.
But that said, I've also met people who were insanely geared and skilled, that made running dungeons or such a cakewalk because they played with dedication and group spirit, offering advice or filling holes left by new/learning players.
 
So, very long rant!
If you read all of it I hope it was at least a little insightful or even entertaining because I wrote this with no real purpose.
Was pretty fucking mad at the state of gaming, the inability to enjoy videogames but except the constant bickering over miniscule things that mayhaps be very deciding on a personal level but have no place at all in reviews or discussions regarding a game's worth.
 
Go enjoy indie games if you want, play another Call of Duty and I'll be right here enjoying my often odd one out games.
To each their own! Accept and love that! Everyone is different and everyone has their own opinion on EVERYTHING!
 
But please, everyone, support your developers and fight for your games! Do not let big companies ruin your beloved franchises and stop accepting all the crap being shoveled into your mouths.
Stop buying map packs that consist of 2 older remade ones and one new, stop buying character skins that should have been in the game at launch and for god's sake...
Stop being so fucking hostile.
 
Thanks!
 
TLDR

 

 

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Weekend rant

So my shrink keeps telling me I expect too much from the people around me.
He's not wrong.
Today's a prime example.
 
I'm on a tight budget, I make savings where I can and I eat pretty basic most days of the week just so I can pay my bills and enjoy my hobby (videogames/reading).
With that mindset I bought some special yoghurt drink thingies today, they were pretty cheap and I like those in the morning, all good right?
No.
Because when I come home, tell my housemates "yo, drinks? Mine. Don't touch." and they both agree.
Yet, not half a day later, one of the drinks disappears!
 
Thus I play my own version of L.A. Noire and try to deduct the solution to the missing drink dillema!
I confront the first housemate, she denies involvement yet I can tell she's nervous, I know her tell.
She tells me she took two sips in the end, I scowl at her but I forgive her, she's blonde after all.
So its off to confront the second housemate, this would not be his first crime towards my food products but he's been on the right path for a while now.
 
Turns out, he strayed from it.
He took my drink, knowing it was mine and it was not to be touched, and drank it all.
He confessed it with a grin, saying its not a big deal, that I need to act like a grown woman and that there's still 2 of the drinks left in the fridge.
I kick his chair down and refrain from spitting in his face.
"Learn to ask, next time." I say as I leave him, voices in my head urging me to turn around and release my own little piece of The Darkness but I control the impulse.
 
I know, I'm an angry person, but right now I don't care.
I've been failed dozens of times by humanity, by teachers, by cops and by friends.
People that should have been there for me, people that are depended on for guidance or protection.
It might be a small thing but for me it only reinforces the negativity.
 
People can't even listen to basic things like 'don't touch' so why the hell would I trust them with bigger issues than a fucking drink in the fridge?
 
Sure, there's a lot wrong with this logic but since its weekend my shrink has no chance to tell me that so I get free reign here! Woo!
  

  
No videogame talk this time, just angry Tali.
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The Darkness, Cheshire cats and two pre orders.

Note to self: Come up with a catchy title for blogs, or shit.
 
I wake up and check the clock, human impulse to think about time, and I see its only 6:13 AM.
Falling back into bed I try to close my eyes but I already know its futile, I'm awake now.
Slowly getting up, sitting on the edge of my bed, I remember shards of my last dream but after a few moments more I realize it was a nightmare so I jump off the bed before bad thoughts take me.
I've had this thought to go about my day with eyes closed for awhile now, just to experience blindness , but as I sleepwalk over to my closet and almost break my fucking toes on a chair I push the notion back a few more days.
Not much later I find myself operating the coffee machine, suddenly aware of the fact I'm a slave to routine, and it is with some reluctance I prepare my dark roast coffee.
But, my thoughts are fleeting and soon I am left with the morning papers, my cup of coffee and a quick breakfast.
The paper disappointed again, I saw two comics that would have been better in English and rolled my eyes at the feigned shock stories more than I cared to, so I put it away and walk over to the garden door.
 
I'm sad when I don't spot the fat cheshire cat waiting for me and I finish my coffee staring out into the yard.
Anyone who would have seen me staring out would have thought me just a lover of nature, while actually thoughts ran rampant in my head.
Thoughts of death and mutilation, of pain and darkness.
But not just any darkness, The Darkness 2, to be exact.
I've started the game last night, starting off with the Vendetta mode that puts you in the shoes of 1 out of 4 characters and drops you off with some pretty basic co op missions.
I, naturally, went for the lady and decided I was in love with this game as I executed a guy point blank with her Darkness infused shotgun.
 
Mind = Blown
After satisfying my lust for storyless killing I start the campaign and wow!
Blown away! Just as I expected but still I'm very much shocked by it!
The opening goes to hell within minutes and the narrative really gets to me, before long I am shooting a sub machine gun and a pistol while the tendrils of The Darkness throw, hack and mutilate their way around me.
I now know what was meant by 'quad wielding' when I heard it mentioned in some dev diary and I must say I enjoy the rush of power I felt playing as Jackie.
I'm nowhere far into the game, second mission barely, but I'm very much excited to continue the game.
 
Now back to the present, I decide to give up my job as a professional garden watcher and turn to go upstairs, all kinds of eager to continue The Darkness 2 and, guilty pleasure, read the responses to my previous blog.
I don't get far however, the bell rings just halfway up the stairs and it is back I go.
My mind, fully awake, did not comprehend the time and with a smile worthy of a sunny afternoon I open the door and downright scare the delivery man.
He hands me a huge packet of folders, too big to fit with the rest of the post (I'm quite sure its illegal to have such big packets of folders), and its not until he eyes me weirdly and I walk back inside that I realize I was dressed less than sane.
I try to push my bothersome curls (you may have heard of their reputation) down a bit but alas, I'm stuck with the Zeno Clash look for now and I decide that wearing a open blouse and underwear alone is not as sexy as the postman would have made me think, not to mention cold, thus I go upstairs to get dressed.
 
The horns only show on really bad days

I promised myself not to fret so much over some things but as I browse the forums of Giantbomb I can't help but feel agitated at some of the other Bombers and their responses.
Now, first and foremost, I respect every opinion even if I don't agree with it but I also expect a level of respect from people.
As well as sanity, which is a hard order coming from one as twisted as me, but nonetheless we are a community and if these basic rules are not enforced, or lived by rather, this place will soon go to shit and I would not want that.
Lets just keep this brief, I don't want to step on toes nor do I want anyone to step on mine because they still hurt from the 'blind-for-a-day-chair-in-my-way' encounter earlier.
I know it's that super awesome to feel insulted, to feel that rush and need to respond and tell the world how wrong they are and to proclaim your superiority.
But really, don't! Not all the time anyway!
Take a step back and READ what is being said, read it twice, read it out loud but for god's sake, READ.
All too often I see people scan a post, notice one or two things they don't like and off they go, insults and belittling a plenty.
If you don't want to read a post, skip it, it's what I do and so far its working out grand!
But I guess we could go deeper with this  (I won't however, not this time) and blame it on a need to be heard or listened to because I cannot fathom how some people around here think/act like they're super important yet do find the time to comment on things they 'FUCKING HATE'.
Just my thoughts.

Pictured: Rage

 Lets discuss fears, because I have some.
I'm afraid I can't match my previous blog, I'm afraid my previous blog is all kinds of genius and I won't be able to ever duplicate its success again.
The scared part of me, of any artist, that your pony has done its trick and that its off to the slaughter now is looming over me.
Nothing new though and it is with some clarity that I say this but I know it often feels different (heavier) and not as clear as it is to me today.
I've written enough to know I can write, I've received enough positive responses to know people like what I write and more than once I have been told I have a future in writing.
Yet still this fear keeps coming back.

I'm trying to walk this delicate line concerning personal stuff.
It's kind of hard, as I'll admit it's very tempting to write about my morning and how I relate gaming to things around me but I also fear I might be putting too much focus on myself and not enough on games when I write these blogs.
Which is the exact reason I blog so little.
But then again, on the other side, there's a thousand people out there talking about games.
Perhaps this is my 'secret sauce'? My special ingredient that brings all the boys to the yard?
I won't talk about my personal troubles or my sex life or any such things but I do feel a need to associate my writing, my experiences and my mental mood with gaming.
And frankly speaking, are those things so far apart then?
I live with games, everyday again, and I love it.
If anyone feels somehow annoyed by my writing I guess...well, click it away or send me a critique.
It's getting a bit tiring to be so self doubting, is that a good sign? I think so, I'm done with silly people.
Until the next panic attack that is.
 


As I said I played a bit of the Darkness 2 and already there were some scenes that got to me.
Which I will now spoiler tag because it kind of spoils both Darkness 1 and some of the beginning in Darkness 2 and I cannot urge you all enough to go and experience it for yourself!
 

The game is first person and it stays first person in all it does.
You wield the guns, sure, but you see Jackie's arms subtly turn and twist as you shoot, mimicking real movements (to an extent, of course) you would perform firing two pistols yourself as well.
Where in other games you just see things from that perspective, in The Darkness you live as Jackie and when you experience cut scenes it really adds to it.
The game is made with your first person view in mind, things happen all around you but it never seems to forget you can't see everything at once.
People have missed scripted explosions or story events in shooters before, simply because it all happens as you walk by, it's too big and too detached.
Which is fine for a war shooter perhaps, bring you the frying pan experience, but in The Darkness I really feel connected to the game, its story and its characters.
 

Just a little more, stick with me here!
I spend the morning playing some more Darkness, get up to my ankles in gore and storytelling, go off to write a little Darkness inspired piece of writing and then it's out the door I go.
You see I checked my console games collection and I realized I was done with some games.
I've played the hell out of Red Dead Redemption, I lived in its multiplayer for a month, and I've done all I wanted in Bioshock 1, Oblivion and Halo 3/ODST.
I've still got to finish Skyrim, start Bioshock 2 and I've got Halo Reach to scratch my Halo itch until Halo 4 comes around.
So I grabbed em, went to the local gamestore and traded them in for store credit.
'Only' 44 euro's but ah well, that's enough for a 3DS game (any recommendations? I'm thinking Pokemon Conquest, I'm in the mood for weird kinky foreign stuff) or I might save up for Halo 4.
I also ordered both Borderlands 2 and Darksiders 2, both games surprised me silly when they came out and especially Borderlands is just downright mental.
Eager to play Darksiders 2 but yeah, EU release eh? Fucking publishers.
 
My plan for the rest of the day is terribly dull, mostly consists of cleaning and cooking but hopefully tonight I'll be able to continue on with a game, or writing.
Which reminds me that I kind of want a new book to read, might go for the Witcher book but I heard bad things about the translation.
Ah but fuck it, ain't that like the east european version of a game? Bad translation is half the immersion!

I hope.
 
Too long didn't read version:
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My gaming thoughts.

Warning, this post has a huge 'dear diary' factor for which I apologize but I felt the need to share.  

 
My morning is typical.
I awake from sleep believing the door bell just rang so I walk down the stairs, fighting and wrestling myself into some clothes, and find out I'm having one of these lucid dreams again.
They're becoming pretty frequent.
As I'm downstairs anyway I settle down with a cup of coffee and the morning papers.
I converse with myself as I go through the headlines that grab my attention and I'm somewhat sad at their level of importance, or lack off, when I flip the last page.
Walking over to the garden door I drag away the curtains and spot a fat cat, it's black and white and stares at me with the most wicked grin I ever saw.
Is this my chess shire cat? Will I follow it into my own realm of madness?

I intend to find out, unlock the door and open it wide, another flash of gray and black shoots past me and it is then I realize my own kitten has also taken note of the intruder.
I watch and sigh as the giant black and white cat is intimidated by the presence and fanatical hissing of my little kitten (she's barely a year and she owns the neighborhood), my dreams of a Wonderland disappear as the beast turns tail and disappears through the hedge.
My kitten looks up, zigzags through my legs and lets out a approving meow.
If she only knew what she just cost me.
With broken expectations I climb the stairs up again, having entrusted the protection of the garden realm to my fierce kitten, and go enter my room but not before stopping by the bathroom.
The mirror shows me, still me, and I try to brush my annoying curls into submission.
A mission doomed to fail I realize after minutes and I give up, irritated by my hair's reluctance to be tamed.
The computer is already softly snoring and beeping, I seem to automatically press the 'On' button with my toes every time I wake, and I pull up my chair to check the morning gaming news.

 
Another conversation with myself occurs and after discussing the future of some of my most beloved franchises I must note, with some disdain, that my inner self is much less of a cynic than I am.
I'd call it disappointed though, I'm way too done with this generation and the thought is confirmed when I glance at the Xbox360 joystick plugged into the USB port of my computer.
Where I once would never have associated a controller with a pc it seems the fact is that my recently purchased controller has not been used once on the console it owes its name to.
I sigh, nothing seems to make sense anymore as I wait for my favorite games to be remade or continued.
Remembering what started my gaming drive is easy, the entry barrier was much smaller back then and a lot of households dabbled in home consoles ranging from MSX to Snes, but trying to remember why I'm still gaming right now is a whole other matter.
I want to be blown away and I have been, The Witcher 2 made damn sure of that, but back then every game seemed to be a unique experience.
Sequels were highly anticipated and played with renewed fervor but I can't seem to muster that same kind of enthusiasm anymore for most titles.
"Exceptions, there are." Said Yoda in my head and I must agree, I won't speak against that.
For me this generation started when my little brother bought a Xbox360 at launch and convinced his sister, the fanatical Nintendo fangirl, to try out two games on it.
Saint's Row was a lot of fun and I remember with a smile how I made a typical trailer trash kind of guy, complete with beer gut, mullet and only a pair of jeans on his body, armed him with a shotgun and had loads of fun doing just about nothing.
(Saint's Row is now one of my favorite franchises, just so you know)
It was just another San Andreas though I told him, wrongly so but I would not learn that until later, and asked him to boot up the second game.
I waited for the intro and company logo's to finish and I felt a longing to return to my own room and play my beloved gamecube, Phantasy Star Online was waiting for me to three hit my way into a finger injury with its infuriating yet so satisfying gameplay that promised the prize of rare and powerful weapons, but I stayed put and I'm glad I did.
The Elder Scrolls? Oblivion? I remember playing a Morrowind of some sorts and enjoying it, but not its extensive load screens, so I focus on the screen a little more in a effort to understand the game.

It is not until I find myself wielding a sword, faced against a giant rat, that I understand what the power of this generation is.
I sweep at the beast and blood flies everywhere, as did pieces of the rat as it crashed into a wall.
Stepping into the dark hallways my finger slips when another rat scurries towards me in the dark and my character fires a breath taking fireball.
Engulfing the room in its fiery glow as it crashes into the rat as it tried to lunge towards me.


I smile, remembering the slaughter that sucked me into the next generation and made me buy my first non Nintendo console, but as I sit behind my pc I contemplate how fast this generation seemed to go.
The Xbox360 launched in 2005, meaning we're up to seven years of this current generation, and I'm starting to doubt if we ever reach the next level.
I remember this year's E3 with a sour face and quickly click open my Steam library.
Even with 87 games in my library I can't muster the will to play any of them right now.
There's games that I want to replay (Witcher 2) but the memory is still too fresh and there's games I can't play because I don't feel like getting sucked in for another week or two (The Darkness 2).

Besides that there's games that have amazing ideas but seriously lack in story, gameplay or other departments so I decide not to boot up Renegade Ops or Duke Nukem Forever and close Steam again.
Sitting behind my desk I wonder where my will to game went, my only longings right now being a round of Defense of the Ancients 2 or doing a quick skirmish in Lord of the Rings Online.
Am I spoiled? Are we all? Yes, I think we are.
I love high quality games, like The Witcher 2 recently, but it does seem to totally kill my enthusiasm for anything lesser.
I appreciate the games, for sure, but after seeing Lord of the Rings you just won't settle for Eragon.
After being drowned in the worlds of Batman Arkham City, The Witcher 2 and Metro 2033 I feel a emptiness when I start up a game like Frozen Synapse or Magicka.
Somehow their concepts and worlds don't seem to pull me in anymore and their selling point, the gameplay, loses its charm way quicker than it should have.
 

Perhaps I'm just getting older, growing up in a way, and I confess I have enough to do on a daily basis that I should still cut down on the time I spend gaming or on gaming forums.
That's silly to think though, what with laptops and smart phones allowing you access to such things on the strangest of places and moments.
I think there's nothing to do but to wait and eventually buy another game that enthralls me completely.
My mind shoots to The Legend of Zelda, both A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time, a game series that has a deep personal meaning to me and is one of the few games that stand for huge points in my life.
A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time meant a new world to me, a new experience and a new boundary broken.
It was a feeling so complete I would not experience it until many years later when I played Mass Effect 1.
The thought of the space epic makes me think of myself.
I have two tattoos for my favorite games, I have a Triforce on my left shoulder blade/upper back and the N7 logo on my right upper arm.
I've been wondering at times if I did not make a wrong choice in getting these but I remember fondly how Zelda is my link to my deceased mother and how Mass Effect 1 showed me the galaxy and the power of storytelling.
Regret is not applicable here.
Sighing heavily I feel kind of relieved being able to think all of this through and my other, somewhat annoying, side has seemingly retreated into its cave of despair and angst.
   
I reach for my cell phone and dial a number from the list, while opening a browser on my pc with my other hand.
Just as the phone gets answered I press enter on my search query.
The conversation is brief but productive and I have made an appointment with the tattoo artist to discuss a new design when I put the phone down a minute later.
Games are a part of me, of who I am, and I am proud for that fact.
I never wanted a tattoo but these two, soon to be three, have been such inspirations and eye openers to me that I found that this was my way to show off that appreciation.
As I browse art work and designs for Geralt of Rivia's Witcher's medallion I drift off thinking where the tattoo should be set and I realize just how much I love the Witcher's universe.

Without extensive explaining I'll just say I had a blast playing The Witcher 1 but playing The Witcher 2 just recently was amazing.
I'm a Nintendo fan girl, I love Zelda and I adore Mass Effect, but The Witcher 2 has knocked them off their thrones and taken first place.
Its world was alive, vibrant and while still bound to the limitations of the hardware and engine it was amazing to behold.
Seeing that level of perfection achieved was hard to swallow when you think of other games that struggle to be mediocre.
I make it a point to enjoy videogames and appreciate their being nonetheless, even if I can't stand the game or lost interest.
The gaming world can be a happier place when we put more faith in new plans or extensive sequels to existing franchises.
I'm not the one who gets to judge if there's room for another shooter on the modern war market, nor am I the one who gets to tell developers that "GODDAMNIT STOP MAKING MMO'S OUT OF MY BELOVED FRANCHISES" but gosh, I kind of wish I was at times you know?

Every game ends though, even the ones without story have game over points.
Win a round, lose a round, get busted by the cops or crash your car beyond repair, eventually there's going to be a spot where the game has to (re)load and that's our sign to get the fuck out before we are swallowed anew.
Just one level, just one dungeon, just one more round.
Where games seem to end my mind continues and it is not uncommon for me to scour every piece of information behind a game's universe.
That's just me though, I have learned that when games (or books or series) end, I have the power to continue on.
I can sit down and write that fan fiction, continue that unexplored side story or better yet, come up with my own world.
And I did, oh how I did.
But that's a story for another time, as I hear my kitten outside hissing and screeching as if she's imitating the Balrog in the Mines of Moria.

Believe in yourself people, believe in your choices and never doubt your own creativity.
These games we adore were made by people too, they're not gods or such, they're as flawed as you and me.
And one day soon, all of you will find their passion and wrest it into submission so we can create what others don't.

Art saves.
 

Too long didn't read version:
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Garbage music for video games.

The band Garbage I mean! Duh!
 
A creative fan has come up with this 8 bit remix of their entire Version 2.0 album and I love the tunes.
Some of them could work great for the old nes/snes games. 
    

 
Like the first track, Temptation Waits, it sounds like a great character theme for a brash npc in a RPG.
The Trick Is To Keep Breathing on the otherhand sounds perfect for a dungeon/temple with a watery vibe.
 
I'm a huge Garbage fan so ofcourse I love this, but damn, I'd make a game just to put this under it.
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Games I should definitely finish.

The unthinkable happened too me.
 
I own more games than I have time.
That's a rare thing for me as often I play a few games front to back before I get new ones but lately I've been stocking.
More to life than games I guess, but that doesn't mean I can let myself get away it!
 
More importantly, there's games I started, which I loved so far, but never finished.
Let's take a look. 

 
5) The Darkness

"We fixed your headthingie"

Holy hell is this game cool or what? Sure it's a bit odd and controls aren't super fluid, but the story and Darkness alone is more than enough for me to love it.
I played up to the bit where Jackie commits suicide and ends up in that hell dimension thingie...very cool stuff!
I know I could look up the story online, but I will return to this game to just live the enviroments and dark atmosphere that oozes out of every corner of this bloody marvelous game!
 
4)  Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time
 Playing with yourself was never this much fun.

I adore the Mario RPG's.
They're simple for everyone to dig in, yet complex in combat and its combo's are really fun and satisfying to perform!
The best things about the RPG's is that they're so unserious! They are filled to the brim with references, cameos and little nods to anything Nintendo it makes my fangirl level explode!
I will try to get in a hour per day from now on.
 
 
 
3) Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies.
Dragon Ball Z, now with more swords and whips.

Pure RPG!
I dig it! Turnbased, class based and loads of loot!
I really liked the grinding and cross leveling for all the professions, as well as the crafting aspect! Real deep!
Story was great, but after 4 towns of "Go there, identify problem, solve problem, receive holy fruit, proceed to next town" I got really worn out for some reason.
I think I'm gonna book a vacation and bring only my 3DS with all my RPG's so I can catch up.
 
 
2) Dark Souls
 Here we go again...

Finally, a challenge!
Sure some people might roll their eyes now but I don't care, go jump off a rock!
The difficulty and seriousness of the combat is intense and punishes you wherever it can!
The controls and combat remind me of Monster Hunter and Phantasy Star Online, which are two of my favorite franchises, and for all its simplicity it feels really rewarding to know when and how to use all your (weapon specific) attacks!
I got to the Londo place (the bright city filled with giants at every freaking corner) and after some looking around I stopped playing for, again, no real reason.
I'm not afraid of getting back in and dying some more (fuck that knight with the harpoon crossbow on that ridge, fuck him to hell and back) but I'm afraid I might have lost interest too much.
The novelty of it all seems a bit worn off and I'm not sure I'm up for constant clearing from a checkpoint everytime you die or need to heal.
But I want to.
 
1) The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.
 Giant ballsack is not amused

I'm so, so, so, so sorry!
I love Zelda, I adore it and its my number one series ever.
Yet I got to the part where you start using the timebuttons to move back and forth through time and again...just didn't touch the game again for no good reason.
I need to finish this game and I will, the question is just when I will find the time.
I also must admit, for some reason the game is really eye hurting on my TV, yet every other Wii (or NGC game for that matter) is fine.
Guess I need to look into one of those cables...you know, those thingies right? Right!
 
We're spoiled gamers nowadays, yes we are.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who loves games even though they never fully completed them, but damn this needed to be said!
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People!

People!
 
They're so strange and silly.
Cooped up in their own little worlds, too busy with their own ideals and visions of their personal paradise clouding their everyday judgement!
Our needs are to consume, to buy, to own and to be recognized by others for it (consuming their respect).
So many bad things happen around us while we stand on the sidelines and comment on a news story, instead of actually actively solving the problem.

Day after day we are bombarded with news only meant to shock us!
Discussion value? None! It's all "Did you hear about that?" or "Isn't this scandelous?" no matter what the subject.
Beatings, rapings or basic theft, every crime is happening around us for all the wrong reasons and if its not actively hurting us, we are inclined to do next to nothing about it.
 
The fact that religion and age old rules somehow seem to triumph over common sense is disgusting and a crime against humankind!
No book, no rule and no belief can condone the misery inflicted in all of these cases.
A brutal beating just because you're from Iran? 
Raped because the man decided you were asking for it?
Corporate world draining you for all you got just because they can?
The poor familyman being robbed on his way to home in a dark alley because they cut back on police (and street lighting!) funds?
 
These are all problems happening around us, problems we like to view but from a safe distance.
We stand by as bus drivers get beaten up and as a result skip certain stops.
The result? The driver got fined for skipping stops.
They couldn't put some muscle on the bus or otherwise reinforce security, no they couldn't.
The driver had to do his rounds and get beaten up day after day.
This happened behind my previous school, this happened next to a kindergarten.
These things just happen everywhere and the bottom line is always money when it comes to resolving them.
 
We can't send a unit over just because someone's fiddling with the lock of your frontdoor ma'm, it could be a cat.
"But I just looked out of the window and I can clearly see its a person trying to get in."
No ma'm, we can't do anything, call us when something illegal happens.
 
Which is always too late.
Preventing is better than curing!
 
I won't say I lost faith in humanity, because I haven't even by a long shot, but I'm just hurt over the distance created by our own species.
We label, we ignore and we only look after ourselves.
A logical goal, I know I'm very much concerned about myself when needed, but we need not forget that we are a social species.
We have a system and a social structure that is (if barely) functioning.
 
Smile, for a change, and take a chance.
The world won't smile back and you won't find eternal happiness all of a sudden, but perhaps you may just make someone else's day a whole lot better.
 
What prompted me to write this (and let my coffee get cold)?
I happened upon a man today who went out of his way to help me with a simple thing.
To him and others it might have seen like nothing special, it saved my day and meant the world to me.
 
Believe in yourself people, and believe in doing good.
But don't donate to all those charities while you're at it though, that's just scamming in my opinion!^^ 
 

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Lighten up


You say I should lighten up, loosen up and have some fun,

All the other girls are doing that,

You say I should just sell out, show a little skin, find a famous boyfriend,

I could clean up doing that.

I'm quite happy doing what I'm doing, thank you very much,

I'm marching on with my one-man band, and I'm beating myself up,

I'm quite happy doing what I'm doing, thank you very much,

I'm marching on with my one-man band, and I'm beating myself up.
 
 

Yeah, that's about it.

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