Winter Tumbleweeds

So it's nearly the end of winter here in the land Down Under, and it has been such a boring time in terms of new release games. Looking so forward to the next few months, but even then there won't be too many new games to be excited about (i don't play the annual crap like CoDs, etc). I did however partake in the Destiny Beta, which was pretty cool, and can say I am looking forward to the release of the full game in September. Was also looking forward to Evolve, but now I hear it's been pushed back so that sucks.

I ended up buying The Last of Us Remastered, even though I own it on PS3 most of my friends are playing it on PS4 so I bought it again with no hesitation, what a great game. Still yet to finish Wolfenstein which I love, and also have MGS5: Ground Zeroes to try and find all the collectibles, and also have Bound By Flame, my RPG fix for current gen, which I also find a very good game. So I will be kept busy for the coming months regardless of the dry period of releases.

Of the games soon coming, I guess it's Dragon Age Inquisition that really gets me mildly hyped, and I'm not sure what to make of the Evil Within, I jut hope they're both decent and enjoyable. I'm contemplating getting Diablo 3 for PS4; once again, I have the PS3 version but am not even halfway done so I'm thinking it might be better to just get the newer version. otherwise, it's really the Witcher 3 that I'm nuts about; just can't wait to get my hands on that motherfunker. Lastly for my auto fix I'm hanging for DriveClub to come out so I can get my racing addiction back on track.

All in all though, I continue to slowly convert to the PC Master Race; Steam has well and truly got me by the peanuts, and I'm finding myself amidst a RTS storm of excellence lately, with Age of Empires 3, Rise of Nations Extended, tropico 4, and Command and Conquer dominating my gaming time with a little Dawn of War Chaos Rising added in for my Warhammer fix. In between those titles, I'm trying to finish Witcher 2 Iorveth's path, and catching up on Fallout New Vegas and some State of Decay.

it's no wonder my pile of shame keeps growing; I can't seem to finish one game, I keep jumping into different flavoured pies like a hooker in the city streets, catching the love disease off a certain game before once more hurdling onto another trick and rooting the crap out of it before it gets to finish and leaving it for another trick.

Must. Finish. Games.

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HotDamn, Yo!

Well, hotdamn! Just looked and saw I last posted a blog entry in 2011. Some of that delay was due to issues i had with GiantBomb log-ins, but I'm glad to be back, although a lot has changed since I last frequented GB; the GB site itself, and me.

So I've gone back to study anyway, didn't want to slave away in manufacturing for the rest of my life. Oh and manufacturing is DEAD in Australia, which was a big reason I left work in the first place. Job got outsourced to where else? China! Yay...fuck you.

So it's given me time to game more though, and hopefully I will bring my 3 followers more insights into the human gaming condition in the coming months. I just don't know if anyone still uses this site. I don't even know if anyone reads these bloody blogs. In any case, it's cathartic, so I'll do it as a form of therapy. I guess I could use my Wordpress site, which I probably will end up doing.

And on that note, if anybody is by any miraculous chance actually reading this, you should check out a web documentary I made. It's on Wordpress. Hit me up for the details. It's about the FGC (fighting game community) in Melbourne, Australia. Still needs some work, but I've got about 15 interviews with some of the best players in Melbourne and Australia in there, as well as my own music. Might even post it up publicly. But not yet. If you're a fighting game fan and reading this, message me and I'll send you the link. It's pretty cool stuff.

And on that note, peace out bitchez!

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Good Games

Ok, so I just finished LA Noire after putting it down a few weeks ago. At that point, I had just started the second Ad Vice case, but had to give it back to a friend. I got it back again the other day, and finally finished it. It was a good game, but I couldn't help but feel it could have been so much better. my favourite case by far, was the last case on the Homicide desk. People kept on telling me how good the game got during and after the Ad Vice cases, but I honestly didn't see that much of an improvement (not enough to say that it ups the ante). I felt the ante was upped after the last Homicide case, and I am talking about the ACTUAL CASES and not the rest of the game, so I was expecting perhaps too much for the last half of LA Noire.
 
I am proud that Team Bondi made a game that has been and is so successful, and is great to see an Australian developer hit that sweet spot. I guess the point of this is, that the next game, whether it be LA Noire 2, or a spiritual successor, will be better for the run. The gaming industry is unique in that sort of way as the sequels are generally better and more highly polished than their predecessors. 
 
Yhe other thing is the amount of quality games that we can look forward to; some already released, but coming by the end of the year as I'm sure you all know, is Skyrim, Deus Ex, Saints Row the Third, Dark Souls, Tomb Raider, Uncharted 3, MW3, Battlefield 3, Arkham City... the list can go on and on. With all this quality to come, I expect a large whole in my wallet come December. 
 
And even now, right now, we have Dungeon Siege 3 (which some love, some hate), The Witcher 2, Shadows of the Damned, Dirt 3, and a host of decent games. I am actually looking to buy Alice Madness Returns next, and yes, I will trade Duke Nukem in for that. That's the other thing; the amount of vitriol and hate directed at Duke and Gearbox lately has been way over the top: their are worse games out there than Duke. Don't get me wrong, the game was far from perfect, but it wasn't all that bad either. Yes, it would have been great if it came out 5 years ago, but it didn't. Thing is, Gearbox would be crazy not to make another Duke game, especially after all the dollars they have made from DNF, and I expect them to make a better, more polished Duke game in the future... after they have finished rolling naked in bundles of cash that is.
 
So, in the end, 2011 has been a great year for game releases, and I trust the quality titles will keep on coming in the near, and distant future. 
 
Let's just not talk about that Kinect rubbish. Or that Move garbage.

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Little Big Planet

I slept on the first Little Big Planet; maybe it was the look of it that I didn't warm to, but after my initial observations I began to see little sackboys slapping me in my sleep. I still slept, and even after reading countless reviews that heaped much praise upon Media Molecule, I thought I would give it a miss. It was always on my wish-list, but after so many decent games in 2010, I completely forgot about it...
 
Then came along the hype of Little Big Planet 2: I told myself not to sleep on this game the second time around, and already I am not regretting making the purchase. My first worries were allayed when I took control of my sackboy shaman, jumping and swinging, harking back to fond memories of platforming games.
 
To be completely honest, I walked into my local game store and hoped to find a nice, shiny copy of Mass Effect 2, but unknowingly, I was unaware of the one-week delay of its release in Australia (initially it was the 20th, pushed back to the 27th) and out of the corner of my eye, I saw the googly eyes of a little Sackboy...
 
I am glad I picked it up: After having some time with Mod Nation Racers, I thought that LBP2 would surely have more potential! How right I was! 
 
The whole package is polished, clean, smooth, and for mine, the loading times are excellent. The ability to play your playlists in the Pod is a deft touch, though you can't play custom soundtracks during actual level play. There are so many options, collectibles, etc. that it would eat up a fair bit of time to get 100% completion. 
 
I haven't even delved into the creation aspect... I may have to get back to ya's on that one... My Shaman Sackboy is waiting.

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New games... old games

Got a hold of SplatterHouse the other day, and must admit that I am impressed; I think it has had a rough time namely due to critics and reviewers that didn't like it, but I am enjoying it greatly. My enjoyment of SplatterHouse may go back to the fact that I am a HP Lovecraft fan; the Lovecraftian mythos, the world that the game is set in, Dr West, etc, got me at hello.
 
I particularly dig the combat, the art style, and the sound is pretty good too. It is gory, perhaps the goriest game I have ever played, but as beat 'em ups go, I have certainly played worse. It has a brutal feel to it, and the difficulty can get relatively high, but all in all, I feel that this game didn't really get the reviews it deserved. It must be said that those with a knowledge of Lovecraft's writing will enjoy this way more than those that have no idea about Miskatonic, Dr West, re-animation, etc.
 
Looking forward to unlocking the original SplatterHouse...
 
Have also been playing a game log forgotten by myself; Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick. I remember playing it at a mate's house about 7 years ago, and fell in love with it from the first zombie I sliced with Ash's chainsaw....  I found it for $5AUD, and didn't even hesitate....
 
So i got home and shoved Fistful of Boomstick into my still-running PS2, and have been playing it since... IMO, the game still stands up ok, but now I am in the mood to find the sequel to Boomstick, which so far, I have been unable to find in retail stores. I remember seeing only a few copies when it first came out, but since then, nothing. 
 
The voice acting in Boomstick is top notch, especially for a last-gen game. The gameplay is pretty enjoyable as well, as is the mythology behind the Evil Dead universe... Damn I dig the horror genre...

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Getting Productive

Getting productive with the music; shouldn't be too long until I can release a 6-8 track EP, on CD of course.
 It's been a long time coming, and like many artists, I should have taken my chances 10 years earlier. No regret though, in a better place now, better head space, and much better equipment to produce my own beats, and make some funky shit. 
Making music is hard work; not new news, no, but the fact is I am taking the bull by the horns, taking advantage of the situation now that I am able to. Going to have a guest spot, or two, so hopefully the collaborations will be of great help, and add to the flavour of the mixtape.

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FIFA = Corruption

Now this rant is not much more than a vent of pure frustration; mostly for that wonderfully corrupt association that the world knows as FIFA. Now, some people may assume that this rant came about because of the frustrating World Cup 2022 announcement a few days ago, and you would be correct in assuming this. 

You see, the thing is that much of the footballing world already pretty much knows that FIFA is an organisation that is corrupt; proof, I have none, but the rumours and whispers have been circulating for years, and even the BBC released a documentary (that was quite damning) last week, which claimed to show and prove the allegations that have been circulating for years.  

The problem is, any time these allegations make an appearance they disappear just as quickly than when they appeared. Even before this week's World Cup announcement, there were rumblings and mumblings in the football world, mainly regarding Qatar and its bid to host the Cup. Now, under normal circumstances, I wouldn't mind a nation from the Middle East hosting the Cup, but the thing is, I am pretty positive (as is the whole football world) that Qatar basically PAID for the privelege to host the 2022 World Cup; seriously, it is quite a joke.  

But my anger lays not with Qatar; but with FIFA: an old boy's club that relies on secretive ballots, and seems to be a shadowy organisation. The one thing that angered the Australians, and the Americans and British, was that prior to the announcement the EX Com (executive committee) that votes in the secret ballot (which in itself is a joke: seriously, a secret ballot?) are alleged to have made promises to Australia and Britain in particular, that they were going to vote for those two nations; as it turned out in the end, the USA, Australia, and Britain had a COMBINED TOTAL OF 6 VOTES! A joke if there ever was one; Australia received just ONE vote (according to sources in Zurich) even though they were assured that they would have at least 4 votes from people including Beckenbauer, and Platini.  

Now, Platini is somebody I thought would be at least an honourable man, and the fact that these supposedly "assured" vote were given verbally to the Australian delegation, this then leads to the question of whether corruption has taken place. I mean, if these people ALL just happened to vote for Qatar (in a SECRET BALLOT, remember?) then the question really does need to be asked.  

I, for one, have an inkling that millions of dollars must have been exchanged somewhere along the line; politics in football is ruining the game, as is the astronomical amounts of dollars being exchanged. I may have a biased opinion, being in Australia and all that jazz, and admittedly, the Australian presentation to the delegates and essentially, the world, was shocking.    

Seriously, the presentation video that was shown to FIFA, and the world, was a shallow attempt at a hybrid of marketing and tourism; a bloody Kangaroo being chased by Mad Max who just actually turns out to be Paul Hogan, is such a joke that the whole football community of Australia should be ashamed. In this sense ,Australia seems to be a one trick pony; kangaroos and Crocodile Dundee, that is all we seem to have on offer to the world. Why the Australian Football Federation went for this shallow attempt at presenting Australia as a football loving nation, is beyond my comprehension; the presentation did NOT SELL Australia as a footballing nation, and rather than using footage of football, and great footballing moments, the youth system, and various facts that include that football in Australia is the most widely played sport, with more kids and youths playing the game for clubs (actual players for clubs, not including school soccer) than the native AFL football.  

Obviously, the video presentation (directed by Philip Noyce) was a waste of taxpayers money, and the millions of dollars wasted on it would have been better spent on selling the fact that Australia is a sports mad country; seriously, I could have come up with a better presentation than the rubbish that we came up with.
It must be said that the presentation alone would not have mattered, not much at all, especially when the suspected outcome was already set in stone from the very beginning.
 
* EDIT - there, is that better for your eyes?

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Writer's Block

Seriously, I am beginning to go mad because of a mild form of writer's block; just to let ya'all know, I am a writer (in the process of becoming professional) and I have arrived at a critical junction; one where I am in the process of writing a novel (truth be told, more than one novel). The problem I am facing lays not in coming up with ideas, but rather getting stuck at a certain point in the writing process, which in turn forces me to lose some sort of focus, which in turn leads me to starting a completely new piece of writing. 
I would like to know of methods used, methods that can assist in the destruction of the mythical (?) writer's block... can it be mythical if I am writing about it, or suffering it? Does that make me a mythical beast? 
Possibly... but nevertheless, it is a problem that I have faced multiple times before, and each time I eventually overcome it (whether by giving up, or by setting fire to the pages). I have found that video games actually assist greatly with the process of overcoming this debilitating disease (really?), but the danger then arises that the writing may contain derivative material (which happens often, I guess) but I find that the playing of games actually helps free my mind from the traps of a pad and pen (yes, I sometimes use a pen and paper, as any respecting writer should). The game playing process is cathartic, and because of that, I find that the build up of tension and whatever other bullshit that blocks the creative juices is nullified when playing a video game. Coffee also works, and I don't like to cheat by smoking herbs (trust me, the herbs thing works to free up creative flows!) but other than those things, video games are awesome when used for this purpose. * Disclaimer - Tsoglani does in no way condone the use of herbs - unless in Resident Evil games.
So, in the end, I have answered my own question, and in the process have come up with a cure for writer's block - video games. 
So excuse me as I head over to my PS3 and proceed to play Mafia 2... either that or I watch the fantastic fight that is happening right now, between the Macedonian warrior, Katsidis VS the Mexican marvel, Marquez.; gotta love boxing...

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Crazy

Well, well... people seem to be freaking out about the latest news from Korea, with the South Koreans saying that if the North pulls any more stunts that they will unleash fury on North Korea. Sounds pretty dangerous don't it? But how likely are we to see war, for these two are always pulling their cocks out and shaking them at each other, yelling "mine is bigger than yours". Maybe not exactly, but I think we may be over reacting (including myself). 
The prospect of war is obviously scary, and somewhat sobering; especially when S Korea, usually the chilled one, comes out and threatens N Korea with a bombardment of apocalyptic proportions if they keep their aggression up. In the end, it has been brewing since 1953, so it seems like only a matter of time; our only hope is that if it does happen, that it doesn't turn into a wider conflict, and possibly even WW3.

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