New GiantBomb team members

I have little time follow GB anymore, or better I allocate much less time for it within my free-time budget. Largely because more and more I "come home" to strategy games. Even as a teenager they made up a huge chunk of my gaming time. These types of games are not really covered here. Which is fine. I come here for the "dumb stuff", and I am still able to maintain a premium membership. At this point I more support the idea of GiantBomb (as a gaming website with a very personal spin), then the actual content.

Still, I hoped new people would mean new horizons. I kinda have my doubts here. I do not "know" the two new gentleman, though "fighting games" is probably the genre I am at least interested in. I hope the new hires do not promote a type of "comfort zone of a taste monoculture". Still: Good luck!


Buying stuff and shooting dudes

So, I while I am not really playing games anymore.... I play Paradox Games. Almost exclusively. I finally realized my long "dream" of becoming the Saoshyant of the ancienct Zoroastrian in Crusader Kings II and "Master of India" in Europa Universalis IV. Then there are very seldom Minecraft session with a real-life friend of mine on my own server. It turns out he is really into the exploring and surivial part of it. I really can not be bothered with gathering stuff. I just want to build and maybe show it of. Maybe we should join a bigger server. Then again I certainly can not be bothered to engage in so much MMOy fake social interaction. I also bought Banished, a city builder which has been very popular with the circle of LP-casters on YouTube I follow. And the Humble bundle. .... that probably goes straight to the backlog.

I also play about a daily match of Battlefield 4 or more. It has run really well for me in the last weeks. And today the expansion came out. Which seems good. I also pre-ordered Titanfall - because giant robots. I will probably suck at this game. Partly because I play shooters alone and do not use teamplay, but mainly because I am actually quite bad at the "shooting dudes" part of shooters. I am able to get some kills usually because when people start playing shooters (myself included), they start to have the behavioural intelligence of eelworms. They are really easy to predict. I also go to great lengths to pop up where I am unexpected. So about 90% of my kills are kills were I shoot people in the back. Also I am liking the vehicles. Many of my kills I got in the Scout Helicopter. It is really easy to pick off infantry with it. Until one guy decides to pick up a stinger. Then you die. No matter how good you fly. Not, really fair but I have my fun. In Call of Duty I used to just load up all the stealth perks and stabbed people all the time. I fondly remember the times where they had this ridiculous "lunge knife" perk. In Black Ops (part I which was the last CoD I played) I almost only used a silenced shotgun (I am not sure these things exist in real life, then again I have no interest in guns in real life). Titanfall seems not to be this game. Its about giant robots after all.... not very stealthy.

Furthermore I am gearing up for a trip. My company sends me to the headquarters in the USA for a week. I will extend my stay with a one week vacation in New York or something. To have some gaming with me I bought Bravely Default. This is my first J-RPG. I had to upgrade the storage on my 3DS to download it. Moving the data/games to the new 32GB SD-card was surprisingly easy. Simply copy a folder. I also have the impression the load times are considerably faster. I took care to get a card with about 90MB/sec rate instead of in the 30ies.

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Swedish Steel

So lately I have been playing a downright unhealty amount of Europa Universalis IV with some Crusader Kings II and Battlefield 4 mixed in. So basically I only play games from Sweden. I am experiencing the problem that these games have spoiled me for everthing else at the moment. Also I become less and less interessted in everthing story driven. I sold my TV and I am now a PC-only gamer (apart from the 3DS). I can not believe there is so little interest in the Paradox games here. I think the "Let's Play"-revolution on YouTube in combination with Ironman mode has reinvigorated strategy games (which are mostly single player. at least for me) in a big way. Now everone can enjoy the thrill of every decision being final and relate to the Youtubers, who also can not savescum.

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Screw next-gen: I got a 3DS XL! Now what?

Look guys. I am old. I played The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past when it came out 20 years ago, as a young teenager. I was never a big fan of Nintendo or handhelds, but the quicklook of The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds left me captivated. So I spontaniously bought the special edition.

The shop experience was kinda strange, as the store clerk clearly assumed I would buy this for my kids. Anyway. Sadly (and not surprisingly) I am locked to playing games in german. Because companies love to region lock stuff for no reason.

So I am currently downloading Zelda. What next? There do I set up an account or something to put money in? I will be using this mainly on my Christmas trip home. So what are other good games? Fire Emblem: Awakening is on top of my list since I love XCOM. I do not like platformers that much, so I am not sure if I should give good old Mario a spin.


No PS4s in tiny Switzerland

With my going back and forth on my PS4-preorders I have deprived myself of the launch experience. I canceled my long standing 1st wave pre-order, because essentially I was poor. My second pre-order was for the third wave in Janurary. I thought, I will just hunt down freely sold ones. Well, there are none ...

This store (I did not pre-order there.) BTW received the info from Sony that they will get the staggering amount of 6 (in words: six) PS4s. 3 at launch, 3 in December. The XBox One is not launching until 2014. I know Switzerland is tiny (well 8 million people), but they are so incredibly rich, I do not understand why companies neglect it so much. The de-facto minimum wage is 4300 US-$/month. Many people easily double that. While living expenses are accordingly, that still would make a lost of potential PS4-customers.

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Building my first gaming PC (part 2) (some big boring photos .. be warned)

So I picked up the parts, and frantically put the system together on the same evening. Not a small task for someone who hasn’t done this in a long time. I was pumped. Well, I followed the video step-by-step and everything worked out well for most of the build. I actually planned to take a picture of every step of the build, but along the way I forgot that. Here we go.

I started of with preparing the closed-loop cooler. By far the most complicated part of the build. Alone the number of screws used for this contraption matched the number of screws for everything else together.
I removed the tray for the optical disc drive, the upper drive bay and the original 120mm front fan and replaced it with a BitFenix 230mm fan. It actually came with a few rubber rivets, but I had no idea how to use them. The place for the PSU is quite small, I had to bend the cables quite a bit.

The motherboard with CPU, RAM, the sound-card-thingy (bottom left) and the WiFi-thingy (MOCIE COMBO II). Fitting the motherboard together with the I/O-shield into the case was quite troublesome, I had (to some extend) press the motherboard into position, which felt wrong, though probably the spongy I/O-shield got deformed and not the board.
This is essentially the part where I forgot to take pictures. Mainly because fitting the cooler at the top was quite stressful. You have to bend the tubing quite a bit to fit it to the very close board. The screws you put into the fitting of the cooler felt kinda loose, and you really have to angle the whole thing in there by feel. However I felt the Corsair construction was easier to deal with than the one in the Attaching the video card and the cables was no big deal. You can see the system running... well booting.

Moments after taking the last picture, during windows installation, the PC died with a lpound "BANG" and some smoke while I was out of the room to prepare its future spot. I freaked myself and a bunch of people here out, by speculating about the cause of this. The guy from the store where I bought by last PC said it was probably the PSU. I got it replaced under warranty, build it in (without doing anything different) and now the system works like a charm. I am a happy camper, though I hoped the liquid cooling would make the system run quieter. This is not really the case, its rather loud actually. Maybe I can omit the rear "exhaust fan", though the CPU cooler fans are pushing air out which is not optimal.

I actually bought Battlefield 4 - which I can run on ULTRA (on the 1080p TV) now (add me if you want to play). Batman: Arkham Origins came with the video card and looks great but has some weird hiccups. Without surprise I CAN NOT max out Total War: Rome II.


So my PC build blew up .... literally

Big "bang" sound & smoke. I will bring it to repair tomorrow. *sigh*

I guess the CPU blew up. The way the heat-sink was mounted really felt flimsy, though could not have imagined how to do it otherwise. I hope the damage is limited to CPU and mainboard.