video games

Iron Rising

Destiny’s Rise of Iron expansion dropped last week, and while I’m not quite raid ready, I have been having fun with the new content. The PvE missions are enjoyable, if a bit short, and I’m still working on snagging that Gjallahorn and Thorn. (Apparently, the questlines start with a random drop, so it may just be a matter of logging more time in-game, if I can tear myself away from WoW. Which, sadly, may not be that difficult. I’m nearing level 110 on my druid, Nahaltin, and quickly running out of story. Given that I had to drop 5k on my max riding speed last night, it’s probably safe to say that I won’t be earning enough gold to buy a WoW token for another month of game time before my current sub runs out.) (more…)

On Boarding the Hype Train, and Taking Off the Training Wheels

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Choo choo!

If you live on the internet and know who Blizzard are, you’ve most likely seen something regarding Overwatch. And if you haven’t seen advertising, the name itself should hopefully ring a bell.

But if, by some strange chance, you’re from some neck of the digital woods where this isn’t a thing, let me explain.

No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

Overwatch is a new first-person shooter coming out of Blizzard, the company responsible for StarcraftDiablo, and the soul-devouring behemoth known as the Warcraft universe. (Seriously. I haven’t played World of Warcraft in nearly a year, and I still find myself wanting to resubscribe and preorder the new expansion.) It’s a slightly different genre than Blizzard have tackled before, seeing as how they cut their teeth on real-time strategy and action roleplaying games, but I must say, it’s looking beautiful. (more…)

On Rolling Out, and Getting Dangerous

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I fear that these Steam sales will be the death of me.

A couple weeks ago, a bunch of Activision games went on sale, giving up to 75% off some of their popular titles. Now that I have a computer capable of running post-2012 games at decent quality and frame rates without worrying about my computer slagging itself on my desk, I’m having a much harder time resisting Gaben’s siren song.

But while I was slightly tempted to pick up Call of Duty: Black Ops III for the PC—because some of us are weak and buy the same games on multiple platforms—it was the Transformers games that forcibly abducted cash from my wallet.

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More on Indoctrination

It’s been a while since I published my last post, talking about my pre-Extended Cut views on the Indoctrination Theory for Mass Effect 3, but the past few months have given me some time to reflect on exactly how I feel about that particular interpretation of the trilogy’s end. Unsurprisingly, I no longer feel that the Indoctrination Theory as a whole is really the answer to all the questions Mass Effect 3’s ending left. It was a wonderful example of literary (or video-gamerary #it’sgonnabeathing) interpretation and how a loyal fanbase can extrapolate fantastic narratives out of ambiguous endings. And while it seems that Bioware has brought the hammer down on the Indoctrination Theory with the Extended Cut, I still believe the basic idea—an outside force playing with Shepard’s perceptions—is valid.

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The Backlog War and Indoctrination

Last week wasn’t terribly productive for me, for a variety of reasons. I am happy to report, however, that the Great Backlog War of 2012 rages on, and by all accounts, I’m winning. Just yesterday, I was able to knock both New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Trine off my list. This is a special victory for me since Trine has been sitting in my virtual pile of Steam games for at least two years. I now only have 29 games to get through before the end of the year, many of which I already have some measure of progress in. I should be finishing Arkham City any day now, and Alan Wake shouldn’t be that far behind. (Unfortunately, Final Fantasy 2 may take some time. I’m currently stuck in a tower with a bunch of enemies who can turn my party members against each other. 😦 )

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Mass Effect 3

We’ve come a long way since 2007 when the original Mass Effect was released, and Commander Shepard et al. have had quite the ride along the way. From saving the galaxy from Sovereign in the first game to defeating the Collectors in the second, Mass Effect 3 finds our stalwart commander … in prison? What kind of opening scene is that? Oh, right. I guess he did work with a known terrorist group and—spoiler warning if you haven’t played ME2 DLC “Arrivaldestroy a mass relay in batarian space and wipe out that entire solar system. I guess it’s not that big of a surprise that the Alliance brass stripped him of his command and tossed him in the brig. But when the Reapers do finally arrive and start harvesting Earth, who do you think the Powers That Be expect to save them? Funny how life turns out, huh?

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The Great Backlog War of 2012 – First Report

In my last post, I mentioned that I had officially declared war on my backlog, and last night (early this morning, really), I had my first victory. Diablo (3) now lies conquered at my feet. While the final stretch was a harrowing battle—one which woke me from an impromptu 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. nap and kept me up until nearly 4 a.m.—I feel that I am stronger for it. (Sleepier, too, but that’s a different matter entirely.)

Overall, I felt that Diablo 3 was a well put together game, as hack-n-slash action RPGs go. The combat was fairly solid, the visuals were engaging, and the voice acting was very well done. There are a lot of changes made in this interation of the series, and at first, I was planning on railing on the new mechanics. But as I thought more about some of the nitpicky complaints I had with the game, I realized that most of them were coming up because this game isn’t Diablo 2. And while that’s not a bad thing, the realization that my judgment had been colored by my experience with a previous title helped me reevaluate how I wanted to comment on what I saw in the new game.

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Tetris and Story Addiction

As enjoyable as our trip back to New England two weeks ago was, I’m starting to regret the amount of time I took off work. For some reason, it seems that whenever I take more than eight hours of vacation time, I end up needing to take another eight or so hours of sick time just to shake whatever disease I come down with upon my return. Luckily, it’s usually nothing more serious than a head cold or an allergy flare-up, but it’s still a little irritating (and embarrassing, because I always feel like an idiot when I have to take sick time after just taking a bunch of vacation).

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