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5:14 AM on 01.30.2012

Power Rangers: Not Just Nostalgia

Nostalgia does things to ones psyche. It can make you believe you love something more than you actually do, it can make you do things. Think and say things. While it can be a dangerous venture, it can also be one of the more rewarding aspects of life. High risk for high reward.

A small example of the negative impacts: I saw The Darkness for $6 at a game shop. "I loved that game!" I said, and promptly bought it with a grin. The Darkness was a diamond in the rough 5 years ago. Coming out around the same time as Halo 3, it was overlooked by most, but certainly not under rated. Most who played it found it to be a good, if not great, game. I myself loved it so much, I even tried multiplayer. I shut it off, but still, I tried it.

Estacado, Y U KNOW AIM RIGHT?!

The game did *not* age well at all. Not solid in the shooting department, the controls can be unresponsive, and its obnoxiously difficult early on, even on normal mode. Oh well, it was $6, I'm not complaining. But the risk factor didn't reward me: I became frustrated that nostalgia let me down.

Recently I've been listening to a lot of a girl named "lara6683" on youtube. She plays violin and piano, covering video game and nerd culture music, and she does it superbly. One of my favorite tracks is the Mighty Morphin Power Ranger theme. She makes it sound larger than life, and epic. The actual theme is epic, but then when you think about it: Its just epic in a slightly humorous aspect. She makes this song sound dark-epic. Oh yea, and she plays it wearing a Pink Ranger suit.

This got me thinking of the Power Rangers. I loved em as a kid: I had every Megazord up to generation 3, and I still have the generation 1 Megazord. The Mastodon shield doesn't stay in his hand, but hey. Oh and one of the triceratops horns is a bit chewed... I'll post pics when I can get them, I swear xD

So what did I do? I went and... Acquired a copy of Season 1, thats what I fuckin' did! After 5 hours waiting for "delivery", I plunked myself down in the dark and watched for a few hours. Mio Energy, awesome bread, cigarettes, Doritos, and fucking Power Rangers baby! I was not disappointed, I was thrilled.

"Alpha! Get me 5 teenagers with attitudes! And a side of kick ass!"

The dialogue is cheesy 90's slapstick, the acting is sub par. But! I already knew this going in: I knew it as a kid. What I really watched it for was the fighting, the monsters, and the mo-fucking dino-robots that can turn into a tank and a giant robo-karate fighter! Fuck yea! Oh, and Amy Jo Johnson.

If she isn't fucking sexy, I don't know what is.

After about 15 episodes, I wanted a bit more. I remembered I had a game on my Genesis based off the movie: Pick a Ranger, fight some ooze-dudes in a beat-em-up, then occasionally go into a fighting game styled Megazord vs Monster fight, ending with a fight against Ivan Ooze in his Wasp mech-form. I couldn't find it on any rom site, and the only game based off the movie I could get hints of were not the game at all, I remember what it looked like, none of the screenshots gave any recognized features. But I did grab MMPR: Fighting Edition for my SNES emu, and had some fun for about an hour. Not a bad generic fighter. Not fantastic by any means, but not shitty either. A good diversion if you've got a buddy, a second USB controller, and some time to kill.

That made me think of the movie. So I got that too, and watched it. And aside from the lame CG effects at the end, it was a pretty solid movie. Ivan Ooze is actually a really good villain, and the action scenes are fucking boss. I love the fight versus the 4 rock monsters near the end...

Over all, I'm really happy with how I spent my evening. I can safely say I now have one of my favorite movies, a good TV series to watch when I'm bored (60 episodes in season 1! That will take some chipping away), and a quest to find a long lost game, all because of a song. Music does things to you... And so do giant robots.

On a secondary note, really check out lara6683s' youtube. She does great renditions of many great songs on violin, piano, and sometimes both. My favorites are:
Power Rangers theme (Violin)
Brinstar (V)
Halo (V)
Morrowind/Skyrim theme (Piano, guest violin)
Pirates of the Carribean (V)
Pokemon TV Series theme (V/P)
Chocobo theme (V)
A surprise :)
Oh, plus, shes cute as fuck.   read

10:51 PM on 01.18.2012

Finally Played: Bioshock 2 - Did it Hold Up to the Original?

I must apologize for lack of photos. I would say its how I protest SOPA/PIPA, but really, I'm just too lazy to do it right now. Deal.

I remember a time when shooters were just guns and explosions, enemies that made sense only in context to the game itself, and health kits. Oh health kits, I miss you so much...

Bioshock, released in 2007, came out on the cusp of the shooter revolution. Crazy guns and powerups were slowly being replaced with iron sights and the "don't get hit for a second and your ok" style of game play. Bioshock was probably one of the last classic styled shooters that was actually a good game. Even Halo drifted from health kits. Did I mention I love health kits yet?

The best part about Bioshock was it's atmosphere and how it fit into the gameplay. A steampunk science fiction utopia gone wrong mixed with cinematic mind fucking techniques. And magic (To a degree)! I remember beating Bioshock the same day I got it, my 16th (Maybe 15th?) birthday. I beat it again the next day. And for weeks after that, I played the living shit out of that game. I played it high, I played it sober, I played in the dark, I played it in the light, and I played it with multiple combinations of the above.

When Bioshock 2 came out, I was upset: I hadn't had an Xbox for a long time, and my PC wasn't much of a machine at the time, certainly not up to par to play Bioshock 2. A few months after its release, my friend received his Xbox and proceeded to buy a few games, one of which, was Bioshock 2. I refused to watch single player, and when he asked if I wanted to play I said:

"No. If I'm going to play Bioshock 2, I'm going to PLAY Bioshock 2."

So we took turns with the multiplayer, which was novel but fun, and I went home and nearly forgot about the experience all together.

A few days ago, I borrowed Dragon Age and Bioshock 2 from another friend. I desperately needed to play DA, as being the RPG fanatic I am, I felt incomplete having hardly touched it when I did own it, and Bioshock 2 was... Bioshock 2. I didn't think so much about BS2 however, I went home and proceeded to play my elven lesbian mage with a chip on her shoulder for countless (20, actually) hours. The next day, I went into a local small time game shop and found The Darkness for $6, an offer I couldn't turn down for the life of me (Another game I beat the day I got it). I played The Darkness, then back to DA. Then, as I was putting DA back in its case to play The Darkness once more, I lift up Darkness's case and see that glimmering cover, the Big Daddy staring at me from behind the diving suits green glass viewing pane.

"Would you kindly put me into your Xbox?" it said.

It is 3 days later, and Bioshock 2 sits on top of the case tower by my console, the disk still in the drive. Vanquished, I stare at the plastic with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face. It was like a book I didn't want to end. All the people I had met (And the proceeded to gore with a giant drill), places I had been... Gone until I hit that new game button.

I loved it. It had everything I had expected from a Bioshock game played through the eyes of a Big Daddy: Splicers, Plasmids, Drills, electric shotguns... And health kits.
But did it hold up to the first one? Was it better?

No, not better. There was something missing, and I can't seem to wrap my head around it. Was it the lack of new and cool plasmids? No, I felt right at home shooting bees from my fingertips. The story? Not at all, it made me cry (I'm a sap). The guns? No, drills and gatling guns are just fine in my eyes. At the end of the day, the only complaint I had was the combat wasn't as tight as the first one, making kills less satisfying and more relieving. But that wasn't the problem behind the hollow spot in this game. I chalk it up as a mystery I won't be able to solve until I play the first one again, but I do need to gripe about the combat before it bottles up.

In the original, I *loved* the shotgun. It reminded me of a Caster gun from Outlaw Star to an extent, with electric and fire shells, and one hell of a kick. In BS2, the shotgun is only decent. You *really* have to be close to a guy to get a shot off, and even then it doesn't devastate your creepy mutant foes. The Phosphorous Bucks were also disappointing. Instead of just causing a fiery explosion upon impact like the original, it delays the combustion, and does even less damage than a regular shot on contact. End result: Pretty lame. The second buck shot, (Solid?) was just plain old misleading. It was supposed to be an anti-personal shot. All I got was a louder boom. Sometimes, on a good hit, it would send a splicer flying back a bit, but that was when I chose to actually use the damn ammo. The ammo clip size is a necessary upgrade while it should have been there from the start like in the original, and the tesla coil upgrade (Adds an electric shock) is also mandatory if you plan on using the weapon as a mainstay in your arsenal.

The revolver was replaced with the rivet gun. I loved the revolver in BS1, it was a solid weapon throughout the game and was great at getting pot-shot head-shots. The upgrades were upgrades, not things that should have been there to begin with, and made a great compliment to any plasmid style. The rivet gun shines only early on, as drill fuel and money are hard to come by. Its large hit radius and pitiful damage require trigger smashing over trigger discipline. The upgrades to it are negligible, as once you hit the half way point, this gun is only your last resort against tough enemies with heavy rivets and to use trap rivets that don't benefit from damage upgrades anyway. If I play through again, I plan to avoid upgrading this weapon.

The Tommy gun was ok in BS1. It shot and felt like a Tommy gun: Alright accuracy and slugging fire rate with heavy hitting ammo. The replacement in BS2 pissed me right the fuck off. The gatling gun was so wishy washy: At times it felt like a great gun, at times it felt like shit, and at times it felt necessary to put up with it to achieve whatever goal you had before you. Considering it as the only *true* heavy enemy killer with its armor piercing rounds, it is vital to upgrade for the last stage of the game, where "mini-big-daddies" become a regular and tough enemy. Without the recoil upgrade, good luck hitting *anything*. And with the upgrade, you still have to master its recoil or you'll just be hitting thin air, wasting valuable and rare bullets. Well, the *special* ammo is rare. The base .50 cal ammo is SO common, you feel COMPELLED to use it. I never got a chance to check out the ricochet upgrade, so maybe that will change my mind the next time I play, but for now, the machine gun was that annoying companion that pulled its weight, yet pissed you off with corny jokes and fucking up.

The drill was fantastic though. Even though it "needed ammo", it was still a great contender to the wrench. Zap-em-n-whack-em still worked like a charm, and the drill dash was immensely satisfying. It was also a life saver, the dash can get you out of sticky situations and into cover, and those brute splicers just get gored with a pull of the trigger. Felt *so* damn good.

Like in BS1, the other weapons were novel. Crossbow/spear gun was neat but not necessary and the launcher just wasn't powerful enough to warrant using except in a pinch. Rocket spears were pretty cool though. I'm happy they killed off the chemical thrower though, fucking useless...

Plasmids were essentially the same, though I will say the only reason to get level 3 of them is to get the level 2 bonus without having to charge up the blast anymore: The whole "continuous stream" thing was pretty lame. Being able to control plasmids at the same time as your weapon made for much more devastating combos, however. Freezing and hitting with a rocket spear is one of the funniest things, almost as good as watching bears tumble down hills in TES.

I did like how they remade the tonic system, with a large pool of possible tonics instead of multiple categories, customizing became much easier, and felt less like talent trees and more more like a giant upgrade pool. Some tonics are better than others, of course, but considering how many you can end up with at the end of the day, combinations can be supremely deadly. Like emitting all 3 elements upon getting melee'd, including reduced melee damage. Yum.

But what I really cried about was hacking. I loved the pipe dream minigame from BS1, I was so upset to find it replaced by a simple timing thingy. It had its benefits, but over all it made hacking feel less... Cool.

ADAM was also obtained way too easily. I saved all the Little Sisters, and by the end of the game, I had about 500 ADAM stockpiled, all 3 elements up to level 3, full HP/EVE, and all my tonic slots filled up. I'm not sure if this was because things are cheap, sisters give too much, or if there just wasn't a lot to buy, but either way, it felt like I was missing out, even though I had everything I wanted on the menu.

The story line was, however, spot on for Bioshock. It felt like a true "10 years later" kind of deal. Rapture just got worse. The moral choices went beyond saving or harvesting Little Sisters, with pivotal moments in the plot that required you to choose mercy or vengeance, fitting perfectly with the goal of the plot, and they weren't always obvious "This is good and this is bad" either, which I highly respect the creativity. I actually stood there for one contemplating which action fit into my morals, I really had to make a tough call.

Overall, I give Bioshock 2 a late 8/10. Combat felt sloppy at times and with a limited logical weapon choice it felt constrained during the shootouts. The plasmid/tonic system works better than the previous entry, but you still end up with excess ADAM even after you get everything you wanted. The storyline was genius, and was definitely the best part about this game for me. Overall, the game play *was* solid and compelling, and it kept you playing, the most important thing in game design.

It also had health kits.   read

1:43 AM on 01.12.2012

What I Want In 2012: The Supreme Rise of E-Sports

E-Sports. For the past 3-4 years, gaming in the mainstream has surged. For most first world countries, gamers come in more flavors than Baskin and Robins ice cream. In fact, you could probably walk down the street and ask 100 people if they play games, and I betcha a majority of them will say yes. No need to delve into what games, what platform, or how often: All that matters is that they play them.

Ask these same people if they watch E-Sports, however, and most of them will say "Huh?". A select few will say "Hell yea!" Another chunk will probably laugh, saying its just a trend. But is it? Huskystarcraft on youtube recently posted a 40 long minute audio vlog about the evolution of e-sports in 2011 and how he predicts/hopes the rise will be greater in 2012, and I take his side completely on all the topics he touched upon. That is another story for another time, however.

From an e-sport perspective, I do not watch Halo, CoD, BF3, or GoW. My taste lies in Starcraft 2, and although I am not a fan of 2 of the games mentioned, I respect the pros. Why? Because they are damn good at their respective games, thats why! Play against one of them, and you *will* get fucking rolled. These fuckers play their game 8+ hours a day. They travel the world for tournaments, and through success or failure, they get home and keep playing. For a pro gamer, games are not only their life, but their career, something that demands respect.

Gaming has tried on multiple occasions to hit the mainstream competitive scene. Remember Unreal? Of course you do! Street Fighter? Sports games? Racing games? Any genre of game that may include multiplayer of any form has had a competitive scene at some point, even if it was mostly underground. Some played for bragging rights, some played for the money, some played for fun. No matter the motivation, there have been competitions of gaming since the 2nd controller port was invented.

All of the attempts to make it popular, however, failed. G4TV had a show (For the life of me I cannot remember it) for Unreal pros. It was fun to watch from a gamers perspective. We knew what was going on, what the pick ups and weapons were, the general strategies and aspects. But to someone who knew nothing of it, they found it laughable and pathetic. People playing video games as if they were hot shit? Sorry xXDarkxRangerXx, you ain't no Micheal Jordan.

Move over Tebow, God can't save you from a Zerg Swarm, let alone your career when ESPN realizes football is over-rated next to MLG.

There was, however, a light in the darkness. Quite literally, actually. Enter Seoul, Korea. (See what U did thur?)

And then there was Starcraft. A futuristic RTS made by the geniuses behind the all too popular Warcraft series (RIP) that was supported by an online multiplayer capability. While this was introduced with Warcraft 2, the implementation was merely an experiment for what was to come. Starcraft became the hit game of the 90's for the PC gamers who didn't want to play Counter Strike or Unreal. In Korea, Starcraft was more than just a game: It was a lifestyle, and one with high respect even. It was pop-culture for the jungle country, and Starcraft players were celebrities not just for the gamer community like in other first world countries. It became the central hub for Starcraft, so much so that any non-Korean Starcraft player was dubbed a "foreigner".

This was the breakthrough of E-Sports, and since Starcraft, Counter-Strike, and Unreal, the trend has been rising. Not until Halo, CoD, and Starcraft 2 did the scene explode with the force of a nuclear missle.

And now, we are in 2012. Is it the end of the world, or just the beginning of a new one, where athletes are replaced by gamers, as technology has taken the forefront in life over physical activity? Will talk at the office over the game last night be replaced with topics such as "Did you see that sticky? xXDarkxRangerXx got fuckin' ROFLSTOMPED*TM*!" and "Man that flag capture was the game changer. Came outta no where!" I really hope so.

Husky talked about it in his video, but I will reinstate it for those who don't want to sit for 40 minutes listening to him ramble. How can we, the newest community of pseudo-athletes, support the E-Sport movement? Lets go through some options!

Play your game of choice with one objective: Get better. When you are not working, studying, fucking (Yea right), eating, or sleeping, play. Play that game until you need to buy a new copy because your disk is all used up. Watch the matches you played that day at the end of the session if your game allows such things and learn what you did wrong so you can fix the problem. Sign up for cups, use the forums, and scream from the mountain tops that you are a gamer. In the process, all of your friends, family, lovers, co-workers and associates, peers... They will know what you are doing. They will say to themselves "Huh. Wants to go pro? Maybe I should check this out, sounds pretty cool." They will hit up youtube, and give the casters of said game much needed support. That leads me to the next way to support E-Sports.

Yea. Its a big deal.

Watch your game(s) of choice! If you are not a serious player, or if the life-style of a pro isn't what you want, watching is just as important, if not *more* important. What use is having an eclectic blend of players if there is no one to watch them pull crazy shit in-game? Watch with a friend, your partner, family, hell watch with your cat. He doesn't give a shit, as long as you pet him while you watch your favorite player pwning fuckers. Youtube is the best way to watch such events. All the casters have twitters, facebooks, that shit: They will let you know when events are going live on a stream or a cast has been recorded for viewing on youtube. Even if you prefer one caster over another, follow them all! You never know when a crazy event is happening that your favorite isn't covering.

Tell your friends! Shit, if you are a gamer, more than likely your friends are too. Heres an idea: The next time MLG is happening, throw a party not unlike a Super Bowl party. Get refreshments, set up your PC to play on the plasma screen you have going, and watch some fuckin' games! If you have that "reluctant dragon" friend (You know who I'm talking about), get beer. That guy loves beer, and with it, loves everything else. Chances are, after the event, your friends will want to know the next time its happening, and if they don't ask you, they will find out via interwebz, finding even more games to watch, and becoming a fan. The effect will snowball, trust me!

You know people, in game and out of game, that play the same game(s) as you, I know you do. Host a cup! I'll leave prizes up to you, but more than likely people will play even if its just for pride and a fun time. This will get them into the spirit of competitive gaming, and may entice them to refer back to the first suggestion. No matter the contribution, small, large, or even secluded, support for E-Sports is support for E-Sports.

Get on the forums, the chats, skype, whatever, and talk about the game. While no one outside of such things will likely know about the conversation, it gets people pumped, and involved. Again, its a snowball effect. You just watched an amazing play, and so did thousands of other people, you are not alone! Get online and talk about it! This grows: People will start incorporating things like what you just saw and discussed in their gaming, and leads back to Play!, or Watch!, because they want to see it happen again! Remember, not only fans watch, so do the pros. They want to know the leading stratagems even more than you do, trust me.

This ones a bit tougher, but still extremely do able! If you love talking, and have an extreme passion for gaming, this may be for you. Get yourself them FRAPS and cast some games! You don't have to go for a huge fanbase, just have fun! The more and more casters there are, the more and more games are covered, and the more popular this avenue of entertainment will get.

E-Sports is not going to grow on its own, E-Sports *needs* you to get huge! Without the players, the casters, and more importantly, the fans, E-Sports will die again. We have a chance, but you need to get involved. This falls on us all, as gamers, to make sure gaming culture becomes the future of entertainment. As one of my good friends always says:
"Shit doesn't just happen. You've gotta force it."

Pop onto google, and search for your favorite multiplayer game. See if there is anything you can get involved in, even its just spectating. While there are already a few solidified games in E-Sports, it can't hurt to see new games hit the scene. Personally, I would love seeing some pro Pokémon games televised/streamed, it would make my life complete. Youtube is a great place to look, just search your favorite game and voila! You've got instant entertainment.

So here's the deal. After you google shit, share it for others in the comments! Get all of the prospective E-Sport spectators/players/casters something for the new year! Here are a few great places for Starcraft 2, to get the ball rolling!

Husky Starcraft SC2 Casting (Great caster for those new to the SC2 scene!):

Be a voice for change! Support E-Sports!

Day[9].tv: Be A Better Gamer (A daily educational show on SC2):

Team Liquid: (The Site For Everything SC2):

GSL (Global Starcraft League): A year long tournament in Korea, hosted by 2 VERY popular casters in the scene. The GSL is a huge deal for SC2:

This is just a very small smattering of references for you fine folks. I encourage you to get involved, because whether you know it or not, this is probably the biggest movement in gaming since Pong. For E-Sports to flourish is for gaming as a whole to flourish, and its all up to us, as gamers, to make sure it happens. So hop to it!

Of course, I also would like to state for the record that a Lordi based video game would be great for 2012. Why not have the year of the end of times be represented by those who actually could bring about the end of times?

Best playable characters ever. Brutal Legend? Psh. These guys can kill with rock.
Any argument against Lordi is wrong.   read

3:44 AM on 01.09.2012

Skyrim: Tale of the Ashlander

[i] A foreward
Thank you, any and all, for reading this tale. Things like this are written all the time, left and right, all over the internet. Some do TES justice, some, do not. It is in my earnest to do Bethesdas world right, and make a story just as vivid as the game is. Skyrim is large, and being as anyone of any creed could (have) been Dohvakiin, this is of course, non-canon. This is for the pure entertainment of you, the reader, and myself, as I play through the game with the intention of making sure you have a great time reading my adventure.
I have played the living daylights out of Skyrim already, so there will be moments in here that are planned. For the most part, I have the very basic outline of Dhraz-tes' journey plotted, up to "Episode IV". There may be more before I hit the planned end of the outline, as who knows. Skyrim has a way of thrusting adventure upon you when you least expect it.
I write this as I play, in a sense. I will play a chunk, type it up, then play, type, so on and so forth. This will take a long time, as not only does playing consume time, but writing as well. To make the combat interesting, I pause and play, jotting down key points and blows to make you, the reader, feel like you are witnessing the gameplay fight as if it were your own. Little will be contrived.
Conversations will be improv, as I do not wish to repeat the same lines you have already heard. I may make conversation with an NPC fleshed out for the sole purpose of detail and immersion. While in a game the dialogue is great, as a work of literature it is lacking without the back and forth. However, I state this with upmost importance: My dialogue writing is my weakest link. I appreciate feedback, though just know I understand my dialogue skills are lacking, something I hope to improve with this writing.
I won't give you step by step of the characters statistical leveling. This is a story, not a guide! Enough of my ramblings. Sit back, pop a Red Bull, and enjoy Skyrim, from a literary point of view!

Skyrim: Tale of the Ashlander


Dhraz-te had only ever known hardship. A Dunmer born to a family of Ashlanders after the Red Days, he was raised learning survival in a harsh, unforgiving environment. Though his family had escaped Vvardenfell, they were still nomadic, living on the mainland. When the Argonians invaded Morrowind, they once again fled into the wilderness.
Dhraz-te was taught to hunt with bow and blade, and how to live off the land. When his mother fell ill, he did his best to find a remedy, but was unable; The harsh climate of Morrowind did not grow the proper herbs any longer after the ash storms of the initial eruption, most of the environment was damaged. Dhraz-te was alone in the world. His father had died years ago to a nix-hound ambush, his brothers by the Argonian invaders. Unwilling to scrap the land for bitter survival, he traveled west. He was unaware of the lands beyond his surrounding territory, and, ignorant to all but what his life had been up to that point, journeyed miles...
Never could he have guessed the fate planned for him.

Episode I
"Every new beginning come's from some other beginnings end" - Seneca

His head spun, and his eyes burned as he slowly came to. Rocking to and fro to a jutting, unrythmatic pace, the pain in his head surged with each jolt. As he attempted to steady himself, he noticed his hands were bound, and panic overtook him: Dhraz-te had never been bound before, the feeling of no freedom made him claustrophobic for the first time in his life.
"You're awake," he heard a gentle voice mutter, "You walked right into the Imperial ambush like us, and that thief." His eyes adjusted to the light and clouded mind, the man who was speaking sat across from him in a horse cart. His light blue eyes were sullen, as if he had not seen sleep for days, and his blonde hair was tussled and shone with grease in the bright morning light.
"I shouldn't be here!" another voice erupted to the blonde mans left, "Damn Stormcloaks! Skyrim used to be an easy place to get away with things, now you've got everyone looking out for the smallest thing!" This man spoke with a nervous edge. He has never been bound before, either, Dhraz-te thought, He is just as scared as I am. Feeling a slight companionship for the other, all he could do was nod.
"We are all brothers in binds now, horse thief," the blonde man said somberly. He glanced at the Dark Elf, seemingly summing him up, as if to prepare for combat at a moments notice, yet gently, as if he could also be a fair friend. Dhraz-te spoke,
"Where am I?" he asked, though the words echoed in his head, each reverberation screaming as the pain grew with each motion of the tongue, "And what am I doing bound?" At this moment, he looked to his right. A large, hunched figure sat on the bench with him, bound and gagged. His eyes seemed to cut deep into Dhraz-tes soul, as if pure hatred fueled his being. The glare frightened him, and he was forced to look away.
Before the blonde man could respond, the horse thief piped out loudly "I shouldn't be here!" staring directly into the gagged mans eyes, "It's all your damn fault!"
"Watch who you are speaking to!" the blonde man replied angrily. "That is Ulfric Stormcloak, true High King of Skyrim!"
"The Jarl of Windhelm? Oh no, this can't be!"
"Aye. Tell me, horse thief, where are you from?"
"What's it matter?"
"A true Nords last thoughts should be of home," the somber voice of the blonde struck a chord in Dhraz-te. Home. Had he ever really had a home?
"Rorikstead," the thief stammered, "I'm from Rorikstead."
"Shut up back there!" the carriage driver yelled.
The bound party sat silent for many more minutes until a town gate was seen just up ahead.
"General Tullius sir, the headsman is waiting!" A call shot out from the top of the wall. The thief eyes showed sheer panic, and the blonde man closed his eyes as he seemed to make a final prayer, which Dhraz-te could not hear.
"Pah," he said as the carriage rode through the portal, "General Tullius, the Military Governor. And it looks like the Thalmor are with him. Damn elves, I bet they had something to do with this!" Dhraz-te was angry at this statement. What wrong had elves ever done? They only wish to survive. The blonde man droned on, but he was not listening. He tried look around, though it strained his eyes to focus. That claustrophobic feeling fell upon him again as the gate closed behind them, he was surrounded by walls of stone. Bound, in so much pain he could barely move his head. All he could do was think, and even that brought sharp pains.
"Funny," he heard the blonde say,"Imperial walls and towers used to make me feel so safe." Safe. Had Dhraz-te ever know safety? His thoughts went to his mother...
"Whats going on, why are we stopping?" the thief frantically spoke.
"What do you think?" teh blonde man replied, "End of the line."
"No! No, I shouldn't be here! I'm not a rebel!" the panicked thief spoke out.
Another voice boomed out over the clamor of horses and movement as the carts unloaded their living cargo. "As I call out your name, step forward and head towards the block!". The block. Dhraz-te didn't know what this block was, but he didn't like the way it was spoken of.
"Empire loves their damn lists," the blonde said as he hopped off the cart beside the Dunmer. Now Dhraz-te noticed how well built the man was. Large and imposing, it seemed strange he hadn't just burst from his bindings and fought off the soldiers single handed.
Names were being called out from three separate lineups, and Dhraz-te noticed that all but himself and the thief were wearing a uniform of blue, cloth embroidered mail shirts. Hadn't the thief mentioned rebels? Was there a war? Dhraz-tes' head continued to spin.
"Lok'ir of Rorikstead!" the booming voice called out to the line.
"No! You can't do this! I'm not a rebel!" the thief blurted out. "You can't kill me!" And just like that, the thief burst into a sprint, off kilter with no arms for balance. A female voiced yelled, and just like that, Lok'ir of Rorikstead was shot in the back with an arrow. Dhraz-te could just barely see the tan clothed figure tumble to the ground, and lie still. Was this his fate?
"You there! Step forward!" The booming voice was directed at Dhraz-te now. He stumbled over to the man with the list, almost tripping has his legs began to tingle and the blood started moving through them once more. "Who are you?"
Dhraz-te had to think a moment. Who am I? Oh!
"I, I am Dhraz-te. From, from Morrowind." It took him a moment to remember where he was from, his head was still fogged.
The man looked at his list, then back to the elf, then back to the list. He seemed perturbed as he spoke, "What should we do Captain? He is not on the list."
"He goes to the block!" the female voice yelled gruffly. The captain did not seem in the brightest of moods today.
"I'm sorry prisoner," the man with the list said, "I will make sure your remains are returned to Morrowind." Dhraz-te understood now, this was an execution. He was to die, and he had no inkling of what for! Had he commited any crimes? He was taught only to kill beast unless attacked first, had he done so, then blacked out? He could not remember, any motion to bring up memory caused severe pain.
The man had led him to the group of blue-clad men and women, then stepped out of the crowd, leaving Dhraz-te next to the blonde man he was with on the cart. A new voice rung out, one of authority.
"Ulfric Stormcloak. Some here in Helgen call you a hero..." the voice rambled. Dhraz-te could barely hear over the jeering around him, some bickering to the men in the blue, some throwing things at them. When suddenly, a strange call came from far away, over the walls of the city, and everyone stood silent for just a moment.
"What was that?"
"I'm not sure..."
"What in the world?"
Then the jeering and boo'ing began again, louder it seemed, almost as if they wanted no more interruptions as the viscous peanut gallery. Dhraz-te saw a young, red-headed man led up to the sparser crowd ahead. He faced a masked man with a giant axe, and the female called Captain pushed the rebel down to his knees, and placed her boot on his back. The man in the mask lifted his axe slowly, dropping it down upon the mans neck, severing his head as it fell into a basket.
The crowd went wild, as if they just witnessed the beginning of a theater performance, though one with crude violence and hatred.
"Next! The Dark Elf!" Captain shouted into the crowd of bound men. Dhraz-te closed his eyes. We meet again, Mother.
"I said, next prisoner!"
Dhraz-te moved forward, Captain pushing him down to his knees, and next, the clod steel of her boot. He looked up at the masked man and his axe, then down to the basket. The mans head still lay there, open eyed and bloodied. Dhraz-te vomited, and rolled his head back up to view the man in the mask, and just in time.
A black figure had approached from the sky, closing in on the gated town. It was large, larger than anything he had ever seen before! It was flying faster than a cliff racer, and landed sharply on the tower behind the masked man. He heard panic and mayhem, the trampling of feet; Chaos. The masked man had fallen over, and the black figure, perched on the tower like a gigantic bird of prey, surveyed the chaos with deep red, bead eyes. A thunderous roar erupted from its' gaping maw, what seemed like magic shot forth, stunning Dhraz-te.
He could see a figure in the light, low, arms spread. He seemed to be floating ever so gently. Features began to appear on the figure ahead of him, gray skinned, braided hair past the shoulders...
"Now is not your time, son," the figure said. "Go now! Fulfill your destiny! It is your rite... Get up! Get up!"
"Get up, elf! The Gods won't give us another chance!" It was the blonde man, coaxing Dhraz-te to follow him. He was alive! Yet, he had seen his mother... What was she trying to say? "Quit the day dreaming and lets move!" The man sprang up and ran towards another tower behind him. Dhraz-te did not think, for the man was right. He had only a few seconds to decide on living.

[i]This was ending up to be far longer than I thought! I will spare you the next bit for now, I understand you want to do other things on the internet today than read this! The next Episode will probably be up later today or tomorrow, depending on how my fingers feel about it. Ouchies D:
In other news, Dead Space 2 play through 5 today! Weee!
Have a great day today guys, and may the Force be with you![/i]   read

12:23 AM on 01.07.2012

Intro Blog, Dead Space 2 Mastery, Skyrim Journal Story Intro, and Upcoming GSL!

Welcome to my blog! I would re-introduce myself, but you can just look to the right for a glimpse of Burn ;D

To get a squeeze more indepth on me however would probably be a good idea. I prefer if people know a bit about me first, before they discover through my exploits my details and nooks n' cranny's. I'm generally a kind person, though there are of course many human moments I have. Eg. "Wow, thats retarded" , "I hate that guy", "That shit pisses me off" etc.
I'm extremely long winded, even when I type. I just like to dump as much detail into what I'm saying, lest I leave out something that would make my probably obscure point fall on deaf ears.
My hobbies include spectating Starcraft 2, writing, chain smoking, reading web comics and memes, metal vocals (Both clean and screaming), analyzing music from a "uneducated yet passionate and still slightly knowledgeable point of view", Super Smash Bros with my bois, and of course... Video games.
Sonic the Hedgehog was my best friend through elementary school, and when I inherited my cousins SNES, I was introduced to the world of RPGs. Cecil Harvey (Final Fantasy 2/4) became my idol, and Adol (Wanderers of Ys) was my right hand man. I've caught all original 150, I've defeated the Three Prime Evils, and traveled through time with the help of a hand sized blue instrument. I've seen things. Things that have made me laugh, cry, throw controllers, and feel love. I have gamed, and I am proud to be a part of the ever changing and unpredictable world that is gaming.
I played WoW for 5 years, though Cataclysm was the death of the addiction. It was an unhealthy yet experience filled section of my life. Though in the end it turned out to not be the best period at the time, I look back and say "I wouldn't have done it any different knowing what I know now." Why? Because I learned so much about friendship and myself through the adventures I had in Azeroth.
I'm a Silver league SC2 player, and my goal this year is to hit Platinum through 20 games on days off from work, and as many as possible on work days. When I get to school, I will change that to fit the schedule.

Thats me in a large nut shell! Now onto the goodies of the blog.

Dead Space:
When Dead Space 1 came out, I fell in love. The addicting "one more limb" game play kept me playing for months. In total, I have completed the game 10+ times. I got every achievement, and even beat Impossible the first time while completing the "One Gun" achievement (Beat the game using only the Plasma Cutter). In essence, I mastered Dead Space, something I aspire to do with the sequel.
I got Dead Space 2 late in the year, in August. I tried balancing that, Dark Souls, Dragon Age: Origins, and Two Worlds (Which I shamefully never beat to this day), and Dead Space 2 got lost in the crowd. Then Skyrim came out, and I forgot every other game in the world existed for weeks. However, with a the newfound time I've found between jobs, Dead Space 2 was finally beaten. Four times in the past 2 weeks! I'm training for Hardcore mode, because that shizz is no joke!

At the moment, I'm on my 3rd playthrough on Zealot, so I'm toying with weapons to figure out what I really want to take through Hardcore. I know the Plasma Cutter, because I can beat the game using just that gun (Sadly, there is no achievement for it, which I learned regretfully at the end of my first Zealot play through :(). I'm considering the Pulse Rifle as well, as it is an all-purpose weapon like the Cutter, an is a good "Ahh stay away!" weapon because of its rapid fire. The secondary shot is also very nice when dealing with overwhelming odds.
I played through Zealot today with the Ripper and Detonator. The Detonater is great when dealing with Stalkers and the moments when it is advisable to hold your ground, but otherwise it seems a little too situational to carry as a full timer, and the ammo racks up quick with no real return value credit wise. I may throw it in the bank and pull it out when I know I'm going to need it, but thats also a credit sink I could use for a new suit.
The Ripper is also in a similar boat. It does great damage, oh yes. And when dealing with the Pack, its perfect for grabbing insane amounts of loot before the bodies disappear due to the body limit, but when you need to back yourself into a corner to cover your back in multi-pathed or large rooms, it can lose effectiveness, as a keep-away gun like the Pulse Rifle or Force Gun would be much better. However, its raw damage output is a fantastic. It seems like a risk over reward kind of weapon. Question is, is the risk worth it in Hardcore?
On my next play through, I'm going to use Plasma Cutter, Ripper, Javelin Gun, and Force Gun, and see how I fare. If I pay more attention to my Cutter ammo, the Pulse Rifle can be negated. I often interchange the Cutter and Rifle, as ammo is common and they are both jack-of-all-trades weapons. Run low on Cutter ammo? Switch to the Rifle, and vice versa.. The Javelin Gun will be a kill-move gun for Pukers, whose big torso is a juicy target for impalement, and any other moments I find opportune. It's mostly an experimentation run with the Javelin Gun, so I will find its uses as I go.
The Force Gun was one of my dick-around guns in Dead Space, as its low damage but heavy stopping power was fun to play with, but not as effective as you would hope as the "shotgun" of the game. I hear, however, the damage has been upped in this installment, so I'm willing to give it a legit shot. I already know how to use it, no doubt. My corner standing tactic will benefit heavily if the hurt is dealt out with the Force Gun.
My general tactic from the first game has moved onto the sequel with mixed results: Find the best corner, stand there, and cover only 2 angles without worrying about your back. In the first game, this worked beautifully, as necros mostly consisted of Slashers, leapers weren't as deadly (Though they were still a pain in the ass) and Lurkers were much easier to kill. Also, there weren't fucking Pukers. I hate those fucking things.
In DS2, however, with the wider variety of necros and their more aggressive AI, the corner tactic works I would say 80% of the time. 15% is doing the good ol' leg-leg-arm-head that Wu-Tang patented before this games inception, and 5% doing the "stasis trick shot", where you shoot an arm off, stasis the necro, kinesis the blown off arm and impale them, essentially killing them with 1-2 bullets.
I'm nearly familiar with all the scares and how many necros and of what type are in each room, though sometimes I get taken aback in the 2nd disk. Also because of my TVs gamma settings, I have the brightness all the way up and its still pitch dark. Not complaining! It makes the game that much more enjoyable, but a few of the lying in wait necros that are on the floor take me by surprise as I run through the halls thinking I know what I'm doing. I hope to pin those down in this play through.
The end boss I have down pat. The first time though... I got so frustrated, haha! I think I died at least 10 times, though on my first play through I was also dying left and right due to being unprepared the entire time. But I know who to kill the Marker and Nicole now: Run around the edges clockwise, kiting all the Shadow Pack into a large clump. Upon reaching a specific rock formation that forms a small, tight, "hallway" (Not the one with a curve, the one after that) and turn around, blasting the Pack with the Pulse Rifle by sweeping them out. Nail Nicole, then unload the rest of my clip into the Marker. Lather, rinse, repeat. After 3 (Maybe 4 if some Shadow Pack threaten my bullet storming) rounds, the Markers down and I fly into Ellies Gunship. Ta-da!
I take my Dead Space very seriously. I'm not sure why. I know I love the unique and awesome weapons, shooting limbs off is oh so satisfying, and the eerie story and atmosphere get me going... But why am I so dedicated? I'm just not sure.

Tomorrow, I start my Skyrim journal story. I have already played Skyrim enough, but mostly the main quest line and a few sidelines. I've beaten it with 2 characters, both Nord warriors, as I freakin' LOVE Nords. When I heard Skyrim took place in... Well... Skyrim, I shit my pants, then proceeded to dance around the living room naked while the teaser trailer played on repeat.
My first was a two-handed Axe guy with max Enchanting and Smithing, so needless to say... I ate faces. My second was a sword n' board with a side of Alteration and Restoration, a typical Paladin style, my playstyle since Morrowind. This time, I'm going to play through with a consistent character though. One where, I hope, through my journal blogging, I'll be compelled to playthrough as much of the content as possible to build you all a compelling story.
It will be a Dunmer, an Ashlander. When Vvardenfell was wiped out, this Dunmer left his tribal home out of survival. In the overcrowded and destitute mainland of Morrowind, he was forced to survive by any means necessary. Being an Ashlander, he wasn't well liked by the civilized and Imperial Dunmer. Finding less room to live, as he needed open space out of habit and upbringing, he traveled West, to Skyrim. He wasn't aware of the war, until he was captured crossing the border.....

In Starcraft news, the GSL 2012 tournament starts in 9 days, and I couldn't be more excited! This will be my first time watching a GSL season from start to finish, and I cannot WAIT to cover it as it unfolds. I'm too excited. As Starcraft 2 matures, players become better and better, and with the level of play the pros are at now, there is only more room for evolving tactics and strategy. With the coming of HotS, people are becoming more and more adaptive to so many play styles its hard to keep up, we are on a cusp of leveling up the play, and I think this years GSL will hold most of the unfolding. We will have to wait and see!   read

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