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This week, I've been spending more time with Dragon Age: Inquisition than Persona Q. I haven't forgetten about the latter, I promise! It's just I heard that, after a certain event happens in the former, that the game really starts to hit its stride, and I wanted to see if it does. It took me a little longer to make it to that point though because the Hitherlands is full of fetch quests to do that anyone with OCD will put themselves through hell trying to do it all! Seriously, as someone who has typically completed around 90% of the six Assassin's Creed games on previous gen consoles (planning to get Rogue when it gets cheaper), I know the pain of wanting to clear the icons off the mini-map. I finally had to force myself out of the "completionist" mindset when I realize that I wasn't having that much fun doing things for the sake of doing things, and it was the better idea. The story missions are definitely more engaging than "go here, talk to him, get what he needs and come back"... even if you are doing essentially the same thing, but with dialogue choices and cutscenes. Now that I made it to the supposed "now the real adventure begins!" part of the story, it feels like the game really does open up, but I haven't played enough to really tell. Maybe next week I'll give my impressions, though I hear I'm also in the last half of the story, which is a real shame if so, considering Origins took me 40 hours to complete.
Then again, I spent three hours just talking to everyone at the new base, so...
I've got more time to game and write blogs for a little while because this week was finals week for my college courses! While I did absolutely horrible on my Intro to Computer Programming's multiple-choice test by getting a 53% (it's done electronically, so I saw my grade immediately), I think I did pretty well on the second "programming" part of the test, and already gathered enough extra credit and good marks to more than make up for that slight mishap. Whatever the case, I think I'm fine, and I'm glad that that class is over, even if I did learn a thing or two! I'm definitely more interested in my other class, Intro to Computer Animation, though! As I said before, I really enjoyed taking that course, and my professor is a really cool person: he's helpful, interacts with the other students to better improve their work, and is totally a gamer! While he isn't the first teacher I've taken a liking to, he might be the only teacher that I might actually keep in touch with after school!
...Er, totally didn't mean to make it sound like that! :P
The last day in class in the Animation class was also pretty nice! Normally for college courses, there's not really anything in the way of saying goodbye, as people are usually in a hurry to go. It makes sense, as we're now adults with places to go and things to do, but it kinda makes me sorta nostalgic for the days in high school, where it's more or less a big deal. For this last meeting, it feels reminiscent to those days because the teacher decides for us all to watch each other's final animation project together for the first time to offer critique right then and there! It was really amazing to see the works my fellow students have made, even if they only last a couple of seconds, because you can tell that these are some creative and definitely talented people! My teacher also said that we were apparently one of the faster learning class he has teached for absolute beginners! Apparently, I was one of the most weirder students, as my animation clocks in around 25 seconds or so, and was more of a scene than an "character" introduction that we were supposed to do. However, I'm actually somewhat proud of it despite how simple it is! As a creative person myself, I like to look at my works, whether it's fanfiction or blogs, and see what I have created because I know that I did that myself! Even better if someone praise it!
As always, something on television usually gives me something to talk about, and this week was the first time I've seen the Cartoon Network show Sonic Boom! It's also the first TV show I'm talking about that's actually related to videogames, so that's a special bonus! While I haven't played the game (so I can't form my own opinion until I have), I hear that it's absolutely dreadful, so I was a bit wary going into the show. I'm sure it wasn't going to be as bad as the game "is", but then again, that one new CG show on Disney XD featuring a disturbing version Pac-Man was too cringe-worthy to watch all the way. Ugh, I don't think I'll ever talk about that anytime soon, seeing as how Halloween has already passed. I also don't like the show about Rayman's Rabbids either as it's very annoying, and the slapstick-only comedy gets real old real quick. Maybe one day I'll go more in-depth with both these two shows, but for now, they are reasons why I'm so skeptical of TV shows based on videogames.
However, to my surprise, Sonic Boom is certainly very watchable!
The animations aren't too shabby, though in one instance it looked like Sticks was getting it on with Knuckles... but that might be my overexposure to Sonic porn. The character models look pretty good, though if you think Sonic looks weird with his scarf, you should see him in a jacket during the episode "My Fair Sticksy". And the voice acting doesn't seem to grate on my nerves... aside from Sticks. Actually, Sticks hasn't made a good impression on me in the couple of episodes I watched as she comes off obnoxious and annoying, and not in the endearing way. I also feel mixed about Knuckles: he's now the "big, dumb guy" of the group, whereas he was "the hot-head" in the games, but there's a couple of moments where it got a laugh out of me, like when he "tried out" to be Sonic's sidekick or the part when Sticks gets a letter. He's not a complete idiot like, say, Ed from Ed, Edd, 'n' Eddy, and certainly not as lovable, but he isn't as bad a character as his new design is. Speaking of humor, the jokes and delivery are pretty snappy, and some of them surprised me enough to let loose a chuckle or two!
I intend to keep watching the series: it may not be "must-see TV", and the pacing is too rushed in my opinion, but it's not bad, and could get better!
* - Nothing makes an RPG like the party companions, and Hyper Lemon Buster Cannon pays tribute to his team of Poke-pals with this amazing blog about their travels together! Decking the hall with his Hall of Famers, read what their amazing achievements that earned them the top spot in his heart were!
* - You better not shout, you better not cry, you better not pout, I'm telling you why: with lumps of coal not doing the trick, It's About To Get Gay In Here reports that Santa has another, more devious trick up his sleeve to whip the rascals into shape, but could his new plan be considered borderline child abuse!?
A - Somethings old, somethings new: Mr. Hoffmann (formerly known as Reinhold Hoffmann) gives us a list of his top games of 2014 in no particular order, whether they actually came out this year or not.
A - Like others ready for the end of the year, Ben Grady gives us a list of his own games of 2014! With a tight budget, Ben Grady decides to play through a couple of oldies, some more classic and worth playing than others!
A - Recently picked up an Xbox 360 due to the insane bundles, yet not sure what games to get? Well, DVMatrix has some thoughts on which titles are worth picking up, ranging from the exclusives to the multi-platform cream of the crop last generation!
T - Forgotten Bastion hasn't forgetten about Square Enix's recent trolling with their announcement of Final Fantasy VII PC port for the PS4, so he wants to give his thoughts why an actual remake would be a bad idea since they could potentially ruin the game you all know and love!
T - Solar Pony Django can't make up his mind as to what to play this holiday season with games like Dark Souls and The Secret of Monkey Island, and thus turns to us to trust! He might also be streaming the videogame of our choosing over his Twitch channel!
? - Jacobdekk is a senior editor at a little site called IceDJ Gaming, which houses a group of a small but dedicated group of writers, and he's looking to expand! Whether it's as a writer, video producer, or podcast personality, he asking around for people to recruit! He provides contact information in case you're interested!
Man, this was one uneventful week for me. I did manage to get the last of my Christmas shopping done for my wife. I took a mental inventory of everything that I got her and realized that I, despite being 29-years-old and having been in a few relationships before I met my bride, have absolutely no idea how to shop for a woman.
The good thing about my wife, however, is that she and I have very similar interests. We bonded over videogames and other various nerd culture, so when the majority of her gifts are videogames, it actually works out pretty well for me because it's kind of like I'm buying stuff for myself.
Other than that though, not a whole lot going on for me, this week seems like quite a bit of a blur. The end of the year is fast approaching, so I'm preparing myself for constant “Best of the Year” lists that will inevitably pop up. I don't want that to sound like a complaint, if my blogs are anything to go by, it's pretty apparent that I have a certain affection for list-based articles. I enjoy reading them as much as I do writing them, and rest assured that I have a “Weekly Top 5” in the works for my favorite games of the year. I think this year will be different than others, because there doesn't seem to be a single standout title that I anticipate to win everyone's game of the year awards. The Last of Us pretty much took home every award in every category last year, even “Best Dating Sim.”
But this year things seem to be a bit more even, and that's refreshing. Variety is the spice of life, they say, and this year I expect game of the year to run the gamut of genres and titles.
On the gaming front, I decided to do a second playthrough of Steamworld Dig. I originally played it on the Vita this past summer. I needed something to play while on a plane, and I had always heard really good things about it. So what did I think? Well, I wound up starting and finishing it on the plane, if that's any indicator. But when I needed something to occupy my time this week, I realized that buying it on the Vita meant I also got the PS4 version, and decided to fire it up again.
It's such a simple game, and yet, so addicting. I wound up going through it in two sittings, and it wasn't until I entered the third world, Vectron, that I realized that I hadn't died yet. During my first time playing, I was dying constantly, even very early on. But I managed to persevere and finished a no-death run, completely unintentionally, although I did have a couple of very close calls.
Going back to previous worlds and unearthing every treasure when you gain new abilities never feels tedious. Once I got that final power-up, I looked forward to going back to the surface just so I could start back at the beginning of the first cave and work my way through again, collecting every orb and gem along the way and reaching new heights and depths that were previously inaccessible.
I was kind of bummed to discover that the sequel to Steamworld Dig is a completely different genre, but I'm not so bummed out that I won't give Image & Form the benefit of the doubt. If you've never played Steamworld Dig and you're reading this blog, you likely have no excuse unless you exclusively play Microsoft consoles, because the game has been ported to everything else, so don't tell me you don't have a machine that can't play it. And if you have a PS4, you really have no excuse as it was one of last month's free PS Plus titles.
Christmas is close, guys. Like, really close, and that makes me very, very happy.
Now let's get to the recaps!
* - Our CBlog Manager, Occams, gives us all an encouraging word on what it takes to get a blog promoted to the front page. I second every point he makes, but of course, you can't get promoted if you don't write. SO GO WRITE SOMETHING AWESOME!
No fails again this week for this Friday recapper. You guys are making me so proud.
Sorry about last week you guys. I was (am) in the middle of finals, so I spent most of last week studying without much time to work on my caps. Alternatively, I could be talking out of my ass because there was something else I did. More on that later.
As for today, then.
Well, I just came back from a free screening of The Imitation Game!
As a huge fan of Benedict Cumberbatch, I thought the movie was quite excellent. Cumberbatch plays a British mathematician, Alan Turing, who helped the British crack a Nazi code system during the War. Unfortunately, after all his great deeds (the movie specifies that his contributions probably shortened the War by 2 years, sparing countless lives), he is arrested in the 50's for being homosexual, and eventually commits suicide after being forced to undergo hormone treatment as a chemical castration measure.
In many ways the movie feels like a Sherlock-light, a Sherlock-but-not-quite to tie us over until the fourth season finally gets here next year. There's a lot of dry humor in this movie that is very hard not to be taken in by. Cumberbatch knocks it out of the park like only he can. But my favorite is still Keira Knightly's adorable "Oh.".
On the other hand, the movie also suffers a little bit from being Sherlock-light. For a film that's trying to be a reasonably faithful biopic it does relish a little bit too much in its clever set-ups and witty comebacks. A lot of conversations in Imitation Game work really well in a movie setting, but you can't shake the feeling that no person would ever speak like that. It's the kind of things that scriptwriters come up with, but that people in a conversation would never think of. There's too many examples of this to count, which does get a little bit grating sometimes I suppose.
Whether any of that ruins the movie really depends on how much you like Sherlock. If you're like me, you'll take note of the fact that the dialogue doesn't really work for real-life conversations but then you'll quickly go "But it was hilarious, so I'll allow it". At the end of the day it was a really good movie and I definitely recommend it.
- No Martin Freeman, unfortunately. For that I'll go to The Hobbit 3 next week!
So, what about last week then?
Last Thursday was a special day. A very special day indeed. Why?
Well, it was my inverse birthday!
So here's the deal. My actual birthday is on the 12th of April. In Europe and pretty much everywhere else in the world, that's written as 12/04. But of course for you contrary American stupidheads, 12/04 means December 4th, so a week ago now. Unfortunately I'm not going to be here in April. So I figured, why not celebrate my inverse birthday this year?! Hell, I'm not one to pass up a meaningful drinking opportunity, even if I have to grab one out of thin air.
In addition, last Friday was December 5th, which is my favorite day of the year. It's Sinterklaas day! Remember when we talked about that last year? Well it came around again, imagine that!
Of course I wasn't able to have the celebration that I normally would, being here in the US and all. Fortunately though, there are some great substitutes. I've already received an awesome gift from Strider for Secret Santa, and friends came over last Friday. One of them is Dutch too, and she brought pepernoten! In addition, I had stroopwafels, drank Heineken and played Dutch music, fulfilling all of my Dutch quota in one fell swoop.
So now, I think I'm going to have to start preparing for my trip home. Classes are done and I only have one exam left, and that will be the end of it. I have some time left to travel and hang out with the cool people here, but "the final month" is starting to sound awfully short.
Sorry to end on a downer like that. Have some spectacular sprite art from the game Strider gave me. Full opinion to follow in a Secret Santa blog!
* - It's about to get steamy up in this business, because Gray Times found out that there may be BDSM hiding in some of your favorite games!
* - Steel Squirrel writes a great blog about what gaming has gifted him: strong family ties.
* - So TitusGroan just suggested that Nintendo make a amiibo-supported Smash Bros. RPG with Paper Mario battles. In other words, he means to blend heaven, paradise and nirvana to create the sweetest thing in the history of ever.
* - Now that we know gunblades existed, what about Sheep Bombs? RedHeadPeak has the answer, and it may surprise you!
P - Clockwork Zombie is on PStoid! Listen in for those lovely voices of people you know on the internet!
M - Nick Marsella got to know himself a little bit better while playing SimCity.
A - Playstation Plus just offered Injustice. Which is a worse game than some of the indie games they've had, but which Triad argues may be significant regardless.
A - Mega Rayquaza is the uber of ubers, and more Pokémon Strider is too much of a fucking scrub to fight against.
P - Former capper Wrenchfarm is on the Secret Moon Base Podcast. Awwww yeaah.
- That is a wildcat on a motorcycle. This game is amazing like that.
I - Many peoples are returning this week! I was wondering where Nintendette had wandered off to.
T - You may or may not have heard of Fear Effect, but Riobux recommends it!
R - TheKodu reviews a mobile game for The Hunger Games. It's....not great.
N - Street Fighter V is going to feature cross-platform play....except to the Xbone, which is getting screwed over.
N - The creator of NieR and Drakengard is working on new things. And stuff!
N - The creator of NieR and Drakengard is still doing new things. And saying words!
C - Two lines is usually Fail-worthy, but your heart is in the right place. Watch out for patches making Shadow of Mordor unplayable!
C - What DOES lie withing Resident Evil Revelations 2? Will you tell us?
- Best sprite decapitation ever.
May you always find water and shade
The end of 2014 is quickly coming upon us and I'm only just now realizing that I'm not sure how I'm going to compose my list. I hardly played any topical games on my 360 back when I had it during most of the year. And now that I have a Wii U, I haven't played of its topical games except for Smash of course. That's my 3DS and whatever I've played on Steam and things are getting kind of narrow here.
Nothing really jumped out at me from my Steam library. Because I use a laptop, it's not like I can play the year's biggest titles. My PC experience is limited and even then, some titles are surprisingly not in my reach. Rogue Legacy chugs hardcore and I still haven't been enlightened as to why Nuclear Throne refuses to boot up correctly. In fact, this is why I HATE the idea of PC gaming. Earlier this year, I could play Risk of Rain. Suddenly I try to play it again a month ago and it won't run either. Just a black screen with sounds playing. This is why consoles exist. There's a layer of bullshit standing between me and my games. Consoles are dead simple and idiot proof. They may serve the lowest common denominator but guess what? I'm it baby. These problems aren't covered in faq and the only person who could possibly help are the devs themselves who have proven that I'm too small and minute a case to devote a large amount of energy to helping.
My 3DS is where I can see more of my time coming to fruition. The library I've built on it is quite chunky and sizable though maybe not top 10 big. I'll still have to make sure I scour my past played list correctly to get everything I want to include in my annual, big, fat, yearly recap of games. But I'm very excited to jump back into Photoshop to plaster big, stupid words of praise over some of this year's biggest games for me.
As for the tumblr side of things for me and what you'll see, well, Guilty Gear Xrd is on the cusp of its console release. SFV got teased and while people debate on whether or not they should be excited, the fresh new coat of new on Guilty Gear looks absolutely incredible and it's PS4 or PC. In other words, with my luck, I'll get a PS4 for it while also having access to SFV too. Time for sleep!
Bayonetta 2 is AMAZING! I just started playing it this week after recently beating Bayonetta 1, and wow, the sequel really is better than the first game! Almost everything is improved: the combat feels more fluid, the graphics are noticeably better, the battle music is even catchier and the character designs are great (I’m a fan of short-haired Bayonetta and long-haired Jeanne, they just look better). The story and characters seem on par with the first game so far, which means Bayonetta still feels like she was written by a pervy Japanese man. My opinion k thx bai
You can feel Nintendo’s influence in the little details: a lot of small things have been streamlined, like the amount of button mashing required to pull off some QTEs, and all these small touches add up to make the game more fun to play. It feels even easier and better to kick-ass, especially if you have played the first game.
In other news, I’m still waiting for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U to arrive, as well as Hyrule Warriors. I’m also waiting to hear the result of a job interview I did. So basically I’ve been doing a lot of waiting… and waiting… and waiting… zzzz
But all this waiting has finally made me go back to reading books. It’s one of those habits I shouldn’t have lost.
When I was a teenager, I used to spend a good amount of time at the library reading books. Most of the time I read fiction books for my age, but I was curious enough to try all sorts of other books, too, from encyclopedias to comics. Like a typical nerd, the library was my haven, my favorite place in school and the one I spent the most time at.
My interest in books began to die down when I was around eighteen, and since then I haven’t read many books. The few I’ve tried to read didn’t hook me, and none I searched about on the internet interested me enough to make me buy them.
Now finally a book has hooked me like it used to some years ago, and I want to get my reading habit back. I’m thinking of trying the Game of Thrones books, and I would like recommendations if you have any to share.
Have you been reading any books? Playing recently released games? Secretly torturing suspects of terrorism? Share with us your happy adventures in the comments!
* - Buy Its About To Get Gay In Here’s The Beanie Baby Handbook amiibo Get Rich Quick Scheme right now and feel more lonely for FREE! Enjoy the rest of your empty, miserable life accompanied by the stuffed carcass of your favorite fictional characters!
This week I will put random videos I like in the empty sections.
T - eightbitsamurai has been playing Crypt of the Necrodancer and he’s loving it! It’s a mixture of dungeon crawlers with rhythm games, you can even play with custom music. Anyone else feeling the urge to play Audiosurf?
It has been a while since I posted about any of my weird dreams because there haven't been many memorable ones of late. Sunday was an exception since my mind saw fit to come up with some really weird shit and most of it was contemporary material as well!
Best of all? No zombies! There's almost always zombies, but not this time! No rotting undead in this one.
I was my Freedom Wars character, Ripley, and I was working at Gamestop on Black Friday. It was just an hour before the midnight opening and lots of people were outside. That was okay because my super-hot android companion Crimson was also working there as an employee because reasons - and in one of her catsuits because she doesn't care about the employee dress code
Suddenly, one of my co-workers grabs my arm and tells me, "Ripley, if you don't bring peace to Azeroth, everyone outside is going to riot and ruin Black Friday!"
Easily pursuaded that this was a matter of greater importance Crimson and I went into the break room, geared up, grabbed our guns and other weaponry and set off for Azaroth. I was given some spicy beef jerky to eat on our journey, too.
Now, you're going to have to forgive my brain for its lack of Warcraft knowledge because it was winging the entire plot to this dream. I ran across most of North Carolina and into the mountains, past Boone until I was in Azeroth and passed Ironforge. Ironforge is about where my knowledge of Warcraft geography begins and ends.
There wasn't a war between Alliance and Horde here, but Orcs and mostly the female Night Elves, though the reasons for the war were unclear. Key figures in this war were the Evil Orc Demon King and the Goddess of the Night Elves. Those were literally their names. Crimson and I went to hear the Night Elves out and chose to side with them because Orcs are ugly and green, I guess. After aligning with them, an exclaimation point appeared over the Goddess of the Night Eives' head, meaning she was going to issue us a quest.
It was more or less along the lines of "Evade detection of the Orc Monks, infiltrate their temple and defeat the Evil Orc Demon King and if he happens to summon his minions from the netherworld, kill them too." The quest reward was a pair of robotic tiger wings and 100k EXP.
And so Crimson and I anime sprinted across Azeroth to this temple, through the night and thunderstorms, evading Orc Monks and entered the temple to do battle with the Evil Demon King. He was already in the midst of summoning demons to bolster his army. Displeased with our arrival, he commanded his demons to attack us. It was a very dark and dank temple shaped like an arena and demons were sprouting up everywhere now
We turned on our music (the Persona Q battle theme), summoned our personas (mine was Thanatos) and went to work.
We were clearing out the place left and right and not long after the Night Elves joined in, but as the chorus singing about that "pastrami nice guy." A dwarf did the rapping in a Scottish accent. It was after this the Evil Orc Demon King decided to summon two giant demons.
Unsurprised by this, I grappled on to one on the demons' left shoulder and started sawing its arm off, Crimson shot at its legs and I summoned Thanatos to deal with the other demon. Just as I about got that first arm hacked off, the demon grabbed me with his free hand and threw me across the arena. Crimson saw this and threw down her Pulsar canon, sprinted and leapt to catch me.
We crashed through a wall, but thankfully Crimson took the majority of the hit and she's a very sturdy android. We found ourselves in a broadcast room and she had to dig me out of a pile of VHS tapes and DVDs. After that she looked me over to see if I was okay, then we made out a little.
I think the Night Elves took over for us at this point.
And then we stumbled upon it as we were kissing - the answer, the key to stopping this war. A VHS tape titled "Johnny Sasaki's Porno of Peace feat. Meryl Silverburgh"
We both liked Meryl, so we decided to watch it.
We found a VCR player in the production booth, put the tape it and began watching it on a nearby TV. Little did we know we were broadcasting the video inside the temple on various monitors and all across Azeroth. Everyone was watching it, even In Ironforge.
The Orcs and Night Elves stopped fighting everywhere and watched, too. It was the usual porno setup. Johnny was the pizza delivery guy and Meryl invited him in. One thing led to another and they ended up in the bedroom. We just wanted to see Meryl naked because she's really fit.
...And then Johnny pulled a classic Sasaki moment. It was explosive, messy, brown and Meryl died instantly with a look of horror on her face.
Orcs and demons everywhere turned to stone instantly, the Night Elves fainted and the dwarf was the only one still watching after that. Crimson looked at me and asked me to delete that part of her memory. I asked her for a sharp blow to the back of my head after that so I could forget, too.
Be all that as it may, peace had returned to Azeroth and Black Friday was saved. Crimson carried me back to the Night Elf city and I woke up as we got there. The Goddess of the Night Elves rewarded us with one pair of robot tiger wings and 100k EXP each. I leveled up ten times! I felt Crimson deserved the wings more so we had them installed on her back, coloring them red and black at her request.
After that, I hopped into her arms and we flew off. We flew for hours, all around the world, apparently forgetting we had a job at Gamestop. I fed her the spicy beef jerky and enjoyed spicy kisses. We settled down in Santa Destroy, I think. Not sure because I really woke up after that.
On to the recaps!