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11:08 PM on 01.16.2013

Contest Winners!

So here are the results of the contest that I held on my last blog with terrible captured video proof that you are the real winners! I did not mention the secondary prizes as I didn't buy them specifically for the contest, it's just spare stuff that I have and I didn't want that mixed in incase it looked cheap :P They were planned from the beginning though so nobody is getting anything that wasn't already part of the prize pool (hidden or not).

For prize #1! A reproduction of Propeller Arena for the Dreamcast! The winner is Funktastic cause he was the only entry!

For prize #2! In an epic pick through a staggering number of entries (two) is Blasto! Congratulations you win a sealed copy of Valkyria Chronicles and my spare copy of Fragile for Wii in a replacement case.

For prize #3! Again a staggering two entries, but in that dead heat PhilKenSebben won a copy of Arc the Lad Collection with the hard cover manual (no omake box) and my spare Star Ocean: The Second Story for PS1 (replacement front insert).

For prize #4! Morty wins cause he's the only person who entered, $20 worth of games (your choice) from! Send me the list and I'll buy and gift it!

For prize #5! The SoA coin, again Funk was the only entry (and some really good answers to 2 of the questions) so he wins. Also getting Jet Grind Radio for DC and a custom decal/sticker thing of Jet Set Radio.

Congratulations Winners! PMs incoming so between this blog and the PMs you better reply :P Please PM me your US address (except for Morty, Morty PM me your email address used on gog and what you want to spend the $20 on). If for some reason the winners of 2 and 3 do not respond to me in a semi-timely matter the runners up get it. Also I'm super fucking lazy so I might take a little to ship it out, morty you'll get yours quickish :P

Shadowvii if you are reading this sorry but you did not respond to my response that you couldn't enter for both 3 and 4 since 4 was only for international and 3 was only for US residents so I had to disqualify you :*( Thanks for trying to enter though ><


12:49 PM on 01.12.2013

Gaming Setup/Room of Doom + Mega Contest! Mega Pic Heavy!

=Ok maybe I lied, maybe it's not a mega contest. I just saw Dredd again and I want to put Mega in front of stuff :P I have no idea what a mega contest consists of but there's a few different prizes and they're pretty spiffy. Details at the bottom if you feel like skipping the pictures of my Room of Doom! Edit: CONTEST OVER, I'll select winners tonight probably ;p

So gaming setups... What happened to them? I haven't seen one in forever and there used to be a weekly setup posted on the front page from an archive of them that have been saved up? Shame as they were my favorite blogs to read here :/ Hopefully they'll make a comeback someday, but enough of being jaded so let's get at it!

*Note: I am a firm believer of being super lazy so I didn't really clean up so there's random shit all over. I'm not really sorry :P

Let's start off the the left corner. Starting off with a Wall Scroll from FLCL, Malcolm Reynolds Wanted print (signed by the Fillion!) and a replica Phurba Dagger.

Here's a closer look at the Wanted poster and Phurba dagger. I don't really normally care about getting my stuff signed but I LOVE Firefly. It is far and away my favorite TV show and getting crew signed stuff I am definitely for, it's one of 2 things I have signed by Nathan Fillion (Captain Malcolm Reynolds in Firefly). If you haven't seen Firefly you are missing out, I'm terrible at explaining stuff so I'm not going to try but just watch it, it's pro. Also as you can see the Phurba Dagger is missing a base currently, the guy who made em said he'll make one hopefully early next year so it doesn't have to sit on bubble wrap ;p (Phurba Dagger is from Uncharted 2 btw).

To the top right of that is a framed poster of a Veteran Ranger from Fallout New Vegas. Also more dreamcast shit (I love the dreamcast and there's tons of dreamcast stuff all over the room :P).

To the left of that is my Time Wing Schematics poster (from fangamer) sitting in a shadow box with the Play Arts Chrono Trigger figures sitting on top (Chrono Trigger is my second favorite RPG of all time!).

Sitting underneath that is the Brother's In Resin Death Dealer statue (obviously made of resin ;p) that I recently acquired from Darth Pain (from RPF). I'm not a huge Frazetta fan or anything but the Death Dealer looks awesome and this is my favorite statue of him that I've seen. It's painted by Saul Alvarez.

One of my issues is that I have 0 space left. I have a ton of stuff left in storage. Now you would think that this would be a good sign that I stop buying shit, but I keep doing it :P I have a lot of regular consoles but they aren't up on my shelves cause I have no room :P Some day I will but for now just some of the shinier stuff ^^.

On the top left we have an Alien Warrior statue from Sideshow. In the middle back is Hellboy's pistol the "Samaritan" from Hellboy: The Golden Army. Infront of that is the QMX Malcom Reynolds pistol. On the right side is Big Duo from the anime Big O. And to the right of the Big Duo is the Soul of Chogokin Big O. Note: I am looking for a Model 47A (By Badger of course), if you have one and are thinking of parting with it please contact me!!!

You may have noticed that there is something is infront of the Bigs, and that is a Makoto Rebirth hilt saber (light saber :P). I have 2 more sabers, both made by LDM (He's pro at sabers :P), they're currently wrapped up on that shelf since I don't have stands (since there's a massive lack of space) but here's a shot of the 3 together. They all have sounds and if you stick a blade in there and tighten up the retention screw it'll light up nice and bright. One is a completely original one called "Copper and Carbon" (because it's made out of copper and some carbon fiber), and the other is Kyle Katarn's saber.

Moving to the top right is my mostly Outlaw Star stuff (my favorite anime!). There's also a die-cast Arcadia (Harlock) from Aoshima, it lights up the bridge, back portion and engines. Also a custom caster replica with the 20 shells (4,9, and 13 are the gold ones). In the back behind that are some Outlaw Star cels I had framed up.

Here's some closer shots of the cels (they're a bit fuzzy, sorry).

So going back to the left side below the Big's are some spiffy consoles. In the back are some PS2s, a white one, a super red one, ocean blue (translucent), and my original launch regular black one. Infront of the white one is a crystal xbox, and to the right are 3rd party translucent shelled PS1 and Slim PS2.

To the right of that there's 12" Canti and infront the fine molds Porco Russo plane and Lupin the 3rd Cagliostro chase scene Lupin & Jigen. And to the right of that is the Ni No Kuni and Tales of Xilia PS3s.

Going to the bottom left is the start of my dreamcasts. I *love* the dreamcast, as many know a lot of innovation there and the best console evar! Everything in this pic are 3rd party replacement cases.

And more dremcasts on the right! All of the the replacement official replacement top halfs and my 4 skies of arcadia dreamcast controllers. Then my Jet Set Radio and Virtual On dc with another 3rd party translucent and a nice candy red dreamcast.

Here's some better pictures of the 2 custom dreamcasts.

Below and on the left we have the Star Wars Xbox 360 and the "Diplomatic Mission" Vader diorama (cause vader loves being diplomatic ;p). My favorite Vader statue! Also the One Piece Pirate King PS3 and a spiffy Luffy figure my friend got me when he visited Japan.

Skipping some stuff lets move on to Firefly, which is my favorite tv show (which is easy because it's the best one :P). On the wall is a framed firefly 10th anniversary print and the QMX Serenity "Big Damn Replica".

Here's another pic of the serenity, it also has a bunch of lights controlled by a remote.

And all of the Big Damn Replicas had a firefly plate signed by the Fillion.

If you noticed some weird little handbill thing in the back it's actually a chinese food menu! A co-worker of mine saw a restaurant that stole the Serenity logo and nabbed a menu for me, it's pretty funny ;p

Then to the right you have my F4F Link on Epona statue, it's pretty awesome. The EX for this was pretty lame imo so I went with the regular that you see there!

On the wall behind that there's also some other spiffy stuff. Including a framed Disk-kun (FDS mascot) handbill, a Tales of the Abyss laser cel, and some framed 35mm film cells from the Fifth Element (with LED lights behind it as they are pitch black against the wall otherwise). Also a framed Fallout 3 poser which I got from blockbuster ages ago.

Then we have the TV area

On the left we have a Wii, a S-Video modded Gensis with a Model 1 Sega CD, a 60gib PS3 (need that backwards compatibility!) and an AV-Modded Toploader NES.

Underneath the TV is a switch box (with a remote thank god ;p) so I can hook all that stuff up! I'll have to go to auto switchers someday but... not today. Sitting ontop of that is a Model 2 (cause Model 1 blew) Sega Saturn and to the right is the surge protector (old school ftw) and Dreamcast.

On the right side of the TV we have a very yellow SNES, an OX, and a N64.

And above the TV is my Skies of Arcadia flag which I had printed crimson on black. The TV itself is a 50" Sony SXRD.

In the front of the TV is the "coffee table". In the center is the Kotobukiya bounty hunters set.

On the back left are my Sharkies!

For some reading material I have the Udon Valkyria Chronicles Design Archives.

On the right is an Outlaw Star art book and an extra copy of the Skies of Arcadia art book.

I guess next is my computer. It's a mineral oil computer. Not gonna say much about it, if you're interested in it I wrote a blog a while ago. Here it is:

Moving onto the wall of games, if you saw my last collection blog (a year or two ago?). It's the same wall, just more games :P The shelves are actually full for most systems and I've had to keep some stuff tucked away in a drawer. Here's an overview shot of it all.

On the left is mostly PC games, I got some slim boxed ones taking up tons of room and a few shelves of some good old jewel case games. The right side for PS1, PS2, and PS3 games (and one of my 3 xbox 360 games, Record of Agarest War: Ultra Naughty edition).

Keeping the top of the shelf spiffy looking is some big box games and figures. Sorry it's a crappy pic too lazy to retake it :P Starting from the left is Bonta-kun (not pictured), Zeta, Golden H, and Crystal RX-78 Gundam Master Grade kits. Behind them is big boxed versions of some of the best oldschool PC games: Duke Nukem 3D, Total Annihilation: Core Contingency, Original Fallout, Shogo, Homeworld, Space Hulk, and the Book of ID.

Sort of the in the middle is a MG Crystal Zaku II (not really pictured well sorry :P), some Patlabor Revoltechs, Last Exile blind box bust set, Vivi, Vaul-Tec Boy bobblehead, and Bullet Bill. Behind them is Freespace 2, Star Wars Dark Forces 2: Jedi Knight.

To the right we got a Fett bust from Gentle Giant, Jehuty Revoltech, Gurren Lagann Revoltech, and Macross Revoltech :P And of course the continuing line of awesomeness with Hostile Waters: Antaeus Rising, Tribes 2, Ground Control, and long box PS1 games of Wipeout, Rayman, and original Twisted Metal.

Capping it off my single remaining fully painted Warhammer 40k piece a Blood Angel Venerable Dread (his name is verny), Cypher and Temjun figures and a couple Votoms figures. The last long box ps1 being Gex and X-COM Terror From the Deep, Wing Commander IV, and Elder Scrolls II Daggerfall.

And on the shelf below are SMS, Gensis, Dreamcast, Sega CD, Saturn, GC, Wii, XBOX, NES, SNES, and N64 games.

Well last but absolutely not least is Skies of Arcadia! I'm not sure if I mentioned (really not sure since I started this blog 2 weeks ago :P) but Skies of Arcadia is my absolute favorite game of all time and I love the shit out of it. I've played it more times than any other game (I think I'm at 14 runs now? and it's not a short game either). I heartily recommend checking it out if you like oldschool JRPGs. I'm terrible at explaining things but let me just tell you, playing SoA is a damn adventure. Well onto the stuff!

Here's the area dedicated to SoA on my shelves that you saw before.

On the left we have the SoA limited edition from Japan and some SoA coins. I wonder what skull that is :o

In the middle we have some extra spiffy SoA custom dreamcasts. The one on the left has leds underneath the acrylic and it lights up.

The flash completely drowns it out even though it's quite bright, here's a no flash pic.

And sitting behind the 2 dreamcasts are some more SoA controllers! One for each of the 3 main characters, Aika, Fina, and Vyse.

And on the right side we have my custom Vyse statue and the other side of the SoA coins.

Now before the final piece, there's a bit of a score to settle. A little while ago Funktastic showed in one of his haul blogs a pretty cool bit of SoA merch in the form of an official SEGA wooden SoA cutlass that he acquired, and he CHALLENGED me to best it!

Of course all I could do was accept this affront and challenge, especially as I already had something amazing in the making! Now I personally think my DCs, controllers, and statue are better. But that's a personal opinion and I'm rather attached to them and biased, so I can understand if the argument is made that the sword is better. HOWEVER I firmly stand behind the "crown jewel" of my collection besting it!

Without further ado (since there's been plenty already) standing at a massive 5 feet tall and 3 feet long: The "Albatross 3"

If by some chance your are still skeptical, devote your attention to that leather cord in the back. It's used to lift open the back. Why you might ask? Because it's not just a ship, it's a goddamn Dreamcast.

*PHEW* That was a lot to go over. CONTEST IS OVER

As an end cap, I also did a video of the room although the quality isn't really amazing. Still you get some commentary and I showed some stuff that's not in the pics.


11:49 PM on 11.12.2012

The Max Scoville Mountain Dew Challenge and Nitronic Rush/Distance!! + Contest!

Hello everyone!

I'm sorry if you actually read my last blog (all 15 of you) and especially sorry for the 3 people that commented, but this is not the contest that I promised. It's still coming, about a month or so away so have no fear, this is just a bonus contest, or something.

So after watching the video in this blog Mr Gobbldigook's blog I was interested in the Max Scovillle challenge so I googled it and I decided, for my sins of being lazy bastard about making a blog about Nitronic Rush and the Distance kickstarter I would do this. So video below! Watch to the end for the contest and some footage of Nitronic Rush!!

So before the video, let's talk about Distance and Nitronic Rush briefly. Nitronic Rush was a free arcade racing game published by Team Nitronic a year ago (happy bday!!). You can get the game here: Nitronic Rush. I highly recommend it, it is not only free but awesome and I like it better than most games that cost actual money :|

Now that the students of digipen who created that have graduated a few of them want to make a spiritual sequel called Distance, and it looks AMAZING. Please look it up and if you can put up some money at the Kickstarter page here!: Distance Kickstarter.

So here it goes, the video:

Rules of the contest: Watch the video to get the basic jist and the prize.

This contest is open to any dtoid member HOWEVER if you pledge (or have pledged already) to the Distance kickstarter you get automatic winning priority (amount above $15 doesn't matter, unless it's like $1000 :P).

If you have done this you must pm me your user on kickstarter (and PM me on kickstarter to know it's you).

If only a single person backs distance and wants to enter the contest then they automatically win. If 3 people back it and enter the contest I will randomly draw out of the three. If no one backs it, you should be ASHAMED of yourselves but then I will randomly draw someone and they get it.

If you want to enter, just put a comment below saying that you are entering. If you backed follow that up with a PM to me with your kickstarter name.

I will only ship to US, sorry international folks :(

Good luck and please back distance!!!!

edit: Apologies for the self-fap. I just noticed that and it did it on my last blog too. I swear I'm not hitting the fap button not sure why that is happening :| Must be doing something wrong....   read

1:47 AM on 10.28.2012

Hawken Video and Contest Poll/Help (to be held in the near future)

Hello DTOID! Finally youtube embedding is back!!! Woo! And it the Hawken beta started and the NDA is lifted, which is a shame as alpha was great.

Also as mentioned in the title I am planning to hold a contest for some pretty spiffy stuff (in my opinion at least), and well if it's not as spiffy to be free to no whinging! But I need some help! I have a few prizes and would like to know what everyone prefers, all of them wrapped up into a big grand-prize-package or "break it up" and have multiple chances to win. Note: Even if broken up the prizes will still be pretty decent.

So comment on what you think and as long as I don't get horrible maimed or something equally tragic I hope to hold the contest(s) within the next couple weeks!   read

9:26 AM on 08.10.2012

Ni no Kuni "ninostarter" Goal #1 Reached! (Shortblog)

In case anyone is interested (and possibly holding back?) the first goal in Namco's terribly named "ninostarter" campaign to add more bonuses to the "Wizard's" Edition of the game.

Goal 1 was a set of 5 Ni no Kuni prints, which I think is pretty awesome, and it was reached so those prints will be included in all of them \o/

They decided to wise up and actually say what each goal will add a while back as opposed to making it a guessing game until you reached it so they mentioned that Goal 2 is going to be a gold (obviously not real gold) Ni no Kuni coin. Sounds cool, but I'd prefer the prints so I'm happy we're getting those :)

Page to preorder if you want:

Hefty at $99 but that book is pretty damn awesome.


10:04 PM on 06.18.2012


Silver-Blood Expeditions Markarth Trek

Markarth City

Adventures to Markarth … Beautiful landscapes, amazing geography and rich historical past …

Also, the city of Markarth is the most important tourist destination in The Reach and one of the most famous in Skyrim. Markarth was the capital of the one of the greatest First Era empires: the Dwemer
It`s Dwemer name was Nchuand-Zel.
Dwemer is a colonial city with a racial adversity, splendid temples and smallish houses built on finely carved rock foundations. Dwemer also houses one of the most notable prisons in this part of the continent, the Cidhna Mine.

Beautiful landscapes, amazing geography and rich historical past, makes Markarth a City that every traveler yearns to visit.
ATM tours.

The snow peaks of the Reach, with 6,372 meters of height is considered a sacred mountain since Dwemer times. The paths surrounding it are of Dwemer manufacturing, and form part of its marvelous view, allowing as well observing its impressive snow peaks and glaciers. The trek starts at a the entrance to the city, and as long as we ascend we will see the snow peaks showing up along the valley. The trek ends across the mountains at a freezing valley of the Karth River, so you can get an idea of how isolated Markarth is.

ITINERARY Markarth Trek

Early in the morning we pick you up from your room and transfer you in a carriage to Markarth passing picturesque and traditional towns like Dragon Bridge and Carthwasten, as well highlands plateaus and landscapes with great views of snowcapped mountains that belong to the cordillera The Reach. The carriage tip will last 8.00 hours and then the hike is for 16 hours.

Early in the morning you leave Markarth and keep going up the beautiful valley walking just below the majestic snowcapped Drugdach Mountains (6271 masl) after 1:1/2 hours the trek becomes steep zigzagging for a while after that we will arrive at a pass, 4600 masl from where you will be rewarded with superb views . The trail descends through an old moraine passing frozen pastures. This campsite is subject to change according to the guide's criteria and the evolution of the group.

Wake up with frigid mountain scenery and a luke-warm tea. Continue to the north down to the frozen forst through different ecosystems watching birdlife like cliff racers, cliff racers, cliffracers, and more motherfucking cliffracers, It will be a long descending day towards the cloud forest where the Forsworn live taking advantages of nature, also you will pass great waterfalls. At the end of the day we will see frozen fields. The hike will last approximately 9 hours.

Back at Markarth you will get a grand tour of the city, including Cidhna Mine as well as a brief glimpse of the Understone Keep entrance as we pass by. Cidhna Mine is a rich silver mine and prison camp owned by the Silver-Blood family and is considered the most secure prison of Skyrim. Now you've had the full tour of Markarth and it's surroundings! You've seen how far away it is from any other form of civilization and how difficult getting in and out is!

On our last day together we wake up very early to begin your orientation at the mine. We enjoy the magic view over the entire mine where we can observe the workers, about 6:30 am. We will have a guided tour during 2 hours, showing you how to you the entire mine. For example how to use your new tools and the richest silver veins. About 2:30 pm, we have some meals and then we leave your to your new life of toil and hardship! We won't see you again until your dead and we process your body for organs and bone meal to sell to potion shops the world over!
"Have a nice trip, it'll be your last!"

*We guarantee our website is virus fee as we want your money and infecting your computer will impede the process of acquiring it.
*No price information as we steal all your money anyway once you input your credit card information.   read

12:34 AM on 02.05.2012

New Gaming Rig

Ah a new gaming rig, a joyous occassion for every PC Gamer. That first boot always so magical and then going through the torture of setting up a new PC again! It's been 3 years since I built my last gaming rig and it's still going strong, BUT I decided to take the leap into a new 64-bit system. Not that I'm going to get rid of my big beautiful bastard, need to keep an XP machine for playing all those sexy old school games :)

Old PC:

In that spiffy Antec 1200 case lies a GTX 260, Intel Core 2 DUO E8400 Wolfdale, and 4 gigs DDR2.
It's served me well and while it's not time to move on it's time to get a new partner.

New rig specs:
Puget DIY V4 Kit:
Eclipse System 12 Case
Puget Acrylic Motherboard Tray
Watercool MO-RA3 Pro radiator
Swiftech MCP35X pump

As well as:
1tb Seagate HDD (No, I don't want an SSD, MAYBE go for a hybrid later but I like the old mechanicals ;p)
Core i7-2600k
MSI Lightning N580 (solid caps are the name of the game, surprisingly hard to find a video card with solid caps, cheap bastards)
Corsair HX850 PSU
16gb G.SKILL Ripjaws 1333 7-CAS DDR3
12G 70f Tech Grade Mineral Oil
9x Antec Tricool Fans
BitFenix Alchemy LED Strip

The idea was to put together everything but dry run it for 2 weeks. As what seems to happen everytime I mess with a HS I maimed myself horribly.

One of those cuts looks like the star trek symbol :o

When I first started hooking everything up to start that magical first boot I forgot one very crucial thing: My keyboard was PS2 :o Man had I completely forgot about that :P So after a rush for a USB keyboard from a friend finally booted it up and started with some testing. Ran Uniengine, 3DMARK, and memtest to make sure things were in working order.

Man those LEDs are bright!

So with 2 weeks and no problems it was time to take the plunge, I should have seen it coming but that cruel bitch trouble and her equally bitchy sister massive-problems reared their heads :| First the pump was not working properly, making all sorts of weird noises. Possibly because I had run it by accident when it was dry (but I don't think I did :/) or maybe some air bubble issues. Either way it had to be replaced which mean't the damn thing had to come out. Once replaced when it came time to reconnect the quick disconnects I noticed that the quick disconnects were leaking. When reconnecting them it looks like I was a bit rough and the rubber seals tore off :*(

But finally after some new disconnects arrived (and carefully connected together as to avoid the previous mishaps) finally it was time to get off the ground!

So I present to you!

I don't have a name for it :< uh....

Terror from the Deep (thank you XCOM box on my shelf :P)

With Bubbles On:

With Bubbles Off:

It has been thoroughly broken in with a few of my favorites (Shogo, Freespace 2) courtesy of GOG's good services!

There she is, now it's time to spread the happiness! A contest!

The prize! A Japanese copy of Ni-No-Kuni (Wrath of the White Witch), remeber moonspeak!
Runner up prize! Flonne DLC for Disgaea 3 (pre-order DLC, NA/NTSC so I'd imagine you need US PSN or something)
*First winner can choose DLC instead of NiNoKuni if desired.

For the copy of Ni-No-Kuni I only ship to the US, sorry :< Hate international shipping.

So what do you have to win one of these?!
Simple! (Since in the past I made them specific so noone entered :( Generic contest it is!)
Say what game you want to see a sequel (or prequel/spinoff whatever) of and I'll enter to pick you at random!

All entries must be submitted by Tuesday when I get home from work (anywhere from 6:30-7:30pm EST)

*One game *might* (will) give you TWO entries and some games *might* get you 0 entries (don't pick terrible games :P)

I'm kidding it's all fair.
I'm not kidding pick wisely :|   read

5:03 PM on 11.29.2011

Tales of Skyrim: Better Days

My journey began, like all other journeys, as a penniless unknown prisoner. I know a lot of people say something like “from start to finish it was amazing!” but I can’t because there was no finish. From start-forever it’s amazing. I was enthralled before even getting involved with the main quest, so much so I never went beyond the first couple of parts and from there on did purely side quests and exploration. And how exploration was amazing: jumping around everywhere, slaying, looting, pillaging, and all the other things that make the life of an Argonian grand.

So there I was, exploring as usual. I took a Silt Strider close to an area I hadn’t explored yet and entered a rundown decrepit castle. Once I entered my eyes were greedily drawn to the enemy in front of me drawing his ebony bow and aiming for the area between my eyes. I had yet to see anything beyond silver much less ebony! In my haste to acquire his goodies I was I was viciously overpowered, and that was just a single enemy!

I hit the quickload key and then played as cautiously and conservatively as I could as the enemies inside were a far higher level than I. Slowly after a long time and many quick saves/quick loads I had triumphed over every enemy and gathered all the choice loot (and there was A LOT of it) together in a pile. Picked it all up and used a scroll of divine intervention to teleport a little closer to my home (the viciously conquered Dren plantation). As soon as I appeared I stuffed down at least 20 bottles of mazte and greef and legged it as fast as I could towards home, only being hampered (the entire way) by those damn flying lizards and their infernal noises.

One day I’m going to make it my mission to find where those bastards are breeding and kill all of them so the world shall never again see the likes of the Cliff Racer.

Wait wait.. Sorry this is Morrowind, my bad.


11:04 PM on 09.21.2011

DRM: Is It Really About Piracy?

DRM, the newfound devil of PC gaming. It’s been argued against to death, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Bitching and whining is what got music mostly DRM free so I would never discourage anyone saying a bad word about DRM. But what I find odd is the argument itself.

“DRM is to stop piracy!” is what publishers usually tout, and general gamers and even a few developers respond “No it doesn’t!”. I am of course part of the “doesn’t stop piracy” group as pretty much every PC gamer is. The staple of DRM is authentication; it’s practically synonymous with DRM in games nowadays.

You buy a game and when you go to install and it authenticates the code (even if you buy digital there’s something to authenticate against, usually still a code). A lot of times there’s a limited number of times it will allow you to authenticate (3 being a popular number) and sometimes it authenticates at every launch or continuously while the game is running.

Now any gamer that speaks about DRM likely knows this (so anyone reading this blog is likely to know it already). And again the big puzzle to gamers “Why does this stop piracy?”. It’s not really a great anti-piracy measure nowadays. Back in the day when burning games and passing/selling/returning them was the popular form of piracy it would have worked well, but with the advent of broadband internet and the rise of torrenting/ftp/and plain direct dl of games and just using a crack or a db to fool it into thinking it’s getting authenticated or stripping the authentication requirement altogether it becomes useless.

Sure it includes protection against cracks but as a whole money and effort is being put into what is peddled as a security system but is ultimately useless in that regard, worse than useless actually as in some cases it makes piracy even easier.

So I wonder why is something that is so obviously unhelpful in stop piracy continually being integrated when it is obvious that it does not deter anyone. Many others have wondered the same thing, and I fail to come up with a serious answer as to why they would continue to use DRM to battle piracy.

But what if it isn’t about piracy? Piracy is as great a reason to pin it on, it actually generates some sympathy or at least understanding. And sure when publishers chime in against the rage they always say “It’s because of piracy!”, but why take their word for it? It’s not as if the same people haven’t lied before, and about the same topic. They’re not there to fulfill their dreams of making good games like some developers; they’re there to make money, and preferably from the ignorant masses.

And what many oft forget (at least what it seems so to me) is that authentication is just a result of what DRM is/does and not the main problem. DRM is basically a way to limit your rights: and in terms of videogames not only usage but ownership as well.

You bought From Dust? Well you don’t own it; you bought Spore or whatever other DRM filled game in a store? Well then you own the box, the paper, and the disc the data was pressed on but you do not own a license to the game, you are renting it. It limits your rights as a consumer, and it lowers the publisher’s responsibility. A couple years down the line when they take down their servers, or when you’ve used up your number of installs what are you going to do? Well buy their new games :/. And a some people like saying “well I don’t need to play it later I’ll just play what’s new”. Well lemme tell ya, people like doing things of their generation so if you still plan on playing games when you’re older you will likely want to play your old games. But you won’t be able to, at least not with rebuying them through a service like or going hunting for some cracks.

Sure it may all be a crazy conspiracy theory that my paranoid mind came up with, but it’s what makes sense to me. If they really wanted to help stop piracy they’d invest in real PROTECTION instead of some sort of right-limiting license management.

For example StarForce, and I want to be clear about this from the beginning. I’m not advocating StarForce because it was a huge dick of a copyright protection and was a mess of CP specific software/drivers, system degradation, memory use and the other terrible things. But as a form of protection against piracy it was a raging success in it’s hayday. Splinter Cell was uncracked for over a year, yes a year. And other games that did get cracked within a semi-reasonable time frame (although still far longer than today’s DRM protected games) still were a dick to play when they used StarForce. Like X3, where you had to physically disconnect your CD drives (not just disable) to get it to run.

Sure Securom and whatever else they include still has protection to help stop being cracked so easy, but it’s obvious that it doesn’t work very well, and even if it did, having a limited number of installations or having to go online to authenticate isn’t of any help at all.

What is really worrying to me is (mostly console) gamers that just attribute DRM to stopping piracy when most PC gamers that are familiar with it realize that it really does not. And it’s all kinds of people like a reasonably good poster like Elsa:

“I do think that DRM is simply a necessity... like having doors on your store. However, I also think that they need to come up with a non-intrusive DRM system. PC gamers also have to get their heads out of their asses and realize that it's not a big deal if they need to have an online connection to do an authorization handshake with the game... but the handshake should last 48 hours or something... so people can still play their game on a plane. Again, new DRM is needed.. and gamers have to get over the whole DRM issue and realize that they are protecting their own future by using it.”

Or crazy people like DrButler:

“The problem is that PC gamers are piracy prone self-entitled hand-biters. Game publishers are businesses who need to make a profit (obviously) and are either loading the games up with drm, or cutting their losses and dropping support altogether. PC gaming is becoming a less viable revenue stream, and is thus on it's way out.”
So that last bit is tacked on because I typed up most of this around a week ago and I stole those comments from flints blog

*last bit tacked on from this blog Here


Some notes:

* I apologize if parts of it seem scatterbrained, I on/off typed it up over a week or so and it's been a few weeks since then :P I have been getting increasingly lazy.... :<

* I tried to add as many pictures to make it easier on the eyes :P

* I originally started typing this up when I was in a anti-corporate or something mood and was going to say "but now I disagree with it kinda" but when I read over it again I still agree with it :/

* The inevitable "You're just justifying your piracy!!!". Here's the solid truth: I do pirate on rare occassion, say maybe 3-4 games in as many years and it's pretty much just DRM games that I REALLY wanted to play and felt playing on a console was a huge loss for that particular genre. I own somewhere around 400 PC games and continually buy more, currently enjoying Dead Island (yes I know Steam is DRM and I could go on for a while about it but v0v).

* Some people keep saying "If only they could have drm that is not intrusive!" Well they do, and my favorite example is Company of Heroes. It is so subtle infact that most people who own the game don't even realize it's there. You can either play off-line with just the disc or you can make an account online and while you are at the menu screens/lobby it requires you to be online (it will prompt you to put in the disc if it loses connection to the server to often). Once ingame even if you drop/servers go down nothing happens, you play as normal. The account you make does not expire and there is no limit to the number of installations. How does limiting installations make a difference anyway?

* I see a fair few other people saying (though I haven't yet on DTOID) "Oh just live with it now eventually the next court will declare it in violation of fair-use and unconstitutional and stuff!" I have no idea where this hope comes from as corporations getting their way over any sort of consumer rights have only gotten worse and worse (good old days when TOS didn't hold water anywhere I miss you :/) and it's more likely to get worse not better....

I don't really have anything else to say I guess, sorry again for mistakes I'll go over it tomorrow maybe :< :P I'll reply to comments and all that I suppose and thanks for reading!   read

4:10 AM on 09.05.2011

Populous: the Beginning > From Dust

Man it's been like a month since I wanted to write a blog about Populous (well actually it was supposed to be a video so less with the writing) but after I recorded some of the game I got seriously lazy when it came time to mash it together into a video with some dry voice over work. I'd like to say it's because I hate Sony Vegas 8.0 with a passion and it's the only video editing software I have (besides Windows Movie maker) and while there's some truth to that it's not the real reason, it's cause I'm fuck lazy :|

Unfortunately due to Vegas' ability to make any situation into a travesty of epic proportions when I was almost done I managed to lose all my effort and my save and in a fit of rage I deleted all the fraps and voice overs I did :| (I know what you're thinking but I don't have aggression problems, probably, vegas just does that to me.)

So if you're still reading after my whining then it's time for the meat and potatoes \o/ Populous: the Beginning. I'd love to assume that everyone knows what the populous series is but that's just not how it works nowadays :( Populous the Beginning is the 3rd game in the populous serious and my favorite.

It started with your basics for an RTS. You built houses which increased your pop cap and it also created new tribesman for you. They gathered wood which you used to build new houses and other buildings as well as upgraded houses to increase capacity (pop cap). Nothing special but it did this solidly.

Then it started to get great.

I'm sure you noticed from the picture above but the game is in 3d (minus the people) and as a fair few RTS tried to do at that time they went for a real 3d camera instead of just top down view with a little bit of an angle. Fortunately they managed to pull it off. Another cool thing they did camera wise was the ability to zoom out and see the map in a planet view and then move around and zoom in along with the normal moving around.

So far solid, good camera and solid framework. It had good controls and a decent UI too but you'd have to experience that for yourself. Moving along with the foundation of the game you had 5 other unit types besides your basic tribesman. You trained your tribesmen into one of 4 other unit types in buildings designated for their training. If not a brave they became either warriors, priests, firewarriors, or ninjas (ok they're spies).

They all did different things and did them well:

The Warriors were tribesman turned into manly men. This was evidenced by the headband they now wore along with the sword and shield they carried. They're job was to run around yelling (just incase they didn't catch anyone by surprise as no one would want that) and the beating people silly.

Priests had the boring job, they stood there and read books all day to any soul that would listen, and god help those poor souls they eventually got so bored they switched sides just so they no longer had to listen to all of their malarkey.

The Firewarriors were just those special braves that liked fire too much when they discovered it and we're determined to show everybody how awesome it was: by lighting them on fire. And just so everyone knew when flaming fireballs were going to be flying around they wear a skull of a dead animal and flaming pom poms. Go team fire.

Ninjas (spies) are like firewarriors except they demonstrate their love of fire with more restraint. Instead of donning funny hats and risking severe burns with hands engulfed in flames they put on jackets and run around disguising themselves as enemy tribesman. Along with being handy at exposing enemy spies they are great at espionage. Just like the big bad wolf, but instead of huffing and puffing they do the sensible thing and go straight to burning houses down.

The 6th and final unit type is the Shaman. No brave can train to become a Shaman, instead this badass chick makes a flashy entrance at the beginning of every level. And the Shaman is where the game gets really interesting. The Shaman casts spells of which there are many and there are varied. Everything from fireballs and lightning to landbridges, locusts and summoning dragons and volcanos and drowning your opponents base.

The spells and their use is where Populous really shines, no level can completed without them and they are fun as hell to use. To see them in all their glory watch this video.

This is where the similarity with From Dust comes from. While they are not the same as Populous plays primarily as an RTS they not only share a similar look and feel but they also have a lot of World Shaping to help your tribe become victorious. From Dust falls short as being the "Spiritual Successor" to Populous.

I wish I had managed to make a video of Populous as it is best described in video form, the pure awesomeness of Populous the Beginning is too difficult for one such as me to convey properly :(. The game has so much appeal. The graphics are great (even now they have their charm) and the sound effects are even better. With comical sounding punches and kicks and units shouting in victory to their responses to your commands which may or may not be a real language or just gibberish. It has everything, great animations (from running to your units jumping up in the air shouting and celebrating with conga lines).

And the multiplayer is just over the top craziness, and can still be played thanks to fans. I know it myself that I have done a poor job of explaining Populous the Beginning and I don't know how I can do better. But if you have not been swayed into trying it yet then hopefully my favorite spell will. The ARMAGEDDON spell: for when a level is dragging on just cast a spell and finish it with a DEATH MATCH.

also a quick edit: I finished Enslaved a few hours ago (yah yah I know it's way late, my backlog is huge :| *don't* sue me). It was awesome, I wish Pigsy's Perfect 10 had a retail release (although it would be a waste for them). I might just get it anyway, which should tell you how enamored I am as I almost never get digital stuff.   read

9:41 AM on 08.04.2011

SW: The Old Republic Darth Malgus Statue (Short Blog)


I don't blog often and I wasn't even sure if I should put up this blog, especially as it's going to be a short one :P Found some shots of what is probably going to be the Darth Malgus statue from GG in the ToR: Collector's Edition.

Personally I was a bit disappointed, at first I was on the fence because I heard it was being made by Gentle Giant, who usually do really good stuff, and for $100 over the regular edition I expected it to be a really good. The face has nice detail but the rest is underwhelming :/ Looks kind of like a static action figure. I'm not really surprised though this is how it goes with mass things like these, and I just went for the regular edition instead.

Hopefully these pics will help you decide one way or another (some people may really like it :P) if you were on the fence about which edition of ToR you wanted.

note: I posted this on dtoid instead of tomopop because I figured even though it's a figure most of the people who ordered/were going to order/were interested are here so v0v.   read

7:13 PM on 10.02.2010

"Haul" stuff from the past 10 months, Skies of Arcadia FTW Edition (pic HEAVY)

edit: top of the page edit \o/ you may have seen this on kotaku, just a note: my name is not ryan, the guy who did the work for me submitted it and they got the story a bit wrong (kotaku being kotaku :p)

*cough* shamelessly copying funktastic here's a "haul" blog, though I suppose I've done it afore as well. Lot of spiffy stuff.... I dunno what to say really ontop of that so I'm just gonna start with the pictures :P Oh and I'd like to apologize in advance for my shitty photography skills and worse camera :( Due to the blurryness using flash is my only option :/

Startin off with some PC Games! This an order from knight discounts, (cept for diablo). Sealed when I got em but not anymore.
Evil Genius - Evil Genius crime simulator? Wouldn't really call it an RTS, it's a lot of fun though ;p
Gunman Chronicles - oldschool fps, not amazing but still I like it quite a bit.
Invasion Earth - Haven't played it yet
Overlord II - everyone knows this ;p probably should finish the first one first :<
Gunmetal - Mechs \o/ haven't booted it up yet.

More PC games \o/
Book of Id - Lots of awesome stuff, got it mostly for the doom collection and more importantly COMMANDER KEEN COLLECTION
The Witcher - an early birthday present
Silent Storm Gold Edition - Not usually a huge fan of turn based game, but it's pretty damn fun. tactical rts? dunno what it's classified as :< WW2, mechs, plasma rifles, and fun :P

Rune Factory Frontier (wii) - Harvest moon with dungeon exploring!
Radiata Stories - JRPG for the ps2

More Wii games \o/
Deadspace Extraction - Everyone knows what this is, deadspace + rail shooter
Hotd Overkill - Another rail shooter, a little too easy ;p
Hotd 2&3 Return - Bastards didn't include the original....
Okami - 3 of them \o/ (so a total of 4) One with each of the different inserts, 2 artwork ones, 1 regular, 1 ign edition

More stuff \o/
Super Mario Bros. Wii - No description needed!
Dirge of Cereberus - Meh... it's ok
Skies of Arcadia Legends - If you've seen my past blogs or you know me, you know that I LOVE skies of arcadia. SoA FTW. Second copies ftw?
Medievil - Awesome PS1 action adventure game. Now for the second one!
Record of Agarest War - You've seen this here and everywhere ;p the ultra naught edition!


Now for some even more awesome stuff!

Bonta-kun \o/ from Full Metal Panic - Fumoffu? Awesome anime, and bonta is even more awesome! Was originally trying to sell the first bonta but decided against it (also lack of interest :P)

Alien Warrior Statue - From Alien Resurrection: Oddly enough my favorite (blasphemy I no) and while they were never red they do look badass in that color.

Alien Face Hugger - Yah I noticed the finger :< Too lazy to retake the pics now sorry :P Rest assured that it's fixed

Not Suggestive face at all

Porco Russo 1/72 Fine Molds plane - From favorite studio ghibli movie Porco Rosso, I recommend it to everyone.

Chrono Trigger - Blueprints of the Time Wing (Epoch) and time key keychain are from fangamer, the figs are the new formation arts figures. Not sure if I'll get the fifth jappo only one.

Now for some consoles \o/
Limited Edition Crystal Xbox - from canada, cause that's the only place it got an NTSC release.

Now: The dreamcast, again if you know me you know I LOVE the dreamcast, almost as much as I love Skies of Arcadia (not quite as much :P). And that I have a bunch of em, but you can never have enough! :P

Spare Dreamcast - Free from a friend.

Green Shell Dreamcast - Modded to play jappo games as well.

Grey Shell Dreamcast - With my favorite game \o/ How could I resist? I couldn't :|

Smoke Shell Dreamcast - Couldn't resist the sexy keyboard and mouse ;p

Red Shell Dreamcast - Wow, what to say about this, I've been lookin for one of these for a while, they seem to be hard to find. After 2 years I had given up but was just bored and found this, what luck! Cept for the nasty scratch up top that has to be buffed out ><

LED Kit - For my fifth element cel frame, 35mm cells are pitch black unless theirs a light behind them (the tiny bit you see blow in the pic is from the flash)

But you get a led kit and stick it behind it.... bam sexyness! If you haven't seen Fifth Element before you are depriving yourself and I heartily recommend it. Sorry for the crappy pic best one I could get :/ They're actually very clear the fuzzyness is a result of my and my camera's failure :*(

Hardly a Skies of Arcadia FTW Edition is it :/ just 2 extra copies of the game, unless....

The LED Kit behind the fifth element cells left some wires sitting under it, a travesty :|

SoA always up to the job.

Skies of Arcadia Artbook - Pretty much the only part of the Jappo LE that I want. Cept for maybe the hankerchef :<


And the last part, my 14th dreamcast (not including the spare). The piece de resistance, lots of money and many months of waiting.


The lid is cut out and held up by form fitting plastic (thumbs up for thumbs up and for size comparison, It's smaller then you think :o and looks 10x more awesome then it does in the pics). The sticker is pal and the power led changed to blue (it is an ntsc u dc though)

You may notice that it's not the blue sticker, the guy who did most of the work on this took these pics (and I'm using them cause they're better then mine :P) so the blue sticker wasn't on it yet (put it on myself when it got here)

Since there has been some confusion in the past over the custom stuff I've gotten I want to stress that I DID NOT MAKE THIS. I provided the idea, the cash, and some crude ms paint drawings outlining what I wanted that was it!

Rai (also platinumfungi) is the one who made this, here's his site. Linkage

Here's a youtube video he put together (the song is Aboard the Little Jack if I'm not wrong).Video Linkage

Skies of Arcadia is an amazing jrpg originally for the dreamcast and then later received an enhanced port on the gamecube. It is my favorite game and I love the hell out of it, if your interested in reading or watching a little about it I have some videos going over it (warning, my voice is dry sorry if the vid is boring/crap :*/). It's missing a lot and it's not amazing but that's because Skies of Arcadia is that epic!

Vid Part 1
Vid Part 2

*PHEW* That was a lot :P Gonna post it now and proof it later :< I R LAZY   read

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