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12:34 AM on 02.05.2012

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 :|
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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.

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 GOG.com 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!
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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.
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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.
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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