I'm a 30 year old nerd who started playing video games in 1987 when my dad got us the Nintendo Entertainment system Power Pad bundle. I quickly got hooked after playing RC Pro AM, Zelda, Mario, Baseball Stars and Duck Hunt.
But what really sealed my Nerdom for life was when I played a game called Final Fantasy, it was all over after that. Ever since i've been a geek, a terrible one. I apparently refuse to grow up even though i'm pushing 30... I still game and more now than ever... Favorite series include Halo, Suikoden, Demon's Souls, Mass Effect, Deadly Premonition, Final Fantasy (fuck 11, 12, & 13), Assassins Creed, Mirrors Edge, Half Life, Gears Of War, Uncharted, Dragon Age, Resident Evil, Dead Space, Dead Rising, Grand Theft Auto, Battlefield, Fall Out, Tales Series (Vesperia etc.), Elder Scrolls, and The Old School Shadowrun, Shining Force's & Phantasy Stars.
On the flip side i've always been sort of a nerd / meat head hybrid. Being 1 of 3 computer science majors on the football team. It's a nice balance, this path also led me into Natural Bodybuilding which keeps me occupied when i'm not gaming.
Yes I still play SWTOR... It's actually come a long way in the past 6 months and the Cartel Market has brought a lot of variety to the game (Note you can buy almost everything the Cartel market offers on the GTN if you play your cards right in the market it's easier to obtain in game!)
With update 2.0 comes a lot of class changes... While I have not had the chance to try any out as I had to go to work... I will tonight and perhaps I'll stream it should my Internet not fail me (It currently is throttled for some reason!) Tech comes tomorrow, but if that happens:
For those that have not played SWTOR and thinking of diving back in with new updates comes lots of new things obviously (but not always with SWTOR Lulz). I'm going to direcly reference Dulfy because Dulfy is awesome.
While the new gear looks like shit for the most part, the plethora of customization choices out now means you're more likely to just rip stuff out and put into better looking gear. Not sure how all this is going to work but i'm excited for 2 things.
Shields now protect from Energy & Kinetic DMG... not just physical. I'm hoping this makes tanks more viable in PVP again. And Alacrity is now a universally beneficial ability.
Now if they'd only fix resolve! Resolve is actually more broken because now when you get CC'd and someone else noobishly CC's on top of the 1st CC is does not advance your resolve bar (immune to CC effect for a small period of time) When it used to pre 1.6... this new system essentially does not penalize sloppy CC'ing which is wrong IMO. BOO.
Dulfy also has a great starter guide to Makeb, Cliffs? Don't start the Seeker Droid / Binocular egg hunts till after you're 55:
What's unclear to me atm is what the transition to 49 -> 50 is going to look like. Prior you got a Tionese set which is now gone way of the Dodo bird. And HM FP's are now going to be a huge jump from 49 geared 50s... so yeah you might have to grind some dailies for a minute or legacy transfer gear from established toons.
My best guess is it's designed to move you into Makeb for gear which is probably the case since that'd require you buy the expansion...
Lastly the other Bigger addition to the game is now an official Achievement system. Many achievements retro while some do not. Sure they had a rudementory codex system prior but now it's actually organized and informative with % complete on each etc. Tis nice... Most important part of this? THERE'S NOW A "MEATBAG" TITLE.
I REPEAT THERE'S NOW A MEATBAG TITLE
Achievements can also be inspected by other players. This will keep my OCD ass busy for weeks... probably months.
Being the GM of "The Meatbags" this is gonna be a thing :)
Now I know it's cool to trash SWTOR, many write it off as a cheap WoW cloan... And a good amount of the critique was merited at launch. But with the launch of 2.0 and an MMO in its infancy it's turning into a neat little package. If you were curious or haven't played in awhile I suggest you log over and check things out. A lot has been streamlined and I think this games got a great future should Bioware keep at it and get updates out in a timely manner.
Also Hutts with Cybernetic Arms:
And if you're on The Shadowlands server hit me up / send me a PM here. We can roll some stuff together!
So here comes holiday 2012... and what do we have for Kinect? More shitty gimmick titles & Dance Central 3? Yep pretty much. It's not hard to see why I never use Kinect which I actually own way too many games for. Most I haven't even played. Why? I'm lazy as hell #1.... The other reason being Kinect in its current form is just a "Wii too" pull at the casual gamer market which for all intent purposes seems to have been a bit of a fad after all. Of course we all know this, "so what" right?
Well do I believe Kinect is doomed? No, Microsoft sees the big picture and whether you like it or not the tech is here to stay. I just wish Devs would quit force feeding us titles based on casual design and grow some *&^%%& Balls and actually innovate with it. The closest thing I think we've gotten to this in a core title is Mass Effect 3's voice commands. Sure great, except it made the process feel more artificial to me... Saying "Tali" then "Overload" with broken fluency doesn't bring me closer to the experience, it forces me into their mind set. Why not let us choose?
The "Powa" is in my voice... simply set up an option to record custom voice commands and then pick NPC actions based off that recording sorta like Final Fantasy 12's Gambit system. So when I say "Wrex! make some Fuc*%$ Noise" He tosses up a fortification, charges forward with his quad and kicks some ass screaming in rage. That's just scratching the surface on how this function could work... I mean I feel like the industries been really afraid to reach out with any sort of imagination in this area... we have the hard drives to store it... Let us! And i'm sure it wouldn't take that long to implement given what one modder did with Skyrim. Assassin's Creed 3? Why not put in some whistles to call assassins... be pretty cool right? In Metal Gear Solid telling someone to "Freeze" could trigger the hold up mechanic etc. Hell even a hand sign or two when Kinect can actually read what you're doing accurately I'd welcome as well *ahem*.
In summary I feel like the real innovation is in the Voice commands and interactions during game play triggered by the in-game NPC responses. To stay on Mass Effect 3 why couldn't I engage EDI just like Star Trek aboard the ship? (I'd tell her to feed the damn fish) Break the 4th wall and put some real AI into these games where they can engage you opposed to flapping your arms around... At the root of my point why on earth do I have to say "Xbox netflix" to trigger Netflix??? What if I named my Xbox "Randy"? I should have the option to change the "xbox" trigger to "Randy Netflix" at any time!
And don't get me wrong, I'd love to see more innovation outside of voice recognition like shrugging off some zombies in Resident Evil 6 by just screaming and flailing my arms opposed to shitty QTEs but Capcom missed the boat! Speaking of zombies, you know those recordings we find all over the place in some of those games ever since Bioshock hit in 2007? Hell wouldn't it be cool to have a player recording mechanic with 10 seconds to leave a dying message ala Demon's Souls messages but with voice? Responsive vocal interaction is the future of gaming! With of course a controller. I guess this leads us to my biggest and final gripe with Kinect.
Stop putting the controller down. Controllers have been around now for over 30 years in this industry for good reasons. I think they've got a pretty damn efficient system built in with them already. Add to it, don't take away. Sure some games don't need them but don't define the experience by taking the controller away. I think it's going to take some bat shit crazy design from the likes of Swery65 to truly break the lid off Kinect.
Microsoft tried to force innovation by taking the controller away and ultimately failed. Better with Kinect? Not yet. In my humble opinion I think we need custom voice recorded commands as standard practice when using them at all. Sure you might assign X command to a what Kinect thinks is "Fus Ro Dah" but I probably sound a lot different than most when I belt my ball crushing dragon shout out opposed to an 8 year old. This way voice activation works better! Regardless, this was my open letter to the industry to stop pussy footing around and lets set a standard that actually creates some innovation that works. Right now I feel like we have the Atari version of Kinect when we all want the Dreamcast. Yep I said it.
I love getting the shit beat out of me / being at ground zero of all the action... while I also strive to keep my dmg as high as possible at the cost of some HP as if I get that low it's probably inevitable anyway. Currently running SWTOR and will be running some Guild Wars 2 likely as well.
2) My favorite N'SYNC member was Joey Fatone
He was such a hoot. *UGH* Adorable.
3) My favorite genre of all time would have to be JRPGs however whatever the hell you classify Dark / Demon's Souls is quickly taking over.
I can sit down and play those games anytime for real... Favorite JRPG's would be Suikoden 1 & 2 though.
4) I've seen Neil Diamond live in concert.
I got blackout drunk and went online... bought tickets for 90 bucks a pop. Hell of a show.
5) I have no idea how many women I've had sex with
It's not that many mother f*&^er I just don't count.
6) People at Destructoid talk about cocks a lot but I've probably seen more penis in person than all of you.
Playing college football will do that... 4 years bringing in 50 new cocks a year. By my senior year the saying "Hi How are you?" was replaced with "Hey man nice dick"... and as Garth would say "Just say thank you".
7) I produced man tears at the end of Final Fantasy X
That shit was touching go f*^k yourself.
8) I f&*king hate Call of Duty.
Real men play Halo. It's pure Man Shit in action and was of course the first console shooter I got into... Prior I played Half Life and counter strike.
9) I feel like most "gamer girls" try too hard.
But F*ck it I got a boner.
10) Some days all I do is lift weights, play videos games, and eat.
I work 12 hour shifts in IT Operations so when I get home late at night there is nothing more relaxing than a Gentlemen's night out in Boletaria. Gentleman in Boletaria you say? Why yes, I'm a very refined gentleman when it comes to playing Demon's Souls.
To achieve Gentleman status you must abide by the following rules:
1) No Back stabbing. Back Stabbings for jerks, not only that but Demon's Souls server connections aren't exactly lag free so you never know when it can happen even if they're not behind you. Shoulder sprinters with Rapiers be damned. (Jerk Tactic used to jerk back stab)
2) Always bow before a fight. It's only natural to give your opponent a bow, a true Gentleman never engages combat without paying respects if he/she can. Unless the invader's a jerk and rushes, Gentlemen don't bow to jerks.
3) Don't Grass spam healing items when dueling. If you're going to invade someone have the courtesy to not heal unless they do, it just adds arbitrary time to the duel. One use of the "Second chance" blessing is all that should be tolerated. (Upon death gives you half your life back and keeps you in the fight)
4) Don't use Firestorm... Firestorm's for pussies and should only be used as punishment for cheap tactics. IE Scraping spear (breaks all your armor) or Casting Plague. Only Jerks cast Plague, unless the invader is being Tri-Raped. Then Plague away. (Tri-Rape = Two Blue Souls & Host ganging up on the lone invader)
5) Don't Tri-Rape invaders. In no way is Tri-Rape ever tolerated by a Gentleman, if you have summoned the help of Blue Phantoms let them duke it out 1 on 1 before engaging the Invader. If your allies should be defeated allow the Invader to heal and rebuff... then bow. A true Gentlemen's battle!
Now I understand for most people they just want to win, sure winning is the ultimate goal. If you want to win at all costs fine I get it. I have used some interesting tactics in the past I called the "Soul on a Rope". It goes like this:
Upon invasion I get my magic set equipped and then walk up against a wall and stare at it not moving at all. The invader will then think I'm AFK or in this case AFC (Away from Controller) and sprints at my backside for the kill. Once he's close enough I'd rip off a firestorm and laugh as his toasted corpse goes flying into the air. It's hilarious, but hey that's not ladylike and also gets old... But it's good for a laugh at random. Try it sometime!
The only reason why I tend to impose these Gentlemen's rules upon myself is I think they make the game more challenging and sort of takes the chaos away from some of the engagements. Oddly this relaxes me. Not to mention I've Platinum'd all three versions and have put 100s of hours into them across all three regions. Eventually you develop rules.
Demon's Souls is a barren cold wasteland of hollow air, zombies, Demons, and Dragons with a chilling aura of death. Yet I feel completely at home here. If you've ever lured a red eye night to his death or spent hours upon hours grinding out Pure bladestone you probably feel the same way. There is no "half way" in Demon's Souls, it's an all in or nothing game that will rip you out of reality and take you down a peg or two in the process. The escape is Euphoric... Umbassa!
So with Dark Souls upon us I say lets give Demon's Souls one last dance. In fact I'll probably be playing it all this week. Feel free to message me for Demon's Souls parties. I've hosted them in the past ironically with Xbox Live. Skype is also another option. I'm even up for setting up some FNF's in Demon's Souls should we get enough participants.
But guys and gals alike if you do decide to partake remember... let's act like Ladies/Gentlemen :D
If anyone has the right to charge more than 59.99 for a game it's probably Bethesda with it's Fallout & Elder Scrolls series being so robust and complex. As base single player games by themselves you get 100's of hours of play time depending on paths you choose and the arcs you replay with various choices. Having said that I can't seem to stomach this 149.99 CE being so lacking in actual content.
Off the bat you can take away the Map as it's a pre order bonus, not CE content. What you have left is a cardboard sleeve with soundtrack, making of DVD, and nice art book... A 79.99 to 89.99 value at best. Leaving the Dragon statue costing you about 70 to 60 bucks, no thanks Bethesda. Take a nod from Gears of War 3, you get everything Bethesda's offering and more with a flippin flag, diaries, exclusive DLC, actual COG necklace etc. along with more Robust packaging.
Even Catherine's CE package at 79.99 is better than Skyrim's CE in my opinion. Sure it's not nearly as good of a game but it comes with lots of in game fluff that i'll enjoy staring at for years to come on my nerd shelves. Regardless if you're going to offer a 149.99 CE at least give us a non statue esc option for 79.99; sure you can say if you don't want it don't buy it... i'm a huge huge Elder Scrolls fan and I really want all they have to offer when it comes to retail products. But you can't really deny this product isn't worth 149.99 in its current state.
Right now I have the regular edition of Skyrim pre-ordered on amazon for 54.99 so until we get more content i'll likely stick with that and just nab up a CE when it goes cheap a month or two down the road *Looks at Mortal Combat CE*
Three things off the top of my head that would make me reconsider my stance on Purchasing a console CE version at least:
1) Include a Digital Copy of the PC version (I know it'll never happen for various reasons but it'd help) or a code for the first DLC release free to CE buyers.
2) Dragon Shout Dictionary, yep I want to teach myself fuckin Dragon shouts.
3) Exclusive CE Skyrim Horse Armor
That's right, give me Exclusive CE Horse Armor! If anything had me feeling okay about being ripped off this generation it was the oddly worthless and expensive but also hilarious in game Horse Armor Oblivion added. Keep the joke running and i'll be okay with paying a premium :D