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About
So yeah I've been gaming since the days of the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) and i've been hooked ever since. For a long time I was a Nintendo loyalist taking the side of Mario, Zelda, and Pikachu through most of the console wars up until after the N64. PS2 was my first glimpse of another platform and during that generation I had them all game cube, Xbox, and PS2. Now when Current gen rolled around I immediately jumped on the Xbox 360 band wagon and later on got a Wii, but these days I either play on my 360 or my PC the Wii occasionally getting dusted off and used for those title's that actually catch my interest. So far I have managed to avoid getting a PS3 as I don't want to drop the money and I have no HD television.

My top 5 favorite games in no particular order are. Red Dead Redemption (Xbox360), Lufia: The legend returns (GBC), S.T.A.L.K.E.R.:Shadows of Chernobyl (PC), Dawn of War:Dark Crusade (PC), Star Wars:Republic Commando(Xbox).
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The good , the bad, and the ugly is a new series of blogs that I am going to start doing where I list various good bad and sometimes ugly (ie. terrible) aspects of video games. First up is Shogun2: Total War this game has been eating up my time like an insatiable time beast and as much as I love it the game is not without it's flaws. So far I have completed the campaign once and though I played one multiplayer game I will not be going over multiplayer. (though I have heard its pretty awesome.) So without further ado lets begin.

THE GOOD

A.I.

The A.I. in Shogun2 is amazing having only played Medevil2 before this it is quite a difference and a refreshing one. One of the biggest problems I had in Medevil2 was that my units or the A.I.'s units would simply do stupid shit. I remember one time ordering my knight to charge through a thin line of infantry only for them to stop short and entering into melee with them. By the time I noticed what had happened half the knights were dead. Needless to say when I play Shogun2 nine times out of ten my units do what I tell them and go where I say rather then running around in a circle or going in the wrong direction.

Simplified unit's

Shogun2 does not have a huge variety of unit's, but there is beauty in this simplicity. If you are a fan of Fire Emblem then you are familiar with the rock, paper, scissor system in which a unit is strong against one type and weak against another. Though Shogun2 has a similar system it isn't as basic as the Fire Emblem one some units can over come the unit they are supposedly weak against such is the case with Katana Samurai vs cavalry they are not particularly effective, but they can stand there ground against light cavalry and even the other variety's of cavalry if supported by other units. The simplicity really shows in army composition. It is now far easier to make a well balanced force in comparison to previous total war games

Simplified user interface

Again with Medevil2 though the interface wasn’t complicated I found it wasn't intuitive either all that was fixed in Shogun2. Not only is it easier to know what does what, but if you need more info on anything simply right clicking the button or unit will open up the Encyclopedia and ingenious idea implemented for the first time with shogun2. I really can't give the Encyclopedia enough praise as it has helped me out so many times and has made learning the game a breeze.

Agent's are fun and easy to use

Maybe it's just me, but agents in medevil2 were not at all easy to use nor did I enjoy using them. I can not tell you how many merchants I have lost or thief’s I have had die on me. With Shogun2 it feels like not only do the agent's have a better change of survival they also are very simple to us they all basically function in a similar fashion yet bring different specialty's to the table and to the battle field.


let the body hit the floor, let the body's hit the floor, LET THE BODY'S HIT THE FLOOOOOOR!

THE BAD

Not a lot of unit variety

Remember how I said that there is beauty in the simplicity of the unit's? Well not everyone agrees. While it's nice that you don't have to go through a ton of units or jump through to many hoops to gain access to the ones you want it can get quite tiresome when you run into yet another Ashigaru army and millions of the same guy march tword you like a clone army. Sure each clan has there own colors and banner's but beyond that it really feels like a re-enactment of attack of the clones after a while.

Territory 'tug of war'

Sure it might be realistic but when you lose a Territory you just got only to go back and take it again it can get really annoying especially when it's the remanence of an army you just crushed that had the balls to go take your now un-occupied territory. It doesn't happen often and with proper planning it won't happen at all. But it still bug's me when it does happen.

Not fan of Naval battles

Again this might just be me, but I am not a fan of naval battles. Give me an army on land any day and ill give you a victory, but when it comes to the navy it generally ends up as a cluster fuck on the high sea's. Not to mention it is never fun when later on in the game someone decides to land an army on your island and there is no army or navy there to defend it. Really graphically it's amazing, but I would rather hit auto resolve then every take the helm in even one of those damned naval battles.



THE UGLY

When the A.I. Decides to 'play dumb'

I was really hoping to not have to give Shogun anything in the ugly category, but as I said every game has it's flaws and when you make a game as complex's as shogun2 it's generally expected. (I mean just read about the horrible fuck up that was the release of Revolution:Total War.) I am pretty forgiving when it happens, but nothing's more frustrating when an hour long battle is nearing a close and the A.I. Goes full retarded. This usually happens when defending a settlement against and enemy force with re enforcements. Sometimes the reinforcements will simply sit on the edge of the field and won't move at all which then force me to have my army move out of the castle town and cut them down where they stand. It's tedious and annoying, but as I said it's a rare problem.

All in all Shogun2:Total War is a great game and defiantly worth picking-up. I got it during a steam sale along with all the DLC including Rise of The Samurai. The soon to be released stand alone expansion called Fall of The Samurai will soon be added to my small collection of total war games and I hope to do a review of that one after it comes out. Hope you enjoyed The good , the bad, and the ugly and thanks for reading.
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As many people have probably noticed more and more MMO games are going with the free to play business model. not only that but a lot of game that previously went by the subscription fee model are slowly starting to convert to free to play as well. This sudden change of face with so many MMO's even ones that followed the old model begs the question, is this the new standard and is it a good one?

The crystal scar a new map and game type released free of charge in League of Legends

Now don't get me wrong I love free to play games it allows you to try the game for as long as you like and when done right it can be a great business model. One example is League of Legends I have played League of Legends for about a year now and it has been one of my favorite games. One of the reasons I love it is because its free to play, but that doesn't mean I never put any money towards the game. I have bought several skins and new champions upon there release and since the game doesn't force me to pay on a monthly schedule I can pay when I want to. It is because of this business model that I will continue to play this game for a very long time and continue to support the developer when I can.


Guild wars a prime example of a successful free to play game charging only a one time retail price.

However not every game that follows the free to play model does so in the best way possible. Some games limit how much you can play them via a resource or some other mechanic that then forces you to pay to get around. I find this to be a bad implementation of the free to play model because it throws up road block in the game thats the player has to pay to get past. Even worse is when a player has to pay for crafting items or other things that will allow them to get better equipment and thus tips the scale in favor of the player with the bigger wallet. this is an unfair advantage gained by cash rather than effort and is usually frowned upon by the gaming community.

Either way it seems more and more MMO's are jumping on the free to play band wagon for better or worse and hopefully this will benefit the community as a whole rather then have detrimental effects. My only fears are that free to play games will either be made with less quality due to the fact that the developers can't hope to get back as much as they put into the game via monthly subscriptions, but as guild wars has proven this mostly likely won't be the case, the only other way I see this as leading to negative habits is developers putting up road blocks we have to pay to get past. I hope they follow the ways of League of Legends and Guild wars rather then bar the doors to the 'fun parts of the game' with fees
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Ah yes steam that lovely developer who gave us such classics like Half-life2, Team fortress 2, and counter strike. There is probably not a gamer alive today who does not know about steam and even less who probably don't at this moment have steam installed on there computer and have at least one game on it. If you are one of the few who has a PC and does not have this glorious digital download service on your PC feel free to correct that now.... Your back? okay let's continue shall we?



So true... so very true.


Yes Steam is great and yes it's a valuable service, but what I'm concerned about is the excessive amount's of sales they have on there. Don't get me wrong I love sales as much as anyone. getting a game for less then sixty dollars is a god send especially in this economy, but whats not so great is seeing the price drop on a game and having to agonize over whether or not you can go without food this week cause Total War: Shogun 2 is on sale for half off and you don't know when that awesome deals gonna come around again, now do you?



Why must you taunt me!


Let me paint a picture for you. At this very moment I have 79 games that I own on steam and that equates to $1221.68 USD. That's a lot of money and the sad thing is that not even half of those games are installed on my computer at the moment and I have barely even made a dent in most of them. This is cause by the plague of steam sales that happen not only on a weekly basis but daily. you never know when a steam sale is going to happen or for how long. Most times I find my self staring down that buy button when I find a title I really want that is now at half price, but my wallet is already whimpering and my conscience is screaming at me to be responsible. What is a gamer to do when faced with deals that would otherwise be too good to be true?

One way that I have found to combat my compulsive urges to 'BUY AL THE GAMES!' is to simply not run steam which works when I'm busy playing games on my console, but when I am forced to run it so I can play some of those delicious games on my account I simply click to the library quickly as possible and exit out of the pop-up showing the latest sales and releases before it even loads. Even then it's hard to resist that ever tempting prospect of that one game that's on sale where you tell yourself. "It's okay its only thirty dollars you can go without dinner this week ramens on sale anyways."

So next time your tempted to buy a game instead of gas,food, or clothing just thing of your poor wallet or what your parents might think or anything that may save you from the terribly good sales that steam loves to throw at you. those games won't be any good to you if you die of starvation right!?


Authors note: This is completely lighthearted and was written for the sake of humor don't take this blog to seriously
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I do not always come home to play relaxing games after a hard day at work, but when I do need to play something to calm my nerves I usually turn to my favorite wasteland simulator Fallout New Vegas. There is just something about the Mojave wasteland and the slow pace of New Vegas that just helps me unwind. I love just strolling along either alone or with a companion and simply seeing what I can find. Sometimes I'll stick to the main roads and well traveled paths hoping for a random encounter with bandits or mutants. Other times I wander off to see what goodies or secret hide away I can uncover. The main thing is that when I play New Vegas or games of this nature it help's me to relax because there is no pressure or immediate danger pressing me forward onto the next objective. The world is my play ground and I can savor every bite at my Leisure.


Another game that I like to play to let loose is Red Dead Redemption another slow paced open world RPG that really captures the feeling of the old wild west as well as the end of that era. the vast territory of untamed land that are open for John Marston to explore are immense. It always fills my heart with joy to ride out into the desert the sound of my horses hooves thundering across the open plains as I head toward the horizon seeking adventure and enjoying the peaceful and tranquil scenery as it passes by. Though not every bit is peaceful and quiet the random encounter that do occur are a welcome break. Each one is always surprising and doesn't always go as expected. I have killed as many innocents as I have those who wish me harm.

Though the West and the waste are quite fun and can be filled with action and adventure the pacing and the openness of the world always manages to calm my nerves after a particularly stressful day. if I'm angry I can release it ending the lives of countless mutants and evil doers (and some not so evil). Or if I'm feeling hungry for adventure I can hunt for treasure or dive into the depths of one of many dungeons scattered about the world. It is the limitless possibility and the ability to approach things as fast,slow, hard or easily as I wish that gives me a sense of control which really helps me to unwind. At the end of the day being able to kick of your shoes and dive into a world all your own is the most relaxing experience of them all.
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