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Ninjamoose's blog

12:45 AM on 08.08.2014

Guardians of the Galaxy: The best movie I've seen all year.

Granted, that's a bit of a sensationalist title, considering the only other movies I've seen this year are Dredd, Robocop (2014), and Frozen, which I regret mentioning now since I hate to profess my love for it.

I digress.

I'm not one to really judge the quality of the story, since it is an adaptation of a graphic novel, but I will say this: It's appropriately "comic-ey". 

It's got a clear cut good guy (or at least one who's chaotic good), a clear cut bad guy with clear cut motives, a solid twist, and an ok love plot, and plenty of fun characters along the way.

I'm also going to say this: I've not been a fan of the Marvel adaptations recently. Captain America could not exist and the world could probably be fine without it. The Avengers was mediocre at best, and the second one I found disappointing. I came into this movie pessimistic, wondering how this could go so wrong with such a solid idea. 

I couldn't be more wrong. Starting out with the choice of actors, Pratt did a solid job. A little over-acting here and  there, but altogether a good performance. He really has the "smooth-talker" look down (read: douche), and is able to pull it off in spades. I think that Saldana did a great job with the material that she had, but I think she could have tried a little harder to come across as a "don't fuck with my shit" type of character. It seemed like she melted a little too easily for someone who's supposed to be the universes biggest badass. Bautista actually didn't detract from the movie, which surprised me the most thoroughly. He fit the character incredibly well. I thought that Vin Diesel as Groot was hilarious. Cooper's voice didn't go to waste either, since it seemed he actually enjoyed the shit out of being a pissed-off guy who's tired of everyone's crap. Also I'm just a Rooker fan, so I loved how he played that role, although I will admit the same way he approached every situation did make his character a little boring.

The visuals were insane.

I actually felt like I was with them in every environment they had. Plus, the use of practical effects mixed in with them added to the immersion. It felt like my bladder was going to explode, but I just couldn't tear myself from the screen. All the spaceship designs were top freaking notch. The Star-Fox like ones were so freaking awesome. The cities seemed a bit hollow, though, especially on ground level. Not sure if that's just the effect of the designs, but it really felt like they were empty.

Honestly, I can't say too much more about it without delving into the details of the story, and I don't want to spoil anything for anyone out there reading this. Assuming there is anyone. Which there probably isn't. 


This movie I'd rate as a 9/10. It delivered on everything I hoped for, and more. Go and watch it right now.   read

1:30 AM on 07.17.2014

What makes a Rogue-like? A rambling rant

This "genre", Rogue-like, has hit an all time high. It's been reduced to any game that's a little bit difficult.

And this makes me irrationally mad. My rage boiled over today, while watching a guy stream Nuclear Throne, a game I've taken a liking to.

Someone decided to pipe up and say: "this looks so cool, i love roguelikes!"

My brain stopped working for a second. I got a small twitch in my eye. The fury of a thousand suns burned within my belly. My breathing got heavy, and I had vomit on my sweater already.


I smash my enter key with righteous indignation, nearly spilling my mountain dew in the process, to see Nightbot respond nearly instantly with something like "No caps, fuckhead."

I sigh, accept defeat, and turn on World of Tanks to hate myself further.

What actually makes a roguelike?

Lets start out with what Rogue actually was. It was a difficult dungeon crawler that was released to the public in 1985. It was later ported to the Atari ST, the TRS-80, and the Amiga. Even later, in '88, it was released for the Atari 8-bit, Commodore, all the big consoles.

Anyways, none of that is really relevant to the topic at hand. 

A Rogue-like is technically a Dungeon Crawler that's a bit hard. Games like Spelunky fit this stereotype perfectly. Binding of Isaac is another notable example. I'd even consider, although it's stretching it a bit, Rogue Legacy to be a rogue-like.

See something in common here? all have randomly generated dungeons to get through, while getting loot and goodies galore.

What doesn't make a roguelike?


Risk of rain? Cool ass game, NOT A ROGUELIKE.

Is it difficult? Yes, incredibly. Does it incorporate dungeon-crawling? Nope.

Nuclear Throne? It's a bullet hell. Completely different genre altogether.

Realm of the Mad God?Close, but no cigar. Not really that random.

I've even heard someone describe Dark Souls as a Rogue-like. I mean come on, man. Are you even trying?

The idea of a game being roguelike has been pretty much bastardized. Everything has to be super tough, with clunky controls, really really good enemy AI, terrible hitboxes, all which stack up to a game that masochists sit through based on how big it will make their e-peen look.

I mean look at the featured games page on Steam right now. There are 14 indie games on right now. Out of those, the only ones I had heard of previously were "Don't Starve", "Fez", "Papers, Please", "FTL", and "Bastion". Now just how many of these have a "Roguelike" tag?

Also, Toejam and Earl? What in the everliving hell is that doing there? I'm totally going to buy that real quick. Don't judge me.

The term "Rogue-like" is almost like Zombies, where it got so diluted and "edgy" that it will be almost necessary in an indie games description that it makes the market stale. Now it feels like every indie game has to have Zombies, "Roguelike Elements," or some combination of the two to get any public attention, and that makes me sad.

So to end this little rant, I beg you guys. Please, Please please PLEASE save the term "Roguelike" for something that is actually like the game ROGUE. A 2D, dungeon crawler that's kind of hard. Not games like Risk of Rain, not games like Super Meatboy. Games like Spelunky, and Binding of Isaac. 

Please, don't make me have to shake out more cheeto dust from my neckbeard.   read

1:33 AM on 07.15.2014

A crash course in STALKING.

What is STALKER? If you are here, I'm assuming you know. But to those who don't, it's a first person shooter/survival-horror/rpg, that takes place in a wasteland called the Zone.

Anyways, I'll leave a synopsis if I ever get around to reviewing the game, but this is a guide so you have the basic idea down. I'm also going to be gearing this for Call of Pripyat, the 2009 release, since it's got the most confusing introduction of all 3 games.

So you are dropped face-first into the zone as Major Degtyarev, with nothing but your wits and an Akm 74/2U.

What you need to do from here is go into your menu, then options, gameplay options, find the difficulty slider, and crank that bitch all the way up.

"But Ninjamoose, my tender anus can't take the blows!"

Look, the game has little to no challenge below Master. It's just boring unless it's that high, and even then it's not bad once you figure out the world. You get bonus points for turning off the reticle. You will be considered the biggest of the Big Dick Ballers (or BDB for short) if you completely turn off the HUD.

Second, once you are out of the menu, you will need to figure out where to go. If you look on your minimap, you'll see a star and a dot. Those are other people, and they are STALKERS. You then need to talk to the leader of the duo, and ask him where the nearest settlement is. He'll then point you to the Skadovsk.

The link above shows you what the minimap looks like if there are friendlies, and hostiles around.

The Skadovsk acts as a home base for all walks of life, and there's never any violence onboard. Actually, if you shoot at it, whether by accident or on purpose, it will go into  "lockdown mode," where nobody can get in or out. I discovered that after having the shit scared out of me by two bloodsuckers right outside, pissing me off immensely since I had to reload save and wait for them to leave.

From here you'll hear a modern rendition of Jabba the Hutt calling you over. What I find weird is you never interact with this NPC again. Anyways, Sultan will ask you to help him with a job, sticking up a bunch of STALKERS.

I didn't discover this next part until really recently, since I usually just went along with it. But, since you are new, I'd highly recommend against this, since it puts you in a lot of danger sometimes.

Instead of going right to Sultans thug, you can go over and talk to Beard, the only guy to have a beard onboard. You can tell him about the raid tonight, and he'll let the STALKERs you are attacking know whats going down.

What this means, is that the bandits are going to lose the fight, and you get a shitload of loot right off the bat. The downside, is that you are immediately kill-on-sight by bandits.

Anyways, you maneuver your way back to the Skadovsk, and tell Beard what's up. He'll thank you, you can sell off excess loot, and be on your way to the next quest he gives you, which is to interrupt a trade between some Mercenaries and Bandits at the Ranger Station.

This I consider one of the toughest fights in the game, since you have trash gear and they have some not-so-trash gear.

So you rendezvous with the STALKERs outside the wall, and you follow them into the little guard shack. You'll be found out no matter what, and promptly shot at.

Any place to your left from the shack is death. Any place just to the right is death. The shack is death. You need to run, as soon as the cutscene is over, to the warehouse to your direct right. Not the one the bandits are in, the abandoned one. This will give you loads of cover, and the AI is impatient enough to wander out into the open for you to pick off. This spot here is a test of your patience, since you will instantly die if you set foot outside. Once all the mercs are dead, it's a loot festival. I'll commend you if you can snatch it all up before the rest of the STALKERs do.

That link's a layout of where you are fighting.

After that, it's up to you what you want to do. You can hunt bandits for more ammo and food, you can artifact hunt for lots of money quick, you can just wander the Zone, you can rigidly follow the storyline. That's what is cool about STALKER, there's no single way to play it.

Some tips and tricks:

- The Akm74/2, not the Akm 74/2U, is not a bad weapon for a beginning STALKER. It's got good enough accuracy, good enough reload, good enough reliability, but horrible upgradability. If you really get a hankering to upgrade a gun, do it to an IL86 or Obokan.

- I'd always recommend taking a shotgun as your secondary, don't bother with pistols until they are upgraded, and have custom ammo.

- With human targets, including Zombies and excluding Snorks, always aim for the head. Always. It's going to be a one-shot-kill no matter what.

- Always have your shotgun out when roaming the wilds, you will almost never know when a pack of dogs will be right on top of you, when a boar will be rushing you, when this that or the other. It's the best insurance plan against Mutants.

- Against any mutant besides snorks, and chimeras, try to find something about chest height to get onto. This keeps you ever so slightly out of range. Fair warning though, sometimes a Blind Dog will knock you off of it with a running jump, but it's easy to read and fill it with buckshot.

- Learn what STALKERs look like. Shoot anyone else. Bandits, especially if you did the first quest the way I do, are basically useless, except for some nearly-free ammo and bandages.

- 5 is your binocluars, learn to love them.

- 6 is your bolts, learn to love these more. They are super handy while artifact hunting, since if you throw them into an anomaly they will set it off. Plus, it's fun to peg unsuspecting STALKERs with them.

- For quick cash, hit the Claw anomaly for some easy artifacts. Unless you did the car-cache quest. Then don't, since you'll probably shit your pants.

- Toss in some nice headphones, and turn off the ingame music. You won't be missing much, and it really helps with the immersion, since it's such an atmospheric game.

- Learn the noises of the Mutants. A bloodsucker will sound different from a Snork, and a snork different from a Chimera. It'll help you prepare for the fight and figure out how you can use the surrounding area to your advantage.

- Try to keep googling to a minimum. Learning the game yourself is one of the biggest parts of it.

- DON'T DO THE CHIMERA QUEST UNTIL YOU HAVE A DECENT SHOTGUN. You will get reamed with the fury of a thousand suns.

- The reason I say bandits suck so much, is that they will have stupidly high prices for trading, and give you little to nothing for your stuff. They don't help you with fast traveling. They don't do anything for you, except act like douchebags and call you mean names. So I shoot them. Doesn't mean you have to, but I'll look down on you if you don't.

Well guys, I'm all STALKER'd out for now. If you have anything else to contribute, just PM me or post in the comments. Happy Stalking.   read

10:22 PM on 07.10.2014

Why Diablo 3 is still meh

Diablo 3.

The amount of times I've heard that name uttered with pure disgust and hatred throughout the last few years/months/weeks/days is somewhere between thousands and hundreds of thousands, partially from my own mouth. 

When the word "release" is uttered in this context, we all shudder and have flashbacks of queue times, lag, wizards and DH being OP, monks and barbs being worthless, Inferno being stupidly difficult. Act 2 alone deserves a special mention, considering the gear curve was nearly vertical, and there was basically no hope to jump from Hell to Inferno, unless GG drops were found. 

Not to mention the connection issues, making hardcore a pipe dream, and the Auction House, which nearly instantly had exploits found. 

Fast forward to today, after Reaper of Souls and Diablo 3 episode 2: The Fixening have been released.

It's reception has ranged from being hailed as the Lord of Destruction of D3 to being absolute shit derived from RoboHitlers robotically enhanced RoboBowels.

It's all but fixed the gearing issue, it's completely flipped the difficulty system on its head, it's restored some balance. But it's been full of issues as well. Not quite D3 release issues, but still some.

3 word summary: It's pretty meh.

My reasoning is, they finally fixed the gear issue! Now anyone can breeze through the first three difficulties, but the question is who can breeze through Torment 3? The difficulty spike is both great, but bad at the same time. It took me 45 minutes to gear my wizard for torment 1, it took me 5 days for me to gear him for torment 2. And that's nearly continuous play. 

(note, this was before the collective wizard community realized that channeled spells were absolutely broken, although this has been fixed in a recent patch.)

Even with being capable of clearing t2, I thought "This is great! I actually have to grind for gear, but I can still be successful!" And then I shit my panties when I read that %ele damage builds were the way to go. Now I can wipe the floor with t2, but t3 quickly became a game of "dodge the ground effect/bullshit hard to see projectile." Even though I could burst down anything in t2 and tank everything on screen, the damage increase of t3 caught me totally unaware. Now I'd have to sacrifice damage for survivability.

Now I can read what's on your mind, "But ninjamoose! Isn't that part of the game?" Yes and no, my friend. Yes, I'm all for a substantial gear wall for torment levels. I'm definitely not for having to stack straight vit/%life because my HP pool won't be chunky enough to take a single hit from a trash minion. 

I've got very nearly 300k hp, and tons of resists, why am I getting melted so hard?

The good:

- They have made the classes a bit more balanced! Yay! This means I can finally keep up with whirlwind barbs without having to rely on Critical Mass.

- Build variety! Whoo! I can finally get away with not using Critical Mass! I can actually run Arcane Torrent! I can stack fire damage! I can toss giant fucking boulders! The game actually has some class variety now, ranging from boulder toss barbs, to fire Whirlwind barbs, to Call of the Ancients barbs, to Pet Witch Doctors, to 0 DPS monks!

- Utter lack of Critical Mass! They took the most boring Wizard passive out of the game, which makes me a very happy guy.

- Mo'fuckin Frost Orb.

- Fucking finally they fixed the gear holy shit oh god. On release/up to Loot 2.0, the only way to go was mainstat+crit chance+crit damage+attack speed. Really boring, since it pigeonholed drops into all of that bullshit. Now they have buffed all the other cool stuff, like %damage, %elemental damage, blah blah blah all of the above. Not only this, but they also increased the rate at which good drops come, and they introduced a smart drop thing that makes it so RNGsus prefers Dex for Monks, Intelligence for Wizards, and Strength for Barbarians.[/size]

- New class is pretty neat. I like the idea behind the Crusader, he looks good, has a cool voice, lots of cool abilities. 

- Lag problems are at an all time low! Now there are very few disconnects, the lag doesn't randomly spike as much, doesn't have periods of near unplayability.

The bad:

- Barbs are still the most gear reliant class, meaning that they will crush torment 6 the hardest at the end. Leap/Avalanche, anyone? Wizards and Demon Hunters have a very, very hard time doing anything above torment 3 or 4 due to their squishiness, since they don't have the innate damage reduction like the melee classes. Witch doctors are super good as well, although they need very specific legendaries to roll at high torments, which in my eyes is fine.

- Builds at t6 are just as stagnant as builds were at mp10 in vanilla. Every WD you see is a pet witch doctor, every crusader is shotgun, every barb is a jumpalancher. 

- Lag problems are still a huge thing, since while disconnects are fewer and far between, they are still there. The random lag, lag spikes, and net jitter being really high is more prevalent than I'd like. It's enough to keep me from playing harcore, even though many still do.

- No real endgame to speak of. Rifts are cool I guess, doing rifts at higher difficulties is OK, but where do you go after you have played your 5732nd rift? I guess there's uber bosses, but they drop little to nothing useful. Hellfire rings are basically worthless in comparison to something like a Unity.

- True class diversity is a little too much of a thing. I hate to draw other games into one about D3, but look at Path of Exile. A Witch can go for a melee build, and still be successful. Try to throw a sword and shield on a Wizard. Try it. I know I have, and it really, *really* blew in comparison to a wizard with a wand/source, even for melee style builds. Let me use a giant katana with my wizard, dammit!

- How the hell is real PVP still not in the game? I mean come on. It was shown in the gameplay previews, it was promised with vanilla, then a later patch, then the expansion, and here we are. I just want real PVP.

- Ladders aren't here yet. This one's a bit nitpicky, not going to lie, since they are on the PTR. But for a game like Diablo 3, whos predecessor had ladders, and said ladders were a big focus point, it's a bit bogus to not have them at vanilla.

The ugly:

'The ugly' section I'm gonna dedicate to what I personally don't like, or like, which the public may not agree with. 

- No Auction House. I liked it. There, I said it. I liked the gold AH, not so much the Real Money one. Am I glad it's gone? Yes, yes I am. Now you are rewarded for playing the game. Would I have been upset if they had kept it in? Not at all. If it was still ingame, I could buy respec gear super cheap for t1 without having to grind forever, which as a casual diablo player is way better than spending hours and hours grinding for 3 pieces of a legendary set, which may or may have good rolls as is.

- I miss the old difficulty setting. It wasn't as much arbitrary nonsense, Torment 4 could mean anything. With the Monster Power system, you knew by cranking it up what it would do. 

The Conclusion:

Honestly, I'd say save your money if you aren't really looking for more of the same. While the quality of the base game is better, it's still severely lacking in terms of longevity, multiplayer options, and content in general. 

A meh looking car will always be meh looking, no matter how many spoilers and LED's you tack onto it. Unless you lower that shit, then it's rad as hell.   read

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