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SirDregan's blog

2:14 PM on 04.15.2010

Finally finished: my nerdtastic home

I really planned to blog more often than just the couple of entries i posted, but there were unforseen consequences that... eerrr... kinda forced me to move out and find a new nerd-home. But this gave me the opportunity to finally set up a nerdtastic home i can enjoy live and game in. So welcome to my home, dear reader! Destructoiders are always welcome!

The front door should allready give you a perfect example how nerdy i am. So pack enough health and mana potions, equip your best gear and get ready to raid. You can even exchange your Yoshi Doll for the Ribbon in here. And remember: Keep your eyes open for all the details!

As you enter the hallway you have to be strong! We immortalized the worst scenario in gaming existence from my first (handheld) console game i ever owned (Tetris on the old black&green Gameboy). This was the beginning of my passion for games. Thanks mum and dad!
I pass this one every morning on my way out and remember that life will allways throw you a line piece when you gave up hope. So i prepare for the worst by starring at the horror to train myself for the outside world.

Okay i just made that last part up. In fact i just needed something to fill the blank hallway with style.
Let's skip the kitchen south-park madness (you can see that at the gallery) and enter the living-room. Please look at the floor so you won't see all the stuff at once, turn white and die of overwhelming nerdiness (happened twice and i don't have any room left to bury another dead gamer in the garden...) Turn your head right and slooowly lift it up. There we have the DVD shelf with the special edition corner. It doesn't look like that much but i just buy movies i really like and watch more than twice. There are about 400 DVDs right now. Whups 401 - just bought another one. Online shopping is a mean wallet-eater!

As we proceed a little to the left you'll see - around my pc i'm just typing this - the "Nerd-WG Gedächtnisecke". I can't really tranlsate that properly, but it's like a tribute to my last place where i lived with four crazy gamers. We had this big stairway were we would cover the walls with funny or amazing pictures, game covers, photos from trips or little gems we held dear (like a dollar from my New York visit, photos taken on our "sleep:less" film sets, tickets from a concert and so on). Try to spot all the things you know in the gallery! ADVERT WARNING! There's even a invitation from our short film premiere!! Check out my awful german accent in the trailer and give me some feedback! ADVERT WARNING!

Now we turn around 180° and take a few steps forward. There is a large white wall (more on that later) and then there is the music game corner with Guitar Hero 2,3,World Tour and DJ Hero. And of course there is south park. Wasn't the GH Episode just awesome? Yeah i know, it really was.
But it's more fun playing drunk with friends while pretending to be rockstars.

Finally let's turn a little more to the right, ignore the sick huge red couch (i had such luck finding that), turn a little more and look at the game spot. Err... okay you can't see the wii right now and i haven't bought a playstation 3 yet. Also the N64, SNES, PS1 and PS2 are still in the basement but hey! Look at the allmighty DestrOctoid! My tribute to the best community i've ever been part of. It was a bitch to draw (all the stuff on the walls is hand painted with markers and brushes. Yes, even the tetris words) but i always wanted a destructoid logo and a octopus in my home, so i just combined them for total awesomeness!

The perfectionist in me says "meh.", but the nerd says "STFU! You got a fucking Destructo-tentacle-thing on your wall!" So what do you guys think?
What did you say? Where is the TV? Ah i almost fogot:

I know it's bragging! I'm sorry but i just LOVE it! You have to try playing Just Cause or Dante on 2.22cm x 1.70cm (87.4inch x 67inch) - you'll be blown away!
So what do you think of my setup?
(More pictures in the gallery)   read

12:13 PM on 11.03.2009

Gaming in Germany I - The hunt for a good price (with more-gore-bonus)

(This is the first one of a series. I'd like to show you how... different gaming in germany is and what we have to face)

It seems to me that Germany has always been treated "special" when it comes to video games. And i don't mean the "you're my valentine, here are some roses"-special, more like in the "they look like the guy from goonies, i think we can rip them off pretty easy!"-way.

"Haha! Ze stupid americans hav to pey 56.99, but we get it vor 54,99!"

And one major difference between America and the land of Beer and Bratwurst (which isn't really that popular as one might think) is the price of games. As a little example i'd like to show you how much you have to pay for some of the newest games here and there:

(prices taken from /
Dragon Age Origins Xbox360
US: $56.99
Germany: $81.20 (EUR 54,99)

DJ Hero Bundle with Turntable Xbox360
US: $118.99
Germany: $162.39 (EUR 109,95)

Assassins Creed II Xbox360
US: $55.99
Germany: $77,46 (EUR 52,45)

And it's not just the Xbox360 Games, all the other consoles and PC games have the same price differences. Okay, so you have to translate the games into german, switch to european standards and even change the whole game to remove all the offensive stuff (more on that in part II), so the gamers can get "the full experience", just with more or less crappy translations, less blood and most of the time no chance to play the games in english. I can see why that leads to a higher price.
But one question remains: who said that we want that?
Believe me, every video game that isn't a AAA title sounds like a unwillingly funny B-movie if you play the german version. The dialogue is cheesy and the voice acting boring - if you're lucky.

"Mommy, why does Shepard talk like a gay Nick Carter? Make it stooop!"

But there is no cheap alternative for german console gamers, if they don't want to mod or crack their expensive hardware (and therefore loose their warranty). Or is there?
Ever wonder why Valve spent most of their marketing dollars for the UK?
Let me answer that with a quick calculation:

Left 4 Dead 2 PC
German Version (less blood, less violence): -> $65 (EUR 43,95)
UK Version (uncut incl. shipping!): -> $46.70 (£28.48)

So you see, any german gamer who can understand enough english for a video game would be downright stupid to buy the german version - except he is willing to pay for seeing less violence and (most of the time) experiencing less atmosphere.   read

3:48 AM on 10.29.2009

Dj Hero Renegade Edition - is it worth it?

Yesterday i got my big package with the DJ Hero Renegade Edition. Once i saw the big package i instantly asked myself if it was worth the money. I mean, we gamers get screwed by big companies all the time, right? I instantly got mad at myself for throwing my hard earned money out the window.

(NOTE: There isn't a real picture of the suitcase online, it does look a lot cooler thant that. I'll try to upload one soon)

But as i stripped the cardbox-whale of it's skin and stared at the big suitcase inside i was proven wrong. It looks and feels heavy. The design of the turntable is really nice and what's more important - it doesn't feel like you'll end up with a broken controller in 6 months (as i write these lines i'm staring disappointed at my old Guitar Hero controller who will only work about 2/3 - which can be very frustrating if you want to play on expert).

After watching the pretty good intro again (if you haven't seen it, you can find it at the end of this post), i jumped right into the fun... oh wait, you can't. You have to play the tutorial first. Okay so this isn't a big deal for me but you can't just go and start your career before playing the turorial. But after all - it's a brand new controller so the tutorial is good to get a feeling for the game. The only thing that annoyed me is the stupid voiceover, who sounds like a 30year old wannabe-hiphop producer who talks to his dog. I don't know if the english voiceover is that bad, so this may or may not be an issue.

So, let's finally jump into the game, shall we?
It begins with simple button tapping, then scratching and crossfading.
The tapping is pretty simple, just like one would imagine tapping on a button.

To scratch, you have to hold the button shown on the screen and move the turntable up and down. It is simple at first, but gets more difficult on higher difficulty. There you'll have to scratch exactly the way the symbols tell you to (For example: Up-Down-Up-Down or Up-Down Down). Later, you'll have to scratch while crossfading and change buttons while scratching.

Crossfading is just moving the fader to the left, right or back to the middle position. Sounds easy, but i found the right timing to be the most challenging of the first tutorial.

At first it might feel hard to start/stop scratching or crossfading at the exact position but the controller feels good and reacts excellent and after the tutorial voice shuts up, the overall feeling of the game is really excellent. After about two or three songs i started moving with the sound and was able to hit almost every crossfade and scratch exactly as planned.

Then there is the "euphoria" which works similar like the star power in Guitar hero. If you can hit all the notes in a special section that glows blue, you can activate "euphoria". It enables you to get a higher multiplier for a short amount of time.

The "freestyle" feature of the game consists of hitting the red button to play a sample in a special section on the red track. It's okay and i use it sometimes but you can totally forget about it. Boring!
The other feature is a little cooler. You can modify the sound of a track if there is a orange bracket over it, or modify the whole sound if the bracket is over all three tracks. It feels good, you get more points and it adds a little tiny dj feeling to it.

Last but not least the coolest feature in my opinion: the rewind.
I'm not sure if that's correct but i think you can rewind if you hit the notes perfect for a while. As soon as you see the green rewind symbol you can rewind the turntable one full turn and that will rewind the song a bit, too. Then you're able to play a section again with a higher multiplier which results in higher score and is really satisfying!

The Renegade Edition of DJ Hero has a special CD with Jay-Z & Eminem Songs included. It has about 20 tracks on it if i remember correctly, but no new exciting stuff. There is also the suitcase which also works pretty good as a table for the controller (i played the whole time standing in front of the table). It could be more stable i guess, but i had no problems and it feels good while playing. And of course it contains the special edition of the turntable controller, which made me personally choose the Renegade Edition over the normal bundle.

So to sum things up: after a couple of hours of playing it seems like it has the same learning curve as the guitar hero games. Easy to get into, harder to master and a hell lot of fun!
I was very worried at first but it is a great game. Of course, the renegade edition could be a little cheaper, so if you are patient just look for it on ebay.
If you ask yourself: "Yeah, but is it anything like being a real dj?"
i can answer that. "Is guitar hero like playing a guitar? No, it's not! Wtf are you thinking?"

But if you like the music you heard in the trailers and the concept of music games you just have to get DJ Hero - you won't be disappointed!

DJ Hero Intro:
[embed]153487:24267[/embed]   read

7:48 AM on 10.27.2009

The Internet stole my gamers high!

Gamers high is like runners high. In case you don't know what that is, i suggest you try it! Just keep running and running until it hurts. Then run some more. Then the pain will go away and transform into a great feeling. Or your knees turn to jelly, you fall and break your face.
Either way - you will feel more or less lightheaded, happy and calm afterwards caused by the "runners high"... or the painkillers from the paramedics.

I first got a gamers high from Tetris when i was about 8 years old and finally saw the big russian rocket after you beat the type B game at level 9 and height 5. It was so unbelievable hard to beat that fucking game, i even tried to curse at it in fake russian to make it mad and exploit it's weakness. And of course to make me laugh at myself. But instead it made me mad. And stubborn. So i played until it hurt and then i played some more. And more. Repeat until succeed.
But in the end, after seeing the russians dance i thought "that's it, dance for me, idiots! I am your god!"
Actually i think i just jumped across the room and cried tears of joy. But it got me hooked.
I had beaten the game, i was a hero and now i was ready to go and beat Gargoyle's Quest!

Ah well, fuck that stupid game!
Destroyer of my self esteem! Harbinger of so much pain and suffering! I curse you, stupid gargoyle! Can you hear me? Die! Eat batshit and DIE!!

Where was i?
Ah yes, the gamers high. What a wonderfull feeling after beating the all the bad guys, rescuing the princess or making all the blocks disappear. The endless hour when you've been consumed by a game and it is so challenging in the right sense of the word that it sends a relaxing shiver down your spine after beating the last boss. You feel like a bird flying through the sun and surviving it, you are the one and only, Neo and the God of war in one person. You are allmighty!
It doesn't matter that the cool kids beat the crap out of you in school. Or that the only girl that touches you is your 40 year old creepy doctor. When you look in the mirror you don't see the nervous, shy Geek with bad skin, you see Link, covered in Moblinblood and humping Zelda!

Then came the internet

And it made you feel inadequate, small and a part of the mass again. What's it worth rescuing the princess if everyone else does it, too? And how can you be proud of beating Tetris Type B every time, when you see japanese kids playing invisible tetris on lightspeed mode? The fucking blocks are in-fucking-visible?! And they are like super fast? How does he even... what the FUCK!?


So there you have it. It doesn't matter how often you'll tell yourself that all the painfull speedruns and almost robot like insane-mode videos won't touch you, because singleplayer isn't about competing. In the end you know i'm right. The feeling of beating the bad guy after hours, even days of suffering for the first time - it will never be the same again after seeing a bored kid beating the shit out of a game in under an hour, while you spent days or weeks cursing and leaving bitemarks all over the controller.   read

3:34 AM on 10.20.2009

Why console gamers bend over and take it from big companies

Yesterday i needed a new 60GB harddrive for my Xbox360, because i had no space left for the next episode of Fable II. I swallowed my pride and payed 80€ (about 120$) for the promising package.
But as i arrived at home i realised that i didn't had a clue how to transfer my data from the old drive. I tried using a external drive and a usb stick but the damned box wouldn't let me copy MY data!
As i googled i heard the laugther of my non-gaming nerd friend in my head, who had cracked his Xbox360, got 250GB for the price of my 60GB and even uses both drives at the same time without any restriction.

A bit later i found out that i could order a transfer cable for my drives for free if i ask. Isn't that a nice service? And that got me thinking: why didn't i crack mine? And why did i even consider buying a ugly, overpriced memory unit to transfer my savegames or a even more overpriced 120GB drive which has the cable allready included?
We all know why: because we are junkies and bend over for our fix!

They lure us with teasers and trailers, which are nothing more than preview porn - promising us filthy excitment. While in reality it's just a painful assfuck! And what do we do? We wait in line, pre-order months ahead and are happy to pay for getting ripped off and fucked with time and time again.

We yell, we scream and curse the newest game or piece of shit, overpriced hardware to hell.
We pay 60$ (or 90$ for the same game in germany) for 8 hours of gameplay we allready know like the hot neighbours workout schedule.
We pay another load of money for Addons, Bonus Items, Avatar-crap.
We buy stupid hardware that we need to play a single game and sell it away a couple of months later on ebay to buy the next stuff.

And then we yell and scream and curse some more and after a good night's sleep we get back in line for the next pre-ordering. But it's time to stop now!
We are the ones with the power in our hands. Our money is the blood for the corporate vampires so i say stop feeding the greedy bastards! Don't buy games from big companys who don't have a soul and try to sell you high polished crap.
And the fucks who think they can publish absolute awesome games like Demon's Souls* on just one platform to make you buy their console!
Stand up! Burn your manuals!
Dress up in your merchandise clothes and grab your controller!
We'll march to the forts, pull out all the suits and beat the stupid smile from their faces!
Go on! Grab your torches!

I'll join you later, i just have to make a quick stop at my retailer, i think their might be some copies of brutal legend left...

* seriously, dude - fucking awesome article! I don't know if i should thank you or beat the shit out of you for making me want to buy a PS3 because of that game!   read

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