Saturday, June 30, 2012

1TB That SOB!

I have decided to upgrade my PlayStation 3's hard drive after seeing that there was only 20GB left of free space in there.  Sure, I can always do some digging and delete the large mandatory game installs from the Blu-ray game discs to recover some space. Still, we all know how long it takes to complete those mandatory installs in the first place so I rather just leave them in the HDD unless I know for certain that I would not be playing the associated games anymore. I have ordered a 1TB HDD that should hopefully be arriving next week and this morning, I have backed up the current data into an external drive. This means however that I should not be playing any games on the PS3 until the HDD transition has occured. So sleep tight my PS3. When you wake up from your slumber, you will love your new implant and you will be a better console thanks to it as well. If only I could 1TB that X-Box 360...

Surprisingly, the back up process only took around 2 hours.
I was ready to leave my unit on for the entire day.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

I'm from the Deep Woods?

First, she was a much beloved queen but Ashe is now merely.... a mad woman left in the wilds? I got another Ashe skin last night for League of Legends on the Personal Computer since they were offering a discount for Woad Ashe. They should have just called this particular skin a "Jungle Ashe" but that would definitely create much confusion. Not that jugnling is mandatory but I really don't like that players don't experiement with dual laning duos anymore. Confused by those statements? Well, why not play this incredible game and understand its delicious intricacies as well as orgasmic action for yourself? Sign up for you free Summoner's account by clicking here. The game is absolutely 100% free to play - the optional skins I have purchased do not give me stats benefits but they provide visual varieties to my champions - and you will be addicted for life.

Watch out. She's aiming at your crotch and she still has her ultimate.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Time to Continue Mass Effect 3?

A lot of people complained about the ending of BioWare's Mass Effect 3 when it first came out because from what I understand, the ending just being too generic and doesn't reflect the choices you have made throughout the game. I really don't really know what the fuss was all about because I never did get to the end of the game. I did invest some good amount of hours into the game and I liked what I played but when I heard that an extended ending was going to be added into the game due to the criticism, I decided to stop playing the game. Well, today is the day when BioWare has finally released the "Extended Cut" - I really hate that stupid terminology, can't it just be "Extended"? - patch to the game. I am of course, very busy with Diablo III these days but I will be downloading this patch later tonight to get the game ready for my eventual return.

They were such in a hurry to release this that the instruction got all messed up.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Games Played 06/18/2012 - 06/24/2012

- 06/18/2012 -
Diablo III - PC
Kid Icarus: Uprising - 3DS

- 06/19/2012 -
Diablo III - PC
Kid Icarus: Uprising - 3DS

- 06/20/2012 -
Diablo III - PC

- 06/21/2012 -
Diablo III - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 06/22/2012 -
Diablo III - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 06/23/2012 -
Diablo III - PC
League of Legends - PC
Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume - NDS

- 06/24/2012 -
Bejeweled 3 - PC
Diablo III - PC
League of Legends - PC
Storm Strikers - iOS

Screenshot of the Week:

Four Barbarians rubbing against each other is never a bad thing.
Diablo III - Personal Computer

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Most Worthless Survey Ever?

I logged on to the X-Box LIVE app on my iPad earlier today and saw that they have a survey available on the main page that asks participants to "choose the best video game characters". At first, I thought it was cute, until I saw the candidates. I was expecting them to be X-Box 360 related characters, but they are not. So why did they even bother with this thing when they know that a majority of the community would vote for Master Chief? It's like Microsoft is trying to justify themselves as the best in the industry because these selections include favorites from both Nintendo and Valve. Of course they couldn't put a Sony character in there because they know they'll get sued if they do that...

Microsoft wants a pat in the back...

Look Nintendo, we beat your silly plumber mascot! Take that Miyamoto!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Diablo III: Distracting Monk

I should really be attempting to beat the Inferno difficulty of Diablo III on the Personal Computer with my level 60 Witch Doctor and hunt for the best gear but I have been spending most of my time with the game leveling up my other heroes. First, it was Abstinence and now, I have a new favorite. I thought that the Monk was the most boring class in this game but boy I was very wrong. I love my Chit the Monk so much - love the fierce melee action that puts her right in the center of a fight - that I am ready to dedicate myself to getting her to level 60 and take her all the way to the end of Inferno before I go back to the other characters. I should have just sampled each character class at least to level 10+ like I did recently and I wouldn't have found myself in the current situation.

The female Barbarian may be manly but this female Monk is more violent for sure.

Getting Wet in Waterloo

The North American server of League of Legends for the Personal Computer has been plagued by some serious downtime over the past several days and whenever it became available again, the queue time to get into the game has been ridiculous - up to 3 hours for me. This didn't discourage me from wanting to play the game however. As a matter of fact, when I finally got online after a long period of wait tonight, I even got myself another alternate skin to further enhance my play experience and the champion of choice this time around is the sexy pirate, Miss Fortune. If you were wondering how I managed to survive a 3 hour queue - the quick answer to that is Diablo III, of course!

The Waterloo outfit provides Miss Fortune with some dignity and class.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

StreetPass Hunting Ground: Chinese Buffet

In this regular feature, I will be reporting the unexpected places where I received a StreetPass tag for my Nintendo 3DS. I bring my 3DS pretty much everywhere these days, an action that is made easier thanks to the Hard Pouch. Hopefully, these articles will help you plan out the places you need to hit in that desperation to score just one more visitor to your Mii Plaza. Today's spot is one of the many stops that the spouse and I made during our wedding anniversary escapade: a Chinese buffet! I have eaten here many times before - it's one of our favorites - but usually on the weekend so perhaps the winning formula here is to be a patron during the weekdays?

That would be an X-Box Live party? Sorry but my LIVE Gold already expired.

While eating, I thought I felt the Nintendo 3DS vibrated and when I looked at it, I saw the green light notification and checked out the visiting Mii immediately. It was a little boy. The place was rather packed so I didn't notice a kid that matched the Mii so I suppose it could be possible that the signal came from outside the restaurant. But the lesson here is this: If you bring your 3DS to a Chinese eatery, you may earn yourself more than just a fortune cookie.


Does Love Conquer the PS Vita?

Today is my wedding anniversary and the spouse and I decided to celebrate it by spending the entire day running around the nearby cities together. I don't like the hot weather - the spouse loves the heat - but it was such a beautiful day and we had so much fun. We spent most of our time at a park near the river. We didn't have the day planned, we pretty much just went to whichever place that came to mind and that was a nice change of pace for us, especially me because I have always been and forever will be such a control freak.

Who knew the California State Capitol could become such a romantic spot?

At the end of the day, the spouse handed me a gift box and it was a moment that I didn't quite look forward to. The spouse loves getting me games and I just had a feeling that the spouse may have picked up the PlayStation Vita because I had been frequently asked about that dreaded thing, in which every single time I answered with a straightforward "No". Why don't I want the Vita? The screen isn't high definition as promised. It is NOT as powerful as a PlayStation 3 nor an X-Box 360. It has stupid loading time. And worst of all is its expensive propriety memory solution. As I slowly opened my present, I tried to find reasons to justify having a Vita in my Game Library... and I couldn't find one. Yes, there are games that are exclusive to the Vita that I want but I know for certain that those games will be released on the PS3 eventually. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw the actual contents of the package:

An infinite number of galaxies better than getting a Vita.

So it is safe to say that the day ended on a high note for us. I know that if the Vita did arrive today, I would have to somehow implement it into my life because I consider everything that the spouse gives me as something truly special. Why was I worried in the first place? Well, even though the spouse reads my articles and talks to me about my gaming interests, sometimes the spouse likes to present me with interesting challenges just for fun. So the Vita threat is over for now.... Let's keep it that way, okay hun?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Games Played 06/11/2012 - 06/17/2012

- 06/11/2012 -
DOTA 2 Beta - PC

- 06/12/2012 -
Bug Princess - iPad
Diablo III - PC
Tekken 5 - PlayStation 2
Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown - PlayStation 3

- 06/13/2012 -
Diablo III - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 06/14/2012 -
Diablo III - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 06/15/2012 -
Diablo III - PC
The House of the Dead: Overkill Extended Cut - PlayStation 3
League of Legends - PC

- 06/16/2012 -
DOTA 2 Beta - PC
EyePet & Friends - PlayStation 3
League of Legends - PC
Medieval Moves: Deadmund's Quest - PlayStation 3

- 06/17/2012 -
Diablo III - PC
League of Legends - PC
Ys Seven - PlayStation Portable

Screenshots of the Week:

You know the L.G. rule: If it wears a kimono, the L.G. will fall in love with it.
Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown - PlayStation 3

Diablo III - Personal Computer

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Diablo III Sexy Time!

I have spent about 76+ hours playing Diablo III by Blizzard for the Personal Computer with my Witch Doctor character alone but I after tonight's session, I have a feeling that perhaps my obsession with all that voodoo mumbo jumbo may have been somewhat misplaced. When I first started the game, I created one character per class but of course, I mainly focused on the Witch Doctor. Lately, I have been leveling up my female Barbarian and she is starting to really grow on me. Not that I like tanky characters and her abilities so far are not as fascinating as the other classes but... playing her is really entertaining.

I doubt that she's a virgin. Then again...

So what makes her character so special to me? Well, for the first time, I feel that her name fits her character perfectly. I use the name "Abstinence" a lot for my characters in a plethora of different games just because of the prudish implication - I know, I am weird like that - and though I had a lot of fun playing those characters with the same name before, I finally found the real character that deserves that name. This female Barbarian is seemingly independent and strong. She sounds like a dude, smells like an ox, and seems to be interested in nothing but beating up anything that moves to a pulp. It would definitely be a lot easier for an approaching love interest to get a punch in face than a kiss on the lips. Want to spend the night with her? Forget about it! Then, there's that new banner I just created with the hearts. Oh, such perfect moment of bliss.

Just one of the boys.

My love for Abstinence became intensified when I joined a public game that had two male Barbarians in it. I don't know, something about being the only female Barbarian in that trio just made me feel special for some reason. It's like she's saying "Look at me boys, I can hit just as hard and you know that we can go make some Barbarian babies when Diablo is dead." I guess the inner feminist in me has completely taken over my mind tonight... Or perhaps my brain is just being overactive just to make another DIII level-up session more exciting than it actually is since I have been playing my low level characters a lot lately. Nah, I think the League of Legends server being offline today should be blamed for this delusional episode for sure.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

My First PS3 Import Game?

I thought that it was rather amusing when I received  a gift in the form of the PAL version of EyePet & Friends for the PlayStation 3 today: Honey, you always manage to keep things interesting in my life. As you may already know, the PS3 is import-friendly and iss not region-locked so the game plays perfectly on my domestic console. This is the first import game that I own for the console - not that this is anything special because this game also got a domestic release. When it comes to the game case presentation, I prefer the North American release. The Japanese versions always look the best however and the worst of them usually befallen our European brethren. The cover art for this one that I got however doesn't look bad at all - except for that horrid green PEGI eye-sore of a rating box - and interestingly, it is different from the domestic release as you can witness from the images below:

It's all about being adorable and innocent in the North American release.

For the PAL release, they look like cheeky little brats who are ready to commit mischiefs.

We all know that things are edgier in Europe since they are generally more liberal than how things are here in the United States and that is why they were able to get away with a risque image like that - on top of the unmistakenly sinister expressions, it is easy to misinterpret that the EyePet on the left is trying to kiss the other EyePet if one is not paying close attention. If not for that foul rating box I mentioned earlier and the unnecessary blue border that surrounds the central image, the European cover actually looks a lot better between the two. I think developers should always have fun with their physical game covers for art's sake while retail releases still last. But I know that in the end, it's all about the lowest common denominator.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The PS2 Dominance is Finally Over

Well, I had a feeling that it was coming but I didn't expect it to be this fast. My Personal Computer now has more games than my PlayStation 2. How did I get the boost of four games in the period of 4 days? Well, two days ago, Steam sold Velvet Assassin for less than $2 and then I went to to check out their Ubisoft game promotion only to find out that they have 3 more games being offered for free: Two older games in the form of Dragonsphere and Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar as well as a newer title called Treasure Adventure Game.

Looks like my library is slowly expanding.

I highly recommend that you visit the site to check out those games. So as of today, the total number of games for the PC has reached 465 titles. If the PS2 is going to be making a comeback, it's going to be a while before it happens I am sure because I am not in desperate need to get the games that I am still interested in inducting for that platform anytime soon.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

May 2012 Gaming Analysis

The results shown below are of course based on the combined data from the Daily Game Log which should provide a clear indication of a game's usage frequency. Bear in mind that even if a game is played twice or more during a particular day, it would still register as 1 in the Day Count column below. In a sense, "merits" are given based on how often a particular game can make me play it again throughout the entire period of the month on a daily basis. A game that makes a gamer play it over and over again or at least spend a lot of time with it... Isn't that what we mostly want from a great game? I don't think it's really fair to count all the way down to the number of hours played since some games only require a short amount of time to properly serve their purposes.


Total Games Played: 52

It was a bloody battle last month when Diablo III for the Personal Computer came into the picture. As you can see from the data above, I have played DIII every single day since the 15th. It is the only game in quite some time now that could even come close to League of Legends, also for the PC, which still managed to become to most played game of the month. It's obvious that LoL is still such an obsession to me because the day count didn't get severely impacted by DIII's arrival.

Compared to these two, the rest of the numbers recorded were rather unremarkable of course but Fishdom HD on the iPad and Sacred 2: Fallen Angels for the PC did manage to climb their way up to share the third spot. Fishdom HD is more of a faux aquarium for my Game Room, something that will hold me over until I get a real one. I am really thinking about installing a really small, low-maintenance tank  in my room. I already have a spot where I can place it. As for Sacred 2: Fallen Angels, I was just using that game to help ease the wait for DIII. It is a really fun game and it deserves more of my time so I plan to return to it once I am completely tired of DIII.

This Month's Inductees:

Total Inductions: 37

Monday, June 11, 2012

The PS2 Dominance is Almost Over

In my Game Library, the PlayStation 2 holds the greatest amount of actual game count at 464 titles. Well, things are about to change pretty soon. As of today, my Personal Computer has just hit 461 titles. 3 more games to take things to a tie and 4 more games to fully take over as the platform with the most games. It's eventual at this point, but there are still games that I wanted for the PS2. So perhaps things will be interesting for a little while. Maybe that PS2 will keep on fighting to defend or reclaim its glory. We shall see.

Things are really heating up in the Game Room!

Games Played 06/04/2012 - 06/10/2012

- 06/04/2012 -
Diablo III - PC
DOTA 2 Beta - PC

- 06/05/2012 -
Diablo III - PC
Fable III - PC
The House of the Dead 4 - PlayStation 3

- 06/06/2012 -
Diablo III - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 06/07/2012 -
Diablo III - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 06/08/2012 -
League of Legends - PC

- 06/09/2012 -
Diablo III - PC

- 06/10/2012 -
Diablo III - PC
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II - PC

Screenshot of the Week:

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II - Personal Computer

Friday, June 8, 2012

Take Me to Valha-Oops-Summoner's Rift!

When I loaded up the League of Legends client for the Personal Computer early this evening, I noticed that a Leona skin is currently on sale! As you may remember, I consider Leona to be the best looking LoL champion to date - which means that she is a million times a looker compared to Soraka - and I have been waiting for to unlock this Valkyrie skin of hers for a very long time!

I really adore Leona's default look but this Valkyrie skin is quite irresistible.

Ready to chain stun in style.

The coolest thing about this skin sale is that I just recently started playing a lot of Leona so it came in just in time to enhance my LoL experience. Still not playing LoL? What's the delay? It's one of the best games ever made and it's even truly free to play! Click here to open up for free summoner's account and start playing this game immediately!

Review: Prometheus

Prometheus (2012)
Genre: Sci-Fi
Format: Non-3D Theatrical Release
Director: Ridley Scott

It's been a while since I first head the news that Ridley Scott had started working on a prequel to Alien and I remember how I excited I was about the prospect of that idea. Another claustrophobic horror sci-fi movie is something that is amiss from the current cinematic world. Prometheus stays pretty close to that territory but it's a departure from the series and it still shares similar themes to the original in both its ideas as well as visual design and execution.

If you have seen the theatrical trailers for this movie, the unfortunate thing here is that you pretty much already know almost everything that happens in the movie. I was one of the victims of this marketing catastrophe and I am so disappointed that Scott failed to control his advertising team to ensure that the entirety of the movie's main storyline remains hidden until the actual viewing. If you haven't seen those trailers, I of course, will only give you what those trailers should have done: a basic premise without sharing the detailed plot. A team is sent to a remote planet to find a civilization that had potentially created human life on Earth. When they arrive, they eventually learn that their lives may be in jeopardy.

The main strength of Prometheus is that the movie provided a rather convincing atmosphere of intrigue by allowing plenty of the things that take place on screen left unexplained. The problem with this however is that the movie is quite uneventful. There are only a total of two or three powerful scenes in the movie that will forever haunt my memory. The rest of the movie just feels stretched out. That being said, the film feels unique in which it's a blend of creature feature and character drama. The movie does manage to bring up some interesting comments about theology and it even goes into questions in regards to artificial intelligence but none of these really make too much of an impression when all is said and done. They become nothing more than convenient plot devices.

Do I like Prometheus? Yes, I had fun watching it. It has great performances and convincing special effects consistently grace the screen but the movie just doesn't feel meaty enough. I like that it differentiated itself from everything else in the Alien series but just being different is not enough when little impact is made. Maybe it needed a little more horror and a little more gore to make it whole. The movie has a serious tone to it but perhaps it just needed to be a little darker - a spaceship full of people heading towards their doom is not necessarily a path less travelled. So at least litter it with plenty of bread crumbs or even blood spatter along the way to make things a lot more memorable.

RATING: 3 out of 5

StreetPass Tag Hunting Ground: Prometheus Midnight Premiere

In this regular feature, I will be reporting the unexpected places where I received a StreetPass tag for my Nintendo 3DS. I bring my 3DS pretty much everywhere these days, an action that is made easier thanks to the Hard Pouch. Hopefully, these articles will help you plan out the places you need to hit in that desperation to score just one more visitor to your Mii Plaza. Today's location also include the specificity of time - the midnight premier of the anticipated sci-fi movie Prometheus by Ridley Scott. I have taken my 3DS to the movie theater every single time I go there ever since I got the handheld in December of last year. I have never gotten a tag from the theaters before, until earlier this morning! The only question that remains is whether 3DS gamers are in the minority or the majority of the attending audience. The result is rather disappointing:

Wow. I guess the gamers are at home, fast asleep.

The theater that the spouse and I went to had two auditoriums showing the movie simultaneously, one in digital and the other in digital 3D and they were next to each other so the 3DS should have been able to pick up the tags from both auditoriums - the spouse and I decided the choose the former, which ended up looking incredible without having to worry about awkward 3D sequences that can take one away from the film. The auditorium was almost completely full, there were a few empty seats in the back and I could only assume that the same was the case for the 3D showing judging from the amount of people leaving the theater at the end of the show. So it is a bit disheartening to know that there are not a lot of serious sci-fi fans out there in my area who own a 3DS and you know that only the hardcore, like the spouse, who would be willing to go out of their way to watch a movie at midnight on a weekday. I really shouldn't complain though: two is a huge improvement compared to my previous visits.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Are Prometheus Viewers 3DS Gamers?

My sci-fi crazed spouse really, really wanted to watch Ridley Scott's Prometheus so I got tickets to watch the midnight showing of the movie tonight. Like usual, whenever we watch a midnight movie, I get to be the one who gets to stay awake until it's time to go while the spouse gets to skip 5-6 hours of waiting time conveniently via a good sleep. We have tried using the alarm clock this one time a long time ago to wake us up at 11:00pm but none of us actually heard the alarm and we woke up about 4:00am the next day all groggy and upset. I will be playing a lot of League of Legends and Diablo III on the Personal Computer tonight so it's not going to be that hard for me to stay up: Hit me up online and say hi and let's play a couple of games together! We have not attended a midnight premiere in close to 3 years: we are very picky about our movies. This will be the first time that I will be bringing my Nintendo 3DS to a midnight premiere and I am very curious to see if the other sci-fi nerds attending the show just happen to be 3DS fans themselves. Will I get a lot of StreetPass tags from a packed theater? I will report my finding tomorrow! Speaking about the 3DS, I finally got my Circle Pad Pro recently. I had been waiting for Nintendo to restock it and they finally did when I checked last week. You know that there is absolutely no way that I would pick one up from GameStop. I should have convinced the spouse to do the same for me with Xenoblade Chronicles.

Design flaws aside - like the battery compartment placement - it's a cool attachment.

I made sure that the thing works by playing Kid Icarus: Uprising. The game itself doesn't support dual stick controls but I was able to navigate through the menus using the second stick and the shoulder buttons on the Circle Pad Pro. Perhaps it would have worked on the other games as well, never thought about that until now. The next thing I need to do is get Resident Evil: Revelations so that I can revel in the dual stick handheld gameplay. I hope that Nintendo will release more games that will take advantage of this attachment. Maybe that will happen when the dual-stick 3DS comes out.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

PS+: Happy Now, Regret Later

The PlayStation Plus membership, or what I like to call it, a good place for one to burn money on nothing just because one has some extra cash laying about doing nothing on one's checking account or credit card, is offering a lot of free games to be downloaded for the month of June and they include some pretty big titles, as you can see from the image below:

"YOUR Instant Game Collection"? Well, well, what a pretty lie.

These are definitely an impressive group of games to be offered for free but if you haven't subscribed to PS+ yet, you should really think about things logically. Ask yourself this question: Do you like to be in control of when and why you play games or do you like to play them sequentially based on what's available to you? If your answer is the former, there is no reason for you to be on PS+. The allure may be irresistible but you know that you won't be able to play those games quickly enough before the next batch of free PS+ games are being offered in the upcoming months for however long you plan to subscribe to the program. It's all an illusion. You're paying money to gain access to Sony's library of games that they know you won't be able to thoroughly use. The hard drive space is limited too and to keep redownloading the plethora of big games to access them later? The chances of you actually doing that is slimmer than you think. Now, here are the more important questions: Do you buy or rent your games? Also, do you plan on keeping your games or you are one of those who sell their games? The PS+ is perfect for those who rent but if you like to buy, just forget about it. Also, you have to remind yourself that the PS+ program will eventually end and if you read that subscription agreement carefully, you will lose access to all these games once your subscription ends. The PS+ is basically a glorified rental program. You are offered an ever increasing amount of games every month that require time commitment more than what you actually have and Sony knows this. They also know that you never own the licenses for these titles permanently. Don't be fooled and make the right decision and skip the PS+. Unless of course, all you do is rent your games.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Microsoft E3 2012: Proper Perspective

A lot of X-Box 360 fans were not happy with Microsoft's E3 conference this morning that focused mostly on the media enhancements and usages of the device. Not even the Halo 4 announcement couldn't hide the fact that there were hardly any noteworthy 360 exclusive games being shown at the conference. Still, I personally think that Microsoft's showing was a success. Allow me to explain. Did you notice how I refer to the 360 as a "device" in the first sentence instead of a console? Well, repeat after me:

The X-Box 360 is not a dedicated gaming console. It is a set top entertainment box with gaming capability.

Again - now remember, you have to believe it or it won't work:

The X-Box 360 is not a dedicated gaming console. It is a set top entertainment box with gaming capability.

Now, transport yourself back to the conference and remember all the things that were shown. The additional channels that you can get to watch if you pay for the LIVE Gold subscription... The access to the "SmartGlass" technology that allows unprecedented mostly non-gaming media connectivity between your tablet devices and your 360 - just push aside the fact that Microsoft is trying to mimic the capability of the Wii U controller here, that is beside the point. Does everything make sense now? Yes, if you don't consider the 360 as a dedicated gaming console, Microsoft's E3 was truly a rousing success!

I must say that all of the movie/television/music push for the console is a clear indication of the future of the 360 and its successor - if Microsoft would even consider releasing one at this point. They can make a lot of money from just offering the 360 as a set top box. They don't need to invest on the creation of a new console, I mean, device because the 360 is very capable in delivering the non-gaming materials to their customers - as long as those people fail to realize that they can access those things without paying for a subscription via a multitude of other more attractive venues.

Don't rage! Understand the true nature of the 360 and embrace it.

Update Note: 7:25pm - The X-Box 360 is not a dedicated gaming console but based on Sony's E3 showing this year, wow, that PlayStation 3 is definitely a dedicated gaming console!

Games Played 05/28/2012 - 06/03/2012

- 05/28/2012 -
Akai Katana - X-Box 360
A Pew Pew Land II HD: Ultimate Tower Defense Game - iPad
Diablo III - PC
Gears - iPad

- 05/29/2012 -
Beat Hazard Ultra - iPad
Diablo III - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 05/30/2012 -
Asphalt 6: Adrenaline HD - iPad
Bug Princess - iPad
Diablo III - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 05/31/2012 -
Cut the Rope: Experiments - iPad
Diablo III - PC
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 - PlayStation 2

- 06/01/2012 -
Diablo III - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 06/02/2012 -
Diablo III - PC
League of Legends - PC
PixelJunk SideScroller - PlayStation 3
WarioWare: Smooth Moves - Wii

- 06/03/2012 -
Diablo III - PC
League of Legends - PC

Screenshot of the Week:

LoL's double IP weekend couldn't stop me from playing a lot of this game.
Diablo III - Personal Computer

Sunday, June 3, 2012

How to Survive the Modern Gaming Age

Are you new to gaming and would like to know the best approach to the hobby? Or are you someone who has been gaming for a while like myself, who is discovering how vast the gaming industry has become and it becomes tougher and tougher to experience everything it has to offer? To both and those in between, I have written the following insights as a guide, or a point of reminder if you will, for myself to stay focused in my gaming life while being fully in control of my gaming hobby instead of allowing it to ever control me.

Arming yourself with just a PlayStation Move gun will not be enough to survive.

1) Maintain a Competent Gaming Personal Computer
With the help with Valve's Steam digital distribution service, PC gaming has matured into the best place to game compared to other platforms out there. Before investing money on another platform, whether new or old, the gaming PC has to be maintained properly to take advantage of newer gaming technologies, which usually means a major hardware upgrade every 5-6 years or so with potential graphics card upgrade twice during that period of time. Things have slowed down somewhat these days but this aspect of PC gaming has always been criticized by naysayers: What those people fail to realize is that unlike the consoles, most of your games will survive new PC operating systems and will realistically be that way for the rest of your life. Console gaming has pretty much abandoned the idea of backwards compatibility in favor of profit by re-releasing old games on the new consoles but that is never the case for PC gaming. Also, gaming on the PC will ensure that one is always at the forefront of the gaming universe. PC gaming sets standards that will eventually be followed by the consoles, like high definition graphics, post-release patches, downloadable contents, and eventually, free to play business model as well as digital-only distribution of software. The gaming PC has to take priority over everything else in one's Game Library. Mind you that I am not saying that one should only game exclusively on the PC because that would be a bit misleading. What I am saying however is that the gaming PC should be the core of one's gaming life before one ventures out into the other areas of gaming because it is the best place to game.

2) Never Invest on a Launch Console Hardware
Once something that only happens in the realm of the Nintendo DS handheld, console makers are being so bold about making big hardware changes, as we have seen during this PlayStation 3, X-Box 360, and even the Wii generation. When the "next generation" of consoles role out, I will not get them until a year or two have passed or until the next major hardware revision happens unless the purchase is outside of my direct control. The greatest benefit of this is that once it's time to invest, there will be plenty of games ready to be picked up at whim and their prices would be low as well. Waiting for the new console hardware works extremely well with the first point I made about having a competent gaming PC. While waiting, I won't be missing out on anything really because the PC games will keep me busy. Besides, gaming on the PC in the first place propels the gamer several "generations" ahead of the current or any upcoming, supposedly powerful new consoles.

3) Set a Game Price Budget
I am not going to discuss this one too much because I have written about it in length previously, which you can read by clicking here. Basically, one should always aim for a price that's a lot lower than the current recommended purchase price. This way, one will also be discouraged to just get out there to pick up a new game and instead, one would wait until the price of that game has become significantly lower. Sure, we should always make an exception or two every year like I did with Diablo III recently but make sure that those exceptions are truly few and far between.

4) Play What You Want to Play
These days, gaming allows us to connect with other gamers easily due to the popularity of social connectivity in gaming clients and online multiplayer modes of play. The one mistake that I have made many times years ago was getting a game just because an online acquaintance convinced me to get that very game for online multiplayer purposes. I quickly found out that the sessions never last and then I was left with a game that I really don't have any reason to play on my own. Never allow anyone to convince you what you should or should not be getting. Sure, as a careful gamer, getting other gamers' opinions about a game is a good practice but always allow your own gut instinct to make the final decision and the decision must abide to this rule: that you would be able to have fun with that game without being dependent on having someone else, online or offline, playing the game with you. I know it's bleak to say this but friendships don't last forever and I learned that the hard way so don't risk it.

It is so easy for someone like myself, who wants to conquer everything that the video gaming universe throws at me, to get lost into a violent loop of obsession and unquenchable desire for more and there is a certain danger to those conditions - one of them being someone who ends up with too many games than there are the amount of time to play them. I know that I have not reached that point just yet and I just know that there must be a solid strategy to survive this hobby and that was what prompted me to come up with the important points I listed above. I know that it is hard to resist the ever increasing new promises that the gaming industry has served up for us but I know that adhering the the rules I have laid out will ensure that I will always come out on top at all times.

Update Note: 06/12/2013 - My thoughts on PlayStation 4 and X-Box One

Saturday, June 2, 2012

DOTA 2: Cosmetics Only Works for Me!

Yesterday, Valve has officially announced that DOTA 2 for the Personal Computer via Steam will be a free to play game! Oh yes! Not only that, the game will support the Steam Workshop as well! Unlike League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth however, Valve is presenting us with something unprecedented within the framework of the free to play business practice: The only thing they will be selling in the store will be vanity items to customize champions! Not willing to spend real money on those items? You can just accumulate Battle Points, which are granted when you finish a matchmaking game, to do so! Here's the revolutionary statement that will change everything we know:

"All of the heroes will be available free of charge. We believe restricting player access to heroes could be destructive to game design, so it’s something we plan to avoid."

This is huge difference because in those other games, you have to earn in game currency (or use real money if you are impatient) to unlock champions. This will possibly impact how things will be handled by the competitors - just the way Riot Games forced S2 Games to make HoN free to play last year. Let this also be a lesson that real free to play games can work. You just need to make sure that the games themselves are good and when you turn those who play the games into fans, they will spend some money on visual alterations that have no impact on the actual gameplay. Of course the real question now is this: When will DOTA 2 be officially released? From the time I have spent on the game, it's pretty much ready to go. Balance tweaks will always continue to happen so there is no reason why Valve is delaying the official release. I can't wait to see how the competitors will react to this announcement. If you don't have one, create your Steam account now and get ready for the most generous, most beautiful, most exciting, and most intriguing free to play game ever released! The only thing that can kill this game is of course the community so make sure to convince your friends to play with you when the game comes out!

Mix and match items to make your champions pretty or ugly! The choice is yours!

Update Note: Heroes of Newerth has succumbed to this with their Patch 2.6.11 released on 07/20/2012 that grants all players access to all non early-access (newly released) heroes. With this design, I don't think anyone would purchase those early access heroes anymore so they should just allow all heroes accessible immediately. We will see if this will eventually impact LoL.