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Monday, December 31, 2012

Games Played 12/24/2012 - 12/30/2012

- 12/24/2012 -
Borderlands 2 - PC
Need for Speed: Most Wanted - PC
Scribblenauts Unlimited - PC
 
- 12/25/2012 -
Lego The Lord of the Rings - PC
Natural Selction 2 - PC
The Walking Dead - PC
 
- 12/26/2012 -
Castle Crashers - PC
The Lord of the Rings: War in the North - PC
Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master - PC
Sonic 3 & Knuckles - PC
Streets of Rage 3 - PC
 
- 12/27/2012 -
Dirt 2 - PC
Galaxy Force II - PC
The Lord of the Rings: War in the North - PC
Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness Ep. I - PC
Streets of Rage - PC
 
- 12/28/2012 -
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - PC
 
- 12/29/2012 -
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - PC
League of Legends - PC
The Lord of the Rings: War in the North - PC
Resident Evil 5 - PC
 
- 12/30/2012 -
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - PC
League of Legends - PC
 
 
Screenshot of the Week:
 
You can find plenty of loot in the most unexpected places...
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (Personal Computer)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Twitch.tv on Loner Gamer

Since I have been doing a lot of gameplay streaming on my twitch.tv page these days, I have decided to embed the live stream video player to this website. So if you just happen to visit and see that the video feed is live, don' be shy to jump on to twitch.tv if you would like to interact with yours truly!

As for the schedule, you will find me broadcasting in the evening starting at around 6:00pm Pacific Time until it is time for me to go to bed. During the weekend, I make the attempt to stream all day long. You may occasionally find me streaming  sporadically throughout the day during the weekdays as well. See you on twitch.tv and I hope you will enjoy the gameplay.

The video player is at the top of the page. I know, I am obsessed with that dog...

Update Notes:

12/31/2012 - I have discovered that adding the video player has an impact on how fast the page loads so I have decided to remove it to avoid inconveniencing my visitors. I hope that there will be a widget that can show my online /offline status for twitch.tv in the near future.

01/05/2013 - I have recently downloaded Google Chrome again because my Internet Explorer 9 seemed to have problems with a number of websites that I frequented, including Blogger, and I discovered just how fast the Chrome browser is. I have used it several years ago and found it buggy but I am really loving it now. I have also noticed that when using Chrome, the embedded video didn't slow the page load! Since 55% of my viewers in 2012 used Chrome to visit the site and only a mere 6% used IE, I have decided to permanently place the Live Gameplay Broadcast on the top of the page again. Enjoy!

Friday, December 28, 2012

LoL: It's Not Glitterlance

Alright I'll admit it. I have been behind in my League of Legends for the Personal Computer. The last time I actually played the game was December 17th! Gasp. I cannot believe that I haven't played any LoL in 10 days! The LoL abandonment can be a good thing however. I have spent the past 10 days playing the other games I have. I did miss LoL though and that was why I logged in to play the game this morning. That ended up being a great decision because when I got into my account, there was some animated sparkly explosion right inside the game client. I wasn't sure what was happening. I thought maybe I have garnered enough honor and that I was being presented with a ribbon but when the animation was complete, I discovered that I got something even better!
 
Riot Points? That is just awesome!
 
I play with Lady Gogo quite often and we normally do the Proving Grounds map in the evening. The Riot Points gift is really nice but the comment and Xmas wish included with it are actually even better. Thanks again Lady Gogo and watch out discounted skins - I will be unlocking some of you soon!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Steam Sale Running Out of... Steam?

I always look forward to the Steam sale events. It is hard to say no to the great deals they offer on so many wonderful games. There is a dark side to this however for someone like me who loves to take advantage of these price cuts: After a while, you actually ran out of discounted games to get! Steam is selling games for cheap faster than developers can make new games - what a dilemma! Since the latest and greatest games don't usually get the ultra discounts, the big releases from the past tend to occupy the featured deal list and when the event lasts for quite a while, like the current Holiday Sale, the same games would end up being cycled through the promotion over and over again.
 
Today's deals... are the deals from the previous days?
 
I think Valve should schedule their limited time offers a little better and avoid re-offering the same deals at a later date within the same sale event. Doing so would foster a sense of urgency within their customers because these days, you know that if you missed out on a featured deal during an event, eventually that same deal would show its face again on a later date. I can't help myself from being disappointed over the last couple of days because I can't find something new to buy from the featured deals. I guess I have too many Steam games. But you know what this means, don't you? People like buying their games on Steam... Perhaps a little too much but that's okay, right?

Cute Sega Genesis Pack Giveaway!

Your gaming friend, the Loner Gamer, is in a generous mood yet again! Do you ever dream of playing some of the best classics Genesis games ever made in the convenience provided by your Personal Computer? Well, quite a number of those are included in the Sega Genesis Classics Pack 4 and even more cool is the fact that I have the code to unlock the Steam version of the compilation pack! This pack includes the following games:
 
Alien Soldier
Gunstar Heroes
Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole
Light Crusader
Shining Force
Shining Force II
Shining in the Darkness
Streets of Rage
Streets of Rage 2
Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair
 
You must have a Steam account to be able to claim this game and if you don't have one, creating one is easy and free. All you have to do to win this giveaway is to simply write a comment below to express your interest in the game pack. You do have to follow the blog to be eligible for this giveaway via the "Join this site" section on the right hand site of the website. One lucky winner will be selected randomly and the result will be announced on Tuesday 01/01/2013! Good luck everyone!
 
Alien Soldier? Gunstar Heroes? Oh yeah, this pack is awesome.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Lengthy Christmas

I just want to wish you my dear readers, a very merry Christmas and I hope that you have a lot of fun today in everything that you do. This year is the first year that I am celebrating Christmas with the new member of the family, my sweet Yoshi, so it felt a little different as the spouse and I get to spoiling her a bit this morning. Poor Yoshi has to stay home this afternoon however because the family will be meeting at a restaurant for our Christmas lunch. With the big additions to my Game Room that I have accumulated over the past several months, in the form of the Personal Computer updates, the new high definition display as well as the Wii U, I think I've had my share of gifts this year but I know there are still some surprises left for me today. Happy gaming and I sure hope that Santa is being generous with you this Christmas as well.
 
Make your Christmas merrier by getting Nights: Into Dreams... on Steam!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Games Played 12/17/2012 - 12/23/2012

- 12/17/2012 -
Of Orcs and Men - PC
Street Fighter x Mega Man - PC
 
- 12/18/2012 -
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams - PC
Mass Effect 3 - PC
Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition - PC
Of Orcs and Men - PC
 
- 12/19/2012 -
4 Elements II HD - iPad
Diablo III - PC
Jetpack Joyride - iPad
Nights: Into Dreams... - PC
Punch Quest - iPad
Torchlight II - PC
 
- 12/20/2012 -
F1 Race Stars - PC
Nights: Into Dreams... - PC/SegaSaturn
Zeit² - PC
 
- 12/21/2012 -
Diablo III - PC
Dirt 2 - PC
 
- 12/22/2012 -
Bejeweled 3 - PC
Borderlands 2 - PC
F1 Race Stars - PC
Nights: Into Dreams... - PC
 
- 12/23/2012 -
Borderlands 2 - PC
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - PC
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - PC
Need for Speed: Most Wanted - PC
 
 
Screenshot of the Week:
 
When it comes to giving heads, this game does a really sloppy job at it.
Borderlands 2 (Personal Computer)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Big Picture Mode Bonus?

I was using the Steam Big Picture mode to launch my games today so that it would be easier for me to transition between games while streaming to my twitch.tv channel and I encountered something... fascinating? I was playing Luxor: Evolved when I had unlocked an achievement. Low and behold! The achievement pop-up using Big Picture Mode is pretty darn big:
 
Valve wants to make sure you can see them achievement pop-ups.
 
I am no achievement whore and thank goodness Steam has a cool achievement system but I think that the size enlargement may be something that would make those who love their achievements crazier. So go ahead, achievement whores... Launch your achievement-enabled Steam games using the Big Picture and enjoy having those notifications being rubbed all over your happy face.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Your Wallet... It Will Die!

The Steam Holiday Sale is here... And you know what that means. Ridiculous savings on new and old games with rapid flash sales and daily deals straight from the devil, I mean, Santa himself! It also means that it is time to say goodbye to whatever remaining cash you have available after you have completed that Christmas shopping. Or perhaps you actually were being a Scrooge with your Christmas shopping just so that you have money to get your delicious Steam games? There is nothing wrong with that of course. Good luck with the sale everyone!
 
It's the end of the world... For your wallet!
 
Meanwhile... On Origin:
Zzz...

Nights: Back into the Dreams...

It has always been inside of you.

When I first played Nights: Into Dreams... on my SegaSaturn back in 1996, it was a magical experience. Everything about the game just worked extremely well - from the gameplay, the music, and all the way to the game's unabashed Freudian sensibilities. The game also looked beautiful with its imaginative characters and colorful, whimsical landscapes. Even back then however, I always thought that the game had a really horrible pop-up problem. Yes, those pop-ups were so very dreadful and they really ruined the overall visual splendor of the game. When walking as the kids or flying as Nights, you can only see areas that are within your close vicinity while everything just appear out of nowhere only when you get near them. If only this problem could be fixed... When Sonic Team released the dreadful sequel Nights: Journey of Dreams for the Nintendo Wii, the pop-up problem was indeed resolved and that game looked mighty impressive at the cost of the original's overall gameplay creativity and cohesiveness that is...

Mirrors never lie.

So, has the main problem in the game addressed now that the Personal Computer high definition re-release is here? The answer is unfortunately a no. That's right, even with the high-tech and glorious graphical technology that is readily available, apparently, the development team responsible for this HD version decided to just keep the pop-ups there. All of them. This is true. Does this mean that you should ignore this re-release if you are a fan of the game? No. Because you know what? The game does look a whole lot better than it did before. The SegaSaturn version can be played in widescreen in the first place so the 16:9 is not a new addition to this release, but at least the character models have been improved where even the enemies and those creepy Nightopians are now full 3D models. The texture details were barely touched but everything still holds up pretty well... except for those annoying pop-ups!

Dreams allow you to take risks without damaging repercussions.

This re-release includes the original SegaSaturn version of the game which I will bet you that you will stop playing after checking it out once because it's kind of silly to do when the HD treatment is a lot more enjoyable and you are pretty much playing the same game with a shared save file. Christmas Nights is also included and thankfully, in HD form as well. I use the X-Box 360 controller to play this game, and I do suggest that you find a controller with an analog stick for this, but the game is playable with the keyboard for those crazy people who will play nothing on the PC unless it is playable with the keyboard and yes, you can assign your own keys but good luck with properly playing the game. I personally found the analog stick on the 360 controller inaccurate compared to that yummy, smooth, comfortable, but large analog "stump" on the SegaSaturn. After a bit of practice, it's manageable however. I found it shocking that there are some missing features here so this is not entirely complete release of the game. The jukebox is missing where you can mix and match all the exchangeable parts of each soundtrack - the soundtrack remixes are thankfully still happening in-game while you play - and in its replacement is just a simple soundtrack menu where you can only listen to one version of the soundtrack. Perhaps I just haven't unlocked it yet? It's been a long while since I played with it on the original so I will update this article if it is indeed eventually unlockable. The 2P versus mode is also not here even though it's just a silly distraction. The most annoying thing about this re-release however is the inability to change your local save name! So at the end of the stages, you are automatically named "Nights". Oh well, at least your Steam account name shows up when you check the awesome online leaderboard, which is something that the original game desperately needed because of the score-driven gameplay.

If you feel moisture while fighting this monstrosity, that means that you have wet the bed.

If you are a true believer that Nights: Into Dreams is the best game that Sonic Team has ever created, then this re-release is perfect for you. Sure, there is a gaping hole of missed opportunities here in terms of actually perfecting the game but this is still the best way to play one of the greatest games of all time. For those new to Nights and its shenanigans, welcome to the dream paradox but be careful - you may never wake up from this particular slumber.

FIRST IMPRESSION: 5 out of 5

Monday, December 17, 2012

Finally Some Capcom PC Love?

There are quite a number of reasons for Personal Computer gamers to dislike Capcom. The infinite delay of the extra characters for Street Fighter x Tekken is definitely on the top of that list. But what's this? To celebrate Mega Man's and Street Fighter's 25th anniversary, Capcom is releasing a free download of Street Fighter x Mega Man, exclusively at least for now for the PC! This tiny 33.8 MB game is reminiscent of the classic Mega Man in both gameplay and presentation. You can download the game by clicking here. Now where are the rest of my SFxT characters, Capcom?
 
Something this epic shouldn't have been free but it is!

Nights: Into Your Freakin' PC...

I have been patient, actually more like very patient, when it comes to the high definition re-release of Nights: Into Dreams... It was released on both the PlayStation 3 and the X-Box 360 in early October of this year and like always, the PC release was supposed to follow soon but it didn't. You may be aware that this very game, originally released on the SegaSaturn, is listed as one of the greatest games I have ever played so there were many times when I actually felt weak over the past couple of months that almost made me get the PS3 version. But I kept holding to my conviction that the best version is just around the corner and today, out of the blue, the game has finally arrived on Steam! Thank you Sega, and thank you Valve for this great gift. What are you waiting for? Get on Steam and buy this incredible game like now!
 
My eyes... Am I... Crying?

Games Played 12/10/2012 - 12/16/2012

- 12/10/2012 -
Bejeweled 3 - PC
Ether Vapor Remaster - PC
Luxor: Quest for the Afterlife - PC
Super Stardust Delta - Vita

- 12/11/2012 -
Ether Vapor Remaster - PC
F1 Race Stars - PC
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams - PC
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit - PC
Need for Speed: Most Wanted - PC
- 12/12/2012 -
Danmaku Unlimited - iPad
F1 Race Stars - PC
Gunstar Heroes - PC
League of Legends - PC
Storm Strikers - iPad
Torchlight II - PC

- 12/13/2012 -
Diablo III - PC
League of Legends - PC
Sine Mora - PC
Torchlight II - PC
- 12/14/2012 -
League of Legends - PC
Mass Effect 3 - PC

- 12/15/2012 -
Bejeweled 3 - PC
League of Legends - PC
Mass Effect 3 - PC
Sine Mora - PC
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 - PC
Uncharted: Fight for Fortune Demo - Vita

- 12/16/2012 -
Deponia - PC
Diablo III - PC
Guild Wars 2 - PC
League of Legends - PC
Sine Mora - PC
Sonic CD - PC


Screenshot of the Week:

"Joker, why is it that I always find you piloting my ship while high on drugs?"
Mass Effect 3 (Personal Computer)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Wii U Touch It?

It has been two and a half weeks since I received the Wii U and you know what? It hasn't seen much use. I haven't played Wii games on it since its arrival and I certainly haven't been playing Nintendo Land that came with my Deluxe Set. Thinking back to all the previous console launches, this is actually rather historical - not to mention it being somewhat hysterical. When I got the other gaming consoles in the past, I played the heck out of them at least for the first week and I did just that when I got my PlayStation Vita not too long ago but with the Wii U, things went dead pretty quickly. I think the problem is definitely the lack of any interesting launch games. The one that I really want to play, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed, unfortunately is a multi-platform release and I am just waiting for the Personal Computer version of it to come out - that is if Sega hasn't cancelled it yet and even if that was the case, I would probably pick up the PlayStation 3 version. What are we going to do about you, Wii U?
 
So the "U" stands for "Useless"?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Buying Movies on Consoles?

I received the following promotional email from dear old Microsoft the other day and thought that it was really funny that they are really trying to push people to buy digital movies for the X-Box 360. I can surely see the reason behind people buying digital movies on the PlayStation 3 because you know, you can upgrade your hard drive easily there as I myself have 1TB worth of yummy space. But if I was a digital movie buyer, I'd just stick with getting them on my Personal Computer thank you very much but on the 360? No, I don't think so. The maximum amount of HDD you can get it 250GB and unless you are not gaming on the 360, that will be filled up with gaming goodies. All this push for non-gaming media... Microsoft should really just leave the console gaming world behind and start making money where they should be making money... From the PC! When it comes to the next X-Box iteration they should just announce the gaming PC as the "X-Box Forever"... KA-CHING!
 
Bane's Mask = $3,300. Not buying digital movies on 360 = priceless.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Spouse and Stream Don't Mix

Since I barely just discovered FFSplit late last night, I decided to do some early morning streaming with the help from the spouse whom of course really didn't want to be bothered with these kind of things. I just wanted to make sure that the live stream looked great so I had the spouse watching me playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for the Personal Computer from the comfort of the dining room on the Macbook Pro. It's always thrilling for me when the spouse watches me play video games, I don't know why, but as you know that is something that only happens once is a millionth cycle of the blue moon. It's even more exciting when the spouse decides to join in on actually playing the game, again, something that I really wish could happen at least once in a while since everyday is out of the question. So the stream ended up looking great but the spouse didn't stay for long. I thought I'd share the text from the spouse who was on my "Lonergamer" twitch.tv account. It was hilarious to see that the spouse got bored pretty quickly before leaving the stream. Check out the stream video here for my futile attempt to keep my spouse interested and stay for a little bit longer that ended with a pitiful goodbye. To put things into perspective though, I feel the same way whenever the spouse forces me to watch one of those stupid shows on HGTV... That Property Virgins show must be eradicated from existence!
 
I did type in "Can't hear me?" entry from the Game Room when
I kept saying hello and the spouse tried to speak into the Macbook Pro itself.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

When Origin Stream Fails...

I was very excited when Origin, powered by Electronic Arts, introduced its twitch.tv integration not too long ago and I had used it quite intensively. After a while, I did stop streaming because even though the feature is extremely convenient, it didn't give me the best looking stream out there and pushing the quality up too high did result in some performance drops in the games that I was playing. Then, I felt the itch to stream again this last Sunday but then when I tried to do it, I encountered an error. At first, I thought Valve implemented some kind of anti-Origin protection with its Steam client because I was trying to stream a Steam game but then I realized that wasn't the case when I couldn't even stream Origin games. I looked up the official forum and discovered that there were others who were experiencing the same problem. This prompted me to look for an alternate solution so I downloaded Adobe's free Flash Media Live Encoder again. After some tweaking, I was able to get very favorable result pairing it up with the SCFH DSF screen capture and you know what? My live stream now looks a whole lot better with even less strain on my computer.
 
Come on EA, you know 40% off is just not enough. I want you to succeed!
 
Well, with the discovery that using FMLE is better than just using Origin, it looks like I may not go back to streaming using the Origin client. Still, it is possible for me to use Origin exclusively in the future. The one great thing about Origin streaming is that it is possible to stream everything in fullscreen while FMLE requires that I stream some games in windowed mode. Origin is also capable of streaming the in-game sound plus a microphone while FMLE is limited for me right now with just the microphone. So, yeah, get on it EA: fix the Origin stream because you know, with your expensive games that never get good discounts, its the only thing that you have that is certainly better than Steam.

Update Note: 12/12/2012 - I managed to find something better to replace FMLE + SCFH DSF and it's called FFSplit. It's a free program that can stream in HD and it's able to gain the in-game audio plus my mic separately. This thing still doesn't do complete fullscreen streaming in the way  of Origin but it's more convenient and most importantly, effective, than the FMLE for sure.

Games Played 12/03/2012 - 12/09/2012

- 12/03/2012 -
7 Wonders: Ancient Alien Makeover - PC
Earthworm Jim - PC
Planetside 2 - PC
Super Stardust Delta - Vita
Torchlight II - PC
 
- 12/04/2012 -
Earth 2160 - PC
Earthworm Jim - PC
League of Legends - PC
 
- 12/05/2012 -
Guardians of Middle-earth - PlayStation 3
Super Stardust Delta - Vita
 
- 12/06/2012 -
Guardians of Middle-earth - PlayStation 3
League of Legends - PC
Torchlight II - PC

- 12/07/2012 -
Guadians of Middle-earth - PlayStation 3
League of Legends - PC
Rise of Immortals: Battle for Graxia - PC
Smite Closed Beta - PC

- 12/08/2012 -
Guardians of Middle-earth - PlayStation 3
League of Legends - PC

- 12/09/2012 -
Diablo III - PC
Guardians of Middle Earth - PlayStation 3
League of Legends - PC
Sine Mora - PC


Screenshot of the Week:

Love games that allow their A.I. to use alternate skins.
League of Legends (Personal Computer)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Not So Special Club Nintendo Reward is Here

As I have mentioned back in July of this year, I feel underwhelmed by the selection of Club Nintendo Platinum level award for the past fiscal year. I surely hope that this won't be the case next year. The reward that I have selected was... the Platinum Mario Playing Cards! Did you guess correctly this year?

Oh yeah Nintendo, this is so going to be popular with my party guests... Not!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Guardians of Middle-earth: MOBA on PS3?

 You know you always wanted to play a mid Gandalf...

I don't know what possessed developer Monolith Productions to release Guardians of Middle-earth which is a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena on the consoles... Real MOBA, as I am excluding Awesomenauts here, is native only to the Personal Computer for a good reason. Mostly, the controls. That should not be that much of a problem though because you can always make a MOBA with keyboard and mouse controls for the consoles but those who game only on consoles may see that as a deterrent. I suppose that Monolith was afraid to go into the PC market because they don't want to get lost between the three MOBA giants: League of Legends, DOTA 2, and Heroes of Newerth. But they got The Lord of the Rings license but I suppose they felt that was just not good enough. Perhaps they wanted to release GoMe on consoles to prove a point? That this genre should find a home on the consoles? I would have believed that last point if they actually included keyboard and mouse control for the game because this game was definitely custom made for the controller, for better or worse.

The towers can hurt a lot even at late game if they were upgraded.

Well, the good news here is that this game is very well done for a console MOBA. At the moment, it features 22 unique champions from the LotR universe, - yes, Gollum included (ewww). There are two maps, one with a single lane and the standard 3 lane map. If you are not familiar with MOBA, basically, you are controlling one of the 5 champions on your team against another team of 5 and your goal is to destroy the enemy base before your enemies destroy yours. Be prepared to be utterly disappointed by the game's graphics. Not only does GoMe look sad and mediocre, the frame rate is downright horrible. Which is a real shame because I know that the PlayStation 3 can do so much better than this. Thankfully, just like any other good MOBAs out there, this game is deliciously fun and addicting. GoMe offers pre-game customization options found in LoL which means that outside of the matches, you get to rank up your player profile which leads to better pre-game preparation.

Now strange as this may sound, there is no gold economy within the matches itself and all of the items that you can equip your character must be done before the game starts. I suppose the developer thought that adding an item shop in the match may be too complicated for console gamers. The problem with this system is that you are then stuck with whatever you are equipped with so you cannot change your strategy mid game but at least your opponent would not be able to do the same. At least the way that you customize the character outside of the matches, to a degree, mirrors how buying items work in other MOBAs. You can equip multiple relics in your belt slot that come with their own stat modifiers and you have to fill these relics up with stat gems. These belts will only be activated when you have reach certain levels while in the match so your character becomes significantly more powerful when those belts are finally in play, just like when a champion has farmed enough gold  and gets an item from the shop. Of course the difference here is that the stat improvements in this game is guaranteed because leveling up should be pretty easy, not to mention that it's maxed at level 14, while in other games, you can really shut someone's gold income down.

In-game shop is overrated?

Since there is nothing to buy in game, creep kills are merely there as a way to get more experience points. Leveling up your character provides you with the ability to upgrade towers and your barracks. Killing enemy champions however will grant a structure damage boost that can stack up until your are killed by an enemy champion. Killing the neutral creeps outside the lanes provides a variety of bonuses. There are also several points on the map that can be captured to provide stat bonus for the entire team. So as you can deduct from these gameplay elements, the game tries to compensate gold gain with plenty of mini objectives to fulfill. Let's move on the most important concern for a console MOBA - the controls. You move your character with the left stick and you aim using the right stick. Yes, it's very restrictive compared to the keyboard and mouse setup so it will take quite a some time to get used to it. The four abilities are triggered using the four buttons on the controller while regular attacks are performed using the R2 trigger. If you are interested to see the other part of the map, you can press both the L3 and R3 and you will enter free camera mode. You can still move your character around while doing this but this is far slower than merely clicking a point on the map with your mouse. It does affect the gameplay, especially when you are roaming the map to assassinate a target but the real flaw in the controls is the way abilities are triggered. The buttons has to be pressed down and then released to activate an ability and the reason why they did this is to allow you to cancel casting with pressing R2 while having the ability button held. But this also means that you cannot instantaneously trigger an ability and in a game like this, that could lead to a lot of failures.

My favorite so far. He's no Ashe but it will have to do.

Despite the problems I have mentioned, GoMe is a very playable console MOBA. As the first MOBA game for the console, I will consider it a success but a lot of lesson can be learned here, the most important one being that developers should allow a console MOBA to use the keyboard and mouse setup. The game is available at retail and from the PlayStation Network Store. Buying the season pass will provide you access to 8 new champions that will be released in the future. I sure hope that there will be more than 8 however because MOBA is a genre where the game can easily last to infinity as long as they keep releasing new champions or at least build the number up to 50 or more champions. Perhaps they will do that if they ever decided to release a free-to-play version on the Personal Computer. I am certainly hooked but I haven't done any matches against other players yet and I won't be doing that until I have unlocked everything I could from my profile rank. I am looking for regular teammates to play the game with so hit me up on PSN and let's get a fellowship going.

FIRST IMPRESSION: 4 out of 5
  

Monday, December 3, 2012

Return to the Revised Tribunal

When it comes to League of Legends for the Personal Computer, I have been behind on my Tribunal judgments and that's an understatement. It never takes too long before I am reminded to jump back on it though like when I got repeatedly matched with rude, nasty folks earlier this evening. When I went to the Tribunal page, things looked different. This is the first time that I have returned to the site ever since Riot Games removed the Influence Points reward for participating in the Tribunal. Now, you actually get to see your judgment being measured alongside other important statistics:
 
A good start and that "Justice Rating" sounds so dignified.
 
The best thing about the new Tribunal system is that when you are a part of the majority vote, you now get to see the cases in question and their outcomes. This is very cathartic and a lot more rewarding than collectiong measly IPs. When you participated in a majority vote that resulted in a permanent ban, that result will add a count to compliment your profile. I don't think I will ever abandon the Tribunal ever again. Let's clean up the LoL community together!

Update Note - 12/04/2012: Actually, you get to see the result of all of the cases you voted on, even if you ended up being in the minority and you can see the action taken for those cases. This is very intriguing.

Steam Big Picture Mode: Live!

Personal Computer gaming on the big screen is not a new concept. I have been doing it ever since I got my first 55" display during the peak of the PlayStation 2 era. Doing it comfortably however with an interface custom made for convenience and accessibility is something fresh and today, Steam's Big Picture mode is finally live after being in beta for quite some time. I am very surprised however by this release because the newer community features have not been implemented into this mode. Typical of Valve, the launch comes with a bunch of discounts for "controller-friendliest" games. What is that? You haven't hooked up your PC to your big screen yet? You don't know what you are missing, especially since those console games don't really support native 1080p, including the Wii U. Go give your display the workout it deserves!
 
Because your living room/Game Room deserves only the best!

Games Played 11/26/2012 - 12/02/2012

- 11/26/2012 -
4 Elements HD - iPad
The House of the Dead: Overkill Extended Cut - PlayStation 3
Super Stardust HD - PlayStation 3
 
- 11/27/2012 -
Castle Crashers - PC
Luxor: Amun Rising HD - PC
 
- 11/28/2012 -
Jetpack Joyride - iPad
Nintendo Land - Wii U
Parsec - iPad
Punch Quest - iPad
Super Stardust HD - PlayStation 3

- 11/29/2012 -
Nintendo Land - Wii U

- 11/30/2012 -
League of Legends - PC
Nintendo Land - Wii U
Sin & Punishment: Star Successor - Wii
Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars - Wii

- 12/01/2012 -
Analogue: A Hate Story - PC
Castle Crashers - PC
League of Legends - PC
Nano Assault - 3DS

- 12/02/2012 -
7 Wonders: Ancient Alien Makeover - PC
Eschatos - X-Box 360
League of Legends - PC
Luxor: Quest for the Afterlife - PC
Phoenix HD - iPad


Screenshot of the Week:

It's not built on my planet so that description is correct.
7 Wonders: Ancient Alien Makeover (Personal Computer)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Wii U Gamepad vs. SmartGlass

As I have mentioned in the previous post, the whole dual screen thing doesn't really work all that well with gaming on the big screen mostly because it's awkward to keep looking up and down between the two displays. So the Wii U Gamepad is not necessarily the most successful new innovative idea in gaming but of course that didn't stop Microsoft from attempting to steal Nintendo's thunder when they introduced the SmartGlass application for mobile devices. It was released in early November but I was never curious about it until I started using the Wii U Gamepad so today, I decided to give it a shot. Basically, the SmartGlass allows you to use your mobile devices, the iPad 2 specifically for me, as a second screen (rolls eyes) and a remote for your X-Box 360 console. The fact that this means you don't get real gaming buttons like what the Wii U Gamepad has made it unattractive to begin with yet, the fact that you get to use awesome, huge screens like the one on my iPad 2 redeems it somewhat.
 
Is the SmartGlass half empty or half full? More like empty in features and full of $#!t.
 
Just like the Wii U Gamepad, navigating what's on your screen using this thing is rather redundant and unnecessary. You can pretty much do everything you need without the assistance of a second screen. The SmartGlass can be turned into a remote and you get to access touch screen buttons as an input method which is as unsatisfying as it sounds. Also like the Wii U Gamepad, the SmartGlass is really only beneficial to access menus and inventory screens in-game but unlike the Wii U Gamepad, doing so will dictate that you have to get your hands off the actual controller which leads to more awkwardness. I don't have the games that support this app unfortunately to discover if the developers can get clever with its implementation. While playing Eschatos this morning, the SmartGlass showcased details about the game and I thought that was neat. You can access the game's information, achievements (rolls eyes), and related games without accessing the in-game dashboard. Then again, if you are looking at the SmartGlass anyway, why not just access the in-game dashboard on your big screen in the first place? We can all blame Nintendo for this incredibly silly second screen in gaming gimmick because we are all going to suffer for it.
 
I don't know if I should waste my iPad's battery power for something like this.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Nintendo: Awesome Digital Distribution

My experience with the recently acquired Wii U has been lackluster thus far. I think that the two dual-screen setup just doesn't work all that well with gaming on the big screen display. The Wii U Gamepad screen is awkward when there's only one video feed coming from of the Wii U, you can't completely turn off the screen of the Gamepad and this caused much redundancies. I can see how the second screen can be used for maps, menus, and inventory screens but then again, one can just access those things from the main display without much hassle. I do like being able to use the screen to interact with the Nintendo Network community while my display is set on my Personal Computer video input. I only have one game to play on the Wii U at the moment  and that is Nintendo Land so it is hard for me to judge the console's graphical prowess - so far, it looks like a high-definition version of the Wii with a little more shine - but I am thinking of getting a couple of games from the Nintendo eShop soon.
 
Nintendo is getting there...
 
The one thing that I am very impressed about with the Wii U is Nintendo's full support for digital distribution for the console. All the retail releases are also available in digital form! Amazing. Microsoft and Sony are very apprehensive about releasing new games on their online store with Sony easing up a bit on that very stupidity recently. If people are going to start downloading a lot of these games from the Nintendo eShop, I have a feeling that Nintendo will go full digital distribution. It's hard to judge if that is eventual however because one need to get an external hard drive, maybe 2TB even, to be able to download a lot of these games. I do plan to get one for the Wii U and as long as Nintendo fix the price point - $59.99 is just completely ridiculous - I will support Nintendo 100% with their digital distribution strategy. Thank you Nintendo for supporting the future of game distribution. Disbelievers of digital distribution, the end is near for you.