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Thursday, January 31, 2013

What a Transformation!

No, not from the Shinobi series... But from the Total War: Shogun series!

When I first learned that the sequel to Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing was going to introduce vehicle transformation elements, I am not going to lie to you, I was really worried because I don't want them to add unnecessary things to what was already the perfect kart racing game. Then, after seeing some gameplay footage from Sonic All-Stars Racing: Transformed, I began to realize that it may actually work. Of course it was hard to tell when I was not the one holding the controller. Today, the Personal Computer version of the game has finally been released, complete with the 3 PC-exclusive characters, and despite its cheaper price versus the console iterations, it's not a sloppy port! On my PC, I am able to run the game at native 1080p with all the settings maxed at rock solid 60 frames per second. I play the game with the X-Box 360 controller and it works flawlessly. Those crazies who would only play a PC game with a keyboard will be happy to know that they can do so and that they can assign the keys however they wish.

♫Blue, blue skies!♫

From the get go the one thing that is most noticeable with this game is the monumental amount of efforts that was put into the game's graphics. The characters and vehicle have a lot of details to them but those racing tracks, my galaxy, they are absolutely remarkable. Those familiar with the Sega brand will be able to pick up on a lot of subtle little additions to the surroundings but even if you are completely oblivious to anything Sega, you can appreciate the ever changing environment and crazy events happening while you are racing. There are no other racing games out there that could match the energy and excitement that these tracks generate. Now the kart racing itself is pretty standard and that's okay. The important thing here is that the controls are responsive and tight. The game uses the drift mechanic heavily - basically, the longer you drift, the more boost you get - and that is true even when you transform into an aircraft as well as a speedboat. The most dramatic gameplay difference between the three forms is of course the aircraft because you then have access to more maneuverable space. Instead of being jarring, the transitions between the three vehicle types are actually cleverly punctuated and they create cool moments along the tracks.

Good luck blocking that face from showing up in your next nightmare...

The game comes with plenty of game modes that include a variety of challenges and there are a lot of race tracks too. I sure wish that all of them are new however because Sumo Digital decided to remake 4 from the last game. A nod to the Mario Kart games, you can say. Apparently, they didn't think that this game has the potential to be vastly superior to that series. I feel differently about that. Nintendo will have to work hard on their next Mario Kart game for the Wii U to be able to stay competitive with this game. I haven't tried the online multiplayer yet for I am having too much fun playing the single player modes. Sega & All-Stars Racing: Transformed, just like the first game, is one of Sega's finest works and is a further testament that Sega games should always be released on the PC.

After seeing this in motion, you will be begging Sega for a Skies of Arcadia sequel.

FIRST IMPRESSION: 5 out of 5

Windows 8 Here I Come?

Today is the last day for the Windows 8 upgrade promotion before the price for it begins to skyrocket. But with the way Windows 8 has been selling, perhaps they should keep offering it at that super low price? Since my new Personal Computer came with Windows 7, I am also qualified for a much larger discounts to get it. The problem here of course is that Windows 8 hasn't been getting that good of a publicity and it was hard to find good recommendation from other gamers in regards to the operating system's impact on gaming. As far as the Steam community goes, those who don't have Windows 8 seem to want to steer clear from it while early adopters only have to say nice things to say about about it: typical. For me, game compatibility is the one major concern even though just like any other OS upgrade, there always seem to be a way around that problem. I personally think that the new Metro interface looks pretty cool even though it is obviously inspired by the X-Box 360 dashboard and the touchscreen control. None of my close gaming friends have adopted Windows 8 and it looks like I will be the first to jump on board... Half-way that is. I have decided to get the upgrade but I will wait before I actually install this thing - when the upgrade download was complete, I selected the upgrade via media option and saved the install file as an ISO image.  Maybe I will wait for the eventual service pack that usually comes with plenty of fixes. With Sonic and All-Stars Racing: Transformed coming out today, I am not going to risk being unable to play that game. Oh wait: The system requirements claim that it's Windows 8 compatible! Hmm...

You know what would have made this easier for a lot of people?
Make past and future X-Box games playable on Windows 8.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Achievements: No Place is Safe!

I have seen some truly stupid achievements in the past, like this one where the developer hypnotizes you into killing your own friend in battle, but last night, I think I can say now that I have seen it all. So I got Hitman: Absolution for the Personal Computer over the weekend from the Square Enix Sale on Steam and since the game has a benchmark tool, I proceeded to run it to make sure that the game would play nicely with all the settings maxed out. I was blown away by how magnificent the game looked, even though the overall frame rate fluctuates between 40+ to 70+ per second. Then, out of nowhere: POP! SURPRISE! An achievement. It happened so fast and unexpectedly that I couldn't get to the F12 Steam screenshot key before the pop-up disappeared. Upon immediate investigation, I found out that the achievement that I just unlocked was called "Take me to the geek", which was awarded for running the benchmark...

Next, I imagine some bold developers adding an achievement for exiting their games?

I know chie/phie whores do not understand the meaning behind achieving something since they only view these "task unlockers" as a way for them to justify themselves actually playing a video game but it is apparent now that even developers are getting pretty darn lazy in the creation of unnatural things for a zombie to do in a game. I am so glad that at least this stupid achievement is a Steam exclusive because at least it doesn't encourage unnecessary whoring, especially the fact that every PC gamer would run that benchmark before they actually play the game. Maybe the whole thing was a joke? I'm not laughing.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Games Played 01/21/2013 - 01/27/2013

- 01/21/2013 -
Don't Starve - PC
Saints Row: The Third - PC
Street Fighter x Mega Man - PC

- 01/22/2013 -
Dead Space - PC
Euro Truck Simulator 2 - PC
Gradius V - PlayStation 2
Jetpack Joyride - Vita
Saints Row: The Third - PC

- 01/23/2013 -
Euro Truck Simulator 2 - PC
Jetpack Joyride - Vita
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 01/24/2013 -
Euro Truck Simulator 2 - PC
Jetpack Joyride - Vita
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 01/25/2013 -
Euro Truck Simulator 2 -PC
Jetpack Joyride - Vita
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 01/26/2013 -
Chivalry: Medieval War Free Weekend - PC
Jeypack Joyride - Vita
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 01/27/2013 -
Bejeweled 3 - PC
Dungeon Defenders - PC
Euro Truck Simulator 2 - PC
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - PC
League of Legends - PC


Screenshot of the Week:

Finally arriving at a prettier section of the game.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (Personal Computer)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Taric Never Holds Back...

At least when it comes to fashion, the Gem Knight certainly knows no refrain! I have finally unlocked the one skin that all League of Legends players must have: The Armor of the Fifth Age Taric! This... extravagant alternate skin is not a simple color swap from his usual blue armor because the subtle changes made to him are... shocking I suppose is the appropriate term here? Are you ready to feast your eyes on something so unnervingly sexy? Just be warned! For you will not be able to get your innocence back after being mesmerized by the image below:

Those leg warmers... They evoke unspeakable masculinity.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Why PC? Why?

Another day, another improved console port arrives on the Personal Computer and this time, it's Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Enhanced Edition. This game was originally released in late 2011 and I did get the PlayStation 3 version of the game. It is one of my favorite Ace Combat games and it is now the first Ace Combat game to arrive on the PC courtesy of Namco Bandai Games. Is this a sign that Namco has finally seen the light when it comes to the PC platform? Can we expect PC ports of their Tales role playing game series? Perhaps we will be seeing a complete Tekken collection? I think I should just bypass new consoles from this point on because it seems like eventually, all of these good console games tend to arrive on the PC. And in a much better shape too.

It looks like the cheesy story cut-scenes made it through the transition.

Euro Truck Simulator 2: My Trucker Life


I am so glad that I got exposed to Euro Truck Simulator 2 by SCS Software when it showed up on Steam last week. The whole idea of transporting cargo back and forth within the confines of Europe immediately intrigued me because of several important factors:

1) I love racing games and I always dream of driving on a really, really lengthy race track. You can consider Euro Track Simulator 2 as a time trial racing game.
2) I love driving in general. I love it so much that I always try, unsuccessfully, to convince the spouse to go on a road trip versus flying on the airplane.
3) I will probably not be visiting Europe in real life and this game will at least give me the illusion of being there.
4) Well, someone has to fulfill the promise that Sega failed to deliver with Eighteen Wheeler: American Pro Trucker on the Sega Dreamcast...

Slowly moving up in the trucker world...

SCS Software has an obsession with trucks apparently as evidenced by all the previous truck simulation games they have worked on in the past. Well, they are not the only ones for I am now a true believer in the trucker lifestyle myself. After selecting the most handsome trucker picture and naming my company "Worthy Move Agency", I started taking contracts from other companies to build up enough money to eventually buy my very own sweet truck. Since the game doesn't actually teach the player how to properly ride a truck, the first few hours of the game were rather frustrating for me. It didn't help that I actually chose the United Kingdom, Birmingham to be exact, as the location for my first garage because they drive on the left side of the road... And as if it wasn't bad enough that I could barely get myself out of the tight spot of the first delivery client, it took me about 40 minutes to park the cargo at the specific drop off spot at its delivery destination. There is an option in the game where you can drop the cargo automatically but then you will lose extra experience points - yes, this game has XP and you level up and gain skill points - but I was very determined to do things right. Then, I had to actually abandon my next two deliveries because I missed my turn and I couldn't seem to find a way to turn around. I lost so much money from these that I was in the negative and had grossly overdrafted my account!

So where's the local electronic store?

Yes, Euro Truck Simulator 2 can be a bit cruel before you start to understand the game a little better like you know, making sure that you are really paying attention to your Route Advisor. It didn't take long before I manage to get better at my driving and after several more successful manual drop offs, I don't even have to switch out of the interior camera anymore to help me drop off the cargo. Since I was confident of my skills, I then decided to loan some money from the bank so that I could get my truck immediately. This the point where the game really opens up. Though I could still take quick contracts, I decided to focus on building up my company. The difference here is that I now have to actually travel to the pick up location with my truck instead of being automatically transported there. My trucker life had suddenly become a lot more involving as I specifically looked for opportunities to visit different areas of the large European map. As if the prospect of that wasn't exciting enough, the company could be further expanded with additional garages as well as employees but since I am now a little bit more careful with my money, I haven't explored these expansions yet because I don't want to borrow more money from the bank to unlock them. This means a lot of driving before Worthy Move Agency will become the largest, most successful transportation company in all of Europe!

I am all about the long-distance driving because I am a real trucker!

You have probably realized by now that I have taken my role play to a new level with this game but of course that is easy to do when the game is quite fun. The company building gameplay works really well with the truck driving because it gives you a reason to keep playing and to perform perfectly with each delivery. The actual driving is also very good though I am still confused over the whole 12-gear thing - you can always choose automatic transmission however if you don't want to be bothered with that. You may think driving trucks is uneventful but you actually have to watch your speed and yes, you will be making very, very wide turns. Those other drivers on the road? Oh, they will cause troubles too when you least expect it. Though you can't fail a deliver when you get into an accident, you will damage your truck which is expensive to fix and more importantly, you will damage the valuable cargo which you will be financially penalized for. Those who are serious about the controls can actually use a racing wheel to play the game. I use the X-Box 360 controller and it works just fine but I really don't see how people can play this game with the keyboard and mouse setup. Graphically, this game looks amazing. There's hardly any pop-ups and fade ins. Time is sped up in the game - so the distance is not a 1:1 scale of the real thing - but the day and night transition is very convincing. For the most part, you are basically just looking at the European countryside but every now and then, you will see something eye-catching in the distance. To help with the long drive, you can listen to your own music in-game or connect to a selection of European live radio streams listed in the game that can be added to with your choice of live radio stream. My personal favorite is the France Bleu station.

Shamelessly hoarding both lanes for the turn.

Euro Truck Simulator 2 is a great new game to kick off my 2013. It's a unique simulator that is surprisingly engaging despite its niche subject matter. The longest delivery I have made so far took me a full hour to complete and I did it in one sitting - yes, I actually drove a digital truck for one full hour and didn't get bored doing so. Of course, you don't have to be hardcore in your approach to the game since the game does allow you to save at any time if you want to take a break but what's the fun in that, right?

FIRST IMPRESSION: 5 out of 5

The game is available for purchase on Steam and the developer's website.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

EA Live Help Virgin No More

I have been delaying myself from contacting Electronic Arts to get several of my retail games added to my Origin account for these games can only be manually added by EA themselves for some secret reason. Sure, I am beginning to not mind the Origin service but I have heard so many horror stories in regards to EA's poor customer service. I personally have only contacted EA twice thus far via email and both yielded a pleasant experience. So after about 10 minutes of waiting on the chat request screen in Origin, I was greeted by an EA staff so seem a bit robotic at first but quickly warmed up to me after a while. It did take him some time to pull up all the games that I wanted to add to the Origin service but I thought the guy was attentive, very polite, and surprisingly professional. When all was said and done, I walked away with a positive experience. So if you ever had to contact the EA live chat team, don't roll your eyes. Just look at the screen and smile for I am sure that everything will be okay.

I don't use Origin to stream anymore but I am certainly using it to game.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Woah! 6 Million?

I logged into the Steam client this afternoon and noticed that the number of concurrent Steam users was really high... Like 6,000,000+ high. I don't believe I have ever seen it this high before. I have seen 4 million before but 6? That's a little crazy. Steam... the best place to game now and always. Who needs "next generation" consoles that will adopt low end graphics card when you can have this much fun on your Personal Computer? If there is one thing I wish would happen this year, it would be Microsoft and Sony finally announcing their retirement from the console gaming industry and focus on creating software for the PC market instead. It would be very profitable and Microsoft already got their foot in the door with Windows 8. I am sure that by now more people have realized that PCs shouldn't be confined to the bedroom/office - they can be hooked up to the big screen display since like forever....

It smells like gamers in here.

Games Played 01/14/2013 - 01/21/2013

- 01/14/2013 -
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - PC

- 01/15/2013 -
Jetpack Joyride - Vita
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 01/16/2013 -
Gatling Gear - PC
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 01/17/2013 -
Jetpack Joyride - Vita
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - PC
League of Legends - PC
Orcs Must Die! 2 - PC
Saints Row: The Third - PC
Super Stardust Delta - Vita

- 01/18/2013 -
Euro Truck Simulator 2 - PC
League of Legends - PC
Orcs Must Die! 2 - PC

- 01/19/2013 -
Euro Truck Simulator 2 - PC
Jetpack Joyride - Vita
League of Legends - PC
Saints Row: The Third - PC

- 01/20/2013 -
Euro Truck Simulator 2 - PC
Guardians of Middle-earth - PlayStation 3
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - PC
Jetpack Joyride - Vita
League of Legends - PC


Screenshot of the Week:

I was in Europe over the weekend.
Euro Truck Simulator 2 (Personal Computer)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Double Reading? What Does It Mean?

The spouse and I went to our favorite Chinese buffet today for lunch and like always, I would crack open and read both of our fortune cookies. Now I have been cracking open fortune cookies for me and the spouse since the dawn of time but this is the first the first time ever that we both received the same message:

Sure, the grammar is questionable but is there a significance to this?

Is this an omen of some kind? A hint towards some kind of duplicity in my life? Perhaps a commentary on video gaming itself? That Microsoft and Sony are both going to make the same decision of abandoning any plan of future consoles? Or is it something simpler? Maybe the universe is trying to point out that the spouse and I were meant to be together? It's more likely that those responsible for making fortune cookies are just running out of ideas.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Transformed: Sega Says Sorry

You know how I feel about Sega treating Personal Computer gamers like second class citizens with the extremely late arrival of the ultimate version of Sonic & All-Stars Racing: Transformed while those who chose to get the game on the consoles are enjoying themselves right now. Well, I was checking out the store page on Steam today and I noticed some pretty cool screenshots containing... what's this? Popular PC characters???

From the peculiar...

...to the awesome!

Oh my galaxy I am so going to ride that koi!

That's right. The PC version of this game has received 3 exclusive characters! Sega, you are forgiven. Remember however my sweet developer, don't keep PC gamers in the dark any more from this point forward in regards to the PC version of your future games! I can't wait for the end of the month to come!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Steam Guides is Here!

Valve has launched Steam Guides today where Steam users can easily create guides to be published for others to use. To create one, all you have to do is access the community hub tab of the game in question and go to the guide section and everything is formatted within the confines of the Steam client itself. You can even add screenshots to the guides! All the player-created guides are available under the same section and I have seen quite a lot of them out there already. Of course, these guides are rated by the community so it's easy to separate to find the right guide that you are looking for. You know what this means right? Death to GameFAQs! You don't have to go there anymore! At least not for Personal Computer gaming FAQs...

Valve leading the way in the creation of a cohesive and involved gaming community.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A European Getaway

So I am one of those guys who don't like to travel that much and I don't like to fly so visiting Europe, something that the spouse dreams of, is not a priority to me. To be honest, I rather just stay home and play video games than visit some foreign country just to be able to see something that I have already seen on television or the Internet. But what about doing something cooler in Europe instead of just being a mere tourist? You know, something like driving around European cities and experiencing the "thousands of miles of real road networks" while being able to check out the "hundreds of famous landmarks and structures" at my leisure? That my friend is the allure of the recently released, Steam Greenlight approved truck driving simulation game by SCS Software called Euro Truck Simulator 2! When I saw this on Steam today, I immediately added it to my Steam Wishlist. The idea behind the game is simple as you are tasked to "transport a vast variety of cargo across more than 60 European cities" but there is just something romantic and endearing about that gameplay promise. Is there something wrong with me? Maybe there is a hidden trucker inside of me? I suppose we will find out once I get this game...

This could potentially be my favorite Personal Computer game of 2013.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Random Game Room Moment


Sure we can PCSX2 the heck out of our PlayStation 2 games
but sometimes we forget to ask ourselves:
"Is that really necessary?"

Monday, January 14, 2013

Games Played 01/07/2013 - 01/13/2013

- 01/07/2013 -
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - PC
Jetpack Joyride - PlayStation 3/Vita
Heroes of Might & Magic V - PC

- 01/08/2013 -
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - PC
Heroes of Might & Magic V - PC
Irem Arcade Hits - PC
Sega Genesis & Mega Drive Classics - PC

- 01/09/2013 -
Age of Zombies Anniversary - iPad
Aralon: Sword and Shadow HD - iPad
Bug Princess - iPad
Final Fantasy XII - PlayStation 2
Final Freeway - iPad
Jetpack Joyride - iPad
Mission Sword - iPad
Persona 3: FES - PlayStation 2
Punch Quest - iPad
Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution - PlayStation 2

- 01/10/2013 -
Persona 3: FES - PlayStation 2
Mass Effect 3 - PC

- 01/11/2013 -
Final Fantasy XII - PlayStation 2
Saints Row: The Third - PC

- 01/12/2013 -
Dead Rising 2: Off the Record - PC
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - PC
Jetpack Joyride - Vita
League of Legends - PC

- 01/13/2013 -
League of Legends - PC
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - PC
Kung Fu Strike: The Warrior's Rise - PC


Screenshot of the Week:

Why stab your enemies when you can just elbow them to death?
Kingdom of Amalur: Reckoning ( Personal Computer)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Skin... Super Sale?!

I am still pretty darn raw from the recent Steam Holiday Sale and now this? Starting yesterday, Riot Games is offering discounts for 12 absolutely delicious alternate skins for League of Legends on the Personal Computer! The sale ends this coming Monday and these skins are definitely must-haves for those who love these 12 featured champions.

Not sure about that Battle Bunny Riven but everything else is pretty hot!

I only have enough Riot Points for two of them so I went for Blackthorn Morgana and Tyrant Swain. I really wanted a couple of more in the selection, like that awesome Darkflame Syvana - too bad I haven't unlocked the champion yet - and that sweet Guqin Sona - but I think I prefer the Muse Sona that I have already unlocked. Still have a couple of days though to think things over.

Double the winged madness.

Friday, January 11, 2013

New Year Transformation

With the original Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing being the best Sega game in the last decade, it should not be a surprise to anyone that I have been dying to play the sequel, Sonic & All-Stars Racing: Transformed. But Mr. Gamer, the game was released for the consoles and handheld already... Why are you hurting yourself? Well, I know that the Personal Computer version was in the works and even though I think it's disgusting that Sega put a lot of effort into hiding this fact - obviously to boost the sales of the console versions - I still decided to wait for this ultimate version. Imagine my happiness when I came home from a fun 3 hour dental appointment yesterday to discover the official announcement that the game is coming out on Steam at the end of this month! Look at that, it's even $10 cheaper than the console version and more importantly, unlike the poor job Sumo Digital did with the PC version of the original game, this one will feature online multiplayer! Sega knows now not to mess up the PC version of their console games but I just wish that they would fully commit supporting the PC platform that happens to be the ultimate place to game for now and the future. PC gamers can't give you the cash if you don't give us the games, Sega.

Welcome home, Transformed.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Galaxy, I Missed One! November 2012 GA

I was working on the Yearly Gaming Analysis for 2012 earlier today when I realized that I forgot to publish the Monthly Analysis for the month of November 2012! It's better late than never of course but since this is a month late, I will only provide the statistical details without the accompanying thoughts that normally come with them. I will say one thing though: Valve got me good that month! They got me real good!

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.

OVERALL BREAKDOWN:


Total Games Played: 64


This Month's Inductees:


Total Inductions: 80

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Not So Secret Confession of a Spouse

You warned me, hun. You sure did after you caught me red handed last year when you sneaked into the Game Room after hearing what you thought was a continuous sound of sexual excitement. But weren't you glad at least to have found out that the sound came out of a video game instead of me? When I explained to you that I was playing the demo of a game called Scoregasm, you became even more repulsed. As soon as I finished saying "It's Scoregasm, not orgasm," you rolled your eyes and made me promise to never purchase the game. Well, the bad news here is that I did purchase the game during the last Steam Holiday Sale. I purchased it almost a week ago on the 3rd and I have been feeling guilty ever since: I just do not know how to break the news to you because I know you think that this game is bad for me. Please forgive me!

When you score hard, well, it's just bound to happen. That's nature.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Body Magic: An "I'm Getting Old" Story

I have not been gaming comfortably ever since the arrival of my Wii U. This is because I have not completely set up my Nintendo GameCube to my entertainment system. The condition in my Game Room has to be utterly perfect to foster the best gaming experience possible for me and that includes physical games being put away into their respective cases or the controllers placed next to my gaming chair in proper alignment  With the Nintendo Wii being retired into the Game Treasury, the GameCube needs to be readily available in case I am in the mood for some Cube action. I had taken out the GameCube from its retail box and even connected the Game Boy Player to it but none of its cables are properly connected. I had enough of feeling weird about this whole thing and decided to muster up the courage to venture into that world of wire hell - yes, things don't look too nice behind the scene since I have so many gaming devices hooked up to my receiver. After I managed to get the GameCube's component cable to the back of my display - I ran out of component inputs on the receiver - I noticed that I actually needed a component video cable splitter to get the job done.

A nasty uh-oh moment.

This thing was supposed to be included with my display but then I realized at that point that I did not recall where I have stored it. To be honest, I was scared because I did not even recall ever seeing it before and I thought that I had accidentally thrown it away when I dumped out the packaging materials for the display. I spent a couple of hours looking at the regular spots where I would normally place such a cable but I still couldn't find it. The spouse hadn't seen a cable that matched my description and at that point, I almost surrendered to the notion that I would never find it and that perhaps, I should just order the replacement for it. At that very moment however, I calmed myself down and took a deep breath. I told myself that the cable was still inside the house and that I would find it eventually. With my body relaxed, I walked into the Game Treasury where I did most of my search and in the corner of my eyes, I caught a glimpse of the stacked boxes of LG 3D glasses that came with the display. I looked inside the opened box and there it was... The cable that I had been looking for!

This silly little thing almost ruined my day.

Of course the storage location makes perfect sense! I always try to store things in the most logical of places to ensure that I would be able to get back to them eventually. I was so excited to have finally found the cable that I ran downstairs to the living room to share with the spouse a fascinating revelation... If the brain had seen an object in the past, even when you think that you can't recall the location of said object, your body would be capable of leading you to the object if you just calm yourself down and think positive thoughts. Of course I had to conclude my tale by telling the spouse not to look at me like I was one of those crazy guests from the Maury show. I am getting old eh? Let's get this GameCube hooked up.

Update Note: 7:56pm - Finally got everything in order. My body is hurting right now because of the ridiculous amount of stretching involved to ensure that those wires don't get all tangled up in the back of the receiver and the entertainment center.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Games Played 12/31/2012 - 01/06/2013

- 12/31/2012 -
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - PC
Mass Effect 3 - PC

- 01/01/2013 -
The Binding of Isaac - PC
Mass Effect 3 - PC
Nights: Into Dreams... - PC

- 01/02/2013 -
Jetpack Joyride - iOS, PlayStation 3, Vita
League of Legends - PC

- 01/03/2013 -
League of Legends - PC

- 01/04/2013 -
League of Legends - PC
Sine Mora - PC
Scoregasm - PC

- 01/05/2013 -
League of Legends - PC
The Lord of the Rings: War in the North - PC
Saints Row: The Third - PC
Sine Mora - PC
Wario Land: Shake It! - Wii

- 01/06/2013 -
Jetpack Joyride - Vita
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - PC
League of Legends - PC
Guardians of Middle-earth - PlayStation 3
Saints Row: The Third - PC


Screenshot of the Week:

That creepy dancing asexual thing always seems to know what's going on.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sony's Digital Download Future

I have been seeing this new commercial for the PlayStation Store where this hot girl is trying to seduce this average looking gamer at a party - yeah, this happens so regularly in real life - but then he meets this other nerdy gamer girl - yeah, mutual gamer to gamer love interest happens so frequently in real life too - and that non-gamer girl got so frustrated that she just couldn't get his attention that she proceeds to throw his retail games out of the window. Not that I am saying that gamers are usually not attractive. There are quite a number of real hot gamer girls and guys out there - no, fake hosts of popular gaming shows not included.

I myself am always tempted to do that with my physical games.

The guy then calmly explains to the gamer girl and his friends that there is no need for panic because they can just download games from the PlayStation Store! Worst commercial ever. I mean really? I would have that woman pick those games back up for me and sue her for the damages. It's not like Sony has a program where you can register your retail games somehow and get free digital copies for them so this guy may not realize that he will be charged money to download them. That party looks posh though so I think money is not something of a concern for these folks. So yeah, the commercial is not realistic but it's obvious that Sony is desperately trying to convey the digital download message to all PlayStation gamers because I believe that with their success of luring idiots to pay money for that PlayStation Plus program, they are beginning to see the profitability in offering game downloads exclusively. It's eventual for the entire gaming industry and Sony is realizing that now. Good for them.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

2013: The Year of the Wii?

I finally forced myself to use my Wii U tonight and not even for the purpose of doing something particularly Wii U-ish for I decided to play a Nintendo Wii game on it. I did notice from the main screen that the TVii functionality is now available. Since I barely spend my time watching television shows in my Game Room - I normally watch TV with the spouse in the living room - I have a feeling that I will not be using TVii but I will definitely check it out in depth over the next couple of days. So I browsed through my Wii games and decided on Wario Land: Shake It! I really thought that I had played this game before. I knew that I had never completed the game but I was then very surprised to find out that I actually never did play this game ever since I got it. I found no save file available for me to continue the game with and I actually didn't remember watching the cute cut-scene at the beginning of the game at all. My poor, poor Wii. Sorry that I have been too distracted to give you much of my time. My Wii games certainly deserve my attention and I will prioritize them over the other console games this year. Sorry, my Personal Computer gaming will always come first however...

Dismissing a quality platform game is just not me. What have I become?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Your Wallets Will Not Escape!

This Steam Holiday Sale... It feels like it's been going on forever. The repeat deals are not that cool and things don't feel all that special anymore for the event has definitely worn out its welcome. You would think that Valve themselves would want to wrap up the event pretty quickly by the time the last promotional date of January 5th arrives but no!!! They have decided to extend it even more! I think I'm going to throw up. Too much, Valve... Just too much!

Valve will never stop feeding you cheap games!

DOTA 2 Giveaway

I have three DOTA 2 early access keys to be given out on a first come first served basis. Why buy the $30 early access for what will eventually be a completely free to play game? Especially when you can just get it from yours truly... That is, as long as you are quick enough to get here! You must have a Steam account to receive the key. All you have to do is write a comment on this article and as long as you are a follower of the blog, either via the Google Friend Connect or Google+, you will qualify for the key. Note however that those who live in China will not be able to redeem the game. Good luck!

The game is going to be in beta forever. Get your key today!


Update Note:
8:25pm - 1 access claimed.
01/05/2013, 4:35pm - 2 gone. There is only 1 free access left.

December 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. 

OVERALL BREAKDOWN:

 

Total Games Played: 60

What a fascinating month December of 2012 was thanks to the return of twitch.tv gameplay broadcasting into my gaming life, which resulted in a lot more varieties in terms of the games I play. League of Legends on the Personal Computer is still at the top of the list however though the number of day was significantly reduced. Don't expect that number to continue to go down however because recently, I started playing the game again. Before I got back into my obsessive broadcasting, I was quite hooked on Guardians of Middle-earth, the PlayStation 3 multiplayer online battle arena. At the moment, I don't have the necessary equipment to stream games from my consoles - if not, this game would have made it to the top of the list easily. The one game that I really enjoyed streaming was Sine Mora for the PC. I would do a complete playthrough - which normally takes about an hour and a half - in the attempt to beat my previous score. I am a quite surprised however that I am not playing Nights: Into Dreams... for the PC more because during the SegaSaturn years,  I would make it a habit to play it at least once a day. I suppose at this point in my life, I have played too much Nights. The game is still a lot of fun though and sometimes I would tear up while playing it because of all the triggered joy and amazement from the past.


This Month's Inductees:


Total Inductions: 35

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Legends are Legends

I finally spent some of the Influence Points I received from my friend today for League of Legends for the Personal Computer on two delicious skins: Mythic Cassiopeia and Pharaoh Amumu. Cass is my favorite ability power champion and I have always used her cowgirl outfit whenever I get to pick her but now, I can switch it up every so often. I don't play a lot of Amumu but I must say that he has one of the best voice acting in the game - that whiny, innocent tone is just so adorable. Personally, I think this Pharaoh skin is his best alternate look and I cannot wait to use it when I play randoms in the Proving Grounds.
 
Most alt skins are silly. These accurately represent their respective champions.

PS Vita: Game Desperation

The PlayStation Vita is a device that was doomed to fail from its conception, we all know that for a long time. Heck, the only reason why I got it was because I wanted to use it for my digital PlayStation Portable games. I really don't understand why Sony actually even bothered getting back into the handheld business after the utter failure of the PSP. Ever since I got the Vita a couple of months ago, I did find some enjoyment from the handheld but it is apparent at this point that Sony has pretty much abandoned the Vita. I was browsing the PlayStation Network Store this morning and the only fascinating thing I found there for the Vita was... Jetpack Joyride by Halfbrick Studios? It's free so I did download it with much glee since I still enjoy playing the game on my iPad.
 
Free to play is the new "it" for a dead handheld.
 
The download was small and quick but then after taking it for a quick ride, I immediately noticed how inferior this version is compared to the one for the iPad thanks to the occasional odd chugging and slowdown. What I do like about this version however is that you get to control the game using the "Rear Touch" Pad. No, you don't control it from pinching your own butt cheeks or those that belong to others in close vicinity, but we are referring to the touch sensors on the back of the Vita here. Though accidental taps are bound to happen with this setup, at least now you get to enjoy the game's cute 2D graphics without your finger getting in the way. I suppose the most important thing here is that the game is free, unless you decide to participate in the optional micro-transaction, and the trophy whores would be joyous to know that the game actually has trophies to unlock. So this is what the Vita is becoming? A second grade tablet device?

Update Note: 3:43pm - Vita's bad luck continues as apparently, this game is also released for the PlayStation 3 itself today! I downloaded it since it's free so once again, Sony has ensured that the Vita is not getting anything special that only the Vita can provide. When it comes to the controls, the PS3 version is definitely the best because instead of the slippery touch input, you can now press a button to control Barry and it's a lot more accurate. Though it is very cool to be able to play this game on my big screen, I have discovered that the PS3 is less powerful than my iPad 2 because this version has plenty of slowdown and it's a lot worse than the Vita version. Ewww.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Starting Off 2013 with a Winner

Congratulations, Chalgyr Vokel! You are the winner of last week's Cute Sega Genesis Pack Giveaway! Since the pack is not in the "Steam Gift" format, please let me know your preferred method of having the code delivered to you.
 
I hope that everyone is having a great start to the year. The spouse and I fell asleep half an hour before midnight and laughed about it this morning. We normally would have a glass of champagne to welcome the new year but we are planning to just do that tonight just for fun. I will be working on the Yearly Analysis for 2012 soon - it is always interesting for me to see that data.
 
Happy New Year! May 2013 bring you a lot of games and perpetual happiness.