Monday, September 30, 2013

Games Played 09/23/2013 - 09/29/2013

- 09/23/2013 -
Risen 2: Dark Waters - PC

- 09/24/2013 -
League of Legends - PC
Pac-Man Championship Edition DX+ - PC

- 09/25/2013 -
Audiosurf - PC
League of Legends - PC
Pac-Man Championship Edition DX+ - PC

- 09/26/2013 -
Audiosurf - PC
League of Legends - PC
White Knight Chronicles II - PlayStation 3
The Wonderful 101 - Wii U

- 09/27/2013 -
League of Legends - PC
Sonic Generations - PC

- 09/28/2013 -
League of Legends - PC
Risen 2: Dark Waters - PC

- 09/29/2013 -
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F - PlayStation 3
League of Legends - PC
Mamorukun Curse! - PlayStation 3

Screenshot of the Week:

Go Meiko, go!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Steam Controller Is Coming? Kill It Valve, Kill It!

Valve did a great job building up the anticipation and excitement over their "living room" domination plan but after the two exciting pieces of news from earlier this week, it all ended anticlimactically.  Apparently, Valve not only have living room envy, they also have penis envy, I mean controller envy so they created this truly unimpressive, sad little controller that will supposedly mimic the accuracy of keyboard and mouse controls on those games that thrive from using such setup:

A sloppy overreach.

I mean, seriously, just hook up a wireless keyboard and mouse to your "living room" setup - I still think if you are serious about gaming, you should have your own Game Room - and set aside a small folding table that you can pull out whenever you want to play a keyboard and mouse game. I think there are specialized chairs that can accommodate having a keyboard and mouse in front of you. Just to be clear Valve, your claim that "Whole genres of game that were previously only playable with a keyboard and mouse are now accessible from the sofa" is a lie. You know people can bring their keyboard and mouse to the living room if they wanted to. I personally don't see this thing replacing keyboard and mouse gameplay, it's really silly to even entertain that thought. But again, I think this is just Valve's way to say that everything is playable on some kind of small controller to encourage their desire to get into everyone's living room. Just thinking about simulating my mouse movement using that right trackpad and then pressing trigger buttons for the left and right mouse clicks already seem like a lot of work for me. Thankfully, this thing is just an alternative to pure keyboard and mouse gameplay. You never know, this controller may actually work well but in all seriousness, I really doubt it. I am glad that Valve included the following bits of information, if not, I would have been more offended by this controller:

If you are so confident about this controller Valve,
why not mandate it for DOTA 2Yeah, you know that will never happen.

What a disappointing end to a whole week of waiting. Why did you have to ruin my Friday, Valve? Don't you have better things to do than creating a controller, like planning for another Steam sales week maybe?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

U What?

So I was doing my Steam badge checklist thing to make sure that I would qualify for the Steam Machine beta participation when I noticed something really curious over at the Steam Universe group page. I think Valve is trying to poke some fun at Nintendo... Very funny indeed.

This U doesn't suck.

The Steam Machines Are Coming!

As suspected, after the announcement of SteamOS on Monday, Valve has now made it official that they will also be working with "multiple partners" to create... Steam Machines! These puppies are planned to be released in 2014. If you actually pre-ordered those lame upcoming consoles from Microsoft and Sony, it's time to cancel them folks! Not to be confused with a console however, these suckers will be customizable and future proof. As much as I dislike the idea of Valve having to create these things just to encourage people to hook up a Personal Computer to the big screen, something that has been possible for such a long time, I am really beginning to see the logic and brilliance behind Valve's master plan. Producing a hardware will convince those oblivious console-only owners to hold on to something somewhat tangible and something that they can understand. They can think of it as a "console" of sorts and will thus embrace and purchase it. It will be then that they discover how wonderful PC gaming, or more specifically, Steampowered gaming truly is.

But seriously Valve, who would hook up 7 Steam Machines to their display?

The coolest thing about this announcement however is that Valve will be shipping 300 prototypes for beta testing! Everyone with a Steam account is eligible to be selected for the beta as long as they have completed certain Steam-related tasks. By the way, console-only readers, a Steam account is free to create and will not cost you money to access all of its premium quality services. The most important piece of information in regards to the announcement of the Steam Machines however is the answer below. It clearly shows how much respect Valve has for PC players. Steam, you are everything in my gaming life!

Valve = LOVE

If you are a console-only player who wants to get a "Steam Machine" now, you actually don't have to wait. Waiting is a console thing. You'll have to wait for PlayStation 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. Well, everything is immediate and continuous in the PC gaming world. All you have to do is get yourself a decent PC and install Steam. It's been here waiting for you. Start your magnificent gaming adventures on Steam today! I really hope that Steam will eventually become so successful that people would stop supporting both the PlayStation and X-Box brands.

Monday, September 23, 2013

SteamOS Is Coming!

Valve's evil plan has been officially announced today as they will be releasing a forever free Linux-based operating system called SteamOS. The complete details of their roll out plan is still vague and we have to wait 2 more days for the second (out of three) piece of information to be revealed. The great thing about this announcement is that from this point forward, as a Personal Computer gamer, I don't have to worry anymore about future iterations of Windows or even Mac operating systems. This means that any games that will be released specifically for SteamOS will remain forever compatible without us worrying about future OS updates as Valve continues to make it bigger and better.

The problem here of course is that not all of the games found in the Steam massive library would even run on SteamOS without the help of having them streamed from a compatible PC. Updating all those older games to run natively on SteamOS will be next to impossibility so this means that you can never just have the SteamOS as your computer main operating system but you never know, Valve might be able to tackle that problem in the future. The other concerning thing here for me is the whole obsession with the living room thing. I know it's probably just a way for Valve to get the attention of the oblivious general population because all that they are really saying is computing on your large screen display. Those who have never done so would probably get a kick out of it. I began using my big screen as my main PC screen ever since I started playing World of Warcraft so many years ago and I have never gone back to the small monitor ever since. The one thing I hope will happen with SteamOS however is that the SteamOS will be confined within the Steam client itself for those who already hooked up their PCs directly to the big screen like myself. I would think that it should be possible but I suppose that may be wishful thinking because Valve wants complete independance from the Windows and Mac operating systems. We may be seeing an influx on future Steam games that would only run exclusively on SteamOS but it may be too early to worry about the dilemma that such a thing would cause. It seems like the SteamOS can be downloaded and installed on a plethora of devices - perhaps even as apps on televisions and consoles since the announcement description was pretty darn generic - but there is a high possibility that Valve would be selling a basic mini PC with the SteamOS already installed to make it easier for people to digest the whole setup. Overall, I think this is quite an exciting evolution of Steam as the dominant gaming platform and I look forward to learn more about the SteamOS. I am sure NVIDIA is not too happy about this announcement however: poor Shield.

Games Played 09/16/2013 - 09/22/2013

- 09/16/2013 -
The Wonderful 101 - Wii U

- 09/17/2013 -
Guild Wars 2 - PC
League of Legends - PC
The Wonderful 101 - Wii U

- 09/18/2013 -
Guild Wars 2 - PC
Infinity Blade 2 - iPad
League of Legends - PC

- 09/19/2013 -
Endless Ocean - Wii
League of Legends - PC
Super C - Wii

- 09/20/2013 -
League of Legends - PC
Metroid Prime: Trilogy - Wii
Pinball FX2 - PC

- 09/21/2013 -
Bleed - PC
Guardians of Middle-earth - PC
Pinball FX2 - PC
Sonic & All-Stars Racing: Transformed - PC
White Knight Chronicles II - PlayStation 3

- 09/22/2013 -
League of Legends - PC
Risen 2: Dark Waters - PC
White Knight Chronicles II - PlayStation 3

Screenshot of the Week:

Smelling like sweat, sex, and rum.
Risen 2: Dark Waters (Personal Computer)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Real Danger of Play Waiting

I was watching a friend of mine playing Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn for the Personal Computer on last night and after a while, you know what the game reminded me of? White Knight Chronicles for the PlayStation 3 by just the looks of it and the way my friend was playing the archer class. I also played an archer in WKC and since I don't plan on getting on FFXIV - I had my fill when I played Final Fantasy XI Online a long time ago - I immediately grabbed my copy of White Knight Chronicles II and shoved it into my PS3 just for the fun of it. I have only played the game for a few hours (the save file indicated that it was last played in late 2011) so I didn't feel too badly about restarting a fresh game. When I finally got to the part where the online portion of the game opens up, I was really surprised to see this screen when I was trying to access GeoNet:

Apparently, it was shut down on June 18th of this year.

How disappointing. But even if the server was still available, I am sure finding new players to co-op with would still be a major pain anyway but yeah, it was disheartening nonetheless. Still, I owe this game my full attention and I have decided to do just that. I should at least get through the first game and perhaps come back to tackle the second part at a later time. Other than the fact that the computer controlled allies are rather silly, I am really enjoying this game. The things I like the most about the game is the open world feel as well as its interesting take on your typical modern massively multiplayer online role playing battle system, both are highly welcomed since I am craving for some MMO type action these days. This server shut down situation does remind me that there are titles out there in my Game Library that have a strong online multiplayer component and perhaps they needed to be prioritized to ensure that I will not miss out on their packaged online experiences like I did with WKC.

I am loving the big monster encounters.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Valve's Living Room Obsession

What is up with Valve and their obsession with the living room? Apparently, they will be announcing something big involving their plans to invade that supposedly mythical place. I love Steam. I think it's the future of gaming. I have pretty much abandoned the prospect of owning any other future gaming console just so that I can focus on Steam but I feel that Valve's obsession about living room is just a bit misguided. Shouldn't they urge gamers to have a "game room" instead? I myself personally practice my video gaming habits in my Game Room. Unless you are single, I would think it's uncomfortable to game in the living room. I haven't done that for the last 15 years so maybe that is why I feel strongly against playing my games in the living room. If this is about releasing a mini Personal Computer that people can hook up to their living room display, I think that's a bit of a risky proposition. It is important to not blur the lines between the consoles and the PC. If Valve is indeed releasing a mini PC, developers will consider that device's specification as the standard for PC gaming and that is a bad thing because like the upcoming PlayStation 4 and X-Box One, that very specification will be grossly outdated so that Valve can control the selling price.

Maybe this is about a cloud-based Steam service that will be offered as a television app?

But of course this whole living room thing is all about greed and money. Steam is doing well but Valve wants to completely dominate the competition. Maybe they want to even get into the non-gamer audience if everything managed to be successful. I think this whole thing is silly because people can just put their PC in the living room. I have mine hooked up to my big screen display for the longest time. Obviously, just educating people that this can be done isn't enough for Valve. Someone told me in the past that the reason why he didn't hook up his PC to the living room display was because the case was too heavy. Yeah, that was pretty lame. I think people just try to find a reason to keep their PC in the bedroom, not that there is anything wrong with that. So what is this thing that will be announced soon? I am a bit worried. I hope it will be a positive change but Valve may take the sloppy way to get into the whole "living room" market and hurt themselves in the process. I'd hazard a guess that they may be selling a Linux-PC built into a large display that is being sold at a really competitive price. When you plug in your consoles to this Steam display, the consoles would then show up in the Steam client and must be launched that way. I think that may be pretty cool. Other than that, I don't think I have any need for whatever they plan on pushing out. Those who are already playing in a "game room" can probably just sit back and smile at this upcoming announcement.

Related Articles:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Point to Pathos: Chapter 3, Part 1

     "So what made you want to change your name?"
     Ansen looked at the administration clerk, somewhat surprised by the question.
     "It's quite a unique name. It sounds kind of heroic actually," the clerk continued.
     "Heroic?" He asked, bewildered. As far as he could recall, the name was never associated with any famous historical figure. "Perhaps, it's a fictional character?" He thought to himself.
     "Yeah, wasn't Ansen one of the Secularist 5 from the old world?"
     "No, that was Amsterdam," he said, smiling.
     "Oh, I'm sorry," she said, blushing. "Didn't mean to-"
     "It's fine," he said as he smoothly signed the screen on the presentation table between them with his right index finger. "There, all done."
     "Thank you Mr. Roberts," the clerk said, sliding the screen back towards her to confirm the signature and process the form. "You didn't answer my question, however."
     "Well, it has something to do with a childhood memory, that's all," he said.
     "Oh I see. Well, it's all in the past now," she said and extended her right hand towards him. Ansen complimented her motion with a firm handshake. "Congratulations, you shall now be known as Mr. Stee Roberts."
     Stee, formerly Ansen, breathed a sigh of relief. He felt lifted, liberated. He was glad that the long, complicated process was finally over. He still felt that it was quite unnecessary to have anyone go through something so convoluted, something so dehumanizing just to get a name change.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Games Played 09/09/2013 - 09/15/2013

- 09/09/2013 -
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F - PlayStation 3
League of Legends - PC
Loki: Heroes of Mythology - PC
Star Wars: The Old Republic - PC

- 09/10/2013 -
Dungeon Siege III - PC
Guardians of Middle-earth - PC
League of Legends - PC
Loki: Heroes of Mythology - PC

- 09/11/2013 -
Dungeon Siege III - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 09/12/2013 -
League of Legends - PC
Rogue Legacy - PC

- 09/13/2013 -
Guild Wars 2 - PC
League of Legends - PC
Tera Rising - PC

- 09/14/2013 -
Guild Wars 2 - PC
Tera Rising - PC

- 09/15/2013 -
Guild Wars 2 - PC
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F - PlayStation 3
Puppeteer - PlayStation 3

Screenshot of the Week:

Kaito, the biggest diva of them all.
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F (PlayStation 3)

Keep Bringing In the All-Stars!

Today, Sonic & All-Stars Racing: Transformed is being sold at just $4.99 for the next two days on Steam for the Personal Computer. Yes, just $5. One of Sega's absolutely best games for merely $5. I looked around and saw that this game is still being sold for $20 or even more for the consoles. I didn't realize that the PC version was updated once again with a free character and this time it was some Roman warrior from Total War: Rome II. It happened sometime last month apparently. Yeah, it's another weird addition but at this rate, I don't care. Just keep them coming! I hope Sega will continue giving us more free characters with their future big Steam releases. I love this game and I really love my Steam!

Guess which game I will be playing again this week?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Getting Physical Is Not That Sexy

These days, I prefer my games to be delivered to me via digital means. I prefer not to have them in physical forms anymore since they do nothing but hog up my personal space. Sometimes, I don't have the choice but accept them in that fashion and that is just the case when I received my copies of Puppeteer for the PlayStation 3 and The Wonderful 101 for the Wii U. Yet again, as I have reported many times before, physical copies of video games these days can be rather pathetic. Both of these games do not have any printed game manuals as expected. For Puppeteer, Sony's pattern of printing on the back of the game cover was utilized for the game's packaging and to combat a growing number of misunderstanding about missing manuals, this is the first time in which I saw Nintendo included a "Viewing the Electronic Manual" printout with The Wonderful 101. Interestingly, Puppeteer also offered a digital manual that you actually have to install on your PS3 hard drive to view. Nintendo's solution to enable players to view manuals while their games are running is definitely superior when comparing the two. Getting new games is always an exciting event but to find more physical space to place them can give me quite a nasty headache.

Don't be a puppet, digital distribution is wonderful.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

August 2013 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: 31

This Month's Inductees:

Total Inductions: 20

Friday, September 13, 2013

Tera: Rising from the Ashes

I was watching a friend of mine played Tera Rising by Bluehole Studio last night on and I have decided to give the game another chance. I have been all over the play when it comes to sampling massively multiplayer online role playing game these days, trying to find the right one to sink my teeth into because that mood for a good MMO grind is here again. Guild Wars 2 and The Secret World are my two top choices but I just couldn't get into them. They just don't feel "right" at the moment. I have decided to jump into Rift as well as Star Wars: The Old Republic and the latter can be quite enjoyable at times. As you may already know, I hated Tera - during its subscription-based iteration - when I first tried it. I hated it so much that it was one of those immediate deletion cases because I was so disgusted by the controls. My friend insisted that the controls are simpler than they imply due to some skill chaining system that requires only the press of one input command. The one thing I cannot argue about Tera Rising however is its majestic graphics. They are probably the best in the MMO market, if you can stomach all the partial nudity and the overwhelming "the less you wear as a female, the more powerful you are" mentality. So why can't the guys get gears that show off plenty of skin? I have begun downloading the client this morning so I will playing the game again very soon. Seeing my friend clearing a dungeon, fighting those massive bosses did look pretty darn fun but I also have to bear in mind here that my friend used to be a subscriber of the game so he has been granted the "Founder" status and is blessed with benefits that I will not have playing the game. I hope this is not going to be a waste of time and if the game rubs me the wrong way again in any fashion, I will not hesitate to delete it from my hard drive, this time for the rest of eternity.

My interest has definitely risen but will the gameplay take flight?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

More Mixed Messages from Sony

When Sony debuted the PlayStation 4 to the public, they were proud to inform everyone that they will still be selling physical game discs despite the crystal clear eventual digital download future of video gaming as forever proven by the utter success of the Steam client on the Personal Computer. Strangely, Sony keeps producing these really awful PlayStation Network Store digital download commercials. Remember that one from earlier this year? Yeah, it was stupid. The latest one that I stumbled upon while channel hopping on is a lot worse. In this one, a guy got a text from his supposed gamer girlfriend asking him if he got games for them to play when they meet up later for a date. So the guy immediately bought Bioshock Infinite - well, why wouldn't he get a multiplayer game? I guess the girl just likes to watch and that Sony's marketing people are pretty darn clueless about video games - from the PSN store and while the game was downloading, something that we know can take a whole entire day because of the weird bandwidth limit of the PS3 network, he cleaned up his house and made some snacks for them. Everything was ready by the time his girlfriend arrived, oh yeah. Of course I was rolling my eyes throughout the entire time but you know what? I like digital download so any attempt at promoting it will have to be kind of okay with me. The more pressing problem here is that Sony lacks the conviction to really push the digital distribution revolution. I really don't understand what they are afraid of. Valve has made a lot of money from such schemes and Sony fanboys will pretty much eat anything that is thrown at them. Since they are willing to pay money to access online gameplay on the PS4, you know they would have been fine with the PS4 having only digital download games.

"Why don't you nibble on the fruit platter, sweetheart, while I make love to Elizabeth."

Update Note: 09/13/2013 - I saw the commercial again today and I was able to lavish on the little details that I missed the last time I saw it. At the end of the commercial, the guy asked "Do you want to play?" and the girl answered "Do you have to ask?". So it was obvious that they were planning to participate in some multiplayer thus it is confirmed that the marketing department failed hard here.

Steam Family Sharing

Will the Steam domination ever stop? Starting next week for the lucky beta participants, Steam will allow families and close friends to share their game libraries without sharing their account names and passwords. Yes, though limited to only 10 people sharing the access as well as some other game-related limitations, giving players the official method to share their digital game library is a huge deal. There are a lot of really smart things that Valve is doing with this program too, like the ability for the main account holder to always be able to log in and automatically kick a lender off the shared library. I also like that this is not just limited to just computers in a LAN setting or a shared computer, which means that you can authorize just about anyone, anywhere to share your games with. With this incredible feature, why would people buy those horrid upcoming consoles again? For those people with a close-knit circle of gamer friends and families, this is easily one of the best things that has ever come to gaming since Steam brought us the absolute wonder of digital distribution. There is one huge problem with this feature however on a personal level: I don't know any gamer who is that close to me whom I would want to share my huge Steam library with!

While Microsoft and Sony abandon their creations quickly, Valve wants Steam to last forever.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Word Game

I was browsing my mailbox this morning and I saw a peculiar looking email from one of my favorite restaurants with the title being It's "Game On" at Mikuni! The gamer in me has always been very strong so the first thing that I thought about was of course, video games! But then it didn't make any sense. Why would Mikuni be hosting any kind of video gaming related events or promotions but I really wanted to believe since it is a Japanese restaurant. Maybe they just installed some arcade machines that patrons can play for free? You know, sushi and video games would be such a deliciously deadly combination for me:

Oh... Football.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Games Played 09/02/2013 - 09/08/2013

- 09/02/2013 -

- 09/03/2013 -
Diablo III - PC
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F - PlayStation 3
League of Legends - PC
Mass Effect 3 - PC

- 09/04/2013 -
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F - PlayStation 3

- 09/05/2013 -
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F - PlayStation 3
League of Legends - P

- 09/06/2013 -
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F - PlayStation 3
League of Legends - PC

- 09/07/2013 -
Guild Wars 2 - PC
League of Legends - PC
Sin & Punishment: Star Successor - Wii

- 09/08/2013 -
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F - PlayStation 3
League of Legends - PC
The Secret World - PC

Screenshot of the Week:

Keeping the nightmares alive.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Review - Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F (2013)
Platform: PlayStation 3
Induction Date: 09/01/2013

Ascending to true rhythm heaven.

Before I started playing Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F, I didn't know who the heck Hatsune Miku was. Sure, I have seen her around the Internet, always showing up in fan-made games and YouTube videos so I assumed for the longest time that she was just an anime show character that a lot of people really, really adore. Now, she is no longer a mystery to me. She is the visual representation of a vocaloid, one of quite a number of them actually, a voice synthesizing program. You write the lyrics and the vocaloid would sing them, sometimes convincingly beautiful at it too. The English version of this popular vocaloid was just recently released for $149, so we better brace ourselves for that potential pop-culture explosion. Since many supposed human singers actually auto-tune their voices anyway, perhaps the Japanese got it right when it comes to vocaloid worship? But let's save that for another discussion.

Aw, what a cute, heartwarming moment... or is it?

Project DIVA F is mainly a rhythm action game where you have to press sequences of inputs in-time with the on-screen cues while a music video featuring Hatsune Miku and her vocaloid friends is playing in the background. The music videos are presented using real-time in-game assets and they are endlessly creative and are quite entertaining to watch. Most of the time, the backgrounds are so busy, they become a part of the challenge in keeping up with your timing to trigger the proper inputs. Also, the visual cues are flying all over the screen and as you move up in difficulty levels, they can be very tricky to follow. Yes, the game is simple to play but to master it, it will take one to immerse oneself in the game's huge selections of songs and many, many repeat plays. Now a lot of these songs are worth replaying on their own but the addition of a ridiculous amount on unlockables that can be purchased with the "Diva Points" rewarded from completing a song, makes it hard for me to stop playing the game. These unlockables, which includes new character outfits and accessories as well as room decorations and vocaloid gifts, can be quite expensive: It is a brilliant design that pushes players to keep replaying the game over and over again to acquire them all. When things start to get repetitive, you can change your selected vocaloid's looks in the music video or even change the cast members entirely to your liking. This can result in humorous, disturbing, and even poignant situations because you can have male vocaloids replacing female vocaloids as well as other role reassignments. The song selections found in the game are fantastic. They are sometimes silly, sometimes motivational, and sometimes surprisingly dark. It is a shame that there are no English subtitles available in-game for some odd reason. Seeking the song translations is definitely encouraged so that you won't miss the maturity and depth found in songs like Cat Food, Dream-Eating Monochrome Baku, Glasses, and Acute to name a few.

Just remember, they kind of look like us but vocaloids are not real humans.

In addition to the rhythm action, there is also a lite simulation element to the game which involves you visiting the vocaloids' "Diva Rooms" to build a good relationship with them. This creepy mode will have you touching and playing with the vocaloids to gain their favors. Just think of it as your little doll house. You can customize the vocaloids' dwellings to your liking and experiment with both the decorations as well as gifts that they would respond to. This mode is the least intriguing part of the game for me because I wish that I could just run around in the virtual space as the vocaloids themselves but fans of these characters would probably get a kick out of it. A side activity found in Project DIVA F that many could definitely enjoy however, albeit a little daunting, is the Edit mode. Here, you can create your own rhythm sequences for the songs found in the game as well as your own MP3 files and make music videos for them. The options you are provided with are quite robust where you can control minuscule details like mouth and eye movements. Though your creation may not match the more complex music videos found in the game, your only limit here is your creativity, time, and the odd file size limitation attached to each user created data. You can share your creations with the community but bear in mind that only the video data is exchangeable and users must have the same MP3 files if they choose to play around with songs outside of the game's confines. I attempted to edit Happy Rhodes' The Chariot into the game and from what I have experienced, being elaborate with both the input sequences and the video directing will require a lot commitment and dedication so I decided that I am going to just use this mode to create videos for my works of poetry, which should make things simpler and fun.

Yes, that is a Dreamcast controller.

The game supports native stereoscopic 3D but strangely, 3D effects are not available for the actual rhythm game. This is a missed opportunity because it would have been wonderful to be able to see those crazy flying visual cues floating in front of the background to distinguish the two elements. Other than that minor complaint however, Project DIVA F is a fun rhythm game packed-full of both contents and features. Allowing the players to customize the gameplay experience in its visual, aural, and rhythm design ensure that there is always something you can do with the game. If only the game could automatically generate visual cues and videos for your MP3 files, it would have easily outclass both Audiosurf and Beat Hazard Ultra on the Personal Computer. It may require a bit of work but as long as one has that passion and desire to play any kind of music Hatsune Miku style, this game should last for quite a long time. Also note Miku fans that this game gives you an opportunity to take an up close and personal picture with her without going to a cosplay convention.

RATING: 4 out of 5

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

New Milestone Celebration

The Personal Computer game inductions are continue to accumulate at a pretty steady rate that I didn't even notice that as of today, I have 803 games for the platform. The PlayStation 2 used to be the platform with the most games in my Game Library until last year but now, that 467 total games seem so small in comparison. With me mainly focusing on PC games these days, I wouldn't be surprised to see that count reaching 1,000 games pretty soon...

Fly'n by Ankama, the 803rd game for my PC.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Mass of the Effect

I finally got to the end of the story of Mass Effect 3 by BioWare for the Personal Computer last week. My anticipation for the resolution of the trilogy, in which I played the ever non-compromising, confident Commander Ingrid Shepard, was building up to a fever pitch ever since I continued playing the game on 08/25/2013. Several days later, after making many more intriguing decisions that will no doubt haunt me throughout the rest of my life, I reached the conclusion. I don't like spoilers so I am doing my best to not leave any trace of that in this article - and I want to ask my readers to show me the same courtesy when it comes to the details of all the possible endings to the game - but I do want to say that when everything was said and done, I felt really empty inside. That, and a bit of guilt as well as a huge helping of regret. Based on the gamers I know, their first instinct would probably push them to replay the last save to get another ending or go to YouTube to accomplish that goal. But not me. I silently sat there on my gaming chair to think about the ramifications of my choice.

The weight of the entire galaxy was resting on her shoulders.

Here's what I like about the Mass Effect games: I get so involved in my character that to change a decision that she, or we, made would almost feel like cheating. Don't get me wrong, there was one moment in the third game where I felt really disgusted with what had happened that I almost reloaded a previous save point to change up the situation. I was successful in refraining myself from doing so because the decision was a step that Ingrid would have taken naturally. With the ending I was presented, I feel that going back to replay the last section of the game would be a disservice to the hard work that I had put into all the three games combined. This situation reminded me of an achievement whore whom I knew several years ago on the X-Box 360. I remember having a conversation with him about our progress in Fallout 3. We got into a conversation in regards to an important moral decision that the player's character gets to choose at the very beginning of the game. He told me that he loaded a previous save point just so that he could select both decisions and that way, he was able to score both achievements. It was obvious at that point that while I was interested in actually role playing in the game, the guy was just "playing a game". I would never allow myself to strip away that magical feeling of being a part of a game world. So yes, I am at peace with what happened to my Commander Ingrid Shepard, no matter how bitter the aftertaste of the adventure turned out to be. The only way that I would know what else could happen at the end of Mass Effect 3 would be to start a new Shepard from the very beginning. That is the only justifiable action. And should I perish from this world before that could happen, I would still very happy that I had played through the entire trilogy and that I had characterized and built my Shepard properly the way I envisioned her to be. It was an honor to fight along your side Commander Ingrid Shepard! Go Renegade or go home!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Games Played 08/26/2013 - 09/01/2013

- 08/26/2013 -
Mass Effect 3 - PC

- 08/27/2013 -
LittleBigPlanet PS Vita - Vita
Mass Effect 3 - PC

- 08/28/2013 -
Mass Effect 3 - PC

- 08/29/2013 -
Audiosurf - PC

- 08/30/2013 -
Dawngate Closed Beta - PC
Guardians of Middle-earth - PC
Saints Row 2 - PC

- 08/31/2013 -
Diablo III - PC

- 09/01/2013 -
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F - PlayStation 3

Screenshot of the Week:

Ingrid Shepard. A Renegade until the end.
Mass Effect 3 (Personal Computer)