Hiya folks! By reading my articles, you are directly supporting my passion for gaming and true freedom for humanity - Thank you!

Monday, April 29, 2013

There Will Be Some Howling in Bed Tonight

My deep, undying love for League of Legends on the Personal Computer was overwhelming before but it had always respected the line between human and non-physical object but now... That line has been crossed. Over the past several months, I have played pretty much just the one lane Proving Grounds map under custom game almost exclusively when I play LoL because it's so action packed and ridiculously fun. Riot Games will be releasing a meticulously-designed new map to replace Proving Grounds and it's called The Howling Abyss and with it, the "All Random All Mid" mode will be included into the matchmaking queue so that means... continuous Influence Points reward without a daily time limit. Now I surely hope that Riot would allow Blind Pick for this map on matchmaking because though playing random champions can be fun, being able to pick a specific champion is indeed quite awesome as well. The leaver-buster system attached to matchmaking will also ensure less occurrences of people leaving the game during champion selection or even mid-match. I cannot wait for this patch to come. In the meantime, I am taking LoL to bed with me. Check out the official video below for details!


This will surely be the most epic LoL patch yet!

Games Played 04/22/2013 - 04/28/2013

- 04/22/2013 -
La-Mulana - PC

- 04/23/2013 -
League of Legends - PC

- 04/24/2013 -
Alien Zombie Megadeath - PC
League of Legends - PC
Rayman Origins - PC

- 04/25/2013 -
Dyad - PC
League of Legends - PC
Rainbow Moon - PlayStation 3
Symphony - PC

- 04/26/2013 -
League of Legends - PC
Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes - PlayStation 3

- 04/27/2013 -
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - PC
League of Legends - PC
Symphony - PC

- 04/28/2013 -
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - PC
League of Legends - PC


Screenshot of the Week:

King Alexander and his faithful minions.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Make Love to Your... Eyes?

Do you want to give your eyes a little bit of a treat? No, I don't recommend actual eye copulation, but I stumbled into an interesting experience of visual over-stimulation earlier today. If you ever played The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, you know that the game looks so washed-out when it comes to the colors. Everything has a muted, neutral tone to them with a pop of color here and there. Well, stopping after hours of Skyrim on my Personal Computer, I decided to boot up League of Legends almost immediately and when I jumped into that game, I thought someone was wrong with my display because all the colors looked screaming bright as they bled out messily on top of one another! It took several minutes before my eyes were finally adjusted to the drastic change of color-scheme but I have never experience eyegasm before until today because that sensation of seeing colors clawing into your very eyes... It's quite unique.

From this...

...to this...

...then this? Eyegasm.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Families Are Happy with Wii U!

Gasp! It looks like families all across America are happy with the Wii U as exemplified by three family interview videos posted on the Wii U website. Apparently, they don't care about game variety as long as they can play as a family and this seems to be what Nintendo is trying to achieve since there are hardly any Wii U exclusive games on the system. I learn from the videos that with the Wii U, you don't even have to subscribe to cable anymore because it replaces the need to watch television as long a you have Hulu Plus and Netflix: Super-excited mom, you could just hook up any raggedy Personal Computer to your display to accomplish that. I also learn that Nintendo likes to use artificial settings for their videos. I think it would have been cool - and slightly more believable - if they would just interview the featured families in their own living rooms. I have a feeling that Nintendo is regretting the fact that they named the system Wii U since these videos tried to distinguish it from Nintendo Wii. Well, if I was a non-gaming dad, the whole Wii Wii would probably confuse me too. I urge you to check out these heart-warming videos, especially if you don't have a Wii U so that you can be utterly convinced to get the system... today!

If you think he's slick, wait until you see his dad busting out some moves.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What Are You Really Buying, Exactly?

As if $99.99 isn't bad enough of a price for a Collector's Edition, today, I discovered today that Ubisoft is planning to sell the upcoming Collector's Edition of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist for multi-platform at $169.99. This thing is bundled with a remote-controlled Paladin Aircraft that is supposedly valued at $150. So... Are you a gamer or something else? I suppose one could be both but to actually bundle a game with such a specific alternate hobby is quite a big risk, isn't it? Unless the developer knows that there are plenty, and I mean PLENTY, of crazy gamers out there who would get anything with a special label slapped on them. A lot of developers have lost sight to the one thing that really matters... The game itself. Releasing fads  - like charging extra for artbook and physical toys - and even designing around fads - like the whole big social gaming thing for the PlayStation 4 which always mandate you being online at all times, something that I thought a lot of people didn't like - instead of focusing just on creating great games that can be delivered simply via digital means.

Breaking news! Major game developer leaves gaming to become RC distributor?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Games Played 04/15/2013 - 04/21/2013

- 04/15/2013 -
Champions of Norrath - PlayStation 2
Metal Slug Anthology - PlayStation 2
Really Big Sky - PC
SimCity - PC

- 04/16/2013 -
League of Legends - PC
SimCity - PC
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm - PC

- 04/17/2013 -
League of Legends - PC
Razor2: Hidden Skies - PC

- 04/18/2013 -
League of Legends - PC
Ridge Racer: Unbounded - PC

- 04/19/2013 -
eXceed 3rd: Jade Penetrate Black Package - PC
Half-Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax Ultimate Boy - PC
Jetpack Joyride - PC
League of Legends - PC
Resident Evil 6 - PC
SimCity - PC

- 04/20/2013 -
Dishonored - PC
League of Legends - PC
Noitu Love 2: Devolution - PC
Puzzle Quest 2 - PC
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm - PC

- 04/21/2013 -
League of Legends - PC
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - PC


Screenshot of the Week:

Seeking another kind of adventure...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Appreciate Your Middle Finger

The middle finger... Amongst all your other cute little fingers, the middle finger is the one with the bad reputation but do you know that both of your middle fingers are very important in your gaming life? The conventional game controllers rest comfortably on top of those fingers and for those who are right-handed like myself, you use it to repeatedly hit your right mouse button. Imagine for a moment that something happened to one of your middle fingers... Now wouldn't that be really, really horrible?

Love your middle finger and be aware of its many important uses.

Well, I can tell you by experience that you should really take good care of your middle fingers. On Tuesday evening, while I was drying off a coffee mug in the kitchen, the handle broke off and the side of my right middle finger slid alongside the sharp broken handle, resulting in a really nasty cut. It was a deep and gory, half an inch long and of course, it was rather bloody and for a moment, I even considered getting a stitch for it but I eventually didn't. I cleaned up the wound and put a band-aid on it. The cut was still a bit open yesterday when put a fresh band-aid on but it's finally closing up today. To my own detriment, I still decided to do some League of Legends on the Personal Computer yesterday, which didn't help, but I just couldn't stop myself. My right clicking was seriously impaired, resulting in quite a number of misplays. The pain wasn't bad but my middle finger just didn't want to do what I wanted it to do. I should have skipped gaming entirely yesterday definitely because the sooner the cut is healed, the faster I could play games regularly. So make sure that you take good care of your middle fingers, my fellow gamers, and the next time you see someone sticking one up at you, you may want to blow it a kiss or something.

X-Box LIVE: Windows 8 Messages

As we all should know very well by now, Microsoft does everything they can to coerce people into subscribing to that X-Box LIVE Gold membership by forcing that subscription for online multiplayer access and then adding things you can normally use for free on top of the subscription to make it more... attractive. Microsoft even blocks the ability to send messages to your friends when using the live.xbox.com website and the SmartGlass app on the tablets:

Why provide such a basic function to your customers for free, right?

Well, I have never tried sending messages from the Games tile available on Windows 8 until today and you know what? It looks like someone at Microsoft's Greed Department forgot to disable this feature here! You can freely send messages using this app to your X-Box LIVE friends without the need to be on LIVE Gold! How about that? I bet if those who pay for LIVE Gold know about this, they wouldn't be happy? Well, they are probably oblivious to this anyway... As a matter of fact, they are pretty oblivious to the fact that everything they paid for can be done for free on other platforms, whether those features are gaming or otherwise. Charging for LIVE Gold just cannot be justified, Microsoft. End it.

Patch it up! Patch it up!?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

$100 Version of Tales of Xillia... Really?

What's up with the pricing of these "Special or Collector's Edition" of video game releases these days. Like this one for the upcoming highly anticipated role playing game, Tales of Xillia on the PlayStation 3, for instance:

Just go out and buy a Barbie doll if you are that desperate for a figurine?

The price? It's $99.99. Wow, seriously? I mean, there are people out there who would actually fall for this ridiculous price? It's bad enough that the standard release is $59.99 but to add a whopping $40 for some soundtrack CD, an artbook, and a little doll? Since this game almost didn't get a domestic release, I suppose Namco Bandai Games was able to smell the blood in the water and is now primed to take advantage of desperate zombie gamers with no brains. Before I completely lost interest in "Special Edition" releases, I did get them every so often but I have never paid $100.00 or anything remotely close to that just to get a special box, book, et cetera. If anything, we should expect those extra things to be included with that standard $59.99 version. Stop allowing greedy developers from stealing your cash thus empowering them to continue the abuse. Always pay appropriately and please, always pay responsibly.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Just Like Mila Kunis...

While it's unlike Mila Kunis in some ways, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch for the PlayStation 3 is sadly just like Mila Kunis where it counts. How so? Well, both are beautiful to look at but there is nothing else underneath that beauty. In the case of Mila Kunis, she's ranked one of the most horrible actresses I have ever witnessed in my lifetime and when it comes to Ni no Kuni, it is perhaps one of the most boring games I have played in a while. The main problem with this absolutely beautiful game - it is more visually attractive than the demos shown during the nasty PlayStation 4 reveal event - is that playing the early part of the game feels like playing a really long-winded tutorial... I just want to get to the meat of the monster-battle gameplay and the surprisingly dark storyline but no... Level-5 just won't allow me to do it... Not until this is explained and that is explained. Now, I wouldn't mind if they would just cram all the feature explanations into the first half hour of the game but the whole thing is being revealed at an inconsistent intervals, sandwiched between cut-scenes and lengthy adventuring sessions. I just can't seem to force myself to play through that anymore... I actually fell asleep twice trying to play this game!

I used to recommend watching Halle Berry movies as a sleep aid until I found this game...

I am sure there may be a better experiences to be found if I continue playing the game just like the potential discovery that outside of acting, Mila Kunis may actually be a really nice person but I would have to drink a lot of caffeine to probably get through another I don't know 5 hours of tutorial since it never seem to end.. It's like Level-5 is afraid that if we know everything about the game's mechanics, the game would lose its charm - well too late for that! Yes it is great that Ni no Kuni is proof that no new hardware is needed to make pretty games because that is the truth that game developers need to understand but sadly, it's unfortunate that the game ended up being mediocre gameplay-wise. At least it still serves as a precautionary tale that games are never about the graphics nor access to new hardware: it's always been about the gameplay...

Monday, April 15, 2013

Games Played 04/08/2013 - 04/14/2013

- 04/08/2013 -
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - PC

- 04/09/2013 -
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 04/10/2013 -
Gravity Guy - PC
iStunt 2 - PC
League of Legends - PC
Microsoft Minesweeper - PC
Monster Island - PC
Shuffle Party - PC
Taptiles - PC

- 04/11/2013 -
A Valley Without Wind 2 - PC
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 04/12/2013 -
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - PC
League of Legends - PC
Sonic Dash - iPad

- 04/13/2013 -
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 04/14/2013 -
Alice: Madness Returns - PC
League of Legends - PC
SimCity - PC


Screenshot of the Week:

Appropriately named or appropriately repressed?
Alice: Madness Returns (Personal Computer)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Diablo III PS3: The Misleading Campaign

Blizzard made a lot of people very excited when they announced that Diablo III is coming to the PlayStation 3 during that silly PlayStation 4 reveal conference. Yes, those excited people include those who have criticized the game as being nothing but a click loot frenzy that they would never be interested in just because they don't have a gaming Personal Computer to play it and their apparent jealousy of the PC release now substantiated. I think it's great news for those who are just unwilling to play on the PC for whatever crazy reason but of course if the game was release on multiple platforms, I would have still pick the PC version because auto aiming and sharing one screen during multiplayer - I remember during the announcement that Chris Metzen specifically said that during console multiplayer, there's no split screen and everyone will stay on one screen - are nothing but severe handicaps. On the PC, games like this allows you to venture away from each other and not confined in that limited space. Of course the biggest revelation here is that the game will no longer require you to log on to a server to play the single and local multiplayer compared to the PC version and that seems to be very important to a lot of people, including a good friend of mine who told me that he would be getting the game for the PS3 when the announcement was made after I tried to repeatedly convince him to get the PC version prior to it. So I lost the ability to play my favorite PC game of 2012 with someone I enjoy playing games with but that's nothing compared to the following image I saw today from the Diablo III website:

But hell has been unleashed in many "living rooms" before the PS3 version?
By the way Blizzy, I played World of Warcraft for many years on a big screen HDTV...

I really liked Blizzard but this whole "in your living room" thing is actually quite offensive. Now I can perhaps forgive a console developer for making such an ignorant statement but a predominantly PC-centric developer? No. Blizzard has lost my respect. Perhaps it's true what they say that developers who make games actually don't play games themselves so in this case, since Blizzard made Diablo III originally for the PC, they don't realize that they can play that very game on the big screen themselves with the PC? Perhaps this is just a way for them to feed the PS3 gamers with a sense of empowerment, that only they can play the game on their super big screen high definition displays when the PC can hook up to those very same displays? I'm so disappointed in you Blizzard.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Windows 8: The Fun Never Ends?

I was on the Windows Store again this morning after testing out those free games I got last night - iStunt 2 is actually kind of fun - and I found... another free X-Box game? Shuffle Party contains a variety of shuffle board games and though the game could really benefit from online play, it is the first game that I have seen to incorporate our own custom LIVE avatar in it:

Which is more distracting? The poor graphics or the in-game ad?

You know, it's funny. Microsoft's line of Windows operating systems have birthed plenty of incredible gaming experiences yet Microsoft themselves stubbornly refused to contribute to it as a dominating gaming platform. Valve is the only company that is hard at work on doing that and with great success. Why don't we see more games that use our LIVE avatars on the Personal Computer? Why is Microsoft so obsessed with console gaming - excluding the known fact that they know they can swindle uninformed console only gamers by charging them for online multiplayer and access to services that you can get free on the PC and everywhere else - when they have a gold mine right before their eyes? They didn't have to do much since Valve and NVIDIA already did the difficult task of educating the masses that they have the ability to play PC games on their big screens, a factor that seems to be a deal-breaker for a lot of ignorant gamers, and they can thank me for trying to get that word out for a long while. Don't waste money selling console hardware, Microsoft. Make your money from all the brilliant digitally-distributed high quality games that you can release for the PC via the Windows Store! Oh well, at least we have Steam.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Free X-Box Games on Windows 8

I typically don't go to bed until it's a little past midnight but for some reason, I was feeling a bit bored tonight and I really didn't feel like playing any games for some odd reason. Before I put my Personal Computer to sleep however, something compelled me to go to the Windows 8 Store and it was there that I found the following limited time offer:

They probably worth nothing to begin with but it seems like people like these games.

These games are certainly not the best examples of Microsoft's contribution to the current state of PC gaming but you know what? Free is free. Since all of these have that "X-Box" label on them, you could unlock achievements for playing these games and that is great news for achievement whores. So if you have Windows 8, make sure to take the opportunity to download these games as soon as you can since there is no indication anywhere in regards to the time when the offer expires. I'll have to check out the games tomorrow though - I'm going to bed.

Netflix and Windows 8 PC

As I have mentioned before, I don't watch broadcast television. If not for the spouse, I would probably not have a cable subscription. These days, if I want to watch something entertaining, I would just go to twitch.tv to view people streaming live gameplay. It's a lot more fun than watching any of those reality television shows. Now the spouse and I do subscribe to the Netflix streaming service every now and then. We would normally subscribe for just a month and get as much viewing as possible and wait until the movies that we wanted to watch get added in before getting another month's subscription. I loved watching my Netflix streams on the Personal Computer from the website. Every now and then, I did have to watch them on my PlayStation 3 when the high definition versions were only available on other compatible devices. Well, that will no longer be the case thanks to the Netflix app on my Windows 8 PC.

Killer Klowns from Outer Space is a special movie for me and the spouse.

It's basically the same Netflix app you see on the consoles and on the tablets - I am obligated to mention here, just in case you didn't know, that to play Netflix on the X-Box 360, you have to pay for LIVE Gold where you can access your Netflix subscription anywhere else... for free! In addition to having access to HD stream that are normally not available from the Netflix website, the other benefit of using this app on your Windows 8 PC is the sound. Playing the movies, HD or otherwise, on the website will only give us stereo sound but with this app, we get Dolby Digital 5.1! Before you start blabbering about having to stare at a small PC monitor when watching Netflix on the PC, please be reminded that you are living in the 21st century and PCs can be hooked up to your super big crazy high definition display and you also get discrete surround sound from the appropriate setup. This Netflix app is definitely yet another positive result of my recent Windows 8 installation. I'm glad that I decided to check it out when I renew my Netflix subscription today. Windows 8 is great but the Windows 8 Store is so underutilized when it comes to pure PC gaming. If Microsoft could just work on improving that, they could easily rival Steam. I am still hopeful that Microsoft will go towards that direction instead of releasing another console.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Games Played 04/01/2013 - 04/07/2013

- 04/01/2013 -
Temple Run 2 - iPad

- 04/02/2013 -
League of Legends - PC
Need for Speed: Most Wanted - PC
SimCity - PC

- 04/03/2013 -
Bejeweled Live Demo - PC
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 04/04/2013 -
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - PC
League of Legends - PC
Samurai vs. Zombies Defense - PC

- 04/05/2013 -
Guild Wars 2 - PC
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - PC
League of Legends - PC
SimCity - PC

- 04/06/2013 -
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - PC
League of Legends - PC
SimCity - PC

- 04/07/2013 -
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - PC
League of Legends - PC


Screenshot of the Week:

Circumstance is back to finish the job!
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (Personal Computer)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Cave the Best... At Teasing?

I got a new X-Box 360 game the other day and it was of course quite a rarity for me these days. I think the day when I will just induct Personal Computer games and abandon future console game purchases is inching ever closer. I surely hope that Microsoft will just beef up the Windows 8 store and make that their new plan of action when it comes to future gaming releases instead of creating yet another console. Wishful thinking, I know since Microsoft would be stupid to miss out on the free money they get from clueless people for online multiplayer on the X-Box 360 but I suppose it doesn't hurt to keep the positive thought alive.

Caution, this one may be a little extra greasy.

The new game I got is this year's "Cave the Best" re-release of Muchi Muchi Pork! & Pink Sweets, two ancient Cave shooters that were first released on the 360 in 2011. Just like any other Cave shooters out there, they are really fun. I was actually surprised to be able to order this game from Amazon.com instead of my typical specialty importers route. It's also cool that this re-release, just like the North American bestsellers, is way cheaper to buy. The whole "Cave the Best" label though does leave a bit of a sour taste in my mouth because I have missed out on some of their releases due to their decision to stop producing region-free games, so to me, they are not necessarily "the best" anymore but I know they are just referring to the game being a bestseller and probably just had problems translating that intent in English. The latest Dodonpachi being released overseas next month also has the possibly of being affected by the region lock... Muchi/Pink is region-free however so get it while you still can. I am troubled though by this whole pattern of horrible box art on re-releases. If anything, they should actually make the covers look hotter to encourage people to buy them instead of stamping them with unnecessary labels and minimizing the artwork.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Random Steam Coupon is Random

I received 4 discount coupons for BIT.TRIP Presents... Runner 2 by Gaijin Games on the Personal Computer via Steam. These 25% coupons are only valid through the 22nd of this month. I am not sure how widespread these coupons are but if you are looking for one, just hit me up on Steam. I am not sure if I would be using it myself. 25% off is not enough. Why not 50% off?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Games Played 03/25/2013 - 03/31/2013

- 03/25/2013 -
Eschatos - X-Box 360
Jazz: Trump's Jourmey - PC
Jetpack Joyride - PC
Saints Row: The Third - PC
StarDrone - PC

- 03/26/2013 -
Edna & Harvey: Harvey's New Eyes - PC
Gaia Seed: Project Seed Trap - PlayStation 3
Killzone: Shadow Fall Beta - Playstation 4
Knack Beta - PlayStation 4
League of Legends - PC
Outland - PlayStation 3
Saint Seiya: Sanctuary Battle - PlayStation 3

- 03/27/2013 -
Edna & Harvey: Harvey's New Eyes - PC
Killzone: Shadow Fall Beta - Playstation 4
Knack Beta - PlayStation 4
Karaoke Revolution Volume 2 - PlayStation 2
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - PC
League of Legends - PC
Lucius - PC

- 03/28/2013 -
Knack Beta - PlayStation 4
League of Legends - PC
Resident Evil 5 - PC

- 03/29/2013 -
League of Legends - PC
Resident Evil 5 - PC
SimCity - PC

- 03/30/2013 -
Knack Beta - PlayStation 4
League of Legends - PC
Reckless Racing HD - iPad
SimCity - PC
Temple Run 2 - iPad

- 03/31/2013 -
Jetpack Joyride - PC
League of Legends - PC
SimCity - PC


Screenshot of the Week:

Everyone is trying to get to Manchest.
SimCity (Personal Computer)