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Friday, January 31, 2014

Four Swords to Cut Off Your Internet Connection

Nintendo has released The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition for the Nintendo 3DS and it is being offered for free for 4 days - yeah, they think they are so clever over there in la la land. All you have to do is visit the eShop to get the game before next Monday to claim your bounty. You better do it too because this remake certainly doesn't deserve a single penny because Nintendo was so lazy to include online multiplayer in the game. For a game that offers up to 4 player gameplay, only local wireless is supported. Those who are in the same boat as me will never get to experience that the glory of 4 crazed links adventuring together on that small screen. Disappointing. Perhaps you should just make this game free forever, Nintendo. If you are interested in making money from it, make sure to include that Internet play on the eventual Steam version.

4 free 4 4 days? Why not 4 free 4 ever?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Memory Monday: Bowser Talk

I mentioned that I am undergoing some kind of a phase right now in regards to gaming companionship and today, looking back at my social history, it is not a surprise that I find myself where I am in regards to gaming friends. Video gaming has always been a private hobby for me. When I first started, I found that my elementary school friends actually didn't play video games. They were mostly into toys and sports. Since I mostly kept to myself anyway, it made it harder for me to seek those with that similar interest. By the time I made it to high school, I pretty much felt that video gaming was more of an anomaly compared to the other "cool" hobbies out there so I didn't share my gaming experiences with others though at that point, some of my classmates did talk about playing games at the local arcades which was of course, somewhat different than gaming in the privacy of one's home. I did frequent the arcades myself: I was that lonely looking guy beating the crap out of M. Bison using Chun-Li in Street Fighter II.

My gaming world is a lonely place. But it has always been that way.

There was this one really illuminating moment however that happened in high school that was really shocking to me. I didn't have any close friends but I pretty much talk to everyone: there was this one girl, I have forgotten her name, who I discovered to be a gamer. The details are blurry by now, but for some odd reason, I told her that I play video games and then she started talking about Mario. The conversation lead to Super Mario Bros. 3, which was one of the hottest games around at that time, and I remember her telling me that she didn't like the final Bowser fight because it was too easy. I told her that the boss fight was unique and she said that she preferred the original Super Mario Bros. The odd thing about this event was that we never talked about video games ever again after that. Maybe because I felt it was an awkward moment, I am not really sure anymore. I was one of those studious type in school and besides the occasional assistance in lessons and homework, people don't flock around me for any other reasons. I guess I am just trying to accept who I am. It's not an accident that I chose the Loner Gamer moniker, though its initial implications was innocent enough. But we all have to come to terms with the awful truth sometimes.

Games Played 01/20/2014 - 01/26/2014

- 01/20/2014 -
Bioshock Infinite - PlayStation 3
Ginga Force - X-Box 360
How to Survive - PC
Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers - PC

- 01/21/2014 -
League of Legends - PC
Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers - PC
Syder Arcade - PC

- 01/22/2014 -
League of Legends - PC
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories - Wii
Syder Arcade - PC

- 01/23/2014 -
League of Legends - PC
Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 - PC
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories - Wii
Syder Aracde - PC

- 01/24/2014 -
League of Legends - PC
Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers - PC
Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 - PC

- 01/25/2014 -
League of Legends - PC
Tales of Xillia - PlayStation 3

- 01/26/2014 -
League of Legends - PC
Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria - PlayStation 2


Screenshot of the Week:

This must be some sort of punishment for all the calamari I have eaten in my life.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Tale of Two JRPGs

With my recent involvement with Namco Bandai's Tales of Xillia on the PlayStation 3 may have started off wonderfully but things are starting to wind down a bit for me thanks to some of its rather annoying characters. I don't mind silliness in my Japanese role playing games but sometimes, I yearn for some kind of believably. There are just some things that I just don't care to understand in the game, like how quickly strangers begin to trust each other before deciding to adventure together. This is a common theme in the genre however but I can't help to think back about my favorite game in the series - Tales of Symphonia - and how convincing the start of the game was in terms of the creation of the initial adventuring party. I do plan to continue playing Xillia of course but I had to pull myself away from it and concentrate on another JRPG. For some reason, Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria came to my mind thus I booted the game up and found myself really enjoying it. Perhaps I am just glad to find myself in the midst of a darker, more well-thought storyline. I have played Silmeria many times before but I have never completed the story before. I plan on doing so this time around.

It's hard to take these guys seriously sometimes...

The screen resolution may be lower but Silmeria is the graphically superior game here.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is an Evil Game

I was impressed by Silent Hill: Shattered Memories for the Nintendo Wii when I first attempted to play the game last year. The therapy session framing device was quite intriguing but I just couldn't force myself to play it because I knew I that the game was going to scare the heck out of me. Well, earlier tonight, I decided to play the game again and yes, I did stream the gameplay on twitch.tv, with the camera feed on nonetheless. Suffice to say that it was a session filled with thrills, chills, crazy expressions on my face, and of course, very manly screams.

The painful, traumatic act of... rolling down the window.

Then, something unexpected happened. I was stuck in a room with no way out and judging from the graphical glitches, it was somewhat obvious that the game just simply broke. I had no choice but to reset it because I couldn't even open the in-game menu and when I started the game again, it went back to the very beginning and it didn't allow me to resume from wherever it was I left off! For a brief moment, I thought that the game was playing tricks on me intentionally because there is this nasty warning when you boot up the game:

Surely, this problem is just the game playing tricks on me, right?

Wrong! After both continuing to play the game for a little bit and resetting it twice, I concluded that perhaps my save file got corrupted. After I quit the game, I checked the instruction manual and found that the answer was a very simple one: the game has no auto-save. One must manually save the game and that ability is not granted to the player from the very beginning but shortly after playing the game. I most certainly had passed that point of the game but I don't remember seeing a tutorial pop-up informing me about saving the game. In hindsight, this is certainly my fault. I used to read a game's instruction manual completely before I play it but with the recent trend of in-game tutorials, I have stopped doing that. Now, I have lost about an hour and a half worth of progress but one thing is for certain - the game has certainly played me more than I could ever attempt to play it. It has won. I can feel it deep in my heart: the game is evil.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Games Played 01/13/2014 - 01/19/2014

- 01/13/2014 -
Sonic & All-Stars Racing: Transformed - Vita

- 01/14/2014 -
League of Legends - PC
Pool Nation - PC

- 01/15/2014 -
League of Legends - PC
Tales of Xillia - PlayStation 3

- 01/16/2014 -
Bioshock Infinite - PlayStation 3
League of Legends - PC
Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords - PC
Tales of Xillia - PlayStation 3

- 01/17/2014 -
League of Legends - PC
Tales of Xillia - PlayStation 3

- 01/18/2014 -
Bioshock Infinite - PlayStation 3
How to Survive - PC
Killzone: Mercenary - Vita
League of Legends - PC
Tales of Xillia - PlayStation 3

- 01/19/2014 -
Killzone: Mercenary - Vita
League of Legends - PC


Screenshot of the Week:

The drippy nose... The fashion accessory of the new millennium.
Tales of Xillia (PlayStation 3)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Tales of Xillia: What Every JRPG Needs

Sony's cheesy limited time 14 for '14 digital game sales promotion for the PlayStation platforms that is currently happening is not all that exciting when it comes to the available selections but at least I was able to actually take advantage of it: I picked up Tales of Xillia by Namco Bandai Games for the PlayStation 3 and Killzone: Mercenary by Guerilla Cambridge for the PlayStation Vita. I haven't checked out Mercenary yet but I have played Xillia for several hours and I just want to point out that the game introduced a really cool non-playable character conversation system that I strongly believe should be implemented in all future Japanese role playing games:

You can only talk to NPCs with a speech bubble indicator.

After you have gone through that particular conversation...

...the speech bubble is grayed out.

I can be excessively thorough while playing a JRPG and I would not leave a town until I have talked to everyone whom could talk to. Also, for the first hour or so, I would also ensure that I would talk to the same NPCs more than once to deduct whether or not the game offers multiple conversations per NPC. With the NPC converstaion system found in Xillia, I feel more relaxed when roaming about NPC-filled areas because I know that I don't have to worry about missing anyone and that I could freely explore these locations instead of being systematic about the approach to ensure that I will get to every single NPC. I really would love to see this implemented in all future JRPGs. It may not seem like a big deal but it certainly make harassing NPCs a lot more fun for someone like me.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sonic & All-Stars: Transforming Ryo

After what seemed to be an eternity, Sega has finally released a new premium vehicle for Sonic & All-Stars Racing: Transformed on Steam today based on one of their more recognizable characters - I am surprised that it even happened since the game is close to being a year old. Available for only $1.59, the Ryo Hazuki downloadable content only includes the additional character from Shenmue - who I believe should have been included in the game to begin with - but without an additional racing track. I think it's worth the small amount of cash since I really love the game and Ryo's vehicles themselves are pretty cool because he is pretty much using Sega's arcade cabinets on wheels as his chosen method of travels. The disappointing thing here however is that Ryo has no fancy transformation sequence when his vehicle changes modes. Instead, you see an ugly, low resolution emblem and some flashes, which is basically the way how the transformation sequences were handled for the free PC exclusive characters. Now, it would have been forgivable if Ryo was free but he's not. He should have gotten the same treatment as the Metal Sonic DLC character. Sega, just give us a couple of more PC-exclusive free characters and you will be forgiven.

Ryo is so cool, he doesn't even have to watch the road he's speeding on.

Is that a Sega Dreamcast quality texture resolution?

Games Played 01/06/2014 - 01/12/2014

- 01/06/2014 -

- 01/07/2014 -
Don't Starve - PlayStation 4
League of Legends - PC
Magic 2014: Duels of the Planeswalkers - PC
Sonic & All-Stars Racing: Transformed - Vita
Urban Trial Freestyle - Vita

- 01/08/2014 -
Don't Starve - PlayStation 4
League of Legends - PC
Resogun - PlayStation 4
The Swapper - PC
Valdis Story: Abyssal City - PC

- 01/09/2014 -
Alice: Madness Returns - PC
League of Legends - PC
Resogun - PlayStation 4
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time - PlayStation 3/Vita
The Swapper - PC

- 01/10/2014 -
League of Legends - PC
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time - PlayStation 3/Vita
Sonic & All-Stars Racing: Transformed - Vita

- 01/11/2014 -
Dragon Age II - PC
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time - PlayStation 3/Vita

- 01/12/2014 -
Dragon Age II - PC
League of Legends - PC
Sonic & All-Stars Racing: Transformed - Vita


Screenshot of the Week:

Can I please get a decent service around here?
Dragon Age II (Personal Computer)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Non-Origin Game: Time Played Missing

You know that I have been singing praises for Electronic Arts' Origin client when it comes to tracking gameplay time for games that are not native to both the Origin and Valve's Steam clients. Well, over the past two patch updates, this feature had suddenly been missing from Origin:

The precious gameplay data I had before... Gone without a trace.

What's more sad about this is that I had reported this problem to EA as soon as it happened and it is still not being addressed by them. I sent another report yesterday and I am giving them one more chance to fix the problem before I transfer all of the non-Origin games to Steam. I even mentioned in my reports that this is the one beneficial feature that Origin has over Steam - you would think that they would want to preserve that but apparently, it's not that much of a priority to them. I look forward for the next patch to be rolled out. The bad thing here is that unlike Steam with its multiple times a day patches, the ones for Origin are truly few and far between so it's going to be a long, arduous wait. EA, you need to take care of the small number of people who still see the good in you.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

LoL: One More Champion to Go!

I have been working so hard farming my Influence Points in League of Legends for the Personal Computer and now the day has finally arrived! I am only one champion away from having access to all of the champions in the game! That is, until Riot Games releases more champions for the game. My goal is to have Jayce unlocked sometime next week and if I keep playing the game at my regular pace, I should be able to complete that task easily. Once Jayce is unlocked, I should be able to easily unlock future champions using Influence Points and I will always have access to all the champions continuously.

The final piece of the puzzle.


Update Note: 01/20/2014 - I have finally unlocked Jayce today and I now have every single champions in LoL. Other than the champions bundled with the retail release of the game, I am also proud to say that I have unlocked everything using only Influence Points accrued by merely playing the game! It only took... well, close to three years but since this game can never get boring, that was fine with me and it was definitely worth the time! Now when Riot is going to be releasing new champions, I will always be able to get that champion unlock quickly enough and I will always be up to date with my 100% champion roster!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Don't Starve: Don't Subtitle It!

This week is a good week to be a PlayStation Plus member who happens to have access to one of those still elusive PlayStation 4 units - apparently Sony wants Microsoft to get all the sales because the X-Box One can be found just about everywhere these days - because you can now play Klei Entertainment's Don't Starve: Console Edition for free! I own the Personal Computer version of this game but I don't play it as much as I should and since I don't want the PS4 to just sit there doing nothing, I decided to download it. The controls of course are just not that intuitive on the PS4 compared to the PC version but it's pretty much the same game. The one thing I hate about this version is that stupid subtitle:

One of the worst subtitles in the history of video gaming? You betcha.

So what went on in the minds of the developers when they added that stupid subtitle? Maybe they thought that people wouldn't buy and/or download the game from the PS4 because those people may think that they are getting the PC version of the game? Should all cross-platform releases from now on carry that subtitle to ensure that the games you are playing are indeed the console version? Silly, isn't it? The funny thing here is that a lot of console only gamers probably didn't even know this game ever existed outside of the PS4 so why take away that fantasy of exclusivity from them? That's just not very smart.

Nintendo Zone: Eguchi's Twilight

With the recent Mii induction to my Nintendo 3DS, my desire for more of them lead me to look for the nearest Nintendo Zone locations to experience the StreetPass Relay function for the system that was introduced sometime last year for the very first time. I didn't know that finding these locations is actually quite easy thank to the locator provided by Nintendo and I believe I have found the most convenient spot for me to go to. No, I am not going to a Starbucks by the way, which pretty much dominated the list. I better hurry to the location too because I can't say no to a current promotion featuring a pair of gold pants!

That face will generate nightmares but those pants... look so soft!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

December 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.

OVERALL BREAKDOWN:


Total Games Played: 47


This Month's Inductees:


Total Inductions: 59

Monday, January 6, 2014

My Server Was a 3DSer?

The spouse and I went to Chili's this evening for dinner and since it's winter time and I am forced to wear my leather jacket, I decided to take my Nintendo 3DS with me inside the inner pocket. I have not taken the handheld outside of the house for a very long time. When I got home, I was pleasantly surprised by a new arrival in the Mii Plaza. Immediately, I noticed something very familiar about the Mii so I showed it to the spouse who confirmed my suspicion: It was the Mii of our server! I was expecting some random Miis from the other patrons but this? It is certainly a unique find.

I bet she gets a lot of Miis every single day!

Games Played 12/30/2013 - 01/05/2014

- 12/30/2013 -
Anno 2070 Complete Edition - PC
PixelJunk Shooter - PlayStation 3
Sonic: Lost World - Wii U

- 12/31/2013 -
Aquapazza: Aquaplus Dream Match - PlayStation 3
Dragon Age II - PC
flOw - PlayStation 4

- 01/01/2014 -
Contrast - PlayStation 4
Magic 2014: Duels of the Planeswalkers - PC

- 01/02/2014 -
Dragon Age II - PC
Magic 2014: Duels of the Planeswalkers - PC
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 - PlayStation 3

- 01/03/2014 -
League of Legends - PC
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 - PlayStation 3

- 01/04/2014 -
League of Legends - PC
Magic 2014: Duels of the Planeswalkers - PC
Silent Hill: Book of Memories - Vita

- 01/05/2014 -
League of Legends - PC
Magic 2014: Duels of the Planeswalkers - PC
Sonic & All-Stars Racing: Transformed - Vita


Screenshot of the Week:

Yes I wear red because you know I love to flirt.
Dragon Age II ( Personal Computer)

Friday, January 3, 2014

When It Comes to Gaming, I Have No Family

I saw that the Steam client needed to be restarted when I came back to my Personal Computer about 15 minutes ago and in the patch notes, there was a mention that the Family Sharing feature had finally been implemented into the beta client. I have completely forgotten about this groundbreaking Steam feature because you know, I do not have a close gaming friend, locally or on the Internet. To be honest, I have been a bit down over these past couple of days. I have shared with the spouse that I have been feeling quite lonely in the video gaming side of my life. The spouse and I have both been at home since Christmas eve but each of us are spending it the way we individually wanted to spend out free time - watching cable television for the spouse and playing video games for me. That has worked for us since forever but perhaps I am having a mid-life crisis. There is a void in my heart because I'd really would like to share the deeper, more personal side of my gaming life with someone who would actually appreciate it. A bit bleak for the first entry for 2014 but perhaps realizing that I am having a problem with this will ensure that things will work out for the best in the end.

Close to 700 Steam games and no one to share them with. Such a shame.