Monday, March 31, 2014

Death Wins in the End

So I was convinced that the new Team Builder mode in League of Legends would occupy most of my gaming time... Well, I couldn't be more wrong. I just couldn't get away from Diablo III: Reaper of Souls. Perhaps it was a mistake to abandon the full story mode solo play-through with my new Crusader, Promiscuity, and just level her up using the Adventure Mode because you know what? That mode is dangerously addictive. Basically, you can complete 5 bounties per act and once they are completed, you get rewarded with a random set of items via the Horadric Caches. You can also open Nephalem Rifts that will transport your character to some cross-act randomized dungeons that eventually pit you against their Rift Guardians. Along with the revised looting system, playing Adventure Mode just feels constantly rewarding and it's hard to stop once you start it up.

The Crusader is interesting but I favor the Barbarian.

Why do those nasty flying spectres inflict more damage than even the Rift Guardians?

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Random Game Room Moment

It's that kind of Saturday...

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Cydaea Is a Bad Word?

After seeing the cool prefixes on top of the players' names while playing Diablo III: Reaper of Souls on the Personal Computer, I decided to create my own clan earlier today. I wanted the name to be Diablo related and for some reason, that Maiden of Lust Cydaea came to my mind. Though her characterization is shallow, just like all the other characters in the game, I like how she teases you by hanging down on her web and making silly comments about things before you finally get to fight her. For some weird reason, when I chose "Cydaea" as the clan tag, I got a message that I cannot use foul language for the tag. I thought maybe all the character names in the game are just off limits but when I typed in Azmodan, the field actually accepted it. So I had to utilize a clever approach to things and use "CDYA" as the clan tag. As for the name, I decided on "Smooth as Honey", to honor the cheesy, hilarious description of our delicious Cydaea by Deckard Cain himself. I entered the description below under Clan Information:

"Cydaea may be smooth as honey, but we are smoother than that. This is a clan that lusts for the beautiful and the grotesque. Our desire for death to all that threatens humanity is thrusts upon our foes with forceful virility and with ravenous passion, without mercy, hesitation, nor pretension."

Join in if you would like to obsess about Cydaea and/or hang out with yours truly.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Death vs. Team Builder

Just when I thought that my gaming time will be preoccupied with the very excellent Diablo III: Reaper of Souls expansion by Blizzard that was just released late Monday evening, it looks like Riot Games grabbed me by the balls and yanked me back to League of Legends again as if they know that I have been stopped playing the game over the past couple of days. The Team Builder mode is finally live! As you can probably tell from my early impression of this groundbreaking new mode of play where you can pick and choose your champion as well as role before you even join the queue, it makes the Summoner's Rift map incredibly more attractive for me. It looks like the progress of Promiscuity the female Crusader will be slightly halted while I split my gameplay time.

The most innovative, forward thinking Multiplayer Online Battle Arena feature to date.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Games Played 03/17/2014 - 03/23/2014

- 03/17/2014 -
Bravely Default - 3DS

- 03/18/2014 -
Bravely Default - 3DS
Danmaku Unlimited 2 - PC
Iesabel - PC
League of Legends - PC
Temple Run 2 - iPad

- 03/19/2014 -
Diablo III - PC
Ikaruga - PC
Killer is Dead - PlayStation 3
League of Legends - PC
SimCity - PC

- 03/20/2014 -
Diablo III - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 03/21/2014 -
Diablo III - PC
Ikaruga - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 03/22/2014 -
Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition - PlayStation 4
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft - PC
Ikaruga - PC
League of Legends - PC
Wonderbook: Book of Spells - PlayStation 3

- 03/23/2014 -
Diablo III - PC
SingStar - PlayStation 3

Screenshot of the Week:

I found something ultra rare... A low-res shield!
Diablo III (Personal Computer)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

ARAM Champs Report 03/23/2014

Here is the list of champions that I got while playing ARAM in League of Legends ever since the previous report. You can click here for a detailed explanation in regards to the reasoning and method behind this observation. The champion portraits are arranged in consecutive order from left to right per line:

Very interesting. Ever since I started tracking my ARAM champions, I have been getting 18 unique champion rolls consecutively. I don't believe this ever happened in the past but I never did any analysis on this before so I could be mistaken.

Friday, March 21, 2014

(Almost) Daily ARAM Report?

I play a lot of League of Legends on the Personal Computer. I play it too much perhaps. So much so that even the spouse likes to claim that I play only one game these days and that's the game where the "enemy has been slain" - normally this comes up as a complaint that I don't play the games the spouse gave me as gifts. Within the game itself, I mostly play the ARAM - All Random All Mid - mode on the Howling Abyss map. I think things may change when the Team Builder mode comes out but in the mean time, it's all about ARAM. Now if you have played a lot of ARAM, you know that your supposed random champions didn't feel like they were given to you at random at all because you'd end up with the same champions over and over again, even when you decide to use your limited re-rolls. Well, I have decided to post the champions I do get when I play this mode on a daily basis and see if a revealing pattern emerges eventually. To be frank, that's just how a random roll works where you can end up with the same champions every so often. But I have all the champions unlocked so it would be nice to get something new every now and then. I will only track the champions I get and the re-rolls and not the trades I get from other players. I am also including champions I got for cancelled matches, where a player leaves during the champion select screen because the system did its thing to provide me with the random champion. To start things off, here are the champions I did get from my ARAM session this morning. The champion portraits are arranged in consecutive order from left to right per line. Is there a theme emerging yet?

Now that I am tracking, I am no longer getting repeat champions within the session.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Games Played 03/10/2014 - 03/16/2014

- 03/10/2014 -
Alpha Zero - iPad
Bloodmasque - iPad
Endless War - iPad
Procyon - PC

- 03/11/2014 -
Diablo III - PC
Ikaruga - PC
Plasma Sky - iPad
Riptide GP2 - PC

- 03/12/2014 -
Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition - PlayStation 4
Final Fantasy XIII - PlayStation 3

- 03/13/2014 -
Final Fantasy XIII - PlayStation 3

- 03/14/2014 -
Final Fantasy XIII - PlayStation 3
League of Legends - PC

- 03/15/2014 -
Bravely Default - 3DS
League of Legends - PC

- 03/16/2014 -
The Banner Saga - PC
Bravely Default - 3DS
League of Legends - PC

Screenshot of the Week:

Is that a safe way to hold an unsheathed sword?
The Banner Saga (Personal Computer)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The 2DS Effect

I got my copy of Bravely Default for the Nintendo 3DS today, or is it for the Nintendo 2DS? I don't know what Nintendo was thinking when they released the 2DS last year. The 3D effect of the 3DS is quite beautiful but I understand it is not for everyone. I have been told by several gamers - and my own spouse - that they couldn't see the 3D effect or just couldn't handle it but we all know that the 3D effect can be turned off. Instead of continuing on the path of educating its customers, Nintendo just gave up and released the 2DS instead. Well, it looks like they are paying the price now because I saw on the retail shelves today that Nintendo had to paste a "2DS" sticker on the cases of new 3DS games to ensure that potentially uninformed 2DS owners know that they can play these games:

The sticker on the top right reads "ALSO PLAYS ON" and then a picture of the 2DS system.

It's a whole big mess, Nintendo, especially the fact that the 2DS sounds like a system that was released between the original Nintendo DS and the 3DS itself to non-gaming parents who are trying to get the best handheld for their kids. I guess it's time to release that 4DS huh to try and end all the confusion? Just don't forget to start releasing your games on Steam while you are doing that.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Recent Pain & Pleasure of LoL

Since Friday of last week, I am one of the many League of Legends players who have been having problems connecting to the game past the character select screen. When the game loads, there is only a black screen before an error pops up notifying me that the game is unable to connect to the server, supposedly due to my firewall blocking it. That is of course not the case and the problem is on Riot Games' side.  This does mean that I have not been playing the game at all and since the issue is still being investigated, I am not even sure when I will be able to play it again. The game does connect sometimes - as I have tested using custom games with bots - but to join the queue with other players is a dangerous proposition because most often than not, I wouldn't be able to get to the game and I would be the one left with the dreaded leaver status. I really hope that this issue will be resolved soon as a Riot staff is actively working with the community to assist with the issue via this forum post because I do miss LoL dearly. I did however get to join one "Team Builder" match earlier this week despite the connection problem and it is easily the best feature ever implemented in a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena game. This new mode is still in the works and was available for a 48-hour beta session. It looked ready so an official roll-out should not be delayed any longer. Basically, with "Team Builder", you get to choose and lock on to a champion and the role that you want to play in a match, thus eliminating the common toxicity that occurs during champion select when playing with random strangers. This is downright brilliant. It is even more brilliant the fact that you are not locked on to a team when you are matched with other players and their chosen roles if you don't like the overall team composition, as long as you don't abuse this freedom by being too choosy. When this mode finally goes live - that is if the "firewall" error ever gets fixed - I will be playing less on the Howling Abyss because the reason why I prefer that "All Random All Mid" map these days is to get away from the nastiness that often occurs during champion select for the other maps. This "Team Builder" sets a new standard for MOBA games and the rest in the genre should implement it ASAP.

With this mode, you can pick both your champion and role in peace.

Everyone has a choice whether to find another group or be happy with what is there.

 Update Note: 3:43pm - The "Firewall error" doesn't occur anymore when I played the game consecutively today so the issue seems to have been addressed. Now if Riot can just release that Team Builder mode...

Monday, March 10, 2014

Big Screen: The Misinformation Continues...

With the X-Box One Twitch broadcasting ability being available starting tomorrow, the misinformation in regards to big screen and console gaming continues... Here is what I found on Twitch under their X-Box One streaming promotion page:

Why not use this little blurb to promote Twitch in general?

Now those who have hooked up their Personal Computer to their big screen display know that watching Twitch on the big screen is not a console exclusive experience and I myself have been watching Twitch on the Internet via my big screen from the very beginning. It's bad enough that even Valve took advantage of this whole misinformation in regards to PC and big screen gaming but it's always annoying to see this blatant abuse continuing to exist.

Games Played 03/03/2014 - 03/09/2014

- 03/03/2014 -
One Finger Death Punch - PC

- 03/04/2014 -
Diablo III - PC
Ikaruga - PC

- 03/05/2014 -
Diablo III - PC
Ikaruga - PC

- 03/06/2014 -
Diablo III - PC
League of Legends - PC
Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition - PC

- 03/07/2014 -
Ikaruga - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 03/08/2014 -
Diablo III - PC
Ikaruga - PC
League of Legends - PC
Thunder Force Gold Pack 2 - Saturn

- 03/09/2014 -
Audiosurf - PC
Diablo III - PC
Space Channel 5: Part 2 - PC

Screenshot of the Week:

Ulala lives for the dramatics.
Space Channel 5: Part 2 (Personal Computer)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

February 2014 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: 56

This Month's Inductees:

Total Inductions: 23

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Dark Souls II: Lesson Learned?

While the PlayStation 3 and the X-Box 360 versions of Dark Souls II are getting released next week, the Steam-bound Personal Computer version is being delayed to an April 25th release date. Though I am sure that this is quite disappointing for rabid fans of the game, it looks like From Software is making sure that the PC release this time is no longer going to be a mere port of the console versions as shown on the statement released on Steam today:

It better be better on the PC. That's just the natural way of the gaming universe.

I do believe that the game is ready for PC release because the difference is really just the resolution bump and the better frame rate. We all have seen this ploy before. From Software and Namco Bandai are both new to the whole PC gaming thing and they apparently are oblivious to the fact that many developers before them have purposely released the PC version of their games at a much later date than the console releases. The reasoning behind this logic is simple: who would buy the console versions if the superior PC version is available? Only idiots would. And yes, you can play PC games on the big screen, you don't even need a Steam Machine for that. And yes, this game does feature full controller support. Those who have been craving for this sequel who happen to game on the PC may end up getting one of the console versions before eventually getting the Steam version if they are impatient and we all know that there are plenty of those people out there. This of course equals more profit for you know who.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Diablo III: Reaper Ready

I love Diablo III ever since it first came out. I have played the game for around 250+ hours. It was my favorite Personal Computer game of 2012. Sure, I haven't been playing the game but that is only because I have been playing too much League of Legends. Well, with last week's release of patch 2.0.1 that brought along a new loot system and a plethora of other improvements, I decided to finally log back into the game and you know what? It freaking rocks. I love the more flexible difficulty system that allows me to collect better loot without the fear of a nonstop death session that normally ends with more gold lost due to major gear repairs than better loot gained. As if the improvements to the game were not enough, Blizzard has also decided to grant 50% bonus experience to players between now and the release of the game's Reaper of Souls expansion. I managed to get my last two level 50+ characters to 60 today in no time. The experience boost also affects the rate of Paragon level gain so I will be spending a lot of time with this game for the next several weeks. Just from my play session today, I am utterly convinced that the game will only get better and I want to have access to the new Crusader class and the random dungeon as well as adventure mode from the expansion. Thus, I have upgraded my account without even thinking twice. I really cannot wait for the 25th of this month to arrive!

There goes my soul.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Games Played 02/24/2014 - 03/02/2014

- 02/24/2014 -
Blazing Star - iPad

- 02/25/2014 -
Art Style: PiCTOBiTS - 3DS
League of Legends - PC

- 02/26/2014 -
League of Legends - PC
Procyon - PC

- 02/27/2014 -
Dungeon Hearts - PC
Irem Arcade Hits - PC
The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot - PC
Procyon - PC

- 02/28/2014 -
Audiosurf - PC
DeathSpank - PC
Diablo III - PC
Ikaruga - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 03/01/2014 -
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze - Wii U
League of Legends - PC

- 03/02/2014 -
Diablo III - PC
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze - Wii U
Ikaruga - PC

Screenshot of the Week:

Donkey Kong... So brutish yet so cuddly thanks to those fluffy furs.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

My New PC Controller

I have been playing Ikaruga a lot ever since its arrival on Steam but I have been secretly harboring the frustration I have been experiencing with my wireless X-Box 360 controller that I use to play it. My research concluded that it's a common problem for this type of controller, where the left analogue stick inputs left movement on its own when you start using it and even when you just leave it untouched. In a game like Ikaruga, such a thing can of course lead to instant death. Now I don't like to use the d-pad when playing this game - it's all about the analogue stick for me because it offers more movement flexibility. So I had to switch to my wired X-Box 360 controller to play the game. Having been spoiled by wireless technology, it just doesn't feel right to play modern games with a wired controller so I have been looking for a new wireless controller for my PC. I have heard that the PlayStation 3 controller can work with the PC but I personally don't like the whole MotioninJoy thing, that software looks pretty darn messy. What I didn't know however is that apparently someone had found a way to make the PlayStation 4 controller works properly on the PC. So I immediately went to get myself a Bluetooth receiver for my PC - using a USB cable works too but I want a wireless solution - and downloaded the "DS4Tool". After everything is set, I launched Ikaruga... Lo and behold, everything worked perfectly! Even the rumble!

You know that you always wanted that controller light to be sexy pink!

Now having this controller fully functional on the PC in itself is quite awesome but the fun didn't just stop there. You can even customize that nasty bright light on the controller - an option that is not even available on the PS4. Not only that, if you find that light as annoying as I do, you can even turn it completely off! Now the bad news here is that once the controller is turned off, it looks like I have to pair it up again with my Bluetooth receiver before the tool recognizes it, so it does come with just a tiny bit of hassle but it is certainly worth the minor annoyance because this PS4 controller is thankfully a lot better than its X-Box branded competitors. Don't you just love gaming on the PC? I certainly do.

Update Note: 03/03/2014 - Apparently the Bluetooth driver I was using had a glitch on it, causing the pairing problem I mentioned above because Windows Update patched it today and now, I don't have to do the initial pairing process anymore when I need to use the PS4 controller. All I have to do now is press that PS button and everything is good to go.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Why Can't Everything Else Be like Steam?

The external USB hard drive support for the Wii U is definitely the best feature that ever came out of the three newer consoles. It's a lot more exciting for me than anything that the PlayStation 4 and the X-Box One have at the moment: why such a thing is not implemented for those two consoles, I will never ever understand. I will forgive you Sony however if you release that backwards compatibility patch soon! Today, I continued to support that Nintendo's super awesome technical decision by downloading the new Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze into my 2 TB external drive. The game is 11 GB in size and the estimated time to finish the download? 2 hours and 30+ minutes:

It's indeed a tropical freeze.

I am so used to downloading way larger Steam games so quickly on the Personal Computer and all of the slow downloads from the consoles are just so annoying. It's funny how all these newer consoles like to tout that overused, meaningless word "next-gen" when there is nothing about them that are even remotely close to the gaming experience provided by Steam. Maybe I should have just waited for the Steam version of this game to be released.