Hiya folks! Visiting this website and reading my articles help me out tremendously - Thank you so much for all your support!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Games Played 04/21/2014 - 04/27/2014

- 04/21/2014 -
Eschatos - X-Box 360
Skylanders Swap Force - PlayStation 4

- 04/22/2014 -
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - PC
Ikaruga - PC
League of Legends- PC
Yourself!Fitness - X-Box

- 04/23/2014 -
League of Legends - PC
Skullgirls - PC
Yourself!Fitness - X-Box

- 04/24/2014 -
Dark Souls II - PC
Skylanders Swap Force - PlayStation 4
Yourself!Fitness - X-Box

- 04/25/2014 -
Dark Souls II - PC
Skylanders Swap Force - PlayStation 4
Yourself!Fitness - X-Box

- 04/26/2014 -
League of Legends - PC
Skylanders Swap Force - PlayStation 4

- 04/27/2014 -
League of Legends - PC
Skylanders Swap Force - PlayStation 4
Yourself!Fitness - X-Box


Screenshot of the Week:

Maya knows how to lure her victims in.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Yoga vs. Yoshi

Since Monday of this week, I have started exercising again using good old Yourself!Fitness on the original X-Box - finally - and I am slowly starting to feel quite energized. Today, I learned that yoga poses make you look like you are seriously messed up and broken. Yoshi had been watching me exercise daily and today's focus was on "flexibility" which meant plenty of crazy yoga poses. Mid-way through them, I heard a whimper and I turned around to look at Yoshi: her ears were down and she was shaking in fear. I comforted her and told her that I was okay but it was obvious that she thought something was seriously wrong with me. I was sweating and moaning more than usual too, a good yoga session can do that to me, so I am sure they made things worse. My poor Yoshi. Oh well, at least she's in better condition than my fully aching body right now!

Yoshi probably thought that I was dead when I was holding that pose.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Dark Souls II: The Intent is Darker

Remember when it was announced that the Personal Computer version of Dark Souls II was delayed by more than a month after the release of the console versions because the developer From Software claimed that they were working on optimizing the PC version? Well, we knew that they were lying then - if the PC version was out simultaneously, many would just get the superior PC version and they may potentially lose money from the more expensive to produce console versions - and now that the game is finally released on the PC, it's obvious that this game was ready for simultaneous release with the console versions last month. So yeah, the game does look significantly better than the console versions, it can run native 1080p at silky smooth 60 frames per second compared to the port of the first game without the need for mod installation, and the keyboard control options look robust, though why anyone would want to play this game with a keyboard is beyond me... But you know what? Those things would not have taken an extra month to implement. With plenty of ugly low resolution textures from what I have seen in the beginning area, I am sure that the only thing that the developer and publisher Namco Bandai Games were both doing was rolling in the dough, all naked and sweaty, from the sales of the console releases instead of doing any kind of extra finishing touch ups for this PC release. It's pretty darn disgusting. Bear in mind as you peruse the following screenshots that they were all taken with all the graphics settings maxed out:

Lovely low-res fur cape you are wearing there buddy!

Low-res texture + high resolution = an ugly mess.

You don't even have to go far when you start the game to see the laziness of this launch:

If you were really working on the game during the past month...

The game may be worthy of the hall of fame but these are the walls of shame.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Random Game Room Moment

My favorite Skylanders figurine thus far. That mouth... I'm afraid to stick my finger in there.

Random Yoshi Moment

No better place to enjoy a tasty treat than inside the Game Room itself.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Yearly Gaming Analysis: 2013

I can't think of anything significant that happened to me in 2013 when it comes to my video gaming existence. At this point in my life, gaming is just there, a part of me. I did welcome the PlayStation 4 into my home and as I have previously stated in length, the PS4 - and I have no doubt it's the same with the X-Box One - really doesn't bring anything special that can supersede the experience I am having with Personal Computer gaming. The ultimate video gaming experience is no longer in the realm of console gaming and that has been the case for me for a while now. There is no such thing as "next gen" when it comes to gaming. It's about the now and PC gaming is the pure embodiment of that notion.

Outside of gaming, the one moment that will always stay with me was my family trip to Tiburon. It was so different. So personal. A much needed break from my overwhelming gaming habits. I think it's time that we take Yoshi to San Francisco and spend the whole day at the Golden Gate Park this year.

This analysis includes all games that were inducted in 2013, even if the games were released prior to that year. The brackets shown in the number counts signify the difference between 2012 and 2013. I hope you will find this report informative and an entertaining read.


--- HANDHELDS ---

iPAD
Total Year Inductions: 5 (-73)

NINTENDO DS
Total Year Inductions: 3 (-6)

NINTENDO 3DS
Total Year Inductions: 10 (+1)

PLAYSTATION PORTABLE
Total Year Inductions: 1 (-3)

PLAYSTATION VITA
Total Year Inductions: 8 (+2)

Favorite Game of the Year:
Solstice Arena
Developer: Zynga
Induction Date: 07/19/2013


It wasn't a glorious year when it comes to handheld gaming and despite the good number of inductions, only Solstice Arena managed to keep me coming back to the small screen. Since I am a fan of multiplayer online battle arena games, it's easy for me to like Solstice Arena. Since it is a free to play title, everyone should give the game a shot. If you think MOBA matches usually take too much time to finish, this game is perfect for you. The only problem with the game is that unwillingness to pay a single dime on the game means that it will take forever to unlock all the characters. The alternate skins, some of them are indeed amusing, are also pretty darn expensive so you would never see me using one one of them when I play this game again. Too bad this game also got released on Steam not too long after because I have only been playing the PC version since then.

You have probably noticed the huge difference in the amount of games that I inducted for the iPad last year. There are not a lot of great games on it. After a while, I stopped downloading them because I realized that these game would have the lowest priorities when it comes to time investment and the iPad has some serious internal storage problem - I own the 16GB model - and I can never have too many games installed on it. A lot of the more popular games on the iOS are now showing up on Steam as well so it is safe to say that I can just abandon the platform of any future additions unless I can find more action games that support the iCade Core arcade stick that I received just recently.


--- WII BRAND ---

NINTENDO WII
Total Year Inductions: 8 (-4)

WII U
Total Year Inductions: 14 (+13)

Favorite Game of the Year:
Super Mario 3D World
Developer: Nintendo
Induction Date: 11/21/2013


Nintendo, who just couldn't wait to abandon the Nintendo Wii for some crazy reason, failed to realize that gameplay is the one thing that matters over everything else and the promise of quality Nintendo gameplay was finally delivered to their new console with the arrival of Super Mario 3D World. Could this game have been made on the Nintendo Wii? Easily. A high definition Mario game is definitely nice but I don't believe it was necessary because as pretty as this game looks, it owes that accomplishment to the overall art style and animation instead of the technology that backs it up.


--- PERSONAL COMPUTER ---
Total Year Inductions: 251 (-3)

Favorite Game of the Year:
Developer: SCS Software
Induction Date: 01/13/2013


Being a truck driver may be the least exciting thing that one would like to experience in a video game but this game managed to make that very idea appealing and unexpectedly engaging. Who knew that many of us have chosen the wrong career track when sitting in a truck for many hours on end actually feels this mesmerizing? Well, just like any other aspect of life that video games try to simulate, everything is more forgiving and exaggerated here like the ease of getting away from strange traffic accidents and the condensed time and space. Still, when a game can convince you to steer a truck for one full hour in real time to complete just one delivery, you know that there is definitely something remarkably special about ETS2.


--- PLAYSTATION BRAND ---

PLAYSTATION 3
Total Year Inductions: 28 (-8)

PLAYSTATION 4
Total Year Inductions: 3 (+3)

Favorite Game of the Year:
Induction Date: 09/01/2013


This game was not made just for the fans of the vocaloid Hatsune Miku and her friends but it was crafted with such polish and precision to become one of the most memorable music rhythm games ever made. I didn't even know who she was until I started playing the game and now, I am a huge fan. The elaborate, artistic music videos that accompany each of the intriguing songs made the game both an aural bliss - as long as you like Japanese music - and a visual treat. There were many times when I would just boot up the game just to sit back and let the music videos play: I still had a great time doing just that.


--- X-BOX 360 ---
Total Year Inductions: 6 (-8)

Favorite Game of the Year:
Ginga Force
Developer: Qute Corporation
Induction Date: 06/24/2013


Another year, another Japanese shooter dominating the top spot and it's another Qute Corporation's game for the second consecutive year. Though not what I would consider one of the greats, Ginga Force is an extension to the gameplay introduced by the superior Eschatos that came before it. The story mode is somewhat disappointing due to its heavy reliance on currency grinding to unlock different parts of the player's ship and the game's restrictive stage design where you can only play through one of them at a time doesn't help at all. Still, it's beautiful and fun, a shining beacon in the darkness that had engulfed the console for a while now. Ginga Force is quite possible the console's swan song until I am able to get that latest Dodonpachi that received a region-free release last year.


--- INTERESTING TIDBITS ---

MOST PLAYED GAMES OF THE YEAR:
Games that have been played for 10 days or more within the year:


TOTAL NUMBER OF GAMES PLAYED: 373 (-64)
11.5% of the entire Game Library as of 04/21/2014

TOTAL NUMBER OF GAMES INDUCTED: 337 (-86)
10.4% of the entire Game Library as of 04/21/2014


Games Played 04/14/2014 - 04/20/2014

- 04/14/2014 -
Beyond: Two Souls - PlayStation 3
The Secret World - PC

- 04/15/2014 -
Skylanders Swap Force - PlayStation 4

- 04/16/2014 -
Ikaruga - PC
Skylanders Swap Force - PlayStation 4

- 04/17/2014 -
Ikaruga - PC

- 04/18/2014 -
Skylanders Swap Force - PlayStation 4

- 04/19/2014 -
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - PC
Ikaruga - PC
League of Legends - PC
Rift: Storm Legion - PC
The Secret World - PC

- 04/20/2014 -
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - PC
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure All-Stars Battle Demo - PlayStation 3
The Secret World - PC


Screenshot of the Week:

My absolute favorite thus far.
Skylanders Swap Force (PlayStation 4)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Honey, I'm a Skylanders Addict

Did I make the right choice when I decided on getting Skylanders Swap Force for the PlayStation 4? Maybe I did, because you know... As much as I tried to pace myself with the figurine intake after the last slip up, especially the fact that the spouse got me to a running start to begin my venture into the game, this happened to me tonight while I was out and about with the spouse:

The spouse finds it funny that I am now into "children's toys".

As I was sitting down in the Game Room opening up my new figurines, it hit me. When I was little, I used to collect action figures. I remember now that I used to enjoy those from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series but of course, that interest dissipated once I was introduced to video gaming. Perhaps this is the reason why I find it alluring to own these Skylanders figurines. Apparently, there is still a part of me that finds much joy and fulfillment from them. Perhaps getting myself involved with these Skylanders is not a mistake after all. I am beginning to think this whole thing has a deeper significance in my life at a subconscious level.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Skylander Danger

As you may know, I have recently convinced myself to give Skylanders Swap Force for the PlayStation 4 a chance and my Starter Pack is finally here. I have played the game for a bit and this action role playing game is pretty darn fun. I sure wish that the "Portal of Power" where you place the figurines on to summon your Skylanders in the game was a wireless accessory though because having that USB cable hanging from the PlayStation 4 console all the way to the small table in front of me is rather unsightly. Now the extra figurines that the spouse got me definitely provided me with quite a good amount of character variety while playing the game but you know what? That is not going to be good enough to keep me from hunting more of them. Yes, this game is very dangerous indeed for those who are an obsessive compulsive gamer like myself because to access all of the game's contents, you must have at least one Skylander of each elemental properties, swap techniques, and even one of the Skylander giants: Of course I have calculated this risk before but I didn't anticipate that I could be a bit impatient about the process of getting these requirements fulfilled. It certainly didn't help that the Starter Pack comes with a cool poster that lists all of the newer Skylanders and there is a section underneath each of them where you can post the stickers you get with all the figurines. Oh my galaxy, this activity is quite addicting indeed, it really reminds me of those sticker books from my childhood. Whoever thought of this must be quite an evil genius:

That's going to require a lot of cash.

I kept telling myself to stay calm, and that all the Skylanders I need and want will eventually come to me, that I really do not need to rush myself. Yet, I found myself at the store this evening to get a bottle of mouthwash and yes, you guessed it, I also stepped out of the store with a new Skylander:

I couldn't say no to Hoot Loop...

Yes, this whole venture is getting a bit out of control... I must not look at the figurines online! Nor should I gawk at them at the retail stores because I have a feeling that they are going to possess me to buy them! I must wait at least a couple of months in between doing those things from now on!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Here Come Those Crazy Skylanders

When the spouse learned about my venture into Skylanding, I didn't expect a crazy plan to get additional Skylanders figurines to show up on our doorstep before my order of the actual game even got the chance to arrive here. Though I planned to look into getting more of them, I originally planned to spend a lot of time with the three characters that came with the Starter Pack for Skylanders Swap Force but it looks like now, I can have a lot more variety in my upcoming PS4 revitalization adventure thanks to the ninja-like spousal intervention:

Okay, that Super Gulp Pop Fizz is pretty darn cute.

I didn't expect much from these figurines and even though I have seen them physically being displayed in retail stores before, I have never paid much attention to them. Now that they are sitting in front of me, I must say that these figurines are quite well made. There are plenty of little details to them and the coloring looks great. I really like how the bottle that the Pop Fizz character is standing on is actually hollow inside and that wicked set of horns on the Mega Ram Spyro looks really mean. Oh no, am I falling in love with these things?  I have a place to display them too - they will line up the window sill on the left hand side of the Game Room. Hope they all could fit there if (when?) I get more of them:

Confirmed: Skylanding is more dangerous than skydiving...


Games Played 04/07/2014 - 04/13/2014

- 04/07/2014 -
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - PC
Resogun - PlayStation 4

- 04/08/2014 -
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - PC

- 04/09/2014 -
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - PC
League of Legends - PC
Plasma Sky - iPad
Resogun - PlayStation 4

- 04/10/2014 -
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - PC

- 04/11/2014 -
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - PC
League of Legends - PC
Sports Champions 2 - PlayStation 3

- 04/12/2014 -
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - PC
League of Legends - PC
Sports Champions 2 - PlayStation 3
World Series of Poker: Full House Pro - PC

- 04/13/2014 -
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - PC
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft - PC
League of Legends - PC
The Secret World - PC


Screenshot of the Week:

It's fatty time!
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls (Personal Computer)

Motion Gaming: The Underestimation

I may not have an X-Box One and neither do I plan to ever getting the game but I must say that the recently released Kinect Sports Rivals does look like it is a lot fun and the graphics look pretty darn nice as well for what is a basic motion game. Watching that game being played on twitch.tv prompted me to get into Sports Champions 2 for the PlayStation 3 over the weekend and I had a blast playing that game. Tennis and bowling are both really fun with the PlayStation Move controller because of the combination of motion performance and button inputs. I haven't rebooted my daily exercising regiment yet ever since that shoulder injury with Wii Fit but I know that I need to do that very soon because since yesterday, my body has been aching like mad, especially my arms from all that bowling ball throwing and tennis racket swinging action.

Hitting those balls hard is so satisfying... until later.

It's easy to criticize motion games, sports-themed or otherwise, as something that is too light weight to have an impact on one's physical well being but the fact of the matter is, if one is not a gym rat or if one doesn't own that sexy hard bod, these little things can actually be quite beneficial and they need to be implemented more into one's gaming routine. All these current nasty aches tell me that I need to get into the program and start working out again because surely, I shouldn't be that impacted from two separate hour sessions with the game. Motion gaming may be a gimmick, but it has its place in our gaming lives.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Random Game Room Moment

Is there such a thing as too many cameras?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

March 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.

OVERALL BREAKDOWN:


Total Games Played: 32


This Month's Inductees:


Total Inductions: 37


This Month's Unlocked League of Legends Skins:

PlayStation 4: A Quest for Excitement

I recently got the PlayStation 4 Camera so that I could finally check out The Playroom and despite being so underutilized currently, I do believe that the device has a lot of potential. It seems to be able to perceive depth and player position really well - I absolutely love how the spherical flying robot named Asobi is able to move behind the player and disappear convincingly from view when it does so - and unlike the Kinect or its newer iteration with the X-Box One, I love the fact that it uses the light from the DualShock 4 as a basis to do a lot of cool things, like how it can emit a laser display and push out cute little robots. I am really looking forward to the future titles that will utilize the camera plus the Move controllers but in the meantime, there is not much going on with the console unfortunately. I want to change that though as I look for some of the more interesting games to play on the PS4. I am not in a hurry to play the new Infamous because the hero seems too bratty thus annoying and the game doesn't even look as good as it did on the E3 reveal, which of course shouldn't come as a surprise anymore these days. I really want to play the new Dynasty Warriors 8 on the PS4 but the price for it is just too crazy high for what is basically a PlayStation 3 game with slight graphical improvements so I am going for Skylanders Swap Force instead since I found the starter kit with a nicely discounted price.

I won't go skydiving but is skylanding really the safer alternative?

I spent a couple of sleepless nights thinking about this investment because I would have to get the other figurines to fully take advantage of the game but in the end, I think it's going to be manageable. I don't plan to get them all but who knows, I may ended up liking the game too much and do just that. In any case, I am confident that it will keep my PS4 occupied for at least a little while.


Update Note: 3:55pm - Well, I am glad that I wasn't even close to move forward with Dynasty Warriors 8 for the PS4 because I apparently missed the announcement about the Japanese PC version being released next month. Though there is no current plan for the game to be released for the PC outside of Japan, you know that it's only a matter of time before it arrives on Steam as proven by Tecmo Koei's recent Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z Steam release.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Games Played 03/31/2014 - 04/06/2014

- 03/31/2014 -
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - PC
Tomb Raider - PC

- 04/01/2014 -
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - PC
League of Legends - PC
Mercenary Kings - PlayStation 4

- 04/02/2014 -
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - PC
League of Legends - PC
Mercenary Kings - PlayStation 4

- 04/03/2014 -
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 04/04/2014 -
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - PC
Flower - PlayStation 4
League of Legends - PC
Resogun - PlayStation 4

- 04/05/2014 -
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - PC
Flower - PlayStation 4
League of Legends - PC

- 04/06/2014 -
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - PC


Screenshot of the Week:

4 down, 2 to go.
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls (Personal Computer)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Random Game Room Moment

This is not going to be as fun as going through a Wonderbook.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Quest for All Things Wonderbook

A couple of weeks ago, I finally found the time to check out Wonderbook: Book of Spells on the PlayStation 3 for the first time and it was indeed a wonderful experience. Since the E3 reveal of the PlayStation Move controller, unless you have played the EyePet games, Sony has been neglecting the potential of having the players see the Move controller transforming into something else in their very own hand - it is one of the most mesmerizing thing about the Move controller and it is something that you have to actually experience for yourself to be able to appreciate it fully - instead of just having the controller movement mimicked by an on-screen avatar. Book of Spells certainly takes advantage of the PS Eye camera and the Move controller to the fullest, adding plenty of magical, fantastic things on screen while adding another clever layer of virtual reality trickery with the introduction of the Wonderbook itself: the large 12-pages long blue book that becomes alive, pop-up style and beyond, inside your gaming display. I had originally planned on saving my Twitch.tv session to use it for this article but I had completely forgotten to do that thus that footage has been lost forever. The good news here is that I didn't complete the whole game so the opportunity to archive future play sessions is still there. The best moment I had during that session was when the Move controller that was transformed into a magic wand in my hand was spouting water and the book got soaking wet in the process. I really had a blast interacting with the game and I am really surprised that there are only three other Wonderbook titles out there for the PS3 while there is still none available for the PlayStation 4. The usage of the Wonderbook should have been something that is immediately accessible using the PS4's The Playroom application. I am currently on a dangerous mission to acquire all of the Wonderbook games and I just got Wonderbook: Book of Potions yesterday:

Potion brewing session incoming!

When I believe in something, I like showing it my full support and I am a believer of the Wonderbook brand. It's easy to see a game like this as something that would only occupy children's attention but it's a different approach to interactivity that should be appreciated by many. The troubling thing here is of course not everyone can stomach the Harry Potter franchise and the other two titles, Walking with Dinosaurs and Diggs Nightcrawler are deceivingly aimed towards children as well. Hopefully, more variety of Wonderbook games will be developed in the future that can convince everyone to give these games a shot. Can you just imagine a horror Wonderbook game? I would get that title in an instant.

Random Game Room Moment

It's getting crowded in here...

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ultra Rapid Fire Fun: It's No Joke

Though it is certainly obvious that the suddenly released "Ultra Rapid Fire" mode for League of Legends today of all days is not a preview of how the game will evolve to in the upcoming 2015 season, I certainly hope that Riot Games will take things a little bit more seriously when deciding the eventual fate of this new way to play the game. Just like All Random All Mid, URF is the less serious yet the totally more fun game mode compared to the others and URF implements the following alterations to the Summoner's Rift map:

In other words, it's a rather spammy, overpowered, steroid-induced mess of a fest.

Supposedly, the mode will be accessible only for this week but why limit the options available for the game? I don't see myself playing this mode exclusively if it becomes permanent but surely it would be nice to be able to play it every so often, especially when all I want to do is spam Soraka's Starcall all game long...

The flashy updated log-in menu is very appropriate indeed.


Update Note: 04/08/2014 - Riot agreed to extend URF for a little while longer and even removed some of the too overpowered champions from the pool to make this mode enjoyable. I sure do wish that they will reconsider to just make this mode a permanent LoL feature though.

Games Played 03/24/2014 - 03/30/2014

- 03/24/2014 -
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - PC

- 03/25/2014 -
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - PC

- 03/26/2014 -
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - PC
Humans Must Answer - PC
RefleX - PC

- 03/27/2014 -
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - PC
League of Legends - PC
RefleX - PC

- 03/28/2014 -
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 03/29/2014 -
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 03/30/2014 -
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - PC


Screenshot of the Week:

Summoning murderous cows to fight by your side? Oh yes!
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls (Personal Computer)