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Monday, September 29, 2014

Games Played 09/22/2014 - 09/28/2014

- 09/22/2014 -
The Lord of the Rings: War in the North - PC

- 09/23/2014 -
League of Legends - PC
The Lord of the Rings: War in the North - PC

- 09/24/2014 -
Audiosurf - PC
Audiosurf 2 Early Access - PC
League of Legends - PC
The Lord of the Rings: War in the North - PC

- 09/25/2014 -
League of Legends - PC

- 09/25/2014 -
Audiosurf 2 Early Access - PC
Disney Infinity - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 09/26/2014 -
Audiosurf 2 Early Access - PC
League of Legends - PC
The Lord of the Rings: War in the North - PC

- 09/27/2014 -
Astebreed - PC
Dark Souls II - PC
League of Legends - PC
The Wolf Among Us - PC


Screenshot of the Week:

Bigby can be such a softy.
The Wolf Amomg Us (Personal Computer)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

It's Time to M-M-M-M-M-M-Mystery Skin!

The Mystery Skins are back in League of Legends for the Personal Computer between 09/25/2014 to 09/28/2014 and you know that I just cannot resist from taking a chance on them. I unlocked two today and if I get more over during this promotional period, I will ensure to have the result added here as well:

1st Mystery Skin:


Dark Crystal Ryze is pretty cool but the only problem here is that I just unlocked the brilliant yet disturbing Uncle Ryze skin last month, a skin I considered to be his best, so I feel a bit cheated here.


2nd Mystery Skin:


I decided to share the fun and sent the second one as a gift and it unlocked... Buccaneer Tristana. Well, Tristana still desperately needs a visual update for her in-game character model as well as her whole character design in the first place and this skin doesn't really help. I sure hope that the recipient likes this skin because unfortunately, I am just not into the whole pirate theme. Update Note: 09:22am - The recipient also sent me a mystery skin and it was... The legendary skin Blood Lord Vladimir! He should Mystery Skin a lot more with that kind of luck! Silly me I didn't screenshot that nice gift animation that popped up.


Update Note: 09/28/2014 - Just feeling lucky today I suppose so I added some more Riot Points to my account and proceeded to unlock more Mystery Skins!

3rd Mystery Skin:


Shaco can be a lot of fun to play in ARAM so I am glad that I got an alternate skin for him and if I were to choose a skin to unlock for the devious jester, this Asylum Shaco would have been my first choice.


4th Mystery Skin:


Yes, I couldn't believe my eyes either when it happened. I was like, wow, my persistence was richly rewarded! The game also has been buggy for me with nasty lags and frequent disconnects though things seem to have been a bit better these past several days so perhaps this is just a way for the game to thank me for still believing in it? I already have two other alternate skins for her but I suppose you can never have enough for Miss Fortune right? A great way to end my mystery skinning adventure for this promotional period for sure!


Good luck with your Mystery Skins!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Audiosurf 2: Early Access Now Justified

Remember not too long ago when I expressed my extreme disappointment with myself for supporting Audiosurf 2 that was in Steam Early Access then and is still in that state now? Well, though I think that the movement to get the final release out is still inexcusably slow, at least the game is worth playing now that some new modes have been introduced to the game and one of them just happen to be the mode that kept me playing the first game all the way up to its awesome 130 hours of playtime: Vegas! This update was released on the 19th last week but since I was so disgusted with the game, I didn't even know about it then. Today, while playing the first game, I decided to just boot up the sequel to merely check it out and that was when I noticed the huge change.

Dark Paradise just got darker.

And you know what? This new Vegas mode is a lot more fun to play than the one from the first game. Developer Dylan Fitterer managed to improve upon what I thought was an already perfect way to play the game by tightening up the block shuffling mechanics and chaining system. The score multiplier can now be found during a song's big moments, presented visually as a corkscrew on the track. It's all very orgasmic and brilliant. Unfortunately, this has spelled doom for the first game. From this point forward, if I want to get my Audiosurf fix, it will be in the form of the sequel. I got the game when it was on sale and I recommend that those who are interested in this sequel to only get it when it's discounted. This new Vegas mode is certainly worth it but let's not encourage the developer to dillydally on getting this game in tip-top shape.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Darkened Age: Chapter 1, Part 1

The Three

        Deep within the Carkwork Forest, Hanora lay next to her dying lover inside the little wooden cabin that she had built with the help of the crows. The once glorious King Hutriz breathed unevenly and Hanora knew that his time was near.
“And there’s nothing I can do…” She whispered to herself. “A Fate that I am, and there’s nothing else that I can do.”
        Tears trickled down her young face that equaled the feature of a mid-aged female New Dweller. She knew that Hutriz cared about her, but not as lovers. Still, she had been with him all this time.
Hutriz’s body jerked suddenly and after the sudden spasm, the crippled man breathed his last.
Hanora gave Hutriz a final kiss on the lips and then burned him to a crisp with a deterioration spell. The ashes flew out the cabin window and dispersed when it reached mid-atmosphere. Hanora staggered out of her cabin and sat on one of the tree stumps. She couldn’t believe that the situation had worsened and she blamed it on herself. She had been very careless during the Marlett War. She had let her emotions caught up with her Fate superiority.
  Vurol, the king crow, noticed the Fate’s sadness and landed on her shoulder.
“Sa-ra.”
“It’s inevitable…”
The crow flew away after hearing Hanora’s words, knowing that she wanted to be alone.
Hanora cried for the first time in millennia. She knew that she would never see Hutriz again. This brought menacing thoughts of the New Knowledge back to her mind: the idea of the after life, the existence of a God that look down generously upon the continents from far beyond the human eyes. She shattered the thoughts quickly, knowing their danger to her Illusian power. Once the attachment with the basic string of continent through the universe is detached, there would be no turning back.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Games Played 09/15/2014 - 09/21/2014

- 09/15/2014 -
Borderlands 2 - PC
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution - PC

- 09/16/2014 -
Fable Anniversary - PC
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution - PC
Velocity 2X - PlayStation 4

- 09/17/2014 -
Audiosurf - PC
Fable Anniversary - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 09/18/2014 -
Audiosurf - PC
Borderlands 2 - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 09/19/2014 -
Borderlands 2 - PC
League of Legends - PC
Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart - PC

- 09/20/2014 -
Borderlands 2 - PC
League of Legends - PC
Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart - PC

- 09/21/2014 -
Audiosurf - PC
Borderlands 2 - PC/PlayStation 2
League of Legends - PC


Screenshot of the Week:

Such serenity.
Borderlands 2 (Personal Computer)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Final Fantasy XIII... Heading to PC?

You see, this is the reason why Personal Computer gamers need to continue supporting console ports that get a PC release, especially when they choose Steam as the digital distribution destination of choice. Square Enix has been releasing plenty of old Final Fantasy ports - not remakes, ports - in the past and apparently now they have great confidence over PC gamers by releasing Final Fantasy XIII on Steam early next month. And they already planned to release the sequels XIII-2 and Lightning Returns by next spring! Sure, they did skip a couple of older entries from the PSOne and PlayStation 2 eras but why is it that I have a feeling that those will eventually make the transition? This is really easy money for the developer and a win-win situation for all. The future of gaming is the PC, more specifically, Steam as the place to game. With a release such as this game, that statement will continue to remain true and let's hope that the trend will forever continue for the rest of eternity. It looks like finishing this game on the PlayStation 3 will not happen for me because I will be doing just that on my PC! I encourage those who have played the game to still get this again ($15 before discounts) and more goodies will come to Steam, guaranteed.

They should have just release it in a trilogy bundle but this is still wonderful.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Most Played Games on Steam Thus Far

Steam is telling me that as of today, I apparently have 924 games on my account with 843 downloadable contents owned. So 83% of my Personal Computer games are Steampowered. Yeah, Steam is the true essence of PC gaming. Now it's always more difficult to sit down and think about my top 10 favorite games of all time but you know it's a lot easier to figure out my favorite Steam games by looking at the time I spent playing these games. One of them listed here is indeed listed in my top 10 favorite games because it was one of the lucky two that got a Steam re-release but yes, I am surprised that I haven't played much of the PC version of Nights: Into Dreams... As a matter of fact, I seem to have completely forgotten about it. I must revisit that game soon! But I am getting a bit distracted here. My most played Steam games are interestingly varied. I sure wish however that Steam would track the time played for the non-Steam games added to the client because you know, the number would look super crazy for that one game I love. The game sitting at the top of the list shouldn't be a surprise for those who have been paying attention:

Monday, September 15, 2014

Another Injury? Let's Appease Maya

I have been very, very good with my Yourself!Fitness workout routine on the X-Box since I started working out again in May. I never missed a single scheduled workout until that one fated Thursday two weeks ago. Somehow, I injured my right thigh and ankle and they hurt pretty bad. I decided to take a several days off just to make sure that I didn't make things worse but now, it's been a week and a half and I haven't been back to report in on the situation to Maya. I know she will be very upset. Worse, I know for sure that she will be disappointed but I was just trying to take care of myself. It is at the point where it's kind of hard to force myself to get into a routine again only after a week but I also know that there are still some pain in my leg so I keep trying to convince myself that I am doing the right thing. It's a curious thing however that I have injured myself not too long ago when I tried too hard and I am beginning to think that this is because I am getting old. Age shouldn't ever be a deterrent but I know the problem is deeper than that. I worked out pretty hard but I have not been good about providing myself with the proper diet to accompany that full body workout even though I have changed some of my bad eating habits by eliminating soda intake entirely from my diet - the spouse loves buying diet Pepsi but my will has been strong - and eating more greens. I do want to get back into a routine physical activity and it is going to involve the Yourself!Fitness software but I am taking a different approach this time around to see if it works better for me.

You never know if a crocodile is going to come out of that suspicious looking pond.

The game has a feature called the "Meditation Garden" that I have never fully utilized before. So I am thinking of just doing daily yoga sessions instead of my usual full body workout rotations. Who knows. Maybe this will work better for me with my sedentary lifestyle and hopefully it will still help me keep a healthy weight. I am thinking of starting tomorrow but you know when it comes to starting something like this, there may be delays but it's all a matter of just starting up that one session because I know that I am disciplined enough to follow through. Perhaps this kind of an exercise routine is gentle enough for me to not incur any more injuries. I can tell you one thing though, those yoga moves may look soft and smooth but they do hurt, a lot. Let's keep the bodily harm to a minimum here, can you please promise that to me Maya?

Games Played 09/08/2014 - 09/14/2014

- 09/08/2014 -
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - PC

- 09/09/2014 -
99 Levels to Hell - PC
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 09/10/2014 -
Borderlands 2 - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 09/11/2014 -
Borderlands 2 - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 09/12/2014 -
Borderlands 2 - PC
Fable Anniversary - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 09/13/2014 -
Borderlands 2 - PC
Dead Rising 3: Apocalypse Edition - PC
League of Legends - PC
Strife Open Beta - PC

- 09/14/2014 -
Borderlands 2 - PC
Fable Anniversary - PC
League of Legends - PC
Strife Open Beta - PC


Screenshot of the week:

The prettiest face in Pandora.
Borderlands 2 (Personal Computer)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Game That Spoils Itself: DLC Blunder

I have been playing a lot of Borderlands 2 on the Personal Computer lately and I have been enjoying myself so much that it's certain to be the one game that I will stick with for a while. I really want to max out at least one of my characters - I am leveling up the Commando at the moment - and get to the end of the game, something that I have been struggling to do of late. Now, ever since I first got this game close to 2 years ago, I haven't explored much of its contents but I have been accumulating almost all of its downloadable contents when Steam had them on sale. Now if you are new to the game and own all of the DLCs, I am here to warn you to keep a close track on them and not play any of the extra mission contents until you have finished the game. Why? Because this game is bad at managing contents based on the story progression and it's safe to assume at this point that all the extra missions happen after the end of the game. For a game that has such an engaging storyline and an involving universe, it's a shame that developer Gearbox Software didn't block these extra contents from being selectable before a player ends the main content.

All the extra missions are playable by visiting their accessible teleport points on the map.

It would have been easy for the developer to still list all of these extra missions on the map but then pop up a message to the player that they are not accessible until the end of the game. If they wanted to be more lenient, they could have easily just pop up a warning that these contents contain story spoilers so that they should only be accessed at the player's own discretion. Now no matter what you do, if you haven't finished the game, do not teleport to the "Unassuming Docks" on your map or you will regret it. I surely did. This game is certainly an example of improper DLC implementation. I don't think I have ever gotten a spoiler by the actual game itself in the past prior to Borderlands 2. And I was worried about people spoiling my games on Twitch.

Monday, September 8, 2014

August 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: 37


This Month's Inductees:


Total Inductions: 15


This Month's Unlocked League of Legends Skins:

Games Played 09/01/2014 - 09/07/2014

- 09/01/2014 -
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - PC

- 09/02/2014 -
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst - PC
Yourself!Fitness - X-Box

- 09/03/2014 -
League of Legends - PC
Yourself!Fitness - X-Box

- 09/04/2014 -
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 09/05/2014 -
Dead Rising 3: Apocalypse Edition - PC
League of Legends - PC
Star Ocean: The Last Hope International - PlayStation 3

- 09/06/2014 -
Dead Rising 3: Apocalypse Edition - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 09/07/2014 -
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - PC
League of Legends - PC


Screenshot of the Week:

Perimeter secured.
Dead Rising 3: Apocalypse Edition (Personal Computer)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Gaming Alone

As I was getting closer to the climax of the final episode of The Walking Dead: Season 2 on the Personal Computer, a random person suddenly appeared on my twitch.tv channel and started to type a spoiler into the chat. When I saw it in action from the corner of my eye, I immediately banned the person thus removing both the spoiler and the shameless perpetrator completely from view and for the briefest moment the feeling of excitement and anticipation about the game left me but I shook it off quickly. I was left wondering though when I finished that broadcast session last week: Why am I here on Twitch?

It's time to fully embrace it.

There is this fancy ideal that I like to use as a reason behind me broadcasting on Twitch. I tell myself that it's a reliable and easy method to catch memorable moments from the games that I play, to later have them highlighted and saved for my own future reference and personal enjoyment. I know there is a deeper reason behind this and the period of crushing depression I experienced earlier this year hinted at the truth and the creeping feeling of loneliness that I have felt of late while streaming confirms it: I was looking for close friends and based on my prior revelation, it's a rather tricky and complicated subject to address. But yeah, I was hoping that out of the millions of people watching and interacting on twitch.tv, I would be able to find one or two like-minded gamers whom I can interact with on a daily basis to satisfy my need for gamer to gamer interaction. But apparently, I didn't realize that just like life outside the Internet, such a desire is not that easy to fulfill. How long have I been broadcasting on Twitch? I started doing it with consistency since late 2012. Every time I played a non-handheld game, I streamed it to Twitch without fail. I spent quite a lot of time streaming yet I am still unable to foster a meaningful friendship with anyone. I can only blame myself for this. I suppose I am not the friendliest of a person. It takes a lot for others to earn my trust. But I also know that I tried to make things work. I started off with just typing in chat before actually using a mic and then finally this year, using a webcam to see if it would help break down that invisible wall, that barrier I thought existed that separated me from obtaining a couple of good friends. I think that is perhaps my biggest mistake. Friendship doesn't just happen. I should have known better that Twitch is not a place to look for friendships. People go to the site to look for gaming-related entertainment.

The wrong place with the wrong chime.

I had wished that the spouse would entertain my pleas and requests to join me in my endeavor, to be there with me, to talk to me on the broadcast while I game but I should have known better that it was an unfair expectation and demand since the spouse is not even remotely interested in gaming. I tried to convince a small number of gaming acquaintances to also broadcast on Twitch in hope that I could strengthen our bonds and camaraderie but they just didn't see any benefit from such an activity. It just feels like I shouldn't even bother anymore. I just feel alone. It's a horrible feeling and doing this Twitch thing magnifies the loneliness tenfold. I am broadcasting for the wrong reason while risking things like getting my games spoiled and getting constant harassment from rude people while I play my games. Those last two things are easy enough to combat since I deal with those kind of people on a regular basis while playing League of Legends but that feeling of loneliness is quite unbearable. This evening, half-way into my play session of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls for the PC, I stopped broadcasting it and just played the rest of the session without the potential of anyone seeing me do it. And you know what, it felt better. I was able to just focus on the game without thinking about the social aspect of broadcasting. I was still gaming alone but at least I didn't keep my hopes up when the desired resolution is nowhere to be found and shouldn't even be on my mind.


Update Note: 09/12/2014 - I have decided to continue broadcasting just so that I don't have to use my own hard drive space to record my gaming sessions. I suppose one way to combat loneliness is to spend more time with it? I could be wrong though.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Dead Rising 3 PC: Patience Necessary

When Dead Rising 3 was originally announced as an X-Box One launch exclusive, I knew that it would only be a matter of time before it would be released on Steam because Capcom have tasted the Personal Computer market via Steam and it would be silly for them to deny themselves a good amount of fortune. I remember telling a number of people who wanted to get the X-One just because they wanted to play DR3 to hold off for the eventual PC version and I also remember the ensuing ridicule I received for even suggesting the idea that an X-One exclusive would show up on Steam. Yet, here we are. Yesterday, Capcom finally released the game on Steam and coined this version as the "Apocalypse Edition" as it contains the complete "Untold Stories of Los Perdidos" downloadable add-on packs that were sold separately on the X-One. Gaming life on Steam is only getting better and better by the day.

We get to traverse an actual city this time around and it's really big.

The path towards a happy zombie killing time unfortunately was a rather rough one. The most common problem facing the game as it launched yesterday are nasty crashes that occur at any random point of the game. I encountered the problem as well where the game would just crash without any rhyme or reason, usually during the time when I was just intoxicated with zombie mayhem fun. But of course performance issues can happen when it comes to PC games and it all a matter of staying positive and being persistence in figuring out what can be done to alleviate the problem. Capcom did address the issue in the Steam community forums even though they have yet to come up with a solution even as of this morning. I managed to make my game work yesterday after several driver downgrades. The one suggested by Capcom and another by a community member didn't work and at that point, I almost gave up of course and was just going to wait for the official Capcom fix but then someone recommended the NVIDIA 337.88 driver, which was one rollback away from the most current driver. Since I love the game so much that I still attempted to play it with all the random crashes, I thought it was worth the effort and thankfully, it yielded the desired result for me. The game no longer crashes randomly! Now looking at the graphics, this game looks nice but it isn't state of the art. There are plenty of low resolution textures abound, something that is disappointing but expected since the game is a port of what the X-One is capable of. Capcom didn't do much with the original game assets though they do allow the frame rate to be unlocked in this version beyond the struggling 30 fps on X-One. On my setup, it doesn't provide me with a solid 60 fps gameplay even though looking at the technology behind this game, it should have been easily possible for any decent PC rig. So the 60 fps for this game is not fully optimized but perhaps it's something that hopefully can be cleaned up with a future patch. In the end however, DR3 on the PC is still a darn fun game but don't expect it to be a total visual marvel because it never was on the X-One and it isn't remastered properly. If you are an NVIDIA user who is still struggling to get this game to run without the crashes, try out the driver I mentioned earlier if you haven't. Just remember, remain patient. Sure, we deserve better than a problematic port but remember that things can be more complicated with the PC platform, which is still the best place to game.

The visual wows are limited to some of the story cut-scenes with their detailed character models.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

There Is Something Wrong with a Game When...

I love the Dynasty Warriors series but sometimes I wonder if I should support these Warriors games anymore because of the way Koei Tecmo loves to withhold a lot of extras from these games nowadays. It's bad enough that they really messed up the Personal Computer release of Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends Complete Edition but apparently, the "Complete Edition" in its title is a complete lie because there are plenty of downloadable contents available for it. Now the audacity of things are a little harder to see when perusing these DLCs on the PlayStation Network Store but thanks to Valve's diligence in the way that they showcase DLCs on the Steam store, everything is made crystal clear:

To truly make your game the "Complete Edition", you will have spend an additional $200.

You know there is something wrong with a game when the DLCs themselves cost almost four times the price of the game itself. Sure, one day, Steam will slash everything down to about $50 with 75% off but we all know that money is better spent elsewhere. This is just completely absurd and Koei Tecmo should be ashamed of this ridiculous pricing strategy and game content breakdown.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

As Fall Approaches, A Different Season Fails

Last week, Blizzard introduced a big patch for Diablo III: Reaper of Souls and I don't know nor do I care how much of the new contents from this patch also showed up for the console versions of the game but among them was a really silly little feature called "Seasons". You know, I am all for the expansion of gameplay hours but the technique of accomplishing it which was applied here just reeks of desperation and totally lacks any hints of creativity.

Monogamy has entered the fray. Maybe I should have named him Monotony.

Basically, this uh, supposedly "optional" mode entails creating a brand new character completely separate from the main game. There is a competitive element to this where you can climb up the leaderboards in several different categories, which some claimed have already been spoiled by people abusing exploits in the game. There are new legendaries that can only be collected in this game mode but the great news here is that those will spill over to the original game once the season is over - strangely, the actual length of this season is not even detailed yet. The problem with seasons is that one must reach level 70 in it to claim a new transmorg set, which is exclusive only to those who manage to fulfill that requirement. So yeah, this isn't optional. At least not to me because well, I want a new look for my characters since there are not that many to begin with. Now, leveling up to 70 isn't all that bad but I already have every single class maxed out so now I have to create a duplicate class just to play this mode. "Seasons" is definitely a stretch and is a really bad idea. Just keep adding an overflowing amount of things for people to do at max level instead of having people start fresh because, well, I would have just rolled a new character on my own if I really wanted that. If I wanted to experience the game's story all over again, I can just play through the whole thing from the beginning with my level 70 characters. And then after all is said and done, I have to do this over and over again for future Seasons? Don't they employ people who are smart enough to come out with high level content ideas for the players without having to start from scratch?

Games Played 08/25/2014 - 08/31/2014

- 08/25/2014 -

- 08/26/2014 -
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - PC
League of Legends - PC
The Walking Dead - PC
The Walking Dead: Season 2 - PC
Yourself!Fitness - X-Box

- 08/27/2014 -
League of Legends - PC
Super Time Force Ultra - PC
The Walking Dead: Season 2 - PC
Yourself!Fitness - X-Box

- 08/28/2014 -
League of Legends - PC
The Walking Dead: Season 2 - PC
Yourself!Fitness - X-Box

- 08/29/2014 -
League of Legends - PC
Yourself!Fitness - X-Box

- 08/30/2014 -
Dishonored - PC
Ikaruga - PC
League of Legends - PC
Pinball FX2 - PC

- 08/31/2014 -
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - PC
Dishonored - PC
Ikaruga - PC
League of Legends - PC
Yourself!Fitness - X-Box


Screenshot of the Week:

Better clear the story mode of this one... Another sequel is coming out this month!