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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Today's Featured Induction: The Mission

I was just sitting here in my Game Room, reflecting upon my ever continuous journey into my video gaming obsession, realizing that I have inducted so many into my Game Library thus I wondered if every day is an anniversary date for what I have accumulated. I do my best to note the date of inductions for all of my video games though I believe about 10% of that data was lost due to some file corruption on the document I used to store the information in. Even with that situation at hand, I am going to begin a daily entry, when available, starting soon that showcases game anniversaries as a way to revisit and cherish the happy memories of their induction process. Perhaps, I can contemplate the games' impact on my past and current gaming situations. This should be an interesting endeavor and I wonder if every single day would bring about another game into the fray? If there are multiple games for a given date, I will choose only one to be featured and save those others for their next anniversary dates in the future.

Induction explosion.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Games Played 04/20/2015 - 04/26/2015

- 04/20/2015 -
Dungeon of the Endless - PC
Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta - PC
Mortal Kombat X - PC
Tomodachi life - 3DS

- 04/21/2015 -
Grand Theft Auto V - PC
Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta - PC
Mortal Kombat X - PC

- 04/22/2015 -
Grand Theft Auto V - PC
Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta - PC
Skylanders: Trap Team - PlayStation 4

- 04/23/2015 -
Grand Theft Auto V - PC
Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta - PC
League of Legends - PC
Mario Kart 8 - Wii U
Mortal Kombat X - PC

- 04/24/2015 -
Crypt of the NecroDancer - PC
Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta - PC
League of Legends - PC
Mario Kart 8 - Wii U
Mortal Kombat X - PC
Nano Assault Neo - Wii U

- 04/25/2015 -
Grand Theft Auto V - PC
Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta - PC

- 04/26/2015 -
Grand Theft Auto V - PC
Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta - PC


Screenshot of the Week:

Mere minutes before an epic quadruple homicide.
Grand Theft Auto V (Personal Computer)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Skylanders Killed My Steam Games

I have been getting too many Skylanders figurines of late that I don't even have extra cash available for the games I wanted from Steam. The good news here is that I am almost finish with my Trap Team ensemble - and can you believe that I am only one figurine away from completing the Swap Force character list? Yes, perhaps this is getting out of hand. Last night, the husband asked me how many Skylanders figurines I have and when I told him, he was like "Wow, you have spent that much on those dolls?" He may be right. I think that this may be the last time I ever participate in a Skylanders game. The next one has to be really really really interesting to have me invested again because I think I am ready to retire when it comes to this series just so that I can spend my money on other games. Oh, I have 3 more of them coming today too. Galaxy help me.

Can you spot the new additions?

My latest Trap Masters look mighty awesome.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Games Played 04/13/2015 - 04/19/2015

- 04/13/2015 -
Grand Theft Auto V - PC
Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta - PC
Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition - PC/PlayStation 4
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria - PC

- 04/14/2015 -
Grand Theft Auto V - PC
Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta - PC
Mortal Kombat X - PC

- 04/15/2015 -
Grand Theft Auto V - PC
Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta - PC
Mortal Kombat X - PC

- 04/16/2015 -
Grand Theft Auto V - PC
Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta - PC
Mortal Kombat X - PC

- 04/17/2015 -
Grand Theft Auto V - PC
Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta - PC
Mortal Kombat X - PC
Tomodachi Life - 3DS

- 04/18/2015 -
Dungeon of the Endless - PC
Endless Legend - PC
Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta - PC
Mortal Kombat X Premium Edition - PC

- 04/19/2015 -
Dungeon of the Endless - PC
Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta - PC


Screenshot of the Week:

Nope, not in there either...
Mortal Kombat X (Personal Computer)

Friday, April 17, 2015

My Final Club Nintendo Reward

With Club Nintendo closing down this year, we knew it was eventual ever since the quality of the yearly rewards for Elite status members went downhill soon after its inception, I didn't have the motivation to get to the Platinum level for this final go-round and only hit Gold but after seeing this year's reward selections, I sure wished that I got there: I would have loved claiming that digital copy of Punch-Out!! for the Wii U. I ended up opting for the classic Super Mario Kart for the Wii U. Goodbye Club Nintendo. You just weren't meant to last (please release your games on Steam already and make tons of money, Nintendo!). By the way, I still had 380 Nintendo Gold left so I used them to purchase 3D Classics: TwinBee  (150 NG) and Wario Land 2 (200 NG), both for the Nintendo 3DS. I feel sad about that 30 NG balance though.

It's a shame this whole thing ended with a whimper.

Wasted, unused gold.

Since I was meddling with my Wii U today, I decided to turn on my long dormant Nintendo 3DS as well only to discover that Nintendo was selling themes for the system's dashboard. I love this idea and even though I could just stick with the free but generic black theme, I decided to spent my $1.99 on the Yoshi's Springtime Siesta theme. It looks cute enough and as a Yoshi fan, I found it to be worth it. Now when can we expect to be able to buy new themes to replace that boring default Wii U dashboard, Nintendo?

I love this theme.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Gaming without Twitch

It has been almost two weeks since I have stopped broadcasting my gameplay to twitch.tv and even though I have been coincidentally sick throughout most of the aforementioned timeline, I must say that I have been enjoying myself a lot more than I ever did before when playing my games. The things that always bothered me when I broadcast to Twitch was the back-seating and the people who couldn't help to impose spoilers into the chat whether directly or indirectly. Sure, I always wished to have someone to interact with me while playing my games, preferably my husband, but for the most part, the types of interaction I got while broadcasting were just annoying. Instead of commenting on what happens on the screen, they would comment on the upcoming part of the game and instead of reacting with you, they proactively set you up for that reaction. When I visit other channels, I like to focus on the broadcaster instead of the game. What this means is that I tend to get personal with the broadcaster, like asking about his or her life - nothing too personal of course - or the motivation behind a gameplay action while of course reacting with him or her with the things that are happening on screen. I would never comment on something the broadcaster is doing wrong in a game that I have played before unless I am specifically asked to do so. Even then, I sometimes don't even reveal too much details on what to do but instead just basic clues for him or her. But I understand now that twitch is not the place for thoughtful gaming companionship.

Twitch is a curious dichotomy because it takes away from full immersion to your
gaming time as a viewer while demanding others to do the same while being a broadcaster.

There was a broadcaster whom I thought was personable and interesting who had a small viewership and shared my own broadcasting values. Then one day, I saw with my very own eyes a light bulb went on above his head when suddenly he noticed that people stayed and watched when he allowed them to tell him what to do with the games he was playing and thus, he abandoned the no back-seating and no spoiler policy even though those things were still listed on his channel and even sometimes, his stream title. I stopped watching of course because I can't interact with him anymore since whenever I opened the chat, it was clogged with back-seating activities and people trying to hint spoilers to him. These acts were never punished so I was done. I am happy to have left Twitch and I believe that I have made the right decision. There were a number of times when the broadcast itch came back and I wanted to at least use Steam Broadcasting but I knew that I was asking for trouble. You see, unless you are playing in a tournament watch by millions, I now believe that live gameplay only belongs to the player and his or her closest friends. It just doesn't work with random strangers on the Internet. It's just not meaningful whatsoever. Perhaps when I have accumulated enough close gaming friends, then the broadcasting adventure can thus begin anew. But I seriously doubt that would ever happen.


Update Note - 04/26/2015: I am back on twitch.tv again. I know, I messed up. I am only human. I am approaching streaming more carefully this time around and remind myself of the benefits it provides me - the easy DVR-like functionality of potential interesting gameplay moments, both in terms of recording and editing. I hope this will all work out for me in the end.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Games Played 04/06/2015 - 04/12/2015

- 04/06/2015 -
Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta - PC
Ring Runner: Flight of the Sages - PC

- 04/07/2015 -
Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta - PC

- 04/08/2015 -
Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta - PC

- 04/09/2015 -
Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta - PC
Last Knight: Rogue Rider Edition - PC
My French Coach - NDS

- 04/10/2015 -
Deadly 30 - PC
Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta - PC
Last Knight: Rogue Rider Edition - PC

- 04/11/2015 -
Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta - PC
Strife Early Access - PC

- 04/12/2015 -
Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta - PC
Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition - PC
Skylanders Swap Force - PlayStation 4
Skylanders Trap Team - PlayStation 4


Screenshot of the Week:

Not a lot of games played this week because I have been really sick.
Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition (Personal Computer)

Friday, April 10, 2015

March 2015 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: 39


This Month Inductees:


Total Inductions: 45

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Reality of Things Entry #1

Why do developers always pretend that their games would look a certain way when they first reveal it? Wouldn't it be easier to just tell the truth from the beginning so that the final result of the promised product wouldn't look worse in the end? Welcome to the Reality of Things!

Title: Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
Offender: Naughty Dog
Platform: PlayStation 4

Fantasy vs. Reality:

Left: E3 2014 Trailer - June 8th, 2014
Right: Gameplay Video 2014 PlayStation Experience - December 6th, 2014

Monday, April 6, 2015

Games Played 03/30/2015 - 04/05/2015

- 03/30/2015 -
Dead or Alive 5: Final Round - PC
Final Fantasy XIII - PC
Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta - PC
The King of Fighters XIII Steam Edition - PC

- 03/31/2015 -
Dragon Age: Inquisition - PC
Dead or Alive 5: Final Round - PC
Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta - PC

- 04/01/2015 -
Dragon Age: Inquisition - PC
Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 04/02/2015 -
Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 04/03/2015 -
Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta - PC
Ikaruga - PC
League of Legends - PC
Rogue Legacy - PlayStation 4

- 04/04/2015 -
Final Fantasy XIII - PC
The Last of Us Remastered - PlayStation 4
Rogue Legacy - PlayStation 4

- 04/05/2015 -
Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta - PC
Ring Runner: Flight of the Sages - PC


Screenshot of the Week:

Because ghost pirate ships don't have to crash into people.
Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta (Personal Computer)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Saying Goodbye to Twitch

As I have discussed in the past, the only reason why I still found myself broadcasting to Twitch even after it became apparent that I would not able to find any real gamer friends with a similar level of passion and interest via such an activity - something I already know is just wishful thinking - was for archiving purposes. Having to monitor the chat every now and then for the occasional interaction reminded me just how lonely my gaming life truly is. I kept finding myself bugging the husband to come join me or watch me but we all know that never works: Shahs of Sunset and the many annoying versions of Desperate Housewives get the priority there. Still, I kept broadcasting only to broadcast some more, with each session chipping off a little more of my humanity and sanity... all for the sake of being active on YouTube where most of my videos came from my Twitch highlights. Well, I have had enough and thanks to GeForce Experience, I have found a convenient way to record my gaming content without all the emotional hassles.

It may lack features but it's intuitive enough.

I have downloaded this program in the past but only to test out its Twitch broadcasting feature. I really couldn't make myself broadcast to Twitch the other day and after encountering some issues recording locally using OBS, I decided to download GeForce Experience again. Then, I proceeded with recording a full match of Heroes of the Storm, which lasted around half an hour and nabbed about 10GB of space on my hard drive. I cringed at first but I have plenty of space so it's not really an issue. But the clarity of 1080p 60fps that I was able to accomplish on my YouTube video compared my previous 720p 60fps upload from Twitch - which now looks rather blurry to me - really made me happy. I couldn't go back to Twitch exports anymore and this of course is great news because I really need to stay away from broadcasting since it hasn't brought me any form of real joy nor satisfaction. Not only is the quality better, but I also noticed performance improvements in my games - some of the frame rate stutters are now gone - and that shadow recording is a neat feature to make it easier for me to mark cool moments during my gaming sessions.


Twitch Export

GeForce Experience Upload

So thank you Nvidia for making my transition away from Twitch easier. As for my console games, well, if I am that interested in recording my sessions playing them, that's what the Elgato Game Capture HD is there for. The software that came with that should be sufficient enough. Now I can't say that my experience broadcasting on Twitch was all bad, I had some fun at times doing it and I had met some interesting people. In the end though, it's definitely not for me, at least not at this moment. It's just too hollow of an experience where you don't make any real, lasting connection with people and with all that back-seating and intentional spoiling going on in the chat, mind you these events are almost impossible to avoid, it can get quite infuriating really fast. The rewards that come with live broadcasting just don't outweigh the bad for me.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Skylanders: Kaos Theory

I have been waiting so patiently to get myself a Kaos Trap for Skylanders: Trap Team on my PlayStation 4 and today, I was finally able to find it at its suggested retail price. You see, this unique trap that can be used to capture the game's main villain is still very hard to find at the retail stores and it is being sold at outrageous prices on the Internet. Now that I have the trap, the unfortunate thing here is that I have to replay the game all over again because after I finished the game once through the normal difficulty setting, I deleted that file to start playing the Nightmare difficulty. Unlike how it was handled in Skylanders: Swap Force, one cannot use the same save file to tackle the highest difficulty setting and since I hate redundancy, I decided to just stick with one save file and now I am regretting that decision - If I still have the save file I deleted, I could just revisit the final stage and capture Kaos easily. Playing though the Nightmare difficulty is a pain in the butt however because the developer used the lazy approach to presenting a challenging time for the players where all they did was increase the amount of damage a single enemy hit can do to your Skylanders. Still, I think I am going to stick with playing the game on Nightmare instead of creating a new save file and play the game again from the very beginning on normal.

Soon, you will be mine Kaos! All mine!