I'll Pay you $2k for Ewok Adventure

My good friend Jag just passed me a link to some very valuable games that may be collecting dust in your cellar, attic or crawlspace.

Thanks buddy! I unfortunately don't have any of those games and gave my old nes to my cousins.. who probably threw it away :P


Added a new web comic link that I found on VG Cats which occupied my time today. Presenting Johnny Wander. Heh, what caught my attention was the 'wander' part ;)


Law: Don't Use Fire

I'm a rebel. I don't want to follow the Judge's law in FF Tactics 2.

Don't attack people from behind?
..So you don't want me to kill my enemies fast is what you're saying...

Don't do more than 50 damage..
..Umm same thing.. hurt them, but don't hurt them too much?

Don't use magic...
**imagines the Judge putting the Noumou in the dark corner**

Don't miss.
Oh I hate you. The enemy goes first, attacks me and I miss on my retaliation.
**throws ds against the wall**

Don't use Fire (or insert damage type)
...no coincidence that the monsters are weak against it? You Jerk!


It's a Whole New World

~ I always thought my sister was the artistically creative one, my brother the gaming phenom while myself the creative writer.... but I think I gotta hand it over to my brother. With his permission, i'll show you his creative genius that always amazes and astounds me.

I shouldn't need to post pictures to keep you interested (b/c this is some crazy-funny writing), but it is a wall of text! ~

So Sandra was playing Pokémon today, and was criticized by a bunch of us for using rare candies to level up her Pokémon rather than doing it the good ol' fashioned way. This led to her spontaneously resetting her game and beginning all over again from the beginning. Then, she demanded that someone write a story about her endeavors. That's what I do. I chronicle her failures. This is her story. Also it sort of gets out of hand. Who knows, maybe I'll write a continuation to this. With puppets. Maybe she'll read this. She deleted her Facebook account. Who knows? I did my job.

Sitting in the dressing room, Sandra's hands trembled with nerves. Throughout the years she had known ridicule and the sting of complete failure, but never had she been faced with such damning accusations. And today, she was going to have to confront them in front of the whole world.

"Ms Rai-ass? It's time?"

The intern from the Saffron Sentinel, Kanto's most distributed newspaper, calls Sandra into the press room, where thousands of reporters and fans await an answer from the famed Pokémon Trainer. After what seems like a lifetime walking to the podium, Sandra utters the words that would destroy the very sport of Pokétraining forever.

"In my time as a Pokétrainer, I have used Rare Candies to level up two of my Pokémon, and I am sorry"
First, there is nothing but terrible silence. Then, a roar of angry fans and probing reporters.
"You bastard! My daughter looked up to you!"
"She's a cheat! Shoot her! Shoot her!!!!"
"Is it true that you have never beat Metal Gear Solid?!"

Bottles are thrown. Flashes from cameras are numerous. Sandra gets escorted away by an armed guard.


Three years later, Sandra is working as an Aide for Professor Eigen.

"Sandra! What are you doing here?! I told you to stand out in Viridian Forest and hand out Flash HMs to anyone with ten Pokémon! Why must you fail me so!?"

"I ran out of HMs, professor! Then, a bunch of Beedrills came and attacked me! I'm deathly allergic to Beedrill stings."

"You're weak! Weak like your mother! "

Suddenly, the young Pokémon maven Bugcatcher Mitch runs in.

"Sandra! Sandra! Your Pokémon League license has been reinstated! You can compete again!"

"This is great news! You'll train me again, won't you Professor?"

"Arrrrrghh I guess. But this time, we'll do things my way. Come! To the breeding tanks!"

Twenty stories below the Eigen Laboratory of Evil and Advanced Science lays the infamous breeding tanks, birthing place of the greatest monsters of all. Sandra goes there for the first time, and she sees the true horrors that lie beneath.

"Good god, professor. This place is terrible."

"This is where we will breed your Pokémon of death. It will drink only blood, eat only raw flesh, and kill Teddiursas for fucking laughs! And all because of this Pokémon's loins of doom!"

Professor Eigen then yanks a cloth off a clear jar, revealing a worn out Ditto. For over a decade, this Ditto has made thousands, maybe a million eggs. Most hatchlings are never used, left to rot in too-small cages. Those few that are selected become beasts of mythology. Only very few Pokémon ever escape a dark imprisonment. Being gifted one is a tremendous honor.

"Now then, which Pokémon do you want?"

"Okay, how about-"

"Oddish? Oddish it is!"

With that, the Professor throws a Pokéball into the glass jar, which releases an Vileplume. A terrible scream is heard before the Ditto goes to work.

"Oh god! Professor, this is wrong!"

"You shut up! You want to be a scrub?! Like Mitch? Or a champion! Like this awesome Tyrantir!"

Suddenly, a Tyrantir busts through a cement wall and lets off an awesome roar. With that, Sandra is convinced. This is a man who can lead one to greatness.

Five days later, Professor Eigen wakes Sandra at 3 in the morning.

"Wake up! Your Oddish has been built!"

Indeed, an Oddish now stands beside the Professor. Only this one, has a mean look to it, constantly with a deep frown on it's face. It's teeth sharpened into fangs, and only dead silence instead of the usual clamoring that follow newborn Pokémon.

"I feel like this thing is going to kill me in my fucking sleep!"

"I know! Isn't it great? Oddish, blow up that house!"

With that, Oddish fires a solarbeam at a nearby house, destroying it in a cloud a dust.

"How did it use Solarbeam? It's nighttime! And people were in that fucking house!"

"That's what makes it funny. Now then, do we have a deal? You will train this Oddish?"

"I-I guess. Come along, Oddish"

"Oh, it's not actually called Oddish"

The Professor points at the inscribed text on the Oddish's Pokéball.

"Boomsdale? You named it Boomsdale?"

"Hey, when you name fifty failed Oddishes you start to run out of good names."

"That's it, I can't do this. I was fine with the repeat homicide offenses and forced Pokémon breeding rape scheme, but I won't go on a goddamn Pokémon adventure with a fucking Oddish named Boomsdale."

"It's far too late for that. You will be this Pokémon's trainer, or you will be destroyed."

Boomsdale bares it's fangs. A deep hiss emanates from it's sludge-filled mouth. Sandra is doomed, until-


The Pigeotto that Sandra had previously rare candied into infamy returns, striking at the fearsome Oddish.

"Sandra! You have to run! Come on!"

Mitch cries out from the distance, beckoning Sandra over to his speedy pink Crobat. And so, Sandra runs. She looks back only to see her Pigeotto turned into a glistening skeleton, reduced to such by Boomsdale's Sludge Bomb.

"Tony Stark! Kill those motherfuckers!"

Suddenly, an Articuno apparently called Tony Stark soars out from the peak of Eigen Laboratories, breaking through it's walls as if it were paper maché.

"Go Crobat! We need to fucking go!"

Crobat grabs his two passengers and leaps into the air just as a javelin of ice strikes the ground where Sandra once occupied. And thus, Sandra and Mitch escape into the dawn.

"You'll never escape me! You hear me! I'll hunt you to the ends of the fucking earth!"

Slowly, Eigen's shrieking visage becomes a distant speck. But Sandra knows this isn't the end. Only blood will soothe the Professor's anger.


"You're fools! Both of you! That man will never stop!"

Three days later, Sandra and Mitch stand within the Newhook Laboratory of Purity and Advanced Science. The Lab is only two ill-lit rooms, with books and porn littered amongst dirty clothes and ruined furniture.

"That is why we will need Pokémon to defend ourselves, Adam. Do you have anything we can use?"

"Anything you can use? I've seen that man throw a Pokéball containing a Pokémon into a furnace to teach his other Pokémon a lesson. You can't defeat a man like that!"

"You must have something! We're desperate, Professor!"

"Hmmph. Well, if you must have a Pokémon today, I do have this"

And thus, Professor Newhook produced a Cyndaquil and a Houndour.

"I saved these from Eigen's cages. Perhaps a saved life will fare better against such evil."

"Thanks Professor!"

"Don't thank me. You have no idea the horror that awaits you. Your Pokémon Adventure begins!"


"Their betrayal vexes me. I'm terribly vexed."

Upon his throne of the bones of former champions sits Professor Eigen, lost in contemplation. In his hands, he casually plays catch with a Pokéball.

"You will find them. And you will kill them. Do you understand?"

In the room stands a solitary figure, wrapped in dark, hooded robes, who nods solemnly at the Professor's request.

"Good. Then your Pokémon Adventure begins."

And with that, the Professor passes the Pokéball to the shadowy man. Without a word, the robed man known only as Paul throws the Pokéball, releasing a monstrous Growlithe.

"Paul, you shall bring me back their heads!"


Don't Streamline Me!

I love to micromanage in my games. Hence maybe why I love games like D&D and Neverwinter nights, wasn't as happy with Dragon Age (slight stream-lining of abilities and spells), high disappointed with Mass Effect 2 (definite lack of weapons, which is made up via a plethora of [boring]upgrades) and bored with Final Fantasy XIII (1 weapon and 1 acccessory slot which are upgradeable). My friends and I have a game (usually boardgame) night usually every other weekend and I wish we played D&D. Unfortunately my group would never have the stamina to put so much effort into character creation and roleplaying and thus we're stuck to Settlers (of Catan), Agricola, Killer Bunnies and Munchkins. Though still complex games, they are more pick up and go games.

After playing FFXIII for a few days, i've had the urge to play FF Tactics 2 on the Nintendo DS again. I got it when it first came out and loved it. Oodles of ways to customize your party, indepth character customization, from the classes, skills, dual classes, number of party members, stats, everything. I stopped for one reason or another, but now that i'm back into it, I created this chart.
Basically showing the loadouts of the way I want to have my party and what the requirements would be (whether certain classes are required or quests needed to be eligible). 3 main teams, my balanced team, utility (see: rob you blind) team and dps team.
I respect companies that are trying to give console players the ability to play RPG's, games that traditionally have more micromanagement, but the games tend to be streamlined or more basic. For us used to making charts like this, games like FFXIII kinda loses that shine.



Cool idea if you have troubles with your computer-related cables!


I've been trying to learn the ins and outs of my Nikon D200 SLR camera.. some helpful links if you're in the same boat:
When I have some creative/anime convention (May-ish) pictures, ill post them :)


Off Topic

My work tends to be sometimes tedious, boring and frustrating at times, but my coworkers always make it worth it as per this discussion between five of us:


Now try to say that doens't look delicious - cheese and ketchup.
Must be a polish thing!
You should try it, it's sooooooo good.
They won't believe that ketchup on cheese tastes sooo good ;-)
Oh believe me, it's really good.
Cheese works with everything, even fish.
ya, the Filet o fish at McD''s
Thats true, I didn't even think about that one
I think thats where i stop with cheese n fish though.
Any fish at all, you put a block of Feta, Cheddar, blue cheese or whatever type of cheese beside it, all of a sudden the meal just got better.

A separate conversation went this way:
They won't believe that ketchup on cheese tastes sooo good ;-)
I believe it, I put ketchup on my macaroni and cheese
Thats different....
Dude its delicious
Mac n cheese w/ketchup is normal.
Plain bread, cheese and ketchup on top is odd.
At least add another piece of bread on top and grill it, then dip it in the ketchup. Thats ok


Stormtrooper Skillz

I suggest in future iterations of Borderlands (and FPS):

Baddies need to either shoot better
More baddies need to spawn (& spawn more randomly)

The best case of this is shown in the Zombie Island DLC, where there are just enough enemies that come at the player from all directions, that it is easy to get swarmed and the player really needs to pay attention of what is happening on all sides. Now if they had that many randomly spawning shooting-baddies even if they currently have Stormtrooper-like accuracy, you'd still be in trouble.

View more at
Ctrl Alt Delete comics..

One of the most comforting but boring things about the game is how humanoids always will file out of a hut/door to confront the player. And it is always the closest door and one at a time. A player's main strategy is to aim at the door, kill 3-5 baddies and then move to the next door/spawn area as there is only a finite amount of baddies unless you wait a good hour or so (no one really spends that much time in one area). What made the Zombie DLC challenging is that the original campaign spiderants/lobsters/animals, they would pop up randomly from the ground from all sides of the player, whereas humanoids in the original campaign only (logically) came through doors. What Secret Knoxx DLC did as an attempt to fix that issue was to have rocketeers that came out of unreachable platforms or had Atlas soldiers slide down a pole like firefighters. What future DLC baddies should be able to do is climb up through grates.

Bought it on dvd and watched it for the second time last night.. pretty good!

Nothing is scarier in the Zombie Island DLC is by happily mowing down zombie after zombie and suddenly see a huge bite mark on your screen, see your shields down, your health dangerously low, turn around to take out the crawling zombie, turn around again and be now surrounded by the other zombies!



I actually got it. I've never played FF before, except for FF Tactics 2 on the DS and watched my brother play FFX a lonnnnnnng time ago. (there really isn't anything else to play these days!)

Tried to take some pictures but I have to adjust my camera settings so it captures still images instead of having lots of blur. Here are the good ones.

A few impressions as a new time player to FFXIII (only about 2.5 hours into the game):
- great graphics
- nice tutorial system (its alot, but thorough)
- paradigms are cool way to change stances and the way you want to play
- the equipment system seems really streamlined (hopefully it changes later?)
- its hard to navigate the lvling system

Heh, now ill be interested in actually finishing FF Tactics 2! ;)

Why can't we be friends?

Is it that we're taking things the wrong way, that we're over-sensitive or we're just dealing with combative people?

I'm sad to see Cranky Healer blog
leave us, from what I read it was stressful getting negative comments that caused him (?) to go on hiatus. It was hit and miss sometimes whether i was able to associate with some blogs (mostly WoW related) but they were always well written and thoughtful, whether I agreed with it or not. We all have our own opinion, and we're free to argue or discuss our own point of view. Maybe we just need a thicker skin, or maybe those comments were truly hurtful and unnecessary (i never actively went and looked for them). I personally use comment moderation, not for this fact, but mostly for spammers of gold selling or cell phone unlocks. I view him lucky that he has traffic going through his site via comments.. whereas I can't tell whether people read mine (not an invitation to post negative comments!!).

And by coincidence, after reading his entry I checked on a response I made on
Syncaine's blog. Someone had made what seemed to be an attack on my opinion..I had to read it a couple times, went to the blogger's own site, made my own opinion of the person (negative), was about to reply in a nasty way, then in a more constructive way... read his response again.. and decided it was not worth my time or maybe he didn't mean to come off sounding combative. Or maybe he did mean offence. I'm not too sure. Maybe the other fiery responses that I saw on previous entries should have given me a clue. Or even the name of his site. I personally don't need an arch-enemy which seemed to be the fad a few weeks ago. If it was me, we'd all be friends and *ahem* be on each other's blog rolls and have tons of encouraging and engaging comments.

Though I can't stop anyone from being who they are or want to be, I would ask for people to be more aware of this fact, not for malicious reasons, but to remember sometimes we are sensitive to our works of art (our entries are that, you know). That possibly better phrasing is needed when commenting is impersonal via online web comments so that it is not misunderstood or seen as a personal attack. And sometimes we just gotta take these things people say as a grain of salt and brush it off.



March 17th Whiny Post Day

Read about what this day is about, other than it sharing St. Patrick's Day..

Something to whine about...

Why is it that every game that I talk about, no one takes my gusto seriously and writes it off?
Sure when it comes out, its lonely, but its still fun!
And then you eventually try it and it rocks your socks! I freaking told you so.. but noooooooooo..
And if you try it, of course its boring NOW b/c its 6mth after everyone finished the game!

Once again Borderlands.
Heyyy great game.. but its before ODST, so everyone is still playing that..
And then less than a month after, Modern Warfare 2 came out.. and no one even gave Borderlands another glance. And now? Who plays MW2? The one person that refused to think that it was a good game and waited 3-4 months after it came out, once everyone was finished with it.

Why are all the game producers out to punish Gearbox?
ODST, MW2, Left for Dead 2, Dragon Age, Mass Effect 2, AVP, Battlefield Bad Company and the list goes on and on! No one gets to see the greatness that is Borderlands b/c all these other games came out at the same time? Its a conspiracy i tell you! A conspiracy! They did it so you don't play the great game and leave me alone in the dark corner!

And that concludes my whiney blog entry. Happy Whiney Blog day!.. i mean wah wah Whiney Blog day :P


Xbox 360 Arcade on Sale

Only $129.99

This is the best time to get one if were on the fence of getting the system. Its not a perfect system but its a good deal at this price:
Quick Pros:
- great online system (tho not free) via Xbox Live
- lots of great action/shooter games
- comfortable controller
- easy online marketplace which allows downloads of expansions, patches, demos, and games-on-demand

Quick Cons:
- RED RING OF DEATH; not the most reliable system (nearly everyone I know that has one has had to replace it so far vs the ps3 which is rarely replaced [xp via working at EB Games])
- channels not as intuitive as the ps3

I'm thinking of buying it just to have an extra!

I'm not the biggest fan of the PS3, but I love their funny commercials!

(My)Gold Selling Solution

...since everyone else is talking about it ;)

Solution: have the mmo company sell gold themselves

Companies these days are selling potions, bags, convenience items, classes (DDO), even expansions through their own websites whether they are subscription-based, free-to-play or a hybrid model.. why can't they sell gold too?

The only way gold sellers would be profitable (in this scenario)is if they sold it at a cheaper rate, which to be honest, they will be able to do somehow anyways.
I figure there is no way to stop gold sellers; people will either see them spamming on the chat channels, hear about them from other people or actively look for them as a way to make their gaming experience easier.
If it was even easier to buy through the official channels (company) then that should reduce illegal gold selling. Also, the negative connotations of doing so (buying illegal gold; against the ocmpany policy) and the stress of getting caught will also hamper the profits of the gold seller. For a few more dolllars, you'd get legitimate gold and piece of mind. This will hopefully decrease their profits and force them to sell gold somewhere else. People need to be educated if not constantly reminded that funding these people (gold sellers) is not 'sticking it to the man' but actually funding crime. People still may not care until they find out that this can lead to their own account being hacked themselves. Only then will people learn. Possibly by offering deals or special promos, will the company have an edge against a gold seller. Promos such as special in-game items for purchases or temporary buffs might be an incentive to purchase.

I wonder if game companies have the ability to track the flow of gold/currency between players or the current amount a person has at one time. The game obviously remembers the gold you have as when you log out and log back in, you have the same amount of gold as before. Couldn't spikes of gold transactions be traced and investigated? I suppose gold sellers aren't caught this way as gold selling may be a low priority for mmo companies?

Maybe this solution will be the eventual downfall of the gold sellers. For years and years, you've profited from people in your gold selling ways, to force the company's hand to actually sell gold themselves. This ease of fluid, legitimate currency coupled with poor implementation (b/c that will probably happen)destroys the economy and causes people to buy gold from the company instead of them. And people become more comfortable buying gold and convenience items from the company. Which will lead to the success of the next solution..

Second solution: why not add an in-game store (that doesn't sell gold) to games that do not currently have one? Items, being mediocre to good items that are both common and unique. And make it relatively cheap so that buying gold from an illegal source isn't really worth it. People will still buy from the auction house b/c there isn't a huge influx of cash, and if you can't spend the time to obtain x-item you just purchase it legally from the company instead of spending cash from a shady source which then you still need to use to purchase. Isn't that what WoW did by providing fully lvled up characters for a modest fee? Make buyable items both unique and common but possibly imposing a certain limit(bind on limit, untradeable) , so that a richer person couldn't be fully twinked out or give to someone else.


Guest entry: FFXIII Indepth Review

I'm honored to post an entry by a very good friend of mine of his take on the newest installment of Final Fantasy XIII. Here you go!

Firstly, what's under review here is the PS3 version of Final Fantasy XIII, simply because I could care less for the XBOX 360 release. I own both systems, but Sony has my love. Next, rest assured there are **NO SPOILERS** in this review. One of the greatest features of every game in the Final Fantasy franchise is the ability to intertwine a detail-rich storyline with a highly enjoyable playing experience. Without fail, Final Fantasy XIII delivers this in spades. There are however, many aspects of this new inductee that, well, don't exactly sit well with me. Perhaps you will relate to these "issues" as well. So, without further ado, let's get on with this review (ummm yeah, that rhymed :P):

Graphically Astonishing
Square Enix has absolutely obliterated past games with their latest release. I'm playing the game in HD 1080p using an HDMI cable and everything from the cutscenes to the actual gameplay is breathtaking. Sometimes it really is tough to tell the difference between the cutscenes and the in-game footage.

The one and only drawback I see is the rich vibrant colours. You may say "Yeah, that's a GOOD thing!"... well, I say that when the entire world is green, rich, vibrant, beautiful, it gets annoying :D More random weather disturbances, a little grime here-and-there, not-so-perfect clothing, etc. I see the detail in each strand of hair - so where's the other realism in the other aspects of the game?

Pleasant to the Ears
The music is great, the sound effects are on-point, and everything of this nature fits very well with the visual experience. The music is not as "catchy" as previous games have had, as in, I'm not running around the Internet trying to find a sample of a certain song I've heard in-game.

Now, I'm not sure if this is due to not having a home-theatre system setup, but the volume levels for this game seem completely outta whack! The music is 90% of the time the fore-front of what you hear, meaning that while dialogue is supposed to be unfolding a sumptuous slice of the storyline, all I hear is music. Gah! That's what I get for using the built-in TV Speakers?? I've adjusted the audio settings on the TV for speech only, turned on/off the auto-volume adjustment feature, etc. to no avail.

Gameplay for the Ages?
It took me a little while to get comfortable with the gameplay, and while it more than gets the job done, it leaves a little to be desired. Unlike the majority of previous games in the Final Fantasy series, you technically control one 'lead' character at a time.
Sure, you get to control/micro-manage each character at various times, but in battle - you control one. The rest is left to AI and the functional in-battle management of "paradigms".

These are basically predefined battle stances/styles that allow you to set up your team of 2 or 3 in any sort of fashion you like, and you can have multiple paradigms per team combination.

Soooo this means, when your team consists of, for example, the characters Lightning, Snow and Vanille, you can set up multiple paradigms that predefine their roles in battle.

Example 1 - Paradigm A:
Lightning is set up to be a "Commando"
Snow is set up to be a "Sentinel"
Vanille is set up to be a "Saboteur"

Example 2 - Paradigm B:
Lightning is set up to be a "Ravager"
Snow is set up to be a "Sentinel"
Vanille is set up to be a "Medic"

When you next enter a battle, your team will be set up under Paradigm "A" to start with, as you can have a default. As you incur damage and/or require the assistance of a magic user (the "Ravager"), you may switch instantly to Paradigm "B" - at any time. As soon as your team is healed up, you can instantly switch back to Paradigm "A" to maximize your damage potential. There's no limit to the number of times you can switch between paradigms, and you may only set up paradigms when not in-battle.

As you learn to maximize the benefits of your offense/defense paradigm "shifts" in-battle, the quicker you can end the fight - leading to a better scorecard. Scorecards determine the goodies received, technical points restored (used for summoning Eidolons, etc.) and a couple of other things I never look at anymore.

Outside of battles, the gameplay consists of juggling between lead characters, moving along linear paths, in parallel. This, I hate. I have not yet finished the game, I'm in the middle of chapter 8 of xx and there is still no sign of being able to put my own team together and freely explore the world as I see fit. Words can't express my angst when it comes to this.

I will not harp on this anymore than is required, but I need to say, thus far, there have been no side quests/missions, no clear 'lead' character to relate with, and 15+ hours of play until I touched my first "real" Chocobo... really Square? Really?!?

Intricate (aka Convoluted) Storyline
To start with, and sorry, maybe I missed this, but who is the enemy? Good vs Evil - all games pretty well come down to this, and don't give me the "everything is not black & white" line. Seriously, as much as the storyline is very involved, rich with detail, blah blah blah - it's hard to follow, and this is after reading every update in the datalog (the built-in journal - yes, this game requires it!). Fal'Cie's, L'Cie's Cie'ths, Pulse, Sanctuary, Cocoon, and every possible combination of these words used to describe the world of the 13th installment, creates a foul smelling air of "wth is going on?!".

I love the characters, I just wish they weren't stuck in a world that requires so little of them. In the middle of all this mass confusion, namely, the story, you could easily have picked random soliders and pets to play the lead roles, as no one character stands out to take the reigns and make the story "theirs".

It's challenging to keep players engaged when the end goal is still not defined 15 hours into the game. Chapter 8 people!! And I'm just doing what the game tells me to do. I know that something will happen every 10 minutes (aka the evolving storyline), so I will fight through nonsense to get to that point. At each of these points I've been hoping the story will take me to that happy place that will give me a reason to pull an all-nighter... do the math folks 15 hours, every 10 minutes is a storyline development -> been through 90 "points". I still play, because I can't believe Square would have done this; call me an optimist.

Conclusion... because I can't type anymore
Detail-rich storyline? Check!
Highly enjoyable playing experience? Check!
Successful fusion of the two points above? Check...ers... gah... I may have changed my vote here a tad.

I will reminisce because that's all I have left to do:
- I miss the ability to control all the characters
- I miss the evil dude, and then the "real" evil dude, and then the "actual" evil dude "routine"
- I miss the side stories, and the choice you had to follow them or not
- I miss the XP based system, although the CP system is not thaaaat bad
- I miss the freedom to randomly explore whatever the hell I want to
- I miss the legendary/epic weapons/armor that are somehow found while they lay dormant through the ages

Some cool things:
- no more healing between fights
- no MP (mana) regen based system
- fights require a bit more thought than just "hit 'em! again! again!!"
- the summons are wicked cool animations

This is Final Fantasy folks, just not the one I was waiting for, and neither is it the one I hope Square Enix will base their future releases on.

~Jag Brar


Clash of Heroes

I'm not the biggest supporter of Ubisoft (and if that was true, I shouldn't mention them at all), but coming soon to Xbox Live Arcade is Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes.


I am a huge HoMM fan from the original to even the first person rpg and even the not so popular Dark Messiah of Might and Magic. CoH initially came out on the Ninendo DS, but I guess it was popular enough to come out for the 360. I'll have a review when I give it a try when it releases later this year.

Thoughts: The Online Cash Shop

I'm not so sure about the free to play model (i like free but don't like the connotations that come with it) but I was thinking a good side of the mmo cash shop is that if you lack a certain something or don't have the time to do you can purchase it and keep up with others.

for example.
A casual player would like the benefit of larger bag space a la WoW, but doesn't necessarily have the saved up in-game money to buy at the auction house, or have guildies to help make it, or the time to grind skill to have a big bag space. What does he/she do? They spend (hopefully only a bit) RL money to buy some bags/space. Of course we gotta factor the way in which the game company does it, so its not overly expensive *cough gPotato cough*.. and possibly not a required perk (ie. DDO races/classes or STO Ferengi Races).

In Warhammer, it would be nice to be able to purchase emblems/insignias for those times when you just outleveled a lower tier and you missed the influence reward or don't have enough emblems to purchase a piece of renown gear. The convenience of being able to buy it with a bit of cash would be nice. WAR should NOT have a cash shop though on stuff besides these emblems; I think a cash shop should be implemented only right at launch or with a major expansion (and we're not talking TotVL).

The theory is easy, the implementation.. not so much.

The hard part is figuring out what is balanced, the benefit and the cost. Do you sell bags that are unique/better than the ones in the actual game that can be crafted or dropped? And how much will they cost? Make it too expensive and you're gouging, make it too cheap and everyone will buy it and not bother to craft and the economy suffers.
I think it should be both common and unique items, the common though being cheap; anywhere between 1-5$, and then unique items ranging from 2-10$max with weekly deals.

Sometimes it takes unique ideas like WAR; every ten levels you gain a whole bag area. It levels the playing field for everyone (b/c if you have friends in WoW, you just give a lvl 1 4 16+ slot bags, whereas a true noobie will have only 1 bag and a future 4 slot). But one good idea took away time from other things as we've seen. *coughEndgamecoughcough*


A word of thanks

I am a consciously grateful person and its unfortunate that people don't take it as genuine b/c (even more) unfortunately people usually aren't. Whether I genuinely point out something I like on a person (hair cut, piece of clothing) or give word of thanks (ie when my managers help us by taking inbound calls), people are caught off guard and raise an eyebrow."What's his angle? what does he want?"

There is no angle. Take it as truth.

I am grateful to Gearbox that they took the time to fix some greatly annoying bugs in some of their previously released dlc in Borderlands. Whether it be in Dr Ned's Zombie dlc or Mad Moxxi's Underdome dlc, things were fixed. And until you actually do programming yourself, please don't say its easy, b/c its not. Not all companies are quick in doing so (patching). Some companies will just keep releasing dlc to reap more money and not bother about past projects and issues. And how often do you hear someone saying 'thank you' for fixing an issue? They will just find something else to complain about.

In the Mad Moxxi Underdome (MMU) dlc, one of the biggest annoyances in the game was how if you were playing coop (which is the only way to play it!), and someone accessed the bank, it would freeze the other players from doing anything. And if you were stuck with a person that took forever to make decisions, you were unfortunately stuck waiting for a long time. And now its fixed; you can freely roam, or access your bank at the same time without having the annoyance of waiting in limbo.

Thank you.


Another Tragedy

A three year old girl mistakes a real handgun as a wii gun and shoots herself with it. I'm sorry to hear such a sad thing happen but at the same time just like the article says, why is there a greater emphasis on the Wii than there is on the parents? Aren't theye the ones that have a loaded gun out in the open for children to handle? I guess stories like this sells. Whereas the real problem isn't handled.


Next Borderlands DLC - Ice World

Atleast I hope it would be an iceworld.. that would be cool ;)
Ice Skags... new elemental: Ice to slow down baddies
Maybe a new character.. or new skills atleast?

Here is a mini article on Kotaku on how the evolution of Borderlands can be compared with mmo's such as WoW. I find it interesting how the sales of Borderlands continues to stay strong, even 6 months after launch as there wasn't too much fanfare of the game.

By the way, this link writes on how Gearbox intends to keep producing additional dlc's for the game. I was a bit worried that since the most recent dlc (Knoxx's Secret Armory) was quite big, that this may be their last one. That is not the case apparently. See you in Pandora!


Add you

I've added a few more fellow gamers to the Blogroll:

Cranky Healer
Dots and Hots
Tree of Life
Disco Priestess
Gee it Laldy

Good reads; enjoy your weekend!


Companies to work for... ... ...NOT

bad press. poorly thought out ideas. bad implementation. management decisions gone wrong.

Check [box of company]
Toyato - braking system
GE - power steering
Atari/Cryptic - STO free months close to release
Mythic - poor end game to Warhammer
gPotatoe - Allod's online & price gouging

Companies that you don't want to work for. Products you don't want to buy from. When you see these poor images of the company that you work for, its demoralizing and embarassing.
You sometimes wonder the logic behind upper management that implements poorly thought out ideas which causes their customer base to become irate which becomes public which develops a poor reputation. Its sometimes feels like the major cause of this is the removal from the front lines and the lack of communication of those people. That money is the be-all and end-all.

As for Cryptic, their Champions Online issues (who plays that by the way anymore?) and now their STO short game experience (1/2 months worth of content) issues just continues to damage their public reputation. For me, I was actually going to try STO had I didn't hear of the short time it takes to max level and nothing to do beyond max level. Even in Warhammer (maybe I shouldn't use 'even' b/c its a great game) it can take quite a while to get to max level, though it does benefit from two leveling systems, actual level and renown level. Now for me, I would swear off any Cryptic products for myself and anyone interested. I'm not looking for handouts from Cryptic or a free tour like those boycotters for Left for Dead 2, its just consistent poor choices are sometimes unrepairable until they truly make a remarkable product.

For as much as I love Whammer Online (hey, even 5/6 months after I quit, I got the epic stein), I don't really trust the direction it's going in and why they need to keep switching producers. That to me just shows instability, bad experiences to be had, and shortening of game life span. To work there, it may be stressful/unpleasant to have shifting management with different needs or requirements that need to be met. Where the customer base wants one thing, the management thinks they need something else. Just like the fiasco of the removal of the bulk of the scenarios. Even though Mythic was able to find a better solution, why did they need to do that at all? Why did they not know or try to find out what the customers wanted. Not just the small but vocal minority, but the larger whole? Sure scenario's have a greater impact to the game, but have they touched the end game which leave alot to the imagination?

Can you remember the days that it was a major accomplishment for that european server that had their first KingKill? That getting to the capital city to seige was a major thing.. and not a daily occurence..


It's a miracle

3 other friends on xbox live playing Borderlands equalled some of the best 4 player (vs higher number)coop mayhem last night that i've ever encountered.

Revenant - Siren 41
DancingG - Siren 38 with shield strength increaser mod
BladeK - Soldier 41 with regenerating ammo mod ftw
myself - Berserker 38 alternating between health increase mod and damage mod

We started off by finishing off the Dr Ned Zombie DLC and then tried the Secret Armory DLC which was loads of fun and wayyyyy easier than playing solo or even two player.

Borderlands was, is, and forever shall be a multiplayer game first and foremost, though single player for some people will still be great.

Some additional things I noticed while playing last night:
- the cars need a rear view mirror; b/c i was leading but wasn't sure whether my friend's vehicle was close behind, i would slow down or stop which would result in them crashing into me, with my back end in the air (i know how that sounds) and their front in the air as well and we'd be stuck.
- crashing was very easy, though funny, and slightly annoying- no fast travel (i said that already), but one or two more fast travel points would have been nice

- got a few achievements that you'd have a hard time getting alone

"Destroyed a Lancer while in a Racer - 25 points"

- Badass Shock Troopers needs everyone to concentrate their fire on, otherwise they have screaming fast shield regen
- same thing with the medics, you need to take them out first otherwise you're just pumping ammo into their buddies
- there is a good mix of Atlas troops, though they should have more appropriate weapons than just one with elemental properties for the badass kind and atleast higher resists than they currently have

- there are TONS of drops.. not enough space even if you did all the Clap Trap quests(you should have 42 slots unless you're glitched and have even more); or the placement of the vendors are too sparse
- i want to look at my friend's 'paperdoll' to see what kind of gear they have on them instead of constant asking and having to throw down the weapon
- which leads to a trading screen for secure trades, if you play with (unfortunately) jerks, they may steal the item before the other can pick it up


Burn it to the Ground

Something over time made me dislike Nickelback, but something about this song is sooo good.

Not the Canadian closing ceremonies, but great..

Added Looking For Group comics..

Was able to play more Borderlands and the Knoxx Armory DLC (more people are playing it)
- still can't tell how long the game is going to be
- fyi no fast travel and more emphasis on vehicle travel
- new vehicles including the Monster (that has a tri-spread homing missle) and Racer (faster car)
- about 5 hours worth of play of only finding 1 legendary weapon (tho did you receive a legendary weapon in the beginning of Borderlands? no)

- Badass Shock Tropper is NASTY hard
- figured out a cheaper way to kill crawlers is to have one person agro it in a vehicle, and another shoot it with the homing missles