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Gizmyle Blog

GameDiary: Mass Effect 2, StarCraft 2 (Day 4)

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I know I'm really late on this, but I just now got my hands on Mass Effect 2 a couple of days ago, and started playing it... yesterday, was it? Either way, it's a game I've been waiting to play for ages. I believe I got it for the PC as a gift from a buddy after I bought Minecraft for him, but it just wasn't the same. Iw anted to lean back in my bad while I played it on the 360, not sit in a chair while I played it.

So far I've really enjoyed my time playing it: I ported a character from Mass Effect over and carried on playing. I do miss some of the RPG elements and I don't like how linear the game is. You're allowed to do things in your prefered order, but you always end up in the same spot, or in one of two different places. What I want in an RPG is the option to do quests or missions in different ways, and get to shape my character by myself. You only get to chose from a variety of presets in Mass Effect 2, something I'm not too big a fan of. IMO this game is not an RPG but rather an Action Adventure.

With that said I still really enjoy the game. There's a reason I've been playing it for hours today and hours yesterday. It's what's keeping me from going mad when Diablo 3 has been released. You know, I'd love to play it, but I don't have the money to shell out, not right now anyway. I might get it later, but time will tell. I never enjoyed Diablo 1 or 2 much, soooo i don't know. Probably other games I'd rather want.

I played some more SC2 today. Only 1 game, to be honest. The point is, I managed to get promoted to gold league! I am finally gold with every single race in the game, zerg, protoss and terran. No problem! Now I'll just have to get to Top 8 to prove that I'm a decent player with all races. Still really need to improve my Protoss.

Lastly, I just installed Portal 2 again. I remembered that I'd never finished the 2-player co-op, so I figured I'd restart that with a buddy, and try out some of the newly created maps.

GameDiary: StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty 2v2s (Day 3)

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So I managed to sneak in some time on another computer to play some SC2 today. IT really is annoying not being able to just boot up Steam or boot up SC2 and enjoy a couple hours of gaming on a PC. I'm quite looking forward to going to Bergen again on Saturday. Finally going to be able to play some games. Still wont have internet on my Xbox 360, which is a bit of a bummer as I'd love to buy Minecraft, but I can at least play Mass Effect 2. And I will be busy moving.

But yeah, the only game I really got to play today was StarCraft 2. I also tried some I wanna be the guy, but that game is just way too hard. Takes me like half an hour to progress past each screen.

Ended up in 2v2s with a buddy of mine on the NA server. Only issue with that laptop is the massive lag. It's impossible for me to attempt any micromanagement of my army during engagements in 2v2, and 1v1 is really the only gamemode I can play that doesn't lage my game terribly. Again, looking forward to Saturday.

Now, he's a gold league Toss that really doesn't play a lot lately. He's been busy with finals, I believe. I managed to beat him a couple of times as Zerg, which is my offrace at about gold level, but I'm pretty sure he can take me out PvP. My main issue with Protoss is that the macro is so weird and difficult for me as a Terran player. Zerg I've gotten used to as everything is spawned from the same building, but I just can't get used to toss macro. I do have decent army control and my forcefields aren't that bad, but just teching and building stuff is a tough one for me.

Anyway, we won some and we lost some. We're currently top 25 Platinum, both of us playing random, and I find myself carrying him quite a lot in most of the games, with me ending up first or second in score and him second. He did get first in score in one game we played against two gold leaguers. I've also noticed that there is A LOT of BM on NA, compared to EU. Sure, it's 2v2 and it's not very serious, a lot of people BM, but it's still annoying. There's also a lot of extremely agressive playstyles, which is an unusual change of pace from EU where people will let you get to two base most of the time.

Even ended up playing against a team comprised of a masters and a diamond player. THat was pretty shocking. I would like to play some 1v1, but I guess tha'tll wait for now.

GameDiary: Golden Sun 2: The Lost Age (Day 2)

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So, as I was away for the last couple of days visiting my grandmother with the family, I didn't really have access to anything games-related. I mostly spent time reading Game of Thrones and decided to bring my GBA with me, along with Pokemon Crystal, Pokemon TCG and Golden Sun. The two former didn't really seem that fun at the time, so I ended up playing a lot of Golden Sun. I have to admit that this is one of my favorite game series ever. I remember playing the first game, which was absolutely amazing fun. It wasn't only the combat system that interested me, but the intensely story-driven game even allowed for you to do things in multiple different orders. You could hunt Djinnis, you could get combinations and summons, spells, help people, gather loot from Chests etc. Not only that, but the game made you think. I remember spending hours on some of the puzzles in the game, fighting my way through monsters while trying to figure out which pillars to push and what whirlwind to follow. The game plays with your head, I say!

So I started this current save about a week or so ago. I didn't play much because, well, I had SC2 available and I wanted to read more on Game of Thrones, which seems to take waaay too long. I'm still in the very early beginning and I only have three characters in my posse, Felix, Jenna and Sheba, all leveld 15 with a total of 5 Djinnis amongst them. I just managed to finish Air's Rock yesterday after working my ass off in the dungeon for the entire weekend, and got the Reveal spell for Sheba. I did consider making a walkthrough for this game when i started playing it, as I've done that for some Pokemon games and I did it for the original Golden Sun game, but I decided that if I did that it would take away some of the joy of the game if I had to write down the different things I did and that you could do. Also there already are some great walkthroughs for the game out there. I have promised myself not to use any of them though.

So, the funeral for my grandfather is on Friday, we're leaving on Thursday, and I'll be going back to Bergen on Saturday or Friday, I have yet to decide which day I'm leaving. I'll be packing up my stuff and eventually move it to the house I'm moving into this summer. I'm really looking forward to it, getting back to Bergen. I'm hoping the funeral will go by easy. I didn't have any problems when my other grandfather died, at his funeral, so I'm hoping this will be the same, a nice way of remembering the man instead of a day of grieving. I'm going to play the **** out of Mass Effect 2 when I get back to Bergen, inbetween chugging beers.

Family matters

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My granddad passed away on May 1st at 00.15. Wasn't really a shock to me, he's been in terrible shape the last week, and it was pretty sad to watch him slowly wither away. He fell asleep without being in pain and with his nearest family around him. I guess it's the best way for him to go. Maybe this will make life a bit easier on my grandma too.

I've been playing some games but I'll do one of those Game Diary things later on.

GameDiary: Pokemon Trading Card Game (GBC) [Day 1]

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Found this gem while cleaning out a closet. Figured I could restart a GameDiary series I used to do.

Day 1

The goal is to get these legendary cards by defeating all the monsters. Pretty much like a regular pokemon game except you play with cards and not pokemon. You start out by playing a practice match against one of Dr. Mason's (the Dr. Oak of TCG) assistants, which is the easiest and most annoying thing ever. Then you get to pick from three starter decks, fire grass and water, just like the original Pokemon games.

Checking the mail you'll find your first Booster Pack, sent by Dr. Mason. It contains the following:

Zapdos Lv64
Dewgong Lv42
Pluspower
Kadabra Lv38
Machop Lv20
Rattata Lv9
Tangela Lv12
Diglett Lv8
Charmander Lv10
Fire Energy

I believe this is standard for everyone

Thank you Dreamhack!

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The weekend has ended, and the same goes for Dreamhack. I didn't get to watch MLG, but in all honesty, I doubt it can compete with the production quality and the amazing games that were aired on Dreamhack over the last two days.

I feel that some of the major tournaments can take a note out of Dreamhack's book. Their stage looked absolutely amazing, casting was great, InControl was an absolutely amazing host for the show and conducted some amazing interviews. The crowd was amazing, and the reaction after the games from Ro8 and up really sent shivers up and down my spine.

I especially liked that during the Ro8 and up, the quarter finals that is, they didn't do crowd shots inbetween games, they rather just put up the brackets and current results on screen. Their music was amazing, so much better than the crappy dubstep, heavy bass crap MLG uses. In addition, the overlay was simple and not cluttered, and looked generally very good. I especially liked the tiny crowd cam they had during the finals, it wasn't intrusive and it was a nice addition. Much better than shifting the entire screen to the crowd like some other tournaments tend to do.

In general it was an amazing tournament with an amazing result.

MLG Spring Arena 1 and Dreamhack Eizo Open 2012

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Hiya, more StarCraft 2 blabber, so if you don't care about it, you might as well just x this out.

Two pretty major events this weekend, MLG Spring Arena 1 and Dreamhack Eizo Open. MLG first:

MLG Spring Arena 1

So, MLG is doing a round of spring tournaments that'll lead up to the big thing during the early summer, starting off with MLG Spring Arena 1. The ticket is $10 I believe, and you get 3 days of games between the 8 participants. Out of those 8, seven are korean. The only foreigner hope as it has been termed, is Canadian player Chris Loranger, aka HuK. NaNiwa was supposed to participate, as the 7 participants are the top 8 from Winter championships earlier, but NaNi decided to head to DreamHack in his home country instead.

MLG is all about making stories and drama between players, and this time around its no different. HuK has been in a slump lately, and though his PvP is really good, he's been underperforming in both pvZ and PvT, and ended up getting knocked out of Code A by a newcomer. This is his chance to prove the skeptics wrong or right.

The format is a Round Robin in the pool play, where every single player will play 3 games against the others. not a best of 3, but 3 games regardless of who wins the first two. The 2 players on the bottom drop out, 3-6 are placed into Ro6, while the top 2 go straight to Ro4. And there's a Bronze finals. In addition they're doing a 2v2 tournament, apparently, which is pretty neat.

The list of participants is absolutely amazing, with a very good racial distribution (3 terran, 3 protoss, 2 zerg). In addition to HuK, you find MC, GanZi, MarineKing, PartinG, viOLet, DongRaeGu and Heart. Holy crap!

Dreamhack Eizo Open

Dreamhack is played over two days, the 21st and 22nd of April, and is open to anyone that feels like signing up. Hence, the first Round will not be amazing. It starts out with group play where the top 2 in every group advances to Round 2 after playing Round Robin Bo3. Round 1 and 2 are played on the Saturday, while Round 3 and the bracket play is played on Sunday.

There are players from all over the world participating, though obviously the majority of participants will be Swedes, as the tournament is held in Stockholm. You can easily skip the first couple of hours of Saturday, but make sure you're around for Round 2, as this is where the worse players have been demolished and are out of the tournament. Dreamhack is completely free to watch in 720p+.

Enjoy the weekend!

TV Review : Awake

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Decided to do a review of Awake and posted it on tv.com. Here it is, in its spoiler free glory.

I first saw the trailer for Awake about a week after the first episode had aired. I was a skeptic, it didn't seem like that good of a story for a show, and I had a feeling that they'd balls it up and make it too complicated, or too simple.

The first two episodes bored me half to death, and I was about to stop watching. I'm really glad I decided to give it another shot. The series combine elements from science fiction, drama and crime and make a very enjoyable show out of it. The characters have over the course of the first couple of episodes grown, their personalities are clear, and you get a look into the head of the main character as he tries to juggle these two completely different lives perfectly.

I believ ethe main reason that the show didn't really take off is that it's definitely something you have to sit down and watch from beginning to end and pay attention to everything. The show helps you distinguish the two different realities by altering the colors a bit, which I quite enjoy, but I still see how it can be very confusing to some.

If you haven't checked it out, give it a shot, and watch the first four episodes. I'd definitely recommend it.

Check out the Iron Squid tournament!

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I honestly think it's very weird that this tournament isn't getting a bunch of attention. It really is one of the better "small" tournaments out there right now.

Anyway, Iron Squid is a tournament hosted by a bunch of French guys. The production quality is pretty damn amazing, with every player having his own theme song made by In Uchronia. The tournament is being casted in English (TotalBiscuit and dApollo), French (Thud and Pomf) and Russian.

The tournament has now reached Ro8, and the remaining players are MMA, MC, aLive, JjakJi, Symbol, MKP and NesTea. The foreigners sadly didn't make it

Check it out on http://www.ironsquid.tv! VODs can be found there, and the stream is onhttp://www.twitch.tv/ironsquid

I haven't played games in forever.

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So, I started studying and moved out from my parents this fall, and haven't been able to play Xbox online since, which means i don't find it as fun. I'm also very limited in what I can buy considering how expensive games are here in Norway. About 100 dollars for a new game for the 360.

So, I've mostly been playing SC2. Playing and watching, it really is one of the best spectator sports I've ever seen, and the entire scene is extremely interesting and the community is great. Naturally it can be terrible too, but mostly, the community is great.

I've also somewhat lost interest in gaming anything that is single player. I got Skyrim but I've only logged about 25-30 hours in it. I think it's more that I can't really find the time to sit down and play it, because when I play a game like Skyrim, I'll end up being there for at least 3-5 hours playing, which is pretty much half the freetime I have a day.

And now I haven't played any games in about 3 weeks, not even SC2, as I went home for Easter. I've dropped out of Uni because the subject I was studying was absolutely horrid and basically made me feel depressed and like a failure. With no interest in the subject I had a hard time sitting down to read. Finally got my hands on a laptop that can run SC2 on low graphics, but I can barely play 3v3, which means I also can't play most custom games. 1v1 and 2v2 seem to go just fine.

Oh well.