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The Value of Playstation Now...

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I haven’t been keeping up with the news on the PS4 or played it in a while. So today when I fired it up, and went to see what was new and free for the PS Plus members on the store, I was surprised to see a rental service called Playstation Now. I was intrigued, and my first thought was “hmm, maybe it’ll have some good old PS1 or PS2 games that I haven’t played in a long time. I should check this out!”

So, with all the anticipation of a kid opening their first gift at Christmas, I did check it out and I made a list of the games I might want to rent. After I couldn’t find anything, I decided to look up the games that I have played or might want to try again sometime in the future and put them on a list. Since the price on most games was set at from 2.99 I thought, “Ok, this could be reasonable.”

$2.99? Yeah I can try a new game for a couple days at that price.

Oh, how foolish my optimism was. When I saw the price model, a wave of nausea took over. I felt the heartbreak of a kid at Christmas who just wanted one small thing and didn’t get it. I didn’t understand how they came up with this strange price model and have pretty much ruined any chance they had for making this a good service. As I started delving deeper I kept thinking this couldn’t be right, it has to be an error. Unfortunately it was not, and the first game I came across was Dead Island Riptide.

You can rent Dead Island Riptide for 4 hours at a price of $3.99! Yes, that is one dollar for every fun filled hour you force yourself to play this gem. This was an impulse buy that I bought on the steam sale for $4.99 so that I could finish out the Dead Island series! That $5 gave me unlimited (though not worth it) time with this game for only one dollar more! I did some research and found that you can buy a brand new copy of this game for $19.99 at Gamestop, or you could rent it for 90 days for $24.99 off of the value packed Playstation Now service.

Yup, that guy hanging there, that is just how I felt.

Now, Dead Island Riptide isn’t a very good game and not one that most people would buy or rent (damn you steam sale!). So let’s move to a good game, Metal Gear Solid 4. Many people have played this excellent PS3 title, but if you haven’t, you can rent it from this great service for $3.99 for four hours. There are many other options too, like $7.99 for seven days, 12.99 for a month, or even 14.99 for three months. Or you could go to Gamestop and pick up a used copy for $6.99 and have it forever, $19.99 for a new copy.

I don’t understand who this service is supposed to be catering to. When I first saw that this was a rental service my imagination took over with thoughts of being able to rent new and good games at reasonable prices, and possibly PS1 and PS2 games sprinkled in. I can go to redbox and rent a brand new ps3 game for $2 for 24 hours. There is no need to even mention gamefly which is far superior in terms of value. What it seems that we have received was a few good games, a bunch of ok and bargain bin games that you are able to rent at bargain bin prices. So I have a question. Why would you use this service when you can go out and buy pretty much any of these games at cheaper prices?

What is Your Favorite Game on Your Shelf of Shame?

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I don’t know how many of you out there are like me, but I am going to describe a scenario which I find myself in a lot more than I would like to admit. First, I hear about a game. Then, it piques my interest and I follow the development, possibly even pre-ordering the game. Finally, when it comes out I play it for a week or two and then put it where all my games go to die; my gamer shelf of shame. I have a lot of games, and I can count on my fingers and toes how many I have actually beaten. With every game I purchase, I have every intention of finishing it and with some I even have the thought that I will pull a completionist on it. Unfortunately, most inevitably wind up on the shelf along with all the good intentions of finishing the game. I hate walking by my shelf because I swear I can hear some of them calling me like the twins from The Shining.

"come play with us, for ever and ever and ever...."

While I am sure that this question has been asked many times, I am going to ask it again, because I have never asked it. What is your favorite game that has wound up sitting on your shelf to never be played again?

What is my game of shame you ask? Mine is a game that won IGN RPG of the year for 2007, I speak of course, of Mass Effect. Why did you never finish such a great game, I hear you scream at your monitor. Because at the time it was released life afforded me little time to do things that I really wanted to do. So why have I still not finished it!? Honestly, I have picked it up a few times and I really don’t remember where I was or what I was doing whenever I tried to pick it back up, and for a game this big in scope that is the touch of death. I had so much fun playing it and I have Mass Effect 2 and 3 on my shelf in the shrink wrap still and I am a huge fan of RPG’s and it’s killing me that I haven’t finished it. What is even worse are all the spoilers and everything about the story I have managed to avoid all this time are getting harder and harder to avoid. Since the third game is about three years old and considered to have been played by everyone who wants to play it no one thinks twice about saying what happens in the end. So hopefully I can find some time to play it in the near future, after I finish Wolfenstein. Oh Mario Kart 8 is coming out next week too and I still haven’t finished Dark Souls II or GTAV….shit…I’m never going to finish this game am I…

Awesome Games Done Quick 2014 Results

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Hey everyone, I hope you took my advice and checked out the Awesome Games Done Quick event that happened last week. I am taking the liberty of speaking for everyone by saying, it was amazing as always and I am already waiting for next years event! If you were among the 18,368 people who donated 28,054 times to this wonderful cause, the grand total came to $1,024,107.62! I was unable to watch the finale but when I saw the total I was awestruck. That is over double the original goal of $500,000 that was set! I am, as I am every year, glad to have been a part of this great event.

Now that the event is over go to Speed Demos Archive to check out hundreds of speed runs!

http://speeddemosarchive.com/

I want to give one last huge thank you to all of the speed runners and organizers. Because of all of you, we are now that much closer to curing this terrible disease that has plagued the planet for so long. I have to say that these guys who put on AGDQ are some of the most incredible, talented and generous people who are helping to change the world by playing their favorite video games and donating their time and talents. And to everyone who has ever heard "Stop playing those video games, they are a waste of time!" Well, now there are over a million reasons why that statement is not true.

One last thing, get ready, Summer Games Done Quick 2014 is coming!

Awesome Games Done Quick 2014

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It is that time of year again! I have to do my part in announcing what is, in my opinion, the greatest, most entertaining, worthwhile cause out there. I am excited to announce that the guys at Speed Demos Archive are throwing their annual Awesome Games Done Quick Marathon! For those of you who don't know, the guys over at Speed Demos Archive put on a marathon for 7 days in which they do a live stream of speed runs on a bunch of games for charity.

This years marathon starts on January 5th at 12pm EST and they will once again be benefiting the Prevent Cancer Foundation. Just a llittle info about last years marathon before I continue: Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ) 2013 was held January 6-12, 2013, and raised over $448,000 for the Prevent Cancer Foundation! Over 140 people attended the event. The average concurrent viewership during AGDQ 2013 was around 27000 viewers.

In terms of games, they play something for everyone as they run retro, PC and current gen games. The runners are all super friendly as well and they have an interactive chat that the mods are manning throughout the entire week. They will answer questions, comments and are very good at interacting with the community throughout. Oh yeah, they have tons of awesome game related prizes you can win if you donate. I think this year one of the grand prizes is a Wii U Windwaker edition. Almost every game has a chance for someone to win something if you donate. Last year I donated $40 bucks and this year I have been saving up to donate up to $200! It is just that great of a cause and just an amazing event that I look forward to every year.

I have been watching the videos for a while now and I can not believe that these guys are so good at the games they run. One of my favorites are the races where they put two or three runners against each other to see who can beat their game first, my favorite races were the Castlevania: Symphony of the Night race and the Super Ghouls and Ghosts race. My Favorite overall is Sinister1's blindfolded Mike Tysons Punch-Out Run. It is just as awesome as it sounds. Sinister1 plays the game blindfolded. It is amazing and I look forward to seeing it every year. There have been many other runs of games where my mouth is just agape because I cannot believe what I was seeing.

So if all this sounds like a good time to you (and ir really is) and something you want to support, point your browser to:

http://gamesdonequick.com/

There you can get all the info on the event! I'll see you guys in the chat!

What Game is the Super Mario 3 of the Current Gen?

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 While I ponder on whether or not I am going to buy a PS4 with one game and an extra controller or a PS4 with two games at launch, I looked upon my gamer shelf of shame.  Tons of games that I haven't played, finished or hell in the case of Final Fantasy XIII a game that is still in the plastic.  Too many times I bought games that sounded good and now that remain un-played or barely played in favor of better games or perhaps just put aside with good intentions never to be played again.  Now that this generation of consoles are entering its twilight and looking at lots of mediocrity on my shelf I started thinking, what game(s) do you think will be the Super Mario Bros. 3 of this generation?  No CoD's, Maddens or other series that get a yearly update and is pretty much the same game with maybe one new feature, because besides Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare, there hasn't been any CoD that hasn't just rehashed what Cod4 did.


 My Pick:

Damn Near Perfect

 

 In my opinion Red Dead Redemption will be the game that everyone talks about when they talk about the current gen in ten years or so.  There is nary a blemish on this Rockstar masterpiece.  Sure there were glitches but 99% of the time they were funny and/or terrifying.  If you never had a cougar woman run at you or one of my favorites a tied up prisoner hovering above my horse while riding back to town, I am sorry.  Rest assured that it was hilarious though.  The story is one of the best ever written for a video game and really made me want to push forward and get to the end to see how it all played out.  I still get goose bumps when I think of the big surprise in the story.  This is one of two games that I have played that made me actually care for the character I was playing as, the other being Final Fantasy VI.  And in my opinion if you can get your players to care about a bunch of pixels then you have on your hands a genuine masterpiece. 

 

 

Runner Up:

Under Rated Classic

 

I think as years go by and the crap that is the CoD and Madden get washed away from the current gen, it will uncover games that were well received just not played by many.  Sorta like Lufia 2: Rise of the Sinestrals on SNES.  Demons/Dark Souls are great games and both make you earn every item and every victory.  It feels good every time you play and when you defeat a boss that had been giving you trouble for so long, there are few games that reward you with such a great feeling.  I could go on and on about how great I think this game is, and have in a five or seven part blog series I did on Dark Souls.  There is no hand holding no guide telling you "Hey Listen" go here next.  You explore the world and I think the games are that much better for not giving you much to go on.  Its kill or be killed and if you like a good action adventure RPG they don't come better than this!


 

Just Because I Loved the Game and Think You Should Too:

 Who ya gonna call!

 

 I have played through this game multiple times and every time I fall in love with it more, except the graveyard, F#ck you gargoyles!  But aside from that one part, this is a perfect game...in my eyes.  It has a story penned by Egon and Ray, the original cast doing voice work plus Alyssa Milano and continues the story of your favorite poltergeist pugilists.  How can you not like this game?!  If you are a fan of the movies and don't have this game, go pick it up out of your local bargain bin and give it a try.  You'll thank me later. 

 

 Well thats all I've got for today.  Let me know what you guys think in the comments below.  I would love to hear what you think of my picks and hear yours. 

My favorite of 2012 part 1

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With the new year literally tomorrow, I wanted to put this little list together to help people like myself who buy games and never get around to playing them (thanks steam spring, summer, fall and winter sales) decide which of the games they might not have tried, or just great games that are worth their time. I have almost 300 games in my steam collection most of which have never been installed, again, thanks valve. With this sort of backlog I have waded through tons of games that were not worth my time this year. Since I have so many games they may not have all been released this year and as such dont have a lot of time for all the new games that are released every year. So I put together this list of my favorite games that I played this year. This does not necessarily mean games that were released in 2012 but games that I discovered, were released or that I finally got around to playing in 2012. I will be writing a little bit about each entry on my list and why I like and dislike each one. Ok, well now that the disclaimer is out there, and without further adeu, these are my favorite games of 2012.

Binding of Isaac- I just bought this game on the steam winter sale and I have been very put off by the art style of the game in the past and never thought I would like it.

Isaac

So when it went on sale on steam (a phrase that you will see a lot in this list) I picked it up because it was so cheap and if I didnt like it I would only be out but a buck and a half. So I installed it and jumped in, and what I found wasfun, disturbing, disturbing fun, something about a book and its cover comes to mind but, oh well nevermind. The story is quick and horrible, just because I could picture some lunatic doing something like that and it made the setting that more horrific. The atmosphere of the game is amazing and spooky, I never know what to expect with every game. It has the charm and fun of rouge with the disturbing visuals and music of silent hill. Everytime I start this game up I spend a lot more time with it than I originally planned and still have fun with it every single time. I give this game my rating of 8.5 horrifying floating heads out of 10.

Borderlands 2- Is this game like the original borderlandsYup. Is it a bad thingNope. This game gets my game of the year nod for one reason, Handsome Jack.

Handsome Jack

This is my favorite villain of all time. From the first time I met him in the game I knew that he was something special. This villain is one that is one part evil, one part charming and one part comedian that I have come to love to hate. I was struggling to describe him to someone and the best comparison that I could come up with is Archer meets the Joker. I think if gearbox had not come up with the perfect villain I would not be writing this write now. The game is just as solid as the original with prettier graphics. If you like borderlands buy this game, if you like great villains this would be a great addition to your collection. I give this game my rating of 8.7 bullymongs out of 10.

Diablo 3- If you have read my previous blog about diablo 3 then you might be wondering why this game is on the list. Well, as I stated before Diablo 3 is a good diablo clone and fun to play. While not a very good Diablo game, if this was an original property it would be getting much higher accolades from everyone. The fact that it was overhyped by Blizzard and underwhelming in the actual delivery and a few big mis-steps like the always connected to the internet thing and real money auction house really hurt this one. Aside from all the things that are wrong with this game, I still find myself coming back to it to level up my characters and find more legendary loot, which is why it earns a spot on my list of top games this year.

One day I'll find something better

Wii U

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I have never bought a console at launch, mainly because I was always too poor to do so, but also I didn't want to have to put up with all the issues that usually plague them...cough coughxbox360cough. As the Wii U approached its launch I became more and more enamoured by it. I thought to myself this looks like it could be fun. Gimmicky, but fun. My first console that I ever owned was a NES and I thought about all the great times I have had with it (and currently still have with it) and figured: yeah I'll buy a Wii U.

The above was my verbatim thought process when I was standing in my local gamestop looking at the demo display of the Wii U. I didn't play it but only picked up the tablet controller or tabcon as I will be referring to it from now on, just to see how the tabcon felt in my hands. I liked it. It was not as awkward or cumbersome as I thought it would be. So I plopped my money down and said in my best zoidberg impersonation, "One Wii U please".

One Wii U Please

And so, I got my newest game system, Mario U, and zombie U and headed home. The whole drive home thoughts filled my head such as you shouldn't have bought a launch console don't you remember what happened to Microsoft, or man I could have bought 125 cups of coffee with the money I spent on this. So for 30 minutes I was driving and having that same buyers remorse I get when I buy an expensive item. I got home and opened up the box and set up the system. When I first saw the actual system I was pleasantly surprised that the system was so small, sleek and sexy. It fit nicely next to its older brother with lots of room to spare, which is nice because I didn't have a lot of room left on my entertainment center. All the cables were easy to hook up and it even came with its own HDMI cable (Sony, Microsoft take note) which was great so I did not have to go out and buy one or switch one from another system. If you have a Wii then the sensor bar will work for the Wii U so you don't have to undo the bar, just switch the cable from the Wii to the Wii U. The only problem that I had with the setup of the system was the firmware update. It took one hour and twelve minutes and forty three seconds to complete. I was off doing other stuff but this irked me.

After I got the system setup and online I popped super Mario bros. U in to test out the latest and greatest from Nintendo. I have to say, I am having a blast with this game! I was worried about this one and what seems to be call of duty syndrome with the Mario franchise over the past few years, meaning at least one new game put out per year. I thought it was going to be like super Mario wii, which I got to world 2 and lost interest in, but when I got to world two at I had no doubt in my mind that I was going to complete this game, perhaps even pull a completionist on it and 100% it. Beardman is awesome!

The graphics are sharp, crisp and colorful with the game-play of Mario at his finest. In my opinion this one ranks up there with the likes of smb3 or smbw. I can hardly put it down. Again, I was worried about how the tabcom would function when I was playing and if it would still be comfortable and precise. I am glad to inform you that it is still a comfortable controller. While its not as comfy as a N64 controller(yes this is the best controller ever made) it is a great controller still. This is by far the must own launch Wii U game and it gets my rating of 8.8 out of 10

I am going to put up a part two of this system slash game(s) review and will finish it up with zombie U and Nintendo land after I have played with them more, although preliminary playing of the games say they are fun and use the tabcon well. If you are looking for a new console this Christmas season and are worried about the Wii U, let me assure you it is a fun system with a lot of potential to become a great system.

Diablo 3

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It was a late night sometime in 2008. I was just returning home from working a late shift at the store where I worked after a long day of classes. I sat down and booted up my pc to read up on some gaming news and perhaps play something. I look at my shelf of pc games and see my favorite game Diablo. I decided to go to blizzards website just to see what was new and I got my first glimpse of Diablo 3. It was the picture with the black background with Diablos eyes, mouth and the three claw marks in red. It did not say Diablo 3 on it anywhere and I instantly put that image as my PC's background. I was excited beyond belief that I was going to see my first video of the game that I had been waiting for since I finished Diablo 2 and its expansion. I clicked the link to watch the video of the barbarian and waited with bated breath to see the new world I knew I would be exploring and with a character I had played before in the previous game. Then I realized that the barbarian was a character I had already played many hours with before in the previous game, and if I wanted to get technical I played a barbarian with the "barbariantest" command.txt mod in Diablo 1 expansion Hellfire. So I have played the same character in all three of the games? I thought, no matter its an established reoccurring character, it'll be ok. So the video loads and I see my first glimpse into the world and the dungeons looked cool, the desert, wait what?! Desert?! there is going to be another desert! I hated the desert in Diablo 2, ok, deep breath...its probably just one small area, they can't put in a whole desert area like they did in the second one. After the video was over I sat and thought. I can't wait for this game to come out! My desktop sat with various Diablo 3 wallpapers throughout the four years it took for the game to actually come out and I was the second in line at my Gamestops midnight release and picked up my Collectors Edition as well as a poster and big diablo 3 box that the store gave me.

That paragraph was to let you know that Diablo is my favorite franchise in gaming history and it is with a heavy heart and crushed expectations that I must report, Diablo 3 does not live up to expectations. I, among many others, felt cheated by Blizzard. They seem to have lost that special connection that I felt that they once had. It felt like they listened to their customers and fans feedback on issues and had their fans/customers best interest when it came to their release date of "when its ready". I had nothing but the utmost faith in Blizzard when they announced D3 and knew it would be a shining example of everything right with the action RPG genre. Instead it is nothing more than a clone of itself and any innovation it had at any point during development seems to have been intentionally removed. I feel as if the developers said "OK, now Diablo 1 and 2 are universally thought of as the best games in this genre right? What can we do to make the third one sell more than both of them combined?" Not how can we make the game better, but how do we sell it. Well they took out pretty much any character customization that isn't aesthetic and made the game so easy that my two year old nephew could breeze through it, thats how. On my first playthrough I died on diablo, the final boss, once. That was the only death I had in that first playthrough. I know what you're thinking, but what about the nightmare, hell, etc difficulty levels. To that I say, what about them? I should not have to play through the entire game once before I can get a challenge out of my game? No, no, no, no, that is unacceptable horrible, horrible design. Now, I am not asking for nightmare or hell difficulties right away but some amount of challenge would have been nice. It was entirely too easy. Another big complaint I have is that this game is pretty much Diablo 2. Don't believe me? Well, the first area is a small town, then you go to Tristram, then you go through some caves, then you go underground to fight the boss of act 1. There are other areas thrown in but act 1 is a grassy area that serves to get you to the caves that lead you to the next grassy area which lead you underground to kill the boss. Act 2 is worse as it is an almost exact copy of the desert levels in act 2 of Diablo 2, and worst of all is Act 3...yeah I have to rage quit this sentence. Basically I had a "been there, done that" feeling almost everytime I entered a new area. I have played the game through with my Monk twice and have one of every other character up to act IV or approximately level 30 hoping with each time I play it I feel that there is so much potential.

I know I am bashing the game pretty hard and its because of my love for this game and the disapointment I felt while playing the game. I am sure that most fans of the series thought the same as I did. The redeeming qualities though, are there. The dungeons and act VI levels are beautiful and act IV was a great addition to the game. As always the music is fantastic but I long for Matt Uelmen's beautifuly haunting melodies. The characters each have personality and are very unique which makes every playthrough different. So while you may not want to play through the game a second, third or fifth time, rest assured it is not entirely the same experience each time. Also, if you do play through more than once the nightmare difficulty is where the real game starts. It is where you really get tested and where the game starts to really shine. The higher difficulties are the reason I still play the game and enjoy it so much. As far as my opinion goes I really enjoyed the story and liked the direction it took. While I will not spoil anything for the game it is a pretty good story with some twists, turns and surprises along the way.

The majority of this game is good and it seems as though I bashed it like a barbarian bashing a fallen's skull. It was mostly disappointment in the fact that you can not really customize your character anymore and the feeling that they just re-hashed diablo 2. I did not mention the always online (which is bad) or the real money auction house (really really bad) because by now you should all know about them and if you want to waste your money on fake swords, by all means go ahead. All in all this is a good game but is nowhere near what I, or many of the longtime fans of Diablo or Blizzard expected from this franchise. So although my expectations were crushed in the way of a Diablo game, the game is a solid dungeon crawler. I give this game eight soulstones out of ten.

Nostalgic ecstasy

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I recently pulled out my old NES that I have had lying around the house. It has been broken for quite some time and everytime I pass it I felt I should try to fix it. Well the other day I finally did. I fixed it up and found my old stash of games (which I swear was larger) and started playing them again. I went online mostly here and found that there really aren't many real reviews of these old games. I have found one or two reviews that are less than a paragraph long and basically say "This game is good/bad because the graphics are good/bad or its too easy/hard. So I figure that it is my duty to sit down and play through each of the games that I have in my collection and give them a thourogh review. So in the next few weeks I will be playing through one of the harder games in my collection: Solar Jetman. I remember really liking this one so lets see if I still find it as enjoyable as I once did. The full list of games that I have are: Kabuki Quantum Fighter, Mega Man 2,4, Tetris, Xexyz, The Adventrues of Bayou Billy, Basewars, Castlevania III, Dragon Warrior, Zelda 2, Mario 3, Super Offroad, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. So I will be reviewing these over the next quite some time and will be posting them here as well as a few other places that I will post later. So I hope that some of you guys will be stopping by and reading what I have to say. As always stay safe and have fun. See you all around.

Rock Band

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First all I have to say I CAN NOT wait until the 20th to go to gamestop and pick up my equipment and start jammin at home instead of at the best buy. Well I think this game is going to blow GH3 out of the water and then go pick it up and beat it some more, I mean Harmonix is who brought us the original GH. I don't understand how people can say that this isn't going to be as good as GH3. Another thing that bugs me is all you "real musicians" I play drums, I play guitar and I play piano, I love these types of games they are tons of fun to play. I think that you people are trying to take away or imply that you are better than me or anyone else just because you are "too good" to play these things. There are pics of my drums and me in my band on my gamespot page for all you non-believers. All these games are is a way to play and have fun. Are they real instruments? Of course not, but I think that it does make people aware of what they can do if they tried to play a real instrument, and hopefully they will pick up a guitar or learn to play drums because while these types of games are fun, they are nothing compared to the feeling of being on a real stage and hearing people applaude and rock out to the music you are creating. I will continue to play these games regardless of what anyone thinks or how unrealistic they may be (although with a few stands and some modification I think that the drums could be rearranged to form a semi realistic drumset) they are still very good starters to see if maybe playing a real instrument is something that you would be interested in. I disagree with some people who say that they can play an instrument because they are really good at GH or rock band. I actually heard someone say that they were a good drummer because they did a decent job on the drums on rock band. I thought it was funny, I am not going to belittle the person by laughing at him or anything I didn't want to interrupt his fun, I just think that some people should be able to distinguish reality from fantasy. All in all I think that these types of games are way too much fun and for me since I live in an apartment I can keep in practice without pissing off all my neighbors.
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