drummer131 / Member

Forum Posts Following Followers
3210 111 200

drummer131 Blog

Duels 2013 - A Question

Hello to those of you still following me even though I'm essentially dead to the gaming world since grad school is in full swing.

Just a quick question to those of you who have bought Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 for either the iPad or on Steam. Can an owner of the game for iPad play against a Steam player? Or is it just online for both? Or just two-player versus on the iPad itself, or two player versus with two iPads?

I cannot seem to find this info anywhere in the whole internet, and I have a friend with the iPad version who I'd love to play the game with. I don't have an iPad, so my only option is Steam (since I'm rarely home to play on the PS3).

The End of an Era

I apologize for the dramatic title. That's just the first thing that popped into my head. I don't mean to be dramatic. What's about to happen isn't even really all that big of a deal. Besides, it seems like most everyone is already doing it.

I'm leaving Gamespot's blogging arena. For real this time.

I never thought of myself as an immensely popular blogger on this site, but I have amassed a decent following and some of you have been very reliable as far as being able to provide insightful or entertaining comments goes. I'll miss it, but only because I'm certain some of you might feel it's too much work to subscribe to my WP blog. That's okay; it's your choice.

I will still be coming to Gamespot every so often to check out the occasional preview or review or to visit some of your blogs. However like I said before, I won't be blogging here anymore. I detest the new commenting system, and I've always been frustrated with the errors and glitches that no one seems to want to fix. There's still loads for me to learn when it comes to doing things on WordPress, but I'm slowly getting there.

The password listed below will be the permanent password for all future posts on Jag's Gaming Blog. This way, the blog will still only be open to GS friends and you'll always be able to access new content. I've also unlocked the ability to comment right underneath the WP posts. All comments will need to be cleared through moderation by yours truly, but this is just to prevent spam from sneaking its way in. Most important of all, remember that if you subscribe to the blog (http://drummer131.wordpress.com/), you won't ever miss a new post and this won't have to be goodbye.

LINK: http://drummer131.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/never-close-our-eyes/

PASSWORD: vassarplace

P.S. Please leave your comments underneath the actual post on WP. I need to make sure all the settings are correct to make that possible. Thank you!

Fateweaver

Ugh, what a week it's been. As I'm sitting here typing this, I've got a tall mug of oolong tea standing beside the keyboard and my iTunes playlist of all three SNES Donkey Kong Country soundtracks playing in the background. That's how you can tell it's been a long, rough week for me. I'm trying to squash a headache, prevent a bad cold, and relax all at the same time.

That said, I felt that it has been far too long since I last posted. Even though it's only been just over a month (and a month is usually the time in between postings), so much has happened. Oh boy, I could never have imagined so much would start to change and happen after I published my last post.

At first, I considered splitting this post in two: one half to share all the stuff that's been going down recently in my real life and the other half (written at a later date) to catch you up on what I've been playing. I think I'm still going to do that in a way, but I'll provide two pairs of links and passwords below so you can access each at your convenience without fear of missing anything. I have no idea how long each "half" will be, so splitting the whole post in half will prevent it all from becoming far too long (Does WP even have a word limit?).

And so, without further ado, on with the show.

LINK: http://drummer131.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/fateweaver-part-i/

PASSWORD: schooliscool

LINK: http://drummer131.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/fateweaver-part-ii/

PASSWORD: thankyoucamellia

Everything is Racing

Tonight, you find me in a mixed state of emotions. I am both thrilled and excited, but also quite sad as well. In the last two weeks, I have accomplished tremendous feats and experienced frustrating failures. None of this has to do with my real life - that's a whole other bucket of fun; I don't know what to make of some things in my life as the PS3 gamer known as KenobiEagle. It's gotten so bad that I frequently get distracted by thoughts at work on the matter and it's affecting my mood. I understand that this all sounds highly emo and whiny and honestly, kinda lame and weak, but if ever there was a place to lay out all these gaming-related feelings I have, it's here.

So let me lay it for you straight. Pacific Rift was a blast. It got really maddening at times, but I succeeded in reaching the goals I had set out to attain. This led me to download MotorStorm RC, which has quickly become a very surprising blast to play. On the other end of the spectrum, however, lies SSX, which to be blunt, has become quite a disappointment to me.

To find out all the details, please join me beyond the link. But please, be warned. It does kind of go on for a long while. I really let myself vent on some things. Your open and honest thoughts would be more than welcome.

LINK: http://drummer131.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/everything-is-racing/

PASSWORD: remotecontrolled

PS3: A Retrospective

It dawned on me Sunday afternoon that by the end of this week, I will own more than 30 Playstation 3 games (not including downloaded titles). More specifically, by the end of today. Today, SSX launches (AT LONG LAST!) and while I'm at the Gamestop picking up my preordered copy, the plan is to pick up a new copy of Mass Effect 2 as well. In addition, a trip to the nearby Best Buy will also happen with certain likelihood, as I take advantage of their weeklong sale on SoulCalibur V. Oh, and did I mention I won an auction on Ebay Sunday night for a new, sealed copy of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning? No? Well, yes, that happened, too.

These four games will put me at a total of 32 physical games owned for the PS3. Some of you have collections that more than eclipse that number, but for me, that many games (again, not even including my nine downloaded titles) bought in just under two years is like a new record for me. Due to the fact I've traded in games from time to time from my other console/handheld collections, this too marks the crowning of my PS3 collection as my largest game collection for any console or handheld that I own. Even though I know there's no stop in sight for the rate of growth, it's still high honor time.

And so, I thought it'd be only fitting to write a blog post to look back on all that I've come to own and accomplish in the last two years with these twenty-eight games.

LINK: http://drummer131.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/ps3-a-retrospective/

PASSWORD: lunaticsunite

Busy Busy Busy

No travels to WordPress today. This isn't really an official post. Just some personal gaming news I wanted to share.

Allow me to begin by saying that I am never going to start off a new year by saying that after a couple of early releases, the year is "looking totally clear" and "completely wide open". I've learned now that that always changes, particularly in ways you never saw coming.

Despite the fact that there are no games that I know of specificially that are coming out in the spring and summer months that I would be interested in buying/playing, I already have games to play in those months now. I tried out the demos to a couple of games yesterday and now, it would seem I've got an extra three games to play this year before the world ends. Yes, you read that write. Tried out two, ended up with three.

MARCH

March is predominantly going to be all about RACING. Just this past Monday, I popped MotorStorm Pacific Rift into my PS3's disc tray, meaning business with it for the first time. Though I've played on every course multiple times and have even tried out the Online multiplayer, I had barely touched the Festival (single-player career) in the two years I've owned the game. Now, I'm doing my first PS3 game justice by...actually playing it. That sounds kind of dumb, especially because I go on at any opportunity to rave about the game incessantly, but it's sadly true. The game is beyond awesome, but I just never got around to giving it a serious look. Now I am. My goal, like Minishdriveby's, is to earn the gold trophy for 96 Gold Medals won. Since it's insanely improbable that I'll be able to work towards the actual Platinum, this gold will be the Platinum for me, in much the same way that the three gold trophies of ModNation Racers acted as the Platinum for that game. In just a few short days, my skill at the game has improved dramatically and it is such a rush to fight for space on the road with monster trucks and to see different vehicles taking different paths and weaving in and out of view and popping out from all over. I'm just so happy that I'm finally playing the game that has been staring at me with puppy eyes all this time...and that I'm enjoying it as much as I knew I would.

March is also primetime for SSX. The demo dropped at like, 12:03am EST this morning, but it's there now and I'll be checking it out once I'm done writing this. Thanks to the GS forums, I've found a small army's worth of peer-aged SSX fans to rack up my Rivals list with. For the most part, it turns out these folks are hardcore trophy hunters. My trophy level had just about surpassed all of yours at 13, but then these people have like 25+ Platinums and levels from 15-18! I'm a little worried to play against these folks, but we'll see. I grew to become pretty amazing at Hot Pursuit last year, so I have no doubt the same thing might happen on the slopes.

SPRING (April - June)

I might still be playing Pacific Rift and SSX in earnest at this point, but it will largely be time to move on to something else. Some games like...Soul Calibur V and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning? I'm waiting for these games to go on sale on Amazon or Kmart or some place for like, $35. Where have the sales like that gone this year? The past two years have been crazy full of them and now, nothing. Well, hopefully, by April, these games will get some reduced price glory.

My brother's already played SCV at a friend's house and my Arkansan friend, Andy, is interested in SCV, so I've got some peeps to play with, both locally and online. I'm wondering if Andy would be willing to help me boost for the Platinum...but that's for another time.

Reckoning was one of my two demos yesterday and I have to say, it definitely reminds me a bit of WoW, just in the customization, talent trees, reagent gathering and professions. The battle system is what really intrigued me. There are three paths you can take: Might (warrior), Finesse (rogue), and Sorcery (mage). You are able to decide upon your Destiny (your specialization) depending on how many skill points you put into each path. Naturally, you can go pure Might or pure Sorcery, but you can also become a fusion of Finesse and Sorcery or Might and Finesse, OR, you could try to be a master of all three at once. Tarot-like cards exist to illustrate the kind of power you'll wield with each Destiny and they each have their own special bonuses. The beauty of the whole thing is that you're never stuck with the one Destiny you first chose. You can change your Destiny whenever you wish just by talking to some guy at a town. Different situations might call for different specs and you will be able to experiment as you please. That's what's really reeling me in. So, I'll give it a try...once the price drops.

SUMMER (June - August)

I bought Assassin's Creed: Revelations shortly after finishing Brotherhood, just so that I'd have it. I definitely plan on playing through it and earning all non-multiplayer trophies before AC3 comes out October 30th.

Other than that, it would seem that I'm really going to jump out of my comfort zone because that Mass Effect 3 demo was pretty dope. At least the first part was. Had me getting all teary-eyed. The second part was confusing as heck, gameplay-wise, because I've never played ME before in any capacity and it just kind of threw skill upgrades and abilities at me and said "go forth, merry one, and destroy the bad people!!" It was discouraging. My success was more of a haphazard flailing dance than an elegant dance routine full of finesse and swagger.

Anyway, when I asked my two best friends - who are both big Mass Effect fans - if I could skip ME2 and just play ME3, one said "Youtube vids and wikis would be fine to catch you up on the story" and the other said "you would be out of your mind to just start with ME3. You'd be playing a hollow shell of a game, or at least it would seem that way, and besides, the ME games are great games. Better than Uncharted and Assassin's Creed." So much for friends helping me out! But, given that there's nothing really out there that I would otherwise be playing to spend those hot summer days (except for WoW, I suppose), why not? It's not as though I hated the demo. It's not as though there was no part of it that I enjoyed.

So it would seem then, that 2012 is the year I force myself to attempt to do away with my bizarre lack of capability when it comes to western RPGs. Yay! And again, forever will I restrain myself from uttering the words "This year seems wide open and totally lacking in anticipated games."

Dismay and Disappointment

This is going to be the least cheerful post I've written in at least a year.

I am at a crossroads regarding whether or not to proceed with my quest for a Platinum in FFXIII-2...or do I find something else to play entirely until February 28th rolls around.

CAUTION: Though I will try my best not to outright spill the beans on FFXIII-2's finale, it is the cause of my gamer's turmoil at the moment, so some details will more than likely be divulged. Those that have no interest in playing the game or have already beaten it, feel free to read that part of the post. Those that think they might play FFXIII-2 at some point or are still playing through it for the first time, please do yourself a favor and stay away from the second half of the post. There will be another message behind the link to let you know when to stop reading.

LINK: http://drummer131.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/dismay-and-disappointment/

PASSWORD: silverchocobo

Spoke too soon!

I should have known when I wrote in my last post that after SSX, my year was "totally free and clear" and that compared to last year 2012 was looking "so wide and open" that I'd be proven wrong in less than a month. Honestly, stuff just popped up out of nowhere and now I have so much more to play. At this rate, the future might just hold many surprises of which I'm willing to partake.

Today's post will take you through the whirlwind that is my current roster of gaming entertainment. From the imminent FFXIII-2 to a crazy resurgence of interest in WoW, to a few sudden surprises, I'll be running through the gamut to show you all what I've been up to and what I'll definitely be playing a whole lot of in the near future.

LINK: http://drummer131.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/wow-a-trifecta/

PASSWORD: snowparadox

The New Face of This Blog

First off, let me firmly state that this is not me saying goodbye to Gamespot for good, in any way whatsoever. My GS-visiting habits will not be changing one bit. However, where you all go to read up on what I think and what I'm up to is about to change, as I will now be writing my words elsewhere: WordPress.

I'm still quite unfamiliar with how WordPress works, but here's how I hope this will work:

  • I will still be creating new blog posts on this site. However, they will only feature a quick blurb detailing the content of the new post and a link to the full post on WordPress.
  • Due to the nature of my professional career, like my Gamespot account, I intend to protect myself on WP as much as I can from any possible breaches in security by students. My Gamespot blog is locked as Friends Only, and the easiest way that I have found so far to do the equivalent on WordPress is to Password Protect each and every post. I'm assuming that I may also be locked out of my own posts by the very same passwords I pass on to you all, but if that is how it must be, then so be it. Since you'll be accessing the posts on WP via new posts here at GS, the password for each post will be provided in the GS post, most likely under or beside the link itself. It is my hope that this will cause little to no inconvenience for those of you interested in continuing to read my blog while making sure that no one other than my Gamespot friends continue to read the blog.
  • As far as comments are concerned, I'd really prefer if you guys could continue leaving comments below the GS posts. The links that lead to WP will open a new window, so it will be very easy for you guys to jump right back to GS to leave a comment, if that's your desire. This is more for me, so I don't have to worry about checking two different websites for comments about the same blog post. As I said before, I won't be visiting Gamespot any less and in any different ways than I already am, so I'll still be responding to your comments in the same manner that I have been. Read the post at WP, then come back here and drop an opinion or thought my way.

I hope I haven't left anything out or confused any of you to death. I just want to make sure everyone understands what's happening. It's probably much simpler in practice than it sounds in words. It's certainly a little more work for me than blogging has been in the past; however, I'm sure it will become easier in time than it ever has been here.

And now, I would like to welcome you to my very first WordPress blog post (a.k.a. the test-run). Enjoy!

LINK: http://drummer131.wordpress.com/2012/01/07/the-new-face-of-drummer131s-gaming-blog/

PASSWORD: twentytwelve

Niente is vero. Tutto is permesso.

oh boy

gtfo

davinci

Assassin's Creed has proven to be quite a mixed bag for me. I'd vaguely known the premise for years now, but I never took the plunge because I didn't think a game full of bloody backstabbing would result in fun for me. Well, the friend that invited me over to his house for an Uncharted 3 weekend early last month happened to show me about twenty minutes of AC2 gameplay at some point during that weekend, and that's all it took to persuade me to at least give the series a try.

Now that I've beaten Assassin's Creed 2, I look back and I'm both glad that I did choose to buy it and somewhat disappointed by what I've played. For the first time, I don't know whether or not I want to continue to the sequel in a series, even though I did enjoy AC2 overall. [NOTE: Yes, I skipped the first game. I caught up on that game's plot thanks to a synopsis vid made by IGN.]

For those that don't know, Assassin's Creed's overarching storyline is actually surprisingly deep and complex. It is probably the most creative IP I've come across this gen. It's at once an "alternate history" action sim with an underlying sci-fi flair. At any point in the game, if you stop and really think about what's happening at that present moment in the story, it goes far beyond "look at me! I'm Ezio! I'm stabbing people in Venice!" I was drawn to this almost immediately, this constant complexity to the events, despite the game's open-world nature and my need to find the next "!" on the map to progress to the next story mission.

Graphics-wise, they let me down. A lot. The game is only two years old. I think it came out around the same time as Uncharted 2. Okay, that's not a fair comparison. Didn't GTA IV come out before AC2? I think that looks better. This isn't to say that the game looks bad; it's just not as good as it probably could have been. Regrettably, that's not the end of my woes on the matter as texture pop-in was flagrant -which actually didn't bother me that much - and screen tearing was commonplace. COMMONPLACE, people. You can't play five seconds of Assassin's Creed 2 (at least on the PS3) without experiencing some degree of screen tearing. It's awful. Every time you're about to become immersed in the game, the sky rips itself in several ways and you're pulled right back out. The feeling is identical to a situation where you're reading a really good book and just as you're about to leave your real world behind become fully enraptured in the tale, your dog bursts into the room and onto your lap or the baby begins to cry. I tried to ignore it, but it was always there, no matter where I was, no matter what I was doing. Why couldn't it have been lessened or removed in a patch?

The gameplay was pretty solid. I liked the variety in the missions. I liked hunting down synchronization towers to fill in my map. I particularly enjoyed all the "Seek and Find" sidequests, such as finding the eight statuettes in Monteriggioni, the entrances to the six Assassin Tombs, or the mysterious glyphs painted onto famous landmarks. Some of the puzzles within said glyphs were just abnormally tough, but that's what Youtube was for.

This was the first game I've played that actually, genuinely, emphasized stealth. It pissed me off that I had to hold down R1 and X to run, but I figure that was on purpose to encourage not running. I got better at it as the game went on, thankfully. I came to understand when it was okay to run and when it was necessary to walk. (That said, too many people in the streets! And those damn guys carrying boxes! I swear there was one mission where they actually swerved to get into a collision course with me!)

My one negative remark about the gameplay is directed at the controls. I've already mentioned the R1 thing, but beyond that, there was a bigger problem afoot. The controls can just be downright clunky and uncooperative sometimes. For example, Ezio always hesitates to drop down to a lower ledge. It's like he has to wait until he's absolutely still before he'll drop. Also, so many times, I wanted to just transition to an adjacent ledge, but he wouldn't move. Look, I must just be so used to climbing in inFAMOUS or something...no, wait, inFAMOUS and most definitely Uncharted as well. It function here in Assassin's Creed, but it's not as versatile as it is in inFAMOUS, nor as silky smooth feeling as it is in the Uncharted games.

The not-so-funny thing is that I read in a few different places yesterday that most of these issues I'm citing actually reappear in Brotherhood. The screen tearing. The quirky controls. Why? Couldn't Ubisoft have removed/repaired these?

I'm in an interesting spot right now. With Uncharted, I went to start with Uncharted 2 to avoid the zombies in Drake's Fortune, but after an hour, I knew I'd crave more, so I went back to experience more. With inFAMOUS, I came to love the first game enough to warrant an immediate preorder of the second game without having even beaten the first game yet. Here, I love certain things, despise other things, and mourn the existence of other things still. It was hit and miss for me. So I am honestly on the fence about continuing on to Brotherhood. I've heard the story is shorter in BH and generally not so great in Revelations. It seems the graphics don't really improve and I bet the controls haven't been adjusted in any way. So what would I be playing for? It's more of what I've grown to be frustrated by. I guess it would be to continue the story. Assassin's Creed 2's story was very engaging and interesting.

Maybe I played through Assassin's Creed 2 and grew frustrated because I was trying to advance quickly? I mean, this is the same game people were raving about two years ago. I can understand why, but it's hidden amongst all these flaws. The game could have been so much better, so much more. It is such a shame.

Ah well. What do you folks think? Should I try Brotherhood?