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FireSpirit117 Blog

My 1st year anniversary

It has been on this site for a whole year and two days since I started on this site under this name. I'd say this call for some imaginary champagne.

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Some imaginary strawberries for presentation.

champagne

*takes imaginary glass*

You know? Looking back, I've come a long way on this site (even longer as some of you may know). I'm also glad to say I've matured greatly since thenk, both as a GS-user and an internet goer in general. Here's to another great year of me not screwing things up and to all of y'all who've had my back this whole time. Cheers!

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My top 9 games of 2012

Hey, you all remember when I said I'd have some more end-of-the year lists? Yeah well this is probably going to be the only other one I make. Blame it on a combination of me playing catch-up with games I hadn't finished yet and me being too tired/busy/lazy to write up stuff. Plus, I'm sure y'all don't want me reminiscing on last year's garbage when there's a whole bunch of new junk I could be talking about. So just so I can give last year a good send-off three weeks into this one, THIS is my top 9 games of 2012.

Yes, 9. For starters, I want to clarify that I didn't get to play EVERY one of the big titles last year. I didn't get around to playing Mass Effect 3, Spec Ops, Dishonored, XCOM, The Walking Dead, Far Cry 3, Sleeping Dogs, and a whole bunch of other gaming blockbusters. I have Hotline Miami, but I haven't played it. I've also just started on Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask so consider that an honorable mention. And lastly, I won't include re-releases this time around. I was already cheating last year when I included Halo Anniversary, so I won't include the Enhanced Edition of The Witcher 2 on the list (though it was still one hell of a game).

9. Diablo III

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It was fun while it lasted...Not much else to say though.

8. Ghost Recon: Future Soldier

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Intense campaign, stream-lined squad interface, good 4-player co-op, fun multiplayer, and a robust weapon customization system complete with the option to jump in and out of a shooting range to test out your guns within menu. Now THAT is something that needs be in more shooters.

7. Kid Icarus: Uprising

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With its frenetic combat, epic soundtrack, and hefty supply of fourth-wall-breaking jokes, this game made it all the worthwhile to persevere through the occassional hand cramps left from the control scheme. Seriously Nintendo, we need to see more of this series! Minus the hand cramps of course.

6. Alan Wake's American Nightmare

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A fine little treat from Remedy, giving us a new roster of enemies along, new weapons, and a refined control scheme all while keeping that same Alan Wake touch. Oh, and it also gave us one sadisticly entertaing villian. Seriously, Mr. Scratch NEEDS to be in Alan Wake 2!

5. Journey

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I'll be straight with y'all on this one. Journey...is an overrated game (using the lightest definition of "game" I can think of). I personally think most of the praise surrounding this game is pure pretentious tripe. This did NOT trigger an epifany of any kind. This did NOT touch me on any emotional level whatsoever. However, for what it was (i.e. a simple 2-hour romp with some pretty visuals and music), it was still a very enjoyable experience. It's still vastly overrated, but I'm glad I played it...alot actually.

4. SSX

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If this had some proper multiplayer, this would've been higher on the list. With its massive environments, slick controls, and a great selection of licensed songs, this is a prime example of what happens when you don't release a sport game every year.

3. Max Payne 3

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Ah, Max. Your life sure is a living hell. At least you have your dry wit and bullet-time to get you through the day, and that's if the suicidal grief, whiskey and painkillers don't get to you first. With a gripping narrative, moody soundtrack and tight gunplay, I couldn't recommend this one enough.

2. Halo 4

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You know what? It's my list, and I say this game was awesome. Granted it's definately not a perfect game (Spartan Ops needs work and the user content stream is long overdue), but for what the game does right I greatly enjoyed. The campaign was epic, the musical score was fantastic (my favorite game soundtrack of last year), and the multiplayer even with its shortcomings was still some of the most fun I had last year. It's also worth noting that last November was a particularly dark time for me. Halo 4 offered a lot of much needed joy towards the end of that semester. For that alone, I couldn't be more grateful. I'm definately looking forward to anything else 343i have in store. Still, until the proper updates for the multiplayer happen, Halo 4 isn't my #1. That title instead goes to...

1. Borderlands 2

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Developers, THIS is how you make a sequel. Take everything that made the original great and make it even better while adding more of it. I mean it. I loved nearly everything about this game. The tight gunplay, the class improvements, the vast selection of loot, the vast and varied environments, a colorful cast of characters, the excellent co-op, the great cell-shaded design, the outrageous sense of humor. Need I say more? Actually, yes! And it also had Handsome Jack. Probably one of the most wickedly hillarious, and outright wicked, villains to grace a game. You'll definately see me playing the hell out of this until Borderlands 3 comes out. Mad kudos, Gearbox!

My top albums of 2012 Part 2

Other 2012 lists:

My top albums of 2012 Part 1

OK I don't have much to say about these last 5 other besides "this was really, really cool" so I'll keep this list brief and let the songs speak for themselves.

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5. deadmau5 - >album title goes here<

Damn good collection of electro house from that Canadian guy with the grinning headgear and Zelda tattoos.

Favorite "vocal" song: The Veldt (ft. Chris James)

Favorite "trance" song: There Might Be Coffee

Favorite "collab: Channel 42 w/ Wolfgang Gartner

Favorite "downtempo" song: Sleepless

Favorite "house" song: Maths

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4. The Killers - Battle Born

After a 4-year hiatus, the boys from Vegas craft another classic (in my opinion of course). Except for "Here With Me" which is just meh. Don't know why that was a single.

Favorite song overall: Runaways

Favorite "upbeat" song: A Matter of Time

Favorite "somber" song: Miss Atomic Bomb

and that finale: title track

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3. As I Lay Dying - Awakened

Yes! YES! THIS is the AILD I fell in love with. I could not be happier.

Favorite song overall: Overcome

Favorite "thrashy" song: Wasted Words

Favorite "rock-like" song: Whispering Silence

Favorite song with a video: A Greater Foundation

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2. Poets of the Fall - Temple of Thought

Thank you, Remedy. Thank you so much for featuring such a great band in your games.

Favorite song overall: title track

Favorite "emotionally intense" song: The Distance

Favorite "somber" song: Morning Tide

Favorite "happy" song: The Happy Song :P

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1. Between the Buried and Me - The Parallax II: Future Sequence

Mind scrambling and unpredictable. Part death metal. Part prog rock. All masterpiece.

Favorite song: The whole album from beginning to end.

The only songs I can show off youtube (and even these don't give it full justice): Astral Body and Telos

Some honorable mentions that I've only listened to as of late:

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Parkway Drive - Atlas

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Moguai - Mpire

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The Heavy - The Glorious Dead

My top 10 albums of 2012 Part 1

Other 2012 lists:

My top albums of 2012 Part 2

It's the time of year again. TOP 10 LiSTS!! Well actually, this is probably the only top 10 I'll make. The rest will be more like top 8 or 6 lists.

Anyway, these are my top 10 music albums for 2012, or at least the first 5 of them. I'm ready to have my musical taste scrutinized. :P

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10. Janus - Nox Aeris

I've actually seen these guys live two years ago when they opened up for Sick Puppies. And that's actually where they are right now, just opening up for other more well-knowned bands. Going by alone, I think they're worthy of more attention. I wouldn't call them this best or anything, but I'd say they're worth checking out if like alt-metal bands like Chevelle.

Favorite song: Pound of Flesh

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9. Tremonti - All I Was

While it's not as catchy as his work with Alter Bridge, Mark Tremonti's first solo album still offers a good amount of shredding solos and exemplary guitar work. Not quite what I'm used to hearing from Tremonti, but still great.

Favorite song: So You're Afraid

Favorite "uplifting" song: New Way Out

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8. To Speak of Wolves - Find Your Worth, Come Home

After the dissolution of Haste The Day, I was hoping for another great metalcore band to fill their space. In came TSOW, and I was happy. :) Instense. Atmospheric. Emotional. This another example of an up-and-coming band that rightly deserves some recognition, especially in their scene. If you like Underoath, I'd say definately give these guys a try.

Favortie "unclean" song: Stand Alone Complex (ft. Micah Kinard of Oh, Sleeper)

Favorite "clean" song: A Simple Thought That Changed Everything

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7. Jack White - Blunderbuss

First introduction to Jack White. Thoughts: I like his stuff. Alot. Why isn't this higher on the list then? Maybe it's just a preference, but I'm kind of just used to 3;30-4:30 being the average length for a rock song. Some of the really good songs on here feel like they end before they get started. Still, great album.

Favorite "swinging" song: I'm Shakin'

Favorite "soft" song: title track

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6. Two Door Cinema Club - Beacon

You can thank SSX for intrdocuing me to these guys (I'll talk about the and its soundtrack in another list). For their sophmore effort, the Irish trio seemed to have taken a more softer approach while keeping their knack for catchy melodies intact. A pleasant and enjoyable listen from beginning to end.

Favorite "energetic" song: Sleep Alone

Favorite "soft" song: title track

Christmas Haul 2012

This thread needs someABRto get things going.

Well Christmas is over, the earth is still recovering from after-effects of Mayan vengeance, South Texas is justnowstarting to get consistently cold (without snow BTW :P), I barely survived this semester with an above 3.0 GPA (almost lost some scholarships), and I made off with a ton of cool stuff. Here are the highlights:

Games:

blue/black 3DS XL with Mario Kart 7 pre-installed

travelling case for 3DS

Kid Icarus: Uprising

Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask

Movies (all on blu-ray):

the first 6 Star Trek movies

Amazing Spiderman

The Dark Knight Rises

Music albums:

No Doubt - Push and Shove

Two Door Cinema Club - Beacon

Miscellaneous:

Bose noise-cancelling headphones

Reef flip-flops w/ bottle opener soles

Jawbone portable wireless speaker

cool-looking clothes

21 pc. socket wrench set

12V tire inflator

12 bottle pack of Shiner Holiday Cheer (Dunkelweissen)

lots of candy

lots of cash

gift cards for GameStop, Amazon, Whataburger, and Subway

and love and cheer from friends and family (I couldn't be more grateful :D)

Now I just need to go see The Hobbit tonight and my year will be complete. I hope everyone else had a good holiday.

Adios.

Ho Ho Ho

Hey! How's everyone's Holidays going so far?

Mine's been spectacular so far. I'll post a list of of gifts sometime later. Until then, there's some more partying and gifts that need my attention.

Merry Christmas everyone!

No more! Please no more!

This is something I copied off SW.

Games I haven't touched:

(All for PC)

Alan Wake

Alan Wake's American Nightmare (Both for PC, I already played both on 360)

Company of Heroes along with Opposing Fronts and Tales of Valor

Crysis 1, 2, and Warhead

Darksiders

Deus Ex 1 along with Invisible War and Human Revolution (and Missing Link)

Half-Life Blue Shift and Opposing Force

Penumbra: Requiem

Planetside 2

RAGE

Red Faction: Armageddon

Saints Row: The Third

Fallout NV Dead Money and Lonesome Road DLC

Borderlands 2: Mr. Torgue DLC

Games I haven't finished:

Borderlands 2 (360)

Plants vs. Zombies (PC)

Fallout New Vegas (PC)

Half-Life 1 (PC)

Chrono Trigger (PSN)

Failure rate:

I haven't started: 17%

I haven't finished: 3%

Blame the Steam summer sale (back when I had money to blow off) and THQ Humble Bundle for the games I haven't started. I've had to uninstall almost all of the ones listed since they were just eating up HD space.

As for the games I haven't finished, well same reason for I haven't blogged in 2 whole months. I've just been really busy with school this semester and I'm trying to survive through finals. I've had almost no time to play games, and I haven't had anything worth blogging about this whole time.

Hopefully once the holidays roll by, I can finish some of these. Until then, I'm going to put my foot down and say NO to any new sales or bundles that come up (no matter how tempting). I'm also going to reframe from getting any more "new" games for a long time with a few exceptions.

Nice to be blogging again, though.

*goes back to studying for Mineralogy and Invert. Paleo*

Assassin of Kings

I finished The Witcher 2 EE over the weekend. And with that, there's one less game on my backlog.

For this playthrough, I let Aryan live, sided with Roche, spared Henselt (not willingly though), saved Triss, stopped Sile from being ripped apart, spared the dragon, and let Letho go (saved me a boss battle). :P

To put it simply, I thought this game was awesome. The combat was fluid and exciting. The music was great. The graphics looked superb aside from a few glitches here and there. And like the first game, I love how the game gives you ambiguous choices that aren't straight up black and white. This time, however, the choices affected how and where the story progressed, which I thought was pretty neat. And as always, Geralt kicks ass.

I'm not a big fan of how it ends though. To me, Chapter 3 felt like it ended a lot sooner that it should have without that much of a build up. It's like it was setting things up for the next game instead of giving this one a proper send off (though that last cutscene with Dandelion did help a little). Man, if I'm bothered by this ending, then I can't imagine how I'll react once I finally get around to playing Mass Effect 3.

All in all, this was still a great game that I wouldn't mind playing again a few more times in the future. I'm planning on doing another playthrough while siding with Iorveth this time, but I still have some other RPGs I need to finish along with Borderlands 2 when it comes out, so that will have to wait.

Later.