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hall0559 Blog

Now Playing and Recently Finished OCT 2012

Now playing:

  • Dragonrealms, PC, MUD
  • World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandara, PC, MMORPG
  • The Secret World, PC, MMORPG
  • Dishonored, PC, FPS
  • Punch Quest, iOS, Endless Runner
  • One Epic Knight, iOS, Endless Runner

Recently Finished:

  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown, PC, Turn Based Strategy
  • Diablo 3, PC, Action RPG (I'm calling clearing Inferno solo with my monk as finished. I'll probably play more)
  • To the Moon, PC, Adventure
  • Bioshock 2, PC, FPS
  • 10000000, iOS, Match Three
  • Walking Dead Episode 1, PC, Adventure

Want to play:

  • Heavy Rain (move edition), PS3, Interactive Story
  • Fez, 360, Non-linear Puzzle Platformer
  • Spelunky, 360, Precision Platformer
  • Dust, 360, Action RPG
  • Borderlands 2, PC, FPS
  • Resident Evil 5 Gold (move edition), PS3, TPS
  • Alan Wake American Nightmare, PC, TPS
  • Batman Arkham City GOTY, PC, Open World
  • Assassins Creed Revelations, PC, Open World.

Also I'm on the 7th book of the Drizzt series by R.A Salvatore and working my way through watching Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Already getting bored with Mists of Pandara. Free Writing

First off I think I've spelled Pandaria like 15 different ways, and I just cannot be bothered to check which is right, sorry.

So as anyone reading my blog would know I promised a second part of my post regarding my experiences with MoP... that never happened because I just didnt really pay. I wish I could say if it was me, or if it was MoP or WoW in general. Maybe I just wasn't in an MMORPG mood.

MMORPGs have always been kind of a weird thing for me, I love love love the idea of a persistent world that lives and breathes with other real players even when I'm logged off, trouble is I usually hate those other players... Most of whom are just there to play some "look how much better than you, I am" game.

Certainly there are people who are redeeming, but I find the effort of finding them to be far too troublesome so quickly MMORPGS become more of a solo affair for myself... but really this does nothing to diminish the game because again all I really wanted is a persistent world with people IN it... that doesn't necessitate that I actually interact with said people.


I am having fun with MoP, but the quests defiantly are starting to feel more and more stale... problem is I really doubt that there will ever be a system that isn't just quests, I've played Warhammer Online with their public quests, I've played Rift's. While I haven't actually played Guild Wars 2, I've read about it quite a bit, and while some laud it as revolutionary... I dont see it... I see a thin vein over text less quests. Now surely there does need to be some kind of substance to these games.... there has to be quests... or there wouldn't be a game. Much like there has to be a person in a horror film who stupidly puts themselves into unnecessary danger, for there to be a movie.

MoP does try to defiantly mix up the quests as much as it can with as much variety as the system allows. But progressing through the zones and at these extreme levels of experience points needed, not questing is really not an option. I suppose I could turn to PvP, but that really has no interest for me right now, and is something I like to do really only at max levels. Dungeons are maybe another way to go to level up and push into raids and endgame content... and I do really love WoWs dungeons, especially coupled with the dungeon finder that makes it incredibly easy to find what you need for a group, but there really arn't very many, at level 87 I think I have 4 available, two of which have literally zero loot for my character and the other two I've already run 5 to 10 times each, recently.

Oh well, I think its just a combination of things... I'm busy with other games... I'm just not in an MMO mood right now... I'm less interested in leveling up and more interested in endgame dungeons/raids ... even farming... I like just wandering around collecting materials and playing the auction house, or doing daily quests, which at least give some freeform structure to their rewards... where as every MoP quest has been engineered to only offer you two choices at most.

Also I feel constantly barraged from other sites and podcasts about how MMORPGS suck and are dead and dying and whatever... and I dont mean just subscription issues which is its own separate thing.

I'm so tired of everyone telling everyone else what to enjoy and how to enjoy it.

I think that's enough free writing for now.

Day 1 with MoP, Free writting, Mostly Battle Pets.

So, about a year ago... I told World of Warcarft....

"I think we should break up"

"It's not me, its you"

And I happily moved on, I had done quite a lot of cataclysm and while I will never have the patience to be a raider, I was very happy doing PuGs for dungeons... I dunno why, I just like it.

Fast Forward to Sunday afternoon "omg I should buy MoP"... Nooooooo.

Then I bought it.

"I just cant quit you!"

I've always enjoyed WoW, I have thousands of hours in, three level 85s and a couple in the 70s and a 50.... yes, its almost too much time put in to not just keep playing. Also, I'm pretty flush right now with cash, so money isn't really an issue. I'm a suuuuper cheap bastard, while most people are buying borderlands 2 for 59.99.... I'm gonna wait for it to hit 15 bucks.... I've been doing this for years, so when I do jump at something "new" it doesn't hurt my wallet very much at all.

Plunged on into MoP, was actually on as it "went live" on my 85 paladin... he recieved a quest asking him to come in to stormwind, but I thought nah, that content is gonna be there forever... lets get into the new race, new class... Monk class is definatly something that sold me quite a bit on MoP... it just sounded refreshing. More on that in a bit.

A weirdly large part of MoP is... Pokemon. Whhhhaaaat? Now I am not a copyright lawyer... anymore (just kidding) but between the movie Kung Fu Panda and Pokemon, I swear it feels like Blizzard is just begging for lawsuits, and why not? They could tie just about any company on the planet up in court and bleed em out of buisness with legal fees, and probably not even notice losing a billion dollars here or there... but... ok sorry rambling again....

Battle Pets are Pokemon, Battle Pets are Pokemon. Battle. Pets. Are. Pokemon.

It's actually good and bad... Its a fun system, that uses 99% of existing pets, and lots of new ones that you can trade or capture, to... well train and battle and trade. To start you can only have one pet "Set to fight" but that quickly changes once that pet gets to level 3, which unlocks a second pet, and then level 5 which unlocks a third.

I know, I can already hear you thinking something like... "THATS ENOUGH CHARLIZARD, GO ON PIKACHU! THUNDERBOLT". And yeah it is totally that. Is bat **** crazy how much exactly that... it is. That.

But it is fun, and if you like WoWs Pets and Graphics then... it looks great too. Pets have classes like beast, magic, dragon, critter, undead, as they level up they gain hitpoints, attack power, defence, and unlock new abilties like rend, or devour. Some abiltiies give status effects like a 5 turn bleed, and others "always go first"... stuff like that. Beasts are strong VS critter, Critter is strong VS... im not sure but you get the idea.

Its really a full game inside a game, there are quest lines, trainers to seek out and fight, (lol yeah trainers lol) and of course a bazillion pets to collect and level up, this could easily tie in with achivements that could give titles, tabards, and... other things that everyone seems to go so crazy for....

I'm surprised how much I actually like the whole thing. I didn't think I would spend even 10 seconds thinking about it, and now as I'm crusing around I cant help but look around for rare pets to try to catch. It's a good time sink / boredom breaker... and that is what MMOs need.


I'm tired, I'll try to jam out some thoughts on the monk class tomorrow or the next day. I will say the new starting area is just gorgegous but surprisingly boring... monk develops pretty slow and you really dont have much to click those first 15 levels. Its a real shame... but once your out and hit the 20s the class gets a lot more actiony with some pretty cool movement abilities that send you flying all over the place like a not copy written jack black.

To the Moon, a wonderful story, a terrible game. (Buy it)

Just wrapped up with To the Moon, a retro graphical interactive story with some puzzle elements and extremely light action sequences, and I have extremely mixed feelings about it, its a wonderful story that everyone should buy and experience most defiantly, but its really just an interactive story any real attempt to call it a great game makes me want to scream foul.

If that sentance sounded confusing... good... because trying to talk about To the Moon as a video game... is extremely confusing. Very early into the game, it jokes with you for a second that its going to turn into a full on turn based RPG, less than 10 seconds later it lets you in on the joke and your game play for the next 15 minutes or so is what it is for easily three fourths of the game: Click to Walk and Click to Interact.

Go ahead and google some reviews and you'll see their just glowing, its amazing how loved this "game" is.

I just cannot, in good conscience call it a great game... The story is wonderful, moving, human, organic, mysterious where it should be, ambiguous in an interesting way. Similarly the graphics and music are masterful, sprite style graphics with lovingly hand drawn backrounds with a few hand drawn cutscene-ish sections that are beyond gorgeous and the music fits all of that and plays with and feeds into the emotions of the scenes with master strokes. BUT. The game-play... is not fun, its not interesting, its not clever... its just plain bad. Super bad.

A large portion of the game consists of clicking to walk, and then clicking to interact on something, even this is not done very well as the character you're controlling will often drift oddly (walk backward or to the side for a moment before turning) or try to path wrongly to where you clicked, but even not done well, this is the best of the game-play. For the first section of the game, you need to interact with or find specific locations or objects to move on, that's actually very fun because its all exploration and story and since the game looks wonderful and is written superbly and the music that plays while you do so is sublime... its a joy; however as you complete each stage you need to solve a "lights out" style puzzle to continue. It's so out of place that it just completely blows my mind, there is absolutely no reason to inject something like that into your story to artificially make it more gamey. The puzzles thankfully are very quick but even when the story ramps up and the exploration dies off a bit you continue to have to solve these puzzles again and again. Yuck. There are a few other game situations that actually change the control scheme a bit, like riding a horse or playing whack-a-mole, these sequences again are short but not particularly sweet, again the controls are loose and muddy, not that it really matters as there is literally no difficulty. These are defiantly forgivable as one-offs but really add nothing to the story, and end up just feeling very low in value.

It's all a great shame because had To the Moon had all the wonderfulness it already has plus some solid gameplay... whew... I dunno, it would be so good that its probably not possible to have happened. Maybe its impossible to separate or change To the Moon in any way shape or form, and much like the basis of the story it self, how much would change? And how much would remain the same?

Game-play aside, if you can even bear the thought of the words "interactive story" or just want something different, something that actually has characters and a plot and a setting and a story.... by the love of all that you find holy, buy this "game". Its a true masterpiece in every which way, except for... you know... the game part.

The Secret World Patch 1.2 live today, some first impressions.

One of the things that I realized right away about TSW is that its obviously built in such a way that allows room for easy additons. Be it... more quests... more zones... more dungeons... more raids... more... soda pop.

Probably the most exciting thing about 1.2 is the first auxilary weapon, the first of "many" to come. While for a long time I thought this wouldnt really be a big deal, I now think it is, because it adds quite to the ability wheel and character points. 35 SP points and 50 ap per ability, of which there are 7, and a quest line to unlock the thing to begin with. For only the second monthly free content patch, thats a pretty good chunk to add into character developement.

Also a new vendor that can change the look of your rocket launcher, looks to be just setting up shop, likely we'll see more of these vendors with other aux weapons, and maybe even more with base weapons as well. Its an interesting parrallel to something like WoWs outragously expensive unnessisary mounts, its just a time/money sink and a status symbol... but thats exactly what MMOs thrive on.

Joining that new vendor theres a slew of new food types, I... am really at a lost as to why, its probably just something I missed or... just something someone thought would be fun, but instead of just one sad alien/monster vendor that sells tacos... (think food in EQ, EQ2, AO, or WoW) which buffs your out of combat health regen by a lot... now there is coffee, soda pop, tacos and something more Im already forgetting. Not really that exciting but again it has me wondering if theres more planned for this, or what.

I didnt actually use the dungeon finder but I looked at it, and it seems very straight forward and simple, you can pick all dungeons or specific ones, then your role or roles... you could tag yourself as just tank, or dps, or heals, or any combination there of. I'm really not sure if it auto groups and pulls you in or not... and I should probably check on that, but even if it doesnt now, I bet it will soon... its so funny to watch these fledgling MMORPGS make the same mistakes over and over just to watch them solved over and over in the exact same way... Ahh... Kids... will they never learn?

I did however, visit the barber shop to get my hair cut, I changed my hair style and my face "effect" cost me 200k in game PAX, which is really nothing at all... but I did also recieve 1 coupon for the barber and plastic surgeon to use free of charge, more coupons can be bought from the cash shop, but at 200k... you'd have to be crazy to pay money. The hair and face effect/makeup options still seemed very limited, especially Funcom saying multiple times that they more than doubled the amount of options... Really? Im not seeing it.... but its still on par with all the other MMOs out there.

Haven't gone to the surgeon yet, dont really want to change my face structure so... meh.

Also haven't really gone searching for any of the new quests added in yet, too busy working thru the area Im already in, and finishing up my second deck for the outfit it unlocks... which just happens to be a healing deck, which I may use for dungeon healing in the future.

I did crash once from what seemed to be an unbelievebly bad memory leak, but it only happened the once and didnt repeat at all.

Still having a lot of fun with TSW and loving these monthly updates, even if this one was a little delayed.

I know I'm really the only one out there but, I think monthly subscription models can still work, and as the only MMO I'm currently playing, and how much fun I'm having with it... it feels pretty worth it. Sure free is cheaper... but free is also cheaper.

Now Playing and Recently Finished. Sept 2012

Now Playing:

  • Dragonrealms, PC, MUD
  • Sanitarium, PC, Iso-Point and Click Adventure
  • Blackwell Legacy Episode 2, PC, Retro-Point and Click Adventure
  • The Secret World, PC, MMORPG

Recently Finished:

  • Blackwell Legacy Episode 1
  • Sleeping Dogs, 360, Open World TPS.
  • They Bleed Pixels, PC, Precision Platformer
  • Home, PC, Retro-Point and Click Adventure
  • Bioshock, PC, FPS
  • Dawn of War II, PC, RTS
  • Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising, PC, RTS
  • GTA 4: The Lost and the Damned, PC, Open World TPS.

Want To Play:

  • Heavy Rain (move edition), PS3, Interactive Story
  • Fez, 360, Non-linear Puzzle Platformer
  • Spelunky, 360, Precision Platformer
  • Dust, 360, Action RPG

Playfire broke'ed

Is it just me or is this playfire thing broken.

Doesnt seem to want to update my xbl or Steam accounts at all.

Just also reset up Giantbombs system and that worked seamlessly.

What is it thats so hard to get websites to work.

Also just tried to post a review of The Secret World and everything went all wonky, I hit post and immediately got a 404, went back to post it again and "Your review is already processing" Exited out and tried to load the review... 404.

Posted about it at the tech forums since it seems like thats the only way to contact a person.

Le Sigh.

Got a sinking feeling it'll be stuck in this neverland state until the end of time.

Not that it really matters, no one is reading this and no one will be trying to read my review, anyway.

So much fun.

I really should post something

Couple of reviews up, yay for writting for fun...

Please everyone buy Home and Lone Survivor... also Gemini Rue and They Bleed pixels.

Wonderful wonderful indie games abound!

Also if anyone ever feels like commenting... go for it! I'm all alone in this great big internet. le sigh.

: )

e3 2011

Wow its been a year since my last post... oh well.

E3 2011 is over and done, and I almost like making these posts as a memory exercise.

Microsoft is having another year of the sequel, Gears 3, MW3, Halo 4. Also a metric ton of Kinect stuff that makes me want togouge out someone elses eyeballs. Probably not a surprise that Star Warsconnect lookedexactly like Star Wars "The Clone Wars" so obviously its targeted at that same demo: 7-15. Fable the journeymakes me want to kill as well. Why notjust straight up make Fable4 work with kinect? Why make a spin off? Plus withPeter's track record, I'll beleive it when IPLAY it. Starhawk looks interesting.

Sonycontinuing the trend withsequels and motion controlls, Uncharted 3, Resistance 3, and thats all I really remeber when suddenly the press conference became all about the Vita. The Vita looks amazing im sure, the PSP still makes me say "Wow" everytime I start it up. But did Sony make any money off of the PSP? Why try to do it again? You arnt going to break nintendo's hold on the kiddy market and Adult gamers that want handhelds is pretty small market. Add in the fact that the games are NOT what we want to play on handhelds. I dont want an Uncharted in my hands while I'm just trying to kill some time, I want Uncharted on my 46 inch tv where I can appreciate it. If you want me to buy a handheld, you have to make some handheld games. Also, ENOUGH WITH THE TOUCH CONTROLS. Seriously it seems like a ploy to get me to drop the damn thing and then have to buy a new one.

Nintendo is going out of buisness. It has happened to every company that has released a new "generation" mid cycle. Unless they are going to be ready to have yet another console ready when the true next gen starts they are going to get hosed just like everyone else. Its taken me 6 years but I own a PS3 and an Xbox 360. I havent played my Wii in a very long time because there are no games at all. I dont see how that translates into wanting to buy a new system that wont have any good exclusives, isnt more powerful, doesnt have a blue ray or dvdplayer, wont likely be very online friendly and probably will be nothing more than a huge pocketbook rip off.

Other things: Obviously excited for Assassin's Creed Revelations, but Im also ready to get out of Ezio's story and move on to a propper AC3. Mass Effect 3 looks great, but, and this goes for all games, ENOUGH with the turret sequences! Less on rails action is what we want. Its like some crazy trend in the market right now. MOAR TURRETZ!!! Ugh. Moving on. Cant wait for Dark Souls, even tho its no longer an exclusive. Theres another that I cant remember, it was a light hearted action shooter, looked class based, must not of been that good.

Thats it for now, I know theres a million and one more better things, and I'm leaving out huge chunks... but this is what stuck with me after the main press conferences.

E3 2010 Day One part 2 + Nintendo Press Conference

Here are some quick highlights from things that I skipped over from day one, and a full break down of the Ubisoft and Nintendo Press conferences.

As an interesting Side note, all demos by EA and Ubisoft are played on PS3s, obviously because its graphics are just that much better.

Xbox 360:

Metal Gear Rising, the first non playstaion Metal Gear game looks like it will probably not be the Metal Gear that everyone hoped. It stars the whinny unlikable side kick from the old games and instead of a stealth action shooter looks to be a hack and slash sword game. Zan-Datsu which means Cut and Take is a good description as you will cut up your enemies with full 360 Degree control and then absorb their powers or energy. Looks great, but again doesn't look like metal gear, except for the character models.


Bad Company 2 looks just like another bad company, it's a game series I've never really had an interest in and the demo pretty much failed to excite me in any way. On the 360 and PS3

Bullet Storm, This game could really go places, made by Epic who brought us Gears of War this game has been described as a blood symphony. Think Mad World in HD and full color, you execute skill shots and get points for creatively killing enemies using weapons and environmental hazards like exploding stuff, electric stuff, spikes and machinery. Looks great, seems to have a little bit of steam punk or industrial feel to the weapons. On the 360 and PS3

Active 2 is the name of the fitness game I mentioned in my other post, it will be out for all three consoles featuring different systems on each. Kinect for 360, Wii motion plus + balance board for the wii and new arm and leg sensors for the play station 3. I've always and continue to feel that Active is a real fitness game, not to be confused with the Yoga / Mini - game that is Wii Fit. All Three Consoles.

Crysis 2 looked amazing in detail and graphics, something about Crysis keeps me put off, and I know everyone loves it but I just don't. Set in New York the urban jungle open world first person shooter sounds very interesting. PC? 360 and PS3.


After re-watching the press conference trying to block out dude from Talk Soup I found that Ubisoft had a great deal to showcase.

Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, set some time after Assassin's Creed 2 you continue as the main character from the previous game now as a leader of your own Assassins Guild or Brotherhood. In the demo the Templars are stepping up their game and bringing the fight to you in a big way, coming at your town with siege towers and cannons. AC:B looks to offer improved horse usage, more variety in gameplay and some sort of unannounced multiplayer which would be a game first. AC 2 is one of my favorite games now and I can't wait for more. Every Console in some way.

Shawn White Skateboarding, No I didn't say snowboarding, that's right the multiple Olympic gold winner is now making a skateboarding game. In the demo they showed you riding around town building a skate park as you play on the fly. Its tough to describe but basically the landscape takes on ramps and rails where you want and then morphs the city to fit what you input. Looked very cool actually, but since this type of game is pretty up in the air I still hold my reservations. Every Console in some way.

Then Ubisoft played some kind of Laser Tag, I said WTF. The demo was bugged, talk soup guy became even more annoying and I skipped it.

Innergy is a meditation / exercise game where you do just that, looks very New Wave-ish. Yeah. No idea what this is going to be played on.

Your Shape is the Xbox 360 Kinect game being made by Ubisoft and looks great, if Kinect works and this game plays like it should, it actually looks like a fun and very real fitness game. Mostly Cardio of course. 360.

Raving Rabbids in Time, is just that another probably mini-game based Raving Rabbids game with a poor attempt at three stooges like humor. The games are fine and all but just fine. Not exciting. Every console I'm sure, milk the dead horse and all.

Driver, is a resurrection of the PS game Driver. Go figure. Looks great until the part where apparently the main character you play as is actually in a coma. Is any of the game play actually real then? I don't know, but this isn't a soap opera.

Project Dust (Code name), Looks like Black and White 3. Was like a 10 second demo so that's all I know.

Ray Man Origin, A hand drawn platformer that looks gorgeous stunning amazing, all that. 3D in 2D, if you like Ray Man I'm sure this is huge news, guess which side of that fence I'm on. Yeah I don't care.

Mania Planet, Another 15 second demo, something about racing and online and making maps and cars and… Too high level for any real idea of what the game actually is at this point.

Michael Jackson This is it, again another 15 second demo, no gameplay, just people dancing to beat it. If you can guess a game out of that, good for you.


Nintendo finally let out the big dogs this year by actually having a press conference to be proud of, their extremely lackluster shows three years running have left our hearts empty and our souls drained of life, but no more!

First off Reggie must have read my blog post because he stole my line calling E3 the best week of the year. Hey buddy that's a patented phrase you owe me 5,000 yen. (Not true)

Legend of Zelda the first Zelda built for the Wii from the floor up, should have been the most mind blowing demo at E3 so far. BAM fell flat on its face by obviously being nothing more than the last Zelda game re-hashed with continuing sloppy controls and bad camera. I suggest just going back to 2d games.

Mario Sports Mix. I am seriously not even going to say anymore about it.

Just Dance 2. Apparently everyone loves Just Dance. Apparently I am just not everyone.

Golden Sun DS. Looks like a great RPG, really pushing the DS to new graphical… forget it. Why is this not on the Wii? Insane. Insane. Insane.

Golden Eye 007. Who hasn't played Golden Eye on the Game Cube? Wii promises awesome multiplayer which is a big promise because it would be the first Wii game to do so, the graphics look very Wii-ish but acceptable.

Epic Mickey. I'm probably breaking some copyright laws just by not calling it Disney's Epic Mickey. So sue me you bastards. Wait I just got an email… they are actually suing me… you bastards. Ok it's a platformer like any other only with Mickey. Yay?

Kirby Epic Yarn. Think Paper mario minus the RPG elements and with Kirby and everything made of yarninstead. I've always been a huge Kirby fan and this title looks like it wont dissapoint with wonderful artistic design and some really interesting "yarn" usages.

Dragon Quest DS. A Japanese mega hit, so why not bring it out in the USA, good idea. Looks great except there was no footage, promises WiFi downloads of new dungeons, monsters ECT. Sounds great, but again the Wii really needs good RPG and the DS has plenty. I don't get it.

Metroid Other M. The beloved Metroid Prime trilogy is over and Nintendo has shifted their prized IP to a different developer, it looks like team ninja is really trying to go back to the core of what Metroid is. The demo looked great fitting in way more platforming type style than Prime, but still looking very 3d. Easily the best graphics on the Wii, it's amazing.

Donkey Kong Country Returns, 3d in 2d looks great, love the old school DKC platforming formula, going to be a huge mega success I'm sure.


NINTENDO 3 DS. It's a new DS it plays in 3D without needing glasses, (the glasses are just built into the screen somehow). Here are some upcoming games for the 3DS (no price points)

Kid Icarus. Announced but not shown unless I blinked and missed old school NESer's have been waiting for the game for like 25 years. The wait and the prime of your life is almost over.

How to train your Dragon.

Nintendogs + Cats.

20+ Developers working on 3ds games. Altus, Square, Ubisoft, THQ, Level 5, Capcom, EA, TQ, the list goes on and honestly it was a very, very impressive list.

Well that's it for Nintendo's piece, they really killed in my mind and it's looking like a great year to own a Wii and to pick up a new 3DS.

Just enough time for me to rest up before the Sony Press Conference and I need it feels like I've been running a marathon with my gamer muscles.

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