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Friday, September 9, 2011

Sports, Sports and More Sports

It’s football time! College football kicked off last week and the NFL started it’s season last night. The Ohio State Buckeyes romped my hometown Akron Zips, but who was surprised? They could have started their third string and still come away with the win.

As for baseball, the Indians season is over. The recent drubbing by the Tigers put postseason hopes to bed for good. They peaked in April and have been slowly sliding since, hitting rock bottom at the worst possible time. I’ll always wonder what they could have done, playing the “what if” game. What if Shin Soo Choo hadn’t missed all those games? What if Travis Hafner had stayed healthy? What if Carlos Santana could play defense? What if Fausto Carmona was someone else's problem? What if the Ubaldo Jimenez trade had worked out? “What If?” was the Indians marketing ploy this year, and it fits the season to the tee. What if, indeed.

Back to football, I’m in a fantasy football league and I’m starting Michael Vick at QB. I’m going to nervous until I see him play week one, because I just don’t know what I’m going to get out of him. I also have Peyton Hillis of my hometown Browns, and he’s already struggling with injuries. Damn you, Madden Curse!

I’m still kind of shocked that Hillis won the Madden Cover bracket contest. I understand his Arkansas fan base helped, but I just have this vision of the EA Sports executives seeing him beating out Vick on the final vote, and going, “s**t.” Vick would have been the first repeat cover star and is obviously more famous and marketable then Hillis. It’s too late now, since the game’s on store shelves with the Browns RB on it’s cover. It doesn’t seem to have hurt the game’s sales though, and let’s be honest – who buys the game for the cover, anyway?

Later, all.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I Suck at Halo Reach

It’s official: I’m no match for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Cyborgs that play online shooters anymore. Seriously, some people must be wasting their lives mastering headshots instead of doing something productive. I recently took a sojourn into Halo Reach’s online community, and it was a brutal wake-up call.

  • GAME ONE: I played team slayer and got first kill (dying in the process). So far, so good, right? I led my team in kills for the first half of the match but suddenly things went south. I don't know how or why. I started getting killed allot and no one would die for me. It was irritating as hell. I finished with 6 kills and 10 deaths, good for second worst in the game. My team lost the match, 50-41.
  • GAME TWO: Another team slayer match, this one was pretty much a ‘lambs (noobs) to the slaughter’ type scenario. I was constantly killed by a-holes I never even saw. I would unload entire clips into a guy, and then he’d one-shot me. I’m confident in saying that the other team was likely not a random rag-tag bunch like mine was: their coordination was just a little too sharp. I finished with 4 kills, 16 deaths and we lost 50-20. I was again second worst in the entire game. Damn it all.

At that point I called it quits. There are those who say that the only way to learn in these games is to get mercilessly pummeled over and over. These are the people who’s head I would like to slam in a door for hours on end. The whole, ‘die and a millions times and then you’re good’ idea is an archaic concept. There has to be another way. It’s like saying, “I burned myself hundreds of times learning to make coffee, so that’s the way you should have to do it, otherwise you’re a quitter.” Logic, anyone?

I asked the game to match me with players of my skill level. Did it? Well, if the rank and lifetime kills of my opponents was any indicator, no. The reason being, this long after a game’s launch is a terrible time to try and jump into the fray. If you don’t start when the game comes out, the longer you wait the bigger handicap you’ll have. The reality is that the game could have looked for hours and not found enough players as green as I was to fill a match.

As for playing with friends, that’s a great idea. You get together with people you know, and there’s a comfort level there. There’s a problem though. If you were to look at my friends list, you’d see one person, that would be Beta. She’s the only other player I know who plays the Xbox 360. Omega plays with me but for whatever reason he doesn’t have an online account. Even then, both of them only play when they’re visiting me, because neither of them has a system of their own. Anyone who I meet online playing Halo Reach or the like isn’t going to be impressed with me as I get blown away time and again. They’re not going to seek me out to play later. So for me, using the friends list is out.

I honestly don’t know what I’m doing wrong here. From Call of Duty: Black Ops to Team Fortress 2 to Halo Reach, I’m taking my years of FPS skills online and being ripped to shreds. The truth is, I’m not bad at these games. I’m actually pretty competent – especially with a mouse and keyboard in my hands – and when I’m playing an even match I can rattle off the kill streaks. I’m just no match for the folks with hours of playtime under their belt and skills honed over dozens to hundreds of matches.

I may yet retire playing multiplayer games for future reviews if this trend continues. Time will tell.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Pass? Not me… or will I?

I’m in the middle of reviewing NCAA Football 12, and it’s not been easy. Why? I can’t seem to pass the damn ball. Seriously, I can’t pass! Every ball I throw gets batted down or picked off. To that end I’m playing a running back in Road to Glory. However, there was recently a surprise.

I had to play makeshift QB for a play, and I completed the pass! Of course it was the second straight time we ran this play, so I had some idea what I was doing. The first time, I panicked – no one told me I was to throw the ball! – and got sacked for some 5+ yards. Dammit.

The review is still en route, so look forward to it soon.

Monday, August 1, 2011

NCAA Football 12 Bites

You can bite my... oh wait, you already are

You can bite my... oh wait, you already are.

I’m playing NCAA Football 12 for review, and I wanted to share this pic fro my Road to Glory career. Bud Daniel got his a** bit by a defender. Kind of against the rules, don’t you think?


Nothing to see here, just me being awesome. Again.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Almost Back to Full Speed

Things are progressing well with my new PC. I've updated AlphasSports and posted the quarterly report on It looks like we're almost back up to speed already.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

New PC–Updates Delayed

New PC

Just an FYI for anyone who follows the sites: I got a new computer yesterday. My old one was very slow and wasn’t up to playing many current games, so I was hampered in my reviews. My new rig is allot better and has room for upgrades, which my old one did not.

The big reason I’m sharing this is because it’s set me back a bit as far as working on the sites. I’ve got to transfer allot of data from the old computer to the new one still and that’s going to take time. How much time is still up in the air. I have to get things in working order first and then I can start the transfer process. Hopefully in the next day or so I can start doing proper updates again.

If not, hey – at least I’m working on the problem on a shiny new computer. That’s a plus, right?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Back in the Saddle Again

I apparently can’t keep my word. Well, occasionally, anyway. I was playing Team Fortress 2 again – even after I said I was through with the game – and didn’t do so bad. See for yourself.
That’s not so bad, for me anyhow. I was an engineer for approximately 30 seconds before the round ended, so despite what you see here my score came from playing a soldier. 13 kills to 8 deaths is the first time in a long time I’ve been in the positives on that ratio. The sad part is that right after this, the next round saw me get dominated by three people at once (that sounds bad when said like that, doesn’t it?) and died every time I stepped out of the spawn room. Our base got flooded by the other team but I in particular seemed to get ganged up on. Fun.
On another note, after my struggles with the replay system, I finally managed to export a video, and even uploaded one to YouTube. Here it is.

It’s really not exciting but the system works, and that’s what matters. That’s all for now. Later, all.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011’s Sudden Switch

Anyone who’s been to has noticed the recent format shift. Why change it again? For one, the previous format was a little limiting on future expansion. More importantly, though, is the cleaned up presentation and smoother navigation. Any opinions on it are more then welcome.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Cleveland Rocks

Hey everyone. I’m in a good mood tonight after my hometown Cleveland Indians won again with another walk off at Progressive Field. It looks like some of the old Jacob’s Field Magic still lingers there. It’s shades of 1995, actually, when that team made a name for itself by becoming contenders almost overnight and specializing in walk off wins when the park was still Jacob’s Field (it’s still The Jake to me). On opening day I made a wallpaper for my desktop to celebrate the Tribe’s new season, and now I’m sharing it with everyone here. I consider it my good luck charm and it’s staying up on my desktop until the Indians season is over.
It’s simple as can be but I like it. My motif was a sewn-on Chief Wahoo patch on a generic sleeve. I’ve got this now in many common desktop ratios, so if you’re an Indians fan show your support and download it.
That’s all for now. Later all.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Portal 2’s Release Mechanic, My Take

I’ve heard allot of fussing over Valve’s unique accelerated release mechanism for Portal 2, both good and bad. There are those who think it was fun to be part of the release clock and those who doubt playing the indie games Valve linked to their ARG system had any effect whatsoever. My opinion is that for a one-time gimmick it was fun. I enjoyed tracking the updates and playing the games was a good way to pass the time. It generated sales for indie developers too, so that’s a plus. My biggest worry is that this will become commonplace. It was fun once, but more then that could be too much. Maybe once a year I could tolerate it but I can just see some marketing exec seeing the fuss that this generated and trying to implement it for their own upcoming releases.

Some companies get more leeway then others. Valve, Nintendo and Bethesda, for example. Nintendo has a deep, core connection with gamers that no other company can match and people will buy their systems just to play the latest Mario, Zelda, Metroid and the rest of their first-party lineup. Valve has a huge reputation for quality and gets more patience from gamers as far as release dates and processes then most companies (save for Blizzard). Bethesda’s the wild card in this paragraph. My argument for them is, if any one else released games as buggy as their Elder Scrolls series – especially Daggerfall and Morrowind – people would have burned them at the stake and forgotten them. For whatever reason, their games get a huge pass on crashes, bugs and glitches. Personally, Morrowind would crash on me every 10-15 minutes, almost like clockwork. Any other game that did that to me would have been uninstalled in record time but I kept playing Morrowind, accumulating over 100 hours of play, easy. While I can explain Valve and Nintendo’s freedom, I still can’t put my finger on Bethesda’s magic touch.

In any case, Portal 2 now – according to GlaDOS @ Home – has under 30 minutes left before release. I’ll be there, will you?

UPDATE: At 12:30 AM EDT, Portal 2 is unleashed.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Ready to Hang Up my TF2 Gloves

hl2 2011-04-08 07-18-19-54

I think it’s time I quit playing Team Fortress 2, and the above picture is a small glimpse into why. It’s not just the 3 kills to 12 deaths you see here; I later got dominated by two players at once and fell to 4 kills and 21 deaths. The sad part was that until I checked the score screen I thought I was having a pretty decent round. It’s that thought, and not so much the kill/death ratio, that’s telling me it’s time to quit. When I’m dying more then 5 times as often as I’m killing and that feels to me like I’m doing well, I’ve jumped the shark.

I did grab the No-Hitter achievement later in the round for making a capture without firing a shot, but it took me almost four lives to do it. I got into the base and got the briefcase to the battlements before dying. I then got it and ran it to our front door and was killed. I then snatched it up and bolted for our intelligence with someone close behind me, peppering the walls and floor with gunfire. Just as I reached our intelligence and completed the capture – literally, it was less the a second difference - I was killed from behind by my pursuer, revealed to be a spy. That felt like a daring success, but that’s one success against how many losses? Too many.

I may log on for short jaunts now and again but my days of trying to be competitive are done. You win this round, Teenage Mutant Ninja Cyborgs – aka the other players I’ve faced – but I’ll be back in another game, and that one I will win.

And it will be sweet. Later, all

Wednesday, April 6, 2011 Traffic Meter Change

Just a quick heads-up on the site visitor counter at the bottom of the page. It read, up until this morning, in the 170s. After an update it reads upwards of 1,200. Why the change? Because I’ve changed from tracking the last 30 days to counting all visits, starting from the oldest data I have, which is from May ‘09. It will now count every visitor to the site from here on out. Let’s see how high you guys can make it climb.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pick your favorite sites!

I’ve added a poll for everyone to vote on about your favorite network sites.
Which do you prefer?

nue is the root of the network. Games news, reviews and previews are found here. It’s been up and active for over six years now.


Our World of WarCraft blog, which has been inactive for a few months. It’s still up as an archive, chronicling both the game since launch of Wrath of the Lich King and my main, human paladin Gavelier from hapless level 42 soloer to experienced level 85 guildie.

The Jockeys

Our web comic about two radio DJs, their cousin Bernie Monster and their killer pet snake. It’s usually updated on the weekends, but due to varous factors is occasionally misses it’s release date.


nba2k11 2011-04-02 04-36-00-91
AlphaSports chronicles the career of one Rick Daniel in NBA 2K. Originally running on NBA 2K10, we migrated to NBA 2K11 when it released. Daniel started 2K11 playing point guard for the Miami Heat, but in his second season got traded to the Denver Nuggets and is now their sole star player.
So which is your favorite? Do you like AlphaSports’ biographical style or do you prefer a laugh with the Jockeys? Maybe you enjoyed Gavelier’s adventures and want him to come back, or just come here for the reviews. Let your opinion be heard!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Running the Rift

rift 2011-04-02 05-34-27-73

I picked up Rift yesterday and have been playing a for few hours on and off. The first thing to come to mind for me was that the combat didn’t have the oomph that DC Universe Online did, but instead is typical fantasy MMO fare. I helped close my first while going between two early quest zones near a Rudi’s Wagon in Silverwood. Once that was closed another opened no more then a stone’s throw away, which was just silly. While working together with other players was fun and there are nice rewards for it, these rift can also be a pain in the ass. I appeared inside a fiery invasion one near Argent Glade upon logging in, and nature ones later ruined my quest progress in Argent Glade proper, taking the north and sound ends. My avatar is a Mathosian warrior with Beastmaster, Riftblade and Champion souls. Why? I have no idea, they aren’t explained hardly, if at all, before you pick them. I read up on them before playing, which is the only way I knew anything at all about what I was selecting and even then I just knew I wanted the pet to help me fight, some ranged attacks and strong two-handed attacks. That’s it.

Rift can be fun, but how Trion Worlds can make a feature out of having your questing interrupted randomly and calling it ‘dynamic gameplay’ is beyond me. Other games do the same thing, but they just have other players doing it and call it PvP. I’m going to keep playing but there’s allot for this game to overcome at this point and when a game starts in a hole, that’s not a good sign.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Minecraft Texture Fun

It’s busy around, but In my spare time I like to play Minecraft. I recently opted to try out different texture packs for a change. I usually stick with one that pretties up the original look of the game (like the Painterly pack), so I opted this time to try something different.

java 2011-03-28 02-30-07-50

I liked Animal Crossing, so Animal Crafting was an instant hit with me. This is my main offline world, with my home’s dock on the left and bridge over my moat center frame.

java 2011-03-28 02-30-00-27

Here you can see my firing range. I’ve got a mine cart nearby that, if it catches something, I wheel it in front of the dispenser and fire away from safety. This look is downright arresting to me, but let’s try something else anyway.

java 2011-03-28 02-34-02-57

This Gameboy texture is really… unique. It does give a good feel for the days of old but I’m not sure I miss these particular days that much.

java 2011-03-28 02-34-12-80

Downstairs in my lobby is my cake room, with the old tried-and-true quote.

java 2011-03-28 02-34-15-34

Eugh, the cake never looked that good before, and now it’s worse then ever. Great.

I like Minecraft allot and will probably try some more texture packs to find one I want. If I find any more that stand out to me, maybe I’ll bring them here, too. Later. all.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Update on March 21st 2011

I’ve not posted here in a while since is going so well, so let me catch you guys up on what’s going on the Network. My NBA 2K11 My Player avatar, Rick Daniel, recently had to start a game at point guard for the Miami Heat with both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade hurt, and he did pretty good. You can read all of his adventures are AlphaSports.

The Jockeys, my web comic, continues it’s weekly run. Recently Joey and Jackie had the coach of their local pro basketball team on the show with them, and he brought his latest recruit, a familiar, albeit “French” monster. The Jockeys usually gets updated every Saturday on The Jockeys – WHYME Radio.

Alazar, our World of WarCraft blog continues to sit forlornly since I’m still not playing the game – and I’m not sure when I will again. The site will remain up, though, whether I’m playing or not for all to read.

In non-site related news I’ve been playing Team Fortress 2 again lately, mostly on the Brothers of Chaos 2Fort server. If you were to go to their site and look at my stats, you would see that I suck at TF2.

I’m also drawing my pseudo-manga (a comic drawn in the style of Japanese manga) and may – someday – post a link to my latest work I had to start over since I wasn’t happy with my last work but I may finally be making headway. I’ve only been working on it, off and on, for over 10 years.

That’s about what’s up right now for me and I’ll be sure to check back in if there’s any change.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Awaiting Dragon Age 2

Like many an RPG PC gamer tonight, I’m waiting for my unlock for Dragon Age 2. It’s supposed to come at 3:00 AM EST (12:00 PST) so I should have about 10 minutes left if nothing goes wrong. I may write up a first look article once I give the game a go. I may not. It all depends on if there’s anything worth talking about.

EDIT: Yep, it unlocked at 3:00 sharp. On to Feraldin!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Latest from

So far the deployment of the new format has gone really well. The pages seem to work, people are coming and going just fine and nothing appears to be failing. I’ve noticed one or two things that have needed fixed and patched them up with no downtime. I’ve added links back to here from the site, and I’ve tweaked the ads on the pages. All in all, it’s going well.

While you’re here, please take our visitor survey and help us improve the site.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My Hero


Meet my hero. He’s my heroic avatar in DC Universe Online, my latest game to review. In the last day or so I’ve reviewed Fallout: New  Vegas (PC), Call of Duty: Black Ops (Xbox 360) and Bloody Good Time (also PC), and I’ve got another review queued up for the end of the week. is back in full swing!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

It’s Alive!

It’s up and running! Stop by the new today!

New Unveiling Soon

Well everyone, the new is in place and it seems to be working behind the scenes. All that’s left is to open it up to the masses. However, before we do, I thought it would be nice to leave a memorial of’s old look’s last day.


This is what the site looked like just before I locked it down for reconstruction. What will it look like now? I can assure you that this:


Isn’t exactly what to expect. This was an earlier build and while close to the final take, it’s still off. What will the new look be like? Find out soon!

Friday, February 25, 2011

All Aspect Disaster?


I gave All Aspect Warfare’s demo a shot. I really did. But either it’s messed up or I am. My vehicles wouldn’t shoot, I constantly died without ever seeing an enemy, and I was absolutely of no use whatsoever. For those who’ve been reading these posts and think I just suck at shooters, allow me to present a little counter-evidence.


I’ve stuck with Call of Duty: Black Ops (a shooter that once kicked my butt) and now love the hell out of it. It’s an awesome shooter, and the tension in the air during a tight match is palpable.


I’ve also stuck with Bloody Good Time (another shooter that previously owned me) and like it, too. So why is All Aspect Warfare so frustrating? It’s in the controls and presentation. I’ll pick up the full game delve into it in more detail in a review soon after’s update goes live tomorrow.

It’s Coming

New E

The new, improved is coming this weekend. It’s basically done, so now I’m just error checking it and making sure everything is where I want it. I hope everyone likes reading it as much as I liked making it. Beta was a massive help, too, so thanks to her. – Game News and Reviews for the Average Gamer

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dragon Age 2 is Awesome


I just got done playing with the Dragon Age 2 demo and loved it. Dragon Age Origins was fun – in fact it won my Game of the Year award in 2008 – but this demo is amazing. The combat is worlds better, I prefer the interface, and amazingly, despite looking even better, it plays much smoother on my PC. I’m going to have to review this game on the new when it comes out.

Speaking of the new, I’m just putting the finishing touches on it, and it should be ready to go live in no time.

New Steam Beta Interface

There seems to be a new beta for Steam. It’s layout change is minor at this point (as far as I can tell) but I like it nonetheless.


Here’s the top panel of the Library pane as it is now.


This is how it looks now. As stated, the change is minor but I like it. I’ll update if further changes occur.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mid February Check In

Checking in again, I’ve been working through some more Test Drive Unlimited 2 and playing more League of Legends.
League of Legends 2011-02-18 05-21-09-19
The recent bot change on League of Legends produces a much more challenging match, but it’s not perfect. My biggest complaint is that the bots don’t seem to perform evenly, based on user participation. What I mean is that the bots on my team tend to get leveled when facing the the other team’s bots. Also, when playing Summoner’s Rift, the most common map, when I start in the bottom-left base, the other team usually storms through from the top-left route and gets in my base no matter what. This leaves me with two options: try and push another lane before they can complete their attack or stay in that one and help stem the tide. It would be more entertaining if there was some variance from match to match but every game plays just like the one before it now.
That leads to my second complaint, and that is that the bots still play like bots. You never deal with bots camping in the weeds, they don’t seem to jungle, and once they pick a lane they tend to stay there. Some randomness would do them a world of good.
I’m also well on my way to finishing’s rehash. You may remember that the site, when last seen, looked like this.
I’ve gone over the entire look and started again, producing a look like this.
I reintroduced green to the color scheme, slapped together a new logo and cleaned up the layout. I like it better so this is probably how the site will go live.
That’s all for now, everyone. I’ll hopefully be back before March with the finished site. Later, all.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Taking an Unlimited Test Drive

TestDrive2 2011-02-09 06-58-37-49

I got my preorder copy of Test Drive Unlimited 2 for the PC yesterday and have been tooling around in it here and there since. I’m not a great racer (Betasim, on the other hand, is pretty darn good) but I wanted to give TDU2 a try after all of the good things I’d read. I selected the car you see above for my first ride (the other two were sharper looking, but the classic ride was harder to control and the other one looked like a ‘trap,’ with less performance for better looks). I took it for a spin and then went through the racing license test section (which I hated, by the way). I’m now doing random jaunts around the island, buying clothes, hairstyles and the like. I was on my way to the nearest car detail shop in the picture above. I  guess I’m kind of rough on my car.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Quick Update’s rebuild is still coming along well, so here’s my latest gaming trials.


  • BULLETSTORM DEMO – I’m honestly not sure I understood half of what was going on in this demo, but I know I liked it. Does the leash ability – which you can use to yank foes to you, even from behind barriers - have any limitations? I didn’t find any while I played, and it made the demo easy as hell. It also made it incredibly fun. To hell with figuring out what’s going on… I just want to rack up as many skill shots as I can. This demo is a riot.
  • MAGICKA DEMO – I had high hopes for this one but it’s really let me down. My biggest complaint is the control setup.I don’t like having to hold down my mouse button for my little mage to move. Just let me click where I want him to go and have him do so. Is that so hard? Mixing and matching magic isn’t much easier, in my experience. So far, so sad. Oh well.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Continuing Work is Continuing

I’m making excellent headway on’s update/conversion. It needs a few more coats of polish and some tweaking, but I’m finally ready to share a preview.


It’s allot more basic then what I have now, appearance-wise but thanks to it’s new blog base, it will be allot easier to update, maintain and improve, without the huge downtimes changes like this one take. I’m taking suggestions for improvements, if anyone has any.

Changing subjects, I’m going to again share what I’ve been playing.


  • BLOODLINE CHAMPIONS – This is like a high-octane take on the MOBA formula. Just non-stop action with nothing but your team of champions versus another. The controls are nice but I would prefer an over-the-shoulder perspective, personally.


  • BATTLEFORGE – If a real time strategy game had a baby with Magic: The Gathering, Battleforge would be the result. I’m just getting started here and haven’t gotten much done (my deck is still the starter deck, for crying out loud), but I’m really enjoying myself so far.


  • SUPER MEAT BOY - Bloody and very challenging, Super Meat Boy doesn’t sound like my type of game, but I like it. I picked it up on recommendation and, while I suck at it, it’s so crazy and easy to play that I keep trying.


  • OCTODAD – This the real fringe stuff. A project from some DePaul University students, the controls are incredibly unwieldy. You click the mouse buttons to lift your legs and move them, releasing the button to drop them, thereby moving yourself about. You seem to be made of Jell-o (fitting, since octopus don’t have bones) and this control scheme makes the game much harder then it has to be, but without the unique controls, I never would have given it a first look, let alone a second. As is, it’s clumsy as hell but is such a unique experience that people should try it just to watch octodad stumble and bounce without remorse about the rooms. It’s worth checking out just for the laughs.

TwoWorlds2 2011-02-02 04-29-06-74

  • TWO WORLDS II – I wasn’t going to bother with Two Worlds II since disliked the original so strongly, but all of the new features they were offering were to tempting to pass up. A customizable magic system where you combine elements to make your spells? A strong physics engine base? A huge, open world? Sailing? Where to do I sign up?? I had trouble getting it to boot at first, but now that I’ve got it running it’s better then I’d expected – I wasn’t anticipating much after the first game’s huge let down.

I’ll probably be reviewing most of the games above, once finishes it’s transformation. Back to work!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

More Gaming Updates

I’ve been gaming some more and since I’m mid-update on,, I’m going to be pouring my data here.

League of Legends 2011-01-26 07-08-35-77

  • LEAGUE OF LEGENDS -  I finally did it, I got into some online matches. I played five straight this morning, and they ranged from kind of lame to really odd. Here’s a rundown.
    • GAME 1: I came in as Ashe, my preferred champion. I just queued for a normal match and got thrown straight to the wolves. I died some 15 times and got only one kill. I had about four assists, though. One of our guys was kind of annoying, because he was talking in really broken English and constantly saying “Mom sad no mor play agen… mus get off.. sorr/,” but he never left. Odd.
    • GAME 2: Here I got invited to a match and got with some really nice folks. I opted to go with Nunu since Ashe was quickly snapped up. We proceeded to blitz the map, but I died about 11 times, killing only one other champion – but I had 10 assists. That’s an improvement, right? At one point I was having a touch and go battle with another champion (I can’t remember who right now) and we were both just about dead when an ally playing Caitlyn cut off my adversary. My foe then chimed in via chat that “Nunu got away. I was raping his ***!”  Not so, smartass. I had just as good a chance of killing you as you did me.
    • GAME 3: The dude who invited me to the last game friended me here and invited me to a second game. He was again Ashe and I Nunu. This time I finally felt somewhat comfortable since it was my second online battle with Nunu. I’d developed a comfort level with Nunu, but that didn’t save us. We ended up surrendering as soon as we could (25 minutes in).
    • GAME 4: This was by far the odd duck. I was invited by some random person who friended me when I joined the match. My teammate also friended me. The odd part was that it turned out to be an newbie battle. The highest level characters we mine and the person who invited me (level 6) and we had two level ones. The big problem was getting a fair fight. We ended up with a three-on-two affair. I was on the three (as Nunu, naturally) and I learned that playing against inexperienced human players is no harder then playing against bots. I killed one of the other team’s champions twice in the first couple minutes, at which point he quit. Now it was 3 on 1. Needless to say we swamped the damn place.  The poor lone enemy had no chance. I ended with 5 kills, two assists and no deaths. Unfortunately since it was an unbalanced match, I got nothing for it.

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  • CHAMPIONS ONLINE: FREE FOR ALL – I was in the beta test for Champions Online way back when so I’ve watched the game grow and change. Now that it’s gone free to play, I  had to hop back in and give it a go to see the changes. I had some small issues, though. I tried the create a really cool new hero of the Survival archetype but was told that “character creation failed” over and over again. Frustrated, I tried to turn my ape-type hero into a Savagery archetype was told the same thing. I was getting very frustrated. Anyone who’s playing the free to play model can see the punch line coming: all of the archetypes are available to free players EXCEPT for Survival and Savagery. Great, the only two I tried were the only two I couldn’t use. Of course this was posted nowhere in the game. I had to go online and look up the issue to find out what was going on. I ultimately made my new hero you see above, an Archery archetype named Sharp. He’d designed to be something of a fallen angel type of thing. The tutorial hasn’t improved at all, but the experience once you’re out of that has. I felt much more like a true hero this time and not just someone running around in a silly costume. I’m only level 7 though so time will tell if it stays this good.

That’s all for now. Later, all. Evolution

I’m working on another evolution of that should – in theory – be the last one I will need for quite some time. The current design is nice but an absolute bear to work on. It’s way ahead of the previous design, but still far from serviceable.

I hope to have to new design rolled about by March, or if I’m lucky, Valentine's Day. It’s framework is mostly done and I’m working on porting over all off the content now. I’ll hopefully have a preview in the near future.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

End of January Wrap-Up

I’ve been busy lately, even though has been nigh silent. I’ve been playing allot of different things lately, so here’s a few words on what I’ve been in to.

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  • MINECRAFT – I’ve been playing the hell out of Minecraft, and even started a blog for it like I did with World of Warcraft and Alazar.  The new blog, Mine All Minecraft is up and running, and I’ve also started a Minecraft server. All for such a simple seeming game.

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  • LEAGUE OF LEGENDS – I tried this game a long time ago but simple could not wrap my head around it. I’ve picked it up about three different times since it came out but never even finished a match. I simply sucked. For what ever reason I opted to give it another go the other day. I played through the tutorial with ease, but my first match (against bots) went south in a hurry. I just couldn’t get the hang of it. Finally, I sat back and thought over what had gone wrong and what I could do to fix it, and tried again. Now with a ranged champion and a better grasp of the concepts I’ve reached level five and come to love the game. I unlocked Ashe and Tristana for permanent use and am currently speccing around Ashe (even though I somewhat prefer Tristana). I’m yet to play a live match, but I’m getting better and will be ready to take on actual opponents soon enough.


  • CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS (360) – This game has me conflicted. On one hand, I really enjoy the multiplayer battles, and yet on the other I really suck at the multiplayer battles. I’ve not enjoyed a military-based shooter’s gameplay and mechanics since Battlefield 1942 came out in 2002, but so often I’m gunned down without ever seeing an enemy to shoot at. I apparently need to stick with Unreal Tournament-style games.


  • BLOODY GOOD TIME – This game seemed like a winner, but in the end it’s another game I can’t seem to succeed at. For whatever reason, I can’t seem to kill anyone. I hit and shoot and stab, but my quarry doesn’t die – and then I’m killed like it’s nothing. I’m convinced that it’s me and that I’m doing something wrong that I can correct, but each successive match is making that look more and more doubtful. Maybe the game’s just rigged.


  • MONDAY NIGHT COMBAT (PC) – Now this is my kind of shooter. I love playing this game and have been plowing through it since it’s pre-launch beta period began on Steam. My favorite avatar is the Assault dude and I get a buzz from the sheer over-the-top action. Setting up my turrets and holding off anyone who would touch my Money Ball, I love this game.

That’s about what I’ve been up to lately. Alphasim out.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 Gets Kinect’d.

Over my extended holiday break, I acquired a Microsoft Kinect for my Xbox 360. I picked one up along with Kinectimals, arguing that the kitty-based title would be more relaxing then the activities in Kinect Adventures and allow more people to try the technology out. I was wrong.

First off, the Kinect tech is really fun – when it works. I’ve had quite a few play sessions botched by the Kinect losing track of me (even after rearranging the room to allow for a full eight-plus foot play space) and it occasionally refuses to recognize me despite repeated ID calibrations. I also swear that Microsoft is probably storing pictures of all the dumb poses we make during the calibration and Kinect Adventures for future blackmail.

The games themselves are hit-and-miss. The delay between your movement the Kinect’s response can be a killer. Rallyball, the most straight-forward game I’ve tried so far, requires you to start your swing prior to the ball reaching you, which can result in a complete whiff if the ball happens to ricochet along the way.

Kinectimals, however, should come with a freaking warning label, something about how it’s NOT a relaxing, Nintendogs-like experience. Seriously, I had to jump and “star jump” – meaning jumping and extending your arms and legs out in a star pattern – so many times while training my stupid cat that I took way too much pleasure in running my lion cub over with my RC car again and again. If only I could have trample Bumble, that fairy/cat freak job that acts as your constant nag – I mean, guide.

Last night I pulled out Wii Sports Resort for a change and I can tell you that the difference is marked. While I always felt like I was flailing randomly on the Kinect, I felt a close tie to my Mii while he bowled, played table tennis and shot baskets. For my money, Nintendo has Microsoft’s motion controls beat, hands-down. Since I lack a PlayStation 3, I cannot compare either of them to Sony’s Move at this time. Does Sony best Nintendo, or can Mario’s Makers keep their crown? Only time will tell.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Multiplayer Minecraft Madness

Wow, it’s been way too long since I’ve updated here. I’ve been really bad off the last month or so (sickness, family problems, and allot of other work) so’s entire range of content – game reviews, Alazar articles, The Jockeys comics, NBA 2K11 My Player posts, the whole shebang – have found  themselves more or less silenced. Today I hope to kick things back into gear, starting with a recollection of Betasim – my cohort, you know – and I taking to multiplayer Minecraft.

I’ve been a fan of Minecraft since last October, but only recently has Beta given it a shot. It took all of one session for her to get hooked, though. She plays constantly now, so since I’m hooked and she’s hooked, it only made sense to play together.

I wasn’t about to fork over $15 or so to some hosted server so I was going to figure out how to run one myself. Once I got it up and running (after a full 12-hour night trying to free up the port the server wanted) Beta got a copy of Minecraft and we tried to log in. However, running the server on the system I played on didn’t work. In fact, it actually screwed up my internet connection and forced my to restart my PC. So, that didn’t work.

We needed a third computer to function as the server, but Beta didn’t want to volunteer her work laptop for the job so we dug out an old, aging, creaky laptop to do the job. Once I got the server reconfigured there (including another protracted port-opening fight, mostly trying to get the main PC to relinquish control over the port) we tried to log in. I got in fine, but Beta couldn’t get in. It was always something!! I finally checked out her situation and she was just missing a number in her IP log in. Finally, with that sorted, we could at last play Minecraft together.

We spawned on a hilly, snowy world. We had a small cave on the shore of a bay for the first night that I stayed in and mined as she ran around with her new stone sword sword and fought zombies and spiders. By dawn she was ready to move on so we packed up our stuff and shuffled off. I lost track of her almost immediately but once we hooked back up I learned that she’d stumbled into a great cave. She’d made stairs into it and placed her workbench at the bottom so I helped hollow it out and dug an actual work room that I closed in with a door. We placed our forge, workbench and storage chest in there and I stayed  there and worked most of the time. Beta had come across iron and made herself a little hat to wear.

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I just adore this pic. Beta, named “Floata” in the game, was hilariously cross-eyed with that helmet on. In any case, you can see our cave system behind her. After a few nights of baddies literally dropping in we finally finally closed off the huge gaping hole above our cave with a roof. Beta complained about not being able to find our cave, so we built signal towers.

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Here’s Beta placing a torch on a tree, while I built a signal tower from stone. We really should have built them much taller, but we didn’t think about that at the time (more on this later). She could then find our cave, but not the entrance so built a large stone entranceway over our staircase. At one point I stood there working on it when I heard the tell-tale “sizzle…….BOOM!” of a Creeper. I was unharmed, but a few blocks behind me was a massive crater. He also did no damage to anything we’d built but somehow still managed to knock the torches off of my signal tower.

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I basically functioned as Suzie Homemaker as Beta played the hero most of the game. Here’s my glass skylight I built in our cave, with Beta standing upon it. Speaking of Beta the Hero…

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I assualted a spider but he knocked six hearts off of me (the laptop I was on lagged absurdly badly so I was working with a handicap the whole game) so I called Beta to kill another nearby spider so to get string for a bow. We got two total string so there was to be no bow for us.

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I like this pic of Beta surrounded by arrows from a skeleton. No big story here, just a funny pic.

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Eventually we set off for adventure (I followed her because she… well, she’s easily distracted by shiny objects so she couldn’t really follow me without getting sidetracked) and found a deep cave that was to be our great conquest.

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Here you can where I dug up a wall and found flowing water. That was to be the least exciting thing down here, though.

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Beta and I eventually found lava. We ended up building a workbench and forge down here, planning on completely emptying the place before we left. In hindsight this was a bad, bad idea because I had almost no health and she wasn’t much better off.

After crossing a few skeletons, zombies and creepers we decided to try and leave. The only problem was that we  couldn’t remember how we got in there! While trying to get out, Beta fell into a room with a skeleton. I was badly injured when I jumped down to help her but unfortunately died upon landing. Dammit. She died not long after that. We respawned back where we started in the dead of night. We attempted to find our signal towers but that went poorly. See, we should have built them taller! I suggested we stick together for survival but Beta insisted that we could cover twice as much ground apart vice together so we split up. Over the following day, night and the day after that, we searched. It then became apparent that we did not know where each other were. Finally as night fell we had to hole up for the night.

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Here I’m looking out of my new hole in the wall, cold and alone.  The next day I took off too find Beta but when I noticed that I had reached a sunny green area and had started to cross into a desert-esque biome I realized I was way the hell across the map. She was still in snow!! I was also on the west coast while she resided on the east coast. I truly don’t know how that happened. I finally figured that I had gone too far south and west and needed to go north-east to find her. I walked the whole day north before finally finding snow. The only thing I could possibly do was hope that she was in the frozen north and the arctic south. However, before I could possibly learn whether I was right or not, this happened.

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Uh… hmm. Ok. That’s not natural, that’s for sure. Maybe if I get close and take some more pictures…

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Wow, it s a huge hole! Sometimes it’s there, other times I fills up. Oh, it’s filled up again. I’m going to try and cross it while it’s still here.

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Crap, it disappeared again while I was on it. Ok, now what?

Take a break, that’s what. And so now, with over 1200 words in this post, I’m also going to give you guys a break. Hopefully Beta and I will play more in a day or so. I just hope I can get out of this hole!! Later, all.