Sunday, May 31, 2015

Weekend Blog Log (May 31, 2015)

Here I sit amidst a storm. It is dark outside, and rumbles of thunder can be heard in the distance. Why hast thou forsaken me O sunlight!? It has been a dark, and gloomy week here in Georgia. There's been rain, and storms every damn day. The real sh*t kicker is that there's another week's worth of it on the way. I personally have not, in the years I've lived here known of rain, and storms being so constant, and severe. I had expected a bad spring, and summer because of the lack of a disastrous winter, but Mother Nature has really been out to punish the people of the US this year. Did we invoke some sort of biblical wrath, or something??? It sure seems that way. I wouldn't be surprised if a news forecast popped up saying California is now a floating island due to an earthquake, seriously. Anyways I'm not here to babble on about my misery amidst the maelstrom. I'm here to give you an update on my week, and weekend as usual.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Zen Pinball 2 - "Portal Pinball" (PS3/PS4/PS VITA)

Working in collaboration with the development team at Valve, Zen Studios has designed a pinball table that is more or less a tribute to the events that occurred in "Portal 2". For those of you who are unaware of the events that happened in said plot you'll find that the main protagonist, 'Chell' (a female Aperture Science Lab employee) awoke from a deeply induced sleep only to find Aperture labs abandoned, and in disrepair. Realizing that Chell was now awake the resident A.I., 'GLaDOS' ran Chell through the virtual ringer like a lab rat in order to test her logic skills. In order to escape, and make it to the surface Chell had to solve a series of mind bending puzzles using a portal gun which functioned as it's name suggests. The portal gun effectively opened up portals of a blue, and orange color allowing entry, and exit points through walls and other structures. With this tool Chell was ultimately able to trip switches, and guide lasers to activate once useless mechanisms as well as pass through said portals herself. In the midst of her trials Chell also met a seemingly friendly A.I. bot known as Wheatley who intervened trying to help her through the massive maze by giving her hints, and assisting her with some problem solving. Eventually though Wheatley became an opposing force himself, and posed threat alongside GLaDOS. Chell eventually made it to the surface only to find herself in a vast desert-like environment with only a companion cube to accompany her. Thus ending the sequel to the stellar first game.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend Blog Log (May 2015)

Here I sit at my dinosaur of a PC sipping on some Dr.Pepper, which apparently confirms a certain westerner stereotype about all of us soda guzzling, candy bar gobbling, and fast food munching Americans. To hell with that stereotype! I eat healthy, and treat myself to the occasional soda pop. What of it!? I even drink tea, water, and milk (which is probably no good due to all the steroids, and sh*t put into cows) ... Anyways, I digress. I'm here today to talk about my week, and my weekend. This week has been interesting, bothersome at times, but interesting nonetheless. I've had the usual family drama, and crisis arise. My Grandmother is still not doing well at all, and still seems to be on a health decline. My family also continues to invade my personal, and private space by spying on me. I've always been the black sheep of my family, and everyone in said family seems to think they know what's best for me. Buncha control freaks are what they are. Aside from that my week has been nothing, but a gaming grindfest.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Destiny - House of Wolves (PS4)

It has been a while since I even bothered to touch Destiny, or dedicate any amount of serious time to it. To me it had lost it's appeal long ago when my fireteam members sought other friends to game with, especially when they had left me in the dark during the Crota raid expansion. To be fair though it was also partially my fault as I slowly, but surely drifted away from the game, because of the stress it caused as well as the late nights spending 5 hours trying to defeat a raid boss. Looking back through my articles I realize that the game made my yearly "Top 10" list shortly after launch, but in seeing that I know that's when the friendly co-op was going strong, and when the social aspect of the game was at it's funnest. What you have to realize is that Destiny made my yearly 'Top 10' list, because it was the perfect social experience, at the time. It got friends together, and helped people form online relationships with people they'd never known before. I actually met some Awesome friends through it. For that reason I'll always have a soft spot for the game's social features ...

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Conspiracy Corner - "Hacktivists, Activists & the Common People"

Welcome to the premiere article of a series discussion I like to call "Conspiracy Corner". I know most return readers will be baffled by the inclusion of such a topic, but bare with me as this does have something to do with gaming, if slightly so ...

As a "Commoner" we all know that hacktivists, and activists are making the front page news of various journalistic outlets more, and more often these days. In fact said individuals mold, and shape the online structure of the internet, gaming, and other online oriented activities through their actions. By this I mean that what they do dictates the laws that go into effect afterwards as a result of their cyber crimes. It's these laws that pull the legal noose ever so tighter with each, and every misdeed for the common people. The odd thing about all of this is that the major hacktivists, and activists rarely ever make the prime time televised news, and for some reason never get caught. With the NS@ in place spying on the "Commoner" why can't they catch a criminal hiding amongst the scripts of the internet? What if I were to say to you that all of this may be a devilish scheme to gain full control of all freedoms? What if I were to also say that it's the world leaders, and governments that are using these hacktivists, and activists pull off such a stealth move. It would explain the fact that the hacktivists, and activists aren't being dealt with, wouldn't it?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Pre-Orders, Call of Duty & The Gaming Industry

This morning I had the pleasure of carrying on a twitter chat with a like-minded gamer who is also very passionate about what's going on in the gaming industry. We discussed what I, and so many other gaming supporters have said over the years in regards to the business side of gaming. The slogan, "Speak with your wallet" came up as it usually does in such a conversation, and both of us talked about what needs to be done to change things for the better. What one has to understand going into such a debate is that certain marketing ploys that are being put into play via publishers, and the greed driven product pushing that follows suit are ultimately dictating the quality of video games that hit the store shelves as well as the online store listings. One publisher in particular, the one behind the modern-day "Call of Duty" franchise has set the standards that other publishers go by. They think that since the majority of gamers will pre-order the game despite the company's reputation of having released a sub-par game in the past that they can continue to do so, and milk the franchise for what it's worth. This leads to the "Half-Assed" game development that I'm constantly preaching about ...

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Weekend Blog Vlog (5/16/2015)

Here I sit at my PC pissing away time as I tell you about my first world luxury lifestyle. I do feel half bad about it, but I've worked hard to get where I'm at in life. I've even paid my dues by serving some serious time in some unmentionable psych ward at some locally undisclosed institute for the odd & unusual folk of the world. I think I earned this leisurely life. I do digress though. As far as the week goes it went by with a mixture of family drama, review work, and some much deserved time off. At one point in the week I made several trips to various local shopping centers to treat myself to some goodies which included a couple of newer dvds, and a couple of vidya games (I know I misspelled it). Amongst the new dvds I picked up were 'John Wick', and 'The Voices'. In the way of gaming purchases I bought the Shin Megami Tensei re-release of 'Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker', and even got 'Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate" for the pure heck of it. Two games which I've yet to touch. I blame that on "Gaming Gluttony". It's a terribly sinful disease.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed (PS VITA)

Having had the privilege to play through, and review most of the recent Neptunia releases I've noticed a sort of gaming evolution within the series. It's a subtle yet noticeable evolution that seems to be aimed towards finding that perfect presentation for the attraction of a much wider audience. From the 'Re;Birth" re-releases to the Noire spin-offs 'Compile Heart', and their co-developers have re-imagined, and brought to life Gamindustri's CPU Goddesses in a variety of different ways. Some of these newer renditions of the fan favorite niche adventures stayed true to the original formula while others strayed from said path, and introduced entirely new gameplay mechanics. I watched as the Lily Rank system took on different meanings within each new release, and watched as the games' micro-management options took on different approaches that benefited each game in a uniquely complimentary fashion. In the case of this latest misadventure we find both the CPU Goddesses, and their sister candidates at an intersection of peaceful times within the Gamindustri. After being approached by a couple of competing journalists offering some article exposure opportunities based around quests, and monster battles the CPU Goddesses, and their younger siblings decide to take on a rivalry of their own in an attempt to impress their fanbase even further. Of course with this newly introduced plot comes some mechanics that are entirely different from the normal Neptunia adventures, and thankfully so ...

Friday, May 8, 2015

Mortal Kombat X - "3 Weeks In"

Believe it, or not, but MKX has been improving since my last post. I've been paying very close attention to how the game functions in both the offline, and online scenarios, and I'm pretty darn happy about it. I'm glad to report that 99% of menu functionality is fixed, and that the online multiplayer continues to get smoother, and more enjoyable as time passes. If you've paid attention to my previous articles you'll know that I spoke of the faction war page menus being plagued by constant server errors that would keep you from accessing the current faction challenges, and faction standings. This has stopped for the most part, but did happen once again recently as Netherrealm was updating the game's provided content for the Invasion event. I suppose that is to be expected though since the game is being updated internally via hotfixes, and whatnot. Along with that upside I have spent more time playing online, and have found more smooth lag-free matches than the laggy ones that were more commonplace at the game's launch. It is obvious, as I said before that Ed Boon, and his team of developers are hard at work to make the game as Awesome as possible for those who trusted in them enough to pay extra for the DLC along with the game's $60 price tag.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Never in my career as a gaming journalist have I seen a developer initially offer up something so broken, and unplayable as their debut entry into next-gen gaming only to go back to the drawing board, and make it so absolutely awesome. Going into this review I had my doubts. I'm not going to lie. I just did not see Bloober Team pulling this one off, especially after seeing that it was free to everyone on the PS4. After playing it though I'm truly impressed, and on so many levels. Bloober Team took the journalists' advice, and added a significant amount of noteworthy content without simply tacking on extras to make it appear as if they'd listened. In this new re-imagining of "Basement Crawl" we have four new modes of gameplay with multiple options in each that are anything, but tacked on material. There's an objective driven story mode introducing each of the eight characters, an offline and online multiplayer with various types of modes to choose from, and two challenge modes that play sort of like a survival mode. The content is definitely there this time around, and the gameplay is far beyond what the first game had to offer in regards to a quality presentation.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

UNBOXING - SMT: Devil Survivor 2 'Record Breaker' (3DS)

As I've said before I am a fan of Atlus, and their games. I'm such a fan that I won't let bad PR relations keep me from indulging in the latest Atlus RPG, or niche video game release. It's stupid to judge a gaming studio by their PR's actions. That's why I decided to go out, and pick up one of their new releases, in good faith. In fact while I was out for a lunch break today I decided to stop by the local Gamestop to pick up a copy of "Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker" for the Nintendo 3DS. I had been watching the trailer updates via Youtube, and paid attention to the press releases that were sent my way. Having played, and owned "SMT: Devil Survivor Overclocked" I sort of knew what I was getting into with this game. The first in the series, which I just mentioned wasn't all that impressive graphics-wise, but the actual RPG combat was addictive in it's own way. Like a Pokemon game the Devil Survivor series is all about capturing demons in a post apocalyptic world, leveling them up, and using them in combat against other demonic monstrosities. In the latest installment, or re-release this concept has been added onto, and expanded upon giving the gamer more bang for their buck, and extra content that was not in the original release. With that being said this collector's edition will set you back $50 plus tax, and makes you pay outright for that additional content.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Weekend Blog Log (May 3, 2015)

It's been an interesting week to say the least. The review work once again slowed to a crawl, possibly because I've failed to reach out as strongly as I used to to developers, and studios. On the flip side of the same coin though I've experienced what it's like to be without review work, and it's not too totally bad. I was able to help split the wood from the fallen trees outside my house, and enjoy some of the nice sunny weather that has been a rarity to us here in Georgia this Spring. I rarely get outside, and to be able to do so with company was a treat. I also had some Marcos pizza with family, which in itself was a treat. You'll find that I'm actually a very thankful person in life. I'm thankful for the review opportunities I get, the friends I meet through reviews and social media as well as the daily activities I'm able to participate in. I feel blessed even though I sometimes linger on the more negative things in my life.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Zen Pinball 2 - "Star Wars Rebels" (PS3/PS4/PS VITA)

Taking place right after the events of the final episode of the Star Wars prequel trilogy, and five years before the classic trilogy that most of us grew up loving this tie-in tale of the Star Wars universe known as "Star Wars Rebels" focuses mainly on a ragtag group of rebels, and their fight against the overpowering Galactic Empire. Among the main characters in this story about an uprising you'll find a young Jedi in training known as Ezra, and his youthful Jedi instructor Kanan. Aiding these two main roleplayers in their adventure are Hera the Twi'lek owner/pilot of the starship "Ghost", Sabine Wren who is a Mandalorian graffiti artist, and Zeb who is a Lasat honor guard. Together they use their powers, and unique abilities to fight off the Sith threat that is the "Inquisitor", and his loyal allies in arms. As far as the series goes it is not unlike the before mentioned prequel trilogy, and is shown in a more lighthearted animation style that is indicative of previous Star Wars animated series spin-offs. According to my sources it was designed around the style/look of the prequel trilogy, and not so much the more serious classic trilogy.

MKX Kontinues To Be Krap

It has been about two weeks since the launch of MKX, and for me the BS just keeps piling up. I'd say at this point we are about knee deep in the "Krap". I've invested hours, and days worth of gameplay time into the game hoping to hell that it would improve, but even with the behind-the-scenes patches being issued it remains the same broken mess that it was since day one. Of course I have discovered new problems, some of which are quite "Koncerning". Among them is the fact that mobile device gamers using the MKX game app can fight online against players on the consoles. I don't know what the hell Netherrealm was thinking making it cross play like that, because obviously playing on a tablet, or mobile device, and playing with a controller on a console are two very different experiences. I'm willing to bet (not really) that the mobile app users can pull things off more easily than someone using an actual controller ...