Monday, March 31, 2008
Got a little video below of a Redeemer rampage. Doesn't quite show everything that the Redeemer is capable of, but it's a nice test.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
One hilarious moment. Previously I had grabbed ahold of Olimar while Greg breathed fire on the poor guy. Sensing an opening where I would either distract or grab Link as he flew back onto the stage from a prior smash, Greg attempted to smash pre-emptively. It worked like a charm.
You can also see Olimar winking out into the background as Link flies off. Cracked me up.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
The recent furor is over additional weapons for the upcoming EA title Battlefield: Bad Company. EA notes a total of ten additional weapons, aside from the core set in the basic game, will be available for purchase; five will be included with the premium game, and five as individual offers through different promotional venues -- likely like preorders, much as Guild Wars did at launch. Each of these weapons then would be available for purchase, using cash money on XBox Live, after the game launches for those who don't have access to them.
Many have decried this as a slippery slope. People have stated that this is only the beginning of the end, for soon we'll see armor pieces for sale in WoW -- much like the Horse Armor fiasco from Bethesda as part of the Oblivion setting -- additional guns, mechs, spells, whatever. You won't be able to play that game competitively, they say, unless you sink real cash money into it! Those with the most money can buy their way to the top!
I'm sorry; how's that different than the real world?
EA is greedy? Of course they are! They're a corporation. Corporations exist to make money. Additional content, however broken, useless, or unbalanced, represents additional risk on the part of the company, and they expect to recoup their investment. And yet they're still the biggest game publisher on the planet.
For all the anger and arm waving surrounding the issue, I predict the same thing as always happens. People will buy the game, many will cheerily buy the additional content, and everyone will be happy. Many already pay just to plug their game consoles in to play online (XBox Live). And you love it. Why is this additional content such an insult?
Don't you remember playing online for free -- besides your ISP fees? I do. I do it all the time with my PC and my Wii and my DS.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
NOD does't stand a chance.
Ganondorf's Flame Choke special move grabs an opponent...
And slams him down. While Falco (Greg) kicks him.
Luigi meets the same fate.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Unfortunately, so do they.
The two fleets pass on the way to one another's space, and the scene is set for conflict.
I quickly build up another force at the volcanic world I departed from in order to meet the enemy force and hopefully redirect them back towards my main force. It works, and they bail out.
I then manage to hop two more planets towards their homeworld and set up another colony to trap their main force. I set up phase lane inhibitors to slow down their retreat if they attempt to bounce back again and summon additional reinforcing gauss guns and frigates.
They don't get away this time.
I wipe out their force to the last ship while losing only a handful of frigates. What the video doesn't show is me taking the fight to their homeworld, now nearly lacking in protection aside from a single capital ship and a handful of defensive emplacements. With this world gone, I will have the sole presence in this star system and can then take the fight beyond.
I've had extremely bad experience with pre-ordering PC games from retail box shops in the past, having to chase around Columbus to find copies that I already paid money for, so I just ordered online. Gogamer.com has been pretty good, and their price discounts essentially provide for free shipping.
But, the game seems to have gathered some pretty high praise. The user average score is 9.2 at Gamespot. Even discounting rabid C&C fanboydom, that seems pretty good. There are lots of things I'm looking forward to in the game, not the least of which is the strategic mode that I've mentioned several times before. I was also just checking out the epic units, like the NOD Redeemer and the GDI MARV. They look incredible.
Hope that shows up soon; this expansion looks like a ton of fun.
Now I can go back to the latest Advance War title, Days of Ruin. If only I could ignore the emo-tastic dialog and style of the story elements...
Monday, March 24, 2008
Nope. Even though the quest said that we failed, we ran through it all the way and were still let into the temple.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Dialga controls the flow of time in its area, allowing the level to slow down to a crawl. Time passes more slowly when its power is activated, allowing you more time to act but more time to your opponents to respond.
Palkia, able to manipulate the makeup of the matter around it, can reverse vertically and horizontally the very level itself. Practically, this turns the level on the screen upside-down or flips it as a mirror image, and the controls themselves stay relative to the previous nature of the level. If you aren't careful, you can walk right off the edge!
The Spears Pillar level itself is very simple but also has many dynamic elements that make it a blast to play. Besides the fact that Alex just goes nuts when a legendary pokemon appears.
Pikachu's sins are already well-documented, and the feelings against him strong. Greg and Cam attempt to trap me and execute smashes with abandon.
They finally manage to push me to the edge with Pikachu-induced stage-splitting lightning. The electrical charges kept pushing me off the edge for, like, twenty seconds, as I kept attempting to jump back up only to be knocked back again.
The opposite angle.
Ridiculous. But I couldn't stop laughing. But we will never mention this event again.
Friday, March 21, 2008
They didn't stand a chance, and lost an all-important capital ship in the process. They tried to retreat, but to no avail, as the video demonstrates.
After taking the planet, I may be up against it. I've cut off an enemy faction's only means of expansion. Either they wither and die or push me off of my new world. Let's hope I can keep hold.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Luigi standing proud on the Toon Link Pirate Ship level from Phantom Hourglass after smashing Snake into the background.
Several characters grasping Link's ship in the driving rain. The typhoon in the background comes to the fore and picks up the ship, depositing it in the clouds for a brief time before it comes back down to the sea below. As you can see above in the Luigi shot, the sun is shining, illustrating the incredible changes many levels go through.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Luckily, the Wii is now in Louisville, Kentucky. I'm hopeful we'll see it tomorrow!
If that's the case, we will have been without the Wii for under a week. I dropped it off at the Fedex store last Wednesday evening after 6pm. That's some pretty incredible turnaround.
While I would have been happier that my Wii just worked in the first place, this is pretty classy on Nintendo's part. Provided everything works as good as new -- and I still retain all my data -- less than a week is very reasonable.
Good job Nintendo for fixing your mistake and at no cost to your loyal customers. Now we'll have the cash to pay for Mario Kart Wii.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Although Mart's eyesight may never be the same.
Greg ran a very strong curses build using Spoil Victor as well as Pain Inverter. I used a pure damage build using Cleave along with Pain Inverter as well. Mart ran a very interesting assassin build using Way of the Assassin to continuously critical and Critical Defenses to continually block attacks. He said he could critical 75% of the time and thus block 75% of physical attacks. Mike went mostly pure damage as well and also ran Pain Inverter.
You catching on to the theme here?
Pain Inverter just wrecks the wurms and caster mobs throughout the dungeon. So many of them use area of effect spells and skills that Pain Inverter triggers multiple times for a single effect. It makes the one hex, judiciously applied, extremely effective.
As you can see in the video and screenshots, several times I used Pain Inverter to nearly solo a large level 24 mob simply because it hit our entire party as well as our four Norn allies simultaneously while under the effects of Pain Inverter. I can't believe Arenanet still has this skill as good as it is in the game. I guess because it's a PvE only skill balances it out and allows serious PvP players to ignore its uses.
Good for me.
The biggest danger came probably from the pop-up wurm mobs. These guys just come out of no where, and I know now that Arenanet just uses hidden treasures revealed by Light of Deldrimor to lure in suckers like me.
And Mandragors... The conditions were silly. Six out of ten conditions, not too bad. Never saw four bars of effects stretch on like that.
Unfortunately, the rewards for working through five levels of dungeon just weren't that good. Three thousand Norn faction and scattered Dwarven for killing on bounties pushed me up to new levels in each track. Two platinum in cash for the quest was nice, but the items were crap, and I managed to break two more lockpicks in a row -- including the one that I got from the chest. Boo. I didn't get a single yellow in the whole place.
Oh well, I guess the 19.5k from selling Destroyer cores will have to suffice.
But the dungeon was fun, even to just say we did it. Now maybe I can turn in an even-more nearly complete Master Dungeon Guide -- unless we man up and do Slaver's Exile.
But that's for another time.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
We're also hitting the car show today after the test, so maybe I'll have some sweet pics of Lambos, Ferraris, Lotus, or other exotics to put up.
Need for Speed: Cut me a check for a down payment?
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Nintendo will accept Wiis back for cleaning, free of charge, and free shipping as well. They say I'll get it back in a week; it feels like an eternity.
For nearly a year and a half the Wii has entertained me, through Twilight Princess, Elebits, Super Paper Mario, Wario Ware: Smooth Moves, and on to the most recent spectacular duo of Super Mario Galaxy and Super Smash Brothers Brawl. I hope it returns soon; Alex and I are saddened.
A great pose with Diddy Kong flying high.
While not particularly fast or agile, Snake makes up for it with big effects and powerful melee attacks. He's also pretty good at escaping situations by flying off using some kind of small helicopter platform. I have no idea where all these gadgets like mortars, rocket launchers, grenades, and hover boards come from.
Lucario joined a while ago, but here's a screen of the Pokeman blasting Samus off the map in a brawl on Pictochat.
More to come.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
If I'm building my little city, I just want to be left alone. Don't come take my resources; play nice and get along. See if you can win through better strategic planning for your economy and your skill at trading. Fighting is for those who can't imagine a more profitable way to win.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy crushing others in the context of games, but it has to be on my own terms, and in those games where combat is the focus, or the sole activity. And I'm frequently only responding in kind, rather than being an aggressor.
Of course, that's small comfort to those on the opposite end of a horde of Zerg Guardians.
Until I bump up against the expansion of others, Travian is a nice distraction, and it certainly is convenient.
I'll put up a video later. It's something to watch.
There are some of the platforming elements of the story I could really do without. The side-scrolling "push" sequences where the levels autoscroll just about kill me. There are some really great parts, where you control characters at your leisure, specifically anything involving Donkey Kong Country-style blast barrels. All told though, the single player adventure is lots of fun.
I've managed to unlock several more characters for Brawl play, including Lucario, Snake, suited Samus, and Falco.
Will try to get some screens up later.
Monday, March 10, 2008
I've been following this game for quite a while, ever since it was announced several months ago. Several promising new game features are present, including an overarching strategic mode and numerous subfactions that differentiate the already varied races.
The game releases on March 24th. I can only hope there's time enough to enjoy it.
Alex has moved on to the Wii Remote + Nunchuck control scheme, and man it's hard. Pit's a pretty strong fighter, but I had trouble beating Luigi using those controllers. Gonna have to practice.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
And then he lets it loose!
First of all, the gameplay has changed only slightly, and for the better I believe. Aerial combat seems smother. Character movement seems a little bit more precise, although I think it's still tough to get the minute distances down. But in Brawl it's easier to get just close enough to smash without wasting effort. I've been using the Wii Classic Controller, while Alex and Greg have used the Gamecube controller. Alex even tried the Wii Remote only and seemed to do okay. I think it just has too few buttons to be used alone. I'll have to try the Wii Remote + Nunchuck and see how that works.
Level design seems less punishing, as there are fewer ways to fall to your death accidentially. The levels themselves are incredibly dynamic, many with destructable elements or buildable objects. The WarioWare and Pictochat levels prove incredibly fun, adding a great wacky feel to an already unserious game.
I've had a lot of fun with the solo -- or 2-player co-op -- story mode, the Subspace Emmisary Adventure. I've played about four hours and am still only about a quarter of the way through it. Many past friends and foes appear as part of this story, although unfortunately crowd favorite Sonic has yet to appear in any game mode.
The Events are also great, different sets for solo and two-player mode. Several Pokemon battles and nemesis tag-teams -- Mario and Kirby vs. Bowser and King Dedede is a good one -- along with specific goals, such as attempting to catch two very quick characters in eggs simultaneously, make for great one-off challenges.
And the collectables. Wow, it seems you can't walk a couple steps without picking up a sticker or trophy. I haven't even tried the coin launcher yet for additional trophies.
One unfortunately thing is that it seems to me that Brawl stores photos and replays in proprietary formats. Unless there's another way to get them off the game, I don't know transferring from the SD card will work. No graphics editor recognizes the plain .bin format.
So, we'll see if I can find another way to post screens.
But all in all, Brawl is everything I hoped for, and more!
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Should be putting together a snow-fort building tutorial video for your neighborhood snowball fights soon.
And oh yeah, I'm totally blogging while you're out sitting in the other room.
Friday, March 7, 2008
Thursday, March 6, 2008
The feather farming has been quite lucrative. With stacks of feathers selling for 6.75k to the merchant, that's a pretty good living. The Tengu in North Kryta are easy enough to beat down, and when Mike and I duoed it, there were no issues at all. Trivial, compared to Destroyer runs or Dead Sword farms. And lucrative! Along with feathers, the runs flow like nothing else. Radiants and minor energy storage all over the place. Not bad.
Feathers: the new ectos!
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Although an unusual set, one can display this Dwarven armor set within the Hall of Monuments. Other Dwarven armor types don't form a complete "set." Thus, I can show it off in the hall and possibly pass it down to future family members.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
The PvXWiki has a number of great solo builds. These builds are often labeled as "farming" builds, but I don't think they really exploit anything. If you're willing to risk your life going up against dozens of mobs simultaneously, and survive, you deserve a little better reward. I personally don't think the rewards are that much higher in most circumstances than the rewards from designed solo encounters like Kilroy Stonekin's Punch-Out Extravaganza in hard mode. Depending on luck, probably equal to. But you get a lot of variety if you bounce around, and that's what I like.
I've been into the Vengeful was Khanei builds lately, specifically one to solo the first wave of Glint's Challenge. I've used a similar build in the past to collect Dead Swords and other rare weapons by soloing the Destroy the Ungrateful Slaves quest. But verses Destroyers, you have to be extra careful.
This is the build I've been using: W/Rt Solo Destroyer Core. Definately not my own work, I borrowed the build and idea from the PvXWiki. It definately works as advertised. In a single run that takes about 5 minutes I've gotten five destroyer cores. If you're trying to get 250 for Destroyer Gauntlets, it won't take you too long going this route. Plus it's just fun to survive getting beat down by 50+ Destroyers.
And that's really the point, right?
Monday, March 3, 2008
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Saturday, March 1, 2008
I enjoy TF2. The classes are all very interesting, even if I've just stuck mostly to Soldier and Medic so far, having just played a few hours. Had one great match supporting a heavy and breaking right into the opposing team's area just as the ubercharge filled up. Kill assists galore.
And then this jerk showed up, killing me, stealing my intelligence. I swear. With friends like these, who needs enemies, eh? Luckily I managed to outlast him. And by outlast, I mean stay on the server longer than him and avoid his rockets in his absence. Whew.
We definitely need to get the crew together for some additional TF2. I'd really like to get that achievement that requires you to play with seven other people on your friends list.
Do I have that many friends?