I hate Chapter 14 of Mafia II soooooooooooooo &^&^#%@^%! much!



Yeah so it's been a while since my last entry... But hey not like anyone is reading this? :)
 I'll get back to making entries soon enough though, just been busy with things IRL.

Games wise I'm still technically playing SWTOR but I haven't logged in in a while and currently have no game time, got a friend of mine to play though so I'll join him soon. I've also been dabbling with DC Universe Online again, it's a great game to just hop in and have some fun for an hour or so.
Then there is Fallout New Vegas Ultimate Edition, Minecraft, Brink & Spec Ops: The Line to keep me busy.

One game I'm looking forward to is Planetside 2, the free to play MMOFPS from SOE, it looks very promising so far, I'm usually not interested in multiplayer FPS games but this looks like something special.


Madness, the cup they drink from.

Anyone who has visited the forums over at http://www.swtor.com today (Tuesday the 13th of December) will have seen the sheer madness of the wall of whining that is going on there.
Honestly? People are whining they didn't get in to today's pick for early access or whining about how people are already leveling when they can't get in.
Now on PvP servers I kind of get the latter, but heck if you go PvP you are going to be ganked sooner or later anyhow right? You'll still get the jump over anyone who didn't pre-order.

And then there are the people saying that Bioware sucks and that everyone should be in early access from day one...

They never guaranteed how many days we'd get, the initial early access date was the 15th, the game LAUNCHES THE 20th! you are entitled to NOTHING!

Honestly what the fuck is going on with this generation? Where does this sense of entitlement come from? Bioware is letting people play the game, up to 7 days before launch for FUCKING FREE! They don't have to give you anything yet you're given this as a gift and you still want more? Fuck you! merry fucking Christmas!

Sometimes I think genocide is the answer...

p.s. for the record, no, I didn't get in with the waves send out today, I don't expect to be able to play until Thursday.


Let there be Star Wars.

My impressions of the Beta Weekend.

I had high expectations for this game and I have to say, they weren't met, no, SWTOR exceeded my expectations by far! 

After all the drama of my PC breaking down and making the decision to get a brand new system and fearing I'd not be able to make it to the Beta Weekend in time, I have to say that buying a brand new i7-2600 was the best thing I could have done to experience this game. Running the game on max settings at 1600*900 (hey I like this res, at least I can still read stuff on the screen :) ) on my 94cm (37") TV was a blast, the game looks very very good. I can only imagine that the people who complain about it's looks just don't like the cartoony style the game is set in. I was most impressed by the shadows and lighting effects, weapons fire, light sabers and the BH's flamethrower all light up the area in a most realistic way. The overall lighting levels on Hutta and Dromund Kaas really set the mood. The game ran very smooth, too smooth, as I had to turn down mouse sensitivity a bit lest I'd get motion sickness just trying to look around.

I started out by fiddling around with the character creator, I created one character for each class mainly to see how some of my choices I had made prior would actually work out in the game. Some of them turned out better then expected, my Smuggler looks like a cross between Charles Bronson and Ron Jeremy, my Bounty Hunter looks like Commander Shepherd assimilated by the Borg, my Miraluka Jedi Knight didn't come out quite as I'd hoped, he was meant to resemble a younger version of Jerec, but instead ended up looking like a bald Agent Smith. I might have to rethink going Miraluka.
I picked an US East Coast server to play on as I intent to play on both US/EU servers at launch. I experienced virtually no lag, two minor lag spikes and that was it, keep in mind this weekend was a  stress test (even if Bioware isn't calling it that, there were over 1.5 million people invited) My MS ran in the high double numbers for most of the weekend, occasionally going into the low triples, highest I'd seen was in the 170s for a few minutes. Seeing as in WoW I'd often get around 160-200 on EU servers, some days shooting up to 400, I was very pleased.

Right after you create your character you're put into the story, you'll arrive at your starter planet and are introduced to your first interactive cutscene, similar to those in Mass Effect or Dragon Age. You can be a goody two-shoes or a douche bag right from the get go, yay! ;)
In my allotted time during the Beta I leveled 3 chars. A Smuggler and Sith Warrior, both to level 10 and a Bounty Hunter to level 12. And I can say I loved the mechanics of each class. I played the  Warrior first and it felt very familiar, if you've ever played a Warrior class in WoW you'll feel right at home, even the Rage mechanics work largely the same. And yes overall the game mechanics and UI feel very similar to WoW, after all it's a hot-key MMO, and all hot-key MMO play this way.
The one thing that off-sets this game from WoW is that while you're leveling... well you're not really leveling. Sounds a bit odd right? Well what I mean is, while you're playing you follow a story, and you can't help but get involved in the story, not once did I pay attention to the XP bar, "dinging" always came as a surprise.

There is a lot of backstabbing and betrayal going on in the 3 stories that I played, it almost seems to be the generic theme running through every class' prologue story. Character progression is done quite nicely and by level 10 you're ready to leave the starter planet, look like a BA,  have your first companion and will be completely engrossed in the story of your class.
Each starter planet will have your class' main story quest, side quests and some heroic quests. You can group up with someone to do the heroic quests (which are designed to do with 2 people) or you can just leave them till last, as they're soloable once you get your companion, the latter is what I did with my Bounty Hunter and without Mako healing me, I'm not sure I'd be able to have done all of them solo. 

Beta is Beta, so there are still some bugs, here's what I've encountered so far;
-Hearing other peoples companions talk, as if they were talking to you.
-Other peoples companions sometimes appearing in their underwear.
-Foliage textures on Dromund Kaas having a black edge where alpha channels is suppose to hide that part of the texture (might be a Gpu driver issue on my side)
-NPC loading without their "extra apparel" like the band in the cantina on Hutta playing without instruments or guards standing around holding "air guns".

The biggest bug I've had was on Dromund Kaas with my Bounty Hunter, I chose an option during conversation that would normally result in a fight, but the NPC I needed to kill was not attackable when the cut scene was over. I logged out and back in to see if that would fix it, but to my shock that put me outside this instanced story phase without the option to get back in. I'm pretty sure customer services would've been able to help me out here and get everything back the way it should be, but it was getting a bit late and there were only a few hours in the Beta weekend left, so I opted to just log out, at this point I pretty much got out of the Beta what I'd hoped to get out of it anyhow.

Bring on the early launch on the 15th December! I'm ready!



Did you know that Zombies are afraid of the sound a crying baby makes? No? Neither did I until I dreamt I was in the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse last night.

 I wasn't even myself in the dream, I was some American virologist that had come to the airport (I got the feeling it was in LA)to pick up his family, his wife, teenage daughter, 10 year old son and 3 month old baby. Once there I found myself in zombie infested surroundings. The next bit consisted of setting up a rudimentary lab with the assistance of the top secret government agents of a top secret government office that were conveniently at the scene, trying to make a "cure" or a way to become resistant.

So now it was a fight against time and a fight against the zombies, at one time the kids got out of the containment area and had to be rescued, which I took part in as the lead agent  provided me with his glock after first trying to reason with me, but seeing I was hell bend of going after my kids. I also had to leave the place to get certain things to get the lab up and running.

In the end the "cure" failed and the lab was overrun, everyone but me and the family were dead, making it out onto the parking lot we saw a sea of zombies in front of us (great panning crane shot, my dream director must work with Jan de Bont) And when all hope seems lost as the zombies notice us, the baby starts crying. The zombies seem confused and startled by the noise and start to stagger, clearing a path for us to go though, we get to the mini-van (for crying out loud a Fiat Multipla?) and we drive of, cue a panning shot of the city overrun by zombies.

And then I woke up. You've got to love those feature length full Surround Sound Technicolor dreams :)

If any movie producers are reading this, I'm wiling to negotiate a movie deal :D


May the $$$ be with you.

Sales wise it looks like SWTOR is doing rather well. It also seems Bioware weren't kidding when they said that there would be limited acces at the start, I thought it was just a sales strat but it seems Gamestop is out of CE and has stopped providing early acces passes. Several other places are out of CE too and Origin isn't selling the Digital Deluxe version anymore.

In the first month of pre-orders there were over 450k sales in the USA,(VG Chartz) that's only retail sales, not counting the CE or DD versions and not counting countries outside of the USA, even John Smedley (head of Sony Online Entertainment) thinks that SWTOR could hit the 2 million mark (source)

There is no doubt the strong IP will translate in strong sales, not only will the game attract RPG and MMO veterans but also people who are just interested in it because they are Star Wars fans. I hope they'll be able to keep those subs after a few month into the launch. *crosses fingers* 


Duke Nukem Lost Forever.

Twelve years in the making the final product is at the core a 7 year old game that has had some spit and polish, and to be frank, I couldn't give a damn if it was! Fancy graphics don't mean a thing and people who tell you otherwise are idiots,  yeah go ahead call them an idiot and tell them I said so.

So the graphics are a bit poor (esp. on Xbox 360) but hey it's Duke right!? it's gotta be good right?!
Well.... no not really.... The humour is there, but it's layed on too thick. It's like that comedian doing stand up that used to be famous and who is still doing the same old routine he did 15 years ago, only now with added dramatic pauses in the vain hope the audiance will laugh.

And even that wasn't so bad, so what if the jokes are too many a minute it's Duke man! it's gotta be good!?
Well... no not really..... The first 45 minutes or so you won't hardly even get to use a gun.  You'll be racing a RC car down a path with one way to go for a whole friggin level! and then there's the stupid platforming to reach switches. And a goddamned Turret section. Platforming in a shooter isn't a bad thing per-se, don't get me wrong, if it supports the actual gameplay and is done at the right places at the right time then I do think it has a place, so do vehicle sections and turret sections but in DNF it's overdone.

But the shooting things that's still fun isn't it? It's gotta be it's Duke!
Well... no... not really.... The actual shooting bits felt weird, disconected, vague. The only gun I liked so far was the Shotgun that at least felt a bit "weighty", but then again I might be biased as the shotty has been my favorite weapon in any FPS since Doom. And why have a "zoom" function for your gun when you don't have iron sighting? that's just silly.
Maybe it's becuase I don't play all that many FPS anymore or because I've been playing a lot of Brink where I do like the guns a lot, but gunplay in DNF is sadly lacking.

I think TotalBiscuit  (http://www.youtube.com/user/TotalHalibut) said it best in his first look and follow up video, when he said something to the extent of DNF hanging on to all the bad things of Old Skool FPS games without retaining any of the good, and picking up everything bad of new shooters at the same time.
 It was funny really, I got the  game at launch started playing it right away and after about an hour and a half was bored out of my skull. Then I logged onto the internet and see TB going through all the same emotions I've just been through in his first view video.

Duke then, is  a relic, a thing of the past that had it's glory day, but then the world moved on when Duke didn't. And just like that comedian that had his prime 15 years ago, Duke should've just remained in our memories where he is still that awesome bubble-gum chewing ass kicking super dude.