Category Archives: Video Game Reviews

An Amusing Tale of Diablo!

Ok so I’m playing Diablo 3 at the moment; it fits my Game Requirements fairly perfectly:

  1. Single-player; I hate other humans
  2. Dungeon crawler; I like slaying orcs and demons
  3. Loot festival; every time you kill a guy he explodes with treasure

And that’s pretty much it.  I can hop on, play for awhile, pause it when necessary, and stop when I need to do something else.   It also has an auction house so you can sell loot you find that isn’t specific to your class and use the resulting gold to buy equipment that IS good for your dude.

One more piece of background information: there is a mode of the game that I don’t participate in called “hardcore”.  In hardcore mode you play exactly the same as softcore, but if your character dies for any reason he is dead forever and you can’t play him again.  You also lose all the gear that was on him when he died.  There are actually streamers who take on tough content in hardcore while streaming on the internet (here’s one chosen at random).  All in all it’s interesting but not for me; I die way too much in this game.

To the amusing tale!

Last night around 10:30pm (central) I was fucking around in Diablo trying to farm some gold to buy some shield I want for my dude.  All of a sudden I started lagging really hard; everything was jumping around the screen.  I died once, ran back and started fighting giant wasps or whatever again and then things lagged even harder.  To my surprise I was then booted off of the server along with everyone else in North America.  Millions of hardcore players screamed out at once and then were silenced.

It turns out that Blizzard’s entire infrastructure went apeshit: World of Warcraft, Starcraft II, and Diablo 3 are all connected via a brilliant (sarcasm) system called Battle.net.  It lets you chat cross-game from within each title (so I can talk to Alandovos via in-game chat if he’s in WoW and I’m playing Diablo 3.)  Apparently Battle.net shit the bed and disconnected everyone everywhere.

So, uh, don’t play hardcore. Diablo 3 is cool, though.

Heroes

First, here’s a video:

Second, here is one of the Top Comments on that video:

When I was a little kid, there was a Double Dragon Arcade machine in the hotel where i was on vacation. I spent hours watching older kids playing that game.

Finally two teenagers, who were really good at the game, beat the last boss. They had fought very, very good together, a really good team. They just looked at each other, and then synchronously jumped into the spike pit, killing both their characters.

That really impressed me, they would rather “lose” both, than fight each other.

Third: when wwhazz, GMX, and I played Double Dragon at the Brat Stop in Kenosha, and we defeated the Last Boss, it became a Brawl-for-All to determine who was more awesome.  At no point did I ever consider jumping in the spikes (though it may have happened accidentally) to preserve some sort of Video Game Comrade Bond.

A Modern Tale

I’ve been playing Fallout: New Vegas a little lately.  A very little.  I grabbed a strategy guide when I picked up the game and there is a problem when, after 10 hours, I am not past page 3 of the main storyline.  The reasons I hate the game are encompassed neatly in a Short Story from my play yesterday.

I am on a main quest to find out who shot me in the head and left me in a shallow grave in nowheresville.  I stop at a giant fiberglass dinosaur to ask the sniper living in its mouth if he saw a guy in a 70s checkered sportcoat come through. He says he has! I probe for more info, but he says that before he tells me anything he wants me to do him a favor.

Apparently an old research station to the west is spouting out ghouls that wander in to town.  Dinosaur Sniper asks me to go clean up the facility and in exchange he’ll tell me about my friend in checkers.

Sighing, I make my way to the research facility where I am immediately beset by a pack of fast (FAST!) slavering, undead ghouls.  After murdering the monsters, I fight my way into the building where I am surprised to be addressed by an intercom on the wall.  I am instructed to make my way to the rear of the building to talk with a mysterious man.  On the way I keep getting ambushed by moaning zed-heads.

When I arrive at a locked-down section of the building, I am disheartened to meet the voice from the intercom.  It is a talking ghoul named Jason. He glows in the dark.  He is very friendly.  He apologizes for the members of his flock that have wandered into town, but they had gone crazy.  Him and his crack staff are holed up there because THERE ARE DEMONS IN HIS BASEMENT!

He asks if I would be so kind as to go down into the basement and clean out the demons.

Sighing again, louder this time, I go to the basement and turn on my night-vision.  I skulk around the basement for awhile and don’t see anything, until I burst right through a door on a demon having lunch. His name is Davidson.  He is friendly.  He starts talking to me about how the ghouls are evil and I’m being used in their plot.  He asks if I would help him…

I blew his fucking brains out on the basement floor, as well as two of his henchmen that tried to stop me in my grim task.   FUCK THIS GAME I WANT QUESTS TO RESOLVE NOT START AN INFINITE RECURSION!

Main quest > Side quest from main quest > Side quest from side quest from main quest > Side quest from side quest from side quest of main quest = Completely Stupid

Just play Borderlands instead. It is awesome.

Settle for a Slowdown

SLOW!
Peninsula State Park

After an extremely busy holiday-and-January things have slowed down a bit (which is just fine by me.)  February was marked by a hectic work schedule, and even that’s starting to subside so let’s have some fun!

First on the docket: WIZP!  Lately I’ve really gotten back into Street Fighter IV.  What with Super Street Fighter IV coming out in April and the new MvC Fight Stick that Jay procured last week, I’ve been laying down a shitload of hadokens and shoryukens.

So shoot, what else. Whatelsewhatelsewhatelse.  Tattoos! We will all get tattoos of our rad name.  What is our rad name? SuperAwesomeCalsForever? That’s MY idea.

I’m looking forward to two things at this point:

  1. Iowa trip (with additional guest appearance by my brother)
  2. Vegas trip (because we haven’t been in a long time)

…and you can take that to the bank, Shakesman.

Spacebee’s birthday is this weekend. Wish her a happy birthday, Cal.  Or else.

WIZP

And now for my semi-random feature: what is Zach playing. Once again my games plate is overflowing. I’m switching back and forth quite a bit…

  1. Jay got me a copy of Darksiders for xmas– I think I’ve gotten too used to carebear tutorials in new games because the first stage of this game kicked my goddamn shit.  The story, graphics, and everything else are awesome, but I’m still wary of games that have so many actions that important ones (that I need to use to survive) are mapped to things like: Use left control stick towards enemy and right bumper while pressing X.  All that means is that when I need to do something important my dude spazzes out while I try to figure out the button combos.  Then he usually dies.  I’ll report back more when I’ve played it.
  2. After much, much prodding and watching Jay play it a million times I started to try to play League of Legends.  It’s like eleventy dimensional chess; 5v5 fights on a (deceivingly) simple map where you choose from one of 40 champions or so.  All of them have different abilities, all of them work differently in different team-ups/match-ups, and as with any competitive internet game is filled with arrogant douchebags.This a video where someone explains how to control spacing fer christs sake.

  3. Patch 3.3 of World of Warcraft dropped in early December when I was in California.  They added a mechanic for doing cross-server grouping for dungeons that is real easy.  Match that with the fact that they buffed those dungeons to have awesome rewards and I’ve been running at least one a day.
  4. Playing a lot of Defender Chronicles on my iPhone when I’m just siting around.   Awesome game.
  5. I got to the very end of Dragon Age: Origins but didn’t finish it; I just petered out in the last dungeon for whatever reason.  Maybe I’ll finish at some point.
  6. Almost forgot! Steam was having a sale after Xmas and I was able to get Torchlight for $4.99, which is just a Saint Vinnies bargain for what you get.  A really cool simple dungeon crawl game.

Lots of deadlines at work this week, and wwhazz/belly are going to be on vacation.  Cal’s new year enthusiasm will have to carry us through on its own.

Also, for those that read down this far on my posts: wiki.whazzmaster.com

Cal is a Weenis

My dude is one the left
My dude is on the left

So you don’t like my post titles, eh Cal?  Then become one, wretch!

Yeah, it’s been awhile– lots of great games came out over the last month, plus I’ve been sick since last Tuesday.  Thanksgiving was tony-the-tiger grrreat but would have been way better had I not been sick.  Say lah vee.  My whole family came into town and we aprtied at our place.  Highlight: dinner at The Old Fashioned with my parents.

So as I said the games have been a flowin’. Last week I beat Assassin’s Creed II and then mopped up the last few items I needed to find to unlock secret endings and all that jazz.  AC2 was an awesome game and I’ll still go back to play it just to run around the rooftops of Venice.

I also laid the final beatdown on Borderlands two weeks ago, so now I’m max level with two playthroughs and a shotgun that deals in hot death.  I bought the first DLC that came out last week and my review: a solid meh.  The problem with it is that I’m max level, so it doesn’t progress my dude much.  The only thing left is MOAR LOOTZ and even a few hours into it I haven’t found a single usable drop from an enemy yet.  The problem with a game that has 17.5 million different guns is that it’s extraordinarily difficult to find one you want.  Once you get a really good weapon (like my 257×9 shotgun) it’s almost impossible to find anything better.  The story is ok, with some humorous parts and a good flow so far, but it’s not holding my attention very well.

Which leads us to Dragon Age.  I got my new computer hooked up so I can finally play it (and it looks goddamned beautiful), but it kinda sat there for awhile.  I went through the opening tutorial/get-the-story-kickstarted part and immediately got fucking murdered by a ton of really hard enemies.  I played that part (and wiped) five times and then I just set the difficulty to Easy mode and got on with my life.  The story is REALLY great and absorbing, but my biggest problem is that you will spend upwards of 15-20 minutes having dialog wars with other characters.  My biggest peeve is that you have to sit through 60 seconds of cinematic dialog just to talk to a damn shopkeeper to buy some health potions.  A lot of reviews have ranted and raved that they’ve been playing for 25+ hours and are still addicted; it’s easy to see why when you’re still in the tutorial stage at hour five.  I do understand what they’re saying, though, since even as I complain I want to hop back in and keep moving the story forward.

I’ll be in California next week, and fuddruckus suggested a re-edit of Cinnabar/Bee an’ Jeezy.  Maybe the night of the 12th? I don’t fly out until 7pm the next day. HOLLLLLLLAR!

Tromboneulous

I have nothing to say, more or less. Got switched to a new group at work, and the year (and decade) is coming to a close. Poo poo pachu. This weekend I’ll be at the Wisconsin/Northwestern game down in Illinois, and next week is Whazzgiving.

The soup club is on: I delivered a white chicken chili and chemical burned my hands for, like, the millionth goddamn time.  Here’s what to get me for xmas: plastic gloves and a sign that says “USE THESE WHEN CUTTING CHILI PEPPERS YOU FUCK.”

In video game news, I finished up Borderlands this week (though the first DLC drops on 24th and I’ll be getting that) just in time to grab Assassin’s Creed II.  I’m a couple of hours into AC2 and so far it’s fucking great.  Also, my new gaming compy is coming on Monday and then I’ll be able to start Dragon Age. Woo!

That whole Golden Tee thing is a bummer, but I have faith that we’ll get a replacement eventually; and hopefully when we do we’ll have somewhere to put it.

Union. Reunion.

Rain Check
Rain Check

Attended Spacebee’s 10 year high school reunion last night down in Illinois.  It was a pretty fun time; I met a lot of her old ‘pals’ and had some Jameson.  Mandy’s awesome pa bought us a round of drinks via the token system at a local bar afterwards.

To follow up on the previous post, I beat Borderlands last week and started the second playthrough to try to get to level 50.  I started Dragon Age: Origins on my Macbook but it crashed every time I shut it down so I decided to wait on really diving in until I get a new gaming rig that can handle the game in all its glory.

Finally, a heads-up to wwhazz that this looks like a good solution for the project we were talking about.  I checked on costs and depending on how long it ends up being, we’d be looking at no more than $300 to publish plus $15-$20 per copy to purchase.  That’s incredibly doable– let’s get it started.

Favre: Meteorite Target

Sadness
Sadness

Last night pretty much sucked for any Packers fan. Blarrgle, blurgh, o-line. ^%$&%(&)(^&SACKS$%@!# This nightmare seems as if it will never end.

I drowned my sorrows in scotch: dry, tasty scotch, and then I played Borderlands until I was almost certain to be tormented by dreams of millions of white, green, blue, purple, and orange guns, shotguns, sniper rifles, and rocket launchers.  I’ve been loving the shit out of Borderlands lately, so if anyone out there has it for Sexbox 360 I want to play co-op with you.

I need to finish the shit out of Borderlands soon, though, because Dragon Age comes out tomorrow.  I preordered it on Steam (more on that in a second) so I should be able to play it immediately.  It’s your standard go-out-and-kill-the-marauding-hordes-with-a-sword type of thing.  Kind of excited; I really liked Neverwinter Nights back in the day and this is by the same dudes.  GRIMGAW, TO ME!

Anyways, Steam is pretty nice.  I gotta preface by saying that I’m a fan of online stores.  The iTunes Store, XBOX Live, these are things that allow me to near instantly acquire things I want without bullshit (also good since I don’t have a car to get to places like Best Buy).  Steam is a client you install on your PC that allows you to purchase new and old games, and to pre-order games that will be released in the future.  The games are delivered by download, and it’s kinda cool since it acts as a dashboard where you can launch all the games on your computer.  For old times’ sake, I bought Zuma Adventures and Bookworm Adventures.  Goddammit I love Bookworm, where you defeat your enemies with the power of words (the longer, the better).  One time I one-shotted an enemy by spelling the word “prosthetic” from a pool of 16 jumbled letters and felt like a god.  Wwhazz, it may be up your alley in a Bananagrams-ish way.

Puzzle Quest: Galactrix

I am going to talk about a video game that enraged me this morning– if you don’t like it then (jerks thumb) screw.

I had heard vaguely good things about a game called Puzzle Quest before, and I have enjoyed puzzle games in the past (Chuzzle, Zuma, Bookworm, etc.) so when I saw a featured game on Xbox Live Arcade called Puzzle Quest: Galactrix I bought it.  What appeals to me is the ‘gather strength and weapons’ aspect of RPGs mixed with the puzzling action.  I won’t get into exactly how Puzzle Quest mixes weapons and tetris, but if you even care you’re probably the type of person that can imagine how it works.

My progression was fine until this morning.  As you defeat stronger enemy ships in combat you get money, cargo (which you can sell for money), and plans (which you can use to create new weapons and ships).  You have the choice of purchasing new weapons and ships, or you can combine plans and cargo to create your own.  I was content to purchase the weapons I wanted, or sometimes I crafted them.  However, at a certain point in the game you face increasingly tough enemies who can wipe your little ship out in two turns.  At this point all the weapons in the world can’t help you– you need a bigger damn ship.

So, as I mentioned above, the ships are obtainable in three ways: buying, finding, and crafting.  You hardly ever find a ship, but that is how I moved from the small version to the medium version.  I kept hoping to ‘find’ a big ship but so far no luck.  I did, however, get plans for building a huge ship.  It had lots of preconditions (an immense amount of cargo, and you have to solve an incredibly hard puzzle) but I spent all morning cruising around the galaxy, mining asteroids and running errands for asshole aliens.  Finally, I have assembled all the ingredients to make my huge ship which will propel me to victory against the Borg– er, ‘Soulless’ (I see what you did there, developers).

Here I should explain how the cargo, or ingredients, work.  Your ship can only hold so much.  You can have up to three ships at a time.  This becomes important later, but for some reason even though you fly and fight in only one of your three ships, your total available cargo room is calculated by adding up all three ships’ cargo capacity.

Ok, I got the ingredients, I got the plans, let’s craft ourselves a Voltragg Battlecruiser! Er, no.  “You already have three ships in your fleet.”  Hmm, ok, I’ll sell my smallest ship that I never use.  Then I’ll have room in my fleet for my Voltragg Fucking Battlecruiser.  (sell item) “You can’t do that because you have too much cargo.”  So I can’t sell my smallest ship because my cargo would then exceed the combined capacity of all my ships– I already had a feeling of dread.  I sold off all my excess cargo, the stuff that wasn’t necessary to build my battlecruiser; not enough.  So I sold more, and more until I was able to sell the small ship.  And now? I don’t have enough capacity to hold the ingredients to make my fucking battlecruiser.

My only option now is to sell all my cargo, and my second ship. Then buy a new second ship that I have no intention of using but that has a large capacity so I can put enough fucking cargo in it so I can have a third slot open so I can build a motherfucking Voltragg Battlecruiser.  pant, pant.  Fuck.

I should not have to buy a second (very expensive) ship (let’s call it the Stor-N-Save) just so I have somewhere to put the materials I’ll use to build my Eradicator of Worlds.  Fuck you, game-makers.