Sunday, July 31, 2011


Before I post this blog I'd like to make an apology, this blog has been in the making for months, I've had it mostly complete for this entire time but have neglected posting due to a mixture of writers block and the constantly evolving nature of the game. As such I've gone through and re wrote parts of this blog repeatedly, losing quality in the post. So I'd like to apologize for that beforehand as well. Up next I'll have a League of Legends blog that's also been in the works for some time.


It's been a long time since I've posted, but I feel the need to post about this game. I'm sure many of you have read reviews of this glorious game. I pre-ordered it and have purchased all DLC that has been released to this point.

Mortal Kombat is the ninth full-fledged installation in the fighting game series, The story is equally as outrageous and convoluted as it's predecessors, but for those who are interested it is presented better than any other fighting game. The story mode plays through like a movie with fighting sequences seamlessly embedded into the cinematics. The story mode plays through in chapters where you control each character with the video sequences between each fight. Each chapter lasts between four and eight fights, ramping up in difficulty as the story goes on.

The classic courtyard stage returns with style
The story starts with the conclusion of the previous game: Armageddon. Shao Kahn having defeated Blaze on top of the pyramid has absorbed enough power to rival the elder gods. Raiden attempts to defeat Shao Kahn, but is defeated. Before Shao Kahn can deliver a killing blow, Raiden sends his memories and a message back to his past self: "Let him win." At that point the story shifts to the first Mortal Kombat tournament, where Raiden attempts to change the path of the future, and thus avoiding Shao Kahn's ascension.

The story moves through the first three Mortal Kombat tournaments, Raiden making different decisions that change the fates of multiple characters, as well as that of Earthrealm. For instance, smoke never becomes a cyborg, yet Sub-Zero does. While being convoluted and cheesy, the story mode is pulled off with a flair that is rarely seen, and is unheard of in fighting games. Now that we've got the story mode out of the way, on to the fighting.

Pictured: Fighting

The fighting in this game is among the best you will find in any current generation fighting game. I would put it on par with Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition and Marvel Vs Capcom 3. Mortal Kombat has returned to it's roots. Instead of messing around with 3d environments, wonky mechanics like stance switching and environmental deaths, and new and uninteresting characters Mortal Kombat has returned to the basics. Only one character outside of the first four shows up, Kenshi from Deadly Alliance.

DLC For this game has also come out at a steady pace, 4 new characters will have been released as of August 7th, with news of more on the way. It took Super Street Fighter IV a year to release bonus characters, and Marvel Vs Capcom 3 is going to get a second retail launch to add in their own expanded character list that will be incomparable with MvC3.

The only speedbump Mortal Kombat has hit was online play during the launch, it was straight up atrocious. The worst netcode of the generation, it was called. Upwards of a second of input lag was a commonplace, since launch this has steadily been repaired making the game far more playable. 

This game has tons of content. Up to four person multiplayer, tag team, co op arcade, basic arcade, challenge tower, story mode, crypt, online play for tag team and basic versus, it's own form of lobbies and a king of the hill arcade style match. Mortal Kombat has everything, and it does it all better than most of it's competition. Mortal Kombat has raised the bar on fighting games, I look forward to seeing how Capcom will answer.

If you're looking for a fighting game and already have Street Fighter, look no further than Mortal Kombat.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Street Fighter X Tekken

When this game was announced a short video of Nina and Kazuya facing off against Ryu and Chun-Li was shown. The video teased a Street Fighter fighting system incorporating Tekken characters. Until today I was quite worried about this. Now after seeing both the cinematic and gameplay trailers I am happy to say this game looks fun, more fun than Marvel Vs Capcom 3.

The gameplay trailer itself doesn't show much other than announcing the character list, but you can find it here. Now moving on there was a second video released at the same time that showed a full eight minutes of gameplay with the interface and everything. Below you can see the video in full.

This gameplay trailer shows off the games system which resembles the system used both in Third strike and Alpha, while keeping the smooth fast-paced combat that was given in Super Street Fighter IV. You can see that Capcom has given quite a bit of thought on how to balance the Tekken characters in with the Street Fighter characters.

King and Marduk are by far the most interesting characters shown off in the trailer, the characters both rely on throw combos much like they do in Tekken, I am curious to see how this will pan out on release. As is it looks like once a throw combo starts it will be impossible to break it, much like a normal combo. I am hoping that doing such will require precise timing, but this is Capcom we are talking about so that's a given.

The game looks to be a 2v2 tag team fighter much like Marvel Vs Capcom, but it appears to use a six-button set like Street Fighter. Instead of a second player hopping in once one player is defeated however, a round ends with a K.O. This means that good players will have to swap characters in and out to survive matches or else they'll find themselves quickly K.O.'d. This is an interesting approach, and I more than welcome it.

This game appears to be shaping up quite nicely, and it's 2012 release couldn't get here sooner, but until then I've got SSFIV Arcade, Marvel Vs Capcom 3, and Mortal Kombat (2011) to keep me satisfied.

Applying to the Sons of Korriban

We feel that the current forum-bound application process is a bit too limiting, and as such we are going to expand upon it. First of all I will make it clear who we are looking for to join the Sons of Korriban.

The Sons of Korriban is a roleplaying-PvP guild, and as such we are looking for players who both enjoy the storytelling aspects of roleplay, and the heavily competitive aspects of player-versus-player combat, and are always looking to improve themselves in both fields. We are not looking for people who don't want to put forward some effort to get the job done. We understand that not everyone can be the best writer or player, all that we ask is that you be your best and always look for ways to improve.

We are looking for mature players. We do not believe maturity is measured in years, but by your actions. A mature 16 year old is more valuable than an immature 20-something year old. We like to have fun as much as anyone else, but when the time comes to be serious we need everyone able to be.

We have a strict no-drama policy. As such we are not looking for people who cause it inadvertently or purposefully. Attention-seeking behavior, rampant disrespect, and not respecting the boundaries of others are all unacceptable. If somebody asks you to stop, stop, even if they are not an officer. Inter-guild drama is also unacceptable, this is especially true for our official opposition on the Republic. This is a game and we are all here to have fun. People who repeatedly cause trouble will be removed.

When it comes to roleplay we do not require that you post in forum threads, or write stories out in full. We will offer the opportunity to do this for those who want to, but we understand it is not everyone's thing. If you wish for your roleplay only to be dealt with in game, that is fine. People who exclusively forum RP or do in-game RP will naturally miss out on some guild and inter-guild events that people who do both will be able to take part in.

Story-wise the Sons of Korriban is both a Sith and Military organization that employs mercenaries in the hope of bringing these fighters into the sith ranks. SoK's goals are to increase the reach and influence of the Sith Empire and eradicate all enemies that stand in their way. Your character must be in tune with these goals, and be a useful asset to the group. Each class will have their own way of entering and moving through the ranks.

  • Sith Inquisitors and Warriors both will enter as either apprentices or full fledged Sith willing to do the bidding of their masters in SoK.
  • Imperial Agents are considered to be part of the Imperial Military upon joining, and are among the most useful assets in SoK's arsenal.
  • Bounty Hunters will be considered mercenaries upon joining, singing a contract with the organization. They will have the opportunity to become loyal sith subjects and even become part of the Sith Military if they wish

The application process starts when you apply to the guild using the headstart's own application process, answer those questions as thoroughly as possible. If you have interacted with us in previous games let us know! After you have applied using the head-start system, fill out an application using the template at the top of the Application thread located here.

The Sons of Korriban

Brought together from the reaches of the Empire, the Sons of Korriban formed to answer the call of the Empire and usher in a new era of Imperial dominance. Formed by the ambitious Sith Keraph and Securo the sons of Korriban are an elite taskforce of soldiers, diplomats, and Sith masters. 

The Sons of Korriban is a Roleplaying-PvP guild in the game Star Wars: The Old Republic that will most likely play on either a western or eastern-time server to maximize the potential member base.

This guild is open for recruitment and is seeking members as well as both ally and enemy guilds to interact with.

We have a solid story and member base in place, as well as a decent officer base, but we have not set everything in stone just yet. The guild is still open for basic recruitment to increase our ranks, and as such all members who join that are not given officer position will start on equal standing. Those who contribute the most in these pre-formation months will be promoted, possibly even to an officer position.

Apply on the website here.

An apology for my absence.

First I would like to apologize for my month-long absence from posting here, after being semi regular for two weeks I stopped posting for a good month. I intend to rectify this with a few posts before the end of the night, keep in touch. I'll be posting regularly again soon, don't you worry about your content.

What I have in store for you this month:

-Super Street Fighter IV talk, coverage, and gameplay! Also my thoughts on the imminent release of Arcade
-Mortal Kombat review and hopefully gameplay.
-Guild coverage for SWTOR, endless whoring of the link to my website in hopes that I gain new members.
-And the general ramblings of the madman

Friday, March 11, 2011

Dragon Age II

So for those who have been wondering where I've been the past few days, I'll tell you in two words and a suffix: Dragon Age II. Well, that and swearing into the Navy (thus the previous blog post). Let's just call this blog post my 'first review' or my 'review of my first playthrough', which I finished sometime around that huge earthquake in Tokyo this morning.

For the record, I am a huge Bioware fan. I have been since I first picked up KOTOR, it was this fandom that got me to pick up the first Dragon Age, as well as Mass Effect, even though they were based on completely original universes and I had no background information on them to grasp and become interested in. It was my fandom that made me pick these up, but it is not what kept me playing (or else I would be giving Jade Empire good praises, which I don't.)

For the record, I have also pre-ordered every Bioware game since KOTOR, with the exception of Jade Empire and the first Mass Effect, but I rectified this by buying Jade Empire for my PC years later, and Mass Effect a few weeks after launch the same day I bought my Xbox 360. Dragon Age II is not an exception to this, nor was Origins. I pre-ordered both on Steam, and got all those lovely little bonus items for doing such, I have also purchased all the DLC for both games that is currently launched. So believe me when I say I know Bioware. This following post is not some suck-up to gain recognition or views. This is an honest, straightforward review. Let's get to it, shall we?

It's about bloody time.
It is inevitable I will be comparing Dragon Age 2 to Dragon Age: Origns, it's a sequel. Sequels will be compared to the previous installments in the series. Dragon Age: Origins ate about 180 hours of life away during it's first two months after launch, and another 50 or so after some of the more interesting downloadable content (DLC) was launched. I created enough characters to do every choice imaginable, but only completed the game and it's entire DLC library twice. This is because of the massive amount of side quests and things to do. The game felt so open, even though it was a hub world full of countless identical hallways and buildings that I would constantly walk through. It never bored me, I never wondered 'what am I doing?'. Even with it's generic storyline, it was given it's own twists and feel, the Bioware way. I fell in love with the characters, the dialogue, the world, and about everything else. Dragon Age: Origins is probably my favorite Fantasy RPG ever launched, outranking even the fabled Elder Scrolls series.

Needless to say, I came into Dragon Age 2 with high expectations. I had little reason to think they wouldn't be met, either. Bioware delivered an amazing sequel to Mass Effect, and the expansions to DA:O were, while short, still fun and interesting. The only thing that worried me were the rumored changes to the game, how they were 'turning it into Mass Effect because EA is pulling the strings.' And even then, I mostly ignored those warnings, because I believed they were unfounded criticisms of overly zealotrous fanboys who complain about any little change. And really, it's a good thing I did ignore them. I suggest you do the same as well.

Pictured: Bioware fanboys upon hearing about the dialogue change.

So what were these changes that people feared? What huge changes came to Dragon Age 2 that made the game so horrible for them (even though it wasn't even announced yet.) First of all we have the change to dialogue. Hawke is completely voiced, and as such his conversation choices have been narrowed down, and he has been given a 'Mass Effect' style indicator to choose his options. The upper one is generally friendly, the middle one smartassed (I'll get back to this), and the lower one hostile.

The misconception was that this would be bringing a renegade/paragon style system to Dragon Age, in truth it didn't. Your conversation choices do not make you look more good/bad appearance wise, and there is no visible meter that tells you how good you are. Instead your choices affect how your friends react to you, and what happens in the world, the exact same way it did in the first Dragon Age. Things have been simplified for the benefit of gaining a skilled voice actor for your main character, something that has been an improvement.

Next there were the fabled changes to combat. To be honest, these are the less evident of the changes. Combat feels very similar, just sped up. The only real changes are as follows: 2h weapons are always AoE, everything is a cone, even the auto attacks. Ranged players use their ranged weapons no matter what, in melee range they may gain a different animation. For mages they beat you with their staff, for rogues they beat you with what appears to be a pair of swords.

Other than that combat is unchanged, you still have a pause-play strategy that is required on the higher difficulty levels. You still have different abilities that are aimed either at an enemy, at an area on the ground with a big circle, or in a cone in front of your character. You still have active, cast, and toggle abilities. You even still use the mana/stamina system from DA:O, the only change being that warriors only regenerate stamina after a kill, rogues gain it from auto attacks, and mages still gain a steady rate of mana over time. 

The most evident change was the loss of separate origin stories. Every Hawke is the same Hawke, they are all a child (either male or female, mage or not) from the same family in Ferelden. Every Hawke starts off with the same family and background. In the end this choice was probably made for the sake of voice acting, getting a male and female voice actor for all three races would have been expensive, and using the same voices for all three would have felt cheap. Either that or Bioware wanted to focus one flowing story with a set background for your character. I was saddened by this, but the way the game was presented more than made up for it.

In all three of these cases the changes were made for a faster-running game, more simplified. They modernized the game and borrowed elements from Mass Effect, but did them in a very Dragon Age way. These aren't the only changes, but they are the ones people heard of and were scared. All three cases are simply advancement of the game, moving into the future. They are improvements and nothing more. Nothing has been lost other than appearances, oh and origins (that's why this game isn't Dragon Age 2: Origins.).

So let's move on past the rage. This game has improved from it's predecessor in many ways. The visual presentation of the game alone has seen more of an improvement than Mass Effect saw between it's first and second installment. One of my largest issues with the first game had always been about the textures, and this game has improved upon them greatly. I am of course speaking from the perspective of someone who played with the HD textures on the PC version, but if you're not doing that you have no room to complain about graphics.

Concept art of Kirkwall

Variety in the world has also had some gains and losses. For about 98% of the game you spend your time around the city of Kirkwall, a former Tevinter stronghold in the Free Marches. This seems like a reduction in variety, but for comparison Dragon Age 2 actually is larger in size than the first game, and that game had five cities, a forest or two, and a bunch of caves to explore. With Dragon Age 2, Bioware has focused one one city and bled it dry, giving us as much of it as we could take.The art palette has been extensively used, this game isn't as brown as it's predecessor, although it sticks to it's realism approach in presentation. The colors also seem better placed than they were in Origins (those who remember the mage tower and the Fade know what I'm talking about)
There are a few other minor changes, one of which is to the specialization tree. It has been streamlined and a lot of things from the previous game have been combined into single talents, added on as improvements to other talents, or removed altogether. Many new talents are also present. Your companion characters also each have their own special talent tree unique to them, much like Shale did in Origins. You still gain one point per level to put into the tree, and two specialization points to choose your sub-classes.

The mage talent trees when pulled back, sub talents are shown when you select a specific specialization.

Crafting has also changed. No longer do you select an ability from a secondary talent tree (which no longer exists at all) but you find different ingredients throughout Kirkwall. Once you have found an ingredient it is listed, there are different amounts of each ingredient to find and once you have enough to craft something you can simply order it from your home for a small cost that is only limited by your wallet. Recipes are found from picking locks (which is now based on your rogue's level of cunning exclusively, not a talent in the rogue tree), killing creatures, or just laying around.

I've seen some reviews call Dragon Age 2 more of an 'expansion' than a sequel. Honestly this game is more of a sequel than Mass Effect 2 was. They have dropped us in the boots of another character and flown us across the world to a new location, given us a new story and theme, and let us run wild. While the combat has barely changed and a lot of the gameplay remains the same, that is because the first game had it so right the first time. You don't fix what isn't broken, this isn't a revolution it's an improvement. Most of these changes reflect that. Gameplay wise, there really isn't much more for me to say unless you didn't play the original and have no idea where I'm coming from, so let's move to the story, shall we?

Fair warning, the section ahead contains many spoilers. It is also only taken from one playthrough, so it doesn't reflect the entire game. Just like the first installment there are many choices you can make along the way that will change everything. Ready then? Spoilers between the spider pictures.

Spoiler-Spider is warning you.
This game starts with a lovely little cinematic that introduces you to one of the supporting characters of the game, Varric. The game is presented as if it is a story he is telling. The game opens up with Hawke and an unnamed companion beating on a few dozen Darkspawn with little trouble and eventually taking down an Ogre, just as the Ogre falls a Dragon swoops in and scorches the land. The story is abruptly stopped by a second character, a seeker of the chantry who claims that the story is bullshit, and that she wants the entire story. Varric agrees to tell it, but he has to tell it from the beginning.

Varric starts over, and begins telling the true origin of Hawke. Hawke and his/her family are introduced fleeing from Lothering, shortly after the Hero of Ferelden (what your character from the first game will hereafter be called) has passed through. Hawke and his family are fleeing the armies of the Darkspawn, and hoping to flee to the north where they can take refuge in the Free Marches, where family is supposedly waiting. Unfortunately their escape route to the north is cut off and they are forced to push south into the wilderness.

While fighting your way through Darkspawn you come cross a Templar and his wife who are also fleeing the Darkspawn, the Templar has been gravely injured and his wife, Aveline, takes up his shield. After a brief confrontation due to your sister's (and possibly your) mage-status, you agree to help each-other flee from your common foe: the Darkspawn.

It is here you find yourself on the same stretch of land that the false Hawke found him/herself on shortly before while Varric was telling the story. Here you are charged by an Ogre who either kills your brother or sister depending on whether you're a mage or not. (Mages lose their kindhearted sister, warriors and rogues lose their asshole brother.) Just as all hope seems to be lost a great dragon swoops in from the sky and burns the Darkspawn horde that are approaching you, the Dragon transforms into human form and reveals herself to be Flemeth.

Flemeth agrees to take you and your companions north to find a ship to Kirkwall, where you have family waiting. But you must first agree to take a small amulet to a place not too far out of the way. Walter, Aveline's husband, at this point begins to writhe in agony, both from his wounds and his contact with Darkspawn blood, something that is poisonous to non Grey Wardens. Walter asks to be put out of his misery, and he is swiftly granted mercy.

I'mma Dragon, I'mma Dragon

From here the story cuts to Kirkwall, where your family and Aveline find yourselves trapped outside. Countless refugees from Ferelden have poured into the city over the past four months and the gates have been closed to outsiders. You plea with a guard to contact your uncle Gamlen so you can gain entrance to the city.

Gamlen arrives a few days later, revealing that the entire family fortune has been lost to pay back a few debts, and that he has no way to pay for your entrance into the city, but instead has found two people willing to hire you for work for a year in return for getting you into the city. You have to choose between working for a smuggler, or a ruthless mercenary.

The game cuts out for a year and comes back just as your debt is payed off, this is where your character finally meets Varric, and the game really begins to branch off. Much like Lothering in the first game, this is the point where the game branches off and you are given choices on where to go and what to do. You can gain all your supporting characters rather quickly, and each have their own charms.

I'll get back to these characters in a later post, but suffice to say they are all rather loveable. Varric, Isabella, and Anders (who was in Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening) are perhaps the strongest.  You are given the usual romance options, this time you have two homosexual, and three heterosexual options as a male.

Unlike the first game, the Darkspawn only play a minor role. The overall theme of this game is surrounding Hawke and his/her rise to champion in the city of Kirkwall, and finding out why the Chantry seeker is looking for him. In fact you only run into the Darkspawn again during an expedition to the Deep Roads, which you only go to twice. Your main threats come from Qunari, bandits, blood mages, demons, and Templars.

Spoilers end here.

Spoiler spider is out of power.
It took me twenty-four hours to beat this game, I did nearly every side-quest available to me and made all my choices the first time through without backtracking and changing them. I encountered every companion character and finished each of their story-arcs, ending the game with as close to 100% completion as I could get.

It really is an improvement on the first game in many ways, I've enjoyed it quite a bit. I have yet to go through and re-beat it as many times as I did the first, but it's only been out for three days; give me time.

I'll be back later for a second look, and a further review of the story, but I can already give my full recommendation to purchase this game. Do not pirate it, do not rent it, BUY it. You need to own this game if you are interested, even just a little. It's Bioware, man, you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Oath

I, Anthony Michael Jessup, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Killing is my business...

Severe case of writers block. So no post tonight. I'll leave you with one of the greatest Thrash Metal songs written.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited has for some time offered a wonderful little service: Digital Comics Unlimited. It is a subscription based model for an e-reader that has access to a large chunk of the Marvel Comics database. The Ultimate universe is almost available in it's entirety through Ultimatum, the Marvel universe has small gaps here and there but is mostly there as well.

Why this was interesting to me was because I had never really gotten into comics before. I had always wanted to, but I just couldn't afford to purchase the thousands of comics that existed just so I could read up on them in some sort of chronological order, even for one of the more recent universes like Ultimate. For the most part I was content with my basic knowledge of the Marvel universe that I had from the few games and snippets of the comics I had read here and there, the movies that had came out and such. I knew that this wasn't enough, but money was too scarce to change it.

Then I got into Champions Online. Maybe it was the fact Champions Online was original going to be 'Marvel Universe' and still screamed 'Marvel Comics' in everything it did. Maybe it was the group of players I found, and their knowledge of comics that got me interested. Whatever it was I started re-watching the new Avengers storyline of the movies, starting with the Iron Mans and then Hulk.Then I decided that I was tired of not reading the comics and tried looking for a way to read them.

First I looked for a chronological list of any of the Marvel Universes, the one that I found first was a great one on the Ultimate universe. My next order of business was to start getting the comics, but unluckily for me I still lacked the money to buy them. I almost stooped to torrenting them, almost. But first I decided I'd check for prices.

And that is how I discovered Digital Comics Unlimited. For the mere price of $10 a month, or $60 a year I could read as many Marvel comics as I wanted, and after a quick search almost the entire Ultimate Universe was uploaded and ready to be read for Digital subscribers. A quick typing of credit card numbers later and I was reading through the Ultimate Universe, in order.

It took me about two weeks to read all the way through Ultimatum, I'd tackle 10-20 comics a day near the end but at the beginning I was reading nearly 60 a day. I quickly fell in love with Ultimate Spider-Man, Ultimate X-Men and the Ultimates. I still had the same 'meh' feeling towards the Ultimate Fantastic Four as I had for anything else relating to the Fantastic Four I had ever seen, considering they were always my least favorite Marvel super-hero team.

I read like crazy, knocking comics out one by the next, going through the many cross-comic story arcs and enjoying every second of them. I read all the way to Ultimatum wanting so much, and it was delivered. Ultimatum blew me away, and as far as I'm concerned I don't need to read past it. Ultimatum wrapped up everything in a nice big present for me and gave the Universe a sendoff. Yes I know they continue after Ultimatum, but is there really a point to keep reading them after that point?

Such a lovely poster...

Spoiler below in (( )), skip over if you don't want.

((Everyone dies, EVERYONE. Magneto, Wolverine, Dr. Doom, Cyclops, the Pyms, THE BLOB (who you cannot move, cuz he's DA BLOB), EVERYONE. Few people are still around when Ultimatum is wrapped up. The list of survivors includes a couple of the X Men, the entire Fantastic Four (even though they break up as a team), Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, and Nick Fury. Really it does such a good job of wrapping up the Universe I could have swore it was the end, but it really wasn't.))

Most of the way through with the exception of TWO comics (if you've read them you know which issues they are) the art was amazing. It was somewhere between stylized realism and realism, it woudl go back and forth depending on the artist, but it just worked for the Ultimate Universe. 

The writing was amazingly well done for the most part, some of the stuff made me raise an eyebrow later in 'Ultimate Doom' and such, but for the most part I loved it. The way they handled so many of my favorite characters made me more than happy. They even got me to like Spiderman again after that abysmal third movie.

Oh god, make it stop, MAKE IT STOP!

Really, if you're looking at getting into comics at all and money is an issue, Marvel has reduced the cost a lot for you. Head on over to their website and check out Digital Comics Unlimited. It doesn't have the entire library of comics available for Digital Subscribers, but it does offer a good chunk of them.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Jingle Jangle

No post tonight, but I'll leave you with a lovely song from a lovely game you should all go buy.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Marvel Vs Capcom 3

So not too long ago I subscribed to Marvel Digital Comis Unlimited (But that's for another post). Not long after finishing my reading of Ultimatum and finishing the part of the ultimate saga I had access too Marvel Vs Capcom was released for the Xbox 360 and PS3, I ofcourse grabbed it for my trusted Xbox, mostly because my friends list is empty on Playstation Network.

I came into this game with little knowledge of the previous installments, I had played Marvel Vs Capcom 2 in the Arcade at the local movie theater a few times over the years, but I had never done much with it. Most my knowledge came from the memes attached to it.

What sold me on this game before buying it wasn't it's name, nor my past experience, but the videos on youtube I had seen. Especially one that showed a certain character from Marvel I had fallen in love with over the years.

Who did you think I was talking about? After seeing deadpool fight, I was sold on this game instantly, and was forced to buy it. My first team was composed of him, Wolverine, and Iron Man. I quickly grasped the game and how it worked and hopped online, kicking ass and taking names. Deadpool becoming my strongest character.

As I continued to play I created a second Marvel team, this one headed by another character that drove me to purchase the game: Magneto. His team was set up with Pheonix and Hulk on support, Pheonix usually being unseen until I had my bar full so she could suicide for her hyper combo, or 2x X-factor.

As I continued to play I fell more and more in love with the game, it's simplicity and speed enchanted me. I had never been one for 2D fighters, considering they were before my time. I grew up, instead, on 3D fighters, specifically Tekken and the Soul Calibur series.

Even though this game was 2D I adapted to it quickly, learning the controlls and ins and outs of fighting. Learning when to block and when to air combo, when to special attack, and when to use this games new feature: X-factor.

I can't really tell you how MVC3 has improved on it's predecessors, because I didn't play them. What I can tell you is that it is a solid game, with a solid roster, and plenty of variety. This game is full of humor and pure entertainment, and there's enough here to keep you playing for weeks online.

If you haven't checked this game out yet, I suggest you do. It's well worth the rental, and even more the purchase.

My horrible Photoshop skills...

I did mention I would be posting random stuff, and in the hopes of keeping more content coming to the readers I will let you laugh hysterically at my horrible attempts at photoshopping things.

The Land of Death was a roleplay a friend of mine on Twisting Nether wrote on Twisting Nether Gazette. One of my first forays into photoshop I decided to give him a 'cover' for his story, and started experimenting with WoW model viewer and photoshop. This was the end result.

Looking back I'm not too happy with the image, but it was early work. It had inspiration which is more than I could say for the bastardized things I did shortly after. Next I started expirimenting with filters and masks, editing images of people I knew, I started with myself, editing pictures to put up on Myspace. This is my senior photograph, heavily edited and ruined by my horrid skills.

After that I returned back to WoW where I felt safe, and started creating avatars for members mixing in game models and real people to create 'real WoW characters'. It turned out well, and many people on Twisting Nether took part in it. I created many, but here's the best of the bunch.

Swerto, my Undead Warrior. For the image I used Dave Mustaine and about five different layers for his eyes, skin, and hair, which were separate from his armor.

Here is Caedur, an Undead rogue who no longer exists. I used an image of Antonio Bandeeras, and a similar amount of layers. 

Then finally we have Lucreciaa, who was made from a modified image of Tarja Tureneren.

Now you see what horrible skills I have when it comes to photoshop, and why it's nothing more than a hobby that I do when I'm bored.

The wonderful art of my friend...

So as you may or may not know, I play World of Warcraft, or more accurately played it. I play on the server Twisting Nether, which is a roleplaying-player versus player realm, and as such I take part in both of those things. Over the years I've developed many characters, some I may share with you, but first I'm going to share a biproduct of creating such amazing characters and playing with such a great community.

On my server I met an artist who offered to draw my first warrior, Swerto. Here was the result.

Swerto turned out perfect, it was better than I could have hoped for. She customized the armor ever so slightly so it would seem unique, giving Swerto his own flair, making him special. I used this image as an avatar and a signature on many sites, cutting up in multiple ways, and tossed Tam a hefty tip for her gorgeous art which she did practically for free.

About eight months later I was on the other side of the faction line, and playing a new warrior, Alexialas. Interested in keeping the chain of amazing art going, I commissioned a drawing of my new badass femme fatalle. After a long wait and a lot of dialogue, this is what she gave me.

Alexialas turned out perfect, once again Taminda had done a great job adapting my in game character and spinning them out to be unique. This picture also served the dual purpose for helping recruit for my now defunct RP-PvP guild 'Lordaeron's Call'.

Taminda has earned my undying loyalty and fandom as an artist, and whenever she's open for comissions I toss one her way, because she's earned it after the way she's treated me.

If you wish to see more art from Taminda go to her DeviantArt. Her commission status is currently closed, but she will be selling art at an upcoming convention.

The Ocean...

A friend of mine turned me onto these guys not too long ago. I've been listening to them more and more lately. It's really good alt-metal, some of the best I've heard in a while. It's almost forced my hand to go out and purchase their albums off itunes or something, I haven't quite figured it out yet.

You should all give them a listen, up top is their song off the album precambrian 'Stenian : Mount Sorrow'

Champions Online

Champions online went completely free to play a while back, and I decided to give it a try recently. I played champions when it first came out so I was curious as to where the game has gone since it's release. And after logging in, I've got to say the game has improved.

As a free to play-user you have the choice of several archetypes, think of them as classes. These archetypes choose your skills for you, and you pretty much just level. You still get to choose your own costume, gear, and travel powers, but you lose the ability to pick and choose the best abilities.

Because of this you will be at a disadvantage if you ever face a freeform (available only to gold).

Gold members get a larger selection on costume items, access to all archtypes and travel powers (save one), free access to the adventure packs (end game PvE) and extra character slots and costume slots. This all for $15 a month, initial purchase of game no longer necessary. .

So heading in I was aware of my disadvantage of rolling a soldier archetype. For my experience I decided to create Duke Nukem, because I had the intent to troll the hell out of general chat while blowing up aliens in the tutorial mission. It was amusing for a while, but after two days the one liners got old. I did, however, get into the game.

After two days, and 15 levels, I decided I wanted to give gold a shot. I tossed $15 at Cryptic and unlocked freeform, I created my own power-armor Iron-Man clone. At the same time I ran into a group of roleplayers and found myself a crew of players I could have fun playing the game with.

I quickly hit it off with this group, and have since been playing with them. They had their own Supergroup (guilds in Champions) named Bastion. Through them I was able to experience both the adventure packs, as well as a lot of roleplay.

In the end I've realized whlie this game is quite fun, it's not something that could keep me occupied like the MMO's of old used to. I don't get the same sense of accomplishment from leveling or earning money, nothing really seems rewarding outside of the fighting itself.

Now, the fighting, that's very refreshing. It's somewhere between a classic MMO's take on combat, and how DCU handles combat. Champions has a block button, and all of it's abilities are either 'click and hold to cast' 'click to use' or 'click to toggle'. Toggle abilities stay on until toggled off or your run out of energy, click abilities work like abilities in classic MMO's, and cast abilities increase in power the longer they're held, some only fire once the cast is complete, some only fire if the cast is complete, and some fire for the entire duration.

All in all I've had a great time with this game, and it was worth the $15 for the one month so far I've put in it, I might renew my subscription for another month just because I enjoy playing with Bastion.

If anyone is looking for something new to try out and they don't want to toss any money at something, give Champions a try.

The Madman's Blog

Let me just welcome myself to blogger. While I have kept blogs in the past, they have never been really used. This blog, on the other hand, I intend to use.

Let me first introduce myself and explain my intentions of this blog.

My name is Anthony, some of my friends call me Tony, but to the internet at large I am the infamous Swerto. At the time of this blog's posting I am 20 years old, unemployed, and heading into the United States Navy. I am a gamer, a roleplayer, and a writer. My hobbies include playing my guitar, messing around in photoshop, and teaching myself new things.

In this blog I will post experiences I've had in my life, stories I have written, things I have photoshopped, reviews on games and movies, music suggestions, and endless rants. This is not the blog you are looking for if you want a cohesive single subject matter, I am not that kind of person. While I will tag each of my blogs accordingly so you can search through them and find ones by a single subject matter, it won't make anything more cohesive.

Well hello Blogger. Swerto is here, and he's ready to get going.