On all Fronts

The summer of 2013 is already rounding out to be one of the better summers in recent memory. There is something happening with nearly every subject of interest that I have. To begin, I’ll go over the things that have already come to pass:

League Related:

In League of Legends, the newest patch (3.8) went live a couple of nights ago, and brought with it some pretty significant balancing changes. I’m not going to go into too much detail, but will say that I love the fact that Riot is constantly improving the game, and they actually seem like a company that listens to its player’s feedback. I will comment that the item changes (pricing and balancing) that came through in this patch are worth taking a look at. I have also noticed since this patch that the game client seems to run smoother; I haven’t been having the constant issues with disconnecting and having random lag spikes. The full patch notes are linked above, and for those of you who don’t like to read, here’s the patch preview:

The newest champion, Aatrox the Darkin Blade, didn’t release on schedule with the patch, but was available last night when I was getting a few rounds of ARAM in. This is a new champion that I am actually excited to try out, which hasn’t happened for a while now. Some champions just call out to me, whereas some of the others just don’t. Here’s his champion spotlight, check it out for details:

Everything Else:

In one of my posts last month I spoke of my journey to metal, and nearly all of the bands I mentioned are releasing new albums this summer. The Black Dahlia Murder dropped their latest, “Everblack” this past Tuesday, and I haven’t been able to finish a day without giving it a spin. I have always enjoyed BDM’s style, and each album they continue to hold my attention, without getting old. I’m not any good at reviewing albums, but dammit it’s great if you enjoy metal like I do. Most critics agree, it’s received rave reviews. Later in July, Chimaira releases their new album entitled “Crown of Phantoms”, and then in August Revocation drops their self-titled album. Misery Index didn’t deliver this year, but according to their Facebook:

Our one and only trip to Europe this year starts next week, see you then, final dates below – Also, we can finally say, a new album will definitely be out by Spring 2014!

One of my other favorite bands of all time, Nine Inch Nails announced a new album that is releasing at the end of summer, on September 3rd called “Hesitation Marks”. The first single from this album was leaked a little early, but is officially out now, and you can check that out right here:

A good year for music indeed.

Now, on to E3. I have long been a fan of Sony’s products, particularly the Playstation console. I am not one to completely hate on all of the other consoles out there, as I have also owned Nintendo products, and have played my share on the Xbox consoles. Really I’d be a Sega fanboy still if they didn’t destroy their reputation so long ago. Since the first Playstation released, I have been on board. The main reason for this? Well at the time it was the games. Their exclusives were better than what the competitors were offering, and really the Xbox didn’t exist yet. When it did release, I was already firmly in the Sony camp, although I did end up giving Microsoft a chance (outside of their PC products, which I have no problems with). My major complaint? The controller. I’ll never forget the day my roommate purchased a 360. He did so specifically because he wanted a copy of Resident Evil 5, and the Xbox was cheaper at the time (otherwise he would have stuck with Sony, just like we both have throughout the years). This same year, Street Fighter IV released, and as a longtime fan of the series, I got it for his system, as I didn’t have the funds to get my PS3 yet. The controller killed that game for me, as I really couldn’t play as effectively with it. I did so-so on shooters and other games that he acquired, but my poor opinion of that controller has always stuck with me. Xbox doesn’t have exclusives I can’t live without, and most companies seem to avoid those exclusivity deals. So what if XBone owners are going to get the newest cut and paste Call of Duty game first? The DRM issue really doesn’t even bother me, I have an internet connection, and I intend to play games online. The used game issue is a little more touchy, as if I have the option to acquire one I want to be able to play it. I will admit though, that the way of the future is digital distribution, and most of my library of games are all virtual copies. So in that respect Microsoft is moving towards the future, but I still see my prior investment in Sony as something I should continue on with. PS Plus and PSN accounts are going to merge over to PS4, so why not stay where I am? I see no advantages in owning both consoles, and no advantages for jumping ship now. If I can’t get a game on my PS4, I’ll most likely be able to get it on my PC. I’m also not made of money, so the lower entry point is another selling point. If you prefer Wii U or XBone, good on you, but I’m still in the Sony camp.

Finally, “The Last of Us” released today, and I have yet to get my copy, but I have been looking forward to the game for what a year now? Whatever the case, it’s one of the last big PS3 releases and I want to get in on it. I am hoping to be able to get my hands on a PS4 during the initial launch, which is something I hadn’t done with any of the prior systems. I usually don’t have to have the next big thing right when it releases, but this just seems phenomenal. If I have the money to spend, why not?