State of the Tweet: NBI Edition

SotT

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, and in between being busy in real life and busy with the NBI, podcasting, and squeezing some gaming time in here and there, I haven’t had as much time to blog as I would like. I have made a few tweets here and there that are good talking points though, so I’ll run through those. Also, PSA on State of the Game: Yes, I know I haven’t written one in a few weeks. I have ended up being rather busy on weekends when I had been writing them, and I keep putting it off. I will be getting back on schedule with the weekly round-up soon enough, but much of what I would cover will be in this post. I may go back to doing that column during the week. We’ll see. On with the show.

I’ve taken to participating in this #screenshotsaturday thing. At least for a couple of weeks now. This past weekend I threw out some shots from recent gameplay in Shadow Warrior. Yeah, I’m still playing that game (as should be obvious from my last post), but I’m actually quite a bit further than my play through write up would lead you to believe. More on that soon.

I threw this on Twitter right after posting the first talkback challenge of the month. I should note that I just posted the second over on the NBI site a day early. You should go check that out if you’re a participant.

I’ve been running a poll for a few days now, gauging interest in several games we could play as a group. I have decided that the event itself will be on May 16th, so I’ll leave the poll open for a few more days. Diablo III is in the lead right now.

I couldn’t believe it. I’ve been playing Titanfall for a while, and apparently after reaching a certain rank, you gain access to ranked play. A “ranked chip” tracks your progress as you play. I made it to the Silver tier without even trying. As of right now, I’m actually almost Silver V, which is one step away from gold. As I said in the Tweet, I really wish it would have been that easy in League of Legends. I must be better at FPS games.

I added everyone I know of to the NBI class of 2015 link group on my sidebar. As the tweet says, ping me (or leave a comment in this case) if I’ve missed you. I’ll be leaving up that link list until the end of may, at which point I’ll migrate everyone over to the standard blogroll.

I threw this announcement out today, but some of you may have missed it. On the next episode of Couch Podtatoes we’re going to have on two Newbie bloggers as guests, and as of right now, one person has signed up. If you’d like to get your blog some more exposure, would like to know what goes into podcasting, and/or just want to talk with us, let me know ASAP. We’re looking to record by mid next week.

Just a few hours ago, there was more pro League of Legends action to watch. This time it’s the Mid-Season Invitational, and though I don’t really know how this fits into the LCS, I do know that there were top teams from all regions competing and the game I managed to catch was TSM vs SKT. SKT won worlds a couple of years ago, so you know they’re a great team. TSM just finished in first place in North America during the Spring Split. It sounded like a great game. On paper. It ended up being a rather one-sided, boring match. SKT demolished them, proving once again that NA can’t hang with other countries. I don’t get it.

That’s all I have this time around. Check back tomorrow for the newest episode of Couch Podtatoes.

#stateofthetweet #roundup #NBI2015

State of the Tweet: Media Consumption

SotT

So aside from my consistent posts about Shadow Warrior, one of the newest games I’ve committed to playing through and writing about, this was another slow week here on the blog. I keep feeling like there are more philosophical or technical ideas I should be conveying, as so many of the great writers in our blogosphere are wont to do, but I just don’t have the muse. Nothing has come along recently that really chaps my hide, catapulting me into ranty action. As such, I’m providing another round-up of my recent tweets — some to do with gaming, some to do with other forms of media. I hope you won’t mind this occasional foray into other venues besides gaming, but it does give me more to write about, and by proxy, more for you to read about. Win/win.

This past weekend we saw the semi-finals of the North American League Championship Series (NALCS) Spring Split (one of two major parts to the pro season), where the top two seeds, Team Solo Mid (TSM) and Cloud 9 (C9) had enjoyed a bye week and were preparing for their matches against Team Impulse and Team Liquid respectively. C9 was up first on Saturday, and were actually down 0-2 when I posted the above message. I thought it was going to be a sad day for C9, when lo and behold, they won 3 consecutive games to take the series 3-2, and move on to the finals. Excellent play and so much fun to watch.

On Sunday, we were treated to the TSM/TiP matchup, and it was the first series of the weekend that didn’t go all 5 games. TSM ended up winning 3-1 in game 4. TSM is my favorite to win next weekend in the final, but it really could go either way and would be well deserved no matter the result. Both teams are truly on another level. Also next weekend is the third place matchup (which matters when it comes to league points and placement in the summer split) between Team Liquid and Team Impulse, which should also be a great series, as each team gave the top seeds a run for their money.

Also on Sunday, the season premiere of Game of Thrones was on HBO. As a fan of the series, it was great to see it back on the air, seeing the familiar characters and watching the plot thicken. However, thickening was about all that happened, as there wasn’t much action or intrigue in the first episode. I do see where they are lining things up to pick up rather quickly, but it was still sort of a snooze fest. Oh well.

You’ll probably recall that I boycotted purchase of Call of Duty games after Modern Warfare 3. If I hadn’t mentioned it, that is the last game in the long running series that I purchased, after having being a loyal consumer since the very first incarnation on the PC. The game really did become more of the same, year in and year out, and I dislike the model of paying $60 per box plus another $60-80 for DLC and having to do this on a yearly basis. However, I have played most of the games since that boycott, because no matter who you are, you know someone who plays CoD. The last CoD I truly loved was Black Ops, and Black Ops 2 was also tolerable. Seeing the announcment for Black Ops 3 was no surprise, but I wonder how it will perform, and differentiate itself from predecessors? It appears it is taking the Advanced Warfare MO, going with some future tech arsenals, and is keeping the revered Zombies mode. We’ll see what happens soon enough I guess.

I recently finished watching two seasons of Magic City on Netflix. I hadn’t heard of the show, just happened upon it while browsing. Apparently it was an original series on the Starz network (which I honestly didn’t know still existed), but has already been cancelled, so those two seasons are all you’re gonna get. I’d recommend watching it still though, as it had a pretty decent plot during a time period not much shown on TV (I think Mad Men is about the only other show on TV exploring that era). No spoilers, but the series ends pretty solidly, not leaving loose ends, so they must have known they were getting cancelled, or the writers were good at ending things with the season, rather than having cliffhangers.

After URF left us, I decided it was time to get back into playing some ranked in League of Legends. I had a long enough break, and dove back into my ELO hell. I managed to get a few wins and got into a promo series…

But the feeling of elation didn’t last long. I won the first game, but the second two games were thrown, despite our early game dominance in both cases. It seems we didn’t have good shot calling and/or mid-game knowledge. Our rotations were shit and we lost. Both times. I did get to try out Vladimir top though, and he was fun. Sustain for days!

Today I got back into another promo series, and I have won the first game again. Here’s hoping I managed to win it. It doesn’t really matter that much though, as this is just to get back to Bronze II. My Bronze I down to III up to I down to II and staying for a while, then down to III story is about to see the next chapter. I’ll get silver at least, but I really would like to shoot higher.

Another new season for a show I enjoy started up on Monday. TURN is the story of the Revolutionary War between the American Colonies and England. It’s an interesting time period, and the acting and story are superb. The original season which aired last year started off really slow and took forever to get going but I gave it a chance anyway, but this season started off very intriguing right off the bat. I should also mention that I have been watching the last episodes of Mad Men that are airing currently, while another show that started last year is coming back next month in Halt and Catch Fire. I seriously love AMC. Best network on TV in my opinion.

So that’s it for this edition of my random tweets. Peace out.

#stateofthetweet #roundup

State of the Tweet

SotT

I’m starting a new feature/column (whatever you want to call it) here on the site, for weeks like this one, where I spent more time playing video games or doing real life stuff and didn’t post anything for a few days. I always have something to say, but sometimes it’s not enough to put into a post. I suppose if I made a post every time I had a small thought, I’d have more posts written, but it’s my preference to write a bit more each time I’m going to post something (or there needs to be some pretty pictures to break things up). Twitter is the king of short posts, limiting you to 140 characters, and so there are periods of time that I don’t post as much here on the site, but I’m still usually tweeting. As such, there are times when I’ll throw out tidbits about what I’m doing, share something entertaining, or just get into debates of opinion on various topics on Twitter, and the blog will stagnate. I’m sure you’ve seen posts in the past where I have embedded something that I previously posted on Twitter, and this post will be no different, though it will be focusing on that completely, as a round-up of sorts, as to what I’ve been doing instead of blogging. I guess this also gives me a space to vent smaller ideas without devoting a whole post to them. Let’s notate now that this feature won’t be a weekly event, it won’t have any set publish time. I’m reserving this column for weeks like this one only, so if you notice I haven’t done any posts for a while, rest assured there will be updates like this coming. So let’s get on with it, shall we?

I’ve been playing a shitload of Ultra Rapid Fire mode in League. It’s so much fun playing extremely broken champions. Anyone can feel like the hero of the game, and not any one champ is broken — they all are. I’ve played Hecarim mostly, and as you can see above, I’ve had some success. There’s a couple other games that went like that, but I have lost with him once, and lost many times with other champions. The tanky/bursty champions seem to work the best, but I’ve seen some carries wreck faces as well.

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned Psychostick on this blog before, but they’re a “humorcore” band that I’ve enjoyed for a few years now. Humorcore would best be described as metal music laced with jokes and humorous lyrics. It had been a few years since their last album came out, and they recently had a crowdfunding campaign to create this album, which is actually not as good as some of their previous work. I was kind of disappointed with the album as a whole, however there are some gems on it, this song in particular.

I was on a metal kick that day, and ended up on MetalSucks (see link on sidebar) and went down the YouTube rabbit hole. I was never a huge fan of the show friends, but if you were alive in the 90’s you’d have to try pretty damn hard to avoid knowing the show, it’s theme song, or the names of most of the actors involved. Hearing this metal version of the theme song cracked me up.

I hadn’t mentioned it to this point, but you may have noticed the new button-link on my sidebar. I added it in last night, and now’s as good a time as any to let you know about that addition, and what it is. Scree, of The Cynic Dialogues, formed this guild called Obsidian in anticipation of the release of Crowfall. He wrote a whole series on his blog about it, and I have since joined up. To get some practice in and to coordinate our tactics, he’s decided that we should play some ESO PvP in the meantime. Luckily, I just started playing ESO. I did have to roll a new Nightblade in the process, but this time of a different faction. I’m also rolling with the bow this time around, but will add in some dual wielding after hitting level 15. More on this as it develops.

It’s almost May, and that means the NBI 2015 is going to be starting soon. I have already volunteered my services that I provided last year, and we’re hoping to have another great turn out this year. More on this will be talked about in the near future.

I bit the bullet on one of the recent Humble Bundles, and Outlast was one of the games included. I technically already owned it, but it was via Playstation Plus and I believe it was for PS4, so I haven’t ever actually played the game. I tried it out the other night and it really is fucking creepy. More jump scares in short periods of time than I’ve seen in a long time. Wish I would have played this sooner, it would have been included in my list of favorite horror games.

Also part of the bundle, the remake of Shadow Warrior was a game that flew under my radar completely. I was a fan of the original Duke Nukem games from way back in the 90’s, but that was about the only thing I ever played that 3D Realms made. I do remember seeing the original Shadow Warrior back in the late 90’s, but I never actually played it. Missed the news about the remake, but when I saw this I knew I had to have it. Such a good looking game, the mechanics, the story, the humor, it’s right up my alley. As I mentioned in the tweet, I’m going to write about my playthrough of the game, will probably be a multi-part series. Look for the first part of that shortly.

That’s it for this edition. Let me know what you think about this post idea, and if you’d like to see more like it in the future.

#stateofthetweet #gaming #roundup

Bragtoberfest Week 3 Round-Up

bragtoberfest_spooky

 

Another week down, and we’ve had another big event, several mini-events and more bloggers writing about what they’re accomplishing in games. It’s been a fun month but we are nearing the end. That means for the month-long competitions you only have a week left to make that final push. This upcoming weekend will be the final big group event. You only have a week to earn the rest of the potential achievements and at the end of the month I’ll be doing the big giveaway. So stay tuned for all of that!

Gaming Events

blog_TF2_Logo-765x350

This weekend we got together to play some Team Fortress 2. Being free to play, easy to understand/jump into, and goofy fun, it seemed like a good choice. One of the only things I failed to think of ahead of time was the fact that the participants were all over the world, and that meant ping could be a factor. In a game that didn’t require accuracy, this might not have been an issue, but it was in a game like this. Welshtroll, his wife, Roger from CMP, and Jeromai joined up for the session.

2014-10-18_00002
I spent a lot of time as the sniper.

Starting out, Jeromai had some issues with ping, but eventually we got that all sorted out and it wasn’t much of an issue (at least it was tolerable). The only other issue is the fact that the game is a little dated, so there matchmaking system leaves much to be desired. We worked around it though, and I chose to set us up in Mann vs. Machine matches so that we could cooperatively shoot shit. It was also the easiest way to get us all on the same server. We did end up with some random players here and there until eventually Doone joined up with us and we had a full 6 man team.

2014-10-18_00004
These tanks were annoying!

Overall it was pretty fun, but I have to say that I’m just not really a fan of the game. The classes don’t speak to me. I enjoy the style and the goofy factor, but the gameplay is a little lacking. This is mainly because I’m more partial to newer shooters, but it is what it is. I had a good time regardless.

Killing_Floor_Title

I really like this game. It’s such a simple concept, but the 6 man co-op takes the zombie killing fun to the next level (as opposed to say, CoD Zombies modes with 4-man teams). There are annoyances such as shitty voice overs that declare you are reloading every single time you do so, and the graphics are a bit dated (it did release in 2009 after all). I joked that the majority of our group would enjoy the game because the voice overs were complete with British accents and your in game currency is pounds rather than dollars. It’s apparent the game was developed in their country. This game also had a dated matchmaking system (that or I have been completely spoiled by matchmaking in Steam or on consoles) that took a minute to figure out, but soon enough we were in game. Doone dropped out of the group at this point, as did Welsh’s wife, so it was just me, Roger, Jeromai and Welsh going into it. We ended up with two random friends each round though, so it wasn’t an issue. We also sucked hard at the initial claustrophobic level that we started on, but things leveled out once we got onto the farm level.

2014-10-18_00001

We had plenty of room to move around, though we ended up finding a farm house and next thing I knew the group disappeared and come to find out everyone had died. I managed to survive the wave, and next thing you know we were all dying. It was rather difficult to stay together and kill everything that moved.

2014-10-18_00002

We tended to stay together while the other random people would wander off. We would usually end up together again once it was time to do the shopping in between waves, that is if we made it there in time.

2014-10-18_00003

At this point we were in a run down version of London, and I had dual “Love-Cannons” with which I smashed in many heads. Later in this match I would end up buying a pretty awesome sniper rifle.

2014-10-18_00004

We ended up actually completing this level including taking down the boss (who was a zombie with a chest-burster and a big ass gun). We lost all previous levels because we weren’t prepared, and I actually turned the difficulty down. But whatever, we finally got a victory screen:

2014-10-18_00006

All in all it’s a rather fun game. The sequel is currently in development, so I think I’m going to try and convince these folks to pick that up when it comes out so we can do this all over again with prettier graphics.

Mini Games

After last week’s PoE event, Doone was nice enough to gift participants with the screen-saver-ish “game” Mountain. It seems we have all been coaxed into naming our Mountains and Doone is planning something with them at the end of the month. Mine has been named “The Devil’s Teat” and so far has managed to gather a baseball, padlock, and a bunch of bananas. Aside from when I make it rain blood or destroy it altogether. It’s a weird concept but it can be enthralling at times.

2014-10-11_00001 2014-10-11_00002 2014-10-11_00003 2014-10-11_00004 2014-10-11_00005 2014-10-17_00001 2014-10-17_00002 2014-10-17_00003 2014-10-17_00004

We’ve also been running an on going score attack challenge in Pac-Man Championship Edition DX+, where I am currently leading with just over 3 million points on the Championship II (first course of the game) 10-minute run. Proof:

I understand that some others have been getting involved, and you are welcome to post whatever scores you like, but this was the officially sanctioned one for the month. So beat my score, and rub it in! Also, this week’s flash game was Feed the King, and it appears that Murf has been the winner, as I can’t find any higher score than this one. J3w3l will be announcing the new game soon.

So congrats on that Murf. I couldn’t ever get past 40k. As far as achievement tracking goes, check the list and let me know if I missed anything, as usual.

Post Round-Up

Here’s what’s been going on in the Blogosphere for #Bragtoberfest:

Aywren hits level 50 in ArcheAge and makes a bunch of gold in the process. Also on Clean Casuals, Aywren’s counterpart Almonihah clears The Last Federation.

Moderate Phil gives a rundown of this past weekend’s gaming event.

Rowan Blaze plays TSW and earns a bunch of skill points and a new set of gear.

In his weekly round-up, Mr Luvva Luvva talks about Bragtoberfest high scores.

Murf tells us a story about a server first in WoW.

Welshtroll’s recap of Saturday’s gaming event.

And here’s Jeromai’s as well.

Finally, Doone talks about Mountain.

That’s all for this week. Catch you for the finale next week. Same bat time, same bat channel.

#Bragtoberfest #roundup #community

State of the Game: Week 42, 2014

Yeah, I know, that’s not a very descriptive title for the round-up this week, but you see I had a problem. Well, it’s actually not much of a problem, it’s actually been rather nice. I’ve been playing Skyrim, and that’s what I spent the majority of my time on this week. That means a round-up of a bunch of games can’t happen, so instead I’m reaching towards anything I can say, without really talking about Skyrim, because I made a lengthy post already and have another prepped to go! So here’s a recap of my week here on the blog:

So really, you can see that I mostly played Skyrim, and everything else was just the usual posts that have filled my weeks this month. As I said, I’ve moved on with that Skyrim DLC playthrough, so I have another post that should turn up within the next couple of days. I did manage to play other games, but they were just very sporadic and very short sessions. Or, they fell within the parameters of Bragtoberfest and will be relegated to the round-up post for tomorrow.

I jumped into Awesomenauts for a few rounds after I found out that there was a new naut in the works. I still love the game and the steady improvements keep it up there as one of my favorite MOBAs. I just wish I knew more people who played it, and were relatively the same skill level. I did manage to meet up with an old friend for a few games in League of Legends though, and that was a blast while it lasted. I still have been playing a few games here and there, but there are only so many hours in the day and I have too many damn interests.

The League of Legends World Championship Finals happened last night/this morning (depending on your time zone). I stayed up late enough to see the 3-1 victory for SSW. The first game was smash mouth for RC, they were steamrolled. Game two saw a small improvement, but SSW still came out on top. Early on I called a 3-0 in favor of SSW and made a snarky comment comparing RC with the 90’s Buffalo Bills, because this is the 2nd year in a row that the Chinese team made it to the Final, and they lost both (just as the Bills failed to win any of the 4 in a row Super Bowls that they went to). The 3rd game was a complete turn around and it looked like we might have a series. Especially when in game 4 RC took an early lead and held it for a while, but they made poor decisions and ended up losing overall. So Korea takes another Championship.

I played a few more little Indie titles for some short sessions, and have been working on high scores for the flash games and other score challenges that have popped up over the course of the month. Yesterday a group of us got together to play Team Fortress 2 and Killing Floor. I spent some time with the latter title by myself before we had the official event, but I will touch more on these comings and goings tomorrow.

I did manage to clear a few more levels in Orcs Must Die but I still have a way to go to beat the game. I rather enjoy it but I think that co-op would make it that much more fun, so I really need to push through and finish it so I can play the sequel with friends. Some other bloggers have expressed interest in this, so hopefully we can all get there sooner than later.

2014-10-14_00001
This level was giving me a hell of a time. So many Ogres!

That’s really all there is to it this week. Short and sweet. I’ll be back tomorrow with details about the goings-on with Bragtoberfest!

#stateofthegame #roundup