Mar 092013

Book Cover

Welcome to my extremely belated review of Borderlands 2. My quick review for those that liked the original Borderlands: BUY IT! It is bigger, badder, and funnier. That said, this game is rated M for a reason. There’s a lot of gore, crude humor, language, and suggestive themes. This is definitely not a game for the young ones.

Unfortunate for me, Borderlands 2 came out just a month after my daughter was born. Overall, right now I am playing just Borderlands 2 and Battlefield 3 in my spare time. One thing I learned by accident was that a Borderlands 2 session can survive through a standby/hibernation. That has come in handy many times when having to rush to sooth a crying baby.

This game is much more fun playing with friends, however I have had to play most of it solo. So far I’ve really only played the Assassin role, focusing on sniping. Now that I have just made level 42, I am strongly considering starting a different character before I hit 50. I really wanted to avoid “power leveling” my first character. I’ve been told that Soldier is one of the better classes for playing solo. Continue reading »

Posted by Stettin
Dec 162011

Earlier this year in the summer I went back to SWG for the huge “Oops, we lost all of your credit card information” 45 day trial from SOE. It seemed to be a last ditch effort to regain the trust of the consumers that Sony let down. I have went back to SWG several times over the years since I quit at the end of 2005. Most of the times were for free Veteran trials designed to draw players back to the game. Each time I returned, I played a bit, but decided that the game still was not worth playing. I found it interesting that toward the end of the 45 day trial this year, I was considering renewing. Crafting for Weaponsmith regained the complexity it had before the NGE, and if anything far exceeded it. I really could make a weapon that was as good or better than looted weapons or quest rewards. I also reconnected with some old friends, and made a few new ones. I was still on the fence when SOE announced that SWG would end on December 15, 2011. It seemed I dodged a bullet, avoiding being drawn back in. Continue reading »

Posted by Stettin
Nov 302011

Back in 2000, I heard of a new Star Wars MMORPG that would come out sometime in the new future. I knew immediately that I would play the game, soon to be called Star Wars Galaxies. I was accepted into Beta 3 and played from that time until I quit at the end of 2005 following the New Game Enhancements “upgrade.” Sometime around 2005 or a little after, there were rumors of a new Star Wars MMO.  This was to eventually become Star Wars: The Old Republic by Bioware, announced in 2008. I was not ready for a new MMO but nevertheless I signed up for the news. I’ve been following it rather loosely ever since.

I managed to get into the beta stress test last weekend and played two different characters. First off, the game intro movie was awesome. It was very well done and I have to say it gave me some of the same chills as the original movies did. There is also an additional movie depending on whether or not you pick the Sith Empire or Galactic Republic. Here is a mashup of all 3 videos.

Posted by Stettin
Jul 262011


It seems kind of odd that I post a review of a Humble Bundle game, then just a few days later, a new one comes out. I’ll keep it short and sweet this time. The Humble Indie Bundle #3 is out with 5 games, name your price. You get a key instantly redeemable on Steam or you can download them directly. I already have Crayon Physics Deluxe from a while back and highly recommend it if you like physics based games. The levels get pretty damn hard, and to be honest I’ve never finished all of them. The other 4 games look pretty cool, so check them out! Proceeds go to any combination you want of the developers, Child’s Play Charity, Electronic Frontier Foundation, or the Bundlers.

One thing I like about the Bundle sales is that all of the games are DRM free and work on PC, Mac, and Linux. Another thing I’d like to add is that if you plan on just donating a penny, Santa is watching!

–Update–

They just added 2 new games and also you get Humble Bundle #2 if you donate above the current average price!

Posted by Stettin
Jul 242011

Revenge of the Titans is the best tower defense game I’ve played so far. RotT has skill trees that span about 5 different “worlds”. The game plays differently depending on what skill tree you pick. There is a Campaign, Endless, and Survival mode. One thing I did not pay attention to is that Survival mode uses your research tree from the last level in that world. This can definitely impact your Survival Mode times if you were holding off for something critical like barriers until just after the next world. Anyway, I managed to get the top time on survival and held it for a few weeks. Right now the record is around 3 hours (scratch that, 6 now!), which is super hard to do. No, you don’t have to play a level for 6 hours, you can hold down Tab to fast forward the level. So far I’ve done at least 3 playthroughs. Once just after the Humble Bundle, another a few months later just before tank droids were added, then again just after. Continue reading »

Posted by Stettin
Dec 172010

Earlier this year I posted about the original Humble Indie Bundle. Well the guys that brought us the first one are back just in time for the holidays! The games this time are Braid, Cortex Command, Machinarium, Osmos, and Revenge of the Titans. I have had Braid for a while and liked it. It’s platformer with time travel. I just got Osmos a couple weeks ago from a friend through a Steam multipack sale. Osmos is a great game if you like physics and casual play.  Check out the official sites to try before you buy if you want. Either way, it is a great deal. Help support indie developers and charities this holiday season!

The Humble Indie Bundle #2

The original bundle users got a Steam unlock code in the mail. Check out the Wolfire blog if you missed that email.

-edit-

They just announced you can get Bundle #1 if you donate above the average AND activate both on Steam! All those that donated before the announcement get Bundle #1 regardless of how much they donated. How cool is that?

Posted by Stettin
May 072010

A while back I came across this game called World of Goo that turned out to be well worth the $20 I paid for it. Now it is part of a special deal with 4 other games where you can name your price. As part of other indie packs, I already own two copies of World of Goo and one of Gish. I’m definitely going to check out the other 3 games. Proceeds go toward developers or charity depending on how you want to split it up. The sale ends 5/10/10

Check it out!

–update–

If you missed the deal, most of the games have now gone open source! Check out Aquaria, Gish, Penumbra, and Lugaru!

Posted by Stettin
Feb 012010

Borderlands

Borderlands by 2K Games is a unique mashup of and FPS and RPG. The game is rated M for a reason, there is nonstop killing and gore. If you liked Diablo 2, and enjoy FPS games, you’d love Borderlands.  They both have three playthroughs with the same missions, but higher difficulty. Also, the loot engine has random loot with 17,750,000 different possibilities. Part of the fun is the unending quest for better loot. Overall, the variety of missions is much more in-depth in Borderlands. You can play single player or multi, but with Borderlands your single player character is compatible with multiplayer games.

Last week I finally finished the first playthrough with a couple of friends that have mastered the game already. They were kind enough to start out with level 1 along with me and work through the story missions. One of my friends has beaten the game five times and still enjoys it. I think that is a testament to the quality of the game. Most of the missions are NOT just kill XX and come back, much like I remembered World of Warcraft to be. There are a few early missions like that, but overall most of them are much more complex. Continue reading »

Posted by Stettin
Dec 302009

Book Cover

A couple days ago I was able to visit with some friends I haven’t seen in a few years. After one of them cracked open a bottle of wine, we eventually ended up talking about gaming. One thing led to another and one of my friends asked, “Have any of you heard of Mazes and Monsters?” In mere moments we were watching one of the most horrible acting performances I’ve ever seen. I wasn’t sure if I should be shocked or amazed. In retrospect, the alcohol definitely enhanced the experience. We ended up adding our own commentary, MST3K style. About half way through I regretted that we didn’t start recording our comments to dub in later on. My friend actually had the recording equipment to do it too.

The movie starts out with a scene with a bunch of police cars and fire trucks responding to a missing persons report. A university student got lost in some caverns in a game of Mazes and Monsters that got out of hand. I was battling with trying to figure out if this was supposed to be some type of spoof or just an anti Dungeons and Dragons flick. After watching it all, despite how close it comes to seeming like parody, I think they were actually serious. In the midst of all the no-name actors this guy by the name of Tom Hanks shows up in one of his first roles. I’m sure if you ask him about it today, he’ll try to deny any involvement with this feature.

I’m pretty sure that anyone that has played classic DnD would be amused by this movie. Just watch it with a few friends over a few drinks, and I am sure everyone will have a blast. Here is a clip, it doesn’t contain any real spoilers.

Posted by Stettin
Oct 012009

metroid-costume

So it looks like all of the crazy costumes are popping out of the woodwork now that Halloween is coming around again. Brain Alien over at What the Photo brings this pic to my attention again. It brings back memories. No, not those of Sith Vixen in her Femtrooper outfit, which by the way is one of my TOP incoming links on Google (currently ranked #1 for image search).

The memories it brings back to me are those of my first Nintendo games. Every once in a while I get nostalgic, and feel the urge to play my old games. Metroid and Legend of Zelda were my first two “console” games. I earned the money for my NES and games through my own sweat (TRUE, I lived in Phoenix, AZ) and blood (not so true) delivering newspapers in the summer during my spare time. OK, that’s a story my wife’s heard way too many times, so I’ll move on. I still have my original NES and all of my games boxed up in long term storage. If I feel the need to play, I whip out my trusty emulator, but not everyone has access to the ROMs or the patience to get and emulator working right.

I knew that a few years ago the Nintendo’s patent on the NES expired in the US around 2006 or so. Since then a site called VirtualNES popped up. I didn’t realize it, but according to some very sound arguments, their site is legal. . Consider it a free online arcade. If you’ve never played Metroid, check it out!

Play Metroid Online — note, requires Java plugin

Controls:

Controller 1 Controller 2

Left

Left Button NumberPad 4
Right Right Button NumberPad 6
Up Up Button NumberPad 8
Down Down Button NumberPad 2
Select Right Control Button NumberPad 3
Start Enter / Return Key NumberPad 1
A X NumberPad 7
B Z NumberPad 9
Posted by Stettin

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