I’ve been trying to take part in as much of the Halloween stuff in “Guild Wars 2″ as I can this week, and last night I finally got a chance to run the short Ascent to Madness dungeon with some friends of mine. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it turned out to be pretty cool. Essentially, the entire dungeon is a long boss fight with Mad King Thorn that consists of several stages. He will ask you to play little games like “Mad King Says” (in which if you emote as he says you will get the benefit of him summoning less baddies to the battle) and throw quite a few bad enemies at you, but with a good party you should be able to get through it with little trouble.
I also attempted the Clock Tower – a special jumping puzzle designed for the event. I will admit, however, that despite the fact that the puzzle itself only takes two or three minutes to get through, it is very challenging. I never finished it and the designer admitted that only 5% of people are expected to get through it. Essentially you must quickly run your way up the clock tower, jumping from ledge to ledge and gear to gear, all the while being chased by this spectral acid that will draw you in if you get down into it. It’s crazy, but it is fun and recommended for those of you who have not played it.
I also, with the help of a good friend, went through the scavenger hunt stuff where you explore Tyria searching for ghosts that tell you about the Mad King. Presumably, information on his reign was largely lost in the flooding of Lion’s Arch, but suffice to say the ghosts don’t have too many good stories to tell you…None, in fact. But for completing the hunt you get a special book that can be equipped in your “back slot” of accessories, and the one you get for getting all 12 locations is quite nice!
Meanwhile, enjoy some choice pictures of the dungeon and the clock tower!:
Every once in a while, a game comes along that I am asked to review that is just so horribly terrible that I cannot stomach playing it any longer than it takes for me to be able to write a cursory review. Sometimes that game is an Asian MMO (though to be fair, not all Asian MMOs suck), but this time around it is a game that is part of a decently-popular franchise called Gladiator. Yet, this game has a horribly-generic story, poor character creation, and pretty bad game play, and at the end of the day it really had no redeeming qualities.
Still, the game is so bad that maybe the review will make for some mild humor, so why not head on over to Anjel Syndicate to give it a read?
25 years ago, a first-person adventure by the name of “Shadowgate” made its way onto MACs and met with a lot of success. Quite a bit, in fact, as the game was released for other computers, saw a port to the NES, was later updated and ported to the Game Boy Color, and went on to spawn two sequels (one on the ill-fated Philips CD-i and the other on the Nintendo 64). What began as an adventure through a mystical, dark, and possibly-haunted castle evolved into a fantastical world with a deep history and culture.
Now, on the 25th anniversary of the release of the original game, Zojoi, founded by former members of ICOM Simulations, are setting out to create a complete reimagining of the original title. The game will feature beautifully-rendered scenes, over sixty explorable rooms, a fully orchestrated soundtrack, and much more. They’ve created a Kickstarter project in the hopes of raising $120,000 to offset the development costs. Supporters can donate a mere $15 to secure their copy of the game for the PC or MAC, but donating more will allow you to pick up some nice swag.
If you are a fan of the series, you should definitely check it out! Be sure to view the full-size version of the image above and visit the embedded link in this post to see the project, watch their awesome video they made, and listen to the great music!
This week on the show, we have the great pleasure of having my good friend Warren C. Bennett (@warrencbennett) join us to talk about his career as a freelance writer.
Some of you may remember Warren from his work at Game Theory Magazine and Anjel Syndicate, but Warren has been a writer for many, many years. He has written for many different websites and groups over the past decade, contributes to the site My Dead Heroes, and runs his own blog called Random Thoughts. He recently set about the task of turning a passion into a paying career, and this is the subject of today’s episode.
If you would like to find out more about him, or perhaps even talk to him about a writing job, you should check out his main blog at:
If you would like an MP3 of this week’s episode, you can grab that here:
Today I got a package in the mail from UPS that contained a brand-new Hauppauge HD PVR 2 recording box designed for use with the PlayStation 3 and the XBox 360, sent to me by the creators in the hopes that I would do a tech review of the product here on my blog and also for Anjel Syndicate. I opened it up to take a look at it, and it seems like a neat little product.
My question, however, is why such a device is actually necessary. See, from what I have read about it, you plug your console into the PVR unit and then output from the PVR to both your TV and your PC or laptop (where you actually capture the video). It would be one thing if the device itself was capable of recording and storing the video on its own internal hard-drive and you could simply transfer this later to a PC for post-production, but it seems like all it does is act as some sort of intermediary between the console and your PC.
Why is that necessary? Couldn’t you simply plug your console in as an input to your PC or laptop and then use the recording software of your choice to record the gameplay?
Ah well…Anyway, I do plan to set this up sometime soon and then give it a go and see what I think. Only time will tell!
Meanwhile, I’ve gotten a couple more games in for review. One is “Clan of Champions” (PC) and the other is “The War of the Roses” (PC), and while I don’t hold out much hope for the second of those games (my opinion of Paradox Interactive is fairly low right now), I’ll still be interested to see how both of them turn out. Expect reviews in the future!
So, Halloween has come to the world of Tyria, but this time the modern Tyria! Indeed, fun times await those who participate between now (technically it began on October 22) and November 1, with fun games, events, and specialty items to be had! Oh, and of course, let’s not forget about the Mad King!
As you explore, too, you’ll find new ores like “Raw Candy Corn” that you can use to make specialty weapons and items and you will even discover foods that grant special boosts to you.
Beyond the Mad King, specialty items, and events, you’ll notice that some NPCs have been changed into ghosts or skeletons and Lion’s Arch is decorated appropriately for the season.
So, if you have GW2 and like Halloween, you should definitely hop in over the next week and check it out!
On October 19, 2012 I was invited by Jeremy Stratton, a member of Massively‘s “Stream Team,” to join him for an hour-long live-stream session of “Guild Wars 2.” We spent much of the session running around the Straits of Devastation and discussing builds, gear, traits, and a few other things. I’ve never done a live-stream before, but I have to admit that it was a lot of fun!
What’s more, the video was listed as being part of the set of streams being done for the site’s participation in the Extra Life charity gaming session over the weekend. Cool stuff!
Anyway, since it was live-recorded and some of you likely were not able to be around to see it, feel free to check it out at the link below:
With a total of 22 videos in this extended Let’s Play series, we finally reach the end of the line for “The Witcher: Enhanced Edition.” I was so close to the end this week that I simply decided to stretch out the play session into one 158-minute segment in full HD, and I think it turned out very well. In the end, it is a fitting ending to a very long project!
Despite its ups and downs, the game’s ending does a good job wrapping up everything and having it all make sense. Yes, in the end some of what happens leaves you feeling as if it was all for nothing, yet the game is more of a “slice of life” story than anything else. Geralt is no hero – far from it – so it makes sense that things wrap up and life goes on as it does.
Still, this does not mean that the ending part of the game has no surprises. We meet an old friend of my friend Alexander (@TheTwelve) and we face an enemy we were fairly sure we might not encounter in this game – an enemy that proves to be the final boss.
So, with this finally out of the way, I feel as if I’ve completed something good. Even if this is not the most-watched series on this game out here, I feel it is the most well-done and the most complete. It is something I can take pride in!
Meanwhile, if you want to suggest a future project, do go ahead and leave me a message. I’m not immediately on the market to pick up something else, but I will definitely give it due consideration.
Thanks for following this through all 22 episodes, and I look forward to more extended gaming with you guys! ^.^
This week on the podcast, I have the great pleasure of having Jeremy Stratton (@Jeremy_Stratton) join me on the show to talk about his work at Massively, some of the games he currently enjoys, and even to discuss the MUD he is working on. For those that don’t know Jeremy, he has been working at Massively for over two years now and is currently a member of the “Stream Team” that does daily live streams that vary across all kinds of current games.
Here are some more links for you guys out there that want to know more about his work:
For those wanting to snag an MP3 of this week’s show, do so here:
Tomorrow, October 19, I have been invited to be a guest on a “Guild Wars 2″ livestream for Massively starting at 10PM Eastern/7PM Pacific. It should be a lot of fun. I know we are planning to talk about traits, various builds, and other somewhat intellectual things while running around and enjoying the game. And, who knows, maybe this will become a somewhat regular thing!
Meanwhile, Massively‘s very own Jeremy Stratton, who is part of the Stream Team, will be on the podcast this week to talk about all sorts of random things. Be sure to check that out.
Finally, I managed to finish up my long-running Let’s Play series on “The Witcher: Enhanced Edition” and the final episode came out to a whopping 160 minutes, clocking in at nearly 200GB of HD footage. I’ll probably have that one online by the end of the week, and I think it will give you guys a lot to look forward to as the last couple of hours is pretty intense, yet very interesting!