Thursday, September 30, 2010

As Narrarated by Sherwood Locke


 Adventure 1: The Search for Vaevictis

The next morning, I wake up and head down to the bar. The Inn seems to have a bath house, and I see LV (Luke) walking towards it first thing in the morning. I assume at this point that he quite enjoys a good bath. I occupy a post at the bar hoping to conjure some enlightenment from a tall drink, a roll of tobacco and any information the barman might want to share. Unfortunately, I am not allowed to smoke inside the bar area.
I opt to drink minus my habitual smoke and a very large man with horns and regal attire walks in through the door. He is a tiefling with the smell of a mage about him. He seems incapable of being anything but trustworthy because he is an awful liar. He claims he is an amazing liar. At everything else he seems capable enough, and we take to drinking together. His name is Mandalaus (Mitch).

A woman smelling of Cats and alcohol stumbles into the bar. She is the utter embodiment of annoyance to the tiefling. She has a habit of using foriegn words to reassure her bubbly position on everything. She is a spell caster, and from what I gather, a decently powerful one. She introduces herself as Naoko (Jules), and proceeds to tell everyone at the bar her life story. She claims to be on a mission to find a suitable trainer for her special needs. At this point, LV comes down into the bar area and he and Naoko hit it off immediaely. I proceed to talk business with Mandalues while the women chat it up.

I inform him of my plans to form a successful Law and Information enterprise. He is on board for the most part. After a few early morning drinks, the four of us decide to go down the docks district. Mandalaus and I to investigate the break out of crime in the area, LV and Naoko to capure themselves some cats.

Awwww little meows!

During this time, I am summoned by the Lady of the Warden to the Castle Moonstone, which stands on a steep hill overlooking the town. Mandalaus accompanies me, while Naoko and LV smoke opium and rescue kittens.

We two meet with the Lady Lord, Allande Marklehay and because of my reputation she has heard of me, and has a mission. She offers 50GP per party member to a maximum of 6 persons, to assist the head of the Wizard's guild with the recovery of some information. Mandalaus and I offer up the mission to both Naoko and LV, at a reward of 40GP a person. I also sign aboard my two assistants so we can get the maximum reward in the end.

We meet with Nimozarian, and he informs me of his recently missing notes and apprentice who stole them. The Apprentice is a dragonborn by the name of Vaevictis Asmadi.

Old school Magic players will know where I stole that name from.

At my informant's behest we investigate the dockyards, and gather information. There is a particular pub where shady types and dragonborn have been known to visit. LV and Naoko pull information on Vaevictis (by having a three some with the bartender aparently), and we learn that he is leading a group of kobolds as their muscle. The four of us go and interogate the group of Kobolds we had captured earlier. It turns out that Anris' information was incorrect and the main Kobold threat was at Raven Roost Keep.
LV and I had captured the wrong kobolds.

Afterward, we decide to go hunting for horses, and capture 4 as mounts. We have them broken and make plans to take Raven Roost. We also encounter a strange warrior named Gideon, who seemed to be looking for a pyromancer of some sort. I told him we'd keep a look out for her.

Hi Gideon!

This is a Kobold
After a few days of preparation we set out for the keep. I am on my horse, as is Mandalaus, and Naoko rides with LV in a recently purchased Carriage.

We happen upon a detachment of kobolds headed for Raven Roost, and Mandalaus informs them that we are expected by Vaevictis and that we are powerful allies. They actually believe him and offer to escort us to the keep.

After a bit of commotion upon arrival, Mandalaus informs the 13 kobolds defending the Keep that we are again, allies and Vaevictis is expecting us. Suddenly there are slings and spears everywhere poking and pelting us.
We take down the Kobolds, and a penned dragon attacks as we get our bearings inside the keep. I lose all but the last of my life several times before we finally slay the beast. We then attack and capture Vaevictis and the rest of the fort.

We offer 3 of the kobolds amnesty in exchange for their servitude. The rest, including Vaevictis, we cart of to town.

We collect the reward, and thats that.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Muramasa: The Demon Blade Review

I've been meaning to write a review on Muramasa for a very long time. I wrote my preview for this game over a year ago, but I didn't actually pick up a copy of the game until a few months ago. Ultimately, laziness has prevailed and I decided to call in a panel of judges to review the game for me. Hopefully I can convince this panel to do all of my game reviews for me. Without further ado, let me introduce the judges to you:

Conservative Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. He was nominated by President George W. Bush and has served on the Supreme Court since January 31, 2006.

Liberal Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor. She was nominated by President Obama and has served on the Supreme Court since August 2009. She is the Supreme Court's first Hispanic justice, and its third female justice.
Princess Peach, ruler of the Mushroom Kingdom. She is one of the most famous damsels in distress in history.

Muramasa, the Demon Blade
Platform: Nintendo Wii
Genre: Action Role-Playing Game
Developer: Vanillaware
Publisher: Ignition Entertainment
Release Date: September 8, 2009
Metacritic Score: 81

Sotomayor: So, I think I'll start out by saying that overall I really enjoyed this game. The graphics were beautiful, the story was engaging, and I appreciated that there was both a male and female viewpoint in the game.

Alito: Woah, hold on there. Did you just say this story was engaging? I couldn't even figure out what those Japs were saying half the time, much less follow the story.

Sotomayor: I thought that it was refreshing that they left the Japanese voices in the game instead of dubbing them over with bad English voiceovers.

Alito: They didn't do a good job of translating the subtitles though. I would've at least liked the option of changes the voice over language. 

Sotomayor: Not every Japanese game needs to suppress its native roots by dubbing over the traditional voice overs.

Peach: Umm ... excuse me... I believe that we are a little bit off topic now. 

Alito: Well what I'm basically trying to say is, when you combine the bad translations with the relatively small amount of storyline dialogue per act, you get a story which is very hard to follow. Most of the time I didn't even know why I was supposed to go somewhere. Like when playing the girl's storyline, I found myself sneaking into Hell at one point and I had no idea why I even had to do that.


Princess Momohime meets a Demon in Hell.


Sotomayor: That brings me to my next point actually. Momohime's storyline was much more difficult than Kisuke's. It was like the game was trying to make you work harder for playing the girl.

Alito: Nonsense. Both of the storylines were easy. All you had to do was mash buttons every battle and you'd eventually win.

Peach: I thought the game was really hard. I had to make Mario beat the bosses for me. :)

Alito: Besides Sotomayor, if you were actually paying attention to the storyline you'd know that Momo-whatever-her-name-is didn't actually do any of the fighting. You were actually playing a man who was possessing the princess the entire time. So you can't really say that it was less fair for the girl, since technically you play as a dude in both stories.

Sotomayor: But that just illustrates another problem with the game. This game is incredibly chauvinistic. Just look at how they portrayed the fox spirits:


Peach: I think she looks really pretty there.

Sotomayor: Her boobs are about to fly out of that Kimono!

Alito: Look, we're getting off topic again. Is there anything else you girls wanted to say about the game?

Peach: I think the game looks really pretty. The music is nice too!

Sotomayor: When I first heard of the game, I had thought that it was more of an action RPG. When I picked it up I was a bit disappointed that it was basically a Beat Um Up with very minor RPG elements.

Alito: I'm just glad I didn't pay full price for this game. I enjoyed the game overall, but I think I would have had to sue Ignition to get my money back if I had picked up this game at full price.

Sotomayor: I really disliked all of the repetitive back tracking you had to do in game. The gameplay was much too linear. Go to this point halfway around the world, fight a boss, rinse and repeat. I dislike having to do work.

Alito: Yeah your kind usually does. They'd rather just be on welfare huh?

Peach: Um...excuse me... let's play nice together okay? :) I believe we have to give this game our final score.

Sotomayor: I say this game deserves a solid 75 out of 100.

Alito: Urrghh... more like a 65 out of 100.

Peach: I would give it an 80 out of 100. Which means the games final score is...

73 out of 100!





ZaNoWriMo

Senior Editor Senor Ruiz was generous enough to allow me his blog as an outlet for a random quest of mine.



The Bureau of Aspiring Posers (BAP) contacted me the other day and informed me that, since I've averaged less than 5 pages of fiction over the past 5 years, I no longer qualify as a card-carrying member of the Wannabe Writers' Federation (WWF), pathetic or otherwise. The Bureau requests that I ask Mele and my mother to stop introducing me as a writer, instead of you know, someone who has failed to find a real career path or social identity. Since the label "Aspiring Writer" seems to be the only thing I had going for myself as a young adult, I'd rather not lose that status and instead become only judged by my actual profession. A horrifying thought.

If word count is the determining factor in quantifying my wannabe-ness, then it's the right time of the year for me to do something about it, what with NaNoWriMo on the horizon.



If you don't know what NaNoWriMo is (and I find it strange that so many people do know), it's a viral challenge to write 50,000 words of fiction in the month of November. For all intents and purposes, it's a horrible waste of your time and I am probably wasting your time right now, as you read this sentence. And this sentence. And the next paragraph. And more words to pad the word count...

I've done it before. The notebooks are still in my closet and they are embarrassing proof that I wrote 50,177 words in November 2005 about a noir-inspired detective trying to solve murder mysteries in a small Esperanto town full of vampires and gangsters. Until this moment I never realized how sad that actually is.



Five years of word count guilt later, after four years of believing I was better than NaNoWriMo, I'm going to try it again. Because I'm not better, because I'm not an aspiring writer anymore. I am posing as one, and this makes me almost as sad as the possibility that Detective Jack Scorpion might have been the height of my writing career.

But I'm doing it in October, because (1) I just haaave to be different don't I? (2) Mele is busy in October and it just works out better schedule-wise, and (3) I've got the itch now and November is a long ways away. (Hurry the hell up October, before it's too late.) I'm also upping the word count goal, because the number 50,000 - which would undoubtedly be a huge challenge to me and I have no idea what I am getting into - seems too attainable ever since I attained it.

I've decided on 63,000 words, because October is a day longer than November and 63 is one of my favorite numbers.



If the Editorial and Sartorial Alex continues to allow me blog access, I will post word-count updates here throughout Zach's Novel Writing Month. Don't worry, I won't give you long drawn-out descriptions of my characters and stories (like telling you now that I have a few short stories on the back-burner that I intend to cannibalize as start-up material for the "novel") since I know you aren't even reading this anymore. That said, good luck to me, and at least those images are pretty funny, aren't they?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Studio City Knights

After we were shown our apartment in Studio City and loved it, Luke and I ran back to the Mele's condo and did an obligatory Google search to see what kinds of things were around the apartment before we filled out our application. The area had everything we could ever want... all within walking distance. Amazing grocery store? Check. Thai and Mexican restaurants? Check. Vegan restaurants? Check. Bank and other useful errand places? Check. Gay bar? Check. To our surprise however, we also found out there was a hobby shop walking distance and we decided that it was going to be one of the first places we checked out.

Knight Ware
3709 Cahuenga Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604-3504


Luke, Jules, and I drove over to the shop a few days later in an excited hurry. Upon entry into the store, we were greeted by a very talkative butch woman. We quickly find out that she is the owner of the store ... and she is a very intense and somewhat pushy person. Luke and I managed to break free from our conversation with her, leaving Jules behind to be hit on. Once I actually get a chance to look around the store, I became quite impressed. The amount of play space here for Magic or games is bigger or at least comparable to Mr. Nice Guy's in Pittsburgh. Her stock of Magic singles was also impressive, since not only does she have tons of inventory, but her inventory is completely sorted by expansion set and collector's number (remember when I said that she was intense). The downside to this is that she doesn't have like a bulk rare box or anything to really look through. You have to give her a list of cards and she'll grab it for you (this is because she doesn't want anything to be out of order). She has a huge selection of board games for sale (comparable to Aero Hobby in Santa Monica) and tons of Warhammer miniatures if you're into that sorta thing. The only thing that I didn't like about the place was that she didn't have a good selection of card sleeves there, which isn't a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Overall, by the time we left I had a pretty good first impression of this place and was excited to play some Magic here.

The Friday after we moved into our apartment, I took a walk down to Knight Ware for some FNM. Apparently she holds both drafts and standard tournaments on the same night, which means she normally gets a pretty big turn out on Fridays. I signed up for draft and as I was standing around waiting for my M11 draft to start I saw two very young children running around the store. My first thought was that these kids were with one of the customers in the store. I started to look around the store some, and I saw that there was a playpen in the back of the store. One of the kids then walked up to me and I got a good look at him, and sure enough, he looked exactly like the owner of the store. I was a little bit confused at this point, and as I was talking to the kid, a man walks up to me and introduces himself as the owner's husband. My mind was blown. I thought for sure that the owner was a butch lesbian. I was speechless. I guess I'm just a terrible person. I also just want to point out that the owner is super nice and helpful, and I don't mean to belittle her in any way. I just thought she was a lesbian.

Anyways, the draft starts shortly afterward and goes well. I don't do well enough to get a prize mind you, but I was proud of myself for drafting a semi-decent deck for the first (and last) time drafting M11. The players at the store are very relaxed and casual. However, that's not to say that everyone there is bad or anything. There were some good players there, but the atmosphere was super casual and relaxed, which is something I vastly prefer. One of the reasons why I didn't play at Mr. Nice Guy's often was that the atmosphere at that store was really intense. Although to be fair, it probably just seemed that way because Zohar would be screaming at the top of his lungs anytime he made a play in any game he was playing. Regardless, I left the draft really happy with the store and I made plans to come back often and play.

On a somewhat related note, I played the Scars of Mirrodin pre-release at Knight Ware over the weekend. It solidified everything I had to say above. The quality of players there is above average, the store is super chill, and there is tons of space to play. I went 4-0 with a mono white metalcraft deck, which was so fast no one knew how to play against it. This set is a blast to play in limited, although as expected, lots of people are playing bad infect decks. Word of advice for the limited poison players out there: Having a lot of infect creatures doesn't mean you should go infect. You need creature pump to back it up, as that is the only way you will reliably poison someone to death. If you don't have enough pump then don't bother with infect.

Another thing I noticed about this set now that I've had a chance to really analyze it, is that the number of good commons and uncommons in this set for constructed and casual is way lower than any recent set. Its not really worth it to buy any packs because of this. In fact, if you look at my previous Scars of Mirrodin post, you'll notice that most of the cards I picked out were either rare or mythic. I still like the set a lot, but this is definitely a major problem I have with it. Also, I forgot to give a shout out to one of the best cards in the set:



Expect this guy to see play everywhere.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Coming out as a Gamer

I came out of the closet at a Costco parking lot where I broke the news to my overwhelmed Jehovah's Witness Korean mother. While I was being condemned to hell, my mother and I would have breaks in our heated argument to discuss the amazing deals at Costco. Unfortunately, I don't believe that I can ever enjoy eating another Costco Polish Sausage without the looming thought that my mother is praying for my soul. Regardless, the point is that every homosexual has a story that describes the beginning of their metamorphosis into their open fierce queer self. BAM!

But what about coming out as a Gamer? As much as I love the idea that all Gay men love unicorns, fashion, and Crate & Barrel - some of us have a different set of triggers that excite our senses - like the feel of the hard edges of a d20, the smell of a newly opened booster pack of Magic: The Gathering cards, or the overwhelming feel of glory after catching a shiny Pokemon. We are the hybrid of two social minority groups and consequently have to deal with "coming out" as both.

My mother thought my draw to Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, and Diablo were all forms of demon worship. I had to intentionally avoid playing black decks to prevent her from becoming more suspicious. Yeah. I know.

My non-gamer college buddies thought my days of LARPing and World of Warcraft raiding were not justifyable methods of socializing.

And now in my adult career-focused life, my co-workers think its odd that a health researcher finds enjoyment playing Agricola or Starcraft II. (I like drinking too, so that should balance things out right?)

But who cares? The reality is that we exist and will continue to exist. Just like other facets of our social identity, being a Gamer is something that we should proudly identify with because there's nothing to be ashamed about. Gamers have increased perceptive and cognitive abilities , constant reinforcement on the necessity to make decisions, and opportunities to work cooperatively.

So there you have it my fellow Gaymers - Go forth and be merry...Unless you're also a furry. You guys always ruin everything good.

Monday News Roundup

Cammie Dunaway is leaving Nintendo at the end of the month.

Michael Jackson is getting his own online game. This seems really amazing.

Republicans successfully stall the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell.

Kotaku comments on the supposed death of the Japanese game industry.

Huge fossil cache found in California.

OMG Spiders!

Green Party candidate dies after being hit by an SVU while riding her bike...

An interesting update on the Large Hadron Collider.

More Morman dinosaurs found.

Some important provisions of the Health Care Reform Bill are officially being enforced.

Is everyone almost ready for some Slappers Only?

New pointless Wii Remote is revealed.

Unsurprisingly, most wildlife documentaries are staged.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Returning to the World of Artifacts

The Scars of Mirrodin spoiler is completely out now. You can find it here:
http://www.wizards.com/magic/tcg/art...rodin/spoiler#

To tell the truth, I was a bit nervous when this set was announced, but not for the same reasons everyone else was nervous about the set. Everyone was worried that this set's power level would be close to the original Mirrodin block, which in turn would bring about the second coming of affinity and everyone will leave the tournament scene in droves again. I actually had some faith that R&D wouldn't repeat that mistake again. My primary concern was that the set would be nerfed too much, and it would be bad and underpowered. I didn't want it to feel like the Esper shard in Alara, which I felt was by far the weakest of the shards.

Thankfully, I think the set is pretty good, and I feel like Wizards did a good job finding a suitable power level for an artifact block. Metalcraft seems to have the same kinds of explosive plays that Affinity did, but without the consistency that Affinity had. I love the flavor of Infect, although I'm sure every casual FNM player in the world is going to build an infect deck. I really like the interesting card designs that the imprint mechanic allows. The only mechanic that I'm not a fan of in this set is proliferate. I find it sorta boring and the design seems limited and clunky. That's not to say that the cards with proliferate are bad though, they're just boring.

I wanted to do a more in depth review of this set, but its hard for me to properly gauge the sets power level without playing it a bunch first. Instead, I just want to share my initial impression of some of my favorite cards in the set. Below is not a list of the best cards in the set, they are just cards that sorta stuck out to me for whatever reason.

 I think this is an interesting variant for the wrath effect of the set. Obviously, it combos very nicely with Gideon (the curve fits too). I don't know if this is actually good enough to see play in Standard, but Luke has a couple EDH decks she could fit in.


 


I have very fond memories playing Rage Reflection in EDH, and this is the even better. Plus, it can go into my Knight themed EDH deck. It doesn't really have much constructed playability, so it should always be cheap to pick up too.


I really just like it when they print aggressive blue cards. Blue based aggro decks are one of my favorite archetypes. Obviously this card has lots of combo applications too (I'm looking at you Pili-Pala!)

I told you proliferate cards were boring. Regardless, I still like this card as a cheap way to help fuel things like Pyromancer Ascension.

Finally, red gets a good planeswalker. He seems very dependent on mountains, so I think that he won't end up meeting all of his initial hype as people realize that he doesn't fit in every deck packing red. Regardless, I still think he's very good and I'm excited to build a deck with him in Standard.

Kai Budde's wildfire deck is probably my favorite tournament deck of all time. After playing with that deck, I gained a huge appreciation for artifact heavy red decks. This guy is going straight into my red/artifact edh deck, and possibly the red standard deck I plan on brewing with Koth.

This guy seems like a really good mono black general. I'm not sure how much play he'll see in constructed since it seems like the infect based decks will be faster aggro rather than mid range.

I mostly like this card because of its design. It also happens to be nuts in EDH. Too bad I don't have a deck which can use it :(

There has been a lot of hype on the internet surrounding this card because of its similarities to Skullclamp. I think some of this hype is unjustified, but its still a good card. I'll definitely be play testing it once the rest is officially released.

I think people are severely underestimating this dragon. His second activated ability is a little bit confusing, but it basically says that when you deal damage on an opponent, you get to blow up most of their board using a  powder keg. Unlike powder keg however, this dragon destroys enchantments and planeswalkers too, giving black and red some more ways to get rid of problem enchantments. I wouldn't be surprised if he found a home in constructed since this dragon packs a lot of power.


I'll be going to the pre-release this Sunday, so I'll finally get a chance to be able to evaluate these cards properly. Until then ... I guess enjoy this kitty:



Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Return to Dungeons and Dragons

At no point in my life have I ever considered Dungeons and Dragons one of my favorite games. Don't get me wrong, I still look back fondly on those late nights playing Dungeons and Dragons at the Gords, but I had always felt that there are certain aspects of the game which kept it from being great for me. For instance, when running a campaign, I have found it particularly difficult to please every single player character. This is especially true when each player character has vastly different play styles and want different things from the game. I realize that this isn't that much of a problem for the typical Dungeons and Dragons group who love killing monsters and dungeon crawls, but our playgroup in high school encountered this issue every time we sat down for a session. When I went to college, I had basically stopped playing Dungeons and Dragons and I was fine with that. Occasionally I would miss it, and I would attempt to start a new campaign or create an online message board campaign, but these attempts would all crash and burn very quickly. For all intents and purposes, I hadn't played Dungeons and Dragons for like 5 years.

Once I had informed Jason that Luke and I were moving back to Los Angeles, we made plans to start a DnD campaign upon our arrival. Basically, Josh had recently come into possession of most of the 4th edition books in pdf format and Jason was really excited to try out 4th edition as we had never played it before. I had recently had a drunken conversation with Andres in Pittsburgh about DnD, and this conversation made Luke's interest pique. I read the Player's Handbook while I was still in Pittsburgh and was ready for some role playing by the time we got back to LA. Due to scheduling conflicts and general laziness, the campaign we were going to do with Jason still hasn't got off the ground yet. I was so eager to teach Luke though, that we had started a separate campaign with Jules and JSJ.

This campaign will be referred to as The Eldrazi Campaign, since it is loosely based on the storyline of a Magic expansion set called 'Rise of the Eldrazi.' The campaign starts out in a generic fantasy setting (Greyhawk), but will become multi-planar after the first few adventures. It will heavily feature the plane of Zendikar.

Cast of Characters:

Luke is playing an Elf Druid named LV-426, who is obsessed with being really gay.

John is playing a Human Fighter named Sherwood, who is obsessed with money.

Jules is playing an Eladrin Sorcerer named Naoko, who is obsessed with The Orient.

Mitch is playing a Tiefling Warlock named Mandalus, who is obsessed with lying.

Justin is playing a Dragonborn Avenger named Magnus, who is obsessed with the truth.


This is basically Luke's character.

I will be posting adventure summaries written by JSJ on this blog, so everyone can have a rough idea of how our campaign is going. I do want to note right now that I will be writing a review on 4th edition after we get a couple more play sessions in. I'm not really sure how I feel about this new system at the moment. Anyways, without further adieu, here is the first installment of the Eldrazi Campaign as narrarated by Sherwood Locke:

Prologue:

Sherwood's primary motive at this point is establishing an enterprise to combat the wrongs in the world, via intelligence and privatized law enforcement. Sherwood has an assistant who prior to employment had been laid off from work on the docks. He is a terrible assistant, but has a knack for management, so I make due with him as my errand boy. Sherwood also employs a 16 year old townie, as a pair of eyes and hands when the situation calls for it. This 16 year old has many friends who Sherwood will pay coppers to for information of interest.

The setting is the town of Fallcrest. It is described as having two primary districts, an East and West side. The West side is mostly poor and dirty. The East side has the richer establishments.
There are dockyards, with apparent dirty dealings afoot. I decided that work was too rare on the west side to provide a stable source of income, so I head to a more expensive inn on the east side of town, where I meet LV-426. LV is a very peculiar young lady elf who has a thirst for excess and excessive excess. The inn is called the Silver Unicorn. It is upon closer inspection at this point that I note that LV is in fact actually a male. I think that this is a curious development. LV welcomes the attention.

We meet a man named Anris, who shrouds himself in mystery. I have my watcher follow him, and he reports back that there is a mysterious woman Anris collaborates with. They speak a strange language he has never heard before. I also find out that LV and Anris had apparently slept together in the bath house attached to the inn.

Anris hires us to accompany him to a small dilapidated manor outside of town. It is believed to be a hideout for a group of Kobolds, who have been attacking trade caravans in the area. We reach the manor and capture the group of Kobolds residing inside. Upon searching the manor, we find no evidence of this manor being the headquarters of the Kobold operation, and we return to town. Anris pays us for our services and departs. I continue to have my watcher follow him.

To be continued...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Calling All Sci-Fi Boardgamers!


I have a problem.



It isn't that I'm addicted to Keldon.net's newest RFTG software, because that's perfectly understandable. It isn't that I spend too much time playing Race for the Galaxy online against Mele, Jason and/or James over the course of my workdays and evenings, because a game of RFTG doesn't take that long, right? Plus, I can usually multitask my way through work assignments or television in the meantime, and Race is a cerebral diversion instead of a simple distraction...



My problem is that, well, I guess I'm pretty awful at Race for the Galaxy. My matches against James recall such past experiences as playing Magic: The Gathering against Alex for winless, depressing hours on a near daily basis.

My options are to seek outside help... or just play more often, wildly abandoning my official professional duties, my responsibilities as a good boyfriend, and my personal ambitions to job hunt and finish personal projects. Unfortunately, I am too busy playing RFTG to read any silly geek blogs.



I guess what I am saying is that I like Race for the Galaxy alot and I would like to extend an open invitation to all of you to download the newest CPU client and join me on my quest to become less pathetic. Or more pathetic, depending on your point of view.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday News Round Up

Scars of Mirrodin has officially been over half way spoiled.

New Survey finds that around 15% of chefs have admittedly sabotaged vegan dishes.

Non-Progression bug has been found in the new Metroid: Other M.

Ben Stein claims that he shouldn't be taxed more because he's not that rich. He then goes on to talk about his three houses...

Don't worry Japanese gamers, I get befuddled and angry when I play Western games too.

Scalia says that the constitution does not outlaw bias over sexual orientation.

The T-Rex had to work its way to the top of the food chain.

Civilization V is approaching rapidly!



Here is a new trailer for Ni no Kuni, Studio Gibli's upcoming game for PS3.








Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ready... Set... Say 'Fuzzy Pickles!'


Today Luke, Jules and I decided to geek it up more than we usually do. Since Luke had never played an RPG in his life, Jules and I decided to expose Luke to some RPG Gold:


Luke has been playing these three SNES games for the past twelve hours switching off. Its been a pretty amazing experience for him to say the least. Of the three he likes Earthbound the most, which is understandable, since it is light hearted and alien centric. Starting this Earthbound playthrough has made me aspire to dress up as Ness for halloween. I realize that I've thought about doing this in the past, but I really want to follow through with it this time.

Crono Trigger has been his least favorite thus far. It was sorta difficult for Luke to figure out the combat system. I think he had trouble discerning whose turn was it to act when. That combined with Jules and I yelling at him incessantly to heal up, made Luke more stressed out than anything else. I'm sure he'll enjoy it more once he gets the hang of it.

Luke also has stated that he really really liked Final Fantasy VI. He really enjoys the interactions between all of the characters, the divergent storylines, and the ability to name all of the male characters female names. The game is pretty hilarious when Edgar and Sabin turn into Tyra Banks and Oprah respectively. Maybe I can get Luke to do a guest post on this experience soon.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Introduction

Welcome everyone to the first official Canfield Review spin off. I started the 'Life of a True Gaymer' column there with the intention to write about Wii-related gaming content once a week. However, as with most things I start, I failed to continue the column after my initial excitement wore off. I had thought about turning the column into a separate blog after I had written my Pittsburgh post, but I got swept up in studying for the GMAT and those ambitions disappeared quickly. The amount of free time I have right now is a bit scary, what with me not getting the position at 2K Games and all, so I figured I would give blogging another shot.

The content of this blog is going to the same as the column, except with less of an emphasis on the Wii. I also plan to include more non-gaming related material. Expect to see the occasional posting or news article about things like archaeology, gay rights, politics, space, psychology, and vegetarianism. Obviously the subject of dinosaurs will come up quite often.

If you wanna play a little catch up, here are links to the past articles written on the Canfield Science and Law Review:




Also, if anyone wants to do some guest posts on this blog feel free to. The more content on here the better.