Friday, 22 May 2015

The Lego Movie

If you are a lego fan, then everything is awesome! :D

This movie follows how one ordinary lego man becomes "the chosen one", finds love, friends, and learns more about himself and his universe. It's actually almost the same plot as any "chosen one" story but told a hyperactive, non-sensical and funny environment that is Lego, and there are some really impressive CG scenes in there. Especially animated lego water. Awesome.

The film serves as an amazing ad for Lego products too, as it showcases a lot of their range which has grown exponentially since I last played with it, that's for sure. I also quite like that they put the part numbers up on screen as well and the Act III reveal was one I really liked too.

Lego Batman is also awesome!

The problem with the movie is in it's very nature and it crosses into the too nonsensical for a non-lego person. Two of the six audience members when we watched this fell asleep. One claimed it was perhaps the worst movie she has ever seen.

To be fair she hasn't seen Halle Berry's Catwoman, Pineapple Express, or Steven Seagal's Attack Force, but still, that's a pretty strong statement to put out there and one I do take into consideration when scoring it two and a half building blocks out of five.

Personally I thought it was pretty cool, but if a movie puts audience members to sleep so early in the piece then there's definitely something wrong with it. Would I want to watch it again? Oddly - no.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

NBI: Screenshot Safari! #NBI2015 #NBI2015Safari #Landscape

I'm putting this screeny in the #Landscape category because I have a feeling most of the others will be awesome, sweeping shots of the horizon so you can see the sky and perhaps get a sun flare effect like in J3w3l's shot.

Well, I thought I'd be different and show the a top-down view of the landscape when you are going 100KM/H off a tall cliff into a deep valley where your objective to "KILL EM ALL!" awaits while riding a rocket powered bike from the future that cannot, in any way, actually fly.

*Turns on blaring rock music*

I tried to live up to the name of the game: Firefall!

The next two screenies are for Jeromai's Nostalgia Trip writing prompt of things in games that no longer exist...

First up we have this little garden and over sized statue in Neverwinter City. As of Elemental Evil, those are no longer there - replaced by the huge and more functional elemental tree of balance.

If you haven't tried get up on to rooftops, you should. It's fun!

And here is a collage from an old Ultima Online shard that let each player hold a large contigent of NPC mercenaries and pets. When my guild took control of Trinsic, we decided to build an army of them (over 200) as city guards - and yes, most of them died in defense of the city.

Dang, I miss my blue warhorse.

I don't think any other shard lets you do that any more. Indeed, the second iteration of that very shard prevented it.

Monday, 18 May 2015

NBI Talkback #3: What made you a Gamer?

I'm pretty sure I can attribute this to my brothers, who got me playing table top D&D (and memorizing the monster manual in case I run into any monsters in real) from a young age. They also encouraged me to watch them play through games like Shadowgate and Castle Wolfenstein. By the time I got a Nintendo family computer I think I already fit right into the "gamer" category. Battle City was one of my favorites, since it offered cooperative play.

Of course I also enjoyed making up games, just as most kids do I imagine. Games on paper, games in real life, games on the bus to school, during recess and lunch and definitely afterwards, etc. I imagine it helped that my best friend at the time was as crazy about games as I was. He was more successful with that background than I though.

Eventually I was introduced to Ultima Online and that started the whole MMO addiction for me. More recently I've rekindled my table top gaming love with board games, which isn't good because they can become way more expensive than the digital variety! Yeah, it's a strange sort of progression, but that's just how I am. Strange. :P

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Today I Smiled: Live Action!

Been awhile since my last "Today I Smiled" entry and there sure are a lot of things for me to smile about. My Neverwinter Online: Vigilance Guide got featured as a "Bag of Tricks" entry on NWO-uncensored. I also quite like that the Wizards of the Coast release content on all mediums simultaneously which means that Elemental Evil is also hitting DDO and the table top game, meaning there are write ups for each of the evil cults.

The Newbie Blogger Initiative is also going full swing and this year I'm in charge of the Poetry Slam - looking forward to more entries coming in before the end of the month. Also happy to report I'm now up to 100 links from 59 when the event began. As a fan of the TV series Arrow and the Flash I'm also looking forward to Legends of Tomorrow, and am hoping the live action version of Shingeki no Kyoujin (Attack on Titan) does well. Kinda surprised to see a live action Parasyte there too!

If none of those interest you then perhaps this clip of Guildwars 2 killing, deleting and then banning a cheater will be enough to brighten your day, or if you want a more hands-on experience, try out the first two browser bragging games for this years NBI: the PvP blob consuming game called Agar and the colorful pixel gore of Critical Annihilation. :)

Friday, 15 May 2015

NBI 2015: How to avoid becoming Dormant

I dislike having "dormant", non-updating blogs on my blog roll. While it's true that my personal restrictions of "if you don't post in 3 weeks you get culled," on this matter are likely heavier than any other blog (I'm letting it slide for this NBI month) - I thought that I'd give some advice on how not to go "dormant" in the first place.

On those possibly rare occasions when you do feel like sitting down and just typing up a storm, put on some instrumental-only tunes and...


Personally all my posts now spawn in a notepad document before going anywhere near the internet. When I feel like typing, I find this method works best since there's no logging into a site, no needing a network connection or formatting issues to worry about just yet. All that matters are the words.

Sometimes I get an idea to type about something else so I separate out a section which serves as a possible title for a future post. For me, my "possible new content" goes above all the other stuff I've already typed about or am currently typing about (it's an organization thing). Don't forget to save and store a backup of this file regularly - doing so covers your bases as Contains Moderate Peril discusses in his blog backup post.

The idea is that it allows you to type out more than a single post in one sitting, but DO NOT post more than one or two a day. This eventually gives you a backlog of stuff. As an example, if all goes according to plan when this particular post goes up then I would have a backlog of around 30 posts waiting to go.

That's potentially 30 days (if I was a daily poster) of me slacking off from typing anything and more than enough time to recharge my batteries, as it were, for another type session in between. Imagine how much that can stretch out if I only posted 3 times a week? They don't even have to be superb quality or long posts - just something to keep the site "alive".

When you also realize that you can automatically schedule blog posts to post themselves, you can then do amazing stuff like continuing to post while you are actually away on vacation without any internet access (which I did earlier this year).

Be like Batman. Preparation is the key.

There is a small caveat here though: You should know which posts are time sensitive and act accordingly. For instance it wouldn't make any sense if I posted this after the NBI is already finished. Just use common sense and you should be alright.

Other on-going NBI activities:

Join the NBI 2015: Poetry Slam!
Browser Boasting Week 2: Critical Annihilation
Contains Moderate Peril still looking for NBI guest posts!
Talkback Topic #2: Early Access and Kickstarter
Murf's Screenshot Safari
Gaming Discussion
Jeromai's Writing Prompt: Screenshots of Non-Existent Things

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

NBI: Screenshot Safari! #NBI2015 #NBI2015Safari #EpicAchievement

It's time for another entry into Murf's NBI Screenshot Safari and this one falls under the Epic Achievement category. While it certainly looks like nothing is going on apart from me sitting there with a miniature woman at my side, those who play Guildwars 2 might recognize her to be Liadri - and the only way to get that mini was to defeat her normal sized self in the final, one on one, round of the Queen's Gauntlet. It took me a 140 attempts (hence why I look so tired) but it just made the victory all the sweeter. ^_^

Other on-going NBI activities:

Contains Moderate Peril still looking for NBI guest posts!
Gaming Discussion
Talkback Topic #2: Early Access and Kickstarter
NBI 2015: Poetry Slam!
Murf's Screenshot Safari

Monday, 11 May 2015

NBI: Region-Locking Games

You might have heard than En Masse has blocked half the world from playing Tera. From this, Jeromai from Why I Game has setup a NBI writing prompt and I thought I'd participate - so you can totally blame him for this post! :P

My thoughts on Region-locking:

Speaking from a guild with members all across the globe, region locking sucks. It makes it so much harder to find MMOs that we can all play together on. While we play many games, we're still looking for that one that will cater to all of us as many free shards of Ultima Online did so many years ago.

Devil's Advocate section:

If a game is so poorly designed that it can't handle world wide participation then I suppose a Region Lock is necessary. Rubber banding and general lag is not a good feeling in any MMO, though my personal experience is that I more resistant / can put up with more of it than other players that like to vocalize on general chat.

I suppose in PvP games it would make things pretty frustrating too for the lagged out person, while those with good connections would just get bored from the easy kills / annoyed at you giving the enemy team free points.

Your in-game encounters with folks from different countries, good or bad (any cultural tendencies that you’ve noticed)?

What? Jeromai is asking me to be racist? Ok, if he insists! Haha just kidding, douche bags are spread among all types of folk across the world (especially in games that allow PvP). That said there are also really nice people that I've encountered over the years, some of whom joined my guild - the ones that share our view always trying to help people and abstaining from PvP.

We've had members from Australia, Canada, all over the USA, Thailand, Belgium, Holland, England, Ireland, Singapore, Finland, Brazil, Lithuania, Germany, Slovenia, Israel, Croatia, Portugal, Turkey, and Georgia (the country, not the state).

The most eye opening talk for me though was with our Israeli guild mate. We voiced our concern for one of our English guild members years back when there was a terrorist bomb attack near where he lived. While he was ok, the Israeli guy was just like, "It's like that everyday here."

We lost contact with him after he was conscripted into the army, which is obligatory when he turned a certain age, and have never heard from him since.

Other on-going NBI activities:

Contains Moderate Peril still looking for NBI guest posts!
Gaming Discussion
Talkback Topic #2: Early Access and Kickstarter
NBI 2015: Poetry Slam!
Murf's Screenshot Challenge