May 042016

What kind of geek would I be if I didn’t mention Star Wars today? Well, I’d probably not be considered that cool of one.
I remember standing in the rain way back in the day to see the premier of New Hope. I remember standing in lines to see it again. I remember the thrill when the Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi came out. I remember the thrill of the announcement of the prequels, quickly followed by the disappointment. Now, it’s a new age for the Star Wars universe. The Mouse has taken the reigns. Good movies are being made. Force Awakens was pretty good (but not without some faults) and Rogue One looks awesome. But I can’t help but feel a little down.
Part of the post movie joy back in the old days was hunting down whatever merchandise, T-shirts, toys, comics, books, or magazines that came out. It was a hero’s quest and just as much about the journey as it was about finally finding that Holy Grail. Now, you can’t swing a stick without seeing some bit merch.
Now, I’m not saying the good old Uncle George wasn’t out to make a buck and pushed movie merchandising to a whole new level. But just the amount of stuff that’s filling every freaking store is staggering. It kind of takes the joy out of being a fan. But then again, in a Jedi philosophy sort of way being a fan isn’t about how merch you’ve got but how much you enjoy the universe. So maybe that’s one of the signs of true fandom. It’s not about how much money you spend, it’s about your particular bit of geekery makes you feel.
So be happy. Have fun.

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 Posted by at 9:57 am
Sep 222015

I was painfully reminiscing last night about the old days and really feeling my age. I’m talking about those by times when being a geek wasn’t cool or even near mainstream. There wasn’t an internet or heck even cable. Things were tough back then.
IF you were lucky to have a comic shop in your town good for you. The rest of us had to buy whatever comics we could at the grocery store.
Remember I said no cable. We got introduced to Dr. Who, Monty Python, and Blake’s 7 via PBS. Any other geeky shows that came out were at the mercy of the big three (Yes, there were only three.) networks. We’d rush home after school for a chance to see the stuff that was syndicated like the original Star Trek or Space: 1999. Some of the best shows were on Saturday morning. Really, that used to be the time.
The hottest video game console was an Atari 2600. Just look at those awesome graphics.
There was no Internet but we still had computers. I mean they were power houses like the VIC-20, TRS-80, TI-99 or even the mighty Sinclair ZX81. IF you wanted a game you could buy a magazine and type in yourself. It was in BASIC, of course.
This was also the time that Dungeons & Dragons came into being. There were no game stores. If you were lucky again there might have been a hobby shop that ended carrying it as a lark. And don’t even think about having easy access to those funny dice.
That’s what it was like. You had to search out your geek swag how ever you could. No Amazon to shop at. There wasn’t any social media to meet up like minded individuals. You just had be lucky where you happened to live. In a way, it’s a miracle that we kept going. It wasn’t great back then. It wasn’t easy. It had it’s own ways of being better and worse. It was what it was.

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 Posted by at 10:35 am
Oct 162013

Inspired by Red Dead Redemption, this one kind of reminds of me Legend of Neil. It not only makes fun of the stupid things in video gamaes but also the stupid things that players do. Stupid side quests. NPC’s that don’t make a lick of sense or can’t find their asses with both hands. It’s worth a watch and laugh.

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 Posted by at 10:31 am
May 012013

After sitting in the queue for about an hour and half I finally got on and rolled up a Tiefling Trickster Rogue. No biggie. First day of a free MMO that has an impressive IP attached to it.
For us old grognard table top types, yep, it’s inspired by 4th Edition. You’ve got the usual races and classes and their expected abilities. No real surprise there. But it’s still an MMO so don’t expect that table top feel. There was one thing that did feel a bit like table top. That was generating your ability scores. Heck, there even was the sound of dice clattering. But I think the system was bascially roll until you get the numbers you like.
As far as being an MMO, maybe Guild Wars 2 has spoiled me. Neverwinter has the same old NPC’s with with an ! or ? over their heads. And so far seems like pretty much the same old type of quest lines. At least I haven’t gotten the “gather 12 wolf pelts” type quests, yet. I managed to make it to 6th level last night for whatever that’s worth. I really find the “you only heal at a campfire” mechanic a real drag. It’s either gulp down healing potions or back track.
The graphics aren’t anything really special. I’ve seen better and I’ve seen worse. The character customization during generation really doesn’t seem to help that much or make that much difference. The characters still look basically the same. It looks like hair and skin tone are the only things that are really noticeable once you get into the world and start playing.
But the UI, well, that’s something else. It might have been just my display but the icons were really tiny. And the controls. The usual keyboard keys for movement and various hot keys for your abilities. The left and right mouse buttons are for your At-Will powers. The mouse controls mainly the camera but you can also steer your character with it. It took me quite a while to get used to that. I spent a lot of time looking at the sky in the middle of a fight.
I didn’t have a chance to mess with it but I think the real strength of Neverwinter is going to come from The Foundry. This is user created content. Dungeons, quests, cities and so on. I haven’t a chance to really mess with it or go through any adventures but like I said, this is what I think will make Neverwinter really cool. Probably, it will be only a matter of days before someone does their iteration of Keep on the Borderlands or Tomb of Horrors.
So there’s a few things that I’m not crazy about but you can’t beat the price. Free. Now there are some in game micro-transaction but Cryptic says that you don’t need to pay “to win”. We’ll see about that. In the little gamer’s opinion, it’s worth the time to play around with and have some fun.

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 Posted by at 9:50 am
Feb 072013

It’s been out long enough and I’ve messed around with it long enough that I can safely say< "I like it."
I totally admit that I am probably one of the most casual of players. Maybe a couple of hours a week. Group when needed and I tend to avoid getting wrangled into a guild. I just like sitting back, adventuring and enjoying the world and what random craziness just might be happening where I am. So yeah, it's like the perfect game for my style of play.
Oh yeah and that whole Tank, DPS, Healer, Controller shit. Well, I don't even like it in my video games. So none of that makes it more fun. And as you could probably tell by the brief description of my style, I like to solo. Once again, it's a cool game for that.
And I know by some standards that Guild Wars 2 could be considered an old game. But crap, the crew at Areanet is putting out extra stuff. So I'm pretty sure that there's still plenty of longevity and content for this game. And no damned subscription fees. Take that Blizzard.

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