Holy hell, an update!

Wow, it has been a while since I updated this thing. I've had no real reason for not updating but I haven't. So I recently bought a $500 computer for gaming and anything else I feel like doing with it. I also was given a new monitor for Christmas. Since I now own a system capable of running everything that I may wish to run on it I will resume updating again soon with new game reviews and such.


Oblivion or, "Duping for fun and profit."

In the past couple of weeks I have obviously not updated very often (or at all for that matter) this being a small problem I've decided to make tonight's post on a game that I have enjoyed pretty much since I first came into contact with an Xbox 360. Oblivion.

This game has always been one of the ones that I was most interested in. It is a rather large world that is much harder to traverse than Fallout 3's due to it's large amount of mountains and hills that are rather difficult to find a way to climb or pass. On the other hand there are so many places to be found that after you've found enough of them you'll pretty much never have to walk in the game again. My first destination upon my return to the game I decided to actually do some work on the main quest line for once. Being my first time playing through it I was rather intrigued by a few of the quests in it up until the moment when I decided to try a couple of the new quests, namely the Knights of the Nine. This was a great little quest line with a few rather interesting moments. I don't want to spoil anything here though it probably doesn't matter much since anyone who would play it already has.

Anyways, following my foray into the service of the Nine I downloaded every one of the house DLCs that Bethesda made. After maxing out the thieving one I went off to the Shivering Isles where I pretty quickly finished the main quest and was astounded by how the Isles looked.

I know this is a horribly small post but, since I'm still playing this game I'll elaborate more at a later date.


D&D in Retrospect Part 2 or, I really don't like negative energy

From a recommendation of a comment on my previous D&D post on my weekly or so game I have decided that I will try a new approach for this writing, namely writing as though it were my character speaking.

As I had been traveling to the bottom of the tower I had watched as Anderson floated off down into the ocean about 5 kilometers from the island we were on. I assumed that he was a decent swimmer since he had come from the port city of Toran. I still thought that he may need my help when he finally returned to the shore so I started running to the city that I had seen as I was drifting down from the top of the tower. When I arrived at the city I was struck by the fact that there was absolutely no one in the entire city. I slowly wandered around the town until I arrived at the port. Seeing as I was now lacking a weapon due to the fact that Anderson had the only bows in our group and the blind swordsman had taken the katana that I had been about to use before our battle with Raphael, I decided that I should find one so the warrior part of my abilities would actually be of some use. When I arrived at the port I saw an amazingly large ship that I remembered from my studies as being called a galleon. Knowing that these ships were mainly used by navies I assumed there would be some sort of weapon in the confines of the ship. After I boarded the ship I went down into the holds of it and saw that the ship was being used by traders and had quite a bit of glow-weed on board. I didn't know all of the properties of it since nature was never my strongest area of knowledge but I did know that it was exceedingly rare. Not having a bag of any sort as I did, I had no way to carry the mystical plant so I left the ship in search of something to carry the stuff.

I couldn't find a general store at first but I did come across a magic store. Thinking that there might be a bag of holding or some sort of magic weapon I could use I ventured into the shop. As I first walked in I cast detect magic to see if there was still anything remaining in the shop, and I promptly found out there was nothing of any magical sort within it. Thinking that there may be a few artifacts in the rear of the shop I continued on and walked directly into a trap. While stuck where I was standing and unable to move I was a promptly attacked by a vampire who rather quickly proceeded to bite me and drain my power. After finally succeeding at escaping from the vampire's hold I quickly left the shop and went to standing in the bright sunlight. Being highly angered by the vampire stealing my strength I proceeded to cast scorching ray as many times as I could and proceeded to set the entire shopping district on fire.

My rampage continued for a while with the vampire running from building to building while I set every building he entered on fire. Eventually I remembered how the demon had entered the archangel Raphael in the first place, namely Raphael stabbing the demon in the chest. Thinking that there was a chance that I myself may be possessed by the demon, so I gave up on my so far useless attack and headed back to the port.


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare or dogs are evil and shouldn't be in that series.

So, as I had said in a previous post I have recently come into possession of an Xbox 360. The store that I bought it from had a deal going on where if you bought a system that month you could get one free game rental a month for six months. The first game I had rented was Soul Calibur 4, an overall good fighting game that was the same good quality as the first 3. The following month I rented Call of Duty: Modern Warfare from the recommendation of a friend.

Personally I have never been a big fan of the FPS genre though I will play the occasional game. So this was a pretty big stretch for me. I decided to play through the single player campaign before even touching the multi-player mode. This will be the chronicles of that little venture. At the beginning of the game you are in "control" of a leader of an unnamed middle eastern country. The reason that it is just not simple control is because you can control where he is looking, that is it. Yes, I understand that it is to show the beginning of the game and start setting up the storyline, but if you are going to do something like that shouldn't you be looking at it from another camera? Anyways, after the character you are looking through is shot in the head you transition to the actual tutorial. Not much can really be said about it. Then you are promptly thrown at a series of levels that all seemed to me to be rather similar excluding the one where you are on a boat.

The game itself wasn't so bad, except for one thing: dogs, man's best friend, or in this case the most hated thing in the entire freaking game. If you don't see the dog coming you have about one second between it jumping you and reverting to the last checkpoint. If you did see the dog coming though you still have very little time to kill it before it jumps you and kills you. Now, as I said before I'm not an FPS fan, but isn't it a little odd that in a game where your character is a soldier who can take a bullet or twenty to the gut before keeling over that a dog can kill you instantly and with very little trouble at all? This is a problem. Now before anyone who plays FPS games religously starts complaining, I will say that I gave the game a chance, yes the dogs were a huge problem but it is overall not a bad game. I would probably play it again if someone else were to let me either borrow it or just flat out give it to me, but I will not buy it or rent it again.

It could just do without the damn dogs.


D&D 4e

Okay, this will be the only time I make a post like this. I have been dealing with a player in our group for the past few weeks who not only dislikes but blatantly opposes any and every thing involving the 4th edition of D&D. Personally the only chance I ever had to be a PC in a 4th edition game I greatly enjoyed and prefer over 3.5. Now, I want to play 4e the third member of our group wants to play 4e and hell, even my sister wants to play 4e. But this one player is a major problem with the idea of actually playing 4e. It's easier to DM, the at-will powers make spellcasters useful even after they have used their big spells without relegating them to crossbow duty. So, my question is this: Is there a way to convince him to play 4e, or is there a group who would be willing to play in/DM a 4e game around here?


D&D in Retrospect (Part 1 of how ever many I feel like making)

Well today was Monday and that means that my D&D group got together for a bit of gaming. Today I actually got to play in one of the few campaigns that I am not DMing in, this being oddly rare in my group I decided that I would enjoy myself no matter how much our DM messed with us.

Well first I'll do a quick character overview of the PCs in today's game: I am playing an elvish duskblade. The 3.5 equivalent of the spellsword only with slightly less abilities tied directly into the character's sword. I mainly specialize in being the warrior of the party since I have a high attack bonus and AC. My compatriot in today's game was a character named Anderson Livins, a level 10 rogue and level one shadowdancer. This small group is the entirety of the party, that's it. Anyways on to the overview.

In our previous session we had just ran away from a battle that was on the brink of killing both of our characters though Anderson was in a constant state of hiding in plain sight. We eventually teleported through a door with a short range teleport spell that my character has. That was where the previous session had ended. Well this session began in an area that was obviously slightly better than the one that we were just in. The question being how much better.

Beginning the session in a room full of clerics that may have been either friend or foe was bad, seeing them engaged in a ritual surrounding a glowing golden orb was worse and yet it turned into an even worse situation when an enraged astral stalker lich came bursting through the door. Anderson was already hiding by this point and was standing next to the door when it almost literally exploded into the room, so I had no idea if he was still alive or not. After the majority of the still living clerics moved in too attack the lich and the rest were engaged in the ritual I decided that it would be best if I were to strike at the lich as well, but due to rolling a natural 1 on the initiative roll I was stuck waiting until everyone else was done with their turn. So a longish battle ensued up until the exact moment when the ritual went off. The spell was strong enough to destroy the lich's body and blind everyone else. After the blindness wore off I found myself surrounded by netherworlders the DM's personal race of dark half undead beings. These people promptly took my weapons and gear from me and began a long ritual to summon a dark god and end the world.

My options were rather limited at the time due to the whole no weapons thing, though a solid arsenal of magic items was just out of my reach in the middle of the circle. Apparently the netherworlders had been collecting magic items for years and they also had an arrow of trap the soul that we had been given earlier on. This arrow had a ridiculously powerful soul inside of it. So I did the only thing I could think of and teleported to the middle of the spell circle fueling the ritual. I promptly grabbed a random bow and the arrow and fired it off at the netherworlder who had taken my stuff in the first place.

The arrow then turned the target and two people behind it into ash and the released the soul inside of it. As it turns out this arrow had the trapped soul of an archangel who was possessed by a demon inside of it. This started a long period of summoning in which Anderson and I had time to grab two magic items from the pile and get ready for a fight. I grabbed a sword and a shield while Anderson grabbed the dagger that came with the bow and a large backpack full of inky blackness. After the summoning was complete the netherworlders were all killed in a rather ironic way. Namely falling off the tower that we were on at this time. After a long winded battle that involved everything from a warrior that Anderson and I were recruited to kill near the beginning of the campaign showing up and taking away the sword I had just found to give himself more power to fight this being to a massive windstorm threatening to blow everyone off of the remnants of the tower we were standing on. After I ended up using the dagger on the hole in his chest we finally defeated him. And after a bit of work we managed to get down to the bottom of the tower.

We ended up leaving off at this point in the game. This ends this chapter of our group's gaming. If I feel like it I may post the process that led up to this point on my blog at a later date.


Fallout 3 (or how I started liking shotguns more than melee weapons)

So, I have decided to do another review. Today's being a game that I find myself fascinated with, Fallout 3. This game is probably the most interesting game I've played on my Xbox since I bought the system about a month ago. Everything in it makes a game that I've not only beaten but am willing to actually buy the DLC for it. This is a rare feat for me seeing as I'm generally the kind of person who won't spend extra money for a few minor things in any game. Now onto the review.

When I first started the game I was rather impressed as to how they did the character creation system as compared to the character creator for Oblivion (another great game that I'll probably review later) this system actually fit into the storyline of the future world that had been nuked and completely destroyed, but still had better tech than we do now. You are literally playing the game from the moment of birth, though there are a few bits of time scaling thrown in. Anyways, at the character creation you can do the usual RPG things: race, hair, facial features, and that sort of thing. Only thing is that all of the options are kind of scaled back to only allow humans so by race it actually means skin color. After character creation you are thrown into the tutorial levels where you learn the usual things attacking, how to move, and how to interact with the world. After the tutorial you are thrown out into the Capitol Wasteland, the nuclear remnants of Washington DC. This is where the rest of the game will be spent. After a bit of wandering, finding places and continuing with the main storyline you've eventually gotten to a point where in my opinion the fun begins. The point in the game where you have enough weapons and ammo to do whatever you happpen to feel like at any given time.

This point in the game is where I spent the majority of my time, for instance at one point I went to Tenpenny tower, the tallest and safest place in the game. While there I went up to the top of the tower stole Mr. Tenpenny's sniper rifle, shot him with it then proceeded to walk back into the building all while listening to a vaguely racist song about a guy from the congo. As I said the game is a lot of fun. Well after a while of playing I eventually found a pair of shotguns one a sawed off and one a tactical, they both worked well though the sawed off did more damage but had to reload more often and vice versa for the tactical. During my wanderings I came upon vault 108, a vault full of crazed clones who only had their fists and tried to punch me to death. I decided it was time to try out my shotguns. After using 2 shots to take out 4 enemies who literally exploded every time I was pretty pleased with them.

In conclusion, if you haven't had a chance to try Fallout 3 yet either find a friend who has it or buy it yourself, it's worth the money.

Game systems (D&D and otherwise)

Lately I have been near the epicenter of debates involving game systems, be they the newest version of D&D as compared to the previous one or the various merits of the current video game system. So I'll state my thoughts here on what I think of all of them.

On the D&D frontier, I personally am split on this one. I've played 3.5 ever since I started playing the game so there is some nostalgia there. On the other hand 4e makes everything so much easier to understand and the PCs either more heroic or more evil through more power. I personally haven't had much of a chance to actually play 4e outside of DMing and have thus not been able to really tinker with a working character, outside of one battle and a few injections of a NPC into the game world I haven't even had a real chance to ever play the game. So I won't be able to voice which one I prefer until I've had a real chance to play it. But my initial thoughts are that the new system is at least as much fun as the old one.

On the almost completely opposite side of the spectrum are the video game consoles. This one has been fought over on nearly every forum in existence. Well when the newest set of consoles dropped I had very little money and thus ended up buying a Wii, though I am not saying that if I had the money at the time I would have bought one of the other systems. Recently I received enough money to buy an Xbox 360 elite bundle pack thing. This piece of equipment has so far been worth the money I spent on it, though the only games I've played have been Lego Indiana Jones, Call of Duty 4 and Fallout 3 (more on those in a later review post.) My few paltry experiences with my newest system have definitely been more fun than almost any game on the Wii. The 3rd system in this generation the PS3 is the one that I am honestly looking forward to buying. The system has had games on it from serieses that I love almost since it dropped. So I'll be buying one when I get the money. So onto my thoughts of the console war. The biggest one being: they are all good in their niche. The Wii speaks to casual gamers, the Xbox to people who are willing to deal with an arsenal of FPSes to get to the good games, and the PS3 to those who have always enjoyed the way Sony's systems have worked. I'll probably give a better view on it once I get a PS3 but for now these are my preliminary thoughts.


General D&D

Well for the past couple years I've been playing D&D with a small group whose members fluctuate on such a regular basis that it is rather difficult to give a solid number of how many people generally play in it. Though including me there are 3 players who almost always play. Though I won't name any names I'll give a brief overview of our playing styles. For one you have the usual power gamer whose entire goal is to maximize his character's effectiveness in battle and anything involving skills. You have a player who is there entirely to actually have fun with the game and doesn't completely care about effectiveness as long as its fun. Then there's me, I could personally go an entire game without picking up the dice and be fine with it. I'm in it to tell a story, no matter how long it takes to finish the storyline I want to get there.

This group wouldn't normally be one that would game well together except that we all still have fun with it. Though the power gamer does occasionally make it difficult for me whenever I DM and I'm always the one DMing whenever he is playing since we only have 3 people and only two of which are willing/able to DM. And the other member of our group does occasionally veer off course when it comes to the storyline, but its still a fun group.

My point is that as long as your group is having fun then the game works, you can change the rules or even break them or your characters and the fact remains, D&D is about getting a group of friends together and having fun.

Orange Box

Well for my first real post on here I think I'll do a sort of review of a couple games I've been playing recently.

Well lately I've been playing Half-Life 2 and its sequels: episodes 1 and 2. Since I never had the chance to play the first one I had almost no experience with this series other than my experiences with Garry's Mod and watching a friend of mine actually beat the game. For most games seeing the ending before actually playing the game is a pretty large problem. Not with this series, even though I had a general idea of how it ended I had no idea how to get there or what the story was like and found myself to enjoy these games more than I had really expected to. Since I had bought the series with Orange Box it was well worth the $30 I spent on it when I bought it. The addition of Portal was another large plus for me. The game's mechanics were rather simple and the puzzles were quite fun. The only recurring problem I've had with everything from Orange Box is that my laptop lags out quite a bit with it, though that is to be expected since it is not exactly a gaming rig or even one that was really ever meant to play with games like that in the first place. Other than that minor problem I found the games to be the most fun I've had recently and will probably play through the series again after episode 3 comes out.


So, out of my lingering boredom I've decided to found a blog. This little place will be where I state my views on games I've played recently, overviews of D&D games that me and my friends have had, and the occasional review. I'll try and update on a weekly basis at a minimum just to give myself something to do on the web.