Thursday, April 28, 2011

Guild Wars - Game Review

This review is going to be on the MMORPG Guild Wars. Its usually compared to the other "big" MMORPG World of Warcraft but seeing as I've never played the latter I can't compare it to the game at all. That might be a big plus or negative, I'm not sure yet, and its up to you to judge.

Guild Wars

  • Published by: NCsoft
  • Developed by: ArenaNet
  • Genre: Persistent Online RPG
  • Number of Players: Unlimited (8 Max in a party)
  • Release Date:
    US: April 26, 2005
    Japan: January 20, 2006 
  • T for Teen: Use of Alcohol, Violence
  • My Rating: 9/10 (9 out of 10)

Lets start with the game options. You can either create a PvE (player versus environment) character or a PvP only character. The main different is that the PvE character starts at level 1 and goes up to level 20 (max) and can play in both PvE and later on PvP as well. A PvP only character (can't be used in PvE) starts at level 20 and has all skills, equipment, heroes (more on this later), and anything else you have unlocked with your PvE character, Anet store buys, or PvP rewards. 

The game controls are very simple, using either a mouse and keyboard combination or just a keyboard if you want. (Best results would be Keyboard + Mouse). The graphics are good if you computer can handle it but if not you can always turn the settings down, you will miss the prettiness that is offered but not much of anything else. I actually prefer to play on the lowest settings (my computer can only handle moderate settings without too much lag at best anyway) as it lowers my lag during online play by a lot. (This actually makes a big difference).

Now to focus on the PvE aspect. The land is actually quite huge and with the 3 expansion packs the world becomes pretty massive. There are several professions that you can choose from, races are limited to humans for now, including an Elementalist, Warrior, Ranger, Mesmer, Necromancer, etc. There are many quests to complete and towns/outposts, explorable well explore, and more than enough missions to finish. Arena Net has also added a bunch of titles for you to finish (more on this later as well). You are allowed to party up with up to 8 players or henchmen (or heroes if you have the Nightfall or Eye of the North expansions). Even so with the recent introduction of heroes and now mercenaries the ability to form groups with other players is now almost down to zero unless you are farming some where. This is mainly because players don't want to fail a mission due to "noobiness".

The PvP aspect on the other hand is still full of players (mainly because its PvP and you have to) but it has slowly begun to die over the recent months but it is sure to rise again before GW2 is released. There are still GvG (Guild versus Guild) tournaments held with a cash payout for winners (maybe those are still around). Arena Net still works to balance the skills ever few weeks but there are still some complaints about it which is reasonable. 

If you finish all the PvE missions and quests and get bored of PvP and GvG what else is there? Well you can go title hunting. There are titles for both PvE and PvP that if you finish you can add them to your Hall of Monuments (A town/outpost in Eye of the North expansion) that unlocks special items for your new character in GW2 when it releases. 

Buy, Rent, or Leave on Shelf?

Its a buy for me. If you like MMORPGs, making some onlines friends along the way, and some title grinding then its perfect for you. Not to mention its free! Free!? Yes FREE!?. It has some skill balance and when you know what to do everything in PvE become insanely easy. These little things are a bit easier to overlook when its a free to play game. offers the Guild Wars trilogy box set (All 3 of the core campaigns - no Eye of the North) for around $30. offers Eye of the North for around $10

There are also always local game stores such as Gamestop, Target, and Walmart (mainly U.S. I think). Also you can find cheaper copies on Ebay sometimes. (Especially if you are looking for collectors editions of the game which offers a few bonus items)

If you want to try it out I am sure there are places to find free online trial codes (WoW has them in almost every game you buy)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Game prices- Rant and Surprises

I haven't been in the reviewing mood for the past few days and even though I want to write at least 1 blog post a day when you aren't in the mood the content, review, and general wording seems to go down. Who wants to read some rushed piece of crap literature? So instead of making a horrible review I think today I'll just write about whats been on my mind for the past few days (more like 1 day and on and off thought through my week).

As the title suggests, its about game prices. If you read one of my previous blog posts about Corporation games stores versus local self-owned game stores then you kinda get where my stance is on game prices. I'm not the kind of guy that needs to have new games; thats not to say that I don't enjoy having that shinny new box and game, or that collectors edition of a game; because I do and I have shelled out that extra cash for a Collectors edition or pre-ordered a game (most recently Pre-ordered: Guild Wars: Eye of the North [yeah its a while ago but thats the most recent pre-order], Collectors Edition: Assassins Creed: Brotherhood [Also a while ago but I wanted that Harley skin and the jack-in-the-box] and Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty [got off ebay so didn't pay full price])

Now that you know a bit about my stance, lets get down to the "meat' or "core" of this rant.

I was born in the U.S. so there are a variety of stores, though most stores are chains [i.e. Gamestop, Walmart, K-mart, etc.] and very few of those self-owed stores. This forced me to go their if I wanted some convenience, but this also meant that I learned how the pricing went for them and which store would offer the better deal. Now I go to college in Europe and while it is also dominated by stores like Gamestop [why wouldn't it be] there are also a bunch of other self-owned game stores that are a bit more in reach so almost just as convenient as that Gamestop in the mall.

The main part of this rant is when I was walking with some friends and we walked past a self-owned game store. To my surprise I saw an extremely overpriced game. Portal 2 was going for 70 euros! Even in Gamestop that game would go for 60 euros [in the U.S. its probably $60 since they seem to just convert the price straight]. I understand that games are becoming more advanced and even more expensive to make and this would result in an increase in game price (if you remember new games used to be $50, even further back $40 and even $30). This price increase for new games was noted by me with the release of Starcraft 2 (or maybe it was a game before hand that was marked as being $60). This was fine but if the new tread is a $10 or 10 euro price increase ever few years I am going to go insane. Imagine paying $100 for a new game, thats insane!

Maybe its just me but things like this force me to reconsider even looking at new games since I know they are going to be this expensive and I might as well wait a year or 2 for the price to drop.

Thats it and thanks for reading my rant. If you have comments please leave them below.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Armored Core - Game Review - (List of every single Armored Core game made)

This is going to be a general review since in my opinion the game never really changes too much.

How many of you have played this game or remember playing this game? This game brings back many memories for me since this is one of the first games I played on the original PlayStation (PsOne or PS1, my first console as well)

Basically you play as a kind of mercenary (in some of the other ones I believe you work for corporations) that pilots a robot (Armored Core) and have to do various missions. In a few of the later games there are Arenas that you can play in that are like PvP (player versus Player) matches against the computer. There are also 2 player versus modes and in later games for the Playstation 2 you were allowed to play online I think (I never payed online or had an interest to do so). 

A quick note for those of you that have an Xbox360 or a PSP, there are Armored Core games for those consoles as well. (The PSP one is a big let down in my opinion).

The graphics of the game got better with each new game released and the gameplay and story line did as well, they even added in extra aspects such as heating problems of the Armored Core and an extra fast speed boost (overboost? or overdrive) and also extensions (more than the "optional parts" feature). For me all this added features and aspects took away from the simplicity of the game and with it my interest in continuing the collection of the series.

To buy, rent, or leave on the shelf?

I say its a buy if you like Gundam or Third-Person shooters and want the added spin of a mech aspect.

The games vary in price and after doing a quick search it seems that the older versions of the game (Armored Core for PS1) has become something like a collectible going for around $60 on but some other sites are selling it for less than $10 (don't know if these sites are trusted or not).

If anything you can go to Walmart or Gamestop (they should have a bunch) and look for the older games or used copies of the newer ones for PS2 and PS3.

Clockwork Orange - Movie Review

I think its time for another movie review and then maybe a game review since I haven't posted in a while but that one will come in a few hours.

Movie: A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Rating: X
Length: 136 min
Crime, Drama, Sci-fi

What can I say about this movie? Its strange but has a very believable story line. I really don't think there are words that can describe this movie and tis greatness. Its something you will have to watch on your own time and I definitely recommend that you do.

The acting is quiet nice and the picture quality is fine (it is a 1971 move after all) and the story is very good. I think that saying anything more would be spoiling quite a bit for you and if you wanted to find out more you could always just go to the imdb link and read the articles there.

There is also a book out that you can get off along with the movie (around $8 for the book and $15 for the movie (bluray))

Saturday, April 16, 2011

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty

My rating: 10/10 (10 out of 10)
General rating: 8.5/10 (8.5 out of 10)

Just a heads up about this game review; its going to be quite biased since I love this game and I am a big RTS and MMORPG player and I have played in several tournaments for both of these game genres. So with that in mind lets start this review.

If you've played Starcraft and the expansion Starcraft: Broodwar when they came out then first: you are old, and second: you might be a fan and thus have been waiting for this game to come out for some time. Now I know this review is coming out even though Starcraft 2 has been out for quite some time now but that doesn't change the fact that some less than die hard fans have still not bought this game and might still be "on the fence" about purchasing it.

A few things to note about Starcraft 2:
1) It requires internet connection to play (if you want achievements)
2) It requires a Battle-net account

This campaign for Starcraft 2 is a continuation of the story from Starcraft and Starcraft: Broodwar. I won't give away any spoilers since some people might not have played Starcraft and Starcraft: Broodwar and thus do not know of the epic story.

For those of you that favor the online multi-player scene then you shall not be disappointed or forgotten. Online play is huge with around 170,000 players and quite competitive with a ladder and league system. If you aren't then have no fear since Blizzard has been very creative and has a custom game option where you can play vs. the A.I. or even on a bunch of player created maps. 

Some computers might have problems running this game with its best graphics offered but others won't and will be able to experience some of the best death animations ever made. It doesn't take too much away from the gameplay though unless you are a serious graphics "Nazi". The story line for the campaign is very nice, and leaves you wanting more, but the only problem is that you only have the option to play Terrans. Apparently there are expansions that will be coming out later for Zerg and Protoss. ($$$$ for Blizzard eh?)

1) Continuation of one of the greatest games in history
2) Great Story line
3) Great multi-player
4) Awesome custom maps and games by fellow online players 
4) Graphics are great if you computer can handle it

1) $60 (less now) for a game is not cheap
2) Requires internet connection for achievements (there are ones for multi-player and campaign)
3) Multi-player still isn't fully balanced but everything takes time
4!) Multi-player is region locked. (If you buy a North American version then you play with other NA players, EU for EU, and Korean/Asian for Asian regions) If you want to play with other people you will have to buy more than one account. Blizzard does offer a one time region shift but after that they won't help you.

To buy, rent, or leave on shelf?

Its a buy for me. If you played Starcraft and Starcraft: Broodwar and want to know what happens in the rest of the story then still pick it up. If you love RTS games then yes buy it, they even have a collectors edition for those die-hard fans (It comes with a bunch of stuff and I'll have price links to that and the regular version so you can see)

Best places to buy Starcraft 2:

1) ,,                ($49.99)
2) Walmart                                                                             ($55.99)
3) Target, Apple Store (probably just MAC version)       ($59.99)

Best places to buy Starcraft 2: Collectors edition

*StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Collector's Edition Features:
  • The Art of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, a 176-page book featuring artwork from the game 
  • An exclusive 2GB USB flash drive replica of Jim Raynor's dog tag, which comes preloaded with the original StarCraft and theStarCraft: Brood War expansion set 
  • A behind-the-scenes DVD containing over an hour of developer interviews, cinematics with director's commentary, and more 
  • The official StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty soundtrack CD, containing 14 epic tracks from the game along with exclusive bonus tracks
  • StarCraft comic book issue #0, a prequel to the comic series 
  • World of Warcraft mini Thor in-game pet that can be applied to all World of Warcraft characters on a single account 
  • Exclusive downloadable content, including special portraits for your profile, decals to customize your units in-game, and a visually unique version of the terran Thor unit 
1)                ($99.99)
2)                ($122.99)              Base prices only
3)                      ($1-$200)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Local game stores versus Corporation game stores

This came up in a conversation between my friend and I last night when we started talking about where we go to buy games. 

There are some of you that don't know of anything other that corporation game stores such as Gamestop or Walmart or maybe even K-mart. These are not the only ones but they are some of the only ones that were around where I grew up.On the other side there are the Local game stores that are kind of like mom and pop stores but owned by one person or persons but not controlled by some board of directors or anything like that. 

Of coarse there are other places to buy games such as online but thats if you are willing to wait for shipping (and most Corporation game stores also have websites anyway).

What I want to know is which one you support and if it applies which one would you rather support? 

I would prefer to support a local game store but I don't know of any near where I grew up so if I bought games they came from Gamestop or Walmart. Here are some pros and cons that my friend and I came up with.


1) Games always in stock
2) Prices always set and known
3) Buys/trades all items 
4) Everywhere

1) Greedy
2) Workers there are annoying

Local owned:

1) Can negotiate prices (Buying and Selling/Trading)
2) Very good customer service
3) Might have rare items

1) Not everywhere 
2) Might not have some items in stock

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Waking Life (2001) - Movie Review

Every once in a while I think I'll do a movie review so that we can move away from the monotonous blogs soli about games. Most people have a certain genre of movies that they watch and stick to, but I am one of the few that doesn't. I can sit down and watch a drama, comedy, action, horror, romance, etc. on my own without having to skip through it or be bored. So lets get down to the movie review shall we?

Movie:  Waking Life (2001)
Rating: R
Length: 99 min
Animation, Drama, Fantasy
My rating: 7/10 (7 out of 10)

My roommate recently "found" a bunch of movies labeled "mindfuck', which already tells you the general basis of how this movie is going to turn out, for us to watch. This is one of those "mindfuck" movies, but contrary to popular thought its not one of those gore movies or anything that makes you confused but rather a thought provoking movie. The movie is simple and has real actors but the movie is seen in this "animated' sort of way. I would liken the animation to something akin to cell-shading which some really like, some hate, or if you are like me you don't like or hate it.

Even though I am on neither side of the fence on the animation I really couldn't stand to watch this for 99 minutes so I had to window the movie and do something else while listening intently to the movie. The key here if you also need to window or minimize (I wouldn't suggest this as the animations are pretty good and for the most part add the the plot and the feeling the directors are trying to produce) the movie is to listen. I can't stress that enough. LISTEN to the movie. The messages that Waking Life conveys is very thought provoking and should have you nodding your head the entire time or at least a few times throughout the movie.

To be very honest this movie would get a 9 out of 10 or even a 10 out of 10 if not for the fact I couldn't stare at the animation for long and thats a big deal to me since I don't know of anyone that goes to the movies just to listen to it. (My apologies to the blind). Then again others might give it that perfect score if they actually enjoy the cell-shading type animation.

I am trying to think of what else I can talk about as I have just been talking about the looks of the movie but its rather hard since that would give away some of the movie. So I think I'll just leave it there and wait for comments about the movie for those who are going to watch it or have already watched it. Please don't spoil it for others in the comments.

As always, comments are welcome, opinions, and suggestions, as well as requests for movie reviews. I shall always try to avoid spoiling the plot for others.

For those of you wishing to buy the movie: offers it for $7.99 (shipping price not included) right now and offers it for $9.97

Monday, April 11, 2011

Dead Space 2

First request so I'm going to do this first and move the game I was going to review later.

Game: Dead Space 2
Developer: Visceral Games
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Rating: 9 out of 10 (this seems to be the average rating given by other gaming sites as well)
Console(s): PC, Xbox360, PS3

Now first of all I should say that scary games aren't my favorite, call me a wimp sure but isn't that what scary games are suppose to be like? If you watched that one ad with the old people or parents saying that this game was bad and shouldn't be played by kids then you get the gist of what its going to be like.

It follows the first one in gore and game play but with better graphics and a tad bit more gore. I'm not going to do any spoilers about the story line unless you do a special request for it but to be honest you can jsut go on any review site and find those.

For those of you that enjoy games with DLC  (Downloadable content) then you should be happy to know that this one does so you can probably expect more DLC to come out later if you have already finished the game.
To buy or not to buy or to rent

I would recommend that you buy it if you played the first one and liked it or if you like horror games in general. For someone like me who doesn't like horror games that much the rent option is awesome, or even better borrow a friend's copy and play it for free.

Best place to buy the game would be for online purchases.

For the xbox360 the best prices come from and with the same prices.
For the ps3 is the best but is a close second again with .59 cents more
For the PC wins again but this time Walmart (US, and a few other countries)  takes second

If there are any other questions or games you wish for me to look at then feel free to comment with questions and suggestions on how to improve.

Thanks for reading.


Lets start by saying what this blog is going to be about since its always useful to know what you are going to read about and whether or not you desire to continue reading about someone's crappy life, their sex-life, etc.

This blog is not going to be about your life or my life per-se but rather about mine and your "Second Life". No not the game Second Life ( but the virtual one located in any game or movie you watch/play to dive into just to escape the crappy life you have or to take a break from work.

So to sum up:

This blog is NOT

1) About my life
2) About your life
3) About anything really important

This blog IS

1) About games
2) About movies
3) Reviews and where to buy things