The Freelancers comes at such a conincidential time...

Posted by Kaillif [Gloqwi] Ammen Sunday, January 31, 2010 0 comments

I've was thinking about how to make my blog more known, probably because I just changed the face of my website to make it more unique (and to compete with a person's website who I just found). And as you may know, I also joined a workshop at this place called YouMedia about spreading video game culture (which basically connected me with other people that enjoy talking about video games and other things related). It was a very nice coincidence that a podcast that was about people getting their start in the industry of video game journalism.

The Freelancers podcast, hosted by Xav de Matos and Kyle Horner (from Joystiq Xbox and respectively) is a 'cast where they about how they got started in gaming journalism. They are currently on their second show, but they are expecting to get guest stars every week to talk about their experiences about how they got into the industry. I love this idea for a podcast because these people were the guys that helped me to start...

The thoughts they brought up that I strongly agree with is to 1. make a unique voice for yourself. No one's going to be interested in you if you have sound like everyone else and you cover everything that everybody else covers (which is why one of my favorite reviewers is Zero Punctuation. He presents his reviews differently, and he says comments on games that may be thought of as ignorant as first but once you look into what he said, is humorously true) if  and 2. don't write about news. There are sooo many video game blogs that cover the news that no one is going to go a small blog to find the news.

You can hear more of their thoughts and a little more of an inside look into the games industry here!

So, I finally did what Morley's been wanting me to do for a podcast! So I welcome you to the aptly named Library of Games podcast. It's a placeholder name to me until we come up with a catchier name, and this logo is also a placeholder as well, but here is my first shot at a barely organized podcast staring me and my friends Stanley and Henry! I know we should get better over time, but I hope we get better soon!

We Cover:
  • Assassin's Creed 2 Impressions
  • Zork 1 Impressions (yeah, we're totally current! :P)
  • Dragon Age: Origins Impressions 
  • Most Anticipated Games For 2010!

HOSTED BY KAILLIF (Gamertag: Gloqwi), STANLEY (Gamertag: Battlestorm132), AND HENRY

Here are the websites we plugged at the end of the show:

Gloqwi (duh, right here!)
azndudedowndastreet's YouTube page (my friend's Yu-Gi-Oh channel. These guys take this children card game seriously!)

No, we don't think we're professional. But that's what we are goin' for! This is just one to test the waters (then later drowning in those waters)...

My refusal to play Dragon Age: Origins...The Review (for now...)

Posted by Kaillif [Gloqwi] Ammen Wednesday, January 27, 2010 3 comments

This will basically act as my review for Dragon Age: Origins because I do not want to play this game anymore...

This game is KotOR and Mass Effect gone wrong. BioWare sadly succeeds to disappoint.

Let's get to the first subject. The gameplay. The gameplay in general is basically BAD! It takes it's basic combat system back from KotOR, except took two steps backwards back with it. You choose your basic weapon attack with the X (on the PS3. A on the 360) and combine special moves/powers with the other face buttons. Instead of actually doing the moves yourself, you watch your character do the moves for you while the computer does a lot of math calculating the damage done (for people who have trouble understanding, think World of Warcraft). You control your squad of four and switch between them while doing this at the same time and you've got your basic combat. What they've done wrong with this that even KotOR did right was that BioWare took away the ability to pause and queue up attacks. Also, while you are controlling a character, you have to repeatedly keep clicking the normal attack button to attack, instead of a normal auto-attack.You also can't really tell whether or not your character is dealing any damage. You don't get a real feeling of impact with your weapons and spells. One good thing they have added to this game a 'tactics' feature which allows you to tell what your AI characters what to do when a certain situation appears (ex. "close range with one enemy" >> "do certain attack", "close range with two or more enemies" >> "do special ability".) This is a nice concept but it doesn't work very well with the mages since they want to waste all their mana thanks to these tactics, so you still have a little bit of babysitting with your teammates, but if you only have one mage in your party, there's really nothing bad about it, all you have to do is play as your mage during large battles.

Nothing else is really different about this game from other RPGs. You have your basic inventory system (loot some stuff, wear the best stuff, give your spare stuff to everyone else, and sell everything else to merchants), except they actually have an encumbrance system (the heavier the stuff is you carry, the less you can carry, and you will be unable to pick up anything else if you reach your maximum encumbrance). You have your basic leveling system (you have your basic attributes that you assign points to (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, etc.), you choose special skills the more you level up (skills like Combat, Herbalism, Trap-Making, etc., which all have four levels of specialty, ex. Basic Combat, Advanced Combat, Expert Combat, etc.). They still have your very in-depth dialogue system, but sadly, since your character doesn't have a voice actor (because there are definitely way too many lines of dialogue for the three kinds of races with both sexes your character could be), you have to read all your responses word for word, instead of Mass Effect's great dialogue system that came up before the person finished his/her sentence and you were able to choose the actual attitude of the conversation instead of the exact sentence for each response (it also seemed to flow a lot better in Mass Effect because of this. Now, it's "listen to the response, read over all of your available responses, and choose the one that fits your character most". There's a lot more moments of silence and characters standing still). It's still very black and white about which responses are good and which ones are bad and which ones are neutral, they even take the stupid step of showing you the exact effect of what your conversation did (ex. you say something Morrigan approves of, "+5 Morrigan approval", or you say something she doesn't approve of, "-2 Morrigan approval"). I feel this is a lot more old school then next-gen, where you should be able to tell how much she approves of you by her attitude towards you during that conversation...

One thing that I am slightly disappointed in is the structuring of the side-quests. They made it so they are more of add-ons to the main quest (ex. while you are heading for some certain boss, could you please get a certain item on your way there). It makes go though the long game a bit easier, but it unfortunately detracts from any variety any of these side-quests could have. It's not like you could completely detract from your main mission and explore and enjoy the world you are in.

Now to talk about what is probably the worst part about this game, the graphics. I don't know how they look on the PC, but on the console versions, they are an eyesore to look at. The environments look good from a distance, but you don't need to be very close to them to realize the bad texturing. I don't know if this is the same with the Xbox 360 (as I've heard this is a non-existent problem there), but the frame-rate is very unstable. This can drive you crazy especially in the larger fights when the PS3 can't seem to control all the action going on (and you think it would with all it's "power) and the game starts to clutter itself and make a mess of the screen. It doesn't help that the character actions aren't even that complex. It's all the same basic swinging of the sword or the raising of the hand to cast an awful looking spell. It doesn't help that the characters don't even seem to respond to damage. All they do is the basic jerk backwards or do the generic stumble backwards then forwards then fall when they die. The only exciting kills are when you finish off bosses, which are reminiscent of a God of War quicktime cutscene, but without the quicktime events.

One problem that isn't very big but is very noticeable is the lag in the game's menu screens. It's very similar to the lag in Fable 2's menus, where it takes a weirdly long amount of time to switch from screen to screen. Definitely not as long as Fable 2's, but slower than it needs to be.

What's the worst of all the the graphics are the character models. They just don't look human (or humanoid in the case for the dwarfs and elves). Looking at them when they speak to you in the close-up camera during dialogue is pretty repulsive. You can basically see the polygons that make up their faces. Now, I do understand that this game has been getting much better reviews on the PC version so all of these problems may be completely gone on that platform, but as for the PS3 version, these graphical problems will definitely get in the way of any attempts of trying to enjoy this game.

The music isn't anything special, and the sound effects couldn't be anymore generic or badly compressed. The voice acting is decent, and I didn't notice anybody sounding exactly like anybody else. It seems that all these new RPGs have one star voice actor that only stays for a very short time in the game. This game is no different, as it stars the same person who voiced Al Mualim from Assassin's Creed as a character who is important but doesn't last very long. That's all I have to say about the sound.

The story is the only thing that seems to make me want to play this game any more than I don't want to. The main quest itself is very generic good vs. bad, but the game has enough interesting parts to it that I want to see what happens next. From being sent into a dream world (or in this game's case, a nightmare) to trying to save a boy from the influence of a demon, this game wants you to just keep working just so you can see the conclusion of all these situations.

Your squad's back-stories could be interesting in a sense, but since I have delved into the Middle Age-y world very heavily influenced by Tolkien, I really have no interest in their origin, but much rather their life-story. In my seven or so hours of reluctantly playing the game, the story and the characters stories are the only part of the game I really want to get into.

What seems to be the problem is that this game even feels like it's on the wrong platform. The graphics are awful on consoles and the gameplay controls are obviously bad replacements of a mouse and keyboard. It pains me to say this, but if you ignore the story, BioWare has crafted what I like to call "another RPG". It's what I use to describe RPGs that rely too much on the story and don't take the time to perfect the actual gameplay or presentation. Everything in this game just seems so lacking. Let's just say that this game is just a step above that, if not a very tiny step.

As I am writing this review, I acknowledge that I haven't given this game the proper "reviewer" chance that I should be giving it, and that I'm probably not playing it on the platform BioWare wanted me to play it on, but this game has so many things that want to drive me away from it that I can't continue to. There are just much better games out there right now that you shouldn't have to waste your time with something like this. I know it sounds harsh, but for someone that has spent hundreds of hours in games like Mass Effect, Morrowind, Oblivion, KotOR and Fallout 3 (though I have some problems with this game as well, but I won't get into that now), I have to say that this game is pretty boring. I would highly suggest staying away from this game on consoles because it seems like such a PC game. Reading large amounts of dialogue and repeatedly clicking a button to attack is probably something you don't want to be doing on a TV. If you must play this game, I'd strongly recommend you go for the PC version, but otherwise, stay away from it.

Written by Kaillif Ammen [Gamertag: Gloqwi]

Most sincere apologies...

Posted by Kaillif [Gloqwi] Ammen Wednesday, January 20, 2010 2 comments

I definitely have to disappear from the gaming world for a couple of days or a couple of weeks...not because I got re-grounded (which will probably happen soon, though), but because me sneaking video games has been holding me back on doing a LOT of homework for school, and my grades are beginning to show it. Not that I have incredibly bad grades or anything, I just need to study for these finals coming up soon and I need a really high grade on these. I also need to start doing more homework. If you look at my grades, my projects/tests scores are pretty As, but my homework/participation(What? I get bored...) grades pretty bad. I will get back on updating this website as soon as possible (starting with my unfinished year in tweets, my review of DJ Hero and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete (and my thoughts about the FFVII Saga itself), and things not totally video games related, like my thoughts on my favorite ABC TV show, Castle! It's gonna be awesome, I promise! I'm just gunna go away and study really quickly, okay! Oh, and check out my friends' blogs, as they just remembered they had them!

Patunga13's blog

CrimsonSasuke's blog

Oh, we are also starting up our old machinima project again, but I wouldn't put much faith in it. I can't see us being as awesome as the other guys on YouTube, but hey, I've seen my doubts broken before...

Well, bye for now! I'll probably update this post with a video I made a week ago (because that is what I spent my spare time with). See ya later!

Push me...and then just touch me: High Score Session 5: DJ Hero

Posted by Kaillif [Gloqwi] Ammen Thursday, January 7, 2010 2 comments

After playing a lot of DJ Hero and feeling pretty confident that I was an awesome pro at this game. I'm a pretty big fan of people on YouTube that play games like Rock Band, DDR, and Stepmania (and also lately, Pop'n Music). By the way, if you want to have your mind blown, watch the videos in the links. I have also watched a couple of videos playing DJ Hero, and people seemed to be very impressed by the person's skill. The only thing that kinda ticked me off is that the person's score is only about a little more than half the score I usually get! So I decided that, "Well, I can do better, and I haven't posted a video in a while, so why don't I....make a video of me playing?". Well, that's why I did! The video above is me displaying my pro skills! Sorry about the video quality, my camera can take pretty pictures, but it can't take pretty videos.
I don't think I've made it very clear that I'm very damn impressed with myself! My score is ranked 26th worldwide on XBL, and my score is higher than the impressive people that I watch (you know, that guy that has more than 85,000 subscribers?)! I might be posting more video like these, not just subject to rhythm games, but other games as well!

(Check out my other high scores here!)

My Year in Tweets: Part 1: April and the first half of May...

Posted by Kaillif [Gloqwi] Ammen Monday, January 4, 2010 0 comments

Well, with the new year, I find it appropriate to do one of those "looking back at the past year" kind of posts (other than the one I did earlier). So I decided, I could recap with the year with my personal own stalker program, Twitter! Here are the highlights of my year, Twitter style!
 (italics are my explanation to the tweet)

First tweet on my new account that I actually got to work on my phone.
Curse u 40404

Yeah, I was on a Shonen Jump run during the time...

Currently reading more Shonen Jump...Naruto and...Yugioh GX(omg...standards have dropped and continue to slowly...) and such.

I was also a bit addicted to Yu-Gi-Oh...a bit too addicted...
Man, I wish I had a couple hundred bucks. One of the things I'd do with the money: Spec out my Yugioh deck, just in case the day ever comes

As the tweet says, an awesome day of my life not pertaining to video games almost at all. Actually, it was spent with these guys. Won't forget it. I also wish I could spend more time with the guys like that. They were really cool.

Best 6 hours of my life that didn't pertain to anything video gaming. Skating with Mo around the city was AWESOME!

I felt like getting back in the drawing buisness with all the manga reading/anime watching...

You know what? I'm not good with drawing origina characters. Fanart is my new temporary line of work now.

Yeah, I was still on a Yu-Gi-Oh stint, though...

Hehe. I just finished the first 20 volumes of YuGiOh GX. Go me!
Tonite confirmed it, im back into yugioh. Just finished a AIM-webcam duel and it was COO!
God, I forgot how cool these shows were. I wish I could be little again and watch the hell outta these. It's time to d-d-d-d-ddddddddduel!

It was a nice interaction I made one day waiting for my mother to pick me up, I can still remember it...

OMG! A nice woman just gave me a dollar so she could use my cellphone because she didnt have money for the payphone. I feel good!

Hahaha! I remember when I kicked Jacob's @$$ at Yu-Gi-Oh...good times, good times. He had really bad tactics as he had over hundreds of cards in his deck. Rule 1 of Yu-Gi-Oh: Keep the number of cards in your deck to a minimum in order to get the best cards into your hand easier. Simple logic, right?
My friend has the most ownage YUHIOH deck ive ever seen...and i still won! I bet he didnt put his heart in the cards.

Yeah, everyday Wednesday after school, I waited at the library for CCD (some weekly Catholic class for people that don't go to Catholic school), and I spent most of my time there reading Hunter X Hunter...

Almost finished with the first five volumes of Hunter X Hunter, and Watchmen just arrived in the mail!

And my response to Watchmen after reading it...

Just finished Watchmen.....holy shit....

A large night of tweets always seems to happen when a Pacquiao fight happens... I always seem to want the people on Facebook to know what is's exciting stuff! But the fight was a bit disappointing...

The Pacman fight begins! And here...we...go.
Wow. That was a more dissapointing attempt to fight back then Pac v. De La Hoya. 2 rounds? Your kidding, right? Nope. I saw it myself. Live.

I loved Scrubs. So I was sad to hear it was ending. Sadly, the time I was watching it was cut short because of something I have to go to (something I don't remember exactly).

Watching 'My Finale' now!

Yeah, it was kinda weird seeing the girls back from my old school at the library...
I just passed a bunch of girls from MCA in front of the library a few seconds ago. I think I creeped Reyna out like hell.

Still on the Yu-Gi-Oh stint, but I was enjoying the episodes! They were, as the tweet says, epic!

Just finished Yu-Gi-Oh GX ep. 164. Gettin' epic!

I downloaded a DS emulator just to download Yu-Gi-Oh World Championship. I felt pawaful. But I did hate taking care of my dog. Even though I hated my dog, it sucks that it passed on. R.I.P. Fozzy.

Goin home to play some more 'World Championship', watch thoe last 6 GX episodes, and take care of the dog.

Tweet explains all. It was pretty nice having people help us out on the street when they passed by. It

We just got a flat tire at the corner of Michigan Ave. It's good to know there are some human souls out there kind enough to help us out.


Second half of May and the rest coming soon!

My Blogging Buddies!

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