Category Archives: Miscellany
…hey, Scrolls is apparently still a thing. You know, the card game from Mojang, aka the company that made Minecraft, that was sued by Bethesda due to “Scrolls” being too close to that part of the name no one uses when talking about Bethesda games. Although I suppose with The Elder Scrolls Online coming out, that could conceivably change.
The open beta for Scrolls starts June 3rd. Poking around on the site reveals that the game proper will cost $20, and while there is a RMT currency (“Shards”), according to Mojang (emphasis added):
Shards are now enabled
- Shards are completely optional. We’re never going to force you to spend in order to progress
- Every item can also be bought for in-game Gold
- A limited selection of items can be purchased using Shards
- You can now buy Shards – our secondary currency – with real-life cash
- Shards and Gold only have an in-game value
- You can’t cash out
In other words, it does not appear as though cash shop currency is required to purchase the equivalent of booster packs. In fact, aside from the cards themselves, I’m starting to wonder how like a TCG this game is even supposed to be. Scrolls isn’t being marketed as a F2P game for starters, so it’s possible that its constructed in a fashion that allows reasonable card progression just from play, e.g. it’s a normal damn game that doesn’t require goddamn graphing calculators to plot entertainment per dollar ratios. We’ll see how that all shakes out.
It is kind of amusing, how often things release is apparently independent cycles. Deep Impact came out just months before Armageddon. Dante’s Peak came out two months before Volcano. And now we have Hex, Scrolls, and Hearthstone all either releasing or hitting Open Beta in 2013. I would count Cardhunter among them, but the stingy bastards have yet to give me a Beta invite.
A few days ago, I realized I had a GameFly icon on my desktop and couldn’t remember why. As it turns out, I had bought Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning at some point, undoubtedly during a sale of some sort. After installing the game, I was presented with the following screen:
I declined, of course.
Out of curiosity though, I checked to see what exactly would be going on with the website:
In any case, now that I have Amalur downloaded and synced to my (sigh…) Origin account, I think I’ll go ahead and give it a spin. It kind of boggles my mind though, that Amalur still has a MSRP of $30 on Steam – nevermind how it was $60 last year, months after the bankruptcy. I know creditors need to be paid and all that (or maybe not), but those banking goons should have taken a page out of the THQ handbook when they did their massive sale blitzkrieg on Saints Row the Third and other games. I did end up getting Amalur on a $5-$10 sale, but they could have gotten my money a lot sooner than they did.
Just a quick note that I have finished my transition of decade-old anime reviews from my 2003 AngelFire (!) website that was, inexplicably, still online – people weren’t kidding when they say there is only one internet. While some of reviews are cringe-inducing, I am nevertheless impressed by the exhaustive thoroughness of some of the others written in my youth. If you want to read a nearly 2000-word treatise on Evangelion or 1500 words on Now & Then, Here & There, well, now you can.
I (un)fortunately stopped writing anime reviews halfway through college, and thus none exist for some of the other popular works like Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo and the like; it is unlikely that I will go back and write some up, just like I have little interest in importing the 60+ RPG reviews I wrote back in the day when I freelanced.
Anyway, I have pretty much decided to not feature anime reviews in the post feed proper (i.e. here), and instead periodically mention when several go up at once. So, well, several additional anime micro-reviews are also up, including Sword Art Online, Elfen Lied, and so on. Just click on the Review button along the top bar and navigate your way down to the Anime section.
My goal with these is simply to give you a quick overview of what to expect with the show, and to perhaps help decide if it’s worth watching. At this point, I am basically choosing shows at random as I am too far removed from the culture to know what to look for. If you happen to have some suggestions, perhaps in the form of a website or podcast you follow, by all means let me know.
God, I hate April Fools. I hate it so much, in fact, I took the day off of work, so I would not be so bored out of my mind with the gaming site (and Reddit too, apparently) nonsense. The celebration of insipid deception is so pervasively perverse, I do not even bother believing any news for a full 24 hours. New PTR notes? A release date for X game? Nope, can’t hear you, lalalalalalala~.
Anyway, I beat Bioshock Infinite over the weekend. Were the 14 hours worth the $45? You will have to wait for the review; a review I most certainly will not write on April Fools, lest it not be believed.
Of course, if you have been around here for any length of time, you will probably believe it.
As you may have noted along the sidebar, I am “playing” the original Crysis on and off. The scare-quotes are there because the game itself is borderline unplayable with all the bugs and crashes I have been experiencing. For as much as I love Steam and try to get 100% of my PC gaming through it, I am finding it increasingly asinine how little support Steam offers for the very games it sells. Generally speaking, if the game is more than 5 years old, I don’t even bother trying to install it before checking out the forums first; luckily, most of the first page is usually filled with similar customers in dire need of tech support as all of us stumble in the dark together.
I give games like the original Borderlands a pass – despite needing to download a swath of mods to make it less of a brain-dead console port – because that was how the game was designed. With Crysis though? The goddamn game crashes 100% of the time when you try and change any of the settings. If I alt-tab out of the game, it automatically switches to windowed mode, with no way to go back to full-screen without crashing the game. And it’s buggy even inside the game too; I was stuck for over an hour before I realized that the Objectives not updating was a bug and not me missing some sort of programming trigger (which would still be stupid).
I get that computers are hard, what with all the potential variations in hardware and software. But, seriously, some of this shit needs to be bundled with the download of the game itself.
Welcome to a new year of In An Age.
I am going to skip armchair prognosticating and instead focus on some goals/long-term plans. You may or may not have noticed that in my “Currently” sidebar, I have been listing more things than simply videogames. Since I have a website and write game reviews already, I figure that I may as well belt out a few words about what I thought about the books and anime I have been consuming too. There are plenty of more dedicated anime/book review websites out there though, so I am sticking to a “Micro-Review” format that is basically 1-3 paragraphs to give you the gist of what I thought about the series and whether you might like it.
I have not yet decided whether these “off-topic” Micro-Reviews will hit the front page, so to speak. On the one hand, you folks are here because you see some redeeming feature in my various pontifications, so why not have some more? On the other hand, this started out as a gaming blog and I wouldn’t want to… you know, fuck it. This shit will hit the Front Page when I feel like it, and won’t when I don’t. Nobody paints Baby into a corner.
Other than that nonsense, I expect to continue playing WoW and PlanetSide2 for the next several months, along with possibly checking into Dust 514 (now that have a PS3). I have Steam games coming out the ass, so there will be plenty of those sort of reviews/impressions coming too. And, of course, there will be plenty what I enjoy best: arguing with people over the internet.
If you liked what you read in 2012, you
ain’t seen nothing yet basically will get more of the same in 2013.
If you were not already aware, SoE is running a Triple Station Cash day this Friday, the 21st of December. The normal exchange rate is basically 500 SC = $5, so this is a pretty outstanding deal… provided you are into SoE games like, I dunno, PlanetSide 2. I already picked up two $15 prepaid cards at Walmart, which comes with a bonus 500 SC on top of the book value of 1500 SC. On Triple Station Cash days, each $15 card gives 6000 SC. With 23 hours already invested in the game, I figure $30 to unlock (nearly) ALL the things is fair play. If I hold out until another weapon promotion (e.g. they bundle 4-6 weapons together at a discount), those dollars stretch even farther.
In other news, if you have been playing Borderlands 2 lately (or stopped and plan on picking it back up), you should know that they dropped a Shift Code on their Twitter feed that awards 5 Golden Keys. Additionally, there is another Shift code as part of their Claptrap video promotion, bringing the total Golden Key haul to 6. If you have Borderlands 2 on PC, I’ll go ahead and save you some clicks:
- 5 Keys: WT5TB-XC5ZC-CX3T3-BBT3B-B35WB
- 1 Key: KJ5BT-FBKSK-KXJ3T-3BTJT-FJX5C
I haven’t played Borderlands 2 in a few weeks, but plan on booting it back up when the next DLC rolls around (I have the Season Pass); this amount of free uber-gear was enough to get me to log back in to at least redeem the codes. To be honest, I have been increasingly amazed that Gearbox hasn’t been selling Golden Keys for $1 apiece or whatever, as there was definitely a time period in which I would have bought some. On the other hand, I sort through their Twitter feed on a daily basis on the hunt for Shift Codes, so I guess that comes out as a bigger win for them.
This question may be be moot by the time anyone can read/respond to it, but…
If you had zero next-gen consoles or games, which one (1) console would you purchase?
- Xbox 360 250GB w/ Halo anniversary and Forza 4 ($199)
- PS3 Slim 250GB Console with Uncharted 1 & 2 and Infamous 1 & 2 ($219)
- Nintendo Wii Console with Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort ($119)
- None (see below)
I have zero interest in the Wii U or any of the handhelds – I’d be using the console as a Netflix box for a 32″ TV at a minimum. I am heavily leaning towards PS3 right now between the number of exclusive titles that I have some interest in, but I am also aware of how many times PS3 owners have been screwed over in terms of updates, game ports, etc. My PC will still be my primary gaming rig, but if I wait until 2013 and the next-next-gen, then my 32″ TV will be quite out of place attached to my PS2.
Then again, I haven’t actually bought the 32″ TV yet ($180), so technically I could just do nothing at all and wait all this shit out like I have been for the last 6-8 years. Sigh.
Just for fun, the following is the list of old games/systems/etc that I’m selling to that website:
- Nintendo console w/ cords
- Nintendo console without cords (may not work)
- Two Original controllers
- Nintendo Advantage controller (arcade-style gamepad)
- Blaster Master
- Metal Gear
- Battle Chess
- Super Mario Bros
- Super Mario Bros 2
- Super Mario Bros 3 (two copies)
- Dr Mario
- Metroid (+instructions)
- Mega Man 3
- Castlevania 3: Dracula’s Curse
- Top Gun
- Duck Tales
- Super Nintendo console w/ cords
- Original controller
- 3rd party controller (unknown brand, has turbo and slow buttons)
- Mouse and Mouse pad (two mouse pads) for Mario Paint
- Zombies Ate My Neighbors (+box plus instructions)
- Chrono Trigger (+box plus instructions)
- Illusion of Gaia (+box plus instructions)
- Populous (+box plus instructions)
- The Chessmaster
- Secret of Mana
- Sim City (+box plus instructions)
- Super Metroid (+box plus instructions)
- TMNT Tournament Fighters (+instructions)
- Star Fox (+instructions)
- Mario Paint (+instructions)
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (+instructions)
- Super Mario All-Stars
- Final Fantasy 3
- Beavis & Butthead (+box plus instructions)
- Jurassic Park (+box plus instructions)
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (+box)
- Streets of Rage 2 (+box)
- Madden ’94 (+box)
- Nintendo 64 console w/ cords and box
- Two Original controllers
I seem to have misplaced all my N64 games, but I still have boxes/instructions for:
- The Legend of Zelda: Orcarina of Time Collector’s edition box + instructions
- Perfect Dark box + instructions
- Conker’s Bad Fur Day box + instructions
- Turok 2: Seeds of Evil box + instructions
- Golden Eye: 007 box + instructions
- Star Fox 64 box + instructions
Similar to the N64 situation, I have loose sets of instructional manuals for the following games:
- Battletoads (NES)
- Super Mario 64 (N64)
- Wave Race 64 (N64)
- Gamecube console w/ cords
- Four Original controllers (silver, purple, black x2)
- Resident Evil Zero (+case and instructions)
- Super Smash Bros Melee (+case and instructions)
- Tales of Symphonia (+case and instructions)
The whole collection above is being bought for $375. I did do some research beforehand, and realize that a lot of those SNES games could fetch ~$50 by themselves. Indeed, Conker’s Bad Fur Day for N64 could have sold for $45 to the same website – it is supposedly a very Rare game (get it, get it… oh nevermind). Regardless, I feel pretty comfortable with $375 if only because it saves me the trouble of having to micromanage dozens of individual eBay auctions.
Finally, for the record, I had more games for these systems than listed above; I just had a tendency to sell them back to the used game place for store credit.
I am not entirely sure I will ever sell my Playstation collection though. Final Fantasy Tactics, FF7, Xenogears, Tenchu 1 & 2, Chrono Cross, Silent Hill… sigh. Soon it will be 15 years since any of these cases were opened, but I suppose there are lines even I won’t yet cross. Then again, none of those games are backwards compatible with the PS3, so once my PS2 shuts down for good… damn.