Saturday, December 21, 2013

So long 2013, and Thanks For All the Games

As I have vowed to do periodically, today I provide a short update on the status of this blog and where I see it going in the future. The end of the year seems to be a particularly good time to do this as we all make resolutions for the months ahead (most of which we will break). So what's coming up? Well you'll have to read the rest of this post for the details but, in short, it's going to be a busy 2014!

Hearthstone: Closed Beta Impressions

Recently, Blizzard admitted a swathe of new players to the Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft closed beta and I was fortunate enough to get an access code! Rather than keep everything to myself, I figured I would give some of my impressions of the game before it gets opened to everyone early next year. Two caveats to keep in mind as you read: First, the game is still in beta phases so any design feature I mention are subject to change and second, I have only had a few days with the game so my impressions are not complete and don’t necessarily represent a high level mastery.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Playlist - December 10-16, 2013

I managed to get a few things sorted out this past week and to met all of my deadlines to boot! Gaming wise, my playtime was dominated by the Hearthstone closed beta (which I played on stream last Saturday). I think it's a highly polished game if not the most complex. Also, I started up a new game of Chrono Trigger. I haven't made much progress but will hopefully get some extra time over the upcoming holidays.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Weekly Roundup: December 8-14, 2013

Holidays are around the corner and the award season is in full swing. When will the games industry get an awards ceremony akin to the Oscars? If last week's VGX show is any indication, not soon. Also this week, the NSA inspects our raid gear, YouTube cracks down on streamers, the Elder Scrolls online gets a release date, and society continues to reward idiocy!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sofa Story: Raids are Sick

I'm just going to go on record with my assumption that, at some point or another, most people have called in sick even though they weren't. I'm not judging, I have certainly had my share of faux-stuffy phone calls to the boss treading the fine line of sounding sick enough to avoid work but not so sick to prompt a request for a doctor's note (What's the point of playing hooky if you end up wasting half of your glorious day trying to avoid actually getting sick while waiting in a doctor's office?). Today I recount one such sick-day taken to participate in a World of Warcraft raid (ugh, I feel dirty just writing that).

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Playlist - December 3-9, 2013

It has been a grind of a week at real work but I have managed to get a few things up on the various sites I write for. I have been a bit frustrated with my editors who seem to have all disappeared on me which means I am the only oversight on what I have written (ohhh the possibilities!). In any case, I have contributed to a few podcasts and am having fun exploring the medium. Games wise, I got to test out Galactic Starfighter (it's pretty good) and the new Five Towers expansion for Duel of Champions (it's mediocre). Also, I played a ton of fighting games as I prep for a special Twitch stream.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Weekly Roundup - December 1-7, 2013

With the holiday season in full swing, gamers are seeing a ton of new releases as publishers cash in on the consumer frenzy. Trying not to get lost in the shuffle, this week the Galactic Starfighter add-on for The Old Republic went live. It's pretty fun but probably not enough to woo players back. Also this week, Ultra Street Fighter 4 gets a release date, Battlefield 4 is broken, the VGX awards are broadcast, and Steam hit 7 million concurrent players.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Playlist - November 27 - December 2, 2013

Unfortunately, poor decision making on Friday night led to a completely unproductive Saturday (typically one of my more writing intensive days). In short, I didn't catch up as much as I was hoping to last week and am unlikely to do much better this week due to a busy real-work schedule. In any case, I hit most of my usual targets so quite a bit of stuff went up. Gaming wise, I only played two games this week as I worked on getting my yearly MMO fix out of my system.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Weekly Roundup - November 24-30, 2013

For most places around the world, Friday 29 November was just another Friday, in the USA it was the epic consumerism frenzy of Black Friday; a magical day where credit card companies celebrate with only the finest champagne distilled from unicorn blood as the average consumer racks up crushing debt that they will take at least a year to repay. Also this week, Steam improves its service, Shenmue 3 isn't in the pipe, Twitch bans the PlayStation Playroom, and the Warcraft movie gets scared of Star Wars.