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.

What's Coming Up
I have been quite frustrated as of late. My new editor for StudentCom has not answered any of my messages and I have three things waiting to go live on the site. I am honestly contemplating whether or not I will continue to write for them at this point. I have decided to give it until after Christmas, if I haven't heard back and none of my stuff goes up by then (after a few more attempts at contact of course) then I think I will just have to write them off. In any case, the laundry list of work waiting to go live (shortened teaser titles) is Nintendo Woes, Netbook Gaming, and Nintendo Hard. I will contribute one more piece a week and see what happens come January.

My frustrations with GeekBinge haven't been so much with the site or getting my stuff up, but more an issue of my editing partner who has gone MIA. We are supposed to proof-read each others stuff and give constructive feedback (something I feel has been amazingly helpful at improving my writing) but I haven't heard anything from him in a few weeks and he hasn't made a post in a bit longer. All my recent stuff has gone up without significant oversight so apologies if the quality has suffered (I am really trying my best to closely edit but mistakes sometimes slip through). My impressions of Galactic Starfighter is up and I feel the addon is overall high quality if maybe not enough to woo players back. I also recorded another Screenbytes podcast on Friday that should go up for listening in the next few days (I had a blast doing this and the flow felt really good). I am still working on a counter-point for the Stanley Parable but it is morphing into a piece about review scores in general (I should have this done by the end of the week).

For this blog, I had a meager two articles last week and am committed to getting another Sofa Story up this week (it should happen by Thursday!). Also, sort of related, I recorded my first podcast in the new series I am working on (Passion for Pixels). I am waiting to get a few more ready as the time commitments with my recording partner may mean that we won't be able to keep a super tight schedule unless we work in rears. Expect this all to kick off in January!

One last minor note, I have made the decision to take a week off during the holidays to recharge my batteries and enjoy the season with family and friends (.. and maybe a PlayStation 4 if Santa is cool). So don't be surprised to see nothing go live the week of December 22. I'll be sure to post more info on the exact schedule closer to the date.

What I've Been Playing

Star Wars: The Old Republic
As I mentioned last week, I was really hyped for the Galactic Starfighter expansion and gave it a whirl. The new content is pretty sweet and feels highly polished. If you have played World of Warplanes you will have a pretty good idea what this new content is all about (except with a Star Wars theme). You could catch me tearing it up on Twitch last Saturday and can check the replay out on my YouTube channel. I finished first in most meaningful categories in my last round on stream and was glad to not look like a total noob (definitely the highlight of my gaming week). I also progressed a bit more with the single player zapping some poor rebels as a Sorcerer and abusing civilians as a dark side Trooper. Props to Bioware for having adequate server capacity for the new content release as I had no problems logging in and perceived no latency issues!

Outlook: I sense my time with The Old Republic is drawing to a close. I will play a bit this week but will probably cut it out of the schedule by the next. My MMO urges are satiated.

Duel of Champions
I really didn't intend to play this all that much but a new expansion (Five Towers) came out of left field and I had to check it out. Unlike The Old Republic, the new content caused major problems for the servers and logging in was pretty much impossible on day-1. I won a Swiss tournament and then lagged out of three more (not fun). I won't bother doing a full written impressions of the the new cards because I don't find anything too thrilling about them. The core mechanics are (mostly) the same with the new tower cards not really adding too much. Also, the minor balance tweaks have not been enough to shake up the landscape of decks and I found myself playing against the familiar cookie cutter styles. I must say that I am a bit disappointed.

Outlook: I am at the point now where I am playing one or two matches a week and don't really feel compelled for much else. The pacing is great for when I have 20 minutes to kill but my longer play sessions will be filled with other games.

Capcom Vs. Fighting Series
I have been playing a ton of the Versus series of fighting games in preparation for a Twitch stream idea I have. I won't give away too much but I intend to show-off a few of the games in a single stream and have been practicing a bit so I don't look like a total scrub (even though I am). I'm sure fighting game fans will scoff at my lack of skills but hopefully this should be all part of the fun. It's possible I will do this live this Saturday but am thinking I will wait one more week and do it as a send-off before I break for the holidays.

Outlook: Definitely playing for the next couple of weeks!