My first League of Legends experience was an absolute disaster!

LoL

 

I’ve never been interested in League of Legends primarily because I’m more accustomed to console play and I enjoy more fast-paced games versus tactical games. Plus as someone who has never really had to “adjust” to a game, struggling with a learning curve is incredibly frustrating, especially to my ego. I’ve always enjoyed watching it since I understand the basics, but jumping into the experience for myself was really disappointing. It was intimidating! Other players are vicious and they don’t mind striking down their teammates who don’t really comprehend just what is going on.

I hate having to say that considering I’m accustomed to normal and frequent trash talk inside of the Call of Duty scene, but this was just an absolute disaster! As a gamer I try not to dwell on first impressions, but finishing that game was like pulling a tooth out. Of course feeling completely incompetent inside of a competitive atmosphere was heart-wrenching enough inside a game where your teammates seem to do nothing but yell at you while you furiously press random keyboard buttons and hope for the best even as you keep dying. I don’t even remember what champion I used! I’ve had mixed replies, some of them encouraging me to stick it out while others tell me to run screaming (which is what I’m leaning toward right now).

For the rest of you LoL players, what was your first experience like? What would be your advice to an uneducated newcomer (like me)?

Mega Man, the Junior High School Student

MegaMan-1

With all of the hullaballoo around Mighty No. 9 and its Kickstarter project flooding the Internet, I have been itching to play Mega Man 3 again.  So I cracked out the Anniversary Collection and fought my way to Wily’s Castle for the umpteenth time.  As I was playing, my mind was filled with all of the different incarnations of the Blue Bomber that have popped up over the years.  Just within my own collection there are three different comic book lines, two rock operas, two television series, and a tribute art book packed full of fan interpretations.  I have seen Mega Man has been a gruff-voiced green dwarf, a goofball hero who spits out corny one-liners, and a solemn savior for all of mankind.  This week, I want to take a look at an obscure comic book series, where the plucky robot faces his greatest challenge yet: junior high.

MegaMan-2It was back in 2003 when Dreamwave Productions took a crack at the Mega Man mythos.  Founded in 1996 as an imprint under Image Comics, the Canadian studio made their name publishing multiple Transformers comics series.  After splitting off from Image in 2002, Dreamwave earned several licensing agreements from Capcom, which included hot properties like Darkstalkers, Devil May Cry, and Rival Schools.  Unfortunately, most of these comic lines burned out after a single issue, if they were ever printed at all.  Losing several writers to pay disputes in 2004, Dreamwave Productions closed their doors in January of 2005, which left Mega Man with only four issues on store shelves.

MegaMan-4Instead of focusing on the usual story of a robot hero designed by Dr. Light to fight against Wily’s robot hordes, Dreamwave put more emphasis on the blurry lines between cold automatons and free-willed machines.  Dr. Light has perfected his independent determination chip and implanted it into his robotic son, Rocky.  The good doctor hopes that with this chip, robots will evolve beyond mere appliances and move on to be dignified members of society.  While all of this philosophizing seems quite grand, the core plot of this comic boils down to the bland trope of a young  hero trying to protect a city while managing a social life within a secret identity.  One issue even features the tired old tale of, “how will our hero save the junior high students and attend the student council dance at the same time?!”

MegaMan-3Even more odd is the severe lack of classic Wily robots within the series.  Outside of a brief appearance from Heat Man, all of Mega Man’s battles are against original designs from Dreamwave like Express Man and Barrage Man.  These robots are nothing more than battle fodder for the Blue Bomber, and take up just enough time to cause brief mayhem before being rapidly blown to bits.  This sort of this would be fine in a creative vacuum, but since so much of the other Mega Man media has created detailed and interesting back stories for the Wily robots, readers actually know what they are missing in this comic.

On a plus side, the artwork really shines in this series.  The character designs are clean and quite emotive, taking a cue from Inafune’s original work without being too derivative.  Action scenes are well-drawn, with plenty of interesting panel layouts and motion blurs to flesh out every scene.  The entire look of the comics is reminiscent of anime that would be suited for younger children, which matches the story perfectly.

When creating a comic based on an established IP, there is great difficulty in determining how to proceed.  A writer can stick to the script provided by the parent company, and make a series that is nothing more than dialogue placed over in-game actions.  Some writers prefer to deviate from the source material, and try to make something that can be appreciated as its own work.  It seems to me that Dreamwave Productions was attempting to produce something in the latter category: a Mega Man comic that does not rely on rabid fans’ knowledge of the established series.  Unfortunately for them, the core reading audience would prefer a video game comic that takes an existing story and gracefully builds upon it.  Dreamwave discovered then just as Capcom is learning now, sometimes it pays to give the fans what they want.

A Week in Gaming: Oldies but Goodies

BioshockWYK1

This week I have been mostly focused on replaying some of my favorite games as opposed to playing new games. As I said last week, I didn’t pick up GTA V for various reasons and honestly not much else has come out recently, at least nothing I found worthwhile. I took this opportunity to continue replaying some older games (well, some are not so old) that I love and care enough about to give them a replay.

I mentioned awhile back that I wanted to replay a certain set of my all time favorite games on the PlayStation 3, since most of them were previously played on the Xbox 360. I’m doing this because I want to have the data on the PlayStation 3 as opposed to the Xbox 360 since I’m picking up a PlayStation 4 and not an Xbox One. It probably wont matter, in reality, but I’m doing it anyway – I think it’s pretty fun! Some of these games included the Mass Effect series, the Bioshock series, and the newer Tomb Raider games (Legend, Anniversary, Underworld, etc.). There were also a few other games that I decided to replay such as Alice: Madness Returns, Batman: Arkham Asylum, and DmC: Devil May Cry. Basically just any games that I love and can get my hands on for the PlayStation 3.

Some people are asking “why are you replaying games when there are games out there that you have never played?” Well, it’s simple: I like replaying games that I enjoy. For instance, I have played through all three Mass Effect games a billion times (that’s a wee bit of an exaggeration, but not too far off) yet I am pretty much always playing one of them at some point now. It’s just fun to replay enjoyable games, you get to do things that you may not have had the chance to before or see new things or just simply have fun with it again. When there is nothing else that I want to play that is new, why not play some oldies but goodies?

Next month I will be picking up three new games, and the month after that is the PlayStation 4 release so my replaying of older games will come to an end for a bit but in the mean time I am having a ton of fun!

What about you guys and gals? Do any of you like replaying some older games in new game dry spells, or do you just wait it out with a multiplayer game or something else? What are your thoughts on the subject? Let’s hear (erm… read?) it!

(By the way, I’m watching Firefly while writing this an why is Nathan Fillion not Nathan Drake in an Uncharted movie like right now? Sheesh.)

BioWare Romances: My Personal Top 5

Anyone who follows my blog Robo♥beat probably knows by now that I’m a huge BioWare fangirl. I love the stories, characters, settings, combat… and the romances. I can understand people skipping the romances as a waste of time, but the way I see it, the romances add emotional depth to the already gripping stories, create more motivation for the protagonists, and provide new and interesting ways to get to know the NPCs. They’re entirely optional, but I always pursue romances in BioWare games. They’re part of the fun.

mass_effect_2__garrus_femshep_by_maddithong

There are many intriguing relationships you can pursue in BioWare games, and I’d round out a top 10 list with Liara T’Soni (Mass Effect), Isabela (Dragon Age 2), Kaidan Alenko (Mass Effect), Jack (Mass Effect), and Fenris (Dragon Age 2) being in the running. But if I have to pare down my list to just my very favorites, these are my top five BioWare romances.

5. Zevran (Dragon Age: Origins)

ZevranThe elf Zevran is extremely charming from the start, which is exactly why I didn’t like or trust him when I first played Dragon Age: Origins. He’s an Antivan Crow — an assassin — and the first time he sees your Warden, he’s supposed to kill you. When that doesn’t go as planned, he negotiates his way into your party, woos you with tales of Antiva, and eventually flirts you into his tent for a massage… and stuff. It’s easy to brush off his romance as a fling if you’re into someone else in the game, which is what I did at first.

But recently I replayed DA:O and decided to romance him for a change of pace. And I’m so happy I did, because winning him over for the long-run is a rewarding challenge if your character really falls for him. What I like most about him is that he can be romantic and chivalrous, but he also respects your character as a warrior and is never overly sentimental. Even when he commits, he doesn’t lose that side of himself that’s a little irreverent.

4. Tali (Mass Effect)

tali4It’s hard to think of anyone who can match Tali’s unique cocktail of intelligence, sweetness, and the occasional bit of “babbling like an idiot,” as she says about herself. She lets down her guard to become one of Shepard’s closest friends, and occasionally she gets drunk… very carefully. It’s hard not to love Tali, but I never had much use for her in my squad during early playthroughs of Mass Effect.

That’s why I had to dedicate a playthrough to having her around and trying out her romance with a male Shepard. Romance her, and she opens up with some of the most stirring dialogue in the Mass Effect games… seriously. If she’s going to jump your Shepard, she has to not only let down her guard but also take off her mask… but a smart girl with an accent who’s willing to take antibiotics to be with Shepard? She’s worth the wait.

3. Aric Jorgan (Star Wars: The Old Republic)

aricThis is a very personal choice, I know… but I just love Aric Jorgan. And let’s be honest: he’s not hot for his looks; he’s a pretty tough-looking Cathar with bright green eyes. But he’s a slow, hard woo, which makes him perfect for any woman who likes rough-around-the-edges. Sure, he digs through your character’s private records to find out if you’re up to the challenge of leading Havoc Squad. But he’s a soldier first and foremost — so of course winning him over will take time. You just have to be patient and put up with his gruffness for a while.

First, you’ll notice that flirting with anyone else drives this guy up the wall. Later, after teaming up on missions, you realize you’ve earned his respect — and he’s into more than just “barking orders and sniping Imperials.” But don’t expect romancing him to completely whisk the soldier out of him; one of his most romantic lines involves him offering you the “position” of being his wife. Really, this guy can only take so much heartfelt sentiment in one day, and that’s kind of cool.

2. Alistair (Dragon Age: Origins)

AlistairOh, Alistair. This was my first BioWare romance in my first BioWare game, and there’s a reason he holds such a special place in the hearts of so many Dragon Age: Origins players. He’s a Templar — actually, it turns out, a bastard prince — and just when you think he’s suave, he fumbles into awkwardness as your Grey Warden attempts to hit on him. Although he often hides behind sarcasm when you ask him personal questions, he eventually opens up to the Warden and appreciates others with a sense of humor, too.

But maybe the coolest thing about Alistair is that there’s not a huge need to chase after him; he’s an old-fashioned romantic at heart, giving you a rose and eventually confessing his feelings for your Warden after the two of you have built up an emotional connection. It’s old-fashioned romance that you don’t see a lot of these days. And if you play your cards right, he can even end up king to your queen… or mistress. Which is still romantic, trust me.

1. Garrus (Mass Effect)

Sometimes this is my computer backdrop, okay?

When I first started playing the Mass Effect series, I romanced Kaidan Alenko (also a great romance) because Garrus was not a boyfriend option in the first game — but try as I might to remain loyal to Kaidan in ME2, all I could think was how much I really, really liked Garrus. He is Commander Shepard’s most loyal friend, with a great combination of sarcasm, badassery, and always the most heartfelt intentions. When I got to Mass Effect 3, Kaidan was there and all… but all I could think was where the hell is my turian and when can I recruit him?!

So I stopped playing ME3, restarted ME2, and romanced Garrus so I could carry on with him as my Shepard’s true love in my canon playthrough of the series. If you romance him, you get to see his awkward side (mainly in ME2) as well as how suave he can be (mainly in ME3), which is why I consider him one of the most well-rounded and interesting video game characters ever. Being able to get to know him over the course of three games builds up quite an attachment, too. Now it’s hard for me to romance anyone but him when I play Mass Effect, because he’s really the whole package. Except for being fictional and stuff. =)

— Ashley

2011 called — it wants its blog post back

facebook screen grab

Do I feel outmoded writing about Facebook? More than a little, yes. Because really…who cares anymore? Well, I guess I do. You see, I started using Facebook in 2009 at the behest (and request) of a very dear friend.  It was still all over the news then as the “new” (though not really) and “hottest” way to keep up with all your friends. What has it become since then? A social media giant? An advertising mecca? The “new” and “hottest” thing to quit? I really don’t know anymore.

I think my use of Facebook is follows a pretty common path among, at least, my FB friends – it has definitely ebbed and flowed with the times. When I first signed up, I updated my status every day, I quickly responded to requests, and I sent and accepted friend requests without a moments hesitation. I enjoyed reading through the feed to see what people were up to, from close friends to those with whom I had lost contact and were now connected. I “participated” as people got married, bought houses and cars, had kids, and grew up and into life. It was fun, interesting, and it really felt social.

Continue reading 2011 called — it wants its blog post back

At the Buzzer (09/26/13)

Episode 112: Anger Leads to Hate — The guys discuss why spiking your wife like a football is a bad choice and behaving like a child is a horrible idea, then reminisce about two great things in Buzzkill. Also, Chris creates awkward nicknames for his younger self, Dave makes plans to avoid dying alone, and Shaun reveals his fantasies about Joe Rogan.

Headlines

Secondary Segment — Buzzkill

  • Legends of the Hidden Temple
  • Original Game Boy

Credits

Music:

  • “Main Theme (Rhythm Thief)” by Tomoya Ohtani
  • “Main Theme (Valkyria Chronicles)” by Hitoshi Sakimoto
  • “With Mila’s Divine Protection” by Noriyuki Iwadare
  • “Arkham City Main Theme” by Nick Arundel
  • “Night at the Octodrag” by Thee Jaguar Sharks

Production Assistance: Tony Robinson, Executive Producer

Announcer: Molly Robinson

More At the Buzzer

Find us on iTunes   |   Subscribe to our RSS feed   |   Facebook   |   Twitter   |   YouTube