Category Archives: Update

Quick Update Pt. II

Folks, hello again! I have returned from a relatively lengthy hiatus and will be setting up shop again shortly. I should be around at least for the next couple of months and then may have to take another leave of absence but aside from that I’ll be playing catch-up here and there.

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Quick Update!

I’ve got a long month ahead of travel and various work duties, so I will be keeping posting to a minimum or null. Please do not forget about me during my absence but also don’t expect as much writing from me here!

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Pokemon Go: Gen 2 Update

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Pokemon Go is flawed at best but it is an endearing project that, similar to Bungie’s Destiny, has evolved over time into something much greater and relatively smoother than it initially was when presented. Over the past week (and potentially still going on) Niantic has been slowly but surely releasing new pocket monsters into the wild. Although not all Generation 1 and 2 Pokemon are in the game as of yet- many monsters of the legendary variety have yet to ever show up and be confirmed, this is definitely good for publicity as well as for adding content to the alternate reality simulation.

I was never personally big on Pokemon Go, but I recently started watching the original Indigo League again for old time’s sake- more on that later, as I was considering blogging about it and my impressions as well. Needless to say, this led me to want to scratch my Pokemon itch- something that I haven’t felt in a good long time, and rather than shell out the forty bucks for the newest game(s) I deigned it an appropriate time for the hefty download to my iPhone instead.

It’s only been a couple of days and I’ve played sparingly here and there between work and other responsibilities, but I’m finding that it is easily one of the most accessible titles, if a bit frustrating thanks to several glitches and bugs here and there. The most annoying aspects come from random GPS and server failures as well as the fact that the app takes about six or seven tries to even get started. Besides three moments where my app crashed right when I captured rarer monsters, it’s been fun and games so far. I’m a solid level ten and already have some nice second generation additions with over five or six hundred combat proficiency and power.

My basic impressions are probably pretty close to any and everything else you’ve heard about the game and the update in the past, however I still think some things merit credit or explanation where credit or explanation are due. The most recent update has added some other elements besides simple boosts to the roster and the mechanics. Pokemon now more actively and realistically try to evade capture- often knocking even well-aimed pokeballs away if you’re not careful in your timing. Several new items have been added as well to further expand the lore and the universe of Pokemon Go. All in all, the update itself lays a solid layer upon the shaky foundation of the game and actually makes it a little more balanced and playable even for its flaws.

Sure, it’s annoying as ever that some of the rarer Pokemon, no matter their level, will break free of most any pokeball and virtually ignore your berries and charms- I’m talking to you Togepi and Totodile. But all in all it’s a rich experience and one that, despite being limited to only some three hundred of the total eight hundred plus Pokemon now available in the known universe, is fun and encompasses the feelings I imagine Ash, Brock, and Misty must’ve felt in the original series. I’m interested to see where the app goes from here and hope that it gets the continued support it and fans deserve as well. It’s a worthy goal to want to meld interactive gaming and health benefits, after all.

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Life is a Backlog

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It’s been a while since my last actual blog post to go beyond mere update status or beyond predictions for some sport or another. I will not say I am necessarily back in the swing of things, as I am still acclimating to being a part of civilization again and not staying predominately in the outdoors and enjoying everything Mother Nature has on display to offer. I will, however, say that I hope to be getting more content out here and there despite having a busy ‘back-to-work’ schedule to deal with myself.

In many ways, the title of this particular post stems from the fact that moments throughout life strike me as not too dissimilar to a person trudging through a lengthy backlog- of any sort. There are certain goals you have in mind such as completing the next game on the list, and sometimes that happens but at the same time sometimes it’s pushed further and further into the future. For me, writing can often be like that. I’ve written three new manuscripts this year and yet I’ve struggled to fairly accommodate my passion for game journalism and writing reviews as well. It’s always been a balancing act for me where other priorities in life have been concerned, and I’ve done a poor job of it lately.

Not all hope is lost of course, as I am here now. I’m never too far from the front-lines myself and have been on the lookout through various sources for upcoming news and information of course as well. While I tend to steer clear of reviews now if not for one particular reason, then for the fact that I’ve written a plethora over the years and am now burnt out- I will not say that you won’t ever see me write one again. I’ll always be eternally intrigued by being able to generate my own thoughts concerning topical pieces, so of course some thought blogs may be the evolution and future of my editorials and reviews melded together.

I write most of my actual non-blog content offline and anonymously. Not because I have no wish to share with people I know appreciate what works I do share online and publicly, but for the sake of sharing content with an unknown audience as an unknown benefactor for the purpose of receiving unbiased feedback. That being said, I may or may not start sharing some more of my creative projects here in actuality although I warn you for the most part my short fiction is a tad dark and not always the most appropriate of subjects. I won’t compare myself to any “great” authors, but I won’t steer clear from the slight supernatural-horror niche that typically accompanies even the most benign of my works.

All in all, I’ve been lurking in the shadows for the past week or so, soaking up and absorbing the sights and sounds of online communities in order to get back into the thick of things. So if you haven’t heard much from me for awhile but you’ve seen me occasionally commenting or otherwise enjoying content here and there, I’m either fresh off of an important trip or fresh off of a lengthy period of business and busyness. I look forward to seeing what you all write and read in the future, as that is of course one of the most interesting and important aspects of my own life. Cheers, all.

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The Best Deals With Gold, Week of 21NOV

[As Originally Read on GIO.]

Last week I detailed some of the best Xbox deals with Gold and digital downloads. This week I will be highlighting some newer deals as well as timely Black Friday additions. Let’s go ahead and see what’s in store for the week then shall we?

Join Xbox Live Gold- $1 ON BLACK FRIDAY

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon- FREE (Until 11/30)

Did you like Far Cry 3? Do you like open world adventure games? Do you like gritty and nuanced science fiction adventures? Are you even human? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may want to check out the standalone downloadable Far Cry adventure that turns komodo dragons into giant laser dinosaurs and enemies into cybernetic juggernauts. I’m not even kidding. Go out there and have some fun wreaking havoc upon their poor souls.

Forza Horizon 2 / Bundle / Forza Motorsport 5- 60% OFF

Each of these three items- the Forza Horizon 2 10th Anniversary Edition, Forza Horizon 2 Bundle, and Forza Motorsport 5 are 60% off respectively. If you’re a fan of the series or racing games and sims in general, then this might be more than worthwhile to checkout. As an additional note, there is also a Forza Horizon 2 / Forza Motorsport 6 Bundle available at a 45% off discount. So there’s that option as well.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons- 75% / 80% OFF

Depending upon whether or not you purchase the Xbox One or 360 version, you could save an additional 5%on costs. The two are pretty comparable so if you’re looking to save money then don’t sweat it that much. Brothers is a couple of years old now but no less entertaining, vivid, and moving. It is a narrative and puzzle driven adventure game featuring two brothers as the title would suggest. Definitely an experience to have and appreciate if you enjoy adventure titles and good stories.

Bound By Flame- 75% OFF

Very much an almost Dark Souls RPG enthusiast, Bound By Flame is an entertaining role-playing adventure game that has several interestingly implemented elements. The studio behind it recently created the interesting if flawed Mars RPG called The Technomancer. So if you’re intrigued by the premise of most RPGs and want a heavily discounted adventure title that’s not too shabby, this is probably a game you should look into.

Terraria- 80% OFF

Very much akin to Minecraft in many ways, this adventure indie darling always pops up in the discounted deals section and is still insanely popular. Whether or not you ever tried the PC version, I implore you to at least give the Xbox versions a look. Both the Xbox One and 360 versions are the same discounted price. If you enjoy simulations or adventure and survival games then you should check it out.

I hope this short blog has given you some insight into a few of the best deals you can currently get on Xbox Live right now. If digital downloads aren’t your thing I urge you to reconsider your position, because even despite their pitfalls they can be pretty helpful at times as well. PlayStation Plus has a lot on sale right now and on offer so if you are a PlayStation kind of guy or gal you should head over there as well. And don’t forget to check Humble Bundle and Steam and everything else my fellow PC gaming friends.

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The Best Deals With Gold, Week of 14NOV

[As Originally Written on GIO.]

Last week I gave a general heads up to Microsoft console surveyors about Xbox Live -related content and free or discounted games. This week I’m aiming to do the same and to highlight some of the newer deals that have come on down the pipeline as well.

The Escapists- FREE (Until 11/15)

This is one of last month’s Games With Gold and it is still available for roughly another week or so. It may not seem too interesting compared to the newest Call of Duty or Civilizations VI, but this prison sim has its quirks and is truly an entertaining package especially if you invest in some of the downloadable content. Give it a try if you enjoy strategy games or indie tales with black humor involved.

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon- FREE (Starting 11/16)

Did you like Far Cry 3? Do you like open world adventure games? Do you like gritty and nuanced science fiction adventures? Are you even human? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may want to check out the standalone downloadable Far Cry adventure that turns komodo dragons into giant laser dinosaurs and enemies into cybernetic juggernauts. I’m not even kidding. Go out there and have some fun wreaking havoc upon their poor souls.

Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition- 50% OFF

If you’ve been a longtime fan of the series or you played the DMC reboot a few years ago, this might be an interesting title for you to pick up. As it is, if you enjoy action games or hack and slash adventures it may also be something worthwhile to enjoy. It’s not too heavy on the wallet and it also features the majority of any downloadable content that came with the Demon Hunter Bundle pack all those years ago as well. More content for a lower price is never really a bad thing.

Resident Evil Revelations 2: Deluxe Edition- 60% OFF

If you enjoyed the first game or you’ve enjoyed some of the Resident Evil titles in the past, or perhaps even this game itself, the Deluxe Edition may be for you. It should include the bulk of the episodes- including downloads and extra content as well. After all, it is the vaunted ‘Deluxe’ edition. Sixty percent off is virtually a steal for a game that is pretty damn good in terms of quality gameplay, storytelling, and atmosphere. As a side-note, the season pass for RER2 is also on sale for 60% off.

Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition- 67% OFF

Remember when Tomb Raider (2013) and a bunch of like-minded games all released so-called ‘Definitive Editions’ with the launch of the new console generation? Well this reboot took that approach as well and released the full game with downloads and all with a slight performance and graphics boost as well. And now it’s discounted to nearly one/third the original price. So if you thought it was a good buy to begin with, this is a complete and utter steal. Seriously, you should try the game if you’ve never played the series and you should try it if you want dry wit and mind-bending fun.

Dirt 3 and Dirt Showdown- 75% OFF

If you’re into racing games and racing games that have a plethora of modes then these two titles could be for you. Both are discounted to roughly the same price and both are originally Xbox 360 titles, meaning they’re available for virtual download from the marketplace. In my opinion, Dirt 3 offers the more complete package and Showdown is more of arcade afterthought, however they are both chock full of content and differing modes and it is entirely up to you which to buy or whether you would like both or not.

Darksiders II- 80% OFF

This is quite possibly one of the best deals I’ve seen in a long time, short of completely free titles of course. This game is not only a large and expansive quest but an entirely open and enjoyable world and narrative. The first Darksiders did many things well and the sequel truly only improved upon that formula and added so much more. If you’ve yet to play the game but like action-oriented RPGs and adventure games then you should definitely try it out. As a side-note the season pass is also discounted at an 80% rate.

I hope this short blog has given you some insight into a few of the best deals you can currently get on Xbox Live right now. If digital downloads aren’t your thing I urge you to reconsider your position, because even despite their pitfalls they can be pretty helpful at times as well. PlayStation Plus has a lot on sale right now and on offer so if you are a PlayStation kind of guy or gal you should head over there as well. And don’t forget to check Humble Bundle and Steam and everything else my fellow PC gaming friends.

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The Best Deals With Gold, Week of 07NOV

[As Originally Read on GIO.]

Being predominately an Xbox One gamer this generation (although I own plenty of other consoles and doohickies as well), I feel it is only fair I give back helpful information to those of you also gaming on the Microsoft system. Therefore, I will be doing a periodic little rundown of some of the best deals digitally available week to week and month to month on Microsoft’s premium live service, Xbox Gold. I will be including deals and Games With Gold titles as well.

FIFA 17, Madden NFL 17, and NHL 17- 35% OFF

If you are a sports fan and any of these three titles have been appealing to you but you’ve waited awhile to get a good deal on them then you should consider buying now. All three are quality titles and scored fairly well when reviewed here and other places. The order they are listed in is also how I would personally rank them if I were to be buying them right now as well in my honest opinion quality wise.

Borderlands: The Handsome Collection- 60% OFF

This is definitely a steal. You can get both Borderlands 2 and The Pre-Sequel in the bundle and all of the downloadable content for each game to boot. Not only are the games spectacular (2 more so than the Pre-Sequel) but they are also full of content and good games to dive into if they’ve been in your backlog for some time and you’re looking for a quality story and fun time.

Evolve- 60% OFF

If you’ve ever played Left 4 Dead or Left 4 Dead 2 and you enjoyed the cooperative mayhem then you shouldn’t pass up on giving this monster hunter a try. Although the game has made a push for free to play on other mediums, this is a good price for what content is still supported and has already been released. There’s a lot there and the base game is pretty fun as is even though the player count isn’t quite as high as it initially was.

Red Faction Guerrilla- 85% OFF

This is a last-generation gem and it’s still fun to play even today. It has some quirks at times but is better than the most recent Red Faction game and sequel, Armageddon. The destructibility and sheer size of the Martian world is what makes the game worthwhile and you’ll find it operates as some sort of “GTA in space” at times as well. Definitely give it a thought at this low of a price at least.

The Escapists- FREE

This is one of last month’s Games With Gold and it is still available for roughly another week or so. It may not seem too interesting compared to the newest Call of Duty or Civilizations VI, but this prison sim has its quirks and is truly an entertaining package especially if you invest in some of the downloadable content. Give it a try if you enjoy strategy games or indie tales with black humor involved.

I hope this short blog has given you some insight into a few of the best deals you can currently get on Xbox Live right now. If digital downloads aren’t your thing I urge you to reconsider your position, because even despite their pitfalls they can be pretty helpful at times as well. PlayStation Plus has a lot on sale right now and on offer so if you are a PlayStation kind of guy or gal you should head over there as well. And don’t forget to check Humble Bundle and Steam and everything else my fellow PC gaming friends.

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Milly Schmidt

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