Saturday, November 3, 2007

Two Months

Whoa. Has it really been two months since I posted in here?

I'm currently trying to enjoy the semestral break, it being too short for my 
tastes. I think we're supposed to report back around November 6 or something. Sigh.

Anyway, one of my classmates back in highschool threw a party a week ago, celebrating her 8th 25th birthday. A few days ago, I also had my 7th. Damn. I'm getting old.

The gaming group had a sort of mini-reunion last night. After years of almost weekly games, we're reduced to these seasonal sessions, thanks to Real Life(tm). We managed to squeeze in a couple of games of Runebound, using the Doom Track option (to make sure the game actually ends sometime) and Fast Levelups (since the endgame was kicking our collective arses). Levi and Dondon tied for the first game (highest gold) while Archie laid holy Lv23 smackdown right down on Dragonlord Margath in the second game.

Still playing Perfect World Philippines, on the Dragon Server. Glad I met up with a fine clan, Excidium, composed of probably the finest people ever on an MMORPG.

And that's it. See ya next time.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Marvel Heroes

Bought this amazing boardgame last Friday, and only got to play it today. It's another high production value game from Fantasy Flight Games, with 16 superhero and 4 supervillain miniatures. Each player controls one of four of Marvel's superteams: the Avengers (represented in the game by Captain America, Iron Man, The Hulk, and Thor), the Fantastic Four (composed, of course, of The Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic and The Thing), the Marvel Knights (Daredevil, Dr. Strange, Elektra and Spiderman), and the X-Men (Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm and Wolverine). Each player also controls the "nemesis" of the team to their left (respectively, Red Skull, Dr. Doom, Kingpin, and Magneto).

The idea is to manage your team of superheroes effectively as threats appear all over the city of New York, which is divided into six areas in the game. Successfully troubleshooting threats garner victory points (VPs), and the game ends when one of the superhero teams accumulates a set amount of VPs. Victory conditions vary depending on which storyline was chosen at the start of the game (there are 10, ranging from the "default" Born Again which requires only 15 VPs to Brood Wars, which requires the same amount but has special rules).

We managed to play two games, the first one using the Born Again storyline, which was recommended for new players. To win in Born Again, a superhero team must collect 15 VPs). I think we stumbled through the learning curve without hurting ourselves much. I can't remember any highlights since we were a bit busy figuring out the rules, except when I sent out Captain America and he got his white arse handed back to him by Blastaar. The X-Men won the victory, thanks mostly to Logan's adamantium claws.

For the second game, we tried randomly drawing from the other nine storyline cards and came up with Brood Wars, where the goal is 15 VPs as well, but now, Villains marked with the "Most Wanted" icon are considered to be infected by the Brood, raising their attack and defense ratings but lowering their outwit ratings. If three Brood-infected Villains score victories on the superheroes, then it's game over and all the players lose!

One of the highlights of the second game include the massive slugfest between the Avengers' Hulk and a Brood-infected Super Skrull, aided by a lot of other villains. Super Skrull actually managed to clobber the Hulk into submission! Spiderman was also defeated by the Kingpin. The 'Pin only managed to do so by launching a sneaky suprise attack (with the aid of Sandman) right after Spidey had a tough fight with Absorbing Man. Still, between Spidey and Dr. Strange, the Marvel Knights managed to score enough points to claim victory.

The Marvel Heroes Strategy Boardgame is a fast and fun game with some furious dice--err, slugfests, almost accurately depicting the Marvel Universe. The toy factor is a plus as well (20 pre-painted miniatures!). Fans of the Marvel Universe should definitely not miss this experience.

Here's looking forward to the expansions!

Excelsior!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Punk Rock, Sex, and... Videogames?!?

Just saw SLC Punk! tonight; got the dvd rip from bit torrent. It was, for lack of a better term, profound. I've started living the punk philosophy way back when I found out about it, already part of the system. Back then, it filled my emptiness, gave a name to what I've always felt, made real that intangibility which I couldn't put into words. But let's face it: even real punks die. It's a sad fact, but the System swallows everyone and everything. You'd need the System if you wanted to live on. And the gods know how scared I am of dying.

So, yeah, that damn film echoed most of my life experiences so far, echoed it with such clarity it hurts. It's like a wave of melancholy sweeped through me, and I'm faced with the raw reality: life is pain and pain is living.

And a scratching at the back of my mind telling me I'm nowhere. I'm lost. Fuck the crossroads, I'm lost in the freakin' wilderness, waiting for nothing, noone.

Even if a hundred pleas for help were wrenched from my soul they won't reach anyone else's ears.

And enough emo crap.

Gyakuten Saiban 3 just came out yesterday in Japan, and, of course, I got the ROM for my DS (R4 Revolution, baby!). It's weird because it's a Japanese release and yet, it's dual language: Japanese & English! The US release, Phoenix Wright 3: Trials & Tribulations, is set for October. Why wait for the US release when the Japanese cart already has the English version already?

I hope I get some answers soon, 'cause this is really gonna keep me up at nights.

Phoenix Wright returns to kick prosecutor ass in all-new turnabout courtroom dramas chronicling his 3rd year. Yay.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

The Bad Taste of RTS

This is gonna be brief since I'm about to leave for our semi-regular poker night (Texas Hold 'Em rules, normally only P50 buy-in).

Yesterday, I installed Warcraft 3 and its expansion, Frozen Throne, in an effort to give the RTS genre another try. The party-based missions were easy enough, but since it is the meat of the game, resource-gathering and building dominate most of the gameplay. I found myself panicking to hit the (non-existent) Pause button during certain points of the game. Good thing I got this game cheap and pirated.

To remove the bad taste of RTS it left in my mouth, I hurriedly installed Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. I've played through this game for a bit before, but I haven't finished it. This time, I made a Scoundrel (as opposed to a Soldier), Laire Random. He seemed to do pretty well during the prologue, and is now ready to explore Taris with Carth. Hopefully, this time I'll finish this game.

In other news, I'm still star-crossed. Wheee.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Crossroads of Destiny

Today, I finally finished watching through my Avatar: The Last Airbender DVDs, wrapping up Books 1 and 2 quite nicely. Season 2 (or the Book of Earth, as the show calls it) ended on a rather The-Empire-Strikes-Back-esque manner, with the fall of the City of Ba Sing Se, the Earth Kingdom capital that has never fallen in the hundred years since the Fire Nation started their insane war.

With two more seasons to go (the Books of Fire and of Air), Avatar is really set up to go down in history as one of the greatest animated epics ever to come out of the US. Paramount is even capitalizing on it right now, having signed on M. Night Shaymalan himself to direct a series of films, the first covering events chronicled in the Book of Water. It's a great time to be an Avatar fan.

Now all Avatar needs is a pen-and-paper RPG adaptation. Hmm. Big Eyes, Small Mouth would be a nice fit, but my system of choice right now is Savage Worlds. Maybe I'll savage Avatar when I get free time...

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Of Whalesharks and Gaming

My friends and I went to Donsol, Sorsogon last May 16 to 18, a literally "sleepy" town where the only thing you can do is basically go diving for gigantic whalesharks. I almost drowned the first time I leaped into the seawater. Lifevests are good. Will post pics later (promise!).

Last Monday (May 14), I finished the NWN Hordes of the Underdark campaign. It was great fun using Mephisto's True Name to command him to die. All in all, a very epic ending to the NWN official campaigns.

I've also got all of Bioware's Premium NWN Modules installed, but after playing a bit through each, I'm seriously reconsidering their worth.

For starters, Witch's Wake, apparently their attempt at a "story-oriented" module, is unbalanced and sleep-inducing. Damn killer rats. Being "story-oriented" doesn't mean combat needs to be deadly!

Infinite Dungeons, on the other hand, suffers from too much combat, and has Monty Haul treasures as well. Sure, it took some pretty l33+ scripting sk1llz to pull off ID's random dungeon and item generators, but they didn't have to go overboard and make each and every monster carry a multi-function magical item!

I thought Pirates of the Sword Coast would be a bit better. I mean, how could anyone go wrong with pirates? But I was wrong: one of the very first fights (with those damn gangbangers at the Neverwinter Docks) are a bit impossible to win. And I was really looking forward to this module.

My only hope: Wyvern Crown of Cormyr, Kingmaker, and Shadow Guard. I'm not holding my breath on the last two: I hear they're both a bit short. In any case, there's some awesome fan-designed modules, and I'm looking to start the Shadowlords arc as soon as the fancy strikes me. For now, I think I've had my fill of Neverwinter Nights.

Yesterday, I installed Beyond Good & Evil, as an alternative to NWN. Haven't gotten far into the game beyond the starting sequence though.

On the handheld gaming front, the DS Lite finally got a real RPG: Etrian Odyssey, a turn-based dungeon crawl through a massive "forest" dungeon. The game features balanced character classes, an awesome stylus-based mapping system, and lots of quests and items. Looks like I'm gonna be hooked to my DS for quite some time. Thank you, Atlus!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Late to the Party: NWN Hordes of the Underdark

A couple of days ago, I finished the campaign included with the first Neverwinter Nights expansion, Shadows of Undrentide (SoU). At first, though, it was a bit disappointing because this campaign assumes you start fresh; porting over my level 16 character from the previous campaign was possible but hardly logical, as SoU has you starting as an "apprentice" adventurer.

After four artifacts were stolen from your master's home (a dwarven wizard who's apparently also a Harper) by kobolds, you're tasked to track down and get the artifacts back. This brings you into conflict with the white dragon that rules the kobolds as well as its accomplice, a (Drow?) sorceress that keeps the gnolls in thrall. Caught in between is one of the most interesting NPCs ever created for NWN, Deekin, who'll soon join you as a Kobold Bard. After recovering the artifacts, you find out that one of them (the Tower Statue) was more than it seemed: inside was a mysterious jewel whose true powers can only be identified by journeying across the Anauroch to find your master's archeologist friend. And from there, you end up in the sunken city of Undrentide which the "big boss" wanted to raise up. Undrentide was apparently one of the flying cities of Netheril, an ancient empire which wielded powerful magic compared to present-day standards. The climactic final battle takes place in the highest tower of the city, as the city floats above the desert.

SoU's adventure was a bit shorter than the first campaign's "plague in Neverwinter" storyline, but noticeably better designed. For starters, it was less of a Monty Haul than the previous campaign, and there were really a couple of times (okay, maybe more like a handful) that I had to reload and rethink my strategy in order to continue. The final "boss" fight was also more epic: as I went around smashing the mythallars that gave the medusa sorceress nigh invulnerability, pieces of masonry were starting to float up into the air in a Dragonball-Z-esque way!

Still high from finishing the adventure, I immediately set off on the 2nd expansion's adventure, Hordes of the Underdark. Hordes of the Underdark (HotU) is a direct sequel to the previous expansion, SoU. The hero is assumed to be the same one from SoU, as evidenced by the copy of a book titled Shadows of Undrentide, written by one Deekin. Also, this expansion's teleporting/respawn mechanic, the Relic of the Reaper, is said to have come into the hero's possession during his "brief stay in the Plane of Shadow." People who played SoU would remember that at SoU's end, as Undrentide crashed back to the desert, the hero used the Portable Door (one of the artifacts you gain in the endgame) to flee to the Plane of Shadow.

Deekin also makes a reapperance as your first henchman. Also, some of the henchmen who were available in the first NWN adventure (i.e. the plague in Neverwinter), make their appearance here as a party of adventurers which you would probably need to save at some point in the story.

This time around, it's off to Waterdeep and the mysterious mega-dungeon that lies beneath the city, Undermountain. This time, the City of Splendors faces an attack from the Hordes of the Underdark which apparently is making their way through Undermountain, something that has not happened before. They need a hero to take the fight to them and you are one of those who heeded the call.

So I loaded up Laire Random, my Rouge 6/Fighter 6/Weapon Master 1 character from Shadows of Undrentide, and started the adventure (HotU actually allows you to start out as a fresh Level 15 character but I wanted to play the actual character I went through SoU with). The very first event that happened divested Laire of his gear from SoU. Wah. I've read somewhere that you have a chance to recover them later in the story though. Right now, I'm running around Waterdeep--the small section you're allowed to explore at least; the City's closed a la Neverwinter in the first adventure--trying to get adequately equipped before descending into Undermountain.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Out of Town Trip: Subic Beach!

Went to the beach in Subic with the Mez Barkada (basically, batchmates who have stayed in one way or another here in Los BaƱos). I think it was my first time going out of town with friends, and it was surprisingly fun. The food was great, from the initial snacks on the trip (especially Cel's tuna sandwiches) to the potluck lunch (Paeng and I brought the salted eggs and tomatoes, which got sliced and turned into salad--yum!) to the fantastic dinner (pork liempo plus porkchops plus assorted seafood!).

Didn't do much swimming because I couldn't swim.

I almost won the Texas Hold 'Em Poker match that night. Made it to the final four before becoming bored and wagering off my winnings (largely because of my luck with the river that night) loosely.

The next day, before driving off home, we had lunch at a very nice (but a bit expensive!) place called Meat Plus, a steakhouse, where I had a well-done tenderloin that really hit the spot.

From there, we stopped for an hour at the Subic Duty-Free mall (forgot what it was called) but I was disappointed, both by the selection and the prices. Still, I got some sort of scented crystals for ashtrays, since they were selling them for about $1 each.

I'm waiting for my friends to post the pics of the outing.

And I do hope we do it again. Go out of town and have fun, that is.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Just watched my latest download of House M.D.

"Commitment is only commitment because it has no expiration date." --Dr. Foreman to Dr. Cameron, House M.D. season 3, episode 14.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Why do I feel...demoted?

Just got back from seeing my "girl" off at MIA, again (people tell me it's called NAIA now, but I refuse to recognize the name change because some stupid Pinoy loser went off and got himself killed there; google up "Ninoy Aquino" and you'll see what I'm talking about).

Note the double quotes surrounding the word "girl" in the above statement. In friendster relationship terms, we're somewhere along "It's complicated" and it's true.

I spent almost the entire week with her and her family, and during that time, I've wondered what I was doing there. Don't get me wrong. It was very fun spending time with her, talking to her, but sometimes, the fact that I'm not actually her boyfriend now seems all too jarring.

Or maybe it's just that she's really focused on her kids now more than ever. Which is a good thing for them. Not exactly a good thing for me. Still, I don't envy the kids that focus; they deserve it more than I do. That's life, I guess.

I'm still pursuing her in this weird second courtship thingy. She's worth it.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Updates!

Woke up early today. Fell asleep some time last night while playing Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney -- Justice For All (the second Turnabout Court game; just finished the first one last night too!). I was probably all tired from the travel: saw my "girl" (it's rather complicated) off at MIA--she's heading back to UAE where she works.

Turns out there's been a goof-off somewhere in her flight booking, and she missed the flight. By the time I found out though, I was well on my way home (about an hour and a half drive away from the big city).

In other news, I also finished my playthrough of the Neverwinter Nights original campaign and am beginning to sink my teeth into the first expansion, Shadows of Undrentide. It's a little disappointing, since you need to create a new character for SoU. Still, I hear Hordes of the Underdark (the second NWN expansion) is actually a sequel of sorts to the first NWN adventure, so all I need to do is finish SoU. After that, it's off to NWN2, which I already had since it released last year but have never gotten to finishing on account of my gaming ADD. Or is it ADHD? Heh. In any case, I want to finish at least the official campaigns for the first NWN before tackling NWN2. No hurry after all.

I loved playing through Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, especially the fifth (bonus) turnabout case. I actually thought it was over after the fourth case, and was very pleasantly surprised when Nick cried out "Hold it!" as the credits stopped rolling. Also trying to juggle a little Pokemon Diamond on the side, but it's more a token gesture to join the craze more than anything. Heh.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Handheld Gaming

Last April 3, I bought myself a Nintendo DS Lite for about Php 10,000. Included in the package was an R4DS (a slot 1 "cartridge" you can load up with NDS ROMs, MP3s, and other media) as well as a 1GB micro SD memory card. It was the best 10k I ever spent.

Right now, I'm trying out all sorts of games, owing to my gaming ADD: from the side-scrolling action of Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin to the weird RPG goodness of Contact. Other games that I'm currently playing include: Phoenix Wright 1, Elite Beat Agents (and its Japanese counterpart whose name escape me at the moment), Hotel Dusk, Megaman ZX, Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, and Age of Empires: The Age of Kings.

Surprisingly, the title that made me buy an NDSL, Puzzle Quest: The Challenge of the Warlords, is getting very little play time despite all the hype and raves from US fans, particularly Penny Arcade.

Now, I need only two more things for perfect handheld gaming: a slot 2 flash cartridge that will allow me to play GBA games (and possibly GB/GBC as well) and a wi-fi dongle (to connect to the Nintendo WFC).

Friday, March 30, 2007

Puzzle Pirates!

Last week was a harrowing one: thousands of final exam papers waiting to be checked, lots of attendance notes to collate, and a non-existent grade record to build. In short, it's the end of a grading term for me, which means it's one of the few times I actually work. Not that I'm thankful, I'd rather really avoid working as much as I can and just wallow in...hedonism.

Anyway, with tons of work to do, I naturally started looking around the net for stuff to occupy my time. Penny Arcade once again showed me the way: a discussion about Puzzle Quest led to them dropping the link to Puzzle Pirates in one of their news posts. Which I promptly clicked.

Puzzle Pirates is a multiplayer puzzle game, all centered around the theme of pirating. Players create their own beginning pirate, and then wander around in a persistent world, doing piratey stuff. It's basically just like an MMORPG, you get an avatar, which you can dress up in piratey gear (Ahr!), and you can interact with the other players: talking, trading, and fighting with them.

In this game, piratey stuff is accomplished by performing various puzzles: for swordfighting (an important piratey skill, useful for fighting duels as well as fighting with your own crew members during a ship grapple), there's a falling block-type of game where blocks can be eliminated by a sword of the same color. As you eliminate more blocks, attacks are dealt to the opponent's own board in the form of grey blocks, blocks that cannot be eliminated until about 2 turns have passed, in which case they turn into random colored blocks. A pirate gets knocked out when he booches it; that is, his entire board is filled, and there's no more space for falling blocks.

Different puzzles represent working on the bilge pumps (those pumping out water from the hold of a ship), sailing (my favorite; determines how fast your ship goes), carpentry (for patching up holes on the ship's hull during a voyage), and even gunnery (operating the four-cannon ensemble common on most ships).

What's more interesting is that you can become a member of the crew of a real player-run ship, with a Captain in command, calling the shots, a Navigator, several Sailors to fill the ship's sail with wind, Bilge Pumpers, Gunners....and this whole shipload of pirate players gets to sail all over, looking for plunder and pillaging!

My character, Lenard (Sage Server), started out just knowing how to sail (probably the easiest puzzle to pick up), and was content with that as long as he gets paid his cut of the booty. Sure, sometimes, when the Captain grapples with the other ship, he had to let go fo the sails and draw his foil, wading into a battle royale with the crew of the other ship. But that's just icing on the cake. Ahr.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Haruhiism


It's been almost a year since I first heard of and watched The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, it's a comedy/slice-of-life/highschool series that's unlike any other. Since then, I've been a fan of Haruhi, reading the light novels on my cel as they get translated into English (thank you, ReadManiac!). This afternoon, I got an urge to rewatch the entire series again (in chronological order). Damn, I really missed the S.O.S. Brigade, especially Yuki!

It's nice to hear that it's being released in English. I definitely must have a copy! I've heard somewhere that there's going to be a live-action movie. I don't know about that, but I wish they'd adapt the rest of the stories into anime.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Puzzle Quest

I've found yet another reason to buy a DS Lite. I hope my meager finances can handle it. (Why are you so poor, Kenny?)

The PC Demo for Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords had me both addicted and a bit disappointed. Addicted because, well, it's a damn good pick-up game, perfect for casual gamers who can only squeeze in small amounts of time to play, or the consummate hardcore who can sit in front of his PC for inhuman lengths of time. Disappointed because the PC demo cannot be converted into a full version of the game! Aaargh. Right now, the publishers are focusing on the handheld console releases (DS and PSP).

The game is the latest following the trend of crossing puzzle games with RPG elements (if it can be called a "trend;" as far as I know, there's also Bookworm Adventures, which is another highly-recommendable game): this time, RPGs are crossed with a connect-3 puzzle (as seen in Bejeweled, Diamond Mine, and similar games) where you're presented with a grid of gems. You swap adjacent gems and if it connects a line of three or more similar gems, those gems are scored, taken off the board, and more gems fall into the empty spaces--pure, simple fun that'll siphon several hours of your day.

It's a fairly involved game from what's been hinted at in the demo:

You create your character from one of four classes, each with its own style and set of skills (Druid, Knight, Warrior, and Wizard). After a quick character creation part where you pick your character's class, picture, and name, you're then taken into the world, represented by a map with terrain and cities and roads connecting cities.

Central to the game are quests, that you can find in cities with marked with a "!". Green !'s denote side quests, while Red !'s indicate important quests that will advance the storyline.

Aside from questing, there's a lot of other things to do. You can build buildings that'll open up new abilities and minigames, capture monsters, lay siege to cities, and even forge items. I hope those features live up to expectations since you can barely try them out in the demo (you're limited to Level 7).

All in all, even if I do get this on the DS Lite, I'd still want it on my PC. I hope Infinite Interactive releases the full PC version soon.

Oh right, fans of the Warlords series of strategy games may feel right at home, as this game is set in the Warlords' world of Etheria.

Game on.

Neil Gaiman's Stardust

Wow. Yet another movie to look forward to.

The trailer does hint that the film's more...epic than my reading of the novel. I don't really remember any pirates riding airships in the book; I know I would have remembered if there were any. I liked the novel's "fairy-tale-esque-ness" but like other Gaiman books (like American Gods and Neverwhere), I got that feeling of being held back--as in "wow, this premise is cool; this or that event will surely happen" except Gaiman doesn't go where you expected. That's a good thing, right? NOT! Well, normally it is, unless it's Gay-man at the helm, in which case he takes you in a disappointing direction.

Anyone else felt Shadow needed a good thwack up the side of the head, or for that matter, all the characters in American Gods?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Transcendence

It's the end of the semester and I'm supposed to be grading a lot of papers. Ever the procrastinator, I naturally grab this opportunity to scour the 'net looking for something to do! Which means only one thing: games!

Almost immediately, I stumble upon this little gem. Liberated Games features commercial games that have been "liberated" into the public domain, through various licenses. This effectively means that they're now free for download. This also means that the game's probably too old too enjoy. Unless it's a classic.

Anyway, I started trying out games left and right, and found Lure of the Temptress! It's Revolution Games' first adventure, right before they started making The Broken Sword series. It's a little old, having been released in the early '90s, but it's still a fun point-and-click adventure, especially because its key features seems to be NPCs that carry on with their lives, walking through town, talking with each other, etc. This game is a definite must-play for adventure gaming fans.

Aside from Lure, I also discovered Transcendence.

Actually, Transcendence wasn't listed; Anacreon was. But as it turned out, Anacreon was Transcendence's sister game. And I found out about Transcendence through a link on Anacreon's other games page.

Since watching Firefly and Serenity, I've longed for a game where you get a ship and then just wander all over the galaxy, trading stuff, fighting other ships, going on the odd mission, and upgrading your ship. In short, I wanted a spaceship game that's set in a sandbox. One of my gaming friends suggested X2, but that wasn't it. Star Control 2: The Ur-Quan Masters was a bit too difficult for me; I don't have much patience with bad design decisions. I'd settle for turn-based spaceship battles, rather than fast-paced frantic shooting.

Transcendence is a little like Star Control 2, except you start out a bit less wimpy: initial battles in Transcendence are quite fun, in fact; the first battle in SC2 is fun only if you're a masochist.

Anyway, try it out.

Game on.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Perfect World Closed Beta Test Contest Part 2!

Chances are, if you're a Pinoy gamer, you're probably all hyped up about Level Up's upcoming MMO, Perfect World (like me). And there's even an even greater chance that you can't wait to get your grubby paws on a Closed Beta Test account (ahem, again, like me). Thankfully, Level Up's GM Tristan is giving out three accounts per day until the CBT opens.

Here's how to join, taken directly from his blog:
HOW TO JOIN

1. Open only to gamers residing in the Philippines (PW Philippines CBT is locked to our country, sorry)

2. If you already won at the first contest or at Waukster.com, then you are ineligible. Period.

3. Second, like before, to join the contest, you MUST *subscribe* to my blog via my Feedburner e-mail applet on my right sidebar. Be sure to *activate* your subscription. Inactive subscribers cannot win.

4. Now, it’s time to be creative. Instead of just simple questions, I’ll be throwing pretty hard “complete-me” phrases (or some equally “evil” brain teases). This will be posted everyday.

5. There will be three (3) winners everyday until the PW Closed Beta on March 28, 2007. Winners will be announced here regularly.

6. Instead of submitting to my email, you have to submit your answers to perfectworld@levelupgames.ph, the PW Team will randomly select the most creative answers and inform me ASAP. Before, it was submitting fast and being first… now, even if you’re late but you have a cool answer, you still have a chance of winning.

DON’T FORGET TO INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION in your e-mail

Complete Name
Complete Address (with zip code preferably)
Age
E-mail address
MylevelUp or Netgames username (if you have one. Either will do)
Blog URL (if you have one):
Your email subject must be (GMTO PW CBT 2 – for )

Instructions on how to claim your prizes are here.

7. But wait! There’s more! If you have a blog and include my blog (http://gmtristan.blogspot.com) and Perfect World Philippines (http://www.levelupgames.ph/perfectworld) in your blog roll, (and you replicate this contest on one of your posts) then you get NOT ONE… BUT TWO (2) CBT accounts! Woot!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Perfect World: Race and Class Descriptions


I haven't actually ensured a CBT account yet, but I'm really hyped about this new MMO from Level Up! Using my meager Google-fu techniques and a couple of hours, I've come up with the following race class descriptions that may give some of you people an idea about the character you're going to create in the PW CBT.

Perfect World has three playable races, with each race having access to two classes, one class focused on physical aspects and the other on magic. Both male and female members of the human and elf races may choose either path; only the beasts are locked into a class based on their gender (i.e. male beasts are automatically Warriors and female Beasts are automatically Summoners).

HUMANS are blessed with boundless adaptability, making them excel in both sword and sorcery. Humans may choose to be Swordsmen or Mages.
Male Human SwordsmanFemale Human Mage
SwordsmanMage
  • Swordsmen are trained in all aspects of weapons and armor, making them masters of hand-to-hand combat.
  • Mages, through long study and meditation, are masters of magic: the secrets of water, fire and earth are theirs to command. They are, however, the physically-weakest characters when just starting out.
ELVES are a winged race descended from the Aves (Don't know if this is an actual "ancient race" in PW or if it just meant "birds"). They are the only characters able to fly when just starting out. Elves may choose to be Clerics or Archers.
Female Elf ClericMale Elf Archer
ClericArcher
  • Clerics channel the wind, thunder, and electricity--curing their allies and cursing their foes.
  • Archers are lean and graceful, beautiful but strong. They are masters of the bow, dealing superior long-distance damage.
BEASTS are legendary animal spirits made flesh.
Male Beast WarriorFemale Beast Summoner
WarriorSummoner
  • Male Beasts are Warriors: Attuned to the balance between life and death, they are able to unleash their rage with explosive force. Warriors are also able to shapechange into their respective animal forms.
  • Female Beasts are Summoners: Blessed with natural charm and beauty that attracts everyone, they are able to call upon the aid of the animal kingdom, as well as shapechange into a Beast Fox (don't really know what this will be called in the real English translation though), which greatly raises their physical combat capabilities.
So there you have it. Have you already chosen your character's race and class?

As in previous MMOs I've played, I'm going to first create a human swordsman, whose first strategy would be to charge at an enemy and start the beat-down! I believe this focuses me on exploring the game world, and to get used to the nuances of the game system .  

Tune in next time for the skills of each class!

Sources:
http://kanbisekai.wikiwiki.jp/ for the class details and pics
http://wiki.perfectworld.cc/ for the "official" translations of the race and class names

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Perfect World: The Perfect MMO?


Ragnarok Online was my introduction into the world of MMORPGs: I started playing on pRO Chaos during the Beta period, and stayed on for a good two-and-a-half years of my life. Through those years I've met countless friends, made not so few enemies, lost others to the Real World(tm), leveled up, and loved. Sadly, it was that last thing that proved to be my undoing: hearts were broken and my characters were deleted by my ex in an unrivaled act of vengeance.

Since then, I've tried a handful other MMOs, from a short stint in Ran Online to an even shorter stint in Silk Road Online. Lineage II caught my attention for a good long while because most of its features reflect what I've been looking for in a new MMO (chief among others: a full streaming world whose every corner you can explore). Most recently, I took part in the Granado Espada Beta Test--Multiple Character Control is indeed interesting, but too bad that it was all the game really offers.

I first heard of Perfect World when GM Tristan announced his contest on the AEGIS yahoogroup only a few days ago. I've been looking for a new game to satisfy my MMO fix, and so I fired off my Google-fu to find out more about this Chinese-created game. What I found out about it could be summed in one word: perfect.

But here's what I'm eagerly awaiting about Perfect World:

Huge continuous terrain
The entire game world is within one large map that requires no loading or no changing of maps so players can move around without waiting for scenes to change.


I've only seen streaming world content in Lineage II, and was disappointed that more recent MMOs still haven't adopted that new MMO technology. Perfect World gets a whole lot of points from me, just for including this feature.

Day, Night and Weather Shifting
The game shifts from night to day and sunny to rainy season on a regular cycle, changing the view of each area to suit the time. This "real world" effect will immerse the players more effectively in the game.


Oh yeah. Day/Night cycles and weather changes to boot!

Perfect World Mailing System
This enables players to communicate with their online and offline friends, clan mates or factions. Aside from mail, items can also be sent through this unique system.


Sounds a lot like KoL's mailing system because you can also send items. Another winning feature.

Battle in Land, Sea and Air
Each character and class in Perfect World has the special ability and peripherals to fly, trek, and swim in different terrains. Inherent attributes, special equipments, summons or even mountable animals make it possible for characters to not only fly, trek, and swim but also to duel and clash on any of the terrain. Perfect World created a world with flying monsters and floating cities and ruins, all waiting to be explored.


Wow. This just gave me an MMOG-gasm! Now that is a truly 3D world.

Massive Quest/Mission System
The game itself has more than 5,000 quests waiting to be discovered and completed. Quests can be race- and class-specific. Instance quests are available for players who would like to make their own adventures.


Ahh, for me, this is the crowning glory of every MMORPG: a rich collection of quests to occupy your character's time. I have little tolerance for grinding but having quests to fulfill while you do seems to make the time worthwhile. So definitely lots of quests! The use of instancing also adds to the feeling that you're the hero of your own story, which is as it should be. Also, it protects you from the interference of player griefers.

I've barely covered the entire list of features, but the four I've discussed above are my personal faves. You can find the rest of the features here at LUG's Perfect World site.

Perfect World is definitely on my must-play list. Now all I need to do is get a CBT account....

Quotes taken from: http://www.levelupgames.ph/perfectworld/about.html

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Unwell

Sigh. This is gonna be one of those emo posts again, isn't it?

Well, here I am again, taking time out from a hectic schedule to blog something. It's been years since I've actually written my thoughts here, I think. I just realized that last night when I tried labeling all of my posts; read the ones at the start, and they're really something. I've forgotten I wrote those things. I guess that's what I'm trying to do now.

Ever since I lost her, I've been drifting along, aimless and alone. That's pretty much emo crap. I've got my job to distract me a bit, but even that's losing it's effect these days. It's been--what?--six months without her already? We do still chat every now and then, but there's this sinking feeling of drifting away farther apart each time we talk. You know when you're desperately trying to save someone, but their blood just keeps running through the fingers you've pressed on their wound in an attempt to staunch the flow of blood, but it's not working, and their dying, and there's nothing else you can do except watch. (Aha! Someone try to say that out loud without pausing for breath!)

It's funny, because, before I met her, I was used to this life. I was used to being alone, doing my own thing, you know: your typical bachelor loser deal. But now, I'm dreading my future, because all I'm seeing is me. Noone else. Stark gray landscape, and just me in it.

Noone else.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Star Frontiers: Remastered!

Star Frontiers, TSR's science fiction roleplaying game, gets a new face-lift in Bill Logan's excellently well-done remastered PDFs!

On his webpage, you can find PDF downloads of Alpha Dawn (Star Frontier's "core" rules), Knight Hawks (the spaceship campaign supplement), and Zeb's Guide to Frontier Space (originally intended to be the first of many volumes but only 1 volume got released; the guide revises Star Frontiers with a tighter, albeit universal-table-based system a la Marvel's FASERIP). Also available are remastered PDFs of Parts 2 and 3 of the Volturnus trilogy of modules (Part 1 of the story-arc is included as a sample adventure in the Alpha Dawn core rules), as well as tons of gaming aids from character sheets to quick references to map to minis--practically everything you need to get started adventuring on a far-flung frontier.

I've a fond space in my heart reserved for Star Frontiers. The game was one of the first RPGs I've ever run, after I got the Alpha Dawn boxed set as a gift from my father in the summer of '90. While it wasn't the first RPG I owned (that honor belonged to TSR's Conan RPG), it was the first I fell in love with: poster maps and cardboard counters and all. My group actually took a break from our favorite fantasy fare (I think it was High Fantasy at the time, since we didn't have D&D rules yet), and for the succeeding months, we played only Star Frontiers: from their first job as explorers aboard the Serena Dawn, to their subsequent crash landing on the (not-so) desert planet, and until they've united the local alien races in a huge war against the insidious Sathar in Starspawn of Volturnus. By that time, most of the original characters have been replaced with new ones, as the old ones died in the hostile Volturnus environment.

It was a fun and quirky system, but fun nonetheless.

My group has always talked about going back to it again, but other RPGs--among them various flavors of D&D--and time had so far confounded us. Flipping through these newly-remastered files, I feel an urge to revisit the Frontier once more. Maybe we will, one of these days, if the stars are right.

Yet Another Attempt

So here we go again.

By now, I've realized I'm not into blogging regularly. Too many things need my attention to indulge in this pleasure. But still, here's my blog, moved over to the new blogger system thingy. I still haven't migrated most of old links to stuff. But I plan to do that later. For now, I think I've got a base layout that won't make people vomit on first glance.

Same deal: I post random things that happen to be of interest to me and hope someone's watching....

Monday, January 15, 2007

Supervillain!

Your results:
You are Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom 63%
Magneto 61%
Dark Phoenix 59%
Juggernaut 58%
Mr. Freeze 57%
Apocalypse 57%
The Joker 55%
Riddler 52%
Lex Luthor 51%
Venom 44%
Catwoman 43%
Kingpin 39%
Poison Ivy 34%
Mystique 30%
Green Goblin 30%
Two-Face 22%
Blessed with smarts and power but burdened by vanity.
Click here to take the Supervillain Personality Quiz