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Update: Back to school, I miss THQ, and preparing for October horror month

On 08/21/2014 at 09:41 PM by Michael117

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 photo pup14_zps73fefc24.jpg

Your monarch returns to you! But this time with Napoléon Bonapup at his side. A pup after my own heart.

His belly is fluffy, but his fists are iron. With Bonapup's mobile artillery to aid me, the pacification of dissidents will be at peak efficiency, and more importantly peak satisfaction. Nobody would dare challenge your grand sovereign now! Three cheers for this most welcome alliance!

Once we are on the march there will be little time for statecraft, so I'll take this opportunity to inform you on the latest events around the castle.

Back in School

Fall semester started on Monday at the college, so we are about to wrap up the first week of classes. It was a good week and everything is off to a great start. I'm taking three classes: Logic & Program Design, College Algebra, and Astronomy.

I programmed a few things for first time this week. Nothing impressive, but it was a lot of fun. In Logic & Program Design we are using DarkBasic Professional and learning the same-named language therein.

I'm a couple assignments ahead in College Algebra and I'll continue attacking that class head-on so that I hopefully never get behind. We haven't seen anything particularly new yet. The first week has been a review of things we learned in either Algebra I & II, or in my case what I learned in the refresher class I took over the summer.

Astronomy is looking to be a pretty great class. Day one we had to review some algebra & geometry, scientific & engineering notation, ratios, and unit conversions involving AUs, light-years, kilometers, and statute miles. It was confusing at first because I never took chemistry or astronomy in high school, so the only practice I got with most of these was in Integrated Science for us dumb kids. The only focused higher level science class I remember taking was geology, and I figured out I don't want to be a geologist.

Once I got home and practiced a bit I became comfortable with the math we are doing in astronomy, so it's all uphill now. We have to do a research paper and give a presentation in front of the class on a space mission of our choosing. I chose to study NASA's Deep Impact probe. Back in high school I would've dreaded a presentation assignment like this and half-assed it, but I'm going to try to knock this out of the park and set a high bar.

The first week of school is wrapping up on high notes across the board, but in my last blog I promised to tell you what I did over the 19 day break we had between terms, and whether or not I finished Fallout New Vegas.

Results of the New Vegas binge

Didn't finish it.

I put about 60 more hours into the game for a total of 170 hours and I still have a ways to go. Over the break I finished all the companion quests I could find, did a few main quests and side quests, and right now I'm knee deep in the Old World Blues DLC.

New Vegas only gets better the deeper in you get, but I've started burning out and need to take it slower. No matter how hard I try I won't finish the game anytime soon, so I'll take breaks when I need to, and it will be done when it's done. I'll hack away at over time like a responsible adult probably should. Gone are the days where I could be a teenager and binge on a new Fable or Elder Scrolls for 8 hours a day and feel no worse for wear.

Other games I played

Tetris - Playing a lot of this on my phone. Still probably the best game ever made.

Warhammer 40k: Space Marine - I don't play the table-top games but I love the depressing, gruesome, and epic sci-fi lore, so I tend to casually appreciate the 40k universe from a distance. I finally got around to playing the Space Marine game from THQ and loved it. It's a totally competent third person action game that differentiates itself from Gears of War by taking away cover mechanics and putting a split-focus between melee and ranged combat.

The tactical group combat of Ultramarines doesn't get explored in Space Marine, but the gameplay does a good job of evoking the surrounded-on-all-sides nature of combat that you hear about in some of the 40k lore. The sniper rifles are fun to use, the jet-pack and ground-pound are great, the thunder hammer is fantastic, and the difficulty can be steep even on normal settings.

Nothing about the game is particularly outstanding, but it carves a somewhat novel identity for itself. It's not a cover shooter so you can't play it like Gears of War, and it's not a mindless hack & slash so you can't play it like Dynasty Warriors. Also, the only way you regain health is by stunning an enemy then performing an execution on them (and you can still die during the execution animation).

It's a frantic balance of gameplay. You don't have a lot of ammo so you can't sit back and shoot everything the entire time, plus you need to do executions to regain lost health. But if you intend to do melee-only combat you're going to get shot down by ranged enemies. Surviving melee combat in general means you have to be fairly competent and utilize sharp timing, combos, grenades, and dodge-rolls well because you will get swarmed often and there aren't any invincibility frames.

The combat sees its most satisfying and epic moments when you get to the end-game and you're fighting Chaos Marines and Daemons from the Warp. The end-game levels nail a lot of cool power fantasy moments that make Ultramarines look as rad as they should.

Space Marine is a cool game, I'm glad THQ had the chance to put a decent 40k action game out before they drove themselves into the ground. I was listening to this Sabaton song on repeat during the final moments of the game while I was smashing Daemons into pulp, bashing Chaos Marines with the thunder hammer, and clearing a path to the mighty Chaos Lord Nemeroth. It was a good time, the Emperor of Mankind would be proud.

Preparing for October horror month

When Halloween season comes around I like to celebrate by eating bite-sized KitKat bars, playing horror games I haven't gotten around to yet, and watching scary movies. We are little more than a month away from October but I've been buying a couple things and prepping early for the coming season. Here's what I got.

FEAR 3 - I love this series, mostly the first game and the expansions but the second game had some merits too. FEAR 2 ends with you getting raped by a ghost. It's fantastic, now I need to see what happens in the 3rd game.

Resident Evil: Revelations - I played the demo for this and liked it, and I've heard a lot of people say that this game has a lot in common with the first Resident Evil game. It looks like Spencer Mansion on a boat. Sounds alright.

Resident Evil 6 - Found this game brand new for $7, perfect time to finally give it a shot. I'm excited to check it out and see what I like and don't like. Back when I played the demo there were some things I thought were fun and some things I thought were bad, but I knew I eventually needed to play the full game to see what it's all about. Buyers remorse certainly won't be an issue anymore, I wasn't super attached to that 7$.

Saturn 9 - This is a $1 indie game on XBL that's suppose to be 30 minutes long and got pretty rave reviews. I'll be excited to check this one out.

Undead Nightmare - This was included in my Red Dead Redemption GOTY edition but once I beat Red Dead I forgot the expansion existed. Just in time for the coming Halloween season I remembered I still have Undead Nightmare to play, so it fits in perfectly.

As far as movies go I'll look in the horror playlist on Netflix and see if there's some junk on there I want to see. Based on my current gaming habits and school work taking up a lot of time, when October comes around I'm not sure how many of these games I'll actually play and finish, but I'll try to fit in as many things as I can.

What's on the horizon for your monarch?

School will continue, and I'll play Spelunky every day for a few minutes as usual. The only reason I never list it is because you can just assume by now that I'm always playing Spelunky every day. I'll chop away at Fallout and Witcher 2 if I can stomach it, and basically kill time until October comes around. Maybe during September I'll just start playing some of the games I bought and get a head start on the Halloween season? We will see.

Since I'm doing all this season-long Halloween celebration nonsense, it's only fitting that all my pup-pics from now till Halloween be themed appropriately. I've found and saved up a number of photos with pups in costumes that soothe the tyranny in me. I have one puppy pic in particular that I know Peter (mothman) will love when he sees it, but you'll have to wait till then!

Other than that I'm going to be on the march with Napoléon Bonapup, pacifying dissidents and leaving death & justice in our wake.

 photo cat1_zps9fc3c1ce.jpg

GAH! Napoléon Bonapup was an imposter the whole time! He's really a cat, and a challenger to the throne! To war!




08/21/2014 at 09:50 PM

My liege, the kingdom has been reduced to shambles in your absence.

Welcome back into the blogosphere!  Bonapup is awesome!

And you're in for a treat with Undead Nightmare.  Seth is a real hoot in that expansion


08/21/2014 at 10:30 PM

Laughing Glad you liked Bonapup. When I came across that picture I knew it would fit right into the blog.

I'm pretty excited for Undead Nightmare, that's likely the first thing I'll hop into when the time comes around.


08/22/2014 at 05:27 PM

Good luck at school Michael.

The more I discover about 40k, the more i'm interested in getting into it. I think the videogames may be a good intro.


08/22/2014 at 06:36 PM

Thanks Alex!

40k is fascinating, but I only read the codex's and play the occasional video game of them. The original table top game is nuts, there's figurines and crazy set pieces that players construct themselves or buy modular. The table top game is cool to watch but I don't think I'd ever do it myself, it's a whole can of worms by itself.

Matt Snee Staff Writer

08/22/2014 at 06:22 PM

i really need to get back into New VEgas.  I love Obsidian, and every one of their games never ceases to amaze me.  


08/22/2014 at 06:39 PM

Did you ever play the Obsidian game Alpha Protocol? I've never seen it in action. I heard that it wasn't so hot, and Josh Sawyer from Obsidian admitted they made some mistakes with it, but I wonder what it's all about. It's supposedly an espionage rpg of some kind.

Matt Snee Staff Writer

08/22/2014 at 06:41 PM

i've heard some people really like it.  I would give it the benefit of the doubt because my favorite game of all time, KOTOR 2, made by Obsidian, was unfinished and fucked up too, but still I think the best game I ever played.  So I would give ALpha Protocol a shot. 


08/22/2014 at 06:44 PM

I agree it's probably worth giving a shot, the fact it's an Obsidian project is enough to get me interested. It's super cheap to try out anymore, I see it for $5-$10 brand new on amazon, I might have to grab that soon.


08/24/2014 at 04:37 AM

I finally picked up Warhammer 40k Space Marine after liking the demo alot on Xbox 360. Haven't had time to fully play it though. One day.

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