Month: March 2013

March gaming, week 4 – getting kicked around & wrapping it all up

tsw the secret world

Wait, it’s almost Easter? It doesn’t look like that around here, considering the fact that we still have snow and a biting cold at night. Oh well, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that March is almost over, and so is my time with The Secret World. My final week in Funcom’s little gem was all about getting my pretty butt handed to me in PvP, and looking back at my time in this monster-infested world. So, read on to find out my final verdict of this game (or check out the previous weeks)!

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Geek Jitsu – about vanity and being magnificent

mirror vanity beauty

“mirror” by quangdotca

Alright, gals and guys, it’s time to get serious. Geek Jitsu is not just about getting physically fit, but also about what’s going on in all your heads. And lately, I see that a lot of disturbing stuff is going on in the heads of some people. Of course, the Internet is full of sick things, but every time I stumble across anything that reminds me of the focus on good looks and really weird beauty standards, I feel a certain kind of rage in my belly. That’s why I want to talk about the topic of vanity with you, and share with you my view on the importance of following beauty trends.

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Rebuilding my love for Magic through the Boros

boros elite gatecrash magic the gathering mtg

Back when I was in the last years of primary school, my brother and his friends (which I thought were the epitome of coolness) started this weird game, involving cards and terms like “mana”, “first strike” and “ping damage”. I was intrigued, and begged my brother to borrow me some of his cards to build a deck of my own. Of course, my first (blue and green, if I recall correctly) deck sucked harder than a Dyson vacuum cleaner, but I was hooked. Or so I thought.

The Magic phase of my life was short but intense, but by my early years of high school, I only played with borrowed decks and on a really irregular basis. I bought some packs from time to time, but the bug never really bit me again…until now.

A few weeks ago, I started watching the finals of the Gatecrash Pro Tour for some reason. The link to the stream just popped up in my Facebook stream, and before I knew it, I was watching how Tom Martell took home the trophy. Even though I didn’t know anything about the current cards and metagame, it was exciting to watch the two finalists play. I messaged Dee if he was interested in giving the game another try, and barely a week later, we were cracking boosters during a Winston Draft.

Since then, I find myself reading articles and forums about this money sink of a TCG again. I’m trying to get back into the game, and card by card, my Boros deck grows. God, those awesome Boros. It’s more than luck that the current block has a viable option concerning weenie decks. Throughout my past with this game, I have always preferred creature-heavy decks with a low mana curve, and the Boros provide me with that. Plus, the battalion mechanic motivates me to keep the pressure on my opponent. Finally, they have Boros Reckoner. Though I don’t know much about the game, I know that he is one badass mo-fo!

Plans have been made to participate in my local Dragon’s Maze Pre-Release, and I’m playing on a semi-regular basis with Dee. It’s great to see that such a blast from my past has evolved and developed so well, and I don’t regret a single Euro I have spent so far on new cards. As my Boros Legion grows, so does my love for this game.

March Gaming, week 3 – Ghost ships & cool sweaters

tsw the secret world innsmouth academy

Well, March is already over, which means that my time with The Secret World is also drawing to an end. Of course, I’ll surely return to this game in the future, but I’m afraid it will have to take a backseat to some of my other games. Anyway, what have I been up to this past week? Well, it involves vanished cargo vessels and university sweaters!

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Strange Sunday – who wants to live forever?

highlander queen

This week’s Strange Sunday will be another quick one, since I’m still recovering from an epic Lord of the Rings marathon (including The Hobbit). This week, I want to just raise some questions concerning the odd nature of immortality. What is strange about it? Well, immortality on itself isn’t that great. Unless it comes with some more nifty powers, you just have more time to do whatever you want. While that might be good for some persons, in general you’ll just outlive everyone you ever loved. That’s at best strange, but mostly traumatising.

So, what do you think? Is the wish for immortality strange or cool?

Blizzard Hearthstones into the TCG business…again

hstoneBanner

Hey, remember that TCG using Blizzard’s top-selling IP? Well, seems that Blizzard doesn’t, because they decided to make their own, free-to-play TCG called Hearthstone. The game has been announced this morning at PAX East, and opinions range from fanboy’ish squeals to devastating comments on the well-known forums.

Personally, I feel a bit let down. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t expect too much from the announcement in the first place. While I hoped for more info on that mysterious project “Titan”, I knew that we wouldn’t learn more about that. However, hearing about this…perculiar foray into the F2P market is something that somehow puts me off-balance. Is it a way for Blizz to test the waters, being the harbinger of a potential F2P conversion of World of Warcraft? Or is the behemoth among game developers trying to carve out a niche in the smartphone / mobile gaming market?

Whatever it is, from what we have seen so far of Hearthstone, I’m not impressed. It looks like Blizzard doesn’t draw from the already existing TCG, which is considering its quality a real shame. I hope that Blizzard is not creating an extremely simple game to catch a few quick bucks, and is just trying something new.

Beta launches this summer, so I guess we will know more then. Patience’s a virtue!

Geek Jitsu – why you should give self-defense a try

krav maga self-defense health

“krav maga” by pcsiqueira

Another Wednesday, another edition of Geek Jitsu! Welcome back, fit and healthy geeks of the Internet! So far, we talked a lot about the physical and mental aspects of fitness and health, but this week, I want to focus on something somewhat different: self-defense. As you know, I’m an avid fan of martial arts, and whenever someone gives me the opportunity to talk about it, I will gladly ramble on for more than an hour. Often, the conversation will head towards the topic of self-defense, the cousin of martial arts. Opinions about the practicality and use of the different self-defense system differ, but I believe that everyone should know a few techniques. Why? Well, read on and you’ll find out!

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Three MMO’s that I watch carefully

neverwinter wildstar teso the elder scrolls online

Every year, a gazillion new MMO’s are released. Well alright, “a gazillion” might be somewhat of an exaggeration, but it’s a fact that the genre grows every year. One of the reasons for that is that the definition of the term “MMO” gets broader and broader. When even SimCity dares to call itself an MMO, we know we’ve gone too far.

Anyway, with all these titles in the making, there are a few that have piqued my interest. That’s not too hard: the right words and a few nice pictures, and you’ve won me as a customer. However, being disappointed by several games in the past, I have become somewhat…cynical. My enthusiasm is dampened, and I watch the hopes of the future with care. Today, I want to share with you the three games that I have laid my critical gaze upon, and tell you why I have so much hope for them, but also why they could fail big time.

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How I stopped worrying and learned to love gaming ADD

Focusing my gaming time on one title has shown me once again how much I suffer of a condition referred to as “gaming ADD”. Just like regular ADD, patients of this affliction suffer from an inability to play one and the same game for a longer time, being distracted by the beauty and “shiny factor” of new titles. To a degree, all gamers know this:  when a new game hits the stores, you want to have it and play with it. However, many of my fellow button-bashers are able to focus on one title for some time, while I’m already knee-deep in another game.

I haven’t been always like this, and for a time, this gaming ADD was driving me mad. However, I learned that it isn’t bad, and that you actually get more out of your gaming life when your attention span is similar to that of a hyperactive dog. This is my story (cue epic intro music).

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Strange Sunday – Ghosts and other spectral affairs

ghost apparition photo

“Ghost” by Joe-Roberts

Ghosts are awesome. If done right, they are scary for several reasons. First of all, they are unnatural and not from this world, which invokes this natural fear of the unknown every human possesses. Next to that, they can appear at any time and anywhere. Sometimes there are portents that herald their appearance, and sometimes they just scare the living bejeezus out of you by just appearing out of nothing. Finally, they come in many shapes. From the creepy manifestations of Poltergeist, to the ruthless black-haired spirit of The Ring, ghosts can look different in every story.

What saddens me though, is that ghosts ar,e most of the tim,e the spirits of deceased persons, stuck in this world to exact their vengeance or to resolve matters. It’s a shame though, considering that there are many other origin stories for the undead. In this week’s Strange Sunday, I want to highlight two sources of fiction who do spectres and apparitions a little bit different, or should I say…a little bit stranger?

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