Month: April 2013

First impressions of Neverwinter

I’m gonna keep this short and simple. I had a few hours today to play Neverwinter, and here are some of my observations:

  • Character creation was more detailed than I expected it to be. Race choice is decent (everything you know from the D&D canon), but the customization is surprisingly detailed. Well, I should have expected that from the guys that made Champions Online.
  • Gameplay is smooth and fun. The combat feels a bit more dynamic than your usual MMO stuff, but still not as dynamic as, say, Guild Wars 2. The button layout reminds me of a mix between Diablo and several MOBAs, which is actually a compliment.
  • However, as far as I am now (level 7), it’s your typical fantasy MMO quest-grind, with no big surprises. Curious to see how it gets on higher levels…
  • The music and sound effects are just grandiose! Smashing bandits in the face feels really epic with such background music.

Well, that’s all I can say after playing it for two hours. You can get it for free, so as soon as the servers are back up, why don’t dive right into it? I’m playing a half-orc cleric on Beholder, and I would love me some company! Also, expect a more detailed review once I had more than two hours to explore the Pearl of the North.

Chin out!

Iron Man 3 – an opinion

iron man 3 stark movie trailer

“Iron Man” by doppingqnk

Even though I think most of you know this, I still feel legally obliged to say that the following post will be filled with spoilers of Iron Man 3. If you still have to see the movie and don’t want to be…well, spoiled, keep on scrolling and read one of my other articles.

With that out of the way, let’s dive right into my opinion on the newest Marvel cinematic universe flick, starring our man in a can and his entourage. I’ve been waiting for this movie for quite a while now, and my excitement reached its peak when I sat down in my local cinema to see it with my girl. After more than two-and-a-half hours, I felt like I had been both rewarded and punished for my patience, and here’s why.

Before I say anything else, let me say that I think that Iron Man 3 is a really good movie. It’s great to see the comic book movies grow, seeing how lame the first heroes-gone-cinema were. The third movie, still with the ever brilliant Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, is a really entertaining and action-packed piece. The special effects are really neat, and even the dialogues are fun to hear (kudos to the writers here). When Tony talks with that kid he meets while being stuck in some backwater town, you will laugh your pants off. When Tony and Rhodes work together to escape from the bad guy’s mansion and save the president, you get a genuine buddy cop movie-feeling. Indeed, it’s impressive how many things Iron Man 3 is at one time: a continuation of the cinematic universe, the next step in Tony Stark’s personal development, a movie about friends and love and, to my big surprise, a damn fine Christmas movie.

And there lies the problem with this film: it might try to be too many things at once. While I did enjoy all the different storylines, I feel that the movie could have used a bit more focus on the more important plot lines. Killian, the bad guy of this movie, could have used somewhat more development (though his motivation to be evil is legit), and I would have loved some more interaction between Stark and Potts. Also, what the flying frakk was up with that Mandarin twist? I’m still shocked by what they did to this badass, and I won’t forgive Marvel for it. Ever.

Bottom line, Iron Man 3 is a strong foundation for Phase Two of the cinematic universe. We have to wait and see how the next Thor movie builds upon it, and what more lies in store for us. Nevertheless, if you enjoy an action-packed comedy with a dash of drama and a great surprise after the credits, you should see Iron Man 3 when you have the chance.

4 out of 5 Chins!

Changing plans

Plans in life change, and so do the plans for this geek here. As you can see on the right, my plan was to participate in this month’s Camp NaNo and write a story of about 20.000 words. After just a week, that plan changed. I noticed that after writing more than 50k words for last November’s NaNoWriMo, I lacked the necessary drive to write something new. Also, editing November’s novel was also something I didn’t want to do. I got frustrated, feeling like I let myself down. Luckily, inspiration struck, and I used my writing time meant for Camp NaNo to work on the script for something new and really cool.

I will unveil that new and really cool thing here when the time is right. The script for it is being finalized, and my girl is taking care of the art part. It’s gonna be great, guys and girls, I can promise you that.

In the mean time, other things just keep on changing on this blog. I’m experimenting with videos and audio records, and I’m still trying to find the perfect posting schedule for me. I apologize for any irregularities, but this blog is a growing and changing thing. I’m grateful for every visitor that finds his or her way over here, and I hope you keep on dropping by.

The Chindividual grows, and the fuel for that growth is your support! Thanks for visiting, I will keep you pleased!

Geek Jitsu – what you can learn from the Avengers

avengers manga art

“The Avengers” by kanapy-art

With Iron Man 3 hitting European cinemas this week, and Thor 2 on the horizon, Marvel is slowly preparing us for the next Avengers movie and the next chapters in their cinematic universe. It’s fantastic to see how the 2012 movie brought together all these cool superheroes, making it one of the most succesful comic book movies ever (if not the most succesful).

Superheroes are of course an inspiration for every Geek Jitsuka (yeah, I got a word now for a geek who practices the art of living healthy), and the Avengers are no different. Fortunately, they can inspire more than just a need to gain a body like Captain America or amass wealth like Iron Man. In this week’s Geek Jitsu, I want to highlight the healthy lessons three of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes teach us when it comes to healthy living.

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Pimping the Legion

As the release of Dragon’s Maze is drawing near, and I couldn’t get a spot at my local gamestore’s Prerelease (can you see the sadface?), I’ve been having some fun during the weekend tweaking my Boros deck. You can find the tentative decklist right here, and I would love all you Magic lovers to take a look at it and give your feedback. Before you do that, though, here are a few things my deck is about:

  • Like every Boros deck, I want to make good use of the Battalion keyword. I love the mechanic, and I love how it motivates me to attack with as many creatures as possible. Due to that, the majority of my creatures should have it.
  • I’m a sucker for weenie decks, and as you can see in this deck’s mana curve, it peaks out at two mana, and holds only one 4-mana critter. While I’m willing to add bigger creatures, I wouldn’t want them to have a converted mana cost of more than four.
  • The majority of the deck is formed by creatures, but I’m covering them with a selection of other spells. Arrows of Justice offer some form of removal, and so does Mugging. The flexibility of Boros Charm is something I enjoy, so I would love to keep it.
  • Boros Reckoner is in there because it rocks hard. Really hard.
  • But you know who rocks even harder? Frontline Medic!

Knowing that, I can already see some points of improvement. Act of Treason could offer me some early-game Battalion and take care of potential blockers. More Madcap Skills could turn some already annoying creatures into even more annoying creatures, and if I had the luck or money, I would add two more Reckoners and three Frontline Medics.

So, Magic geeks of the blogosphere, hit me hard with your critique and help me improve this deck!

Geek Jitsu – three movie speeches that will keep you going

inspiration forward speech

“Moving Forward” by *Kaira27

It seems like motivation is a topic I keep returning to in this column, but there’s a simple reason for that: it’s what will make you succesful in the long run, so I don’t mind spending much time on this theme.

Motivation is something fragile and precious, and we run out of it faster than we expect. A few punches from life, and many of us are on their knees begging for a breather. Nothing wrong with that, we all need to catch our breath once in a while. However, giving up should not be your modus operandi. Your modus operandi should be to wipe off the blood, get back on your feet, and step right back into the arena of life.

Of course, getting that necessary kick for such a deed can be hard, and that’s where this post comes in. In this week’s Geek Jitsu, I’ll share with you my three favourite motivational speeches from three very different movies. Let’s get ourselves some motivational refills!

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Why Minecraft is so damn awesome

minecraft cr

“This is Minecraft” by CrowbarTK-Hullo

If you consider yourself a gamer, there are some games that you just should have played in your life. Games like Super Mario Bros., GTA and the older Sim City come to mind, but one title I would consider a must-play for every serious gamer is Minecraft. If you haven’t heard of it by now, I can only assume that this is your first day on the Internet, no, in the real world. I feel sorry for you, and hope that you spend the next five minutes buying & downloading the game.

Done? Good! So, Minecraft is damn awesome, and that’s why every serious gamer should have played it. However, “damn awesome” isn’t a convincing argument on its own, so I will have to provide you with reasons for my view. Presented in this article are the three reasons why this pixelfest is so marvelous, and why you should spend some more time in its blocky world!

It’s Lego
Really, if you get down to it, Minecraft is a digital, living box of Lego. There are different kind of bricks, and the ways to combine those bricks are endless. Though real Lego doesn’t have exploding bricks (not yet), both games are about the use of creativity and clever thinking. Sure, you can just stick to the blueprint provided by someone else, but isn’t it more fun to build what you want? The two are even so much alike that they share a really annoying thing: finding the right brick. When playing with Lego, it’s damn annoying to find that one flat brick with six duds. In Minecraft, you will curse the fact that you have just spent another thirty minutes digging for gold. Oh well, can’t have the good without the bad, right?

It’s moddable
The modding community that surrounds Minecraft is huge, and by now, there’s a mod for everything. You can add anything from armor racks to a real economy to your game, and the amount of fancy client and server plug-ins grows every day. There’s even something for the people who want to give Minecraft a more up-to-date look, so you can see beautiful sunrises in the blocky realm. Talking about looks: there’s texture packs for everyone, giving you the possibility to give your blocks any style you want. Minecraft doesn’t just give you the tools to play with blocks, but also ways to change the blocks themselves.

It’s lightweight
In a world where AAA title chases AAA title, and where graphics and specs are a game’s phallic replacement, it is great to see a succesful game that doesn’t devour twenty-five gig on your hard drive and requires you to buy a new computer. I think that 99% of modern computers can easily run Minecraft, making it the perfect game to spread around your circle of non-tech-savvy friends. Also, the client itself is small, and running your own server doesn’t consume all of your processing power. This makes the game accessible, and open for a wide audience.

So there you have it: three reasons why Minecraft is awesome. If you aren’t convinced yet, and haven’t downloaded the game before reading it, head over to the official site and get your fix! I’d love to hear your opinions. In the mean time, I’ll get back to fiddling around with this gorgeous, fantastic game!

Quality never dies

age of empires 2 hd version meme

Some weekends just turn out to be really awesome in a really special way. Sometimes, you just sit at home all bored out of your mind, and then a friend saves you by taking you to this really cool party. Other weekends become the stuff of legends because you go on a totally unexpected trip to the beach. This weekend, however, became grand because I had all the time in the world to sit behind my computer and play strategy games. Civilization V consumed most of my time today, but what kept me busy on a lazy Saturday was the recently released HD, polished and shiny version of Age of Empires 2. Is an RTS from ’97 still fun? Well, of course, ’cause it’s goddamn Age of Empires 2!

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