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81  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Podcasts on: October 22, 2014, 03:08:37 PM
Just started Serial last night and it's quite fascinating. Thanks for the heads up.
82  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [XB1/360] Fantasia: Music Evolved on: October 21, 2014, 08:14:50 PM
Very tempted by this one as well. I'm going to try the demo as soon as I get home tonight.

I figure I may as well have some reason to keep my Kinect turned on.   icon_biggrin
83  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (10/20) on: October 20, 2014, 12:33:18 PM
Provided I finish up Shadow of Mordor, I'll probably be picking up Forza Horizon 2.
84  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: CBS offers standalone streaming service on: October 17, 2014, 06:04:52 PM
It just occurred to me, this may not be true anymore. Is CBS still the channel that old people watch? I watch Survivor, that's it. I think I have seen 10 minutes of one of the CSIs, that was more than enough to make me vow never to watch the channel outside of Survivor again.

The median age for NCIS viewers is 61. Half of NCIS viewers are above retirement age.  icon_eek

While CBS isn't truly an "old person's network" in terms of demographics (they just attract a lot of viewers, period), the perception is still there. That isn't helped by the large amount of procedural series they air, and 60 Minutes.  icon_biggrin

They're trying to shake loose that perception with some genre shows like Under the Dome and Extant (and an upcoming Supergirl series - blechh), but I think they have their work cut out for them.

Still, you wonder if they even need to shake the perception. So far it's certainly not hurting them.
85  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Podcasts on: October 17, 2014, 04:41:40 PM
Update on my podcast habits since I wound up getting totally hooked:

My current subscriptions:

- In the Loop - theme park podcast - industry news, interviews, and commentary, but pretty informal.

- CoasterRadio - probably my favorite podcast - very informal theme park and rollercoaster discussion, family-friendly - If you click on show 902 at and jump to the 25 minute mark you can hear my live trip report from Scarowinds.  icon_biggrin

- Chips, Dips, & Dorks - 80's movie podcast where they discuss a different 80's movie every week. Fun show and co-hosted by Mike Collins from CoasterRadio.

- GiantBomb Bombcast - I changed my mind about Giant Bomb - I love these guys now.

- Screenrant podcast - I needed a good pop culture podcast to fill that gap and this one fits the bill for now. Movie/TV news with an in-depth featured movie review each week.

I will definitely check out Metatheory!
86  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/XB1/360/Ps3/Ps4] Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor on: October 16, 2014, 01:19:18 PM
Getting close to wrapping this one up. Once you unlock your 4th tier abilities you really start feeling like a bad-ass.
87  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: COD Veterans (and noobs): Are you getting Advanced Warfare? on: October 16, 2014, 01:12:43 AM
Not buying.

I'm generally not a fan of the "future tech" style shooters. I either want balls out sci-fi like Halo or Titanfall, or realistic/historical.

Coupled with the fact I'm generally just burned out on the Call of Duty franchise in general, and this year definitely equals a pass.
88  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] The Walking Dead Season 5 on: October 14, 2014, 10:52:27 PM
Yep I misread. Rick bites people, Coral does the shootin'.
89  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] The Walking Dead Season 5 on: October 14, 2014, 07:10:07 PM
Spoiler for Hiden:
Rick didn't kill him, he shot him. Morgan had body armor on.

90  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] The Walking Dead Season 5 on: October 14, 2014, 01:31:52 PM
Yeah, Talking Dead more or less confirmed that Terminus is done.

I thought the weakest part of the episode was the weak sauce justification of people turning from kidnappees to cannibals. I almost wish they had just let it remain a vague mystery.
91  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/XB1/360/Ps3/Ps4] Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor on: October 13, 2014, 06:53:29 PM
Thanks for taking one for the team TiLT. I think I'm going to pass on the platinum for this one. As much as I like this game, I think I'm ready to finish it up and move on.
92  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] The Walking Dead Season 5 on: October 13, 2014, 06:49:15 PM
It's interesting to see how my feelings have Carol have changed from indifference (early on), to hatred (when she got kicked out of the prison), to omgwtfbbqsauce when she told someone to look at the flowers, to utter adoration when she played her bad-ass card this episode.

If I was a woman, I would totally go as blood covered Bad Ass Carol this Halloween.
93  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Weekend Playlist -- 10/10/14 on: October 13, 2014, 01:37:23 PM
I knocked out a good chunk of Mordor but it's not going as fast as I had hoped. Those story missions don't look like a lot, but some of them can be quite time-consuming.
94  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (10/13) on: October 13, 2014, 06:56:38 AM
Duck Dynasty Collector's Edition with duck whistle and fake beard + Season Pass including all boat camouflage DLC.

95  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/XB1/360/Ps3/Ps4] Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor on: October 12, 2014, 08:41:00 PM
My only minor complaint about this game is some of the missions require you to do a good deal of work that can end up being a lot of wasted time if you screw it up at the end. I spent over half an hour last night doing one of the legendary dagger missions which essentially requires you to enter a stronghold and kill 12 orcs without being detected.

All was well and good as I painstakingly inched my way through it. I finally had one last Orc to kill and bungled my headshot. Instant detection, mission failed. Start over. So frustrating.

It's not that the missions are insanely difficult or anything, but the random nature of the AI means there are ample opportunities for one little slip-up to cost you huge amounts of time.
96  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Weekend Playlist -- 10/10/14 on: October 10, 2014, 08:34:03 PM
I will be getting married. I'm pretty sure that will take care of any "free" time.

Congrats! Honeymoon night is more fun than gaming anyway.  icon_wink
97  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Weekend Playlist -- 10/10/14 on: October 10, 2014, 06:46:31 PM
One does not simply "finish" Mordor. Not this weekend anyway.

Like EngineNo9 I'm going to give it a good go, but I'm only 50% as well. So I don't see it happening.

I think I'm also going to play a little ArcheAge. I've been out of the MMO game for quite some time, but I'm in the mood for a little mindless fun and so far it seems to fit the bill.
98  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV]Gotham - Batman Prequel on: October 07, 2014, 06:06:11 PM
I find Boardwalk Empire entertaining even though I know the outcome.  icon_biggrin
99  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (10/06) on: October 06, 2014, 12:05:13 PM
Costume Quest 2. I had originally planned to pick up Forza Horizon 2 this week, but I think I'm going to wait until after I've finished Shadow of Mordor.
100  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/XB1/360/Ps3/Ps4] Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor on: October 03, 2014, 08:11:37 PM
I don't think I've gotten to the first war chief mission yet (I've been messing around with a lot of side content), but when I get to it I'll see if I have the same experience.
101  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/XB1/360/Ps3/Ps4] Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor on: October 03, 2014, 07:55:26 PM
I don't think the non-combat controls are horrible, but I do agree they could use some tweaking. Climbing up on something is particularly frustrating, as you may make several attempts at it and it doesn't take, then finally it says "Oh yeah, you can climb here" and lets you climb up. I think AC was better at climbing, Mordor is better at dropping. Both are annoying in terms of sticking to terrain.

I don't think the game is particularly hard if you're careful, so I'm guessing that's just some frustration talking. One thing I realized early on is that if a mission is too hard, you're probably under-leveled. Some of the skill unlocks are absolutely crucial to certain mission types. For example, there's one legendary weapon mission that requires you to kill 100 orcs that spawn in waves around you. If you don't have the wraith attack that does AoE damage, I don't know how you'd get through that one.

Never beat your head against the wall in this game, because you're just empowering the enemy. If I die twice on a mission, I go elsewhere.
102  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Alien: Isolation announced - kinda looks good? on: October 03, 2014, 05:07:17 PM
I'm kind of glad this one has some mixed scores, I need an excuse not to buy it right now.  icon_biggrin

I definitely want to play it at some point just because I'm a huge Alien fan and it sounds like they really nailed the details from the movies.
103  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Weekend Playlist -- 10/3/14 on: October 03, 2014, 03:57:15 PM
Going out of town this weekend so I'll probably just get a little Mordor in Sunday night.
104  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/XB1/360/Ps3/Ps4] Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor on: October 02, 2014, 11:24:44 PM
Possibly stupid question:

Does anyone know how to tell what your current "Power" level is? All I see is the progress bar to the next tier.

As it stands I have no clue if a level 8 Orc is easy or impossible.
105  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/XB1/360/Ps3/Ps4] Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor on: October 02, 2014, 09:27:50 PM
Yeah, I think it's important to note that the open world design of this game is nothing revolutionary. It's a serviceable open world game with the typical missions, side quests, and collectibles you'd expect from any "decent" open world game. What makes it great is the Nemesis system and the solid mechanics of the combat. I'd also say that because the skill tree/weapon upgrade system is more in-depth than we've seen in similar open world games, you get more of a sense of purpose in hunting down optional content than you do in say..Watch Dogs. In Shadow of Mordor, you need to hunt down that collectible because it gives you money to purchase upgrades. In Watch Dogs or Assassin's Creed, a lot of times the only reason to hunt that collectible down is for bragging rights.

That's all to say that I would be hesitant to recommend this game to someone who doesn't like Ubisoft-style open world games in general. At its very core, that's what it is, and I'm not sure if the Nemesis system would be enough to keep someone who doesn't like that kind of game from getting bored.
106  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/XB1/360/Ps3/Ps4] Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor on: October 02, 2014, 12:22:29 PM
To show the attention to detail and dialogue they gave to make the nemesis system feel more alive, last night I fought this chief that basically kicked my ass due to the large number of bodyguards he had.

I immediately went back to get some revenge and when he saw me he mentioned something about this being the second time he's had to deal with me.

It would have been super easy for them to just have canned responses every time, but I love that the responses are situationally aware.

By the way, this game can be difficult in areas. I spent a lot of time last night dying over and over due to my (foolish) decision to mess around in an orc stronghold at my newbie level. smile

I'm also now on the fence about Assassin's Creed. Am I going to want to dive into that so soon after spending 20-30 hours in this? Not sure right now.
107  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV]Gotham - Batman Prequel on: October 02, 2014, 02:43:28 AM
The ratings so far have been really good, and the critics like it. I think it will do fine.
108  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Windows 10 announced on: October 01, 2014, 11:51:30 PM
I've heard that another reason they went with 10 is that this may be the last major traditional release of Windows. Future upgrades will be done incrementally.
109  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/XB1/360/Ps3/Ps4] Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor on: October 01, 2014, 05:23:56 PM
One thing I forgot to mention about the PS4 version - they make extensive use of the controller speaker, to a much greater extent than any PS4 game I've played to date. It's not just for descriptive narrative sequences - they actually pipe the sound of bushes rustling into it and some of the battle sounds.

I'm a little torn on the graphics. Sometimes they look absolutely spectacular, and sometimes they look horrible. It's a bit of a mixed bag depending on what you happen to be looking at.
110  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/XB1/360/Ps3/Ps4] Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor on: October 01, 2014, 03:49:48 AM
My impressions from 3 hours of play:

They definitely ripped off both Assassin's Creed (climbing, stealth take downs from bushes, climbing towers to unlock areas) and the Arkham series (combat, upgrades, a "heightened awareness mode"). However, they equaled if not improved upon those mechanics.

The game is VERY combat-centric, so it's fortunate the fighting feels so good. Countering is instant, and you'll never have to wait for a previous animation to finish before you can counter. I can't tell you enough how much I love that, as it's always been a gripe of mine in these types of combat engines. You feel like a kick-ass warrior as you stroll confidently into camp taking on 5 or 6 orcs at a time right from the get-go - however, the game is also quick to remind you how vulnerable you are. Before long you'll end up attracting the attention of too many captains, or slip up some counters from being outnumbered, and you'll realize that you can only take a handful of hits before going down. It's an amazing balance between feeling powerful while being acutely aware of your limitations.

As leo pointed out, the game relies on you to do some story missions early on to really explain the mechanics. If you choose to ignore this and do your own thing (which is certainly a viable option), then just be prepared to be plopped down into a world full of stuff to do almost immediately. Unlike many open world games that ease you into areas little by little, you have a pretty large area in which you can roam right from the start.

The Nemesis system is really neat, and you do get a sense that the Uruk leaders are relative bad-asses among their "people." I really liked the Intel system which requires you to seek out Intel in the form of informants you beat up and interrogate or plans you find lying around. This Intel can be used to find the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of the captains, which you can then use to kill them quicker.

As far as customizing your character, you have the ability to both power up your weapons with runes, or power yourself up with ability points. You can also purchase traits (not sure what they are called in game) that boost health or unlock new rune slots. While the upgrade paths are fairly limited and linear, the fact that there is so much "stuff" to unlock and upgrade really gives you a sense of purpose when killing enemies. The UI provides constant feedback on XP and currency gains, so you always feel like you're making progress.

One other thing I really appreciated is how well the appendix is laid out. Nothing drives me more crazy than a badly implemented catalog or appendix in which you can't tell what entries are new, or which ones have already been read. This game does a great job of showing you not only what you've read and haven't read, but how many entries you have left to discover. Entries are detailed but not overly long, and I enjoyed reading them and fleshing out the backstory and Tolkien lore.

If you don't like the Ubisoft: The Game structure (i.e. open world with main missions/side missions/collectibles), then this may not be your cup of tea - it contains a lot of those elements. However, it's so well implemented and has so many little features that have not been seen before that I think if you have even the slightest interest in that type of game then you should give it a chance.

Ultimately I think it's the most mature and "adult" Lord of the Rings games we've seen to date. It's violent, it's dark, it's combat-heavy, and it doesn't hold your hand. If you want to march into a camp and take on three captains above your level at the same time, it's not going to stop you. It feels like a game made for people who have had experience with open world games and want something that kicks things up a notch. In terms of a "game features tailor-made for YellowKing list" this one marks off a LOT of checkboxes.

Just remember:

This ain't The Hobbit cartoon.

This ain't Gandalf sitting around blowing smoke rings.

This is a bad-ass undead ranger fucking shit up deep in the heart of Mordor. If you're ready to put down your Legolas dolls, put on your big boy pants, and go toe to toe with Sauron's black army, then come on.
111  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Last of US BoSs help (spoiler) on: September 30, 2014, 12:27:42 PM
I finished it last night, but the revelation that the entire story was just a dream that Joel had after watching a zombie movie felt a little contrived.
112  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/XB1/360/Ps3/Ps4] Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor on: September 30, 2014, 12:25:42 PM
I spent four hours last night pounding my way through the end of The Last of Us. Finished it off just under the wire!

I still need to go back and wrap up the DLC, but since I'll be out of town all weekend I plan on putting some heavy time into Mordor this week.
113  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV]Gotham - Batman Prequel on: September 29, 2014, 11:38:04 PM
If they focus on one major villain per season I think it could do well. I can't really think of another superhero whose hometown is as big a character as the hero himself. Metropolis without Superman is pretty boring, but Gotham without Batman still has plenty to offer.

Perhaps it's just my Batman fanboyism coming out, but I'm really excited about the show and loved the pilot.
114  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (09/29) on: September 29, 2014, 12:30:57 PM
Shadows of Mordor (PS4)

I'm still on the fence about Forza Horizons 2 due to money, but I'll probably wind up picking that up too.
115  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/XB1/360/Ps3/Ps4] Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor on: September 28, 2014, 02:57:00 AM
Well, I officially took the plunge and pre-ordered the PS4 digital version tonight. I really can't afford two games right now so I gambled that I'd enjoy this more than Forza. Hope it lives up to the hype!
116  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/XB1/360/Ps3/Ps4] Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor on: September 26, 2014, 04:43:31 PM
The comparisons to Assassin's Creed really helped push me over the edge. I've been really anticipating AC:Unity, and this should scratch that itch.

I'm going digital as well. I started off this console generation swearing it would be all physical, and all my initial launch games I bought hard discs. I actually saved a good bit of money with game trade-ins for a bit. Ultimately, however, I realized that the convenience factor of just booting up the console and hitting play without worrying about whether the disc was in the drive was immense.

I'll also be going PS4, since there are some bonus missions for that platform and it's kind of turned into my default console for single player games.
117  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Weekend Playlist -- 9/25/14 on: September 26, 2014, 02:03:43 PM
I'll be trying to finish up (or at least make a significant dent in) The Last of Us Remastered. Since I've been focusing the game it has started to grow on me more, but it's still so stressful that I'm almost happy when my game time is over and I can set it aside.

I don't see myself playing anything else. I've got to get some stuff out of my backlog before Shadows of Mordor and Horizons 2 land next week.
118  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/XB1/360/Ps3/Ps4] Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor on: September 26, 2014, 12:46:25 PM
Seems like I have a decision to make. Forza Horizons 2 or Shadow of Mordor.........or BOTH!  nod
119  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360,XB1] Forza Horizon 2 on: September 26, 2014, 12:07:55 AM
Polygon gave it a 70? I thought they were in Microsoft's back pocket and incredibly biased.  ninja
120  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/XB1/360/Ps3/Ps4] Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor on: September 25, 2014, 07:23:07 PM
My resolve is definitely starting to crumble the more videos I watch. While I had my mind set on Forza Horizons 2 as my next big purchase, I'd more in the mood for a good RPG than a good racing game. I don't need it to be earth-shatteringly brilliant, but if it's getting some 8s and packs 20+ hours of gameplay, I'll be all over it.
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