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Archive for January, 2009

On February 11th through the 16th, Love is in the Air hits Azeroth.  This is, of course, the Azerothian equivalent to Valentine’s Day, and boy howdy is there a lot to do.  In between gathering gifts for significant others (or plenty of wine and beer for Single’s Appreciation Day), you may want to jump on and work on the 14 Achievements!

Once all achievements are collected, of course, you receive a title ([your name] the Love Fool) and you’re one step closer to that sweet purple dragon mount.

Before I get into the achievements, let’s actually talk about how this holiday works.  It’s more complicated than Winter Veil and Lunar Festival, so it’s worth explaining.

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Over the last two days I purchased 4 new games for only 35 bucks.  Note that Bird picked up NBA2k9 used for the same price.  The best part about it is how these games were purchased.  The first three games I purchased were at a brand new GameStop in downtown Boston.  The store layout and design was curtailed to gamers perfectly.  The manager informed us that this was only one of two Gamestop’s in the country with this new design, and it was PIMP.  The games I purchased were highlighted in a previous post and its a bundle known as The Orange Box. To remind you, this bundle includes: Half Life 2, Portal and Team Fortress 2 for $20 (18 used).  I don’t even have to explain to you why this is a good deal.

The other game I bought was Castle Crashers on Xbox Arcade for 1200 Microsoft points (equivalent to about 15 dollars).

In my two days of gameplay thus far (which includes the time post-work to bed), two very different games have drawn my attention.  One is Castle Crashers, the other is Portal.  After the cut is some first impressions from each of these very cheap games…

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Ho there folks, sorry about the impromptu hiatus from posting. It’s been a long couple of weeks, I’ve been fighting numerous colds, work has really ramped up (translation: kicking my ass) and I was in DC last week for the Inauguration and I am still recovering from that. Ok really all I have is a lot of excuses, but they make me feel better.

Now that we got that out of the way, lets talk about the Resident Evil 5 demo that was released yesterday. Jpark and I fired up some co-op last night and we both came to a few of the same conclusions.

It’s NOT Scary!

I guess this shouldn’t have been a shock considering how so-called horror games are trending lately, but this game was too bright, too outdoors, and lacked a certain flair for the macabre. I expected dark and creepy, not a leisurely stroll through a well-lit “shanty town” that reminded more of downtown Baltimore then anything else.

Not to be a stickler in critiquing a demo, but the audio in the game left me wanting so much more. Compared to the terrifying weeping of the Witch in Left4Dead, or the any of the ambient terror from past Resident Evils. I’m hoping this is a feature of the levels chosen for the demo, not the game itself, but if you bill a game as Horror-Action, then scare me, please.

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The Lunar Festival has come!  Bring out the fireworks!  Go grab some dumplings!  It’s time to celebrate!

You’re probably going after that title like the world is ending, and I’m here to help you out.  As you may (or may not) know, I wrote up a much longer, more in-depth look at the holiday and some tips to complete it.  But I massively underestimated one thing:

The Elders of the Dungeons achievement is hella hard.

I mean, it’s not that hard, just involved, and you really have to commit some time to it, if only to navigate.  So we’re going to go through all the Dungeon Elders and try to find them.  Let’s go from the lowest level Elder to the highest.  C’mon!

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/commonname joins the group

/sets loot for Free for all

Hey guys!  Today, we’re going after the construct Loken and his army of Iron Vykrul in the Storm Peaks instance of Halls of Lightning.  Are you with me lads!?  Then let’s grab a healer, make sure we’re all level 79 and above and we’re good to go!  Set it on normal difficulty this time, if you please.  I’ll mark, but you tank.  Alright! Everyone into the instance!

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Smile! Happy Gamer Moments FTW

How much do you love the random gamer moments?  They can span generations, and they just make me feel pure joy.  In Best Buy yesterday, I naturally gravitated toward the xbox360 aisle to see what this mega beast of a store was offering.  They had the usual selection and I considered purchasing Call of Duty: World at War or NBA2k9 but decided to exercise restraint (a rare occasion when it comes to games).

Anyway, there was a mother with three kids (probably all between 15 and 12) inquiring about xbox live subscription plans.  The mother was asking the Geek Squad dude about the different payment options while the kids all listened eagerly.

Completely irrelevant Geek Squad photo.

Completely irrelevant Geek Squad photo.

The small family began to argue back and forth about which was the best option for them.  The kids eventually settled on the 3 month subscription plan so they could try it out.  They started to talk about which games they owned that were xbox live compatible.  The whole thing was adorable!  They recognized I was happily onlooking with a huge grin on my face.  Why you ask?

The answer should be clear to those who grew up gamerz.  This is one of my fondest memories as a kid!  Saving money to buy the game you envied all your friends for owning.  Whether it was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 or Zelda:  Ocarina of Time, this is a cherished memory for young gamers.  I know most of you readers can remember one of those games that was maybe too violent, or too far away from your birthday/xmas for you to convince your parents to buy.  Instead, you mowed lawns, saved allowance, or did those extra chores.  How good did it finally feel to advance your library?  Hell, I still love it.

My conversation with the youngsters and some more memories are after the cut…

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The Fifa Challenge

How much do you love it when your buddy challenges you to a game of Fifa.  An exhibition match… its fantastic.  After you spend countless hours playing ranked and club matches against randoms, you need to test your skill against friends.  Why?  BRAGGING RIGHTS BABY.  Its even sweeter when there is build up and shit talking on the way to your sweet victories.  If you haven’t figured it out by now I’m talking about a real story…

One of my buddies from college (lets call him Little D), has been talking up another one of my friends (we will call him Seph) since the dawn of time.  We had a party here last night and I asked Seph if he had been playing.  Seph, having studied in Manchester for the semester proceeded to brag about beating his flatmates.  Naturally, I saw my window to offer a challenge in which everyone made jokes about me getting trashed upon.

Did your representation from the Bird Nest handle shit?  It’s all after the cut as well as my opinions on playing not so friendlies…

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I'm usually cackling with joy at this point!

I'm usually cackling with joy at this point!

This post will mostly be incoherent babble because its 2 AM and I’ve played 360 for about 6 solid hours.  BUT I have to strongly urge everyone to GET Gears of War 2. That was one of the most fun gaming experiences I’ve had in a while.  When you have 4 of your friends to play with and the waves start to get up there… it is an all out blood bath.  TWICE we lost with only one guy to go in these one v one situations which ended up in laughter and screaming (also tears).   This game is so great because you actually need your full team for the harder waves and strategy plays an ENORMOUS role on top of all the fire fights.

It should also be noted that during gameplay we were messaged by 3 or 4 other friends wanting to play GoW2 with us while we had a full party.  If you don’t own this game here’s what I recommend you do.

1)  Purchase game

2) Beat campaign and be completely blown away by tight story line, sharp gameplay and beautiful graphics

3)  Message us or any of your other friends who play and start working your way through the Horde ranks

Why?  Because its Epic (also the name of the game producers… how fitting.)  Get on board, this game is insanely fun.  Do it… you won’t do it

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Well this has certainly been a slow week at the bird nest. After such a promising start to 2009 I have to admit that I have been pretty absent this week. Part of that relates to my day job; basically I am swamped at work and don’t get to spend the day surfing around looking for cool stuff to write about. I also want to blame the weather. It’s a brisk 0 degrees (or so) here in Boston and frankly all I want to do is curl up under a blanket with my controller and not leave until May. But we have a little more dedication then that here at The Bird Nest so I thought it was about time to get my thoughts down about EA’s NHL 09.

In honor of this out-of-the-blue story about the mayor of Hartford petitioning the NHL for a new team, I thought it would be prudent to get a few words down on paper about the newest sports obsession of mine, NHL 09.

The Acclaim

Take a look at the back of the box and you see EA’s claim that it’s the #1 best selling Hockey franchise of all time and that it won seven sports game of the year awards. I was skeptical of these facts, but under further review it did generate quite a few nods. The mecca (and industry sellouts) of year in review, IGN, gives them the blue ribbon. So does Gamespot. But who cares what those hacks say!? To me, Fifa will always be my favorite sports game, but NHL is slowly creeping in and has been taking time away from my Fifa sessions on an almost daily basis. But really, why would it get some much critical acclaim? Hit the jump to see why…

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Well I’ve been 80 for a little over a week now (I think?) and I figured I’d report on what I’ve been up to.  At the moment, a lot of content has opened up to me – I can finally run the high level dungeons and heroics, I can go around anywhere I want, I can get all the top level gear, enchants and gems.

But what I’m really working on is reputation and achievements.

I’ve completely dropped my normal questing duties (hitting up Icecrown has stopped completely at the moment) and I’ve decided to start doing my dailies.  My reasons are three-fold:

1. Gear and items.  Some of the reputations award you with epic quality gear, and lord knows I’m dying for some of that.  They also give you awesome items – revered with the Oracles (one of Sholazar Basin’s factions) can get you a “Mysterious Egg,” which, after seven days, will award you the possiblity of one of four rare pets (great for doing a pet-collecting achievement) or a large epic flying mount, a Green Proto-Drake.  These beasties are pretty badass.  I’m also an Unholy Death Knight spec, so this mount seems awfully perfect for me:

God I want one of these...

God I want one of these...

Check out some of my other reasons under the cut!

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