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Archive for the ‘Bullshit’ Category

I got a question asking what/where I play in WoW, so I figured I’d just throw up a post in case other people care to jump in game to hit up some quests.  My main is Igorek, a Draenei Death Knight on Cenarion Circle in the guild Northrend Commonwealth.

Here is my armory page, if you are at all curious about my gear/achievements.

3.1 looks like it’s going to be hitting servers this Tuesday (or next Tuesday).  I better get my money together so I can purchase a dual spec.  You’re looking at a future Unholy DPS/Frost Tank Death Knight!  I shall report my findings as I find them.

Feel free to throw down your name/class/race/realm in the comments!

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MLB 2K9 Review

Grapefruit League.  JD Drew’s back hurts.  The MLB Network finds its way into your rotation.  Manny at home drinking margaritas.  All signs that Spring is around the corner.  And with the approach of Spring comes the release of baseball video games.  I own a 360, so that means MLB 2k9 for me.

I’m gonna be honest.  When looking at the screenshots and demo of this game, what really stuck out was Beckett’s mullet.  Well, the official release has Beckett sporting an official Billy Ray Cyrus haircut circa ’81.  It’s tough to tell if that’s Beckett or a scruffy Jesse Katsapolous in a Sox uniform.  To be fair, most of the players look legit (e.g. Carl Crawford and his neck tattoo & ARod’s cousin looks good, too.)

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Here at the nest, with every landmark you get a free rant.  Unless you follow me on Twitter, you are probably wondering:  “Did Jpark die or fall off of the earth?”  The answer is neither, I have just been taking some other life goals (none of which will be discussed in the presence of our precious gaming site).  Anyway, today I have just won my 100th ranked game and I did it in style.  I have actually accomplished two personal landmarks by also getting my 100th win on a streak of 12 straight wins. Am I tooting my own horn?  ABSOLUTELY.  Why is that ok?  Hit the jump to get some of my feelings on hitting landmarks in gaming.

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As the gaming community continues to gain exposure and more and more people are playing different kinds of games, I remembered a store that was open in my hometown when I was growing up. This place was magical to me when I was 10, as not only did it sell video games, but it had a row of televisions and consoles lined up against the wall when you walked in. For a small fortune (around 10 bucks) you could play any system with any game for a set amount of time. It was like that one smelly kid in school that everyone was friends with cause he owned a super nintendo, only if they showered and charged hourly fees to hang out at the house. The owner was the inspiration for The Comic Book Guy and there was no place I would have rather been in 1995.

More then a decade later, I have never seen a place like this again. The days of the small, independent game shop have emulated the small music store (a la Empire Records) and the independent hardware store that has been replaced by massive Home Depots. This is a troubling trend, as most chain stores are only as good as the people who work there, and they are most likely pushing strategy guides and discount cards on you by their corporate mandate.

All is not lost, however! Earlier today, and at least once a week since it opened, JPark and I have been visiting a GameStop that opened in downtown Boston. If you are ever in Downtown Crossing, I strongly urge you to stop in. As far as mass consumerism goes, this place is the mecca of retail game stores. I’ve never seen a cleaner, more modern setup. Everything is easy to find, the people who work there are knowledgeable, friendly, and are just as crazy about games as we are. Other then their early attempts at selling us their discount cards, this place is the perfect place to not only buy games, but kill some time as well.

What I’m truly wondering is how often do people go to a place like GameStop and not buy anything? Is there a modern day equivilent to the arcade? I don’t mean the quarter draining ticket printing chance games at Foxwoods that occupy small children while their parents gamble. I mean the old school, ski-ball and pinball machine that most of todays gamers grew up with. Does GameStop feel the need to be both a store and a hangout?

Talking with one of the employees, he told us a funny story. Teenage kids were waiting outside on a random Thursday at 7am just to hang out at the store before going to school for the day. They were treated to Rock Band, NBA Live, and a slew of other options to kill time and play some free games. Throw in some tournaments (Street Fighter IV on 2/21, FYI) and you have a wonderful addition to the standard, emotionless standard in gaming retail.

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A great friend of the Bird Nest, Jimbo, brought up an interesting question in the last post – have we ever bought a system because of a certain game? It made me think of some of those ill-advised purchases over the years. Like when you buy games for systems you don’t own, or consoles you don’t need, or games you will never play. Sometimes a gamer just gets the urge to add a game to his collection, even if there is already way too little time in the day to actually play it.

Whatever drives us, our purchasing decisions play a major role in our overall gaming experience. Poor choices can lead to poor gaming, which is no good for anyone. But pull the trigger on whatever you’ve been eying and who knows where it will take you. Some of my past decisions were stupid, but lucky stupid. A collection of the bigger, stupider purchases of my life of which some have happy endings, some are still sitting in the closet.

Guitar Hero Fiasco

Probably the most compulsive purchase of my gaming career was Guitar Hero II for the PS2. After getting banned from JPark’s copy of Guitar Hero I (I may have broken his whammy bar) and drooling about it in my sleep, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and fulfill my rock destiny by spending what little money I had on a copy for my apartment. Just one problem, I didn’t own a Playstation 2.

No big deal at first, since my roommate had one, but what would happen at the end of the semester and I went back home with only an Xbox at my disposal? That’s when the guitar started bouncing from house to house, plugging into foreign consoles and strange basements, eventually ending up in the trunk of my car, forgotten but not forsaken. It was my constant search for a console to play my ill-conceived new toy that spread GHII to a lot of people who otherwise had no idea this existed. I was like a Rockin’ Johnny Plastic-Guitar-Seed, spreading hammer-ons and Star Power to anyone that would have it. Well, not really. But I made my friends indulge my obsession if they happened to own a PS2.

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This picture is just too damn funny. Thanks to Major Nelson on Twitter, BuzzFeed, and Veronica on Twitter as well. That is all, go back to work y’all.

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A recent overdose on sports games has gotten me thinking about in-game adverstising and their place within the sports gaming spectrum. While my opinion on in-game ads in shooters and adventure games is that of skepticism and distaste, I can’t help but soften my view on advertising in sports games.

While sponsorship and product placement are an integral part of sports (and arguably everything mainstream,) they add a certain touch of realism and authenticity to their video game counterparts. Consider a BirdNest favorite, Fifa 09. Ignoring for a moment the banner ads in the stadiums that ensure realistic locations, every single licensed kit is by nature an advertisement. And we relish these ads! If EA left 02 as Arsenal’s sponsor, well, I would be pretty disapointed. We stare at these ads and love every moment of it, as soccer/football fans and gamers who desire authenticity.

This is an easy one to defend, we wear these ads proudly on our chest, so who cares if it shows up in our video games. But after the jump, there are some pretty outlandish ads that don’t really bother me as much as they should.

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