Posts Tagged ‘Review’

The second I got home last night, I jumped into WoW to check out 3.1.  First of all, despite the ramant explosions of world servers, the game seems to upload faster.  Maybe I’m crazy.

I was given back all my talent points, so I quickly respecced back into Unholy (my main DPS of choice).  I tried out the “preview talents” option that can be found in Interface>Display, which allows you to mess around with talent points before you save them.  I didn’t experiment much further, but it was a neat new addition. I also didn’t have enough cash to purchase duel spec (since I was about 300g short), I jumped onto my bank alt to sell off my glyphs.

Guys, if you’re an inscriptionists, sell off stuff NOW.  I made over 400g in less than 2 hours.  Do this before the weekend while it’s hot!

While my glyphs were making money for me, I was off to test the new Argent Tournament.  I did a few of the daily quests (don’t worry guys, I’ll throw down some guides later on) and they were really fun.  The new mounted combat was really a blast, and getting to know the strategies for it was a nice change of pace.  It felt sort of like a fast of Pokemon; throw down defense? Or move straight to offense?  In any case, I know I’ll be spending most of my time there.  My only complaint is that the reputation isn’t for Argent Crusade (yet), but rather one of two factions that can be found in Dalaran (Silver Covenent for Alliance or Sunreavers for Horde).  Minor complaint, but the quests were pretty fun and quick to do.  I ran all five of them within 20-30 minutes (mostly due to fly time).

No, I didn’t not run Ulduar.  I don’t really think I’ll have a lot of time for that, I don’t like raiding when Shannon’s around because I’ll be so focused on the game for long periods of time.  But I love that they gave us PVE’rs so much to do.  The small changes to the map, icons, stuff like that are all welcome.  Next I plan on messing around with fishing (maybe getting it up past 75).

Later that evening, with 400g in my pocket, I went to buy my second spec.  I am now an Unholy DPS/Frost Tank.  The playstyle of Frost kinda scares me, it’s so foreign!  But the new powers seem cool.  I’ll definitely have to head over to Elitist Jerks to get their take on it.  But the Duel Spec thing is pretty badass – switching over is awesome as a Death Knight because you don’t spend any mana to do so.  So switching from DPS to Tank based on the situation will be a shit load of fun.  I’ll need to go collect some Tank gear from my various reputations in the meantime, along with requisite Gems and such.

So besides the world server going belly-up every once in awhile, 3.1 is a lot of fun.  The cosmetic changes are once again, cool, Argent Tournament will be a lot of fun to continue to run (in the effort to collect new titles, mounts and the like), and I’m seriously hoping I get a chance to at least check out the first boss of Ulduar.

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With one Death Knight to 80, I decided to revisit a Horde DK I made on my friend’s server in an attempt to play with him.  He momentarily quit to work on his short film, but since it wrapped, he has expressed interest in jumping back in game.  When I last left my undead DK, he was only level 60, while my friend’s character is in his early 70’s.  Time to grab a guide and get going!  Luckily, after two days of playing I’m midway through 63, so I’m not too worried.

I had originally specced the character as unholy, but I decided to try out the blood spec since I had heard a lot of great stuff about it.  This is my current spec on the Undead character, and this is my unholy Draenei’s spec, just to give you an idea of what I jumped from and to.


What’s great about the blood spec is that the rotation is extremely easy and it provides good results.  Once I have access to more abilities, I think it’ll get even better, but right now it keeps my health at a constant and I’m always overflooded with runic power, which is nice to throw off some extra death coils when I’m down on runes.  My rotation is this:

Icy Touch -> Plague Strike -> Heart Strike -> Heart Strike -> Obliterate -> Death Coil (to finish them off if I need to)

Once again, pretty simple.  I specced into blood worms, which is nice for a steady heal while you fight.  The only problem is that the way I specced, I don’t have a quick “get health back” button yet, so I might respec and get Rune Tape and switch out one of the three bloodworms talent.

What I also like is the 51-pt talent, Dancing Rune Weapon, which is your basic Runic Power dump that lets you do double the attacks.  This is my current “OH SHIT” button and it’s great, though there’s a three minute cooldown, which stops me from using it more than I should.  I save it for special occasions, unlike Unholy Blight which has no cooldown.

Also, I have a talent called Sudden Doom which gives me a 20% chance to be able to cast a free critical hit Death Coil.  I need to get an addon that let’s me know when this procs, but it’s a cool ability.


As I mentioned before, your health stays pretty constant if you do the rotation.  The problem is that once I’m thrown out of the rotation and my runes are down, currently I’m screwed.  I haven’t gotten any of my “refresh rune” powers yet, so I’m pretty much tossing out Death Coils until the blood runes appear.  So I miss the massive diversity of the Unholy tree.  I feel far more constrained as of now.  It’s great for leveling – I just move from a bunch of mobs to the next, but with unholy there is far more creativity in the way you play.  I also miss the massive AOE power of Unholy.  Unholy Blight, Desecration, the tree had a lot of AOE fire power.  Blood is pretty good for leveling, but I just miss the toys Unholy has.  Plus, I don’t get a permanent Ghoul, so I barely summon one.

I’m still learning the rotations, so this will probably change, but these were just my initial thoughts.  Both are viable builds and are fun for different people, but I’m glad that I specced Unholy.  Chances are good that when duel speccing comes out, I’ll be building a Blood Tank on that Draenei.

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As Street Fighter IV has now been out in North America for over 24 hours, the positive reviews have been flowing all over the Blogosphere. Everyone loves this game it seems. And guess what? The Bird Nest does too.

A little disclaimer about me and fighting games: I’m terrible at them. Just plain awful. I was King Flawless Victory in Mortal Kombat, not because I was so good, but because I was the easiest to shut out.

So if I suck so much at fighting games, why would I even bother to pick this title up? Because it rules, dude! Honestly, comparing Street Fighter to any other next-gen fighter would be doing it a disservice. The game does not reinvent the wheel, but it succeeds in doing what all Street Fighters have done: creating an addicting, hybrid brawler that requires skill and thought to excel at.


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Happy Monday Birdnesters, I decided that, against my better judgement, it was time for a quick and dirty post about my initial reaction to the Operation Anchorage DLC for Fallout 3. A hungover Sunday inspired purchase, the post-nuclear add-on was pretty responsible for the fashionably late attendence of my super bowl party. This has to be a good thing, right? Playing Fallout was more attractive, for a few minutes, then greasy food (double bacon roll), sports (Fitzy is a god, even if they lost) and the company of my good friends.

The chapter itself has been fairly entertaining so far. The subtle addition of a distress call (from the Outcasts, who are just badass) leads you to their base, which in turn leads you to a discussion with their leader. Of course, you are in possession of a unique piece of technology on your arm which will allow you to operate a simulator. This should look familar, as you have probably experienced this earlier in the game. Once in the simulation, you join the U.S.’s fight to liberate Anchorage from the raging, invading, terrifiying communist forces that are the dreaded Chinese.

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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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Having an Xbox has  gotten a little sweeter.  If you have a Gold Account and a Netflix account (any level that allows for unlimited discs) you can watch streaming video on the xbox at no additional charge.  So if you’re paying for both already, this is just an added perk.

It works almost exactly like streaming on your computer does – you pick a movie/tv show, it buffers, you watch.  Easy enough.  The streaming looks fantastic and depending on your internet (and what’s available) you can actually watch your video in HD.  I’ve only watched episodes of 30 Rock in HD and it looks great!

It almost never hiccups and when it does, the xbox automatically degrades the quality a bit in order to allow for future interrupts.  We’ve gone through entire seasons with no problem at all, while some episodes were plagued with multiple restarts.  Fast forwarding/rewinding also forces a rebuffer, but pausing has caused no problem.

Setting it up is easy as pie.  In the interface you choose the Netflix, say you want to connect to your account, it gives you the information on screen that you put into your Netflix account on your computer.  It takes less than five minutes to do and you can start watching instantly!  It also moves television and movies from your “To Rent” queue to your “Watch Instantly” queue.  Pretty nifty.

Adding movies is simply and updated in real time.  If you add “Sgt. Bilko” on your computer, you can watch as it’s instantly added to your queue on xbox.  You cannot add movies in the xbox interface, however, all film and tv choices must be made through your computer.

All in all, I give this a major thumbs up.  My only complaint is that the selection leaves much to be desired, but as more companies become comfortable with allowing this kind of streaming, more films will become available.  The rewinding/fast forwarding feature kinda stinks, but what’s nice is that it remembers your place if you decide to stop watching the film and play a little Gears of War.

It’s really perfect for those Sunday afternoons where you just wanna throw a movie on in the background while you do other stuff around the house.  It’s really nice having that extra library at your fingertips.

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I know Red Alert 3 is old news but having just downloaded the demo for C&C3 let me start by saying wow.  Anyone who has played a Command and Conquer knows that this franchise goes a little bonkers with their cut scenes.  They do not shy away from the use of outrageous sketches with real actors (albeit random ones) and green screens.  I need to go on a minor rant on the intro video to this game and you will have a mind explosion if you follow me.  



Sweet lyphe Premier.

Sweet lyphe Premier.

Tim Curry, the actor from clue, plays the Soviet Premier who leads his other Comrade bro to a secret underground layer that holds a *GASP* time machine (OK WHAT?).  They travel back in time in hopes of altering the past, therefore changing the future (they are getting pwned by allies, they want to be the ones pwning).  They go to a Albert Einstein speech, they walk on stage, Curry zaps him with a handheld Tesla Coil (Tim Curry electrocutes him into dust with a handheld device).   Whatchya gonna do now Allies?  All your technologies are in jeopardy without your boy Einstein!  The Soviets rise from their underground layer feeling like they have World Domination on lockdown…




Yes.  George Takei is in the CC3 cut scenes

Yes. George Takei is in the CC3 cut scenes



GEORGE TAKEI FROM STAR TREK/HEROES/CALIFORNIA is here!  He’s Japanese and he’s pissed.   He interrupts a Soviet video cast and introduces his unstoppable army called the Empire of the Sun crushing all in its path.  OK… so… ready…set…go!  Three way war of outrageousness with unexplainable new technologies (including transformers) but no more nukes?  Yeah I’m lost too.

Upsides are:

The video is highly entertaining and hilarious.If you don’t have the time to DL the CC3 demo on your xbox some one has got it up on youtube  here.  Pretty much a must see.

Also of note, really attractive woman in trailer and they try hard to just keep beautiful women on the screen as much as possible  to distract you (out of the old CC playbook).


In terms of gameplay, although I only fiddled with it for an hour I found it hard to use.  It may be because I’m used to RTS games on the PC and not the console.  I also wasn’t a phan of the graphics or the free camera view.  Basically what I’m saying is there is a learning curve and its not a game you could just pick up and know what your doing.  The ability to use advanced maneuvers would take a lot more patience than I have.  The game did get favorable reviews so if anyone has actually played this I’d be interested to hear.  However my first impression is that this game probably blows.


Oh and one more thing… Jenny McCarthy is Tanya.  The video in the link is from pwn or die.com

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The recently-released expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, had many new features.  A new continent featuring a new quest system (which I’ll get into in a later post), an achievement system, a hair salon, new abilities, etc etc.  But one of the biggest additions was Warcraft’s first ever Hero Class, the Death Knight.  And I have started one.  And it’s become my main.

The mechanics for the class has not only changed the way I played the game, but it’s made me pay more attention to what I’m doing.  Prior to starting my DK, I played a dwarf hunter almost all the time.  Excellent for soloing content and damage mitigation, playing the pet-focused class was just fun and easy.  But once I picked up the DK, the hunter suddenly became boring.  Here’s how the class works – imagine, if you will, a warlock (where most of the damage is over time) fusing with a paladin (an AOE plate wearer that heals itself when it does damage).  You apply diseases, spread the disease around multiple mobs using one ability, drop a few AOE attacks, pop some of your fun abilities and voila! Five to six (or even seven to eight) dead mobs at your feet.


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