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Squacklecast Episode 18 – “Leaked Avengers Comic Con Video”

August 2nd, 2014 Posted in The Squacklecast | No Comments »

This episode we talk about that LEAKED AVENGERS COMIC CON VIDEO you have heard all about!!!!!

There’s also talk of Guardians of the Galaxy, movies from 1995, and several other fantastic things, like all of the things you see in the following pictures:

guardians-galaxy-650-430 Internet_in_1995_1 Nicole-Kidman-Batman-Forever-promo-shoot-nicole-kidman-and-naomi-watts-aussie-bffs-15062945-618-768

See you next time!!!!

-~-

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Swordsman (PC) Review

July 31st, 2014 Posted in Game Reviews, Games | No Comments »

Developer/Publisher: Perfect World || Overall: 8.0

World of Warcraft never wowed me. I didn’t ground myself in Tera. I didn’t enlist myself for Guild Wars. Neither did I ever play EverQuest. Much like the old Zelda CD-i games, what your humble reviewer is trying to say is that he avoided Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games like the plague. Perhaps it was due to a lack of interest in taking the RPG experience online, or maybe it was the fear that the time sink would melt the proverbial face off of my free time à la Raider of the Lost Arc. At least, that was until I gave Perfect World’s MMO Swordsman a try.

giphy
Always make the Indian Jones reference.
Always. 

Disclaimer: This review is based on my experiences playing the Infinity swordsman class up to level 37, during the open Beta. There may be some changes when the game goes live on July the 29th and after as the game is updated.

 

Swordsman Online is Perfect World’s latest foray in the Free-to-Play (F2P) Action MMO market. Inspired by the popular writing of wuxia (martial hero) novelist Louis Cha, Swordsman trades in the typical fantasy-styled combat and races found in most MMOs for martial arts action and oriental locales. The game touts wonderful graphics, an abundance of visceral martial arts inspired combat, exclusive guild-only quests, a variety of classes based on schools of martial arts, a rich story, and an overall fun experience for any MMO junkie.

 

Though, does the Action MMO hold true to those boast? Well, without further ado, here is my review.

Lets get this started
LET’S GET THIS STARTED!!!
YEAH!!!

Right off the bat, Swordsman introduces you to a rather aesthetically intricate and detailed character creation process. From height to build to facial scars, the standard character options already provide an ample playground to create a character to your liking. Furthermore, the advance options offer you sliders to adjust the size, shape and location of those features allowing anything from an eye-catchingly attractive character model to a grossly hideous one.

Character Creation 2Character Creation 3
Character Creation 4Character Creation 5
It ranges somewhere between Cloud Strife to Quasimodo.

Along with the varied character models, the graphics in the game are much better than I expected from a F2P offering. The fields are decorated in a lush mixture of greens, grays, blues and browns that capture the various dirt roads, mountains and areas of water you’ll come across. Inside the cities, the graphics do well to bring the various decorations of the city to life, and also include some neat tile designs that can be seen along the main roads. The shadows in the game also deserve a special note with every item in the city casting its own distinct shadow and, at times, overlapping with others to create an almost realistic effect. Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said for the greenery outside of the cities’ wall. The only other graphically lacking part is that a few of the enemies and other NPCs don’t seem on par with the rest, but it still turns out to be a very minor flaw when compared to the depth of the other visuals in this Action MMORPG.

 

Being an “Action” MMORPG, the combat in this game appears to take on a far more involved attitude than with other MMOs. Instead of targeting an enemy to constantly unleash a swarm of basic attacks, every swing of the character’s chosen weapon takes either a button press or mouse click to execute and actual aim to hit the enemy’s hitbox. The typical flow of combat takes on a mixture of those attacks along with special moves and a dodge mechanic to round off a standard fight. There is also a combo mechanic that grants more damage depending on the number of continuous hits you have scored… as long as another player doesn’t move your target out of the way mid-combo or the clunky controls don’t screw it up.

Not Giving a Shit 2
Currently Pictured: My character not giving a shit as he spins around like a
doofus for a high combo.

Regrettably, while the game offers three control options, the controls aren’t the most intuitive with the combat. No matter which of the three control styles your choose, you will find yourself having to get used to the clunky controls rather than naturally having it blend with your own personal style of playing, which can delay you from enjoying it at the onset. The controls themselves have an effect on early combat that causes it to appear stiff until you acquire a more diverse move set later in the game. Though, with that said, each successful hit does carry a distinct weight to it as it makes contact with the enemy. Watching a finishing blow send the lifeless body of an enemy flying did solicit a grin from time to time.

 

The questing itself is rather generic, however. Most taking the form of fetch quests, defeating a certain number of the same enemies, talking to NPCs or the occasional boss fight. Considering that the game has a rather robust acrobatics system that offers triple jumps, air dashing, and gliding, I was hoping there would be more quests involving these abilities that are ripe for platforming elements. Unfortunately, only one quest asked me to use such skills to climb to the top of a building to meet with a man’s wife. Also, word to the wise, there are guild specific quest that serve to spice up the gameplay a little bit, so I’d recommend joining a guild at some point.

Secret
“Golly, Mrs. Lin! I’m okay with that, but I sure hope you told Mr. Lin
about it.”

In addition, early on, the quests give a considerable amount of experience points for whatever you have chosen to do, from important to inane. Constantly I would find myself talking twice to the same character only to have him vomit out about ten percent of the experience points I needed to gain a level. I would prefer to see all that experience be bundled up at the end of the quest line in a neat box, rather than be given out in parts like that for every unimportant task I do… but that’s just, like, my opinion… man…

well-thats-just-like-your-opinion-man-gif-the-dude-lebowski
Abide.

Out of the figurative box and onto other parts of the game, Swordsman offers a whopping ten classes under the guise of martial arts schools your character can study. While each of the schools or “classes” are different, they all follow the standard roles of tank, DPS (Damage Per Second), healing, support and control seen in most MMORPGs. Delving deeper, each of the schools offer three distinct styles that can be changed on the fly even during mid-combat that are usually either a variation on the school’s role in combat, or a dip into another of the usual combat roles.

 

Being comfortable with my masculinity, I chose to study under the Infinity Style that is usually practiced by nuns and offered quite the unique counter mechanic to their tank-ish style of combat. Most of the skills are charged attacks that release high damage the longer the charge is held.  However, if hit during the charge the class will unleash a completely different move that usually substitutes damage for a negative status effect or a “debuff” on the opponent. I found that to be a rather interesting mechanic, and would love to see what other mechanics the other schools introduced in the story could pull off.

SWORDSman
The Infinity School also attempts to make a two sword style viable, which is about
as unrealistically awesome as I wish to be. 

Taken by itself, the story is a little bland and hardly noteworthy. When seen through the eyes of a martial arts film aficionado (i.e. me), it’s quite the enjoyable love letter to genre and the books the game is based upon. All of the tropes are there: the main character’s village being destroyed, ancient relics, feuding martial arts schools, revenge, secret scrolls and the glorious Fu Manchu facial hair. To add to that, Perfect World made the decision not to dub the dialogue and to keep in its original Mandarin Chinese. This proved to be fairly wise decision as the authentic Chinese voices give the story an authentic vibe, in turn. The only way it could be more authentic is if it replaced the voices with bad English voice acting that doesn’t exactly match the lips flaps of the character. All in all, the story is a mixed bag; those that enjoy the genre will enjoy the homage to the books and films the story is based on, and those that do not will hardly care for it.

Fu Manchu
Though early cinema has given the Fu Manchu facial hair a bad rap,
few things are as majestic when properly maintained.

Beyond the story, the game offers a variety of instances, dungeons and events for a group of people to run. Starting at around level 15, the player is already offered their first instance to play at one of three difficulty levels. While most instances can be tackled by themselves at the normal level, swordsman and hero levels ramp up the difficulty to be better tackled by a team of players. Along with those, the game also offers a variety of dungeons at higher levels that offer their own form of exp rewards and items gains. Adding to that, there are many daily events and activities that are sure to better your character in one way or the other.

Generic
The instances are as important to do as their names are generic.

The Player versus Player (PvP) options come in a few flavors. While typical one on one and group combat can be enjoyed in the game’s arena, which includes customizable settings and a reward system for the victor, the game also offers guild based PvP that allows guild to take over land in-game. However, the most intriguing option lies in how Swordsman handles PvP in the open world. PvP players outside of the arena and the guild wars come in three types. First are the Harmony players that aren’t allowed to attack others. Then there are the Outlaws that can attack any player above a certain level for a monetary reward but at the cost of their name turning red and branding them as a player killer. Lastly, there are the Avengers that are only allowed to gank (kill) characters whose name has turned red, netting the player an item from the character’s inventory once defeated. In a way, this game of mouse and cat (and dog) is a fascinating way for the player characters to police themselves.

 

As for the audio, I found it rather lackluster to say the least. Not that it ever detracted from my experience of the game, but nothing struck me as noteworthy in the music or sound effects department in the open beta.

 

Being in open beta, Swordsman is riddled with enough bugs to make a roach motel jealous. A few I encountered included: graphical glitches, closed doors that I could pass through, opened doors that looked closed on screen, the sound randomly cutting out during cutscenes, my character freezing in place for several minutes and an invisible enemy hunting me down until I could escape to a safe zone. As a special mention, the most amusing glitch in the game allowed me to make the enemies windmill uncontrollably after being killed by certain moves. While none of these glitches are game breaking, they sure do bring you out of the game’s immersion.

Dance
I like to think that sometimes I don’t kill my enemies, but instead their defeat
inspires them to take up their true passion in dance.

Lastly, for the duration of the game, I was offered the Hero’s Pack by Perfect World. Included in the package comes a combination of a mount, a unique companion, equipment, an exclusive fashion and consumables all meant to make your Swordsman’s experience all the more enjoyable for $59.99. While most of the items only serve to streamline the experience and literally make things faster for you, like the Blazing Stallion that goes about 3 miles per hour faster than a typical horse, there is some worth in the rather powerful Ring of Valor, which is an upgradable piece of gear that can boost its stats as you level. Also, the package offers you a unique fashion  which doesn’t serve anything outside of an aesthetic sense that this is the closest you’ll be to looking like Mortal Kombat’s thunder god in Swordsman, which admittingly, is still pretty cool. Overall, while it can be convenient for those starting out or seeking to raise an alternate character, I found the Hero’s Pack unnecessary for a patient player.

Raiden CosplayThunder God

Maybe if you squint your eyes and turn your head to the left…

Though the game definitely has it share of glitches and faults, I believe the game is worth a try for anyone looking for a new MMO to enjoy. From the unique setting, variety of classes, abundant PvP and eye-catching graphics, the game more than makes up for getting use to its clunky controls and other lesser traits. Plus, it made my first true MMO experience not all that bad…

-~-

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Quote #23704

September 1st, 2014 Posted in Quotes | No Comments »

Hello there :). Im Carmen :D

Well here’s the dealio LOL. Umm Im kinda in a messed up situation right now and I really need some help and well lets just say I can return the favor… Sort off. LOL.

Anyways, here’s whats happening right now in my life. I moved here for college and I’m going into business and I didn’t really have a place to stay. I had a couple hundred dollars so I ended up leasing an apartment and I never knew that If I didn’t pay the monthly rent I’d be screwed financially. I’ve actually been looking around for a job and right now I can’t really find one anywhere and my friend gave me the idea to sell my nudes that I took for my BF for his birthday and he’s not getting them for obvious reasons ;)!.

I have about 600+ pics and a video I made for him but he’s not getting them anymore LOL. He left me for this fat chick and I guess thats too bad for him. Anyways so I set up this online shop place where you can get my stuff, Its actually right here: <spam URL here>”

- a spammer’s profile on a dating site pretending to be a hot girl

-~-

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Quote #23703

August 30th, 2014 Posted in Quotes | No Comments »

My Self Summary

“DONT ASK TO KNOW ME ASK TO PAY ME..U THINK I CARE ABOUT STUPID RELASTIONSHIPS OR SQUARE SHIT …I’m foxx I like tats Fashion money cars cloths nd girls I hate gay dudes meaning street dudes that like anal.. #nasty#downlow#notcool… stay away anal likers”

You Should Message Me If

“U tryna get money turn up.. see sum strippers I hate dum questions I’M a escort let’s clear the air… so don’t ask ..talk money lean pills and dro.. that’s the only thing im into..fucc u getting to know.me or me knowing u..let’s get to the point”

- from a girl’s “dating” profile

-~-

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Quote #23700

August 20th, 2014 Posted in Quotes | No Comments »

Fair warning when your with me I want to be paid attention to I am like bringing a puppy home, I get lonely and I love like a dog I will always be there win you need me and will stand by your side if you love dogs you’ll love me…

- from a girl’s dating profile

-~-

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Quote #23693

July 31st, 2014 Posted in Quotes | No Comments »

“In order to get along with me, you have to be an ***hole. Not a full-blown ***hole, but not a non-***hole either. If you’re half an ***hole, we’ll get along just fine.”

- from a girl’s dating profile

-~-

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Quote #23660

July 11th, 2014 Posted in Quotes | 1 Comment »

“I have a wonderful lifetime slave, meaning that I own him and there is no point in time at which he will ever stop serving me. However, I am open to accepting one female submissive or slave as well.”

- from a girl’s dating profile

-~-

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Quote #23659

July 11th, 2014 Posted in Quotes | No Comments »

“I’m a pretty flexible person who likes yarn (I knit and crochet), french fries, and Netflix.”

- from a girl’s dating profile

-~-

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Squacklecast Episode 17 – “Sexy Asian Girl Feet”

June 7th, 2014 Posted in The Squacklecast | 1 Comment »

This episode we talk about sexy Asians and how cute their feet are.  We also talk about all of these hot Asian girls in this post here:

sexyasiangirls

Sexy Asian Girl

Sexy Asian Girl

Sexy Asian Girl Feet

Sexy Asian Girl Feet

 

Sexy Asian Girl 2

Sexy Asian Girl 2

And we talk about X-Men: Days of Future Past.

-~-

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“Katy Perry – Dark Horse” Breakdown

April 24th, 2014 Posted in Music, Screwed Up Chronicles | No Comments »

To continue on the earlier thought that practically every song Katy Perry sings is about Katy Perry taking it from a very large penis in some shape or form, her recent single “Dark Horse” is also about a big penis slapping the shit out of her ovaries.   In this edition of Dave’s Breakdown, we’ll go over the lyrics of this song with a fine toothed-comb.

[Juicy J:]
“Yeah / Ya’ll know what it is / Katy Perry / Juicy J, aha. / Let’s rage”

Okay this part is your normal introduction of the “guest” singer in a song.  So we have it established that this guy “Juicy J” is the object of Katy Perry’s lower abdominal discomfort.  As his name implies, he probably has a very large, juicy penis.  Or at least, that’s what we’re supposed to believe.

[Katy Perry:]
“I knew you were / You were gonna come to me”

Well, you can’t get more blunt than this.  This guy is “cumming” to her!

“And here you are / But you better choose carefully”

Choosing what, you might ask?  I’m guessing anal or vagina.  You have to choose carefully because if you go anal you can’t go vagina unless you trade out the condom because then there will be shit on the condom and putting shit into a vagina isn’t nice for anyone.

“‘Cause I, I’m capable of anything / Of anything and everything”

She’s open to every position you can think of, and she is very flexible.

“Make me your Aphrodite / Make me your one and only / But don’t make me your enemy, your enemy, your enemy”

Something about not being open to threesomes.

“So you wanna play with magic / Boy, you should know what you’re falling for”

Play with “magic” being semen swirling inside of her vagina.  Falling, because when she squirts, she squirts with such force she’ll make you fall backwards.

“Baby do you dare to do this?”

It is pretty dangerous because her vagina/ass is very tight.

“Cause I’m coming at you like a dark horse”

Now, here it is.  She is riding the “you” in the song like a horse, but a dark one.  Because you didn’t expect her to be so easily fuckable.

“Are you ready for, ready for / A perfect storm, perfect storm”

She’s so perfect in bed, the sheets will wrap up like a tornado or something, and you can’t get out until you rip a tendon.

“Cause once you’re mine, once you’re mine / There’s no going back”

Once you decide to go steady with her, anal is off the table.

“Mark my words / This love will make you levitate”

Your semen is going to “levitate” cause you’re going to be laying down while she’s riding you like a (dark) horse.

“Like a bird / Like a bird without a cage / But down to earth / If you choose to walk away, don’t walk away”

You can’t leave until you make her squawk like a bird.

“It’s in the palm of your hand now baby / It’s a yes or no, no maybe / So just be sure before you give it all to me / All to me, give it all to me”

Katy Perry’s ovaries are in your hands and you have to put them back inside her vagina, fertilized.

[Juicy J - Rap Verse:]
“Uh / She’s a beast / I call her Karma (come back) / She eats your heart out / Like Jeffrey Dahmer (woo) / Be careful / Try not to lead her on / Shorty’s heart is on steroids / Cause her love is so strong / You may fall in love / When you meet her / If you get the chance you better keep her / She’s sweet as pie but if you break her heart / She’ll turn cold as a freezer / That fairy tale ending with a knight in shining armor / She can be my Sleeping Beauty / I’m gon’ put her in a coma / Woo!”

Translation:  Wear a condom or you’re fucked in more ways than one.  Knight in shining “armor” indeed…

“Damn I think I love her / Shorty so bad, I’m sprung and I don’t care”

Not even trying to hide that this part is about a penis.

“She ride me like a roller coaster / Turned the bedroom into a fair (a fair!)”

Usually roller coasters come with lots of safety precautions, but once you’re set up, its going to be up and down, up and down, up and down, and possibly barfing at the end because of all the nausea/gagging.  There will also be lots of gross food and cotton candy pubic hair.

“Her love is like a drug / I was tryna hit it and quit it / But lil’ mama so dope / I messed around and got addicted”

Funny how they use a word that has the word “dick” in it at the end of this verse.

-

In conclusion, Katy Perry has big boobs, but now her songs are more about being exclusive to one person and getting only one person to fuck her brains out in a consistent relationship rather than as a fleeting one night stand like in her song “Firework.”

-~-

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Squacklecast Episode 16 – “The 1.5 Year Hiatus”

March 29th, 2014 Posted in The Squacklecast | No Comments »

Welcome to what could be said is “Season 2″ of the Squacklecast!

The main things to link here are:

 

We talked about lots of other stuff, like:

The Coachella line up.

Facebook buying Oculus

The Avengers, X-Men, and Spider-Man movies, as well as the DC comic book properties.

There’s toooo many Whedon’s on my lawn!

See ya guys next year!

-~-

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Long Live the Queen (PC) Review

March 4th, 2014 Posted in Game Reviews, Games | No Comments »

Developer/Publisher: Hanako Games || Overall: 8.0

Welcome Lord and Ladies, gentlemen and women of esteem to the tale of Princess Elodie. A young girl caught betwixt her royal appointment as upcoming queen and the many dangers that the title holds. Watch her take classes on the many facets of a proper ruler and matriarch. Watch her weave her way through the tribulations of both political intrigue and royal scandal. Watch her conquer both the battlefield and the ballroom with her might and refinement. And watch her die… and die… and die again…

Cheerful

Don’t get too attached, her many deaths will be the result
of your bad decisions.

 Okay, I had my fun.

 

Long Live the Queen is a visual novel of political intrigue, war and death all dressed up in a pretty, pretty pink ribbon for your playing pleasure. The game casts you in the role of young princess Elodie, fresh from the sudden and unexplained death of her mother; this understandably depressed young lady is now tasked with running the country until her proper coronation on her fifteenth birthday. You, on the other hand, are in charge of keeping her alive by means of a point and click adventure where you will raise up skills to complete tasks through menu commands. You will fail.

 

At its core, Long Live the Queen is a literal numbers game. You have a number of weeks until Elodie’s coronation, attempts on her life occur on certain numbered weeks, and you then avoid them by having leveled the necessary skills to survive to a certain number. Long Live the Queen’s success in this formula is in how fluidly this all comes together. The game does the number crunching for you while clearly explaining all in-game mechanics.

 

If described in one word, the “game play” in Long Live the Queen is “light.” A typical in-game week consist of first sending Elodie out to learn two skills in the form of classes, and ends with having her participate in some sort of event during the weekend. Both skills she has focused on are raised by a base of two points per day and, with no bonuses, results in 10 points for the week. This is further diversified by her mood; every weekend you are asked to have Elodie participate in some sort of activity that affects her mood and, in turn, her mood affects how well she does in her studies. If done correctly, you could gain a bonus that is about three times the usual rate. If done incorrectly, you could succumb to a penalty that results in an effective score of zero points for the whole week.

Skills

The skills range somewhere between “a lot” to a “crap load.”

Now while simple enough in execution, to make the most out of your skills and moods requires a careful point and click balancing act. First off, the skills are quite numerous and the game doesn’t really allow for your princess to train evenly in all fields. More often than not, you will find that making Elodie a jack-of-all-trades will lead to an earlier demise than min-maxing (minimizing the effect of undesired skills and maximizing the effect of desired ones). This can get particularly difficult when you find out that each skill has two associated skills that must be raised over 25 points before the skill you want can be raised over 50 points. Overall, you’ll find that a well-rounded princess usually equals a hated, useless and dead one.

 

Moods, to the same extent, also require their own special balancing act to make the most out of them. Each mood is set at one end of an eleven point scale and at the opposite end of that scale is a mood that is contradictory to it. For example, in this game, you can’t be angry if you are afraid, you can’t be cheerful if you are depressed, and you can’t be lonely if you are pressured. How much each of those makes sense is up to you. So whenever a certain activity gives you points in one mood, it also detracts points from its opposite mood. This will often have you subject your princess to a constant state of manic depression as you go from one end of each mood scale to the other in search of the right mood bonus to complement the skills you desire. Though, even with perfect mastery of both skills and moods, it doesn’t mean your princess will make it out alive.

 PassiveAggressive

 It’s not like I think that the combination of angry and afraid is being
passive-aggressive, but it could make sense, man…
Source

Elodie is going to die… she’s going to die a lot… but that is also part of the fun of Long Live the Queen. Even when you believe you have a perfect set of skills and moods to take your little monarch from princess to queen, the game has no problem throwing a surprise curveball at you and killing Elodie off. The process, while frustrating, often times fills you with a renewed sense of determination as you start fresh and tweak her skills to overcome that particular obstacle and then find another one to have you repeat the whole process. Even when you do eventually manage to make Elodie a queen, you can find yourself eagerly replaying the game to find out what other sets of skills can make her a queen and not a cadaver. Altogether, Elodie’s constant deaths give a sort of morbid charm to the game.

SwordBlood
ArrowBlown_up

Never before has brutal death been more adorable.

Visually, the game takes many cues from the art styles found in most shoujo (girl) comics in Japan, which makes sense since this game is targeted towards girls but with a wider audience in mind (justifying my manhood: done). The girls are cute and the boys are just as pretty. My only problem is that despite the game fitting the visual novel category, it seems far more inclined to just describe the story rather than illustrate it. The game could do well to provide more illustrations during the more important points of the story than just a portrait of a face and some text next to it. Though, when illustrated, the pictures are a treat to see.

 

In the audio department, the piano arrangements that accompany the story give it a fairy tale ambiance, as well as, just being pleasant on the ears to hear. It does well to highlight the sad, cheerful, and action scenes throughout the novel. In contrast, the sound effects are virtually non-existent. Which is a shame, since a well placed clang of steel or cheering crowd could have picked up the slack where the visuals did not.

 

There isn’t really much to say about the interface. To its benefit, everything is easy to get to, clearly explained and hardly confusing. You point. You click. You get on with Elodie’s life (or death).

 

The narrative does a good job at juxtaposing the pretty princess theme with the darker tones of rulership. One minute Elodie could be enjoying a grand ball, and the next she could be at the end of an assassin’s blade. Though, in that regard, it does exactly what the game promises; it takes you through the “typical” year of someone destined to be queen. Where the narrative thrives is in the fact that, despite one scene near the end, it is exactly what you make of it. Often times, you will even find that events from much earlier have great impact on events found later on in the story. Though, whether princess Elodie makes the castle her gilded cage to protect her from the world’s troubles, becomes a war mongering tyrant, or goes on an adventure to vanquish fantastical beast is completely based on the skills she takes and choices you make.

 Military Elodie

…or you could play her like I did. As a warlord skilled in both decoration and public speaking that I imagine
screams, “I AM THE PRETTIEST!” after every victory to the cheers of a loving crowd

 

and so ends our tale of princess Elodie. A tale, while lacking both in effects of visual and of sound, can be an intriguing piece that is delightfully frustrating and wonderfully addicting to come back to. To all the Lord and Ladies in the audience, I bid you “Adieu.”

-~-

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Puzzle and Dragons (Android) Review

January 7th, 2014 Posted in Game Reviews, Games | No Comments »

Developer/Publisher: GungHo Online Entertainment|| Overall: 8.5

Hardware Used: T-Mobile G2 with Android 2.3.4

With its roaring success in the Land of the Rising Sun, (that’s Japan, because the sun doesn’t rise elsewhere) GungHo Online Entertainment now intends to addict America with its special blend of Puzzle, RPG and Free-to-Play/Pay-to-Win elements with the straight-to-the-point title Puzzle and Dragons. Though, does the game deliver a fun experience that can garner the attention of an American audience, or will it simply fade in obscurity like many other Japanese imports?

Nintendo Gameboyvirtualboy

If you need me to tell you which of these imports was a failure and which wasn’t, then videogaming
might not be the right hobby for you.

 

Puzzle and Dragons is the unholy combination of the puzzle elements of Bejeweled, the monster mechanics of the Shin Megami Tensei series and a dash of Pokémon for added flavor. While each game is addictive in its own right, someone in Japan thought combining the three would make an addiction juggernaut of the likes that mobile gamers have never seen before… and for the most part, he was right.

 

Puzzle and Dragons starts you off with the wholly “original” idea of having you pick one of three elemental monsters: a fire monster, a water monster, and a plant monster. You are given a random “rare” monster to further entice you to collect more monsters. Afterwards, you are thrown into a seemingly endless supply of dungeons to capture monsters, level and evolve your collection, as well as level yourself up — all to eventually continue the vicious cycle when you find that you can now take on stronger enemies and dungeons. All of which aptly describes your journey through the game.

Mega-Evolutions-of-Classic-Starters-700x372puzzle-dragons-main

Okay, I don’t care how it happens but one of you
is helping me catch a Mewtwo.

Game design in Puzzle and Dragons is actually pretty solid. The meat and potatoes of the core game will have you encounter wave after wave of monsters in each dungeon until you reach the boss monster. During battles, the monsters will attempt to attack and reduce your hit points to zero. You’ll counter by matching up elemental gems to make your corresponding monsters attack and reduce the enemy’s hit points to zero. The best moves are when you form a chain of matches, which further multiply the damage your monsters dish out.

 

Along the way, you collect more monsters while making enough coins to further advance your monster team. While the premise is simple enough a layer of strategy is added by the various special abilities each of your monsters provide that sometimes cause extra damage, other times restore your HP, and can even convert one type of elemental gem into another. Taking these special abilities into account when forming a team of monsters can mean the difference between beating an enemy monster that your current level shouldn’t be able to handle or having a boss curb-stomp them. Furthermore, special “Leader Skills” further shake things up and add another layer.

 

Puzzle and Dragons also resides in the easy-to–learn-but-hard-to-master category, though the game does a sufficient enough job at explaining the basics, it leaves the more advanced strategies to the players to find them on the internet or discover them in a happy accident. Overall, the gameplay is fun and engaging.

Strategy

This is an example of strategies derived from a
“happy accident.”

 

On the other side of the Free-to-Play coin is the fact that Puzzle and Dragons is a Free-to-Play mobile game and has no shame in reminding you of that. While plenty of activities can be done with the in-game currency, namely leveling up your monsters and evolving them, there are activities that require a special form of currency called a “Magic Stone.” The activities vary in usefulness; you can revive your monsters in a dungeon, regain their stamina so you are allowed to play longer, or get a turn at the hallowed “Rare Egg Machine” for an almost guaranteed chance at a strong monster for the price of five Magic Stones. Then, once their usefulness has been established, the game proceeds to remind you at every turn that they can be purchased in their online store, especially when you have none left.

 

Now, a fair warning to new players: the game will attempt to make it seem like Magic Stones are easy to come by as it bombards you with them early on in your career as a Pokémon Mas… Persona Use… Dragon Tamer(?). Know that this is only temporary and the stones quickly become a much rarer commodity. That’s not to say that you’ll never get them, and that you can’t eventually achieve the same results with a lot of hard work, but the game is more than happy to offer you an easy way out if you wish to throw money their way.

 

The controls in this game sometimes suffer the same foibles that many touch screen based games have, but work enough of the time for that to not be a problem. The game never really asks you to do any more than tap the screen or drag your finger along it, and barring an occasional accident, you are able to do just that with no problem. The other elements of the interface are also easy to use. On the main menu, everything is visible and doesn’t require more than three taps to get somewhere, and in the dungeon the elemental gems and monsters are in clear view. The only problem I have with the touch screen controls is that the gems seem a bit too close, making it hard to see the gems around the one you’re currently in control of. Of course, it could just be my fat finger and small phone that are the real problems.

 

Visually, the game doesn’t really offer much outside the portraits that come with each monster. They are often colorful, creative and somewhere along the lines of adorable, ferocious or a very specific fetish that I’m sure applies to someone. In contrast, the backgrounds are mostly just pallet swaps (recoloring the same textures) of the same hallways. The special effects are just as bland and usually involve a ball of colored light that hits the opponents, followed by an uninspired effect that represents the element used in the attack.

Echidna ArchangelLilith Flame Girl

Ladies…

 

The music unfortunately hits the same note (see what I did there), and is just as bland as most of the visuals. You are constantly subjected to the same slightly upbeat and so-often-forgettable-that-I-had-to-log-into-the-game-to-remember-it music in every dungeon. The monotony is only broken up by another, more intense song that is also played at every boss encounter. The sound effects are just as forgettable and really don’t do anything different that you haven’t seen before.

 

Now, a special note should be added as to why this game is so addictive. Not only does it provide solid gameplay, and a vast collection of monsters to collect, improve, and form a team around, but the game is also constantly in the midst of some sort of special event. The events serve many purposes from providing the user with fresh new dungeons to explore, the chance to collect rare monsters such as angels, demons, and batman (I’m not kidding), and also the ability to collect more of the coins, experience, and “Magic Stones” to make team building all the easier. Furthermore, these events often come and go, so it pays to log in daily to check out what is going on, what you can take advantage of, and exactly how long you can take advantage of it. In conclusion, the events give an incentive for players to log in daily.

BatmanPuzzle

Okay, let’s be honest here… you’d make a much better leader of this team
than me, so I’ll just stand back here and let you call the shots.

 

Despite the hiccups in the audio and visual department, Puzzle and Dragons is a fun and addictive game. The combination of bejeweled-like puzzles, collectable monsters, and a Shin Megami-like advancement system seemed to have meshed well into a game that is indeed playable, and worth a look.

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Quote #23589

December 20th, 2013 Posted in Quotes | No Comments »

First Date:

“Sprinke me baby”

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Quote #23588

December 20th, 2013 Posted in Quotes | No Comments »

“19TEEN , 4’6 (FUNSiZE) , BiSEXUAL , LiViN LiFE NEED THAT ONE TO MAKE MY HEART lbs. I 3 SEXY FEMS. iM BLESSED iN ALL THE RiGHT PLACES? Any more questions ask !!!!?”

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