28 Apr 2015

"All Who Follow You" - Video Games

The Batman Arkham series of games is one of the best things that came out of the seventh generation of video game consoles.

The first game and second in the chronology, Batman: Arkham Asylum was a brilliant game of stealth action, puzzle solving, and exploration. A head of the class 'MetroidVania' game that looked great, sounded great, and was all in a tightly wound story with no holes. It is a game with a score of five.

The second game and third in the chronology, Batman: Arkham City was another great game. With even better puzzles and an more epic story in a sandbox made up from a sectioned off area of Gotham City, it opened wide the gates of the Batman mythos. Not a tight but still well wrought, the story brought in the rest of the Batman world and characters. Players played for short periods of time, Robin (Tim Drake) and Catwoman (Selina Kyle) while fighting more international villains like the League of Shadows, and Hugo Strange. The city was huge but bare. The side mission were either good or awesome giving brief glimpses of how big Batman's world has become. It was another great game - another score of five.

The third game and the first in the chronology was Batman: Arkham Origins. With a larger city and a awesome detective mode this was to be the first of the Arkham games. The issue with the game was once more a stark empty city and a less tight story. The previous game got away with those factors with excellent gameplay and sporting the best puzzles in the series, areas where Arkham Origins faltered and cheaped out on. The story was not as inspiring or as driven as the previous games and so Batman: Arkham Origins was better than the average game but not to perfect as the previous games. It was not as good when compared to the previous games in all aspects - Arkham Asylum or Arkham City did it better. I did like the Batcave and the fast travel system. Also the detective mode and side crimes were a breath of fresh air.

Arkham Origins saving grace was the DLCs - plenty of challenge maps with alternate characters to play, a story driven series of challenge maps were all high quality. It was the Cold, Cold Heart DLC that saved the series for me.

The Arkham games were getting larger and the games were feeling bloated and unwieldy in the areas of plot and story. Other gameplay aspects were being sacrificed for a larger world. Arkham Asylum could have been an anybody game - it didn't have to be Batman. It could have been any gadget laden ninja running around the prison for super villains. Arkham City was so big it could only have been a Batman game (maybe Daredevil, Punisher, or even Bloodshot - that would have been cool).

So new Batman game, Batman: Arkham Knight and all I see is Batmobile. Yippy - same problems as the last game but now with more crazy car. Whoopie... until this. See you after the video

22 Apr 2015

Batman vs Superman - Media

So this came down on the weekend and I'm still mulling over the trailer.

First off lets get something straight. This is not the Dark Knight from the Christopher Nolan trilogy. This is a new Batman, a different Batman. Much like the Flash expected to be seen in this film will not be the same Flash seen in the TV series. This is the second film of the DC Cinematic Universe - a whole new direction. 

Will I see this? Yes. 
Will I be disappointed? Sadly I'm expecting to be disappointed...

20 Apr 2015

Field Test: Dream Eater - Magic

Didn’t have time to hyperlink all the cards – sorry.

I love milling, I really do love to mill, I mentioned it twice before. This is more of an After Action Report from last Thurs.

So with my current mill deck I showed up to the weekly Modern Tournament at Kessel Run Games and got my butt handed to me. I turned lots of heads – every opponent and most of the folks sitting beside me paused as my opponent was down to their last cards by turn five. I had lots of folks ask if we could play a game between matches. When the match was over and my opponent left to tell folks about his game most of them started talking about my deck and all the comments were awesome. Even the store owner gave me kudos.

So field test of the Dream Eater went well.
In four rounds my games were 0-2 (Loss), 2-0 (Win vs Dawn Seeker – sorry), 2-1 (Loss – so close!), and 0-2 (vs Vitty – so close both games!). I got lots of feedback. In the Modern meta, pulling cards from the graveyard is a thing. Lots of Flashback, one time abilities, and delve is popular in the format.

In my first round game 2, I was first and I played Glimpse the Unthinkable. My opponent’s game is not starting well he has not even had his second turn; he has one land on the pitch and his at 52 cards. I’ve just killed 10 more cards… oh wait three of them are Bloodghasts. Table turned right there. Come his turn his dropping a land and all three of the 2/3 Vampires come into play and I’m looking down the barrel of 4 vampires and it’s my turn three. I didn’t last long – I milled over half his deck but by turn four I was dead. Good game but he got super lucky with his Bloodghats getting milled.

Lets talk about updates and changes after the break.

17 Apr 2015

Dozer is on the go – Fitness

So I’ve been running.

So far only short distances, not because they are rough on my cardio it’s because my legs are giant useless corpse supports that haven’t run in a while. Last spring I just started running hard and fast. Because I just went right at it I blew out my legs. The result was numb knees and pinched nerves all along my shins and knees.

Felt like rug burn every time I got into bed. Tearing burning pain...

So the Doc says I pinched some nerves and I needed to lay off running. So this spring I’m playing smart. I’m running short easy distances and getting the legs ready. I take my time to get the stretches in after the short jogs. The objective is get the legs ready. Once they are able to run again, I’ll add in more distance and hopefully avoid the damage I earned last year.

“What’s the difference between stupid and hard core? Answer, the spelling” – Dozer

15 Apr 2015

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - Video Games

Deus Ex is back… from the Human Revolution to Mankind Divided.

See the video and be amazed

13 Apr 2015

Shootings Last Week - FU

In Canada we had two police incidents that have reached the news:

#1. Pearson Airport Tazer
#2. Vancouver Police Shooting

That’s what I’m going to call them – I’m Army, but I’ve worked with Law in and out of uniform and fuck if I know the ‘correct’ professional term for the ‘incidents’.

First off we have a person trying to breach airport security and he’s later listed as mentally ill. The cops tazer him and help him to the ground, take him in custody (aka handcuff), and send the man to hospital. Charges are still pending.

Secondly we have a man going around stabbing folks, who is cornered and shot at five times after he put a woman in critical condition in the hospital. He is surrounded by police and runs only to attack another before one of the officers on scene fires shots at the suspect, killing him.

I get irked when an interviewed witness says they didn’t have to shoot the suspect.

In the first example we see the effect of a Tazer. You hear the cops tell the man to lay down as the current is pouring into his body. They help him to the ground and it’s all over.

In the second example after being chased and falling, surrounded by armed police the suspect picks something up and attacks another person. The police shoot.

'Ask questions' I said in my last post on this subject. Never stop asking questions on the subject of having out peace officers assaulting people. That’s the skinny, firearms and tazers have only one reason to exist – to hurt people. When a peace officer uses one he or she is assaulting someone. That’s simple basic fact.

So here is what I would do in the situations. Note that I am not judging, I’m simply stating what I believe would be my actions in the same situation. There are higher bodies of accounting for peace officers using force that have much more experience than me and more focused training.

10 Apr 2015

When Sleep eludes me - Break

Right now the jagged sounds of Sublimes album 40oz. to Freedom is pumping quietly on the TV which also counts as the computer screen at the house. I've got all the lights off minus that which comes from the previously mentioned screen. I'm not afraid of the dark, I like the fact that most folks get spooked by the dark. When I'm out with the troops I love walking in the dark on exercise and it shows with the spring in every quiet step I take.

It's been awhile since if I had a night like this.

Well its been awhile since I've had a moment like this.

I kinda go mad. I get jitters that take hold that come tumbling out of my brain and give me trouble. When I was ten years younger I would stay up most nights until the sun rose. I'd let the madness, what I've called these events, take over and just run me over.

In a few hours I'll wake up groggy next to Lady Bear, curing the madness. I'll put on my clothes, drive out to the Elgin Street Diner fuel up and rough through my work day.

I'm hoping to get five hours of sleep.

I think it was Joe Hill's book Horns that lit this fire. You see I've not been reading... at all. Lady BEar made mention of it last night and we stopped by a picked up two books. Joe Hill's Horns, and the last book from Richard Morgan's series a Land Fit for Heroes, The Dark Defiles. I spent two hours and a hundred plus pages in bed with Joe Hill and his book and instead of sleep the dark just woke me up.

I'm trying to not find more things that will keep the fire lit.

It's hard and it's one of the reasons I'm writing this post now.

I'm trying to not pull out the XBox controller and put on a game that will take me away. I'm trying to push this bout of madness out as quickly as possible. Like when a kid sucks the straw of a juice box at lunch and to speed things up the kid squeezes the box forcing the juice faster.

I've already cycled out Soundgarden and Tool on the music, Sublime tang and stretching tones seems to fit well as I plug away at finding the straw so I can then work the box and get back to bed.

I've switch to Blue Foundation but my Album info is all twisted by the creatures at Apple who've miss titled the songs. Bonfires is twisted and is slowing rolling around the room as the sparks from the snares in the song keep driving home the lyrics. - To walk beside you/is where I want to be.

I want to be beside Lady Bear right now - but I'll toss and turn, roll and groan only to keep her awake and so I'm here in the dark alone.

Sometimes I feel this is where I ought to be. Alone wrapped in the dark - like a thin cover that keeps in just enough body heat to sleep in.

I left the book upstairs, I'm going to turn on the TV and watch some Netflix and hopefully pass out soon.

- Cheers


9 Apr 2015

5 Years - Break

Five years ago, 9 Apr 2010, I met Lady Bear at the Avant Guard.

51 weeks later, 2 Apr 2011, I asked her to marry me - she said yes. We got hitched on 8 Oct 2011, but we celebrate today as our anniversary.

As of today we've known each other for five years.

- Win


6 Apr 2015

Twilight Imperium - Table Top

On Saturday I had a few mates over.

What game is this? Picture by: Lady Bear
Mates (L-R)
Yasha, Pale Rider, Me, Doc, Ferris, Ontos, Wolf and Brother Bear
Ferris, Ontos, Pale Rider, Wolf, Doc, Yasha, and Brother Bear.

So a few mates is seven mates.

You see I needed to break in my new gaming table that I designed and built with Wolf. Now it's a 1/4" sunken table top that is 6'x4'. If you play a game of Infinity or Warmachine you're looking at a pair of sideboards with 1'x2' of space to place miniatures, dice, drinks, snacks, books and whatever else you want.

Yet I wanted a game that is traditionally hard to table. A game that is almost impossible to have every component on table and still be playable.

I wanted Twilight Imperium.

3 Apr 2015

My way to live

I’m a Christian

I’m gay

I’m rich

I’m a Muslim

I’m married

I’m Black

I’m a Conservative

I’m transgendered

I’m straight

I’m a Buddhist

I’m poor

I’m a Liberal

I’m a single parent

I’m White

‘Good for you, I don’t care’ is what I want to say but that’s a very black and white thing to say as a response. I have Grey tattooed on my arm for a reason, there are many shades of grey kicking around. Simply saying ‘I don’t care.’ is polarising and is stark enough to make someone think I was trying to say something else. So I’ll go into some detail…

1 Apr 2015

Reviews at the speed of Nap - Video Games

Since it’s been a while I’ve decided to go over some of the games I’ve been playing since I moved into the new place and I’ve had some time to putter around with my XBox One.