Sword Art Online Season I Review

Every few years I get sucked into watching an anime. This time I blame multiple corp mates in Eve for it. The show this time around is Sword Art Online. I finished season one, and am working on season two now. This piece is just about the first season, and not the second. I’m not going to go very in depth on the plot beyond a recap, but I will likely spoil things, so be forewarned. Premise / Plot The basic premise of the show is that a VR MMO, the eponymous SAO, is released, but on the first day the players are trapped in the game, and if they die or disconnect in-game the VR headset they are wearing will also kill them in real life. The goal of the game is to clear all 100 floors of the vitrual world. Doing so will release any remaining players from the game. The first half of the show deals with this setup and the hero, Kirito, gets the job done. The second half of the show involves the real life players coming to terms with what happened, and the main love interest, Asuna, being trapped in a coma in a second Continue Reading →

Diablo Loot 2.0 Review

You might have guessed that I have been playing a bit of D3 lately.  You would be right.  I even went so far as to pre-order Reaper of Souls, because D3 is scratching a mindless kill-fest itch I have been having lately.  Since I’ve put a good chunk of time in over the last week, I decided I might as well give a snapshot review of D3 with Loot 2.0, as a bit of a baseline for when I play the expansion.   For the record, I started playing Loot 2.0 with a 60 Barbarian with no Paragon levels, leveled a Wizard from about 20 to 31, and started a Witch Doctor up to about 10. The Good Loot The biggest part of the patch/update/whatever was, by and large, a success.  On non-60 characters, the drops are wonderfully improved.  Items get replaced left and right.  Crafting yields lots of appropriate gear.  I never had the moment of thinking “I really need to check the Auction House”, which was a relief, considering that was half of every play session last time around.  On my 60, drops were ok.  And by I ok, I do mean a damn sight better than before.  But Continue Reading →

A Swarm Interlude

I just finished Heart of the Swarm’s campaign.  You know, that expansion to some game called Starcraft 2? The Good: It’s fun.  The campaign on normal is a little bit on the easy side, but it’s a fun romp through a middling revenge tale.  The units all seem to have a point and purpose.  Expanding a Zerg base is fun, and expanding the creep is wicked fun.  I have mild OCD about spreading the creep across the entire map, every time.  The cutscenes are pretty, if sometimes silly.  Kerrigan, your main heroine, gains abilities and gets to customize her swarmlings as the campaign progresses, which provides satisfying variations.  Those are all variations on swarm the enemy with lots of bugs, but it’s a fun theme to play variations on.  The various mission types are a nice variation on build-swarm-repeat, with timed missions, control point and DOTA inspired elements showing up in various places. The Bad: Streaming cutscenes are annoying as crap.  I never got a high quality cutscene in my entire playthrough.  If you leave the game, the downloader apparently stops downloading.  Some of the load times are interminable, with no indication of how long remains.  Some of the pacing Continue Reading →