• So I hear you’re bored.

    That's okay. Some of history's greatest heroes were once bored, and they went on to do great things. You? Probably not so much. You might be able to score a coffee from Starbucks or something if you can get out of bed before they close. In the meantime, why not read some of these sweet entertainment reviews? Maybe you'll find something to help you fight back against the boredom. Maybe you'll find coffee. Probably not coffee. But maybe.
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I am Risen from the Dead! And so has Diablo!

Hi there Faceplanters, it’s me, Elrood.  NOT, as Tophat would want you to believe, Elrood 2.  I did miss last weeks article due to a combination of things, namely I’m about to move across the country and that the Prime Evil has unleashed demonic hordes upon the world of Sanctuary.  I can see arguments from both sides as to which of these events is more important to me personally.  As I’m still extremely busy I won’t going be going over Diablo 3 with a fine tooth comb here, but it’s a massive release from the biggest developer on the planet, so let’s hit some key points shall we?

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Diablo 3 Beta Quick Hits

It’s been a long freaking time.  I played Diablo 3 the first time I attended Blizzcon in 2009.  I’ve never played the original.  I only dabbled in Diablo 2 for a short time, mostly because by the time I played it the game was pretty outdated compared to what else was out there.  However, the appeal was clear.  Dark fantasy setting, tons of different ways to play a character and LOOT.  Oh the loot.  There’s a shiny piece of awesome around the next corner if only you played for a few for minutes.  Diablo has mastered this concept.  After playing for the first time I was excited.  Then I played it for a second time….at Blizzcon 2010.  Then I played it for a THIRD time…..at Blizzcon 2011.  IT HAS TO BE SOON!  The beta is a very small dose of D3, but I can tell just from the very limited time I’ve spent playing that Blizzard will once again be the cause of tens of thousands of hours being lost across the world to this game.

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Star Wars:The Old Republic beta impressions

So Bioware was nice enough to grant me beta access to their biggest game ever;  Star Wars MMO The Old Republic.  And by grant me access I mean I could play the game for three days.  I was hoping for more, but I managed to get a few hours in over thanksgiving weekend while working retail.  Last I checked there are already over 2.5 million pre orders for this game, with many calling it the MMO that will finally beat World of Warcraft.  The power of the Star Wars license is strong and will draw many to the game, but the real question is whether or not it has the staying power to keep people playing once the allure of having playing around in the Star Wars universe starts to fade.  Obviously, I can’t answer that question based off my limited play time.  However I can say that the game truly impressed me in some ways…and had me greatly concerned in others.

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I needed a fix and it is Blizzard’s fault.  Diablo 3, with an original target date of sometime in 2011, was pushed back yet again.  “Early 2012” is the word from Blizzard.  I’m excited for Diablo 3 and was really hoping it would appear soon.  Thus, after accepting the grim fate that I would not be playing the game until next year sometime, I finally decided to try a game that had been on my radar for a long time, but I had never given a chance.  That game would be Torchlight, developed by Runic Games.  Torchlight is unabashedly a Diablo clone.  Runic’s own description of the game says from the designers and leads of projects like Diablo and Diablo 2.  Torchlight is fun, comforting, and easy to play.  It is also infuriating.  For a game that came out in 2009, it is not just influenced by Diablo, it does it’s best to be exactly the same thing.

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World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, A Proper Review

Authors Note:  While this is a review of Cataclysm, I’m writing it from the perspective of somebody who has a pretty good idea of how WoW works already.  What I’m trying to say is that this isn’t the most MMO or WoW noob friendly review.  Actually what I’m REALLY trying to say is:  Sorry Zenestex.

So readers of Faceplant, some of you probably remember back when World of Warcraft: Cataclysm came out I posted an impressions article.  Well actually, who am I kidding, most of you probably don’t.  (That article is here!)  I wrote that to give an impression while it was all still fresh, but I never considered it to be a true review.  MMO’s are that breed of game that are insanely difficult to review.  Experiencing all the content is almost impossible.  Patches come in all the time, adding new stuff, making some things better, totally breaking others, a review is only a snapshot in time of an MMO.  However, as the first major patch of the post Cata WoW approaches (patch 4.1, for the record) I want to give Cataclysm an actual review.  As somebody who has played the game since back in the vanilla WoW days it’s somewhat amazing to see where the game is now compared to where it was.  So let’s nerd out hardcore and see what the results were of Deathwing obliterating a good chunk of Azeroth.

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Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit

I am not a car guy.  As long as my car gets me from point A to point B without losing parts on the way, I’m pretty happy.  So when a game like Gran Turismo 5 comes out, my reaction is pretty meh.  I know there are tons of gear heads out there that want to adjust the torque or over inflate the tires or upgrade the johnson rod to eek out that last few horsepower on their virtual dream machine.  That does nothing for me.  Sounds suspiciously like math, so f that.  What I want from a driving game isn’t amazingly accurate real world handling.  I want total insanity.  I want cars doing things that would destroy them in real life.  Now, for those of you out there like me, forget Gran Turismo with its fancy PHYSICS and REALITY.  Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is our over the top salvation.

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Blizzcon 2010: A Journey in Pictures

(If your looking for the more recent article for Blizzcon 2011, it’s HERE)

I was lucky enough to attend Blizzcon 2010, Blizzards sort of yearly festival of nerding the f out.  I figure at this point if you’re a person who is all over every detail of every Blizzard games (such as ME) then you probably have all the newsy stuff digested already.  The aim of this article is not to summarize all the stuff Blizzard dropped on us (which there actually wasn’t a ton) but more give a point of view of what it was like to actually be at the con and walk the hallowed halls of the Anaheim Convention Center.  A quick note:  For some reason my camera imported all these pictures at freaking 4000×3000 pixels.  I’m way too lazy to go through and resize all of these right now, so I’m just posting them in smaller form in the article.  If you want to see a larger version (I KNOW YOU WILL BE CLICKING ON THE HOT NIGHT ELVES) go ahead and click, but I HIGHLY recommend you have the option of fitting pictures to your browser enabled or it gets HUGE.  Other than that, enjoy!


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The Hype Machine Rolls on

I was on the phone with Tophat recently when he made an accurate observation.

“Elrood, the amount of hype for Halo Reach is insane.  Even if it was the best game ever, there is no possible way it could live up to all the publicity it’s getting,” he said.

“Tophat, we’ve known each other since fourth grade, why did you call me Elrood?”, I responded.

“I have forgotten your real name! Please help!”, he yelled.

Tophat being insane aside, he has a point.

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Starcraft 2: Playing Nice with Others

Blizzards insanely large RTS took forever to come out and had quite a history to live up too.  The plot of Starcraft was all well and good but the reason the series is still relevant today is the fact that the game is well balanced enough to basically be a professional sport, and actually IS in Korea.  To say that Starcraft 2 had some high expectations is quite the understatement.  How’s it stack up?

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The Old Republic is feeling old already

Oooohhhh Bioware. I love you guys, I really do. Between Knights of the old Republic 1 and 2, the Mass Effect Series, and Dragon Age, I’ve never had a bad time playing your games. As a huge Star Wars fan, I was super excited to see you were working on another game set in that universe. When I realized it was an MMO, I grew a little concerned.

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