Adult Gaming, WiiWare, & The Death Knight class unveiled – Welcome to the column that discovered it was an adult one day back in 1996 and has not been heard from since known as Dare to Play the Game.
Welcome to another edition of Dare to Play the Game. 42&22. I unfortunately did not get to play my dwarf priest, except past a couple of quick quests and leveling some of my cooking & fishing. I honestly expected a slowdown with my Troll Rogue in WoW once I hit 40. Quite the opposite I guess. The game seems to get more interesting once you pass the magic mount level. My mining and blacksmithing are well over 200 (228 and 208 respectively) and my skills make me a major DPS force to any party. I even played as the main DPS for a group in Scarlet Monastery over the weekend and we did quite well. My only weak point as I consider it is my lockpicking. I’m currently at 166. I just started picking level 40 mobs that drop junkboxes that require 175. So needless to say, I need to be about 10 points higher. This weekend coming up, my focus will be on lockpicking (up to said level) and cooking. Cooking is at 223 and I hear Gadgetzan calling my name. You want Giant Eggs, Zesty Clam Meat and Alterac Swiss? Me got ’em mon!
Remember the 90’s when Hunter green was all the rage? We had Hunter green cars, bed sheets, dog food, and blow pops. Heather green as seen above seems to be the current go to green. Morgan sports it quite well here with a nice top and some rather snug jeans. So snug, perhaps she needed help this morning getting into them. Not to say she’s overweight or gaining weight or anything like that. I was just offering to help her out in case her helper called in sick one morning. Just a friend helping out a friend. Yeah, don’t worry; she’s probably not buying it either.
Gaming as an Adult
Finally getting to grad school was — in some ways — a rude awakening for me; I still haven’t mastered the art of balancing the demands of my work with, uh, everything else, which had never been a problem to this point. My gaming life has been sporadic at best since January, and I spend more time writing about games than actually playing them. But despite my ineptitude, I felt a little hopeful after reading a nice piece over at GameSetWatch that explores the art of growing up and balancing a beloved hobby (gaming) with the demands of adulthood, like parenthood:
In retrospect, it was silly of me to be so worried that being an “adult” meant I wouldn’t be able to play videogames. I believe that part of my maturation into what I consider to be real adulthood came in the form of learning to juggle all the new “adult” responsibilities I’ve taken on with the hobbies I’ve always held dear, most notably gaming.
Thinking back to when I was growing up, my parents kept up with their hobbies just the same as I do now …. I can vividly remember both of them pursuing their favorite pastimes on a daily basis while still keeping up with their parental and familial duties.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel! Balance is a hard skill to master, and I’m looking forward to having more time to game in future years when I’ve nailed down the best way to fit in everything I love to do. It’s occasionally painful to come to grips with having to reconfigure well-loved hobbies in sometimes dramatic ways (I’ve given up much loved hobbies entirely until I get out of grad school, mostly because the time-money conundrum cannot be worked out), but it is nice to ‘have it all’ when you can make it work.
I am an adult. *snickers and outbursts of laughter aside*. I have worked with the same company for five years, have a wonderful girlfriend, write a darn good video game column, write dvd reviews and still find time to game for pleasure. It can be done. Mind you sometimes I look back at a given week and think I’ve barely touched my 360 this week or I still need to do XXX things in this game I haven’t touched in three months. I can’t even tell you how full my space in my gaming closet that is reserved for stuff I need to put on Ebay is.
Sure I could enjoy other hobbies that aren’t games but perhaps more “mature”. I could golf. I could sweat in 90 degree weather wearing funny pants. Let’s see, I could collect stamps or cross stitch. I could also question my very masculinity. I could volunteer my time helping the needy and open a soup kitchen. Noble perhaps, but have you seen the cost of Split Pea Soup in past few months? Wait, I got it. This is the hobby I have been searching for. The one that will best serve my time. Collecting air sickness bags. Ummm, yeah I’ll stick to gaming.
Devil May Cry 4
And now for a value-added post, if you’re a Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition owner, and live in the U.S. There’s an offer out on the Internets for a swell DVD case for the animated series DVDs included within. You also get $5 off your purchase of Vol. 2 of the anime. The Right Stuf International is taking the orders on behalf of publisher ADV. The site has the details and everything you need to order. It’s $3.99, but clearly, this thing pays for itself.
The link to order can be found at RightStuf.com. Remember that cute little anime dvd you got with your DMC4 SE? Well now you can actually do something useful with it. $3.99 including shipping gets you the Case and a future coupon towards volume 2. Even if you are waiting for the SE to come down in price (understandable), you might want to pick up on this particular offer now as this will probably be a limited time deal. Then when DMC4 SE drops to say in the $40’s, you’ll be well prepared. The anime was good stuff from what I hear. The downside is that each volume has only 4 episodes. (but there were only 12 episodes) Just maybe there is a box set with slimline cases in the works. Ha, this is ADV, I kinda doubt it. Volume 2 is out and expect Volume 3 to be in the next few months.
World of Warcraft
If you’re one of the many adventurers trekking the digital plains of Azeroth in Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft, here’s some new info regarding the highly-anticipated expansion: a bevy of new details concerning the first ever Hero class in the game, namely the Death Knight. Let’s check out the new info about what could be one of the more legendary classes of World of Warcraft.
So, what’s been revealed? Well, first off, any player with a level 55 character will be able to create one Death Knight per realm, per account. And yes, before you ask, you can create a Death Knight belonging to any of the game’s playable races – be it Tauren or Gnome. We expect the latter to be quite the popular choice, if only to see a diminutive Death Knight sowing terror upon hapless mortals.
What happens after you earn your armor, then? Well, you’ll be presented with a series of quests that provide a back story, as well as get you acquainted with your new abilities. Speaking of which, when you start off as a Death Knight, you’ll be presented with a full suite of Death Knight abilities right away, so you can start the carnage as soon as possible. The rationale behind this? The designers at Blizzard believe that any player who’s already reached level 55 would have an easy time getting around to using those abilities.
Now for the specifics. Death Knights are classified as a plate-wearing class, with their own mount that comes in the form of a Deathcharger(think Paladin charger, but more brooding and dark and deep). Their skills pretty much revolve around runes, which you slot into a new skill bar underneath your health bar called the “blade.” The blade has six slots in it, and the player is free to fill up those slots with any number of Blood, Unholy, or Frost runes. Runes, when used, will refresh after a set period of time, similar to a Rogue’s energy bar.
Next we learn about Presences. Presences are pretty much the Death Knight version of auras or stances, and you can choose to activate one at any given time. While the usual differences play out, they function the same way as their counterparts: they buff you up with powerful effects, so long as they’re activated.
More about how Death Knights kick some major class ass is Runic Power. Just like how a Warrior can build Rage the more they hit something, Runic Power increases over the course of a fight, and you can execute moves to make use of all this pent-up Rage–er, Runic Power.
Death Knight version of Rogue finishers, perhaps? We’ll have to wait to find out.
And finally, the good stuff. Death Knights are after all known for their necromancy – and it comes into full force with their ability called Army of the Dead. Using this skill lets you spawn numerous undead minions that will rush and attack nearby hostile targets. While they’re not quite the legion of zombies we were hoping for – they’re not really that powerful – Army of the Dead also lets you raise a fallen enemy (or ally) as a pet. A flesh-eating, brain-starving pet with the strength of a Hunter or a Warlock. There’s also the chance that they might have some special abilities coming in with them, like a disease-inflicting move.
In terms of defense, the Death Knight has also been taken care of. While they don’t carry big shields, Death Knights can parry like no one’s business. While they won’t be the tankers other shield-carrying classes can be, they’ll still be able to control crowds and dole out damage enough to make them reliable, if not an asset to any party. Add to the fact that Death Knights can lessen the global cooldown, it’s certainly not far-fetched that a competent player in such a class will be in high demand.
I could sum up this class in one phrase, take a Necromancer from Guild Wars and mix it with a Paladin either from WoW lore or even D&D lore and you have a Death Knight. The idea is that anybody who can get to 55 is able to create and play a death knight (one per realm per account) with no problems. Ha, to be honest; anybody can get a character to 55. (Yes my main is at 42 but I’ve been playing a little less than 6 months) However, being good and being 55+ is another thing. Expect a lot of people who have no clue how to play to buy accounts with 55+ characters in the next few months before Lich King arrives just so they can create the Death Knight. In fact, assuming the Kedrix household gets Lich King on release day; I’m not sure I want to be anywhere near the DK starting area on that week and possibly for many weeks to come. It will be crowded as **** and anything that isn’t in an instanced area will be extremely hard to come by.
Personally I think the class is a bit overpowered. Typically a necromancer wears cloth. But they are basically mixing it with Paladin who wears plate. An armored to the gill spell caster. The little quip they put about tanking is sorta correct. He won’t be a tank, his legion of dead creatures will be cannon fodder that the average mob or other player will not be able to get through. I assume there is a limit he/she can raise dead followers but I remember in Guild Wars you could raise 1 per level to a max of 20 followers. If the Death Knight class even comes close to that option of 20 followers, most classes are in for a wake up call. Assuming you kill all of the zombies, then the character is in plate and will make sure you are mincemeat. Also expect DK’s to drop dead in any given party since it is a safe assumption they will have some kinda Life Tap ability where they can give up their own hit points to supplement their zombies. Questions about the death knight class are still out there, but probably will be answered soon. But this is the first hero class and should be an interesting test. I’m just wondering when the next hero classes will be introduced because it is only a matter of time before everybody plays a ninja, a pirate or Chuck Norris.
Wow, I wasn’t sure if there would ever come a time when an XBLA game would get a sequel. (Yes I know Hexic had one) This game is very similar to the first AH which was a top down shooter where you could just shoot everything that wasn’t nailed down. It also had a multiplayer co-op feature where you could team and shoot even more stuff that wasn’t nailed down. The sequel now allows you to hijack enemy units such as tanks or helicopters. The game goes above ground and underground with larger maps to boot. Multiplayer options have been expanded to include chaining together weapon damage. If you aren’t sure about the game, the first one is available for only 400 points.
Downloadable Game Service Delivers Developers’ New Ideas Directly to Consumers
REDMOND, Wash.- Nintendo’s Wii™ console has already changed the way people play games. Now its new WiiWare™ service decisively tears down limitations for how developers create games – and the way people receive them.
Starting today, Wii owners with an Internet connection can download new, creative games from a wide range of developers, from large publishers to indie shops. By reducing the barriers that make console game development prohibitively expensive, WiiWare showcases original ideas in the most democratic environment in industry history, connecting the people who make games more directly with the people who play them.
WiiWare frees developers from the traditional constraints of video game development. WiiWare lets developers experiment with big ideas and small budgets to the benefit of players everywhere. Newer, smaller teams now have an outlet for their creative ideas. The constantly growing WiiWare library will have a regular flow of unique video gaming experiences consumers might not otherwise have access to.
“WiiWare is to the video game industry what independent films are to Hollywood,” said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “WiiWare lets developers experiment with new ideas and experiences. Combined with our collection of classic Virtual Console games, Wii provides one-stop shopping for the greatest games of the past – and the future.”
WiiWare games are easy to download. Just go to the WiiWare section of the Wii Shop Channel, find the game you want, redeem Wii Points™ and start the download. Wii Points can be purchased in the Wii Shop Channel or at retail outlets. New games, at various Wii Point values, will be added to WiiWare on Mondays. The newly launched Nintendo Channel on Wii will let people view videos of and read information about WiiWare games and other Nintendo products. Users also can see player opinions to help them decide what to play next.
Today, the inaugural lineup of WiiWare games is just a taste of things to come:
FINAL FANTASY® CRYSTAL CHRONICLES®: My Life as a King™ (Square Enix, 1 player, Rated E for Everyone – Mild Fantasy Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes, 1,500 Wii Points): FINAL FANTASY CRYSTAL CHRONICLES: My Life as a King takes a legendary franchise and launches it into the realm of simulation gaming. Players are challenged to rebuild a kingdom, leading its young king on a path of discovery through an adventure bristling with mystery and intrigue.
LostWinds™ (Frontier Development, 1-2 players, Rated E for Everyone – Mild Fantasy Violence, 1,000 Wii Points): A fresh, enchanting platform adventure that puts the power of the wind in the palm of your hand – from raging tornados to the gentlest breeze. You’ll wield your Wii Remote™ controller to power Toku’s jumps and glides, suspend and smash enemies, meet friends and solve puzzles using LostWinds’ novel, intuitive and playful control system.
Defend your Castle™ (XGen Studios, 1-4 players, Rated E for Everyone – Cartoon Violence, 500 Wii Points): Defend your Castle takes place on a grassy plain surrounded by invaders. You are the commander of your castle, and it is your duty to fling the invading enemies sky-high, watching them plummet to their demise. As you progress, add powerful spells and upgrades to your arsenal for repelling the attacks. How long can you hold them off?
Pop™ (Nnooo, 1-4 players, Rated E for Everyone, 700 Wii Points): Pop bubbles to score points and stop the timer from running out. Pop can be enjoyed by anyone – casual gamers can simply play to pop bubbles and keep the game moving, whereas advanced players will need to pick their shots rapidly and accurately and generate combos to maximize their score.
V.I.P. Casino: Blackjack™ (High Voltage Software®, Inc., 1-4 players, Rated T for Teen – Simulated Gambling, 700 Wii Points): V.I.P. Casino: Blackjack re-creates the casino experience, with fully animated players and a realistic Las Vegas dealer. Single players can increase their bankrolls, while multiple players can engage in a head-to-head mini-blackjack tournament.
TV Show King (Gameloft, 1-4 players, Rated E for Everyone, 1,000 Wii Points): TV Show King transforms your living room into a real TV quiz show studio where you’ll face the challenge of answering more than 3,000 questions across six different categories. Compete against family and friends and use your Wii Remote controller in original ways to make it to the finals to see who can win the greatest amount of cash in one final, deciding duel.
For more information about WiiWare, visit WiiWare.com. Remember that Wii features parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about this and other Wii features, visit Wii.com.
Yep, no VC releases this week. But we get Nintendo XBLA, I mean WiiWare. A nice six games at launch to boot. The Final Fantasy sim game will get the most press naturally (cause the service would probably fail rather quickly without the big name title). Defend Your Castle, Pop, and VIP Casino: BJ smell of something they thought about releasing as shovelware but figured that the allure of being a title on launch day would sell them far more copies. Come on, Defend Your Castle? Unless chickens and boiling water are involved, I’m not interested. Pop; you pop bubbles in order to score points. Bubble Bobble and Buster Bros called, they want their gimmick (and much better games) back. Blackjack? Who in sam hill plays blackjack and doesn’t play poker or go fish or 52 card pick up? TV Show King and Lost Winds might be alright but I reserve judgment until I hear about them or see them.
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
Castle Shikigami III
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
Castle Shikigami!!! I really wish it would have been released on PS2 though since I played the second one quite a bit and reviewed it for this very site. But for those who pick it up will get quite a little surprise if they like straight forward vertical shooters. The Chronicles of Narnia game will sure be fun for about 30 minutes. Achievement whores apply here. Myst for the DS, isn’t this about 10-15 years past relevancy? The only other notes of interest include Deca Sports and We Ski on the Wii. They probably will do well enough due to the use of the Wii controls but contain mostly a mediocre game inside. I think the real allure this week is the WiiWare launch and see how well it ends up doing.
Still waiting for SNK Vol 1, World Heroes Anthology and Persona 3: FES. They did ship over the weekend but have not hit my house as of yet. In regular game news, my 360 just isn’t getting much love. There is the regular smattering of Rock Band for either guitar or vocals and I did pop in Rainbow Six Vegas 2 long enough to get the Private First Class Achievement that had been bugged for months. But I actually spent some time on the silly Texas Hold Em game that can be found on XBLA and Arcade Classics Vol 1. I finally beat all of the tournaments including the grand daddy one where it required a $125,000 buy-in. With a personal single player bankroll in excess of $718k, I have but two achievements left. One is to amass $1 Million dollars bankroll. I see that falling in the next couple of weeks. (A couple of weeks ago I had roughly $150k) The other as I might have mentioned before is total luck. Collect every type of hand possible. To this date, I have not received a 4 of a kind, straight flush or the grand daddy royal flush. From high card to full house, I’ve received plenty. After the million dollar achievement, I will move myself over to World Series of Poker 2008. Maybe someday, I’ll get the gumption to play in a real tournament like the ones you see on the Travel Channel or Gameshow Network. Maybe, heh. Have a good one kiddoes.
Kedrix of Aldrianian
(*The Forgotten One*)