Author Archive

Instance Gratification 29: Into the world of The Continent or Geralt of Rivia

19 May 2015 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

instance_gratification_29_geralt_witcher_wild_huntInstance Gratification is the return of one of our premiere video outings. Originally featuring the cast of founder bloggers thrashing World of Warcraft dungeons and viewer runs of Dungeon & Dragons Online, the reinvigorated column heads to the realm of the Twitch channel. Come join us every Tuesday for dungeon dives, solo attempts and general loot hoarding in your favorite games.

I’ll be the first to admit that The Witcher III: Wild Hunt isn’t the most applicable game for this livestream show. I mean, it’s not even in our extensive MMO Game List and that’s because it lacks any online component to speak of. That being said the entirety of the game resides on a single instance; my PC. So single-player RPGs are the most instance-based dungeon adventures possible. Right? Well, that’s the case I made to the team when I pitched Geralt’s first foray into Lore Hound during this week’s Instance Gratification.

The fact of the matter is that The Witcher, the entire franchise, is one of the greatest RPGs of recent years. That’s not an opinion, scores and reviews back it up. An opinion would be more akin to one of the greatest RPGs of all time. Based in fact, but far less rigid. Having read the first compilation of short stories that launched the Polish fantasy franchise and the first novelization I was easily drawn when CD Projekt Red, a company I was already a fan of, adapted it years back.

New to the universe of Geralt of Rivia? Don’t remember where it left off? Or, perhaps more importantly, which choices you selected in The Witcher II? Fear not, not only can you reselect these, if you, like me, can’t find your save file, but you can opt to change them. Gamespot has an excellent summation to address all of these concerns.

Branching stories, monster hunting, mature content – yes, that includes sexual content – combat choices, beautiful graphics, replayability and a deep bestiary keep me coming back for more. The only hang up has actually been locating the game – a physical purchase includes a copy of an all-new graphic novel – rather than heading to the excellent Good Old Games or better known Steam for a digital copy. This conundrum simply means that’ll I’ll be running home to initiate the download in hopes of kicking off our fantasy foray in time for the 7:00 PM EST start time. Wish me luck.

Be sure to subscribe to the channel for all our streams, giveaways and general shenanigans. Hit the jump for the livestream, which is scheduled to kick off by 7:00 PM EST and run for an eventful two hours. Continue Reading

SMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained – Ah Puch

19 May 2015 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

lh_deities_demigods_gods_smite_ah_puch_build_Default_CardSMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained is a column dedicated to introducing prospective players of SMITE to its massive backstory of lore. From the Greek to Hindu, each week we’ll look at two characters from a major pantheon and provide a quick recap of their history and in what capacity their digital incarnation will represent on the field of Hi-Rez Studios’ new MOBA.

Lore: The Maya pantheon has always been the most difficult to source of the SMITE pantheons. That should appear as a conundrum. The Maya civilization only recently collapsed thanks to the introduction of westerners to the Americas in the late 1400s. Cortes kicked it off by pitting alternative natives against their sworn enemies adding them to his impossibly small ranks. Other manipulation and later conquerors thwarted the entire civilization. Eventually. Pockets held out until shortly before the 1700s rolled in. Yet in 300 years a large amount of their largely spoken religious stories have been partially lost, conflated with other or been lost to time.

This is a roundabout way to say that Ah Puch is, largely, a fabrication. Sources we’ve used throughout the life of this column – now in its third year! – stand firm that this Maya death god is not authentic. He did not run Mitnal, the ninth level of the underworld, not have anything to do with Xibalba, the best known name for the Maya underworld, and where the Maya Hero Twins met their match. Continue Reading

MOBA Monday: Infinite Concerns for Infinite Crisis

18 May 2015 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

lh_moba_monday_Infinite-Crisis-turbine

MOBA Monday is a weekly showcase of how to perform, eh, let’s go with adequately – we hope – in a multiplayer online battle arena. The streaming squad features the hottest, upcoming or most interesting titles of their and the communities fancy for a few rounds of PvP shenanigans in our weekly Twitch channel staple.

Fine, I admit it the title is a horde of hyperbole. I’ve my reservations and concerns for Infinite Crisis, but the amount of them is far from infinite. More in the realm of a large handful of gripes than a sideways eight. The largest, diversification from a highly competitive field, remains despite the efforts of Turbine Entertainment to redirect and refocus on a single map mode. Yes, consolidating development focus was the right play, but the general gameplay still feels incredibly familiar. Not that the numerous other MOBA titles differ themselves any better.

Smaller concerns include the general interface, more specifically the item shop. Itemization itself poses a challenge. A combination of the presentation and design leaving me, a well-experienced player in the genre, scratching my head for cookie cutter character builds that’ll get me started on creations tailored to my skills. We’ll discuss these and more during tonight’s chat for #MOBAMonday.

Don’t forget that all Lore Hound Twitch shows have been moved to their new time at 7:00 PM EST. We still have the same great line up, the same shenanigans and the same daily dose of awesome. Hit the jump or head directly to the channel page to watch live. Follow for all the updates and giveaway opportunities. Continue Reading

The Novel Post: Marvel: The Avengers Vault Review

17 May 2015 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

lh_the_novel_post_marvel_avengers_ultron_reviewThis review of the Marvel: The Avengers Vault by Peter A. David is of the spoiler-free variety. Check out the entire The Novel Post column for all our reviews on game tie-ins or shared intellectual properties.

If you’ve been following our Twitch channel – you should be! – you’re well aware that I’m a big fan of the Marvel universe. Yes, yes, I’ve openly admitted that Batman is my favorite man in tights, but for an overall universe, general writing and the pushing of boundaries I fancy myself the collection that Marvel has put together over the years. But there’s something else I’ve also admitted about comics, I’m not a hardcore reader. I wait to consume the medium in packages. This allows me to save money and let the more hardcore fans weigh in on what’s out there. Kinda like what I hope to do for the video game community with my writing. That being said I make a concerted effort to keep my finger on the pulse of comics. It doesn’t matter if it’s Marvel, DC, IDW or Dark Horse, I attempt to consume the best. Certainly the massive annual summer story arcs.

These universes are repeatedly entering the mainstream and none has been more in your face than the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The original Avengers was fantastic. A few weeks ago Avengers: Age of Ultron dropped. Ahead of that I had Marvel: The Avengers Vault and thought “this’ll be a good intro to the deeper storylines of the core Avengers.” Boy, was that a massive understatement. Almost as massive of this 150+ page tome of knowledge. Continue Reading

Instance Gratification 28: Where Am I in the Forgotten Realms? (Giveaway)

12 May 2015 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern
This isn't Module 7.

This isn’t Module 7.

Instance Gratification is the return of one of our premiere video outings. Originally featuring the cast of founder bloggers thrashing World of Warcraft dungeons and viewer runs of Dungeon & Dragons Online, the reinvigorated column heads to the realm of the Twitch channel. Come join us every Tuesday for dungeon dives, solo attempts and general loot hoarding in your favorite games.

The last time that Instance Gratification was featured here there was an unprecedented crossover with MMOReporter. The likes that had only been seen on the internet in passing YouTube fashion. After such a…memorable night we’re clearly going to get the band back together for runs in the Forgotten Realms and other universes in the near future. That tag team won’t return later today, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from enjoying time in the world of Dungeons & Dragons.

I mean, obviously you should realize that Cryptic Studios recently announced the latest in the company’s drive to be the most timely MMORPG developer in recent memory. If not general memory. The D&D community is receiving new, major content patches every few months. The modules have been varied and expansive. Bringing adventurers beyond the safe zones of the Protector’s Enclave and into the grasps of, well, to save spoilers, various bad people.

Rise of Tiamat was a high point. Elemental Evil took the idea of bad to a new level. What’ll Module 7 have for us? I’m not sure. But I bet it’ll be awesome. And if the recent history is of any clue. It’ll be something evil.
Be sure to subscribe to the channel for all our streams, giveaways and general shenanigans. Hit the jump for the livestream, which is scheduled to kick off by 7:00 PM EST and run for an eventful two hours. Continue Reading

Game of Thrones Ascent Has New Content, We’ve a New Giveaway!

7 May 2015 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

lh_game_of_thrones_ascent_fire_blood_expansionFULLSIZWSince the beginning of its life Game of Thrones: Ascent, the formerly Facebook-only now multi-platform story-driven RPG, has received content updates at a good clip. Sanctioned by George R. R. Martin himself, Disruptor Beam took the title a step further when it began unlocking weekly content during previous seasons of the hit HBO show. As we found out at PAX East 2015 earlier this year, this has not changed.

The recently released Fire and Blood expansion focuses on the increasing power of the fallen Targaryen Great House. No longer relegated to the status of helpless eggs the dragons have breached the world and are now available as Young Dragons. Two new buildings and a successor to previous season’s World Events, dubbed Tales of Ice and Fire, have entered the frey.

If you’ve resisted the call to arms until now or were busy whispering into your cups recently there’s no better time to return to your banners. In fact, as you’ll see off to the right in out Item & Beta Key Giveaway sidebar Lore Hound and Disruptor Beam have a treat for you. The finest in Lannister borrowed Gold. Don’t worry, you won’t have to repay the debt. At least not with your life.

Star Wars Celebration: Cosplay Gallery

5 May 2015 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

16989197759_b618863d3d_o Continue Reading

Instance Gratification 27: What’s This Korean MMO with No Healer? (Giveaway)

5 May 2015 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

lh_instance_gratification_echo_of_soul_holy_trinityInstance Gratification is the return of one of our premiere video outings. Originally featuring the cast of founder bloggers thrashing World of Warcraft dungeons and viewer runs of Dungeon & Dragons Online, the reinvigorated column heads to the realm of the Twitch channel. Come join us every Tuesday for dungeon dives, solo attempts and general loot hoarding in your favorite games.

Aeria Games isn’t a new publisher to my ears. Despite repeated introductions and multiple demo sessions for various products over the years nothing the publisher has brought to my shore has piqued my interest. Not exactly true, but certainly not enough for me to abandon other avenues of escapism. This is changing thanks to a little ditty called Echo of Soul from South Korean developer Nvius.

It’s certainly not the eastern style that’s of interest. Or the mix of PvP options from small scale battle to Guild vs. Guild open world brawls. Cool that Echo of Soul has many PvP options. Perhaps open world PvP may be a distraction. What really interests me, especially on the heels of being bored with my World of Warcraft priest, is that EoS lacks the holy trinity. There’s no priest, paladin or any other dedicated support. Instead the game is holy tanks and DPS with healing being a party responsibility through strategy.

We’ll see just how realistic this is while we take the game for a spin. There’s another reason to watch outside putting our toes in the Aeria Games water. That is we’re giving away a few Founder’s Packs during the stream. Valued at $50 it includes a Golden Tiger Mount, a Brown Baby Llama pet, a 10 slot bag, and numerous buff potions. Naturally, during my journey as a Soulkeeper we’ll investigate other areas of the free to play MMORPG from monetization to character customization.

Be sure to subscribe to the channel for all our streams, giveaways and general shenanigans. Hit the jump for the livestream, which is scheduled to kick off by 7:00 PM EST and run for an eventful two hours. Continue Reading