Thursday, 26 December 2013

Hearthstone: Heroes Of Warcraft

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a Card Game announced earlier this year and i remember signing up for the closed BETA almost instantly. However so much time had passed that i had even forgotten about it, untill my friend got in and wouldn't shut up about it. Last week i finalyl got my invite and i kid you not, i am online whenever i have a few minutes to spare.
The game functinos like most card games but comes with 9 different classes each equiiped with unique cards that you must unlock, earn or craft. There are a set of neutral cards accessible to all champions that then complete your deck of 30 cards. The game lets you set up multiplate custome decks for each champion to suite different playing styles. The game's main currency is coins which you earn by doing daily quests or by winning games, you get 10 per 3 wins.

To start off you get into the tutorial and then hone your skills in practice mode against regular or expert level AI. But the real fun comes in Ranked and Arena matches. Ranked as the name suggests is where you really test your mettle against other competitive players around the world. Winning gets you starts which in turn count towards your rank and losing subsequently costs you stars. You also get a bonus star for maintaing win streaks. The Arena is quite a brilliant concept actually. Players are charged 150 coins for each Arena run and are then made to choose from 3 random champions and 30 sets of 3 cards to make a 'fresh' deck which they will then use for that Arena playthrough. Winning matches in the Arena counts towards the final reward you receive which obviously scales with your success. However should you lose 3 games over the course of 1 Arena run, it will end.

What I really love about Hearthstone is that even after the 9 champion selection it offers it caters to various different playing styles within each class. Its truly amazing how many different types of players you run into. Some good, Some great and some downright stupid; I love it. Every game is so unpredicatable and exciting its hard to put down in words. Imagine being in a winning positiong, all set to end the game in 1 turn when suddenly the opponent sends out a legendary card to wipe out everything on the board, or freezes your minions for 2 continous turns to change the tide in his favour. This might just be the Best card game till date. Though I feel it could really benefit with some simple and some not so simple additions.

 Right off the bat I'd say it needs a leaderboard. Wins, Win Ratio, Wins with Each Champion, Winstreak and so on. Something to help players compare their achievements with their friends and the community. Another thing I think they could really benefit from is a spectate mode. I always want to learn by meeting and studying new players. However there's only so much you learn when you are at the receiving end of a good whipping. One Major addition which I am really hoping for is more champions within each class. The current set of 9 champions represent 9 different broad classes, but i feel there's room to play around within those classes with the addition of more champions. Though I only see this happening as a purchase only feature as this is a F2P game, hence the uber slow but steady in game income.

I am glad its going into Open BETA soon, most of the JAGS crew are waiting to get in on the action, but the end result will almost always be Parth giving someone a thrashing.

Monday, 16 December 2013

PlayStation Plus, Possibly The Best Thing Ever!

I was particularly late to the PlayStation party having bought my console only a day prior to the launch of The Last Of Us. Much like how Halo 3 was the reason I bought the 360 I picked up my PS3 just for TLOU. However once I got my console the first thing I did was pick up PSN Plus, because it's that damn good.

PlayStation Plus is probably the best thing about that console mainly because you get your money's worth and then some. Free games throughout the year for both your sonsole and the Vita all for 60 $ approximately is a dream come true for any gamer. Expecially parents who may feel the pinch buying their kids agmes each month. Though I find it extremely odd that in India, despite the fact that there are large number of PlayStation 3 owners only a fraction of those have PlayStation Plus. This is probably due to the fact that Indian parents aren't as conformatable using their credit card online, which ahs also seen the phenomenal success of the Cash on Delivery retail model. Sony's failed attempts at introducing PlayStaion Wallet Money cards and PSN Plus Subscription cards has also contributed to this. Its unbelievable really, that people defend the PS3 will all their might and yet have no idea about what is wuite possibly its best feature. The latest update brings the ever so popular Borderlands 2 (Hell yeah) and Metal Gear Rising Revengeance, both popular titles from a little over a year ago.

Microsoft recently launched their Games with Gold program which mimics the PSN Plus instant games collection by giving Gold Xbox Live members a new free game ever two week. However while the program is a step in the right direction it has a long way to go as Microsoft seems willing to shell out only 5 year old titles or fringe Xbox Live Arcade titles. Given the fact that Halo 3 and Assassins Creed 2 are classics, I would apreciate something a little more recent. Microsoft you are certainly better than this.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Lovely Planet : Keep An Eye Out For This One

Over the years I've gotten to know quite a few indie developers and have played quite a few indie titles from all over the world. However Lovely Planet is different. Maybe its because I've seen it take shape over the last year or the fact that I know Qucikteuquila better than most, either way it will probably blow you away. Don't believe me? Well Kotaku agrees its worth checking out!

Now at first it might seem a simple amateurish take on shooters but under the surface you will find a hardcore old school game that is not for the faint at heart. Lovely Planet is set in a beautiful and elegant world which will probably send shivers down your spine. The teaser trailer from some time ago gives a glimpse of an eerie world where you will test your skills. Now I don't really know how or if they have implemented a story as yet but the game does flow from one 'world' to another and each has some distinct gameplay traits. The gameplay reveal below shows off just a bit of what the game can do. No reticle, no instructions, insta-death and speed runs. I play tested an earlier build of the game and got a taste of the action and I must say it pushed me to the limit. Now I take pride in calling myself a competitive gamer (Yes, Shooters) but this game is a whole new level. No instructions, no directions, no tutorials. You learn by doing. Make a mistake you die, its as simple as that. I spent hours on those few levels I got my hands on just trying to get the most 'stars' (again for which there are no instructions). It encourages you to think, to be alert and to try different things. But make no mistake, this game is not for everyone. If you don't give it everything it will break you. As of now the game is in the final stages of development and won't be out before early 2014, but you can be sure it will make some waves when it does eventually release.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Android Revolution: Day 1 with Nexus 5

So today was my first full day with my new Nexus 5 and I must say I am quite impressed. I'll be honest last night while I was setting up the phone I was super confused and quite frankly a little annoyed at how complicated android can be. I come from a long line of Windows Phones and compared to that Android is about as cryptic as it gets. But once I got settled in I found it to be quite smooth and easy to use. As you can see one the first things I did was set up my Mass effect background to make myself feel at home with this new device. I didn't go for any fancy launches because I like the 'Clean' homescreen and anyways I've got all the apps on the next screen along with a few widgets.

The one thing that really impressed me was the battery life. Now I know there's been reviews going around that it's not the best and that's what the general consensus seems to be but after a normal day's use with constant wi-fi, quite a bit of talk time and screen time I found the battery to be good enough. As you can see from the screenshot 10 hours of usage and its still going strong. Today was a little less hectic than usual with only 90 mins talktime but I don't see why it will be any worse on any other day. My old phone, a Lumia 920 would have probably been a little worse off by now with asub 50 % battery levels remaining. Though a point to note is that I work from home and the real battery usage will kick in when I go out for meetings or movies and Google Now will be up to all sorts of magic behind my back. I should have more information on that next week but for now I'm super happy with my new Nexus 5. Oh and for those of you who have been following me from my last post I decide to pick up the yellow premium bumper cover, just need a nice screen guard now. Only question is do I go glossy or matte?

Monday, 25 November 2013

Time for Change: My First Android

Two years ago if you asked me to use an Android device i would have probably laughed at your face. Now I find myself sitting in front of my PC having just ordered a Nexus 5, I'm just as surprised as anyone.

I've used quite a few windows phones actually, more than most in my country to be honest. Started all the way back with the HTC Radar followed by the OmniaW which was surprisingly sturdy and lasted me over a year. Then came the Windows Phone 8X by HTC; light and good looking but i eventually switched to the Lumia 920 soon after, mainly because of the exclusive Nokia apps and services. The HTC Radar was easily the best looking of the lot with the 920 and 8X tied for second. However I always found HTC devices sort of sluggish and always moved on.

The Lumia 920 is a solid phone. It lives up to Nokia's reputation of making
phones that can double as assault weapons. I manage to drop it at least a few times a day and I am surprised that apart from a few scars there's never been much wrong with it. It's only recently that the speaker has started acting up and it randmly drops calls, so to avoid the inconveniance of being without a phone while it was being repaired I thought it was a good time to move on. I'll still keep it around as a useful backup.

In all honesty I was tempted by the 1020 but at the end of the day that monster of a camera and its sensor would really destroy a battery. Truth be told I was also a bit tired of the buggy application base of Windows Phone. So about the same time I was lokoing around for a new phone the internet was abuzz with talk of the Nexus 5. Big Screen, Exclusive first access to Kit Kat updates, Wicked looks blah blah blah. So i did a bit of digging and it turns out there really isn't a phone that can keep up with the Nexus 5 in its price range. Sure there are the lower end Micromax and Karbon device, but come on I'm not going from a Lumia to something like that.

The only thing left to do is decide on which cover I want; The Premium bumper cover that looks great but has not screen protection or the more expensive LG flip cover to take a safer option with all round protection. First world problems, I know. All that remains is to see what happens first, my 920 dying or my Nexus 5 delivery.

The 'Safer' Option
The Yellow Premium Bumper Cover really caught my eye  

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Day Of The Doctor *Spoilers*

I'll admit I wasn't always a Whovian but one fine day two years ago I gave in to my curiosity and ever since then I've been kicking myself for waiting that long. Most shows lose their charm when an important character changes but Doctor Who thrives on it. Even though each new doctor takes a little time to warm up to you by the time he reaches his regeneration he will have brought you to tears.

Day Of The Doctor while marking the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who also see's Matt Smith make one of his last on screen appearances as the Doctor with the Christmas Special set to be his last if I'm not mistaken. The episode gave us a look at his past, specifically the last day of the time war and his guilt. Having lived for centuries with the lives of billions weighing down his conscience The Doctor has often referred to the moment as his darkest hour.

The episode see's John Hurt right before he plans to destory  to end the time war, when he encounters the conscience of the super weapon he intends to use(a sentient super weapon, thats right and to top it off she comes as Rose Tyler and calls herself Bad Wolf). She takes him forward in time to see the man he becomes after living with his decision for centuries. Now what's interesting is the interplay between the three incarnations of The Doctor. Hurt, despite being the youngest acts like an old man around Tennant and Smith mocking their juvenile behaviour. They constantly use their position in time to their advantage, either by leaving a message for the future or starting a calculation on Hurt's Sonic Screwdriver which takes centuries to complete and is finally ready in SMiths Screwdrive, pretty neat atually. After saving England, forging an alien treaty and marrying Queen Victoria I (yes, The Doctor is the king of England) Hurt returns to Gallifray to finish the job. Here's when it got really interesting.

Both Smith and Tennat turn up in their TARDIS as well (even though the even was supposed to be time locked, but hey it led to something wicked so to hell with that) and sort of forgave Hurt or themselves. Its really hard to talk about 3 Doctors at the same time; They're the same person, but at the same time they aren't.
Anyway as they proceeded Smith stops to talk to Clara and suddenly realizes they/he doesn't have to do this. The Doctor gets into his "I have a plan and I'm going to save the day' mode with his wicked theme playing in the background. One after the other Tennant and Hurt understand what he intends to do and everyone scurries off in their respective TARDIS. After informing Gallifrey high command of their plan they are told it would take centuries for the calculations to complete and BAM one of the most unforgetable Doctor Who moments. Suddenly all The Doctor's past incarnations fly in with sort of a mini montage and the commander goes "I didn't know I was well off! All twelve of them!" then you hear another voice " No sir, all thirteen!".

As an anniversary special it did a great job on really capturing what The Doctor is all about, doing the right thing. It paid tribute to the last 50 years of Doctor Who by bringing in all his past lives to tackle the one thing they all regretted. It wasn't all action and sadness; it had the usual witty and fun moments the series has come to be known for, whether it was the Doctors joking about or Tennat marrying the queen. The episode also gave us a sneak at the next Doctor and laid the foundation for the Christmas Special! Damn I love the Holidays! GERONIMOOO!!!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

League of Legends Pre Season Updates

I've been out of the League of Legends scene for a while but some recently announced updates have got me thinking again. So while my game client updates I thought I'd talk a little about what they plan to do and why its great.

The MOBA genre is possible one of the most competitive ones around in gaming today. This is great, but at times it creates a hostile environment because folks who consider themselves 'pros' are very set in their ways. Rigid roles, Early and Late game snowballing and a whole lot of infighting really hurts the whole LoL experience which otherwise is pretty great. Personally I love the constant reamphsis on teamwork from Riot through their updates. As someone that usually plays support I usually end up being told what to do, where to go, what to ward and so on. Basically most players treat the Support class as more of a 'servant' class and I for one find it extremely annoying. Being Forced to buy wards for the whole team is expecting a bit much but it kind of comes with the territory. However i like to play as a bit of a hybrid support class that manages to pack a punch, or do a bit more based on my what champion i end up using. This usually doesn't go down well with a lot of these 'pros', who feel its their duty ot carry their team and win the game on their own. I'll be honest, I feel like punching them and if i could send my fist through cyberspace to that punks house somewhere in North America , believe me I would. The latest planned addition to the game however solves that problem for me. Now each champion has a limited ward capacity, making the entire team responsible for warding parts of the map over the course of one game. This si great in two ways; It encourages teams to communicate more and share the responsibility of warding and secondly (more importantly) it lets support players concentrate a little more on their build and get in on the action. These sort of updates keep the game fresh and as a result keep players on their teoes constantly reinventing their play styles. As a support i sure as hell am happy players will at least be less hesitant to let me spend on my build now that I literally can't buy enough wards to cover the map.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Legend Of Korra: Season 2

Avatar: The Legend Of Korra season 2 just ended with a wicked 4 part season finale. Its safe to say i find myself quite hapy with the way things turned out in season 2, however that wasn't the case some weeks ago.

When the season started it came with the promise of exploring the Avatar's spiritual connection and an in-depth look at the Spirit World, a topic The Last Airbender barely touched. The first season was one of self discovery for Korra and exploring her spiritual connection seemed like a good setup for season 2. However after the first few episodes I feel the writers sort of lost their way, its as if they knew where they wanted to go but had no idea how to get there. There were a lot of random elements for a large part of the first half of the season and it wasn't until the episode Beginnings that things started to pick up. The 2 part episode really brought the season back to life with Korra learning about the origin of the first Avatar and his connection to the spirits. It setup a wicked second half of season 2. The 4 part finale really came through with all the characters coming together to play a vital role in the outcome. Korra's personal and spiritual growth brought her closer to realizing her full potential as the Avatar and gave us some pretty epic moments over the course of the season. However I do feel the first season was a more 'complete' experience as compared season 2, that being said it is still a great watch if you are a fan of the series.

As far as the supporting characters are concerned I think the writers really dropped the ball when it came to exploring and developing some of the characters. Bhumi and Beifong top the list for me. The two had so much potential but didn't really get their time on screen. Beifong had some epic moments in season 1 and I was hoping to see more of her in season 2 but alas, it wasn't to be. Bhumi on the other hand was on off screen quite a bit but they reduced him to the family fool rather than showing what really made him a United Forces general. After all he is one of Aang's kids, though he did have his turn in the season finale but it wasn't really what I was expecting. Iroh (the original, not Zuko's son) had a couple of appeareances over the course of the season and personally I was hoping he might have a larger role considering his fondness and immense knowledge of the Spirit World. The twins were a nice addition with their demenour towards other, but at the same time evident symbiotic relationship. They weren't two people called Eska and Desna, they were one entity; if that makes any sense( It did in my head).

The season ends with a bit of a surprise really (won't spoilt it for anyone), but if they do come back for a third installment at least it will be fresh if nothing else; why you ask? Well its because everything's changed! Its quite exciting really, but I just hope they dont turn the Avatar series into garbage, Its one of the few good shows left. They don't make cartoons like they used to.

Friday, 8 November 2013

N7 Day 2013

N7 Day, A great way to celebrate one of the greatest franchises in recent times. Mass Effect has a rich universe like no other, and has proven this by going byeond just the video games. But I'm going to stick to the games here.

Out of the three games, Mass Effect 2 was definitely my favourite. It did a great job of bridging the gap between the first and the third game. In Mass Effect 1 you are relativesly new to the universe and are sort of settling in; Mass Effect 3 throws you into an all out war to save the universe you have come to love. To protect the people you care about, to help those in need and to kick some serious reaper ass. Mass Effect 2 on the other hands affords you the time to explore the games rich universe, Each character you meet has so much more to their story and getting to know your crew over the course of the campaign is really where you build your emotional attachment to the game and to your personal Shepard. The rich character stories were what really did it for me in Mass Effect 2, however I was disappointed at the whole Paragon/Renegade system. I had to play the game twice so that i could save all the people i wanted by doing all the paragon options and the second time so i could make the choices i would have made otherwise.
Yes, Tali is my favourite character.

Its been quite a while since i played the game and I think a playthrough is on the horizon. But with Next Gen consoles coming up, I will have to struggle to make the time for it. I'm secretly hoping for a Mass Effect Trilogy version for Next gen, i would totally buy a collectors edition for that.

P.S. Now that winter has finally settled in, I can wear my N7 Hoodie! Booyah!

Also If you're interested check out the Feature  We did on Just Another Gaming Site on why Mass Effect is one of the greates franchises of all time

Wednesday, 6 November 2013


I wasn't too thrilled when the WWE game came out mainly because I have never really liked 2K games but WWE2K14 is a pretty solid Wrsetling game, possibly the best in quite a while. More than that I absolutely love the Hidden reversable Daniel Bryan cover for retail copies.

More than the new game modes I've actually been spending my time in Universe mode with a ton of custom/downloaded superstars and WWE Legends. Basically I kicked out the 'useles' wrestlers made a dream roster of WWE Legends and current wrestlers and threw in the likes of Sting, Matt & Jeff Hardy etc. Found a lot of great custom superstars on the Xbox Live custom content section, there are some realyl talented people out there with a lot of time on their hands. The level of detail on some of the wrestlers is mindblowing.

I was a little disappointed in Undertakers Defend the Streak mode which is actually a gauntlet match rather than reliving all his Wrestlemania fights. You can create a custom match to do that, but it would have been nice to have it as a game mode with comemntary, promos etc.

You'll have more information when I do my Full Review for the Deccan Chronicle & Asian Age in a week or two. 

Thursday, 24 October 2013

GTA Online

We'll its no secret I share a special love-hate relationship with GTA Online and it makes sense for my first blog post in nearly 6 months to be about GTA Online.

After the hugely disappointing launch and a small case of dengue fever which left me hospitalized for a while i finally managed to play GTA Online a whole 2 weeks after it released. It was rocky at first but once i got my crew up and running it got interesting. Rigging races, picking off bounties and being all round douchebags in a helicopter, doesn't get better than that.

One problem we have faced and still do is well.. money. Its hard to come by, expecially after the patch that has halved income from repeat missions, but we spent a while online and figured out some nice ways to make some relatively easy money.

I did a piece for the Asian Age on how to make money in GTA Online. You can chek it out HERE, a mini guide ot making money in GTA Online. I've also been thinking about running a piece on why GTA Online is better than GTA V and why this could be the future of the franchise, it'll be on Just Another Gaming Site sometime in the coming months.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

New Game

So one of the games has been taking up most of my times these days is Ubisofts F2P title- The Mighty Quest For Epic Loot. Its basically a top down dungeon crawler like Diablo 3 but with a twist. You can build your own dungeons and raid other peoples . But that's all I'm allowed to say for now because its currently in Alpha phase and I'm one of the lucky few in it . Keep checking back for more, I'll have updates as soon as I'm allowed to speak about it :)

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Zombieland TV Show

Rule No 2 : Double Tap

That's right one of the best zombie movies is now a TV show. Zombieland was originally pitched as a TV show before ebing turned into a movie but now the Original writers and creators have teamed up with Amazon to bring you a TV show with the same 4 main characters.

The Original cast was legendary

Hopefully the new cast can live up to fan expecatitions

Columbus, Tallahassee, Wichita & Little Rock return however with different actors. Fear not as its not all that bad. The show retains the same feel of the movie with the light hearted take on a zombie apocalypse with the constant pop ups of Columbus's rules & of course the zombie kill of the week

The pilot was pretty entertaining and felt right at home, though i did miss the original cast. I guess we'll warm up to the new guys soon enough. At the end of the day the show has huge potential to be awesome, even if the mess it up there's a whole lot of zombie killing.

Monday, 22 April 2013

One of My Favourite Game Ported for iOS

The world Ends With You is easily one of my favourite games of all time. I don't recall ever being so emotinally vested in a game. Everything about the game felt so in place, from the gameplay to the art style and music. Topped off with a strong story about self discovery and friendhsip.

The iOS version of the game is amazing to say the least. It feels completely at home and the touch controls are way better than on the DS. However there is still a steep combat learning curve, but i wouldnt have it any other way.  There are a few changes, namely the combat which instead of two screens is now one and you cant directly control your partner but it is still an esential part of combat.
Theres a neat little social feature also which fills thought bubbles of NPC's with twitter searches as defined by the palyer. Kinda fun feature really.

TWEWY really brings back some memories and I'm thorougholy enjoying playing through it . I'm just sad it took me so long to find the game on iOS! its apparantly been available for ages!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Ultimate Shenanigans

In the one year i have been playing Ultimate I can safely say that Surat Ultimate Open was probably the most fun tournament of all because i really enjoyed my Ultimate. Even though we lost in the finals it was still the highest finish for a Delhi team and I am super proud to be a part of that squad. However that wasn't even the highlight of the tournament. Here's what happened on the buss ride to the station.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Gears Swag

Writing about video games has its perks; Early acess, Special Launch events and of course exclusive swag! I finally got my Gears Judgment T shirt and Hip flask today and boy o boy are they awesome!
These are the same goodies Just Another Gaming Site was giving away in its wicked Gears Judgment BRO contest! Here's a quick little peek at the goodies.
Chicks totally dig the Baird!!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Gears Judgement

So I've been playing Gears of War Judgement for a few days now(one of the perks of having my job ) and I'm quite enjoying it. It feels like a Gears of War game but their approach is different and its a refreshing change. The multiplayer is a bit different and not in a good way. Not as many maps and game modes as Gears of War 3 and Survival mode doesnt live up to Horde modes standards.
I tried buying some Weapon Skins before launch and this is what popped up.
Do you have 4.2 Billion MS points to spare? I sure as hell don't!
I guess thats one way of ensuring people don't buy things before they are supposed to! Anyways you can find my full review HERE. Btw there's also a Seriously Judgmental achievement and you know I'm gonna try, need to redeem myself after my EPIC failure at Seriously 3.0 .