Saturday, October 31, 2015

Tyrannodorkus' Trick-or-Treat Tips for Halloween


Happy Halloween, everyone. Today is all hallows eve, the day that ghosts, ghouls, and goblins come to life, but not to fear, dressing up protects you, and candy gives you the energy to last all night long. MWAHAHAHAHAHA! *lightning and thunder*

Candy is the fuel that all kids, young and old, can live and strive off of, and Halloween is the motherload of candy cash-outs. Here are my tips on how to min/max your candy dps meters this Halloween.

Candy To Time Ratio

First things first. You’ll want to look for neighborhoods that have the highest density of Halloween decorations and porch lights on. That usually shows who has candy to pass out. You’ll also want to be on the lookout of sweet grandmas and people that pass out full-size candy bars instead of bite size. This will be your bread-and-butter of trick-or-treating.

Early Bird Gets The Gummy Worm

Time is of the essence. The earlier you hit the neighborhoods, the better chance you’ll get the larger grabs from the candy bowl. Bonus if you are first to the “Please take one” supervisor-less candy bowls standing outside the door. Those should say, “first come gets the candy, second come gets what the first didn’t want.”

Creativity Is Key

Finished the last house of the neighborhood, and still want more candy? Time to switch up costume pieces with your friends and family. Mix and match to come up with new horrors that the candy givers won’t easily recognize coming through a second time. This doubles your candy hoard.

Don’t have someone to switch costume pieces with? Go home and find last years costume. Problem solved.

Enjoy Yourself

The most important tip of all is to enjoy yourself. This is the one night of the year that it’s ok to play dress-up and be public about it. Well, unless you go to conventions, those are cool too. This is my favorite time of year, so I hope you all have fun as well.

Remember kids, listen to your parents, they’ve been through this candy war many times over the years. They have their own tricks up their treat sleeves.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

SOMA, Thoughts and Theories


SOMA, a horror game that pits you against technological monstrosities in order to launch mankind's only hope of survival to the stars… but it’s far more than that. It hits you with many moral dilemmas and philosophical questions about life, humanity and who we are.

I’ve finished watching Markiplier’s play-through of SOMA and have some thoughts on the game. If you haven’t played it or watched a play-through, then I’ll warn you now that I’m going to get into SPOILERS in this post.

I love how the game makes you stop and think on some choices like what is life and can you take it given certain situations. Then it’ll bring that question up to you again with more on the line. What I mean is that you are shown this early in the game with a robot that doesn’t talk to you and you need power to get through a door, so you unplug them from the console and they power down, but in a way that looks like they die as they ask “Why? I was happy.” You then come to a robot stuck out in the sea where she does talk to you, but thinks they are on the ARK all by themselves. You could unplug them or leave them. If you were in that situation, would you want to be left alone for hundreds of years until power eventually ran out, or left alone but alive? Finally, you come to find you’ve moved your consciousness to a new suit only to find out it was copied over. You still exist in the previous suit but you can’t continue into the abyss with yourself, you’ll have to stay, alone. You are then given the choice to kill your old self or let yourself sleep until you wake up to find you’ve been left alone, given that same fate as before. A very tough dilemma if ever there was one.


I have an issue with the mind scan machine though that copied your memory to the other suit, and eventually to the ARK. If I remember, the machine was designed to scan a human brain, not a memory chip. Something like that could just be connected with a jack. As for the copied dilemma when going down to the abyss, Simon could just put Catherine's chip in the new suit and then she could put his chip into the omnitool, no copies required.

Also, could these cyborgs and robots with the memory of people still act like that person? Sure, it would have the memory, but would it be able to think and act like them? I suppose the programming is good enough in the future to simulate it, but could it simulate how that person actually thought, how they make decisions? Can math and programming actually predict human decision making? Can a program reflect what our biological brains, with unique balances of chemical reactions and synapse connections, do?

My thoughts on the WAU is that it’s not gone rogue, or corrupted. It’s just doing it’s prime directive the only way it can, keeping humanity alive, either keeping humans alive, or putting their brain scans in machines in the most direct way possible. It’s probably the reason that Simon is there.

Final thoughts on the game? I think it has a great story, but I have some issues with some of the mechanics of how things work in this world, especially failing to stop the comet from crashing into Earth. Seriously, they tried to destroy it? As Neil deGrasse Tyson would say, we only need to deflect it a few degrees. The thing I loved most was the moral and philosophical dilemmas. I’m definitely looking forward to any DLC to show us what happened after launching the ARK.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Park Quick Review


Piggy backing off Aywren’s idea of making a post about The Park, I’ve wanted to make one as well.

I’ve run through Funcom’s new game, The Park, and completed it in about two hours and fifteen minutes - little longer than most, I assume, for breathers and taking my time. My initial thoughts were that it felt like running a really good investigation mission in The Secret World, minus puzzles. I haven’t been off Solomon Island yet in TSW, so I’m not sure the extent of the creepiness it can provide, but if it’s anything like The Park, then I have plenty more story and creepy vibes to go through.

The Park is a solo story experience set in the world of The Secret World where you play as Lorraine looking for her son, Callum, who ran back into the Atlantic Island Park to find Mr. Bear. As you re-enter, the park takes a turn from happy to the sinister and run-down. You then have to brave the horrors of both the park and yourself.

The game tells a good story about the hardships Lorraine faces while taking care of Callum and her connection to the park itself. There’s a lot to break down so I’m hoping to see what other people think and can come up with about that.

The low points is that it did have lag, so I had to take it slow when looking around, but that sort of upped the creepy vibe. I also wished the game could tell me more, but I may have missed some stuff. I’m not one to play horror games, but I wish it was longer to tell more of the story like it felt a little rushed out, which I can understand given Funcom’s woes at the moment. Maybe some puzzles would help, like in investigation missions.

If you love TSW then you’ll most likely “appreciate” The Park - as Aywren would put it. If you like atmospheric games, this has atmosphere to give. Story was a bit light, but I think there was more in the subtleties I need to break down. If you want to support Funcom, then I think it’s worth the price, plus you get a Chad the Chipmunk suit in TSW to terrorize other players with! MWAHAHAHAHAH.


If you’re interested, I have a playlist of my play-through of The Park down below. Will try and get an episode a day on there.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Elder Scrolls Online on sale through Humble Bundle

Hey guys, if you are looking at Elder Scrolls Online, I see it on Humble Bundle right now for $20. The sale looks to be for this weekend only, and this is one of the best prices I've seen so far of it. If you're interested, you can find it on Humble Bundle Store or through this link.

And if that all isn't enough, remember, some of the money is going to charity.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Wakfu: The Animated Series (Season 2) Quick Review


Continuing on from my previous review of Wakfu: The Animated Series (Season 1), I’m now giving my review of Season 2. Mostly because I’m not finding these myself and somewhat because I have some thoughts after finishing. I will have spoilers at the end of this review so if you don’t want them, don’t go past the SPOILER header below.

Yugo and the team stopped Nox from draining the Tree of Life of all it’s Wakfu and retrieved the Eliacube. Yugo and his brother Adamai want to learn of the fate of their people and use the Eliacube to find out what happened, only to summon another Eliatrope, Qilby. The crew now has to go and retrieve Qilby’s dofus in order to free their people.

Season 2 has the same style and execution of the first season with interesting characters and a lovely world to look at with many destinations to explore. Unfortunately, this season was underwhelming on story. The main villain wasn’t established until the end and by then, there was a lot going on, like they were trying to establish themselves for a season 3 instead of finishing with a spectacular season 2.

And this season also had 26 episodes, which means they had a lot of filler. With so many directions, they should have used those filler episodes for the main plot, but instead wasted it on yet pushing the adventure longer.

In the end, if you were interested in the story, I would just take season 1 and love it to death. If you like the world and characters, season 2 has plenty.


Time for my thoughts on missed opportunities in season 2. I watched this show in anticipation of where earlier established characters would come into play later in the season, only to be disappointed.

Rushu, the king of the shushus, was pretty much unstoppable until Dally’s former master shows up where it’s established that he is now the Iop (pronounced yop) god. That explained how he was so powerful, but I was waiting on Bourlof the Butcher (a shushu greatsword) to make appearance during that invasion. Remington should've had him when he was taken into the world of the shushus. The shushus that saw him during Bourlof’s appearance was pretty frightened by him, so I was curious what he could do.

Nox was defeated, but escaped at the end of the first season. I was hoping he’d show up at the invasion of the end, in a way to atone for what he’s done to the world, and possibly help Yugo out. Or in the very least thwart Qilby with some hidden knowledge of the Eliacube. Nox is far too interesting of a character to just let him fade to the annals of time.

I was disappointed that Ruel sat out the invasion. He was established as the strongest of the group by Grougaloragran. I could only imagine what tricks would have been up his sleeve.

The end I found to be underwhelming, as if the creators said “ok, we’re done now, let’s just stop everything and make a happy ending”. Rushu being dragged back to his realm, Qilby being stopped by his dormant sister and Yugo just standing up to him but was no match. If they didn’t wait till like the last 3 episodes to do this, I’m sure the ending could have been much more interesting. If anything, the most humane thing that could have happened to Qilby was to have him destroyed so he’d return to his dormant state along with his sister in their dofus, not to put him right back in a position to have a chance to do this all over again.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Wakfu: The Animated Series (Season 1) Quick Review


If you like to enjoy Saturday morning cartoons, have I the show for you. Wakfu: The Animated Series I found is available on Netflix. This show started off pretty standard for a family-friendly cartoon. You have your good guys Yugo, Amalia, Evangelyne, Dally and Ruel fighting the evil and power possessive Nox. Much of the show is the team fixing problems and helping others while on their way to find Yugo’s family. Nox is shown once in awhile to establish he is still working on gaining power. Many of the enemies are not Nox’s minions, but regular foes you’d find on small adventures. This sounds standard and dull to begin with, but the show picks up in the later half. The characters break past their 2 dimensions and began getting depth. A romance emerges between two of the characters, Nox is shown to have humanity still in him and misguided and the main character Yugo finds he’s much different than the rest of the crew when he finally meets his brother.

The show does have weak areas. For starters there are 26 episodes in season 1 so there is a lot - and I mean A LOT - of filler content and the show can drag on a little. That’s not to say the people they meet during these filler episodes aren’t interesting, it’s just that I would have rather them get more on the point of the conflict going on between Yugo and Nox.

In the end, I was rooting for Yugo and the team, but ultimately I found myself loving Nox the most when the final credits rolled. I felt so sympathetic to what he tried to accomplish and sad he wasn’t able to get what he ultimately desired - for what that is, you’d have to watch the show or look up spoilers.

I was brought in by the interesting characters and the lovely art and animation, but ultimately hooked on the story of this world.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Happy Back To The Future Day


Happy Back to the Future day. Today is the expected date of Marty McFly to arrive and save his son from big trouble. There’s holograms, hoverboards and self-fitting shoes galore, but we don’t actually have those things… yet. What we do have are alternatives or close-to-realized stuff that BttF tried predicting.

For BttF day today, I’m going to continue the spirit of predicting the future with a list of fantasy stuff in my favorite TV shows or movies that - I hope - will be around in 30 years.

Medical Tricorders

Suffice to say, Star Trek has a plethora of great technological feats that we would love to have. One of them being the medical tricorder. A device able to scan any life-form and get a readout of their health and physiology. This miracle device saved many lives in the show, and would save many more if it were in our hands today. Currently there is a $10 million prize to the first person or group to make it happen.


Ok, I’m cheating here and going with another Star Trek device, but the lure of such a thing is just too powerful to resist. We already have devices coming out now, like the Oculus Rift, that is further immersing us. We also have more gimmicky, but working, ways of producing holograms like Tupac. I think we could start developing something close to a holodeck within 30 years.


Droids are incredible things that can help with just about anything. From farming to interpreters and even soldiers. Star Wars have them everywhere and don’t even think twice about them. Such a thing today would be a huge help to us today and we have many companies trying to make them real. I would personally love to have an R2 helping around.

Voice Commands

Many shows of the future have you talking to the computer, giving commands and getting replies. I love the idea of being able to talk to the computer while you work, mostly for repetitive tasks or just to let me walk about while the computer does the work. Microsoft is attempting to do this with Cortana and Xbox, but I’m not fully on board with something always listening and connected to someone else's server.

Wall TV Phones

Spaceballs is the best movie ever to me, and I always laugh when Skroob gets a call from Commanderette Zircon while using the bathroom. I’m not keen on having wall TV phones in the bathroom, but I like the idea of having screens all over the place you can make face-to-face calls from. We have face-time, so it can’t be more than a jump, skip, and a hop away from making it bigger and everywhere. 30 years sounds like enough time.

Flying Cars

What self respecting futurist list would be complete without flying cars? We’ve been adding this to the list forever now and refuse to remove it until it’s made. This item is like the Sasquatch of predictions. All we get are blurry images and vague promises that it’s real. Someday we’ll get them.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Halloween Time


Do you smell that? The fall weather is here. It’s cooling down, the season is changing, and we are coming up to my favorite day, Halloween. I love this day because of the dressing up you can do and becoming someone else… and all the candy!

Yes, Halloween, the day everyone thinks it’s OK to dress up as  fictional characters with applause and admiration depending how good your costume is. The weather feels great too - I love cooler weather over warmer weather.

As for myself, I’m doing some celebration by playing games with Halloween like settings. Starting that list is none other than The Secret World. They could use all the publicity they can get, and I’m more than happy to give it to them.

If you wish to catch my videos on this, you can find it below or on my playlist here. I’m going to add more to my Halloweenie Celebration.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Park


Since we are well into October and coming up on my favorite celebration, Halloween, I figure I better start talking about some spooky scary stuff. Mwahahahah.

If you’re keeping up with MMO news, it’ll be no surprise that Funcom is having some financial trouble. *lightning and thunder crashing all around*

Not to make light of the situation, I don’t like seeing any MMO company having these troubles. I’d hate to lose games like The Secret World. Fortunately, they are fighting the good fight still. There’s a new game Funcom is releasing, bit of a Hail Mary in my book, but it’s something that is connected to TSW called The Park.

You take on the role of Lorraine looking for your lost son, Callum, in a (I’m assuming abandoned) run-down amusement park. There you are suppose to experience a psychological horror in search of your son.

Granted, the game is said to be about 1-2 hours long. Really? Only a couple of hours? Most games I like to play go in the double to triple digits of playtime. But, seeing as a movie is about that long and the game pre-purchase price is on par with a standard movie ticket price, I figure it’ll be worth the down payment. You can pick up the game for around $10 on Steam, or the equivalent of your country’s currency. The Park is due to release on October 27, just in time for Halloween.

I also would point out that I don’t play scary or horror games, I tend to watch other let’s players do that, but seeing that Funcom needs all the support it can get, I’m more than willing to get the word out for them. I may even do my own let’s play of this, but I don’t want to make any promises.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Rethinking the Lightsaber


I was reading Gamers Decrypted this morning on their article The physics of a Lightsaber. Reading the breakdown on the possibilities of making a lightsaber was fascinating to say the least, a subject I’ve read and watched many times before. Each idea on the saber itself has always been either a laser sword or a plasma sword, both have potential and yet have specific problems when it comes to the whooshing and crashing into each other - the best part. I was thinking, what if we were thinking too literal about this on the blade. It looks like a blade of light, but is it just light and science (and probably some Force) keeping that blade together, or are we going about this wrong?

I was thinking, couldn’t the blade use a little help? Maybe something we can’t actually see behind the light, but maybe something there that gives it the shape it needs and the stopping power when two sabers lock. My thought is, why not use some sort of memory material or shape-memory alloy.

The idea is to let a mesh or piece of metal grow into the saber when activated, like what the movie shows, and then retract when powered down - example below. This material can then be used to have the plasma come around it, or could be superheated to the point of being the blade itself.


The idea isn’t as sexy as light or plasma shooting out of the hilt, but could be a lot more practical and efficient if the right material was used.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Red Faction Guerrilla Steam Edition


I fondly remember my days of playing Red Faction and experiencing something new at the time, environmental destruction. Most games of that period was very static with the environment. You could shoot it, but the most you could hope to do was leave a blast mark on it. Red Faction actually made a crater where you hit it with a rocket. The game even took advantage of this with a versus map where they hid a weapon in a cavity between two hallways. The only hint that it existed was a tiny hole in the wall.

The gist of Red Faction is that you are a miner, one of many being oppressed by the corporation that hired you to mine Mars. The situation got so bad that a resistance force grew into what is called ‘Red Faction’ to take up arms against their oppressors. You then travel through the tunnels of Mars to try and escape while also finding out the mystery of the plague.


Over the week, I found that Humble Weekly Bundle had Red Faction Guerrilla for sale for at least the average donation. I decided to pick up the whole bundle, because why not get games and support charity at the same time. Yesterday, I decided to give it a try. It did not disappoint.

For the most of Saturday, I spent blowing up Earth Defense Force buildings, the new oppressive force on Mars. The game is largely based after the events of Red Faction, but now the planet is terraformed and breathable on the surface. Destructive environment is still the main feature.

I’d have to say the game is a fun romp of destruction... when you finally get to your destination. You see, the devs of this game made it a large world, so large you have you drive from location to location. So what you tend to do mostly is driving. If you love the long drives from point A to B in Grand Theft Auto, you’ll be at home in Red Faction Guerrilla as well, plus you get to blow down buildings. There’s also these side missions you do to help strengthen the Red Faction as you play.

Another fun feature is that you seem to have the strength of the hulk when swinging your sledge hammer. I’m not sure if the designers meant for that, or was a happy accident, but it’s fun batting people around or breaking through a wall ‘Here’s Johnny’ style.

So if you want a fun romp of destruction or GTA/Demolition Derby car game on Mars, this game is worth the minimum $6 donation to charity, $10 if you want the whole bundle - for charity people, plus fun. If you are hoping to continue the story from the first game, it’s also worth looking in too. As of this posting, there’s still about 4 days left on this bundle if you’re interested.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Life of the MMO


I’ve been seeing, off and on, a subject being talked about over the years that irritates me, “The Death of the MMO.” I’m very protective of my favorite genre to the point that I’ve decided to throw my own little rant about it. My own little Death of the “Death of the MMO.” I’ve even called my post today “The Life of the MMO” to thumb my nose at it.

Doing a Google search on the subject, many major sites tend to show up; PCGamer, GameSpot, Eurogamer, etc. The only people I don’t see talking about it are the ones who make it their jobs to eat, breath, and live MMO’s - Massively OP and Massively-that-was. I did a search on the topic for both and came up empty. True champions of the genre, in my book.

The MMO genre is all encompassing, so it confuses me why people think it’s failing. Just about everything and the kitchen sink is in an MMO from other genres, plus some stuff that isn’t. If this genre fails, it’s because no one likes games anymore. But the essence of this post is not about death, but life - as a wise god of thunder once put it.

MMOs have been around since the 70’s, meaning it’s been around longer than many of us have been alive. These early MMOs were in the form of MUDs or multi-user dungeons. Even though they didn’t have millions of players at the time, their frameworks were in place to make them an MMO in my book. A game that plays online with other players that allows all players to work on personal goals independent from each other, while allowing for them to interact and help each other to work on the same goals. This is what separates MMOs from lobby shooters to me, or online cooperative games like Borderlands. By my definition, I see games like League of Legends and Call of Duty as not being MMOs because they are all basically working on a single goal, dependent on each other’s actions, while games like H1Z1 and Guild Wars 1 as being MMOs because they allow for personal goals independent from other players.

Years ago, when I started playing EverQuest, the term MMO was widely unheard of. Even when I talked about them with other gamers, they’d have to question what it is. That is until World of Warcraft brought the term into almost every gaming household. People who’ve never played an MMO have heard of WoW.


Also since Everquest, there were only a handful of MMOs available to play - like Ultima Online. Again, nowadays there are bookoos of MMOs out, and more in development on the horizon, and even more being localized across different countries. Same for the population for these games.

Games back in the day were healthy with a few ten thousand to just a couple hundred thousand players in them. Today, many large games host many hundred thousand, to over millions of players. I’m sure there is plenty of overlap of the population between games, but that is mostly because of the free-to-play monetization that’s taken hold of the genre.

The genre’s monetization is, and has always been, the genre’s weakest point. With most other games, you buy the box and can continue to play that game for as long as the medium is physically capable of playing it. That means if I bought a copy of Tomba! and a playstation 1 or 2 that still works and can read it, I can play it right now (or if I download it and an emulator to run it). Later, there would be a sequel made that you’d buy to continue playing that game in another story. Sequels later became DLC which added onto the original game, but all this was still a buy and play for as long as you can monetization.

MMO monetization is much different than what most gamers are used to. Going from a buy and play monetization, you have to figure out if the MMO you want to play is subscription only, or is free-to-play, or has some sort of hybrid model. If it’s subscription, does it still have cash shops? If it’s free-to-play, are the cash shops going to be exploitive of certain playstyles? There’s a lot to take in when you are used to just buying the damn box and shoving it into the system. Luckily, some games have decided to stick to the traditional model, calling it buy-to-play. Guild Wars 1 and 2, and The Secret World uses buy-to-play. But they do come with cash shops and TSW has DLC like packs you can buy. If anything hurts this genre more, it’s probably because of this overly complicated monetization scheme being used and modified between each game. If they could develop them to be bought once with buyable DLC/expansions, then this genre would be in a far better place with the rest of the gaming industry.


When it comes to this genre’s strength, I would say it’s their inherent ability to be a cooperative multiplayer game. I’ve spent many hours in the past constantly searching for games that I can play with my brother, and have become dependent on them being MMOs. Being able to create a character and knowing I can join up is a big plus to me, and is usually my biggest wish for many single player games of the past. This could be another point in how an MMO hurts itself by segregating their population between silly factions that either don’t or no longer make sense and have no way of changing sides. Biggest culprits of this are WoW, Star Wars: The Old Republic and Wildstar. For whatever reason the developers decided to do this, it just adds tension and stress on their communities, forcing them to choose a side they may not actually like because all their friends are there. Games like EverQuest 2 have factions you start out in, but it’s not permanent. You can do a quest to change sides, plus you’re not prevented from grouping with players from another faction.

The MMO genre has always been on the up and up as I’ve observed over the years. The new games of 2014 had a rough start, but I’m seeing them change and fix their mistakes. That’s because MMOs are in it for the long haul, something that other genre’s don’t seem to concern themselves with. I don’t see the death of this genre any time soon, as a matter of fact, I see other genres trying to copy them. So the MMO is a safe bet, in my book.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fun with cutscenes - Star Wars: The Old Republic


I’m having fun playing through the stories of Star Wars: The Old Republic, but I’m having some more fun poking fun at the cutscenes. Not criticizing them, just editing to make them a bit funnier. I have three made up so far, and thought to share a quick post showing them off.

The latest is linked below. First, I just want to get out a SPOILER WARNING. If you have not played the Bounty Hunter and plan to, this is a spoiler for their story mission. If you don’t want to be spoiled by it, then I would suggest skipping it. Else, if you already got your second follower for the Bounty Hunter, then watch away.

Latest edited cutscene video: