Monthly Archives: April 2014

#371 Historical Treasures from my Past

As I mentioned in my last post I decided to start my own Twitch Stream and started to kick things off with some Infinite Crisis that Monday night. Things went great with only two glitches with the OBS program or my webcam on my end and I forgot to mention which game I was playing when I had to restart the stream on top of all of that I still won 3 out of my 5 matches for the night. Not too bad for my first stream session.

I realized early on that if I wanted to stream with the face cam facing me I would need to straighten up the room that I would plan to record in and for that I would need to do some heavy-duty cleaning. A bit of history for the context of this post, this used to be the bedroom of me and my brother for more than ten years so before this weekend there was a set of bunk-beds taking up the back half of the space and ten years of clutter and stuff underneath. With my work cut out for me I spent the weekend decluttering, cleaning, and reorganizing the room to exactly how I want it to look

This is the post picture the before picture was just too badly cluttered.

This is the after picture of the room. Before picture was just too badly cluttered.excused some of the image stretching around the edges the pic was taken with a panoramic phone app

 

Along my adventures of spring cleaning I found a plethora of toys and items from my past and if you read any of my past posts (Be MOP #180 and #289) you know that I love a good piece of history, whether it be from the World’s past or from my own life so for today I would like to take you down memory lane with some of childhood artifacts.

 

 

 

This was a poster that was hanging up in the family TV room for ages. I believe y dad pick it up at a yard sale as an impulse for one reason or another it had to be taken down it was given to me as a gift from my parents. My plan to to have this bat poster hanging up in my living room when I have a family of my own so my children will grow up with Batman giving them his best wishes everyday.

This was a poster that was hanging up in the family TV room for ages. I believe y dad pick it up at a yard sale as an impulse for one reason or another it had to be taken down it was given to me as a gift from my parents. My plan to have this bat poster hanging up in my living room when I have a family of my own so my children will grow up with Batman giving them his best wishes everyday.

 

This metal briefcase was tucked away in one of the   corners of under the bed. I am going to have to find an old DS to transfer my generation 3 Pokemon team to my Pokebank

This metal briefcase, now time capsule, was tucked away in one of the corners of under the bed. While Pokemon from the Red, Blue, and Silver saves might be lost I am going to have to find an old DS so I transfer my generation 3  team to the Pokebank.

and speaking of Pokemon memorabilia

 

A collectable coin that were hand out if you reserved your copy of Pokemon Ruby. and Ladies, yes it is still in the original case.

A collectible coin that were hand out if you reserved your copy of Pokemon Ruby. And ladies, yes it is still in the original case.

 

This was the probably my favorite find from the weekend of spring cleaning. This was my first MP3 players I owned, back when 256mg made waves with your group of friends

This was the probably my favorite find from the weekend of spring cleaning. This was my first MP3 players I owned, back when 256mg made waves with your group of friends

and before you ask, yes….

 

most of the mp3 are names_like_this_with_the_song's_name_followed_by_the_band's_name

most of the mp3 files are names_like_this_with_the_song’s_name_followed_by_the_band’s_name

 

To see more of these and my other geeky prized possession join me when I stream later tonight (11:30pm EST) I plan to do a show and tell at the end of every future streaming session.

 


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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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#370 Scratching that Itch by Streaming with Twitch

Today I would like to announce my newest project, starting my own Twitch Streaming Channel!

 

 Ta DAH! this was the thing I was talking about in the last post. I am a bit surprised that nobody found the two hidden links that more or less spoiled the surprise I was trying to build up.

Ta DAH! this was the thing I was talking about in the last post. I am a bit surprised that nobody found the two hidden links that more or less spoiled the surprise I was trying to build up.

I have always wanted to get into videogame videos for quite a while and this past week I have been setting things up behind the scenes. Between work and blogging I have been brushing off my old Twitch account, Downloading the required streaming programs, and cleaning up the room that I intend to stream from, and training making sure I have the willpower to play through one game for a set amount of time multiple times throughout the week.

Fun Fact I bought Fraps years ago back when I first received a Beta invite for World of Warcraft’ Mists of Pandaria with the intent of uploading pandaren content to YouTube but the combination of my lack of editing skills and the hatred for my own voice killed that idea, so a raw stream on Twitch seems like a better option. The big question I asked myself when I started making plans to start streaming is, What game to play?’ After a thinking about it for a while I decided to primarily play Infinite Crisis a game that I talked about before. After playing a dozen or so matches I have not grown tired of it, it is also in the Beta development cycle and I always wanted to see an ARTS like that develop over time.

Be warned I am far from a pro Infinite Crisis player. So don't come in excepting me to pull off incredible plays

Be warned I am far from a pro Infinite Crisis player. So don’t come in excepting me to pull off incredible plays

 

Out of all my games that I could stream (short games with a lot of replay value) this one gives me an excuse to indulge in my comic book side and hopefully it will come through when I play and talk about the game and when I do a show and tell segment as well.

I stumbled upon loads of stuff that are almost too good to not show the world.

I stumbled upon loads of stuff that are almost too good to not show the world. This is signed by Bat-Val Kilmer himself

 

The one question that my friends and family ask when I tell them that I will be more or less to be sitting front of a computer, streaming my videogames to the entire internet for several times each week, is the question WHY? and on top of the usual reasons; Same reason for starting my blog, because I want to, and it seems like the next logical step to take after blogging for two years (don’t worry I will still continue to blog every Monday Wednesday and Friday).

It is also because when I was at 2014’s PAX East I saw a booth for Extra Life, promoting an event in the fall where you play videogames for 24 hours to help raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. I missed my chance to join last year and if wanted to participate this and play videogames for a full 24 hours I should stream the entire because you know how that old internet saying goes about pictures and the credibility of the story told on the internet.

 I wanted to join last year but during that time I was unemployed and I could not justify it to myself or others to stop my job search so I could play videogames literally all day.

I wanted to join last year but during that time I was unemployed and I could not justify it to myself or others to stop my job search so I could play videogames literally all day.

 

That is why I am jumping into Twitch streaming now, because I want practice on setting up streams, playing in front of an audience and talking to people for the big day in October. So if you ever wanted to hear and see the man behind Be MOP you can catch me on Twitch under the username Noahdeer and you can find me streaming Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays from 11:30 pm to 2:30 am EST and Saturdays 11pm – 2am EST.

 


I’m also on Twitter

Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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#369 Filler Post: The Wrath of Khan

As the name suggests I do not have a proper topic to write about for today. It was a bit of a slow news week with no videogame related news that I can weigh in on and I have not been too active in my personal gaming live besides spending way too much time playing a web browser version of 2048. I have been working and preparing on this one -really big- video game project throughout this week but I am not ready to announce it until Monday of next week.

So for now just enjoy the second edition of the Filler Post (Be MOP #354) saga. No doubt that fans of the series will claim that this was the best one in the series, if not going so far to say that it was best filler post in the entire genera.

 

Khan!!!

Now we just wait 31 years for the reboot of this blog post, where they have a popular young British actor portraying the main antagonist

 

I will see you guys next Monday

 


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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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#368 My Comments on the Best Mario Kart Game Ever Made

The newest Mario Kart game is on it way out from production cycle to hitting the shelves and with that comes another reason to buy a WiiU . But as we eagerly wait for this latest 60fps current generation racing game I want to take this time to cast our eyes to the past and talk about the best Mario Kart game in the series and why -for me at least- every game after it is a disappointment.

This post was long time coming, foreshadowed in Be MOP #328

This post was long time coming, foreshadowed in Be MOP #328

 

Imagine it is the year of 2003 and my family just received our Nintendo Gamecube and my brothers and I were all excited to get our hands on the newest multiplayer Mario Kart game. We had the N64 before the Gamecube so we were use to our favorite Nintendo characters rendered with 3d models, but what we were not prepared for was the next (at it’s time) gameplay for Double Dash.

If you do not remember, or could not figure it out from the title of the game, Double Dash introduced the new mechanic for each player to choose two characters to race with, imagine an Extreme edition of the buddy system. Ever from that young age (middle school) I knew that the Double Dash gameplay mechanic was something special.

On top of the new upgraded graphics, and expanded roster of racers, each character had a special -personal- item that only they can get from the item boxes. Between the personal items and the light/medium/heavy weights system you had to  weigh your options of what to do even before the race actually began. Can you justify building your team with two special items you wanted if it meant sacrificing  the ability to choose the kart with the desired stat you wanted.

each character had their own counterpart, so if you are racing with a friend each of you could go for the same build.

Each character had their own counterpart, so if you are racing with a friend each of you could go for the same build.

 

More importantly if you were clever enough you could also try to countering your opponent’s character picks, in our family this one Mario Kart game was reaching dangerously close to competitive Pokemon or Mario Party levels of complexity and strategy.

So many fights and arguments were sparked from this game in my family that my parents stopped buying the newest editions

So many fights and arguments were sparked from this game in my family that my parents stopped buying the newest installments

Not like it mattered, my go to pick was always Peach and Birdo, a weird combination but between Peach’s orbiting hearts that not only absorbed any enemy projectiles but transferred it into your inventory and Birdo’s  homing egg that hatch three helpful times once it hits an enemy that is ahead of you it created a perfect balance of attack and defensive items.

After I went through all the amazing game changing chances to gameplay from Mario Kart 64 to Mario Kart Double Dash, imagine my disappointment when my family picked up Mario Kart Wii.
This game regressed back to one characters, with generalization of the special items and this is not mentioning the motion controls built in the game. While I have complained about Nintendo in the past about choosing which features and extras to add and drop in the next generation of Pokemon (Be MOP #319) the change from Double Dash to Wii was a flat out regression of gameplay in the racing series. The only good that came out Mario Kart Wii was that it made me love the Wii’s backward compatibility.

it is a harsh thing to say but the strategy behind Double Dash just made it so much more fun to play thank MKWii.

It is a harsh thing to say but the strategy behind Double Dash just made it so much more fun to play than MKWii.

 

But that was games was ten years ago and from the screenshots and videos I seen of Mario Kart 8, it looks like it might woo be back to playing Mario Kart games with my family and friends when I eventually buy a WiiU.
While I am do not regularly go to the internet to beg gaming companies for current generation remakes of my favorite videogames but it would not mind a WiiU re-release of Double Dash as a belated ten year anniversary celebration.

 


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#367 My First Impressions of the Infinite Crisis Beta (again)

As I mentioned last week I received quite a bit of codes and access to the beta testing phase for games. To tackle the newest editions to my gaming library  I decided to reboot an old series that ended slightly before it time, “First Impressions”, a blogging series where I give my first impressions -not a full review- on a new bit of game or content.

For such a comeback I decided to kick things off with one games that was a part of First Impressions line up, DC’s Infinite Crisis, returning to it after just under a year so it could develop some more. I will save you some time and link you to my first First Impressions of Infinite Crisis (Be MOP #247) and after re-reading it a lot of the points I made still holds up with the exception that they fix the frame rate dropping issues and they added more heroes into the fray.

Last time I checked in the game only had 13 superheroes to choose from but now they have 28 characters to choose from, did add original Superman and Batman to the roster.

On top of the new heroes Infinite Crisis  added a handful of new microtransaction cosmetic skins for you to buy. This is where the game has the most potential for comic book fans like myself because the game/art developers have the freedom to pay homage to the any aspect of the DC’s history. If you are looking for a perfect example of this just look at the Classic and Clark Kent Superman skins

Just look at this, It's amazing! I still wont buy it, looking back I am probably a bad beta tester for upcoming Moba/ARTS games because I refuse to spend any money into a free game.

Look at this, It’s amazing! I still won’t buy it, looking back I am probably a bad beta tester for upcoming Moba/ARTS games because I refuse to spend any money into a free game.

One of the biggest additions to the game is the selection of maps. before it just had a capture-and-hold circular map with the promise of a Coast City map and I mentioned before how there was no ‘classic’ 5v5, three lane map. But they did fix that with the addition of Gotham Divided map

As for the heroes themselves I do not have much experience on what to look for in move sets and gameplay, all I can say is that I could competently play support as Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn in the few matches I played

 

I will say that the turrets in Gotham Divided seems to hit a bit too hard and have too little defense/health for any of the enemy teams to properly response to our assault in time.

I will say that the turrets in Gotham Divided seems to hit a bit too hard and have too little defense/health for any of the enemy teams to properly respond to our assault in time.

 

But my favorite addition to the game is the voice acting, banter, and kill quests in the game. Each hero has their own sound file for when you recall back to base and whenever you give an advancement or retreat ping on the map. But there are also certain voice files that are activated when two characters interact with each other. When a team has two different versions of the same hero (like Gaslight Joker & Classic Joker or Atomic age and classic Wonder Woman) near each other they create sometimes exchange dialogue like something along the lines of, “say you look familiar” or make a comment what events might have happened to make their worlds so different.

It does not stop at friendly banter there are lines heroes say after you kill a certain hero, Catwoman will occasionally say “I will miss our little dances Batman” when she lands a killing blow on the Dark Knight and Doomsday will make a comment about how Kryptonian blood is the best when besting the Man of Steel. It really shows the level of detail the game developers added when making this game.

 

the flair really shows that the intro cutscene has all of your teammates flying in with your hero taking the lead.

The flare really shows that the intro cut-scene has all of your teammates flying in with your hero taking the lead.

 

But it is not all song and praise from me, some of my old concern are still there. There is no matches against AI to test out your latest hero you purchased and the item art is too small for me to identify what exactly it is whether it be Abin Sur’s Lantern or Joker’s Crowbar. Although I do understand and appreciate the decision to organize the items with one of three backgrounds so I can quickly I identify what stat will be improved when I buy it.

I appreciate the art decision but I don't approve of it, but I also realize I don't have a much better alternative. Thanks to Dawnbase.com

I appreciate the art decision but I don’t approve of it, but I also realize I don’t have a much better alternative. Thanks to Dawnbase.com for this image.

 

It is still shaping up to be a good game and now that it has a bit more content I think will be return back to it and playing a bit more frequently than before. My hope is that, on top of new heroes and skins, Infinite Crisis will continue to add more maps with new play styles to the game, and something other than Gotham City for a location.

 2/3 of the current maps takes place in Gotham when there are literary hundreds of other places in the DC universe to visits. like Oa, Metropolis and the Justice League Watchtower or the Hall of Justice.

2/3 of the current maps takes place in Gotham when there are literally hundreds of other places in the DC universe to visits. like Oa, Metropolis and the Justice League Watchtower or the Hall of Justice.

 

As I said in my last post about Infinite Crisis, I am still waiting for Kyle Rayner, Doctor Fate, the Russian Starfire, and at least one of the Metal Men to be added to the game.


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#366 The ARTS era of Gaming

This week I am still going trough all of my PAX East loot , going through all the pins and giveaways and entering any and all codes I was handed on the expo floor.

Between everything I noticed that a common theme of the free beta tests and games were for existing or start-up MOBA games or as I call them, Action Real Time Strategy games (or A.R.T.S for short) It seems that the ARTS genera will be the go to PC game for any company in the 201Xs.

Currently we have; League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm, Dota 2, SMITE, Heroes of Newerth, Infinite Crisis, Dawngate, Magicka: Wizard Wars, Orcs Must Die: Unchained, and all the others that I forgot.

 

Too many launchers....and I intend to play all of them

Too many launchers….and I intend to play all of them

 

It reminds me of the last decade, where we saw every gaming company and their dog create a Massively Multiplayer Online game like; World of Warcraft, Rift, Lord of the Rings, Star Trek online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, DC Universe Online, ESO and all the others I forgot to name.

With the end of the last decade we saw that most -if not all- of the MMO companies caved from the popping of the MMO bubble, forcing most of them to go Free-to-play.

The question is will this A.R.T.S bubble pop the same way? Because these games are not are based on a monthly payment plan, so people like me can be subscribed to multiple titles of the same genera. With the introduction and how these games are built around microtransactions these games can easily be supported by the 1 or 2% of gamers that spends a ridiculous amount of money at the online store page.

The problem these A.R.T.S games now have to face -at least my guest is- would be competing with each other on how to woo the MOBA/ARTS base to spend their free time and eventually money on their game rather than their competitors. The multimillion dollar question is how? Heroes of the Storm will have Blizzard marketing advertising power, with the appeal of free palette swapped skins. Dota 2 had more complexity and all the champions are free to play from right out of the gate. Infinite Crisis has the allure of having every DC comics Super Hero you or I have ever heard about become a playable character And League of Legends is getting ahead by just being popular.

I know there is marketing term for when a company doesn't need to advertise it's product because it is so popular....It is like the Apple/Iphone effect.

I know there is marketing term for when a company doesn’t need to advertise its product because it is so popular….It is like the Apple/Iphone effect or something.

 

On top of the question. ‘How to get the ARTS players to play their preferred game’ the other question is ‘How to make a new ARTS game that is different enough in-game play or giveaways to comfortably compete with the other, established ARTS companies.’

The first company that can come up with solid answer to those two question can dethrone LoL, HotS, and everyone else in the market.

 


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#365 Thoughts on the PAX East Heroes of the Storm Panel

One of the Pax East Panels I got to sit on Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm dev talk panel. Last year I missed Blizzard’s PAX panel, where they officially announced the launching of their new title, Hearthstone so this year I made sure not to miss a minute of this year’s announcements.

As a bonus treat to the few people who attended the panel you were able to hear what I sound like in real life, I was the person who asked which heroes the devs would add if balancing was not an issue.

As a bonus treat to the few people who attended the panel you were able to hear what I sound like in real life, I was the person who asked which heroes the devs would add if balancing was not an issue.

 

The panel went over a few things; first, there is no official release date on Heroes of the Storm and that there are no beta keys for the Heroes of the Storm. Two facts that everyone at the Heroes panel and booth were adamant about getting that point across to everyone at the convention. While Blizzard said that they are adding more people into the program each week, the only way to get in is opt in through their website and keep checking your Battlenet launcher to see if your gaming library has been updated.

I'm still not the beta but this new method of how Blizzard goes around handing out betas has guaranteed that at least one more person downloads and uses Blizzard's new cross-promotion gaming launcher.

I’m still not the beta but this new method of how Blizzard goes around handing out betas has guaranteed that at least one more person downloads and uses Blizzard’s new cross-promotion gaming launcher.

 

After Blizzard’s PSA about not trusting any emails that claims to have Heroes of the Storm beta key, the Developers then moved on to reveal some of the new heroes and mechanics to soon be added to the game.

While we have some heroes like Zagara and LiLi the one that stood out to me was Murky, the baby murloc. When the devs started talking about the inspiration for this hero, they said they wanted a hero that was incredibly weak, but the mechanic is that Murky lays an egg somewhere on the map and while he will be dying a lot he’s purpose is do little waves of damage to the enemy’s health over a continue waves of recently hatched Murkys. Chipping away the enemy team until they either cave from exhaustion or another teammate comes in for the assistance for the kill or the capture of the map objective.

A hero based around dying over and over again. Sounds like a perfect fit for me.

A hero based around dying over and over again. Sounds like a perfect fit for me.

 

Between that and everything else I have heard and seen about this new game I can say it looks fun. I do not take that word lightly, remember I wrote an entire blog post about why the recent Mario game was fun (Be MOP #349).

What also caught my eye was Heroes of the Storm’s approach to heroes skins. While it is a free to play game and it will have cosmetic skins of the champions and mounts for sale on the online shop Heroes will also be providing free in-game cosmetic palette swapped skins for the champions as a reward for playing with that one hero for a set amount of time and there will also be an ultimate skin that you can unlock once you max out that hero.

While Blizzard has the iconic PC gaming characters at its disposal, I think the free unlockable skins and designs will provides as the more important tool for the Heroes of the Storm marketing team when trying to advertise and the game above the other competitors that are currently on the market.

Heroes reminds me a bit of Pokemon, the creative team goes to town making monsters and creations with unique gameplay and then the Pokemon Company threw the entire project at the player base and the fans are the ones who create the competitive gaming leagues and separate the heroes into various tiers of usefulness. Which is something that Blizzard have said from the beginning.

 

My only PAX East regret is I was not able to get into the League of Legends gamplay design panel to see the different approach Blizzard and Riot have designing the character’s roles and move-sets  for their games.

 


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