Friday, August 3, 2012

Returning with new old content.

My good pal and fellow blogger RivenMike has been blogging for online for several years since the introduction of his own blog That Guy Named Mike (link incoming), and at one point I planned to do some guest game reviews on there. Why cleaning out my pc hardcore for Guild Wars 2 I came across this little  gem of a review I wrote for Castlevania Curse of Darkness on the Playstation 2. As a fun treat and as a way to get this blog powered up again, I decided to post it here in all its unedited glory.  My apologies for lack of updates, it has been a busy few months. Between work, and getting engaged to the best girl in the world its hard to write on here!  With Tekken Tag 2, Guild Wars 2,  Resident Evil 6 and some of my other favorites on the horizon I'm sure I'll have plenty to talk about !

Castlevania Curse of Copy Paste

Hello gang Mike has been gracious enough to give me a spot here to post my game rants and reviews so here they are.

My game reviews often have no rhyme or reason. They come and go at my whim and this has been a long standing trend that started with my video reviews on youtube.  I might review and NES game one day, and then decide to review and arcade game the next. There’s really no telling, and I’ve had no problem with that trend there so I’ll use it here as well.

Castlevania Curse of Darkness is Castlevania’s 2nd outing on the PS2, and it bears an overwhelming similarity to its PS2 predecessor Lament of Innocence.
Curse of Darkness is a direct sequel to Castlevania III on the NES . Even though Trevor and co gave Dracula the boot Wallachia is still under the curse of Dracula.  It seems that one of his old devil forgemasters is trying to resurrect him or some crap like that and its up to you (as Hector a devil forgemaster that betrayed Dracula and thus gave Trevor and co the big open door to kill Dracula) to defeat this crazy lummock and destroy Dracula’s curse. 

Hold on a minute. What’s a devil forgemaster?

Apparently devil forge masters   are the guys who make Dracula’s minions. Unfortunately the game just starts throwing this term around as if fans of Castlevania Canon have heard it before. Good job Iragashi here you go again.  My problem with this is that the game goes on about the forge masters, but it never gives you any back story to them. And since this game takes place quite early in the canon the absence of these forge masters later in the time line makes it even harder to swallow. Maybe since the loss of one forge master was such a great loss that a guy with a whip , a cross dressing magician,  a pirate, and rebelling teenage(by vampire years) son were able to defeat the almighty Dracula he decided to give the whole forge master plan the boot in successive resurrections, but I digress.
In all fairness the story isn’t THAT bad. For the most part it follows the Lament of Innocence format of throwing you some story information after important boss fights or when entering new areas. Other than the oh-by-the-way introduction of the Devil Forge masters the only hero from Dracula’s Curse that makes an appearance is Trevor, and he’s stabbed later in the game as a way to make you have to fight Dracula when he’s inevitably resurrected.
Control has actually been changed slightly from Lament of Innocence. Instead of using one of the two attack buttons to open doors you use the button on the opposite side of the controller. This takes a bit of getting used to, but it’s no big deal. The moving around was to simplify the attack system. Instead of your usual hard and light attack buttons you have one attack button, and a combo ender button that allows you to spice of your combos. Each weapon has several combos and special attacks that can be fiddled around with, and you’ve got multiple types of weapons this time around. Hector can pick up mineral fragments that enemies drop and combine them to make weapons. Weapons fall into 4 categories Swords, Spears, Knuckles, and the random? category.  The first 3 are self explanatory, and the ? Category carries everything else. ?  Category items range from spiked baseball bats to bludgeoning shields.  Using these weapons are pretty much standard to your 3D action beat em up. Anyone who’s played Devil May Cry, God of War or any other game of that genre will get it.
Anyone who played Lament of Innocence will know that that the biggest problem was the overly repetitive level design. In LOI you spent most of your time fighting through a room of enemies, going down a hall way, fighting a room of enemies, and repeating that.  Normally with a sequel you build on game play of the first while righting the wrongs done by the first. For some strange reason Iragashi decided to think outside the box and make the game’s level design more repetitive and improve on the already decent combat system and oh by the way some monsters in to help you via the ID system.  For the most part this CV functions as a dungeon crawler. You fight your way through the levels (occasionally you have to use a special ability to cross a section) and get to the boss. Since it’s up to combat to make the game more interesting they gave us the earlier mentioned “Innocent Devil System.”  Since Hector used to make minions for Drac it makes sense that he can make his own to help him in his fight against Dracula’s minions. You get about 6 of these critters and they range from being Golem type monsters to fairies. Each of them has multiple transformations depending on the jewels you give it. Jewels can be obtained by killing monsters with a certain weapon. This is an interesting concept, although some ID transformations and more useful than others, and you have to use certain weapons to get them.  It’s a bit troublesome to have to switch between weapons to get certain crystals, and at times the weapon you have to use to get a certain  crystal may mean taking a hit in power which is not what you want when you’re facing a horde of enemies.
All and all Curse of Darkness is a good romp and likely the Castlevania fan, dungeon crawler, or beat um up enthusiast will have fun with it. If you’re a CV freak like me it’s worth the buy especially at the bargain price you can likely find it at now.
Specific Situation Complaint:
Later in the game you must fight Hector’s former friend and fellow devil forge master, Isaac. During certain portions of the fight he’ll summon his own ID which must be killed before you can hurt him. This situation has come up in many games before , but please remember game developers it shouldn’t take me 30 minutes to kill a minion. Issac’s first ID is a flying demon which is very hard to hit thanks to Hectors very heavy jump physics. (pretty much makes all flying monsters in the game a pain) The lock on system will insist on locking onto Issac (who is invincible), and thus drawing the camera away from the real target. Worse still while Isaac is locked on to the flying ID he summoned will fly around bashing you and spitting fire. Meanwhile your own senseless ID will try fruitlessly to attack him thus wasting his own life. It’s really one of those “this shouldn’t be that hard but it is  RAGE moment.” 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tekken 3

After a long hiatus I'm back at it again and we're firing back up our goal of reviewing all the main series entries of Tekken .

Tekken 3 isn't necessarily my favorite entry in the series, but nonetheless I do believe it is probably the most important. In the storyline 20 years has passed since Tekken 2.  This was essentially Namco's excuse to introduce a new protagonist and make him old enough to fight in a tournament. That protagonist is Jin, the son of previous series protagonist/antagonist Kazuya, and the Tekken 2 newcomer Jun Kazama. Heihachi's Tekken Force uncovers an ancient fighting alien named Ogre who goes around slaughtering worthy fighters (including Jin's mother), so he seeks out Heihachi and together they plan to use the King of Iron Fist 3 to lure Ogre out and defeat him. Of course Heihachi has his own sinister motives, but that's a whole thing altogether.

Tekken 3 was sort of a "refining" Tekken. Due to the 20 year time jump alot of characters were simply too "old" to fight or just disappeared altogether. Most of the clone characters like Kunimitsu and Wang simply disappeared, and most of the Tekken 2 newcomers save Lei Wulong disappeared as well.  Because of this we also see the introduction of what are now series mainstays such as Jin, Hworang, and Bryan Fury.

The series physics have also undergone a major overhaul as well. The more rigid stiff fighting system of Tekken 1 and 2 has been replaced with a more fluid form of movement, as well as even more potential for juggles and the deeper tactics we see in Tekken today.  This sharper system combined with newer slicker graphics drew in the players and made Tekken more mainstream than ever.

Though still not my favorite Tekken alot has to be said about the Playstation port of the game. It effectively builds on the modes and features of Tekken 2's home port and delivers a very meaty home experience. Along with your standard, arcade, practice, and time attack modes, modes like the beat em up styled Tekken Force, and the addition of a theater mode (that lets you use the Tekken 1 and 2 discs if you have them) for in game movies and music are welcome additions that really give you bang for your buck, espeically if you picked the game up for 15$ like I did. There are also two console exclusive characters, but they are very gimmicky, and haven't returned as playable characters since.

All in all Tekken 3 is a very solid entry and a very important one in the series. The only real problem I have (besides from my bias at my old favorite Lee being absent in this one) is that it just feels slightly bland, perhaps because Namco has put so much effort into selling Jin as a character. To be fair Tekken really didn't have a protagonist until 3. Kazuya was in 1 till you found out he was evil in 2, and Heihachi won Tekken 2, but he was never really a "good guy," so shoehorning Jin into this thing, and aging all the other characters 20 years to do it was like a chemo treatment to the series. Good in its own way but at the same time it killed some of what classic Tekken was.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Massive Mass Effect Fiasco

You knew it was coming. I had to tell you all about just what I thought about Mass Effect 3 and the ending that has seemingly rocked a fan base at its very core.  First off for what its worth ME 3 is not a bad game at all. The story is a solid continuation of the narrative from the first two games. Its also worth noting that the gameplay is also very solid. Mass Effect 2 tightened up the gameplay from the first game and made it into more of a narrative based shooter, and Mass Effect 3 took the best of both worlds . Its much easier to run at angles than in ME2 and though sometimes its spotty you can now run over cover without having to sit down the other way and duck first. Despite this addon  the cover system seems to have gotten much stickier. Often times while attempting other actions I found myself sticking to cover on the side fire was coming from resulting in a few stupid deaths. Also in the stupid death department is the ability to die after you've been "saved by the cutscene" There were a few instances in the game where I completed an objective just in the nick of time only to find that after it finished playing the game gave me the ole critical mission failure screen.

Mass Effect 3 also attempts to rectify the whole disdained mining system from two by having you simply ping planets for objects and then gather anything useful that you find. Its an interesting incentive to search the galaxy, as it gives you war assets that determine your final strength for the final push.

Mass Effect 3 also has a multiplayer mode for the first time in the series. As skeptical as I was to begin with I can honestly say I've spent more time in this mode overall than I have with the main storyline. After finishing the main game and having its ending leave a bad taste in my mouth I've been playing the multiplayer. Its a blast to say the least. Its very simple, you and 3 others against ten waves of enemies, while you try to complete various simple objectives. You can do these games on Bronze, Silver, or Gold and the higher the difficulty the more XP and Credits you'll earn. You can use these credits to buy weapon packs which include weapons, mods, upgrades, and ever new characters. They have also released a free DLC pack called Resurgence, which adds several new weapons and a new character for each class. For the first time we get to actually control the other races in the series and its quite fun. Want to play as a Geth or maybe an Asari? How about classic ME enemy race the Batarians? With the free resurgence pack, you can!

Now about that ending, no I wasn't on the side of those who actually liked it, but as far as the whole fiasco I'm quite surprised something this catastrophic has happened within the fanbase. Games have been giving us less than satisfactory endings since the dawn of the video game narrative, but I don't think one has ever elicited such a fierce backlash .  I won't spoil too much here but the problem I have with is isn't really the route they took with it, but the fact it went so much against the whole your choices matter in the end. I made a point to get nearly 100% of all the war assets and get maximum readiness, but the ending I got was still equally depressing and for the most part the same as the "bad" endings. There are also a few off the wall continuity errors with a certain scene involving your crew as well.

So yeah. The ending may leave a foul taste in the mouth of some because of a lack of influence and continuity errors, but I'd still say its worth the time of a playthrough.  The game has , if anything caused EA To hit the "Bad publicity" spotlight, which may be a positive thing. With all the nickel and diming by EA and other DLC pushers its might be a good wakeup call that the customers can turn things on you if you do something so bad you get enough of them to care.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Tekken 2

By late 1994 Namco had already managed to get Tekken 2 out there to arcade goers. Of all the games I play Tekken 2 is one of my absolute favorites because its everything a sequel should be and a large source of nostalgia for me.

Back when dad was in the arcade business Tekken 2 was one of the games he had that i remember playing quite alot when it was in the shop.  At that time I had never played Tekken 1 but now that I have I can make the comparison call and talk about what it did that was so special.

First off the bat if you had played Tekken 1 you will instantly notice the overhaul the graphics received. Though the characters faces are still largely stoic, the character models and faces have all been redone to make everyone look much smoother.  Even the CGI cutscenes in the game totally overshadow those of the first game. Though most of the CGI endings are short burst showing the characters doing something like they do each one has a ton more personality than those in Tekken 1. Rather than sticking in those ugly sprite backgrounds into alot of the scenes everything is fully rendered and flows much more fluidly than before, you'll find no more of Michelle's odd knee running in this game.

Non graphically speaking the gameplay is still the one step per button tap style, but it all feels much more fluid. Whereas Tekken 1 could get almost sticky feeling at times, Tekken 2 handles its movement system much more better. In this entry we also start to see some of the characters signature moves that they have even still in Tekken Tag 2. Heihachi and Kazuya who were near perfect clones in 1 even start to disseminate themselves slightly, a trend that would be solidified in the great clone character slaughter of Tekken 3 and 4.

All that being said the game manages to bring over all of the original cast, although several of the subbosses got little attention other than being graphically redone. Characters like Kunimitsu, and Ganryu had real potential, but instead they are just mainly clones of their respective rivals, with a few extra moves that they got from the PS1 port of Tekken 1.

All in All Tekken 2 is a monumental entry to the series, and an important game in the early 3D fighting game scene.  I still load it up from time to time to hear those catchy tunes and experience the addicting gameplay.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Skull Girls

Well because I found yet another subject worthy of review I'm pushing on back the Tekken 2 review to next time I run out of ideas to do. Skull Girls has for me been one of those under the radar games. I first heard about it on Gamefaqs a few months ago and made a mental note to pick it up once it dropped and try it out, as I'm always eager to try out any new fighter that hits the market.  Much to my surprise the other day I logged onto the computer to see that it had released the day before. Fortunately I had a few spare points on my XBL account so I dropped them and downloaded the game.

One major selling point of this game right off the bat for me was that it was not only created in part by Konami, but longtime Castlevania series music composer Michru Yamane had  a large hand in the composition of the tunes within.

Skull Girls may feel a bit skimp when one first turns it on. At launch there are only a handful of characters, and sadly the developers did not put move list into the game meaning you'll have to experiment, or go on the developer's website to find out what they are. Gameplay wise it plays like a good ole 2D fighter with an all female but interesting set of characters. They range from your psychotic abomination out for revenge character to your cartoon character inspired crazy gunner type character.

Despite solid gameplay there are a few things that might turn away a newcomer to the fighing genre or maybe less hardcore fighting fans. The very first time I played the game I loaded up the story mode and picked a fun looking character to get a feel for how it played.  I left the difficulty set on normal, but within seconds the CPU destroyed me. I was paired up against Peacock, a very zoning efficient character who ran to the other side of the screen and mercilessly destroyed me with all sorts of spammed projectiles. Probably just a tough character matchup i thought. I'll try someone else. Well I picked another character and once again had it handed to me within seconds . What Skull Girls considers normal is a Normal Difficulty CPU on level 1 unleashes 10 and 15 hit combos , wall stunning, and overall humiliating you. I had to set the CPU to the easy and next to easiest setting to even get something remotely beginner friendly. I realize alot of the people buying this game won't be for single player yes, but if we ever want to increase the player pool a little bit more care should be taken in creating CPU. I almost feel like for a fighting game a dumber CPU (regardless of the difficulty) say something like in Tekken would be more adequate over one that just destroys you and refuses you practice.

Despite the flying sunglasses "deal with it" CPU the game does have one beginner friendly mode and that is the tutorial which will walk you through and test you on everything from walking and jumping to chaining advanced level combos together.  That being said chaining combos in the game in a big part of the gameplay, and unlike alot of Capcom's latest, getting a big showy combo together really isn't too tough. I applaud the game devs for showing you how the chaining works and giving you some examples to work with to help the newbie get started, if only the CPU wouldn't rape them as soon as they decide to actually try some of this stuff.

After having seen all this and clearing all the storymodes I decided to check out the online, and sadly I was disappointed. The online ranked match attempts to join you to an impromptu room, but after several minutes all I was able to find in any region were "room no longer available," and could not connects.  After I finally did get a match the game paired me up for my first match ever with someone who easily destroyed me in about 3 combos and didn't break a sweat. I realize that this is an arcade title but even early XBL arcade ports of other games have ranked systems that match you to the right skill, or let you choose same skill or below you. You can only learn so much from being destroyed before you waste your time. If you want to get better you need to play players near you level to get a feel for the game's system, as well as see what beats what, what works, what does, etc.

Bottom line is Skull Girls worth the 1200 MSP price tag? I'd say yes. Fighting game fans will have alot of fun with this new gem into the foray, and with promise of DLC and probably fixes ahead the game might very well fix some of its flaws. If you're new to fighting games Skull Girls might be worth picking up despite its CPU unfriendliness because of the in depth tutorial system and small number of characters means less to learn overall.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Rusty Hearts

Hey all its your old pal Torentsu. I've been a bit skidish on the blog lately, mainly due to having a lot of stuff going on graduate school wise right now, but I still haven't forgotten this blog or gaming in general.

I know I said I'd talk about all the Tekkens and then Mass Effect 3, and I still am, but before that I just had to post a blog entry about this new game I found called Rusty Hearts. I have indeed finished Mass Effect 3, and trust me I do have a lot to say about it, but for now here's my ideas on Rusty Hearts.

Having finished Mass Effect 3(except for the multiplayer), and  still waiting on Guild Wars 2 I've been perusing around online trying to find a game (perhaps even an MMORPG) to kill a little bit of extra time while waiting. I tried picking back up Cabal but it was garbage, and then I downloaded 4Story which I am actually enjoying quite well, but then I found this free to play game called Rusty Hearts on steam.

The game itself plays like a 3D version of Nexon's Dungeon Fighter Online. You go from a hub area into dungeons where you fight through waves of monsters while completing certain objectives. Also like DFO are the choices of characters. Each of the characters is a character with different abilities and their own back-stories. There's your sword vampire guy, your quick shooting pistol girl, your big sword girl etc. As of this writing I've tried out two of the characters, that is the basic vampire guy and the gunslinger girl and I enjoyed playing as both of them, but I'm sticking with the sword guy.

The game play is a solid beat em up style adventure, and the game throws hordes of foes at you for you to smack around and as the combo meter goes up, so does the fun! I found myself losing track of time going through the same dungeon over and over for a quest, but still having fun smacking all the enemies around.

As for sound and graphics, I was not disappointed. I have a laptop that is less than equipped for modern gaming, but RH runs like a charm and the characters and backgrounds are all beautifully done. The game uses a Cel shaded style of characters with anime style renderings for characters in menus and conversations. There is also voice acting for the main story, as well several rendered cut scenes that change depending on the dungeon you are in and what your current objective is. Speaking of story the game is almost certainly influenced by Castlevania as you choose to play as one of 4 adventurers who have come to town to uproot the evil count Vlad who has taken over the local castle. The music fits perfectly, and is comprised of faster tunes when needed but often times just right melancholy piano pieces. For any of you that have seen Big 0 you'll find the whole "style" of the music and story very similar.

Best of all RH is completely free to download and play. As seems to be the popular model nowadays players can choose to spend actual cash to buy items from a cash shop, but  the game makers claim that given time you can acquire these items in game .

One last thing anyone who reads. If you've ever been interested in some of the more extraordinary origins of some of English's most used words I have to make a quick plug for

Check it out, you might learn something.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Tekken 1

Hey gang. I finally caught a moment to update this silly thing. I know I'm going to be busy with schoolwork, and Mass Effect 3 within a few hours, but inspite of this we're going to take a look at the Tekken series game by game for the next few post. To start things off we're going to talk about what else, but Tekken 1.

If you introduced anyone to Tekken 1 today, and they had only played today's fighting games, they might be a little less than impressed to say the least. Tekken as an arcade game had 8 playable characters, a cgi intro a few seconds and on the surface that was it. Each character had their own subboss character, but in the arcade version they were all unplayable, and so was series favorite Heihachi, who functioned as the game's last boss.  Despite its lackings and sometimes awkward blocky graphics the original Tekken did alot of things  right.  Tekken was one of the first 3D fighters to incorporate the endless background. If you look at alot of the first successful 3D fighters (things like Virtua Fighter, Fighting Vipers, Last Bronx etc) they all had you stuck in a cage, or in some sort of ring with leaving it either meaning a loss via ring out, or being stuck on the wall. The original Tekken and later entries in the series utilize stages with a scrolling floor that means you never get to the end of the map. It looks semi bizzare in the earlier entries in the series, but it kind works, and you'll be focused more on the action than the ground anyway.

I won't go into Tekken's sometimes out there storyline too much, but I will say that the first Tekken involves head of the Mishima Financial Group, Heihachi Mishima putting out a tournament who's rules say that whoever wins gets the company. The events of Tekken follow those who have made it to the final. As stated earlier 7 characters, their own nemesisies, and Heihachi himself. This cast ranges from everything from Heihachi's own son Kazuya, to a Bear named Kuma entering the tournament. 

The playstation version uses inferior hardware to its arcade counterpart, but this can easily be forgiven because of all the added content.  Not only did they make everyone playable, but sub bosses had their movesets updated to make them worth using in the first place as well. If you hack the arcade game(which I've done) to play as boss characters in the arcade version, you'll find their movesets are quite lacking compared to the playstation version. I can guess this is part of the reason why they were not made unlockable.  Also exclusive to the PS version of the game is a complete sound remix, which can be toggled on or off in the options menu. Remixed and Original soundtrack would go on to become a staple of the Playstation Tekken series, and the music in Tekken 1 both remixed and arcade style is excellent to begin with, so you'll likely find yourself mixing it up on occasion to hear both types of tunes.

Though sometimes quirky and graphically odd the first Tekken is an excellent start to the series. While not too technical in itself Tekken 1 introduced several longstanding traditions into the series, while at the same time cutting a path for itself in the 3D fighting game market.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Doos Eks

I read an article about this recently, and found it to be true, that there is always that one really big hit of game that you missed playing for whatever reason.  I recently came into possession of the entire Deus Ex series, and have found them to be quite enjoyable. I missed the series the first time around, because I just really wasn't ever a PC gamer, and the fact that I have always entertained a PC that was less than gaming worthy in my days. Fortunately with technology constantly doubling it is easier to get a PC that can play more games for less money. My current laptop is nothing to write home about,(especially when compared to my roomate's monster alienware laptop)  but it is more than capable of playing alot of the hits of yesteryear via Steam and other online resources. I had always heard good things about Deus Ex so when Steam launched their massive holiday sale I figured even if it didn't run or wasn't good the six dollar price tag for a full game wouldn't kill me. Fortunately I was pleasantly surprised , as the game started up and ran without a hitch, and with no lag or slowdown. Finally I would get to try this game I had heard so many good things about.

Set in a dystopian future Deus Ex puts you in control of anti terrorist agent JC Denton, as he embarks on a long quest full of guns, conspiracy, and action. The game was praised especially for the myriad of options players had to conquer objectives, and while this is true I felt like the game pushed toward certain ways more than others. For example, players usually can opt to go in gunning, but without at least a little stealth and hiding, more often than not you will find yourself killed very quickly. Either way its only a minor complaint and once you get the skills you want to use in place, and a method of operating your JC down pat the game should move relatively smoothly for you. One more problem  I found was there are a few too many situations where you can get insta killed, and many times you have no idea its coming. Also you had better be at least two football fields away from any kind of explosion or you'll be blowing up with whatever it is, or at least taking a ton of damage.

On a more positive note, the game's story while sometimes confusing, can be influenced by your actions and give you a varied experience each time you play.  There are several instances where you can  fight and kill a certain character, or just run from them and depending on your actions they may show up later to trouble you again. It makes sense yes, but think of how few games let you run from an encounter and actually give you ramifications for letting that boss live later on. Probably more so now than when Deus Ex first hit shelves, so for the time this was a relatively big deal.

Within the game you will also find a fair assortment of weapons and gadgets. You've got your hacking tools, your lockpicks, and of course weapons. Weapons are divided up based on weight and usage and you have a different skill level for each. You also may find weapon upgrades that you can buy and put on a certain weapon. This doesn't mean your weapons are set however. You can drop anything in your inventory at almost any time really and never pick it up again.

There's really just too much crazy stuff to mention here. After playing the game you can be in on certain in community jokes like "what a shame" and "A BOMB?"  I'd give this game my recommendation. Its a bit dated now but the game play is still solid and definitely worth the time of going through.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Torentsu Games 2 The Return

Hey gang I'm back after a long absence to bring you the best in gaming.  Forgive me for my departure but its been quite the busy Christmas season. I also picked up quite a few new games this holiday season, which I'm sure you'll get to hear me talk about in the upcoming entries. Lets see if I can get the full list from memory here:

Hydro Thunder Hurricane
Deus Ex
Deux Ex Invisible War
Deus Ex Human Revolution
Star Wars KOTOR
The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword (technically got in November as a gift from a friend)

I think that's everything. As you can see, alot of these are from Steam's amazing holiday sale, which is why I picked up all of these that I did. KOTOR was on sale for an unbeatable 2.42$ and I picked up both Deus Ex 1 and 2 for about 12 dollars total.  My computer isn't really the caliber for modern day gaming, but thanks to Steam I was able to pick up a ton of old classics at great prices, without having to go through the trouble of hunting them down. Steam does have its problems, but I really have to give it to them for their exceptional library of old and new games that are seemingly almost always on sale at a great price.  I remember that the first Steam game I ever picked up was the original Fallout which was about 5$ during the middle of the year.  Anyway here is my official welcome back post for the new year.  Expect to see me talking about some of the games above really soon. Probably the Deus Ex series which I have recently discovered and gotten into. Its one of those games I missed the boat on the first time around, but am into and ready to discuss now.  Also expect commentary on Skyward Sword, and much more. Now with vitamin C and no MSG!