Dark Souls 2

As you all probably know by now, I absolutely adore anything Dark Souls related, evident from the plethora of Dark Souls blog posts I spammed you, good folks, with! And since yesterday I was not able to watch the VGAs, I was greeted with amazing news this morning:

dark souls 2

YES! THIS WILL HAPPEN! And there’s even a trailer for it as well! I’m honestly so excited I don’t know what to write here any more!

Anyway, my two cents about this, this game is most probably next gen, so I wouldn’t expect a release date any time soon, not until the new PlayStation is announced at least (or maybe a little before it), the reason for this is that the Souls’ series have been always (more or less) PlayStation exclusives, Demon’s Souls was a PS3 exclusive, even Dark Souls was a PS3 exclusive in Japan, which has to guarantee this comes to the PlayStation (Unlike a disappointing announcement not too long ago concerning Bayonetta 2).

From the trailer, the story seems to be a prequel, since there are dragons every where, and well, Seath the Scaleless  made sure the dragons were defeated, hence this being a prequel.

Also there are some places that I think were there in Dark Souls, I didn’t see Firelink Shrine, but I did see what looked liked The Depth (where you encountered The Gaping Dragon).

Anyway, this post will be updated as I learn more information, so stay tuned.

My very first give away!

Hello, folks!

Today I was surprised by finding a Dota 2 in my Steam inventory, however, since I already own the game, I’m giving this one away (a $30 value) to one of you lucky readers! And it’s dead simple to participate! All you have to do is leave a comment down below and tell me what makes Dota 2 better than the other MOBAs out there and leave your Steam IDs also so I can give you the game if you win!

A winner will be chosen on Thursday November 29th at (almost) 18:00 EET (That’s exactly one week from today) by the rate of which he/she convinced me to actually start the game, since ever since I got owned so bad the first game I played, I haven’t booted it up again since.

Good luck to you all, and may the best argument win!

Update: I feel like I haven’t been very clear about the $30 value of the game, you can get beta access for the game by signing up for free and waiting Valve to send you a beta invite, my giveaway is for the early access of the game, which grants you also, these nice goodies!

“Get immediate access to Dota 2 and start playing right away! This bundle includes a Mighty Boar courier, and a full set of items for Sven, Juggernaut, and Witch Doctor.

Items Included

  • Mighty Boar
  • Stoic Mask of the High Plains
  • Wolf Cape of the High Plains
  • Aspect Wraps of the High Plains
  • Long-Fang the Grey Blade
  • Tayrnhelm of the Swordmaster
  • Girth of the Swordmaster
  • Fluted Guard of the Swordmaster
  • Grip of the Swordmaster
  • Staff of the Old Doctor
  • Wooden Fetish Mask”

So that’s what you get in this giveaway! You may participate now.

P.S.: There’s apparently a restriction on what country this is redeemable on, so check the following screen cap to see if your country is listed or not, but as far as I can tell, mostly everywhere is in.

Update: I’m guessing the list is not complete, for one thing, there is no country called OM that I’m aware of, and for another thing, USA isn’t listed, which is weird. Basically this give away is open to any country in which you can create a Steam account, and purchase content from.

 

Update: Give away over. Winner of the Dota 2 early access is Omar Haridy!

Disclaimer: If by some extremely odd coincidence I wasn’t able to offer you the game because of the restriction above, I sincerely apologize and will instead invite you to the game’s beta.

Quick announcement

Good day, true believers folks!

Trustious

Quick announcement here, my video game reviews will be from now on featured on Trustious, it’s a really awesome social networking website that you all should absolutely check out! For now though, I will be posting bite sized reviews on Trustious until further notice, but the main difference is that scores will be exclusive to Trustious, as per a reader’s request who made a very compelling statement of why I should keep my reviews on here scores free, the reviews on Metal Geek will continue to remain as score free as they have always been, if you ever need a quantitative representation of how much I think a game rocks, or should just be thrown in the depth of hell where it belongs, jump over to Trustious! Also, it’s currently in Alpha stage, so whoever wants invites, let me know!

This here is my Trustious profile. And my contact page will also be updated accordingly. Have a nice one, people!

Assassin’s Creed III (PS3) Review

Assassin’s Creed 3 is Ubisoft’s latest instalment to the famous Assassin’s Creed series, introducing a new Assassin, a new era, and a bunch of neat new gameplay elements that makes this game a joy to play.

Assassin’s Creed 3 starts off where Assassin’s Creed: Revelations left off (as far as Desmond is concerned), Desmond and the others travel to an underground cave to find weird symbols on a wall that, upon shining the apple of Eden upon, the wall vanishes revealing the rest of the cave, they go and settle everything inside, setting up the animus and their equipment, and you’re quickly introduced to (wait for it) Haythem Kenway! (You thought I’d say Connor, didn’t you?) The first part (first three sequences) is played as Haythem, an English sarcastic person who, after a while, escapes England after killing some guy at an opera house. Anyway, you go to the new world (read: America) and you along with your acquaintances start meeting new people, and having them join your quest. After a bit, Haythem meets Zio, a native American woman who was held captive by the British, who Haythem frees. It won’t take you long to know that Haythem is actually Connor’s father (not really a spoiler since it’s dead obvious), and Zio is Connor’s mother! (Shocker.)

Anyway, for the sake of an outstanding Sequence 3, I will not go farther in the story. Starting the fourth sequence you play as Ratohnhaké:ton (Connor, in other words), as a kid though, you play around hide and seek, and you get to see Connor grow to be a teenager and an adult, finally meeting with Achilles, an Assassin who after a long while of convincing, starts training you, and you eventually earn the hidden blade, the Assassin suit, and a plethora of other nice equipment.

The story mainly follows the American revolution and the rise of George Washington, which itself is really cool, since you get to meet Washington and talk with him, along with other historical figures such as Benjamin Franklin, which admittedly is VERY cool.

ONTO THE GAMEPLAY! Ubisoft have made every single right turn to pull off an amazing Assassin’s Creed game, almost everything that made the first Assassin’s Creed and the second one great are back in Assassin’s Creed 3, and thankfully, Revelations’ den defence is long gone, the one thing I still miss from AC2 and Brotherhood are the videos fractions you had to scan for and do the puzzle, those were really nice, though sadly they’re not in AC3. When you assassinate a major target, Connor is shown with the dying person in a white place, talking to the person where that person shows Connor the error of his ways, just like in AC1 and AC2. You have a nice selection of weapons now, though at first it might seem that the weapons are very few, that’s because the game introduces a new system, crafting! You can craft various weapons, upgrade pouches, even convoys to send out on trades! Which brings me to the side missions. Assassin’s Creed 3 has a TON of side missions to do, and unlike in the previous instalments, the challenges are actually among the side missions, though the very noticeable side mission story line (and I say story line because it really is a parallel story line to the campaign, that’s how big that particular quest line is) is of the Homestead, it’s where you, and Achilles are settled, though the more you do homestead missions, the more people join the homestead and craft you various things, doing their missions afterwards rewards you with better crafted materials.

Unlike in the other Assassin’s Creed games, you have a lot of collectibles, there are feathers, trinkets, almanacs (those are introduced by Benjamin Franklin, collecting almanacs enables you to craft new things to place in the homestead) and chests! Chests now actually offer a good amount of currency, unlike in AC2, Brotherhood, and Revelations.

The game itself, is as all Assassin’s Creed games, really easy if you just stick to the main objectives, some of the secondary objectives are way too easy as well that you’ll find yourself fulfilling them without even taking notice, some on the other hand makes you want to go to Ubisoft’s HQ and axe murder everyone inside, they can be extremely frustrating at times.

One last thing to point out about the gameplay, this game is long, REALLY long, longer than any Assassin’s Creed game before it! The main mission line is roughly 14 hours on it’s own, I managed to finish the game in 24 hours without touching the multiplayer, all side missions and main missions, and as far as lasting appeal goes, as I mentioned with the plethora of side missions, it has a lot of lasting appeal!

Graphics wise, the game isn’t all that outstanding, it’s okay by all means, though some glitches here and there can be VERY irritating, like Connor stuck between two rocks and not being able to climb either of them, it can get more annoying as well if this happens and you’re trying to runaway. Something else that was a little annoying, though not really, is your ability to summon a horse practically anywhere! I actually saw the horse spawn out of absolute nothingness, it was running at me from afar or anything, it was just, created. That’s not to say these glitches are game hindering, they’re just annoying a little. The game cut scenes are rendered beautifully though and just watching these cut scenes is a delight in it’s own right.

As with all of the previous Assassin’s Creed games, the soundtrack is outstanding, there’s not much to say here except that you need to listen to it while playing, even when you’re not playing, just go purchase the OST and listen to it, it’s really nice.

I haven’t dabbled in multiplayer a lot though, if I do, I will update this review to accommodate for the multiplayer as well, though a nice touch was that it is done as if it’s a separate game, with an Abstergo Entertainment splash screen in the beginning and all.

Anyway, that is my humble review for this outstanding game, let me know if you have enjoyed it as much as I have, or if you have any questions about the game. Have a good one, folks!

Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth (Review)

Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth by Christopher Golden is the first novel to be written for the Uncharted video game series, and in all honesty, it almost feels like there’s a PlayStation controller in your hand and you’re playing.

The novel starts out with Drake escaping through some jungle as he was hired to retrieve an artifact of some importance to a tribe, and he has a girl he’s saved with him in the jeep he’s driving, and there’s bullets everywhere, normally what you’d expect from an Uncharted title. Moments later, Drake and the girl he’s saved are surrounded by their pursuers and about to die, until some tribesmen come in, save the day, and drake returns the artifact to the tribe, and the girl to her father. Fast forwarding a bit, Drake is going back the the US, when Sully calls him to go to New York with a very vague explanation, Drake gets to New York as Sully meets him and explains to him that his lifelong friend Luka Hzujak has been murdered in the most gruesome way possible, they get to an apartment where Drake meets Luka’s daughter Jada Hzujak, Sully’s god daughter as well, which will explain through out the novel why Sully is so protective of her. Jada starts filling Drake in on more details of her father’s death, as much as she could anyway, they then decide to take a trip to a nearby museum to meet Luka’s friend and the curator of the museum they’re going to, Professor Chenney, only when they get their, he’s dead, and they flee the scene before the police come and ask way too many questions, on the way back to the apartment, they find the entire building on fire, and they’re being chased by a few vans with people shooting at them relentlessly.

In the interest of not spoiling this outstanding novel, I’ll stop there so you get the gist of what to expect. The novel is amazingly well written that it feels like you’re playing another Uncharted title, which is an awesome thing since I can’t get enough of this series personally, even after playing the recently released Golden Abyss Vita game, this novel came as a welcomed addition. Everyone in the novel is instantly recognisable, Drake is just as snarky and sarcastic as he’s always been, Sully’s undeniably awesome ego and sarcasm is instantly recognisable too, and even the new characters are all very well thought out.

The novel will take you to Egypt and Greece in search of  labyrinths buried by thousands of years of history, and being an Egyptian, the Egypt part was particularly interesting, while Christopher Golden nailed the description of Egypt down to every detail, he fell short of giving an authentic Egyptian name to Sully’s liaison in Egypt, I mean, seriously, the easiest name that comes to mind would be “Muhammed” or “Ahmad” or anything, instead Christopher Golden opted for a name that I have never personally heard before, and have forgotten because of it’s ambiguity. Greece’s description is wonderful and breath taking, even though I’ve never been there and don’t actually know what it looks like, but Christopher Golden painted a really nice picture illustrating the beauty of Greece.

As I’m not an avid book reader, it took me a while to finish this book, but it is not by any means boring, it is extremely engaging and exciting with the action never stopping throughout every chapter. It’s not a big book anyway, it’s only 322 pages long, and I found Rodrigo y Gabriela’s 11:11 album to be a particularly nice background music to listen to while reading the novel, it captures the essence of Uncharted nicely.

If you folks have read the book, let me know what you thought of it, it is certainly a must for any Uncharted fan!

Trustious (Social Network) Review

Trustious is a social network start up made by my colleagues at the German University in Cairo that was founded in early 2012. It is currently in the alpha phase with registrations open exclusively for GUC students, since I’m one of the aforementioned students, I shall review this nice start up here.

Now let me start off by saying this, when I say social network, I don’t mean Facebook-esque network, or even Twitter, my first impression of it was actually that it is more of a Twitter/Foursquare hybrid (Fourwitter? Twitsquare?), but the more I used it after registering the more wrong I found out I was. In a nutshell, Trustious is web site which helps you decide where the best burger place in town is, or what people say of a certain novel, it’s more like the equivalent of ratings on Amazon products, but with places and pretty much everything! Pretty innovative since we need something like that in Egypt.

Interface wise, the website is VERY welcoming and clean, although a little sluggish, but that is understandable since it’s not even open for public yet. You are greeted with cards of different things on the website, as in the image below, and you get to read the opinions left by other members and can vote them up if they were helpful.

You can then browse for specific items when you click the categories icon up top, and you can tell that this website won’t stop at just being for restaurants! There are lots of categories to cater for every need.

To the top right of the page you have three buttons, the home button, a stream button, and the profile button, we already covered what the home looked like, and we’ll move on to the stream. It’s basically your list of trusted people’s activities on the website, be it new entries or opinions. I’ll get to “trusted people” in a minute.

Alternative for Facebook’s “friends” or Twitters “Followers” is Trustious’ list of trusted people, and while it is a nice concept, I think the way they tackled it wasn’t very nice, you can view the entire (yes, the entire) list of people registered on the website by clicking your profile and clicking on connect, now this doesn’t seem very nice, to me at least, is because, well, you have a list of everyone on the website! It somehow feels wrong. You can always search for a single person using the search bar.

You can edit your profile to show an avatar and a description of yourself, though for some reason my avatar wouldn’t be uploaded, but this is basically what your profile looks like.

And this is what another person’s profile looks like.

When someone thinks you gave a helpful opinion, you get a notification that tells you so, you can control what notifications you get in the settings screen.

Now that we’ve covered how the website looks like and what your profile does, let’s go into what this website is about. The website uses data added by the user to populate its database, I started out and there was already tons of entries, however I wanted to find out how to add stuff anyway, and that’s when my first issue came to light. There is no clear “add item” anywhere in the website, so I did a simple search of the item, it wasn’t there, but a nice little notification told me that I can add the item if it’s not there, much like how adding a place in Foursquare works.

Adding a new item is as easy as it gets, you’re only required to fill in a few fields and you’re good to go, unless you want to fill in more fields. I couldn’t however find an area to upload a picture of that new item.

Now where the website really shines is in its restaurants sections, why you ask? Because it’s the most active so far, restaurant profiles have restaurant menus in them, which is a really nice touch, and lots of opinions about the restaurant!

Lastly, adding an opinion is also very easy, you just go to the restaurant or item you want to add your opinion on and click on “express”, you’re then greeted with a nice simple box in which you write your opinion and give it a rating out of 100%.

All in all, I think this is a really promising start up, and the minor bugs that are present will surely go away by the time for public release.

Gravity Rush (PSVita) Review

Gravity Rush is a charming and unique PlayStation Vita game centred around the idea of shifting gravity and seeing things from another perspective, it is developed by Sony Computer Entertainment Japan, and the game art really does reflect the company’s taste.

Gravity Rush starts you off as a girl who wakes up in an unknown place to her, she doesn’t even remember her name, and finds a strange looking cat who helps her shift gravity, along with other powers. You then start exploring the city around you to find conversation spots, challenge points that you unlock by using gems you collect throughout exploring the world, and your main missions along. Your first mission is you trying to set up a home for yourself, you start to gather some furniture and you place them in a sewer where you’ll be calling home. Throughout the city you’ll find manholes which you can use to get back to your home to change your outfit or to save your progress. The girl decides later that her name is Kat and her cat’s name is Dusty, she meets a lot of interesting people along the way, including another shifter called Raven who appears to be hostile and consistently wants to bring Kat down. Kat, with the help of Dusty of course, does her best to protect the city of Hekseville from the impending threat of the Nevi, a weird otherworldly creatures that seem to be flocking through Gravity Storms non stop.

Story wise, Gravity Rush delivers nicely in the first 80% of the game, but then it goes downhill from there, leaving lots of unexplained things witnessed throughout the game which is one thing I really didn’t like myself, and it’s not that it leaves these things for a sequel, the ending pretty much shows that there will in fact be a sequel, these are events that happen throughout the game, like a dream Kat has about seeing someone’s true identity, the cinematic reveals the person from their back, and then Kat shocked, nothing later about who that person really was. It’s not full of plot holes as such though, the story for the most of the game really is addictive and has you wanting to know more about everything in this world, you even meet a girl that disappears after you hear her conversation piece, and each piece tells more of her story, so that was kind of interesting.

Gameplay wise, I can honestly say it was solid, the camera controls really well, everything is nicely responsive, you dodge by swiping the screen in the direction you want, you have some special attacks by pressing triangle, or a combination of something and triangle. Gravity Rush also has a nice skill system that makes you spend your gems on levelling Kat up, making her more powerful, you have a lot of things to choose from, and for myself, as of finishing the game I hadn’t maxed out everything as I thought I would, so there’s some nice replayability there. Another shortcoming of Gravity Rush’s though is the combat system, for ground targets, it’s solid enough, the pain comes when you have to attack a flying enemy, any slight shift in movement on the enemy’s part rends your attack useless, even if timed perfectly, enemies move unpredictably and annoyingly since you get to miss a lot of sure hits. The game itself isn’t exactly long, I think it would take around 5~7 hours to finish, it took a lot longer with me since I love to explore, but it is of decent length nevertheless.

Graphics are the game’s most astounding feat! The visuals are absolutely charming, drawn in an anime style, with comic book strip cinematics, and Kat is kind of hot too I might add! I would honestly say that this game really showcases the Vita’s graphical prowess, almost as much as Uncharted: Golden Abyss does. And a friend described the game as dizzying, and I have to agree, in a nice way though, the graphics are really addictive as to how dizzying and charming they are, you’ll find yourself smiling by simply looking at the game.

Audio wise, the game also scores a lot of nice points, the game’s soundtrack is absolutely wonderful, especially Pleajeune’s which is a bit jazzy, at the end, the game takes on a darker mood though, for reasons I will not say as to avoid spoiling any story plots.

All in all, this is a very solid PlayStation Vita release, and yes, it does justify the purchase of a Vita, even if only for this game, the experience is outstanding, it fully uses the capabilities of the Vita (bar the back panel and the cameras), it runs extremely smooth and it is priced alongside the normal Vita games at $40 instead of Uncharted’s $50. Let me know if you’ve played the game, what you thought of it, and whether the ending disappointed you as it did me or not.

How to fix a soft bricked Samsung Galaxy SII i9100

// Disclaimer: This guide is strictly for the i9100 and not any of the other Galaxy SII variants such as the i9100G.

If you were as unfortunate as I am and had your i9100 soft bricked for no apparent reason, don’t freak out, there is still hope.

As I was happily updating my rooted i9100 to the 4th build of SuperNexus, something very weird happened, my phone, after flashing the rom and doing everything as I usually do, restarted, and never got to booting, it was just stuck after the Siyah Kernel logo on a black screen, attempting to enter recovery again wasn’t paying off as I was just redirected into download mode (or Odin mode), I researched a little and came by this little handy article. Most, if not all of the information in THIS article will be attempting to make the reference article more accessible, I sincerely thank the writer of the original article for helping me bring my phone back from the dead.

To start off, let me first tell you what you will need (for a soft brick and this article, the rest is for a NAND rw corruption which can be read about in the original article mentioned above, consider only steps 1 and 2):

1*. Download your i9100 drivers from here, if you have Windows 7/8 and have connected your phone to your computer before, chances are, you won’t need them, I didn’t, but it doesn’t hurt to download them anyway.

2*. Download the i9100 recovery package (read: stock rom) from here (Gingerbread) or here (Ice Cream Sandwich), I personally used the Gingerbread rom, I would advise you to do the same, for now.

3. Download the stock kernel from here (Gingerbread) or here (Ice Cream Sandwich), according to the step above, each kernel should be used with its respective rom.

4. Download the bootloader for the Gingerbread version from here.

(the password for the Gingerbread files is: intratech@XDA) (Thanks to Lvl70PassWordMagician)

Extract the recovery package into a folder and you will find Odin inside of it. What you need to do now is start your phone in download mode by pressing simultaneously Volume Down + Home + Power, keep the pressed until you see a warning message asking you to press volume up to continue or down to restart, press Volume Up.

Open Odin on your computer, connect your phone, and the first square in the second row should turn yellow and say (0:[com#], where # depends on the USB). Make sure you have Auto Reboot and F. Reset Time ticked, only those, nothing else. Click on PDA and select the biggest file in your package folder which (in case of the Gingerbread) will be named “CODE_I9100XXKI3_CL577579_REV02_user_low_ship.tar.md5”, next click on phone and select the file that starts with MODEM, or this file to be more exact “MODEM_I9100XXKI3_REV_02_CL1062028.tar.md5”, finally click on CSC and choose the one with CSC in it, or this one: “GT-I9100-CSC-MULTI-OXAKI3.tar.md5”.

Now that everything is in place and your phone is connected and Odin can see it, click Start. After about 3 minutes you should be all done and the big square in the first row should be green and has “PASS!” written in it. Your phone will then restart into recovery, restore factory settings and clear the cache on its own, then it should restart once more, and voila! Your phone is back from the dead! As has mine!

UPDATE: Apparently it’s a Siyah related bug, after rooting my device again and re-installing SuperNexus Build 4 without Siyah, it booted normally, after flashing Siyah, soft bricked again.

UPDATE #2: After the third soft brick (in one day! Record?) I zeroed in on the issue, and it’s with SuperNexus’ Build 4, for some reason, it’s not playing nice with Siyah, I’m back to build 3 on Siyah 4.1.5 and it’s working like a charm!

Torchlight II (PC) Review

Runic Games have once again proven themselves in the ARPG genre, almost three years after the first Torchlight’s release, Torchlight II saw the light of the day, and has proven that it can go toe to toe with ARPG giants, and even take a few steps ahead. Also, it’s only for $20. Yep.

Let me get this out of the way first, Torchlight II’s story is mediocre at best, yes, even more so than Diablo’s, I know it doesn’t seem possible, but it is, I finished the game, started a new game +  and still couldn’t care enough for any aspect of the story. It starts out with the Alchemist from Torchlight I being corrupt and destroying everything in his wake, you have to stop him, that’s the extent of it. With that out of the way, let’s get as to how Torchlight II actually surpasses Diablo III in many aspects.

While Torchlight II’s graphical prowess isn’t that outstanding, it’s certainly forgiving and merciful to older machines, such as mine, I run a Core 2 Duo 2.6 GHz processor coupled with 4 GBs of DDR2s and a Nvidia 8500GT, which is all ancient to say the least, however I run the game at 60 fps with everything maxed out except for bloom, anti-aliasing, and shadows. It is very true to its roots, the graphics are still the colorful/cartoonish ones you loved in the first Torchlight, and that’s a really nice thing, the one complaint I have about the UI though is the map layer, not the mini map, but when you press “M”, you get a map overlay on your screen, like the one we had in Diablo II and Diablo I, the thing is, it’s too distracting, too detailed for an overlay even.

Soundtrack wise, the game succeeds on a lot of levels, it has a soundtrack reminiscent of Diablo II’s Rogue Encampment which was nothing short of awe inspiring, the voice acting however, well, that sides with the story, almost as mediocre, but has it’s shining moments here and there.

Now for the more important part of the review, the gameplay! I know you all are probably sick with the comparisons of this game to Diablo III, but it’s inevitable, so here we go. You have four classes to choose from, male or female, you have the Outlander, a gun slinger type class, the Embermage, a, well, mage, the Berserker, a fist weapon using (or any other weapons for that matter) DPS intensive character, and my personal favourite, the Engineer, a tanky behemoth using two handed weapons, a one handed weapon and a shield, or a cannon. My character is an Engineer since he was the closest to my Diablo III’s Monk, and I wanted to make as much of a fair comparison as I possibly could. You then choose  between a number of pets who only differ aesthetically, though you are able to change that later in the game through fishing! Each class has a bar above the actions bar that fills whenever you hit an enemy (at least for the Engineer that’s what it did), the Engineer’s is split into five portions, once you fill one, you can use it on your skills to augment them, for example, the Engineer’s starting skill can be augmented by adding explosions to the path of the flames spread from the weapon’s impact.

The game has four difficulties to choose from, along with a hardcore mode, in which death is permanent. The easiest being Casual, and the hardest being Veteran, or Elite, I played on Normal, and I died a few times, sometimes even being one hit by elite trolls. Speaking about Elites, the fame system is still there, up to 33 levels of fame, each one gives you an extra skill point. Elites have random affixes, mostly have just one affix, I haven’t seen any elites with more, not even NG+.

Another thing that makes this game a nice change from Diablo III is the drop rate. The drop rate in Torchlight II is ridiculous! In a good way though, you get rewarded well for the bosses and elites you kill.

Each boss has a golden chest in its room giving you even more loot! The bosses are a lot nicer than Diablo III’s, they use absolutely everything in their arsenal, and not predictably like how Belial would spam his meteorite attack in Inferno and kill you after a 5 minute fight making you redo it all over again, you have to always keep your fingers on your potion buttons and concentrate well in fights.

Potions in Torchlight II, like in Diablo III, have a delay, but only a delay of 9 seconds which is hardly noticeable, since you can learn heal spells and make due with that, you can also teach your pet four skills, I taught mine Heal All, along with three other spells, along with my healing bot, and the potions, I can be pretty invincible.

I decided to build my Engineer with two handed weapons in mind, and since the game follows the same recipe Diablo II had of skill/stat points, everything has to be thought out carefully, lest you end up with a ruined character, I poured my skill points in the starting skill, the stomp, healing bot, physical damage bot, and 1 point in the slowing bot, the rest went to passives, and passives is where the Engineer shines, the more important ones to me was one that increases your attack speed with two handed weapons and cannons, and adds a chance to stun, another is dealing a multiplier of your strength as absolute electric damage to a stunned target, the third passive adds extra armor and less damage from enemies, and the last one increases fire and electric damage by a percentage. As far as stat points are concerned, I did what everyone did in Diablo II, poured almost all of my points in Vitality, and it proved well, I did put a lot of points in Strength, though I have more strength points from my gear, and a few of dexiterity as well to increase critical chances. And this is as far as my build was concerned.

After finishing the main quest line you get a couple of choices, you can either start on New Game +, where you keep all your gear and your level and your skills, and the monsters are upgraded level wise to reach you, making it more of a challenge, you can also go to a new town called Mapworks, and this is how Torchlight II handles the endgame here, in mapworks you can go to a merchant who sells dungeon maps with random properties to both you and the enemy, making it sometimes a challenge. An example would be, for you, 200% increase in damage, with 50% decrease in attack speed, and 50% decrease in spell cast rate, and the enemy would have 10% increase in both attack speed and cast rate, it is a little challenging than it seems though.

PVP is fast and chaotic in Torchlight II, you enter a game online, or with a buddy, open up the chat and you both type “/pvp” and it’s on, anything goes.

Another thing that is absolutely awesome in this game, is how Runic Games gave you the option to use console commands, basically giving you the freedom to play the game however you want. For example, in towns, you can only respec the last three skills, through the console, you can reset all of your skill points and redistribute them however you like, which I will be doing once I hit level 100 on my Engineer to try out another build, instead of making an entire new Engineer and building from scratch.

Anyway, that’s it for my Torchlight II review, in terms of whether you should buy it or not, I would say definitely buy it! Even if you are a die hard fan of Diablo III (I am) but it’s a really nice change. Let me know what you folks thought of the game.

What makes video games memorable?

A few days ago, I started wondering, what made all those games I remember from my childhood and teenage years so good and memorable! And taking into the consideration that I have the attention span of  a gold fish, something REALLY impressive must have made a big impression on me back then for me to still remember exactly where the NPC positions were in the first Diablo, how Griswold’s shop was next to Ogden the tavern owner’s, right in front of Cain which was in turn in front of Peppin the Healer’s hut, or how that one extremely frustrating Terran campaign mission made me quit playing Starcraft altogether (it was one with a 30 minute count down timer where you had to defend your base against hordes of Zerg), then I realized, it was all about the music, it’s always been all about the music! And when I gave it some more thought I came to the conclusion that video games have some of the best musical scores you’ll ever listen to, and I’m going to list some of my favourites, and some which some friends recommended.

To the Moon is a game that has not been released for so long, yet is probably one of the most incredible games in terms of story telling and soundtrack, one of the few games that actually made me tear up.

Diablo has always been known for it’s dark, grim music, and here are three fine examples from the three Diablo games spanning a development duration of 16 years! And it’s all still dark now, that’s why I love these games.

Torchlight II may be a Diablo clone, it may have taken an idea here, and idea there, maybe even waited long enough to be released just so Runic wouldn’t make the same mistakes Blizzard did, but that definitely does not make it a lesser game, or have a lesser soundtrack, by all means, this is a fine example of how Torchlight II is reminiscent of Diablo II while keeping it’s own identity.

Bayonetta was one of the fastest, most intense, weird hack n’ slash I’ve had the pleasure of playing, ever. EVER. Ever. Ever. Now that we have that out of the way, let me show you exactly why I loved this game so much.

Assassin’s Creed II was hands down the best of the Assassin’s Creed series so far, ask anyone and I doubt they’ll argue, the story was engaging throughout, the cliffhanger was as irritating as it could get, and it wouldn’t have been that good without the good guys at Ubisoft making an epic soundtrack for it.

Another Ubisoft marvel was Prince of Persia: The Warrior Within, it was my favourite of the trilogy (Yes, I don’t consider the last one part of the franchise, it was THAT awful), and for good reason, it had an amazing score behind it! Being a bassist myself, I especially loved that one track.

Now who in their right mind would make a blog article like this and not post The Elder Scrolls in it? At least Skyrim, I mean, it had one of the most epic soundtracks in a video game!

If you own a Playstation 3, you must have at least played one of the three Uncharted games, if not all of them, and you might have also noticed how the menu theme is persistent in all three games, and for good reason, it’s freaking awesome!

What sets a certain game apart from the pack though is how the development or distributors decide to go about the soundtrack, and thankfully, Valve are saints, proving time and again how Portal 2 might very well be the greatest puzzle based game to be ever made. (P.S.: Science IS fun.)

MAG has taken quite some time from my life, this game has 3 separate soundtracks for each faction, I personally have played both Valor and SVER, never Raven, so I don’t know much about their music, but here you go.

Now for a game that had me practically in awe for how amazing its music was, I would honestly just start Dark Souls, and leave it in the load screen, and listen to the music for hours on end, the load screen music, Gwyn’s music, and Dark Sun Gwyndolin’s music.

I haven’t yet played Killzone 3, for OCD-ish reasons (I absolutely need to play the first two before this one), and I’ve heard all sorts of rants on how bad the story is, but this, this here, more than makes up for it.

Without mentioning how purchasing Gravity Rush justified my Vita purchase (No sarcasm there, it actually did, game is fantastic), or how hot Kat is, the game has one of the jazziest tracks you can here in any video game out there!

Rayman Origins on the other hand, takes another route from anything you’ve ever heard before, the music is actually extremely funny that you find yourself hysterically laughing over it, or just have a wide smile on your face, which made this game an amazing platformer! (Also better played on the Vita than console or PC!)

Continuing on the Blizzard glory, we have Starcraft! That irritating son of a bitch game that kicked my ass so many times over the years, yet I always remembered that Terran theme and how it made me just want to go slaughter more Zerg.

Now for something truly old, the first Mortal Kombat’s soundtrack, who didn’t love that? Seriously?

Duke Nukem. Megadeth. I don’t think I need to say more.

Back in my Playstation 1 years, I loved Megaman X5, absolutely adored this game and it’s main menu music, I loved it so much I actually recorded it on my old (yet extremely cool at the time) Nokia 3650.

My cousin owned a Dreamcast, and Sonic Adventure on it, and before he forsake gaming, he actually had the potential to be a hardcore gamer, anyway, him and I would play Sonic Adventure all day long, and sing along to this track, it was awesome back then, it still is now!

Bastion is one game that took the Diablo formula, and twisted it in its own, marvellously addictive way, it does not have dark gritty music, instead it has some very memorable fight music that will make you really wanting to go back and play it some more.

Last in my recommendations is a game that I have mastered, and wasted SO many years of my life playing, Red Alert 2, I loved that game so much! And it was mostly because of the Hell March track!

Last but definitely not least, some recommendations by my Facebook pals.

ATV Offroad Fury:

Trine 2:

Zone of the Enders 2:

Shadow of the Colossus:

Metal Gear Solid:

Let me know what your favourites over the years were, or if I’ve missed an absolute essential 😉