Dragon Age: Origins, reviewed by my brother.

Alright, readers. My brother is about twenty times funnier than I can pretend to be. Incidentally, he’s also played “Dragon Age: Origins,” and thought he’d do a review of it. So, for your reading pleasure, here’s a little bit of Jad for you.


“Dragon Age: Origins”. Wins VGA (video game awards) best rpg of the year. Also, it was fortunate enough to win “only rpg of the year”. Regardless, it still was a necessary experience. I am not usually into rpgs, so here comes a mediocre review.
First of all, you don’t slay dragons, you kill goblin-things. The game is pretty much lord of the rings, but the previews didn’t want you to think that. You don’t fight dragons. You don’t take on massive hordes by yourself. You are sent on missions. Enjoy your missions.
The entire character choice is poor. I started off as a dwarf, which is obviously the best class, lord of the rings shows (again). From there, I was battleaxe/maul master like a good dwarf. But like every rpg, you get a your little posse that follows you around. For some reason, you can only choose four, because the game is too lazy to keep up with more. I, the heroic, axe wielding, world saving dwarf, chose an 89 year old mage, a man notorious for killing mages, and needed a character to fill the third slot (as if corruption wasn’t present already). I had to make a difficult decision between two rogues. One was really good at picking locks, but otherwise, she lacked every fighting skill possible; lock picking is pretty neat though because you can get amazing items; oh, and she used to be a nun. The other rogue possessed every fighting and sneaking skill that a warrior needs. He also possesses an accent that is hard to interpret after hearing everybody else speak with a quaint English accent, and he has no lock picking skills. Yet, every time I try clicking a locked door to open it, he claims he has a shot at it. Oh, and I met him when he attempted to assassinate me. So do I choose the semi-worthless virgin or the semi-failure wannabe? I chose the war dog. He’s just a dog.
If I pan around to a certain angle, I can see inside my characters head and inspect the back of his eyeballs.
EA came up with an expansion pack. What a delight. It was like an eighth harry potter book too many. Yet, it made EA seem like they were leaving a part of the game out for those who bought it and expected a full rpg experience. Instead, we feel like we’re playing the Sims. Also, the expansion pack’s preview is an entire spoiler to for the real game. It made me not want to play it anymore. You can’t even recommend someone else to not watch the preview because that’s the only way EA is releasing information about it. Oh, and it costs $35, 70% of the actual game’s price, and this is just one adventure.
The game is enormous. If you love it from the start, you will obviously play it to the end, and then buy…  THE EXPANSION PACK. If you hate it from the start, you are doomed. The plot is, unfortunately for you, surprisingly entertaining. Because this is an rpg where you decide how the story goes on, there is no Wikipedia page that will tell you what happens. You are better off watching a movie from the start. Or you could watch a YouTube video of the final battle that everyone fights (no matter which path you go) and press keys to make it look like you are the impressive rpg master.  Crafty.
The plot is fun. The weapons choice is excellent. The battles take strategy. The game is worth it. Just keep this review in mind when you play it.

Nexus One, plain and simple.

I’m finding it difficult to find one page that lists out the Nexus One’s features, plain and simple. So, I’ll make one myself. I hope you find it useful. I threw in a quick wrap-up of the phone’s hardware, software, carrier lists and pricing. Help yourself.

Hardware:

  • A 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. In other words, its hella fast.
  • A  480×800 AMOLED screen, looking sharp and consuming less power than typical OLED screens.
  • A 5.0 MP camera with a LED flash. Nice.
  • A trackball with a multicolored backlight, for different notification.
  • Stereo Bluetooth and Wireless-N capabilities.
  • 2 microphones for “active noise suppression.”
  • Compass, GPS, light and proximity sensors, and accelerometers, perfect for augmented reality.
  • A 1400mAH battery, for 5 hours of 3G browsing or 7 hours of 3G talk.
  • Skinnier than a standard pencil.
  • A QR code printed on the back, which, when read, takes you to an android-themed game of Memory.

Software:

  • The Nexus One sports the new Android 2.1 firmware, which is gorgeous looking, and only available on the Nexus One for right now.
  • 5 home screens, for more space than ever.
  • Live Wallpapers, or interactive backgrounds.
  • A revamped photo gallery, with a bunch of pretty 3D glossy tricks.
  • Background syncing to online Picasa photo galleries.
  • Voice enabled text fields: you never have to type again!
  • Apps can now be stored on an external SD card. Finally.
  • A neat, redesigned app launcher.
  • Some tweaks to make it a while lot faster. Also, graphics look better.
  • Sadly, no apparent multitouch in the default Google Apps.
  • According to Gizmodo, “If you want Android phones, this is the one to get.”
  • The phone has been rooted, or, for you iPhone users, “jailbroken.” Check it out.

Carriers and Pricing

  • The phone is $530 to buy it unlocked: in other words, you can use it with any carrier, including AT&T (ew), although it won’t work with AT&T’s 3G service (for now).
  • The phone is $179 if you want to buy it with a 2 year contract with T-Mobile. T-Mobile offers a plan for $80 including 500 minutes and unlimited internet and TXT/SMS.
  • The phone is said to come to Verizon some time this spring. Awright.
  • If you live in Europe, the phone will come to Vodaphone sometime in the spring, as well.
  • You can get the phone custom engraved. :D
  • Buy it here.

Try it out.

If you want to have a neat little online demo of the Nexus One, you can check out Google’s new Nexus One page here.

Additionally, try out their 3D tour. Its pretty cool.

Thanks to Gizmodo and Wikipedia for the info and links.

Oh, and just for kicks, here’s what my Nexus One would look like, engraved.

Sleek, isn't it?

Spotify to come with Google’s Nexus?

Do you like my shoddy photoshop work?

Rumor has it that Spotify, the free-for-all music service, might be releasing service to the USA on the 5th of this month, the same day as Google’s Android Phone, the Nexus One, is said to be released. Damn.

What is this nonsense?

First, some backstory. Spotify, the service for streaming and downloading music for free, has, for a long time, been just out of reach, thanks to a network of red tape and copyright laws here in the US. The service, to be supported by ads or with a 10 euro plan, has been around for about a year or so. Click here to learn a bit more about it and see a cool video about how it works.

Now then, Google’s Nexus One is the first phone released by Google. This isn’t T-Mobile’s G1, which ran Google’s Android software. This is a phone completely designed by Google, with the hardware provided for by HTC. It promises to be very fast, run a yet-to-be-seen version of Android (2.1), and will have an option to buy it unlocked (i.e. without a plan or provider) for a little more cash.

Rumor has it…

Back to the rumormill, its been said that Spotify will be released not just on the same day as the Nexus One, but with it, as a mobile app. This means that every Nexus One user will have access to Spotify before a good bit of Americans. It has even been said that Google might subsidize the Spotify App, waiving the fee for the no-ads subscription. However, there is no guarantee that Spotify will be on the new Android 2.1 firmware, and we won’t know for sure until tomorrow.

Check out more on the Nexus One

Visit Spotify.com

Happy New Year!

Here’s a quick note to all my valued readers, guests, and visitors:

I sincerely wish all of you a fantastic year. 2009 was great, albeit a little bumpy, but now, we can all start fresh, renewed, determined, and eager. I hope that whatever resolutions you half-heartedly consign yourself to this year manage to pull through, if only slightly longer than they did last year. I hope that all the things that you eagerly hoped for this year finally come, and that all the things that did happen last throughout the year. I’m not entirely sure if that made any sense, but I’m too lazy to proofread it now. At any rate, happy New Years, everyone.

Battlefield Heroes running slow? Here’s why.

Battlefield Heroes: Cartoons have never been this badass.

Its those bloody Nationals! Thats why!

Recently, I’ve noticed a lot of people upset with Battlefield Heroes due to servers dropping their connections, et cetera. After some digging, I’ve come up with not just one, but two good reasons as to why this is happening.

They better be good…

First of all, as of late, Battlefield Heroes has passed its 3 millionth player mark, which is huge for them: the game has certainly come a long way in the past year or so, and I’m happy to say I’ve been in it allll the way since the private beta. I can’t say I’ve been playing as much (Left 4 Dead 2 has been keeping me substantially busy). Regardless, I feel as though I owe it to my readers to explain what in God’s name is going on over at EA’s Battlefield Heroes servers.

Yeah, it might not be the right logo, but it says the right words. Secondly, probably thanks to the recent player milestone, the Battlefield Heroes servers have seen more activity as of late then they ever have, which is a big deal. Huh. It would seem as though they could do with a few new servers, or something like that, to keep up with these new demands. So, why is all this activity happening now? Partly because EA and the Battlefield Heroes team released a new map for battlefield heroes, called “Sunset Showdown.” While the map doesn’t showcase anything new (apart from the sun being slightly lower in the sky), I’m sure it was reason enough for a lot of almost-fans to try the game out a second time, just for kicks. On top of that, those who are die-hard Battlefield addicts are probably drooling over the new weapons released (for a small fee, of course) to the game. At a price of 560 BattleFunds, you’ll get to indefinitely use the new weapons, which seem to just be better, without any real drawbacks. It doesn’t seem as though they put much thought into the weapons, which is a let down. Hey, at least Valve knows how to release new weapons.

Numbers?

Here are some numbers, just to show how crazy Battlefield Heroes has become.

  • First off, 1382 years of gameplay have been spent, cumulatively, by all the players.
  • 294, 697,962 people have ‘died’ in the game, more than 5 times the total number of people ever deployed to fight by the United States.
  • Every battle takes about 4.7 minutes to play. How quaint.

So, what now?

Well, first off, wait. The BFHeroes team is working diligently to fix all the connection issues, and there isn’t much left to do, apparently. If you’re getting a specific error message, try posting it here, and I’ll try to give you an answer as best I can.

#MusicMonday – Somebody

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A’ight, internet. I know that technically this was published on Sunday Night, but I don’t think anyone really cares, right? This week’s selection is a song by PT Walkley, called “Somebody.” It’s a bit more along the lines of the kinds of music I typically post, unlike last week’s post. Its very chill, mellow, and happy, for those of you who smile too much. Anyways, since I couldn’t find a suitable video for the song on Youtube, here’s a neat little mp3 I found on someone else’s site. Usually I don’t like stealing bandwidth, but when it comes to music, I like to be safe, rather than sorry. There’s always strange stipulations about hosting music on your site, no one likes legal complications. Anyways, here’s the song. Eat up, and be sure to tell me what you think.

[audio:http://hypeful.com/mp3s/18%20Somebody.mp3]

The good, the bad, and the video.

I love the song for two reasons: its fantastic use of a string quartet to back up the vocalist’s guitar (check the video out if you don’t get what I mean) and its fantastic, yet subtle, buildup of sound throughout the song. The song reminds me of Panic at the Disco’s later album, with its use of typical band instruments in conjunction with a symphonic melody-line, which, in retrospect, is almost exactly what I just said, yet worded differently.

Regardless, after digging on youtube for a music video of the song, I found this, which seems to be a well-recorded live version of most of the song, and it really shows just how many people it took to make it. I found it rather remarkable that it could all be pulled off, particularly when none of the musicians can see each other, but hey, it works. Anyways, watch it. It’ll make you smarter.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2piOqRBwxY