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Category Archives: General Gaming Goodness

GladOS Has a Word with Namibia…

Just caught word of this, and instantly knew what the bigger picture was.  A metallic ball has dropped from the sky causing nearly a twelve foot wide crater in Namibia, Africa.  Clearly is came from fairly high up to cause a dent in the earth that big.

Rather, it came from somewhere *very* high up.  It was reportedly made from an “alloy unknown to man” that appears to be a sphere that was welded together from two identical pieces.

This leads to only one possible conclusion.



GamePro’s Closing Up Shop

Older gamers might recall a gaming magazine by the name of GamePro.  I used to read these pretty regularly while waiting around a store for someone else to finish shopping for something boring like food or clothes or whatever.  Welp, looks like another one of those old timey books is going belly up.

Thank you for your loyalty, support, and participation in the community.  At noon on December 5, 2011, the U.S. version of GamePro online will shut down as an independent site.  GamePro will become part of ( offering gaming news, reviews, and how-tos from the PCWorld team. Thank you to the entire GamePro staff for their hard work and dedication.


I’m not going to ebb on and on about how it was better ‘in the day’ or even harp about the internet killing the magazine star or anything like that.  I will say I remember a lot of the ‘cast’ of characters in there and that I could pretty easily find an old copy of one of their mags in some drawer I haven’t opened in years.  Egoraptor even included one of their characters in an animation about Ninja Gaiden, which is where I’ll end this post.

Mack and Mesh: Indie Month Competition Winners!

We here at Encrazed Crafts are long time fans of internet wizards and legends, Mack and Mesh.  Back before everyone and their uncle was doing Reaction videos on youtube, Mack wrangled his unlucky friend Mesh to play some FPS games in front of a camera.  Mesh is, shall we say, rather excitable and tends to play the games the same way as us, just with the emotional dial cranked up to eleven.  And that’s being modest ^_^

For example, here is the video that quickly earned their place in my heart many years ago.  Normally, Mesh plays with Mack right at his side.  This time he must have lost a bet, as he played the game completely in the dark and alone!  He screams bloody mary during the day and with a friend, so this was quite a sight.

Time passed, they disappeared.

Sad face :( 

But they came back!  Last year they even started a mini-series on Minecraft that quickly became their longest running series yet.  I’ll do a post about that next week for Minecraft Monday.  It’s good stuff, ya’ll love it XD

Too often do big companies completely forget the bottom line, the sole driving force that got them that comfy chair and massive empire of sales: The Consumer.  They have more often than not just set a deadline, tacked on a higher number at the end of the title, and forced games out of the developer’s doors and Mack and Mesh had enough of it.  Thus lead to Indie Month which lasted all of October.  During which they even had little bonuses for the fans in that you could win one of the games they played for the Indie celebration by sending them an email and answering one of their questions at the end of the respective video.

Here is a vlog of a very suave Mesh telling the fans who just won copies of what games, but first we are presented with a lovely rant about the evils of DLC, the very thing that helped spawn the idea of Indie Month in the first place. Here’s a link to a particularly good part, but be mindful of the surroundings when you hit play.  Previous video was bleeped, this one is not.  (The part linked to directly is safe, but just a heads up if you watch it ’till the end at work, etc.)

The question was, if Mesh gave a black berry (the fruit, not the smart phone) to a developer, would they make a DLC out of it?

In case you missed it in his accent or deep, ivory eyes, we won a copy!  Specifically, I won a copy for the Misses.  She doesn’t even know I entered, and she loves tower defense games and mods, so she’ll love this.  I already played the first two levels and had a blast even on the training stuff as I unlocked a bunch of achievements that I cannot seem to erase after two attempts of uninstalling and even wiping out all traces of the game off the computer.  Those achievements will be slightly awkward to explain, but I don’t think she’ll mind too much XD

So there you have it, folks!  Mack and Mesh approved and all that!

Mack and Mesh Approved!

I was going to make this the splash/banner image up top, but that meant I had to crop everything out minus his eyes to the bottom tip of his ‘stash and it got pretty darn creepy awful fast  haha  Sorry Mesh!  Maybe once it’s shaved off I’ll toss one up there.

Check out their youtube page here to see what antics and other crazy-scary games Mack got poor Mesh to play already.  If you like what you see, feel free to subscribe and let your friends know about em!  Their goal is 3,000 subscribers and they are darned close!  Let’s help get it for them!

“Half as Long, Twice as Bright” – Infamous 2 Review, Spoiler Free

Week or so ago I played the bejesus out of Infamous 2. Namely because I’d only have it for a week and of that week I could only really play it for maybe three days because the Misses STILL has not picked up a controller to even try the first game.

/disappointed glare

As I don’t want her to see any of the huge spoilers from the first game that will likely come up in the second, that meant I had to play the game around her schedule.  (I’m not going to ask her to leave just so I can beat the game, you big thilly’s.  And it’s not like I actually suggested that… or anything ^_^;) My main goal was to beat the game as fast as possible.  That meant no side missions, no real sight-seeing, just meat-n-potatoes story mission grind.  On Normal, to boot.  I’m not watering down the experience solely to get at the ending and playing on Easy.

This is pretty grueling on the game’s end, actually.  I had to catapult through the game without any delays while still sticking around things like TV ads giving off potential background on upcoming characters and all that.  I only picked up blast shards as I came upon them and the only side missions I did were the Good ones to unlock abilities.  That meant no extra XP to spend on other abilities, potentially leading to “this would be so much easier if I just had x Ability but I can’t spend an extra hour to unlock that…” situations.  The biggest negative going for the game was that I was in a rush, making every cheap death or repeated cut scene all the more infuriating, and on top of that I had to randomly turn off the game depending on when the Misses was doing stuff in ear shot and all that.


End result?  Though staggered and grinding gameplay sessions they were, the game passed with extremely high marks.  The funny thing is my grindy storyline mission marathon is eerily similar to the time I played the original game.  I did not have a console of my own at the time and needed to do another speed-run and while I knew about it via the demo, I had to hit the ground running as I had no idea how long it would sprawl.  That game also was very enjoyable even though it had the constant “must go faster” mentally nipping at the heels of my gaming experience.

Upon loading up the game you have the option to start fresh or load up a previous save from the first game, which swings you in a slight direction of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ depending on your actions in that save of the original.  Just as last time I opted to go the Good route on my first and potentially only attempt.

Pretty much instantly you come upon a certain boss and have to fight them.  The sequence just getting to and away from the boss is handled pretty well with the ground shaking and wooden boards rippling about like someone playing an antique piano looked fantastic.  The graphics seemed to get a hefty overhaul since the last game and they looked really sharp and crisp.  I got a smaller and definitely old TV but it looked great to me.  I don’t know about the bigger 1080 resolution brothers and sisters in gaming, but I can vouch for my screen being adequate for the experience.

While other reviewers seemed to suggest you get the crud kicked outta ya, I disagree.  You take down the boss and just before making your escape it just appears and apparently drains you as you shoot lighting into their crater’d face.  It does not appear that you are being drained at all, and while they do have some leeway as this is supposed to be rather comic booky, it is the usual Metroid setup where you had uber abilities and gadgets and all that, but now you gotta start over.  Luckily for us, this isn’t a complete loss but rather a ‘weakened state’ so you can still glide and shoot.  Still need to earn shooting rockets and all that, but the game offers so much along the way you hardly miss anything ‘lost’.

Next thing you know you are whisked away to New Orleans Marais and a whole new set of sights.  Seeing the center square all aglow in neon lights at night is a really pretty sight, and shows just how well the engine has been improved upon since the first game.  Ironically I think the lightning itself was dumbed down in this version.  The first one seemed more sparky and jagged when you fired a long shot. This one looks more like there are 50 different lightning images in the game and they just spam one after another, frame-by-frame, and while you can tell it is lightning, I feel like I actually fired off bursts of electricity in the first game while not so much here.  This isn’t bad, but just something I felt.  And yes, I tried all the lightning versions…

…As there are a LOT of new twists on the original abilities to be had.  Long range, short-range, fast firing or slower but stronger, all there.  The bread-and-butter lightning ability is kinda boring compared to the other stuff available though, at least right out of the gates.  It took me like five to eight shots to kill each guy at the very start of a game on Normal.  Head shots seemed to speed it up, but those aren’t very easy to get.  So if ten guys appear you are looking at 40-70 button presses if you never miss once.  Luckily you ‘level up’ pretty fast and start unlocking better versions and my ol’ fav.: grenades.  These too, along with almost every other ability in this game, have different versions depending on your good or evil status.

Melee also got completely reworked, and for the better.  Even after upgrading melee in the first game it was more of an after-thought and it never really did much damage, especially at the end of the game when it was near completely useless.  Melee in this version is very powerful, a few hits to fill up a meter and you can launch a special attack that can pretty much one-shot most enemies even if they had full health.  It provides a great alternative to mindlessly zapping away those tough targets for ten minutes.

The landscapes are for the most part varied, but the last section lacks personality.  You have the bright and neon-y city, the hurricane wrecked area, and an industrial area.  The starting area is pretty much the entire first came meshed into one area (parks, bright lights, houses, etc.), the hurricane area is a nice change as water is damaging-to-deadly depending on depth, pardon the alliteration.  Most of the homes only have a few feet of a roof sticking out of the water and tarps or spray paint adorn many of those.  (Including one hilarious easter egg.) The industrial district has a lot of buildings and things to jump off of and all that, but it just doesn’t feel as cool as the other two in my opinion.  Not that it is bad, merely that it is just not as good as the previous two.

Note: They promoted the idea of powersliding up pipes and sideways at least years E3.  But that was total false advertising.  They presented it like you could do this with a power on ALL pipe-climbing sections, when in actuality only a VERY LIMITED amount of those suckers exist, and I never even found a sideways one.  There is a trophy you can get for using 50 of these launchers and I had to hop on the same one repeatedly just to get it.  Shenanigans!

The story of InFamous 2 is not as earth-shattering as the first, and minus one quick message over the radio they never really reveal anything that happened in the first game.  They mention people and you can tell there was some bad blood or history between the people mentioned, but they never actually say anything.  This was a surprise to me, but I think it was a great decision.  If people pick up this game they don’t exactly know what happened in the first, allowing them to go back to it and purchase that game as well ^_^  The story is deeply connected to your actions, though, and this combo is a biggie.

Moral Dilemma

I have a whole other post in mind on this issue alone because I really like where the entire market is headed, but there are still some flaws that need to be cleared up.  To stay on topic about this game alone, while your decisions dictate the outcome of the game, it still feels kinda shallow.  I do not want to knock the game at all, it really is awesome and I fully recommend this one to anyone out there with working thumbs, but if I see room for improvement I’m going to call it out.  In this case, the ‘Good or Bad choices’ need some polishing.

For starters, there are only about three or at most five times in the entire game where you have an option on a mission.  The biggest Pro of this is that each option plays completely different from the other.  The flip-side is that no matter your decision, the story will progress like nothing really happened.  It equates to having to go to work at a car dealership and being able to decide to take a motorcycle or a Volkswagen to attend a meeting at the office.  Both vehicles feel different, you even take different routes entirely, but you will still arrive at the same destination.

Compounding this is the biggest whopper in the room, and something it shares with the original: Nno matter what those decisions are previously, at the very end of the game you are given an option.  Depending on how what you choose, your alignment will completely shift to that options side.  With just one option near the finish line, the entire game’s worth of decisions are wiped clean, much like when gameshows offer ten points per question, but then put up a million for the final round.  What is the point of being in the lead if one question wrong wipes out all your hard work?

Also, and this ties into the other post I have planned, developers have a disdain for evil decisions.  The short of it is, if you are going to offer two or more options for something, do not condone the ‘good’ and chastise the ‘bad’.  Keep it even.  At least, let important characters commend the good, and let the Red Shirts clamor against the bad.  That way the bad player can at least kill off those guys, as after a while it just gets annoying >.>  It’s like the reward of playing ‘good’ is a solid ending, while the reward of playing ‘bad’ is simply being able to play ‘bad’ in the first place. The first game balanced it a lot better in that regard.

Yay For Telligble Voice Actors!

And the voice acting is waaaay better this time around!  In the original InFamous, the main character started out gritty as his neutral voice and became slightly easier to understand the more Good he was while fully venturing down “WHYUTRYIN2KEELMEH?!” a la The Dark Knight Interrogation scene if you went Bad.  In InFamous 2 his voice never changes and is always easy to understand.  They also went in and added personality to everyone, adding a nice light-hearted tone this time around with everyone adding a wise crack now and then for some pretty decent laughs.

Yay or Nay?

Definitely a Yay.  I ended up beating the game on Normal as Good, then going back and beating it on Hard as Bad.  Of course the game did not give me credit for doing so, so I lost out on a trophy that I worked hard for and that bothered me quite a bit.  In the end I beat the game twice (once I hard, trophy be darned), got all 305 blast shards, all the dead drops, and conquered all the areas on the map in three days.  I was rushing myself, but even if I played relaxed I could easily do it in under a week as the quality of gameplay was rather engaging and addictive. The only downside of it is as soon as I did this, the game lost all replayability.  I simply had nothing left to do XD

Now, this could have been combatted and possibly solved by actually hopping online and doing player-made missions or making a few of my own, but getting the ps3 online is quite the hassle for me and it only got worse when the network went down for two months or so.  If my net on the console was as solid as the PC I would have dabbled with it, but I just wanted to see where the story went anyway.

I’d rate InFamous 2 a “Buy” when it was first released, and if it ever gets a price reduction, or if you are a fan of the online stuff you can do, I’d bump that up to a “Must Buy.”

They are coming out with a vampire based stand-alone DLC much like what Undead Nightmare for Red Dead Redemption.  That should be out in just about a month from now.

Official Minecraft Patch 1.8 Release Date: Same as LoL: Dominion? -UPDATE-

The other day on twitter I saw someone mention that 1.8 was set to release in “five days” at that time.  Kinda odd to so accurately call it like that, and as I did not see Notch stating a specific anywhere I was bit surprised, but welcome to the information.  As I could not cite it I’d rather not face a pitchfork-wielding mob setting fire to my wooden cabin, so I kept that tidbit to myself.

I loaded up League of Legends just to see if they had a Dominion press release, which they have not.  I clicked the free champion listing just to see what was available this week, nothing award-winning but I’ll give Shaco another go.  From there I checked the Dominion forum to see if there was any news there as nothing has been posted in nearly a month about the new mode, to my annoyance.  One post did mention that perhaps September 8th would be the secret date, but that is still considered a rumor.  A happy rumor though!  I actually, for once, had a good time playing as my ol’ favorite Pantheon the other day.  I was quite pleased with myself ^_^

So from there I load up my blog, see Less Talky: More Shooty sent me a few wonderful backlinks (much obliged!) and yet again someone mentions that 1.8 is upcoming in a confidant tone.  So now I’m curious and dig through a few sites and POOF!  Official patch 1.8 trailer o’ Minecraft!

The Minecraft Adventure Update is gonna land SEPTEMBER 8th!  AHHH! /kawaiisqueeee

I know a lot of people think that’s a lucky number, so let’s cross our fingers it arrives quickly.  Unless you passed out from shock at the information.  In which case you’ll wake up just in time to download the adventure update XD

So color me surprised when it looks like both Minecraft Patch 1.8 and League of Legends: Dominion appear to arrive on September 8th, according to the web.


Color me surprised indeed, because now it is looking unlikely >.<  I offer two quotes from Jeb, one of the lead coders.

Less than a day ago, in response to suggestions of things to add to 1.8:

We’re supposed to release it on thursday, you know… (source)

And less than an hour ago:

Looks grim to get a release out on 8th. We need more testing, one day is not enough. And we never release on fridays… I’ll keep you posted (source)

Well, raspberries!  Oh well, the patch is *extremely* close to release, guys!  Keep on watch!  In more good news, Jeb also mentioned the possibility and perhaps outright confirmation of swapping a world from Creative to Survival in-game!  That was a popular question/concern, so there ya go.  Also: you cannot climb vines and NPC’s will not live in their villages until patch 1.9 (source).

-UPDATE #2-  Well it’s the 8th and no patch :X  Good news though! We just did a post on the updated release date right here!

When Worlds Collide…

Last Minecraft Monday I posted about how awesome it was to see Notch not only mention, but darn right support Quake 3 and it’s greatness.  Imagine my surprise when checking his twitter feed today to see the one and only David Jaffe having a short convo with the Notch-man! (I’ll link to it, but there’s a big ol’ TMI warning in effect.  Let’s just say the next person to respond said “Can’t unsee!”

Since I got the post all situated, here’s some random findings about the games I’ve found out tonight:

Twisted Metal

  • Twisted Metal will apparently have a demo before launch.
  • Rated games might be region locked, unranked are not.
  • Twister will not be in this TM.  Maybe DLC, sayth The Jaffe.
  • When you level up online, you unlock new ‘items’.  Everything has a pro and a con, and they are sure not to make anything imbalanced so high levels will not innately dominate low levels, etc.


  • After 1.8 comes 1.9 and 1.10, not 2.0.  (Random factoid I suppose)
  • Notch will give his hat away, but promises to buy a new one, hah.
  • The demo of patch 1.8 will apparently be quite flat by comparison to how Notch had planned it.  It is a temporary work around to allow NPC villages to look good and saves time.  (Make that the first proposed thing they need to change before 1.8 goes live for the rest of us!)
  • Notch is stressed out about making the deadline and is keeping quite to avoid upsetting fans.   He wishes not to make promises that might not materialize in time, and since the press is going to be doing all the hands-on, I can see why he wouldn’t want to bother ‘those’ guys XD

As I originally planned on just making the post about the funny collision of my gaming worlds, I didn’t copy/paste all these tweets before hand so I’d have to do quite a lot of digging and checking to make sure I got the links in the right order, so let’s just trust my findings without factual linkage this once, mmm’kay?  All of them were posted before August 24th, in case you *really* want to fact check for an essay or something.  Yay random google hits!  In that case, good luck on that essay, Mr. Essay Writer From the Future!

WoW Patch 4.3: Revenge of the Re-subs!

Welp, this is kinda funny.  I had my younger cousin visiting for a while and we got to talking about WoW.  Namely he wanted to play it, and I did not.  And since his character is on my account, I opted to keep the account frozen as there is nothing in-game right now that tickles my fancy.  The funny bit I mentioned above was we got on the topic of what worked in WoW, what didn’t, and just that whole line of thought.  He asked if they ever will do a ‘looking for raid’ sort of thing they added way back in 3.3 with the dungeon finder.  I said it’s possible, but who knows how long it will take them to do it, while grudgingly admitting I might even resub if a lot of the potential kinks in the raid setting were handled.  (People can’t get out of fire in the ZG/ZA instances, I can only imagine the repairs…)

I was actually thinking about doing a “So what if…?” post about how having a Raid Finder sort of thing would likely boost WoW right back and net a hefty amount of those subs that dropped off.  Well, looks like Blizz beat me to it!  MMO Champion reports that there IS going to be a raid finder in 4.3, among a lot more nifty stuff!

-Deathwing raid will be available (mind you, it took months for Arthas to unlock so don’t expect to jump right into him, they need to stall for the next xpack after all -_^)

-New 5-mans, one supposedly dealing with the War of the Ancients in the Caverns of Time.  Insert your own DotA joke huah’.

-Darkmoon Faire will have it’s own island.  And at least one new game, Whack-A-Gnome.  Male gnome subscribers under the age of thirty just skyrocketed by that admission alone, I’m sure.

Transmogrification – A process to turn the look of your current gear into other, older or just different, gear.  If you really like the look of Tier 5, for example, you pay the Etheral NPCs to change the appearance of your current item into that same model.  You can’t turn plate into a cloth item though, and it seems you’ll need the original item you wish to ‘steal’ the look of for this to work.  Which is annoying as most people never even got a shot at Tier 2, and that’s really the only tier I’d ever want to wear on my Warrior.

-Transmogrification Bank – Place to store all these items.  It will lose all the enhancements and gems and that placed upon them, but the storage is huge!  Like 100+ slots.  My entire bank will be finally opened up.  I still got like five guns and bows from BC that I thought looked awesome.

-Raid Finder – As I mentioned already, this will be in-game.  MMO specifically states: “The Raid Finder will be introduced in Patch 4.3, it will work like the Dungeon Finder.”  Short and sweet.  Just bring a bag full of hope, and another bag full of gold.  I’m sure this trip is going to be a bumpy ride.


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