All posts by Pike

Good Games That Are Good: Pokemon TCG (For Game Boy)

I never did manage to really get into Hearthstone.  I think it’s because I kept comparing it unfavorably to my one true card game love: Pokemon.

81sAVrsixqL._SX450_Not only did I love these things “in real life” and have a binder full of ’em, but I also loved the Game Boy conversion.  Yes, that’s right, they put Pokemon Trading Card Game on the Game Boy.  It had this absolutely ridiculous story that involved beating trading card “masters” for legendary trading cards, but frankly that’s all fine because the point of the game was just to make decks and duel people, and that’s exactly what I did.  Because despite the spartan UI and the silly story, there’s a surprising amount of depth in the good ol’ Pokemon TCG.

Oh, and good news everyone: Now you can download the game for pretty cheap in the Nintendo eShop, assuming you have a 3DS.  I did that recently and have been replaying this game and having a blast.  It’s really easy to pick up and go and very addictive.

Also, some of the music is fantastic.  Some of the best you’ll find on original Game Boy.

Flashback Friday: Choco-Bow

Whoooo remembers the choco-bow?  I wrote of it long, long ago, in a galaxy far away.

Well, guess what.  IT’S BACK.  Thanks to timewalking!

CQJX3jFUYAAbfh_It’s not an upgrade for me but seeing it makes me smile and brings me back all the way to TBC.  I was carrying this thing well into WotLK.  My old main has still got it in her bank.  What a fantastic weapon!  Good times, good times.

Meanwhile, I’m still saving up badges for the mount.  Several more months to go on that one.

Methinks She Doth Blog Too Much

Kind of a meta post here!

Ever since I started blogging again earlier this year, I made it a little goal of mine to blog every day.  I figured I had a lot of missed years to catch up on, and also I thought it would encourage me to keep it up.  And it has!

Now those of you from the early days remember that I wasn’t always a daily blogger.  I blogged a lot, of course.  Probably 4-5 times a week.  But not daily.  And that was okay.  I still wouldn’t have a problem with that but at this point of kind of don’t want to “break the chain”.

The problem is, I worry that my posts aren’t particularly interesting or exciting at times, because I’m often reaching to find an interesting topic to talk about.  Especially since I’m really just a casual player these days.

So I might cut down back to just blogging every other day or so.  Or I might not.  I’m not sure yet.

If you have any thoughts on this issue, lemme know!  (I don’t mind continuing to chatter away about nothing, of course. )

The One Class I Never Figured Out

I’ve played a lot of classes in WoW fairly extensively.  Hunter, of course, and druid.  Recently I’ve been putting a lot of time into my mage and paladin.  In the past I’ve leveled a warlock up to the 60s, a rogue up to the 40s, and a warrior into the 30s or so.

But you know what class I never did figure out?


Nothing against them, mind.

But anytime I’ve ever tried to play one, I get confused.  They have totems, I think?  And… thundering and lightning (very very frighting)?  Do they even do the totems and lightning thing anymore?  Who knows!

Very peculiar.  Very peculiar indeed.

Granted, there’s a very good chance that they’ve changed considerably since the last time I tried to play one (which would’ve been like, eight years ago or something.)  But the fact remains: I’ve never gotten a shaman past level ten.  I’ve gotten everything else past level ten.  I’ve even gotten a monk past level ten.

Shamans?  Nope.

(I might be more inspired if blood elves could be shamans.  I mean, uh, just saying.)

(Also it has occurred to me now that I’ve never gotten a Death Knight past, like, level 60.  So, I guess there’s at least one more class out there that I don’t understand!)

I Dreamed A Dream

Most of my favorite hunter armor sets are from TBC (Demon Stalker, Sunwell set, etc.) , but Vanilla had Cryptstalker Armor, and let me tell you, that’s something I’ve long drooled over.  It just looks so neat!  And it turns you into a bug!


But I’d also acknowledged to myself that it was probably a set I’d never own.  Vanilla Naxx disappeared into the Twisting Nether before it was solo’able (the closest I came was going in there with a group of friends in TBC and still being unable to pass the first trash pull), and with its relaunch for WotLK, the original armor went with it.

But yesterday I found the spaulders on the Black Market Auction House.

I hemmed and hawed for a bit before plunking down 10k gold on it (hey, you make a ton of money in WoD, right?)  I logged in again right before bedtime to discover that I’d been outbid, so I went and made another bid.  I went to bed figuring I’d probably be outbid (again), and in fact forgot about the whole thing entirely until I woke up this morning to a surprise in my mailbox:

CQD5SRNUYAAX89GCryptstalker Spauders are now mine, the first piece of a dream I’ve had since I first saw that set.

It’ll probably take several months to collect the full thing.  I might not even ever complete it.

But ya gotta try, right?


I’m Fine With a Lull

So now we have a little while to wait until the next expansion.  How long?  Not sure yet.  But, I can’t lie, I’m fine with a bit of a lull.

I know many people will probably disagree with me, but for a while I actually felt like WoD was going kind of fast.  Oh here’s Highmaul!  Oh here’s Blackrock Foundry!  Oh here’s Hellfire Citadel and a whole new zone!  I kind of felt like every time I got caught up on something, a new thing opened up before I could finish whatever previous thing I was working on.  And you know, that was fine back when I was raiding and doing hardcore stuff back in TBC and WotLK.

But these days, I’m playing a lot more casually.  As such, I enjoy lulls between content.  It gives me time to do casual things (like play alts), or even better, play other video games for a bit.

So yeah.  So long as we don’t get eleven months or whatever the last lull was, I think I’m good. :)

(Granted, I am excited for Legion.  Elves!  Elves everywhere!)

Good Games That Are Good: Grim Dawn

I said I was going to talk about it, so here we go: Grim Dawn is an ARPG (think Diablo) that is currently in early access.  That means it’s unfinished.  But don’t let that scare you away!  For an unfinished game, there’s a lot to do and a lot to love.

When it comes to the basic gameplay, Grim Dawn is Diablo but with a different set of paint: Lovecraftian monsters rather than demons, and a sort of vague Victorian/Edwardian setting.   Now seeing as I love ARPGs, I’d be sold on that alone, but what I really like about Grim Dawn is the talent point system.

maxresdefaultYou get a talent tree much like you do in other RPGs, but Grim Dawn kind of has this unique system where also have to put points in a basic skill bar in order to unlock better spells and abilities.  It’s tough to explain in words alone, but the result is that leveling and talents feels really proactive.

Also… you can multiclass!  So if you want to be a mage and also a huge warrior type, you can be both.  At the same time.  You can mix and match your talents from both classes you pick, and that, again, gives you a lot of choice when it comes to your chosen playstyle.

Overall I just find Grim Dawn to be delightfully fun to play and I’m excited to see what the final version is like.

Oh, and it’s based on a very similar title called Titan Quest, which I have yet to play but which I have heard amazing things about.  So, there’s also that!

What Am I Doing This Weekend?

Two Words: Double bounties. In Diablo 3.  Yes, yes this is what I am going to grind.

…okay, I might play some other games too.

WoW News

It’s pet battle bonus exp week and I find that to be an immensely fun event.  See, if you’re leveling on an alt, and do a pet battle with appropriately leveled pets for the zone that you’re in, you get loads of experience for your alt.  That happens at all times, not just during the pet battle bonus week, but with the bonus week it showers a ridiculous amount of experience on your pets, as well.

It’s funny because I don’t really consider myself to be huge into the pet battling game, but I’ve wound up with like two dozen max level pets just via dailies and messing around.  Go figure.

Other Game News

I’ve discovered a fun game called Grim Dawn, which is a Diablo-clone because apparently I need more Diablo in my life.  I’ll probably write up more on this game next time I do a Good Games That Are Good column.

My FFXIV free month appears to have expired, so that’s probably that for now.  Nothing wrong with the game; I just found it difficult to get into after the first couple of weeks.

Okay, time for games!

Feels Part Two: Let’s Talk About Arthas for Two Minutes

I had a great response on yesterday’s post, so thanks to all who read and commented!  You know, there are definitely a lot of things in WoW that I get feely about.  Blood elf stuff is up there, of course, and sometimes the in-game music hits me just the right way and brings me back.

But when it comes to the storyline for a single character, it’s really tough to beat Arthas.

6In many ways, he reminds me of Anakin Skywalker (assuming you roll with the prequel stuff.)  He’s brash and full of himself and makes some bad choices (that he thinks are right) and then becomes the Big Bad.  The difference is that Darth Vader is ultimately redeemed, and Arthas is not.  He is a tragic character with a tragic ending, and yet despite it all, you still feel for him.

thanks tvtropes
thanks tvtropes

Arthas is, in many ways, THE Big Bad of Warcraft.  Oh sure, Illidan gets a lot of love and Sargeras is technically the Big Bad, but Arthas was the lovable boy next door who turned around and killed his dad and then rained death and destruction on both his people and the elves.  Arthas hits closer to home, which makes him both scarier and more relatable, at the same time.

Will there ever be another villain quite like Arthas?  Probably not, but who knows.  He was a fantastic high point to a fantastic expansion.  Well played, Blizzard!