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About CtW

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  1. Happy Birthday!

  2. I don't think I got around to voting this year but I see a handful of the games I would have voted for (though they're also in the order I would've voted for them so maybe I did vote and there was a small sample this year...). I feel like my taste in gaming is significantly outside of the norm on SSMB now. Oh well, glad to see Doom, Spiral Knights, Darksiders, GTA 4, Mass Effect, Red Dead Redemption, and Call of Jaurez on the list, and Symphony of the Night at number 1.
  3. I think the main reason Skyrim is more fun than Oblivion despite running on the same basic theme of the world's about to end if someone doesn't do something is that Skyrim is so much more involving than Oblivion. In Oblivion the Oblivion Crisis was supposed to be, well, a crisis. Gates to Oblivion opening everywhere, Daedra pouring out, big battles, and panic in the streets. What was actually delivered was a pretty fantasy game (mostly anyway, the characters are hideous looking) with no sense of urgency to the main quest despite the apparently impending threat of destruction that never occurs if you choose to ignore it, one big battle, and characters that go on with their daily lives seemingly not that concerned by the hellish portals opening all around them and the assassination of their emperor. Skyrim addressed that, when the high king was killed Skyrim enters all out war and the holds are actively divided between sides, though as long as you avoid siding too much with one faction you're safe to go anywhere. People are concerned, they're involved, they have things to say about what's happening and they do things about it. Right from the start there is a definite sense of urgency to get shit done, especially once you complete the western watchtower quest. Whereas Oblivion gates were only a stationary threat you could just run right past with no affect on your or the world, dragons are an active and constant threat. Sure, they might appear out in the wilderness where they can't do too much damage, or one might swoop down in the middle of a city and start attacking people from it's perch on a roof. They get you actively involved in the crisis because this threat is actually affecting you. And if that isn't enough of a reason to deal with dragons, the dragon shout powers certainly are. Not to mention the quest writing is so much better. Almost every quest I've went on has been memorable, a lot better than the quests in Oblivion. Even a fetch quest seems important with the write writers and dungeon designers behind it.
  4. It doesn't feel like nearly 6 years, but I guess it has been. I joined back in November of 2005. I guess I grew up through my teens on the SSMB, hopefully I'm less of a pain in the ass for the staff than I was as a thirteen year old spamming the Fluff & Party forum with bullshit. Man the craziness when that board got shut down. I still remember the insane hype when the first trailer for Sonic 06 dropped, people were at each others throats over every little detail and possible interpretation. And the fact it wasn't called Sonic Adventure 3. And Soap shoes. Man I begged my parents for a pair after finding out they were a real brand of shoes on here. They probably made the right decision in denying that since I probably would have broke my neck. I still think they look cool, I wish they could have stayed part of Sonic's design. And I remember the SSN, back when that stood for Sonic Spriter's Network. I used to come home from school and get on the computer every evening and do pixel art and sprite sheets. Thanks to the SSN I wanted nothing more than to do art for video games, an aspiration I still hold to a different extent in that I'd like to do concept art for video games and illustrations for tabletop games for a living. Remember when everyone had a fan character? I can't even begin to imagine how many notebooks I filled with doodles and drawings of my fan characters. To be honest I kind of miss that identifying character everyone had even if most of them were recolored game sprites. I may not have drawn my character in years but it was fun back then. I've met a lot of cool people through here, most of whom I've lost touch with because we all moved on to other things after a while, but that's life. Good times. And I'm looking forward to more. Even though I've moved on from being a huge Sonic fan, the SSMB is like a second home on the net to me and I figure I'll probably always end up back here sooner or later as long as the site stays online. Happy birthday, Sonic Stadium!
  5. I'll give props to SD for getting Spidey 2099 and Spidey Noir into a game, even if I don't have interest in the game itself. I feel like a Spiderman game not being open world nerfs the sort of gameplay that comes naturally to the character's powers and removes all replay value. I mean the character is built around swinging from building to building doing all sorts of crazy acrobatics, and when you take out the open world aspect it cramps that. Just a personal preference thing I guess, with the exception of the first movie game since at the time it came out that was a big impressive next-gen title, I've never been able to get into non-free-roaming Spiderman games.
  6. Is that the separate page you get when you hit More Reply Options? If so, yes.
  7. I've noticed an issue with the way the forum software handles youtube links and the media tags. It automatically converts youtube urls into media tagged urls in the post even if they have the hyperlink tags on already. It would be handy, but it causes a problem because it prevents a comment with two embedded videos and a link to a third from being posted because before posting it converts the hyperlinked url into media tags and then rejects the post for having too many embedded videos. Tinyurl can be used as a workaround but I thought I'd bring it up since I didn't think it was a feature working as intended.
  8. Honestly that one trailer was everything I needed to see to sell me on this game. It has Spiderman and he's swinging around an open world city. That's really all I care about in a Spiderman game; no matter how fantastic any other part of the game is if I'm not spending the majority of my time aimlessly swinging past buildings for the fun of it I'm not interested. I blame the Spiderman 2 movie game. Popping that in the first time and realizing I was playing a game where I was allowed to just go do what I wanted with this big list of cool super powers and ignore the story unless I wanted to unlock more powers was the single most memorable gaming experience I've had.
  9. CtW


    The new content in 1.9 is pretty mind-blowing. 1.8 and 1.9 have really rebuilt Minecraft from the ground up. I haven't had this much fun playing since the Halloween update.
  10. No one will ever know our names But the bards' songs will remain The Bard's Song is by far my favorite Blind Guardian song even if it's not their typical metal fare, or maybe especially because it's a departure from the norm, and Van Canto's a capella treatment really works for this song. Also, in case any of you have been unfortunate enough not to hear it.
  11. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3wfsi5t8gQ&feature=related Good stuff.
  12. CtW

    Dungeons & Dragons

    I'm going to give this a little bump. I DM a 4e Eberron game every now and again for a group of friends. We don't get to play much, but when we do we tend to drop cash on a case of energy drinks and spend all night gaming. I'm still not in the groove of all the rules yet since I don't get to DM much, though, we had to restart our first session because we forgot the PCs need equipment before we start the game. Has anyone else played 4e Dark Sun? I just ordered the books for it to be on the safe side. I hadn't picked them up because most of my group doesn't like the setting, but I had intended to grab them eventually since I've been a fan since I read part of the old Dark Sun Prism Pentad books several years back. The 4e books disappeared from all the local game shops and bookstores a while back though and I've heard rumors that word is they're permanently OOP now. With Bill Slavicsek leaving Wizards and rumblings on the net about 5e I figured now would be the time to snap these books up. Even if I don't use them, I can sell the Campaign Setting and Creature Catalog later to cover the costs for a new edition's core books if the 5e speculation does turn out to be true. So anyway, if you were looking at Dark Sun now might be the time to buy it to be on the safe side. It's a shame Daggerdale turned out not to be so great from what everyone is saying. I still have hope for Neverwinter though, it would be nice to have a good game using 4e proper. Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir did an okay job using 4e content in a 3.5 game engine, but it wasn't fantastic. I've recently started throwing together my own monsters. Its kind of nice since I can do a little work here and there when I have the time and have them done before a session starts. Once I get a few more stat blocks and rough planning done in my notebook I'm going to work on transferring it over to Adventuring Kit which is just about the greatest tool for simplifying 4e encounter building I could imagine. It works well on its own and looks like it compliments D&D Insider nicely. While I'm writing this wall of text post I feel like I should mention the http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiW56B79ZNI. Chris Perkins is a great DM (He also DMs the Penny Arcade D&D podcasts I believe) and the staff of Robot Chicken of course play an entertaining D&D game to watch. I've showed it to my group not only for fun since we're all Robot Chicken fans, but also because I think it helps give them a better idea of how a game flows with things like combat and noncombat encounters without me taking time out from their actual game sessions to explain rules I can just show them in a way that's entertaining instead. I felt like the DM commentary episodes were at least worth a bit of perusal too since Chris mentions some interesting things in them, but if you're strapped for time they can be skipped since the series is already rather long being a full session of the game.
  13. One, just one, but it's particularly embarrassing, I promise! I have never made it past Marble Zone Act 2 on the first Sonic the Hedgehog game. And I don't mean that like I never could as a kid. I mean I never have as in my last try was about 10 minutes ago. I always just watch someone else play past Marble Zone. I blame that Zone for why I hate lava levels in games before I even try them.
  14. At least buying the games contributes to the developers that still work there getting their paychecks. That's ridiculous though, even for indoor work those are terrible conditions to have to work under. Didn't EA get in legal trouble for the same thing a few years back?
  15. These morons have massively over-inflated egos. I can't believe they're still making speeches and declarations like they think they're some sort of web heroes. Like hacking banks is going to do anything other than financially screw over tons of innocent people. I wish the web ninjas would just publicly dox them so people living nearby could beat the shit out of the basement dwellers and all could be right with the world again. The only thing they've accomplished is making an excellent case for legislating the shit out of the internet. I know their antics have convinced a few of my friends offline than maybe total net neutrality isn't so great an idea after all. EDIT: I just realized why this seems so familiar. Their childish antics were putting me in mind of the young protagonist of the Bruce Bethke short story Cyberpunk and his friends.
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