Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Crazy Gamers take on the Playstation 4

A few weeks ago Sony showed the first pictures of the Playstation 4 controller and some tech demos for various projects that could become future titles.

Sony promises that the system will be ready for an end of the year release for a "competitive," price. 

So you ask:

"Crazy Gamer, what do you think?"

Don't worry young one, you shall have my answer.  That answer is... Meh.

"What do you mean Crazy Gamer?"

It means that so far nothing gets me excited about the system.  Let me explain in greater detail. 

First, here is an image of the system.

You're probably asking yourself, "Wait a minute, is the Playstation 4 a portable system?"

Nope, it'll hook up to your TV just like the Playstation 3.  However, Sony has not shown what the system itself looks like.  This isn't a big deal since I don't buy video game systems based on their looks (it's whats on the inside that counts!) I do find it strange. 

As for what's in the system... it sound impressive.  It has an 8 core processor, Radeon graphics engine, 8 GB GDDR5 Memory.

Plus the standard stuff Its got Blu-ray, high end Ethernet, bluetooth, HDMI and all those other typical items like USB, and a hard drive of a to-be-determined size.

I'm also pretty sure that the Playstation 4 will walk your dog, do your taxes, and monitor your caloric intake. 

Anyway, it sounds very powerful.  I'm not a spec person so I have no idea how powerful this is compared to a high end gaming PC, but it sure does seem to be very powerful. 

What leaves me unimpressed is the software.  Of all the announced software only the Witcher 3 seems interesting to me.  Assassin's Creed 4 will come out around the time that the system launches and Ubisoft claims that the Playstation 4 version will have exclusive content but I haven't seen anything to suggest that it will be just a prettier version of the game. 

So, until I see compelling software I will be passing on the PS4 for this year.  This isn't to say that I would never get a Playstation 4, rather I will wait until some strong software forces me to buy one. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Warhammer 101: Becoming a better general

Today I will give you the first step in becoming a Warhammer grand champion!

1.  Learn to accept losing.  Learn from your mistakes. 

Yeah, I know, that's two things, but they are connected and I wanted each written as a statement of power. 

Let's look at each in depth eh?

Still with me?

Oh good!

Learn to accept losing- Notice how I wrote this?  I'm fully aware that Warhammer is a competitive game.  I'm not here to advocate some hippi 'let's all love each other and like get along and stuff as we sing Kumbaya while drinking liquid dirt from earthenware mugs,' policy.  We all want to win.

That said, sometimes our ego can get in the way of overall success with the hobby, thus we need to learn to accept losing. 

You will lose when you start out and this can make players turn to the dark corners of the Internet for WAAC (win at all costs) army lists.  Don't do this!

Instead- learn from your mistakes. 

An example from the Crazy Gamers past.  Way back in 1994 when I was just starting to play Warhammer Fantasy I ran a High Elf army.  Most of the time I played against my best friend and cousin Tom, but as he grew up and got a job (how dare he!  :) I needed to branch out and find new people to play against.

I went to my local store (some 44 miles away!) to play against a group of gamers out there.  These guys were quite a bit older than me, and for them Warhammer was a diversion from historical games. 

One of the first games that I played was against a Dark Elf army.  I was confident that my High Elves would prevail.  In my mind I had crafted a wonderful army list and had refined my tactics playing against Tom. 

My army was wiped out to a man (er... elf) while my opponent had only lost a handful of models.  For some this brutal beat down would have been the end of their game career.  While my opponent was gracious there were countless spectators that witnessed my whooping.  My pride was crushed.

Was his army unstoppable? 


Did he bend the rules? 


So instead I looked back at the battle.  My main advance had been in the open, and I had miss- handled my light cavalry so his archers could rain death down upon my poor battle line.  That wasn't all; I kept my heavy cavalry too far back to be useful, I didn't concentrate my firepower, etc, etc. 

There were plenty of lessons I could learn, and you can learn from the mistakes that you make on the battlefield if you just have the courage to look for them. 

Try this after each battle:

Ask yourself-

What worked?

What didn't work?

Keep your answers focused on what is controllable.

What does this mean? 

Well, we all have a tendency to overestimate our abilities and assume our losses are the result of unfair rules, armylists, players, game mechanics, and more.

While blaming these things may make you feel better, they won't help you play better.

What you can't control:

Your opponents army
Your opponents armylist
The game rules
The dice

Since you can't control them, don't worry about them.  Instead look at your own list, and your own tactics.

For example:  My Space Marine devastators did not destroy any enemy tanks.  This seems simple, your devastators failed due to bad luck.  Or did they?  Were you using missile launchers to destroy Land Raiders?  If you were then your devastators didn't fail you, you failed them.  At strength 8 a missile launcher cannot destroy a Land Raider outright.  Instead a player needs to roll a 6 on a D6 four times to take out the Land Raider. 

In your next game you need to either choose a different target for your missile launchers or change your weapons. 

Did your assault units not get into combat?   Why not?  Don't blame dice.  Did the troops have jump packs?  Did you have a transport? 

I could go on and on, but between the two game systems there are way too many possible combinations to list out here.

If your unit did what it was supposed to, continue using them that way.  If not, then change how you use them or change the unit. 

I'll go into this in more detail in the future.  Until then; keep on painting!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Don't buy EA digital games!

My earlier post discussed the big issue going down with EA Games Sim City.  While related this goes beyond just the game Sim City.

Don't buy digital games from EA.  I can't stress this enough!  People who have bought digital copies of Sim City and who are unhappy about shelling out sixty dollars for a product that does not work have a rude awakening coming:

EA will NOT refund digital purchases of Sim City.  If you bought a physical copy you can get a refund, but EA does not refund digital games.

Consider this buyer beware.  My opinion on digital games is well documented, and you can disagree with me, but please do not buy digital products from EA. 

Image of the EA CEO dancing with the devil in the pale moonlight:

Oh wait!  The CEO of EA is a man...

Let that be your warning.

I don't want to say I told you so...

Regular readers will know that I HATE games that require a constant online connection.  While this is needed for online multiplayer games but this idea has increasingly weaseled its way into single player experiences.

EA Games is the publisher of Sim City announced that the game would release on March 5th and would require a persistent online connection, even for the single player experience.  EA claimed that this wasn't for DRM* (digital rights management) purposes but because of all these awesome features such as leader boards, community interaction, and more. 

Fast forward to today March 8th. 

Sim City has released.  However, unless you are either very persistent or very lucky (or perhaps both) you still aren't playing the game.  Gamers that are able to play are reporting that they are constantly being disconnected.  As this is an online only game, being disconnected means you aren't playing.

You can get a run down of the full story from a better source than me here:


EA has tried to fix this problem, by getting rid of every feature that they earlier claimed was the "real," reason they wanted the game to be always online. 

The bottom line is, this is all about DRM, and that seems unfair that players have to suffer. 

*DRM is a fancy term that is all the rage today.  In the olden days when you bought a game it was yours and you could do anything you wanted to with it.  Today DRM means that the publisher of the game owns it and when you buy a copy you are purchasing the right to be able to play it but you don't own anything.