Things you need to know about Xcom 2

Xcom 2 is about to hit the shelves this February 5, and as the sequel to the 2012 remake of his fabulous franchise. Here’s a few things you need to know before it hits the shelves;

Minimum System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7, 64-bit.
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E4700 2.6 GHz or AMD Phenom 9950 Quad Core 2.6 GHz.
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM.
  • Graphics: 1GB ATI Radeon HD 5770, 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 or better.
  • DirectX: Version 11.
  • Storage: 45 GB available space.
  • Sound Card: DirectX compatible sound card.

Does’t sound too beefy. Of course having the recommended specs would render the action sequences mid-combat as awesome since there’s melee now in the game.

 

The Story so Far

We lost. Plain and simple. The pure humans who haven’t fallen sway to our new alien overlords have been reduced to a group of rebels fighting a losing war of occupation of earth. The rest of the human race is undergoing a full assimilation into alien culture with a little help of their mind control ethereals. Xcom 2 promises a fast pace sequel to Xcom with this installment to the francise.

What to look forward to

  • The overwatch camera angle is awesome. It brings in a new depth to sitting in wait to frag some alien butt.
  • Firaxis made sure to go overboard on details (graphical and gameplay wise).
  • Soldier customization is now more detailed than ever.
  • Fire can now spread and blow up parts of the environments like cars, tankers and fuel depos.
  • Item drops are now part of combat. If you want something really good, you might need to loot bodies that would otherwise leave your soldiers exposed.
  • Navigating a battle map is now more dangerous. Expect to run into hidden enemies when placing those snipers or support soldiers.
  • Did i say there’s more detailed melee combat now? Well it deserved a second mention!

Media

Here’s some tasty videos from the publisher 2k and developer Firaxis;

If you can’t wait like me, you can grab a pre-order on steam and count the seconds as we near February 5 2016. Hopefully we don’t get invaded by real aliens till we get some practice.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – is coming to town

The next sequel to the Star Wars saga, The Force Awakens, is coming up in just a few days and we’re seeing campaigns on facebook to not spoil it for anyone, or speculate as it might ruin the overall effect of the movie. With JJ Abrams at the directors helm, we can expect to see a lot of action on-screen as well as a smattering of old vs new in this target-all cinematic experience by that 10 Ton Gorilla, Disney.

With all the Star Wars fandom coming out of the woodwork for this one, it was a task and a half to secure day one screening tickets with the rest of the world. People were lining up at any cinema that was selling advanced tickets for the 17th of December and buying blocks of seats. Even heard a story of one of our Askals buddies buying out a whole movie theater’s seats just to make sure the whole family sees it on time and no spoilers affect anyone.

Millennium-Falcon-drone
Millennium Falcon Drone – Take my money now!!!

Of course, there’s a lot of old Star Wars toys out there being sold in anticipation of the new movie. But the most juicy tidbits of those are the overpriced BB8’s and drone X-wing/Millennium Falcons and are controllable via apps.

All in all though, even George Lucas himself has commented that “This is one that the fans will love” which could hint at how he disagrees with using action as an overall selling point of the movie. He created the first Trilogy with a heavy focus on drama and character interaction. Some purists would agree to that point of view but then again, its a different decade where in the 70’s they were dealing with some different social issues.

But enough of the huff-and-bluff. It’s time to speculate! So here are some questions you can pickup from just watching the trailers (hundreds of times during toilet time);

  • Is Rey a Skywalker? We’ve a feeling Daisy Ridley was cast because of her resemblance to the Skywalkers.
  • With the Emperor gone and Vader dead, who gave Kylo Ren the idea that its his destiny to rule? Wait!?! Is he a Skywalker too? Anakin you sly dog…
  • Something’s up with the Empire’s financing. With all the personnel and resources lost with 2 Death Stars, how is it they can even operate on an organized scale with its Third Reich depiction on one of those scenes.
  • What the heck is “The First Order”? Lemme guess, aged Stormtrooper Vets who march to the tune of AC/DC’s Thunderstruck?
  • The Resistance is still not an organized force? With all those wins against the Empire campaign, you’d think they’d have brought things back into some sort of Galactic Republic once again or some such organization. The use of the word “resistance” still has a connotation of small organization only.
  • Star Wars in itself has a cult following, how much of this was influenced by the fans?

Oh and for those of you who need a character guide here’s a nifty link from screenrant: http://screenrant.com/star-wars-7-vii-force-awakens-character-guide/?view=all

And here’s some even niftier desktop wallpapers!:

Wallpapers and Google Hits!
Kylo Ren and his ancient lightsaber? Is it a functional weapon? Or is it a key to something bigger?

 

The N00bs Play Betrayal at House on the Hill 2nd Edition

Designed by Bruce Glassco, and published by Avalon Hill (we have the 2nd edition by WoTC), Betrayal at House on the Hill 2nd ed had us players starting out as friends exploring a haunted house filled with dangers omens and traps. As the friends continue exploring the mansion, they expand the board (by drawing tiles) and eventually creating the event called “The Haunt” that randomly generates a scenario and villain in the session.

This game has so many possible outcomes that we can’t help but commend the creator as we’ve played about 9 sessions to date and we haven’t really repeated a scenario just yet.

betrayal at the house on the hill 2

The fun came about each time there were enough omens on the table  to potentially make The Haunt event happen and literally had us screaming at the game table.

betrayal at the house on the hill 1

Of course instead of reading the rules throughout, we went through the video of our idols at Geek and Sundry to get familiar with the game. You can count on them as tutorial videos as well.

This board game is a must-try and has been around for a while. For some reason, some people really hope to be the antagonist in a game. But if the traitor has the Spear and Armor token, well, it’s going to be a bloody night at this haunted mansion.

Oddly enough, with Azanthriel playing, it felt kind of spooky and odd things started to happen with our electronics. At some points lights would flicker just when the haunt started, and none of the videos or photos we took came out clear. Either way, it added to the spook and excitement to the whole experience. We definitely recommend playing this with a soundtrack. If you don’t know where to get one, here’s a handy playlist you can click on.

 

To the Hack that’s trying to hack this website

First off, we’re really flattered for you to think that there’s something of value here. But sorry, all you’ll see here are a bunch of people having fun (without you). You may think you’re very clever, but our administrators have reported your activities to the police.

Even if you try again, we’ll just block and report you to the authorities. So if one day the police come knocking on your door, please show them to your computer where we’ve submitted both your masked IP address, as well as the MAC address of the computer you use.

So to you sir, who probably doesn’t have much of a future aside from petty theft, we bid you good day and thanks for visiting our website.

For you i give you a Yao Ming! May all your presents have this face plastered all over them.

Sometimes you're just so desperate.
Sometimes you’re just so desperate.

So if you find yourself feeling good about something you did, or you need to have that feeling of a pat on the back, rest assured that we’ll think of you each time we need to scratch our scrotum.

Warcraft Legion: Estimated launch date

Activision-Blizzard recently gave us a semblance of an estimated launch date when they announced that you can now order the new World of Warcraft expansion Warcraft: Legion!  Based from when we were redirected to the pre-order page, you can definitely tell that this company is milking the consumers for their financing of the expansion (not to mention the monthly dues aside per 30 day access). From there, it gave us that lovely disclaimer in the fine print; “…on or before Septtember 21, 2016.”

Legion Launch Date

Now that’s what i’d call anticipatory revenue right there. In any case, Blizzard has been known to always send out their titles with spit and polish only that 10 ton gorilla can produce. But i’d happily part with that monkey knowing its going out to developers who spent years keeping us in this game.

So there’s a year to decide just how worth it with this pre-order. You get an instant level boost to 100 and continue on the grind to level 110. 10 years and counting and let’s see if they can still keep us around. As it stands, the days of the 11 million population are gone. Its more like 5 million active users lately and you can notice the difference. With freemium MMO’s still continuing to pop up here and there, they’re hard pressed to keep the subscription model going.

If you’re looking for more information about the upcoming game, read it here!

Hearthstone – Close calls with one hit-point left

So some of the n00bs have gotten themselves into Hearthstone. A digital collectible card game by the ten ton gorilla named Blizzard. There’s a lot to be said after playing similar games like Magic the Gathering. This one being without the land sources for mana, but it is provided to you each time the turn progresses. What it does have is fast action just like what we loved about WotC’s Magic: The Gathering. So fast that we find ourselves just trying to win the match with one hit-point left.

Ah crap... he has a tank.
Ah crap… he has a tank.

A lot of times, your luck is all based from the draw, but you do get to call mulligan on the initial batch of cards you drew.

There’s about 2 card expansions to the game now. There’s one about Goblins and Mechs while the newer one focuses on cards based from the Argent Tournament. That AT expansion though saw other features to the game like Tavern Brawls where the deck is provided for you (tons of fun compared to the tedious collection of cards and booster pack purchases).The Arena... costs!

All in all though i hate it when the nudegamer whips out mind-control on his priest deck. Those are just hard to counter if you only have a single trump creature left in your hand.

Aside from the traditional match finder, you also see Solo Adventures. Here you can pit your deck against raid type bosses with their own unique cards (if you can afford to pay for this section).

Raid Type challenges for unique cards! If you can afford it...
Raid Type challenges for unique cards! If you can afford it…

 

 

Warhammer 40k Regicide – Space Marines Battle Chess and More

Thanks to the all evil steam sale, this n00b was able to pick up this little gem. Warhammer 40k Regicide!

Chess Badasery

Developed by Hammerfall in tandem with Games Workshop, They put together this unique piece of chess plus strategic phased action type gameplay that i’d have to admit, seemed odd at first, but got really intuitive less that 2 minutes into the game.

Warhammer 40k Regicide

Aside from the basic mechanics of movement (where the types of marines’ movement patterns are that of chess), it also adds the tactical depth of play that allows you to still savor some of those turn based feats in turn based combat.

Terminator Pew Pew

Since we come from a traditional pen and paper dice group, this game is a good way for us to link up to battle each other whilst still being faithful to some beloved RPG elements we know from the tabletop games.

terminator returning fire

Add to this gamestyle a smattering of kill animations, blood and gore as you one shot kill your opponents’ pieces. You can do this easily if you play a chess kill move in the movement phase.

getting the boss

Just to be clear this is “battle-chess like” and though it does follow the movement mechanics of chess pieces, you have to visualize a whole set of D&D like action and phases within a turn between piece movement. Yes it does sound a bit complicated, but you’ll get it in 5 minutes after trying it.

Here’s a steam link!

http://store.steampowered.com/app/322910

Clash of Clans War Etiquette

There have been many a Clan leader asking me “How do i prevent my clan mates from fighting each other?”

The simple answer: You can’t!

People fight. Its the nature of human beings. We’re quick to point out what’s wrong, and we don’t hold back on that feedback. I see a lot of Clashers rage-quitting with much impunity lately and its all because we can’t stop paying attention to “other people’s wrong moves.”

So instead of focusing on what’s wrong, let’s focus on what’s right in this socially enabled addition we call clash of clans. And on that note, here are a few tips to keep your clashers interested and not at each other’s throats…

Clan War Etiquette

  1. Attack a War Base Within Your League level – If your base is listed as number 15, and you’re attacking someone who’s about 10 levels lower than you, then you’re not focusing your attack on opponents that are on equal footing as you. I see a lot of this in clan chat “Attack your mirror first”. The reasoning behind this is to give those of lower levels equal opportunity to attack an opponent that is their near match. By attacking someone totally underdeveloped, you deprive your lower leveled clanmates a chance to have an effect on the war.
  2. Donate Appropriate Clan War Troops – Yes there’s such a thing. I’ve seen a lot of Clashers get their snickers from donating a level 1 goblin for someone’s war attack. Though funny, it doesn’t help that person’s sense of well being. You leave them the impression that they’re garbage, same as the garbage troops you’re donating.
  3. Attacking for Loots are Only Acceptable When We’re Winning – The clan war is a strategic activity designed to appropriately show clans who’s who in awesomeness. If you feel like throwing your 2nd attack only specifically because someone left their clan castle outside of their walls. Your 2nd attack might have been needed to cleanup other bases for more stars to win the war.
  4. Announce Who You Will Attack Ahead of Time – It helps a lot to coordinate your attacks. Work through wars as a team, and you’ll find yourself winning most of the time. Start not caring, and don’t be surprised your clan is losing all the time. Remember, winning a Clan war is a team effort. You cannot pin a failure on just one person, and it takes at least 10 people working together to win a War.
  5. Don’t Be Quick to Criticize – No one is perfect. Don’t start blowing things out of proportion by criticizing someone’s mistake. And if you’re ever the subject of criticism, don’t be quick to anger. We all need feedback to improve our game and selves. Don’t be so closed minded that you think its ok to rage quit on your friends who need you just because you weren’t treated like a God (as your Lvl 10 TH suggests).

Be nice people! Its a team game and it takes teamwork to win wars!  It take good etiquette, teamwork, and strategy to rank high in this game.

Now go work together for those seasonal Gem prizes!

 

Total War: Warhammer Developer Walkthrough Battle of Black Fire Pass

So it has finally been announced last April that there’s an upcoming Total War: Warhammer from Sega. Not just that, but there was a severe lack of footage back during the E3 Announcement teaser. Now they’ve finally posted up a developer walkthrough. But not just any tidbit.. they went the whole 9 yards and gave us a gander of the Battle of Black Fire Pass.

From there on, it was a bit of a waiting game to see what Sega had in store for us. Luckily the time has finally rolled by and we’re able to get a glimpse of what the game could be through this developer walkthrough you can spot on youtube.

If anything, this game will totally do the Games Workshop IP justice, unlike some two-bit developers out there that think they can make a great game in their dreams through free IP licensing… Bleh!

So to the schmuck that though he can pull off warhammer, here’s what can happen when Sega puts their mind and money on it… I’m in a full geeky nerdgasm moment as we view some of the footage available on youtube.

Been a fan of their Shogun franchise for years. Now they’re marrying two of my favorite IP’s into one mega load of Orks, Chaos, the Imperium of Man and their allies will all make bring the culmination from miniatures into the digital form more appropriate for Warhammer.

The footage is gorgeous and we’re still waiting to see what the turn based tactical map would look like.

Next up’s their cinematic announcements and other related juicy tidbits you must have in one go..

This next one’s from their initial E3 teaser earlier this year. More of a recap of their best Total War cinematics and a smattering of in-game footage. I must say though, if Total War: Atilla is any indication, their engine has gone a long long way from the first Shogun game.

 

So just check back for more news on this great Total War title. We’ll be putting up a steam link the moment we spot it.

 

Giant Robot Battle Challenge: Megabot Mk. II vs Suidobashi’s Kuratas

It looks like we’re finally going to see some real life mecha (aka Giant Robots). We’ve been waiting for this ever since we found Suidobashi Heavy Industries ‘s Kuratas.  To give a bit of a backstory, I first went nuts when I first found out that they were selling this mech in Japan for a whooping $1.4M USD (video). Don’t believe me? Head over to their website for the quotation. You can even get it in Hello Kitty Pink. You read that right. A giant robot in Hello Kitty Pink.

And then a Kickstarter campaign happened. A company called Megabots Inc. went in search of funding in order to build an all american robot. they had big plans for it but, the kickstarter, like so many others did not reach its goal. Luckily the CEO of Autodesk stepped in to sponsor the project to make sure the project happened. And with the newfound corporate support, a miracle happened. America has finally unleashed its beast. And not just so, they even issued a challenge to Suideobashi Industries for a Robot Throwdown.

Now to challenge a country who’s culture is built around samurai and giant robots, can only be suicide. I’d really pitty the poor pilot sitting in that hunk of metal while the Kuratas runs circles around it. There was this particularly cringe worthy moment in Suidobashi’s accepting that challenge when they called out for melee combat.

So its on folks. We’re about to see a full scale 10-15 foot behemoths go at it in all its glory of whirring actuators and hydraulic fluids going all over the place. Hopefully they’ve given some pretty serious thought about pilot safety.

Money’s on the Japanese. They seem to be way ahead of technology and to win this one, it’ll all boil down to the robot’s ability to neutralize the enemy’s mobility as well as keep the piloting of such battle bots more intuitive. Seems that the Kuratas already has that last part figured out while the Megabot Mk II still needs a more intuitive HUD and interface for movement.

This time, Megabots Inc is asking America to throw its support into this great event.  Even those from abroad are now starting to pledge into the new kickstarter Megabots Inc created because of its newly found allies in the rebuilding of their Mk II. Check out their latest kickstarter video below and gasp in all our nerdy glory to the who’s who in this next video. (Cue in patriotic music…)

This n00b reporter will be following this story as it develops so check back on this blog post for more updates!

Or for added fun, check out their webpages to throw in your support!

Megabots Inc – As usual they’re asking for your support on Kickstarter, but i think they’ll make it this time.

Suidobashi Heavy Industries – You can customize a Kuratas on their buy now widget.

 

I will not be surprised if a Korean telenovela comes out with all this as its theme.