Archived posts

Since the release of the new World of Warcraft expansion I have been in turmoil when it comes to deciding where to commit the small amount of free time I have at the moment. I vowed that I had had enough of WoW and a short while ago enjoyed levelling a character in the fantastic Guild Wars 2. I really think that GW2 is a superior game in almost all respects and quite possibly the best MMORPG available right now. The problem is the only thing GW2 doesn't have, that WoW does, is all my friends playing it. If you enjoy playing online multiplayer games then it's almost certainly for the social elements and I simply can't get that in sufficient quantity or quality elsewhere. Which is a long winded way of saying I'm back playing WoW. Despite that rant I would definitely say that the Mists of Pandaria expansion is the best so far. Yes it's more childlike and yes it's much easier, but I don't play these games for their intellectual value or to give me any more stress!!oneone

Aside from MMORPGs I have also been playing the 2012 reboot of the amazing 1996 microprose game X:COM which is, frankly, brilliant in almost every way. Every strategy fan should own a copy. A lof of reviewers claim that it's dumbed down, and in some ways it is, but they have actually simplified things that didn't require complicated mechanics to make it enjoyable. It's better than the original in most respects and that's really saying something.

Published

On the XBOX 360 I am playing Battlefield 3. I have been a fan of the franchise for a long time and this iteration is particularly engaging. Probably the best multiplayer FPS in the world. Seriously.

On the PC I have been playing Ubisoft's new RTS title Anno 2070 and beta testing the forthcoming mmorpg game Star Wars: The Old Republic (SW:TOR). Anno 2070 is beautiful and has real depth, it is a fantastic addition to the Anno series and I suspect I will be playing it for a good time to come. Well worth the £35 price tag.

SW:TOR is looking really good. I enjoyed playing my way through the first few levels in the beta testing. It is more story drive than any mmorpg game I have played to date (which is A LOT) and you are given quite a lot of freedom to make choices that they claim will affect your character in the long term. I have now pre-ordered the full title on the strength of the beta product and look forward to early access on 15/12/2011.

On the iPhone I am still enjoying the excellent Dragonvale game, although I have pretty much run out of things to do in it. Except breeding the elusive Rainbow Dragon.

Published

What I'm reading

I was recently trying to find out when the next book from one of my favourite authors, Patrick Rothfuss, is due for release. That turned out to be a pretty disapointing exercise but in the interview I read with him, he mentioned one of his favourite books, Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey. I had never heard of the author or the series of books featuring the character Sandman Slim. I am just finishing off the third novel now, Aloha from Hell, and I think they are great. I think the best description of the books is found on the cover, "The best B-movie I have read in 20 years". They read exactly like a Quentin Tarantino script with enough of a unique voice not to feel like a rip-off. Plenty of mythology and pop culture with witty dialogue and ultra violence. My advice is start with Sandman Slim and keep reading until you're full.

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What I'm playing

Since the release of the new World of Warcraft expansion I have been in turmoil when it comes to deciding where to commit the small amount of free time I have at the moment. I vowed that I had had enough of WoW and a short while ago enjoyed levelling a character in the fantastic Guild Wars 2. I really think that GW2 is a superior game in almost all respects and quite possibly the best MMORPG available right now. The problem is the only thing GW2 doesn't have, that WoW does, is all my friends playing it. If you enjoy playing online multiplayer games then it's almost certainly for the social elements and I simply can't get that in sufficient quantity or quality elsewhere. Which is a long winded way of saying I'm back playing WoW. Despite that rant I would definitely say that the Mists of Pandaria expansion is the best so far. Yes it's more childlike and yes it's much easier, but I don't play these games for their intellectual value or to give me any more stress!!oneone

Aside from MMORPGs I have also been playing the 2012 reboot of the amazing 1996 microprose game X:COM which is, frankly, brilliant in almost every way. Every strategy fan should own a copy. A lof of reviewers claim that it's dumbed down, and in some ways it is, but they have actually simplified things that didn't require complicated mechanics to make it enjoyable. It's better than the original in most respects and that's really saying something.

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What I'm listening to

If you had asked me a week ago what I thought of Muse's new album The 2nd Law I would have answered: "It's the bastard child of George Michael, Savage Garden and Queen, I hate it, and I can't believe the same band that recorded Plugin Baby wrote it". Ask me the same thing today and I'd give you the same answer unfortunately, with a caveat about the wicked bass riff on Supremacy. I think Matt Bellamy might have banged his head sometime around the recording of The Resistance.

I enjoyed the second album from Mumford and Sons, Babel. It's more of the same, not quite as good, but worth buying if you like Sigh No More.

My current favourite album is My Head is an Animal from the Icelandic Band, Of Monsters and Men. It's different, quite lovely, melodic and makes me smile.

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What I'm watching

I don't usually go in for US comedy shows (historically untrue, but not lately) so I was surprised to find that I really, really like The Middle, and to a lesser extent, Modern Family. Modern Family seems to have some barely covered Religious under currents, otherwise it's well scripted and fun. The Middle is just brilliant, why can't the British manage family based situational comedy like this? Anyway, I seem to have loads of both series recorded on the Sky box and I am happily eating up all of it when I can.

Also, I wasn't expecting to like Elementary, which is a US revamp of the classic Sherlock Holmes story, starring Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Lui (as Watson!?). It's actually pretty decent, mainly because they managed to steer clear of all the obvious pitfalls likely to ruin this for a British traditionalist viewer. I have watched the first two episodes and will likely continue.

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