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Less than a month, I believe, is Dragon Age Inquisition old. It had many seperate deals on pre-order, some better than the others. I just bought the bare edition for PS4 on release-day.

Yesterday, Bioware released all the pre-order and store-exclusive deals for Inquisition in one €9.99 package, calling it a CE-upgrade.

I can't help but ask the question... how right is this? I'm the laughing third, as with this deal, I'll get more content than people who bought the different editions did and in some respects even cheaper. If you ask me, I'd say that EA is removing the floor from under their monetization model. Hmmmm....

5 golden keys for Borderlands 2.

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 03:24 — CrypticCat

Here are the codes for five golden keys, valid for Borderlands 2 through 20/12

PC / Mac: K3KTJ-WWHTF-Z53XC-3JJJ3-SRJRH
Xbox 360: 5TCJJ-ZW65X-3H6XS-CRBJB-XR9BZ
PlayStation 3 or PS Vita: KBCJT-R6FS3-63K9K-S3CJB-33J3X

Enjoy!

 

Mass Effect 4 Confirmed.

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 18:50 — CrypticCat

Playstation UK has the goods on this new installment of the franchise, due to be published in next months magazine.

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialPlayStationMagazine?fref=nf

I'm already looking forward to part4. Bioware said back then that Shepard's story is told... But how can the universe be safe without Lolita Shepard? Or any Shepard for that matter. ^^

Sooo, question remains... make a new savefile or not?

Borderlands TPS golden keys.

Sun, 12/14/2014 - 10:54 — CrypticCat

These codes gives 3 golden keys, valid up until and including 12/18.

PC / Mac / Linux: CKWBJ-FFC33-33B3J-BBBTJ-SRBJB
Xbox 360: CKWBJ-FFC66-55F3R-CFBTJ-SRBCX
PlayStation 3: CKWBJ-FFC35-96B5J-HBCTJ-SRBFT

Redeem the code in your Shift-option for Borderlands, the Pre-sequel.

Aurora Trek

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 20:32 — CrypticCat

Continuing on my recent foray into animated or live acted fan fiction and still in the Star Trek side of things, I found this incredible effort.

The plot is simple, a little girl gets stranded in a hulk after a pirate attack. She... survives. Then, as a grown a woman, that traumatizing event has a way of catching up with her. But not as we know it...

The effort is however light hearted regardless. It's Star Trek from the merchant navy, but the traders are not very organized or sailing in syndication. It's the seedier side of life, where big risks are being taken with traders outfitting their ships in various ways to outsmart and be faster than the competition.

The visuals are bright and colorful, the VOs are of adequate quality and apart from the lighthearted tone, setup, cause/effect and conclusion are recognizable Star Trek.

Give it a watch. Star Trek doesn't have to be about ranks and talking about adventure alone. It can also be about friends, friendship and adventure for the realz.

See video

 

Obligatory 2014 post.

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 12:13 — XSSmoke

You know, before 2014 is over and whatnot.

So yeah, that was cool. Nice chat.

See you in the games.

 

Fan-made animated movies.

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 05:25 — CrypticCat

After yesterday noting 'live-actor' fan efforts, today I look at an animated effort that is several years old now. The animator is using stone-age versions of now very popular graphics and animation packages like Blender and Poser.

The story is compelling. The antagonist and protagonist are lifelong friends. The antagonist helped the protagonist getting to terms with losing his father at Wolf359, the infamous Borg-battle. But then, the antagonist gets to deal with loss and proves to be unable to drink his own kool-aid. What follows is a gripping story of loss, love and betrayal that eventually affects three generations of Starship captains and three different versions of the antagonist that all are locked in an inability to not only see beyond, but also to reach beyond.

I think that the animated series is a great effort. The trilogy spans a little over 12 hours and nowhere loses the story steam or fails at keeping you interested. Since it being a fan-made story, the obligatory homosexual relationship between women is accounted for, though it has to be noted that most puppets resemble people the animator knows personally. I was unable to find out if the two women romantically interested in eachother are in real life likwise vested, as the animator is remarkably reclusive outside this Star Trek effort.

Here's the link to the first part in the trilogy. It runs for three hours, so be prepared. The story is worth it, once you get beyond the clunky animations and the animator's relative inexperience with the tools when he begun his story. I wish more fan-effort was like this, as this trilogy proves to some extend that quality is not always what a good story makes.

And a wise man once said that a good story deserves to be told again. So yeah.

See video

 

Fan movies.

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 10:36 — CrypticCat

Things I learned from fan-movies:

The actors are either 1) middleaged and overweight or 2) scrawny teenage nerds. I know that modern media conditioning skewers expectation. You know that in any well-funded production, the actors are generally pretty and handsome. People who take care of their bodies because those bodies are an undeniable part of their career.

You as a watcher are more prepared to take a bullshit technical dialogue for face-value when it's delivered by Michelle Rodriquez (Even though her career sees her doing stupid in Machette movies now.) than if that same technical dialogue is lisped up by an average obese person from Backwater, USA.

Is it fair though?

I've been watching the offerings from Hidden Frontier with some interest. There is some amazing acting going on at times. I'm impressed by the Vulcan ensign S'Tal, who turned her wooden-stick acting into something Leonard Nimoy would envy. The Doctor from the Oddisy, who's also Section31. I suspect that he has had some formal training, or is just talented enough to be believable in his role. The Andarian pirate Se'Vak was a menacing bastard, and his stalking of Chief-engineer Leffler was terrifyingly awesome.

So, acting is every bit as good as you can expect when you have a green screen and friends enough who want to embarrass themselves wearing a Starfleet top on normal blue jeans. Hidden Frontier can also boast a talented writing-staff. But many of the cast are obese to the point of self-endangerment and devoid of acting-talent. John Candy is obese, but that man can act, demanding the camera and keeping the focus on his actions rather than on his frame. Just ask yourself after a John Candy movie... did you see his weigth, or did you see his antics. I bet it's the latter every time.

The other thing is that the actors that are older all gave themselves absurd starfleet ranks. The amount of captains and higher running around micromanaging things (Not to mention commanders behaving like captains) are just too many to be realistic. Another thing that irks me in the series is the insane amount of Commodores.

A Commodore can be two things, but each is related to inability to join the Admiralty. It's a career-ending rank in the navy more or less (still honorable, mind you.) and a stop-cap in the merchant-navy (civilians who captain a merchant-ship that's being employed by the navy typically become commodores.). In the navy proper, a commodore deserves a spot on the admiralty, but can't enter the admiralty due to several considerations: It's peacetime and there are less fleets than that there are admirals, coupled with the fact that all rear-admiral positions are being held. Captains who bork their command in such a way that cashiering is uncalled for, yet can't retain their captaincy become commodores in a posting where they can't do much harm. In wartime, commodores are not generated by the navy proper (As discussed, those are typically merchant-captains who gain the rank as an honor-acknowledgement for their service in wartime.) as it is more prudent to keep high-performing officers in their positions for as long as possible.

In the fanseries, the Federation is essentially at war with the Grey, the Tholians, the Breen, the Solians and the Cardassians. Yet, at Deepspace 12, an admiral and no less than three commodores are running around, which is very much an impossibility. Apart from that, the amount of captains is staggering and not in anyway related to the amount of starships present at anytime. From that insane pool of captains, a handful are running the show, showing remarkable contempt for the commanding admiral. Those captains frequently make career-ending decisions, up to ignoring the Prime Directive and the Temporal Prime Directive (Which was heavily ammended after captain Janeway threw out every Federation Oath she ever took to genocide the Borg.).

Yet, Hidden Frontier is compelling storywise. It's not a flimsy star trek fanfic resulting in female starship captains getting raped by cardassian spies or anything. In fact, the show is remarkably wholesome. Towards the more recent episodes though, the focus lingers on the homosexual relationship between Cory Aster and Ro Nevin and that's where the series starts to detoriate into basic fanfic for the most part. At first, the Federation tenets of equality in all things holds up, but eventually, the constant pining of Cory Aster after Ro Nevin starts to grate on the nerves. Nevin redeems himself in my eyes as he ends up lightyears away from home, forced to take on a Tal Shiar Romulan first officer and a crew that questions his ability to lead. (Sadly though, the romulan soon ends up in a lesbian relationship with the security officer.) The Oddisy storyline is easily the best, because of the character-growth of Ro Nevin.

Another storyline I enjoyed were the Helena Chronicles. The crew of the Helena goes rogue in a bid to rescue the galaxy from the Omega molecule. Omega is a source of endless power, but so unstable that a single Omega molecule can destroy starsystems. The Federation experiments with it, jealously guarding it from all the major players. The dream is too good to be true, but the Federation has opened Pandora's box. The crew of the Helena tries to close the lid.

Anyway, if you're a trekkie, direct your browser to http://www.hiddenfrontier.com/ and watch a few shows. Remember that some things can't be unseen though. Be prepared. The site is still going strong, though recently they've taken to audio-shows. The early video-shows are of woeful quality, but it gets better as you venture into the more recent shows.

And one journey ends

Mon, 12/08/2014 - 16:17 — NorthernPlato

September 2008 I started a journey to a new career.  I went back to school and took an accounting program at a community college.

When I completed the program in April 2011, I figured that I was pretty good at it and enjoyed so I enrolled in a commerce program starting in September 2011.  I graduated from that program in 2013.  In May 2013 I started working at an accounting firm, with the intent of pursuing a professional accounting designation.

On November 28 this year, I found out that I passed the last of the series of professional exams I had written back in September.  And with that, I am now about 5 months of professional experience away from earning my CPA.

I can't even begin to discribe how that feels, other than relief.  Saying that I feel a sense of accomplishment is an understatement.  I've never set myself to finish something that was so long nor required so much work in studying.  In a way, I feel as though I've wasted earlier parts of my life because I've now realized that I could have done this at any point in time.  Part of me wants to invent time travel for the sole purpose of going back and sucker punching my younger self and yelling "MAYBE TRY WORKING HARDER, JACKASS!"

But a bigger part of me just wants to keep going forward, realizing that all I have to do is work harder and I can do pretty much anything.  I've always had goals and dreams, but now I feel like I can actually achieve them.  And that feels great.

This period there are two PS4 games: Injustice Gods amongst Us and Secret Ponchos. Injustice is the beat 'em up with american superheroes. I downloaded it but yet have to play it. Supposedly, it has a very good battle-system. I don't know anything about Secret Ponchos, but I understand it's along the vein of Attack Nuns. I decided to ignore that title.

For the PS3 there's Deadly Premonition Director's Cut. I never really liked the title, especially as it is devoid of color. There are too many drab-scale games out there. It may very well be a very good title, but the screenshots are very depressing.

Titan Attacks is a cross-download. Download the title for one system and you can download it for all three. It seems like a good thing, but usually cross-buy titles are from onscure indies. The screenshots for it look interesting, but I know myself. If I download it, I will look at it for all of five minutes and then forget I ever downloaded the title to begin with.

For the Vita especially, Final Horizon is the free game. I don't mind the way that it looks or what it tries to do. Handheld games were never meant to be deep experiences from which you can take something away or anything. They're the ultimate popcorn-entertainment. Kick back in a recliner and waste an hour playing a game, any game. As such, the Vita is a great piece of kit and anything that you can get for free for it, is most welcome.

-Ed.

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