Bundles of Fun II

Last February, I posted Bundles of Fun, which lists a of couple must-haves cheap bundled games. Since I'm done with school - and I'm unemployed at the moment- I need to catch up with a lot of games I missed while I was studying. Here's a list of cheap bundled games that I'm gonna dig into right after I finish taking my board certification exams.

Sacred: Gold Edition

I always kept an eye on Sacred during its development but I wasn't able purchase the game due to financial reasons. But all is great since they released a bundle which also includes Sacred Plus and Sacred Underworld, for the price of $10

Disciples II: Gold Edition

Disciples is my favorite turn-based strategy. However, I almost missed out on its sequel. Fortunately, they released a gold bundle which includes all of the three expansions: Servants of the Dark, Guardians of the Light, and Rise of the Elves, for only $20.

Medieval: Total War - Battle Collection

Based on their popularity, the Total War is good series. Unfortunately, I only played Shogun. Since Rome: Total War Gold is a bit pricey, I'm going to settle with Medieval: Total War - Battle Collection. The collection costs $20 and includes the Viking Invasion expansion.

Battlefield 1942: The Complete Edition

Shooters are not my forte. That's the sole reason why I avoid buying them at a high cost. But now that Battlefield 1942's price has dropped to $20, I think I'm gonna try it. The bundle also includes the two expansions: Road to Rome and Secrets Weapons of World War II; and Battlefield Vietnam.



Everything is blurry

The last four years passed by so fast and everything became a blur -especially the night after our finals. Now, I've finally finished my Associates Degree in Applied Science (Major in Nuclear Medicine Technology). So what's next? The certification board exams, and I'm gonna take it in two weeks! Right now, I don't want a lot of distractions. So no games, no music, nothing...until I pass this thing.

Also, in case you haven't noticed, I changed the subtitle, of this blog, from "A NUCLEAR MEDICINE STUDENT'S JOURNAL..." to "A NUCLEAR MEDICINE TECHNOLOGIST'S JOURNAL..."


I Need Heroes

While the dry spell in the RPG gerne isn't lifted -yet- I'm just glad that there have been a handful releases of turn-based strategy games. First, it was Civilization IV which was, pretty much, the cause of my stress and poor performance in school last semester. Then there were these two great space strategy games Space Rangers 2: The Dominators and Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords. And next week, the return of a turn-based strategy legend, Heroes of Might and Magic V, under the new development of Nival Interactive, one of a few game studios that I trust when it comes to turn-based strategy games.

For the meantime, since It's a week wait until the release of HoMM V, I just loaded up HoMM IV to sate my appetite. I got the game four years ago but I only remember finishing one -out of six- campaign. Well, five more campaigns should be enough to keep me occupied. Maybe, if I finish playing the game, I'll write some sort of a retro review.


E3 Madness

It's May and it's time for E3 again. E3, which stands for Electronic Entertainment Expo, is a chance for the gaming industry to show their upcoming products to a lot of people, and these includes upcoming PC games.

Unfortunately, I already know most of the RPGs that had been showcased at the expo but additional media and information are more than welcome. A trailer for Neverwinter Nights 2-which pretty much gives you a bird's eye view of the game's storyline- is already available. Age of Pirates also have a lot of screenshots in store, and Hellgate: London, a Windows Vista exclusive, have tons of videos that sums up the action-oriented gameplay.

There were also a couple of surprises for me. Marvel Ultimate Alliance for one, another squad-action RPG from Marvel that plays like X-Men Legends. Warhammer: Mark of Chaos, a promising RTS that will definitely be on my watch list. But the unveiling of Jade Empire for PC is probably the best E3 news for me.


Jade Empire: XBOX exclusive?

I never owned any console post-Nintendo era -that's right, I didn't even own a SNES. Although, sometimes, there comes a console exclusive game that'll make me wish for a console, and Jade Empire are one of those games. Fortunately, BioWare finally looks upon their starved PC followers and decided to release Jade Empire to PC!

This is great news indeed, not only that Jade Empire is coming to PC, XBOX gamers are also getting ripped with their exclusives. First it was with Fable, the much hyped XBOX "exclusive" game, which was also released on PC -with additional features I might add. Now, it's Jade Empire -also with additional features and much better graphics than XBOX.

If only Square Enix would do the same with Final Fantasy X, but I guess I'm asking too much.


Romance in Games

I don't like to watch romantic movies or soap operas because they're predictable and stupid. Although, I always like a little bit of romance in my RPGs. It adds more depth, interaction, story, and experience in your gameplay. Romance in Baldur's Gate II -where three elven women bicker and bite each other just to win your heart- is very amusing, and the same goes for Planescape: Torment.

What I didn't know: it's much more expensive to create a NPC whose romantically involved with the player character since there are more testing, voice overs, scripting, and writing. For that information, I thank the Escapist who released an article about romance in gaming.


10,000 and 3 Days: A Music Review

Tool - 10,000 Days
(9.0 of 10)

It felt like I've been waiting and anticipating for 10,000 days for Tool's latest work to be released. Now that their fourth album, 10,000 Days, is out, it will take me another 10,000 days to listen to it since most of the songs are seven minutes long.

The intro song "Vicarious" will immediately get and hold your attention with a viselike grip. You'll know by then that you're listening to Tool and, yet, something new. The next track "Jambi" sounds very ethereal. "10,000 Days" and "Rosetta Stoned" are the epic power rock in this album. The metal whrilwind "The Pot" is probably my favorite in the album. There also a lot of soundscape fillers, namely the "Lost Keys".

As for the members, they sound that they are in good shape. The ever eloquent Maynard James Keenan sings in a spirit-like voice. The rest of the band still works together in harmony. Daney Carey is a sterling drummer as ever, and Adam Jones and Justin Chancellor still got the old riffs but left some room to dabble and expirement with other things.

The only thing I can complain about Tool is probably the packaging. Yes, it's quite unique and artful, but it's not functional. I can't close the lid, and I can't pull the disc out without damaging it on the staples holding the artful booklet. Other than that, it's a very impressive album.

Other Reviews

Taking Back Sunday - Louder Now
(8.7 of 10)

The title of their new release speaks for itself. It's more louder now with a lot of good guitar riffs unleashed and a little bit less of the emo sound, but the lyrics are still full of it. Most of the songs here, like "What's it Feel Like to be a Ghost?" and "Miami" pays homage to new wave rock. Louder Now, I conclude, is a great Taking Back Sunday album with a whole different approach.

Bullets and Octane - In the Mouth of the Young
(8.3 of 10)

In the Mouth of the Young is produced by Page Hamilton of Helmet, so there's a lot of Helmet influence here but their sound is truly their own. It's energized hardcore -in your face- punk with lots and lots of guts and balls. If you want some fun, pick up In the Mouth of the Young.

People in Planes - As Far as the Eye Can See
(8.7 of 10)

Another UK band which music is comparable with Muse and Radiohead -with a little bit of Dredg. The vocalist sounds like Thom Yorke sometimes, especially in the track "If You Talk Too Much". Although most of their songs are alternative radio friendly, there are some tracks that had cleary undergone expirementation, especially the epic track "Narcoleptic" that showcases great flanging guitar riffs.



I never play online multiplayer games. For me, it's just too hostile. Galactic Civilizations II's Metaverse, however, is of a different sort. Although Metaverse is a multiplayer option, it doesn't put you on a head-to-head competetion with another angst-filled gamer on the other side of the line. Instead, you compete with scores.

Here's how it works. Basically, you just join a Metaverse game and it will directly connect you to their server. Then, after that, you just play as if you were playing a single-player game, without the hissing and bragging of an angst-filled gamer on the other side of the line. After you finish playing a game, you'll be able to submit your score in the Metaverse database. Then the database will calculate the total average of your score and will give you a rank. If you have a high rank, then you can go to the game's official forum and brag about it.

One other thing, you can also join an empire and your scores will be added to that empire. It's also a fun thing. So if you want to build and start an empire, or already have one, I would love to join it.

Anyways here's my Metaverse account. it's not much but I'm working on it.