WipEout HD


I have had more of a chance to play WipEout HD this weekend between Mega Man 9 sessions (and being sick, not feeling like going outside). WipEout HD is a gorgeous futuristic racing game that runs at a full 1080p and 60fps frame rate (most HD games if I recall correctly, run at 720p and 30fps). Well mostly 1080p, in order to keep a constant frame rate, the game dynamically scales the resolution, dropping it when necessary; It’s really an ingenious solution. Since the game moves so fast, the scaling isn’t noticeable by the human eye. It runs buttery smooth.

From what I understand, the tracks, vehicles and music are remastered selections from the PSP WipEout games. For $20 you get eight tracks (sixteen if you count the reverse tracks), a campaign, five modes and local split screen multiplayer and online play. Eight tracks may not seem like much, but between the campaign, difficulty, and what not, I don’t think anyone is going to get bored any time soon.

Of the five modes, Single Race, Tournament, Time Trial and Speed lap are pretty self explanatory per any racing game ever created. I haven’t ever seen zone mode before, it’s an endurance test. The goal is to stay alive as your ship continuously accelerates. I haven’t played through all eight of the single player campaign stages, but so far, the difficulty curve seems to be fairly smooth and balanced (so far. I hear that it gets fairly hard towards the end of the campaign).

The music is nice if you like upbeat techno and electronic music (what else would you race a futuristic racing game too?) If you don’t no big deal: WipEout HD is one of the only games on the PS3 at the moment that supports the use of custom soundtracks. So rock out and race to Vanilla Ice if you wish. There is also a photo mode, allowing you to take and edit screenshots of anything and thenretrieve them off of the PS3 photo menu.


There’s a feature enabled by default in WipEout HD called pilot assist. What it does is prevent you from constantly brushing up against the track walls (try turning it off, the game becomes like, 100x harder). It does though, drop your speed slightly (5% is what I heard) when it kicks in. So in other words, it theoretically makes the track narrower. Veterans might want to turn it off. Otherwise, it’s a very much welcome feature to newbies like myself.

Though WipEout HD is technically a derivative game since I guess there’s not a whole lot that’s brand spanking new if you are a fan of the PSP games. Everything though is so incredibly polished. I do mean everything; it looks great, plays great, and is filled with fun little things. It is also very much a traditional racing game. So, if you don’t generally dig racing games, WipEout might not do it for you. Otherwise, it’s well worth the $20.

Mega Man 9

It has been so long since I have played a game that was both legitimately difficult and fun. You see, I used to be good at Mega Man; there was a point, years ago in my childhood, where I could probably clear all of Mega Man 2 and 3 without dying, or at the very least dying less than 5 times.

This is a hard game, you will die. You will die and have to restart stages over and over again. Often. In fact, I spent about two hours re-attuning myself to this type of gaming environment. I swear that I died about 30 times before I got to the half-way point of any stage. Death after death after death, usually at the exact same enemy and spot. In any other game I would have just said, “fuck it” and gave up but not Mega Man. In fact, the difficulty is what makes it great. It is the well crafted kind of difficulty that drives you to play obsessively.

Mega Man 9 is patterned after Mega Man 2, in that there is no Mega Buster and no slide. Eliminating the Mega Buster was a wise choice in my opinion; it cheapened the bosses and the boss weapons. I miss the slide though, It was fun to play with. The gameplay feels exactly the same. I was a little worried that something might end up feeling off, being on a different system with a different controller and all. But no: the timing and the gameplay is exactly the same as the original NES games.

Mega Man 9 has an excellent presentation. Yes, the graphics are way outdated, I don’t think I need to tell anyone that, but it is visually appealing. One of the aspects that I have always loved about the Mega Man series was its graphical design and Capcom’s use of the Nintendo Entertainment System’s limited color pallet. Everything is vivid.

Graphically, it is also very clean. The level backgrounds for example are colorful and detailed without being a distraction. All of the sprites and important foreground elements are well contrasted and “pop out.” You know where to jump, the stairs don’t blend in with the background like I swear, half of all retro games. It’s getting there without dying that is the problem.

Oh, did I mention the soundtrack? It’s awesome. Not quite at Mega Man 2’s level, which is the high bar for 8-bit sound tracks in my opinion, but it’s damn close. If you in any way enjoy platformers, Mega Man, or fun games, buy this now. Now.

I Know What I’m Doing Tonight…

Holy banana bread, look what they’ve done. Now I am never going to finish my half-finished stack of games, with today’s PSN updates and all. Best PlayStation Store update week ever; my credit card is rearing ready to purchase Mega Man 9 and WipEout HD as soon as I get home. Why must all games be released in the Fall? Why can’t some of these wait until Spring or Summer when there is virtually nothing interesting to play?

QQ. Anyway, back to my list of half-finished games. Shadow of the Colossus is a fascinating, awesome, and not that lengthy of a game. So, shame the fuck on me for letting it rot for a month and a half. Being honest though? The controls and the camera frustrate me greatly. I’m not sure that I generally dig monster-of-the-week games either, but I will finish it!

Resistance Fall of Man and Neverwinter Nights are victims of WoW distractions. I might pick Resistance up again this weekend; I am around 60% through? I haven’t finished Grand Theft Auto IV either, but that’s more of a long term project. I pick it up when I am in the mood, do shit, play a few missions, and then set it down again.

I really do wish that WipEout had a demo though. But eh, it’s $20.

WTB Kodo

I’ve been farming Coren with guild members for the Kodo mount nightly with no such luck (for anyone). WTB KODO GODDAMMIT. On the other hand, I scooped up that tanking trinket and that DPS trinket (both equivalent to the badge items). I can cross the AP trinket off of the list ofret things that I want pre-expansion. You know, my hunter needs that too. I should take him in for free epics.

In order to get the Brewmaster title, there are nine achievements that need to be completed. Unfortunately though, five of them are only doable during Brewfest. Since the achievements aren’t on live yet, they will have to wait until next year. These are the achievements that can be done, or at least started.

  • Direbrewfest: Kill Coren Direbrew. Get a group, go to BRD, use the weird thing to the right when you zone in to port to Coren. You can grab the quest in the instance.
  • Disturbing the Peace: While wearing 3 pieces of Brewfest clothing, get completely smashed and dance in Dalaran. The Brewfest items are purchasable with tokens.
  • Have Keg, Will Travel: Obtain a brewfest mount. If you didn’t get the mount last year, good f’in luck getting one to drop off of Coren 🙁
  • Does Your Wolpertinger Linger?: Obtain a Wolpertinger pet. If you didn’t get one from last year, they are purchasable at the festival for 45 silver.
  • Brew of the Year: Sample 12 beers featured in the Brew of the Month club. The brew of month club membership form is purchasable for 200 Brewfest tokens.

Oh, the Brewfest hats by the way are one of the only hats wearable by extremely low level characters. If I recall correctly, they don’t have level restrictions. Nothing says “banker” like a level 1 pimped out near the mailbox in every vanity item possible.

WoW Update: 9/22/2008


Small update; Been busy. Oh hey, I had completely missed the fact that Brewfest started over the weekend (September 20th through October 4th). Every inch of my soul loathes Blackrock Depths, but there’s a seasonal boss there that drops things so I might get in on some instance farming and do that, if other people are available.

  • We were four minutes off from getting the fourth chest in Zul’Aman last week. So close! Someone will get the bear mount next week, before it falls off of the face of Azeroth! Oh, I also finally got Mojo, the much coveted pet frog after around 50 Hex Sticks…
  • I pre-ordered my Wrath of the Lich King Collector’s Edition off of Amazon first thing Tuesday morning. I think both Gamestop and Amazon have stopped pre-orders on it. I need to find room to place all of these ginormous game boxes.
  • Let’s recap my pre-expansion check list: [✓] Level Doombeard to 70, [✓] Get Mojo before ZA goes out of style,  [  ] Skill mining to 375: Almost, [  ] 5k gold: err…
  • PopCap + WoW = This. Hah, I am so installing this addon.
  • Still undecided on what to do with my badges. I am leaning towards throwing caution to the wind and blowing them all on shiny DPS gear, knowing that it may very well be replaced with the first green drop that I encounter….

I think I’ll download the test client and try out a few builds on the PTRs this week.

Keiya’s Workspace: September 2008

If this post magically vanishes within the next few days, it’s because the module broke or something like that. I am playing with a drupal fotonote module that allows for flickr/facebook style css-rollover image annotations. Unfortunately though, it kind of hasn’t been updated in a long ass time and doesn’t do 100% of what I want. But close enough.

My work area hasn’t changed a whole lot since the last desk post in 2007. Overall, I am happy with my setup. It is comfortable. I will though, probably ending just buying a normal HDTV and a larger primary monitor sooner or later. The TV-card works like a charm and all, but I can’t really change the channel AND play a full screen game. It’s also annoying swapping between analog and digital whenever I use the PS3.


Games/etc from left to right: World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Collector’s Edition, Hal Leonard Guitar Method, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, Into a Dark Realm by Raymond E. Feist, Wrath of a Mad God by Raymond E, Feist, Good Omens by Terry Pratchet and Neil Gaiman, The Sims 2: Apartment Life, Shadow of the Colossus, Metal Gear Solid 2, 3 & 4, Grand Theft Auto IV & Resistance: Fall of Man.


The white drawer is fairly new; It was $40 at Ikea or something. I took up playing the guitar early this year, so here is my setup. Fun fact: Because of the way I like to sit (I’m right handed and lean to the right) and because my computer chair has armrests, I keep kinking guitar cables. Need to remember to sit differently….


When did I build this machine? Two years ago? It still performs fairly well, though the CPU is a bit of a bottle neck at this point. I will probably build a new machine in a year or two. Whenever this machine starts crapping out or whenever I am no long able to run new games at fairly high settings (probably the later).


WotLK Confirmed for 11/13

Oh holy hell: The Wrath of the Lich King expansion has been confirmed by Blizzard for a November 13th release date. I seriously wasn’t expecting that. In fact, I was banking on it being delayed until late Q4 or early Q1, because that is when I start going into winter season hibernation mode lol. Dammit, I am going to have to juggle WoW with Fallout 3 and possibly Rock Band 2. Where hath my time gone?

Small WoW update because I’ve been “busy.”

  • You know, I haven’t really thought much about what Keiya’s protection build will be under the new talents when the patch goes live. I will assume that is coming soon given the announced release date, background loader, and the PTRs. This assumes that we are still raiding when the patch is released.
  • I finally got Mojo, the much coveted pet frog from ZA this weekend. It only took about 50 hex sticks.
  • Doombeard will tame a core hound and name it Udon. Not the green core hound, the red ones from the Molten Core. Taming one has been a huntard dream since way back in the day.

It’s probably relatively pointless to blow all of my badge gear on lolret items at this point, given that greens and low level blues will probably replace half of it. My ret set isn’t so good that I will hang on to it for a while. I’m really not sure what to do with my remaining badges though. Some folks are buying gems and then selling them for cash. I need to double check to make sure they aren’t useful when the expansion goes live.

Doombeard is Level 70!


At long last Doombeard the huntard, my one and only high level alt character is 70. It only took one and a half years to get him from 60 to 70. But, better late than never! He’s not a new character; I rolled him approximately a month or two after I had rolled Keiya way way back in early Vanilla WoW. He gets played in short bursts. I’m not really all that much of an alt whore.

So is at 360 mining now, 365 with the glove enchant. I can trivially reach the cap tonight. Ore farming is a lot easier with a flying mount. His alchemy is stuck at 300. The original thought was to make him Keiya’s pot bot. But, since I don’t have a character with herbalism and since it’s not like my guild is short on alchemists, that’s kind of pointless. I may pick up a secondary gathering skill instead for $$$.

I might actually level Doombeard to 80 in reasonable time because of him being my gatherer. No fucking way I am going to buy all of my ore on Keiya to skill blacksmithing. That was way too expensive /anal lube. I also missed having another high level character to toy aruond with. Everyone else had a chance to run their dumpy-ass alt through Karazhan when it was on farm. Meanwhile, poor Doombeard was stuck in the low 60’s QQ.

Doombeard’s one and only pet is Cheesecake, a Swap Jaguar from the Swamp of Sorrows, tamed when I was in the low 30’s. Before Blizzard normalized the pets, his tamed attack speed was at 1.2 the second fastest in the game. the fastest being Broken Tooth, a cat from the Badlands with a former attack speed of 1.0. I had thought about taming him but couldn’t catch the spawn, he’s rare. I will tame either a Devilsaur or a Core Hound come WotLK. I’m leaning towards Core Hound for the nostalgia factor. Cheesecake will always be my favorite though.

My hunter’s gear is utter ass, aside for his Stalker’s War Bands, acquired 6 months ago LOL. WTB welfare epikz.

Shared Topic: “What I Will be Doing…”

Oh heyo, I like shared blog topics; They are fun to participate in and read. So this week’s topic over at Blog Azeroth is "What will I be doing (when WotLK goes live)" We should all have a better idea about what to expect on expansion day from the BC release. I wonder how my experience will differ this time around. Specifically, how it will differ not being in the expansion beta. 

I will be refreshing the UPS shipping page every 5-minutes all day at work unless I decide to attend a midnight launch event. I doubt that I will do that though unless I took a day off work. I’m not that obsessed to the point where I would use one of my holy vacation days to play WoW. Well, yet. Oh, unless the expansion pack is delayed until 2009, and I really hope that it is, I will probably be letting Fallout 3 collect dust for a while lol.

I will most likely be trying to get my user interface to work. Something important will break. Something important always breaks no matter how hard I prepare. The goal is to redo it completely when the next patch hits, or at least streamline it to reduce all of the junk I keep installing.

Once I actually set foot in Northrend, I will be getting a guild group together to start running the bujesus out of all entry level instances. During the first few days that the Burning Crusade was released, Hellfire Peninsula was so congested that it was nearly impossible to get any questing done. We ran instances constantly and started questing over in Zangarmarsh, where it wasn’t as crowded. I also expect Proudmoore to frequently die…

I will be achievement whoring. I should so make a list of achievements that I have and achievements that I can do the second WotLK goes live.

Gear Babble: Retribution Edition

Dammit, I regret my disenchanting sprees. I am almost certain that at some point I had all or close to all of the plate DPS belts from the heroic instances, the Worgen Claw neck from Karazhan, and another cape. I unfortunately, don’t have any of my spare DPS gear enchanted or gemmed since it rots in the bank, prot being so great for burst DPS and all :P. All of the gear alternatives were pulled off of the MaxDPS ret gear ratings.

Edit: Added the SSO neck per recommendation.

Gear that I will most likely keep
You know, with one more T1 item I can get get the dumb set bonus. WTB Gruul loot whoring run.

Gear that I will most likely replace
I’m at 90% into revered with the consortium. I guess I can finally finish off my rep and then get the gems tonight. I don’t have a whole lot of spare badges anymore, I blew a crapload on gems this past weekend. Besides, I’m not sure that it’s worth blowing gems on DPS gear.

I’m down a couple hundred gold again. That dumb tankadin belt pattern from the Tier-5 instances finally dropped in SSC this weekend, so I crafted it for myself. Screw farming the mats, I’m not that patient. I never bothered getting it commissions because it is kind of a sidegrade to my current belt. I like having paladin tanking piece alternatives for the sake of threat, mana and what not (versus warrior pieces).

The Bulwark of the Amani Empire finally dropped in Zul’Aman. FINALLY. I carry so many damn shields: one for healing, one for spell damage, one for resistance tanking (+5 resist all chant), and one for raid tanking (with the stamina chant).

Oh! Apparently there is a “Twenty-Five Tabards” Achievement in WotLK for tabard collectors, yay! Umm, so can we get a tabard rack now? Please? I like color coordinating them with different armor sets (for example, my Frost Resistance set is blue so I would equip a blue tabard). I also very much like having bag and bank space. Oh vanity…