Debaser

Let it be known, this is where Jean Snow sounds off on his pop culture and gaming obsessions.

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Heroes of the Storm

I’ve mentioned a few times that I do quite enjoy playing MOBAs (like Guardians of Middle-earth and Awesomenauts) and that I don’t really play DOTA 2 or League of Legends because of how unfriendly I hear it can be. I have been really excited to try out Blizzard’s take on the genre, Heroes of the Storm, and was so happy to receive a key to access the current technical alpha. I’m still learning the ropes, but have had fun so far going through the tutorials and playing some practice matches. We’ll see how I do when I start playing against live opponents, but I like that experience is shared across all characters — so it really is a team effort. 

Strike Suit Zero

I haven’t really played a space shooter in ages, but I was curious to grab Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut when it came out last week on PS4. I haven’t played that much since I’ve been mostly obsessing over Trials Fusion (and Hearthstone too), but I have played the first 3 missions, and I’ve had a pretty good time with it. I like the way you can mix combat between your ship and its mech form, using the advantages of each mode — like flying into position to then transform into your mech suit to lay out big damage. In terms of visuals, it’s not the showpiece I thought it would be based on the trailers I’d seen, but it still looks good, and I do look forward to playing more of this.

Trials Fusion

I wrote recently that I was enjoying the free-to-play iOS game Trials Frontier (and I still am), but the game I’ve been really excited to play is Trials Fusion, and I gotta say that so far I’m pretty satisfied. Sure, it does get progressively harder — meaning I’ve had to go back and grind some levels to get more medals to open up more levels — but that’s pretty much what these games are all about. In the end, as I told someone the other day, I really like platformers and driving games, and so trials games are pretty much the perfect fusion of these things (I swear, pun definitely not intended, at least not consciously). And this game is gorgeous — I’m playing it on PS4 — with some levels that take beautiful advantage of time-of-day lighting (like the screenshot pictured here). I’m also digging the futuristic setting — it makes for a more varied set of obstacles (compared to what you usually see in a trials game).

Mad Men

So yes, my other favorite show is Mad Men, so right now I’m dealing with the issue of which one to watch first (Game of Thrones usually wins). It’s been a slow start to this final season, but I’m enjoying it so far, and especially enjoyed this latest episode, with Don bonding with Sally. I do think we’re about to get a lot of office turmoil fairly soon through, and I can’t wait.

Game of Thrones

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Don’t worry, I won’t mention any spoilers, but 3 episodes in, this is certainly a great start to a season so far. I won’t say anything else other than this continues to be my favorite show (along with another series that just started its final season).

Real Time with Bill Maher

I usually add a post here when a new season of a show I’m watching starts — this is after all meant to be my media consumption diary — and even though I don’t do it for Real Time, it is a show I continue to love watching, season in, season out. I gave up on watching Daily Show and Colbert years ago — it was a bit much — but a weekly hit of political funny is just perfect.

Rick and Morty

I just discovered this show yesterday, and have already gone through most of the first season — you can watch all episodes online here. Don’t know how I missed this, but man, this series sure is funny. It was co-created by Dan Harmon, and so this is where I can continue to get some my Harmon fix (I gave up on Community). This really is the funniest animated series I’ve seen since discovering Adventure Time.

Trials Frontier

Yet another free-to-play game I’m trying out, and again, how long I end up playing this will depend on how stingy it becomes with its resources — as I’ve said before, I’m willing to unlock stuff, but not pay for resources. So far I’m having a really fun time with this, and I’ve played quite a bit with nothing stopping me. I should say that I do quite like trials games in general, and so it’s a type of gameplay I’m already attracted to. I’m surprised I’m not having issues with the controls, considering you use on-screen buttons, but it does play quite well — but yes, I’d still prefer to play something like this on Vita, like Trials Evolution. So yes, it plays well (on iPad), the graphics are really nice and slick, and I’m even digging the loose storyline and setting (sort of western-like) they use to set up all the levels and the upgrade system (for your bike). I was having trouble putting it down, which also gets me that much more excited for Trials Fusion, the console companion to this game that’s coming out soon (both made by Finnish developer RedLynx). 

Wind-up Knight 2

I’m not usually into action games that use on-screen buttons, but I still had fun playing the first Wind-up Knight, and the sequel that just came out pretty much feels the same, although it looks even better — it’s a really nice-looking game, quite slick. It’s a free-to-download game, but it acts as shareware, as you only have access to the first 8 levels, and need to unlock the rest. They are trying to encourage you to buy right away by letting you buy the game for $4 if you do it within 30 minutes, instead of the regular $9. I might have been tempted, but since I had not points in my iTunes account (I buy point cards at the combini) I lost out on that deal, and I don’t feel like paying $9 for this. Oh well. Worth downloading to check out in any case, to try out those early levels. I played on iPad, but I imagine the controls would work better on iPhone, because the buttons are a bit spread out when on the big screen. 

Silicon Valley

Watched the first episode of Mike Judge’s new series — this parody of the tech world — and it’s pretty spot on. Not only is it it funny — not in the ha-ha sense, but more in how it really highlights the ridiculousness of that world — it’s incredibly realistic as well, including what they came up as the basis for the series (the tech that forms the main character’s startup could happen, and it would be incredibly valuable). Looking forward to the rest of the season.