Monday, March 5, 2012

Scattered Thoughts: Mass Effect 3 DEMO

The Collectors have been dealt with and the final chapter is upon us. For those new to the series, while I encourage you to go back to its humble and clunky "not-quite-an-RPG-not-quite-a-shooter" roots to really get a grand scope of what this series can really mean to you, from playing the demo alone I feel safe to say that this final chapter of the Chronicles of Commander Shepard can serve as a great jumping off point, but just to go back my original point... at least start at Mass Effect 2 and live some of the major events of the first game via the motion comic (which serves as the only way PS3 players can get a taste of what the first Mass Effect had to offer). But I digress... on to the demo.

For the past few days, in anticipation of the release of this final chapter (in oh say... about three and a half hours) I've been playing the demo, while I played through the story demo in my two favorite classes (Infiltrator and Vanguard) I spent a good chunk of my time playing the Co-op multiplayer mode (once again mostly Infiltrator and Vanguard).

While I can't really give an accurate review of what the final game will be like, the demo was a blast to shoot through. The most obvious difference between 2 and 3 that stands out on first hands on was the controls. Shep moves much more fluid, especially when using the storm dash to rush towards or away from opposition, the control is much tighter and controlling Shepard while storming feels like I can actually control my character rather than the clunky feel of the previous games. The cover system received a pretty fantastic upgrade, Shepard can now jump between covers, move around corners, overall actually get the drop on enemies rather than the more tired "hide behind box, peek, shoot, hide behind box" gameplay of the previous titles.

Combat is improved greatly, new powers and also some powers that don't force you to go into cool down mode. For example, I never liked how switching ammo types was a sort of "power" for characters who had different ammo types. You are not forced into that awkward cool down period when you switch ammo types. Melee combat is greatly improved, rather than just an elbow to the face sort of melee attack, laying the smackdown on some Cerberus ass has gotten much more stylish this time around. Melee attacks can be combo'd and also you can do a heavy melee attack that can seriously knock back whoever has the dumb luck to be on the opposite end of Shep's back hand.

All these amazing improvements play well into the co-op multiplayer. Co-op is pretty much a hoard mode (within the context of the demo) but each wave isn't just another sweeping stream of baddies asking for a tungsten round 'tween the eyes. Different (random perhaps?) objectives are thrown in, from hacking terminals to taking down specific officers make for a far from cookie cutter hoard mode. It's fun and seems much better than I anticipated, I admit I was one of those "Noooooooooooooooo EA you *bleepbleepblerpitybleeps* Mass Effect doesn't need multiplayer" types of gamer when they first announced a multiplayer aspect to ME3.

With that said... as I finish writing this review... we are looking at just about 3 hours left... 3 more hours till I pick up my copy of ME3, 3 more hours till I get to stand in Shep's boots once again.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tattoos, Dating, and Being Sexy and Bloody Knowing It, my 2011

Dear Two Thousand and Eleven...

It was a really good year, with 2010 going extremely sour by the middle of the year and still struggling incessantly with all that extra weight I had on my body... I can honestly say that 2011 was one of the best years I have lived yet.

It was a year of self discovery and finding out who I am in many aspects of my life. In mid 2010, my life went for a tilt-a-whirl when the woman I was seeing left me. Aside from that, I was still struggling with being overweight and weighing 65 lbs heavier than I did in my prime (High School). Near the end of last year, I made some changes that really sculpted me to become who I am now.

The tattoos... the weight loss... the dating... it was a year of new and exciting things. One of the major changes that I made was finally getting inked, while I officially started getting tattooed November of last year, it fully came to fruition when this year started, primarily with two of my my most major pieces being done (including a half sleeve on my upper right arm which is the culmination of three sessions and about 15 hours of tattooing. Whether you have ink or not, whenever you get a meaningful piece that resonates with your personality, it feels as if it was always there and your artist brings that out in you. Looking back to older photos, I can't even recognize the days I was not tatted, it has become part of me in a very serious way... I'm kidna glad it wasn't a fleeting whim, tattoo removal is bloody pricey.

When I lost the weight, it was like I was becoming a man I haven't seen for many years, a guy I have long forgotten to exist. It's weird when you gain weight and you get fat for so long, you forget what it was like to be skinny. I can honestly say that never again will I get fat, and I will continue this journey for the sake of my health and for the sake of fashion... fat guys rarely look good in the clothes I rock, ya dig?

As far as dating... that's still kind of an open ended story. While I've had my fun and in casually dating I've had the pleasure to meet some pretty awesome ladies, I still am yet to settle down. I figure that settling down will come when I feel that "spark" that makes my heart beat faster and slower at the same time. What this past year has done for me was make me more aware of what I really look for in a mate. I can honestly say that I settled when I dated the last one, I settled for a pretty face with a personality that I let many distressing traits slide on. Never again.

With that said, look to some fun stuff coming in 2012... I might as well get some of my projects off the ground before the Mayans and John Cusack make the world end... or something to that effect.

Cheers and Happy New Year.
Justin Prince

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Town Sound: Check it Out!

A venture started by a friend of mine with some awesome ideas... keep it local, keep it musical, and make it accessible. The idea is still in its infancy but if you love the Town like I do and want to find an accessible avenue to get information about local bands playing in the Town, this is at least the first stop.

Justin Prince

Goodbye Steve, and thanks for all the memories...

It's been a little over two weeks and I can honestly say that it has fully settled in. He's gone, and noone will ever fill his placed again. Granted, I'm not here to say how Tim Cook isn't Steve and how Apple is never going to be the same again. I am confident that Steve built a strong team at Apple to continue what he started.

This blog post isn't a memorial, nor is it another pseudo article about Steve Jobs. Rather, this is my goodbye. I've been an Apple user since I was a kid, I had the old B&W Macintosh and that was my first computer. Ever since then I have been an Apple fanboy. It wasn't until Steve was already ousted from Apple that I had shifted to the PC world... thus insert several years of PC/Windows headache... that is until Art School. When I enrolled in the Art Institute of Seattle I bought my first new Mac in years. A 17" Powerbook G4... oh it was wonderful. I
still have it and (while sluggish now) I just can't allow myself to get rid of it. Thus starts my return to Apple love and fanboyism. From various iDevices to my Mac computers, I've been an Apple kid through and through. It takes a very special product from a very special company to incite that level of devotion. It's one of the reasons his passing has hit me so hard, it's finally dawning on me that I'll never see him on stage at WWDC ever again. He'll never spearhead another Apple Keynote. It was a passing that we all saw coming, his failing health was well documented. But it doesn't make the event any less somber.

So with that said, I wanted to offer my own personal formal goodbye. Thanks for Apple Steve, thanks for building a company that makes grown men flock to Apple stores like kids at Toys R Us... thanks for all the memories. Rest in peace...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

It's been a long long time... but I'm back...

It's been a very long time, but I'm back! As my exploits on the interwebs continued to grow and expand, from developing a sort of love for TUMBLR and being as Elite of a Yelp! Elite as I can be. It's about time I get back to my pet projects, primarily my scattered thoughts from your friendly neighborhood scattered prince.

A few things that I am working on at the moment:

- I am finally getting serious with creating a fashion/food centric youtube channel. I will be recording my exploits to find the perfect outfit to getting the best dinner. So in a way sort of an extension of my Yelping... just with a little more of my own spin on it.

- I'm still trying to be less fat... kinda the thing I need to do before it becomes 2012.

- Tattoo blog, in the last year I have become very intertwined into the tattoo sub-culture. So you will see more posts showing off my ink to showing of the ink of my friends.

I do plan to tone down on trying to review games, it's sort of a big thing now-a-days, so until I can come up with a more creative way to write a game review, that will be on hiatus. I still play games (alot) but you guys might just not hear of it.

Anyway, look to the blog, tell your friends to follow me. Let's do it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Yelp Elite, welcome to the club Justin Prince

So I've earned my Yelp Elite status, reviews reviews reviews galore... aside from managing this blog, you folks can find me there...

Friday, February 18, 2011

ME2 + PS3 = "less than three"

Fight For The Lost... with SONY!

Can a year old game capture my attention as much as it did when I first played it? Mass Effect is the Sci Fi series that made me want an XBOX 360. Sure all the Halos and Warring Gears can be fun, but this is the main reason I got an XBOX. Mass Effect 2 was the definitive game of 2010 and playing it on my Sony black box was just as fun.

For everyone that only has the PS3 this is the perfect chance to get into the series. The first game was a flawed masterpiece that wasn't quite RPG and wasn't quite TPS (Third Person Shooter). Everything flawed in Mass Effect was amended in the sequel. For those worried about catching up on the story, the PS3 version adds an interactive comic to play through and make decisions that were prominent in the first game. One of the main draws of the series was carrying over the decisions made in the first game to the second, this ensures that you can have some level of interactivity with the events of Mass Effect. My one complaint is that the story wasn't as fleshed out as I would like it. If you were not as familiar with the story of Mass Effect, you'd feel like the comic felt a bit rushed.

Overall the game plays like its XBOX360 counterpart, graphically it looks alot better and especially the scenes when characters are talking, character animation looks more realistic and facial expressions look more natural. The battle system is pretty much the same as on the XBOX360 and while there are a few glitches and hiccups, the patch should come soon and fix that.

Do you have a PS3? get... this... game... seriously.