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Sunday, July 31, 2011

TF2 Tips

So a few TF2 related posts back, someone wanted me to post some tips for TF2. Now by all means, these are tips are not "professional" by any means. They are just little tricks I use (and probably a lot of other experienced players use) but should be helpful to new/F2P people.

Some of the stuff I will talk about applies to various classes or they are just class specific. I won't go over everything, just some things to start people off.

First thing first, rollouts. You probably won't need to know these for pub servers, but once you play lobbies or more competitive games, you need to understand what the most effective rollout is. For those that do not know what it is, a rollout is essentially the process of getting to the middle point/spot of the map from your spawn point; the faster (and more health you end up with at the middle) the better. Rollouts are unique for each class and for each map and there are many tutorials on video hosting sites you can check out to learn them.


Next comes sniper. Sniper is not my main class, but I play sniper in pub servers just to work on my aiming. But sniper gets really addicting once you start popping those heads.
Once you pop, you just can't stop
 Although I'm saying this is a tip for snipers, this can be applied for all classes. Get to know the map.
This can be especially useful for snipers as you can use landmarks to know where to aim. Take for example ctf_turbine (see below). I'm aiming at my enemy's garage door, but more specifically, my crosshair (or dot) is aiming exactly at the level of where an enemy head would be. So when an enemy pops out, I just need to pan left or right and it will be a guaranteed headshot. I know I'm at that "head" level is by using the "Gate 1" sign to the right. Looking at that sign, where the red meets the white wall (I added that yellow line in paint just to emphasize where it is) I know I'm already locked and loaded.

 Another tip for sniper is to aim your crosshair/dot where it can't be seen by the enemy, and at last minute, move your crosshair at their head. In the picture below, I'm aiming at this structure where enemies can hide behind. If they're behind it, they can't see my dot but right when they move to the right, I can just move my crosshair for a well place shot. Not having your dot seen can put your enemy at ease so they move freely out of cover whereas if they see a sniper aiming for them, they may be more reluctant to move out of cover.
 Next are the "TF2 Advanced Options". Under combat options, make sure you tick off "play a hit sound everytime you injure an enemy" and "display damage done as text over your target". I'll explain the "play a sound one" later but for "displaying damage done" is simple. You know approximately how much health they have left and you can replay this info to your teammates so they can also target weaker enemies.

Now for the last bit, the soldier. This is really a rudimentary skill, but immensely useful, shooting around corners. Your rocket deals splash damage within a fixed radius so you can injure enemies you cannot see.  Used in combination with the "play a sound when you injure an enemy" tip, you can now know if there is actually an enemy around the corner. This will help you decide whether or not you want to proceed or fall back and wait for backup.


Hopefully these tips will help some of you out. Do you have any tips for videos of TF2 you'd like to share?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hey Arnold! Arnold? Arnold!

From left to right: Helga, Arnold and Gerald
Well, another post about 90's after school cartoons (see my previous post about "Monster Rancher").

Wow, another show I vaguely remember, just faint traces of me sitting in front of the television coming home from school (probably followed by episodes of Monster Rancher, Ha!).

I'll tell you what I do remeber though. I remember Helga as a bully while having unrequited love for Arnold. Gerald as the guy with the hairdo similar to Marge Simpsons from "The Simpsons" and Arnold as "Football Head".

I do not own or take credit for all of the above images, if you would like them to be taken down, please message me.

Any old school shows you'd like to share? What did you watch/grow up with as a child.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tuition Fees

After a day of panic and distress due to course selection, I now have an invoice on my tuition fees.
For my first year at UTSC (University of Toronto Scarborough for those that haven't seen my previous blog posts) tuition is based per course (and all those extra fees) + co-op fees since I'm in the co-op program. I heard though, for next year, tuition will just be based per semester, not per course, but anyways, for this year, it is $545.00 for a half year course. I'm taking 5 courses each semester. Adding this up with all the fees and then multiplying it by two comes out to be over $7000.

I'm not sure how this compares to the tuition of other post secondary schools in Canada and beyond (I heard that Americans pay much much more than this) but the fun part about my program is that in second year and beyond, the tuition is "non-regulated'. My second year tuition is estimated to be over $13,000; almost double of the amount from first year. Thankfully, I can live at home so I don't have to pay for residence.


I do not own or take credit for all of the above images, if you would like them to be taken down, please message me.
 
How does tuition fees measure up where you live? How do you manage to pay it?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Capitalism Ho!

Although Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale came out awhile ago, I only got my hands on it now and I wish I started earlier.

The RPG element of Recettear
The story in Recettear is quite simply. Your dad apparently had a huge loan and ran off, leaving you behind to repay the debt. You, being Recette, is just a little girl and has no idea what to do. Tear, a fairy with the finance company comes up with the idea of opening an item shop and profit form it to repay the debt.

Throughout the game, you'll be playing two roles, one as a shopkeeper and one as an adventurer.As a shopkeeper, you're able to purchase items for resale, interact with other characters and negotiate with customers.

Capitalism indeed
A way to acquire goods is to simply explore dungeons by hiring adventurers. When you do hire someone, you'll play that role for the time being. Loot and items found during your adventure can be easily sold for high profits.


When I first started this game, I felt awkward because it kind of felt like a visual novel (this game was originally Japanese and has a bit of Japanese voice overs) but then we see many aspects of this unique game. Each character also develops throughout the game and it's really hilarious at times to see the naive yet honest personality of Recette. The RPG element of the game seems to be fairly balanced. It offers the player to use multiple characters while equipping a variety of equipment. Overall, I love this game and have yet to finish it and look forward to how it comes to a close.

I do not own or take credit for all of the above images, if you would like them to be taken down, please message me.
 
Have you played Recette? Gone through any visual novels?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Competitive Gaming

Well for those that know me on steam, you probably noticed that I've been going into the direction of competitive gaming.
Can you find me in here?
My first amatuer taste of this type of gaming dates back to the days of L4D1. As some of you may have read in my blog post about L4D, it's mainly based on 4 person teams and that was exactly the size of a clan that I joined. The clan tag we played under was -A.D- in case you're wondering and along our journey, we picked up a few more members, bringing up member to about 8 or 9. But this was a major inconvenience though as a team only consisted of 4 members. Anyhow, we weren't competitive to the point of joining ESEA but we entered in a few ladders and played a few skrims.

Not long after, our clan leader's attendance started dropping dramatically and we lost a few members. Fast forward to L4D2, we do not play under any clan tag anymore but rather a group of close knit friends. Our circle now consists of about 5 people and we just play mostly against clans or other groups of friends. It was a good change of pace as we don't always have that tense feeling as if we were actually a clan but we enjoy thinking up unique tactics while having fun throughout each game.

Now in the present day, I've been more caught up in TF2  scene (also refer to a previous blog post if you want to know more about it, it's also a free game now). So far, I'm on a 6 person team and we play mostly skrims, looking to get into more competitive play in the future.

Just as a quick intro, there are two types of competitive teams in TF2, a 9 person team and a 6 person team.

A 9 person team is called a highlander team, which consists of 1 person playing 1 of the 9 classes where no person can play the same class. This offers more variety but less co-ordination because of such a large team.

A 6 person team usually consists of 2 scouts, 2 soldiers, 1 demoman and 1 medic. This type of arrangement is traditional but you may find people who "off-class" which is playing a class that does not belong to any of the above classes mentioned (such as engie, sniper, spy...).

So far, I'm loving the teamwork and communication aspect of TF2 (something I've never experienced because I've only played pub since).

I do not own or take credit for all of the above images, if you would like them to be taken down, please message me.
 
What is your experience of online gaming? Do you play competitively?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Night it Up

As some of you may know, my friends and I attended "Night it Up" a few days back. For us, the event was a flop.

If you live within the city, there are many similar events that showcase Asian foods. Sadly, it is always the same vendors, so to my friends and I, this was nothing new. To someone new to town, this can be an amazing experience.

The event also featured various games, make-shift carnival games that is, such as throwing balls into a bucket and throwing darts into a target held by duct tape.
A festival game

Long line-ups for stinky tofu
From left to right, Spicy Salmon Pizza, Salmon and  Butterfish Sashimi and Beef Teriyaki.

At the very least, dinner was decent. An AYCE at a Japanese restaurant.







 How's everyone else's summer holidays going?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Summer Holiday Events

As with every year, I so yearned for the summer holidays, during school, but when it finally arrived, I'm simply bored out of my mind.
Pics of the event,"Night it Up"
Every year, my summer seems to be wasted one way or another. For the past few years, they've always been spent at home (or nearby it) but this year I've decided to catch up with some of my childhood friends before we depart to different post-secondary instituions. I've also started a bit of competitive TF2 play, but I still have too much time to kill.

Tonight though, I plan to go to an event called 'Night it Up" with my friends. "Night it Up" is an event that features Asian food and local performers.

I'll post my pictures or comments on it in the near future.

I do not own or take credit for all of the above images , if you would like them to be taken down, please message me.
So what are you guys doing for you summer holidays?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

University Course Selection

Over the course of the week, I've been stressing over possible elective courses I can take for my first year in university. With course selection starting tomorrow, I'm stressing even more than ever!

UTSC (University of Toronto Scarborough Campus)

The way my university does course selection is through an online program called ROSI (Repository of Student Information). Students are allowed to start their course selection on a certain date at a certain time, and these times and dates will differ for every student by years (1st year, 2nd year...).

When I went for an event called "Get Started" they stressed that students must immediately finalize and choose their courses right at their allotted time, but they didn't elaborate why. So I decided to converse with some current UTSC students. Well first off, if you don't take advantage of your allotted time, you risk the chance of not getting the courses and times you prefer, but most importantly, ROSI is notorious for being down due to an overload on its servers.

Okay, so I basically have to be really prompt for my scheduled time, but now for the courses themselves, albeit I only get 2 electives for my first year. The reason I'm stressing over these two courses is because of bell curving, something all University of Toronto campuses are infamous for, so I really want to take courses that wouldn't put a dent in my GPA while at the same time, hold my interest.

Right now, I have a few courses picked out such as EESA06 (Introduction to Planet Earth), GGRA02 (The Geography of Global Processes),  GGRA03 (Cities and Environments)

I do not own or take credit for all of the above images , if you would like them to be taken down, please message me.

Any suggestions?
How was your first year's studies for post-secondary institutions? What kind of courses did you take?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Wild Baby Critters

Following the recent news in my local area, there had been many reports of wild raccoons rampaging and tearing through houses. Luckily, I haven't seen any around the house I live in, but I have found other animals around my house, such as baby ducklings, and an adult hare, that comes around my backyard, around dinner time everyday. By chance, I also found a baby hare and I took pictures of it! Enjoy!



Camera shy
Bunneh go nom nom?


Have you found or seen and wild animals around your area?

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Minecraft

Markus Persson, a.k.a "Notch" has been a long time Java game programmer, most known for the work of Minecraft. Personally, I've enjoyed some of his works before minecraft, such as L4KD which really excelled based on simplicity and size of the game (4kb).

An example of a user created city/town

Minecraft has been a very successful game, after selling over 2.5 million units, so chances are, you've already heard of it but if you haven't I really urge you to try it out.

Originally, when I heard that my friends were playing Minecraft, I thought it was one of the lamest time wasters out there. Harvesting wool, fighting 8 bit zombies, killing pigs, building houses out of 8bit blocks, what really is enticing you to this game? So, I just had to try it out, and I was hooked. Hooked by the shear simplicity and goal of the game, which doesn't exist. Minecraft is simply a pick up and go game, with no goal in mind, it becomes a creativity game. Like the title of the game ensues, mining is a huge part of the game. Players are able to mine minerals such as iron, coal, diamonds, each having their own uses, and each more rare than the other. Like the picture above, you can also build towns, cities and houses and role play if you'd like, but these are just a few possibilities of the infinite choices you can make.

I do not own or take credit for all of the above images , if you would like them to be taken down, please message me.
How did you get into Minecraft? What is your opinion of Minecraft?

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Brain's Base Studio (2 of 2) - Durarara

Finally, the follow up and concluding post for the two part series on Brain's Base Studio brings us to Durarara. The anime is also based on the same writer for Baccano, Ryogo Narita and obviously the animation studio was the same, so I was expecting some quality material, and this did not disappoint.
A few of  many characters of Durarara
shown here

The plot, much like Baccano, revolves around a simple person or event, but we also get to view the adventures or misadventures of many other characters. The anime first premiered in January of 2010 and ended in August 2010 on a 26 episode series. Durarara revolves around Mikado RyĆ«gamine, a young boy who always longed for life in the big city and is given the chance to, in Ikebukura, Tokyo. He also meets up with his childhood friend Kida Masomi. Kida, already familiar with Ikebukura, shows Mikado around the city and some people such as the violent bartender, and the owner of the sushi shop. There is also an urban legend called the "Black Rider" within Ikebukura, and Mikado witnesses this legend the first day he arrives in the city.


Many more characters and plot elements come into play and in a way, all these events and characters will come together and intersect, forming a larger plot. As you can probably guess, I was very pleased with this series, much like Baccano.


I do not own or take credit for all of the above images , if you would like them to be taken down, please message me.


If you watched Durarara, what is your opinion on it? Any more anime by Brain's Base Studio or Ryogo Narita you can recommend?


Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Duke Nukem Forever Review (Finally)

Hey guys, I've taken some time off from blogging as I was doing two things. 1. Doing stuff related to post secondary school, as some of you know from a previous post, I will be attending University of Toronto in September! Yay, and there is much preparation, such as course selection. 2. DUKE NUKEM FOREVER (on PC)!

You'll be seeing this a lot,
loading screens that is
Yes, I've been spending the past week playing it out and so far, it has been a fair experience. The following will be my rant/review on DNF. I believe my opinion of it is a bit different from other people as I have not played previous versions of Duke Nukem so I have no idea what to expect in terms of the quality of gameplay, I simply judge what I played.

Well, in DNF, you start off immediately fighting a "boss" monster, only to find out that "you" are actually Duke Nukem, playing DNF (confusing?), and a joke immediate follows. Throughout the game, you'll encounter many odd jokes, some that are actually funny, some that are just lame.
Another thing that you'll encounter are loading screens, and the amount of them. When playing through the first few chapters, you'll be doing nothing more than just navigating through the DNF world, and probably after 5-9 mins of walking around, you'll be faced with a long ass loading screen. And within the loading screen (as you can see above) various tips will be displayed and I'm not sure if these tips are just jokes, or serious tips (see above). "When being shot, try to avoid bullets"...oh really?

That aside, the game really picks up when you get further into the chapters and it really plays out like HL2, in terms of being a puzzle game and a first person shooter at the same time. Your main arsenal consists of a rpg, shotgun, pistol, 2-3 alien guns, shrink ray, freeze ray; a good variety overall. (I've heard though, that these weapons aren't new, as they existed in previous versions, but again, I'm not considering this). The shrink ray is especially fun, as you can shrink your enemies and walk over them, thus squashing them.

Now I'm not sure what DNF is rated (in terms of, pg13, pg18+, adult...etc) but I'll have to give the game an adult rating. There is a chapter in DNF where you start out in Duke's stripper joint and you have to find various items such as a condom, popcorn and well, to keep this more friendly, a female massager toy. And as you navigate throughout the joint, you'll encounter many moments of full female frontal nudity, and scenes that are sexually suggestive.
The adult "moments" not only exists within this chapter though, in one of the starting chapters, (again, trying to make this more friendly), you can go into a bathroom stall, and explore a "hole" which is in the wall separating the two stalls. You can probably  guess what that "hole" is for, and it's not for peeping.

Overall, the game is decent as a fps, but many other things detract from the overall experience such as massive amounts of time spent on puzzles, loading screens with nonsensical tips. I will look forward in completing the game.

Also just a fun little fact about how I play any first person shooter's single player campaign. I like to play on the hardest setting available, because there is no reason to play it on easy modes. Reason being is that you'll probably finish the game in a flash on easy, and you won't replay it because it has no replay value anyways, so I rather play it on harder difficulties and spend more time on it.

I do not own or take credit for all of the above images, if you would like them to be taken down, please message me.


For the people that played DNF, how did you find it? What do you think of the harsh critiques of DNF?