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Finally? Maybe.

This morning, I logged in to Facebook and scrolled through my newsfeed, searching for something of interest, then I saw this:
“…the year of Guild Wars 2!” FINALLY. 2011 was full of speculations and rumors. I remember hearing it would be released mid-year, then rumors of November and December. Now, it’s a whole new year and a new lunar year.

Here’s what ANet Founder and President Mike O’Brien had to say:

We recently finished our first closed beta test, and we’re now ready to hold progressively larger events. In February we’ll invite select press to participate in beta testing, and in March and April we’ll aggressively ramp up the size of our beta test events so that many of you will have a chance to participate. And of course, this all leads to the release of Guild Wars 2 later this year.

So stay tuned to our official Guild Wars 2 websiteour Facebook page, and this blog for more information about how to participate in an upcoming beta event.

It’s been an incredible adventure over the past five years, working with our community and our team of dedicated artists, designers, and programmers to realize this vision. This year, the seeds of that work come to fruition. We can’t wait to play the game with you.
(source: Arena.net)

In December, the final profession was announced and closed beta began.
In February, press beta.
In March and April, larger beta testing.
Could this mean GW2 will be available this summer? I certainly hope so!

Stay tuned to Nerdery — I’ll be updating like a giddy little fanboy as soon as more is released.

Until next time,
Michelle

Uncharted 3, Skyrim, Misfits & more

Between classes, The Alestle, Uncharted 3 and Skyrim, who has time to blog?

X-Men: Destiny (released Sept. 27)

Cyclops is a Cylon in a full-body condom. | Image via HeroHQ

I’ve been meaning to write about this game for a while now. I mentioned it in my last post, but it needs elaboration. X-Men is my favorite comic franchise ever. Naturally, I was stoked when I found out I could be an X-Man and I desperately wanted to play it. I was almost willing to buy it and give up waiting for Uncharted 3. I’m so glad I didn’t.Instead, I rented it, beat it and returned it.
I really wanted to like it, but when I put down my controller, I felt the same disappointment that followed after watching X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
I tried all three characters, all three abilities and did both X-Men and Brotherhood faction “quests” and found the variables didn’t matter (especially if you choose Adrian Luca and are pretty much forced to join the X-Men). The storyline bored me and the end boss was disappointing.
I appreciated the appearance of slightly lesser known (to the general public) mutants, like Caliban, Forge and Northstar. On the other hand, a couple mutants got a makeover for the worse. Nightcrawler looked like a hippie –which might make sense since the game is set in San Francisco — and Cyclops looks like a Cylon in a blue full-body condom. Overall, the graphics were lacking. The characters looked like plastic and the scenery wasn’t very notable.
Grade: D 

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (released Nov. 1)

Image via Naughty Dog


I got Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception as a birthday present and beat it in about a week. It was love at first button mash. I already loved Uncharted 2 and its sequel does not only do the Uncharted series justice, but also raises the bar for any games to follow.
In this game, there is a lot more interaction with the environment. With the new melee system, Drake can use bottles, wrenches and anything else nearby to bash a baddie’s head in. However this also means Drake has a weird thing about touching the things when he is close to them. Just for fun, purposefully maneuvered him so that he would tenderly caress a wall or display case. The first couple times it was hilarious. After a while it’s easy to ignore.
One of my favorite parts involves escaping a sinking ship. As the water began to rise, I tensed up a bit for Drake’s sake. Similarly, a chapter in the desert really captures Drake’s desperation and I could almost empathize with his fatigue. There quite a few semi-annoying pull back shots that flaunt the amazing job Naughty Dog did, but they totally deserve flaunting it.
As impressive as the graphics and the improved gameplay are, the characters and plot are what really made the game.
The game opens with Nathan Drake and Victor “Sully” Sullivan entering a seedy London bar, which quickly evolves into a fistfight, introducing Uncharted 3’s new melee commands. Moments later, Drake and Sully run into British villainess Katherine Marlowe, who is after one thing: Sir Francis Drake’s ring, which Nate wears around his neck. After a flashback that reveals a history between Drake, Sully and Marlowe, I was instantly hooked.
Uncharted 3 made me care about the character relationships — especially Drake/Sully and Drake/Elena. The flashback shows when Drake first met Sully 20 years ago. Back then Sully saved teen Drake from Marlowe’s cronies and had since become a father-figure and wiseass mentor to Drake. Knowing this, I was more invested in their relationship as one might feel about Pippin and Merry in Lord of the Rings. There were a few edge-of-my-seat moments when I exclaimed, “SULLY!” aloud at the game.
When Elena enters the game, there’s an awkward exchange that implies that sometime in the two years between Among Thieves and Drake’s Deception, Drake and Elena were married and later separated. After Among Thieves, I “awww’d” and I was genuinely happy that Drake ended up with Elena instead of Chloe. This implication dampened those feelings.
Between these two key subplots, there is no way you can walk away not wanting to find out more about the characters. Or maybe I’m just a sucker for sappy stories and happy endings.
And for your entertainment, here’s a video of Harrison Ford playing Uncharted 3.

Grade: A+

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (released Nov. 11)

Image via Bethesda

To be honest, this is the first Elder Scrolls game I’ve played and it did not disappoint. I love fantasy RPGs, so it was easy for me to get into Skyrim. I play a Bosmer (wood elf), who hasn’t decided what class to be in, but wields a sword and destruction magic while completing quests for the Thieves’ Guild and the College of Winterhold.
Most people I know are up to level 40+; I’m level 15. Then again, I haven’t been playing as much as most people I know since my husband has been playing Skyrim as well. While he’s slaying dragons, I’m left doing speed clears in Guild Wars.
Grade: A


The Walking Dead

Photo by Bob Mahoney/AMC

On Oct. 16, The Walking Dead returns for its second season, in which Sofia, Carol’s daughter, goes missing. The survivors spend  the seven-episode story arc searching for her and happen upon a family farm where they set up camp. On Nov. 27, the show ended with the most heartrending episode I’ve ever seen on TV.
If you haven’t watched this season of The Walking Dead, do yourself a favor and watch it now. Season 2 is available on iTunes and Amazon Instant Video. Episode 8 will air at 9/8c on Sunday February 12 on AMC.

Misfits

Image via E4

My favorite ASBO antiheroes returned in the third season of Misfits on Oct. 30. This season introduces the gang’s new powers and Rudy, Nathan’s replacement, who, like any new character in a TV show, was difficult to get used to. He’s certainly no Robert Sheehan, but every episode, he becomes more likable. I’m not yet sure how I feel about everybody’s new powers. Simply put –as to avoid spoilers– after establishing the characters’ struggles with their powers in the the first and second seasons, it’s difficult to cope with their new struggles with their new powers.
If you aren’t familiar with Misfits, I recommend getting on hulu and watching the first two seasons. It’s totally worth your time. Plus, winter break is coming up; don’t pretend you have better things to do than watch entire seasons of a British TV series. Season three will become available on Dec. 19.

Until next time,
Michelle

Guild Wars 2 gameplay: “So sexy it hurts”

After Guild Wars’ sixth annual Dragon Festival, I discovered a video to keep myself stoked for Guild Wars 2 (concept art can only hold me over for so long).

The video features “dungeon action” and shows off the game’s new professions: guardian, engineer and thief.

Of course, being a video from YouTube, I got sucked into the suggested videos where I found these:

IGN: Guild Wars 2: Thief – Guns Gameplay

IGN: Guild Wars 2: Thief – Swords Gameplay

Um… drool. I don’t know how the what it took me four months to see this. Since the thief was announced, a few of my guildmates were a bit wary of the guns. They look weak in the video, which makes me wonder if it’s even worth being a thief dual-wielding pistols when you could have a sword and a pistol or daggers or –even better– be an engineer with a rifle.

In other news, the interface looks so sexy it hurts. It looks so much less chunky and 10 skill slots? Brilliant.

Sure, maybe I am just a fangirl, but I believe Guild Wars 2 is definitely Game of the Year potential.

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