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Black Friday!

November 19, 2015

Black Friday people!  Just bought me some BF4 Premium.

Ah, I think I’ll have the Gnasher and some Gibs, and for dessert, I’ll have the M16 with the Pistol finish in my jungle suite.

Gears and BF4 are back on the menu!

Dodged two bullets this month (Halo 5 and SW:BF)!  Feel like I got out of jail for free.

  1. Blankman permalink*
    November 19, 2015 11:16 pm

    Halo 5 is only a bust for Japan due to the IP filtering for Azure Cloud servers. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if MS pulled everything from Japan because the gaming culture is never returning to the consoles. For every place other than Japan, Halo 5 has been a hit. Xbox has never made any inroads in Japan, and it’s not for lack of trying. They just need to GTFO.

    I would say that BF4 is still a rip-off at $30, regardless if it’s the “Premium” edition. Then again, I haven’t been a fan of DICE’s handling of games for quite awhile since the BF4 fiasco.

    Zos and I pulled the trigger on the Metro Redux bundle ($17.99) when the deals were initially announced on Reddit. The two games were extremely well received, & the remastered versions are even prettier & free of bugs that were in the original version of 2033. That games backlog though…

    • November 24, 2015 10:21 am

      Halo 5 right now is beating Madden, Tomb Raider and COD: AW. I have consistently seen it at 5-8 in the most played list. I hardly consider that a “hit”. It’s only been a month. It’s being beat by old games.

      I think they went very easy on them on the MP reviews and SP.

      Looking back with all the games released right now they were right in releasing early, and using a great marketing campaign.

      Suns should definitely frame that Halo is better than Destiny review of MP. I don’t think it’s even close and by the time they release more content, Destiny will be out with more content as well.

      Whatever the initial sales were will not matter because it’s progression system failed to keep people playing a month after, and will be harder as time goes on regardless of how many free maps they throw out in the future.

      Halo 5 is not a horrible game by any means, but as the main exclusive it disappointed big time. I wouldn’t be surprised if it goes the Halo 4 route and becomes irrelevant a year from now.

  2. November 20, 2015 12:10 am

    Let the good times role! BF4 is back on the menu. We’ll find something for you to do recruit. 😉

    • Blankman permalink*
      November 20, 2015 12:13 am

      Well, he can watch you play Fallout 4! Lol

    • November 20, 2015 1:34 pm

      Said the guy who played Witcher 3 for a month straight…. 🙂

      Gotta say though, this game is too fun. Sucked in to say the least. I can’t think of a game I’ve played this much (ever). The closest I can think of is Mass Effect 2.

      But tonight, if we get a community game going, I’ll put away my power armor.

  3. November 20, 2015 3:15 pm

    Keep your power armor on, Kenai,

    I won’t be on all weekend. Work in the day and “enkai” (bbq party) in the evening on Sat, and Sunday is church and turkey dinner at a friend’s house (all I had to do was buy the pumpkin pie from Costco). Catch up on your SP games everyone! Next weekend we should be able to play some RS:S Open Beta.

    PS Great deal on the Metro bundle!

  4. November 20, 2015 5:36 pm

    OT Heart=Broken. If I were coaching or management, I would be pissed!

  5. November 20, 2015 5:48 pm

    My adopted team (ala Draymond Green – Michigan State). Undefeated and don’t want to lose.

    • November 23, 2015 4:26 pm

      Draymond Green is the main reason why they are undefeated aside from Steph just being on fire from 3.

      A lot of people don’t see that his ability to take on the 4-5 is what keeps them being the perfect run n gun team ever.

    • November 23, 2015 5:25 pm

      I know that Iguodala has pulled at least one win out of the flames of a loss, but I haven’t watched them enough to debate your argument. All I can say is that one more win and they beat the perfect start record made back in ’48 and repeated in ’93. And on Sunday they even kept Curry under 28 minutes of playtime. Their bench is so deep, they have to give the players advance warning so they can climb up to the floor.

      One other thing, I read a while back that a group (6+ members) have prayer meetings and stuff, and that kind of fellowship/dedication to each other (God’s strength aside – which I also believes comes into play, but is then subject to their humility) is going to create chemistry on the floor that will be very difficult to match.

      I love Paul, Griffin, and Jordan, but I it hurts when they blow big leads to any team, especially after their playoff losses. I am starting to wonder if they “too gracious/fun loving” to ever get the “killer instinct” they need to win beyond what they have already done.

      One more thing, since we’re talking NBA, I am thoroughly enjoying the performance of that European high schooler schoolin’ NBA veterans like like they were from the D-league. It is awesome to watch, and shows that the bigs aren’t completely irrelevant yet. Interesting that it is for the team for which Phil Jackson is president. Good drafting choice, whoever it was that made it. Certainly, Phil’s opinion must have been asked. They passed up a bunch of other potential rookies of the year of which one, at least, is now rotting on the vine (poor D’Angelo Russell, with Kobe as his mentor, he didn’t stand a chance).

      This is a great time to enjoy the NBA. There are some amazing teams and individuals out there.

    • Herandar permalink
      November 24, 2015 9:40 am

      Reminds me fondly of watching Manute Bol take three point shots.

    • November 24, 2015 10:06 am

      Again the intangibles is that he can put his body on bigger opponents, he can run offense and he can spread the floor with a 3pt.

      The warriors gameplan changes dramatically when he sits as explained in the article.

    • November 24, 2015 5:23 pm

      adding this article:

      The emphasis on Green being the guy who can set screens, has a long wingspan, can dribble, pass and shoot threes.

      Curry is benefiting from this and his skill set is perfect for this system which is what is happening right now as he gets another year in without even Steve Kerr on the sidelines.

      and since this isn’t the 2000s Phoenix Suns were the point guard was the main distributor, the ball just moves around to whoever is open from deep and everyone is already setup for transition D right after.

      I don’t think anyone can copy it as well because they don’t have a Draymond Green or a Steph to make the shots.

      Of course the system has huge flaws when you are Ice cold or when the other team has great perimeter defense, just as Cleveland showed which is why they didn’t use it in the entire series.

      Now if I am Cleveland I am putting Lebron at power forward and center, asap. Having the guy defending down low and rebounding, then quickly switching to point guard and driving the offense, is the next step.

      Kevin Love is developing his 3 this year, and with him back to his old self in the boards, it should be a good rematch if it happens.

      Kyrie is not even back and they are the best in the east.

      Lebron almost has as good of a squad as what he had in Miami in offense. Defense is their problem still.

      Dwayne Wade when he had knees was their best shot blocker and it would have been interesting if he had gone to Cleveland and defend Steph Curry.

    • November 24, 2015 5:26 pm

      Thanks for the article. The graphs are interesting, and no surprise about the comparative impact of each player, though I laugh about “melo”, Aldridge, and Dirk, whose teams do better when they aren’t on the floor. LOL

      Until Curry proves himself clutch, he won’t get my vote as one of the elite NBA players. He can dribble, pass, and shoot like the best ever, but if he can’t do that when his team really needs him, then he is no better than Harden, whom I also think is much less than his stats show.

      I don’t mean for that to sound Hater, it is just reality.

    • Blankman permalink*
      November 25, 2015 10:21 am

      Ha! Curry doesn’t care if you don’t consider him elite because he already is, Suns. Even when he isn’t on his game, he draws so much attention that his opponents cannot disregard him. He is a threat wherever he is. His ability to sink threes and get hot when he finds his stroke forces the other team to always place a man on him. That fact alone makes his teammates better at carrying the slack. Curry is NOT Harden and it’s tiring hearing that. If he was available for your favorite team, you better believe that you’d scoop his ass up in a heartbeat because it’s a no-brainer. Because of that, he’s elite, and he is clutch.

      I challenge anyone not to have off games, especially when it’s your first time at the big dance (last year during the championships). The pressure on his shoulders was enormous. If he weren’t on Golden State last year, they wouldn’t have made it that far. If that’s not clutch, I don’t know what you would consider is. Harden doesn’t make the players around him better, but Curry does. I’m sick of hearing the mention of Harden in the same conversation as Curry.

    • November 25, 2015 5:11 pm

      Last year, long before the MVP race was over (before the playoffs even started), I told you and Frenik that we were watching history, that Curry was an elite player in the making and barring injury, we should expect to see him, over time, join the best players of the game. (I remember it vividly because I was excited that for once, I was seeing the talent in the earlier years, rather than after it had several rings on its fingers.) At that time, you guys said it’s too early to make that kind of statement. I highly regard your opinions on sports and games and when I heard that, I realized, yeah, I suppose he has to prove himself in the big games, and over many seasons. Well, in his first attempt he didn’t. And it wasn’t just a couple of bad games, it was two full series if not more. At that time, I thought, man, this guy can play ball, but if he only gets his grove on when things are already going well, then maybe I do need to hold off on my “elite” calling. He is one of my favorite players in the league, and I have no reason to take away from him.

  6. November 21, 2015 3:41 pm

    THIS is basketball. Fighting for every possession.

  7. November 23, 2015 11:02 am

    More OT:

    Jessica Jones is really great. I think it is better than Daredevil (which was good too).

    • Blankman permalink*
      November 23, 2015 1:50 pm

      Not even close, Zos. The acting in Jessica Jones is just…there. Daredevil is the superior series.

    • November 23, 2015 3:25 pm

      I find the core plot elements much less interesting in Daredevil

    • November 24, 2015 10:09 am

      Wife killed all sex appeal Krysten Ritter had when she compared her to Mr. Bean.

    • Blankman permalink*
      November 24, 2015 7:10 pm

      WTF?!? Bwahaha!!! NOOOooo, now I can’t Mr. Bean out of my head when I look at her. You bastard!

  8. Blankman permalink*
    November 23, 2015 5:21 pm

    I’m on the fifth episode, & the writing is a bit weak. The dialogue can be excruciating at times with the other characters. Some of the story is a bit far fetched even though it’s a superhero series.

  9. November 23, 2015 5:31 pm

    Thanks for the early impressions on Jessica Jones. I haven’t even gotten to it yet.

    @Zos, Nice dolls. What would be really cool is if 343/MS would release the specs so that people could print their own.

    • Blankman permalink*
      November 23, 2015 6:14 pm

      Hmm, I’m not sure about Jessica Jones. I cannot understand the hype that this series generated. Then again, it was at San Diego Comic Con where the buzz started. Like I said, when you have a room full of nerds, the hype is suspect. Look what it did for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Hollywood sunk a ton of money promoting that film and it tanked at the box office. Anyone that was going to see the movie already did during the screenings at SDCC. In addition, Netflix is promoting Jessica Jones because it has a vested interest in it. The reviews aren’t organic like it was for Daredevil. That is very telling.

      The acting is meh even though the cast is adequate. Dr. Who’s David Tennat plays the main villain of the series, and Halo 5’s Spartan Locke, Mike Colter, plays Luke Cage. Carrie Ann-Moss’ role is convoluted. I won’t say anymore because I don’t want to spoil the story for those that are going to watch it. The rest of the peripheral characters aren’t very interesting because there’s no real buy-in since their development is disjointed. Look, Kristen Ritter is definitely easy on the eyes, but not enough to slog through hours of my valuable time on a story that is lacking substance. I’m going to give it a few more episodes to see if it’s worth my time or pull the plug.

      The writing is where it really suffers because it just seems like the actors are just reading their campy lines. If the series is just hitting its stride by the sixth episode, you’ve got to worry about the longevity of it being a continuing series. The plot is so far-fetched, and outlandish that it seems like the writers are just slinging it on the walls to see if it sticks. I was seriously holding out hope that the series was going to get better, but it is what it is- mediocre. Thank goodness, Hell’s Kitchen already has an established hero in Daredevil.

    • November 23, 2015 11:32 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to write this, Kenny!

  10. Herandar permalink
    November 23, 2015 5:38 pm

    Back on topic, both the XBox One and the PS4 are going to be $300 for Black Friday weekend. Don’t did not wait long to price match Microsoft.

    • November 23, 2015 6:03 pm

      Sony has to price match if they want to maintain their lead. Even with the price match, they are selling pie in the sky, as opposed to gourmet dinners right now.

    • Blankman permalink*
      November 24, 2015 12:35 am

      Yeah, Sony had to do something because MS is going to sell loads of XB1 bundles this holiday season. They may sell enough consoles to come close to what the PS4 numbers are in North America. Also, Phil Spencer kind of put Sony on the spot by telling customers to expect a PS4 price drop.

    • November 24, 2015 11:14 am

      I don’t think that’s the case at all. Sony played MS card from a few years ago with third party exclusives. They not only get exclusive content but also the rights to market and bundle the system exclusively.

      They can bundle Black Ops 3, Destiny, GTA as well as the Nathan Drake Collection, etc.

      Those 3 alone are a big incentive for people who don’t have Next-Gen, and while some store offer a free game is not the same as having those bundles available on every store.

      The marketing plays a big role as well because what they are fighting for right now are casuals. Most of them will not even know that xbox have those games, and/or some played the old versions on a playstation first.

      With Halo not being as good, Sony can hype Destiny as an even better alternative with all DLCs in one package and exclusive content.

      Nathan Drake is an alternative to Tomb Raider. DriveClub Bikes although it sucks, fills the driving niche, etc.

      Somehow for not having games, it will not do bad. Add to that the third party exclusives and I don’t think the PS4 will slow down anytime soon.

      The real scary bit is that now they can claim the bigger player base in shooters!

      ( tracks Battlefronts stats for example, and the player base for PS4 is bigger than xbox and PC combined.

      Also the other thing which I lived these past few weeks when I was moving stuff. PS4 was so easy to move and set up, the xbox is one big blocky noisy box in comparison. If I were in a dorm or anywhere where space is limited, the PS4 would be a much better choice. I seriously doubt that If a casual gamer was looking at both consoles side by side on a store the would willingly pick the xbox.

      Not only that because it is so user friendly for streamers with multiple options for streaming and saving big clips, as well as able to save those clips in external hard drives. Almost guarantees that a lot of the streamers use the PS4 first. If anyone is on the fence about a specific game, etc. will probably see a PS4 version first on Twitch, and from there the higher resolution, etc. will compare to xbox.

      I don’t think if they lose it will be by a lot, and I doubt if MS manages to come up with a run it will be for long.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if eventually MS is the one who will be forced to do a price drop of the regular SKU, and make the Elite go down to the regular price of the old SKU, if not by summer, certainly by fall.

      Sony will have the casuals without a doubt, it is now up to MS to get the hardcore. I would drop the Elite controllers to under $100 asap.

    • Blankman permalink*
      November 24, 2015 1:09 pm

      Your argument about the PS4 being the easier console to set up doesn’t hold water, Frankie. It’s two fricking cables for the XB1, just like the PS4, regardless if it has its power supply built-in. The HDMI cable & the power brick’s cable are all that need to be plugged in. Done and done. Unless someone has the strength of a ninety-year old lady, the XB1 isn’t very heavy to move around. Also, you’re making is seem like the XB1 is the size of a Mack truck, & the PS4 is a Volkswagon Beetle. I seriously doubt that college gamers are that strapped for dorm space that they’d choose the PS4 over the XB1 purely based on form factor. I’m literally laughing aloud as I’m typing this.

      Twitch streaming is superior in every way on the XB1 when compared to the PS4. So that point of argument is moot. All Twitch streams output at 720p regardless of the resolution of the game. So no dice again.

      I’m not surprised that SW:BF performed better on the PS4 compared to the numbers of XB1 & PC, collectively. Everyone knew that Sony was going to be doing a lot of chest pounding when the numbers would be released on that title. There’s no doubt that the PS4’s greater casual population contributed significantly to the game’s adoption rate (not knocking your Battlefront purchase, Herandar). A lot of the savvy XB1 gamers didn’t fall for EA’s latest bullshit.

      I agree with your take that MS should target the hardcore audience because that’s what helped define them on the earlier cycle of the 360. Stick with what you’re good at. It also further assures gamers that Spencer & crew are committed to gaming instead of the fractured & god awful strategy that they initially introduced the XB1 with. The Elite console will most likely be priced at $400 while the regular consoles maintain the $300 price point. The hybrid SSHD & the Elite controller justifies the premium price. Dropping the Elite controller down to $124.99 would be a solid price point because the demand is definitely out there. With the tie-in to Win 10, the NXOE, backwards compatibility, and current library of games; XB1 is the logical choice for the gamer that’s upgrading from last gen systems.

      MS has pretty much already dropped the msrp of the XB1 because that $50 holiday price drop will most likely be permanent after the holidays. MS traditionally bundles games and the kitchen sink rather than shaving off the price. In this recent “temporary” price drop, the bundled games and retailer incentives of $50-60 store gift cards/credit, I don’t foresee it getting any cheaper than what it currently is until a slim-version is announced at 2016’s E3.

    • November 24, 2015 4:33 pm

      Actually it’s three cables. One from the brick to the outlet, one from the brick to the xbox and one, and then the hdmi (if not using the hdmi to the receiver which in turn makes it another cable, and Kinect)

      That third cable is important in my case because right now I have the xbox one on the same desk as my imac. Because of the length of that cable I have to put the xbox in a specific spot otherwise it will not create enough slack from the brick to the outlet, and could easily be unplugged by my foot or any of the cats.

      If you want to laugh, try it. Try putting the xbox one in different scenarios other than your standard TV stand and see how well it does.

      The PS4 is not a VW Beetle. But one big difference aside of not having a power brick (and cable) to consider in already bulky frame, is it can go VERTICAL.

      Perfect scenario were this worked for me is we have a fireplace that you can put a TV on top of it. The dimension is just right for a TV, because of the PS4 being vertical I could squeeze it on the side in the space left between the TV and the Wall.

      If you have a 360 still laying around somewhere, put it vertical, and shave about half an inch or more, and you have the size of the width of a PS4 vertical. If that’s not small, I don’t know what it is then.

      The drive on the xbox one isn’t designed to be put vertically so that’s a no go there.

      Plus, trust me years from now when xbox one comes out with a slim version, everyone will be praising it and saying how horrible the current sku is.

      As for the college comment, it’s easy for me to say, I have both XB1s right now in this room on top of desks and out of all the consoles I have in this room (1 PS3 slims, 2 360 slims), the one that clutters the space is the xbox one by far.

      This is not a console made for anywhere else but a TV stand.

      PS4 has Ustream, Twitch, Youtube.

      Xbox only has twitch. The app is bad for being an app, half the time doesn’t even load or stream even when it says it’s streaming. (and it was made by Twitch!)

      Yeah 720p is the cap, but that’s the output signal from the source compressed. From what I understand you will still retain a higher fidelity from a higher resolution source than from a lower resolution source and depending on the game it can be a wider gap in resolution which in turn will produce a better fidelity especially in higher pixel density or smaller screens.

      Now that’s also specific from streaming from consoles. You can use capture cards to do 720p at 60fps with 3500fps which is the highest limit most pro streamers do.

      Now which console has more games at 60 FPS?
      Which console enables you to save clips for 15 minutes at a time, and let’s you save them to external drives?

      Oh and yeah let’s go back to the prior point of which console would a person who is streaming on a desk with a computer to capture the stream would rather have with a limited space?

      I am past laughing out loud at this point if you say xbox.


      I think the elite console can go down. You can pry any PS4 and put a SSD of any size. Right now the only real advantage is the controller and that’s been practically being given away on the bundle (or the drive depending on how you look at it).

      They have to gain time before Sony releases and elite controller of their own.

      I don’t like the Sticks on the Sony controller as much as the xbox one, but if they release a pro version with the features that the controller already has, it would be definitely have an edge.

      For certain games (Sports, Fighting, Action games like AC) it does feel better to have the sticks where they are at, and have the option of d-pads as the main control.

  11. Blankman permalink*
    November 24, 2015 1:59 am

    Well, I’ve given Jessica Jones up to episode eleven, and it’s a train wreck. I don’t know what else I can say to describe the series. The pacing is awful, the characters are unappealing, and there are so many stupid decisions made by Jessica that one has to think she’s a complete moron. When a show makes the viewers think that about the protagonist, it’s not a good thing. Also, why the hell does Jessica wear the same shit day in and day out? Seriously, her wardrobe must be a dozen of the same outfit.

    I will not be wasting any more time to watch the last two episodes. I’ve given the show a fair shake, but enough is enough. I cannot believe that Rotten Tomatoes is averaging a 91%. Am I the only one that’s not a fan? Or am I the only one that believes that Netflix laid a turd? Ok everyone, consider yourselves warned of disappointment.

    • November 24, 2015 10:21 am

      ^^^Man, the show has great critical reception pretty much everywhere… I think we have a troll here. :p

      I’m on Epi 4, so my impression could change… but I am still enjoying it a lot.

    • Blankman permalink*
      November 24, 2015 1:51 pm

      Call me a troll if it helps bring some joy to your work day, Zos! Ha! I’m just calling it how I see it. You’ll see what I mean as you watch further.

      The mistake that they took with Jessica Jones is that there are numerous writers for the series. That may be the real reason why it feels disjointed. Daredevil stuck with one director and the core set of writers instead of alternating writers & directors like they did with Jessica Jones.

  12. November 24, 2015 5:56 pm

    Thanks again for the impressions of the show, guys.

    As for the gaming machines, I don’t care how awesome a system is, if the controller is uncomfortable, I won’t be playing it for long. I hate the PS controllers more than any other controllers on any system I have played. Also, my friends (and a solid party chat system – which now goes beyond 11) are on the One, so that is where I am, for better or worse.

    Microsoft can change/develop their streaming options in an instant, but yes, having direct access to YouTube right now on the One would be very handy, and I have always hated that the Xbox doesn’t have a dedicated button for recording. Stupid Kinect thinking of failures past.

    Right now, what is killing me is the lack of gamers on the one playing any game. Last night, in rare form, I was all ready to play, and I couldn’t find a match in Gears and BF4 had only conquest on the shitty original maps. And representing the newest games, Halo 5 has already proven to be completely shut down for people off continent. I am a social, multiplayer-only (for all intents and purposes) gamer, and two years into the cycle, I cannot find a frickin’ match to play because most of the gamers are playing on PS4s.

    The population on the consoles is becoming the most important thing in the race right now. Microsoft will never catch up, but for the sake of their current customers, and perhaps being competitive in the generation following this one, they need to be as aggressive in pulling people into their park as possible. Sony similarly, needs to do all they can to maintain their momentum.

    • Blankman permalink*
      November 24, 2015 7:15 pm

      You can always move back to North America, or start developing a taste for single-player games. Not trying to troll you, but your boys are not coming back to the motherland. They love white women too much! Hahaha!!!

    • November 24, 2015 7:20 pm


      And trust you to comfort me with “move back to North America” and “start developing a taste for single-player games”. 😉

      And about that Mr. Bean, there is this. And while the Geeks are praising it for what it is, I consider their reasons support *not* to watch it. I have a penis, and I am not going to apologize for it.

    • November 25, 2015 12:01 pm

      Suns, those “parallels” are a stretch to say the very least. The author is clearly applying his own narrative to how he interpreted the show. These themes have existed since the comic was released (well before any of the recent drama)

      Watching the show, I did not at once feel my penis was in danger or that I had to apologize for it. I just talked to him and he agrees the show is quite good.

    • Herandar permalink
      November 25, 2015 3:39 pm

      I need to apologize for my penis. It was clearly out of line that time, and regular beatings have brought it back into the fold.

    • November 25, 2015 5:12 pm

      ROTFL! Thank you, guys!


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