Author - Ripper71

Portal Knights Review

I always love getting a first-look at a game when it is still nice and fresh and people haven’t piled on their opinions yet.  I can’t get to them all the time, I was supposed to review Minecraft when it first came along if I remember right but I definitely had a full plate.  I have only played Minecraft on occasion and that was mainly in short doses, so looking at tons of blocks to be mined didn’t seem that bad to me.  I had a farmhouse that appeared to need repairing. Okay, I can do that. I had chosen to be a Ranger out of the three classes, the other two being Warrior and Mage, so at first I was shooting arrows at stuff.  Then I saw my bow took damage and from the shooting I had done and so I emptied my weapon slot and started punching things.  When enemies showed up I switched back to my bow and started hitting those mobs in the face.  Much like many RPGs, slimes are your first enemy and throughout the game a go-to for collecting crafting ingredients.

The home world being filled with slimes and the occasional bird was worrisome to me… I was enjoying myself but if these were all I fought the whole time it would start to get tiresome.  Luckily it isn’t called Portal Knights for nothing.  I collected the pieces to a portal, assembled them and off I went onto another island.  There were dungeons, creepy creatures that only came out at night, ones that camouflaged until you were on top of them, skeletons, other creepy-crawlies I don’t want to spoil for you.  Just remember what Jake says in The Gunslinger if you find a place to boring “there are other worlds than these.”

The fact that there are only three classes might seem a bit limiting to some players but I bet more classes are on their way and in the meantime you can do some incredible personalization. There are 29 hair styles, 14 beard styles, 20 eye styles, 28 eye colors, and 21 mouths. You can have five different characters so that you can try all the different classes without deleting any to try the next.

If you haven’t played Minecraft or played a FPS or third person MMORPG, the mix of the three genres might take a bit of getting used to. However, this mix is also what makes the game continually interesting and fun.  An example was I needed copper and there was a copper deposit at my feet, so I started mining. Once the copper deposit was taken you were reminded that this is a series of flying islands connected by portals, if you mine your way through it there is nowhere but down to your death.  If you are the kinda person who might find this annoying rather than entertaining, maybe this isn’t the game for you.  The first time you see some enemies is by surprise while you are doing something else.  There is supposed to be some concerns of protecting your lands according to a wise man but I haven’t had a problem with that yet.  I did get the opportunity to loot big chests in dungeons after killing bosses and do quests requested by NPCs.

I don’t have any friends who have the game and didn’t have much luck looking online for someone to kill about with.  I already have plans on moving my home because though I enjoy a farm and castle just feels, I don’t know, safer?

Dig, Dig, Dig, With A Shovel And A Pick:

Portal Knights feels like a sandbox full of blocks for you to start building things in and at the same time a starter/alpha zone for a 3rd person or 1st person shooter.  I had a couple of crashes which I let go to the early stage of the game and they also didn’t deter me from playing the game.  I look forward to updates and to see what will lie beyond future portals.


Portal Knights Review Score

(4 out of 5 Stars)


 

Shadow Warrior 2 Review

“You got the touch, you got the power!” – Stan Bush, “The Touch” 1986

If the above quote doesn’t immediately fill you with 80’s Machismo, go watch the trailer for the Shadow Warrior 2 on YouTube or something, I will wait.

*Still humming the song* Ah are you back? Good, good, having you watch that really helps set the mood so much quicker than saying that Shadow Warrior 2 is an over the top splatter fest with tons of blood and weapons.  I guess it didn’t take that long but the key to the game is not to take it seriously, it isn’t serious, I mean at it’s beginning they throw a song from the ’80s animated Transformers film (yeah that was where you had heard it before).My first playing was actually by myself and before you start making jokes about no friends or “solo wang gameplay” the game play is first person then even if I played with my friends it is a first person experience.  So if you do find yourselves playing at one house and one system you might be playing hand off with the controller or just have them play on their rig and use headphones.  This is kinda a bummer to me since I think most people are comfortable enough and have large enough screens to accept quartering them for gameplay.  We’ve come a long ways and few people have itty bitty screens these days.

Now for the scary part of the review.  That above was my only complaint.  This game is amazing at everything it tries to do.  You get over 70 weapons and modifiers that drop and can be crafted to easily make a weapon into a whole new kind of flesh-rending beast.  On the subject of beasts, if you ever played the Diablo games and had characters of a different color meaning an immunity and better loot drop, Shadow Warrior 2 has the same game mechanic.  There is a storyline which is a bit simple, but that makes it easier to buy into the jokes being made because Shadow Warrior 2 doesn’t take itself seriously, ever.  They even have fun naming weapons, some of which I have no doubt were lost on younger players.  The “Hauer” shotgun would be a welcome weapon to any hobo, the energy blast from the “dec-ARD” pistol just can’t be replicated, teehee.  If the name isn’t fun to you I still imagine the damage it does, especially when you get a certain chainsaw in you mitts, will be!  I admit I wish they had picked a sexier weapon to name the “ripper” after me but what may have seem simple on that was more than made up for with the King Skeletor machine gun, it would cut any He-Man with it’s grey skull.  Then once you get that weapon you look through gems you can add on to the weapon and maybe you can increase the magazine size or crit damage.  Personally I kept forgetting gems because I was having so much fun with weapon combos and environmental attacks.

The environments are the results of Shadow Warrior which would be a reason to play the first but not necessary.  If you picked the game up as a promo for both games go ahead and play the first.  I never got around to it myself but I have eyes and can see that the world has become one big toxic turd and I stab, shoot or explode my way through it.  A bit of a hint but not too much is that besides the monsters there are parts of the environment that can hurt anyone near you when they take damage and explode.  This adds to the interest because you may wipe out a whole bunch of nasties with one will place round.

There are a couple of reasons for replay: your level cap is pretty high and you probably won’t hit it after one run through, heck maybe not after a couple. Another reason is you probably won’t get all 70 plus weapons on one run and you will probably not be able to modify the weapons the way you want or crafted.

Oh yeah I didn’t really go into that, they have a crafting system like Dead Island or Borderlands, or well any game that lets you take a couple crappy weapons and combine them to improve them.  So not only are you collecting the 70 plus weapons there are and using your favorites you need to keep an eye out for crappy ones that might make more mega hardware.

Back To Playing With Wang:

As I mentioned the only drawback is not having 4 player split screen, otherwise Shadow Warrior 2 is the best hack and slash, spray and pray, wacky and tacky game I have played in recent memory. Definitely worth picking up and playing!


Shadow Warrior 2 Rating:

 (5 out of 5 Swords)


Kidz Gear Bluetooth Freedom From Wires Headset Review

When I was growing up, the audio technology scene was very different. In order to get good sound from your music, and not have to place large speakers all over the room, one had to wear REALLY big headset cups that basically would fit one smaller version of a standup speaker in each ear. Additionally, you had to have enough cable to reach your favorite listening spot or move the listening seat or stereo system, etc.  Don’t get me wrong – it did result in some swinging sweet sound that people still cling to still these days but you can get that same sound in remarkably small sources with no wires required. One of these such headsets is the Kidz Gear Blue Freedom From Wires Headset with removable mic.

Block Rockin’ Beat:

First off as the name implies it is aimed at the kids demographic, as such they are made extremely light and sized for a smaller head. The line of headsets is composed of bright neon color flavors and the wiring from cup to headband is spiraling almost like a mad scientist made them and the controller are on the right ear cup to make it easy to control.  In other words, its looks fit right in with its target audience.  Personally though if I had gotten the grey one with blue markings I would probably made it part of my regular walking routine since I hate worrying about cables during my walks. I also need a headset to be light and not move around on my head much.  Exercise didn’t move these headphones off my head, I could wear them on a two hour walk easily with their comfort and light weight.

The other use of the headphones is for calls or even on computers through a stick mic.  The mic can be easily be removed and replaced so that if the kid is walking home from school they won’t look out of touch wearing a mic for no reason though it could be kept in a pocket and easily brought out at home or on the go if I call comes in.

Sometimes it can be a big pain in the butt to connect your audio source to Bluetooth headphones.  This is another way in which this headset is really handy, as you match them up once and when you are done using them instead of having to go under settings and severe your Bluetooth connection or use some generally complicated method on the headset you simply turn an on/off switch on the cup to turn it off.  All the controls such as track skip, repeat, pause, pick up phone or lower and increase volume are all right there to adjust while your phone stays tucked away.

One way these headphones work well is also in a handicapped or aged individual who has a hard time with buttons or holding up phones to their ear.  I have issues of nerve damage in my arms which result in me sometimes having a hard time dealing with devices with smaller buttons or I will lose feeling in my hands on occasion resulting in me dropping the phone.  With one of these headsets I can have them on my head when I plan to make a call and take my time dialing the number or have my finger ready on the cup if it is an incoming call.  Then I can hit large buttons to control the volume in my ear but also I don’t have to worry about holding the phone just right to my ear because of the boom mic that can be positioned in front of my mouth on the fly if necessary.

Last Word:

Kidz Gear Bluetooth Freedom From Wires Headset is a great headset for kids, the aged and handicapped to make it easier to make phone calls as well as listen to music.  If the color pallets were widened I bet the demographic would with it because who doesn’t want super lightweight easy to use Bluetooth headphones?


Kidz Gear Bluetooth Freedom from Wires Headset Review Score

(4 out of 5 stars)


 

Injustice 2 Review – Xbox One

I was in a bad spot when the original Injustice came out. Namely, I had a ton of games I wanted to play and no cash with which to purchase them!  Those two things meant I had hoped to revisit them in the future, but some will fall through the cracks.  The real sting was when the main man Lobo got announced for the game because, I’ll admit it, I am a fan boy.  He rides motorcycles in space, regularly tries to beat the living snot out of Superman mainly for being a goody goody and he has pet space dolphins… he protects dolphins in space. Plus despite being an ultra violent pain in the butt he has a code he lives and practically dies by (his regeneration would piss off Wolverine).  So when a second time around came along and I had no cash and tons of reviews I still went for it and grabbed Injustice 2.

Holy Single Player Batman:

The multiplayer fighting in Injustice was well known and regarded but the single player story read like a comic series.  It was dark and impressive and they figured out a way to make The Man of Steel a heel.  I won’t tell you much more just in case you haven’t seen it or read about it, because you can play Injustice 2 without needing to catch up. For the new players out there, the opening dialogue fills you in on everything.  It doesn’t start off much lighter either, the rift that was created proved to be a very difficult thing to reconcile.  Were it not for their world of near constant troubles things may have never improved.  But what fun would that have been either?  The nice thing about this is they get back to trusting each other by beating each other up.  Without giving anything away there were a few times when I’m still not sure I would trust the person they have come to befriend again.  By the way, is it just me or is it super creepy to have Superman’s eyes start to glow for the slightest reason, like he might heat kill a 747 if it cut him off in the air.

There are armor improvements that can be bought but, as I understand it, they are the same ones you can earn if you keep tearing through the single player campaign.  There are little choices here and there on who you will use to take on a particular enemy and that should be determined by the enemy’s fighting style and your best.  I definitely had characters I was much better at fighting with and then I would use them beautifully in a bunch of fights and suddenly an enemy has a fight style that works perfect against it and you are struggling.  Also even if you feel fairly comfortable with knowing the moves I really suggest doing the tutorial because that was how I found out one of my control sticks was still having a movement issue and couldn’t complete a certain combo no matter how hard I tried because I am way overdue for a new one.  Luckily the combos felt like they made sense, the moves seem to correspond to a movement in a fight so my broken controller didn’t result in me button mashing.

After you get a certain distance through the single player game you may be tempted to quit and play multiplayer but don’t, the story line is just too well written and, besides, when you get farther in the campaign and your opponent gets better and better, they tend to tag you with their special attack more and those are just amazing.  I was so proud when I pulled a couple “change of venues” as they are called and when Aquaman got me I was laughing so hard I almost didn’t keep fighting.  The campaign also gives you a chance to figure out where the best usable sections of arena are and have you much better practiced for signature moves and “change of venues”.

I know no matter how hard I plea for players to do the single player campaign first, there will be plenty out there that will ignore me and go straight to multiplayer.  To them I would boldly and bravely say they are not true fans. Yep, I said it.  If great story line and heading into multiplayer with epic gear isn’t enough to get you to hear out what the game has to say… well then pfffttt.

Injustice For All (Fans):

Injustice 2 is an amazing game with a terrific single player story line that prepares you for multiplayer gameplay with awesome gear.  The combos make sense, the “change of venues” are one of the best things I have ever seen added to a fighting game since they started, which I am way to old enough to remember…


Injustice 2 Review Score

(5 out of 5 stars)


 

Batman Mind Cerebral Combat Trainer Review

This is not my first time to put sensors on my head used a mind control headset to play a game.  In fact it isn’t even my second.  The first time I saw a mind control game device was at a trade show and it had tons of wires hanging off of it. Also, try as they may, it was hard as heck for participants to successfully complete.  Although it looked interesting, I walked on by to head to an appointment elsewhere. When I finally did check one out, it was a home mind control game kit and, using just my thoughts, I was supposed to keep a ball motion. I found concentrating like crazy made the device work… unfortunately I also found if I just crinkle my eyebrow really heavily and didn’t concentrate at all it would go up.  After this disappointment, I was leery when the next one arrived in the mail, a Star Wars branded device. My hope in mind control gaming was restored because of this, and I was really excited to try the BATMAN MIND Cerebral Combat Trainer from Soap Studio.

The BATMAN MIND headset has a terrific design because of several factors. The headset unit is lightweight, has adjustable contact points, and has large contact pads which allow for high levels of sensitivity in picking up the wearer’s brain waves.  The hologram shown on the display unit is only one sided, which is a bit of a bummer, but the whole setup is far smaller and easier to travel with to make up for that.  The hologram is actually a very old stage technique known as a “Pepper’s Ghost” which is the same effect used in the ballroom with the dancing figures at the Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion.  The headset unit is charged via USB then communicates with your phone which is the only other electronic element via Bluetooth.  You can also choose to leave the display unit at home and just play the game with the headset and your phone.  The game itself is free on both iOS and Android app stores, and the game is free – though it is useless without the hardware.

I tried at first with the full apparatus and found the hologram was clear enough to play the game but, even with the brightness cranked all the way up, text was difficult to read.  When I first heard that the game used eye blinking I was afraid that it might become a blink-fest, but it works really well.  Drifting up and down by concentrating and relaxing was hard but it was satisfying when completed.  I thought it would just be battles but they test how you use your mind to hack explosives as well as drift and fight and maintain targeting and well. Without giving too much away, this game was leaps and bounds beyond the previous mind control game attempts.  There are a large variety of tasks for you to juggle, and it really feels like you are training your mind.  As a result BATMAN MIND is an terrific game that actually help kids to learn to concentrate more, help the elderly stay cognitive and just keep the general user to have a sharper mind.  It has hidden characters, 3 levels of difficulties and 30 challenges making it so it has replay not just to sharpen your mind but to see if you have what it takes to get through on a tougher difficulty.  Plus I bet you will want to unlock all the hidden characters.

Since it is a relatively straight forward app that you download and the important part is the hardware you can come out with sequel games or learning programs to keep you sharp and keep the very handy hardware from collecting dust on the shelf. I am hopeful that Soap Studios will come out with additional games to use the headset.

What I hope is that, eventually, they pair mind control up with VR headsets so that you can interact more freely and naturally with your environment.  Let’s say in the VR simulation the phone starts ringing.  Using the VR you look at the virtual phone then using your already trained brain signals from programs like Batman you pick the phone us and talk to someone by just a quick thought.  Maybe in the VR game you are backing down the hall and a zombie is creeping toward you. You lift a gun with your mind, aim with the VR then shoot by blinking.  Basically the Batman Mind is great but I see it’s possible future, if used with other technology to be amazing – but, I digress…

Back To Reality:

BATMAN MIND is the real deal when it comes to mind control gaming, giving you fun challenges set in the DC universe with characters you know and want to play with.  I think there is a good chance that the brainwave-powered gaming is part of the future of gaming, learning, and general cognitive longevity.  Plus you get to play Batman.  And everyone know the old saying: Be yourself, unless you can be Batman.  Then be Batman. With your mind. For about $130 dollars!


BATMAN MIND Cerebral Combat Trainer Review

(4 out of 5 stars)


 

Kidz Gear Wired Headphones with Volume Limited For Safety Review

As adults, we have all been to some concert where the music was so loud we wanted to put in ear plugs.  Or, perhaps, you needed to protect your hearing during an NHRA race.  Obviously, protecting your hearing is important.  However, with children, it is especially important to protect their hearing.  You see, after the age of 3 months old, any hearing damage can become permanent.  Up through the age of 5, hearing damage can also affect the child’s speech and language development.  On the flip-side, it is important to let your kids listen to educational programming, music, etc for proper development. How do you balance volume vs music? The Kidz Gear Wired Headphones With Volume Limited For Safety might have the solution.

The Kidz Gear Wired Headphone with Volume Limiting For Safety comes with a nice set of headphones to get you started which are extremely lightweight and comfortable to wear, my wife will probably use them to sleep in since she likes to listen to movies at night but the device will work with a standard jack you would plug headphones into like your phone or an iPod or an airplane or whatever. The secret ingredient is the 7 inch long black cable which acts as a go-between from your audio source to the headphones themselves.

This is great, as it allows you to use it with any other set of headphones.  I tried different types of music, rock, classic rock, metal, punk, all that happened with them was a lowered down volume but didn’t sound muffled or distorted. Even bass which surprised me, I figured that would be the first thing that it muffled but it almost seemed like some volume was left in case that was an issue. I had my headset turned all the way up and my iPhone turned all the way up.  So if you are relying on the limiter to be your volume control that is the wrong use for it, you should as a parent set the proper levels on the headset for the the child it isn’t designed to replace parenting.  It just helps do your job well.

Overall, the Kidz Gear Wired Headphones With Volume Limited For Safety is a long name for a great device that helps protect the hearing of our future citizens and might not be such a bad idea for adults who value their hearing too!   For you adults out there, however, I would probably recommend using the volume limiting cable with a pair of headphones designed for the adult human head. It’s a sub $20 dollar investment into your child’s hearing, go do it!


Kidz Gear Wired Headphones With Volume Limited For Safety Review Score

(5 out of 5 stars)


 

Narcosis Review

I used to work on a purse net fishing boat off the coast of Southern California. On a pretty regular basis I would find myself hanging over the railing with just my wet grip on a rope or cable keeping me from falling into the dark water below.  That water is dark too, and so very cold the deeper you go.  In Jaws you can see the shark really clearly in the water but it didn’t take much depth on the west coast to lose your knowledge of what mysteries were swimming about in those tides. Divers know that the farther down you go, the more likely you were to panic, get bubbles in your blood while diving known as air embolism which can have all kinds of side effects though a couple of the more difficult to overcome are anxiety and auditory and hallucinations.  Go deep diving and you risk even bigger problems, like hydrogen or nitrogen levels getting too high in your deep diving gear.  This and the game are called Narcosis.\

Dive, Dive, Dive:

So this game’s storyline doesn’t roll on for very long before you find yourself wondering what is and what isn’t real.  As a matter of fact it starts right in the instructions and doesn’t let up.  Though it takes place in the depths of the sea floor it really reminds me of the feel of outer space games.  You are in a big suit with a large viewing glass to look out of.  You have to watch your oxygen levels like a space game, there are things in the dark to beware of (or are there?) you have to conserve your light, and watch your step so that your face plate doesn’t crack, collapse in, and kill ya quick.

Much like out in space where we really have no idea what is going on and what is really out there, the great depths of the ocean are the same in the sense of ever so often we see something come up into the range of our deep dive suits and we “brown” the back of them.  Actually a lot of the stuff is even freakier and scarier than the can be taken out with the provided weapons and a bit of light (actually light is the better of the two weapons since bio-luminescence is one of the only things that generally breaks the deep dark).

You know bad things have happened and you (hope?) didn’t hallucinate it by the members of the crew you find going through the devastation trying to save at least one butt, your own.  Others are curled up, dead in spastic contortions, leaving behind a collectible name card.

How long the game will last definitely depends on how you take the off paths looking for collectibles but that also means perfecting your movements like your booster jets so you don’t fall down chasms.  Along the same lines you can keep using flares, you’ll have an urge to hold on to them but the game provides a decent amount so if a spot is too dark and you think you might fall to a crackling death give a flare a toss.

I highly recommend playing this one in a dark room while wearing a set of headphones. It can be very creepy and is great for those dark and stormy nights where you want a good fright. You can also use VR in Narcosis on the PC if you have the equipment. While I do not, the game is really solid without, so I would imagine it’s even better with!

Dancing In The Dark:

This game is a whole lot of fun because it has some things that you very much expect and then all of a sudden you wonder what the heck is going on in this guy’s head? Hydrogen? Nitrogen?  Childhood nightmares and trauma?  You’ll have to take the dive to find out!

 


Narcosis Review Score

(4 out of 5 stars)


 

LVL Up Expo Las Vegas 2017

There are a lot of expos and conventions that hit Las Vegas and each have their own special niche, sometimes more than one.  But if you want anime and a whole lot of cosplay the LVL Up Expo is the place to be! There you will also find amateur wrestling matches, video game tournaments, air soft target practice, and panels with anime voice over artists like Sean Schemmel (Dragon Ball Z), Christopher Sabat with a whole bunch of voices also including some Dragon Ball Z, and Jennifer Hale (Mass Effect and Star Wars: Clone Wars).  Hale’s work alone is staggering and could take a whole day to cover. There were more panels filling the three days lining corridors with every manner of character in every way, shape and form.  There was plenty of understanding and no shaming for those who wanted to be a character that wasn’t their size, there were no issues about male or female characters, as a matter of fact the most popular Spider-Man cosplayer was a woman.

The LVL Up Expo in Las Vegas was a great event whether you were or were not into anime and comics.  My photographer didn’t understand many of the costumes she saw but loved them all and I even managed to win a hat at CrossFire… maybe next year I will do better in the tournament or take on one of the wrestlers. Time will tell!

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Lord of the Rings Online 10th Anniversary Review

Back when Lord of The Rings Online first hit the scene, I was already a seasoned gamer with A LOT of years under my belt. I had played alpha and beta tests of games and knew the pitfalls of game-breaking bugs. I dabbled in the MMO for a while and eventually moved on to other titles. There were many gameplay issues to be balanced out and bugs to fix. The game wasn’t broken by any means, but did take some patience. Fast forward a decade and I had been actually thinking of checking back in on some of the MMOs I had reviewed over the years – then my Editor-in-Chief tells me LotRO is having an in-game 10 year anniversary celebration. So off I go, I make a new account and jump right in.  How has it changed since it first started a decade ago?

First thing I noticed is that there are four free races you can play and nine free classes (when the game first came out it was subscription-based). This gives you a great degree of choice in terms of what race/classes to play without spending a dime. If you choose, you can then you can spend a little money and pick up the man-to-bear shapeshifter called “Beorning”.  This is a race and class combo with its own pros and cons.  Also of note is that I had a displayed “recommended server” for my part of the world with an active population that were both friendly and helpful.  I cannot tell you how many times I go into a game and have a whole bunch of more experienced players give my n00b-butt grief.  One time I was working on a review while recovering from a nasty car accident and a player on my team didn’t like how “n00bish” I was and told me “I hope you get in a car accident”.  The Lord of the Rings Online was totally the opposite, other players offered to tell me the way things were laid out, the standard way to do things, shortcut keys to do it faster and just how I could have more fun at the game.  Right after I asked my questions I was even invited into fellowships to help me get started and learn the ropes.  Seldom is it that such a quick positive response comes out of a community to a new player.

I could have skipped up levels as that is something you can purchase with real money, but I would only really suggest that for a character further down the road because the world is so beautifully detailed. The areas so smoothed out after so many years of play that you won’t find glitches in quests or NPCs, all you have is a nicely developed playing experience.  I also wouldn’t recommend playing the Beorning right away, as I think you should have something to look forward running around with after you get other characters leveled up.

PVP is very different in LotRO and works a bit towards something you will want to put money into while playing. Free-To-Play players without VIP status play on the monster side of PVP doing quests and getting titles as they fight as different styles of monsters against the VIP (paying) player who plays as “the Moors” and are the free people fighting the monsters.  You don’t have to be a permanent VIP player to do these battles as the people side, you can pay that as you go with in game currency. It keeps things fun and interesting!

So how most of the Pay-To-Play works in LOtRO is by purchasing VIP status for one month, three months, six months, or even a whole year.  This VIP status opens up pretty much every aspect of the game to you, adds a couple dozen perks, give you free in-game money every month and every chapter and volume of the game are accessible to you during that time.  They seemed to understand that if they are going to charge a subscription of a normally Free-To-Play game it needed to feel like a subscription game like World of Warcraft.  The nice thing is if someone can’t afford the subscription they can still play and have a great and rewarding experience with their friends regardless if that friend is VIP or not.  It’s a smart move to maintain a player base.  You basically wind up with three tiers of player: the FTP player, the VIP but nothing else player, and the VIP and additional prestige items player.

The prestige item player will get the same pony as the normal VIP at that level but they might also buy a special steed with armor plating or a coloring they like or named after a special kingdom.  The VIP prestige player is the one that makes it so that the FTP can come in and enjoy the beauty of the game that they probably otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford.  The March 2017 edition of Wired posted findings of a study that said on FTP games 2% of players are responsible for 48% of all revenue.  That guy who has the sweet looking mount and gorgeous armor makes it so that a FTP person can play buy paying the developer’s bills.  I wish more games were built on such a model so that friends could game together regardless of their disposable income.

The subscription money hasn’t gone to just keeping the lights on at Lord of The Rings Online, they are constantly releasing new content that tells rich stories while leveling players up to 95.  Maybe one of the best draws of all is you can play them furry-footed hobbits.

A Tale Still Being Told:

Lord of The Rings Online is still going strong and just getting better and richer with time.  I am so happy it had its 10th anniversary to pull me back into its shires and castles. This isn’t just a flash in the pan game for me.  This game has true FTP, VIP, and VIP prestige style play and that means I will stick around, continue with the journey of my characters and hopefully be writing the 20th anniversary review in another decade!


The Lord of the Rings Online Review Score

(5 out of 5 stars)


 

National Association of Broadcasters M.E.T. 2017

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has been around for over many years. Once upon a time it was only filled by the technical professionals of the film and television industries. Over the years, things have shifted in part because of the increasing diversity of how broadcasting is done and also the level of quality that people have come to expect in their home entertainment.  Another trade show called the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) used to be where the “common folk” or folks who didn’t care about professional lighting kits or the number of MEs available for a live broadcast.

Things have really changed over the years, the biggest development being the inclusion of Internet professionals.  Someone can do in their bedroom a broadcast just as good a local television channel and can reach more people. Consumers have just come to expect broadcast quality in so many aspects of their electronics which is why this year it had the subtitle M.E.T., Media, Entertainment, Technology and covers everything from handy cams and drones to broadcasts to the space station and game shows.  We might check out the latest in large screen monitors but we also have jet skis with a steady system built onto the front for a smooth view.

It isn’t all about products though it is also about talking to people behind the scenes of Game Of Thrones and the movie Ghost In The Shell.  It’s finding out the requirements to get licensed on larger drones but also how you can reach out to our countries vets and get them help and jobs.

I wish I could afford to be a member of NAB because they not only bring us the next technology and explain the current but they try to make a difference as they do it.

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