Monday, December 24, 2012

Mycosynth Lattice Deck

I love building decks around cards that affect everyone.  Mycosynth Lattice makes all permanents artifacts.    Some of these cards are a little pricy, so it'll take a while to gather them all together.  Also, Hellkite Tyrant isn't printed yet, it's due to be released as part of Gatecrash in February.

Hellkite Tyrant is:  Card Type: Creature

Creature Type: Dragon

Power/Toughness: 6/5

Casting Cost: 4RR

Card Text: Flying, trample
Whenever Hellkite Tyrant deals combat damage to a player, gain control of all artifacts that player controls.
At the beginning of your upkeep, if you control twenty or more artifacts, you win the game.
It's a pretty simple combo deck.

Mycosynth Lattice
60-Card Format
Blue, Red

4 Mycosynth Lattice
4 Fabricate
1 Tinker
1 Arcum Dagson
2 Goblin Welder

4 Hellkite Tyrant
4 Hurkyl's Recall
4 Copy Artifact

3 Unwinding Clock
3 Kill Switch

4 Iron Myr
4 Silver Myr
2 Vedalken Engineer


1 Tolarian Academy
4 Seat of the Synod
4 Great Furnace
2 Buried Ruin
9 Multicolor Lands

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Few Games in Brief

These are a few games that I've played recently, but don't feel they merit a full-length review.

Alice: Madness Returns

This action platformer sequel was released about ten years after the first game. Alice is still nuts, and again battles her way through a demented Wonderland. There's really more jumping than battling, but whatever. Madness Returns keeps the same look as the first, but with a graphical facelift (Unreal Engine 3 instead of id Tech 3).

Madness Returns addressed pretty much all of my complaints of the first by looking better and having a more enjoyable combat system. That being said, it's overall an average game. My game snagged on a glitch after I'd played for about five hours, and I couldn't play it anymore without starting from scratch and/or screwing with the game's ini files. Bleck.

Just Cause and Just Cause 2

These games portray themselves as action platformers, where a lone CIA operative is dropped on an island with a mission to overthrow the government. In truth, these are Grand Theft Auto clones. I don't care for GTA, so I didn't play this for very long. It didn't really make sense that I was taking out hits, peddling drugs, and stealing cars, “For the Revolution!”

I bought both Just Cause games at the same time. Just Cause 2 does not support Windows XP, so I can't play it without upgrading.   

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Mass Effect 2 Review

Game:  Mass Effect 2
Year (s):  2010
Company:  dev.  BioWare
pub.  EA
Engine:  Unreal Engine 3
Type:  Shooter, RPG
Viewpoint:  Third-Person
Metacritic Score: 94
My Score:  Satisfying gameplay with zero plot calories!

Price (as of November 27, 2012)

Regular price on Steam:  $19.99
Buy-It-Now on eBay (new, with shipping):  $10

Game Time: 30 hours

Obligatory Trailer:

See Also

Mass Effect Review:


Mass Effect focused on fighting the robotic Geth and their overlords, The Reapers.  Mass Effect 2 begins with the main character dying and then brought back to life two years later.  Mass Effect 2 has no Reapers, almost no Geth, and a irrelevant story mostly about finding a new crew to save the day.

Can I play the game already?

At about fiteen gigs, this take a while to download.  Then, there's the usual DirectX and C++/Visual Basic minor install.  Then, the game had to convert files to a newer format, which took about forty-five minutes.  Then, I had to sign up for EA Online.  I bought the delluxe edition, which has three product keys.  Steam will normally allow users to copy and paste a product key, but with three, this isn't an option.  I manually entered the key code.  Annoying.

I spent about ten mintures trying to unlock the digital deluxe edition content.  Having just signied up for a EA Online, I was not at all interested in signing up for additional crap (Bioware fan club and Mass Effect 2 social network).

I then spent a bit of time (unsuccessfully) attempting to marry my ending Mass Effect save files with the beginning Mass Effect 2 files.  The idea that decisions made early effect the entire trilogy is a huge selling point, and the failure of this aspect is sloppy and piss-poor example of design.

To sum things up, I downloaded a massive game, and got jerked around for an hour afterwards.  I never accessed the DIgital Deulxe content, or my previous save files, and the experience tainted my ongoing gaming experience..  

Save System

Manual Save?  Yes (when not in combat)
Quck Save?  No
Auto Save?  Yes
     Details: Area Load, Checkpoint


It's still you and two sidekicks, shooting and using powers.  Mass Effect 2 makes greater use of cover, and has streamlined the combat system.  Looting is no longer a thing.

Pretty much everything from hacking and dialogue options to "karma" and mining have returned.  There are some changes laying around, some I liked, some I didn't.  All in all, as enjoyable as the first from a gameplay persepctive.

Expansions / DLC / Sequels

The edition I purchased had minor DLC (a few additonal armor and such) that weren't worth the hassle of unlocking).  Mass Effect 3 came out the summer of 2012.  Mass Effect 3 requires a user to install EA Origin (another thing to sign up for) which will not run concurrent with Steam.  Origin has had a lot of complaints, such as having one's account hacked.

Final Thoughts

I feel like this game could have been left out of the triology.  For a variety of reasons touched on already, I have zero interest in Mass Effect 3.  I think of Mass Effect 2 as, "that crappy song by that awesome band ."  OK, but not great.  I recommend the first, but not this one.