Monthly Archives: April 2014

Azeroth Choppers – Blizzard jumps into reality TV?

I waited till a couple episodes were released to write this article on Azeroth Choppers, so I could get more of a feel for this webisode series.  I’m not sure if this was going to be a TV special that no station wanted to pick up or if Blizzard just planned to hit YouTube with more content.  It’s going under their World of Warcraft channel, along with everything else Warcraft, but can be watched on their website: AzerothChoppers.com

Azeroth Choppers

Azeroth Choppers: The Premise

This show is all about the fine folks at Blizzard bringing in Paul Jr. Designs to create two motorcycles, one designed for The Horde and one for The Alliance.  Fans will judge the two bikes and choose one, which will become an in-game mount.  Paul Jr has divided his crew into two teams, one for each faction, and has laid down the designs.  As with all shows like this, things can’t be all rainbows and unicorns.  The first hiccup comes from Blizzard, which has moved the deadline from 10 weeks to 5 weeks.

The Good

The initial base designs are amazing, incorporating things like tank treads and tractor tires.  I definitely want to see these things in action.  It’s also good to see the driving forces of Blizzard Entertainment geeking out into a new genre.  The overall tone so far is a lot less severe than you usually see in these kinds of shows.  That might change, but hopefully not.  I don’t really care to see grown men and women throwing temper tantrums.

The Bad

I’m not sure if this is supposed to get bikers into World of Warcraft or turn gamers into Bikers.  I’m not really sure what the purpose of this show is other than to have a real world design of an in-game item.  Of course, there are currently no details on how that item will be available.  Will it be a digital purchase through the online store?  Could it be something new for the Engineers to craft?  Only time will tell.

The Unusual

It was a little weird seeing Chris Metzen represent The Alliance faction.  This guy is the voice of The Horde.  You can see and hear what I’m talking about if you watch his segment from last year’s Blizzcon opening ceremony.  We all know how TV works, so let’s be honest, this thing is fully filmed.  I wonder if the Blizz execs just cruise around on these things all day until the official reveal.  I’ll keep watching because I love World of Warcraft and wouldn’t mind getting my hand on a motorcycle in-game.

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Hearthstone available for iPad!

When I logged into Battle.net today I was greeted with a most welcome message: Hearthstone available for iPad!  This is the moment I’ve been waiting for with this game.  The soon to be released adventured mode is exciting too, but I think this game will lend itself beautifully to mobile.

Hearthstone available for iPadI’m publishing this while the app download to my iPad mini, so keep a look out for an edit to this posting which gives my feedback for this new exciting format.

 

PAX East Hearthstone and more from Blizzard!

I started out writing this about the PAX East Hearthstone announcement, but Blizzard had a lot more to announce that was exciting for me.  Let’s look at Hearthstone first.

PAX East Hearthstone Announcement

Adventure Time! (err, Adventure Mode)

If you have been playing Hearthstone, but not following the news and announcements, you may have noticed a fourth option panel on the game screen that was blanked out (like a car’s dashboard when you don’t spring for all the features).  [see what I’m talking about at the 19seconds mark below]

This option will be the adventure mode, currently slated to be a PvE feature. The first adventure, as announced at PAX East will be Naxxramas. It will include challenges against bosses with new hero powers and cards exclusive to them. Also included will be new playable cards as a reward for going through the adventure. The first quarter of Naxxramas will be free to play with the remaining quarters being unlockable through in-game gold or real money. Blizzard did not announce what the cost would be for the adventure expansions or a specific release date for adventure mode.

PAX East Hearthstone - Baron Rivendare

One of my favorite cards Blizzard previewed.

Sleepless Nights (aka Hearthstone for iPad)

As if I weren’t staying up late enough, Blizzard has begun the rollout process for Hearthstone on the iPad.  Beginning with Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, Hearthstone is available for immediate download from the iPad App Store.  No announcement for Android devices yet, other than that they are working on it.  Unfortunately, no date for the US release either.  The ability to play this game on iPad was the greatest draw for me.  It’s a great casual game, with some serious possibilities, and tablet support is definitely going to add to that.

PAX East Heroes of the Storm

While pouring over the PAX East Hearthstone news I came across some very awesome announcements for Heroes of the Storm!

Remember almost two weeks ago when Blizzard did their yearly pranking?  Remember this guy?

PAX East Hearthstone and Heroes of the StormPajamathur was so popular, it’s going to be an in-game skin for Abathur.  I really love it when a company listens to their fan base.  The video above shows off some of the new Heroes, abilities, and skins that were announced.  I kind of already have my dream team picked out in my head.  I’ll show off the most exciting to me:

PAX East Hearthstone TassadarWhat would your Heroes of the Storm dream team consist of?  Let us know in the comments below!

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Reviewed with Spoilers

My friends know this about me but I do not believe I have shared this information with you: I am an uber fan of Wolverine. No I did not jump on the “I love Wolverine!” bandwagon. I have been a fan of his since the cartoon series that came out in the early 90’s. It was that show that drew me into comics along with all the other shows from that time: Iron Man, Fantastic Four, Superman, and Batman. However, I am rapidly turning into a Captain America fan. It’s not that I didn’t like the character but he did not pull me in like Wolverine did. But these movies are really causing me to look back and read the comics associated with him specifically.  Now, let’s dive in to The Winter Soldier.

Anonymous Geek - The Winter Soldier

The hardest thing that Cap has to deal with is how the world has changed. Back in WWII there was a clear enemy and you knew pretty well who your allies were. Today, however, it is not so clear cut. And he is not only struggling with his surroundings but also with the ranks of S.H.I.E.L.D. itself. Trust is his main issue with S.H.I.E.L.D. and Fury. But Fury tries to explain that they have “…to deal with the world as it is not as they would like it to be.” But the world is not entirely as either of them believes it to be.

Hail HYDRA!

First thing I want to point out about this movie is that we get S.H.I.E.L.D.’s old enemy back. That is right boys and girls, HAIL HYDRA! It is actually pretty sneaky how they did it to (unless you are a Clever Dick and had already deduced it). Honestly, we had to know they would come back but they did it by infiltrating S.H.I.E.L.D.! This alone is the primary conflict of the movie though it is not apparent from the start (like I said, sneaky). And it is not just a select few agents that are compromised but, by my calculations, more than HALF of S.H.I.E.L.D.! They don’t reveal their hand until after they take out Fury and send the Winter Soldier to terminate Captain America.

Second thing I like about this movie is we get to see yet another addition to The Avengers… I mean S.H.I.E.L.D. You may have seen the trailers but they really do not do any justice for Falcon. At first it seems just a chance encounter between the Captain and him but when the fit hits the shan he becomes an invaluable asset to Cap and Widow. That also brings up the relationship between those two. Widow and Cap seem to be the go-to agents for any cleaning up that needs to be done. The three of them, complimented by Agent Hill, are the only thing left to stop Hydra.

The Third and final thing I like: I don’t know how many of you have been keeping up with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. but there is some tie-in to the show and movies. This is one of the reasons I love Marvel Studios most is because everything comes full circle. There have been a lot of odd things going on with that show and for a while I could not see where they were going with it but now it is oh so obvious what was going on. In the show this past Tuesday we discovered that S.H.I.E.L.D. is compromised but it seemed like they were going to use some other yet-to-be-mentioned villainous group. Nope. As I was telling friends my number one complaint about the show was that S.H.I.E.L.D.’s biggest enemy and threat to safety is Hydra but how could they bring them in since what happen to Red Skull in the first Captain America movie. Well, ‘Ask and you shall receive.’ I am really looking forward to next Tuesday episode now.

Anonymous Geek SHIELD

Much like Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World, Captain America is trying to tie up any possibility of the story being continued but it can’t be further from the truth. Tony Stark throws his mini Arc Reactor into the ocean, S.H.I.E.L.D. has been disbanded (Yes, you read that right), and Thor has basically been shut out of Asgard (or given it up depending on how you look at it). What will happen next? Let me tell you…

There are a couple of things that I should make note of in this review, which is what is really going to make the next several months leading up to Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron painful for us all. First, there was a name drop in this movie that made me real excited. What name? Does Steve Strange do anything for ya? And the second, you see this in the first additional bit in the credits run (yes there are two of them, thank you Whedon for starting this trend). There is a holding cell containing “The Twins” as they are called in the movie. The male is trying to run out of his cell and you see streaks of silver in his wake as he moves, the other a woman is playing with wooden blocks making them float in front of her with wisps of scarlet tendrils around them before destroying them… now, you share my pain and excitement. See you at the movies.

Captain America The Winter Soldier