We’d like to officially welcome the Gaming Death Podcast crew to the GANG, right here on GeekyAntics.net! If you’ve been following HorsePLAY! LIVE, you know we plug them often. We love what GDP is doing that we have cut back on the amount of news and releases we cover on HorsePLAY. If you want unapologetic gaming talk that runs the full gamut of content, GDP is for you!
Chris Gannon, the GDP ringleader, shares this welcome:
Come join us on this magic carpet ride of rambunctiousness, liberation, and the occasional bag of dicks.
In case you missed it, we did a little HorsePLAY-GDP crossover episode to welcome them properly. It was fun. Obi joins in towards the end, too. Crazy things happen when we join like Voltron, y0!
As you can see in the featured image, Transistor is kind of a big deal.
The GDP crew was amongst the first to cover the game before and after it’s release. I highly recommend reading the Transistor review on GamingDeath.com – Chris Gannon, the GDP ringleader, did a fantastic job of capturing the essence. Rapture? Yes, please!
We’re honored to have such great content under the Geeky Antics brand. If you haven’t caught GDP yet, here are some of the crew’s favorite episodes. This is also a sort of GDP timeline, too!
Before I get lost in all my zeal, don’t forget to check out the coming Episode 99.5, which will air LIVE Tuesday, June 10th 2014 at 9pm (tentatively) EDT over at the GamingDeath and GeekyAntics Twitch channels. This one is going to cover E3 Day 0 and 1, plus the obligatory predictions, I’m sure!
Don’t forget to join us June 10th 2014 for late-breaking E3 coverage and obligatory analysis – SEE ABOVE!
We’ve shared some of the episodes and articles you should check out. I know you’ll enjoy them as much as I have. Now, let’s look at the people that make GDP so special…
In keeping with the #RetroFriday spirit, EP20 of HorsePLAY! LIVE delved into the simple little games that have us addicted. Are games like Hearthstone and Marvel Puzzle Quest the real next generation of gaming we’ve been waiting for? We think so.
Here are some of the highlights of the show before we jump into some Marvel Puzzle Quest strategies. We did not quite get into Hearthstone as heavily as we wanted in the episode but don’t worry: we’ll be revisiting the game lots.. Yeah, I know: we talk about it lots here at Geeky Antics – we’ll convert you yet!
ARS Technica Steam game library usage and ownership stats.
Microsoft announces XBox Originals Channel. New video games.. Sure, we’ll have those too.. Eventually.
Bungie veteran, Marty O’Donnell fired without cause.
Hearthstone Fireside Gatherings a flop so far… or are they?
Twitter changes have been rolled out – hello Facebook Junior!
Opinions & Discussions:
Dear consoles, please focus on GAMES.. We have enough videos and junk to consume as it is.
How Marty discovered Bungie years ago.
Remember the precursor to Halo? Neither do we.
Macs have games too!
Imagine if Halo was an Apple exclusive.. YUCK.
The state of the gaming industry is pretty sad now BUT…
Tabletop gaming and indie games are on the rise – YAY!
Twitter, if you become craptastic like Facebook, FUCK YOU!
Don’t forget: if you want to join the conversation, perhaps disagree with our points or shed some light on things, leave us voicemail at (206) 415-4987. Keep it simple and sweet, por favor – we will play them during our shows and discuss!
So, during EP20, we hit upon a lot of key strategies for newbies and players having trouble in Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign. The idea is to prevent endless grinding and dropping money, which sucks unless you have tons of money and time to throw away. Here are some of the things Chip Cella (a.k.a. @CaptinChaos) of The B-Team Podcast, our resident MPQ ninja, suggested to keep the game fun and help you PWN (without making it into a lifestyle game):
Save Hero Coins for roster spots.
Focus your ISO on maxing your top characters, rather than leveling them all up evenly.
Keep “Fishnet” Black Widow or Amazing Spider-Man in your to keep your teammates healed.
During PvP events, farm newbies instead of going for difficult targets – use the skip button to avoid needless knock-outs.
If you’re just starting out, grind the campaign and AI battles to get easy ISO and Hero Coins.. Farm newbies too.
Do not waste Hero Coins on health packs – they regenerate once you go below a five count.
Remember: this is not Candy Crush.. MPQ is the match-three puzzle game for strategy lovers and deep thinkers!
Here are some other tips that I have found useful. I will preface these tips by saying I avoid any scenario where I am playing for several hours at end. I love this game and want to avoid burning out on it and making it a grind like I did with my previous mobile game of choice, Rage Of Bahamut (a.k.a. Mobage’s relentless money grab).
Fishnet & The Support Crew
Original Black Widow, affectionately called “Fishnet”, is easily one of the Top 5 characters in Marvel Puzzle Quest. She compliments any team you add her too, especially against teams that need black, purple, and blue matches to activate abilities. Her abilities can best be described as follows:
Heals and steals.
Ideally, you want to place her alongside a higher-level, tankier (high life/hit points) character(s) with same-colored abilities. This will prevent her from taking too much damage, which is good since she can be one-hit by certain characters (i.e. Wolverine). Some good teammates for her include…
For heavy grinding sessions, I find the combination of Daken, Fishnet, and Moonstone/Thor/Wolverine works really well. Daken adds stacking damage and tanks incoming damage while the third character provides the burst damage and “bigger body”. Your preferences may be different depending on how aggressive you want to be. Admittedly, Daken takes time to build up damage with strike tiles but his self-healing ability makes him great.
Fishnet Black Widow is what I would call a support character. If you don’t have her, there are other options for mitigating damage, whether you are healing or blocking damage. Amazing Spider-Man is likely your next best bet since he can stun AND heal. Here are some other solid picks:
Modern Black Widow
Yelena Belova Black Widow
Iron Man Model 35
Iron Man Model 45
Support roles go beyond healing and stealing. Characters like Yelena Belova (evil Black Widow), Loki, Magneto, and Bullseye can create and manipulate special tiles, which can be devastating against opponent teams that rely on them.
Between Captain America and Moonstone, I feel Moonstone is the best pick. Captain America feels like an under-powered Iron Man Model 35. Here is why he sucks:
His powers/abilities take too long to ramp up.
His damage output is poop.
He is balanced and, by extension, not very good at anything.
Captain America does have more HP than most support characters. He also has a stun ability plus the ability to cycle abilities but, if the countdown tiles get removed, his effectiveness is negated. Cap is just not good for aggressive wins and, thus, using him becomes a grindfest… Meh.
Moonstone, on the other hand, can manipulate the board, do massive burst damage (based upon how many red tiles are in stock), and she can stun opponents. She is amazing yet she doesn’t get nearly enough love. I love you Moonstone.
UPDATE: We’ve had tremendous response from this post (yet the comments are lacking.. Hmmm…) and I realize that some are still very uncomfortable with T&A, even though it is relevant. I’d hate for our fellow gamers to miss out on an important discussion over something so trivial. So I have changed it.
Sorry fellas.. But the show must go on!
Here is a parody video that should lighten the mood for those that find this subject matter a bit touchy. I’m sure many of you have seen this already (Seth Green, Michelle Boyd, etc.):
The previously featured image of GamerGirl90 (read on) is what some guys imagine (or hope) your average gamer girl would look like. This is not very realistic, for a few reasons. The reality is that we gamers come in different shapes and sizes, folks. Besides, jaded gamers tend to expect the worst in the faceless entities they play with over the interwebz. Apparently, all us gamers are fat, lazy slobs with acne.. Or at least that’s the stereotype.
For some background info, check out HorsePLAY! EP18 – the HD video is provided up there.^^^
Over at Be Like Water, they have a Woman Crush Wednesday theme. We shared the Lady Sif / Jaimie Alexander Woman Crush Wednesday post here because, let’s face it: that’s the sort of stuff that draws people in. Sure, there are list posts, cute-overload animal photos, silly memes, cheats, and other SEO, traffic-boosting subject matter but those are not particularly evergreen. The female form is art: timeless, beautiful, and intriguing to most of the world.. I know even some gay guys that find boobies (I’m more of a booty guy myself) appealing.. It must be a guy thing!
Now let’s set the stage further: this is the story of the disappearance of GamerGirl90 and the drama that ensues when geeks as a whole can’t play nice together. GamerGirl90 used to be a DeviantArt contributor (here is some of GamerGirl90’s DeviantArt work). Sadly, she was scared away due to trolls and clients who refused to pay her for commissioned work (after she delivered the goods, mind you). She was a very engaging individual. Not only is she easy on the eyes but she is quite talented as an artist. DeviantArt, hell, the geek community has suffered a great loss.
This sort of thing happens all the time.. And it’s a bummer.
Cynical geeks may think that people like GamerGirl90 are attention-starved, inauthentic posers. The most prevelant stigma dictates that attractive women can’t possibly be “true gamers” or real geeks. But look at that artwork – the coloring is beautiful.. And that is a rough work. What people fail to see is that geek culture is so pervasive that we’re no longer the minority. Heck, jocks and pop culture junkies are more of a minority now.
So let’s look at heard numbers to prove a point. Wikipedia confirms what a lot of studies have suggested. Almost half of the gaming populice are women!
In fact, women over the age of 18 represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (30 percent) than boys age 17 or younger (18 percent).” Entertainment Software Association’s 2013 study found that 45% of game players are female, 2% decrease from last year’s figures.
Thank goodness for that because, let’s face it: the screechers are the worst of them all. Seriously, though, this just goes to show that we should not longer be shocked that we encounter women in our favorite games. Sadly, biases continue and the assumption is that women only play social or casual games. The statistics speak for themselves: gamer girls run the full gamut in terms of gaming preferences, appearance, personalities, and more. There are more differences within sub-groups than gender yet some folks will desperately hold onto their ignorant assumptions… Why?
Is this sort of thing classy, tacky, or just plain pathetic? Is this just a mere marketing stunt?
It’s easy to let our biases guide us towards hasty judgments and bitterness. The general assumption is that women that make themselves known online are attention whores but that is not always the case. Let’s be honest: if you got it, flaunt it.. More importantly, we all like attention and doting to a degree (hello, social media). We humans are social creatures, after all.
For the sake of brevity, I will insert a page break here. Click onwards to read more, where we’ll tackle the core issues. For those who only came for the eye candy, at least leave a comment and share before leaving.. Thanks! *wink*
There’s been so much going on in the world of Geeky Antics that we have not been able to report everything as it happens via our blog or even Twitter. This installment of The GANG Minute will provide some highlights so you can get all caught up… We’ve got lots cooking and the GANG is ROCKIN! Here are the highlights…
NOTE: Be sure to take the poll at the end – we need help brainstorming for our new show!
GANG May 2014 Guest Appearances & Previews
On Thursday, May 1st 2014, I will be joining The Gaming Death podcast at 9pm Eastern, which is live on Twitch just like HorsePLAY! It should be interesting as there will be like five or six people on the show. Right after, Chip Cella a.k.a. CaptinChaos from The B-Team Podcast will be joining us on HorsePLAY! LIVE Episode 20 (the title is currently undetermined) to talk about some of the following items as part of our #RetroFriday initiative:
What the “next-gen” REALLY is.. or should be.
The games we’re playing instead of “da newness”.
Marvel Puzzle Quest strategies and call-ins.
Core concepts in TCG/CCGs.
A mini Hearthstone survival guide.
What makes strategy games so replayable?
Can puzzle fighters be considered strategy games?
Some of our favorite strategy games of all time.
We’ll also be setting the stage for a real throwback episode, where we’ll talk about classic and retro-style games. We’re just waiting to see when Fred Rojas from Gaming History 101 can join us so we can go DEEP! I’m working on trimming some of the fat for EP20 so we can have more time for our featured topics and do more community interaction. We’d also like to do more Freeballin’ to talk about whatever! Maybe we’ll get to #TheDustOff and talk about the latest games sucking our souls away…
FTL: Advanced Edition – Hidden In Version 1.5x And Up!
In case you missed it, the long-awaited expansion to FTL: Faster Than Light Advanced Edition was released on April 3rd 2014. If you’re like me, you eagerly anticipated this, couldn’t find a firm release date, and probably got tired of waiting.. Then it snuck up on you like a ninja in your underpants!
It turns out that, for many of us, this was not an auto-update thing. Everyone who owns FTL: Faster Than Light does get the expansion for free BUT you might have to manually download v1.5x from Humble Bundle or wherever you bought the game if you went DRM-free. Steam FTL players probably did not even notice.
The changes are very subtle (you won’t see a new intro video or splash screen, in case you were waiting) until you poke around a bit and engage in extended play sessions. You’ll have to enable Advanced Edition content whilst choosing your ship and prepping your crew members. You’ll notice that the randomized encounters are more varied now, there are new ships, visuals have been (and usability) improved, and the clone bay provides an alternative to the med bay.. Just to name a few changes.
I hear there are also new ships but I can’t confirm this personally until I unlock more of them. I currently have around five space ships unlocked, BTW. The biggest change has to be the clone bay. The fear of losing crew members used to be the biggest thing for me but the clone bay makes life in space much easier. Suddenly, having enemies board your ship is not as scary, whether you have blast doors or not.
Other FTL advanced features that excite me:
FTL used to be one of my most-played games on Twitch and the expansion makes me want to suit up in a bad way. There are times I wish the game went a little deeper on the simulation side but the rogue-like elements (i.e. permadeath) make the experience new and challenging every time. I recommend playing on Easy or Normal, difficulty unless you don’t mind dying.. A LOT.
A few quick tips for new FTLers: burst lasers and ion weapons are likely your best bets for an aggressive, crippling loadout. Drones and missiles hog up resources, plus they can be dodged or countered by elite ships. That said, missiles penetrate shields and can cause really nasty damage. The last thing you want in outer space is a fire that goes out of control or hull breaches that suck the oxygen away. I reckon that would suck.
#RetroFriday – The Granddaddy Of MOBAs And RTS Games
I’ve been teasing Herzog Zwei for a long time and finally got the ROM recording environment perfected. I’ve been super stoked to share this with you. I’m a big fan of SEGA but Herzog Zwei is more than just a great SEGA Genesis game. Herzog Zwei inspired MOBAs and RTS games as we know them today. yet it remains mostly unknown.
Please like, favorite, and comment on the YouTube video. I think everyone should play this game at least once. Herzog Zwei holds up surprisingly well today.. And it is not the hand-holding BS we see today, either. Did I mention the game let’s you play as a mech (Land-Armor)? It’s like Transformers.. Without Michael Bey.
We also invite you to join our #RetroFriday Steam community group Herzog Zwei and AirMech discussion. If you love strategy games but need something fast-paced, these are two fantastic games worth checking out. Let me know which 8-bit and 16-bit classics you’d like me to play [more of]. Every #RetroFriday, I’ll stream and record retro games from indie developers and classic consoles. Others are doing the same so be sure to check out the hashtag.
#YOHTAI – Join Us For Hearthstone Streams & Game Nights!
Our beloved Stan Faryna, the hardest working man in social media, has been rallying our fellow geeks and get #YOHTAI off the ground. Ye Olde Hearthstone Tavern And Inn is a place for Hearthstone players to share their Battle Tag and make new friends. We have a Steam community group, too:
This Hearthstone Steam community group is unofficial.. But it’s fun to be one of the handful of groups dedicated to the game. Let’s make #YOHTAI the biggest unofficial community for Hearthstone and play more together. Join us and we can do some Twitch streams and videos together, maybe even exchange some tips!
In around two weeks since we started this social initiative, I have made five new friends on Hearthstone. That’s significant considering I have been bad about adding people I play against during matchmaking. Sworen from The B-Team Podcast recently whooped my ass with a Warlock “test deck”. It was brutal.. I need new Hearthstone friends.
We Need Help Coming Up With A Show Name!
We’re getting closer to releasing a pilot episode for our NEW! game theory/mechanics and strategy podcast. Right now, I am unsure about the name but I have some good ideas for logos and banners. Could you give us a hand?
This new show, codenamed “Strategery” (yes, we know that’s not a real word), will have revolving hosts and guest hosts that will include hardcore gamers, casual players, game developers, marketing specialists, analysts, and scientists. The idea is to provide fresh perspectives on the inner workings of games, both tabletop and digital. We’re gonna go hard and deep with our ANALysis!
As this table shows, there’s lots in play when we are playing games. Analyzing these subleties can help us foster a greater appreciation for the amount of work that goes into gaming. If you’re not into game design or any of the business-side, the knowledge is helpful for identifying right-fit experiences or developing new strategies.. Break the meta!
Currently, we are leaning towards the first half or so being deep discussion on a theme for the week (along with the usual pleasantries and banter) and the second half shifting to tips, tricks, and strategies. There will be a heavy focus on strategy games and anything with an online or team focus. Our game spotlights will include Hearthstone, SolForge, League of Legends, Smite, DotA 2, Marvel PuzzleQuest, and AirMech.
Once I get some concept art together and firm things up a bit, expect an update to this article or some quick comments. For now, I think that covers all the stuff we’ve been meaning to cover here on GANGnet. Stay tuned for more great content. There’s going to be lots more variety coming up (if all goes well) including stuff covering Doctor Who, geek social issues, anime picks, and comic strips.
Want the latest Geeky Antics right in your inbox? Sign up for our FREE newsletter. Once we get enough e-mail subscribers, we’ll start sending out weekly newsletters and kick off more community events, giveaways, contests, and MORE!
Many thanks to the over 100 people who are following and subscribed to our blog via RSS and e-mail digest. We are humbled by the tremendous response we have gotten in just a few short months. #GeeksUnite
Today we are here to continue an ongoing debate. This will be a culinary battle mixed in with a batter of vlogging, a yearning for good eats (and wimminz), and a call to action for YOU: join the GANG and have your geeky goodness shared with our growing community.. There might even be cake or pie in it for you, whichever you prefer. Now onto the tasty business…
Cake versus pie… Which is better?
I’ve been wrestling with this debate for a long time. If you’ve followed me on the “social medias” long enough you know that I share food-related stuff quite a bit on Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. I am a foodie.
We as geeks tend to have a stable of snacks, quick meals, and comfort foods. Nothing beats marathon gaming sessions with your favorite snacks and adult beverages (if you are of age, of course). I love my sweets but this decision is still tough. Cake or pie? Hmmm… Maybe you can help me!
I talk about a lot of stuff that’s NOT food related in this vlog but one issue I encounter is particularly discerning: whether flan is a cake or a pie. This here is the tie breaker. The interwebz provide some useful knowledge. Wikipedia, which never has false information, says the following on flan:
Not to be confused with crème caramel, also known as flan or flan de leche. Flan is an open pastry or sponge cake containing a sweet or savoury filling.
Flan is my favorite. It’s creamy and melts in your mouth.. Hey, stop that smirking. It’s not just texture. The flavor is satisfying in ways that only putting it in your mouth can explain.. Except maybe for when idgets make it very eggy (like a terribad egg salad). Great flan is something to write home about, I promise! Now that we know flan is categorized as cake, that tips the scales A LOT.
Cheesecake is a close second to flan. These tasty cakes come in many varieties. Some are topped with marsipan (essentially edible, sugar-rich modeling clay), others have fruity toppers, graham crusts, or cookie crumbs. The variety in the cheesecake world makes it a clear winner and a great boon for the cake cause.
If you’re ever in NYC, be sure to try some Junior’s cheesecake. It’s not by any means the best of it’s kind but it rarely disappoints. Last I checked, there are Junior’s locations opening up everywhere, including one in Grand Central Station that serves sandwiches, beverages, and many varieties of cheesecake. Ah-nomnomnom!
Now in the pie’s corner we have a Georgia favorite: pecan pie. Thing is, GOOD pecan pie is hard to come by. The problem with pie of any variety is that people tend to burn the top.. Or they make the filling TOO rich (or too bland). I have a sweet tooth but, HOLY MOLY, I want to taste the distinct flavors, not go into a coma.
On the flip side, you have to be a special kind of nincompoop to mess up cake. You bake it in layers and then you add your little touches afterwards. Let the egg timer be your guide, young padawan!
In short, I have rarely been disappointed by cake whereas pies often leave much to be desired. I know that on the show Supernatural, Dean acts like pie is OP. His love for pie is a bit contagious. He is very adament about having Sam bring him pie.. And it got me thinking a bit. Really, he made me question my belief but I think this issue is settled.. At least for me.
…And the winner is…
(You’ll have to skip to the end if you want my final verdict.)
During the“Cake Vs. Pie” Geektastic Vlog two-part series I talk about the need for more women. We’ll be revisiting that as well as the deep discussion about the good and bad of gamer girls. As we often do, we provide all sides of the debate to encourage you all to chime in. Perhaps there is no right or wrong… But I still choose cake.
…Now it’s your turn!
Leave some comments explaining why you choose one or the other. The best part about this debate is that everyone has an opinion and there really is no right or wrong answer.. Except maybe for vegans, unless they cheat on their diets. For that, I am sorry.
Feel free to share your thoughts on anything else I have covered on my vlog. I talk about all sorts of random things in my Geektastic Vlog including why I chose XBox over Playstation, the stupidity of pet fees/rent, and my #BirthdayBash on Twitch. There’s also a Mega Man OST and some more Hearthstone talk (#YOHTAI)! You can leave us comments below and/or VM at (206) 415-4987.
Episodes 17 – Let’s Move To Canada.. For Hearthstone!
*** Featuring Matt Bradford of VGO & Zombie Cast ***
In this episode, HorsePLAY! LIVE becomes The Derailment Extravaganza (or is it Bonanza) once again. Matt Bradford from Zombie Cast and VGO (Video Game Outsiders) returns to HorsePLAY! to help us stay raw, silly, and off-topic. Some may know him as @MattoMcFly or “Moto”. He’s also known as one of the writers for the Guinness World Records: Gamer’s Edition, AllGames, and GamesRadar, amongst other things. We know him as one of our favorite Canadian geeks!
Matt confessed that any time after 11pm Eastern on a week day, he is essentially brain dead. As a result, we get the sillier, more random Matt’O. Somehow, he manages to give spoilers for our own show. There are the usual wild tangents and shenanigans, but we mainly talk about Hearthstone, The Walking Dead, and freemium games.
We don’t do nearly as much League of Legends talk these days. Matt groans at the mere thought. It turns out that he may actually enjoy the game but the toxic community as seen on Reddit and other social media scares him away. There are plenty of mainstay games we would like to play with our friends and fans – LoL is certainly one of them so give it a try… Stan Faryna did! #YOHTAI
Golf is just something for bored richies to show off how much money and land they have.
WWF does not make us think about endangered animals.
“There’s a lot of cool cats on the AllGames network.”
HorsePLAY! LIVE is the perfect show to be brain-dead on!
Matt Bradford plays the hand harmonica.
Yogi is a very loud Puerto Rican, NOT a Mexican.
Sword Art Online is like dot.hack and Photon.. And it’s coming back for Season 2!
Apparently, everyone is too young to remember Photon.
We all love The Guild.. And Felicia Day.. Wil Wheaton, too.
Chris Hardwick is a narcissistic douchebag.
“WTF is in the basement??”
Twitter is getting rid of #hashtags.. Brilliantly stupid.
Third-party Twitter apps are WAY better than the official one.
Twitter is going to kill their existing user base.
“90% of the population mis-uses hashtags.”
Hearthstone iOS app is available only in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.. Sorta.
You can now rejoin Hearthstone matches if disconnected.
Fashionably late The Walking Dead S4 finale reactions.
When is free-to-play really pay-to-win?
Hearthstone is NOT a pay-to-win game.. We explain why.
Did we mention we are now part of the AllGames family now??
Tons of other geeky antics and train wrecks, as per usual.
Matt Bradford has also put the Canadian bacon debate to bed. This is his official statement, and I am paraphrasing:
Is that even ours? I don’t think so.. It’s an abomination. Canadian bacon is ham, NOT bacon.
“Moto”, you are a man above all men. We love having you on the show and hope to have you join our geeky antics more. Now, we need more G33k Grrlz and a little less Mancrushes.. It’s starting to be a sausage fest over on HorsePLAY! LIVE.. Where’s the bacon??