Sunday, August 18, 2019

Detective Work - LA Noire - Finale

At last, we arrived at the end of Cole Phelps's career as an LAPD detective and the game. With it, we fully uncover the extent of the conspiracy that's been unraveling ever since his fall from grace, into the cold, uncaring arms of the Arson desk.

Between him and his former comrade-in-arms, Jack Kelso, it seems all but assured that those responsible for the fires and murders will be brought to justice. How will they do it? With some good ol'-fashioned Detective Work, we'll find out.


Magic: The Gathering - Commander Night Playback - Marchesa the Black Rose Theft Deck ($300 Budget)

Usually, in my Cockatrice Commander/EDH playgroup, we have a series of matches in which we run any number of different decks and play test out the new decks we've built over the week.

Last night though, we only had a single match that lasted about 2 hours. There were multiple reasons for this, which largely come down to the decks that were being run. In particular, I wanted to talk about my own deck, which was based on Marchesa, the Black Rose.

3 lines of text that go great together

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Making Magic in the Arena - Temur Elemental Ramp

It's no secret that ever since Risen Reef was revealed in the new Core Set 2020, players have had their eye on Elementals as a tribe. As a 1/1 that either adds a card to our hand when it comes out, it would have already been a decent card. But the fact that other Elementals, including other copies of Risen Reef, also trigger the effect again, the potential is too real to pass up.

And so, with Omnath, Locus of the Roil giving us an obvious direction to go, we'll give the Temur color combo a try with this Elemental Ramp deck.




Sunday, August 11, 2019

Detective Work - LA Noire - Part 9

And so it has finally come to this: Cole Phelps, on the pursuit of a conspiracy involving Arson, Murder, and good ol'-fashioned Hollywood grift to the tune of billions, has been completely shut out by the LAPD itself, corrupt as it is.

If he wishes to finally get to the truth, and expose this plot for what it is, he needs to cast aside old grudges and seek out the help of his old rival, Jack Kelso. Aside from DLC cases, Jack will take his rightful place as primary protagonist for most of the game from here on out.




Magic: The Gathering - Commander Night Playback - Commander 2019 Precons

As many of you may know, every Saturday night I play Commander with a few of my friends on Cockatrice. Normally, I take to Twitter to go through the decks I played with and won with, talking about some of the combos and big plays I performed.

However, this week is a bit different. Instead of our own decks, we played with the recently releases decklists for the pre-constructed Commander 2019 decks. Normally, we get in several games on Commander in a night, but this night only had time for a single game, since the one match we played lasted 3.5 hours.

With this in mind, I'll be going over my thoughts on each of the decks, and what big plays each of them performed. Further, the thread will be posted here as a blog post, rather than a tweet thread. I might just do that for future posts as well, but I'm undecided as of now.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Making Magic in the Arena - Sultai Reanimator

One of the best parts about this new Core Set 2020 is the way that it's opened up a ton of new possibility space for deck building in standard, to the point where I get to try new strategies that I've always wanted to, but could never get to work quite right.

This reanimator deck is one example. There haven't been many of either good resurrection targets, or spells in Standard while I've been playing. With the introduction of Core Set (and War of the Spark), there are enough of each that a viable deck can be built.

The decklist can be found here.



Sunday, August 4, 2019

Detective Work - LA Noire - Part 8

After a long and arduous journey, Cole Phelps finally arrives at the Arson deck: The final desk of his career as an LAPD detective.

And with some solid Detective Work, we'll be able to help him through it.




Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Making Magic in the Arena - Simic Flash

When it comes to Magic: The Gathering, one of my favorite experiences is finding a silly concept that has enough support in the cards to become a competitively viable deck. Way back during in the days of the Closed Beta, the deck I played most was based on Muldrotha, the Gravetide. While not a competitive deck, it played well enough and gave me a ton of fun.

While this Simic Flash deck doesn't offer Muldrotha's sheer recursive power, it's in the similar vein of fun concepts that seem like they shouldn't work, but actually gels into a coherent package that can absolutely end games. On top of that, it fits the kind of reactive playstyle that normally gravitates me toward control decks like Esper and Grixis builds.

You check out the decklist here. Since this version is being used in best-of-one matches, I opted to ignore the sideboard, but the main deck is actually pretty cheap, consisting mostly of commons and uncommons (mana base aside).




Tuesday, July 30, 2019

My First Time Playing Warframe

Out of the blue, a few weeks back, I got a message from an old friend from high school. After talking with him for a bit, I agreed to join him and a friend of his for a one-off game session. When he said he wanted to play Warframe, I was intrigued.

Several other people I know are head-over-heels in love with the game, and I figured I'd give it a shot to see if it was something I might be into. And, of course, I streamed it for everyone to see.



Saturday, July 27, 2019

#123: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and My Transformation Into a Monster

If you've ever had a conversation with me regarding The Elder Scrolls series, you'll know that my favorite game in it is Oblivion. I think it has some of the best quest design in modern RPGs, and still plays well today, even if its visuals are dated. Since I had some spare time over the summer, I decided it would be a good idea to download the PC copy I purchased years ago and replay the game. Unlike my previous runs, which have always been on PS3 since that's all I had at the time, I went in with the benefits of mods.
Among the various mods I downloaded was the Curse of Hircine mod, which appealed to me for two reasons. For one, it offered a brand new way to play the game, under a set of conditions I am not used to. And on top of that, I am furry trash who relishes in the idea of transforming into a big, strong werewolf. However, not even I would have been able to predict the end result from installing one, single mod. What follows is a chronicle of my journey into the darkness, embracing the animal my character had become.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Detective Work - LA Noire - Part 7

Despite having one of the worst, most corrupt partners in the entire LAPD, we join detective Cole Phelps in attempting to crack down on corrupt drug trade.

But no crime can escape us so long as we're to do a bit of Detective Work - LA Noire.




Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Making Magic in the Arena - Bolas Control

Core Set 2020 has finally dropped in Magic Arena, and new decks are being developed as I write this. However, as I'm coming back from AnthroCon, I didn't have much time to build a new construct of my own.

So let's run a favorite deck of mine, Grixis Control, and see what new strategies people have come up with in the downtime. You can find the deck I piloted here, if you're interested. (I can't take credit for it.)




Monday, July 8, 2019

Detective Work - LA Noire - Part 6

Our adventures in the seedy underbelly of LA continue as we throw our lot in with one of the most corrupt cops in town. It's up to us to bring some professionalism to this relationship as we perform... Detective Work.



Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Hitman 2 - Expansion Pass Mission - Bank

I'm always eager for another reason to reinstall and open up Hitman 2 again, and a new level seemed like the perfect excuse. Even better, turns out that new level continues directly off of the campaign from the base game, so let's get right to it.



Sunday, June 23, 2019

Detective Work - LA Noire - Part 5

At last, we finally complete the Homicide desk in this episode, resolving the lingering plot threads and arriving at the end of this long, tiresome road.



Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Hitman 2 - Elusive Target - The Deceivers

It's been a while since we last saw everyone's favorite murder-comedian. And yet, here we are with another Elusive Target.

Watch me execute another perfect, flawless hit where I only kill the necessary targets.




Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Magic Making in the Arena - Esper Hero

Another session in the arena, and another deck type too try out. This time, we pilot another variant of the Esper deck: Esper Hero.

You can find the decklist here.


Friday, June 7, 2019

Detective Work - LA Noire - Part 4

Our exploits at the Homicide desk continue as we investigate the Black Dhal.... I mean, we investigate a series of random, completely unrelated murders that all just happen to have very similar MOs.



There are two things that truly hold the Homicide desk back, aside from the fact that your partner is just one or the worst people.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Detective Work - LA Noire - Part 3

Cole Phelps (Badge One-Two-Four-Seven) has finally graduated from the machinations and diverse plots of the Traffic desk and onto the grim, yet fulfilling work of a Homicide Detective.

Unfortunately, it's the worst desk in the entire game, and with the second worst partner: Rusty Galloway.



The problems with Homicide will become more evident later on, but for now take my word that the arc for the desk is unsatisfying.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Making Magic in the Arena - Esper Control

Since the Elusive Target didn't take anywhere near as long as I anticipated, I opted to stream some Magic Arena for another hour or so.

So what better time than now to play what appears to be the best deck in Standard: Esper Control.

The deck can be found here.



Versions of this deck have been around ever since Domanaria, thanks to Teferi, Hero of Dominaria. That card is the backbone of the deck, and the win condition. The end goal is to play him, and eventually get to his -8 ultimate. From there, his -3 can shuffle himself back into the deck so that his owner will never deck out, as the opponent slowly withers away while their permanents and lands get exiled.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Hitman 2 - Elusive Target - The Undying Returns

After a miraculous recovery from the mysterious poison that nearly claimed his life, I regret to inform you once again that critically acclaimed actor Seam Bean has passed away.



I won't deny that I was somewhat disappointed about how this mission was a near exact duplication of the very first Elusive Target against The Undying.

I hope that this is the setup for a remixed third target that does something to surprise players. but I don't have much more to add beyond that.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Detective Work - LA Noire - Part 2

Our work on the mean streets of 50s LA continues. As Traffic Detective Cole Phelps (Badge Twelve-Fourty-Seven), we're forging a reputation with each new case we crack. The bigger our exploits, the easier it will be to climb through the rankings.

This is Detective Work: LA Noire.



To clarify points made in the video, while Rockstar published this game, it was developed by Team Bondi in Australia. That said, there are a number of design choices we see in LA Noire that a typical of Rockstar games, so I feel it's still worth talking about them.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Detective Work - LA Noire - Part 1

Lately, thanks to my own personal run of the Ace Attorney games, I've had police procedurals on the brain. Though not a detective game in the strictest sense, I was hoping that streaming The Council would help to satisfy that itch.

Turns out I was wrong. As interesting as it was mechanically, The Council doesn't have much to offer in terms of notable content beyond that initial conversation piece. Thus, it behooves me to move onto a game I know I have much to say about.

Welcome to LA Noire!



LA Noire is a game I have decidedly mixed feelings about. On one hand, I'm a sucker for detective fiction, and it's a very polished example of that. On the other hand, there are a number of problems I have both with the game and the circumstances surrounding it's development. We'll get more into it as we proceed, but this episode lays the groundwork for future discussion.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Making Magic in the Arena - War of the Spark Draft

Since I attended the pre-release for War of the Spark, I received a free coupon for a Tradition Draft in Magic Arena. Now, while I already spent that coupon, I did well enough in the free draft that I earned enough gems to cover another attempt.

So I figured, why not do this draft on stream, to show off my limited skill in... Limited.




Friday, April 26, 2019

Tea and Crumpets - The Council - Episode 1

Now that The Spooky Bois have finished our adventures in Raccoon City, it is time to begin a new journey.

Welcome to the Manor, as we enter a world of mystery and intrigue. At a pivotal moment in history, world leaders from George Washington to Napoleon Bonaparte gathered in the remote island estate of a mysterious host. The choices made will have impacts the world over, and we'll be right in the middle of it.

Will you join us at The Council... for Tea and Crumpets?



Friday, April 19, 2019

#122: Sekiro: The Accessibility Discussion

I'm sure most of the people reading this are already sick to death of “The Discourse”(tm) surrounding Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Many people have already weighed in, with voices smarter and more well-researched than mine, yet I can't bring myself to let this one go. We don't talk enough about accessibility in gaming, and Sekiro is one of the greatest jumping off points to start delving into the topic: How important it is and what game designers can do to reduce the barriers of entry for the games they make.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Adventures of the Pride - Sea of Thieves - Part 2

Join us for another exciting tale of pirates and plunder upon the high-seas. I, Mr. Doucet, and Mr. Davenport have experienced so many wonders that it's hard to say where to begin, but our story is one of the ages.

This is the most free ship you'll ever set foot one. With great pleasure, I would like to welcome you aboard our vessel: The Pride, named after it's signature Rainbow Flag.



Monday, April 15, 2019

Resident Evil 2 - The Spooky Bois - Finale

After braving all of horrors of Raccoon City, we have finally reached the end of our long journey. Thanks again to David and Clayton for joining me for this, because it would have definitely turned out a lot worse without them.




Thursday, April 11, 2019

#121: Sekiro: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Deflect

As a fan of From Software's most recent works, from Demon's Souls to Dark Souls 3, I was honor-bound to play Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice the moment it was released. Going in, I felt prepared for another exciting adventure in an environment that would do everything it could to kill me. With how easily I breezed through the third Dark Souls game, I thought that there was nothing From could do to surprise or intimidate me. They must be running out of tricks, so I would be wise to whatever they threw my way. Many of my friends thought the same way, to the game's, the developer's, and our own collective disservice.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Hitman 2 - Elusive Target 6 (And Contracts) - Javascript Sucks

This Elusive Target might be Deja Vu for some of you. Unlike the previous Hitman 2 ETs, this is a "Legacy Target". In other words, the brought this one back from the 2016 game to give players another opportunity to take them out.

So let us work together to take out "The Protagonist". And afterwards, let's look at some player made Contracts.



Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Resident Evil 2 - The Spooky Bois - Part 6

Here it is, guys. Multiple people have told me that this is the worst section of the game, and together David, Clayton and I will begin to explore the Sewer section with Ada Wong.

Of course, we have to bust out of the police station first before we can even think about that, but that shouldn't be too hard.




Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Resident Evil 2 - The Spooky Bois - Part 5

We've seen Claire Redfield's adventures. We witnessed as she braved the zombie hoards, along with so many other untold horrors, to protect and save a young Sherry Berkin from the virus her father unleashed...

...but there are two heroes to this story. What happened to a young Leon S. Kennedy on his first day on the Raccoon City police force while Claire was braving the zombie hoards?

This is Another Side, Another Story. Join us as The Spooky Bois play Leon - Route B.



Streamers May Cry - Devil May Cry 5 Full Spoilercast

Devil May Cry 5 has been out for quite a few weeks now, and by now there's been enough time for most players to complete the story and start on some of the higher difficulties.

With that in mind, I requested a few of my friends, ZeroAsher (Sam) and AShadowLink (Matt), join me for a discussion about the game in its totality.

That's right: This is a full spoiler, comprehensive run down on our combined thoughts every single aspect of Devil May Cry 5. From the story to the casts and the gameplay, everything is fair game.

I apologize for the poor audio mixing for the first part of this recording. Once we were made aware, it was addressed.



Friday, March 22, 2019

Hitman 2 - Elusive Target 5 - Useless Disguise

Another Elusive Target has appeared, this time in the small but dense area of Hawke's Bay in New Zealand.

Question is: Does the streak continue, or is this where I finally fall flat?



Friday, March 15, 2019

Resident Evil 2 - The Spooky Bois - Part 4

At with this, our time with Claire comes to an end. Despite a number of close calls, we ended with plenty of ammo and healing items to spare.

Next time, we'll start Leon - Route B.




Thursday, March 7, 2019

Resident Evil 2 - The Spooky Bois - Part 3

Despite all the trouble Discord's outage caused, we still managed to get together and continue our adventures in Resident Evil 2.

This time, we traverse the dreaded sewers. I was told to that this is one of the toughest areas in the game, so I was a bit nervous.



Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Making Magic in the Arena - Mardu Aristocrats

I've been playing Magic the Gathering: Arena on and off for quite a long time now, but it only recently occurred to me to post the matches to YouTube. I want to try to start showing off some of the decks I'm building. Even if they aren't the best, I think there's some good fun to be had there.

First off, a deck I've wanted to try for a long time, but never had the pieces for it in one Standard environment until now: Mardu Aristocrats.



Sunday, March 3, 2019

Adventures of the Pride - Sea of Thieves

I didn't think I would play much of Sea of Thieves when I gave it a go using my free trial of Microsoft's game pass. Though I enjoyed my time with it then, I anticipated setting it aside like a do with so many other games.

And yet, here I am, getting a group together to explore the high seas: Digging for treasure and combating the undead hoards of those who came before us and failed in their own journeys.

Welcome aboard The Pride. Let us regale you with a tale of magnificent adventures.




Monday, February 18, 2019

Apex Legends - 2/14/2019 - MOZAMBIQUE HERE!

I don't talk about them very often here, but I've put a fair amount of time into both Player Unknown's Battle Grounds (aka PUBG), and Fortnite. When I heard that Respawn has come out with their own version of a battle royale game, set in the Titanfall universe, and that it was free, I simply had to try it out.

But more than that, I had to get some friends of mine together and do it on stream. Here is the result.



Friday, February 15, 2019

Hitman 2 - Elusive Target 4 - Bumpkin is a Slur (and Sniper Assassin)

Another month, another Elusive Target, thought this time I'm not alone. My friend Andre Doucet is with me this time, as we tackle The Fugitive.



Thursday, February 14, 2019

Resident Evil 2 - The Spooky Bois - Part 1

While I feel confident in my ability to play a horror game without aid from another human being, but it would be criminal of me to not invite my friend David, a Resident Evil expert, to join me on the journey.

And Clayton also pitched in. Together, we are... The Spooky Bois.




Friday, February 8, 2019

The Shapeshifting Detective - Part 2/2

Picking up where we last left off, we wrap up our adventures with The Shapeshifting Detective. Were we able to successfully save Ellis Munro from certain death? And were we able to catch the killer and solve the murder of Dorota Shaw? Tune in to find out!

And remember, if you wish to see content like this as it's recorded live, be sure to check out my Twitch at https://www.twitch.tv/newdarkcloud


Friday, February 1, 2019

Hitman 2 - Snow Festival - That... Happened

Along with the new Elusive Target, IO also included a new mission in Hokkaido to celebrate the upcoming Snow Festival in Japan.

The prizes for this one include a new melee weapon and a new suit, so you better believe I took the time to give it chance.

If you wish to watch content like this as it's recorded live, be sure to follow me on Twitch.


Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Monday, January 28, 2019

Hitman 2 - Elusive Target 3 - Get Smoked

Another Elusive Target, another chance to show off my stuff. This time, we return to the Isle of Sgail to assassinate... "The Appraiser"!

If you wish to watch content like this as it's recorded live, be sure to follow me on Twitch.



Friday, January 25, 2019

The Shapeshifting Detective - Part 1

Over the past few years, there has been an upsurge in FMV games. Though they aren't as big as they were back in the old days, they've begun to carve out a comfortable niche.

The Shapeshifting Detective takes many cues (and a few of the actors) from 2015's Contradiction: Spot the Liar, and adds in a few new, cool ideas to form a compelling murder mystery experience.




Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Alpha Protocol - Closure Alert - Part 8

And with that, our adventures in Rome have come to a close and we've hit the endgame. This is exactly as far as Aldowyn, anaphysik, and I were able to progress before Disclosure Alert met its untimely demise at the hands of our various schedules.

Thanks to streaming and post-production laziness, we're now in a place where crossing the finish line is no longer an impossible task.

If you wish to view content like this as it's recorded live, be sure to follow me on Twitch.




Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Alpha Protocol - Closure Alert - Part 7

Y'know what they say, when in Rome, do everything you can to viciously antagonize an old man, waste a poor fool running a gelato shop, and knock out a bunch of CIA agents.

Wait. What?

If you wish to see content like this as it's recorded live, be sure to check out my Twitch channel and subscribe.



Friday, January 4, 2019

Hitman 2 - Improvisation Run - Finale - Isle of Sgail

And here we are, at the Grand Finale. Despite a rocky start, I'm extraordinarily proud of both of this mission and the run as a whole.