Thursday, 23 October 2014

Hearthstone Android and iPhone Mobile Apps Set for Early 2015!

Blizzard finally made a statement about the highly anticipated mobile release of their popular card game Hearthstone. With the game being released on iPad shortly after its official release, us fans were waiting patiently for an official word on when to expect the game on Android tablets/phones and iPhones. Well, of course we already had word and it was the usual "soon" but the new statement from Blizzard sheds some light on the expected release dates.

There is still not an exact date set for the release of Hearthstone Mobile App; however, considering the new information Blizzard has released, we finally know that the mobile app will most likely be available early in 2015. As for Android tablets, we can expect the release before the end of this year.

Here is the official Blizzard post on the subject,

"Throughout the past year, many of you have been asking about the release date for Hearthstone on Android. The team has been hard at work to bring Hearthstone to that platform, and is making great progress. We’re taking things one step at a time and we’ve got our sights set on a release for Android tablets, our next new platform, before the end of the year; we’ve just got a few more mana crystals to polish and some Angry Chickens to chase down.

We’re also close to having Hearthstone out to our iPhone and Android phone users, but it’s become clear that we need a little more time to get that version right. While we have a build up and running internally, it needs a bit more work, and we don’t feel like we’ll be ready to share it with you until early next year. It’s very important to us that the phone experience for Hearthstone is just as accessible as the tablet and PC versions. One of the biggest challenges with that is revamping the user interface so it feels intuitive and offers the same quality Hearthstone experience, but this time from the palm of your hand.

Releasing Hearthstone on iPhone and Android phones is something we’re incredibly excited about, but ultimately we’d rather take the extra time to make Hearthstone’s user interface on the phone customized to feel great for the platform, rather than a port that doesn’t take into account the limitations of a smaller screen."

With the Blizzcon right around the corner, I wonder if Blizzard will tease the fans with a demonstration of the upcoming Hearthstone mobile apps. Although, I am really hoping that we will get to see some of the new cards that will be released with the upcoming 100 card expansion. Until then, happy laddering!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Telltale Confirms The Walking Dead Season 3!!!

Don't worry, as much as I want to, this post will not contain any spoilers from the season 2 of the emotional adventure game The Walking Dead. However, after a variety of completely heartbreaking ends to its latest season (there are at least 5-6 different endings), I've been wondering whether there would be a new season due to the nature of these endings. 

Well my question has been answered by Telltale's co-founder Kevin Bruner who confirmed the third season of The Walking Dead at San Diego Comic Con! 

However, there is one key detail left out. Telltale didn't say anything about the recurrence of Clementine. Simply put, we don't know if Clementine will make a comeback in Season 3. So we might continue the story with either Clementine or a brand new character. Telltale also didn't give us a time frame as to the release date of the new season. So, basically we don't know anything except that there WILL BE a Season 3.

I guess even that information is enough for us to go on, eh? :)

Until then, make sure to complete The Walking Dead Season 2 with all its different endings. They all are really heartbreaking and deeply emotional...

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Plants vs Zombies 2 It's About Time Gets Big Wave Beach Update!!

Hello again! I've got some great news for Plants vs Zombies 2 fans out there. After the Dark Ages, another brand new world has finally been released with an update!

This new world, dubbed Big Wave Beach, also has a new theme. As you can understand from the title, the theme is water! This also means we will get back our Lily Pads alongside some brand new plants and more zombie types mashed together with a unique gameplay experience. My most favourite levels in Plants vs Zombies involved the pool so I am quite excited about this update!

I am afraid; though, Big Wave Beach currently doesn't have as many new types of plants or zombies as the other updates, however, there are some zombies busy with construction work at the end of the world. So this hints at more levels coming up which would ultimately mean more new zombies and plants!

There are currently 19 levels in Big Wave Beach. In order to unlock the Big Wave Beach world you need to get a World Key or pay actual money. You can get the World Key from Day 8 of Ancient Egypt, Pirate Seas, Wild West or Far Future, or Night 10 of Dark Ages.

There is also a shadowed 7th world right next to Big Wave Beach. Considering the original game, we got our dark and pool levels in PvZ 2 so maybe the next world could involve the roof and we'd get back our flower pots? Or maybe it could involve fog? I don't know but no matter what they decide to bring back, I will be waiting here filled with excitement!

Enjoy smashing some zombie brains plant lovers! 

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Dawn of the Aspects Review: Meet Galakrond!

Most of the World of Warcraft players have seen the gigantic bones located in Galakrond's Rest, Dragonblight, Northrend. I am certain that a lot of you have wondered about the fate and story of this behemoth. I know I have. Seeing those huge bones made me wonder about this dragon as it looked immortal to me and I couldn't grasp how he could ever be defeated.

Well, if you still haven't researched this dragon, I have good news because I've got just the book for you. Richard A. Knaak, New York Times Bestselling Author, who is mostly known for his fantastic Warcraft lore books, is rewarding us with, yet another great volume consisting of 5 short e-books, telling us the story of this mighty Galakrond and how he was defeated by five Proto-Dragons, the dragons that we know so well and came to either love or hate. Of course I am talking about; Alexstrazsa, Ysera, Nozdormu, Malygos and Neltharion long before they gained their powers as Aspects. 

Dawn of the Aspects takes us back to a time when the skies were ruled by a mighty behemoth, Father of Dragons, called Galakrond who terrorized everything to become the only true power. He possessed a great threat to the survival of the dragons as his aim was to consume them to allow himself to mutate into an even more horrific beast. He seemed unstoppable up until our five Proto-Dragons decided to take the matter into their own hands or claws to more exact.

The story starts with our current Aspect of Magic, Kalecgos, when he finds a powerful magical item hidden inside the bones of Galakrond located in Dragonblight. Unaware of its true purpose and origin, he takes the item back to Nexus where he resides in. This item links his mind with the physical body of Malygos, the previous Aspect of Magic. From time to time Kalecgos is brought back in time by this item, to witness the events taking place between our future five Aspects and Galakrond through the eyes of Malygos.

Dawn of the Aspects consumes the reader thanks to its flowing nature of how the story unfolds. You will find yourself unable to sleep most of the time because you won't be able to rest until you know what happens next. This is an experience I go through whenever I read Warcraft lore but after the War of Ancients Trilogy, which is consisted of my most favourite Warcraft books ever, Dawn of the Aspects is the first Warcraft book to take this feeling to a next level. There is one thing I know for sure; Richard A. Knaak is a genius and a master when it comes to storytelling.

I am afraid; though, just like almost any other Warcraft lore book (with the exception of War of the Ancients Trilogy), Dawn of the Aspects is also too short. I can never get enough of these books and I hate it when I can finish them off within 2-3 sittings. But don't worry as the experience is definitely worth it! Don't forget that you will also have a new appreciation for our dear Aspects :)

If you are interested in the lore of the dragons (who isn't anyway?), Dawn of the Aspects is just the book for you. It gives background information on our beloved Aspects who were only Proto-Dragons at the time (not true dragons) before they earned their powers that allowed them to become Aspects. You will witness the terror of these dragons who put in a great deal of effort into trying to save their lives and lands from the horrific grasp of Galakrond and put a final end to him.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Among The Sleep Review: A Mother's Lullaby has Never Sounded More Creepy!

You start your day with endless love from your mother who is preparing a delicious cake for your birthday. You are two years old now. You enjoy your tasty cake while making some cute coo sounds and then anxiously wait to see what your mum got you as a present. Your mum takes you into her loving embrace to bring you back to your beautifully decorated room where she will finally give you the present. Before she gets a chance to open up the box she has to go downstairs for a minute so she leaves you alone inside your playground safely secured with bars and filled with toys. Your unopened present is waiting for you just outside of it, sitting on a table by the door.

As the anticipation grows, it becomes impossible for you to wait for your mum to come back. You have to open the gift now! So you start exploring your room to break free of the bars. You finally reach the box only to find it empty! Disappointed, you go back to your exploration. You can not give up! It has to be somewhere, the damn thing can't vanish into thin air now can it? And you finally find what you are looking for hiding in your toys chest to surprise you.

You meet your gift, Teddy, a teddy bear (obviously) who will become your best friend throughout the entire journey that is about to come. You explore your room a bit more with Teddy before your mum comes back to tuck you in bed. It is time to sleep now. It has been such a lovely day for you and you really love your birthday present. As a tiny two year old in this gigantic world, you don't feel alone anymore.

Everything so far seems completely normal and really sweet in Among The Sleep, a first person horror adventure game developed by Krillbite Studio after successfully reaching and even exceeding its $200.000 goal on Kickstarter.

However, after you wake up in the middle of the night you realise that everything has changed and nothing is ordinary anymore. All the nightmares and terrors of childhood become your reality as you search desperately for your mother who mysteriously disappeared sometime during the night.

This new reality you have just found yourself in, will welcome you willingly with a plethora of creepy noises, creaks, glasses shattering, plates breaking, doors opening by themselves, lights flickering, yellow eyes staring at you from the shadows... and darkness. Heavy, bitter darkness that does anything it can to consume the innocence of a two year old child and feed on his fear. While hugging Teddy will provide some small source of light, it will not be enough to rid you of the horror that is surging through you. The only hope you can find is in your mother's beautiful voice, singing you a lullaby from time to time motivating you even more to find her. Let's also not forget, monsters! The monsters that every two year old believe are hiding under their beds or inside their closets... The same monsters the parents tell their children that don't exist, do indeed exist in Among The Sleep.

You will find yourself in various locations from creepy playgrounds and daunting forests to living rooms and studies full of horrific creatures where your bravery will be put to the test. You must use your little body to take advantage of objects to remain hidden from these monsters. There are a lot of objects at your disposal for this purpose. You can hide under beds, bookshelves, tables; inside logs, cupboards etc... These monsters will vanish after strolling around a little bit. But then they will return again. You will never know when you are truly safe. You won't know if that's even a possibility as the constant, endless creepy noises you hear throughout the entire game will make you feel like you are being watched and followed wherever you go.

The puzzles are fairly easy to solve in Among The Sleep. The game is mainly about finding the objects to progress further into the story. The objects you find will bring you closer to the memories you shared with your mum. The memories you collect will open up new locations. As you collect more memories, you will note that you will hear your mum's voice more clearly. When you collect all the memories, you will see one of the most shocking endings you will ever witness from a video game which will completely change the perspective of your overall experience during the time you played Among The Sleep. It's an ending unlike I have ever seen in a video game before. It was stunning!

The surroundings are not very vast so you won't have to spend more than 20-30 minutes in one location. It is also very difficult to get lost as most of the time there aren't multiple directions to take. For example; in your house, which is the starting location, most doors can't be opened so you can't access other rooms. There is only one way. This would be my only complaint about Among The Sleep. I would have preferred more places to explore and larger surroundings as this is an adventure game after all.   

What I really loved about Among The Sleep though, is the small touches the developers added in order to capture the essence of a scared two year old child. Hugging Teddy to provide light or covering your eyes with your hands when you press ESC... Not to mention that you will be crawling almost the entire game as you can't expect to press Shift and sprint with 2 legs. You are two years old, remember? You can walk but don't expect to win a race against a turtle. Personally, these very little details have made the game even more enjoyable for me.

I will be honest, I didn't expect to enjoy Among The Sleep this much. It is a fairly short game and you can finish it after about 3-4 hours but the experience it provides is something worth living. It is definitely not the scariest game out there. It can't even be compared to other horror games like Outlast or Amnesia. But the background of Among The Sleep, helps the game provide one of the most unique horror gaming experiences out there. Going through such a horrific experience through the eyes of a two year old child who just wants to find his mum... I think this alone can be one of the scariest things in the world when you think about it. Closing your eyes will not be enough either because sometimes you have to find the courage to face your fears. Also, don't forget to bring your favourite plushie. Last but not least, be prepared for the ending!!!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Hearthstone Curse of Naxxramas Cards Analysis, Best and Worst Naxxramas Cards!

So Curse of Naxxramas ended some time ago and players had a lot of time in their hands to try out all the new cards that were released. The meta shifted considerably and became much slower thanks to cards like Loatheb and Sludge Belcher. Most of the other cards also found their places in top tier decks while some of them were completely left out. Let's take a look at the best and worst cards that were released in Curse of Naxxramas.

Please bear in mind that the following analysis reflects my own personal opinions and experiences. There are certain cards you might like more which aren't included in this list, this is completely natural. I am writing my analysis from my own experiences with these cards and a lot of tournaments I watch almost every single day.

Best Naxxramas Cards (Neutral)

#1 Best Naxxramas Card - Loatheb

Loatheb was initially designed to counter Miracle Rogues, However, Loatheb found its way into almost any deck from mid-range Hunter to any control decks due to its incredible utility and high stats. While it can be used to protect your board presence, it can also be used to give you more time to turn the game around. For example if you are on 14 health and afraid of Savage Roar and Force of Nature Combo, Loatheb will protect you for the next turn. It can also ensure your win if you use it at the right time when you have full board and will have lethal next turn because most likely your opponent won't be able to AoE clear to save themselves.

#2 Best Naxxramas Card - Sludge Belcher

Sludge Belcher is the dream card for any control decks out there. As a 3/5 body for 5 mana might not look good enough at first as Sen'jin cost 4 and it has the same stats. The main advantage of Sludge Belcher lies in its deathrattle effect, making it resistant to AoE as it will leave a 1/2 body with Taunt when it dies which is a great counter to any aggro decks. So usually at least 2 or sometimes even 3 minions have to trade for only 1 Sludge Belcher, giving you a significant card advantage while completely breaking your opponent's tempo. Sadly, it's very prone to Priests' Shadow Madness spell and if they use it correctly, the priest will end up stealing your 1/2 Taunt because the tokens summoned by Deathrattle will stay on the Priests' board.

#3 Best Naxxramas Card - Haunted Creeper

This was actually a close call between Haunted Creeper, Undertaker and Spectral Knight. Maybe Nerubian Egg too but it specifically needs an activator so it is slightly disadvantaged. Haunted Creeper is basically a 2 mana version of the very annoying Harvest Golem with lower stats. It is a very sticky minion in that even if you AoE or kill it in another way, it will still summon 2x 1-1 spiders, actually increasing the damage of the minion itself. It synergises very well with cards like Houndmaster, Kill Command and Defender of Argus. However, Hunters don't forget that the Spectral Spiders that spawn from a dead Haunted Creeper are NOT BEASTS! Shamans can also make great use of the tokens thanks to their Flametongue Totem.

Worst Naxxramas Cards (Neutral)

#1 Worst Naxxramas Card - Maexxna

Maexxna as a 2/8 body seems strong at first especially with the venom effect that will kill off any minion. The card can synergise very well wih Hunters and Houndmaster; however, the main problem with Maexxna is her 6 mana cost. If the card cost about 4 or maybe 5, we might have seen it replacing Snapjaw in some mid-range Hunter decks but in her current state Maexxna is incredibly slow to the point of being completely useless. Not to mention it is very prone to getting stolen with a Cabal Shadow Priest. Don't forget that the current meta has a lot of Priests. Nonetheless, however the meta may be; this card is too expensive to make use of. 

#2 Worst Naxxramas Card - Dancing Swords

I tried out Dancing Swords on my Zoo Warlock for a couple of weeks. It usually helped my opponent more than it helped me so I decided to take it out of the deck. 4/4 for 3 mana is surely mana efficient; however, it's the deathrattle that might hurt you. Dancing Swords obviously has no place in control decks and as an aggro deck you should avoid giving your opponent free cards as they might get closer to a card that will clear your board so I don't find this card particularly useful in any type of deck I can think of.

#3 Worst Naxxramas Card - Deathlord

Stats and mana wise Deathlord is surely one of the best cards out there. 3 mana for a 2/8 body? Count me in! However, just like any other Naxxramas cards, the deathrattle effect can really help you or it can completely ruin your game which makes the risk not worth it in my opinion. Especially in a meta being dominated by control decks consisting of a lot of valuable legendaries, I don't think any one of you out there would want to face a Ysera or a Ragnaros on turn 4 or 5... Yea, it can also help you by deactivating Battlecry effects (Ancient of War maybe?) but is it really worth it? If you trust your RNG, Deathlord is best used in Priest, Aggro Paladin or Zoo decks. Other than that I wouldn't recommend it in any other deck.

Best Naxxramas Class Cards

#1 Dark Cultist (Priest)

Dark Cultist is my absolute favourite class card from Naxxramas. 3/4 body for 3 mana is incredible, not to mention it will also buff another minion with 3 Health when he dies. 4 Health makes it resistant to any cheap removals like Fiery War Axe, Lightning Bolt, Rockbiter Weapon etc. 3 attack is also just as amazing! So even if you don't end up buffing a minion, it will surely trade with a lot of early minions or bait out a removal from your opponent. Priests certainly needed more minions to develop their board presence and they got just that! Its deathrattle will also ruin your opponent's plan because they will want to kill other minions first just to avoid buffing their health.

#2 Death's Bite (Warrior)

Control Warrior is my favourite deck to play with and we really needed a weapon for mid-game where could deal with 4 health minions, like the Dark Cultist above for example. Fiery War Axe is only useful for early game and Control Decks don't have space for Arcanite Reaper. So Death's Bite was a very welcome addition to our weapons arsenal. It helps us to protect our minions even more and get maximum value from certain minions thanks to its deathrattle. Deathrattle of Death's Bite can; enrage your Grommash, activate Execute, draw cards from Acolyte of Pain, gain armour from Armorsmith. There is no limit to what this baby can do if you time it right! From an aggro Warrior standpoint, it can also enrage minions like Berserkers. Thus, Death's Bite effectively replaced Whirlwind in a lot of Warrior decks and added 16 more damage output by doing so! Simply put, no matter what type of Warrior you play, Death's Bite is a gem!

#3 Webspinner (Hunter)

Webspinner is still a controversial card due to its randomness. But the way I see it, it gives you a card advantage by replacing itself. It can also replace itself with some amazing beasts like Savannah Highmane. Who wouldn't want x3 Highmanes right? You can also get other beasts like King Mukla or even The Beast. King Krush is also among the cards you can get. Of course it can also give you completely useless cards like Captain's Parrot or Angry Chicken but don't forget that these cards could be used to get maximum value out of your Kill Command. I'd also like to say that they could get you more card draw but after Starving Buzzard nerf, I just don't see it happening.

Worst Naxxramas Class Cards

#1 Poison Seeds (Druid)

Wow, Poison Seeds is so bad that I don't even know what to say about it. Imagine facing Zoo, which you will as they are quite abundant. Do you really want to turn their 3/2, 3/2, 1/3, 1/2 minions into 2/2? You can't even pair it up with Swipe as you would need spellpower. The cost of this card is too high as well so you can only pair it up with Starfall which costs 6; or Kobold/ Thalnos with Swipe to reset the board of your opponent. So for 10 mana, yes you can get a board clear but you won't be able to do anything else. The only scenario in which this card can even remotely come close to being useful is when you are facing a Ysera and maybe another legendary at the same time. It could be anything from Sylvanas, Cairne to Ragnaros. Well, if you give your opponent the opportunity to have Ysera, Ragnaros, Cairne all alive at the same time, you are doing something wrong anyway so this card won't save you. It's also a card you will never use if you have board control so no matter what scenario my imagination could ever allow me to come up with; the bottom line is that this is a completely useless card.

#2 Anub'ar Ambusher (Rogue)

Anub'ar Ambusher definitely has great stats for its mana. However, no matter what type of Rogue you want to play with (it's already too useless for Miracle anyway), you will want to have minions on board so your opponent will kill this minion just to set you back a turn. In the end, here we are faced with another Naxxramas card where the deathrattle effect could really hurt more than help us and if a card hurts more than it helps, why would you even include it in your deck?

#3 Voidcaller (Warlock)

I was pretty excited about this card when I first saw it. But when I got to finally trying it out; apart from being costly (same stats with Dark Cultist but costs 1 more mana), its deathrattle is also too situational as it requires you to have a demon in your hand. Of course it is a dream to get a free Doomguard without 2 cards discard penalty but most Warlocks are already good at doing that without discards anyway. Sure, it did allow some gimmicky Demon Warlock decks to emerge; however, while these decks could very well be entertaining to play with, they weren't stable enough to progress in ladder. 

So here is my list. There are some cards I haven't listed here that I also play frequently with and enjoy quite a lot but unfortunately for them they didn't make the final cut. Cards like Undertaker, Spectral Knight, Nerubian Egg and Kel'Thuzad are among my other favourite Naxxramas cards but the list was too short to add them as well.

While I won't share all my thoughts on these cards, I did want to give them credit anyway as this post isn't intended to be an analysis of all the cards that were released and believe me, choosing a card for an intended slot was extremely difficult as there are a lot of really good candidates for it. The competition was fierce for sure! I am still unsure whether I made a mistake rating Haunted Creeper as my third best instead of Undertaker. That's how good these cards are!

Please feel free to share your own most/least favourite cards from Curse of Naxxramas. Some of the cards I listed here as "worst" could very well be working in some decks you use, so I'd love to hear you out.

Sorry for Inactivity! :)

Hello! If there are some dedicated followers of this blog somewhere out there, you will realise that I haven't written any blog posts for quite some time. I've got some very solid reasons for that.

So I just wanted to take this opportunity to state some of these reasons and apologise for lack of activity. But don't worry, more posts and more reviews are coming up!

One of the main reasons why I couldn't really write anything was that the laptop I used in my summer house broke. I have problems with Intel Graphics Accelerator Driver or something. The display goes on and off and sometimes off for days when naturally I can't do anything. Certain tasks trigger these problems, to name a few; opening software, trying to write a blog post, trying to watch streams on Twitch so I tried to avoid doing these things. But the problems also occurred with other tasks like watching something on Gom so I could never predict when or if it would happen. Formatting the laptop and installing tons of drivers (old/new) did nothing to help so it looks like some parts need replacing. Thus the laptop will be sent off to Asus technical service as soon as I find the time but it is not a priority at the moment because I am back home where I have my killer gaming rig set up.

The second reason was that I had a great time travelling to Italy. It was about time I finally did something to broaden my horizons a bit and the last time I traveled abroad was back in 2004 when I was only 14 years old so I wouldn't even call it travelling as I slept in my hotel room all day long. My travel to Italy took 8 days and I just got back to Turkey only 3 days ago. I've been knackered the entire time so I am taking the free time I have at the moment to rest and relax. Being a tourist and travelling are things that one can easily get addicted to and I really would like to go somewhere else while I have at least 2 months left on my visa but we will see what the future has in store for me.

Greetings from Piazza Venezia, Roma, Italy.
So, there you go. I wanted to give you these reasons as you might think that I have given up writing. Don't ever think that I am abandoning my blog. The name has "Forsaken" in it but I can assure you that I will never forsake my blog.

I have more game/book/movie reviews coming up. So keep tuning in.