Monthly Archives: November 2015

Rocket Punch Radio Episode 19: RPR Trivia Quiz Night!

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The Pilots celebrate Thanksgiving and Ruth’s return with a fun trivia night. Each pilot picked a topic that was pertinent to their interest and concocted five questions. Who won? You’ll have to listen to find out!
Keep an eye on your feed for next week when RPR Book Club continues with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. James’ short story Dragonfly Shadow is now available in The Dragon Lord’s Library from 18th Wall. Check it out today!

The Giant Robot of Rocket Punch Radio can only be fueled by the ratings and subscriptions of faithful listeners like yourself. Hit us up on iTunes and Tunein and keep the fight going! You can join the official Rocket Punch community on Facebook on the Grown-Ass Geeks group.

Follow these crazy bastards:
Rocket Punch Radio: @RocketpunchRDO
James: @JpatrickAuthor
Samantha: @thekebabylon
Nate: @BladeofCreation
Allayne: @HeyAlliOops
Kurt: @kspaz13

If you want to ask us a question in private you can email us at rocketpunchradio@gmail.com

photo credit: Concurso 1° Trivia LOTR 28 via photopin (license)

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Randomizers, New Saviors of Classic Gaming?

Back in 1987 I got a NES and I really loved the NES but the first game that really captured my attention was the Legend of Zelda. Since we only had a few games my mom would rent games from our local independent strip mall video store. (I don’t remember the name.) The Legend of Zelda was the first game I wanted to rent two times in a row, and my mom said “If you like it that much we’ll just buy it.” Thus starting an multi system obsession.

But we’ve all played the Original and the 2nd quest, so what’s left? There is a version of the original (NES) Legend of Zelda where people have randomized the items locations.  (As well as entirely new quests made this way.) How did no one tell me about this?

I’ve watched a couple videos of people playing this game and I got to say I need more roms of classic games altered. Anything that has item collection and exploration elements. This seems to me like the ultimate mix of nostalgia and surprises. So far I’ve found that there is a Zelda and a Super Metroid Randomizer.

It seems as those these were originally created to breath new life into games for speed runners and completionits, who needed a new challenge, you can actually find races between speed runners trying to finish the game, but not knowing which items you’ll get.

Sorry this is a short post but this is a warning to stay tuned for streaming of these on twitch as I am going to need to play these.

Rocket Punch Radio Book Club: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

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In this, our inaugural episode of Rocket Punch Radio Book Club, Samantha, James and Allayne are joined by our guest Jenelle to discuss Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone! The book is old enough to vote (and drink in the UK) so we are looking back at a series that grew up with us.

Join us in looking too deeply into the text of a book written for eleven year olds, talking smack about wizarding culture, and unpacking the many lies of our beloved mentor Dumbledore!

The Giant Robot of Rocket Punch Radio can only be fueled by the ratings and subscriptions of faithful listeners like yourself. Hit us up on iTunes and Tunein and keep the fight going! You can join the official Rocket Punch community on Facebook on the Grown-Ass Geeks group.

Follow these crazy bastards:
Rocket Punch Radio: @RocketpunchRDO
James: @JpatrickAuthor
Samantha: @thekebabylon
Nate: @BladeofCreation
Allayne: @AhoyAlliOops
Kurt: @kspaz13

If you want to ask us a question in private you can email us at rocketpunchradio@gmail.com

Total Eklipse of My Heart

Eklipse 1Guys, guys – have you heard this band? This group of angles from the very heavens above? They have descended upon our mortal land to grace us with their amazing musical skills in these beautiful instrumental renditions of popular, if not famous songs. Think Lady Gaga meets Yann Tiersen with a dash of unicorn wishes and magic rainbow dust – or something. Anyways – I just happened to get really lucky and caught one of these lovely songs in my Spotify Discover Weekly playlist today, and I was simply blown away – I listened to both of their albums in their entirety and I’m just IN LOVE. They are so amazing, I knew I had to share them with you guys!

To get down to business, the band I was introduced to is a German string quartet called Eklipse. The band was founded in 2011, and it is comprised of 4 very talented young ladies: Helena, who plays the cello; Miss E, who plays first violin, followed by an additional violinist named Scarlett; and finally Viola, who plays, well, a viola. Surprisingly, I actually was not able to find as much information about them as I would usually like – however they do have a website that can be translated with the help of google, and then also a Facebook page. (Because who doesn’t have a Facebook page at this point, right?) If you’re more down for Twitter, you can find them here.

Eklipse 3What I did happen to find is a rather nice interview with Helena from 2013 that was enlightening as far as the early aspirations of the band and their feelings towards music in general. She comes across as super down to earth and you can tell she really loves her band. They seem to work really hard to stay genuine to themselves in the spotlight life, which I think we can all admire.

What I really like about their sound though is that they have such a range of emotions that come though in their music – there’s passion, and sorrow and inspiration. It literally takes my breath. Even with their covers of popular (?) songs – which they have a lot of – they make remake them into something completely new and fresh. Check out these for instance:

Rock the Casbah – I don’t really even like the original and I love this!

Assassin’s Creed – What?! I know, right? I’m not super familiar which the Eklipse 4original aside from what I’ve seen in commercials and YouTube, but I thought you guys might like it.

In The End – I know, I know. Everyone is tried of or kind of hates this song; however, this is probably the best remake of it I have ever heard, so at the very least it’s a testament to their skill, alright?

Clocks – This is just freakin’ beautiful, ok? Give it a go.

Finally, as a treat I pulled one my favorite songs from YouTube for you guys to check out right here if you have a moment; it is also a cover, but the original song is awesome and this remake does not disappoint. The song in question is Titanium from their album Electric Air – which personally I like better than A Night In Strings, but that one is still pretty good too. Also, A Night In Strings has a better cover photo, so it’s got that going for it. I hope you like it as much as I do!

*** Please note all photos are taken from the band’s Facebook page, and credit belongs to Eklipse ***

 

My Week with the Steam Controller

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The box is not blurry in real life

First a little background. I bought the Steam Controller on September 20th. I then had to wait, patiently playing Rocket League (which came free) until my controller arrived last Tuesday (November 10th).

 

One thing I think I can say is this: the worst part about this whole experience has been the waiting. But not to be over shadowed, the second worst part has been learning how to play Rocket League, and then having to relearn it with a new controller after I’m used to playing it with my wired X-box 360 controller. Negative transfer is kicking my ass.

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If you prefer a wired experience it plugs in with a standard Micro-USB.

Ultimately, the question of ‘should I, personally, buy a Steam Controller?’ boils down to two questions:

  1. “Are you really excited about playing mouse and keyboard games on your TV?”
  2. “Are you willing to retrain your muscle memory to learn a new controller?”

If you answered no to either of these questions, you’re probably better off  sticking with what  you’re used to. In fact, I would suggest Rock Candy’s knockoff Xbox 360 controller if you want something cheap and good.  (It’s a bit small side which might not make it ideal for those people with large hands, but that also makes it a great fit for some more compact dudes and lady gamers like my wife who have slighter digits. Plus they come in a couple colors, which my wife tells me is very exciting. You can find them for $20, I’ve ssen them at Target and Gamestop)

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This is the battery case and the extra two triggers.

However, if you answered yes,  here’s the good news: After a week I can tell you yes this controller can play keyboard and mouse games adequately. In the last week I have used it to play Rocket LeagueThey Bleed Pixels, and Torchlight 2. Three very different games resulting in three very different experiences.

The feature to download someone else’s controller setup for Torchlight 2 worked well – the only negative thing I can say about playing Torchlight with the controller is using the haptic feedback for this was as frustrating as using a touch-pad for the first time; I felt clumsy and slow. Once I started getting more mana and powers though I needed to be less precise and I started getting used to the pads a little more.

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Banana for scale.

They Bleed Pixels is almost identical to playing it on a 360 controller. Platformers seem mostly unchanged between my two controllers. The Steam controller maybe feels a little looser, however again this could just be negative transfer I have been playing PC games on a 360 controller since Christmas 2012.

Rocket League reinforced the difference in the two controllers having to relearn hand placement as the Steam Controllers ABXY buttons and joystick are lower and more towards the middle. My muscle memory kept trying to tell me my hands were in the wrong place. But eventually I adjusted.

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For the love of Gaben, Steam.

Biggest and somewhat nitpicky complaint: Seriously Steam can you not hide pieces of the controller in the bottom of the box in a another unmarked dark black box under the main packaging? I might have thrown that away if I hadn’t read the packing list. The other odd issue I had was that the batteries in the handles wiggled free of the housing and caused me to think that my controller had broke within a few days of it’s delivery. Luckily that was not the case, and hopefully this was just a one off type of thing as I could see this being a problem with prolonged game play if it’s a constant issue.

Final thoughts? There is a definite and somewhat frustrating learning curve, but I think you have that with any new controller. This one being so different that others before it, it’s not very surprising that there would be a bit more of a “breaking in” period. In the long run I think it will be a great controller, I don’t think it’s going to set the world on fire.

I wish I could either love or hate this controller, but as it stands it’s a solution to a niche problem, so if your not looking to play all your PC games on a couch and with a controller, you probably don’t need this controller. However if this is a problem you have then this controller will be the solution and an excellent investment.

Rocket Punch Radio Episode 18: Twitches Get Stitches

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This week the pilots discuss techinque for streaming on http://www.twitch.tv from their own experiences as fledgling streamers. Along the way we also touch on how the Extra-Life drive went for 2015, and James first hours in Fallout 4. We would love to hear your own best practices for streaming on Twitch. Leave a comment in our liner notes or hit us up on Twitter or in the Grown-Ass Geeks facebook group to join the conversation. We’ll pick one listener to read his or her comments on the podcast next week.

You can follow our Twitch channel here.

The Giant Robot of Rocket Punch Radio can only be fueled by the ratings and subscriptions of faithful listeners like yourself. Hit us up on iTunes and Tunein and keep the fight going! You can join the official Rocket Punch community on Facebook on the Grown-Ass Geeks group.

Follow these crazy bastards:
Rocket Punch Radio: @RocketpunchRDO
James: @JpatrickAuthor
Samantha: @thekebabylon
Nate: @BladeofCreation
Allayne: @AhoyAlliOops
Kurt: @Kspaz13

If you want to ask us a question in private you can email us at rocketpunchradio@gmail.com

thanks