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App of the Week: WoW Armory

Name: WoW Armory
Cost: Free
Description: With this app, you always have your characters with you.  Show other your new item that you just got or view the characters of your friends or guild mates.



This app was released back in November of 2010.  It was in shambles then.  Saved characters wouldn't load, the interface was terrible, and it didn't provide enough information to be worth the hassle.  The recent batch of updates have fixed all of this.

I love MMORPGs and WoW is one of my favorites.  My characters are like my virtual children.  Each and every one of them are very dear to me.  This app gives me the ability to check my characters and show them off to others.  Now, I can view 3D models of their gear and check out the list of full stats.  Plus there's an addition that shows realm status.  Very handy during patch days.

There is a plethora of information to be had.  Stats, rep, talents, professions, item level, achievements...it's all there.

My only complaint is that you still can't view character models.  Sure you can view the gear models, but I want to display my characters in all of their glory.  I would also appreciate a listing of mounts and companions owned. Collectors like me like to show off their collections.

For an unofficial app, this one is fantastic.  Until Blizzard releases an app of their own, this will be the one that sees the most use.  If you're even a casual fan of WoW, this app is a must have.

Achievement Hunter: Borderlands

I've never been big on achievement hunting.  Some of the achievements require an absurd amount of time, dedication, and skill.  Achievements aren't why I play games, but they have a nice pop-up that says I did something cool.

For whatever reason, I've decided that I need all of the achievements in Borderlands.  I have a bulk of them already.  1515 of 1750 gamerscore and 70 of the 80 achievements.  The remaining achievements are daunting.  Some even consider them the hardest to obtain.  They are: The Angelic Ruins, The Gully, Big Tournament, Completionist, Tourist, The Collector, The Lubricator, Bobble-Trap, It's so Realistic, and What a Party!

I've already completed one third of "Big Tournament".  It took nearly three hours.  Completionist requires completing each mission in the General Knoxx expansion.  The other involve collecting rare random drops in the Clap Trap expansion.

It's going to take a lot of work, but this has become a challenge that I must conquer.  Will I focus on another game after I complete Borderlands?  Doubtful.  Though I hear Bullet Witch and Soul Calibur IV calling out to me.

What are you playing?

Congratulations!  You've survived another work week.  Will you survive the zombie apocalypse next Tuesday?  The new Rezurrection trailer for Call of Duty has reignited my passion for zombie killing.  This weekend will consist of some form of zombie slaughter, but which game?

Call of Duty: Black Ops
Left 4 Dead 2
Red Dead Redemption

Who knows?  I might just avoid the whole mess and play Blur or Halo: Reach.

What are you playing this weekend?

Call of Duty: Black Ops Rezurrection



I love zombies.  I love how Treyarch handles zombies.  They perfectly capture the fear and tension of trying to survive a zombie invasion.  I dare say that they handle it better than any other developer.  The only downside to all of this is that you have to pay $15 for one zombie map and four regular multiplayer maps.  Rezurrection turns that on its head.  Coming out August 23, Rezurrection packs five maps in for the price of 1200 Microsoft Points ($15).  The maps include four remastered classics and one new map, Moon.: Nacht der Untoten, Verruckt, Shi No Numa, and Der Riese.  Also included is an enhanced zombies soundtrack and Moon theme.

Borderlands 2 Trailer



While I'm not a fan of the design of this new character, I can't help but get excited.  Follow up to one of the greatest games ever made?  Yes please!

Fall Is in the Air

You can feel it when you wake up.  You can smell it in the air.  There is a chill to the mornings and a fog on the windows.  Fall is coming.

I love fall.  It is, without a doubt, the greatest season.  Summer may have beach season, but it also has unbearable heat and humidity.  Winter has sledding and snow angels, but they come with frostbite and shoveling. Spring comes close, but loses to the awe inspiring colors of the trees and Halloween.

There's a fundamental shift that occurs when autumn arrives.  Out come the warm, comfortable clothes.  Days are spent walking through parks marveling at the natural beauty.  Hot cocoa and pumpkin spiced coffee make their return.  The chill air has a refreshing, invigorating quality to it.

It makes me excited and I eagerly await the turning of the leaves.  Tell me dear readers, what is it that you enjoy most about this season?


Halo: Reach


If there's anything this current generation of gaming has taught me, it's to love shooters.  There's one game in the genre that I've grown to enjoy above all others, Halo: Reach.  Where Halo 3 and ODST left me wanting, Reach has given me nearly everything I've been wanting out of this franchise.  Sadly, this is also developer Bungie's last entry in the Halo series.  But it was one hell of a way to go out.

Reach is a prequel to the trilogy and ODST.  It tells the story of first contact between the Covenant and the doomed planet, Reach.  You play as Noble Six, a new recruit to Noble Team which consists of a single SPARTAN-II and five SPARTAN-III commandos.  It spans the course of a month as Noble Team fights valiantly against overwhelming odds across all corners of Reach and beyond.  As a prequel, Reach firmly lays the cornerstone for this universe.

This is the first entry in the Halo series where I was actively interested in the characters and what was happening.  Not playing as an unstoppable killing machine in a tragic story line was a humbling experience.  Even though I knew what was going to happen to these characters, I found myself getting attached and was saddened by their eventual fates.  Each character was unique and played off their comrades with a realism seldom found in games.  Even the player character, Six, is made to feel like one of the family, as if he/she had been there all along.  From start to finish, the story is captivating and left me wanting more.  I found myself pouring over the smallest details, trying to learn more about these characters and their world.  Very seldom does this happen.  So, congratulations Bungie.  You've converted me.

The visuals and audio of Reach stand head and shoulders above its predecessors.  From the title screens to the most intense skirmishes, every moment is perfectly told through the visuals and sound.  The sweeping sound track compliments the ominous overtone of the game and is deeply moving.  Graphically, Reach is the best looking game of all the Halo entries. Supposedly, there are more polygons in a Reach assault rifle than there was in an entire Marine from Halo 3.  This enhanced attention to detail makes Reach a treat to eyes and is one of the major reasons why I prefer it to other shooters on the market.

Eat your heart out, generic war shooters.
Combat in Reach has also evolved.  Jumping into a skirmish is now a sure fire way to die.  Other players  in multiplayer and the Elites in story mode have shields in addition to health.  Deplete the shield to make the killing shots, but if you place your shots poorly or take too long to drain the shield, you'll be left reloading which gives ample time for the shields to regenerate.  Reach is a game that forces you to play well if you want to succeed.  Spray and pray is not an option in any mode and if you want to climb to the top of the boards, you'll have to be intimately familiar with the art of the head shot.  Though it can be incredibly frustrating at times, especially starting out, reliably dropping enemy after enemy with precision shots is a deeply gratifying feeling.

Weapons have been finely tuned and there's a large enough variety to compliment any play style.  Dual wielding has gone the way of the dinosaur and weapons that once fell into that category pack a bigger punch. The magnum carries over traits from ODST and is a solid back up weapon once again.  In addition to the weapon overhaul, Reach includes new Armor Abilities.  These include jet packs, armor lock, active camo, sprint, drop shields, and evasion.

Multiplayer matches begin with the option to select one of many load outs.  Load outs consist of preset weapon and Armor Ability combinations.  This offers up unique play styles and keeps everyone from being a generic SPARTAN/Elite.  Something else that helps one stand out from the crowd is the incredible selection of armor to customize your character with.  There are thousands of possibilities to be had.  Armor is unlocked by achieving certain ranks in multiplayer and earning credits for doing quite literally anything in the game.  Fortunately, Reach is a blast when playing in any mode, so earning those credits is child's play.

While I've enjoyed past Halo titles, I'd never been enamored with the universe until Reach.  This is a glorious deafening final shot from developer, Bungie.  If you've ever wanted an excuse to venture into the Halo series, I can't think of a better place to start your journey than Reach.

Soul Calibur V Wallpapers

Since the Soul Calibur 4 wallpapers seem to be a hit, I've made up some new ones for Soul Calibur V.  All are in 1920x1080 HD resolution.  As more character art is released, I will add more to this section.  Check back often!