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This is it, the Apocalypse....Woah

Black Ops 2 players on Xbox Live got the chance to download the final map pack for the game this week.  This pack is called Apocalypse and includes four new multiplayer maps and a new zombie map.  In this post I'll talk about the four new multiplayer maps and talk about Origins, the new zombie map, next week since I haven't played it yet.

This time there were two maps that were remade from previous CoD games, Takeoff and Dig.  Takeoff is a remote missile launch site located in the Pacific Ocean.  The map is a remake of the popular DLC map Stadium from the first installment of Black Ops.  Personally, I am a fan of remade maps because they usually pick the smaller, more popular maps to redo and I love seeing the scene change.  This map is fun because you get to relive Stadium in a completely new setting, just like Studio and Uplink.  It's a map that favors close quarters firefight and it's amazingly fun.


Dig is a remake of the World at War map Courtyard.  This was a popular map on World at War, and seeing it in a new light without all of the greenery is pretty fun.  However, this map gets very campy, very fast.  There are two major choke points and a ton of raised platforms so there are often a lot of head hunters camping it out behind walls.  It gets annoying but if you have a good team then you should be fine.  Just don't forget to check your corners!


Frost takes place in snowy Amsterdam.  There is a frozen canal that you can travel on, as well as two bridges to walk across.  There are multiple buildings that you can enter, but thankfully the buildings you can walk through are all one story, so no hiding upstairs and camping out.  This map can get campy pretty fast, but as long as you call out the sneaky bitches to your teammates you should be able to take them out fairly easily.


Finally we have Pod, an abandoned 1970's residential area.  This is probably my favorite map out of the bunch because it is a fairly small map that is great for close quarters combat and it just looks really cool to me.  I like the deserted and abandoned lack of civilization theme and this completely fits into that category.

I'm hoping to get a lot of gameplay in this weekend since it's a 3 day weekend.  I will definitely be trying out the new zombie map, Origins and hopefully I'll have a review about it up next week.  If you haven't had a chance to play the new maps yet, check out the video below for more information about it.

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Call of Duty: Ghosts Multiplayer Reveal Trailer

A new multiplayer trailer was recently released showing actual gameplay for Call of Duty:  Ghosts.  The trailer reveals some awesome new game modes, weapons, and even soldier customization, including female soldiers.  How fantastic does this game sound?  There will also be a total of seven new game modes being introduced into the Call of Duty series:  Search and Rescue, Grind, Blitz, Cranked, Hunted, Safe Guard, and Squad Mode.  

One of the new game modes shown in this trailer is called Cranked.  If you get a kill, you get "cranked" which grants you faster movement, reloads, and ADS.  You will need to get another kill within 30 seconds or you'll explode.  Sounds messy.  I can't tell from the trailer if this is a FFA mode or a team game.

Another new game mode being introduced in Ghosts is Search and Rescue.  The objective of the game is to recover dog tags to keep your teammates in the action or to send enemies to the bench.  This sounds like it could be a lot of fun but will probably require a lot of team coordination.  Looks like I'll be sticking with my blue guys for this game mode and not risking having any green guys on my team!

In Squad Mode, players will have the ability to build a personal squad, which will allow up to 10 AI controlled soldiers that will either fight with or against your human player.  Gamers can also take their squad and play against other AI squads.  The squads will have the ability to level up and begin with one level of prestige.  Sounds interesting.  

I'm hoping more information regarding the new game modes will be revealed soon.  And I hope that they offer the new game modes in Hardcore game play because I really despise playing Core, and I feel like Hardcore players get pushed to the side in creating some of these game modes.  In addition to the new game modes, it looks like Free For All, Team Deathmatch, Search and Destroy, Domination,  and Kill Confirmed will be returning.  And Infected is back!  Oh happy day!

One of my favorite things that seems to be included in the game is the destruction of physical features during game play.  At one point C4 blows up a chunk of wall while an enemy is hiding behind it on a roof.  This has always been something that has annoyed myself as well as other gamers because boxes, inflatables, and sheetrock should not be bulletproof (and especially explosive proof)!  I like how it even shows a gas station roof crushing an enemy one it is blown up.  It will be interesting to see how much destruction is actually possible on each map.

At the end of the trailer you will notice a chick with a gun.  In Ghosts, players will be able to customize a female avatar, which is the first time Call of Duty has had women as playable characters.  This sounds awesome!  It reminds me of Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 since they offered customizable female characters, which I loved.  I just wonder how many guys will be running around with female avatars as their players in order to be "funny."

Call of Duty: Ghosts will be released on November 5 of this year.  It can't get here soon enough!  For the time being, check out the new multiplayer reveal trailer below.

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I'll Rush and make a Detour to Uplink your face into a Cove!

So the Vengeance map pack on Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 has been out for almost a couple of weeks now so I reckon it's about time I further discussed them.  I've had plenty of chances to play the new maps and I must say, this is the best map pack so far in Black Ops 2 and I am far from disappointed.

Long story short: Rush is awesome, Cove is sweet, Uplink rocks, and Detour sucks.  And zombies are cool.

Now for the long story.

The most highly anticipated map seemed to be Uplink, since Summit was an all time favorite multiplayer map back in the first installment of Black Ops.  I do have to say that I like the changes that were made to the map because let's be honest: no one genuinely likes snow maps.  This go round, the new Summit is rainy, dreary, high tech, and fun.  The layout is identical so when I had the chance to play the map for the first time it brought back a lot of memories.  For those of you that never played Black Ops, this is a smaller map with a large building in the middle of the map.  There are a few smaller buildings surrounding the central one that makes for good navigation routes to flank the enemy.  You can also jump across to the narrow walkways inside the main buildings, which tend to throw people off since they're not heavily utilized spaces.  And if you're really good, you can jump into the gondola and into the tower on the cliff side of the map.  

My favorite map out of the bunch would probably have to be Rush.  This map is set in a paint ball field in Georgia.  There in an indoor arena filled with inflatable barriers (which are somehow magically bulletproof), an outdoor field, and an incomplete plywood building smeared with paint.  It's a great map to call out enemy locations since all of the spaces of the map are pretty distinct, which I love.  It's also a smaller map, so it's great for close quarters SMG firefight.  There are a few corners that you have to keep your eye on because campers flock to them like flies on shit, so beware.  Overall the map is awesome and you can definitely rack up on kills very easily if you know what you're doing.

Cove is probably the smallest map out of the bunch this release.  It takes place on an island which hosts a plane crash.  In the distance you can even see the Hijacked yacht (and on Hijacked you can see the island).  Call out can vary on this map since telling your teammates that a guy is behind a rock or next to a bush is pretty pointless, but there are multiple rafts, a cave, and an airplane that can assist with that.  If you use Swarms as a part of your killstreak rewards, you will enjoy laughing your ass off at the enemy if you can obtain this killstreak reward.  There is nowhere to hide from the multiple hunter killer drones, as well as other aircraft, so if you play it smart, you can steadily increase your kill/death ratio (as well as substantially decrease it depending on your gameplay).  I had the misfortune of joining a game where the enemy had a swarm and it was awful.

Finally there is Detour.  There always seem to be a red headed step child of a map in every DLC release, and this one easily takes that title.  The map isn't completely terrible; there is just so much going on it's really hard to navigate and actually work with your teammates to provide a genuine victory.  The map takes place on a large suspension bridge that has been destroyed.  There are large holes that you can fall through, pipes you can travel along, and a rickety walkway underneath the actual bridge.  Spawns are messy, it's a breeding ground for campers, and the map pisses you off more than anything.  I keep playing it in hopes that my opinion will eventually change once I get used to the map, but at the moment, it's pretty lame.  The only good thing is that when you're underneath the bridge you have red and blue railings to distinguish the two sides so call outs aren't terrible on it.

For the zombie killing machines out there, the Vengeance map pack also included Buried, the latest zombie map.  This map is actually pretty awesome.  It is a deserted western town complete with a saloon, a courthouse, mine shafts, and a general store.  There are multiple workbenches to build items (both new and old), a giant dummy that helps you destroy barriers and baby-sit crawlies, a haunted house filled with scary ghost women that steal your money, and of course a lengthy Easter egg task.  You can also choose where you want some of your "wall" guns to be located with the use of a chalk board.  And the new Ray Gun is pretty sweet.  It's a four round burst weapon which is very helpful in stressful situations.  There is also a new gun available in the box, but I'll let you experience that one on your own.  Once I figure out this Easter egg I plan to create a lengthier post dedicated to Buried so keep your eyes out for it.

What do you guys think of the new maps?  Like I said before, I think this set of maps is a huge improvement from the previous two map packs so I'm in love with them.  For once the maps aren't huge ones that favor snipers and are more accommodating to run and gunners like myself.  They should also be released on PS3 and PC in August.

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Summit, with a Vengeance

I love the fact that when the new maps get released on Call of Duty, there is always a map that is recreated from a previous CoD game.  In the first installment of Black Ops, Hazard was created from a World at War map, Cliffside.  Included in the last batch of DLC there was Studio, an imaginative recreation of the ever popular Black Ops map Firing Range.  Next week we are in for another resurrected treat:  Summit is back!


Summit was one of my favorite maps in the original Black Ops because it was great for close quarters and a fairly small map.  I tend to favor those because of my erratic run and gun style of game play.  I was super excited to play Studio and I am just as excited to be able to play Uplink next week.  This map is rainy and takes place in a crazy jungle filled with a technological facility.  I hope it can do Summit justice!  And I am glad that it will not be another snow map.


Included with the DLC are three other multiplayer maps, Cove, Rush, and Detour.  Cove takes place on an island that also serves as a jet crash site.  Rush takes players into a paintball arena, which looks really fun.  Detour puts players in the middle of a destroyed suspension bridge.  From what I can see the maps look fun and hopefully they will not disappoint.  


For the zombie players there will also be a new map as well as a new gun added into the mix: a second version of the Ray Gun.  I know my husband and I have noticed the nerfing of the original Ray Gun, and perhaps this is why.  The map is called Buried and is themed around the old west.  The original characters from the other Black Ops 2 maps (Tranzit, Die Rise) are back in this crazy looking map.  I am actually excited to play this one.


Check out the trailer below for more information on the upcoming maps.  Vengeance will be available for Xbox 360 players on July 2.

 

 

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Neglected Video Games and Ignored Consoles

Excuse the bad grammar.  much all of the money we have handled throughout the last fiscal year before the end of June.  It's pretty stressful because of the time crunch.  I'm also the new Vice President of the Homeowners Association of the neighborhood I live in, which has also been very time consuming.  My phone is constantly notifying me of multiple emails from the rest of the board members and other homeowners, and we've been having board meetings about every ten days.  My husband and I have been battling the previous board along with other homeowners since  November to remove them and rebuild our neighborhood.  You can read more about our issues at one of my personal blog posts here.  I'm also still in school part time, but during the summer I have class every day rather than taking classes online or at night.  I've also tried to visit my out of town friends, since I don't really get to see them much.  Maintaining long distance friendships also require physical visits, so hopefully I'll get more time than I have had lately to do that.  Needless to say, I've had a lot on my plate and unfortunately, I feel like my console time has decreased.  

How do you guys manage your time with your gaming?  I typically play in the evenings since I work and go to school during the day, but sometimes when I'm at home I feel like I have other stuff to worry about so the gaming gets pushed to the back of the shelf.  I still have to do laundry, clean the house, feed and groom the furbabies, and all kinds of other things.  My husband does help with these things but I'm sort of a control freak so I tend to tackle these things on my own time by myself.  I manage to squeeze in some Rock Band game time in the late evenings before bed, just to have some fun and enjoy great music with great friends.  

I've managed to get in some Call of Duty time throughout the past couple of weeks, but compared to how much I used to play, there is definitely a significant difference in the amount of time spent playing.  I definitely miss it!  I miss my friends, shooting campers, and leveling up my guns.  I finally hit master prestige last week, while a majority of my friends reached it months ago.  I felt like I was never going to get there!


I picked up BioShock Infinite when it first released, but alas, the game is sitting patiently on the shelf awaiting my return.  When I do have the time to play Xbox, I've been wanting to play online with my friends so I haven't played much BioShock, even though the game is fantastic.  Hopefully I will get a few chances to finish up the story before too long.  I feel like such a bad gamer for avoiding it!  Please don't shun me!

Anyway, with my copy of Dead Island: Riptide still at Gamestop and BioShock looking lonely, I hope I get to spend more time with the 360 before it goes into hibernation mode when the Xbox One is released.  (I've decided not to touch that subject with a ten foot pole yet, but you can check out Tim and Daryl's discussion on 2G1C.)  But like I asked before: how do you manage your lives with your digital ones?  I know there are a lot of you that have a lot on your plate with work, school, families, and other circumstances, so please share your compromises :-)

And on that note, I do think I will reserve some time tonight to shoot up some bitches.  It's D-Day....what better way to remember Normandy than to engulf myself in handing out digital bullets?

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In Your Face!

So during the recording of Episode 55 of Randomadness (which should be up within the next day or two), Jesse decided to surprise Tim and me with a little nerd trivia.  For those of you that don't know, Tim and I both applied to be on Season 2 of TBS's King of the Nerds.  We haven't heard anything back yet, but applications are due in June so hopefully we will hear something good soon.  Keep your fingers crossed for us!  Any who, Jesse texted us a few questions about our favorite TV shows, movies, books, and video games.  I thought he was just interested to learn more about me and my awesomeness, but apparently he had ulterior motives.  He formulated his trivia questions around the responses to the questions he had previously asked us (Tim's centered around League of Legends, Rounders, and Star Trek while mine centered around The Hunger Games, Glee, and Super Mario 3).  In the end, I came out victorious (IN YOUR FACE!) and in turn it sparked another trivia battle.  This time, however, it was between Jesse and me and was based strictly on video games.

I've gotten a lot of crap from people throughout the years about my choice in video games.  Yes, I mainly play Call of Duty (and have for the past few years) and don't stray too far from it, but that doesn't mean I haven't played other video games throughout the nearly 25 years of my life that I've been gaming.  I've been glued to the various consoles that I've been lucky to own ever since I was 4.  I've done a lot of reading about various video games, characters, and story lines.  Sure, I hated Final Fantasy but I won the FF question because I paid attention when I played Kingdom Hearts.  I've always claimed to be a gamer but that self proclamation doesn't come from my ability to kick ass in Call of Duty; it comes from the history and love for video games that I've encountered throughout my life.

I guess what I really wanted to say is that I loved the fact that I kicked ass in the random trivia last night in the show, especially during the gaming portion.  I think I proved myself a little bit more to people that questioned my status as a true gamer.  And perhaps I had a some part of lady luck on my side last night...but hey, I brought it last night and it was fun (minus those stupid "Price is Right" bullshit questions).  Tim is working on another round of trivia for the rest of the Randomadness crew (if they decide to show up next week) so keep your fingers crossed that I kick some more ass!

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Black Ops 2 Uprising

Hey everyone!  I know it's been ages since I've updated y'all with anything, but my life has been all kinds of crazy lately.  

I know the maps have been out for about a month now, but that has given me the opportunity to get some decent play time in to let you guys know what I think (because you value my oh-so-interesting opinions, right?).  Let's go!

First off, I want to talk about Studio.  In Black Ops, I LOVED Firing Range.  It was the map that I typically did the best on because it was a great run and gun map.  The call outs were easy, it was a small map, and I knew my way around it like the back of my hand.  It was fantastic!  I was super stoked to learn that they were bringing it back reincarnated as Studio.  I LOVE the visual aspect of Studio.  It's super creative and just plain out fun.  I'm a huge movie goer so having the behind the scenes studio vibe is awesome.  There are sharks, dinosaurs, pirates, a saloon, aliens, and all kinds of fun backgrounds.  I also love the fact that they kept true to the original Firing Range and didn't change the layout (just like they did with the reincarnation of Cliffside from World at War in Black Ops).  They also fixed one of the biggest annoyances in Firing Range.  Remember that little tent with the camouflage covering behind the unfinished plywood building?  If you don't, people used to stand up on a barrel on the inside of tent and camp out in there facing the back path.  The victims using the past couldn't see the guy on the inside of the tent so they would continuously get killed from the douche.  This time, you can't do it.  It's amazing and I love everything about the map.  Seriously.


Next we have Encore.  This will probably have to be my second favorite map out of the bunch.  It takes place in an outdoor amphitheater in London.  The callouts are fairly easy since the locations are very distinct (bathrooms, concessions, stage, restaurant, etc) which makes it great for teamwork.  It can get a little campy, but overall most people tend to run and gun because there are not too many great sniping points in the map.  It's a fun concept for a map, and I have no major issues with it.


Then there's Magma.  This map takes place in a Japanese city that is on the verge of destruction from an erupted volcano.  This map doesn't seem to come up in rotation that often (just for me), but I can gather that it's not a terrible map.  The visual aspect is pretty cool since Call of Duty has yet to see a map filled with lava.  People get a little campy on it since there are a lot of buildings that can be entered and sharp corners to turn.  You definitely need some teamwork to succeed in this map because there are various pathways for the enemy to hunt you down and steal your care packages.  Just be careful with the lava; it's hot and it WILL kill you!


And finally we have Vertigo.  This is definitely my least favorite map out of the four.  I'm starting to learn the best ways of travel but I still can't get myself to actually LIKE the map.  It annoys me.  It's very campy and people tend to want to hold one side or the other rather than running and gunning (which irritates me, but I know a lot of people play with that tactic).  There are a few places that you have to watch your step with because you will plummet to your death right off the skyscraper.  If you decide to travel inside the building, check your corners because there are multiple doors and people tend to watch them like a hawk.  One half of the map is visually pretty, and the other half is the crappy side of the rooftop.  And it also irritates me that you can't actually get onto the helicopter pad.  Boo.


I have only played Mob of the Dead once so I will wait to give my review of that once I get more play time invested.  I know a couple of my friends and my husband really enjoy the map and from what I've played, it's completely different from Die Rise (which is funny because you can kill yourself in Mob and rise from the dead.  HAHA.) and the zombies are actually a lot scarier looking than normal (which is a huge plus!).  Hopefully I'll have that review up soon.

Let me know what you guys think of the new maps!  Do you love them or do you hate them?

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Uprising

Well it looks like those leaked photos on the Internet were true!  Treyarch just released a trailer today for the upcoming map pack, Uprising.  And it looks awesome!

The maps are as follows:

 

  • Vertigo:  A tall skyscraper in India
  • Magma:  A city that is destroyed by an erupted volcano
  • Encore:  An outdoor amphitheatre in London
  • Studio:  A back lot studio in Hollywood

 

There will also be a new zombie map, Mob of the Dead.  This will take place in Alcatraz, the infamous prison located in the San Francisco Bay that is thought to be cursed and haunted.  There are also four celebrity zombie killers:  Michael Madsen, Joe Pantoliano, Chazz Palminteri, and Ray Liotta.  They have all played gangsters in films.

I think what I am most excited about is the fact that Studio is a recreation of the ever popular map Firing Range from the first Black Ops game.  It is one of my all time favorite Call of Duty maps so I can't wait to see how this one compares to the original!  They recreated World at War's Cliffside as a golf course in the first Black Ops, so I have high hopes for this map and its awesomeness.  

Check out the trailer below for more information about Uprising.  It will be released on Xbox Live on Tuesday, April 16.

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Next Black Ops 2 DLC (leak)

It's being rumored through the interwebs that the next DLC drop for Black Ops 2 will be on Tuesday, April 16.  There are a couple of pictures floating around online showing that the next set of maps will be called Uprising.  There will be four new multiplayer maps called Vertigo, Magma, Encore, and Studio along with a new zombie map called Mob of the Dead.  It is also rumored to be a spinoff of the Black Ops zombie map Call of the Dead, which featured George Romero as a massive zombie.

What do you guys think?  Is this real or fake?  I know it's hard to tell what is real and what is a hoax on the internet nowadays, especially considering the fact that Aprill Fool's Day was a few days ago, but if this is legit it looks awesome.  I am questioning the accuracy of this since there was also a Special Operations DLC map in Modern Warfare 3 called Vertigo, so it would be a little strange to have a recycled title of a map.  But one of the leaked pictures looks like it was taken at Best Buy by looking at the price tags in the background.  Treyarch has not yet commented on the leaked photo, but with April 16th right around the corner I'm hoping for a trailer and more information on the upcoming maps.

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I can still remember how that music used to make me smile...

Today marks the final day of weekly Rock Band DLC.  Bummer!  I know Rock Band 3 was released years ago, but there is still a large fan base that surrounds the game's many versions.  With last week's awesome Chevelle songs being released, I had high hopes for the final release but was slightly disappointed for two reasons:

 

  1. I have already played the song many times on Band Hero.
  2. They only released one song.

 

The song is Don McLean's American Pie.  

Check out a video from Harmonix about Rock Band's epic journey through living rooms, gamers, and every day lives.

Since they are concluding the release of weekly DLC, I am optimistic about Harmonix releasing songs sporadically.  Since I am such a Rock Band nerd when I hear new songs on the radio I think about how much fun or how hard a song would be to play on a plastic guitar.  I just hope they still decide to treat the fans to DLC releases every now and then to keep the songs fresh and to maintain interest in the game.

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I'll Take a Vector with a Side of Bacon, Please

Today Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 gamers are able to purchase new Personalization Packs for their weapons.  These packs include a distinctive weapon camo, three unique sight reticles for the ACOG, EOTech, Hybrid, and Reflex optics, and a Calling Card.  Each pack is available on the Xbox Live Marketplace for 160 Microsoft Points.


So after seeing the designs on these camos, I have to admit that I'm a huge fan of the Party Rock camo.  I'm a sucker for animal print and it's purple!  I would have preferred hot pink but I can always make exceptions.  

Along with the Personalization Packs, gamers also have the option to purchase International Flag themed Calling Cards.  These Calling Cards are divided up by region and can be purchased for 80 Microsoft Points.

If you're one of those gamers that have a need for extra Create a Class sets, slots for screenshots, and spaces for films, he's a great solution for you.  You can purchase the Extra Slots Pack for 160 Microsoft Points.

If you didn't purchase an upgraded version of Black Ops 2 upon its release, you can now purchase Nuketown Zombies as a stand alone item.  This costs 400 Microsoft Points.

And finally, we have a freebie!  If you didn't pre-order your copy of Black Ops 2 and didn't get Nuketown 2025, you can now download it for free.  Nuketown was one of the most popular maps on the original version of Black Ops, so it's no surprise that they decided to include a vamped up, futuristic version of the small map.

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Bacon Guns?!

Yes, you read that title correctly.  Apparently there is going to be some DLC will be available tomorrow for Black Ops 2 players to purchase and use in gameplay.  Nuketown 2025 will also be availble for FREE for gamers, which was originally an added bonus to pre-ordering Black Ops 2 before its release back in November.  Maybe they will finally add this map into the Hardcore game rotation!

Personalization packs will also be available to purchase on the Xbox Live marketplace.  These themed packs will contain different weapon camouflage, three targeting reticles, and a custom Calling Card.  Each pack will come as a set for 160 Microsoft points (roughly $2).  This is where the bacon camo comes into play.  I don't think I will be buying, but I would love to see what this crazy gun looks like in the game.

For another 160 Microsoft points, players will also be able to purchase additional slots for creating a class, more media storage for 20 more emblems, 32 more films, and 40 more screenshots.  

Another addition to the available content will be Nuketown Zombies.  Players will be able to purchase this map for 400 Microsoft points if they didn't buy the limited editions of the game upon release.

Finally, there will be a set of international flag themed Calling Cards.  These will be 80 Microsoft points per region.

I'm a fan of DLC, but unless there will be a totally girly set of camo for my guns, I think I will hang onto my points for the time being.  This will also be released to PC and PS3 players at a later date that has not been determined yet.

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Great Leap Forward

So I have finally played the latest zombie map in Black Ops 2.  The latest zombie installment included in the Revolution Map Pack takes place in a Chinese high rise.  It's been blown to hell and infested with zombies.  This is probably the most challenging zombie map I've ever played on because it is so confusing to begin with.  There are multiple levels, different drop down locations (where you have to be especially careful because you can definitely plummet to your death), a series of elevators, and two different buildings.  

This map is really interesting, and can be a lot of fun if you have good teammates working well with you.  You can make a couple of contraptions in order to assist you with your zombie slaying, like the Trample Steam and the Sliquifier.  I personally have only built the Trample Steam, which is really handy for protection and for creating short cuts.  Just be careful not to fling yourself off of the map with the Trample Steam (I found this out the hard way while Rosco laughed at me).

There is also a new round specific enemy that appears, similar to the Hellhounds.  These creatures are called Minions, and they randomly appear within close proximity to where you are currently at on the map.  These things are aggravating, but remind me of a bunch of Gollums since they crawl around and look malnourished.  If you and your group of zombie killers manage to kill all of the Minions without shooting them, you all get a free perk.  Take advantage of those Trample Steams!

A new perk is also introduced in this map to accommodate your zombie killing experience.  Who's Who lets players revive themselves if they get downed.  When you get downed, you become a ghost like character of yourself only armed with your original M1911.  You have to run over to your downed body and revive yourself.  The benefit of this perk is that you get to keep all of your weapons and perks acquired.  This actually worked out well yesterday because Louise and I got downed at the same location (because the glitchy ass game made us miss the ramp when dropping down a couple of levels, killing us in the end), but I was able to revive the both of us, I kept my perks, and I got an achievement along the way.  Awesome!

Speaking of achievements, here is the list of achievements you can obtain in this map: 

  • 75G, High Maintenance:  In Die Rise, be the architect of their instruction.
  • 10G, Vertigoner:  In Die Rise, fling 10 zombies in one game.
  • 30G, Mad Without Power:  In Die Rise, reach round 10 before turning on the power.
  • 35G, Shafted:  In Die Rise, use Pack-a-Punch and all perk machines in one game.
  • 15G, Slippery When Undead:  In Die Rise, kill 5 zombies with a single shot from the Sliquifier.
  • 10G, Facing the Dragon:  In Die Rise, face the dragon head-on before reaching round 2.
  • 10G, I'm My Own Best Friend:  In Die Rise, revive yourself. 

I know there is a lot more to this map than what you have just digested from me, but keep in mind that I've only played this mode a handful of time this past weekend.  I do plan to play it more because I did have a good time playing it, so thank you to my husband for "making" me play zombies with him for his birthday :-)

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Rock Band DLC

There's sad news for those of us that still play Rock Band and download weekly DLC releases from the Rock Band network.  April will be the last month that weekly releases will be available.  Check out the podcast from Harmonix to get more information.

There are still a ton of songs that I have been eyeballing for a while that I have not downloaded yet, so at least I will have them to keep me occupied for a while.  But I will definitely miss the new releases and having the hope that they would add new songs that I've grown to love.

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You Say You Want a Revolution...

Well, you got it!  For those of you that are Black Ops 2 players on the 360, the Revolution map pack made a debut a couple of weeks ago introducing four new multiplayer maps, as well as a new zombie map AND game mode, as well as a new weapon.  I finally got the chance to play the new maps after my return from my conference in Florida, and I'm totally impressed.  After tons of maps were introduced in Modern Warfare 3 (which were ALL good, IMO), I thought it would be hard for the maps released for BO2 to consistently be good.  So far, they have not disappointed.

Hydro

This map takes place in Pakistan on a hydroelectric dam facility.  This symmetrical map is fun, fast paced, and comes complete with life threatening water.  However, the announcement over the intercom warning about the water lasts longer than the flowing water itself.  Don't get trapped in the tunnels because the rushing waves WILL kill you!  I give it 7 out of 10 stars.


Grind

This is my favorite new map out of the bunch.  It encourages great close quarters combat, but also lets you get in some long shots.  There are many different paths to take when traveling around this map, making it easy (and fun) to flank enemies.  This map takes place in a skate park in Venice Beach, CA.  I give it 9 out of 10 stars.


Downhill

This is the first snow covered map in Black Ops 2.  Downhill puts you right inside a ski lodge in the Swiss Alps, complete with moving gondolas.  Just like the water in Hydro, if you get hit by a gondola you will get killed.  This map is fun, but is a breeding ground for campers.  There are a number of dark corners that will easily conceal the most douchey of players, so beware.  Despite the potential for camping, I still enjoy the map.  7 out of 10 stars for me.


Mirage

This map took forever to come up in rotation for me when playing online.  I was excited to play this one but quickly found that it can be very annoying at times to deal with when playing alone.  Mirage takes place at a resort in the Gobi Desert destroyed by a massive sand storm, and is a very visually pleasing map.  This map is good for both run and gunners as well as snipers.  People tend to camp inside the buildings, so beware of lurkers.  Without teamwork and communication you can be easily dominated in this map so I highly suggest playing it with people you can work well with.  I give it 6 out of 10 stars.

 

For the first time on Call of Duty, a new weapon was included in the map pack.  The peacekeeper is an SMG/assault rifle hybrid and it's pretty awesome.  I am a huge fan of the SMG's in this game so I was very excited to have a new toy since I have diamond camo for all of my SMG's.  The only thing I don't like about it is that it feels a little unsteady at times, but that's nothing a grip can't fix.  There are also weapon challenges available for this new gun for extra XP.  


I have not tried out the new zombie map or game mode, but I will definitely post about it once I do.  Hopefully I can squeeze it in ASAP because I heard it was a little difficult, and I also think it is going to be hard to out do Tranzit.  The Revolution maps will also be available to PC and PS3 players on February 28.

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Long Time No Type!

Hey y'all!  I know it's been a good while since you've heard from me so let me apologize in advance for being MIA.  I've had a crazy past couple of months involving the holidays, my neighborhood's homeowner's association, being sick with both the flu and an upper respiratory infection, and other various curve balls that life has thrown at me.  But don't fret...I'm still alive, I'm back, and I'm still gaming.

This week I really don't have one specific thing to talk about.  I've been playing the crap out of some Black Ops 2 (which I am still in love with) and Rock Band 3.  I have a severe addiction to both games so trying to balance out my game time with my other necessities in my life (husband, work, school, cleaning, eating, and now working out) is a challenge, but it's manageable.  So congratulations, this week you're going to get a combobulation of random rants, raves, and whatever the hell I want to talk about :-)  Prepare yourself!

Black Ops 2:  If you haven't been living in the hardcore world of Black Ops, then you may not realize that when the game was first released there was no Hardcore Kill Confirmed available in multiplayer which OUTRAGED me.  That was my favorite (and best) game mode, so I had to resort back to playing Hardcore Team Deathmatch for the time being.  I don't mind TDM, but I am such a big run and gunner so KC was a little more up to speed with my game play.  However, the lovelies decided to bring back HC KC!  I was ecstatic.  My favorite game mode was finally back and I was even more excited to turn on my Xbox.  They've also fixed a major issue with red dog tags from Modern Warfare 3.  In the previous game, if you collected your own (red) dog tag, you got 250 mega points.  Anyone else's red tags would give you 50 points.  This created a lot of boosting in order to get points.  People would set up tactical insertions and have their buddies kill then repeatedly so that when they spawned, they spawned right on top of their own tags, gaining the 250 points every time.  It was totally lame.  Now, in Black Ops 2, EVERY red tag is worth 25 points.  Good fix.

Rock Band 3:  My friends and I finally decided to upgrade our Rock Band 2 game to Rock Band 3, especially since it was only $9.99 on the Xbox Live Marketplace around Christmas.  This, of course, was after I had purchased my used copy at GameStop for $25, but what can you do?  With this game, there is an additional instrument that you can play, the keyboard.  One of my besties bought the keyboard and he says it's pretty difficult to play, especailly when using the "pro" version.  There is also a pro guitar and pro drums option, but they require a specific pro guitar and pro drum cymbal kit to play.  I think I'm perfectly fine playing my crusty old Guitar Hero guitar on expert.  We have been downloading tons of songs from the marketplace to add to our song collection and it's a ton of fun.  If you guys ever want to play some RB3 with me, send me a friend request with a message!  We're always up for playing with new people, especially those with DLC.

Just Dance 3 on Kinect:  This year I've decided to get a little healthier and start a work out regime.  Right now I'm starting out by playing Just Dance 3!  As corny as it sounds, it works my ass out.  Don't get me wrong...I'm not a 300 pound heifer or anything.  I've just gained some weight over the years by eating badly and being lazy and it's time for a change.  I've been playing this game about 3 days a week and I've already lost a few pounds.  It's fun, I get achievements, and I look like a total idiot so I'm sure it's amusing for my husband and neighbors.  

Next week I will be in Florida for a convention for work, but I will try to post something if I have a reliable internet connection down there.  Unfortunately I will be missing the release day of the first set of new maps in Black Ops 2, which I'm totally bummed out about!  I will definitely need to catch up on some game play when I return from my trip.  

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Christmas Came Early!

Well the day has finally come and gone...the arrival of Black Ops 2!  I have been impatiently waiting for the release of this game for months.  I went to the midnight release last week and was heading home with the game in my hands at 12:05am.  I had a few friends doing the same thing, so I was able to enjoy my first night of Black Ops 2 with my favorites. 

I think the game is fantastic.  It is definitely taking some time getting used to the new score streaks, the new weapons, the new maps, and finding the right perk combination but I'm getting there.  Here is a list of all of the perks.  I was disappointed not to see Stalker and Sleight of Hand, but I'm digging Fast Hands and Engineer at the moment.  Engineer is similar to Hacker Pro in Black Ops, which was my favorite.  With the amount of people that have bitched and moaned about the Ghost/Cold Blooded type perks being too overpowered and benefiting campers, Black Ops 2 has them divided up in between four different perks (Ghost, Cold Blooded, Hard Wired, and Blind Eye).  Ghost won't even help you if you decide to park your ass in a corner because it only works if you're moving.  Nicely done.

There are also wildcards that can be used in order to equip and additional perk (such as using two tier 3 perks for example), but you will have to forfeit a weapon attachment, another perk, lethal grenade, etc.  

As for the weapons, I haven't done enough tweaking and testing yet to decide which ones out of the bunch are my favorites.  However, I have fallen in love with the SWAT-556 (3 round burst AR) and the good old reliable MP7 makes a faithful return.  

The biggest disappointment from the game to me is the Hardcore options.  There are only four game modes available for Hardcore players:  Free-For-All, Capture the Flag, Team Deathmatch, and Search and Destroy.  There is no Hardcore Kill Confirmed!  That was my favorite game mode back in Modern Warfare 3 and I'm highly irritated that they did not add it to Black Ops 2.  They have it available to play in Core, but I greatly prefer Hardcore.  I guess I'll just have to make do.  I have been playing a lot of Multi Team (3 v 3 v 3), which offers Hardpoint (King of the Hill type game), TDM, and KC.  I have two teammates that are fantastic and we work really well as a team (Jesse & Dylan!).

Last not but least, Black Ops 2 has brought back their signature game mode:  ZOMBIES!  I have never been big into playing Zombies on any COD game (I have this stupid fear of being chased), but I have decided that I would play Zombies on Black Ops 2 since my husband loves Zombies, and so do most of my favorites.  I do have to say that Tranzit is freaking amazing.  It's so intricate and detailed, despite it being a huge pain in my ass.  With Jesse I have almost all of the achievements done in Zombies, minus the Tower of Babble Easter Egg achievement.  We have gotten so close to finishing it though, and hopefully we will be done with it soon.  

For those of you that haven't tried out Tranzit yet, here's a brief run down:  There is a bus that takes you around the map with five bus stops.  You have the Bus Station, the Diner/Gas Station, the Farm, the Power Station, and the Town.  The stops are all surrounded by a dense fog, so if you miss the bus and don't want to wait for it, you have to run through this crappy fog.  However, there are also these evil monkey type zombie things that like to pop out of the ground and jump on your back.  They also like to scratch the shit out of your face, but all you have to do is knife them a few times and they'll run off.  The only thing that sucks is that if you run into some lava (yes, lava) or a pack of zombies, you can very easily die because the stupid monkey thing inhibits you from using your weapon and eats away at your health.  The zombies follow you from one bus stop to another, so if you plan on jumping out of the bus (or if you get smacked by a tree branch while on top of the bus) be careful!  The zombies can also jump onto the bus and pry off the wooden boards, so don't think you're completely safe from harm once you're traveling.  In each bus stop there are work benches you can utilize in order to create beneficial items, such as a turret and a turbine.  You just have to make sure you find all of the parts and grab them again if you get downed at any time.

There is also a 4 vs 4 mode in Zombies.  The point of the game is to get the other team killed by the zombies before your team goes down.  You can't kill the enemy team, so don't bother trying to.  This mode is pretty fun, especially once you round up a pack of flesh eaters and run them towards the other team.

So what do you guys think about Black Ops 2?  I still need to try out the campaign, so unfortunately I don't have anything to report on about that aspect of the game.  I instantly fell in love with the game, and I don't see myself getting tired of it just yet.  There's a lot to do, and hopefully they will add in a few more game modes (like HC KC!) to keep everyone interested.

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An Ode to Jerry Rigged Rock Band Equipment

This post is first dedicated to Jesse's abused kick pedal on his Rock Band drum set.  This poor contraption have taken it like a champ, but has had some major reconstructive surgery.  Since we've been playing the crap out of Rock Band 2 and Band Hero (not to mention doing the Endless Set List 2), this little guy has taken a beating but is still standing strong.

Here's the initial crack:

And the major damage after trying to play it while it's cracked:

Jesse tried to repair it with cardboard and shoe string:

That didn't work out so he added electrical tape, epoxy, and some wooden kids toys:

Still not a good fix.  Epoxy, electrical tape, and craft sticks.  Ta da!  Looks like we have a winner!

A week later and the kick pedal is still holding on strong.


Once we decided to pick up the musically inclined games, I realized that my guitar was also out of commission.  I apparently left the batteries in the guitar for way too long and it had corroded the battery holder.  Lucky for me I have a handy husband that can fix things for me!  Here's the end result of my guitar:

It works like a champ now!  

Since Jesse has been tearing it up on the drums, it was only a matter of time before one of his drum pads broke.  Here's the crack before the electrical tape and popsicle sticks:

And finally we have the two man band.  We were trying to get achievements with a full band, and since there are only three of us that have Band Hero, Jesse had to tape his microphone to a chair in order to sing and play the drums at the same time.  Hilarious.

We love our Rock Band/Band Hero, but apparently our equipment doesn't love us.  

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24 Hours...Let's Go!

If you have been following me on Facebook and Twitter, you have probably seen my posts about the Extra Life 24 hour video game marathon to benefit Children's Miracle Network hospitals around the country.  Well, today is the big day!  

I have my stuff ready to go.  Games, controllers, caffeine, snacks, and 5 Hour Energy.  I'm going to need it!  


  • I began at 8am this morning, playing some Modern Warfare 3 with Jesse.  That didn't last too long with the amount of frustration from the game, so two hours later we are now playing Rock Band 2, preparing for the Endless Set List! Aleve pill number one has been popped.
  • 11:14 am: beginning the Endless Set List on Rock Band 2 with Jesse and Tim. Playing it on hard because expert will be a complete pain in the ass, especially considering the fact that Visions is the worst song in the game and we were having a hard enough time tackling it on hard. Wish us luck! I'll be checking in on here in about 7 hours.
  • 12:20 pm: Tim's Internet cut out on him so now...we are trying it again.  One hour of play gone :-(
  • 4:25 pm: my Internet hiccuped and kicked me out of the group. Screw you Suddenlink.
  • 5:00 pm: got a phone call that my mother in law was in the hospital for blood clots in her lungs. Had to make an emergency trip to the other side of the state. Brought my Nintendo DS and iPad loaded with games. I'm playing on the entire way up there!

  • 7:26 pm:  received texts from both Tim and Jesse.  They completed the Endless Set List 2 on Rock Band 2 without me :-(
  • 12:20 am: finally left the hospital but we are staying the night up here. Charging my DS battery and about to hit up some iPad games...haven't decided what yet. Right now it's a tie between Diner Dash and Plants vs. Zombies.
  • 3:28 am:  Flo can kiss my ass!  Totally over Diner Dash.
  • 4:04 am:  emotional breakdown.  I want to be at home with my xbox friends and the rest of the group.  I'm tired.  I cried (don't judge me). Worried about Will's mother.  Need sleep.
  • 6:22 am:  apparently I dozed off for an hour.  Crap.  I'm up and running again for the next hour and a half though.
  • 8:00 am:  TIME FOR SLEEP!  I made it :-)

Despite the fact that I had a family emergency to attend to, I stuck it out for the cause and for the kids.  I obviously didn't play while in the hospital, but I will make up that time once I return home Sunday evening.  I'm running on two hours of sleep at the moment, and I know Monday morning is going to come way too soon.

I appreciate how much time and effort PUNI has put into this event, and I want to especially thank everyone that donated to the cause.  It means more to us than you can understand.  Having friends and family there to back you up and support the cause is a wonderful feeling.  Check out our podcast, Randomadness, for everyone's thoughts about the weekend.  Thank you again, and I'll see you next year!

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FREE CoD Elite with Black Ops 2

It was just announced that Call of Duty Elite will be FREE for all players for Black Ops 2.  How sweet is that?  Everyone will have the opportunity to participate in clan operations and challenges, check out their game stats, and connect with other Elite members.  There are also new features, such as tracking your zombie stats.  It looks pretty awesome, minus the fact that map packs will not be included with Elite like it was in with Modern Warfare 3.  You will still be able to access your Black Ops and Modern Warfare 3 information and stats because everything will be on the same Elite site.

Here is a video explaining some of the new features with Elite and Black Ops 2.

Now don't think that with this free Elite membership that you can go back and unlock the map packs for free in Modern Warfare 3 without paying for them.  Any premium content from Modern Warfare 3 will not be available for those that did not pay for the year subscription of Call of Duty Elite.  However, all premium content will still be available for those that have a current premium subscription until their year goes out.  Here is a list of other frequently asked questions.


All players in Black Ops 2 will have the same access to map packs and DLC this year since there is no season of content with Black Ops 2. 

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