The second month of the year has gone by, and as such the second report of the 12 months long ultimate Playstation Battle between myself and Andy. It is firing up to become a serious race and the pendulum can swing any direction still, since the gap isn`t that huge at all after two months of insane gaming on both sides.
Below is the current standing, with after each number the points or
extra trophies gained by both contestants in the race to ultimate
bragging rights and free food...
This means Andy starts the year with a lead of 8670 points, currently the gap is 6675 (WIN TOMSCHE)
Compared to last month, the gap has been currently reduced by 1230 points in advantage to Yokai_Tomsche, meaning at current the challenge is still being won by yours truly.
It has been a good month for me in this challenge, as I managed to beat Andy over the whole line. Only a single game was beaten between the both of us, and as such was the only platinum as well that we managed to score, being The Walking Dead `experience` I tried on advise by Andy. he had beaten it and said it was a good thing to try out, so I did... and had my partner sitting at the tip of the couch in tension as well to see how my choices would affect the story.
Still beugh though I couldn`t save Carly...
The only trophy `class` Andy outscored me on this month was the Silver series, so that`ll mean he`ll soon be raking in some golds as I grabbed a few this months due to my silvers last month. Game progression logic as you build up the points and then to strike big time as a game nears the end and gold trophies become easy pickings after all.
Well, now that March is at the door, it`s time for me to focus on playing some of my longer J-RPG and Mecha games I think as a goal, to `build up` a fresh supply of potential high scores and work towards a fresh platinum, as it is going to prove very hard to keep the rate up of at least scoring one each month. Not to say near impossible...
To end, let me hand out the worldwide and local country standings for us both, currently listing 1.236.645 registred players on Your Gamer Cards and as I said last month, we both should be able to drop in the top 100.000 / top 1.000 respectively.
Andy currently ranks worldwide on spot 98.528 and is number 1.365 in Belgium, with me trailing far behind in relative spots 134.467 worldwide and 1.797 national.
Until the next month, and gentlemen... Fire up your DualShock`s.
And so I reached my 6th Platinum trophy on the PSN. After Andy telling me how good the game was, I gave it a try and I must say I enjoyed the 5 episodes the game consists off.
Now mind you, game is perhaps a big word, it's more of an interactive storyline experience, as all trophies are unmissable as you progress through the tale.
I won't reveal to much though, as the plot is an integral part of the storyline, but it is a great story (especcially if you enjoyed the TV series), the rough art makes it rather unique, and the ending is just... WOW.
The first one to kick off this new series, is the 1995 Jordan Peugeot, driven by the Northern Irish Eddie Irvine.
The Jordan 195 was a Formula One car for the 1995 season. The number 14 seat was taken by Rubens Barrichello and the number 15 seat was taken by Eddie Irvine. The team never employed a test driver. The engine was a Peugeot A10 3.0 V10. The teams main sponsor was Total.
The car featured a distinctive low nose and highly sculpted sidepods,
lending it a very smooth appearance despite the mixed-up colour scheme.
It was inconsistently competitive and suffered numerous reliability
problems. However it achieved Jordan's then best-ever result with a 2-3
finish (Barrichello ahead) at the Canadian GP.
During that season, the scored 21 points, resulting in a 6th place for the Constructor`s title in 1995 (out of 13 teams). It was designed by Gary Anderson (whom these days is the 'technical pits commentator during BBC GP broadcasts) and Tim Holloway.
Rubens Barrichello scored 11 points, and Eddie Irvine 10, making them a reliable and equal set of drivers for the team.
One of the odd side hobbies I have, is collecting Minichamps Formula
One scale models, preferably in 1/64 but as this is a rather limited
range, mostly in 1/43th scale. I have been a follower of Formula One
for over two decades now, and I don`t think I missed more then 10 Grand
Prix on the television since 1991.
On and off on this
blog, I`m going to throw in a post with a particular scale model in my
collection, and some data and images of the `real deal`. And I`m going
to try and give it a shot in a regular column when a GP takes place with
a sort of view from the sidelines, a completely subjective vision of a
On the 1st of May 1994, God died in the Tamburello corner. On that day, during the Grand Prix of San Marino on the italian circuit of Imola, Ayrton Senna da Silva, at the steering wheel of his Williams, had a technical malfunction on his car. A piece of the steering column ploughed through his helmet, causing a fatal head injury, and minutes later one of the best Formula One drivers of history became the until today last fatality in the sport.
Yesterday, I finally found the (dutch edition) of the Michel Vaillant dossier about my youth idol. The book, a hardcover, details the life and career of Ayrton, and is spiced up by drawn pages in the particular style of the Michel Vaillant strip books.
It`s not a `heavy reading` book, but if your a Senna fan, it is definitly worth a book having as it has some unpublished pictures in it, gives an insight in his early day careers, and the drawings are just gorgeous.
One of the drawn pages for example detail what is to day still considered to be the best opening lap ever in Formula One.
During an apocalyptic rainstorm in the 1993 Grand Prix of Europa at Donnington Parc, UK, Senna, having missed his start from 4th, went of the line in 5th position behind a then still young talent, a certain Michael Schumacher, in his Benetton, the Sauber of Karl Wendlinger and the Williams`s of Damon Hill and championship leader and polesitter Alain Prost.
By the end of lap 1... Senna was in the lead!
What makes this all the more remarkable is the fact that the McLaren was perhaps the best one he had ever had his hands on during the 6 year stint at the racing stable, but was horribly underpowered as it had the client version of the Ford V8 as an engine, compared to the much stronger Renault V10 engines in the Williams`es or even the fabric version Ford V8 in the Benetton car.
Archeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the US government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis.
The first Indiana Jones movie, from 1981 and produced by Steven Spielberg, starring Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones and Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood.
I found this great, now out of production and going for lots of money on eBay and the likes, Lego set over at Bricklink, a marketplace only for Lego and well worth to take a look at if you are, like me, a lover of LEGO.
I bought it from a dutch trader (together with the The Burrows set, which was still brand new and sealed) for the amazing price of... 35 euros rounded up. That is 35 for the Indy temple btw, the Burrows was like 100 euros which still is about half of current eBay prices. The set was complete, with instructions, and only lacked the box (whom I don't keep anyways when I build stuff).
It has some nice 'play' features, as the two statues can tumble to the side, knocking out the back walls, and the tablet above the arc can fall open dropping all kinds of snakes onto the platform.
A great set, and I have a concensus here at home that it looks great displayed on the nerd corner...
Of course, I didn't go to London alone for the Magic GP, but we did some excursions as well. Madame Tussauds for one, a shopping expedition to the Westfield centre, and such things. Of course, what geek wouldn't respect himself without comming back with some loot. So here is all the glory and some selected travel pictures with the odd comments, the full 'travel experience' is on my GFs Facebook.
I finally got by Tokyo Toys, a store I've been mail ordering from for years now (like my infamous Pikachu hat) and located near Piccadily Circus, I was amazed by how space efficient they made the place. The store is actually quit small, but the selection is gigantic. I found myself here two Saint Seiya gold saint chibis (Leo Aiolia and Pisces Aphrodite) as well as a model kit of the Gundam HeavyArms in chibi style. Top it off with a Pikachu 'I love TokyoToys button' and that was the thursday evening loot.
The friday loot was modest: the pre-registration Magic playmat for the Grand Prix.
On saturday, I went to play the GP but did some shopping there as well. I bought a cardholder box in anime style to go with my Queen's Blade sleeves, and got a piece of signed Hellrider art from Svelibov. This forced me to also buy a cardbook at the local traders to put the art in between or it wouldn't survive the day. I also brought foil cards with me to have them signed, one per artist, as I'm not wanting to make a profit on those like you saw some people with multiple playsets queing. So I now have a signed prerelease Return to Ravnica Troll and a signed Return to Ravnica Plains from Richard Wright.
Sunday was the high day, as we went to the Westfield shopping centre and it's Lego brandstore. First we stopped by the Disney store though, and I got me a Hulk cap there. Funnily, the cap is for ages 3 - 6 years, but it is actually to large for me and I had to shorten in the straps. Their target audience seem to be very fat-headed kids...
In the Lego store, I found what I came for, namely the Big Ben from the architecture series of Lego, a great memoribilia for a great citytrip for me. The kit is greatly detailed and an exquisite build, sizing up 20 by 10 centimetres, and now proudly standing on my desk.
They also had my wet dream, the ultimate scale R2-D2, but luckily I didn't take it along as it wouldn't have fitted in the suitcase. Munchkin's gifts and GF's shopping already had it filled up, and taking sure that it will be labelled as 'Heavy Bag' by the airline when we returned on monday...
I also met some famous people
but when I tried to tongue Ms Marvel, a big green guy got really upset. And it wasn't Dr Banner...
It was a great trip and nice loot, what more does a geek want...
And so it came to pass that I participated in my first ever Grand Prix of Magic The Gathering. Travelling for a 5 day citytrip to London, the goals where simple, try to win at least one single match up.
It was at the (for me) well known venue of the Excel in the Docklands, and on pre-registration day, I was amazed (and by hearing left and right, so where many others that played more GPs) by the amount of people queing already. This was seemingly going to become a very big tournament.
This was confirmed at the start by the (barely understandable) spanish headjudge, as no less then 1970 players had registred for the main event alone.
I also was one of the 'lucky few' to score a Games Day mat, as they opened the last box right at the moment when it was my turn to register, my tournament had been a success now already.
On the day of the tournament, I knew I couldn't go the whole nine yards anyway, as my mate and I had our girlfriends on a shopping trip, so the time limit would be around 1800 for us.
I put together a pool of Orzhov like cards, with not really 'big bombs' in the rares, but did get a value pool as it contained no less then 3 dual lands (Godless Shrine, Breeding Pool and Stomping Grounds). I played the Shrine and an Alms Beast, together with a small red splash to play Assemble the Legion. Good card in sealed, but it needs time to become very effective.
My first round was against Samo Muhic, a very aimable frenchman and we talked more about what to see's in London and planned buys for our respective little munchkins then actually play the game. The main reason for this was that it barely lasted 15 mins with me color and mana screwing respectively. 0-1 in the red.
After that, I went up against a 16 or something local kid, George Butler. Now, if he was my son, he would be standing a lot in corners. This was like my only none enjoyable match of the day, as he was really showing attitude when he won round 1 by me once more mana screwing. Unfortunatly for him, then my deck started rolling and he went down 2-1, including an Assemble the Legion that ticked up to 23 tokens because I refused to attack and leaving him on 20 life or so (he played a sort of evolve / lifegain deck, but not with extort) before knocking him down in one go. I was at 1-1 then and objective achieved.
My third opponent was another local, Kieran Persaud, and he beat me 2-1 fair and square. I screwed it up here. Two times he top-decked me, but in the final round I forgot to sacrifice my blocker wheenies to my Undercity Spy and mill him through his deck, which was not much anymore in the late game.
Up next another united kingdom'mer; Kevin Blake, who hadn't had the best of days either. He also dropped after our match, another 2-1 this time for me. First round I got mana screwed, second round he got color screwed, but in the third round, with him playing Simic, teh combination Alms Beast / Shadow Alley Denizen / whatever black critter I had was deadly, as he couldn't block my 6/6 Intimidater and went down in the end.
At that moment, I was still mathematically in the running for day 2 at a 2-2 ratio, better then I hoped, so went on to game 5. I faced a Dimir deck played by James Russell, and only managed to out Extort his milling in the first of three rounds. A 2-1 defeat later and I was mathematicaly out of the running.
Since my mate also had been knocked out already after 1-3, we decided to play one more round before dropping, as the rendez-vous seemingly was planned at 1900 up and about.
The final round I lost by playmistakes like over enthousiastically already tapping attackers before waiting what the Angelic Skirmisher would do, but the game against Swede Albin Jacobsson was great fun to leave the tournament with a nice feeling. And I played on the coolest table of all:
In the end I scored 112 Planeswalker points, being 64 participation points (the maximum at a GP is 72) and two wins that netted 24 points each, catapulting me in the all-time Belgium ranking to currently spot 1448 out of 13361 registerd players, but more importantly I have secured the needed points to be allowed to participate in the World Magic Cup Qualifiers.
I did buy some memorabilia, but those I'll show off in a post later this week with some more stuffsies I bought over the weekend. Hulk Smash!!!
I opened my Gatcrash booster box just now, and by the Lord, it's a gigantic value box. The downside is, I only have 2!!!! cards for the retuning of my Type 2 deck, namely a second Boros Charm and a Stomping ground, needed to flashback the Ray of Revelations I've put in my sideboard.
But then the good stuff, there are a trainload of good value cards in it, so it won't be to much of an issue to trade in the needed cards, and I got some solid (expensive) ones for the Orzhov deck I'm building.
FOIL Prime Speaker Zegana
2x Gideon, Champion of Justice
Obzedat, Ghost Council
Lord of the Void
Lazav, Dimir Mastermind