Author Archives: Ashton

About Ashton

A passionate gamer, writer, father, and husband.

So, What’s Everyone Playing This Summer?

Over at Kotaku, Leo Wichtowski recently posted a humorous video about the “video game drought” that strikes every summer. With E3 finished and the holiday season both too distant and too imminent for publishers to make strategic launches, the hottest season of the year is notorious for being the coolest in terms of new game releases.

That’s certainly not to say, however, that there isn’t anything of interest hitting store shelves this summer.  Continue reading

Games of E3s Past–Mass Effect (2006)

E3 2013 has come to its end and the gaming world is returning to its day-to-day life. As I do every year, I saw a lot (secondhand, mind you, I’m nowhere near established enough financially or otherwise to actually get into E3) to really excite me about the future of gaming. In my last post, I shared my favorite announcements and trailers to come out of E3, and invited you all to do the same. Today, I started reminiscing about games of E3s past and thought, “Hey, that could make for a fun article series.”

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My (Obligatory) Best of E3 Post

E3 2013 is at its end and, naturally, the gaming community is buzzing like a hive of bees hopped up on caffeine. Being that this year’s expo brought with it the world’s first good look at the next generation of Sony’s and Microsoft’s game consoles, the post-expo excitement seems even more palpable than it has in nearly a decade. More than that, the controversy surrounding Microsoft’s planned DRM policies has stirred even the sleepiest of gamers who are now faced with a future that might feel more radically different from their expectations than they could ever have imagined. Continue reading

Hey, You Got Jack Bauer in my Metal Gear

A couple of days ago, at Konami’s Pre-E3 show, Hideo Kojima and Konami revealed to the world that the next actor to voice Snake in the acclaimed Metal Gear Solid series would be none other than Jack Bauer himself, Kiefer Sutherland. It was an announcement that I had anxiously anticipated since this past March when rumors began flying that David Hayter, the beloved series veteran and voice of Snake since he, well, had a voice, would not be reprising his role in the latest entry in the series, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. It was a hard blow to us hardcore fans of the series, but what hurt worse was hearing that Hayter had not even been asked to return to the franchise.

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A Big Thanks to Lifehacker and Their Community

An interesting thing happened to my gaming PC this year. It started showing its age (I’d be much obliged if you at least feign shock). I began to notice the symptoms the moment I powered up Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm for the first time. My frame rate was consistently plummeting to around 20 frames per second. I was flabbergasted. Why would this be happening, I thought, when Wings of Liberty ran (with the same graphics settings, mind you) at around 60FPS or better?

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Four in February–Success!

Have you all heard about Four in February? According to the official Facebook page, it’s “an initiative that encourages you to beat four video games in February.” The group was started in order to encourage gamers to bunker down over the last month of winter and make a dent in their gaming backlogs. You know, those games we all own and intend to beat, even the ones that are potentially years old at this point. *cough* Final Fantasy XII *cough* Odin Sphere *cough*

It’s a really neat idea, one that I originally read about on Kotaku a few weeks back. I meant to tell my readers about it then, but, you know, disappeared for several weeks as is my way. Since that time, however, I’ve joined the FB group and selected four games from my backlog to work on: Continue reading

Blog Hacked!

So I attempted to log into my blog this morning and found that my username had been mysteriously changed to “” To the Google I went and learned that this is a problem that’s popped up with a few other WordPress users. I’m not entirely sure how they gained access to my username, but I haven’t noticed anything strange about the site since. I’m planning, however, to backup my content and setup shop on a clean WordPress install. As a result, you will notice a sudden change in the appearance of my site.

PS–Thanks a lot, “” You’re a real stand-up group.

Update: Okay, I’ve got the site back up and running and removed my old theme as I think it may have had a hand in the breach. For now, I’m using the default WP theme. That should change in the near future.

Becoming the Married-Gamer-Father

So, faithful readers, you probably have noticed that it’s been a long while since I last made a post–roughly 53 days, if I’m not mistaken–and perhaps you were wondering whether or not I had dropped dead in my favorite gaming chair, my face buried somewhere between the A and D keys of my mechanical keyboard. Well, wonder no more! My (most recent) hiatus was caused by nothing so macabre as all that. Quite the contrary, something wonderful has happened. On November 28th, my wife gave birth to our first baby, a daughter whom we have named Milleigh (pronounced “mill-lee”) in honor of both her mother and her mother’s mother.

Between gaming, diapers, and finals, it turned out that my time was spread paper-thin and I was presented with the interesting dilemma over Christmas break of whether to invest my time in playing games or writing about them. Continue reading

Square Enix Music Back on iTunes

About a year ago, I was browsing through the iTunes library looking for some awesome and nostalgic video game music to get me through the year. I eventually made my way to Square Enix’s collection deciding that, after making my way for the umpteenth time through the OSTs for both Final Fantasy VII and FFVIII plus their spin-off collections (i.e. piano collections, etc.), it was high time I pick up the OST to FFIX. I found it easily enough, but alas, the full album was outside of my budget. I couldn’t bring myself to pick the watered-down American version of the album, I wanted the full Japanese collection.

I resolved to hold off on the music until I had some more iTunes credit. At the time, I was winning iTunes gift cards with some regularity through various competitions at work so I figured it would not be too long a wait. My patience paid off because Continue reading