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  • My 100 (Plus a Few Bonus) Favorite Albums of All Time

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                                                           (They're excited.)

            Music. It’s something that has been a huge part of my life. From listening to CD’s in the car with my parents, to my first iPod, to my experience working at the radio station on my college campus this year, I absolutely love listening to music, talking about music, and writing about music. When a new album comes out, I’ll post a quick twitter review about it, and if something stands out, I’ll post more about it. 2-3 times a year here on Game Informer, I’ll write up a longer music blog talking about a topic in depth. I like it because it provides a little variety, and it provides an outlet for me to write about a topic that I really enjoy. When I write about music though, one thing bugs me. Sometimes I’ll have an album that I think is fantastic, but I won’t know exactly where it stands in relation to other albums. So for this blog post, I’ll be ranking my 100 favorite albums of all time, and will give them a score out of 10. For the most part, the rankings will be equivalent with my score, but there may be a few anomalies. An album might only be a 7/10 from me, but I’ll get a ton of enjoyment out of it. For the most part though, these albums will all be highly rated, and the list should be cohesive. One caveat, is that there are a lot of very popular albums that will not make it on this list. I’m just going to warn you right now. There are a ton of albums that I think are head and shoulders above some of the albums on this list in terms of pure musical skill and importance, but this is to mainly spotlight excellent albums that have really impacted me personally and that I’ve listened to repeatedly. At some point down the road soon, I’ll also rank my favorite video games too. With that being said, let’s begin! 

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    (They're excited.) Music. It’s something that has been a huge part of my life. From listening to CD’s in the car with my parents, to my first iPod, to my experience working at the radio station on my college campus this year, I absolutely... More
  • Community Writing Challenge Response: Mario and Sonic at the (Underrated) Olympic Games

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           Hello everyone and welcome to today’s blog! The blog is coming a day earlier than usual because I am going to be spending most of this weekend studying for my upcoming college midterms next week, and because tomorrow afternoon I’m headed to the beach with some friends! For today’s blog, I’m going to be participating in the community response prompt, which asks for a game which deserves a second chance. I’m actually in the midst of writing an entire series about games that you might have missed due to their underrated status, so this works nicely! For my entry, I’ll be talking about the Wii version of the game “Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games.” I own the Wii version, but never got to play much of the DS version, so I will be covering the Wii version in this blog. In addition, unlike the underrated game series, which will have a section about how I would improve the game, this blog will cover the game in its entirety, and instead of talking about how I would make it better, I’m going to talk about how the game is already great. 

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    Hello everyone and welcome to today’s blog! The blog is coming a day earlier than usual because I am going to be spending most of this weekend studying for my upcoming college midterms next week, and because tomorrow afternoon I’m headed to... More
  • Ranking the Mario Party Series

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           Hello everyone, and welcome to today’s blog. For today, I’ll be ranking the Mario Party series from my personal least favorite to my favorite. The Mario Party series is a guilty pleasure of mine, and it’s a series that I always enjoy playing, sometimes to the chagrin of my friends. The way that the blog will work is that I’ll state the game, its place in the ranking, its metacritic score, my personal score, and then a short explanation of what I think of the game. I’m also not including the Gameboy advance or 3DS game because I haven’t been able to play those that much. With that being said, let’s get started!

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    Hello everyone, and welcome to today’s blog. For today, I’ll be ranking the Mario Party series from my personal least favorite to my favorite. The Mario Party series is a guilty pleasure of mine, and it’s a series that I always enjoy... More
  • Waluigi Made Me An April Fool

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           Hello everyone, and welcome to today’s blog. For today, I’m going to tell you all a story. Does this story have some profound meaning? No. Does it have a moral that you can take home and tell your family about? No. Is it mildly hilarious and have a lot of Waluigi in it? Yes. And really, what else do you need in a story? With that being said, let’s begin!

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    Hello everyone, and welcome to today’s blog. For today, I’m going to tell you all a story. Does this story have some profound meaning? No. Does it have a moral that you can take home and tell your family about? No. Is it mildly hilarious and... More
  • 2015 Introduction Blog

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           Hello everyone! I honestly can’t believe that it has been three months since I’ve last posted on here, and honestly, I’m a bit embarrassed to say that that’s been the case. However, throughout this break, I’ve always had the intention of returning to Game Informer to continue blogging and participating in the community, and I think I’m at a place in my life right now where I can do that again, and especially be able to write more frequently here. 

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    Hello everyone! I honestly can’t believe that it has been three months since I’ve last posted on here, and honestly, I’m a bit embarrassed to say that that’s been the case. However, throughout this break, I’ve always had... More
  • SMR's 2014 Year in Music Recap!

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       Hello everyone, and welcome to my 2014 year in music review blog. For those of you who have read some of my blogs on here before, you probably know that twice a year, I’ll post a music blog chronicling the year in music. I love music, and especially being able to share it with people. Now, the format for this blog is as follows: I’ll start off with the 20 songs that caught my attention this year. That is, 20 songs that I had on repeat, regardless of artist or genre. That will then be followed up by the main feature; 10 albums and 10 songs that I especially enjoyed that were released this year. I have to have heard the entire album for me to feature it though, which discredits some really good music that I’ve only partially heard (sorry Del the Funky Homosapien.) In addition, a lot of the music I listen to falls under the genres of alternative rock and hip-hop. If that’s what kind of music you like, than this should be right up your alley.  After that, I’ll feature my disappointments of the year musically, and then will finish off with albums of 2015 that I’m looking forward too. One final note, I used to score albums on a scale of 1-10 with 7 being average but I’ve now switched to 1-10 with 5 being average. With all that being said, let’s begin! 

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    Hello everyone, and welcome to my 2014 year in music review blog. For those of you who have read some of my blogs on here before, you probably know that twice a year, I’ll post a music blog chronicling the year in music. I love music, and especially... More
  • Video Game Women and Wikipedia

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             Hello everyone! It’s been about two months since I’ve lasted posted a blog here, and it’s felt like it’s been even longer than that. I’m all moved into college now, and while things have been very busy, I’m enjoying it very much. I’m still trying to figure out my schedule so I can post regularly, but for today, I have a blog to present that I’ve been working on all summer. This blog is about the differences in how the “reception” sections in Wikipedia are written for male video game characters, and female videogame characters. 

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    Hello everyone! It’s been about two months since I’ve lasted posted a blog here, and it’s felt like it’s been even longer than that. I’m all moved into college now, and while things have been very busy, I’m enjoying... More
  • A Novice's Guide to League of Legends

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           League of Legends. Oh man, what can I say about this game? I’ve spent countless hours playing it, and it’s probably one of the most mis-understood games of this generation. Now, the chances are that you’ve heard about this game, but what if you want to get started? What do you do know? Well, the aim of this blog post is to help teach you about the basics of the game, and to teach you how to get started with this immersive game. It’s also most likely the first of many blog posts about this game, as it has many various aspects that you could write about. Heck, I could even do a 31/31 about the game, but for now, let’s just start at the beginning.


           So you have an interest in playing, and you went and downloaded the game. So what now? Well, the very first thing you have to do is make a user name and a password. Now the password part is self-explanatory, but the user name is only used for log-in, which is confusing, since right after logging in for the first time, they ask you to make a summoner name. The loading screen will also change every few months, with new events and characters being released. Now the summoner name is what you’ll see in game, and it’s what other players will see as well. Now, be mature about the decision, since inappropriate names can be reported by other players, and lead to a ban from the game, via the Tribunal. In addition, in order to change your name, it takes a lot of IP or RP to do so.

           Now what is the Tribunal, IP, and RP? Well, I’m glad you asked. The Tribunal is a place where fellow players decide on what punishment players should get after they get reported multiple times. It’s by no means a perfect system, but it helps keep extremely toxic players out of the League community, and it’s an impressive feat that the League community is proud of, even if their is always work to be done on the community.

           IP and RP, along with LP and XP are the four forms of points that exist within the game. IP is a free currency, and it is your main source of “income” within the game. It’s entirely possible to unlock all of the characters with IP, and it is a way to play the game completely free. One of my biggest complaints about IP though is that the rate of which you unlock things is a snail’s pace, but it’s not too bad, especially as you get the hang of the game at first. RP is points that you pay money for. Now the game isn’t cheap, but if you’re smart, you can keep costs at a minimum. Sales occur constantly, and what I do personally, is take $10 or $20 each month, and buy stuff when it goes on sale. Now, I play a LOT of League of Legends, so I only recommend this if you plan on investing a lot into the game, but it’s just a way to showcase that the game has a lot of things to unlock, and you can get it while not paying too much. XP is experience points, something familiar to most gamers, and levels up to level 30 at maximum experience. LP, the last of the four types of points in the games, only occurs once you start playing ranked games (which I’ll cover in a later blog most likely), and is your way of seeing how good of a player you are in a competitive format when compared to others.


           So you are starting to get the hang of the lingo of the game, but you want to actually play the game. Now what? Well, after making your summoner name, you choose your summoner icon as well. Riot (the company that owns League) gives you a handful of choices at first, and these are perfectly fine. My first summoner icon was a sword with wings, as I thought that it was pretty cool. Other summoner icons can be obtained by either playing specific characters (Spirit Guard Udyr), playing specific game modes (Doom Bots, URF, etc…), or by spending RP. The only time I recommend doing that for a summoner icon is at the end/beginning of each year, when you can spend 250 RP (About $2.00) for an icon of your favorite professional League of Legends team. On my main account (Jameloon3), I have the Cloud 9 logo as my summoner icon, as they are my favorite League of Legends team. other popular teams include TSM (Team Solo Mid), Alliance, Counter-Logic Gaming, Taipei Assassins, OMG Gaming, and the Samsung Galaxy teams.


    When you get started you’ll notice that there are 4 options. PvP, Co-op vs. AI, Custom, and Tutorials. PvP is player vs. player, and I only recommend it after playing some games against computer players first. The game can be daunting, and it’s important that you know what you are doing when playing.

    So what would I recommend? Well, make sure to unlock all of the 450 IP characters first. They all have simple skillsets that help teach you the various roles of the game, and the game is balanced enough that you can win with any of the characters in the game. Some characters are stronger than others, but they get changed in strength slightly every few patches in the name of competitive balance. It takes about 30 games or so to unlock all of those characters, and they help teach you the various roles of the game.

    Now I know that this blog is getting a bit long, but I commend you for sticking with me so far. The last two things I’ll cover for this blog post is the various roles of the game, and and all of the beginning characters. Now when you are in game in Summoner’s Rift (The home of most 5v5 matches), you’ll notice that people might be calling roles. There are typically 5 roles in a 5v5 match. They are Top (usually a tanky character like Garen, or a fighter like Jax), Middle a.k.a Mid or A.P.C (Ability Power Carry); (usually a mage like Kayle, Annie, Ryze or an Assassin like Zed), ADC or Attack Damage Carry that goes bottom lane (always a marksman like Sivir or Ashe), Support that goes bottom lane (has to have a lot of utility, such as Soraka or Kayle or Annie), and a Jungler who farms up using the jungle (usually an assassin or a tank, Master Yi, and Warwick are two very popular junglers). I don’t recommend jungling though until about level 10 or so, because it takes practice and some stats that you get after levelling up in the form of masteries and runes.

    Now that you have an account, and you’ve gotten the hang of the lanes, what characters should you choose? Well, there’s over 125 characters in League of Legends, all with their own unique play-style, and you can win with any of the characters, but some suit playstyles better than others. So the last segment of this post is to help explain some of the strengths and weaknesses of the beginning characters.

    There are 8 beginning characters, and they cost 450 IP. Every other character costs either 1350 IP, 3150 IP, 4800 IP, or 6300 IP. A higher IP cost doesn’t mean a better character, but a more unique and new play-style and character. Every week, there is a rotation of 10 free-to-play characters, which is an amazing way to experience every character for free.

    450 IP Champ #1: Garen:
    -Garen is recommended for the top lane of Summoner’s Rift. He’s a manaless champion, which means that his abilities will most likely have a higher cooldown (time to be available between casts). He’s very tanky, which means that he takes hits well, and should be at the front of any fight. He’s one of the most simplistic characters in the game and right now, I would rate him a 5 out of 10.

    450 IP Champ #2: Ashe:
    -Ashe is a marksman who is better served as an ADC in the bottom lane of Summoner’s Rift. She uses mana, so be sure to be careful. Even though she has abilities, make sure to get attack damage on her, as she can attack a lot, and does a lot of damage with repeated arrows at the target. Her ultimate ability stuns foes for a few seconds, and is a great and fun ability. Right now, she’s about a 6 out of 10.
                                   
     450 IP Champ #3: Annie:
    -Annie is a mage who could be either a mid laner or a support. She uses a lot of abilities, and every few abilities, she can stun her target, which is a lot of help in fights. Her ultimate ability summons a giant animated version of her teddy bear Tibbers, and he is terrifying. He does a lot of damage, and is a lot of fun to use. Right now, she’s about a 7.5 out of 10.

    450 IP Champ #4: Ryze:
    -Ryze is a mage who is played either top or mid, and does a crazy amount of damage with is spells. One of his most famous spells roots you in place for a few seconds, and the rest of his abilities pile up damage. Build ability power (AP) and this mage like you would with Annie, and have fun with him. He’s about an 8 out of 10 right now, and a lot of pros play Ryze at the moment.
     
    450 IP Champ #5: Kayle:
    -Kayle is my favorite champ in the game, and she does so much. She can do any single role in the game, even though she’s most popular and useful mid. She scales off of both AP and AD and she can heal, do damage, and her ultimate ability makes you are one of your teammates invulnerable for a few moments. She used to be about a 9 out of 10, but now she’s about a 7.5 out of 10. Still a very fun champion.

    450 IP Champ #6: Warwick:
    -Warwick is a jungler who is very tanky, while doing a lot of damage. His ultimate ability immobilizes the other player, and does about half their health, if not more. It’s crazy how much the werewolf does. He’s a very simple champion, but he is about a 9 out of 10 right now. He’s a slightly overpowered champion, that is only countered at the very highest levels.

    450 IP Champ #7: Master Yi:
    -Master Yi is a samurai who is a jungler. He’s an assassin, and while he dies very quickly, he does a lot of damage. His Q ability attacks a group of targets and makes him invincible, his W ability heals his health, and his E does bonus damage on attacks. His ultimate ability speeds him up, so he can reach targets. He’s a 6.5 out of 10 right now.
     
    450 IP Champ #8: Poppy:
    -Poppy is the butt of a lot of League of Legends jokes. However, do not underestimate this Yordle (one of the humanoid, tiny characters in League of Legends). She goes either top lane or jungle, and she can get really, really tanky while doing a lot of damage with her ultimate. She is very good in a longer game, however many players don’t quite know how to fully use her abilities. She’s about a 5 out of 10, but a good player can win a lot of games with her.


          Hopefully this guide helped you get some of the basics of League of Legends, and I hope you stay tuned for further installments in my League of Legends guides. It truly is a very fun game, and once you get the hang of it, you’ll be surprised how exhilarating it is to make a play with the skills you’ve acquired in the game. Thank you all for reading, and be sure to leave any constructive criticism, comments, or questions below. Thanks everyone, and have a wonderful day.

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    League of Legends. Oh man, what can I say about this game? I’ve spent countless hours playing it, and it’s probably one of the most mis-understood games of this generation. Now, the chances are that you’ve heard about this game, but... More
  • If I Were In Charge of Pokemon

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           Hello everyone, and welcome to today’s blog! This blog is derived from one of my 31/31 blogs last year, where I wrote about what I would do if I were in charge of Nintendo. Today’s blog is similar, but instead of covering Nintendo as a whole, I’m going more in-depth on one of my favorite franchises, Pokemon. I’ve been playing Pokemon since I was 6, with the first game I ever played a Pokemon Gold game that my friend brought over to my house one day. It’s a series that is near and dear to my heart, and in this blog, I’ll list off some suggestions of what I as a fan would like to see in the series future. Let’s begin!

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    Hello everyone, and welcome to today’s blog! This blog is derived from one of my 31/31 blogs last year, where I wrote about what I would do if I were in charge of Nintendo. Today’s blog is similar, but instead of covering Nintendo as a whole... More
  • "An Ode to Madden"

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                                              (Found this courtesy of cerpintaxman)
           Hello everyone, and welcome to the fourth installment in my “Ode to…” series, in which I write short poems/raps about games and series that I enjoy. When I did the first one of these last year, I had no idea that they would be as well-received as they have been, and for that, I have to sincerely thank everyone who has read and commented on them. This entry is an ode to the Madden series of video games, and I honestly have no idea how this will go. I attempt to write all of these under an hour, and I try to write the first things that come to my head. If it didn’t flow well in writing, well, it gets scrapped and re-written. I like the spontaneity of it being written that way, and hopefully you do as well. Let us begin! 

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    (Found this courtesy of cerpintaxman) Hello everyone, and welcome to the fourth installment in my “Ode to…” series, in which I write short poems/raps about games and series that I enjoy. When I did the first one of these last year,... More
  • Gaming Journals: Civ V Portugal Game

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           Hello everyone and welcome to the start of a new series that I like to call “Gaming Journals.” The concept is very simple. If I play through a notable game, I’ll retell what happened in the form of a blog. I don’t currently have any others in this series planned out, but I think it’s a novel idea. Before I go any further though, I have to say that inspiration for this series is very heavily derived from Saint’s excellent Half-Life series, and the site “Carl’s Blogs,” where the site editor has some excellent, excellent run-throughs of Civilization V and other games. Here’s a link to the site, with the link being one of his victories with the Siamese (strong language occasionally used): http://www.carlsguides.com/strategy/civilization5/walkthroughs/siamgame.php 

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    Hello everyone and welcome to the start of a new series that I like to call “Gaming Journals.” The concept is very simple. If I play through a notable game, I’ll retell what happened in the form of a blog. I don’t currently have... More
  • Transitions

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           No, this is not a goodbye blog. But it’s been a weird year so far. And it’s only half over. And while today might not be the official half-way point of the year, it’s quite close, and so I felt like now is a good time to reflect on the year so far, and to transition into summer writing. The goal of the blog is two-fold: First, to get back into the fold of writing here frequently, and to give you, the reader, an idea of some blogs to expect from me in the upcoming months. Second, the goal of the blog is for me to have a space to physically write down some of my ideas, and get feedback on them. Plus, they say that reflecting can be therapeutic, and that’s always a plus. 

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    No, this is not a goodbye blog. But it’s been a weird year so far. And it’s only half over. And while today might not be the official half-way point of the year, it’s quite close, and so I felt like now is a good time to reflect on the... More
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