Evendim sneak peak from Eurogamer

Codemasters Online Gaming has magically revealed that Book 9: Evendim will be the first of many significant expansions for Lord of the Rings Online when it arrives sometime this month.

It will add a vast new area for players to explore, Evendim, which will offer more than 60 quests to get stuck into, plus lots of content for players over level 30 – including the first major raid in the game.

You can check out the entire article here and screenshots here.  Enjoy!

2

Paying the bills in an efficient and helpful way!

We run a modest gaming blog here at KeenandGraev.com.  That much is obvious right?  Of course with any website hosting comes the cost of upkeep.  Graev and I decided from the beginning that we were not blogging to earn any revenue whatsoever.  It’s just not what we set out to do when we decided that we wanted to run a Gaming Blog and Web Comic.  We want to help our online gaming communities by giving back and supporting them.  We also want to make light of serious topics in the industry with our Ctrl+F Funny comic.  So how do we then keep afloat with our costs?  The obvious choices are either begging for donations or running small unobtrusive ads.

We refuse to ask for money because that defeats the purpose.  This is a website where you come to read what we have to say, take our advice, learn something new, find something you need, laugh, cry, hate, and all that good stuff.  In our blogging we often review games, refer our readers to a favorite game we used to play or currently play, we might mention a game or book or piece of hardware we use, we drop names here and there.  So to help pay our bills and break even, which is all we are looking to do, we’ve implimented a few google ads and an Amazon store.  The ads are straight forward and I need not explain them.  The store however is where we really think we can not only put bread on our table but we can help get you guys the goods you want!

Our Amazon Store (Keen and Graev’s Amazon Store) offers our readers the chance to purchase games, books, hardware, and so many other great things that we have handpicked, own, want to own, and recommend to you.  These are things that we have taken the time to personally add to our store and believe someone out there reading our blog might be interested in.  If the store ends up being a complete flop then we will drop it and just keep the straight google ads.
So to help keep us afloat we appreciate your support and continued dedication!

3

Gamestop. What a scam.

I have to vent about this. Today Graev decided that he wanted to give Super Paper Mario for the Wii a try. So we went out to dinner and on the way home we swung by Gamestop. If you don’t already know, their slogan is “We buy and sell used games”. So we get inside and the first thing I notice is the workers goofing off and bragging about the karate moves they can do and how they knocked this guy out and entered a tournament and all sorts of bull you know is made up just to impress the preteen girls hanging around. So right away I was ready to lose my dinner all over the dirty carpet floor.

We get to the counter and begin our attempt at catching the attention of one of the “workers”. He finally slumps over and in what I think might have been slurred mumbled English asks what we need. We tell him we want to buy a copy of Super Paper Mario if they have it. “Let me see if we got that” then he returns asking “Super Mario Paper 2?” …. No we want Super Paper Mario for the Wii… “For the Wii?” he asks.. Yes the Wii – Super Paper Mario for the Wii.  So the guy opens his glass cabinet where it appears most of the new titles are at. After rummaging in there for atleast three minutes he comes out with a sleave and a cd and says “let me get the box”….

What the hell? Get the box? This guy actually wanted to sell us an opened game with the cd in a white sleeve that was opened and obviously played as a store display and pawn it as new. We told him no way and walked out making sure others in the store heard us say “What a scam”. I don’t know if any of you out there have ever had similar encounters with your Gamestop stores trying to sell you used games as new but this wasn’t even our first time nor was it just this store trying to run this scam.

Not too long ago we went in to purchase a copy of Pheonix Wright and they tried pulling a similar stunt. We actually believed them that it was just “taken out of the case for security reasons and stored in the back room”. We got the copy home and popped it into the DS to find it already had a save file on it. We called them back demanding to speak to a manager and we wanted a refund. We received our refund and an apology.

BUT that’s not even all. On MULTIPLE occasions we preorder games from Gamestop’s in our town (we have 3 local Gamestops and use all 3) and EVERY time we preorder for the “preorder bonus” we NEVER receive it. We never got our dog tags for bf2142, we never got our Jade empire bonus disc, we never get anything we are entitled to from this company. The list goes on. They provide lousy service and hire the most incompetent employees I have ever seen.

They’ve forever lost two customers and hopefully will continue losing more until they get their act together. Word of mouth is a powerful thing.

2

I might not be so keen on the champion after all…

Well LOTRO has been out now for a few weeks now and I am finding myself at a crossroads.  I really enjoyed my champion from day one of closed beta.  He really felt like he moved at a quicker pace than any of the other classes and things just flowed well with him.  Before I left on the trip to NYC I started having second thoughts about which class I could actually see myself playing in the long run.  During closed beta I had a really great hobbit burglar who I enjoyed and I’ve been thinking about returning to that class.

I’m not sure if it was the week long break from the game that got me thinking or if it’s the fact that I am now extremely behind the leveling curve that’s caused me to find myself staring at a blur of a billion other champions and not ‘feeling it’.  I really enjoy the aspects of the Burglar class and how they are much deeper than the champion.  Burglars control the battles in later levels and require more skill than simply targeting whatever the tank is on and pressing buttons.  Burglars have to constantly watch adds, healers HP, tanks hp, and so much more.  If needed a burglar can riddle(CC), stun, conjunction, off-tank in a pinch because of high dodge, and so much more.

So that’s my little ramble for this afternoon.  I’ll keep you all posted on what I decide to do.  I may continue to level both.

Spider-Man 3: The Game – Hit or Miss?

Reviews are coming in for the new Spider-Man 3 game and things don’t look too good for our web-slinging friend.  It’s getting mediocre to average scores across the board and people seem to have the same complaints with it.  I just picked up my copy of the PS3 collectors edition and I’ll be sure to let you guys know my take on Spidey’s latest romp through NYC.  Stay tuned for my review in the coming days!

1

Our trip to the Spider-Man 3 Premiere in New York City

Pictures from our trip are available in our GALLERY!

Oh jeez where to begin? About two weeks ago Graev was informed that he won a trip from MTV to see the Spider-Man 3 Premiere in New York. The trip included 5 days 4 nights in the DoubleTree Hotel in Time Square, $1,000 spending cash, a Playstation 3, a $500 gift certificate to Gamestop, a limo to and from the airport, and other things that I’ve likely forgotten by now. The trip feels like a blur in my memory now and we’re both so exhausted we can hardly think, but I’ll do my best to recount our experiences from the last few days.

Our trip began as we ventured forth from Southern California via Delta Airlines from Ontario Airport to Salt Lake City Airport. I would like to take this opportunity to thank MTV for providing us with so many fantastic prizes including coach class tickets with no leg room. Insert sarcasm. I’ll be blunt and negative because I have to be negative about something, right? The flight was horrible! Okay there I’ve got my negativity out. Including the layover in Salt Lake City and the trip to JFK our total travel time amounted to approx 14 hours, which includes airport security lines. I lied I have to be negative again. The baggage claim belt thingy broke and we had to wait over an hour for our luggage. At least we were off the plane!

So we met our Limo driver and departed JFK into the city. Passing through Queens was slow because of traffic but that was expected. The limo was very comfortable and we were able to enjoy ourselves as we spent about an hour to go 17.5 miles. Our driver, Amar from India, was surprisingly talkative.

We arrived outside our Hotel in Time Square at last! The DoubleTree Hotel was so cool! We’ve always stayed in hotels that are layed out or box-like in shape. This hotel was layed out in a very odd way. You entered through the rotating doors (a NY thing!) and found yourself in this tiny little room. And when I mean tiny I mean no more than 20 feet square. You immediately enter 1 of 3 elevators and ride to the 3rd floor – the Lobby. Once in the Lobby you check in, where they give you warm chocolate chip famous DoubleTree Cookies – we each had 2 – and head up to your floor. We were on the 27th floor which you would normally think is high up but not for this rocket powered elevator from hell that launched us to the top so fast we nearly ‘lost’ our free snack from the Delta flight all over the floor! You can see some amazing shots of Time Square from our hotel window in our gallery.

Our day began early the next morning! We awoke at 10am NY time because of the 3 hour time difference. That gave us only a little time before we had to head out to the premier. I honestly can’t remember what we did that day… we might have gone and looked at a few stores in Time Square but other than that we rested in preparation for the long night ahead. At about 4 in the afternoon we hailed our very first cab – okay I lied we had the door man do it because … because we could, I guess!

This cab ride was interesting to say the least. We found ourselves faced with a minor language barrier. We being from California and our friend Elebagelama Maged the Taxi Driver from somewhere else. Once we relayed that our destination was the Astoria Kaufman Stadium Theatre we were off! This was no mortal man my friends. Elebagelama Maged the Taxi Driver had super enhanced reflexes capable of avoiding pedestrians within inches – seriously inches. We weaved in and out of traffics, nearly clipped a tour bus, almost ran over a Traffic Attendant, almost hit a street light, and I could go on for hours. But the adventure had not even begun. Elebagelama Maged the Taxi Driver was on a mission. A mission of revenge or something. Before we knew what was going on we found ourselves driving right up next to another taxi. Elebage – let’s just call him Eleb – had reached out his window and flipped off the cab next to us. He began screaming “You are an IDEEEOTTT!” at the other driver. Swerving while screaming he repeated “IDEEEOTT!” somewhere near 15 times – Graev counted. Flipping eachother off and trying to run the other off the road they bickered while driving about using blinkers, staying in lanes, and other stuff.
I couldn’t stop laughing when he looked back at us and said “oooo I wish I were alone right now!”. Before I knew it we had ditched the other driver and headed towards Queens Bridge. Just when we thought we were in the clear the other driver swerves in front of us screaming some foul obscenities in his native tongue. His body language we understood quite clearly. Finally the vagabond was gone and Eleb took us to the premier. We stood behind probably 3,000 people as we worked our way to the entrance of the “Black Carpet” (clever for the movie). A marching band, jews for jesus <3 Spiderman, an old man in a spidey suit, and a few drunks later we entered the theater. I'll leave the movie review to Graev. It feels as though I have rambled on for hours in writing this. Fear not our faithful readers we are almost done. TRL, which I think stands for Total request live?, was pretty much the main reason MTV flew us all the way out there. We arrived at the studio and were taken to a holding room with comfortable seats and a huge LCD TV. Must have been 50 inches or so with a decent sound system. This is where the highlight of the trip was for me. The head producers and marketing people from Activision entered the room and we were given the honor of meeting them in person where they showed us everything about the new Spider-Man 3 game. We easily spent 2-3 hours with these guys playing the game and trying out missions. It wasn't too long before the MTV guys showed up and started the contest to see who could beat a certain mission with the fastest time. The remainder of our time in NYC we spent around the Rockefeller Plaza and Time Square areas. As huge Nintendo fans we spent a long time in the Nintendo World store and you can gain a fair bit of our experiences from the photos in our gallery. After the 12 hours it took to get home and the late nights we are definitely glad to be home in California. That's all that I could think of right now to write. If I remember more later I will add another entry.

We’re back!

Graev and I are finally back from our 5 day trip to New York City.  We’re extremely tired – well actually exhausted.  Airplanes are the ultimate suck and hotel beds only make things extremely worse.  But aside from those inconveniences we had a great time in the city and should have our pictures and details from our trip up later today.  It’s good to be home!

1

Keen and Graev are off to New York for the Spider-Man 3 premiere!

I (Graev) have won a trip to New York city to attend the premiere of Spider-Man 3. We depart this Sunday for a fun filled trip to NYC, full of web-swinging action and intrigue. According to my itinerary I will also be appearing on TRL in a Spider-Man 3 game competition with other winners. Keen and I will make sure to take lots of pictures of the events and stars and promise to deliver our take on Spidey’s latest flick. Stay tuned in the coming days for updates!

Ctrl+F Funny in NYC

1

In my best Darth Vader voice: “NooooOoOooooo!”

Warhammer has been delayed until 2008! 🙁

We’ve not spoken much about WAR, infact not at all.  Graev and I both feel Dark Age of Camelot was the best MMORPG ever released.  Yes, I truly do still believe that to this day.  There was just something so special about that game that neither of us can even put our finger on it and say what it was.  It wasn’t our first MMO so that goes out the window … it was just great.  So given how great we think DAOC was and how much I personally love Mythic, it’s a given that we will be playing Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.

The news of its delay hits hard because both of us were truly waiting for this to be “our game”.  Both of us love Warhammer and 40k and we will continue to wait.  While this news is hard to swallow I can understand the need to delay it if it will make the game that much better.

So did you hear that Mythic? Make it good!

>