Thief: Freaks in the Asylum

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If you have found yourself stuck in the asylum basement in Thief’s chapter 5, you may be interested to hear a few options. For those of you like me, who arrived ill prepared, there is hope for everyone – except the freaks.

Some of you are smarter than the rest of us. You’ve probably invested in good equipment and lots of arrows. Make sure you are packing fire and explosive arrows. You must place shots differently per type of arrow, and avoid wasting time with hand to hand combat.

These creatures are actually known as Freaks. They are somewhat sensitive to light, have superb hearing and burn away pretty quickly after catching fire. You can choose to sneak past them, shoot them in the body with an explosive or hit them in the head with a fire arrow. There are consequences for any action you choose.

Should you decide to unleash an explosive arrow into a unexpecting body, although you may take out bystanders, every other Freak in the basement will be alarmed. You can try to hide, but it’s all over when they spot you. Garrett simply cannot fire his bow fast enough to keep them off.

Fire arrows are only effective when placed in the head. You may alert the Freaks closest to your victim, but take them down before they move much further from their spot. If you wish to choose the arrow route, and didn’t bring enough with you, there is a box with three fire arrows down a Freak filled hallway.

In the end, after exhausting my other options, I went with what I do best. Sneaking past these Primal creatures seems a bit daunting at first. But after eight tries it seems an easy task to master. Watch out for broken glass and vases scattered across the map floor. Note that some hidden items are near impossible to reach. There are two last. Freaks to get past, and you must tip toe between them to reach the final door. If the crouching one becomes suspicious, simply hide around the corner for a moment and try again.

Thankfully, after you walk around in a foggy dream, you will automatically find yourself out of the Asylum. You will need to press a few buttons beforehand, but I sure was glad to leave that awful place.

Runescape Road Trip

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Jagex die hards will understand when I say, if you haven’t kept up with the Runescape Road Trip mod stamping sessions, you are really missing out on something. This event goes through the end of May so, there are two weeks left to get in on it.

There are prizes for each level you get through on this event. Each time you stamp one or two, you are not only closer to a pet monkey and full outfit, you gain experience lamps with every stamp. You can complete one stamp yourself each day, as well as gain mod assistance with another. For example, you can go bury 100 bones in the Salve Temple Cemetery, as well as having a mod assist you with spending 10 minutes out in the wild.

You will see that there are at least 20 challenges to complete, and if you get two stamped each day you can finish it in 10 days (before it ends). Although it gets crazy with all the users logging in to reach Lumbridge crater before the mods leave, there are generally two worlds open with each session. Jagex has an official post that is updated each day with times and worlds (just be aware the times are in British Standard TIme).

I have already witnessed a few users running around with the pet monkey, so it is completely possible to receive the final event prizes. Besides a fancy frock and interesting follower, the experience lamps you gain can improve skills that receive less attention, such as prayer or dungeoneering.

Anyone with questions can find support in the Jagex forums, by reading up on Runescape Wikia, or posting a comment below. Keep on top of the official thread to ensure you’re part of each mod stamping event before you miss out on these great prizes!

Playing Through Soul Fjord

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Not too long ago, the OUYA Kickstarter had been opened to the public and every indie developer was beside themselves with excitement. This system allows you to play the way you want, hack and build, share and start the revolution. One game I was particularly excited about was an OUYA exclusive, Soul Fjord. And, now that I have bought the system from Target, it’s time to delve into my Magnus experience.

Stay on beat, seriously. It’s an unusual way to play, but you need to listen to the soundtrack as you’re fighting or blocking to complete the actions and reach desired combos. I found it a little annoying at first (mostly because my accuracy was only 56%), but once I realized I needed to subconsciously stay with the music, the game play improved.

This is a free download that features in game “platinum hits” to access extras, such as equipment or consumables. Personally, this doesn’t bother me. There are a lot of mobile games I played because they were freebies, and if I felt like making an additional purchase I could at my own discretion. However, they do give you 10 “platinum hits” to get you started, which allows you to open three chests at 3 hits apiece. I also noticed after a few levels I had gained 7 more hits, so you do gain more hits slowly.

One problem I ran into, which is a little embarrassing to admit, was accessing Magnus’ inventory. After a quick look at the control setup I realized it’s just up on the d-pad. After I had purchased a helm and cool hammerhead shark hammer, I really wanted to equip them and get rolling. One thing I really liked was the ability to sell my unused equipment to the man in the over-sized fur coat (yes, he has pants under there). Simply walk up to the character and press the A button.

If there is one free game you decide to try on your OUYA, definitely consider this out-of-the-ordinary pick. Not only is it something that hasn’t been done before, it is one that will have you head bobbing to the beat from boss to boss. Get ready to ragna-rock!

Griffin iPhone 4/4s Case Review

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Although I realize the latest greatest thing is to own an iPhone 5S, or 5C, I have just come into possession of a new white Verizon iPhone 4S (and I’m plenty happy with it). One of the first things I do upon getting a new device is to slip it into a new protective case (with screen option). Some may call this an unnecessary measure, but we’ll see who has a better resale or trade in value when all is said and done.

I have realized that finding a case for the previous model is extremely difficult (although we do know iPhone had to cancel the 5 due to infringement issues). Anyway, because I was in a pinch, I decided to go with a Survivor case in gray/yellow by Griffin Technology. I believe I picked it up at Walmart for $39 right in the Christmas rush.

Survivor Case for iPhone 4/4s by Griffin Technology

Let me just say, at the time I had an 8 month old daughter who loves phones, I needed something that could handle being thrown on the floor purposefully. This case does that flawlessly and protects my phone. It remains scratch, bump and bruise free. The case itself clicks apart into three pieces (or four if you count the detachable camera cover). But I should say it is not waterproof, just semi moisture proof. When I’m running through the store on grocery day and my daughter is chewing on it, slobber easily gets under the screen protector.

But we carry these devices for phone calls, right? At least, I do. One issue I have with this case is I regularly receive complaints, from those on the other end of the phone, that they cannot hear me or I sound muffled. It isn’t my phone service itself, because if I take the phone out of the case I don’t have any problems. So on a side note, it can be super hard to pull apart the pieces while you’re on an important phone call.

Compared to the Otterbox Defender (I don’t have one, but my husband does) the Griffin Survivor case is easier to grip and the buttons are easier to access and press. The Defender comes apart by unlocking two hinges while the Survivor requires more effort and time to pull apart three pieces. The Survivor doesn’t dent my laminate flooring. The Defender doesn’t muffle calls when you open up the waterproof speaker tab, but the Survivor isn’t waterproof.

I try to be a realistic individual, so on a range of one to five stars I’d give the Griffin four (while the Otterbox would receive four and a half). Yes, it may muffle some calls, but it hasn’t slipped out of my hand while in use, and it takes the abuse of a soon to be famous pitcher of a baby.

Adobe CS2 Giveaway & Mac Installation

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To most of you this may come as old news, but to those of us who have quite busy schedules, it’s awesome to hear of Adobe giving away their CS2 suite. Their giveaway includes a Windows and Macintosh version of a packaged suite or individual programs, which you can download by visiting this page after signing into your ID.

Users working on a Macintosh platform running Mountain Lion or later should take note that CS2 will not run due to a conflict of PowerPC no longer being supported. Although I’m not much of an Apple expert as of yet, I’ve begun working with the operating system on a mid-2011 iMac. Instead, you can take advantage of the Windows version with some bugs – all of which haven’t exactly been recognized yet.

For those who cannot afford to purchase the most recent Adobe CC Suite, you might be interested in the free Adobe CS2. If you are a Mac user wanting to take advantage of this download, make sure you have CrossOver, too (you may download a trial). The trial will allow you to install full programs for around 14 days, or you can purchase it for about $39 (a large cut from the price of an Adobe Suite). CrossOver uses Wine to emulate a Windows environment, just as it would in Linux.

My advice is to download each Windows CS2 program one by one, rather than the entire package. I tried to install the full package, and ran into an issue after CD 1 was completed. I had great success with the Photoshop installation with CrossOver, and it really couldn’t have been more simple than double clicking the exe to pull up Crossover, and following the installation process.

Anyone who needs a little more of a visual approach should check out this YouTube video narrated by Chuckie at Digital Goulash. He will take you through start to finish, from downloading CrossOver and CrossTie, to your last bit of the install. I hope you enjoy running this freebie on your Mac with little issues, and look forward to your comments below. Good luck!