I am not a HardCore Gamer #52 (10).

Odd week as plenty of ‘real life’ stuff popped out this week but my body was able to handle most of it which is a nice thing for a change. Gaming wise it’s been rather one sided as Dishonored  2 has taken up most of my time which it’s nothing bad as the game and the story itself is very well constructed and this game joins my list of –why no one turned into a movie yet– alongside Bioshock for example.

Is it Luca or his body double…?

Anyways, the story reached its end and it was an ugly sight in Corvo’s play through as High Chaos brought up a lot of dead bodies and to some extent left few things still not fully revealed.

Going High Chaos results in a lot of bodies lying/ hanging around…

Emily’s play through with Low Chaos involving going for trophies requiring no killing or not being spotted is yet to be fully finished.
It actually takes a lot of time (sometimes retries) to get through stage spotlessly clean but it is so much fun and it does allow for a huge amount of immersion and enjoyment from the story. Great stuff!

Beautiful views from Dreadful Whale.

Having an off season gap in Madden 17 worked well for me as it allowed me to get most of Dishonored 2 done plus a bit of career in NBA 2K17 but football should be back as we held draft this weekend (which didn’t go that well for me, despite drafting SS WR) and HPL League’s 4th season is a go. I know I could get to play offs if I limit stupid decision making process and just think lol

Got unluckily drafted by the Nuggets. Face scan ok. Hair style not real.


I’m hoping to put a bit more time in 2K17 with the career to see if I can make my character a useable player but it takes time as VC don’t come easily despite using the companion app to raise extra funds (still great idea and nicely done app, I wish EA was better at implementing things in the smartphone world, sigh…).

In mobile world there was very little activity as Gems of War continue a downward trend for me and other games/apps are more of check ins – do the things- move ons type of things. So yeah a bit lazy here.
Weekly trophy count stands at 12 for a grand total of 82 in 2017. How’s your trophy/ achievement progression going?

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Football- less Sunday #6. The quarterbacks quintet.

Back last year, during a humid summer I pondered about my Top picks for QBs of 2016. Now it is time to revisit and dissect my thoughts which I left here for anyone to read.
Going from the 5th upwards I thought that would be the order of dominance by the quarterbacks.

Aaron Rodgers– Packers: 4th in passing yards (4428), 4th in passer rating with 104.2, 1st with 40 passing touchdowns supported by only 7 picks thrown it was kind of usual day in the office for Rodgers through most of the season.
Given the recent FA acquisitions I should rank him in top 3 next time around. I should really expect that from Rodgers and stick him nearer the top.

Russell Wilson– Seahawks: 10th in passing yards with 4219 but 2nd in sacks taken (41) sums up the rocky season for Wilson. Only 21 TD passes with 11 picks isn’t a norm here but perhaps the Seahawks’ star is not getting the support he needs.
I definitely missed on him and he should be really be much lower as 2016 season was a huge downer.

Andrew Luck– Colts: It was such a relief to see Andrew being back to “new” normal self, although few times we all wished for his “linebacking mentality”, still…
Despite the many medias omitting Luck who didn’t even make a Pro Bowl, doesn’t mean he was one of the top dogs passing for 4240 yards and 31 touchdowns (both times in top 10 despite missing a game) adding two more on the ground and having setting a career best in completion and narrowly missing a mark in passer rating. Arrow’s up from here.

Ben Roethlisberger– Steelers: Oh. I missed badly so did many others voting Big Ben to Pro Bowl over Andrew Luck who had a better year statistically but hey Steelers made the playoffs.
Big Ben’s year wasn’t bad with 3819 passing yards and 29 passing TD but given the weapons around him, one could expect slightly more out of Ben. Next year looks promising though and as long as he stays healthy the Steelers are a threat.

Drew Brees– Saints: 1st in passes attempted, completed and yards passed. Another season when Brees surpases 5000 yards (5208) and yet the Saints are struggling and Brees is overlooked like Luck really and given his production I can see him beating Manning’s few records if he keeps at it.
37 passing TD, 101.7 PR and the longest pass of the season (98 yards) are not too shabby for “an ageing” fella with a weakening arm…

Still. Matt Ryan was the man and I didn’t see it at all, I suppose until he finally won the MVP award he just lived in the shadow of others, now he can finally shine on his own.
Well, I’m fairly pleased with my QB crystal balling and another Sunday goes down and we are one week closer. Stay together and stay healthy guys!

ALL STATISTICAL DATA PER http://www.pro-football-reference.com 

I am not a HardCore Gamer #51 (9)

It has been another fairly solid week of gaming with a huge surprise that came in a form of NBA 2K17 which I got after trading some of the older games I or my son would not play anymore. I don’t know what exactly but something keeps me in hoops mojo so it was low risk purchase as I paid no money and I know it’ll hold trade in value fairly well until K18 comes around.

As always with NBA 2K, there was huge patch and huge install but after all of that there was huge of everything and I felt overwhelmed as normal when playing this title. I decided to take it slow and try to evolve My Career mode first before perhaps setting up a custom league with the Bulls of the 90s and some other teams from that era… Time will tell.

Dust District- known for its huge piss up parties! Yo!

Good timing really meant that Madden 17 got very little love this week. I played my last game of third season in HPL League and I could use the off season (with 6-10 record I didn’t make the play offs) time to get better at basketball.

The star of the week continues to be Dishonored 2 and as I’m playing High Chaos with Corvo and Low Chaos with Emily I start to see how certain areas of the game change according to my actions.

Corvo- early sketch by Sokolov…

I wish there were more games that face players with some moral choices that actually affect the gameplay (a bloodflies filled apoartment in Corvo’s play through was an easy walk in Emily’s as there was simply no annoying bugs thanks to no kill approach…). There were others bits and pieces in the gameplay that varied between these two approaches  as well as different means to finish a chapter and playing one alongside the other gives me that greater sense of getting to know the characters and the story with a lot of optional tasks to complete. I’m going to miss Emily and Corvo once I finish the game… That’s for certain.

Can’t tell what’s occurring here really.

Mobile gaming took a huge hit this week partly to the uninspiring weekly events in Gems of War that saw me struggling to assemble a competitive team so I barely played PvP but did some Treasure Maps for extra goodies.
I also got my first Mythic Troop so it wasn’t all that bad really.

Yay. First Mythic card!

I spent a bit of time on NBA 2K17 companion app getting stressed out with the face scan feature that finally work (do it in daylight people) to some extent plus I’ve been earning some VC there.
CBS FF Manager has been checked in twice a day, getting closer to unlocking tier 5 current players finally.

Weekly trophy count stands at 17 bringing 2017 total count to 70

Football-less Sunday #5. The running backs of 2016.

In my blog entry about which running backs I expected to wreck chaos I predicted these 6 to be the most painful ones to opponents defensive mind.
Starting from 6th spot of my crystal balling we have:

Adrian Peterson– Vikings: 3 games started (and played) 37 rush yards for 1.9 yds/att no touchdown and currently free agent as Minnesota released him before FA started. Total bust by me.

Le’Veon Bell– Steelers: 2nd in average rush yards per game but missing 4 games affected the totals. 4.86 yds per carry with 7 touchdowns and over 1k in rush yards (1286) paint a solid picture of a distracting running back. No wonders Steelers like him so much.

Todd Gurley– Rams: Definitely another mission by me but some put more blame on the problems of Rams that the slump of Gurley. Nevertheless 3.18 yds per carry with only 6 touchdowns and not even in 1k in rush yards after starting all 16 games paints a picture of someone else more deserving the spot here.

Doug Martin– Buccaneers: Ah. It seems as if I cursed the players I chose to this list last year. Only 8 starts, 3 touchdowns, 52.3 yds per game disappears in a shadown of the Buccaneers overall improvement.

Devonta Freeman– Falcons: A trip to the Super Bowl is not a common thing, add 11 touchdowns, 1079 rush yards for 4.75 per carry and you get a solid top 10 performance here. Not as high as I thought but still better than most of my picks here.

Jamaal Charles– Chiefs: Oh dear… 3 games played with one touchdown and we have another bust and another free agent here. Many believes Charles is done and recent numbers do seem to support the idea.

Here. If there’s a reason why I suck at running the ball while gaming on Madden it is down to my knowledge of running backs that is shockingly bad as shown on the example above.

Who was your top 5 back in the 2016 season?

ALL STATISTICAL DATA PER http://www.pro-football-reference.com 

I am not a HardCore Gamer #50 (8)

Even doctors get sick. Life’s harsh for everyone and as I was nearly half way through my journey to hospital, I found out my appointment was cancelled. There, so much for getting up at 4am to get ready…
I knew this week will be messed up as travels to the hospital usually take a lot of energy out of me so gaming was on second plan this week; still I got some of it done regardless.

She isn’t watching anymore rrwally but shhhh…

The main offender has been Dishonored 2 as I really got pulled into the story and the atmosphere of the game. I’m evolving two stories simultaneously with Corvo having the first run of a mission to get a feel for it; this is high chaos run so I’m not bothered much about stealth and I’m trying to gather information that will allow easier run with Emily where I’m aiming at ‘Shadow’ and ‘Clean Hands’ trophies. Depending how well I manage with some of the collecting items trophies I might play the game third time in -no powers mode- but at the moment we are somewhere in a middle of the story with Corvo and not far behind with Emily somewhere around chapter 5 and the Royal Conservatory.

Clockwork soldiers. Easy to deal with when in hibernation.

I must say that Madden 17 was fairly neglected this week as I haven’t touched my offline franchise and only played HPL League games and collected some items in MUT for some season stars cards although I’m not sure why I still bother since I barely played any solos or H2H in this mode. Ah, we all have to have some craziness in us lol.

On mobile platform there was Gems of War struggles as this week, weekly events were uninspiring for me so I struggled with putting a team together but finally I managed and I levelled up a bit some cards, kingdoms and hero classes and my guild seems to be stable with 11 members, 8 of which take part in playing regularly. I’m stuck at finding fresh blood there though…
I have also carried on with CBS Footbal Franchise Manager and got myself to level 25 which unlocked ‘Showdowns’ which reward some nice things once player win some games. I think I’ll carry on with it as it is like twice a day, check in job taking up 30 mins or so.

And the trophy count this week comes to 10 for a total yearly amount of 53.

What games got you going this week?

Football-less Sunday #4. The cornerbacks of 2016.

This week it is time to revisit last summer’s crystal balling and see which cornerbacks I expected to be the most disruptive in the 2016/17 season. You can have a read about it here. Going from 8th to 1st the order I expected to be:
Patrick Peterson Cardinals:

Richard Sherman Seahawks:
With 4 interceptions, 13 passes defended and one recovered fumble it was a fairly quiet season for Sherman, who played most of it with an injury that was reported once the season ended. Still it could be much worse.

Chris Harris Jr.- Broncos:
I thought Harris Jr. would have a better season than Talib but looking at the standard data both players struggled and Harris struggled slightly more with only 2 interceptions, 13 defended passes, one recovered and forced fumble it was a season rather to forget like most of the Broncos players can relate to.

Vontae Davis Colts:
With only one pick and 10 defended passes it was another year to forget in Indy. Davis has been plagued by injuries over the last two seasons and it shows. He could bounced back up as he usually improves after one pick seasons but given his age one can’t see it happening really. One of biggest busts of my Top list.

Desmond Trufant Falcons:
And here comes another bust. One interceptions and four passes defended in nine games. Luckily Trufant showed some action by forcing two fumbles and recording two sacks.

Malcolm Butler Patriots:
Definitely up there with top corners, Butler snagged 4 interceptions and 16 defended passes. He also forced one fumble and recovered two. The Super Bowl XLIX none to stardom fella continues to be a presence on the Patriots defensive team.

Josh Norman Redskins:
Some say that Norman’s divorce with the Panthers affected both sides and while the Panthers struggled, Norman had so and so season recording three picks and career high 19 passes defended. Throw in 2 forced fumbles and career high 52 tackles and it is good for top 8 list I guess, just not as high as I thought.

Marcus Peters Chiefs:
Six interceptions, 20 defended passes one forced fumble and three recovered one’s it was not as dominant season as his rookie campaign but it still delivered. Peters was only beaten by Casey Hayward in amount of picks among the cornerbacks.

It is very obvious I don’t know how to asses cornerbacks, well any football player really, and it shows in how many ‘busts’ I produced in this list.
Well, upwards on onwards, onto another week.

ALL STATISTICAL DATA PER http://www.pro-football-reference.com 

I am not a HardCore Gamer #49 (7)

Ah… I sniffed another platinum trophy and I might try to get a run for it and this unfortunately saw me restarting Emily’s side of Dishonored 2 story as I realised I made few kills in first mission and I’d not be able to get the “clean hands” trophy that requires to go through the game without killing. Emily will also go full “shadow” trophy no matter how many times I’ll have to restart after some spots me. With Corvo I’ll try to cover trophies that require some kills and the such and then, once I gone through both playthroughs I’ll see if there’s chance for me to try to aim for the platinum.

Some NPCs in Dishonored have tough choices to make.

It’s been a quite a decent week of gaming for a change. I am at 4th chapter of Dishonored 2 with both characters and I’m enjoying the ride even though some considerable amounts of restarts are required.
The game looks really great, feels really cool and plays nicely regardless of the way one plays. There’s plenty of things to collect, many ways to approach objectives and a cool story developing so, yes, it finally felt like I was doing some serious gaming.

Enjoying a bit of music from some street performers.

I have also put some decent amount of time in Madden 17 where I got my offline franchise going finally. The aim for the first season is to give all the teams, except the Colts, the wins/losses they experienced during the season (bar the two ties that there’s no way of awarding) and play Colts’ schedule mainly via Play the Moments and see how well I compare to real world coaches and managers when getting the Colts through the 2016/17 again.
After the season concludes it’s a case of looking into the future through FA and draft for which I still use the scouting tool developed by a very clever gamer whose blog can be found here, worth a read really if you enjoy Madden 17 and like to build your teams. Phew… As I said, quite a gaming week and I still managed a bit of mobile gaming.

I have also redownloaded NBA 2K16 as I fancied a bit of basketball action and there’s not much room in my wallet to get the current installment of the game. Again, if the year was longer I’d probably end up buying 2K17 but as things stand, I very much doubt I’ll have time to invest myself heavily into another sport title.
And as always, there was some mobile gaming done, the usual suspects with Gems of War giving up some time to console gaming that resulted in less financial contribution into the guild. I’m still yet to get any of the mythic level cards but I’m not having much luck. I have levelled 2 kingdoms to 10 level but I’m not sure what class of cards to invest levelling into as I’m usually just picking cards from the weekly events to play during a week.
I’m still on CBS Franchise Manager but that’s just twice a day check in really not a game.
Next week I have a ‘big’ appointment in a hospital and there’s hope that I might find some solution to my troubles but due to the uncertainty in regards of the treatment effect, I’m not sure how (in)active I’ll be in the world of gaming. Time will tell. What games are you gals and guys playing currently??

And as per usual it is time for the weekly trophy count: This week I have added 8 trophies for a total of 43 trophies

Football-less Sunday #3. Top Wide Receivers of 2016.

Back in July 2016 I made few “Top of…” entries and the first one was about the glamorous position of a wide receiver.
Here, I made a case for 9 receivers who would wind up being the top of the crop in 2016; and now since the season’s over I can easily go back and check how “good” my Crystal balling predictions were. So here we go from the 9th upwards

A.J. Green (Bengals):
He ranked 2nd in receiving yards per game with 96.4 which is a fantastic result but otherwise he was nowhere else to be seen in top 10 of other receving statistic lines. Injuries and missing 6 games definitely contributed to this rather quiet season.

Allen Robinson (Jaguars): Well, with 151 targets and only 73 catches, one can easily see that it wasn’t a great season by promising young receiver. Robinson wasn’t really featured in top 10 in receiver stats. Some of that must be due to QBs poor play as Bortles really struggled this season.

T.Y. Hilton (Colts): The 2016/17 leader in receiving yards with 1448, was helped by injuries of other top dogs. Nevertheless he still averaged over 90 yards a game for a top 3rd position, Hilton was also in top 10 of average yds per catch with 15.9. Another productive year by Luck’s favourite weapon.

Jordy Nelson (Packers): The 2016/17 Comeback Player of the Year, was also leading in receiving touchdowns with 14. Heavily featured in few Top 10s, Nelson bounced back up after losing all of the previous season. There should be more to come if the chemistry with Rodgers continues.

Amari Cooper (Raiders): I was expecting more from Cooper but I haven’t factored in Crabtree’s production into the Raiders offense. Still, Cooper reached top 10 in average yards per game beating his teammate at least in this category through the season.

Dez Bryant (Cowboys): Unforseen emergence of two rookies among the Cowboys squad probably factored a lot into Dez’s production as he wasn’t even target 100 times (97) through the season. Three missed games didn’t help.
Bryant still reached the top 10 in receiving touchdowns (8) and average yds per catch (15.9). Quiet year for the wideout but a bright future by the look of things.

Odell Beckham Jr. (Giants): One of only three wide receivers to catch at least 100 catches this past season (101). Beckham Jr had a solid year although the famous trip to Miami is believed to be a lesson for the future. Still, Beckham Jr was top five in few categories including total receiving yards with 1367, receiving touchdowns with 10 and an average of 85.4 yds per game.

DeAndre Hopkins (Texans): I think, this is my biggest ‘bust‘ of this list as Hopkins couldn’t get going and some part of it was the struggle of Brock Osweiller at QB who had a terrible year as a starter.
Hopkins failed to reach 1000 receiving yards (954), caught only 4 TD passes and his catch rate was only just above 50% with 78 catches from 151 targets. Phew… I blew it here badly.

Antonio Brown (Steelers): Well, Brown hasn’t finished on top of any receiving stats lines despite having a solid year that featured 12 TD catches, from 106 in total for 1286 yards and an average of 85.6 yds per game.

Hm… It is hard to say who was The Top Dog really but definately this list should include Julio Jones, Mike Evans, Larry Fitzgerald, Brandin Cook and few others. Still I think I have done reasonably well given the lack of experience in football analysis. It’s been fun revisiting my past thought processes. Few more to follow, I think.
Who was your top of the cake, wideout of 2016/17? Leave a comment or two for a discussion to begin. Cheers.

ALL STATISTICAL DATA PER http://www.pro-football-reference.com 

I am not a HardCore Gamer #48 (6)

Well… Year seems like a lot but I just realised it really isn’t. In about 6/7 weeks MLB The Show 17 will drop in on us and if I have money to play with, me and my boy will get the game and the relearning of baseball will resume and it seems like it was few weeks ago that I was whacking home runs on the Show 16… And hey, I have started my offline franchise in Madden 17 and the aim is to play mainly Play the moments mode and focus on building a long lasting team but I can’t see myself getting through at least 10 seasons as… Well, one year is not much of a time for serious gaming unless you’re a like really hard core gamer fully commited to get to spend every wake hour playing games… Well. I’ll try my best but among health issues, family life and other stuff that needs to get done and things will getting quickly tricky and tiring…

Simple Concept od matching three of one kind mixed with card collecting game.

Anyways… Another ‘off’ gaming week here but with some light at the end of the tunnel which started flickering towards end of the week. Between constant issues with Madden 17 de sync while trying to play online league games and some Gems of War PvP there was a new mobile game that I came across and I also immeresed myself in Dishonored 2 and i realised that having two saves, one for Emily and one for Corvo, and having the story developing along is a viable option therefore the plan is to go high chaos with Corvo and then return to the mission with Emily for some stealthy action knowing the mission and critical areas where I might fail. This way I might finish two playthroughs in one go. So to speak.

One of modes of CBS Franchise manager includes playing pro teams.

The other mobile game I came across was Franchise Football Manager by CBS Sports. It’s a pay to win or wait to play type of a game but it only takes like 30 mins a day to progress through the games that are available and i can see that it’ll take ages to build a decent squad but why not? It’s a bit of management fun although I hope to have something done on Madden 17, that I could perhaps share here once I got my offline franchise through a whole year…

No idea what I witnessed here but I blew all the candles as it is my “thing”


Anyways. That’s that from me really. This week has not been great in trophies as I only collected 4 trophies for a total amount of 35 this year.
How has your gaming been going on recently?

Football-less Sunday #2. Colts… What’s ahead? 

Andrew Luck running for his life…

Ah… I can’t get myself to look back at the ugly past so perhaps looking forward is the way to get me going through second Sunday post football season. Sigh…
There’s many things that the Colts need in order to crawl their way into play off talk and even more if they think of a deep run into cold January and the work is about to start soon. Roster building.
Key questions? Who’s going to punt, hold Adam’s balls and do kick offs??? Let’s hope that Pat McAfee pranked us all and he’ll be back… Ah the joy of alternative facts…
Seriously though… Defensive side of the roster needs a lot of love. Huge amounts of love.
The offensive side of the ball does need some work but I think this off season the Colts should address their linebacking corps and defensive backs.
There’s literally no dominant presence on the outside or inside of the linebacking grounds and Ballard gotta try to bring some pass rushing skills and some coverage skills into the middle of this mess that is known as linebackers group.
Robert Mathis retired, Dqwell Jackson was cut, Trent Cole is useless and there’s a bit of pulse left in Erik Walden. Rest of the players in that group is fairly inexperienced and not a talented lot.
Get a pass rusher and a killer Mike and then work on corners as Vontae Davis has been beaten and fighting injuries and I don’t see him coming back to no- TD allowed season 2014; and he’s our best there.
Safeties have some options in Clayton Geathers and T.J. Green with perhaps Mike “Pops” Adams staying to share his experience but other than that we need some impact players there too.
Defensive line is probably our “best” unit although the guys are not monsters there but I think they can manage if there’s some more help from perimeter.
So to sum up, I’d like to see pass rushing linebacker/ defensive end, Mike, cover linebacker, press- man to man corner and a slot one to try to make giving up less than 19 points a game a reality…
Why less than 19??? Colts led by Luck are 25-0 when the defenseman holds opponents to 19 points or less. So there…
Another Sunday killed. How did you feed your football hunger on a non- football Sunday? What needs does your team have?