Friday, 14 May 2021

Remnant: from the Ashes - Shroud

[Part of our Remnant from the Ashes story]

Evil plant like beings nicknamed the "root" are taking over the multiverse and it is up to us at the small outpost of Ward 13 to stop them. Given the task of finding "the founder" we set out into the city which is infested with the plant men who are supported by black cloaked archers. These things are annoying as their arrows apply a bleed effect that needs a bandage to cure if they hit and a cloud of rot that needs a potion to cure if they miss. Furthermore, like most other non-heavy root units they can teleport (or burrow whatever) at will.

While traversing the sewers to fight roundish goblins a boss type of these archers shows up: Shroud, who is not just stronger HP wise but has an added ability of "orbital bombardment" which doesn't even need line of sight! There is an audible cue when this happens though, and that's the signal to RUN (specifically not into where a team mate was standing before). Only after upgrading our gear (and both DL and I getting the heal mod as well on the long guns) do we fight it off... only to run into again in its boss chamber!

This time Shroud summons endless waves of root (who technically are our ammo resupply but are annoying nonetheless) and has plenty of space to run. DL quickly works out that Shroud is weak to melee so I focus on chasing down the archer to apply the "hammer to the face" technique while he and Jim focus on crowd control (and obviously shooting Shroud in the head when time permits). As the melee focused guy, I can confidently say there is a semi-safe spot to attack Shroud at: point blank. If it doesn't have any summons nearby its only two valid counters are to teleport away or to do orbital bombardment as the other bow attacks start out too far / I clipped through its bow. To move faster, practice the slide (which is sprint + duck).

Ultimately its the orbital bombardment evasion that is key. Once we started calling out "run" over chat, and learning when NOT to try revive each other with Dragon Hearts, we finally laid low this evil archer.

Remnant: from the Ashes

Since the latest update of GTFO: Rebirth is giving us connection / drop issues for all the level B maps, we voted to move on to this game until GTFO can get its act together. Our starting setup is as follows: DL as the hunter, Jim as the ex-cultist and myself as the scrapper. A perfectly balanced team... or is it? :P

Chapter 1 - Shroud

This story is ongoing! Please come back for updates!

Kong and Godzilla

Two giant monsters. Three action movies.

Kong: Skull Island

Set in 1973, an expedition is formed to explore the mysterious and titular Skull Island (which I assume is mostly made of monkey poop) with the semi-secret not so secret task of locating a gigantic monkey the size of a mountain. For some reason, an expert tracker (played by bored Tom Hiddleston) is hired for this because ... the directors wanted it to happen? :P

Even Tom himself wonders what he is doing in this film in every shot he is in as the plot often borders on lunacy. That said, there are some really cool beasties on Skull Island as everything grows big there - not just the monkeys. Luckily they, and Samuel L. Jackson's character are pretty fun to watch. Just remember to turn your brain off to get the most out of this. I give it two random attacks out of five. Would I watch it again? Probably, but I won't go looking for it.

Godzilla: King of Monsters

A sequel to Godzilla (2014), man has discovered around seventeen more "titans" like him in hibernation and naturally, this means militarist eco-terrorists go about waking them all up to destroy the pollution that is humanity. Totally logical.

Despite the eco baddies, the plot lines involving the humans is actually ok, or at least, better than the previous film and this time around there is plenty of Godzilla some of the other beasties too, but strangely not as good as the critters on Skull Island. Not great, but a solid "its alright". I give it two Millie Bobby Browns out of five. Would I watch it again? Sure. Maybe after a few years...

Godzilla vs Kong

Five years after Godzilla was "crowned" the King of Monsters, he's back causing havoc on us puny humans - mainly because a clandestine and super wealthy corporation that cuts corners in their security department is hunting some unobtanium type power source by releasing King Kong from his now enclosed Skull Island.

Their fights are pretty epic.

The graphics and action sequences are very cool with the monsters definitely taking center stage each time they are on the screen but this does mean the plot takes a back seat a bit to get these two giants into battle. As long as you don't expect too many things (or anything really) to make sense when it comes to the humans and you'll be in for an entertaining time. I'd probably watch it again and give it three kaijus out of five.

Thursday, 13 May 2021

The First Tree

Fails to be zen.

With really cool visuals, a nice sound track and decent controls the First Tree is quick to grab your attention as you play a fox looking for her pups in an almost sand box environment with no enemies and a nice visual goal of a huge, distant tree.

Awesome opening.

My problems come with the constant narration, where in a man describes this "fox dream" you are playing through to his partner/wife/booty call/shrink as he basically tells an entire life story to the poor woman. Worse than this though, is that somehow the level design still incorporates platform puzzles some of which are mandatory to advance. And not in the "just do a double jump" kind of way. More like in the "hunt the x" which will "make you jump higher" or "open the vines".

Never had I more wanted to be human height so I could see where all this crap to find was without meandering through the tall grass. Good idea, poor execution. I don't recommend this walking simulator to anyone. Just get your fill of fox antics from the saveafox channel instead.

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Tyranny: Fall of the Archons

[Part of the Cursed story line]

With the trial of Graven Ashe complete, Tunon the Archon of Justice then put Shelumu on trial for betraying Kyros and found him guilty! To enact this death sentence both Tunon and the executor and Archon of Shadows, Bleden Mark, attacked Shelumu and Sirin. Thanks to Sirin's increased power, the Archons of Justice and Shadow fell in combat leaving the victors free to return to their home spire.

"I guess that makes me the last archon!" laughed Sirin giddily. "Indeed," replied Shelumu in a measured tone. "About that..."

Only a fool would keep a potential traitor alive.

With the next of Kyros forces assembling at the border, Shelumu turned to the ancient device to cast his next Edict - one that would throw Kyros armies into retreat and inspire many others in the Kingdom of Kyros to begin openly rebelling against the overlord. It was time to see just what Kyros was made of.

Shelumu grinned.

Insight: Archon wise, I found Graven Ashe to be the easiest to fight while Bleden Mark was the hardest. If you play your cards right (which I didn't in either play through) you can probably end the game without fighting ANY of them which is really cool!

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Tyranny: Of Secrets and War

[Part of the Cursed story line]

The Voices of Nerat, Archon of Secrets, didn't expect Verse's will to be so strong. She overpowered his mind and took over his body. Loyal to Shelumu, the Voices of Verse then took all the remaining Scarlet Chorus for an all out assault on the Disfavored main base and Barik went with her to confront his ex-commander and Archon of War, Graven Ashe. Shelumu and Sirin wished them luck and instead headed to Tunon's court to angle for a different type of victory.

The battle is fierce and Ashe's ability is to protect his soldiers makes them a force to be reckoned as Chorus suffer terrible losses. Graven Ashe personally manages to trip Verse over and smash her head like a watermelon with his giant maul and then proceeds to smash Barik's armor off one swing at a time. Suddenly, Bleden Mark, Archon of Shadows appears and whisks Graven Ashe away... and right into Tunon's court where the Archon of Justice finds him guilty of sedition and war crimes thanks to evidence presented by Shelumu.

Tunon is ready to play GTFO.

The Archon of Shadows immediately carries out the sentence and executes Graven Ashe. Unfortunately this means all those once protected by the Archon of War suffer the same fate in an explosive fashion, leaving Barik the sole survivor in the camp, free of his cursed armor but broken in the mind amidst the bodies of his half sibling and his previous brothers and sisters in arms. All he can do is scream.

Insight: Verse is actually the first companion you can kill, with the same scripted death as the above. Finishing her quest lines to avoid the boss fight against Nerat is handy though. In combat she has a few handy combo moves that are nice (the one with Barik especially) but needs some management as she is not too tough. Meanwhile Barik is great as a tank, but is easily replaced by Killsy who can tank AND DPS. Also, its a pain to get that armor off him (for both Barik and the player).

Monday, 10 May 2021

Tyranny: Of Blood and Hunger

[Part of the Cursed story line]

With the war in full swing, Eb and Kills-in-Shadow return to Lethian's Crossing to aid their forces in repelling a massive Disfavored attack. Eb's tide casting is handy in putting out the fires while the beast woman tears into the enemy force... until she is killed by Lucia. This rallies the Disfavored forces to victory and forcing the rebels to surrender. To further teach them a lesson, Lucia executes Eb in front of them.

Lucia's celebration is short lived however, as Bleden Mark the Archon of Shadows catches her in the privy soon after and slits her throat for Kyros, taking with him the Silent Archive.  

Don't mess with the Archon of Shadows.

Meanwhile Verse had come up with a plan to handle the Voices of Nerat so she, Shelumu, Barik and Sirin push on to the main Scarlet Chorus base to confront him, a surprisingly easy task due to the low number of guards. Nerat knows he is on the back foot and offers a deal - he and the Chorus will withdraw from the region if Verse gives herself up and she agrees.

The Voices of Nerat devours her on the spot.

Insight: You can execute Eb much earlier, after the battle for Ascension Hall. Kills-in-Shadow is a little trickier as you can only eliminate her in the later part and only if you are too friendly with Graven Ashe and the Disfavored. Eb is an ok mage but not much of a loss (I rarely used her), but Killsy is an excellent and ultra mobile DPS machine (titan tree) so think hard if you really want her gone.