Thursday, 23 October 2014

Tales of the Blight: All According to Plan

[Part of my Dragon Age: Origins play through. Spoilers ahead!]

Upon arrival at Ostagar I am soon tasked with getting the other recruits, Daveth the rogue, Ser Jory and Alistair the templar (technically not a recruit) together for a "joining ritual". Well, that sounds dirty. First up is a fetch quest of blood of darkspawn, which is easy given the number of the things around, and old papers which we find with swamp resident Flemeth and her daughter who hand them over with no issues.

Back at camp it's stage two - the drinking phase, from a ludicrously huge cup! Daveth goes first and dies. Yep. It can prove fatal. Jory freaks out and doesn't want to drink so Duncan guts him instead. Lucky last I obviously survive and become a true Grey Warden initiate. Would sure be a quick game otherwise! Anyway it's soon time to battle that dark spawn horde and the plan involves the brash, glory seeking King Cailan (and the other Grey Wardens) to lure the bad dudes into position where General Loghain's forces can then charge down their flank. Fool proof!

Alistair and I (*woof!*) ... and Quickly ... are tasked with lighting the beacon atop the nearby tower to signal when Loghain should charge. Only problem is no one actually checked the tower before the battle and when we get there it is crawling with darkspawn. Fortunately a mage of the circle, who I call "Ted", joins us as we fight our way all the way to the top, defeating a towering ogre guarding the beacon fire. With the bacon lit... mmm bacon... I mean... beacon, Loghain gives the order...

Sound the retreat!

Wait did they change the plan on us? Looks like no one told the King either as we get a good view of him, Duncan, and the rest of the "bait team" getting slaughtered. Before we can contemplate what's going on, more darkspawn show up and knock us out. Damn you uncontrollable cinematic battles.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Tales of the Blight: Rail Roaded

[Part of my Dragon Age: Origins play through. Spoilers ahead!]

It's a busy day in my home of Cousland Castle as everyone is preparing to fight the darkspawn (monster things) to the South. There's also a grey warden named Duncan here looking for recruits and asks what I think of that. I shoot him down immediately. Grey Wardens? Please. I'd much prefer to stay in the castle and bed all the visiting ladies and handmaidens, or just maidens in general. After getting my cute but effective war dog (who I name "Quickly") out of the pantry I do just that with an elf lass named Iona but our fun is interrupted when an arrow finds its way into her head.

Why didn't you dodge!?

Our supposed "ally" Arl Howe decided to attack once Ferghus, my elder brother, took the majority of the troops ahead to the battle. With only a handful of defenders it is clear the castle is falling, despite me thoroughly killing all enemy soldiers on the map I can find. Fortunately there's a secret passage to escape the carnage, but only Duncan, Quickly and I make it out alive. Duncan asks again if I can join the Grey Wardens since his other choice sort of died earlier. I strongly tell him again "NO" and then he goes all legal on me enforcing conscription. Way to railroad me dude. I suppose that's still better than the Witcher's Law of Surprise.

And so it's off to Ostagar to fight the dark spawn. Woo? At least Quickly doesn't seem bothered by it.

Tales of the Blight: Dragon Age Origins

Since Origin was offering Dragon Age: Origins for free awhile back, and since I never had played it before - I thought I'd give it a whirl and record my play through here.

For all the "Origins" part was talked up, I only really have one choice for my standard character of human rogue which is the Human Noble origin. This also limits my surname to being "Cousland" but I can understand that part as it is better for the voice actors not to always be vague when addressing someone supposedly well known.

Chapters will be entered below as I publish them. Obviously spoilers abound! *looking at you Simcha since I know you are playing it currently!* :)

Chapter 1:  Rail Roaded 
Chapter 2:  All According to Plan

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Today I Smiled: Bragtoberfest

Most of you probably know of the Bragtoberfest event that was going on this month thanks to Izlain and J3w3l. I don't really like the notion of "bragging" so I opted out this time but I figured I'd still give some (kinda late) support, especially as J3w3l keeps finding all these fun flash games just like she did in the previous NBI. Here are my results for Axon and Feed the King, both being fun little games. I doubt the scores are very good in comparison to everyone else though! :P

Axon brain building.

One hungry king!

Well, I suppose I have to brag about -something- but it's something not of my own. My wife plays Candy Crush you see. I started playing it with her but stopped at level 169. Now when I Neverwinter she crushes candies. When I Warframe, she crushes candies. Whenever I'm on the computer, she crushes candies. Sometimes when we watch TV, she crushes candies. Curious, I recently asked her what level she is up to.

BEHOLD... :O

This is without buying any in game powerups. O_O

Lastly here's a pretty cool music clip of "Me and my broken heart", performed by people driving about in a car. Have a good day everyone! :P

Monday, 20 October 2014

Dracula Untold

Beware: Small spoilers ahead!

This re-imagining of the classic vampire tale tells of how Vlad the Impaler came to be (in the first 5 minutes) and how he turns into the legendary Dracula (the rest of the movie). The plot is pretty straight forward and mostly predictable. Fortunately the special FX, action sequences, and main vampires (remember that Vlad starts as a human) are all above average making it pretty enjoyable to watch.

Beware my poetry. I mean, powers. I'm the original batman!

As Vlad powers up it's pretty fun to see the extent of his powers. A pity then that the vampire of the mountain keeps his hidden for most of the movie, the same for his agendas. He is one loose thread that leaves some room for Dracula 2 or whatever. The main enemy Vlad must contend with are the vast number of Turks invading his home. Not sure how or why so many would journey there but it's like the Sultan brought his entire army with him.

There are stupid parts though like blindfolding said army and trying to march them in formation across uneven terrain. Yep, this works in the movie but in real I suspect more than a few people marching in armor would have tumbled and caused a hilarious domino effect. Also I didn't take the Sultan to have a loud enough voice to adequately command everyone even if he was in the center of them.

Anyway it's a decent enough flick though it suffers from a somewhat silly final scene and the usual unanswered questions. Regardless, I give it 3 silver coins out of 5.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Today I Smiled: First Attempt


A book of ideas and a handful of recycled business cards. That's what my first attempt at making a board game looks like. Well, I guess due to lack of a board that makes it a card game? Designed to be competitive vs other players I gave it a whirl with my wife and on top of losing (lol!) found many problems with some balance mechanics and inclusion. Two player mode is fine but with any more I could see parts where only two people are active while the rest are idling for too long. Oh well, back to the drawing board. It was a good learning experience that definitely made me smile. :P

Friday, 17 October 2014

Tropico 3: Idle Advisor

[This is part of my Tropico 3 Journal!]

Due to my victories I am next assigned as an advisor to the presidente of Isla de la Rosalita, a small island with lousy geography and while there were a number of harvestable resources half of them were near inaccessible so I ignored them altogether. Seeing the lack of land for housing I built an immigration office first to stem the tide of new comers. Then the presidente does something stupid and enforces a pay rise to all the farmers and puts us so deep in debt that we can't build anything. This is made worse by a world economic crisis that makes our exports more worthless than before. As a first, both US and the USSR have gunships circling our waters. Who says they can't get along?

I say we launch a simultaneous attack in which you go first.

This doesn't stop the presidente from spending more money we don't have, donating funds to his cousin's jet pack research and getting a half price power plant that semi-melts down. Good thing humanitarian aid camps are free. As people begin striking I am forced to begin executions as stopping work or paying off the protesters is not a wise option. Sure, some people become rebels due to this but I had already foreseen it happening and was slowly building up the military presence on the island to deal with those traitorous scum. I believe in the end we killed them all, the highlight being that the rebels occupied the radio station to broadcast their opinions. I simply told the army to setup C4 and collapse the whole thing. There is no negotiation with terrorists and so called "freedom fighters".

Eventually KGB agent Boris Pavlovich asks for help to remove the current presidente through violent means. I refuse but he goes through with it anyway and somehow win the following elections (102/12) as the starving, overworked, and terrified people love me. Or fear me. Whatever. The super powers never invade which is unfortunate, as the rest of the time this is becoming more like an idle game where I am just waiting for stuff to happen. Anyway, with no real opposition left this mission is completed - though I finish with the treasury in a state of staggering debt at -97k!

Welp, I've had enough of governing for awhile so I pack up my bags from Tropico for a vacation elsewhere. Hope you enjoyed reading! =)