Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Skyrim: Unremarkable

Adventures in Skyrim - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

My next task for the Dawnguard was to retrieve some sort of axe relic, and Agmaer rejoined me for this quest. He was clearly no Brutus though, nearly dying to some random night lord vampires near Deepwater Crossing. Fortunately I had his back.

I also had the vampires' back.

It's always good to follow through.

We stopped by Whiterun where I was made aware (as the acting Jarl) of some weapon the Thalmor were interested in an unremarkable cave to the South, so our mission quickly diverted to check it out. Bodies of adventurers paid by Thalmor gold lay near the entrance, and what seemed to be an ordinary bear in the first chamber turned out to be of the "killer" variety, slaying Agmaer in one strike!

I returned the favor to the beast then opted to go recruit more suitable assistance back at Death Mountain. The place was really running low on Daedric guards now, a fact a wandering ancient dragon was using to its advantage. With the other dovahkiin's Perdida, Zuna, and Tharas Gull we took it down after it landed and asked which of them was hungry for more adventure. Perdida jumped at the opportunity, and so with her in tow we returned to the unremarkable cave.

I always wonder how large caverns don't just naturally collapse.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Watch Dogs

Where you play as a gun-toting wizard with a magical mobile phone.

Ubisoft has a thing for open world games, and in this one you get to explore modern day Chicago as a very flawed, hypocritical and ultimately boring murdere vigilante with a magical cell phone. This is to make up for his lack of parkour ability when compared to the other well known Ubisoft open world series: Assassin's Creed. The many nods to that game here are pretty funny.

The city is huge, and as expected there are a good number of mini-games to do and skills to unlock while exploring it. Fortunately getting around via train, car or boat is pretty easy once you get the hang of it - complete with a decent enough selection of radio music to listen to while traveling. Another thing to get a hang of is the magical phone which simply gives too much information on the many NPCs. You can turn off the profiler, but most/all the good things only happen when its up.

While it is certainly an entertaining game (and possibly addictive if you like Grand Theft Auto type chaos) there are a number of things that I found annoying. First it's a soft game audio wise, I needed to turn up the volume a bit to hear anything. Also, the protagonist and most of the other characters (specifically those related to him) are morons. I guess it runs in the family? Some tasks fail because you killed the main target, despite killing all his henchmen, some civilians and possibly some police officers in the process, while others it's ok to just go on a killing spree? 

Also half the missions are working as the exact type of person the protagonist is supposed to hate (killers), but if you want total completion then... oh well? There's also one part where you run the same map three or so times (because plot device), when really if you just did the "third" time first it would have saved everyone a lot of trouble. At least the difficulty (on Realistic anyway) is good, but there's just something lacking. A likable protagonist maybe? I didn't really give a crap about him or his feelings throughout the entire game.

The game is alright for one ride but pretty much becomes "meh" soon after the first act. I give it two and a half stolen cars out of five. If you want an open world title where you actually care for the protagonist, try Assassin's Creed: Black Flag instead. Edward Kenway is awesome.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Skyrim: Tusaron

Adventures in Skyrim - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Do your curved swords do 900+ damage? Didn't think so.

Adventuring with Brutus is fun, as he is almost as good as me when it comes to killing things! Dovahkiin and Nerevarine high five! We wandered around the roads for a bit, taking turns dueling the many wandering challengers and even had a dragon slaying competition!

Brutus: "Jump on the head because then it is at your mercy!"

Me: "Just like handling an alligator then?"

Our journeys led us to some vampire nest at the request of the Dawnguard, and while exterminating them was easy it turned out that their master - an ancient thalmor bloodsucker, was away - journeying to Castle Volkihar to meet his buddy Lord Harkon. We caught up with him just south of Helgen... the Vampire Dread Lord Tusaron. I knew right away that this was a danger unlike we had previously faced so I opened with my paralyzing arrows which knocked him down.

Not one to waste an opening, Brutus charged in and wailed on the undead thalmor for a bit... until he finally resisted my paralyzing shots. On his feet, Tusaron was a whirlwind of death - agile and unrelenting. In just a second after slicing Brutus into tiny Nerevarine pieces he was already almost upon me at my sniper spot. The Arbiter's Decree made the ancient vampire hesitate though, and that was all I needed to get a number of power attacks to finish off the fiend.

Lived up to his name.

After paying respects to my fallen companion I began the cold trek back to Fort Dawnguard.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Skyrim: Ur Dead

Adventures in Skyrim - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Iverelle had mentioned reports of a disturbing cave to the South so Brutus and I made our way there for recon and clearing, and encountered corpus walkers, skinned hounds, and cultists of the sixth house before encountering Dagoth Vanis - who basically acted as the mouth of Dagoth Ur, challenging us to enter his fortress here in Skyrim and face him in combat.

Brutus (backstabbing him): "I got tired of his talking."

With that invitation Brutus and I moved quickly to get to the dwemer ruin where we fought more of Dagoth's minions, now including Ash servants, who didn't really stand a chance against the two of us. Their traps were more dangerous.

Nice to see his choice of head gear hasn't changed much.

Finally in the bowels of that place awaited Dagoth Ur. After a nice chat, where he explains his plan of enacting vengeance upon the only one who can stop him (the reincarnated Nerevarine) we get down to the business/fighty end. Or we would have. The idiot was so focused on me he didn't realize that I wasn't the reincarnated Nerevarine. It was the guy beside me.

He got brutalized!

Brutus exploited his moment of indecision and brutalized the poor bastard. After claiming the loot, which rightfully went to Brutus, we made our way around the holds executing any and all dreamers left. The corpus meat found on their persons proves this is the righteous and lawful thing to do.

No more dreams for you!

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Skyrim: Reincarnated

Adventures in Skyrim - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Azura imparted some really obscure information to me which I didn't fully understand, but she did say I was free to take Sunder and so I did. For a "legendary" weapon it didn't come close to any of my current equipment. Before leaving I did have to ask Azura one thing... "Is your kung fu stronger than my kung fu!?"  I'm pleased she was game enough to actually participate, unlike that cheater Sanguine.

She'll be alright.

After a decent sparring session, I said thank you by knocking her out with an uppercut and took my leave. Mellori finally came clean when I gave her the hammer, saying she was doing all of this to try forge a weapon capable of killing the person who slew her dad. Someone really bad. She refused to name drop though, and said she'd send us a note when she was ready, since all her previous attempts at forging whatever she was making didn't turn out right.

There was one really bad dude who came to mind though, so Brutus and I headed to Whiterun to see if we could learn more about him. I'm talking of Dagoth Ur of course, whose Dreamers are becoming more frequent in each town. At the tavern, a traveling dunmer named Iverelle Savidri confirms my suspicions and what the dreamers have been trying to preach: Dagoth Ur has fully revived from his defeat at Red Mountain, and is reforming the Sixth House cult here in Skyrim.

Coinciding with an eclipse eh...

It is up to the reincarnation of the Nerevarine to stop him...

And his lackeys!

Skyrim: Tomb of the Nerevarine

Adventures in Skyrim - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Mellori was happy with all the trinkets I've been retrieving for her, and the next one was a doozy: a little hammer called Sunder. Supposedly it was buried with the Nerevarine centuries ago, the hero of Morrowind who slew Dagoth Ur in the Red Mountain. It certainly wasn't me because a) I'm still alive and b) I didn't kill Dagoth Ur with a hammer. I just pushed him into a volcano (which was awesome btw :P).

Anyway, Brutus would have to stay behind again because he had to help clean up the town after being caught littering.

"But it doesn't fit in any of the bins..."

The ship to Morrowind was really fast. Pretty much instantaneous even. If I wasn't reading carefully I'd even think the Nerevarine's tomb was IN the ship. A small Imperial party was idling in the tomb when I got there. Apparently they all tried to take the hammer and were deemed unworthy - turning into Hollows (someone certainly watches Bleach) who forever were trapped in the tomb.

While not openly aggressive immediately, I obviously had a conflicting opinion with their captain and ... well. I set them free. Finally I reached the burial chamber myself and who do I find waiting there?

Azura, the Daedric Prince(ss) of Dusk and Dawn

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Skyrim: Flames of Oblivion

Adventures in Skyrim - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Upon easily returning to my own time (I'm an expert now I guess) and exiting the ruins, Brutus reported finding a nearby crashed ship high up on the frozen cliffs. We went to check it out to find it's a gold transport, still with safes and loot intact.

A redguard named Burgundy was already there and had claimed it as her inheritance though, and since gold is something I have lots of I left her and her guard, Fawadin, there to handle it while we returned to Mellori. Her next task was very fun: to collect a weapon from an oblivion realm! The portal to this was near the Thalmor Embassy so Brutus entertained himself while I went into the red realms of the dremora - who are still susceptible to good ol fashioned throat slitting.

Very, very red.

Their boss, Graff Von what's his face, was the only one to insta-detect me. He also offered a trade for what I was after: either I gave him my first born infant or duel to the death right now. Is that even a choice? To his credit, the dremora lord put up a decent fight and could take my hits - but was simply too slow with his two hander to hit me in return.

Too much sitting on your ass and not enough training!

After doing the classic samurai dash-finisher, I collected the broken artifact weapon and made my way out. Oh, and I finally found a fireball tome! Yep, I only learned that spell now.

He also had some funny books.