Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Dying Light: Sad Face

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

Since we're helping out in her neck of the woods, Troy gives us news that the bombing of Harran is imminent and that the government is using the excuse that there are "no survivors anyway" to justify their actions.

Since we can't radio out (as Rais took our Sat phone), we are tasked to deliver a sign in a more old school way - setting up explosives in a tall building. Filled with zombies. Really? Why is everything filled with zombies?

We clear it with ammo to spare and detonate the charges which form a huge sad face on the building facade. It doesn't last long as a squad of military jets missiles the whole structure into ruin in a stroke of heavy handed cover up. Time for plan B.

That's one unhappy building.

Insight: Piles of blue garbage bags are your Assassin Creed haystacks. It doesn't matter how far you fall, you will take no damage if you manage to land on them. It's absurd, but it does save time. I've even used it to escape from volatiles.

Monday, 25 March 2019

Dying Light: Wizard Magic

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

It seems there are some crazies in Old Town too, encountering a cannibal guy in one basement and a full blown mass murderer in an office space. later in particular is one of my favorite encounters thus far, and is voiced perfectly.

Not all the crazies are bad though, like the alien conspiracy nut who gives us a useless ray gun. The "wizard" babysitter is much better, rewarding us with guns for helping him take care of kids in an orphanage.

The bear holds secrets!

The real reward there is when Jim decides to keep interacting with a teddy bear in that orphanage... that explodes? When the smoke clears there is a "Developer Blueprint" in its place for a Stasis Field Generator? WTF. It requires a lot of shrooms to create, but the effects are truly magical: a grenade that freezes everything (often in midair) within its explosion sphere!

Insight: There are a lot of demolisher zombies in Old Town and all can throw boulders accurately. The majority of them are not worth fighting though - only the ones tied to quests.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Dying Light: Oh Baby

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

Hoping to catch up with Jade, we go talk to a group who help smuggle people into the next sector: Old Town. This involves a trip through the sewers and a betrayal as said people also work for Rais. They have no chance against us.

On the other side a new map awaits, and find "the Loft" a safe zone run by Troy who has a bad habit of sending us to where Jade is not. We also run a side quest of getting the water running again, and since there are three separate places to do this, we split up and hit one each - followed by the main valve which is guarded by a sole volatile.

Having fought a mob of them previously, this isn't very dangerous. We also hit some quarantine zones including the Striped Dragon Hotel where we meet a new type of zombie: the baby. Its cries drain health AND summon runners. Not a good combo which puts it on the "kill on sight" list.

Never hesitate if you have the shot.

Insight: The skill to cover yourself in zombie guts which makes you undetectable to zombies (other than volatiles) combined with the neck snap skill previously mentioned makes many horde encounters a cake walk. It also saves ammo and weapon durability.

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Dying Light: Gladiator

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

Returning to the tower we meet an even more upset Brecken. There's no time to sort out feelings though as Dr. Zere's lab comes under attack! We rush to the scene and kill some of Rais' goons but find the good doctor has been kidnapped.

We tail them back to Rais compound and find it suspiciously empty, until we all get knocked out via cut scene ambush. We awake in a pit arena with no gear. Rais is there gloating with Dr. Zere at his side. After monologing he unleashes zombies on us, because they collect zombies in containers for fun apparently.

The "real" Harran virus.

The litter makes decent weaponry and we manage to fight the waves off. As a finale he even drops in a demolisher, but given we just fought three of them at the prison this guy is a piece of cake. Especially after I knocked off his helmet via a thrown table leg. Rais is not pleased, and when he comes down to gloat we take the opportunity to disarm him and kill a few of his dudes.

Dr. Zere is hit in the commotion and says that all hope now lies with Jade who is taking his research to a Dr. Camden in the next sector. A massive parkour escape sequence follows, though not so much escaping from DL who specifically goes back to kill some snipers. Scott free, we get out on the road and promptly collapse from our injuries, only to be saved by Brecken and surprisingly, Karim who delivers bags full of our confiscated gear.

Insight: There is an skill unlock to throw melee weapons. I found that it's not really useful (especially if you want the weapon back) outside of this particular fight.

Friday, 22 March 2019

Dying Light: Prison Outbreak

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

After dealing with Rahim we find ourselves back at the fishing village where we meet up with annoying smart asses Tolga and Fatin, who we've been collecting junk for. This time they need a military grade sonar device at a camp that we need to rappel to - from the top of the tall bridge.

Fortunately Jim is sober during this and we make it across to the fully stocked camp, wiping out the zombies milling about and looting it dry. After delivering the device to the pair we then decide to visit the prison, via dingy (does the quarantine not stop ships?) and boy are we in for a surprise.

It's storming when we arrive and after fighting the very well armed soldiers outside (full gun fight this time, as they are too dangerous) we make our way into the interior facing hallways and rooms / arenas filled with zombies, even volatiles! This eventually leads to a fight against three massive, armored juggernauts who take forever to slay (especially the last one whom DL had to whirlwind strike with his axe)!

Probably need to skip all the prior fights to do this faster.

Our reward when we get to the armory is three rooms filled with gear and locked chests, but only 30 seconds to loot... WHAT? I just manage to swipe a few trivial items that aren't locked down but ultimately feel that the reward was not worth the risk. At least it was fun. With lighter pockets, we sail back to the slums.

Insight: Humans are just as prone to head shots as everyone else, and if they are using guns you might as well use guns too. There will be less overall noise if you kill them fast.

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Dying Light: Darwin Award

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

Despite being repeatedly told to just chillax in the Tower, Rahim had taken the explosives Jade brought back and decided to take a small crew to explode a not so nearby volatile nest. We find his team all dead on the overpass, and he himself hiding in a train car because I guess he was ambushed by zombies? What do you mean there'll be zombies in the zombie nest? DUHHH.

The idiot then hands us the explosives which HE HAS ALREADY ACTIVATED and tells us to finish the job. With just 4 minutes that doesn't leave us much time to argue so we run for it, right into the construction site nest, planting bombs in the midst of all types of zombies.

Better get running!

Being the fastest, I'm the only one who reaches the highest floor (only 4th floor accessible) where the actual volatiles are but with no time to spare I just plant the last bomb and run for it, making it out with 20 seconds to spare. My brothers had found lower exits and were ahead of me at this part, and from a safe distance away we then watched the whole structure implode on itself. It was very impressive.

A short trip back to Rahim revealed he had turned, and I gleefully break his neck. Idiots don't deserve to live.

Insight: There is a neck break skill you can unlock to use against everything else which will 1 hit kill them but requires you to get behind your opponent. It does not work on volatiles. I tried.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Dying Light: Fighting Back

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

Before returning the zombie innards to Dr. Zere, we decide to harvest some shrooms for a witch and test a new bomb against the volatiles in a tunnel. The tunnel is particularly interesting as we go during the day, and find the monsters lurking inside.

We decide to take potshots, and seeing that they can't walk out into the sunlight - eventually arrow all of them down. The bomb is planted and as planned activated at night just as a new squad of volatiles wanders in to suffer its effects.

It's like shooting fish in a barrel.

There are more volatiles outside though, and these come running at the sound of the explosion but this time I make the call to stand and fight since we have new UV flares. These are effective in keeping them back, though they occasionally can pounce through the light. We slay a great many of the scum and gain lots of XP for as long as the flares burn.

The tide quickly turns once the last flare goes out though, and we are forced to grapple our way out of the swarm, returning to retreat and evade mode. Exciting and fun, but also very dangerous! We eventually rendevouz at Dr. Zere's lab, who examines the bolter guts and excitedly tells us this could be the first step to a cure! Oh, you mean we shouldn't be killing all the zombies? Whoops.

It's then that Rahim gives us a call asking for immediate help.

Insight: While volatiles are pretty scary, a headshot is a headshot so remember to aim. Once alerted they get really good at dodging though. ;)

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Dying Light: Temp Survivors

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

Clearing the school let a new small group of survivors in, led by the now one legged mayor who is being hunted by assassins. Naturally we help, finding these guys were sent by Karim who declares the mayor to be a scum. This proves true as he abandons us after we get him and his group a helicopter ride out of there. At least he left some supplies. Karim is there to tell us "I told you so".

We also find another group that camped out on a roof top of a building with electrified scaffolding. Alas, the on switch for said defense was at the base of the building which effectively trapped all of them up there to cyanide their way out.

Only those bit turn.

Finally night descends and we can go hunt for the bolter zombie Dr. Zere wanted. On the way to the train yard my bros get spotted by volatiles and have to go running, meaning I'm the only one that reaches the spawning ground, which of course is crawling with more volatiles.

I employ all my thief skills to find the damned thing but just can't seem to find a clean way down. With dawn about to break, there's no choice - I just jump in which turns out to be good timing. All the critters run as the sun rises (I'd be dead otherwise), but I spot my green covered target and fire off one arrow. Boom. Headshot.

Soon after we're up to our elbows in bolter guts. Dr. Zere will be pleased.

Insight: Bolters are weak and don't actually require a headshot. As long as you hit them, they should die.

Monday, 18 March 2019

Dying Light: Junk Collectors

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

Side quests continue, as we clear a motel, unlock caches and pawn shop supplies, fetch chocolates and movies for Gazi the hilarious retard and help General Jeff at the makeshift Fort Jefferson to turn on the gas for his "firewall" defense (which results in his entire safe zone exploding).

Shields keep you alive against explosions. And bullets.
Their usefulness drops as you level up though.

We also climb a freaking high bridge to collect the bridge lights which doesn't result in fun times for Jim, but we certainly all have fun with a gun challenge provided by a zombie movie producer who gives free temporary firearms and unlimited ammo to kill zombies in a time limit.

Eventually we make it back to the Tower where Brecken is losing his people and his morale. Jade suggests we go raid one of Rais supply dumps at a nearby school so we do, arrowing the thugs inside and find a supply of dynamite. Almost as good as antizin I suppose?

We are rewarded with a grapling hook which makes travel faster exponentially, though not so much for DL who likes to loot every single corpse. On the flip side, this means we have an over supply of junk that clears some of the lesser fetch quests. What Dr. Zere asks for next though is something we don't have... the insides of a "bolter" zombie.

Insight: The grappling hook trivializes escaping from volatiles, as long as you remember to have it equipped and aren't caught in an open field.

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Dying Light: Team Arrow

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

Despite the whole, "we're out of antizin and turning into zombies soon" issue - we collectively decided that it was side quest time - saving some woman from a rapist, helping the loon who calls himself Gas Mask Man (guess why) to retrieve his treasure from a lake, and supplying a "pregnant woman" with way more booze than required.

At one of the fishing settlements I also finally get my hands on a bow and some arrows, and after discovering it can silently one shot zombies and brigands if you hit the head - both my brothers quickly followed suite and we basically became Team Arrow.  Suddenly, the city got a lot safer, easily cleaning out the Stuffed Turtle shopping mart quarantine zone with our new weapons.

Oliver Queen would be proud.

We even got kill these pushers of "fake antizin" while screaming "YOU HAVE FAILED THIS CITY!". Ok, maybe I was the only one saying that. In my head. The arrow dodging volatiles were still a threat though, and proved it when we attempted to turn on the main power generator at night. Having a horde of walkers in the way didn't help, but we were forced to retreat until morning.

The next day we cleaned up all the walkers in the surrounding area, then just camped the power switch until night fell, making this a much easier task than previously thought. Afterwards, Jim decided to gift us Ranger Bows - an even stronger upgrade to what we already have.

Insight: Bows are ranged, silent, and are one of the best weapons in the game.

Friday, 15 March 2019

Dying Light: That's not Rais

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

Turning on the comms is not enough to satisfy Karim, so we are next sent to get protection money from a bunch of local outposts which is easy enough as no one really wants to get Rais' ire. In between we are collecting air drops, even killing Rais' dudes for it, and sneaking around at night past the volatiles.

We also came across the Sunny Apartment quarantine zone and cleared it room to room. Having a pistol from a police car certainly helped a little. The Underground Parking quarantine was much harder as it had patrolling volatiles who needed to be dodged while looking for supply crates amid the alarmed cars.

Survivor sense somehow gives you x-ray vision when it comes to volatiles.

DL took up distraction duty with his favorite firecracker / molotov combo while Jim and I did the searching. At the end I think there was only one volatile left as the rest had burned from DLs efforts.

Despite all our hoop jumping, Rais decided to only pay with a handful of antizin instead of the original two crates worth. His next task involves some sort of perversion with Jade so we tell him "We'll think about it," when in reality we were thinking "Can't we kill this guy now?". Our loyalty to the GRE also wavers more when they advise we -should- just hand Jade over.

Insight: While firearms are bad outdoors in that the sound attracts everything, you should definitely make use of them indoors - unless trying to sneak of course!

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Dying Light: Slip and Slide

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

The tunnel is home to abandoned trains... and a seemingly endless army or "runner" type zombies. Fortunately DL has taught his FEAR slide kick maneuver to us, and it proves very handy for dealing with them in tight quarters.

We ultimately need to run past them though and loot the large supply drops still in the train cars - as well as one annoying one on the side which requires Jim to watch my back as I pick a lock through the access gate. When we finally get out we're covered in so much zombie guck it's disgusting. Little did we know this would be a valid zombie evasion tactic later on.

Finally, smelling like intestine contents, we arrive at Rais' compound and discover he's the target that has the GRE file we came to get in the first place. Unfortunately his gun toting guards don't give us an opportunity to do anything about it. Instead we are sent to his aide, Karim, to work for antizin.

High places usually have wires you can use to zipline down.

Our first task is to climb up radio towers to try get the comms back on, much to Jim's dismay. I should point out that Jim likes to drink while playing and as the night goes on, these climbing puzzles become more challenging for him. It does become more amusing for DL and I to watch him attempt though. ;)

Insight: In co-op, someone can stay downstairs to revive people who fall.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Dying Light: Nightmare Scenario

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

We don't get to watch the medicine burn for long since horrible screams pierce the air and announce that night has come. And so have the nightmares. These beasts are fast, agile, good climbers, strong and pretty damn tough as I quickly find out when trying to fight one which does not go well at all.

My brothers scatter, splitting up the horrid monsters and leading Jim to find that for all their strengths, they can't swim - much like regular zombies. It takes some effort but we all make it back to the Tower where Brecken is shattered at the "no antizin" news.

There is a lot of crouch walking involved.

This forces his hand into trying to deal with the brigand group and its leader Rais. Naturally, we are sent as emissaries (as planned), and begin the long hike to their base. On the way we scavenge through cars on the street, save other random survivors and secure more safe zones - some of which involve intense climbing of radio towers because apparently zero ladders survived the zombie outbreak.

Then we come across an old tunnel called the Bright Mountain Quarantine zone. Apparently its one of the original places the outbreak spawned from and is crawling with infected, but by the same token all the supplies inside would still be there. We decide to go in.

Insight: The night time monsters can out run you, but you can out climb and out parkour them so get to the rooftops.

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Dying Light: Getting the Drop

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

After spending the night snoozing at the safe house, I return to the Tower to finally meet up with my brothers (coop mode! yay!) and the Tower leader, Brecken - who is injured and upset that his team got pwned during their failed supply run last night. With Antizin running low, there's not much choice but to try again. We outsiders volunteer.

Called in some backup!

Since the better armed and more violent "brigand" faction seems to get to air drops really quickly during the day, we need to go for night drops and risk the "horrors" instead. Sounds like a plan! There are a bunch of other fetch tasks the other plebs at the Tower ask for as well, so I make a shopping list.

In the meantime Jim goes to stock up and craft supplies while DL goes and hits on Jade, the woman that saved me on arrival. Once we're all done with our *business* we move out and start clearing out as many safe zones as we can, all while moving towards the last reported drops... which are empty - to no one's surprise.

Just as the sun gets low, a cargo plane flies into view dropping another crate of vital supplies. This is it! We race to it and find it is full of antizin, then like the obedient GRE dogs we are, we take a handful for ourselves and TORCH THE REST. Just like we were ordered to.

Insight: More people makes it more fun, but also less scary. :)

Monday, 11 March 2019

Dying Light: Firey Workout

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

Due to its scarcity and the number of bitten people, The Tower strictly regulates who gets antizin which means I need to make myself useful first. After some brief tutorials at the tower I meet Rahim for some physical evaluation at the "gym" which is basically just rooftops and -learn- show off my awesome parkour skills.

This ends abruptly when I start turning yellow because of the zombie bite and Rahim quickly instructs me to go across the street to Dr. Zere's mobile lab. A short jog and a few jumps over some aimless Z's get me there and gets a shot of antizin into my arm. Dr. Zere might be smart but he also seems a little cuckoo.

My next task is to help setup traps scattered around the slums, UV traps specifically because there are supposedly some really nasty pieces of work that come out at night which have a weakness to it. This trek is a pretty long one, and leads me to a non-functional safe zone.

Non-functional because there's a giant, hammer wielding zombie residing in it. Since it looks tough, I just craft a few molotovs and burn it while safely perched on a roof. The smell of roasting meat is delicious.

Burn you bastard.

Insight: Molotovs are fantastic in this game, especially since many zombies can't climb and instead mill around in groups beneath your perch.

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Dying Light: First Bite

[Part of the Dying Light diary - spoilers ahead!]

Harran, another city infected with zombies. Fortunately this one has been quarantined by the local government. Unfortunately, the GRE (the Global Relief Effort) is sending us in to recover a stolen file with sensitive info that is being used to black mail them. Shouldn't be a problem, as we've all faced zombies before - and now have even trained up to be in peak physical condition! Time for the intro cut scene!

Step 1: Parachute out of plane.
Step 2: Get separated from the others thanks to high winds.
Step 3: Land right into some brigands.
Step 4: Get bitten by first zombie encountered.

WHAT? Well, that went to hell right away. A brother/sister duo appear out of nowhere and manage to get me to safety.  Well, the woman does. The guy becomes zombie chow just as I pass out.

Sorry random dude, I hardly knew ye!

I'm surprised that I don't wake up as a zombie, instead finding myself in a high rise survivor base aptly called "The Tower". I also learn that while the bite will be fatal, there is a drug being airdropped regularly by the GRE that will keep that infection at bay - at least temporarily, called Antizin.

I need that drug! DRUGGGGGS! (Hmm maybe I am a zombie already after all?)

Dying Light Diary

Much like Dead Island, my brothers and I are playing this on coop and are having a blast, though that does mean story updates may be slower to arrive. Hope you enjoy the tale - spoilers ahead!

Chapter 01 - First Bite
Chapter 02 - Firey Workout
Chapter 03 - Getting the Drop
Chapter 04 - Nightmare Scenario
Chapter 05 - Slip and Slide
Chapter 06 - That's not Rais
Chapter 07 - Team Arrow
Chapter 08 - Junk Collectors
Chapter 09 - Temp Survivors
Chapter 10 - Fighting Back
Chapter 11 - Darwin Award
Chapter 12 - Prison Outbreak
Chapter 13 - Gladiator
Chapter 14 - Oh Baby 
Chapter 15 - Wizard Magic
Chapter 16 - Sad Face 

Friday, 8 March 2019

Satellite Reign

Syndicate reborn.

In a future where the world is dominated by militarized technology companies (and their satellites) led by evil people, it is up to your small upstart group to take down the biggest fish and take control for yourself!

If you liked Syndicate then you will like this game where you can control up to 9 units on an open city map. You are then let loose to do as you please, taking actions like: hitting security stations to slow down cameras. Robbing banks to get money. Fund researchers in developing new tech to install into your cloned cyborg agents. Bribe guards to walk away or leave doors open and turrets deactivated.

It's great that all the objectives have more than one approach to them, and the fact that you can't save when you are "wanted" (cool down timer) or in a "restricted zone" means you need to be on your toes and to plan ahead carefully - in my case to sneak around a lot. I also quite liked that the bad guys also get stronger tech as you do, so you are never quite overpowered until very late in the game.

The more the merrier!

Definitely one I recommend to strategy / tactics gamers. You'll need to dig for the story if you want to, but even just playing for the surface game is well worth your while. 4 mecha tanks out of 5.

Insight: The hackers ability to "recruit" people is very useful. Especially on strong enemies.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

The Punisher (Series)

His solution to crime is more permanent.

After his family is brutally killed, Frank Castle (perfectly portrayed by Jon Bernthal) makes it his quest to punish those responsible - and those like them - in very violent ways.

Obviously a show for an adult audience, there is a fair amount of good, visceral action in this series - though not as much as some would like. Indeed, there are many quiet moments, particularly in Season 1, that slow the pace right down. I didn't mind it too much, just don't expect to have gunfights each episode.

Boom. Head shot.

Season 2 fixes most of that (apart from the tepid first episode), but nothing really compares to his strong debut in Daredevil S2. That said, this two season series is still worth a watch.

MMO Design: Limited Resource Design

[Part of the Design Folder]

DMDavid's Adventurer's League quick start document has many interesting ideas that I would like to see in an MMO setting. A summary of intriguing mechanics that I've altered slightly for MMO consumption:

-Players only gain gold when they level up, with higher amounts awarded for higher levels. Once a player reaches max level they can get no more gold.

-Gold can only be used to buy mundane (non magical) gear and/or services from NPC merchants. A healing potion is an example of magical gear that you cannot buy with gold.

-Players gain level through advancement points, which are gained via quest progression and not necessarily by killing monsters. They cannot be farmed. More advancement points are required to advance to higher levels.

-Monsters will only drop quest/adventure appropriate items. Not loot and not EXP in the traditional sense.

-Players also gain treasure points by leveling up, with more points awarded for higher levels. Once players reach level cap, they can gain no more treasure points.

-Treasure points are spent on NPCs who sell powerful magic equipment - like, a single use healing potion. All this magic gear is of the consumable type, that is having a fixed amount of uses and then is gone. A magic sword might have 10 swings before returning to a normal sword permanently for example. Even the cheapest magic item will require multiple levels worth of treasure points to purchase.

-Gold, treasure points and advancement points cannot be traded / bartered between players but equipment (regular and magic) can. Equipment can never be sold back to NPC merchants for their corresponding currency.

As you might appreciate, this strongly pushes players to have characters "retire" at end game - but it also might encourage multi-toons because to fight "that last boss" I need / want to send my best guy with all the best magic gear... which only happens if he is equipped by other people.

There might even be a "retire" option (so the server can save on character slots) which sets aside the old adventurer permanently but gives your new character a magic item or two from the old one, if the veteran was of high enough level - or perhaps spent enough gold in his will.

If you wanted to "hard core" it, permadeath can also be applied again using the "will" system to pass on some hard earned items. In this particular case I don't think it is required though, and death being just a time penalty (returning the player to a spawn point) is enough since the limited resource design will eventually lead the players to the end/rebirth.

Now, one caveat of such a game is that there must be more quests than levels - and that the easier quest options become "non-rewarding" once you get past a certain level to avoid people that just go after low hanging fruit.

What do you think? Would such a game interest you?

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Assassin's Creed (Movie)

The producers took "Nothing is true. Everything is permitted," to the next level... down.

Cal (Michael Fassbender) is abducted by Abstergo to relive the memories of his murderous ancestor to find a mystical doohickey. Because clearly, if instinct is passed down through genetic code, the memories of your ancestors are too!

Much like the game series this is based upon there are two stories taking place here. The "past" is great and action packed, though expect to read subtitles if you don't understand Spanish. The "present" is very spartan in comparison but the plot is a train wreck and Cal himself lets out a huge WTF not long into the story.

I should just jump off this building and end it all...

Indeed, the proceedings just get worse as the tale goes on and while I can semi-forgive the near bloodless deaths the ending here is just rushed. Either they ran out of budget, didn't know where to go, or both. Not one I recommend, play the games instead. I give this 1.5 awkward shots of Jeremy Irons out of 5.

Monday, 4 March 2019

Neverwinter Online: Goodbye Foundry

Life support: Off.

Cryptic has decided to pull the plug on the Foundry, which is a real shame since that was the one feature that got me playing it in the first place. It doesn't really come as a surprise though as the Foundry has pretty much been "dying" for years due to lack of official support.

This move also affects Cryptic's other MMO - Star Trek Online and much of what Contains Moderate Peril mentions on his post about this rings true for the NWO side as well, with players abusing the system and Cryptic not doing a good enough job to make the program more robust.

Players have until April 11 to enjoy player made foundry adventures for the last time before they are lost to the void. I'll be visiting my ones and DL's for sure, just for one last goodbye.

Bleach (Movie)

Good if it gets a sequel, lousy if it doesn't.

Ichigo is no ordinary high school student, he can see ghosts and as such is embroiled in affairs not meant for the eyes of mortals - mainly that of violent spirits (aka Hollows) and those who hunt them (Shinigami).

Size compensating sword, check!

After a shaky start the story finds some decent footing and the CGI is quite good as are the action sequences of which there are a decent number. Unfortunately it is let down by the ending which I assume was a "safe" way to do it, but to be fair a similar thing does happen in the anime too, the only difference is the anime goes on.

For fans of the manga / anime this is a condensed retelling of the Agent of Shinigami arc, and it actually works just fine, possibly due to the amount of bloat in the original content (hello shots of running feet). All up Bleach turned out to be better than I thought, and is worth a watch but don't expect anything from the end. I give it 2.5 flash steps out of 5 and would probably watch it again.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Fallout Tactics: Vault 0

[Part of the Fallout Tactics story]

With Barnaky's forces gone, only a bridge guarded by gatling turrets remains. The defenses on the opposite end are easily destroyed but the squad is caught by surprise when a second pair emerge behind them, ripping Jo into pieces before being destroyed.

Badly hurt, Frances, Pump and Malice hobble to the main chamber where they find the robot master "the Calculator" which is literally a PC connected to human brains in jars. They open fire from the doorway before it can put up any more defenses and destroy it easily - effectively shutting off the entire robot army.

How you win the game.

Alas without the Calculator, Vault 0's knowledge archives are lost forever and Dekker is expelled for his cowardice on the field (or rather, he never got on the field). Supposedly he was taken off world to join a mercenary band but others simply believe he killed himself.

Regardless, Frances is made the Brotherhood General by the remaining survivors and makes Vault 0 their main base of operations. Malice becomes captain of defense to stay near Glenda, his Reaver lover and Pump takes over leading the assault teams against all those who would try to take Vault 0 from them.

Frances knew there would be no peace. Only war, and war never changes.

Insight: If you don't shoot the computer from the door, it raises a shield and you have to clear the rest of the base behind it. At this point I just wanted to win already.

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Fallout Tactics: Barnaky

[Part of the Fallout Tactics story]

With the door breached, the team found Dagger squad already securing the foothold and gunning down robot defenders. They inform Frances that the power to the lifts are out, so she takes her team fighting through the security and cryogenics sectors to find a way towards the power plant.

Surprisingly, they encounter human Vault 0 citizens but as they fight for the robots they too are gunned down. Eventually they get the power back on and descend to the lowest floor. There they encounter robot squad led by General Barnaky, whose brain and eye stalks now sit atop of a metal body.

Looks like charisma was his dump stat.

Using trinkets they took from his human corpse causes him to hesitate and is an easy kill for the team. The rest of his robot squad are more dangerous, and Dr. John who did a good job keeping everyone healthy up to this point is exploded by a rocket before the enemies wiped out.

Insight: Ammo wise, you want to horde 5.56 and 7.62 caliber for fighting super mutants. There is a lot of energy ammo for the regular laser weaponry at the end to face the robot horde with, and it also happens to be the most effective against them.

.50 cal is also great to reserve for the robots, but all the other rounds are only really useful for the pre-super mutant battles. The .44, .45, .303,. 30.06 are pretty rare too and while the 9mm is plentiful it gets out dated really fast. Make sure to level up your big guns and energy weapon skills accordingly.

Thursday, 28 February 2019

March 2019 Status

Looks like Neverwinter Online is getting a major overhaul in the next Mod, which has inspired me to return in preparation. At this stage it couldn't possibly be worse than Acquisitions Inc. right?

That said it's pretty clear I need a "holiday" from my PC to get rid of some of the higher list items, all of which are still there from last time. That's more likely to happen when I hit the more massive games (file size wise) while waiting for them to download.

    End 2019 with less weight (no change from last month, total: no change)
    Make board game prototype (no progress)
    Complete web comic chapter 1 (no progress)
    Clean out wardrobe (no progress)
    Deal with overhanging trees (no progress)
    Clean the roof (no progress)

Backlog Update:

FROM GIFTS (or freebies)
Dying Light
Shadow of War
Satellite Reign (done)
Lego Lord of the Rings (done)
Assassin's Creed Odyssey
Baldur's Gate
Baldur's Gate 2
Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt
Another Sight: Hodge's Journey (done)
What Never Was (done)
A Story About My Uncle (done)
Deponia: The Complete Journey
+The Kite
+NWO: Get Acquisitions Inc Boons

Board games:
Mice and Mystics Campaign (6/11)
Zombicide: Black Plague Campaign (8/11)
London Dread Campaign (0/4)
Adamastor (0/2 modes)
Escape from Colditz (1/2 modes)
Pandemic: Fall of Rome (no progress)

Fallout Tactics: Nuke the Door

[Part of the Fallout Tactics story]

Since zero hostages were freed last mission, Dekker decided it was time to go all or nothing and send a full attack led by Frances' team to the robots base - Vault 0. Aka the Cheyenne Mountain base. Frances decided to take Dr. John with them so that the squad would have a medic at least.

The plan was simple, drive up the nuke warhead they retrieved from the ghouls long ago right to the door and detonate it - then assault the compound. Fortunately the nuke carrying truck was pretty sturdy - especially with Jo there to repair it. With half the team firing from within and half the team on foot the robots were getting smashed.

The defense towards the end became really strong though, managing to destroy one track of the vehicle. While Jo repaired it, HR1205 sacrificed himself to the gauss rifle wielding defenders. Once the path was finally clear, Jo did the honors to set the nuke. The team then fled to a nearby bunker to survive the blast.

That should do the trick!

Insight: Passengers can shoot out of vehicles and will take no damage in return, instead the vehicle will absorb all the damage. As long as you have a mechanic with tools and make enough pit stops to repair your ride they basically act like mobile bunkers.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Fallout Tactics: Brainless Fools

[Part of the Fallout Tactics story]

Since the robots managed to jam the minimap at the previous manufacturing plant mission, Frances recruits the small and lithe Reaver girl, Mac, to act as a scout when deploying on their next assignment - a rescue operation.

For some reason the robots had been taking prisoners and the detention facility is heavily guarded by every type of bot previously encountered. Mac uses her stealth to find the best path for the team, who fight through a poorly defended flank.

At the main compound Mac takes point again, but as the team follows they are detected and a huge fire fight ensues. With the team taking defensive position in a vacant structure Mac previously scouted, waves of adversaries crash upon the building. Mac, providing overwatch from above, is taken by surprise by a security squid who tears her limb from limb.

The team survives but is badly hurt, so they split up to assault the main building with Frances and Malice taking the second floor while the others sweep into the ground level. Another behemoth is defeated before Frances finds the hostages - all of whom are naked and lobotomized. Among them is General Barnaky.

Thanks for letting us know the details!

Insight: While cover is important in this game, more so is positioning. By default the squad likes to move in a clustered group. If that's the position they fire from then there are good odds that the front line will take friendly fire from their own companions. Position firing lines properly to succeed!

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Today I Smiled: Insight

Gevlon's farewell post made me realize that I should probably be sharing some gaming insight and not just stories and reviews all the time. We'll see how that goes in future posts as I'm probably not that good in "gamer skills" so my teaching qualification might not be up to par. :P

On to other stuff, with all the flooding that happened here you would think pilots would be busy delivering supplies or helping with evacuations. Not this guy, he's just bored.

Speaking of a different type of catastrophe, did you know there was actually a "High Priestess of Blood"? Had she been imprisoned in Russia I suppose she would qualify to be sent to the Black Dolphin Prison, where they most likely have bear hunting dogs skilled in Barkour. Yes, today I learned Barkour is a thing.

I'll leave you with what actually made me smile - the insights of comedian Jo Koy in this short clip. Enjoy your day everyone!

Monday, 25 February 2019

Fallout Tactics: No Reactor

[Part of the Fallout Tactics story]

In lieu of the tank, the team is provided with a rebuilt and reprogrammed squaddie - HR1205, made from the pieces they retrieved months before. It proves invaluable on the next mission to destroy a robot repair facility as Hurt - the team doctor - is melted into a pile of shit by a gauss round early in the piece.

While the other human members can recover hit points, the more major injuries sustained are untreatable. Being a machine, HR can still be repaired by Jo and thus takes the lead in most of this map. Despite this Malice's bomb skills make him the MVP to destroy all the self repairing generators simultaneously.

They then proceed to the manufacturing facility where they encounter and defeat a massive behemoth robot and a multitude of the squid security types who previously killed the other brotherhood team that was sent in. Toni is melted during their ambush.

The behemoth is a walking tank.

Making use of their longest range weapons and the interior cat walks, they clear the rest of bots and destroy the facility. Specifically, destroying a nuclear reactor. Somehow it doesn't explode and kill the lot of them right there.

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Fallout Tactics: Tank You

[Part of the Fallout Tactics story]

Upon arriving at Newton the team finds mechanic gal Jo waiting for them with a tank! While the main gun has no ammunition, it provides ample cover for the team to fire from - especially against the new zerg-like spider scurry bots who bury themselves and wait in ambush.

It makes this mission so easy.

Jo's skills are more than enough to repair any damage to the vehicle, and soon the Reaver leadership is saved - one of whom taking an immediate romantic interest in Malice. As a reward they share their EMP weapon tech which the robots are weakest against.

With this technology secured, the brotherhood then advances West to the next forward operating base. Annoyingly, the tank can't be taken into any future missions as it is held in reserve for defense. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Fallout Tactics: Heavy Metal

[Part of the Fallout Tactics story]

The robot pieces are studied while the team is sent out to apprehend thieves who have stolen brotherhood power armor. The task is simple, but sees three more recruits die in the process. Afterwards Frances, Malice, and Hurt are sent to the Great Bend to fight the robot presence there.

To assist in this, three super mutants are assigned to them - Toni, Chuck and Pump all of whom are strong enough to carry the heavy caliber weaponry that is usually vehicle mounted. These guns literally blow apart the multitude humanoid bots present, as well as the floating security squid robots.

Like the ones in the Matrix!

A third class, the load lifter robot is much more durable and one such machine impales Chuck through the chest - killing him. Despite the loss, the team manages to clear the remaining robot forces in the area and is tasked to continue the fight to Newton and to save the Reavers besieged within.

Friday, 22 February 2019

Fallout Tactics: Possession

[Part of the Fallout Tactics story]

During the day, the vehicles are more easily unstuck but the APC is abandoned. After thanking him properly, Riddick takes the two seat scouter and goes on his way while Frances takes the humvee to Bunker Delta which isn't a bunker at all, but more an above ground fortress.

Dekker wants her to scout out the reported robot threat in the region, starting at a town who claim to have defeated one such adversary. Frances rebuilds her squad with Doc Hurt, Creeper the creep, one handed Stumpy, and heavy weapon supports Pain and Malice.

It turns out that the tech worshipping cult known as the Reavers also want the robot corpse, and aren't going to leave without a fight so Frances leads the assault against their makeshift farmhouse base. Despite their weak armor, the Reavers are carrying powerful weapons. There's also an unexpectedly huge number of them inside and around the little house.

Shooting through the town hall windows.

A grenade launched from the balcony eliminates Pain (who dies in his name sake), Creeper is exploded by a booby trapped door and Stumpy takes a lazer through the eye, frying his brain to ash. Eventually, enough blood is spilled and Frances, Hurt and Malice leave with the robot parts in their possession. 

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Fallout Tactics: Sole Survivor

[Part of the Fallout Tactics story]

Inside the super mutant base, Frances and Brian find a badly wounded mutie who in a dying hallucination, apologizes for losing his captive "the general". Not much further in, the pair find the super mutant leader - a rogue brotherhood paladin! In the ensuing gunfight, he and Brian are killed.

Frances returns alone, demoralized despite the fact that the super mutants having lost their leader have now splintered and are fight among each other. She is tasked with providing the rear guard as the Brotherhood Westward and is given five rookies to help get the three vehicles to the next base.

Oh, I've seen this movie!

A detour sees them get all three stuck at the bottom of a very dark valley. Somehow, a strange man named Riddick is here who helps lead them out. Turns out the valley is crawling with death claws, and despite the teams best efforts (especially one big lady with a dynamite spear), they are all torn to shreds.

Except for Frances, whom Riddick manages to drag out.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Fallout Tactics: Meat Shields

[Part of the Fallout Tactics story]

Frances and Brian are next sent to protect a ghoul chapel from a super mutant attack. Their contact, Babs, is like other ghouls - having survived the nukes to be granted a long undeath. Three recruits also volunteer to help, the best of whom is Rebecca the sniper who is very effective in defending against the three pronged attack.

A single file charge is easy to gun down.

Alas the other two rookies along with most of the other ghoul defenders, including Babs, are killed in the raid. Afterwards the reason of the raid is made clear, the ghouls are worshiping a nuke. Frances convinces them that the only way "their lord" will be safe is if it is relocated to the Brotherhood bunker.

Upon their return Dekker informs them that they have located the the super mutant headquarters and tasks Frances to eliminate their leader. After getting three more recruits they head out to launch a blitzkrieg on the base. Rebecca and all the newbies are killed during the charge, but it is enough to let Frances and Brian reach their underground bunker.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Fallout Tactics: Vengeance

[Part of the Fallout Tactics story]

An ex-raider medic named Hurt is found back at Bunker Gamma and she manages to fix Jo and Frances' wounds from the disastrous previous outing. There is not much time to rest as Dekker orders her to take the offensive and attack a super mutant facility being powered by large generators.

Brian and Frances opt to take four deathclaws who for some reason have decided to work for the Brotherhood, and these beasts quickly show why they are feared - closing distances quick and applying continuous knock downs to their super mutant foes. Unfortunately a grenade gets all of them while they are all clustered together, leaving Brian and Frances to complete the mission.

Effective melee, but weak to grenades.

Brian did manage to find a speedy, two seater scouter which does let them bypass the main roads, and gets them to a spot where they can infiltrate the main facility - finding it is a research lab where a super mutant scientist is trying to solve the sterility problem all super mutants have.

Despite his begging, Frances and Brian torch the place as vengeance for the fallen brothers - scientist included. Surprisingly, Dekker is not happy with that decision. Perhaps he's not as loyal to the Brotherhood as people believe him to be...

Monday, 18 February 2019

Fallout Tactics: Defeat

[Part of the Fallout Tactics story]

The team is delayed in reaching the new bunker as they have to skirt around giant rats that are the size of bears. By the time they reach there, they find it in disarray as many others - led by General Barnaky, have gone to face an army of super mutants.

Big green bastards in any iteration of Fallout.

A man named Dekker, currently in charge of giving missions, sends Frances squad out as support but the battle is lost before they even arrive, switching their priorities to search and rescue. The well trained and heavily armed super mutants, genetically created for war, are having none of that though and splay Mandy's guts all over the fields while attacking their first position.

Ice is shot in the head as the team captures a bridge checkpoint and not much farther Trevor eats a rocket. Traversing through the super mutant trenches, Torn also meets her end via heavy gunfire. The other squads didn't fare much better, with Frances and Brian only able to extract an APC and four members of Talon team who tell them General Barnaky had been captured. Everyone else was dead.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Fallout Tactics: Beastmaster

[Part of the Fallout Tactics story]

Despite providing batteries, the squad must still make do with whatever gear they can scrape together as they are next sent to deal with the Beastlords dominating the area. These cannibals some how can control animals, even the monstrous death claws.

After getting some intel from a liberated mayor and her daughter (sorry to the rest of that town), Frances and company find the Beastlord cave stronghold and easily fight their way in. A caged alpha deathclaw was the answer to their "magic power", and since the beast could parlay - it requested freedom so that it could take revenge on its captors.

Glad it could tell the difference.

Frances let it, and it did so very efficiently. With the beastlords wiped out Frances then ordered the remaining, injured deathclaws be put down as they were too dangerous to live. General Barnaky agreed with this decision and gave her a promotion for her actions. With this area secure it was time to pack up and head on to Bunker Gamma.

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Fallout Tactics: Bugged

[Part of the Fallout Tactics story]

Frances replaces her fallen squaddies with females: the nurse Mandy, all rounder Ice, and her mechanic friend Jo who quickly gets to work repairing the hummer. Annoyingly, the Brotherhood Quartermaster is short on ammo to trade so the team is next sent out to collect batteries to power energy weapons.

Their destination is an abandoned bunker but they are pleasantly surprised to find a friendly but simple tribe living above it and barter a few things before descending into the labyrinth below. A labyrinth filled with radscorpions and radroaches! Yuck!

The boss roach is car sized. Eek!

The deeper areas are only accessible by turning on the power, which in also activates the defense turrets that the team must dodge past. They finally find the battery supply in the deepest area which is home to a giant roach. Jo is crippled by the beast before it is slain.

As they exit, they power down the turrets but find it is too late for the tribe topside as the turrets there also went live and melted over half the inhabitants. Back at the base, the injured Jo is replaced with female close quarter specialist Torn.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Fallout Tactics: Hummer Time

[Part of the Fallout Tactics story]

The last raider outpost is destroyed easily, as the team managed to use a herd of wild brahmin to "disarm" their mine field. General Barnaky then orders the squad south to the next Brotherhood bunker, with an ultimate goal of finding the mythical Vault 0 that is supposed to contain secrets of the past, and gateways to the future.

The migration hits a speedbump at the town of Macomb, where hostile locals put up barricades in an effort to pilfer a Brotherhood convoy. Frances' team is tasked with clearing the way - shooting down packs of dogs while carefully taking down the many roof top snipers lying in wait.

Night time also lowers chances to hit at range.

Despite their best efforts Robin takes a bullet to the face early while traversing a rooftop, Stitch is taken out by a grenade, and Dianne bleeds out from rocket shrapnel at the last hurdle. For their efforts, the survivors aquire a humvee which certainly beats walking. It also can store a lot of loot and is made use of right away to flee from the giant, acid spitting radroaches of the wasteland!

Fallout Tactics: New Recruits

[Part of the Fallout Tactics story]

"Cut them loose," ordered Frances as she reloaded her pistol. Behind her Dianne, now better known as her callsign - Farsight, took up an overwatch position covering one of the exits to the large hut with her hunting rifle as Stitch made his way through the tribal hostages, cutting their bonds free with a scalpel.

Vault boy wasn't one of the prisoners.

Frances couldn't help but be reminded that it was her in that position not long ago, having been taken by rogues and then sold to these raiders to suffer unspeakable indignities. She and Dianne were lucky, surviving until the Brotherhood of Steel rescued them and recruited them into their ranks. Their other friend Brenda was less fortunate, and ended up as dinner a week before the rescue.

These tribals wouldn't suffer that fate though, now they were free... Free to serve the brotherhood. With this success Frances was allowed to expand to a full squad, gaining recruits Trevor the fat, goatee Brian and Robin who does his best to emulate his favorite comic book sidekick.

Fallout Tactics

Because you can't have enough stories about a post nuclear wasteland...

Chapter 01 - New Recruits
Chapter 02 - Hummer Time
Chapter 03 - Bugged
Chapter 04 - Beastmaster
Chapter 05 - Defeat
Chapter 06 - Vengeance
Chapter 07 - Meat Shields
Chapter 08 - Sole Survivor
Chapter 09 - Possession
Chapter 10 - Heavy Metal
Chapter 11 - Tank You
Chapter 12 - No Reactor
Chapter 13 - Brainless Fools
Chapter 14 - Nuke the Door
Chapter 15 - Barnaky
Chapter 16 - Vault 0 

That concludes this story. Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Absurd Game Ideas - Superhero Tank

[Part of the Absurd Game Ideas folder]

Many game bloggers, including myself, usually talk about our ideal games or how to improve the games we currently play. Well I thought it would be fun to flip the script and share our most absurd and silly game or game mod ideas! You are invited to blog your own crazy ideas too! :)

Today's one is inspired by Batman: Arkham Knight's Batmobile dependence. I give you...

Superhero Tank

In this thrilling MOBA, play as your favorite superheroes and super villains as they drive their tanks to victory! Not only can you customize and design your tanks, outfitting them with better gear as your rank up, but they gain some abilities of the hero or villain piloting them!

For example, Spiderman's tank shoots web, Flash's tank moves faster, Aquaman's tank can move under water, Wonderwoman's Tank can lasso other tanks and Bane's tank can get a temporary buff from drugs! Take superhero fighting to the next level of awesomeness because a hero without a tank, is not a hero at all!

Monday, 11 February 2019

Batman: Arkham Knight

I hope you like driving games.

With Gotham evacuated thanks to a terrorist threat from Scarecrow, the streets are now filled mostly with goons of the regular rogues gallery and an invading army of soldiers who are mostly there to hunt Batman. Fortunately, Bats has a new toy in this game - the Batmobile - a powerhouse which will either make of break the game for you.

Why? Because as cool as the car is, it's like 70% of the games' focus suddenly shifted to it. There are multitudes of races, chases, combats, and puzzles (yes, damn you Nigma) that can only be solved with it. If you like driving games, then this should be good news for you. If you hate driving games like I do, then it becomes a tedious chore.

Punching the Riddler is one of my fave moments.

It's a pity because the rest of it (other than the ending which I disliked) is great, especially the bits where you can play as other characters... if only you didn't need the damned car most of the time. I give it 2.5 "non-lethal" exploding bat-rockets out of 5.

Sunday, 10 February 2019

LEGO Lord of the Rings

Where one CAN simply walk into Mordor.

Following the events of the movie trilogy, this LEGO retelling is much more humorous despite using the same voiced lines. How much more humorous? Well, Strider managing to lock the Nazgul in the toilet in the Bree Tavern is a good example.

Who do you get to play during this? Well, everyone. In story mode you can switch between active party members at will, and will need to as different people have different skills. Sam can make plants grow, Gimli can smash rocks, Legolas can jump higher etc. It's also not too challenging, though some bugs towards the end might require a few mission restarts.

Had to replay the Black Gate battle a few times...

Speaking of bugs, I also needed to reduce the resolution to get it to run smoothly, but YMMV. This is definitely designed for collectors though, because after finishing all the story content I only had 33% completion. The rest is found in the open world "free play" which is both massive and for me, empty. Still, this was a fun and mostly relaxed way to relive the movies so I give it 3 rings out of 5.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

A Story about my Uncle

If you want to be happy, don't read the signs.

In this first person platformer, you play as a curious boy who finds himself in a strange land full of floating rocks. While you are given solid controls, nifty gear, and many many checkpoints to help traverse this place expect to die a fair bit (hence the many checkpoints).

Really fun while also really challenging!

While most of this is just about traversal, there is an ok story happening too complete with voiced characters. Strangely, the main characters voice acting is the weakest. Also, be warned this is a short game - I finished it in just under 3 hours, but missed many of the hidden collectibles. Still, if you like platformers - especially first person platformers, I would recommend this one. I give it 2.5 eyeballs out of 5.

Friday, 8 February 2019

Train to Busan

It's a zombie express!

When a little girl convinces her selfish father to take her to visit her estranged mother via express train, she didn't realize just how traumatic the trip would be. Traumatic and bloody! That's what happens when you put zombies on a train.

Well, this day is going to hell.

This Korean action horror is quite entertaining and does have an interesting version of the infected undead. The main cast do a good job in their albeit stereotypical roles and the camera, stunt work and action bits are quite good. Effects wise is quite passable too.

That leaves the plot, which is predictable and has some holes the size of which people can crawl through - but don't most zombie movies have that? All up I really enjoyed this one and would definitely watch it again. I rate it 4 lemmings out of 5.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Another Sight: Hodge's Journey

 There is a key to meow. :3

In this platformer, you play as an orange cat who is totally tripping in the catnip traversing some strange realms via teleporters for no clear reason. There are some moderate puzzles in this short game, which is currently free on Steam.

Kitty's tripping balls.

I cleared it in 27 minutes. Much like What Never Was, this is just a prelude to something more - but this time there actually IS something more, which is the main game: Another Sight. Not sure that it managed to sell me on getting the main game, but if you like platformers and cats, then this one is worth a download.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

What Never Was

A prelude to something that should be.

In this first person, one room story puzzle, a young woman is tidying up her grandfather's attic and comes across a secret. While there is reading through journal pages there is also surprisingly good voice acting in this little game.

The entirety of the game lies in this attic.

The only real let down is the length, as I cleared it in 18 minutes and was looking forward for more but - see the title. On the flip side, its currently available for free on Steam - so if you liked things like Myst and just want to see how sharp (or rusty) your skills are, it's worth a try.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Dragons: Defenders of Berk / Race to the Edge

More Hiccup and Toothless!

Taking place between the first and second "How to train your Dragon" movies, this series follows Hiccup and company as they discover new dragons, make new friends and battle new enemies. As expected, the CGI quality is not movie standard but drastically improves with each new season with the final one being pretty damn good and sets up for the second movie really well.

The extra characters have decent development too!

I also like that there is an underlying plot behind the problem of the day scenario and towards the end sees the Hiccup fighting in pretty much full scale war. While there are deaths it is a kids show so all of it is bloodless and off screen. Of course, the main attraction are the characters and any extra time with their funny antics and watching them grow is quite entertaining. Definitely one I'd recommend for fans of the show.

Monday, 4 February 2019

The Battle for Wesnoth

Free, turn based sprite warfare.

The land of Wesnoth is in turmoil and the best solution is war! Conducted on hex grid maps the general flow of a battle (but not all, there are variants) is to recruit units, conquer and hold villages (for gold production) and subsequently eliminate your opponent's leader.

It's a little annoying that said leader (both sides) usually has to stay within a keep so that they can actually recruit people but that's just one of the tiny nuances to get used to.

Expect some reading!

I like that various units perform better with in various terrain or time of day, so rushing your elves headlong into undead at night is a bad idea. Luring them into the woods during the morning is a better prospect but do you have time for that? Yes, most campaign missions have a turn limit to keep you pushing forward.

Some also have varying attacks - said elves shooting against sword wielders is a good idea. Shooting against mages? Not too bright, better to go hand to hand in that case. Simple mechanics that are easy to learn, but harder to master. Keeping units alive is also good, as you can recall surviving veterans in future campaign missions.

Lastly, there's a lot of content here. Campaigns upon campaigns, an editor, more player made stuff - all available for free. The graphics are the obvious let down though, and if you don't like sprites you won't like this. Also, if the enemy has a gazillion troops it takes awhile for him to complete his turn.

Not quite my cup of tea, but if you like strategy games and don't mind the less than stellar art Wesnoth might be worth a look.

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Kung Fu Yoga

The title is worse than the movie.

In this action comedy, Chinese archaeologist Jack Chan (played by Jackie Chan) is called upon by an Indian professor to help find a lost treasure. Of course, there is a bad guy after the same treasure who has a lot of goons that Jack and company get to beat up.

This poster is as serious as the movie gets.

Since I went into this with really low expectations, I was pleasantly surprised at the budget this movie has. The team visits many places, and along with some wirework there is a lot of neat CGI (though obviously CGI - not life like enough to fool people). The story itself is a bit flat and predictable but Jackie Chan's antics certainly help lift it up.

Also, there's not much yoga but there is a lot of melee fighting, which for me is great. Not the best movie Jackie Chan has made, but if you are a Jackie Chan fan then you would probably still enjoy this. I give it 2.5 Indiana Jones references out of 5, and yes - I would watch it again!