Tuesday 28 February 2017

TESO: Old Friends

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

With the Covenant halted, I managed to get in touch with the Prophet again. After finding him hiding in a not so nearby cave/hovel, he tells me that Molag Bal's plan to take over Tamriel must be stopped. Well, duh... some mages have low INT I guess? I need allies first though, which makes sense since the local war mage committed semi-suicide, and the first one that pops into his mind is Lyris so once more he opens a portal to Coldharbour and I'm tasked with putting her back together (figuratively, since dremora enjoy mindbending torture). Somehow this involves much slaying of dremora but we escape just fine this time.

Alas, almost as soon as we return the Prophet wants us to go back to rescue someone else! Sigh. Unfortunately this time the region he sends us to keeps crashing me to the desktop so much (GFX overheat?) that I end up abandoning that game-breaking piece of shit mission, telling him to let Lyris handle it. Not happy TESO. Instead I decide to explore a dwemer ruin to look for some lost books for the Mages Guild. I guess it's like working for a library? Anyway, one such book spawns the spirit of Archmage Shalidor who asks my help in retrieving... more lost books. And an island. From Sheogorath.

Seems they have a long standing feud.

I found Shalidor's four tomes really easily once I stepped through the gate he opened to the Shivering Isles. The guardian clanfear was really troublesome though, forcing me to learn how to quickslot potions. Of course Sheogorath wasn't going to just let me take all five tomes, instead he let me take one - offering the rest when I earned them. After taking the book back to the Mages guild for decyphering (Sheo cursed the books so that Shalidor couldn't do that), I was free to decide which way to travel so I hopped on my horse and headed North West to Riften! Because I needed to check on my daughters. o_o

Monday 27 February 2017

TESO: Summon Cheese

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

After a side track to (re)apply for membership to the Fighters, Mages, and Undaunted (dungeon delver) guilds, it was time to defend Davon's Watch - Not that the city needed help - the Dunmer warmage and region general, Tanval was here and he summoned a flaming bone golem, called "a brother of Strife", who simply cannon balled out to the Covenant fleet and destroyed most of them.

A few ships managed to dock further up the coastline but dealing with them was not as bad as dealing with the now rampaging Strife golem who was happily destroying the rest of Stonefalls - not because the scamp summoning pussy was hard to beat. Getting up to the part where you can rebind him was the tough part.

Good thing he's not a walking cheat code when I fight him!

Once re-imprisoned in his volcano we could then focus on the main Covenant general who moonlights as a necromancer. He wasn't very hard either, especially when he transformed into a more hideous but weaker form. The douche somehow still managed to kill Tanval's son in the battle which enraged the war mage - causing him to depart and summon the second brother of Strife because anger clouds judgment. Sigh. This one was a lot tougher and only when Tanval realized his error did he sacrifice himself so that the monster could be sealed like its brother.

With that the Covenant advance was halted in the most "shoot your own foot" method possible.

Sunday 26 February 2017

TESO: The Snake has Two Heads

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

A Dunmer templar Dieannin Avery decided to team up with me in rounding up all the townsfolk at Bleakrock which made the job really easy. Since the local "bandits" turned out to be advanced scouts for the Covenant, it wasn't really safe to hang around any longer and so we set sail down the coast all the way to the Argonian settlement of Bal Foyen in hopes to avoid the Covenant fleet. A plan that failed since the Covenant were already attacking there.

While interrupts are good, killing an enemy is better.

The quest branched at this point giving the option of either defending the fort with civilians or the docks with soldiers with grave connotations for the one we opted to neglect. Dieannin and I simply shrugged and decided to do both: he'd go with the Dunmer She-Captain to the docks while I headed to the fort... where Covenant were gating in. Really? What's the point of walls?

Regardless, both defense points were successful. I slew the mage themed Covenant commander while Dieannin Avery handled what sounded to be a more brute force type leader who killed the Dunmer She-Captain. We were then tasked with alerting the next town along of the impending threat and hoofed it on to the walled city of Davon's Watch. At its gates I finally part with Dieannin. Thanks dude!

Saturday 25 February 2017

TESO: New Life Unlock

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

For some reason Friede's words "Thy place of belonging" kept ringing in my mind and with the Fire Keeper's help I used my significant soul fire to teleport me somewhere closer to home.

I awoke in a very weakened state in the familiar landscape of Coldharbour. Lucky for me not five minutes goes by before a towering Nord lady named Lyris frees me from my cell, informing me that my current undeath condition was caused by some scum named Mannimarco. With no intention of keeping the silence this time, I took great pleasure in eviscerating all the dremora in the way to our escape route: another prisoner called "the Prophet".

I can still backstab with a two handed sword!

The old guy manages to open a portal back to Tamriel for us, but thanks to Molag Bal's interference Lyris doesn't escape. Just want to note that it is fortunate the Prophet's portal opened over the sea because it was pretty high up! I washed ashore on a snowy little island called Bleakrock and was soon conscripted by the local Dunmer She-Captain into gathering all the townsfolk for an emergency evacuation since Covenant warships were spotted headed this way.

Despite the "rush" I happen to come across a friendly Argonian He Alve who teaches me the art of lock picking, which is now a simple mini game. Simple when someone explains it anyway! Just push down on each tumbler and let go when it starts to shake. More importantly just -remember- when it starts to shake so your second attempt will always work. After this two minute crash course, I've not failed any. Thank you He Alve!

Thursday 23 February 2017

This is the Police

Who knew being a corrupt police chief could be so... boring? Guess that's where the donuts come in!

After an impressive animated opening with a unique, soft and semi abstract art style you quickly find yourself in the boots of an aging police chief who is on the way "out" - since the scumbag Mayor is forcing your retirement in 180 days. Alas future cut scenes are done in a more comic book style format, but it is still cool and the voice acting is pretty decent.

This is what you'll be staring at most of the time.

The mayor is far from the only scum bag though, as you have to deal with the mafia, serial killers and everything from pranksters to terrorists. If you guessed that this is a management game, then good work detective - you are right! The chief of police sends out other people to handle all the 911 calls. You must handle your staffs time and needs with what the city needs and wants... and more importantly what you need and want.

Want to make an easy 80k? Just send three of your officers to a trap and leave their bodies in the morgue. Yes, you can be a very dirty cop. For me there are two main problems with the game: 1 - too few song choices. In the 3rd "act" you get even less songs which makes it feel rushed or incomplete. 2 - The game is too long. 180 days of managing calls is very grindy, heavy on reading, and honestly not very compelling. Majority of them you will be zoning out on autopilot and possibly wishing for donuts.

It's not a bad game, but it's not a fantastic game which is a shame. I really think it could have been better than what it is. In its current form I give it 2 and a half side jobs out of 5. If you like management games, it might be worth a look - otherwise, it might be worth a skip.

Wednesday 22 February 2017


A single room story.

This entire "experience" takes place in a small cabin with you playing as the moping protagonist who is looking for his wife - the titular Serena. While it's one of those "quite different" games, it is very linear, has a short play length and lack of choices/player agency. Most of the descriptions are read out by the sad sack protagonist and if they were going for a sad sack voice they picked the right guy.

The whole story happens in here.

It is quite annoying that he refuses to do many things, simply to keep you constrained in the cabin or until you've unlocked that part of the "story". Click on a cabinet and you might get "I don't feel like doing that right now". Yeah. One of those games. If you want to kill 10 minutes on a freebie from Steam then you might want to consider this. If you have longer then you might prefer to check out one of the many other free titles. Even Trick and Treat is better. For all the reasons above, it's hard for me to give this more than 1 picture out of 5.

Tuesday 21 February 2017

Today I Smiled: Reconnected

For those of you wondering why I missed a few days of posts, it was due to annoying internet issues. As of today though, that should (hopefully) all be fixed and I can get back into the swing of things! :)

My Dark Souls story is taking a break - but don't worry I'm sure there's more to come with that next DLC in March... haha. In the meantime here's some stuff to make you smile - like Russian Soldiers marching to Barbie Girl, or Ragnar (from Vikings) being naughty, how people can make "fake news" with a web cam, or perhaps my favorite of this lot made for John Wick fans... Dog Wick!

As usual I also have some music links for you - starting with Brian Mcknight's Back at One (Piano and Voice only), the entire Wizardry Online BGM Piano Suite, and a Castlevania Medley guitar duet (played -very- cleanly)! There's also a Castlevania 3 Medley by the same duo if you liked that.

That's it for now - I'll leave you with a question, and that is - why would a burger joint need an Ad that hits you in the feels? No idea. But I sure would like some Jollibee right now. :P

Sunday 19 February 2017

The Legend of Drizzt (Boardgame)

Because the Underdark is... dark and full of terrors?

After completing Temple of Elemental Evil and Wrath of Ashardalon (in that order), my game group has moved on to the next of the D&D adventure system games - the Legend of Drizzt (which I'll abbreviate to LoD from here on out). I know we're sort of going backwards(?) but the general consensus is that the miniatures are getting better - which is interesting.

LoD uses the same tile and monster mechanics as the others, but now comes with twisting cavernous zones, some of which are -really- tight, and "dead end" tiles which I'm guessing are quite frequent in the Underdark: the main location of this campaign.

The tiles are more claustrophobic!

There are some strong bad guys here too but nowhere near as strong as the numerous player characters on offer - which is partly why we're still sticking with our initial Temple group. :)

There are a few variations of quests to the seek and destroy or seek and escape which is nice, but the inclusion of competitive adventures (player vs player) actually lessens the value for me. Also, since the campaign tries to follow Drizzt's adventures there are many gaps in the story where he isn't in the Underdark. For those reasons, this one only gets 4 driders out of 5. 

Score after re-review: 3 driders out of 5.

Saturday 18 February 2017

Skyrim: 30 Days of Skyrim

Might as well be part of my Skyrim Adventure Journal! You can read the whole story here!

Turns out there's this "30 Days of Skyrim" challenge floating about, and since I've raked up hundreds upon hundreds of hours on the game I thought I'd give it a crack. Also rather than spread it out for 30 days I'm just going to hit them all at once. :)

Day One: Which race did you chose?
I always go with Nord. The natives of Skyrim. Which happens to be my character name.

Day Two: Mage, Warrior, Rogue or mixed class?
I always start with Rogue, then eventually mix into Warrior and only at the very end do I pick up magic skills. I don't mind worlds with magic, I just don't like being a magic user.

Day Three: Favorite Quest Line.
The Forgotten City Mod. It's fantastic.

Day Four: Favorite Quest Mission.
To Kill an Empire, and any others that involve directly slaying Thalmor or Imperial people.

Day Five: Favorite Faction.
Dawnguard. Definitely my type of crazies. :)

Day Six: Least Favorite Quest Line.
A Night to Remember (the one you get drunk). Did it for completion but it's ultimately stupid.

Day Seven: Least Favorite Quest.
No Stone Unturned. It's a collection quest. Blergh.
Also, Diplomatic Immunity because I'm not allowed to eradicate all the Thalmor in their estate.

Day Eight: Favourite Companion(s)
Serana from the Dawnguard DLC since she has the most backstory and is easy on the eyes. Brutus Brutalus [from the Summerset Isle Mod] was a real ass kicker though for whatever reason.

Day Nine: Favorite City
Whiterun, it's in the middle of everything and has a nice layout to the place.

Day Ten: Favorite Hold
Again Whiterun. I like the open, rolling, non-snowy plains. I also quite like the wandering giants and mammoths!

Day Eleven: Favorite antagonist.
Samel from the Inferno Mods. The guy just keeps coming back!

Day Twelve: Favorite Shout(s)
For a long time it was Dragonrend, but recent mods have me favoring Slow Time and Become Ethereal.

Day Thirteen: Favorite Spell(s)
None really, since I'm not a mage. I suppose the light ones are useful every now and then.

Day Fourteen: Favorite Weapon(s)
Paralyzing bows and paralyzing knives. Eventually graduated to dragon slaying katana and oblivion sword though (from the Death Mountain Mod).

Day Fifteen: Favorite in game book

This one from the Death Mountain Mod! :P

Day Sixteen: Least Favourite Creature
Slaughter fish, mainly because they are hard to target and pointless to fight.

Day Seventeen: Horder or no?
Not really items wise, but gold - wow I love gold. Despite having over a hundred thousand coins I still open baskets and nightstands to take all the coins I can find.

Day Eighteen: Favorite House.
Solitude. It's spacious and pretty functional.

Day Nineteen: Mods or no mods?
Definitely Mods. They add so much content to the game!

Day Twenty: What do hate most about Skyrim?
NPCs try to fight me when I'm clearly out of their league. They should either flee in terror at this point or simply surrender immediately.

Day Twenty One: Funniest thing you’ve done.
Chain executed maybe 20-30 enemies from the Sinister Seven Mod as they chased me through a door to a new area.

Day Twenty Two: Funniest glitch you’ve encountered
Dead dragon in Riften. Respawns dead. :P

Day Twenty Three: Favorite Song.
The dragon fighting music!

Day Twenty Four: Stormcloak Rebel, Imperial Legionnaire or neither?
Stormcloaks forever. Imperials are pussies since they lost/had to make peace with a bunch of elves. HUMANS MUST REIGN SUPREME ABOVE ALL OTHERS!

Day Twenty Five: Vampire, Werewolf or Vigilant of Stendarr?
Vigilant of Stendarr I guess, though I never really wear that title. Guess it fits somewhat though. Dislike of magic, slayer of non-humans. *nods*

Day Twenty Six: Favorite Armor set
Mastermind's Armor from the Sinister Seven Mod. The darker it gets, the faster you can move ultimately twice or three times of someone on horseback. Especially useful in dungeons where you can sprint up to an enemy (from the front) in stealth and execute them before they can draw their weapons!

Day Twenty Seven: One thing you would change about Skyrim
Let the game handle thousands of combatants in combat without crashing.

Day Twenty Eight: Who did you marry in game?
Njada, because she's a human Nord. I quite like her scars too. For me they make her look better than the ones who have flawless skin.

Day Twenty Nine: Favourite Deadra
Sheogorath. I'm biased though, since I really liked him in Oblivion and the Shivering Isles too. Still disliked his quest here.

Day Thirty:  What do you love most about Skyrim?
The dragons!

Friday 17 February 2017

Dark Souls III: Thy place of belonging

Tales from Dark Souls - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!


After 30 or so attempts and maybe 10 or so embers, which I'm now using as a heal item rather than a pre-combat buff, I finally win this most epic battle as the nunja does not get up a fourth time (thank god). Is it strange that I'm going to miss her now?

I head out to where the white haired prisoner girl has begun painting on a canvas and tell her of her uncle Gael's (many) deaths. She doesn't seem to mind. Instead she tells me:

Those who aren't ken to fire cannot paint a world...

Those absorbed by fire, must not paint a world.
Don't worry, I haven't forgotten, Mother...
I can hear the fire crackle...
And soon, I will see it...
My thanks, Ashen One.
I will finish the painting.
Of a cold, dark, and very gentle place.
So that it might make a home for someone, someday."

It is with sorrow that I leave her there to die as Ariandel's flames begin to consume the place. That second line strikes a chord for me though. Perhaps it's some sort of clue as to why the fire didn't get linked, and why it's best that I am fireproof.

Thursday 16 February 2017

Dark Souls III: Fighting Fully

Tales from Dark Souls - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Rejuvenated by the victory I return to face Friede and promptly get face stomped again and again. I do improve though, up to the point where I slay her! But this is Dark Souls, that doesn't really mean I won. See by doing that Ariandel goes ape shit and revives her.

Oh, so the boss fight only starts -now-?

Now I have to fight both a nunja, and a crazed giant bird wielding a cup full of lava! Even with Sir Gael's assistance, this does not end well for me and defeat resets the fight -fully- as per usual.

I opt to head back (bonfire warp works just fine) and chat with Corynx who gives me clues where to find more Estus shards (more healing). I manage to find two more which is still not a full set but it proves to be enough to slay both Friede and Ariandel! Huzzah!

This leads to phase THREE, where our favourite nunja revives again - this time with dual scythes (I guess she killed Scythegirl too) and insane dark magic moves. Yep. I die again. A lot. And this resets the fight -fully-. :P

Wednesday 15 February 2017

Dark Souls III: Return from whence thou cam'st...

Tales from Dark Souls - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Ariandel asks me to fetch Friede but there's no need, as she is already approaching with the exact same ice magicked scythe of the previous white-haired painting lady. It's pretty clear now that she killed her somehow and with Ariandel is now corrupting this world. I would not let that stand!

Or ... maybe I'll just back away now.

It turns out Friede is a nunja though (dual class nun/ninja) who can turn invisible and pretty easily kills me with said scythe. A few goes of this and I am so beaten up mentally I opt to withdraw first, following the suggestion of a player message to cut the long bridge outside.

This then serves as a ladder down to a root maze (guarded by two annoying great Nord archers) which reaches the frozen lake below. The area leads to a flowery valley with the bottom part of that tower where a lady with an affinity for wolves guards a curiously familiar grave.

Though not stated, I'm sure this is Knight Ciaran, especially given how tough she is (and she can somehow parry while attacking, the cheater). Worse when she summons a great wolf for aid. She's not as tough as Friede though, as it only takes me three attempts to defeat her.

Tuesday 14 February 2017

Dark Souls III: Mountain of Madness

Tales from Dark Souls - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Beyond the prison chamber is an exit to a snowy mountain pass which is heavily patrolled by the javelin dudes followed by wolves and the great Nords. In traditional Dark Souls fashion, since I was terribly outnumbered here (worse than 10:1) I decided to go to the old staple: Panic Sprint through everything and somehow it worked!

Oh yuck.

After opening a few shortcuts I found myself entering a large, smelly chamber full of carcasses - a hive of giant flies? While very yucky, these weren't that dangerous to get through since I wasn't silly enough to wake all of them up at the same time. A nearby lever opened a secret passage back at Sister Friede's chapel. How I saw what happened in a cut scene far away - I don't know, but that's not the first time it's happened either. :P

A secret passage from the hive then led to a tangle of roots down to a familiar looking circular tower... damnit. This IS the same painting that I was in before! With nowhere else to go I used a homeward bone to return to Friede and get some answers.

She just casually implied I should leave but didn't actually stop me from descending the secret steps into the large, underground sanctum. At the end was a giant bird man, peering into a golden cauldron. It turns out this is the titular Ariandel.

Monday 13 February 2017

Dark Souls III: Vilhelm's Doom

Tales from Dark Souls - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Apart from the very first "strong" birdman, the rest of the powered up freaks are easily avoided by some rooftop parkour. This leads me to some sort of cemetery around a library where Sir Vilhelm awaits with his dark sword and an ominous speech. I knew I'd be fighting him!

It is quickly apparent that a noble duel is bad for my health so I fall back to cheap tricks of corner attacks and climbing up a ladder. The ladder actually proves to be his downfall as he thinks he's clever to not follow me up, since that would leave him open. He also has a healing ability to negate my ranged attacks anyway so he's safe right? Wrong.

This makes him extremely open to a plunging attack from pretty high up, which when chained with my foreva-swingin-axe which stuns on every hit results in his dismemberment. Can't out cheese a cheeser! :P


I open up a secret passage in his library which opens up some stairs leading to a young girl with long white hair. This prisoner is a budding painter, Sir Gael's niece, and reminds me a lot of another white haired girl I met in a snowy painting so very long ago.

She also asks that I show her fire... which is a little disturbing.

Sunday 12 February 2017

Dark Souls III: Birdverine

Tales from Dark Souls - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Upon properly scouting, I find another path that leads to a bonfire and a rickety wooden bridge spanning a large chasm, leading to some sort of chapel. At the door is a Sir Vilhelm, a knight in black armor with the voice of a chain smoker, who tells me to go in and talk to his boss, Sister Friede.

Friede is very amicable, gifts me a frostbite ring and politely tells me that I have no place here. Vilhelm's echo of this is more direct and aggressive. Yeah I'm going to fight him later aren't I? Deciding against leaving just yet, I follow a path down the mountain side which leads to a small village inhabited my mostly dying birdmen.

Sliding is fun! And one way...

It's good that most of them are dying though, because the few full powered ones are bloody fast and dangerous to fight. They must be infected by something because the strong ones also attack their weak kin. One dying birdman in a kitchen tells me this directly, begging me to stop this disease. There's definitely more than meets the eye here.

Friday 10 February 2017

Dark Souls III: The Second Painting

Tales from Dark Souls - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Following Sirris' instructions I find Sir Gael at the Cleansing Chapel (of the Deep). I guess I misunderstood that he could help me though, since he is the one asking for help - tasking me with bringing fire to the painted world of Ariandel, holding out a scrap of painting which serves as a teleporter. Why not, it's not like this is the first painting I've stepped into.

I soon find myself in a wintery mountainside, inhabited by tall, javelin throwing viking dudes, lonely trees, and packs of wolves. Individually they aren't that tough against my fully upgraded axe, but since this is Dark Souls - they come in groups of three or more. Still not a problem though. Even the giant wolf pack leader isn't a problem since I've fought one who wielded a giant sword before.

I like that it's just sitting in plain sight so you know what you're walking into.

Progress seems good until I hit some ruins near a crumbling guard post - that's when I encounter the giant Nords who live up to their appearance and cane me very easily. At that point I decide to look for a way around these guys...

Thursday 9 February 2017

Dark Souls III: Fireproof

Tales from Dark Souls - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Turns out being an "Ashen One" has made me more fire proof than I realized, and as the flames subside I can tell that the first flame still hasn't been linked. Well, that's just great. I return to Firelink in hopes of answers, but instead find that the now sighted Firekeeper is still eager for the flames to die and that the cleric Irina is now not only blind but cannot feel anything either - a prisoner in her own body thanks to the dark tomes I had given her. She asks for death. I grant it.

Upon asking around about the whereabouts of her companion, the gargoyle helmed Eygon, it is Melentia the hag who gives me a lead - telling me that he had gone with Sirris had gone to face Holy Knight Hodrick at the Undead Settlement.

I go there to assist, scouring the area for them and soon find Eygon's corpse. Not so nearby is the mortally wounded Sirris who was triumphant against the Holy Knight who turned out to be her grandfather.

In our final conversation, I try to cheer her up saying she succeeded in her quest unlike me who failed quest to link the first flame. With her dying breath she tells me of another knight at the Cathedral of the Deep who might help.

Wednesday 8 February 2017

Fantastic Beasts and where to find them

Muggles are better than wizards.

A movie set in the Harry Potter universe, Fantastic Beasts does a decent job of standing on it's own with very few active call backs to Hogwarts etc. Eddie Redmayne plays a likeable enough lead who loves his fantastic animals, and this gets him into all sorts of humorous problems.

I did find some of his lines a little hard to understand though and the female lead was quite plain (though that's probably the instruction given to her). Also watching Eddie do a pig dance midway through has kinda cringe worthy.

Party assembled!

Fortunately Dan Fogler's non-mag (aka muggle) makes everything much better and turned out to be my favorite character in the whole thing! Effects wise, it's very good seeing all the cute, scary, icky creatures (to make toys of no doubt) though for some reason I felt the stage design, especially outdoor scenes, could have used some work.

While most of the problems in the movie are actually caused by the protagonists, there is a bad guy who rates a "meh" on the "ho hum" meter. Maybe he was put in after the fact to give the movie a darker shade? Who knows. The ending bit was also a little too drawn out. Just saying.

Still I quite enjoyed this film, and give it 3 magic suitcases out of 5.

Tuesday 7 February 2017

Hand of Fate

An adventure card game with the Batman: Arkham Series combat style!

This one took me a bit by surprise, having received it as a gift for Christmas. After a huge dose of WTF is going on right at the start, it wasn't long before I got into the swing of taking another "step" onto a card and hoping it would be something good.

Adventuring takes place on encounter cards.

Yes, exploration is done by flipping over cards and successfully completing encounters unlocks more cards which I found to be a neat way of having mini stories. These encounters are not necessarily combat, which plays much like the Batman: Arkham Asylum series except you're not Batman and the fights quickly go from being super easy to requiring some gamer skill.

The main goal is to beat each member of the courts of various suits: Dust (bandits), Plague (ratmen), Skulls (skelies), and Scales (lizardmen) and finally the very well voice acted Dealer who acts as the antagonist in the game.

Pretty cool for a Unity made game!

My favorite parts about it are you can customize your adventure deck with cards you have unlocked, tailoring what you can and what you won't run into on a quest - or have everything included in Endless mode. The way it is structure also allows you to progress despite dying/losing a game which is great design. Also, the final fight is very cool. Make sure you get to it. :)

This is definitely one I can recommend, and give it 4.5 minotaur tracks out of 5.

Monday 6 February 2017

Star Wars: Rogue One

Develop emotional attachments at your peril!

While The Force Awakens is sort of a retelling of A New Hope, Rogue One goes totally off tandem to do it's own thing to tell the story of just how the rebels got their hands on that Death Star schematic.

As expected the visuals and soundtrack are great and the majority of the characters do their parts well too. Big thumbs up to Donnie Yen. It also ticks the box of "action flick" given the number of explosions and my favorite part is that most of the good guys die.

Queue new material for Star Wars Battlefront...

I also like that they show how each of them goes out (though majority is through the same way). None of this Deathly Hallows crap where you just hear about it later or see people possibly dead, possibly sleeping with no explanation. There are equally silly bits though, such as why is there a Prince of Persia trap in the archives? Lol.

Definitely not a movie for everyone, but it turned out to be right up my alley! I give Rogue One 3.5 imperial grenades out of 5.

Sunday 5 February 2017

Dark Souls III: Let there be Light

Tales from Dark Souls - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

The flaming sword is familiar...

Being tasked with taking down gods is a pretty big leap, but fortunately I didn't have to do it alone. Upon entering the very empty, yet very beautiful area which was now the Kiln of the First Flame I was joined by Kallian of Carim and sunbros Sumrak 2005 and MoGG (players) to face the Soul of Cinder: an amalgamation of all those who had linked the flame before. This towering skeletal warrior had a variety of movesets but his phase two one was most familiar: Gwyn, complete with his two handed flaming sword.

Oh that can't be good...

Sumrak fell to the firey blade, as did Kallian who was air juggled to death (which is BS btw since it means you can't recover). The Cinderfella managed to do Gwyn's explosive grab on me a few times too, but with MoGG's help he was finally laid to rest. Thanks guys! Now the rest was up to me... I walked up to the first flame and saw the Firekeeper's summon sign next to it.

She had mentioned to call upon her to end the cycle of fire but as I said before - having seen first hand what that world would look like... no. I'd run away from this enough times now. Extending my hand, I linked the fire - which as expected... sets me on fire too. A heroic sacrifice to sustain the beauty of the world. I suppose a plateau of flowers and swords seems to be a fitting place to do it... and so ends my Dark Souls journey.

Saturday 4 February 2017

Dark Souls III: Oh Brother...

Tales from Dark Souls - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

It took a fair bit of effort to reach this boss room, but that's to be expected as the last lord soul is within reach. I found the sickly Prince Lothric waiting on his throne, but he wasn't going to do any fighting. He left that up to his much larger brother, Lorian who is a complete, teleporting, melee asskicker. Since this fight was killing me more than Ornstein and Smough I tried to summon help from players Turms, Gwyndolin and sunbro Cheshire Charr (go the GW2 reference!) who unfortunately could not enter the boss chamber. Thanks for trying guys!

Since it looked like I'd need to do this solo, I switched out my axe for Tsorig's Fume Greatsword - upgrading it fully for maximum reach and damage. It took a few attempt but finally, I slew Lorian! And then... Lothric teleports onto his back and ressurects him for phase 2... which now includes Lothric's many heatseeking, magic attacks. OMGWTFBBQ!?!

After quitting for a day, I decided to try enlist help again - this time from sunbros Yen Sid the mage and Tartarus the knight. This time they BOTH could enter, and we absolutely slammed the princely brothers into the dirt! Finally, all the lord souls were collected and back at Firelink Shrine the Firekeeper performed a ritual to take their flames (killing poor Ludeth) and pour them onto me - so that I may finally face the old gods of Lordran.

Best solution is again to bring numbers!

Friday 3 February 2017

Trick and Treat

I didn't know Cutesy Horror was a thing.

In this RPG Maker game, you play as an airhead Trick or Treater who for some reason decided to go with her friend to get candy from a Vampire's Castle. You are quickly separated and must do your best to find her ( and all the candy) at the same time. It goes without saying that you will run into actual ghosts and somewhat creepy dolls, complete with funny jump scares and simple puzzles. For a light hearted, cutesy horror - it's quite entertaining. My only complaint is the exploration of the castle does require some legwork but that's a flaw feature in most RPG Maker games.

Featuring the friendliest vampire ever.

If you are after short gimmick to kill a few hours, this one is worth a look - especially since it is free on Steam. :) Don't expect the depth or quality of of To the Moon though. I give it two pumpkins our of five.

Thursday 2 February 2017

Dark Souls III: Dragonslayer

Tales from Dark Souls - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

That doesn't bode well...

After the adventure at Archdragon Peak it was time to continue exploring Lothric's Castle, fighting past all forms of knightly hollows from before - only this time they have empowering mages to buff them. Once I get back outside it looks like there's some ominous eclipse event happening too, and all the dead dragons on the wall ramparts are now taking flight... Two of them decide to lay covering fire along a bridge I need to cross too, which results in a small detour through more human sized enemies.

This is more a test of flanking, not timing.

I manage to slay one of them with firebombs, which somehow kills the other (odd) but at least it lets me advance to the next boss plaza - one inhabited by Dragonslayer Armour!? I guess he's the version 2.0 of what I'm using, and while he defeats me on round one, I best him on my second attempt - making use of the big fountain to buy time to heal. It's then on to the Grand Archives where I find out that the Crystal Sage is still alive!

Of course there are gargoyles on the roof...

The bastard keeps taking potshots and teleporting while I have to deal with cursed books, midget assassins, candle head mages and a flame sword invader named Melisandre (player), who I totally think is an NPC and break the courtesy of waving first even though she waved hello. Sorry Melisandre! :( A blue sentinel named Monet (player) comes to my aid but Melisandre defeats us both! Thanks for trying Monet!

It is a long and arduous run up the tower (again) but this time I slay the Crystal Sage for good, run past a competing adventuring party, slay a small contingent of hollow knights and unlock a super shortcut back to a bonfire which is super handy because just ahead is Lothric's throne room!

Wednesday 1 February 2017

Dark Souls III: Archdragon Peak

Tales from Dark Souls - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Instead of pushing forward at the castle, I opt to take a detour to Irithyll - finding Greirat's corpse in the white spider sewers. Guess he's not as good a thief as he thought. Down in the dungeon I use the "path of the dragon" gesture at the "try gesture" cliff, and find myself transported to Archdragon Peak - a spectacular fortress which is home to the serpent men. And dragons. A big white one greets me just as I enter the main gate, and this becomes one of my favorite boss fights.

So cool...

Directly attacking it doesn't really get anywhere, but the boss zone is huge and encourages me to explore the serpent man buildings and parapets all while avoiding dragon fire - It's also handy that said dragon fire hits friend and foe alike! Eventually I reach a high scaffolding above the beast, and using a leaping attack one hit kills the winged reptile.

Worse adversaries wait beyond him though, such as rolling rock lizards and a fat wizard who summons invaders such as drake blood knights and a random purple guy named Ian who wears a big hat (player). I had no chance against that so it was back to ye olde running technique which actually got me to the next bonfire and to the next boss - a dragon riding king! Well. It looks more like a bird... A thunderbird? Fortunately I am assisted by sunbros Masu and (a male) Firekeeper (players) who clearly have done this before.

That's me getting impaled and electrocuted again...

Firekeeper dies in battle, but it still results in victory for me! As a bonus, I find Ornstein's old Dragonslayer armor afterwards and switch into it. Really, my old set was getting a bit stinky since there was nothing better to change to. I also upgrade my axe to maximum and am now at level 85.