Monday 31 August 2020

How to Survive 2: Pylon-10

[Part of the Diary of Zombies]

With the camp now at level 10, Kovac gives us the challenge of constructing a speaker pylon to try draw more survivors to the area - of course this would also draw all the nearby zombies too but this turns out to be not so bad, with not even one getting into our camp.

Get off our lawn!

As a result from this victory, Kovac gains numerous fans that begin camping nearby and begins experimentation with captured zombies. In exchange he rewards us with leads to gun making supplies and soon DL is able to replicate a rifle while Jim crafts a tommy gun. These are handy when facing the new, night time spawning volatiles who are quite dangerous when encountered in groups - especially if they catch us when we are split up.

Also new in the area is Kenji, who seems to be an old enemy of Kovac - and since he seems a more honorable sort, we begin helping him out too as his old crew has become zombie chow. This pays off for us very well as his missions lead to bountiful resource zones.

Insight: Kenji's first quest is a much better food grind than the first one, provided you can deal with the increased zombies.


Blaugust Bonus: "What is your favorite thing to do in order to relax?" -Belghast

Play games! :)

Sunday 30 August 2020

Tormentor x Punisher

I'm not sure you play as either.

In this LOLZOR top down shooter which is very well summarized during its hand drawn intro sequence, you play as one angry chick in a room of endlessly spawning demons and literal bullet hell. Luckily, you have a trusty shotgun and machine gun which somehow reload each other when firing.

It's this, over and over.

Most importantly, everything (that I've seen) dies in one hit. You included, so be prepared to be running like crazy to avoid enemies and fireballs while running after teleporting bosses (who only need one hit to kill). It's a crazy game but crazy only gets so far before getting boring. Not one I recommend, I give it 1 laughing goblin out of 5.

Insight: Prioritize enemy shooters if you can. You want less stuff flying around the screen, not more.


Blaugust Bonus: "Tell us about some community that you are part of and why it interests you or how it impacts you?" -Kanter

Dragonarm is our small but long running guild and I generally play the games where they go. It's also the basis for that web comic I plan on doing some day. :)

Saturday 29 August 2020

How to Survive 2: Monster Fauna

[Part of the Diary of Zombies]

Now armed with machetes and bows, Kovac sends us to gather other nearby survivors - Raymond at a farm and a pair of trappers from the swamp. While variants of faster zombies and fatter explosive zombies are now showing up, it's obvious in the zombie food chain that the wild life zombie varieties sit at the top.

Zombie dogs and jackals are quick. Zombie seagulls barf acid. Zombie crocs can ambush from the swamp water (uh, guess that could be a regular croc too). There's even a zombie deer that seems to enjoy hunting DL outside camp at night... and hunting a flock of zombie turkeys was a lot scarier that I could have imagined.

Lure and kill works wonders!

Fortunately the camp is also expanding, with walls now protecting the kitchen, the weapons armory, the foundry and the armor and accessories craft shop. We can even create makeshift firearms now but have yet to find the molds required to make bullets.

Insight: Pitchforks are heavy but make great throwing weapons. When thrown they out damage everything you can create, at least in the early game.


Blaugust Bonus: "What are you looking forward to the most over the course of the next year?" -UltrViolet

Hopefully a covid vaccine.

Friday 28 August 2020

The Two Popes

Surprisingly good!

This film focuses on the life of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (Jonathan Pryce) and his frenemyship with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Anthony Hopkins). While there is some religious debate between the two the movie really shines on the more mundane sections of their conversations which are impeccably acted by both leads.

One of my favorite scenes, obviously. :)

Everything about this film gets the thumbs up from me. The third act where we learn about Bergoglio's past is a bit more meh than the rest but it's definitely worth a watch, regardless of your beliefs (or non-beliefs) as it is an entertaining flick. I give it 3.5 red shoes out of 5 and would watch it again.


Blaugust Bonus: "What are some of the things that you wish you knew before you started creating content?" -Sandrian

That the 5000 label limit on blog spot isn't a bluff, because I hit it! Shit. I'm having to back track and remove the less used labels so that I can continue posting stuff. Less is better apparently in this regard. Oops!

Thursday 27 August 2020

How to Survive 2: Camp Plateau

[Part of the Diary of Zombies]

With the disease spreading and the quarantine broken, there's no reason for the three of us to hang around anymore so we venture out to try survive in the forest and come across another survivor, Kovac, hiding in an underground bunker who uses a loudspeaker to communicate with us.

He has a crazy plan to build a new and better civilization out here and quickly ropes us into doing the heavy lifting. This involves bashing in the heads of a few infected and doing supply runs into the city to collect bottled water and canned foods.

Kovac isn't interested in hosting the new city in his little bunker though, which seems connected to multiple places. Instead he asks we start building a camp which Jim decides to place on a nearby plateau. At least the zombies here are really slow!

This looks like a good spot!

Insight: There is a food and water gauge in this game. The less it is, the worse you perform. Also, once it is empty you start to die as discovered by DL too engrossed in camp planning. Good thing we carried spares! Expect to run the food run mission A LOT. From my perspective, this is stupid design.


Blaugust Bonus:
"What piece/s of technology would you have the hardest time living without?" -Telwyn

Refrigerator, stove top and laundry machine - in that order. Phones and computers don't even rank.

Wednesday 26 August 2020

Sunrider: The Mask of Arcadius

A strategic novel with an amazing sound track.

As the captain of a freelance capital ship in an anime universe, naturally you begin your quest to build a space harem get revenge against all the bad dudes. While yes, most of your staff are female, the story is actually quite decent (not overly adult in the free GOG version I played) and the tactical space battle sections can be quite challenging.

Time to be EPIC!

Most surprising is the fantastic backing soundtrack this game has as it really gets you in the mood to kill the many enemies that plague your universe. I was pleasantly surprised at just how much I enjoyed this so I highly recommend you look past the questionable screenshots and jump into it. You might end up enjoying yourself! I give it 4 executive orders out of 5.

Insight: Upgrading the Sunrider's kinetic weapons (cannons) is better than upgrading its lasers.


Blaugust Bonus: "With the pandemic, we are going through an unprecedented time.  In what ways has this shared global event impacted your content creation?" -UnwiseOwl

It's given me some cool headings for my end of month posts, but that's about it. I don't go out much, even without the pandemic. :P

Tuesday 25 August 2020

Shadow (2018)

Someone loves umbrellas.

Eager to take control of a city from a rival but allied kingdom, the commander goes against his king's wishes and requests a duel against the rival general for said city. However, a lot more is at play as it soon becomes evident that the commander is just a body double for the real puppeteer behind the scenes...

You need to fight like a girl!

Now here is a movie that tries too hard to be smart. From the mostly monochrome scenes (because "Shadow"!) to all the posturing politics when its clear that the creator just wanted to have a film that features a fight between a guy with a spear versus a guy with an umbrella. The build up is worth it too, as when it comes to the action this part excels, at least in the duel. When magnified by an army of umbrella users it skids past the line of silly.

Still an entertaining flick for action buffs, but don't expect too much more from it in any other department. I give it 2.5 out banners of 5.


Blaugust Bonus: "How did you get started in content creation?" -Joar

My guild needed a website so I made a really basic one, then I got into a more regular posting regime on my second website which came soon after: "the Hellsing Crucifix" a fan site for the Hellsing anime. Ran out of content to post as that series ended / was delayed so I took up blogging.

Monday 24 August 2020

GTFO: R3A3 - Bolt

In this final R3A level we really improved our shooting and discovered the "shine" method, where you aim a flashlight at an empty spot and just move it over a group of sleepers so that they all flash at the same time.

After the first two chambers is the important bridge hall which holds the first password terminal. Hammer-bop your way through all of them (good practice), get the password and open the reactor chamber, do any final looting and then type in reactor_startup.

You'll have a little bit of time to then return to the bridge hall and for this, all three of us took firing positions on the right staircase facing the initial chambers with Jim c-foaming a line in front of us. This makes the horde come along the long narrow walkway and prime targets for Jim's Bullpup, DL's DMR, and my Hel Gun - which absolutely tears multiple lined up enemies apart per shot.

Those that get close get Jim's combat shotgun, while DL still carries a sniper for any giants that show up. My secondary was a normal rifle because it doesn't lose damage at range. Once the music stops the wave is over and you can wander back to the reactor terminal to type in reactor_verify [pass] where the [pass] is the four letter code you found in the bridge hall.

Get good at typing and memorizing because stuffing up or running out of time to type the code in means a repeat of the previous wave. This first one is easy though as you have lots of time to do so. Second wave setup is just like the first, piece of cake. As a side note, you can dodge "down" the stairs but try always get back into position or you will encourage the enemy to flank.

After wave two you then need to cross the reactor room and enter the door to the dark backroom which almost always has scum to bop. There are three doors here, the left side and large bottom one enter the important backroom (which needs to be cleared) while the immediate door on the right leads to a long hallway which also loops around to the important backroom.

Depending on the terminal you need, you might be able to skip the long hallway as the other one is immediately behind the left door of the dark backroom. Regardless, you MUST use the time to clear the important backroom NOW, then return to the terminal to setup for wave three. For this I put my auto-turret at the opposite end of the bridge to shoot the wave in the back.

Once that is done pick up the gun and go into the reactor room again, this time to the left dark room. If the password terminal is here or in the next chamber beyond doesn't really matter, you must clear BOTH in the time allotted and then back to the bridge for wave four. Any mines you find should be placed at giant head height at the bridge hall defense.

Afterwards its back to the left dark room and all the way through the security door into the scout chamber, so named because there's always a tentacle bastard in there. Not wasting any time, DL just sniped him and we fought the rest at the door, again with my auto turret support.

A quick loot and then its back to the bridge for wave five, with still the same setup with autogun and foam. Need good shooting here, don't waste the Hel Gun on solo stragglers. After this, you need to RUN and get back to the important back room to do a security alarm.

As prep we iced the bottom door and positioned my autogun and DL's shotgun sentry (finally he gets to put it down) at the door and after one circle Jim is back icing the door for as long as he can. This buys us enough time to finish the scan sequence and head up the stairs to DL's sniper spot which is where we held to kill the incoming wave.

With time still ticking, you must then navigate the misty hall of bullshit to find one of two password terminals, both are on the lower floor. Lucky Jim had a fog repeller to help my navigation. I also could pick a lock for more supplies and get the code before extraction, unfortunately Jim woke something up and we still ended up fighting the room.

With literally seconds to spare we put in the last code and setup whatever remaining gear we had on the bridge. The tail of the last horde has two giant shooters and a few little shooters. We were literally down to hammers for the last little ones but still won!

You then have 30 or so seconds to type in the last code, so while Jim and DL ran to to the drop point for extraction I went the opposite way and typed it in. I think they were already there when I hit enter because as soon as I did, the mission was a success!

Woo! Now it's onto the next floor!


Blaugust Bonus: "How did you get the name that you regularly go by online, and what if anything does it mean?" -MagiWasTaken

My first D&D character.

Sunday 23 August 2020

Sang-Froid: A Tale of Werewolves

Werewolves with a twist.

Thanks to some devilry, a pair of brothers who live out in the woods are plagued by werewolves and their kin every night. Luckily, their sister has the gift of sight and shows them how many enemies will spawn from where and what they will do. This gives them the morning to prepare their numerous traps and defenses to survive the pack.

The choice of brother to play also is the choice of difficulty.

This is a very clever little tower defense game, though you end up having many places to defend against the large variety of enemies who have different immunities to your array of traps and gear. Blessed gear works well against demonic types but you'll want silver to face true lycanthropes and so on. I was quite happy with the super handy tutorials too. Highly recommended, I give this 3 wind charms out of 5.

Insight: Upgrade your traps before upgrading yourself, especially the ones that don't require manual activation! Also the final boss has no immunities so save a trap or two for him and make sure you are prepared (enough hints in game).


Blaugust Bonus: "What is your greatest fear, and how does it impact the type of content you create or consume?" -Professor Beej

Not being "alive". Blogging leaves proof that I am, yet at the same time proves I'm not. It's a conundrum.

Friday 21 August 2020


A tale of separation and reunion.

This is what happens when you fall asleep at the wrong time.

Born to an incredibly poor family, five year old thief Saroo (Sunny Pawar) manages to get separated from his family in India through some bad luck and a lot of bad decisions, to the extent that he grows up in Australia. Older Saroo (Dev Patel), despite having lots of supporters alienates them all when he eventually undertakes a personal quest to use Google Earth and try track down his hometown so many years later.

While the movie is sound technically and aesthetically, it does really show the worst of India and it might just be me, but Saroo is portrayed as an idiot for most of the film which didn't really make it easy to cheer him on. Anyway, if you like drama you still might enjoy this. I give it 2.5 trains out of 5.


Blaugust Bonus: "What piece of content would you most like to have a sequel or reboot?" -JamiesVlogUK

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance definitely has earned a season two! Fingers crossed!

Lords of Midnight & Doomdark's Revenge

A sample of terrible UI.

In these dated and turn based tactical games you play as a variety of individuals questing across a fantasy land to stop an evil army led by Doomdark (or in the second game, invade another kingdom). On their turns, your characters can move individually in a pseudo 3D environment - hunting for treasure, recruiting armies, and obviously fighting enemies. The second installment is a bit better in that a few of those are automated, but in exchange puts pitch black tunnels to navigate through.

Luxor stop lining up with the enemy army!

This is a hard game to play mainly because the interface is terrible. Not only do places look the same, it's easy to get lost when hopping across different characters. The old school graphics don't help. Also, there's a lol-random factor occurring here, where your hero leading 10,000 troops can get killed by 4 goblin like things out of the blue - resulting in an instant game over. Really?

I like what was being attempted here, but ultimately cannot recommend these to anyone and give it 1 dragon out of 5.

Insight: Check the maps at the start to give you some clue of where to go.


Blaugust Bonus: "Tell us about some of your favorite antagonist/s and explain why." -Naithin

Mr. Nobody from the Doom Patrol TV series (played by Alan Tudyk).  He's powerful and terrifying yet at the same time stupidly hilarious. I mean, he's the narrator!

Thursday 20 August 2020

GTFO: R3A2 - Purification

And now for the next GTFO walk through which we three manned. This map starts you off near a huge chamber full of vision blocking, poison gas (and usually, giants) so try keep your head above it. The ideal start is being able to sneak along the right wall up a "high road" which can get you to the door to the next chamber and main hub of this map: the generator room. Bonus points if you can quietly nab a power cell in the process. Always plug those into the generateor ASAP (except the last one) to lower the poison fog level.

You'll be spending a lot of time in here, so after hammering the sleepers within take the time to memorize the layout, especially since that huge horseshoe hole is easy to fall in when the fighting starts. There are three other exits from here, and you'll always want to do them in the order of forward, right and left (down the ladder into a pit). All doors have a ready wave of "awake" monsters so prepare before opening.

For the forward and right doors, DL would set the shotgun on the line of their travel - positioned to fire at their backs while Jim foamed the line ahead so the turret would get more shots in. I brought a mine layer and put one bomb per door, because you REALLY need to hold back until the end. We used the generator hub in the center for cover as usually shooters (big shooters) would come out from these two.

From the forward door you'll enter a small circular bit that has doors going left and right. Either will take you to the same huge area and while we normally go right for starters as there's a terminal there you can use to ping stuff, going left has a slightly more important function for later so go left and clear the room. If you follow the right wall from that entry point you'll find another door that leads into a short, dark hallway that leads to a larger area beyond - which usually has both the cell and a lot of enemies.

We used the dark hallway to lure the enemies in and with the standard shotgun sentry to hit their backs and foam the floor in front of it and a closed door for bonus time they got wiped out easily. With the cell plugged in it's time to go to the next area (the right door from the Generator hub) which branches off into two directions. Open both and close the door if you don't like what you see. We got lucky here as one side had the scout and the other didnt, and the side that didn't eventually led to the cell... phew!

At this point we decided to clear the the initial poison room as the lowered fog meant DL had more time to snipe, and luring them back into the generator hub gave a lot more room to fight. The last area is the door in the pit (left from the entry door of the Generator hub) and sometimes really unfair as the scout occasionally spawns back there. Again, on our winning run he's not there.

For this final door DL had the winning tactic of setting up all the way in the cramped dark hallway we already used earlier (through the front door). With some of Jim's foam to assist in buying me time to flee and them closing the few doors as I bolt past the remaining horde is easily put down once they reach our final stand.

Down into the left pit there's always fog residue which will poison you if you duck. There are also ugly spores on the wall that make noises and spit poison if you get too close, just stay away from them. You'll soon find yourself in a big chamber with a terminal near your entry way. There are actually two paths from here: left from the entry way or directly forward to a door hidden in darkness.

Our run brought us forward and into a hallway with a large broken pipe which served as a fantastic defense spot. With DL and Jim on top of the pipe, DL's shotgun turret pointing down the pipe (to hit them in the back) and me waiting with a combat shotgun on the other end of the pipe the next few creatures were easily slaughtered and the final cell retrieved.

Before putting in the final cell, gear up and prepare. You'll need to be able to navigate the generator hub in total darkness (glow sticks to mark the way are handy) and make your way out back to the original drop point. We took the high path we initially used to sneak in and this is where I placed all my last seven mines along the walls. This is because mines explode in the direction of the trip laser, putting it on the floor will only kill the one directly on top. Near our hold spot we placed the shotgun sentry and foam defense as usual, just being careful with the sentry angle so it wouldn't be shooting at us.

When ready, everyone needs to be in the generator hub when you put the last cell in. There is a single security scan red circle thing to stand in and as soon as that finishes and everything goes dark - RUN (obviously along the route with your defenses). You should be able to reach the position and ready your firing line (we actually also planned positions / left-right-center before hand), and get to about 50% completion before any of the scum reach you. Just hold for the remaining time and GTFO. :)


Blaugust Bonus: "Tell us about some of your hobbies outside of the realm of your specific niche." -Solarayo

What specific niche? I blog about everything here! Haha! Well, my least blogged hobby are my music studies so I guess I'll have to start posting videos and giving up even more anonymity. Yeah. That's unlikely to happen.

Wednesday 19 August 2020

GTFO: R3A1 - Resuscitation

Since GTFO is a really tough game I'm writing how my team achieved victory: one map at a time. Hopefully this might be of help to someone but yeah... this will be really slow going! Haha!

Our first map was R3A1 and is a good "tutorial" of the pain awaiting you. The first three rooms are a nice practice zone on how to hammer sleepers without waking the others up. As long as nothing is glowing, you are free to move and kill. Note: killing one while another in the distance is glowing WILL wake him up. Even if they wake up you still have a few seconds to murder it before it can scream and wake the rest of the room.

Room number four is where the path diverges. On our run, there were too many scum so DL opened the door and snipered a few before falling back to the first doorway where Jim, Morphius and myself waited. Getting hordes to funnel makes them easy to shoot. Remember to aim for the head.

Since the alarm door is next (make sure you open the correct one) Jim and DL put their shotgun sentries on the outside of the main door (parallel as to not assist in destroying it) and Morphius froze the door to give the guns more time to kill the wave. It's then standing on top of stupid red circles until the alarm deactivates, and when the enemies do break through they should be weakened and in lesser number.

Up next is the key card room which is always guarded by a tentacle head scout. Ideally I'd sneak this room, without killing anything but since it was too risky - DL simply sniped the scout and we fought the remaining enemies in the chamber by luring them out to the shotgun sentries again.

Once you have the keycard you gain access to the garden room which almost always has sleepers. There's a tight space just on the left near the entrance which is a great place for combat shotgun wielders to hold should things go loud. Afterwards it is the dark "speaker" hall and the large foyer to the cradle room. On our run we managed to just hammer our way through the sleepers.

Another alarm door blocks the way into the cradle room though so this time Morphius iced the outer "speaker" hall door and I did the same with the door between that hall and the cradle room foyer, while both Jim and DL's shotgun sentries were again outside. After two red circles I then rushed the to re-ice the door to buy the team more time to finish the scan sequence. This worked and we could clear the remaining scum.

Second to the last part is to revive the "baby" which came in with you. Before bringing it to the cradle we moved the restocked the sentries, put the last ice near the broken door of the foyer and assigned DL and Morphius to cover fire down the hall while I'd bodyguard Jim who would carry the baby back. Carrying it means he can't run or fight. We also did a "dry run" prior to putting the ice foam (which melts in 3 minutes) so that no one would get lost.

After taking the baby out of the cradle will come the final, endless wave. DL and Morphius did great in keeping the monsters at bay, and I took point with the combat shotty once we moved past them. As one, we made our way back to the drop point - sealing the start door behind us to buy more time. You need to hold the scan area back at the drop point to win.

Big thanks to Morphius who clinched this victory for us, even though that was his first time playing GTFO, his extra DPS was enough to get us to the finish line.


Blaugust Bonus:  "Do you 'finish' games/hobbies/projects and move on or do you come back to the same things again and again?" -Nogamara

Game wise if I like them then yes, I try finish them but otherwise no, and I rarely come back to a game after moving on as well. Projects wise, well... its getting started that seems to be the problem. Need to get past that hurdle before thinking about finishing anything!

Tuesday 18 August 2020

Borderlands 2: Boss Killers

[Part of the Wasted Land story]

Having completed our training, we leave Sanctuary STRONGER and absolutely murder an abomination created by Dr. Zed, assassinate a Hyperion DJ and clean up some skag piss as well as the stinky, leaky skags responsible. Even Captain Scarlett pops up again and threatens us with a new wurm who we DESTROY in under two minutes before running off again.

With our INCREASED MURDERICITY we then return to battle Voracidious and Chief Ngwatu, and this time with DL luring the Chief while Jim uses dual rocket launchers on the monster (I gave him mine as it makes sense tactically), and myself throwing 14 fastball grenades at it before going BERSERK in hand to hand - we win in a short but intense battle!

Afterwards we head back to challenge the main big boss BEHIND EVERYTHING... Master Gee! This guy and his baby wurms are still freaking tough, so instead of regular grenades we switch to gravity-pulling ones to keep him off balance. Despite this Jim and DL still go down, but I manage to find some cover and OUTLAST the Master in a long battle of ATTRITION. Once he is dead our job is complete - and the Borderlands are safe again... until we get more DLCs or the next game that is!

Krieg can become pretty invincible too, with the right build!

Insight: Voracidious and Master Gee are two complete opposites in combat. Master Gee is a lengthy survivability test while Voracidious is a fast DPS race. Prepare accordingly!


Blaugust Bonus: "If you could meet any person you look up to, who would it be?" -Bhagpuss

My dad. It sounds silly since I already had years and years with him. I guess it really just is never enough huh?

Monday 17 August 2020

Worst Restaurant Experience

Blaugust centric post today: "Write that one post you wanted to write so often, but always postponed. Finally do it!" -Easha and Poppy

Sure! Here we go... We've probably all had one or more of these, but I thought I'd share my worst restaurant experience to date.

It was Father's Day I think, so the place was visibly busy but we were seated in a short amount of time. Then the waitress comes up to us and says that we can order drinks but not food yet because the kitchen is "too busy". Um. Really? That's not a good look for someone in the service industry.

Anyway, sure - we got some drinks and waited around until said drinks were finished, all the time more people were coming in and being told the same of not being able to order food. So at that point we paid for the drinks and left to eat at a establishment that actually values its customers. I mean, even fast food joints like McDonald's knows to take your order/money ASAP so I'm not sure what these people were thinking.

I grinned with malicious satisfaction when the place closed a few weeks later. It doesn't matter how good your food is if your service is worthless. Turn people away at the door if your kitchen is running that far behind schedule!

Thankfully that space has now been replaced by a restaurant whose service and food are fantastic, and one we regularly frequent.  Here's a good example of why it's always good to prune out the worthless shits to make room for better things so ALWAYS, ALWAYS leave scathing reviews to burn those businesses to the ground! HELL YEAH!

What you think that's too far? Like the time I got a bus driver fired for being too slow? Sorry (not sorry). Time is the most precious commodity, and I'm not going to waste mine on the incompetence of others.

Oh that felt good. Maybe I should put more rage induced posts up! Thanks Easha and Poppy for the suggestion! (Now you know why I postponed writing it!)

Sunday 16 August 2020

Borderlands 2: Vanquishing Evil

[Part of the Wasted Land story]

The wizard Claptrap is as much of a failure as the regular Claptrap, but thanks to my awesome trap deactivation and jumping puzzle skills we get out of the mine and Jim rewards me with his legendary Fastball grenade because we're awesome (and he says it makes more sense tactically).

We then go up the mountain to Dragon keep, defeating the Handsome Dragon guarding a bridge and then SWORDSPLODING through an evil army before killing the Handsome Sorcerer and disemboweling his Drider-Daughter. With the villain defeated, DL sets free the beautiful rainbow queen of the land... BUTT STALLION! *NEEEEIIIGHH!*

Not so handsome after I'm through with him! Muahahaha!

After she poops out rainbow rewards for us, we learn of more evils that need squishing - starting with the whiney and cowardly prince Jeffrey (from Game of Thrones) who we take turns beating down. We then visit Murderlin's temple arena and survive all the rounds, even the bonus badass round, to learn various magic spells like fireball, chain lightning, and magic missile (regenerating grenades)!

Thus prepared, we revisit the deep mines to face the RAID DRAGONS - a ferocious foursome of winged beasts that we take down for a reward room unlike any other - we spend hours looting the treasure chest filled ruins and complete Tina's campaign!

Insight: You need to pull the swords out of the Immortal Skeletaurs to kill them permanently.


Blaugust Bonus: "What is your earliest memory related to one of your core fandoms?" -Syp

That would be the D&D adventure where the party came across a hall full of lifelike statues with a locked door at the end, and I decided to bash it open and fall right into a basilisk den. Due to lousy initiative they got first move and I got turned to stone immediately. I was not useful that session at all. :P

Friday 14 August 2020

Borderlands 2: Gaming is Training

[Part of the Wasted Land story]

And so we arrive in a desolate land plagued by skelemen and upon reaching the nearby town we find it filled with familiar faces. DL protects tavern owner Moxxi from some rowdy drunks, I chase down some crumpet thieves, and Jim explodes some of the town's scout blimps for Mister "Gatekeeper" Torque before we are allowed to move on to the Forest of Being Eaten Alive by Trees... THIS GAME IS GREAT!

The forest is home not only to angry ents, but also formidable orcs and scary looking spiders. Deeper in we even have to beat up some other adventurers who are camping a boss monster and save a crestfallen player from the invader "n00bkiller" before running into Roland "the White Knight" who is totally OK that Jim shot down the scouting blimp he was on.

Such a dork souls moment!

As recompense we help him retrieve a magic sword from a giant golem and as a reward each get a totally awesome SWORDSPLOSION shotgun which shoots a sword that explodes into more exploding swords! Thank you Mr. Torque! After fighting past dragons and giant skelemen kings we then enter the Mines of Avarice to forge an alliance with the dwarves who all look like Jim!

Everything goes smoothly until I "accidentally" explode the face of the dwarven king turning all the dwarves and their golems hostile. The little bastards even seal us in, but we find the wandering wizard Claptrap nearby willing to help us out... after we forge him a mighty beard taken from dead dwarves and power up his wand by inserting it into a number of magical creatures, before killing them. I DO ALL THE INSERTING!

Insight: Ents are weak to fire while knights are weak to corrosive but I like skelemen best as they're weak against melee!


Blaugust Bonus: "Tell us about a person/s or thing/s that has greatly influenced you." -Chestnut

My very patient wife! She has me expanding my palate and perfecting another language.

Borderlands 2: The Face of Killing

[Part of the Wasted Land story]

Annoyed at Pyro Pete's advanced tech, I decided it was time to even the playing field and got me some GOLDEN KEYS. 226 to be exact! With a quick trip to Sanctuary we used a whole bunch to upgrade with totally gnarly weapons which we unleashed back into Pyro Pete's FACE! MUAHAHAHAAHAH! Now we are #1 on Mr. Torque's leaderboard once again!

Acid everywhere!

Since our training to fight people has climaxed (oh my!), it was time to practice on critters and what better spot than the Hunter's Grotto - a swamp that's home to mystical and sometimes very tough vampiric tribesmen, flying spores, massive scorpions and horridly tall spiders. Riding fan boats while hunting these and the giant versions there of, we stumble upon the lab of one Dr. Nakayama who is conducting evil experiments with the local wild life to resurrect Handsome Jack, who he is totally gay for.

It's not long before we find one of his creations - a Jack Scorpion - rather, a giant scorpion with Jack's face and a Hyperion turret on its back. The thing practically kills itself. This Nakayama guy is a loser! We decide the planet will be better off if we KILL HIS FACE TOO! HAHAHAHAH!

It takes a lot of murdering to reach Nakayama's crashed space ship base, but once inside his only defenders are hyperion bots and a Jackenstein monster who I easily carve up once DL and Jim snipe off his shield generators. We don't even have to touch Nakayama as he then accidentally kills himself on some stairs! BWAHAHAHA!

Unfortunately the savage chief Ngwatu who takes his place is less of a laughing matter, as his pet stalker - Voracidious the Invincible (again!?) is another tough, fast, and hard hitting cookie that forces us to withdraw. We decide to go to our trainer, Tiny Tina, for advice and she decides to make us play Dungeons and Dragons BUNKERS AND BADASSES? All right then!

Insight: Here's how I got all those Golden Keys (for FREE of course!):

Make Shift account, link to steam or whatever. Go to rewards section.
Open this link and go through codes. There are a lot - don't forget to look at "Event Codes" tab, particularly at the bottom for unexpired keys.


Blaugust Bonus: "What are some of the things that get you excited in life?" -Heather

New cooperative board games!

Thursday 13 August 2020

Borderlands 2: Invincible Comeback

[Part of the Wasted Land story]

Lucky of us, a sponsor has recently been kidnapped in the region by Pyro Pete (Rank #4). Unlucky for him I have a fire-proof shield and beat him down in under half a minute. The sponsor turns out to be Mad Moxxi who sends us to our new trainer... Tiny Tina? WUT?

After some shenanigans with cookies, Tina sends us to participate in the DEATH RACE to train for our next battle. Somehow, both Jim and DL end up letting THE PERSON WHO HATES DRIVING (me) do the driving. Well, turns out just because I don't like it doesn't mean I'm bad at it - and successfully complete the circuit three times in a slow Bandit Technical - winning the last run by a second! I am ELATED!

Tina sends us to do a few more training missions such as getting an autograph from a serial killer and walking her dog giant flaming skag, before letting us face the overweight, cannibalistic bike rider Motor Mamma (#3) in the arena. Her arsenal manages to knock Jim down, but once her bike is destroyed she's mince meat for MY AXE! Mince meat I save for tasty snacks later. Nnnhnhnhhnnyeeesss!

With Motor Mama packed away it's time to hunt for the Rank #2 dude, "Flyboy", guarded by robots and all things flying - but Piston (Rank #1) flips the script and explodes Flyboy from his blimp before our fight can start! Piston tries to bombard us too but DL's turret and sniping skills defeat his balloon and send him crashing to the arena.

There the fight continues against his next vehicle, a monster Badassasaurus truck that Jim explodes with his dual lazers. Finally on foot, I give Piston a face full of buzz axe - splitting his face into two. IT'S BEAUTIFUL!

It's a pretty cool vehicle!

Unfortunately we don't get to keep the #1 ranking for long since Pyro Pete makes a comeback, having trained up significantly to become Pyro Pete the Invincible! What is it with everyone gaining invincibility? He's now a really tough nugget to crack and while not as impossible as Master Gee, is still enough to force the three of us to retreat!

Insight: Multiplayer can probably cheese the race by having a person wait at each checkpoint, but I did it properly meaning use the boost (F key on keyboard) during the straights, and jumping the ramp to the sky bridge also saves some time.


Blaugust Bonus: "Tell us 5 facts about yourself." -Jen Thorpe

I'm married, I like (trying to) sing, I make diaries of most games I play, I like cooperative board games, and I dislike money grabbing/gambling lock boxes in all their forms.

Wednesday 12 August 2020

Borderlands 2: Eaten by a Rumor

[Part of the Wasted Land story]

After surviving the betrayal, we race to the treasure but are quickly devoured by the Leviathan, a giant sand worm who supposedly guards the lost treasure. Didn't mention it till now cause, well, it was just rumor... until it ate us.

Captain Scarlett is in here too, and after a short scuffle I take her gun and kick her pirate booty further into the monster's poop chute just before it barfs DL, Jim and I back out. Guess it didn't like the gunfire in it's belly, but having us outside meant its own doom.

In under a minute, the Leviathan was dead and right under him - the lost pirate treasure! As the Firehawk thought, this decent loot would certainly help Sanctuary... so we sold it to them for some nice moneys! CHA-CHING! As for Scarlett - not sure if she made it out, but if she did she'll certainly be shit-faced. Literally.

We hunt down her remaining crew without much trouble - until we reach her engineer Hyperius the Invincible. This heavily shielded guy comes with equally shielded loaders that need to be taken care of first. Luckily my buzz axe rampage is really good at making meatbicycles out of robots now, and despite the long fight we finally chop him up in the end! CHOP SUEY!

Gotta shoot those nuts before a third wind!

The last on the hit list is Master Gee, who truly is invincible - though there must be a secret with all the acidic worms that spawn in his arena. Having lost too much cash from "reconstruction" we decide to leave him for now and to train at the Badass Crater of Badassitude arena run by the delightful Mr. Torque. His favourite word is F*CK!

Instead of pirates, the bandits in this region are all Mad Max biker themed - complete with motorbikes and sidecars. Our first arena fight against waves of bikeys is really easy and it instantly brings us to #5 on the rankings - but to continue the climb, we need to first find a sponsor.

Insight: Undead Pirates who show up with normal mobs are far more dangerous than the Leviathan. These skeletal swashbucklers hit hard and are fricking tough due to their regenerating health. When you see one, burst it down ASAP.


Blaugust Bonus: "What is something you have lost along the way that you would love to have back?  Can be serious or frivolous." -SDWeasel

Anonymity. Good luck getting that back. :P

Tuesday 11 August 2020

Borderlands 2: Get that Booty!

[Part of the Wasted Land story]

Concerned about future attacks, Firehawk asks our team to go gather funds to strengthen Sanctuary - and what better funds to look for than some lost treasure?! PIRATE TREASURE! ARRRRRRH!

The three of us head to the town of Oasis to begin the search where Jim finds an amazing Fastball grenade mod that features a tiny explosion but can be thrown far and insta-kills most regular enemies. Once DL repairs a nearby hovercraft it becomes really easy to murderize all the sand worms and pirate themed enemies in our way.

It's not long before another pirate - Captain Scarlett, invites us to her ship for a parley. She too is looking for the lost treasure, and is willing to split it with us if we help her find it. Since she's kinda hot despite missing more than a few body pieces, we say "Aye!"

She's the only one other than Moxxi who has "shrines" dedicated to her.

We need to assemble a lens that will reveal where the treasure is buried and she saves us time by simply giving us the first piece. We get the next two easily from the Pirate Union (flying their own hovercrafts) and a Hyperion convoy guarded by loader bots - easy prey for ramming. The next one is given to us by some old coot at the rustyards, but since it's in a locked chest - DL shoots it open and damages the part! LOL WHUUUUT? Thus begins a long trek to a refinery full of pirate-bots (obviously) to repair it.

Finally, with the lens complete - we head up to a really high lighthouse as per Captain Scarlett's instructions and use it to show to the world where the great treasure is buried. It's at this point she sends her crew to kill us while she herself races to the loot. Why Scarlett? WHYYYY! I THOUGHT WE WERE FRIENNNDS....

Insight: Unlike the previous vehicles the hovercraft is a freaking tank which more than makes up for the weaker arsenal they can carry. To this end, it's faster to ram everything to death (where possible) instead of shooting them.


Blaugust Bonus: "Tell us about your physical creative space, and how it influences your content creation." -Krikket

My desk is full of loose papers which act as the diary for various games I play. Each side is titled and numbered so I know what they link to and having them in front of me encourages me to continue the notations.

Monday 10 August 2020

Borderlands 2: The Stuff of Movies

[Part of the Wasted Land story]

With our fresh supplies of teeth, eyes and bombs we head on to the Hyperion Info Stockade which is like a giant library in the shape of an iridium refinery and guarded by a HUGE robot called Saturn! I think they named a planet after this thing! Good thing it's slow so Jim dual lazers it to death. DUAL LAZERZ!

That robot is taller than this house!

Using our supplies we find Jack's location and head there with a full assault team led by Slabby and Mordecai to counter all his Hyperion defences. Jack himself uses the Vault Key to summon "the Warrior", a giant flame humanoid stolen right out of Nausicaa. What? I watch Anime!

Much like it's anime counterpart, this Warrior is flawed and has a weakness we greatly exploit: bullets, lazers and rotary-axes into the heart! It dies without too much fuss and before Jack can beg for mercy DL puts a bullet in his head and saves Firehawk. We're totally badass heroes now! YEAH!

I wonder if they'll ever make a movie about us, one that Hollywood won't screw up... oh shiiieeeet. Too late!

Insight: Empty your pack before the final fight because the warrior is one big loot pinata!


Blaugust Bonus: "What's your process when creating a blog post?" -Paeroka

If I find a game I can write a story about, I keep a diary of loose papers on what I do in it and then much later condense all of that into blog posts. If it's more leaning towards a simple review, I try type that down within a week of playing/experiencing the media so it's still fresh in my head.

Once a post is ready in my digital text document (yep I use notepad), the corresponding papers get shuffled away into a drawer. Only after all the posts of that game are actually posted online do I then toss the relevant papers out for recycling.

Sunday 9 August 2020

Borderlands 2: Just Take It

[Part of the Wasted Land story]

While the leaders of Sanctuary plan a counter attack, we three amigos first go to distant Lynchwood in search of a "cursed gun", which Jim finds is really cursed since it prevents movement while drawn. Lynchwood is home to the bunny bandit army though, with respawning bad guys regularly -pooping- popping out from every shack. They are definitely allied with Hyperion too so we blow up their train and railroad, rob their bank and kill their female sheriff!

Turns out she was Handsome Jack's girlfriend so he's not very happy that I put a rocket in her mouth. He's even less happy when we go to the site of his nearly complete utopian city "Opportunity" and wreck the place for fun - destroying his statues, flooding build sites, exploding construction equipment and oh yeah... murder all his laborer bots and engineers!

The size of said rocket.

Since we're already in the process of destroying his hopes and dreams we then join the Sanctuary army to take the fight to their main base and assisted by Slab buzzard air support, battle through the soldiers, destroy their flying bunker and kill his evil suicidal bitch siren daughter! Just as we are about to take the artifact like taking a baby from their candy, Roland and Firehawk show up and make a mess of things, getting killed and abducted in that order. Uh, I mean, respectively! Yeah.

So Jack gets away with everything and we are left with nothing. While Slabby and Mordecai the birdless plan the next move, we kill some time hunting a giant skag, fighting in Moxxi's Ore Chasmic arena (against Hyperion), and nearly falling for Jack's traps by going to check on his grandma as well as nearly jumping off a cliff for money. He's a sly one this Jack fella. Good thing DL and Jim managed to hold me back!

Finally Slabby gives us a mission to get some supplies (and by supplies I mean bombs) from another gang called the Sawtooth. Shouldn't it be Sawteeth? Well it doesn't matter. They don't have teeth or eyes or bombs anymore. We took em. We took em ALLLLLL!

Insight: The most upstairs part of the flying bunker fight (just before the water) is a good spot to fight as the structure there provides a lot of cover.


Blaugust Bonus: "Tell us about some of your favorite protagonist(s) and explain why. Or talk about characters in which you can recognize yourself or parts of yourself." -Endalia

John Constantine, because he gets things done often via the hard choice even at the expense of his friends. Not seen so much with the Keanu Reeves movie version but every iteration voiced or played by Matt Ryan does this. Also, Batman because even if he keeps people alive, most of his allies end up disliking/hating him since "the mission" comes first. I don't have their gear nor talent, but if it comes down to sacrificing popularity or people for my own goals - you bet!

Saturday 8 August 2020

Borderlands 2: Flipping the Bird

[Part of the Wasted Land story]

While exploring, we stumble upon Fink's Slaughterhouse which serves as an arena for the locals. Naturally we participate and thanks to the shiney gear DL has pulled and shared out using his golden keys (it gives super gear), smash through the first four rounds with only little difficulty. It's fun to make midgets bleeeed!

The fifth round is quite bad though with Jim and I both getting KO'ed but DL still manages to pull the win with his turret! Afterwards we head on to the Hyperion Wildlife Preservation Park to help Mordecai find his bird, which Hyperion had stolen from him recently. The park is like a zoo, only with monsters that are undergoing mutation testing - FOR SCIENCE!

With Mordecai providing flaccid sniper cover, we break in. Free the souls of the captive beasts and find his bird, which is now enlarged and evil! Despite our best efforts to save it by shooting it with bullets, Mordecai's bird explodes at the climax. He is left bitter and birdless.

In retaliation for this, we go back through the Wildlife Preservation Park to free all the trapped animals. It's a nice to have skags and stalkers on our side for a change! We also find a super helpful guy running an arena biome with said creatures.

He lets us free five rounds worth of the animals and even pays us to boot! The badass fire thresher in the last round manages to KO Jim, but he is freed too - just like his friends. Freed from all their suffering, freed to the great beyond! MUAHAHAHAHAHAH! *buzz saw sounds*

Roland then radios in and gets us to travel to the Thousand Cuts region to try make an alliance with the local bandits, "the Slabs", to unite against Hyperion. We diplomatically kill anyone who refuses to join. Eventually the Slab King, frenemy of Roland whom I shall dub "Slabby", officially agrees when the nearby "main" Hyperion base launches a full scale attack, sending the Slabs retreating to Sanctuary.

Yeah, nahhh... your name's Slabby mate.

Insight: Clusters of enemies are the best targets for a psychos buzz axe rampage. Each kill restores your health to full. Just remember to take cover again afterwards.


Blaugust Bonus: "If you had a mascot to represent you, what would it be?" -Rambling Redshirt

It's a shadow that you can only occasionally glimpse for a split second from the corner of your vision and also whispers things to your mind. Perhaps you've already encountered it before?

Friday 7 August 2020

Borderlands 2: Overlooked Help

[Part of the Wasted Land story]

Only after dismantling another Hyperion facility and killing a Shai'hulud Thresher do we finally reach the Highlands that Sanctuary is floating over. Can't just warp to it though, no sir. For that we head to the village of Overlook to get the warp machine programmed properly, all while Hyperion sends more bots.

I get to really show off here, as all the enemies are clustering towards a fixed point we are meant to defend. DL and Jim get overwhelmed a lot, but rampaging through the enemy (in melee) keeps me aliiiiive! Hahaha I will kill your death! As expected the programming finishes after all the fighting, and we are free to teleport back to Sanctuary for a heroes welcome! Or... not. Actually I doubt most of these meat sacks realize the city is now airborne.

While the Crimson leadership continues to plan the next move, we're kept busy by a sudden influx of new jobs at the now flying Sanctuary, the highlights of which include finding a murderer in which we accuse the wrong suspect - letting the culprit get away, inviting people to Claptraps birthday party which no one attends, helping Ellie put an end to a gang war which we helped start, and retrieving a safe for Marcus from some big blue elemental which we abandon since it is immortal thanks to a bug.

The killer is one of those four guys...

We then return to the town of Overlook with Dr. Ned's meds to help them cure their brain disease then proceed to assemble a town encompassing shield to protect against further Hyperion attacks. Naturally this shield needs to be tested, so we raid the nearby Hyperion outpost and after breaking all the guardian mechs use their super mortar and fire it right at the town.

It goes as well as you might expect!

Insight: The only way to "fix" the blue monster was to leave the area and come back. We got him on our second visit.


Blaugust Bonus: "What skill do you want to improve on the most?" -Stingite

Currently, anything music related. Finding time to do that is really hard though... Maybe I should change that to focus on time management skill instead? :P

Thursday 6 August 2020

Borderlands 2: Trainwreck 2 - the Wreckening

[Part of the Wasted Land story]

Before going to steal the key to save the planet kinda deal, we opt to have some R&R first - delivering pizza to ungrateful lab rats, winning live grenades at the slot machines in Moxxi's bar (owie), and re-purposing a robot AI into a gun. A really cool, sentient gun.

Mmm that's some sexy pizza!

It's then off to the Tundra to hunt varkids (giant bugs) and meet with 13 year old bomb maker Tina. Varkid hunting is kinda slow thanks to local sniper Mordecai kill stealing all our shit. Anyway, Tina wants us to collect both bomb parts and tea party guests to help us steal the key, tasks that are pretty easy until an inebriated Jim murderizes the last tea party guest. Hah, and I thought I was the psycho!

Good thing Tina still makes us the rocket bombs, casually dressed as bunny dolls which we use to derail one of Jack's trains which was supposed to have his key. Of course, it's a trap. There is no key, just metal and circuits and bullets and rockets in robot shapes that we dismantle. At the same time Roland tells us that Sanctuary has come under heavy attack, and using some special gizmo Scooter rigged plus Firehawk's magic - gets the entire city airborne and teleports it of there. Our next job is simply to catch up!

Have you ever chased a flying, teleporting city before? There's a lot of ground to traverse. Ground slick with blood of the things in our way. Especially those annoying cloaking mini-dragon things. I like to hit them with corrosive bullets since the acid remains visible, even if they don't.

Insight: Letting the varkids coccoon and hatch into stronger versions is a good way to get loot.


Blaugust Bonus: "What is a favorite Quote/s, and tell us why." -Wilhelm Arcturus

"Happy wife, happy life." because it's true! :P

Wednesday 5 August 2020

Borderlands 2: Un-Netted R35CU3

[Part of the Wasted Land story]

Before leaving the Dust to rescue Princess Roland, we decide to first do the very important task of burning an evil volleyball net in the base of the local bandits who also have air support. These buzzards reaaaallly suck as I can't reach them with my buzz saw!

Anyway, we finally burn that net (and the rest of the village) before returning to the Bloodshot Dam with a bandit technical. This time dum dums open the gate. I love it when the enemy is all clustered up together, muahahahaha!

Sure enough, the idiot Bloodshot leader is continually broadcasting his demands on the loud speaker - trying to sell their captive princess to the Hyperion corporation. Hyperion has a different idea though, and just as we reach his cell a robot breaks in and abducts him... again! Some "leader" this loser is turning out to be. We chase the captive screaming bitch princess up the dam, but the constructor bot W4R-D3N that holds Roland at the top is one tough cookie, creating more bots on the spot - some even of the badass variety!

Getting to W4R-D3N through them is too tough, and eventually it takes to the air and flies off like some giant, wingless stone bird with Roland in tow to the Hyperion outpost in the Dust. Obviously we give chase and end up killing the entire base to finally rescue him before he can be probed too much for information.

Terminate all the damned robots!

Back at Sanctuary he spills the beans that Hyperion's leader, Handsome Jack, is intending on opening another vault and to release "the warrior" within which is a bad thing apparently. Jack's just waiting for the key he already has to charge up. We're gonna need to steal it before that happens.

Insight: A buzzard's weak spots are the pilot and the engines. Robot weak spots are the glowy lights, or the unarmored joints which are fun to destroy as it maims them. Kill the drone planes as a priority though. Those little bastards resurrect/repair the bots.


Blaugust Bonus: "Everyone has specific rituals that they follow, tell us about one of yours." -Everwake

Before going to bed, I always double check that unused power outlets are switched off/unplugged and all the doors and windows are locked. Common sense really.

Tuesday 4 August 2020

GTFO (Early Access)

Silly title. Amazing game.

This first person horror survival game is best played cooperatively with up to three allies. Set in some horrible and dark facility crawling with ugly monsters who are for the most part, asleep - you are tasked with various jobs such as lugging heavy objects past doors with alarms, turning on reactors and other very loud objectives.

Before dropping into a level you are free to select your load out to whatever suits you. Just know there are no other weapons to pick up during a level and there are no special skills to unlock. There is no character progression, and you can't buy better ways or unlock skills to finish missions. Everything relies on player cooperation, coordination and ultimately skill.

Watch those corners...

The levels don't even scale. They are balanced for a party of four, but you can still beat them solo if you have the patience, the talent and the balls to do so. Everyone always starts with a heavy hammer too, which is really useful for bopping heads while the monsters sleep. And these are truly monsters. If just eight of the weakest ones come for you at the same time, you will already be in big trouble unless you are skilled. Some maps send these in clusters of thirty plus.

Now this game is not for everyone and plays best if you have friends to go in with you, and more importantly, all of you must have the patience to keep retrying missions because you will fail. A lot. In my current 37 hours of play time, my group of three have only beaten one map. If that scares you then stay away from this game. For everyone else, I give this five giants out of five.

Insight: Stop moving/killing when things flash red if you want to maintain stealth, unless you are sure you can wipe them out before they scream.


Blaugust Bonus: "What type of content do you feel is severely underrated?" -Roger Edwards

Games like this, where there is no progression at all outside story/map advancement. No "better" armor. No "better" weapons than whatever you pick to start with. No better skills to earn or unlock. No different classes, no different "roles". I've always disliked "roles" anyway. With enough effort, everyone should be able to do everything just like in real life. No wussy wallet warrior methods to help. Everyone is given equal footing, and everything depends on your own mastery of the game.

I'd like to mention that in the earlier story arcs, the combat in Mabinogi was much like this as well. A level 1 character controlled by a competent player could absolutely win against "overpowered" foes which is why I really enjoyed it back then.

Monday 3 August 2020

Borderlands 2: Firehawk - Ashes and Dust

[Part of the Wasted Land story]

On a quest to save Princess Roland, we three heroes find ourselves in pyromaniac valley - home of all things spicy, hot and burninating to find "the Firehawk" who supposedly knows which closet Roland is being held in. She certainly fits the bill.

Thinking with our fun heads, we mutually save each other from a massive attack by a rival gang - the Bloodshots. She says that Roland is in their castle, no doubt experiencing whatever it is Princess Peach feels while a prisoner to Bowser. But before we go rescue him the Firehawk wants us to check up on her cultists... they are actually really fun guys who seem only focused on setting themselves on fire. This is great as we get to help them burn. Win/win! They do go a bit far when they kidnap a few villagers for roasting though so upon Firehawk's command we ice them for good.

One of the best missions ever!

Then its off to rescue Princess Roland at the Bloodshot Castle Dam but they ain't stupid enough to open the gates for a random looking car so we have to drive all the way out to the Dust where we meet Ellie in her junkyard who offers to make us a "bandit technical" vehicle if we bring her the parts - which is really easy since we destroyed like ten of these cars before reaching her.

When asked why she's all the way out here and not in Sanctuary she says its to get away from her overbearing mom, Moxxi, and her creepy ex Scooter who also happens to be her step-brother. Yikes.

Insight: While in Gunzerking mode, Jim (Gunzerker) constantly regenerates health and ammo!


Blaugust Bonus: "What are some key sources of media (games/movies/etc) that have shaped your worldview?" -Mailvaltar

Ultima Online showed me early on both how evil some people can be as well as how awesome it is to work cooperatively. Hence I now always strongly prefer cooperative endeavors rather than competitive ones.

Sunday 2 August 2020

Borderlands 2: The Evil H

[Part of the Wasted Land story]

Claptrap docks the boat at some non-snowy wasteland and after murdering and dismembering politely asking the local banditry, we activate a catch-a-ride garage that can spit out cars like bubblegum!

Naturally, DL is great at driving. Takes Jim a few goes to get the hang of it though, especially with one hand in a bag of chips and the other on his beer. Gunner ports are the best fun for me. Run over some yetis and skag dogs while collecting power cells as a welcoming gift for Sanctuary.

The gunner seat is FUN!

Jim plugs them in just in time to power the city shields as the giant, floating H commences planetary bombardment... to no effect! Take that, you evil letter! Inside, Sanctuary is full of familiar feces. I mean faces. Mad Moxxi owns the bar, the unlicensed Dr. Zed practices in the clinic, Scooter tinkers in the garage, Marcus sells guns in person, and Dr. Patricia Tannis runs the Crimson Lance Raider HQ.

The only thing missing is its leader, Roland, so obviously us new guys are sent to find him. Oh, and to kill a bunch of assassins hiding in the nearby waterworks facility first. Those assassins are tough SOBs and have many, many friends. At least they are carrying shineys. As I often say "I like my treasure like I like my baby steaks, raaaaare..." 

Insight: You can deploy two vehicles at once and one of the customization options is the main gun. Generally things that go boom are preferred as the driver can always use the forward machine gun.


Blaugust Bonus: "What is some popular piece of content/media that seems to be universally loved that you have never been able to understand?" -Dragonray

Lock boxes and basically anything that you pay money for to get a random return - especially when the odds are highly obfuscated. I think anyone that spends money on such things are either incredibly rich and/or incredibly stupid. Also, it is definitely gambling and has no place in mediums that minors can access.

To a lesser extent, the same goes for grinding the same enemies or activities in game for a chance of an item. If I happen to be in the right spot at the right time, cool - I'll help defeat the whatever or run that instance. What I won't do is stay for hours doing the same thing all day everyday for loot. Once is enough. If I get cool gear from it, sweet. If not, too bad.

The only time I find myself repeating things these days is to practice to improve my own real life skills. Or you know, things I really, really enjoy. :P

Saturday 1 August 2020

Neverwinter Online: Path of the Fallen

Introduces cars to D&D.

Continuing on from the hell-bound Vallenhas Stronghold, players can explore more of Avernus is this mod which supposedly has the blood war between devils and demons raging. What's it like? Surprisingly a lot like Borderlands 2 actually, especially when it comes to the design of vehicles, wasteland and domiciles.Yes. Vehicles. Soul-powered vehicles.

 You get a car, you get a car, everyone gets a car!

It's not as terribly genre breaking as I initially feared and it's quite fun to race around the wastes. They do take it a step further with the radio though. Yep. Hell radio has talk shows, ads, and a lot of heavy metal music. Devils have electric guitars apparently.

What they don't really have is the blood war, instead letting the player base dictate which side "wins" per cycle by just keeping track of the type of mobs they camp. I do like that there are a bunch of quests that you can accomplish without combat though, or easy enough combat to progress the campaign. Big plus for that.

Also, I agree with Shintar that while most of the campaign is ho hum story wise the finale is pretty good. All up this mod isn't great but it isn't too bad either (unless you are trying to win the blood war to get a rare boss to spawn, in which case happy grinding).

Insight: Try to kill cambions first as they summon those very damaging flame circles.


Blaugust Bonus: "If you could change anything about one of your core fandoms, what would it be?" -Belghast

Despite it not being too bad, I still would have preferred it if cars and more modern stuff didn't get shoved into the realms of Dungeons and Dragons.