Wednesday 31 May 2023

Shapez and Recipe for Disaster

Surprise engine builders.

Recipe for Disaster

This might sound like a cooking game, but in reality it is a decoration / micro management one where you design your restaurant to be most appealing to the public, order the required ingredients for the dishes your hired staff know about, and assign these staff duties like wait this table and that table but not that table and also cook the lobster while cleaning the toilet. All while balancing the budget! Bleh. Definitely not my kind of game.


Unlike the above, there is no budget in this almost idle harvesting game. In it you must construct conveyor belts to transport the required shapes needed by your factory per level. At the start it's easy - get some squares or circles but later on when it asks for half a square with a fourth semi circle and a fourth triangle all of different colors that's going to trip you up as each function needs another machine. One to rotate the shape so the next machine does the right thing, one to cut, one to join, probably more than one to color (because colors need to be harvested and mixed too). It can be a tricky and massive puzzle, or it can just be annoying. Guess which one it was for me? Not recommended.

Tuesday 30 May 2023

Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and Shazam! Fury of the Gods

Another Marvel vs DC match up!

Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and his family get sucked into the Quantum Realm and end up in a civil war between the resident Quantumites and their over lord ruler. Since the setting is super alien they really just went wild with the story and ideas here, some of which are great and some... less so... like the main villains power level fluctuating between disintegrate and knock back. Awesome CGI though, and an entertaining enough story for the most part but it still falls under non-mandatory viewing with no real major change pushed forward. If you like Ant-Man and / or Marvel films then this one is for you, but even if you skip it you'll probably be fine story arc wise for the rest of this set of Marvel movies.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods

Freed from their not so eternal prison a few goddesses hunt down Shazam (Zachary Levi) to retake their powers. It's a super simple plot and while the actiony back end of it is pretty decent the first half is simply bad and corny. The characters on screen are as bored as the audience and the poor over acting from the primary "child" actor ruins most of the film. Somehow, Shazam acts more like a teenager than his "normal" self too probably is a lack of direction. Some funny moments but not enough to save this. If you're looking for a no brainer action movie with superheroes in it you could watch this, but I'd recommend Quantumania instead.

Monday 29 May 2023

Mordhau and The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings must Die

Featuring medieval violence.

The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings must Die

This historical action drama movie is an excellent end to the Last Kingdom TV series as it follows Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon) one last time during the passing of King Edward to around 937 AD. The story moves really quickly (maybe too quickly) and does a great job of building up the anticipation for the death of those in the title. Recommended to Last Kingdom fans, as basically it's more of the same. If you didn't like the TV show or haven't watched it, then this probably won't do anything for you.


This multiplayer first (or third) person slash fest boasts lots of customization and spends its 15 minute tutorial showing off how the direction of your swings matter, the timing of parries, ripostes, chambers (attack in opposite direction), how to shoot bows and catapults, how to joust, break doors, repair doors and how to hold the blade of your sword and swing the hilt to better damage heavily armored foes.

Aaaaand then you get into the game, which for me was the PvE horde mode where you need to defend an NPC nobleman from hordes of enemies. Out goes all that technique as the most successful items are fire bombs, spike traps and far swinging halberds while most importantly being naked, so you can run fast. This game is all nice ideas that fall flat when given to actual players. Not recommended.

Sunday 28 May 2023

Chupa (Movie) and Organ Attack (Card Game)

Made for kids!?


A young boy visits his family in Mexico where they befriend a friendly baby Chupacabra and must hide it from the evil foreign researchers. Despite not being the highest budget film the CGI of the critter is rather nice and the child actors do an OK job. Obviously the entire plot is tailored for a young latino audience so expect to read subtitles if you aren't fluent in Spanish and don't expect high levels of viole... well, anything really. Don't expect high levels of anything. Unless you are this target audience, I suspect you can find better things to watch.

Organ Attack

After distributing organ cards, which are all face up so everyone can see them, each player gets five attack cards which can damage a particular organ (making it hard to target specific people), block damage, return damage or cause necrosis to instakill an organ. The objective is to destroy the organs of your competitors while protecting your own, so you'll be doing cruel things like giving your buddies strokes, multiple sclerosis, rupturing their appendix and other horrible diseases like that.

The art tries to inject humor into this but my gaming group just found it to be horrible theme, especially as we know people who were affected / died to many of the said cards. Not recommended. Exploding Kittens is a better alternative if you are in the market for something similar.

Saturday 27 May 2023

Clarent Saga Tactics: Clarent in Space

[Part of the Cursed story line]

The cultist isle is surprisingly empty, until Pascal shows up again and takes the team to fight in space!? Here demons just continuously spawn and both Minerva and Arthur meet their end. Cain works out that this Pascal is actually Baal (complete with two transformations) and the team get to work slaying him, which is an interesting loop.

Basically they position in such a way that Lilith lets lots of attacks and heals happen in one round, letting most of the team hammer Baal while Blossom and Sin deal with all the adds. Eventually Baal's third form is destroyed and the survivors return as heroes: Cain and Awan rule as king and queen, Blossom and Lilith build an orphanage and retire from adventuring, and Sin continues to hunt for leftover cultists as a witch hunter.

Oh, and why was it called the "Clarent" saga? Because Baal's magic weapon is the Clarent. Obviously... The end!

A bit of a silly story with lots of repeating maps (seriously that magic storage cave was annoying) but a decent enough tactic game. If you'd like to try it out it's free on steam!

Friday 26 May 2023

Clarent Saga Tactics: Time Travelers

[Part of the Cursed story line]

As the time travelers reclaim territory from the cultists they gain an ally in Minerva, who is found defending a bridge against the demonic scum and helps them retake Belsar and Meyr castles where they release Arthur and Percival from captivity. As usual, it is determined that a detour to the magic storage cave is in order, so the team heads up the mountain and defeats the archangels guarding the now place.

Inside, the spirits they face in the trial are those of their parents (Abel, Siegfried, Brynhildr) whom the time traveling children happily defeat to earn their magic weapons which they then use to lay siege to Pascal's castle in the lowlands. Percival is slain in the lightning raid to breach the fortress (I did it in 2 turns) and Awan spears the traitorous mage on his throne.

With the mainland clear, the team proceeds to the docks where the team abandons Sarah to get abducted by pirates so they can steal their ship, and sail to the cultist isle which they reach after fighting off a cultist ship crewed by demons and skelemen.

Thursday 25 May 2023

Clarent Saga Tactics: Broken Crowns

[Part of the Cursed story line]

With their own magic weapons on hand, Abel's squad pushes toward Siegfried's castle - defeating his forces and closest allies to take their magic weapons too! Attacking the castle itself results in many of Abel's forces to be depleted but Arthur out snipes Brynhildr and Percival manages to slay Siegfried in his throne room. Abel is established as king of those regions and takes Arthur's sister as his wife.

After Arthur and Percival leave to return to their own kingdom, Pascal informs Abel about an evil cult abducting children on a nearby island so Abel assembles his troops, fights some pirates for their ships, and sails to the wretched place to fight demons and undead. It is here that Pascal reveals himself to be one of the head cultists and betrays him - sacrificing Abel and his team for demonic purposes.

With his fall the cult quickly take over most of the continent, but a small group of time travelers composed of Cain (Abel's son), Awan (daughter of Siegfried), clerics Sarah and Sin, Blossom the mage and Lilith the dancer arrive to stop them. Somehow "dancer" is one of the best character classes here, as she can let someone else have an entire turn again. This eventually upgrades to "bard" which lets four people move again!

Wednesday 24 May 2023

Clarent Saga Tactics: The Second Bastard

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Despite the detour to the "magic storage cave" Siegfried's forces return in time to defend their castle before the second bastard and his army arrives. Despite having twice the size in army, they all surrender after Gawain flies over them and kills their leader.

Siegfried settles in as the new king and takes Brynhildr as his queen while Gawain continues to expand the kingdom over the next year by conquering the next kingdom of Meyr. Prince Abel of Meyr manages to escape the slaughter with trusted mage buddy Pascal to their ally King Arthur of Belsar who agrees to help them retake his kingdom along side trusted knight Sir Percival.

Gawain and his forces are slaughtered, and not content to stop there Arthur leads the team up to the "magic storage cave" where he snipes baddies through the canyon (this Arthur is a kick ass archer) before the team undergoes the trial against spirits to earn more magic weapons... as Siegfried left some behind I guess?

Tuesday 23 May 2023

Clarent Saga Tactics: Siegfried lives!

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Siegfried did not die to the Zmey. Instead the amnesiac hero was found wandering in lands far from his own and was taken in by a kind king to recuperate and train with his best soldiers. When this king dies to poison, bishop Ishkur convinces Siegfried to take up arms against the neighboring country led by the king's bastard children.

Dragon knight Gawain takes the lead while crossing the desert to smash down their ballista defenses, and hired blade Minerva manages to make short work of the younger prince once Siegfried's forces reach the enemy capital where they learn his brother has already begun marching onto their home territory.

Instead of pursuing him, Ishkur convinces the team to first go high into the mountains to collect magic weapons stored there (because, where else would you store them right)? Archer sniper Brynhildr snipes down enemy forces waiting along the canyon route, and upon reaching the "magic storage cave" the squad defeats ancient spirits to lay claim to their weaponry. Alas, poor Ishkur does not survive this trial.

Monday 22 May 2023

Warframe: The Duviri Paradox

When feelings spiral out of control.

This update is so much fun. After playing through the main Duviri story which would only be at most three hours, you are then invited to return to the emotional dreamscape in one of three modes: "The Lone Story" is basically the speed run version of doing 6 tasks to get construction materials from the end boss. "The Duviri Experience" has the 6 main tasks but also has TONS of side activities to do in Duviri's open world and "The Circuit" which is for people that just want to stay in warframes - an endless cycle of standard warframe missions but with the twist that you can pick what rewards you are working towards.

The Duviri Experience is my favorite mode, and I stay in that world for much longer after the six "main" tasks are done to the point that I kinda forget I'm playing Warframe. I think its because every little thing you do lets you power up via "decrees". Maybe you killed a bad guy patrol, or solved a puzzle, went fishing, or played warframe guitar hero - bam! You get a decree which powers you up and these stack till you leave Duviri, at which point you need to start from scratch. For me, that's just fine because you get so overpowered so quickly it is great fun. It's even better in a group because if any individual does any task anywhere on the map, the entire team gets rewarded!

Decrees also help mitigate the fact that you might not have your regular gear on hand. This is because at the start of each Duviri outing you must choose from a limited, randomized pool of warframes and weapons to bring. While some will be what you own, there will be things that you don't thrown in the mix (unless you are legendary rank 3 and own everything I guess). There are always three times in the main quest where you'll need to use a warframe, and if you're stuck with unfamiliar or weak items you might be in trouble... OR NOT, because those decrees carry on into the warframe mode too - so as long as you are overloaded with boons, you should be fine regardless.

Excellent update, and if Soulframe is anything like this I'm definitely going to look into it. If you'd prefer a more visual experience of Duviri without downloading Warframe, DL has put up some videos.

Sunday 21 May 2023

GTFO: ALT R2B2 - Power Corrupts

I hope you practiced silently smacking giants in the previous level because you're gonna need it here (or you can just practice here, whatever). The objective is to find four small generators to plug four cells into (which come down the elevator with you). Our load out was the same as last time, which means DL got extra ammo again for the sniper rifle.

Me: Pistol/Revolver/Cfoam/Spear
DL: DMR/Sniper Rifle/Mines/Hammer
Jim: PDW/Machine Gun/Sniper Sentry/Hammer
[Bot]: Hel Revolver/Machinegun/Biotracker/Hammer

Giants are all over the first zone, so stealth kill or stealth past as you see fit. The first generator is in here somewhere so make sure to ping it at a terminal before going through the regular team scan to the next zone, which is dark and tiny and full of ugly spitter things on the wall that scream and poison you if you get too close. Shine your light on them to make them sleep! Little sleepers are in here too, so balance as you like. We still stealth meleed with flash lights on. Lol. Anyway, second generator is in here too. Yay!

This is followed by a largish zone with the third generator and CLASS V alarm exits to the North and West. One of these will contain the last generator spot so check first which way you need to go (ours was West). For defense here since there was no door, Jim's sniper sentry was facing inward around the bend from the entry point so that it would hit both upstairs and downstairs mobs (you'll understand when you see it) and I cfoamed a cone infront of the gun to give it more time to shoot things while DL also put mines just after the cfoam. Note there's a non-alarm team scan East but leave that shut first to simplify things. This defense held until around the last set of circles so it's pretty effective!

Behind either CLASS V door are rooms of scouts! For single ones DL sniped, but for the double Jim tossed a cfoam grenade and missed but a scout still walked into it, leaving it open for me to spear and then spear his buddy - which was both cool cause it worked and foolish cause it was safer if DL shot it, but whatever. :P

After plugging in the last generator head on East through the non-alarm door until you hit a zone with a CLASS V ALARMED BLOOD DOOR. What!? This one caught us as we thought it was just a regular blood door, so mine was set up on the East door, sniper turret along South wall facing back towards us (always shoot things in the back) with foam in front of it. At least I shut the door behind us, but it wasn't cfoamed or mined. On your run, make sure to do those things. We also had cleared the room by stealth bop, and then I just fired one shot to get the fog sleepers to come out.

So, with the surprise of needing to do circles - we rushed forward to start the scan and then I went back with the bot to hold the first wave along the South wall while the others tore down defenses and did circles, but I had to fall back pretty quick. Eventually all the circles were done and we ended up doing a big counter clockwise semicircle to win the wave. Sheesh. Comparatively the regular blood door segment of this blood door was pretty straightforward! Once done, its a fast silent extract just behind that door to GTFO!

Saturday 20 May 2023

GTFO: ALT R2B1 - Sacrifice

Next step down from R2A1 is basically the introduction to blood doors and making giant strikers more common. It's a simple task: just open up the forward extraction spot which you will find just by going North all the time. This was our loadout:

Me: Pistol/Revolver/Cfoam/Spear
DL: DMR/Sniper Rifle/Mines/Hammer
Jim: PDW/Machine Gun/Sniper Sentry/Hammer
[Bot]: Hel Revolver/Machinegun/Biotracker/Hammer

Now's a good time to recap how to stealth kill giants: stack up behind solo sleeping giants and each call out a unique limb on the target. Swing a fully charged melee at the same time and your goal is to break the limb you called out as that forces the giant to stagger. Hitting the nape and destroying the head is always a good idea, as that deals significantly more damage. Note: if you brought clubs and knives, this is probably going to be tougher! For groups of big guys, clear everything else, shut the doors to kill the noise and snipe them.

Clear your drop zone of regulars and you'll find the first blood door. A mine pointed towards the door is better than one across, but either way there will still be scum that you will need to shoot after. Make use of the shelf cover provided when those spiky head hybrids come out. They can shoot a lot, but cover negates their greatest strength.

Beyond that is a big zone with giant sleepers and 4 security doors (other than the one you just used to enter). In the SE is an optional "supply closet" we didn't bother opening as it would just complicate things, then two more blood doors to the East and West, and a locked Apex door to the North. The key card is behind one of the blood doors so ping it, then prep with a mine (ours was to the East) and shoot the left overs from cover again.

Inside is a scout which DL sniped, and the key card to Apex CLASS VII alarm! To setup for this, we shut all the doors we could and DL mined all the immediate ones and the ones one step away while I cfoamed all the immediate ones and used the remaining cfoam in a cone in front of Jim's sniper sentry positioned at the Eastern blood door (because that's what we opened) facing towards the Apex door.

This is one of those "fight well" situations, but remember to do circles too! The [bot] on biotracker is amazing at letting you know which side to pay attention to as the swarm came from both East and South for us. Opening the Apex door triggers an extraction alarm so combat mine and rush and hold the extract spot as a wave of giants comes after you. DL is great with the sniper rifle and really smashed them here, though with that gun being 100% full with 8 shots it meant donating a lot of ammo kits to him, which balanced out my excess of ammo with the twin pistols. Everything worked well, and we GTFO of there. :)

Friday 19 May 2023

Dark Deity: The Long List

[Part of the Cursed story line]

The survivors finally reach the evil wizard and have to run around destroying his empowering crystals while he gets free shots in. As a result, he explodes the brains of Liberty, Sloane and Monroe, burns Fenton and Rose, shatters Bianca's psyche, breaks Iris' will, knocks out Cia, Wren and Faust, steals part of Sara's soul and nearly kills Alexa before Thae'lanel puts an end to him. The wizard's death releases the survivors from the ether realm to recuperate and rebuild the kingdoms.

Pretty cool game but the story could have used some work. Since this is the last of Dark Deity I'm putting the full character list up below to include the lucky four that didn't get downed the entire way through (keeping in mind I used a rotating roster to make sure everyone played, even if that put me severely under leveled some times). 

Wind walking Bianca was my most useful warrior only to be overshadowed by dragon riding Alexa at the end, Wren and Cia (who must be super lucky to keep getting that -0 magic penalty) were excellent Slayers (class), Sara and Sloane the best wizards and Rose and Caius the best sniper/green knight. None of them would have survived without the healers though, who are always handy lurking in the back.

Rolling Damage List:
Irving [DEAD]
Cia [4/5]: -1 Str, -0 Magic, -0 Magic, *-0 Magic
Benji [DEAD]
Elias [2/5]: -1 Dex, -2 Magic
Samara [DEAD]
Sophia [DEAD]

Lincoln [1/5]: -2 Str, -2 Luck
Corvan [4/5]: -1 Mastery
Garrick [1/5]: -1 Mastery, -1 Dex, -2 Str
Alden [DEAD]
Iris [2/5]: -1 Def. -1 Fort, *-1 Fort
Liberty [DEAD]: -3 Def, *-2 Mastery
Rose [1/5]: -1 Luck, -1 Spd, *-2 Dex
Ford [DEAD]
Aurima [DEAD]
Maeve [DEAD]

Thae'lanel [4/5]: -1 Fort
Sloane [DEAD]: -3 Dex, -1 Str, *-1 Def
Sara [2/5]: -1 Str, -1 Str, *-1 Str
Caius [2/5]: -3 Str
Wren [2/5]: -1 Magic, *-2 Luck
Fenton [3/5]: -1 Fort, *-1 Fort
Monroe [DEAD]: -1 Fort, *-4 Magic
*Bianca [3/5]: -2 Magic
*Faust [4/5]: -1 Def
*Alexa [1/5]: -4 Dex

Brooke [5/5]
Helena [5/5]
Maren [5/5]
Vesta [5/5]

Thursday 18 May 2023

Dark Deity: Ash-Again

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Having beaten back the necromancer, its time to go on the offensive with the retaking of Redhill fortress and Canopy Bridge where Garrick suffers a cut tendon, nearly killing him. The team then goes after Sloane's father, the archmage, who uses the most useless form of mirror image ever (damage any to hurt him) and then King Varic himself!

Ford and Maeve are killed while opening the main gates and King Varic manages to cut Rose's hamstring, slice off one of Sloane's fingers, cut tendons from Sara and Caius and gives Iris a close call before Fenton the dwarf battleaxes through the King's codpiece, killing him! Alas, just as he does so the team is brought into the ether realm by the grand wizard who was previously interrupted in his tornado.

Here they face their resurrected ally Irving who manages to concuss Wren, throw Lincoln into an acid shower, cut tendons from Sloane and Sara, and knocks down Fenton and Monroe before Iris uses her firelord powers to turn him into ash... again.

Rolling Damage List:
Irving [DEAD]
Cia [4/5]: -1 Str, -0 Magic, -0 Magic
Benji [DEAD]
Elias [2/5]: -1 Dex, -2 Magic
Samara [DEAD]
Sophia [DEAD]

Lincoln [1/5]: -2 Str, *-2 Luck
Corvan [4/5]: -1 Mastery
Garrick [1/5]: -1 Mastery, -1 Dex, *-2 Str
Alden [DEAD]
Iris [3/5]: -1 Def. *-1 Fort
Liberty [2/5]: -3 Def
Rose [3/5]: -1 Luck, *-1 Spd
Ford [DEAD]: -2 Luck, -2 Luck, *-6 HP
Aurima [DEAD]
Maeve [DEAD]: -1 Luck, -2 Mastery, *-2 Mastery
Thae'lanel [4/5]: -1 Fort
*Sloane [1/5]: -3 Dex, -1 Str
*Sara [3/5]: -1 Str, -1 Str
*Caius [2/5]: -3 Str
*Wren [4/5]: -1 Magic
*Fenton [4/5]: -1 Fort
*Monroe [4/5]: -1 Fort

Wednesday 17 May 2023

Dark Deity: The Mountain

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Upon returning to the mainland where everyone hates them, Lincoln leads the growing team into a cavernous mountain to hide out but first must secure it from the resident dragon! Fenton the dwarf and an awesome snarky acolyte named Faust help them defeat it without any casualties. 

It looks pretty cool though!

Hearing news that King Varic has ordered mass executions at a nearby prison, the team does a prison break next - freeing archer Rose and barbarian Alexa (who they themselves captured before) along with other prisoners to join the revolt. Cia gets concussed again during this and Maeve and Ford expend some luck, but they are able to escape a cordon of soldiers with the help of some food buffs and the powerful storm witch, Liberty, who happens to be Irving's aunt.

Due to these actions the undead forces of the necromancer, clearly in league with King Varic, locates their mountain base and launches an all out assault upon them, weakening Iris and Liberty with necrotic poison, sapping the luck of both Rose and Ford, burning Alden to a crisp, beheading Aurima, giving Maeve lightning inflicted shakes, and beating down Thae'lanel before the necromancer finally runs out of mana and is forced to retreat.

Rolling Damage List:
Irving [DEAD]
Cia [4/5]: -1 Str, -0 Magic, *-0 Magic
Benji [DEAD]
Elias [2/5]: -1 Dex, -2 Magic
Samara [DEAD]
Sophia [DEAD]

Lincoln [3/5]: -2 Str
Corvan [4/5]: -1 Mastery
Garrick [3/5]: -1 Mastery, -1 Dex
Alden [DEAD]: -1 Def, *-7 HP
*Iris [4/5]: -1 Def
*Liberty [2/5]: -3 Def
*Rose [4/5]: -1 Luck
*Ford [1/5]: -2 Luck, -2 Luck
*Aurima [DEAD]: -7 HP
*Maeve [2/5]: -1 Luck, -2 Mastery
*Thae'lanel [4/5]: -1 Fort

Tuesday 16 May 2023

Dark Deity: One Finger Discount

[Part of the Cursed story line]

At a remote island fortress where they secure the god aspects, Vesta's superiors are hesitant to aid the mainland and instead order her and her allies to undertake the trial of soul to either kill them or make them stronger. WTF? Worse, they don't know the location of said trial and instead instruct the company to go into the forest and steal a magic compass from the "feral" tribal elves to guide them to this trial and are accompanied by less-tribal elves Maeve (archer), Thae'lanel (psycho spear guy) as well as Wren the murderer. The superiors also make it clear that they don't want to see the team again, under any circumstances because they're super friendly like that.

The tribal elves are a serious problem and harass the column the entire way to their death trap temple, which is complete with spike traps and poison gas. Brooke and her rapier win an epic duel against tribal spear living doll guardian Nao before snatching the device and getting out of there but there are some serious injuries sustained: Samara goes insane and throws herself on a spike trap, Benji has his soul burned away, and Garrick loses a finger. The compass points to a location at sea and sure enough they find a temple there that warns "the only foes you will face are the ones you bring" so Aurima goes alone to fight himself and wins / loses?

Rolling Damage List:
Irving [DEAD]
Cia [4/5]: -1 Str, -0 Magic
Benji [DEAD]: -2 Luck, -1 Mastery, *-2 Str
Elias [2/5]: -1 Dex, -2 Magic
Samara [DEAD]: -1 Fort, -1 Mastery, *-4 HP
Sophia [DEAD]
Lincoln [3/5]: -2 Str
Corvan [4/5]: -1 Mastery
Garrick [3/5]: -1 Mastery, *-1 Dex
Alden [4/5]: -1 Def

Monday 15 May 2023

Dark Deity: Crossing Field

[Part of the Cursed story line]

After saving her, Vesta basically takes command of the team - ordering them to march to a harbor village to relocate the chest of aspects the undead nearly got their hands on. En route, they find a pitched battle of Aramorans against the forces of King Varic and just beyond a swirling tornado of magic being conjured by another evil looking wizard that said armies are oblivious to. The genius moron Garrick talks the team into rushing through the battlefield to stop the spell, because... what could go wrong with that plan?

Samara gets mind wiped, Corvan and Garrick get slices on their arms, Cia and Elias get concussed, Benji gets an embarrassing scar and Alden is weakened by a poisoned blade before Caius reaches the sorcerer to interrupt his spell. The annoyed wizard then teleports away while the rest of the unit, now an enemy to both sides despite saving them, flees to the docks where they hire the ship of the smuggler/thief Ford. Also on board are the mage Monroe and his spear bodyguard Iris who are handy companions when storm spirits, no doubt sent by the annoyed wizard, attack the vessel at sea but Aurima wipes them out.

Rolling Damage List:
Irving [DEAD]
Cia [4/5]: -1 Str, *-0 Magic
Benji [2/5]: -2 Luck, *-1 Mastery
Elias [2/5]: -1 Dex, *-2 Magic
Samara [3/5]: -1 Fort, *-1 Mastery
Sophia [DEAD]
Lincoln [3/5]: -2 Str
*Corvan [4/5]: -1 Mastery
*Garrick [4/5]: -1 Mastery
*Alden [4/5]: -1 Def

Sunday 14 May 2023

Dark Deity: Fireball to the Face

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Having saved the team from defeat by cut scene, Sara and Samara convince them to help fight against a bigger threat which includes the necromancer they encountered before. The team agrees and go with the princesses to the desert to meet their contacts Corvan the thief and warrior nun Helena who lead them to a monastic arena which contains knowledge to the aspects (artifacts) of the gods, the same thing they believe the necromancer was after.

Aurima, the monk tank within, challenges them to combat for this knowledge and is only defeated after giving Benji a close call with his spear, Elias a burned finger, and Samara a fear of fire. Pleased with the result, the big monk joins them and leads them to a not so well hidden temple further in the sands where warrior priest Vesta is holding off an army of undead! The team rush to her aid and (re)slay the enemy, but not without injury. Sophia is killed by a poisoned arrow, Lincoln gets part of his soul drained, and Irving takes a fireball to the face - annihilating him from existence.

Rolling Damage List:
Irving [DEAD]: -1 Def, *-5 HP
Cia [4/5]: -1 Str
*Benji [3/5]: -2 Luck
*Elias [4/5]: -1 Dex
*Samara [4/5]: -1 Fort
*Sophia [DEAD]: -5 HP
*Lincoln [3/5]: -2 Str

Saturday 13 May 2023

Dark Deity: Royal Bluff

[Part of the Cursed story line]

A trio of bandit hunting ladies arrive as the squad is cleaning up, and soon after an evil looking mage also arrives who asks if they found a particular gem in the bandit's possession. Garrick lies that they haven't so the evil mage, who turns out to be a necromancer, resurrects all the bandits and leaves - calling it a day. LOL. The "bandit hunters" Sara (mage), Samara (guardian) and Brooke (rogue) help clear out the undead bandits (who seem to be just bandits with white powdery make up) and reveal they too are after the gem but instead of taking it decide to leave Brooke with the squad to help defend it while the other two go off to see if they can find out more about the necromancer.

King Varic isn't pleased by the tardiness of their arrival at the capital but they earn his respect again by easily taking down a nearby camp of deserters led by the barbarianess Alexa, so he commands them to next march against the invading Aramoran army  whom they first encounter vandalizing an aqueduct and chase them off. It is here they gain the idiot knight Benji and the Aramoran archer deserter Caius, who doesn't want to slaughter innocents but is a-ok to slaughter his own people. At Redhill the team easily defeats the Aramoran invaders are captured by the Aramoran cavalry (via cutscene) only to be rescued by Sara and Samara, actual Aramor royalty, who bluff their way to getting the squad to safety.

How!? The town was cleared of enemies! Defeat by cut scene sucks.

Rolling Damage List:
Irving [4/5]: -1 Def
Cia [4/5]: -1 Str

Friday 12 May 2023

Dark Deity: Spear Dancer

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Mage apprentice Alden, novitiate cleric Maren and rookies Garrick (archer) and Irving (warrior) are recruited into King Varic's army under battle group leader Lincoln (cleric) and his second, Bianca (spear girl). En route to reporting at the capital, they stop to help a village fight off some bandits where locals Elias (spear guy) and Cia (buxom rogue bartender) assist in routing the enemy, and then pursuing them all the way back to their base where they rescue the sorceress Sloane and her scout ally Sophia who were the bandits "guests" for two weeks. 

Based on how she's dressed, I can guess how they spent the time...

Lincoln is pretty happy with his teams performance as there were only two friendly injuries sustained: Irving getting the wind clubbed out of him and Cia getting manhandled by some lucky bandits when her impressive speed put her in an isolated spot. Said curs were put down like the dogs they were. On the flip side, Bianca is amazing and really knows her way around a pole spear - being the MVP in most of the skirmishes.

When a unit goes down this game places perma-debuffs on characters instead of letting them die, so I'll be keeping track of that below. Maybe I'll go with 5 worth of lost stats is "death". That should be nice and easy.

Rolling Damage List:

*Irving [4/5]: -1 Def
*Cia [4/5]: -1 Str

Thursday 11 May 2023

GTFO: ALT R2A1 - The Dig

With ALT R1 out of the way it's time to venture into ALT R2, and this one isn't too hard if you're already an experienced group like us. If not, you're about to get more experience dealing with medium sleeper clusters and some solo scouts! Our loadout was as follows:

Me: Pistol/Revolver/Cfoam/Spear
DL: DMR/Sniper Rifle/Mines/Hammer
Jim: Rifle/Machine Gun/Sniper Sentry/Hammer
[Bot]: DMR/Heavy Assault Rifle/Biotracker/Hammer

Today's mission is to collect two pieces of cargo and return it to the extraction spot and the basic rule as usual while clearing is: don't break any doors. From the drop clear what you've got and you'll find yourself facing two security doors, but the one to the North needs an access key so ignore that and go through the non-alarm one to the West.

This room holds three corridors and six regular doors which you should try keep intact while clearing. Somewhere here is the key and two more class II alarm doors, one to the West and one to the South. Behind one of these is the first cargo item so ping and open the correct door (ours was South). We tried to funnel the wave here by leaving the middle two doors and bottom left door open, but they still decided to break the bottom right door... bleh, whatever.

Behind either door of those class II doors is a scout, and since we were feeling gun-brave we just let DL snipe it and handled whatever woke up. After taking the cargo to the extraction spot its time to go for the previously locked Northern door which is a class IV alarm. A little trickier to setup so DL put mines on all the doors and we closed everything we could. Sniper sentry was set facing the West security door which is now permanently open. I foamed what I could as well as the floor of that open door.

Anyway, this is one of those "fight well" moments and it wasn't that tough. There are some giants that come so watch your corners but you should be ok. Last chamber has last cargo item and another scout for DL to snipe. Before taking it to extraction we prepped by cfoam and mining the right hand door while cfoam and sentry waited along the left corridor since that door was broken now.

The extract scan is a slower one so put the cargo down in the circle and get ready to defend as little strikers will be coming for you. Nothing overly dramatic if you are expecting it. :)

Wednesday 10 May 2023

Fort Triumph: No Comeuppance

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Lady Aveline leads the survivors to an old scriptorium where her librarians have researched a solution to counter Avathas' immortality. The arrival of Cyron spells the end of his nameless researchers though, but through a combined effort they finally manage to slay the skeleton mage as unexpected help arrives in the form of Trynne Ocean! (For real, the starter mage was dead but apparently the story needed a mage to say some lines so they gave us a new one, lol).

With a second squad of their friends (Este, Ames, Little Pirate, Garrett and Iris) covering them from enemy mercs and disrupting the flow of enemy beetcoins (yes that is the currency, which you farm for), Aveline's party with her original hires go to confront Avathas in his lair, using magic pillars Trynne summons and activates to weaken him. It is Anythera that eventually crushes his skull to permanently end him.

Pleased with this result Lady Aveline pays them in full and clears their name, returning to her estate while Gharbarak quietly vanishes to his goblin commune. A happy ending for everyone?

That was a pretty short campaign and obviously Fort Triumph caters more for PvP with various factions, but other than their graphics the hero units seem functionally the same. Not sure if I'd recommend it.

Tuesday 9 May 2023

Fort Triumph: Backstabbing Everybody

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Even underground, bounty hunters and mercenaries manage to track the squad but the Cocks find a surprising ally in Cyron - an undead bone mage who claims the goblin warlord is wielding a scepter that enslaves the dead. Cyron helps the team defeat their pursuers and the weak undead serving the goblins but upon beating up General Gharbarak he quickly betrays them and steals the scepter for himself before vanishing.

In exchange for his aid and information, Gharbarak - who works for Lady Aveline - is spared from execution as he explains Cyron works for Avathas and the scepter is his backup plan should he be killed: Cyron will raise him as a lich!? Clearly Cyron knows how to use the scepter much more proficiently than the goblin.

In hopes to stop this, the team and Gharbarak pursue Cyron into the deeper crypts where they find Lady Aveline and her quickly diminishing troop being ambushed by undead! Rushing to her aid once more they fight off waves of undead, followed by her raised guards, followed by more mercenaries who manage to slay the sorceress! Only, the slay the wrong one - stabbing Rue to death before being eliminated. Down a member the entire party must really flee when Avathas the Lich arrives as he is invulnerable to attack!

Fort Triumph: The Assassin is You

[Part of the Cursed story line]

An increase of goblin activity leads Lady Aveline to hire Even, Rue, Macius, and Anythera to sort it out. While going from village to village the team meets up with Paladin Lord Avathas who is also taking measures to stem the goblin threat but instead of allying with the Cocks, he orders them to stand down as to not take away from his glory.

The team go to Lady Aveline's residence to report this just in time to save her from some mercs (though she probably could have handled them herself given her magic proficiency), and she persists that they go out-do her political rival Avathas. They proceed to engage the main goblin army led by their goblin general Gharbarak who also has some skeletons in his ranks? Avathas is also here and already attacking, but he is assassinated mid-engagement by a human soldier!

Outnumbered by the goblins the team drops pillars and trees on their enemies (the game strongly encourages scenery destruction) while retreating to the underground. Soon after Lady Aveline convinces the rest of the realm that they were the ones who murdered Avathas and promises to bring them to justice.

Sunday 7 May 2023

Wildermyth: The Silent Pit

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Despite the main force being defeated at the wall, the Cocks are informed by Lady Kamea that other groups of gorgons have made it through and are specifically targeting libraries. As they go about securing these sites Barbara finds a magical tapestry in one and upon infusing it, opens a temporary portal to the bug realm! They slay the critters and manage to save Sir Igwane from their dimension, who despite being very battered and used agrees to aid them as he is still loyal to Lady Kamea.

At the grand library they slaughter many more gorgons, including a type that makes its allies explode (WTF). Leading this group is the Salt Witch, a massive gorgon who manages to escape the team by casting a spell that forcefully ages Lillo, Macko and Pump into their weakened, geriatric years. Fortunately Barbara realizes that it was a map they were after: a map to the Silent Pit where they can supposedly awaken Cthulhu their deep god.

It falls to Barbara, Iris, Sir Igwane, Macius and Moleleen (Ames' skilled apprentice) to face them there and despite a never ending swarm of tentacle summoning gorgons and the Salt Witch itself the team is never in any real danger as they slowly and calmly fight off all the attackers while destroying the pillars holding up the place. In most cases the pillar stones were used as projectile weapons by the two mystics, Barbara and Moleleen. The team escape the temple collapse, saving the lands once more.

Note: As the "random" events are getting repetitive now that I've seen them numerous times I think that's it for my Wildermyth playthrough.

Saturday 6 May 2023

Wildermyth: Gorgons Return

[Part of the Cursed story line]

As the others are dealing with Vulture bits, Macko and Milly meet the former's estranged mother who convinces them to donate resources for her new business. Soon after the two join Lillo, Macius, and Pump to easily wipe out some bandits before investigating a new batch of petrified people. They soon discover that the gorgons are coming back in big numbers, with even more wildlife going crazy this time including gigantic bears!

After an ambush in the forest where it seems gorgons are common now, Milly's prayers to divine the source of this foe is answered by the turtle god - across the ancient great wall to the West. It also mentions the gorgon's main force hasn't crossed it yet - all these ones are just scouts. In exchange for the information the turtle god transforms Milly into a turtle and takes her away as another of his turtle friends.

With no time to waste her allies race to the wall picking up Iris and Barbara on the way, reaching it just before the gorgons main force arrives. Luckily the catapults are in good working order which obliterates the attackers. The only scary part is when a bogmoor pulls Macko off the wall with its tongue, but he survives the ordeal. In fact he is more hurt when he later discovers his mother never started that business at all, and instead gambled away all he had given her.

Friday 5 May 2023

Wildermyth: The Vulture

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Deep within the mountain the squad finally finds the Vulture Lord, an evil hungry god had been locked in there until Dranalla and company's battle with the Deepists all those months ago had inadvertently set him free. He is a strong spell caster in his own right but worse, he cannot actually be killed until his sun altar is destroyed as it continually revives him.

This results in a long battle of dancing around his AoE's while also keeping his endless adds at bay. The Vulture manages to get his magic hands on Zefelle at one point and forces her gem-eye condition to worsen exponentially, killing her by calcification into mineral. Her compatriots destroy the altar soon after and finally put down the evil god once and... oh right, he still can't be killed.

Even without the altar their "dying" foe laughs at them, taunting that he will still regenerate - it will just take a little longer (years instead of minutes). Thus the (barely) survivors decide to take a page out of Castlevania and hack him into pieces, each taking a body part to hide and secure in distant parts of the world.

Thursday 4 May 2023

Wildermyth: No Good Bot

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Retaking a village from the deadbot army, the heroes encounter their leader: Hally! She, Erklebits and a number of other deadbots have taken to skin grafting to regain some human appearance - a technique taught by their new master: the Vulture Lord who personally destroyed their soul when he exploded Misia and the mechanical heart upon her refusal of his alliance offer. Some of their mercs have done the opposite, infusing robot parts instead of their own limbs.

In the battle that follows, Hally personally kills Karel before she and the other bots are torn to pieces by the now badly wounded heroes. While searching for the Vulture Lord, Igwane discovers a magical tear that pulls him into the dimension of the bugs who telepathically tell his allies where the Vulture is hiding - Gray Mountain. This is their "payment" for abducting the hapless knight.

With the tear gone and no way to save their companion the Cocks focus instead on a new assault upon Gray Mountain, this time guarded by many human soldiers, flame birds and a gigantic flame spewing golem. Ames has become a pretty powerful wizard now though and tosses its fire back into the foes, slaying many while the rest act as steel versus steel.

Wednesday 3 May 2023

Wildermyth: Merc War

[Part of the Cursed story line]

While most of the Cocks helped rebuild what the dragon had burned down, Dranalla, Ames, Jon, Karel and rookie Parkin were clearing a large Deepist cell operating from a hidden base withing Gray Mountain, the culmination of which is a partial collapse of the hidden internal fortress that earns victory for the squad.

Months later Gem-Eye Zefelle joins them to stop a war between the lizardfolk and the deadbots who oddly seem to be hiring human mercenaries to fight along side them (using the left over treasures from the dragon's hoard or valuable minerals from beneath the ground respectively). Doing so puts them into conflict with both sides, and as usual the humans prove to be the more dangerous foe.

At a wooden fort Parkin meets his end to the strong hitting mercs before Zefelle slays their commander forcing the lizardfolk to flee. This leaves the region open for the deadbot forces to rampage, briefly even capturing Dranalla before she stealithy escapes (cool solo mission) requiring the Cocks to get some reinforcements of their own: Sir Igwane, Este and Gwynelia.

Tuesday 2 May 2023

Dishonored: Death of the Outsider and When the Past was Around

Blood and sorrow.

Dishonored: Death of the Outsider

I've always enjoyed the Dishonored series as it has that Thief like stealth option where you can simply sneak your way to victory without killing anyone (which is pretty tough). Alternatively you can use your void gifted powers to just absolutely murder everyone or any variation in between. That design is the same here, but unlike Dishonored 2 which lets you do "powerless" run through, this one straight up encourages you to use everything you have - even just for "Quality of Life" displays.

Also, with just five missions it is quite short even though said missions could take a few hours. Or just minutes if you're a blood bath type of player. If you enjoyed the other Dishonored titles, this is an easy one to recommend. It's just more Dishonored (but not as good / in-depth as Dishonored 2). If you haven't played any of the Dishonored series, don't start with this one.

When the Past was Around

This short puzzle game is a work of art with wonderful visuals and really nice music. While the theme of playing a woman battling against grief might not be high on your to do list, this is a rather nice experience which will hit your feelings mostly at the end. There's also not a lot of back tracking which is a huge tick for me. My only two criticisms are that I prefer the music piece in the prologue (but that's minor, the main theme is good too) and some puzzles are totally out there, like a combination lock that includes the numbers of birds and butterflies present in the scene. There are hints but those can be pretty vague. Still recommended though! Good game.

Monday 1 May 2023

Wildermyth: Suicidal Dragon

[Part of the Cursed story line]

With many lands aflame Trynne recruits rookie Lillo to help douse the fires while Levyel and Jainlof's crew seek out the dragon's new lair. During this process Jainlof accidentally frees a frog god who turns him into a frog face and Raine is "cursed" by a lizard priest to have useless baby wings.

Eventually they locate their target at a volcano and fight their way in, past fireball throwing lizard scum to challenge the dragon and its elite guard at the summit. Luckily the silly beast enjoys triggering the free attacks of the party (everyone had some form of auto-overwatch and envenomed weapon except Jainlof) and basically defeats itself!

After murdering the last of the elite guard the remaining lizards withdraw and the team of dragon slayers return as heroes! Unfortunately for Jainlof, he cannot undo the frog god's magic and soon turns into a bogmoor. His axe guard hesitate too much during the transformation which lets him escape into the woods.