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‘Twas the Match before Christmas…

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‘Twas the match before Christmas, and all through the house all the gamers were clicking away with a mouse.  The League battles raged on with each stroke of a key, in hopes that the gamers would see victory.

The Skype chat was blaring with talk of the team, while one person rage quit to let off some steam.  Not a moment too soon he returned to the call, and the team fast decided “all for one and one for all”.

No more of this quibbling and arguing with friends, you can let out your grievances once this game ends. They quickly grouped up to see what was the matter, and decided the enemy’s glass canon needed to shatter.

One enemy down, but with their sustain, their Support needed to be cut down from the lane. They saw their opening, and hit the nail on the head, quickly getting their AD Carry fed.

Two enemies down, but the team’s Tank was low, and soon he would be the next one to go.  Even without their wall they would still be ahead, but without the beef their whole team would be dead.

A team fight broke out, and though the enemy tried, it was five versus three, and the enemy died.  They sprung to the enemy Nexus with care, knowing the whole team would soon respawn there.

And in the fountain the respawns began, as the enemy shouted, “I hope you get banned!” “GG!” yelled another, as they /surrendered at last.  With the enemy Nexus finally broken, a brilliant double blast.

In better spirits the friends thanked and congratulated, with a victory they felt overjoyed and elated.  Honor was passed out after the fight, wishing each, “Merry Christmas, and to all a good night”.

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Something to entertain you for a minute or two…

Ok, so I’ve been playing a lot of different games recently, and doing a lot of work, so I haven’t posted much lately.

But, here’s a video I found today on Kotaku (http://kotaku.com/these-dudes-know-how-to-break-it-down-to-final-fantasy-613734509) that I found really interesting.

There aren’t enough versions of “Just Dance” to ever get me to move the way these guys do. Take a look, and enjoy the start of the weekend!

P.S. – Got any games you want me to review? Comment below, because I’m definitely in the mood for requests. Thanks!

A preschooler’s beef with Kinect

As I sit here typing, my 4-year old is failing pretty bad on this Kinect game called “Rhythm Party”.  The problem is, he’s actually doing really good, and shouldn’t be failing at all.  He’s there where he needs to be at the right times, hitting the points perfectly.  The problem?  The camera has a hard time finding him.  And it’s not just this game.

Almost every Kinect game he plays has problems.  The sports games, the dance games, the exercise games.  And he’s pretty good at all of them… if only the Kinect could detect him.  I think it’s because he’s so short, but how do you tell a four year old, “Sorry kid, it doesn’t see you because you’re too small.”

I understand the Kinect isn’t meant for very small children like him, but it would be nice if he could clear a game without the Kinect searching for identity, or screwing up his score really bad.  Oh well.  Maybe it’s just trying to save my pride, because honestly he’d be kicking my butt on at least 50% of the games we own.

I honestly hadn’t planned on playing this –> Fable III

Ever had a game where you’re like, “I’m not shelling out my hard-earned cash for that $50 POS game”?  You’d read the reviews, you’d talked to your friends, and you decided that the game wasn’t worth it.  Only, come to find out due to a chain of events that led you to play the game, that you were actually really into it.

Recently, that game for me has been Fable III.

I had played Fable II and loved it, although I had a hard time trying an “evil” character because I put too much importance into virtual people and couldn’t bring myself to be mean to most of them.  I was actually excited when I had first heard about Fable III coming out, and then I read some of the reviews.  What’s worse, I talked with a couple friends who had actually bought the game after the release, and they hated it.

“There’s no menu anymore, just some sanctuary thing.”

“Multiplayer is worthless.”

“The dog can’t play fetch because it’s dumb.”

“You end up holding hands with a lot of people for ‘escort’ quests.”

“A waste of four hours of my time.”

Well, LAME, right?  They pretty much took a lot of the fun I had in Fable II and sucked the life out of it.  There’s no way I’m going to buy it and waste my time.

Flash forward a few years later.  I have an opportunity to do a survey for Microsoft, and they compensate me by sending me a free game, which just so happens to be Fable III.  Well, it’s free now, so I might as well play it.

And, OH MY GOD, were my friends wrong.  Call me stupid, but I love this game.  

The sanctuary is actually an interactive menu, which I love.  It took me awhile to get used to it, but John Cleese as Jasper is just great, and it really does feel like a second home, or the Batcave.

The dog is pretty dumb, and has never fetched anything I’ve thrown out, but it doesn’t matter, because he KICKS ASS.  This dog is a fighter, and as loyal as they come.  AND, he’s a better treasure hunter than in Fable II, also.  Shame they let you change it into a poodle if you want to, though.  

The NPCs in the game have just as much life, if not more.  I’ve actually come to find I enjoy going back to my home village of Brightwall to visit my husband and kids, and kick back and enjoy the conversation with the villagers.

Now, onto the things I’m not particularly thrilled with.  

The damn garden gnomes.  I seriously had a mini heart attack when I walked into the garden gnome grove at night for the first time. (Granted, I had just stopped playing ‘Fear’ right beforehand, and was still a little jumpy.)  At this point, I had not activated the quest yet, so they were all just sitting there… silent… staring at me.  These little guys replace the gargoyles from Fable II, and they are mean.  The gargoyles threw insults at you, but I actually had passed a few of them just because I was busy.  These gnomes, though… if I hear one, it has to die.  I will rid the Earth of them all.  I guess I understand what Lionhead was thinking when they put gnomes instead of gargoyles, but I just really hate these guys.

Combat: Feels mostly the same as Fable II, however you get “guild seals” now instead of points in whatever you’re actually using to defeat your enemies (melee, magic, or ranged).  So you have to go on this “Road to Rule” and use the seals to gain power, instead of gaining power automatically in whatever you choose to do damage with.  A little annoying, but tolerable.

Demon Doors are overplayed now.  They were amusing in Fable II, but now they’re just annoyances.  And honestly, I haven’t opened one that’s been really worth anything.  Not that I’ve opened all of them, but I really don’t have any motivation to actually want to.

Hand holding IS actually kind of annoying, but it’s also beneficial, too.  For instance, I had a quest to seduce some woman’s husband to help her out.  Problem was, I was married already, and my husband is the town crier… right in the middle of town.  So, I was able to not piss off my husband by dragging him away, and then moving on with the quest.  Most of the time, though, you’re dragging someone somewhere, and they’re just slowing you down. Not the best way to escort, but works better than someone walking ahead of you blindly, getting attacked while you’re opening a treasure chest.

Multiplayer: Whether you’re playing online or co-op, feels very clunky.  Not recommended.

Overall, Fable III feels like it’s just been slightly dumbed down, but what they did add to the game still makes it fun to play.  Now, you’ll have to excuse me while I go fight nightmares and buy real estate.

My take on Scarlet Blade (aka Crystal Tits)

I’ve never been offended by the way girls have been portrayed in video games.  They’re no more demoralizing than TV, magazines, or Barbie.  In fact, if most males in a game can be slightly scruffy hunks, then I don’t see the problem with making the chicks obvious sex bombs. They’re imaginary people, after all, and they just portray what’s popular.

So when I was asked to play Scarlet Blade, an obviously mature title with so much T and A offered as eye candy that I can see guys literally never making it past the character creating stage, I said yes.  And I realize, that was a good move on my part.

Scarlet Blade, which I have dubbed Crystal Tits, looks extremely superficial on the outside.  You play the commander of a chick called an “Arkana”, which is some sort of man-made creation of perfection that kicks major butt.  She barely wears any clothes, and they make mention of that constantly.  The trailer (NSFW) for the game is so sexed up that you almost feel like you’re watching a “Girls Gone Wild” commercial minus the steel drums when it starts up.  

Shameless marketing?  Yes.  And it works.  Because Crystal Tits is actually a really good game.  The storyline, while rocky at times, is more realistic than a lot of games I’ve played recently.  And it draws you in by speaking to you directly, without actually breaking the fourth wall.  It even laughs at its own character design, with quite a few NPCs making mention of the lack of clothing.

Meanwhile, the gameplay is pretty easy.  If you’ve played World of Warcraft or any other MMO that was made after WoW, you’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly.  The fighting moves are pretty seamless, and actually feel like you’re in control.

While definitely not a feminists dream game, what with all the pervy comments and inclusion of lingerie, it is also empowering.  Your Arkana kicks some major butt, all while wearing pumps.  They look oversexed without actually being so.  And, it’s nice to see a game be true to itself, and not mince words when describing itself.

Scarlet Blade is still in Open Beta over at Aeria Games.  If you have some time to kill, it’s definitely worth checking out.  Not the best game I’ve ever played, but it’ll be nice to play every so often when I’m trying not to starve…Image

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