The Reason You Need To Play ‘Horizon Zero Dawn’ Right Now 

Mech Dinosaurs. Need I say more?

Horizon Zero Dawn is an wonderfully crafted, open world RPG. The storyline is intriguing, the scenery is amazing. In this game, you play as Aloy, an inspiring and empowering female lead. Once an outcast because of her unusual birth, she becomes a brave, and then a seeker after she runs and wins the proving in her village. This is her story. 

This game is worth playing for the machines. They are so amazing. Watching a Tallneck tower above you 100 feet high, overriding the Watcher so it chases other machines and barks like a little dog, riding a Strider through the beautiful open world, there are so many different types of machines to meet and fight.

If you’re in the market for a great RPG, an adventure game, or just something that’s new and different, this one will do it for you. Check it out. You will not be disappointed. 

Have you played Horizon Zero Dawn? What did you think?

Which Video Games Shaped Your Childhood?

I have always appreciated video games. My involvement with the online community didn’t begin but only a couple years ago, and I have really enjoyed the interesting people and comradery of online gaming. Here are a few games that shaped the way I look at gaming today, and got me interested in video games when I was young:

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

Ah, the intriguing and mysterious Carmen Sandiego. I wanted to be like her. She was so good at being bad! This was the beginning of my interest in spies, mysteries, and games such as L.A. Noire.

Pokémon Gold

Of course, Pokémon on the Gameboy Color. A childhood love that has never died. I just received Pokémon Moon for Christmas this year! I also have Pokémon print tights that I wear proudly in public. I will always love Pokémon.

Math Blaster Episode 1: In Search of Spot

This was the first alien game I ever played, beginning my lifelong passion for games like Xcom2 and Dead Space (okay, Math Blaster to Dead Space may be a bit of a stretch.) This is a learning game, where you play an astronaut and solve math equations to get about in space to save your little alien friend who was kidnapped by the evil trash Martian.

Street Fighter 2

We had a babysitter who allowed us to play Street Fighter 2 while we were at her house. Thus began my love with fighting games such as Mortal Kombat  and of course, The Street Fighter series. I just mashed buttons, of course, as a 5-year-old, but this made winning so much more celebratory!

Age of Empires 2

I adored Age of Empires 2. Building armies, attacking enemy cities, taking over the world! With all the different playable civilizations, diverse resources to gather and buildings to construct, it was such an exciting venture. I am now playing Civilization 6 non-stop, it reminds me so much of Age of Empires 2.

Goldeneye 007

I was terrible at this game. I was always dropping my gun and had to resort to slapping my attacker. Every time I see this game being played it brings back great memories of the splendid game I was awful at. I enjoy first person shooters now, Like Rainbow Six Siege, and they are much more intense than they were back then, that’s for sure!

What about you? What were some video games that you loved when you were young?

First Thoughts on Ghost Recon: Wildlands Open Beta

Let’s talk about the Ghost Recon: Wildlands beta. I spent the last couple days playing it both co-op and single player with AI, and I am loving it so far!

The cut scene at the beginning lays out a very interesting storyline that I can’t wait to be a part of. You, and your elite team of “ghosts” are tasked with infiltrating Bolivia to dismantle the Santa Blanca drug cartel.

The game is open world and the map is absolutely beautiful and huge. The open world game style creates a fun experience, because there is always missions to do and so you never feel lost. You can choose to follow the main story, or do any number of side quests you stumble on.

Wildlands is a challenging game. You can get killed in just a couple shots, so stealth, sniping and marking targets is important. It’s not all “guns blazing” all the time. I have really enjoyed all the different types of objectives, weapons, and vehicles there are available to use. There are also smaller, subtle things I enjoyed about it, like the regular everyday civilians just trying to live their lives in the towns, and the car radio station that had the comedians telling jokes. This was a nice change of pace, and provided a little chuckle!

Another thing that I have really enjoyed about this game so far is the community. I have met a couple of really awesome players that I plan on teaming up with again, which is a nice change from the toxic community on Ubisoft’s For Honor game that can make it unenjoyable.
Overall, I really enjoyed this open beta and am looking forward to digging more into this when the full game comes out!!

Did you play the Wildlands open beta? What were your thoughts?

Lego Marvel Superheroes: A Great Game for Two 

When my now-husband and I started dating, I was terrible at video games, but I always wanted to play with him since I knew it was his favorite thing to do. At the time I was bad at basically anything requiring hand-eye coordination, but we were looking for a fun two-player game.

Enter Lego Marvel Superheroes. A silly, multiplayer puzzle game, you can play as all your favorite Marvel characters, and the hilarious dialogue and funny cut scenes (similar to the Lego movie) make it a unique game to play.

This game itself isn’t super hard, but it is challenging enough to be fun, and there are puzzles and different types of missions. Each superhero has their own special abilities that you need for certain levels in the game.

Play as your favorite superhero, and fight your favorite villian! There are tons of villians to fight, including: Winter Soldier, Mystique, Venom, Red Skull, and of course, Loki!

So, are you that person looking for the game to play with your video-game-challenged partner? Look no further. This superhero game is here to save the day!

Have you played any Lego games recently? What did you think?

Science Fiction Authors That Were(n’t) Ahead of Their Time

I love science fiction. Its why I play video games. Exploring new worlds, killing aliens, space travel, life on Mars, all the things that may or may not ever be possible to humankind right at my fingertips.

I ran the idea for my blog post of the day: “Sci-Fi Writers That Were Ahead of Their Time” past my husband this morning, and he told me that these authors weren’t AHEAD of their time, that they were ON time, and we wouldn’t have science fiction as it is today without them.

So here is my top four list of science fiction authors that were ON time, and we have sci-fi as we know it because of them:

Jules Verne: This popular author is most well-known for his stories “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” If you haven’t read these books, you have undoubtedly seen one of the numerous movie adaptations. The thing that I think is the most amazing about Jules Verne is that he lived in the late 1800’s, before any of the technology for the ideas in his books would have ever been imagined. He was just curious about what was under the sea, and inside of the earth.

HG Wells: Author of “The Invisible Man,” “War of the Worlds,” and “The First Men in the Moon,” his titles are slightly spooky and I’m sure pretty alarming at the time, before people had ever heard of anything like this! Giant aliens attacking the earth? An invisible man?

George Orwell: I’m not exactly sure if Orwell should be on this list, as I would probably say that his books are more political commentary than actual Science-Fiction. However, his book “1984” is an amazing and terrifying classic. Perhaps not the first of its kind, but I believe it had an influence on Science-Fiction, as well as popular and political culture. Some movies that carry a similar tone to his book are: “12 Monkeys,” “Blade Runner,” and “Total Recall,” not to mention Ray Bradbury wrote his classic story, “Fahrenheit 451,” only four years after Orwell’s “1984” was published, so Bradbury may well have been influenced by Orwell’s writing also.

Ray Bradbury: “Fahrenheit 451” and “The Martian Chronicles” are amazing full length books, descriptive and imaginative. The “Martian Chronicles,” written in a journal-like format, is an interesting story about a family’s life on Mars. My all-time favorite book by Bradbury is “The Illustrated Man.” This is a short story collection, based on a man’s enchanted tattoos. The unique idea is intriguing, and every sci-fi story within is captivating. Many people don’t like short story collections because they’re not detailed enough to get pulled into, but each story in this collection is unique and captivating from beginning to end.

Thinking about these creative men being the first to have the science fiction idea is astounding to me. Thank you for your work gentlemen, and creating my favorite genre as it is today.

What do you think? Who are some other great authors that made science fiction what it is today?

If Life Had Video Game Rules

I was in my office today, and I suddenly had the strange and random thought….what if my life was like a video game? (Office simulator 2000? They probably already have that.)

Here are some things that would probably happen (and be okay) If my life ran with video game rules.

Granted, I am mixing together a whole bunch of video game mechanics, and physics from different engines. But, here’s what I came up with.

-Drive to work. Crash into everything, miraculously, car is okay. Also hit 5 people. Short police chase, but they soon forget about me after I hide under a bridge for 10 minutes.

-Get in random fight with coworker. Because why not? They will forget and be my friend again as soon as it is over.

-Why is person blocking the doorway???  I CANNOT GET OUT.

-Running everywhere. Must kick open all the doors.

-I can somehow carry 20 items, even though I am just wearing a blouse and skirt. Where am I carrying these?

-Every time I see something interesting in someone’s bag or on their desk I will steal it.

-If I don’t want something anymore, I’ll just throw it on the floor.

-Okay to walk into any room at any time.

-Jump and squat and jump and squat. Now, emote.

-Break open anything that looks fragile. It may have loot.

-And of course, leave in the middle of any conversation or any job.

-Also totally ok to steal peoples cars to get out of there.

 Did I miss any? What other things happen in a video game that would be uncomfortable in real life?

 

Shortie: Why Civilization 6 is the perfect game for anyone

Civilization 6. I played my brains out when I first got Civ 6. I became the embodiment of everything people hate about nerd culture. I spent 10 hours each day of the weekend sitting in front of my PC eating nothing but goldfish and sprite.

This game is great because there are so many ways to play, and so many ways that you can choose to advance your civilization. I love watching my civ grow before my eyes. There are also 5 completely different ways to win the game. Culture victory, science victory, religious victory, domination victory, and score victory . Depending on which you focus on advancing in your civ, museums for culture, research facilities for science, barracks and armorys for domination and so on, this will depend on how your civ grows and advances towards victory in this area.

This is a turn based game, which is great because turn based games are not stressful. You can go away for awhile and come back and not have missed anything, and always stop to review rules and so on whenever needed.  Civ 6 also has the option to play with your friends online, or just with AI opponents.

Civ 6 is easy to play. Alien games are my favorite, so I bought Civ: Beyond Earth and was very disappointed. The research tree was very complicated and I was farming and advancing things I didn’t understand. Okay, I know it was a space game, but having no knowledge of how to play or what i was doing it made things difficult and not fun.

Civ is great, especially if you don’t have a lot of time,  or are just getting into PC gaming. Anyone of any age can play this game, it is enjoyable, challenging and fun.

First thoughts: The For Honor open beta

Let’s talk about For Honor. I have been excited for this game since I saw this first trailer a few months ago, but didn’t really know what to expect. I was kind of anticipating just another boring hack and slash game, but was pleasantly surprised.

I played the beta for the first time last night, teaming up with a couple good friends online. We stuck mainly to the dominion style of the game, where you capture the objectives. It was a bit frustrating at first, when you’re working out the unusual game controls, and trying to find the best character for yourself. I got murdered plenty of times, and we lost our first few matches by 600 points or so.

There are three different factions, and three classes in each faction. The one I found my niche with was the Viking berserker. She is armed with two axes, was fast, agile, and all around awesome.

Once you get a hang of the game, it is fun, and awesome to play. The game requires a lot of teamwork, capturing points, everyone not being in the same place at once, reviving downed teammates, and so on. I can see how non-communicative teammates could be frustrating, and make the game less enjoyable.

The game is aesthetically attractive, and the characters creative, each class handling differently. The movement: fighting, running, climbing, is all very fluid. It’s a fun game to watch and play. The loot system is also neat, you get stuff at the end of each battle you win, as well as coin to buy upgrades and so on.

The matches can be difficult starting out, and the controls are much different than most fighting games. But, once you master the basics: blocking, attacking and helping your team, the game is a blast. Also, since this game is hard, the kills are especially satisfying, and slicing an enemy’s head off after a long fight is gross, but very awesome.

The beta is free on steam currently, and the full game comes out on February 14th. I definitely recommend checking it out!

Have you played For Honor yet? What did you think?

Why You Need to Read the Witcher book series

I love the game Witcher 3. It is a great adventure game, and the story had me right away.

As a lot of people don’t know, the Witcher games are based off of a Polish book series written by Andrzej Sapkowski. The series contains two standalone books of short stories, “The Last Wish” and “The Sword of Destiny” as well as multiple other books, containing one continuous story that follows the path of Geralt, Ciri, and Yennifer.

These books are amazing. Even if you aren’t in to the Witcher games, these are amazingly written and intelligently crafted fantasy books. The short stories collections, especially the Sword of Destiny, were my favorite. The writing style is magnificent and creative, and Sapkowski creates a beautiful and mysterious world that’s easy to get lost in.

I haven’t finished the whole story of Geralt and Ciri yet, as the last book, “The Lady of the Lake” has not finished being translated into English. It’s coming this March to stores in the US, and I can’t wait!

These are great books. Whether you love the Witcher games and want to get more into the world, and know more about the characters, creatures and story, or if you are just looking for a good read, these are  for you. I recommend starting with “The Sword of Destiny.” It has short stories of some of Geralt’s earliest adventures.

 

Have you read the Witcher series? What did you think?

 

The two best games at Pax South 2017

PaxSouth was last weekend. I love Pax. Its so amazing to meet the developers there, and get to talk to them about this game they created, as well as just playing all the different and unique styles of games! Pax was really what got me into gaming in the first place, and made me appreciate all the hard work that goes into developing games, and how talented those awesome dev’s are.

Also, the creators of Cyanide and Happiness were at Pax, and meeting them was a dream come true. I had a little fangirl freakout moment.

I thought I’d do a short bit about the two games I’m looking the most forward to that were playable at Pax.

First off: Dauntless. Crrated by Phoenix Labs, this is the monster hunting game that I’ve been dreaming of.  At Pax, they had the combat demo available, where you could pick from 4 characters, each with their own unique weapons and abilities. The game graphics are colored beautifully and the game runs smoothly and is fun and challenging. The fighting style reminded me a lot of the witcher 3, and it’s a great experience. I can’t wait to play with friends! My understanding is there will be more characters, and you’ll level up your weapons, and your weapons and gear can then be used with any character. Coming free-to-play to PC this year!

Secondly: Earthfall. This is the first full game being put out by Holospark development studio, and the concept art for the game is amazing. This game was inspired by games like Left for Dead,  so for right now it’s kind of a shoot and run, shoot and hide, run to the shelter game, but with aliens. There were a couple cool things about this, like the futuristic idea of using a 3-d printer to “print” weapons. I’m always excited about alien games, so I’m holding out hope that there will be more to the game then that. I believe in you, Earthfall. Coming to PC early access this year, and PS4 and Xbox One later.

There were a ton of great games at Pax, and awesome studios. If you’re a video game fan I definently recommend checking out pax. It’s such a great experience.