You Died

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We finally bit the bullet and decided to spend the entire evening dying! We brought a copy of Dark Souls 3! It was a bit of a gamble, purely because Dark Souls 2 became to much of an unenjoyable slog for us to finish and Bloodborne was rather dissapointing as well – the play style of it wasn’t for us (No shields!) so again, we didn’t finish it before we moved on. But the list of games we have at the moment weren’t inspiring us – starting Dragon Age: Inquisition for the third time just wasn’t working out, Fallout 4 didn’t grip us and I’m sure there are other games in the pile that we pick up and put down so we needed something fresh.

We remember enjoying the first Dark Souls, once we actually understood what we had let ourselves in for! Dark Souls, isn’t a series of games for the faint hearted. You need to come to grips with the idea that you’ll be spending  most of your time redoing the same section of the game over and over gathering souls in the vain attempt to level up and hope that you’re good enough to beat the next boss! Which, you’re more than likely not! Or you judge the tactic wrong and then you die. Again.

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We’ve only just started the game and there is plenty of time for the inevitable ‘Dark Souls Frustration’ to kick in. But right now, it’s an enjoyable romp! I am oping it’ll stay that way, rather than turn on us like an irritating itch in unpleasant places like Dark Souls 2 did. I’ve heard good things about Dark Souls 3 in comparison to Dark Soul 2, so I can only hope.

Also, the setting looks rather pretty! I’m rather fond of the castles and ruins in the games. And the fact that you can be a knight and use a shield to block, parry and counter is just right up our street!

I’ll provide a proper review and some deeper thoughts if/when we finish the game – or get a bit further through at least, I just wanted to share some early enthusiasm!

E’ryday I’m Buildin’ – Part 3

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Slime attack!

Seeing as I have been left alone for a few minutes, I thought I would update on a few Minecrafty shenanigans. It’s been a while since I reported anything about what we’ve been up too in our world, but that’s mostly because we’ve only recently started shovelling again.

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Unhappy Cathedral

Last time I posted we’d only just started mapping out where our towns Cathedral was going to be. Upon our reloading, we decided that there was something amiss about the whole thing and we’re generally unconvinced by it all. I think this is part of the reason it took us so long to actually do anything with it – so it stayed as a boring blueprint for the longest time. It took a fair few attempts to get it all looking right on the outside as well, but eventually we

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Happy Cathedral

knew what was wrong. It all looked to ‘the same’ so it took us a trip into the Nether to get some Quartz in order to get us feeling happier with the build. It also took a few variation of sandstone bricks, but we got there in the end. The addition of the flames and stained glass window to the front also made it feel a lot less dull. It was a good hurdle to overcome. The interior of the Cathedral is still unfinished, so when I we get the minor details done I’ll share some more pictures.

We then faced the biggest problem of all minecrafters – what next? Well, we had a lot of elements in our town finished off now, including more details to the port. Like the port side tavern being finished off and the market (which needs it stalls finishing.)

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But, we don’t actually have a town itself! So that’s been our next job. Putting in some houses to bridge the gaps between everything else.

It’s not the most exciting thing to have been building, I must admit. And it’s not been one of those all consuming projects either – not like the castle walls or the castle itself (which has had a bit of a renovation since last time too, but that’s for another time)

We started off with a Market Square – as this is something that I’d built on the floor the last time around – and added some more interesting looking stalls. From there we built a few houses and another shop

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Church View, note the Cathedral in the background – and our beacon on the hill.

I admit, it’s been good fun getting back into Minecraft again. Especially staying in the same world we’ve always been in. Adding new bits and bobs to the Castle and surrounding area has been a blast from day one. It’s interesting to see how it all develops and changes over time.

I’ll hopefully update again soon with some more screenshots of the world and castle and little tales of how it’s all changed over time~

Blood Bowl 2

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Seeing as we sacked off Elders Scrolls Online, we needed something to fill in that bit of void in our lives. Personally I had been in the mood for a strategy game and the offerings for that particular genre for the PS4 seem somewhat lacking. Especially in the shops local to us.

Initially I was somewhat hesitant to get Blood Bowl 2, seeing as we played a lot of the first offering on the PC to death and I didn’t know what Blood Bowl 2 would offer that would make playing it a new experience. Also there was a bit of a dilemma over it would actually be worth it as a game or not. The box seemed to boast that there was a campaign and an online league mode. What about offline modes for those that don’t want to be social gamers and play with others like us? But we took one for the team and went ahead with it – after looking over some forums for some rather vague answers to our question.

Initial thoughts are pretty good – although the campaign mode seems to be nothing more than a drawn out tutorial, which seasoned players like the husband and I really don’t need to go through.

If you know nothing about Blood Bowl, it’s a table top game by Games Workshop (which is currently unavailable to buy, but there are rumours of a release by their twin company Forge World in the non-to-distant future) which stylises American Football with fantasy elements and more violence. So as well as boring humans, you’ve got Orcs, Dwarves, Elves, Chaos and Skaven races. Additionally you can get Norsemen, Lizardmen and Wood-Elves at an extra cost from the PlayStation Store.

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The game is very faithful to the table top variant in the fact that it relies on dice rolls – which always adds an element of random chance to the game as well as skill. It’s an element of the game that might irritate some people who don’t know what they’re getting into – expecting a real time sports game – but I would have to question those peoples intelligence in the first place!

So, you have dice rolls for pretty much everything; smashing someones head in, picking up and passing the ball, catching the ball, getting away from another player. What amount of die you roll varies on the players personal statistics and as character do impressive things they level up to improve and gain skills – just like in your average RPG. Though our team hasn’t actually managed it yet because it’s so new!

Also seeing as we are just in the beginnings of our Blood Bowl stardom, I do have some concerns. In the first offering of the game it seemed like the only way it got harder was to make the dice roll in the AI’s favour rather than upping the skill of the player – I worry about if that is the case with this offering as well – seeing as that’s really what made us stop playing. Fair enough if you’re beaten by someone who out plays you; not so good to have the dice improperly balanced! No one likes a weighted hit dice!

We’ll have to see as our team develops and improves and after we have played a few more games.

Some more positives of the game is the fact that it looks so pretty! There are some wonderful animations when someone hits the deck and the improved Cabalvision elements are also really good. Having a preview in the bottom corner of what each dice roll outcome means is a nice addition – not everyone knows what the skull means as a result! Although the repetition of some of the jokes is getting a little boring already…
The addition of a Bretonian team is nice too!

I’m just curious as to what Age of Sigmar might mean for Blood Bowl!

E’ryday I’m Buildin’ – Part 2

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Just a little update this one. On the Minster that is going to our world on Minecraft.

We’re building it out of sandstone so the task basically involves running to the local desert, doing a heap of digging and hauling the sand back to turn into the sandstone that we need. It’s a fair amount of work and has taken a lot of shovels so far and we don’t even have the footprint down yet!

I think that’s the fun of MineCraft, the challenge of finding the materials that are needed and feeling rewarded when you actually get a significant amount of something done.

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Seeing as this is all rather a long process and digging up blocks of sand isn’t the most stimulating of tasks we decided to take a bit of a break and do some exploring. We’ve not ventured that far from our spawn point to make up our world and don’t have all the things we would like. So we set out to find a jungle biome – which we did and now have melons, jungle tree seeds and cocoa beans in our inventory to take back home.

But we also came across something else entirely! It was exciting to find something new that we didn’t know existed.

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MineCraft is just one of those games that keeps on giving. You’re constantly finding new things that you can use in whatever it is you’re creating. And when you look it up on Google people have created all sorts of wonderful things. Actually if you look up anything on Google and put MineCraft after it (I am thinking buildings) then someone out there will have made a copy of it!
Try it out and you’ll see what I mean.

Winterfell MineCraft

Vatican City MineCraft

Stark Tower MineCraft

 

E’ryday Im Buildin’

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Whenever we don’t have anything else in the Video Gaming world that hasn’t completely gripped us, the husband and I turn to Minecraft. It isn’t a game that I thought we would ever really get into, but our Nephews brought us a copy for Christmas a year or so ago and after an initial play about on it a little, we put it down and thought that was that. No hard feelings, it just wasn’t for us.

Then we finished one of the other story based games we had and couldn’t decide on what to play on next, so we put Minecraft into the PS4 and started a new world – we had always had the intention of building a castle (because we’re both obsessed with all things knighty historical!

It started off pretty small, as these things do. The feast hall (Pictured above) was the first thing that we built. However, the fire was originally torches and the glowstones were some elaborate chandeliers that sadly burnt down – along with the roof – when we changed the torch fire with actual fire. That’s the fun part of making everything on survival mode when you don’t know all the ‘rules’ of Minecraft.

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The world has slowly grown over the several months we’ve now been playing. From building up the Home and adding in farms to putting in a ship and a dockyard; with working railway, sleazy pub and warehouse for storing all those blocks of pointless things that you end up with (Read as: Dirt)

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We also have a stables, chapel, wells, farmyard, several mines and the most unorganised orchard there is going!

What I have enjoyed about playing Minecraft, is that if you only have about ten minutes or so to spare you can still feel like you’ve achieved something. You can get a bit of resource you were missing or put down the footprint of your next build. It’s also really rewarding to see what you’re building grow as well seeing as on survival mode you have to go and scavenge these things from out in the world before you can even start building anything.

At the moment we’re starting to build more of the town around the castle, starting with a Minster made of Sandstone. Which is going to be a pretty epic build in itself! It took most of the sessions play time getting the ground flat enough to even put the floor down!

I’ll grab some screenshots of it soon to share with you and report on how it’s all going. Until then, have these ones of various other places in our world.

The Elder Scrolls Online – Early thoughts

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I am pretty sure at some point in my life I vowed never to play an online MMO again, but The Elder Scrolls Online came recommended during a family visit and I was shown a little sneak peak so thought I would give it a go; what’s the worst that could happen? I waste the very cheap asking price and use up my PSN free trial. Bog Whoop!

Initial thoughts about character creation were really positive; lots of options to make a character that looks pretty good. Nice to see the usual collection of Elder Scrolls races in there as well. I’ve made a few over the weeks I’ve had the game ranging from High elves to Orcs. Also the introduction/tutorial was pretty interesting and set the plot line for the game as well. All very good things which set the game up for a blinding review.

TESO also has a lot of other things going for it. The quest lines seem to be a lot more in depth (so far) than your average MMO, which goes well in it’s favour. Even the side quests seems to have a lot more thought into them than your standard run of the mill collecting zebra hooves from fallen enemies. The fact that there is spoken voice talking about the quests helps the game feel less of a drudge as well – although I am not even level 10 yet on any of my characters so this thought is subject to change!

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The crafting system in TESO is actually one of the finer points of the game and takes a bit of brain power to figure out. There are the usual offerings for crafting; Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Alchemy, Enchanting and Woodworking. You go out into the wilderness and find the relevant materials and create items to aid your character in their adventures. A nice addition is the fact there are different styles to learn and traits you research and add to your items, so a there is a lot of scope for further customisation of how your character can look. It’s all rather pretty in this aspect.

However, it’s not all fun and games.

While the questlines are rather interesting to a point, there is something all rather ‘meh’ about the game. Unlike other offerings from Bethesda in the Elder Scrolls series, the game is all rather closed off. There is little point to wandering off and exploring random caves as the loot system is very much in the MMO style – no looting of random corpses for that Iron Helmet you’ve been searching for, because the loot is rather limited. Unlike in say, Skyrim, where you can loot a body for all it’s worth!
And that’s if you can even get into a cave in the first place – I understand that some caves are closed due to quests, but it seems there is a distinct lack of places to randomly explore in open world fashion.

To me so far, it just feels that TESO is lacking in what I can only describe as ‘Fuck Yeah.’ (A term I was introduced to some time ago and have adopted for my own purposes) It’s that lack of something amazing to keep you hooked and get the adrenaline going. Which for a new player feels a bit lacklustre.

It’s a shame because I really, really wanted to like this game and be able to get my teeth into something.

 

Dragon Age: Inquisition. The unpopular Opinion

As the title says, this is purely my opinion on the game. It’s not one that I can imagine I share with other.

Today, after owning Dragon Age: Inquisition from the day it was released, I finally finished it. I am rather on the fence about the game as a whole. I feel like I should love it, like it should have been the best game to happen to me since getting my PS4 (Which I got, purely for Dragon Age). And part of me does like the game, but not to the point of rabid fandomism that the other instalments inspired in me.

I’ve addressed my thoughts on the actual Inquisitor before; I believe I described them as rather flat and lacking in personality – unlike Hawke who was brimming with it in one form or another. Whereas the Inquisitor is just flat. I can’t describe it any other way. I’d like to think of that as the choices I made for them rather than how they’re written though?

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The game is massive – that’s no lie – apparently there is about 150 hours worth of game here. I think mine ran into the 40’s, possibly 50’s. Which is pretty pathetic compared to that bragging of game play hours. The problem I have with a lot of the content is that I don’t actually want to do any of it. Most of it feels like boring content filler than any real reason to want to do any of the quests. Don’t get me wrong, the main quests are amazing! The story behind them is pretty thrilling (I’ll get to that in a bit) but these side quests… it’s like reading a textbook on boredom.
Maybe if these side quests weren’t so… “Go get me this, collect 20 of these, find this place” they’d actually be worth the time they take doing. But it’s like collecting Zebra Hooves all over again. Been there. Done that. Still having nightmares about it. I understand some games need a bit of filler and/or back tracking to make them worth it, but DA:I is a but overload on the whole idea. It took the fun out of it.

Especially when you have some wonderfully beautiful areas to explore. I mean, the world building in this game is wonderful. It’s so pretty! Even when it’s raining down hardcore. I found that I actually wanted to look around some of these areas, find all the little snippets of information about them… to start with. Then things just went a little bit down hill and I got bored. And it stopped making sense. “Why am I looking for a shard, when there is a big hole in the sky and an old Tevinter Magister is trying to become the new God?”

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I’m sounding all a little doom and gloom, but it’s not all bad. Not really. I mean, the main story arch is just wonderfully written and it’s great to see it progress. The same with the characters. Some of them are interesting, endearing, quirky and fun. They’re a real high point as well for the game. The writing in the game I cannot stand up for enough, I really can’t!
For both the main story and the main quest. It’s epic.
And the unexpected twists in character and plot are worth playing that game for.
To say that the voice acting acting that goes along with them is just as good is almost moot. It’s wonderful.
And some of the characters are so down-to-earth. Sera, in her strange wonderful way, is one that I can find myself relating to a lot more than the others. She just wants to be herself, do her own thing, then whoops, shit gets fucked up and she can’t anymore.

I’m really on the fence about it all, I really am.
I want to love DA:I.
But I can’t seem to get into it all that much.

I should be playing the snot out of it this week due to moving house and pretty much everything else that keeps me entertained has been packed away. Like I did at the end of my Degree with Dragon Age 2. (I played DA from 10am – 2am some days)
But… I don’t think I will be.
I just can’t get into is as much.