Full Review: Kingdom, a.k.a PRETTY SURE I’M STILL QUEEN WITHOUT A CROWN

So about a week or two ago Kingdom was on sale during one of the wonderful Steam sales and I had to grab it. I’d watched a couple Youtubers play it and it looked as though it was right up my alley. Kingdom is a tower defense side scrolling sortof money manager pixel art game. And if that doesn’t hook you right away I don’t know what will.

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In Kingdom you play as either a King or Queen (chosen randomly) who has to build and expand their empire using coins collected in various ways. At the beginning of the game you’re given enough coins to start a campfire, hire two villagers and assign them to be either a builder or an archer. The builder builds walls, towers (for archers), farms etc. while the archers defend your ‘kingdom’ from enemy attacks.

The enemies come at night and look something like trolls who wear black capes. As you may have guessed, each night spawns more and more demon trolls to attack your ever growing camp. If you haven’t spent your money wisely enough, the trolls may be able to push past your defenses and steal your crown, thus marking the end of the game where you have to start over from the very beginning. This may sound very simplistic or maybe a bit boring but I assure you Kingdom will you have you crawling back again and again.

The farthest I’ve been able to get is night 42 and I got there by the skin of my teeth, trust me. This game isn’t easy. Especially around night 30 when not only do the troll people come but gross flying caterpillar monsters as well. I should also mention that every 5 nights there is a blood moon and it’s double or maybe triple the normal amount of trolls. It’s a literal nightmare!

Also the further you expand the further to the left and right you can explore and discover shrines (used to upgrade your archers and builders), and a place where you can upgrade your walls from wood to stone.

Kingdom is a charming little game that will have you addicted within your first 3 playthroughs. It has more to offer than what meets the eye. I reccommend picking it up on Steam for its replayability, charming graphics, and intriguingly unique gameplay.

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Bec’s quick list of tricks and tips to surviving as long as possible in Kingdom:

  1. Start from your middle campfire and SLOWLY work your way out. If you expand too quickly your builders may not have enough time to make it back to base before the trolls come at night. Also, if you build too many archer towers too quickly you won’t have enough archers on the ground making you money throughout the day. Don’t expand too fast. Be patient!
  2. Try to upgrade to stone walls as quickly as possible. Night 5 and 10 are the first nights that are going to be tough for you. Blood moons are really rough. So make sure you find the shrine to upgrade your walls to stone as quickly as you can. That being said, don’t be caught out at night. Only explore during the day.
  3. You should roughly have at least 5 archers to every 1 builder. Now it goes without saying that builders VERY important to make sure you can keep the trolls out of your kingdom but without archers those walls are just going to hold the trolls back for a few extra seconds before they move further in. No archers means your walls are pointless.
  4. Don’t upgrade your main building too quickly, the quicker you upgrade the less coins you get from the chest every morning.
  5. If you’re getting overwhelmed by trolls, drop a few of those precious coins. They’ll be them up and go back from whence they came!
  6. INVEST IN THOSE FARMERS EARLY THEY ARE SOME BIG MONEY EARNERS
  7. Don’t ignore the merchant. He can come in handy especially when he brings schythes. You can save a lot of time and money that way. Take note of which side of the map he walks around on so you know where to look for him.
  8. If you’re going to explore past a portal make sure you have at least 1 coin with, preferably more, because the occasional troll will come out of it and attack.
  9. Knights are going to be your best friends.
  10. And finally: there’s always hope! Keep your chin up. Even if you have two walls surrounding you you’re doing well. Keep it up!

‘Til next time

-Bec

 

 

Bec’s Top 5 Games of 2015

2015 has been such an amazing year for gaming. The end of the year has been especially impressive with the release of Rise of the Tomb Raider (xbox 360/xbox one), Fallout 4 (PS4,Xbox one, PC),  and Star Wars Battlefront(PS4, xbox one, PC) so close together. But what a long year it was!

I couldn’t wait to get stared writing this (once I finished with all my exams and papers) because it meant that I got to take a look back at the games that I’ve played this year. I’ll start with my top 5 games describing particularly why I chose them then I’ll wrap it up at the end with my additional honorable mention game that deserves some recognition but not enough that it made it onto my list.

So we’ll start with number 5:

5: My number slot for my top games of 2015 is a joint win. Those lucky number 5’s are Telltales Tales From the Borderlands and Telltale’s Game of Thrones.

Now both of these games are so completely different but both had to make it into the top 5 just not separately due to my current rage and personal vendetta towards Telltale. So neither game got it’s own person kangaroo pouch of safety by itself on the list.

Let’s start with Tales from the Borderlands. Now, I’ve always been a fan of the Borderlands series. I think that the writers are hilarious and brilliant and from Borderlands 1 to 2 they only improved the game and its characters. (we won’t talk about the Pre-sequel). I fell in love with Borderlands’ quirky characters and the amazing environment, yes including Pandora’s barren wasteland. Tales form the Borderlands takes the world of the Borderlands series and gives it relate able and funny characters that don’t have super powers and can’t grind for hours and hours just to get a few hundred dollars and a shotgun that shoots a wave of bullets barreling towards a psycho. Don’t get me wrong, that shi* is fun, but for those of us that prefer story driven games Tales from the Borderlands is such a great addition to the Borderlands series. It’s Tales’ creative and hilarious story, wonderful characters and dialogue that give it he dual number 5 spot on my list. (P.S check out my full review of Tales coming soon for more details on my opinion of the game ;P)

Telltales Game of thrones is another game entirely. If you watch Game of Thrones, and let’s face it, who doesn’t, you know how utterly horrifying, gruesome, yet fun and heart wrenching the Game of Thrones world can be. Multiply that times 1000 and that is Telltales Game of Thrones. Watching characters get murdered right before you eyes is a whole lot different then actually murdering characters with your own hands. Telltales GOT does the best story telling job of any Telltale game to date ( in my opinion) managing to let you tackle 5 different story lines that all interconnect with one another at the end. I fell in love with GOT’s family the Foresters and I found myself crying with them during all of their hardships. GOT gets added onto my favorite games of all time list . (also, my full review of GOT will be coming out soon too :))

4: My number 4 game of 2015 is Her Story.

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Now if you’ve read my full review of Her Story you know that I absolutely loved it. The mechanic of putting words into the search bar to try and solve this ever growing mystery was so new and different to anything I had ever played that it just took me totally off guard. And it wasn’t boring! It was almost the most exciting thing I’ve ever played “She said rock, i’ll write that down and look it up next.” It was one of the most fun and rewarding gaming experiences I’ve had in recent years. Her Story made it to the number 5 spot for sure because of it’s utter uniqueness!

3. In at number three is Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes!

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Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a bomb defusing game where you work with a partner or two or three or more to defuse a bomb together. The more bombs you defuse the hardest it gets. One person has the bomb in front of them and has to describe to the defusers (those who have the manual) in order to defuse the bomb together. I honestly have no idea why this game is so fun as it added more stress in my life than I ever needed but me and my parents and my friends have spent hours upon hours of enjoyment with this defusing bomb after bomb after bomb. It got a little disappointing towards the end when I realized that you need more than two people in order to defuse the bomb with 11 MODULES and I came to the sad realization that I don’t have enough friends to do it. Over all Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes made it to the list because of the sheer about of obsessive hours I spent trying to hear whether or not my friend was saying “F or S” through the phone at me and the crying that ensued after multiple failures.

2. My number 2 games probably won’t come as a surprise to people that know me, it’s Resident Evil the HD Remaster.

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So the first time Resident Evil came out on GameCube it was amazing. The graphics were beautiful, the monsters were the scariest thing I had ever seen, and the dialogue was…okay yeah the dialogue was still as crappy and awkward as ever. But then they released it on Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, and Xbox One and it just turned out to be even more beautiful. Adding the easier controls for *cough* pu*sies was a nice addition and the extra outfits from RE5 were fun as well. The game itself is already one of the greatest survival horror games in history but with the addition of Playstation 4 graphics you finally get an answer to the age old question: does chris have facial hair or not? and the answer is yes. He goddamn does. and it’s beautiful. That 5 o’clock shadow is really impressive Chris really. It’s a shame you put it all to waste years later after your steroids addiction *cough*

  1. *starts drum roll* And finally, my number one game of 2015 issssssssssss…….DYING LIGHT.

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Dying Light was definitely one of these games that came out of nowhere for me. I had heard things about it, but I had just assumed it would be a Dead Island clone and I’d play it for a few hours, get bored and give up. I was pleasantly surprised that the opposite happened. I picked it up, played it for a few hours, and then a few more hours and then I was begging my dad to let me play it for just a few more minutes, and then I was suggesting my parents to go out to dinner with out with me so I could sneak in another hour or two. Dying Light is everything I love about open world games but with the addition of zombies and Parkour. There is nothing I love more than killing some zombies and climbing some buildings. And the writers, I think, did a fantastic job of creating a great main character and believable side characters as well as a large believeable apocalyptic world. (check out my full review for more details) but Dying Light is probably the game (other than animal crossing) that I’ve put the most hours into this year and therefore deserved the number 1 slot in my opinion.

And without further or do this years honorable mention goes to: Until Dawn.

Until-Dawn-FeaturedUntil Dawn was one of those games that got so hyped up and so hyped up that when it came to playing it there was nowhere for it to escape. There was so much pressure for it to be one of the greatest survival horror games of all time with the horror of movies like Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Nightmare on Elm Street with the game play and multitude of choices like Heavy Rain. I think that it was just put under too much pressure to perform that it HAD to underperform in the end. That being said, it gets the honorable mention from me because it was really fun to play with friends, in the dark, and get yelled when I made the wrong choice. Getting to choose fears specific to the player was a very interesting and unique mechanic that had me and my friends arguing forever over whether or not rats or dogs were scarier. Until Dawn definitely deserves this year’s honorable mention.

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So that’s it folks, my top 5 games of 2015. There were many more games that I would have loved to talk about and mention but this post is already painfully long. Here’s to another great year! Cheers!

Til next time.
-Bec

My first year of Animal Crossing. I.E – The Ultimate Shame Game/Real Life Simulator

So I was recently going through the pictures on my 3DS and found out that around 65/70 of them were screen shots from my animal crossing play through. I thought this would be something fun to share with the universe as I’ve had many adventures in Animal Crossing, including shaking fruit off of trees, getting stung by mosquitoes, you catch my drift? Exciting stuff has happened.

Without further ado, my first year (and a half), in Animal Crossing: New Leaf.

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This picture was taken 3 days after I made my purchase of Animal Crossing. You see, I bought the game pre-owned and didn’t realize that I needed to delete the previous owners profile before it would let me become mayor. In fact, I didn’t even know that when you started a new game you did become mayor. Thankfully a friend of mine told me so I managed to figure it out eventually and finally become the mayor of Rineport! Starting to wish I’d thought of a more creative name.

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If you aren’t familiar with Animal Crossing I should probably explain that there isn’t really a main goal of the game. Basically, you move to this new town, and it’s your job as mayor to build new buildings, work with the other villagers to keep the town up and running, and most importantly, you have a home that you can put stuff in and upgrade at your will, but in order to keep upgrading you have to pay of your previous home loan. This photo was taken after I finally managed to pay off my first home loan. That’s right folks, I’ve got a mortgage. I’m 21-years-old, only having moved out of my parents house 2 years ago, and I have a mortgage. In a video game. In a video game where every other person is an animal who you can convince to say, “Butts.” whenever you want because you have the sense of humor of a 12 year old. Speaking of that:

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Heh, heh. Butts.

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This photo was taken the one time that my best friend decided that I was allowed to come and visit his town. We did everything that normal friends would do when visiting each others towns that they built from the ground up. I visited him up at his home, he showed me around, he showered me with thousands and thousands of bells (Animal Crossing currency) and then we blew it all at da club.

After the club we decided to go to his “island” which has it’s own mayor, an old ass turtle who’s like a thousand years old and forces you to do different activities like deep sea diving for fish and sea slugs and other fun things. meandmartyinboat

The boat ride was fun though. Eventually we decided that I didn’t have enough fruit growing in my town (I think I only had apples at the time) and since I was on his island I thought it best to grab a few bananas and a few coconuts while I was there to bring back to my island. I borrowed some tools from the kind dancing tree stump on the island and proceeded to MURDER/CHOP DOWN one of the trees which my friend screamed at me about because I didn’t realize at the time that you just have to shake the trees to get the fruit. Oops. This is me post tree murder and my friend crying over the husk of his once living tree friend.

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This was the time that I won the bug contest FOR THE THIRD TIME IN A ROW. MUAHAHAHA. NO ONE WILL EVER TAKE MY TITLE. I have all three trophies smack dab in the middle of my living room on top of my kitchen table for all to see.

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Both of these photos are evidence of my lack of friendship.

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This was from the second time this little seagull guy shows up on my beach having no idea where on Earth he came from. I think Rineport might have a strange immigration problem…spoiler alert he was from Guatemala.

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This picture was from…you guessed it…MY BIRTHDAY! When I decided that I needed to check in with my villagers instead of spending time with real people on my birthday. My villagers didn’t know I was turning 21 and therefore forgot to bring alcohol.

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And finally. This creepy rainbow clown sheep…is Pietro. He is my arch enemy. He is the Judas to my Jesus. The Satan to my God. The Swiper to my Dora the Explorer. I have never spoken to him. Nor do I intend to. A few weeks back, I accidentally went inside his home and I cannot explain the horrors that I found within. I am convinced that it is his murder/torture dungeon to which he captures his victims and forces them to laugh at his jokes and honk his red nose and tickle his feet. I’m telling you, it was so bdsm/50 shades of gray in there just instead of black leather whips they were all rainbows. Unfortunately, my dear friends, I have not been able to find the picture that I took of this place, and have since not been able to go back inside of his murder dungeon. The picture I attached above is a photo of his home which i dug holes around and trapped him in the doorway of, and yet he would not go inside, therefore I could not go inside. One day Pietro, I will find proof of your crimes, and you will be forced to leave under suspicious of being A CREEPY MOTHER F***ER. That is all.

So that’s just a little brief look at my first year of Animal Crossing. I’ve spent countless hours harvesting fruit and paying on home loan after home loan. I’ve said hello and goodbye to many dear friends along the way but have not forgotten one of them after this long year. RIP to all of the villagers who said that they were “Moving” but were more likely taken into Pietro’s murder dungeon and probably killed days later.

Here’s to another great year!

-Bec

Full Review: Until Dawn: The Only Interactive Murder Simulator You Will Ever Need, i.e that time my two best friends hated me

So this last weekend (8/28) I went over to my sister’s basically for the sole purpose of playing and finishing Until Dawn before I had to leave to go back home on Sunday. I also went to spend time with one of my best friends and her mom, her mom who I haven’t seen in probably 3 or 4 years. I knew in the back of my mind that we wouldn’t be able to finish the game in one day unless we really really committed to it, and I had painfully underestimated our abilities. Because we did it. We started Until Dawn at around 3PM and finished it in one non-stop go save a 20 minute dinner break at around 12:30AM on Sunday. And what a fantastic, stress filled day it was! Here’s a little backstory into why I had to have this experience with these particular people. I will get to my review of the game, but I’d like to add this little bit of detail just to add a little flavor to this week’s blog. (I say ‘this week’ as if I actually post every week.)

When I was a kid, I of course had my own friends, but what I really wanted more than anything was to hang out with my older sister and her friends. Her friends were undoubtedly cooler than my friends. My sister was one to pull the, “You can hang out with us when you’re my age.” trick that I would fall for until I was about 8 or 9 when I realized I could never technically be the same age as her. But finally when this one friend moved into the neighborhood, and she knows who she is, did I start hanging out more and more with my sister and her friends. I was basically the one that they could pick on that would just shrug it off because I was just so unbelievably happy to be allowed to hang out with them no matter the context. It was this friend that when I met for the first time I thought she was a big nerd and never ever would have guessed would become one of the smartest most amazing people I know in this world who I owe pretty much all of my knowledge of video games to because of all of her wonderful influence. She got me addicted to Dance Dance Revolution, Guitar Hero, Bioshock, and pretty all of the amazing series’ that have come to make up my childhood favorites.

Not only did she introduce me to normal fun family and friends games, she also introduced me to horror as a genre of game that I could appreciate and not simply be afraid of. Resident Evil 3 on the gamecube was one of the first horror games I ever played and it was TERRIFYING to me at first. I just remember going over to her house, getting into my pajama’s at 4PM after getting back from school, staying over at her house, getting a dinner of turkey sandwhiches, pb and j’s, burritos or whatever the heck we wanted, pushing the couch as close to the tv as we could get and listening to the first words of that intro and the feeling on dread just running down my 10 year old spine. “It all began as an ordinary day in September. An ordinary day in Raccoon City.” Oh yeah. It’s just so satisfying. Not only did we often play horror games together, her and my sister have gotten me to attend Halloween Horror Nights, get addicted to horror movies, and just enjoy being scared in general.

So basically my purpose in telling you this story is to say that when I heard about Until Dawn basically being a playable horror movie, I was incredibly excited and could think of no two people who i’d love to play it with more. ANYWAY now that story time is over lets get to the game!

As usual this post will probably contain a few minor spoilers for the game but I’ll try my hardest to not spoil any of the huge or significant plot points. So BE WARNED.

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Until Dawn is an interactive survival horror game released as a PS4 exclusive though it was originally supposed to have been for PS3 and PS4. It plays a lot like Heavy Rain in the way that each character you play as has the ability to make it through the game based on the choices that you make but in the same way all of the characters can die based on those decisions. Basically, the Butterfly Effect plays a huge part in the game meaning one small choice could create a huge ripple effect in the game later on. Do I shoot the squirrel, do I not shoot the squirrel? Maybe it’ll matter later so try to make the right choice. The game focuses alot of 1 vs. 1 decision making i.e run or hide?, or be aggressive vs be passive and other than that the game is mostly exploration and quick time events.

The story for Until Dawn goes like this 10 friends decide to go on a winter getaway at 3 of the friends parents resort on an beautiful mountain top lodge when something goes wrong. Whilst playing a prank on one of the friends she runs away embarrassed into the wilderness only to be followed by her sister and they both later go missing. This sets up the plot for the rest of the game. One year later the 8 friends that are left decide to go back to the mountain to celebrate the memory and lives of their two friends that were never found.

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You play as characters: Sam, Jessica, Ashley, Emily, Mike, Chris, Josh, and Matt in what equals a big culmination of generic horror movie characters. Sam is the character who you route for but spends almost 2/3’s of the game in the bathtub while people around her are getting murdered and abducted. Jessica is Mike’s girlfriend and the big generic slut of the group. Ashley is the intelligent, quiet character who has a big crush on Chris. Emily is the group bitch who really only cares about herself and proving she’s better than everyone and is dating Mike. Mike is the kind hearted jock. Chris is the class clown who has a crush on Ashley. Josh is rich kid who’s parents own the house and Matt is the douchey jock who ends up being a really good guy at heart. My favorite character to play as by far was Mike because of the different scenarios that he goes through throughout the game. He just seems like character that goes through the most development and changes the most throughout the game.

The beginning of the game is really just setting up the characters backstories and the tutorial where it teaches you about clues and totems. Clues are used in the game to help the player piece together the mysteries that have to do with things going on on the mountain. For example, towards the beginning of the game you find a flyer about a man who committed arson on the mountain years back and the story of him is put together throughout the game as you piece together the clues. Totems are used as ways to predict possible futures in the game. Each totem means something different. A totem with a black butterfly on the back means a possible death later on in the game. I for one, didn’t particular understand the totems because none of the totems that we found really ever came true. We also only found about 10/40 clues and 8/30 totems. Those are rough numbers of course.

The game sets it up almost immediately so that the characters are separated. After Jessica gets into a bitch fight with Emily Josh discreetly shuns Mike and Jessica to a private cabin a few hundred yards away from the big house where the rest of them are staying. Emily apparently forgets one of her bags at the bottom of the mountain and therefore her and Mike go to find it. Finally while Sam goes to warm up in a bath, Chris, Ashley, and Josh decide to perform a seance with an old Ouija board.

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One important part of gameplay I should mention is that throughout the main story the game breaks and the character is placed in what seems to a psychiatrists office and are made to pick between different things deciding what scares the player the most. You are given two choices and you have to decide what scares you the most. This is how the game tailors to how you play later on. For example: spiders vs snakes, clowns vs. scarecrows, men vs women, etc. Each choice effects how the game tailors to your fears which I, of course, find very advanced and intriguing.

Without giving away the entire game I’d like to wrap up with what I thought about this games ending. For about the first 6 or 7 hours of our loooooong binge game play I was scared every minute and truly enjoyed the gaming experience. The four of us decided to go with majority rule and pick what scared the most of us to get the most out of the experience. And it was a really great experience, until about the last 2 or 3 hours. Those of you that have played will know what I’m talking about when I say that there’s a great big twist towards the very end that just had be groaning and wishing the game could’ve just ended 3 hours ago. It is something that many bad horror movies do that simply cheapens the entire experience and Until Dawn is no exception. Adding an element of the supernatural DOES NOT add to the scariness of a game, it simply makes the game less believable, and therefore less enjoyable. I was perfectly content with how the game COULD have ended. Before that little addition of the supernatural.

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But overall, as I said this game is beautiful, brilliant, scary, and definitely wonderfully made it just had a few kinks here and there that made me cringe. The dialogue was almost overall fantastic. But I’ve forgotten to mention one thing, why I made my two best friend in this entire world hate me. I brutally murdered someone. When it came down to it, there was one character, throughout the entire game that I was routing for to die, and I had the opportunity sitting right in front of me and I HAD to take it. From there on out, every choice I made was unforgivable. If I could back and change my choice…I would never do it. It was just too sweet. In the end I managed to sadly only save 2 of my characters. I hope you readers do better than me. If I learned anything coming out of this its that you really should never binge play an entire game in one day because your choices and the quality of the experience go down very quickly.

I would give Until Dawn 8.5 out of 10 butterfly totems because of it’s wonderful gameplay, beautiful graphics, relateable characters, great dialogue, fantastic jump scares and replayability, but lack of an original ending.

First Impressions: Dying Light. Zombie Apocalypse Meets Hardcore Parkour

So because my life seems to revolve around when I’m able to go home and play games on my dad’s PS4, I went home again a couple of weeks ago, and started playing Dying Light. This is once again, a game that pretty much came out of nowhere for me, as I didn’t read any reviews for it, or watch much gameplay for it before deciding to play.

Dying Light is an open world, first person, action horror adventure, free running….zombie apocalypse…simulator? It’s Dead Island meets PS4 graphics. It’s beautiful friends, just beautiful.

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WARNING: BLOG MAY CONTAIN SLIGHT SPOILERS FOR THE BEGINNING OF THE GAME.

The beginning of the game starts off with you playing as a character named Kyle Crane (voiced by Roger Craig Smith who many of you may know as the voice of Chris Redfield in Resident Evil). Your character works for the Global Relief Effort and you are dropped smack dab in the middle of the quarantined city of Harran which is infested by many different kinds of infected humans. (duh, zombies). After your character gets dropped in Harran, he is bitten and forced to start taking a drug called Antizin to avoid turning into a zombie himself.

Dying Light features an array of wonderfully creative stories and side missions to add to the gaming experience. Characters like Gazi, who is in denial about his mothers recent passing who forces you to go on chores to get his mother chocolate, and lets not forget the hapless Dawud who seems to always be getting himself into trouble and dragging Crane along with him, add to Dying Light’s charming humor and well written satire about a world collapsing. And of course with the main characters like Rahim and Jade and the main antagonist Rais, Dying Light creates a strong list of more relateable characters for Crane to interact with, and allow the audience to develop feelings for.

My absolute favorite part about this game is the free running aspect. It is so satisfying seeing a giant hoard of zombies ahead of you and looking a little to the left or right and finding the perfect building to climb on top of in order to avoid them. What’s even more satisfying is, the more you upgrade, the more you don’t even have to climb over buildings. As you gain stamina points it becomes easier and easier to just simply run away from the zombies, or my favorite, vault over them using their own heads.

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The talent trees are a great way to allow the player to slowly upgrade their power, agility, and survivor instincts as they climb, fight, and help others respectively throughout the game. It’s also your job while you’re out and about in the world to collect any ‘drops’ that come down via airplanes that contain important supplies for the people of Harran. It’s easy to pick them up, IF you get there quickly. More about that later.

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One very important part of the game that I have yet to mention is the night cycle. When it hits nighttime in Harran it’s “Good night, and good luck.” to all of the runners (what the game calls free runners like your character who freely goes out in the world to collect supplies) who haven’t made it to a safe house. Safe houses are areas around Harran where you can eliminate the zombies and secure the area and it becomes a place to hide at night where the zombies can’t get you. At night the zombies become much more powerful and zombies called volatiles come out to play as well. The volatiles are horrifying, fast, and powerful monsters that basically one shot you if you let them see you out at night. I know I’ve been too terrified to go out at night! The game does have a way of FORCING you out at night for a few missions though, I will admit.

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But zombies aren’t the only thing to worry about in Dying Light. A group of people who get ordered around by the big baddy of the game, Rais, are always trying to get to the drops first so if you don’t get there in time you can only get half of the drop AND have to take care of the guys. There’s also a few story missions and such at the beginning of the game where you have to take out some of those bad guys.

That brings me swiftly along to weapons and crafting. Dying Light is mostly a melee weapon kind of game where you buy and find weapons in the world and you can upgrade them using other crafting items like tape, nails, alcohol, etc in any way that you fancy. But that’s not to say that there aren’t guns later on. After the first few hours when you start to encounter Rais’s men you can often pick up their guns if you feel like it, and there are even police vans scattered throughout the world where you can pick the lock and sometimes find guns. The world is your oyster in that way.

The last quick mention I have is that the challenges are very addicting and very dangerous time drainers. Throughout the game you’ll come across agility, power, and survival challenges that will give you points towards upgrading your talent tree. My favorite challenges are the ones that give you a limited amount of time to reach previously determined checkpoints. Like a race! They’re great, moderately easy, and time wasters as I said. Another way to avoid that mission that’s going to force you to do something at night.

I don’t have too much else to say other than BE WARNED this game drains time away like it’s nobody’s business. It’s a lot like Skyrim with zombies- very open world and very time consuming. You will never be out of side missions, you will constantly be side tracked, and the glitch where the zombies are floating in the sky, will happen to you more than once. I’ve attached evidence from my playthrough here. You’re welcome:

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I probably can’t say enough good things about this game. It’s beautiful, it’s fun, and its addicting. What more could you want? I’ve really enjoyed the few hours of Dying Light that I’ve played and I’d recommend it to anyone who thinks they might enjoy a zombie survival game with lots of free running and charming humor. Pick it up on PS4 or Xbox One.

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Til next time.

-Bec

My Return to Bright Falls: Revisiting Alan Wake

So because nothing has been coming out recently that I’ve had any interest in, I’ve been going back through my old video games and replaying a few things. I just finished Silent Hill 2 yesterday, but I figured I didn’t need another post about how much I love the Silent Hill series. (R.I.P Silent Hills) and after Silent Hill 2 I picked up Alan Wake again so I thought it might be fun to do a quick little post of how much I love this game as well.

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Alan Wake is a Psychological Horror/thriller game and was originally released in 2010. In this world, Alan (the protagonist) is a famous writer of horror/thriller books and has found himself suddenly living in one of his own stories. He hasn’t been able to write a thing for 2 years, so him and his wife Alice decide to take a vacation to Bright Falls where they can get in some real shut eye and relaxation. In a quick turn of events, his wife goes missing, and Alan loses his memories from the previous week. It looks, to some other people in town that Alan might have something to do with is wife’s disappearance, which is why for much of the game you are on the run from F.B.I Agent Nightingale, a drunken young(?) detective who has a bad habit of calling you by famous authors names that aren’t your own, (H.P Lovecraft, etc.)

It isn’t until Alan starts finding and picking up manuscript pages of a manuscript he’s never written, does he realize that there is something going on. He begins being attacked by shadowy men, formerly members of the town, who can only be killed by normal weapons once they have been drained of their darkness using a variety of choices from a flashlight (which you almost always have on you) or a flare, flare gun, or flash bang. You even get the opportunity to take them out using the headlights of different vehicles that you drive throughout the game.

What drives the beginning of the game, is a call that Alan receives from a mysterious man who claims to have Alice, the ransom? Wake’s unwritten manuscript. And that’s all that I’ll say about the story.

What I love most about this game, by far, is the atmosphere. Alan Wake’s creators had a wonderful way of putting just enough darkness in every corner of the world to make this small country town very very creepy. And the darkness that seems to always be following Alan has a wonderful mind of it’s own. It’s enemies as well add to the wonderful atmosphere, as there is just simply something ‘off’ about the way that they speak. Their speech is warped giving them very deep voices. They are equipped with throwing tools like wrenches, axes, even chainsaw’s about an hour or  two into the game.

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It’s characters are also very fun and quirky, making you attached to them in a very short period of time. The love that Alan and Alice share for each other is evident within the first 5 minutes of them arriving in Bright Falls, and the audience can also tell that Alan has a close relationship with his agent Barry. Barry is a very quirky guy who doesn’t seem to like the ‘yokels’ that live in Bright Falls, and it takes some convincing, but eventually he realizes that Alan isn’t simply going crazy, there isn’t something weird about the town.

Without spoiling the whole game for those who have never heard of it, I just have to say that I’ve beat this game 3 or 4 times, and I always come back to it a few months later and enjoy it all over again. It isn’t flooded with jump scares, but has enough of a horror aspect that it still freaks me out to this day. I recommend it for anyone who’s in a horror mood and doesn’t mind a little bit of outdated graphics. It’s a great time.

I should also mention that one thing I think is really cool is that Alan Wake was modeled after a real actor who was filmed for parts of the game and used for Alan’s cardboard cut out, and for many tv clips Alan comes across in the world.

Alan_Wake_live_actionIt’s a cool little addition!

‘Til next time!

-Bec

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Full Review: Her Story

I recently picked up a game on Steam that I was blown away by. I knew very little about it besides the 10 or 15 minutes of gameplay I’d seen before deciding I wanted to purchase it. The game is called Her Story, and I started it at around 11 PM and finished it at right about 4 in the morning. That’s right, I couldn’t stop playing it. I played straight on for 5 hours two night ago, and I have no regrets.

I had decided, after purchasing it, that the game would be more fun with a friend, so me and my best friend decided to try Steam Broadcasting so she could watch me play, while I was able to chat with her using Steam chat. That made this experience much more fun, honestly.

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So Her Story is a story driven, crime FMV (full motion video) kind of game. You play as a mystery person who is given access to a police database on a 90’s era looking computer, and you are investigating the murder of a man with one prime suspect, the woman in all the videos. There are right around 200 clips of 7 different interviews that this woman was a part of, and your job is to find out the story by piecing together each and every clip that was a part of these interviews.

The player is set up with a kind of search page where you can type in a word or phrase and different clips of the woman’s interviews will show up. Videos with a yellow eye on them, you haven’t seen before. So for example,when you first load up the game, the word in the search bar automatically is, “MURDER.” When you search it, a few clips come up. Once you watch the clips you can open your “database” on your computer. The database is a small box with little boxes in side of it. Each of the little boxes represents a clip involving this woman in the police database. Every time you watch a clip one of the boxes with turn green telling you exactly when that interview happened. If the green box shows up at the top of the database big box, you just watched a clip from one of the first interviews, a clip shows down at the bottom, you’ve watched a clip from one of the later interviews. It’s pretty simplistic, which makes this game wonderfully charming.

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So there I am typing in word after word into this database to try and solve this mystery. I won’t go into the details because I encourage anyone who’s into mysteries or crime/thrillers to go and try this game out for themselves. One tip: trust me, you might think that the word your searching wont bring up anything, but towards the end anything is up for grabs. In addition to typing words into the search and refreshing the database obsessively to see where your clips have gone, you can also tag videos with your own tags in order to keep track of them. You can also save really important videos in a time line at the bottom of your, “computer.”

Her Story has a lot of twists and turns and had be lying awake at 4 in the morning wondering what those last 20 or 30 clips were that I had missed and what I could have possible searched to find them. Because you don’t have to get every single clip in order to beat the game, you only have to find certain clips, and that’s what makes it interesting. This game is completely up to interpretation by the player and that’s part of what makes it brilliant. And trust me people, it’s worth it to get to the end. There isn’t some big crazy ‘something’ at the end, don’t get me wrong, it’s totally up in the air, but there is a big enough twist if you manage to find the right clips.

I give Her Story a 9.8 search words that probably have nothing to do with the interviews out of 10 for it’s originality, intriguing story, simplistic and charming gameplay, and it’s many twists and turns. And I hope that many people will take tips from this game and that we’ll see many more like it. Her story is available on PC, Iphone, and Ipad and I endlessly recommend it. AND play it with a friend! A life of discovery (and confusion, and stress) is better lived with a partner.

Til next time!

-Bec

P.S I’ve added a picture of the obsessive notes that my friend took. (We decided we should take notes to keep track of some things) I decided not to attach my own because towards the end, my notes were just words that I thought of to type in the search bar and then crossed out. Also, her notes are just small enough that hopefully you won’t be able to see anything super significant. Really people, play the game!

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