Ruiner Hob Combo

I was torn between spending cash on Destiny 2 or grabbing some indie titles that I had my eye on. I know there are some folks I follow who are looking forward to Des2 but my clan mates seem to be on the fence about playing at launch. I was in two minds as I’d not played the first game but enjoyed watching a number of streamers airing their gameplay.

After doing a twitter litmus test, it seemed a number if folks weren’t planning on getting the game immediately at launch, this cemented my decision that I should opt for the indie titles.
Besides, the indie titles are out now instead of Des2 which isn’t out for almost a month.


Ruiner

The first title I bought is one that I’d not been tracking but on seeing the artwork, theme and mechanics, I found it rather appealing. With a violent Cyberpunk aesthetic, Ruiner is a isometric twin-stick shooter, that has more of an RPG feel to it rather than the run and gun approach of legacy games like Alien Breed.

The game slowly introduces an ability system which grants you additional functionality to overcome the waves of adversaries, these range from shields to timing down time. The abilities are good but don’t leave you feeling too overpowered against the mob, they can give you the edge.

I am only about 3 hours into the game, but I have to admit the game feels rewarding, there are some fun side-quests and your main contact is named “The Girl”, who is fond of using ascii emojis in all communcations.
?(´?`)/


HobThe second game I purchased was HOB, which is the 3rd title from studio Runic Games (of Torchlight fame) and a game I have been keeping my eye on for ages.
Rather than going down the isometric dungeon crawler path again, HOB is more of an exploration game of action and puzzles. With this in mind the first thing that strikes you about the game is the artwork, again Runic have produced a fantatsic looking environment that is really vibrant.
The second thing you will notice is that game attempts to direct you without using text and words, this can leave you at loss what you can and cannot interact with but if you keep exploring you will progress.

The game has some scenes were the game seems to go into a 2D platformer side view only the game retains depth so you can use it when required, This reminded me of accessing hidden areas and puzzles in the game Blade Kitten.

To cap all of this off the Runic Team has returned to Matt Uelmen to create a fantastic soundtrack for their new masterpiece.

I’m only a handful of hours into the game but I’m enjoying it so much.

BPPV and I

After getting a head-cold from co-worker I awoke one morning shortly afterwards and was barely able to stand due to dizziness. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) usually affects persons over 50, but its seems that once you’ve had it you are more likely to get it again. For me this is at least the third time, possibly fourth time that I have been afflicted with intense dizziness and nausea.

It’s thought that small debris/calcium often referred to as crystals enter unexpected parts of the ear causing it to send the wrong information to your brain that you are still moving when you are not. It’s OK though as without treatment it often clears up after several weeks or months.

In order to treat BPPV there are a two main methods “Epley Manoeuvre” and the “Brandt-Daroff exercises”, both of these aim to help to move the debris into a place that doesn’t cause vertigo any longer. So far I haven’t had much joy with the Brandt-Daroff exercises, I’m continuing to take Cinnarizine daily to help me feel more normal, but frankly I’d rather the blasted thing was gone.

As I’m not able to drive at the moment so I’ve not been able to commute to work, but thankfully I have been able to work from home on my Laptop, which I am rather grateful for as not having something to focus on during the weekdays would drive me up the wall. Having me around in the daytime is certainly getting to Munki and impacting her daily routines. Some days I don’t feel the effects too much and wonder if things are getting better, usually to contrast a good day is followed by an awful day where I struggle to sit upgrade for any extended period of time.

Fingers crossed the exercises help to get rid of this soon.

Wizard 101ing again

Little Troll has started playing Wizard 101, he has played it before but with a toon on my account, but this time he has his own account and seems to be more engaged than previsouly. In all honestly it’s nice to have a break from all that Minecraft chat.

If you haven’t played Wizard 101 the game is focused around quests and magic. Battles are resolved via card, players build up a deck of spells in the form of cards

KingsIsle have positioned their 101 games (Wizard/Pirate) as one of the front runners when it comes to Child friendly Multiplayer Online games. All forename & surnames have to be fabricated from three lists, 1 for forename and 2 for surname. Dependant on the age of the user the chat is filtered accordingly, and the user maybe limited to only using predefined phrases that are accessible via an in-game menu.

With games such as Roblox are drawing in large number of players, many of which are young children, for me the ability to ensure the safety of my child is naturally paramount. I tried out Roblox as LT was asking about playing it, however my very first experience of the game on logging in was some character dancing infront of the spawning location with a username that wasn’t, in my opinion, very savoury.

As I’ve been digging around in my account settings and history, I was interesting to see that Munki and I set our accounts up when Little Troll was about 1 month old.
Most likely looking for no time consuming things to do in the periods when he was asleep 😀

The Flame in the flood

After watching StarGrace playing the game on Twitch I was compelled to pick up this fantastic title. The game is described as a survival rogue-like and for the most part it’s true to this genre. However the game follows a guided path that is impossible to avoid, the river, which can be varied and deadly.
Despite the rogue-like nature unless you opt into perma-death the game has a number of checkpoints that allow you to pick up partway through the adventure.

image

The first thing that strikes you about the game is the art style is very unique and at times certainly reminds me at times of that art style found in the Torchlight games. The game does a wonderful job of changing the visuals with the changing weather, the rain making you feel everything is wet and damp.

The soundtrack of the game adapts to the in-game events, there is a strong theme running through-out and I really enjoyed their careful usage. Games that can flow between tracks are wonderful in their nature as the tracks can build up the tension during game play. Chuck Regan has done an amazing job and the soundtrack is available for those of you like myself who collect game soundtracks.

Gameplay

The game requires you to maintain 4 vital statistics

  • Hunger
  • Thirst
  • Temperature
  • Fatigue

Trying to keep these stats in the green is easy to begin with and but as the game progresses it becomes more difficult to maintain as resources and safe areas become fewer. The game uses the river to guide you to take the next step in the story, often giving you varying places to stop, but sometimes you have to make a quick decision as to where you need to head, do you got the marina and fix up your boat or head to the pharmacy to get medicine?

When it comes to keep your statistics in the green there are shortcuts you can take but they usually comes with disadvantages or risks.

  • Hungry? At a push you can eat bullrushes if you are lacking in proper food, however they are a much needed commodity especially in the later game.
  • Thirsty? then you can drink unfiltered water, but run the risk of becoming ill.
  • Cold? You can use fires for warmth however as your journey takes you to places were a fire isn’t usable or there have been many days of rain, drying off isn’t that easy.
  • Tired? Finding places to sleep is easy at first, however nature can often work against you meaning that you can’t get that much needed rest.

Summary

For me the game was about 10 hours long which judging by the price of £14.99 seemed rather reasonable. This is the first offering from the Molasses Flood studio and I have high hopes that they will produce more games of this quality, detail and warmth in the future.

P.S The game is 60% off in the Steam Summer Sale running now.

A la Mode

Welcome dear reader!
Hi, how is 2017 treating you so far?

I’ve usually attempted to post more by the halfway mark of the year but alas this year has been pretty much hectic with an added pinch of exhausting thrown in for good measure.

Why you ask , well mostly as my role has transitioned into something different, but while retaining much of the same stuff as I was doing before only more of it. Confusing right?

Streaming and gaming

I’ve been a little relaxing in my streaming habits, I started to ease back to streaming on Sunday mornings and will aim to keep up that habit while it makes sense to do so. I’ve been trying to keep the streams to relaxing games, mostly as it’s Sunday morning but also I usually have Little Troll in close proximity.

Gameblast was great fun this year and we raised more than our total in 2016, which considering there was on three of us this year was rather a good accomplishment. I totally love Special Effect and all the good work that they do.

Games

Munki and I are possibly going to get into a MMO (know first time in forever), we bought the game with the month trail as some kind of bonkers anniversary gift to each other, we’ll see how the first month in FFXIV pans out.

I am playing alot more Euro Truck Sim 2 recently, I think it’s that I find it quite relaxing ( until I hit something ), I’m covering more of the map to try and get those achievements.

Online Role Playing

Oneshot Island
Oneshot Island

Since the start of the year we have been playing through the Hoard of the Dragon Queen, we’ve had a few start and stops due to real life but it’s been enjoyable, we even picked up another player a month ago, So I must be doing something right.  It makes Sundays a little longer for me as a 8am start for streaming and a 11pm finish after the DnD session can make for a long day, but it’s enjoyable.

I find that Roll20 is such a great tool for our game, that I have now got a Pro account, which if they only thing it gave was the ability to copy between games would still be very worth it.

I had the pleasure of running a One-shot game for some friends from the streaming community I am part of, I was nervous as the last game I created and ran was in back in 1997, so I was worried that it wouldn’t go according to plan or I’d just turn into a blithering wreck. Thankfully it was fine and everyone enjoyed it, including me.

I have found that I enjoy building up scenes for the groups to consume, yes I know it’s all make believe, but sometimes it’s useful to have an idea of the environment or things that as the GM you want to remember to use in your story telling.

In getting to building these I pretty much bought all of the art assets by David Hemenway on Roll20, I find that his the art style lends itself well for use with both rendered and hand drawn characters, and the various packs fit well together.