Category Archives: gaming

Epic Gnome Battle during GW2 Beta! Goats for the Win!

The Garden Warfare 2 Beta is still on, and in this 5 minute video my son catches the end of a super long battle for the gnome–where he’s able to win it for his zombie team while being a . . . goat!  The session was the longest he’s ever experienced playing Garden Warfare, and perhaps that’s a tribute to plants and zombies being more balanced in the newer plants vs zombies game.   Here’s the video, but we also have a post that goes over the changes we see, and our impressions of them, from Garden Warfare to Garden Warfare 2.  We hope you enjoy both!

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Garden Warfare 2 Beta, Changes and Impressions

GW2, command area for plants
At the central command center for plants.

The Garden Warfare 2 Beta, or more like a pre-release frenzy fest, is happening from January 14th to 18th, 2016.  The game’s release is scheduled for February 23rd.  I’ve written positively about the original Garden Warfare here,  since it’s a “clean” fun game that Christians might enjoy.  But what of Garden Warfare 2?  Well, we’re playing it and these are some of our impressions; they are necessarily limited to the parts of the game included with the BETA, which are the multi-player mode and small amount of backyard play only.

A note on the categories below.  Good, Neutral, and Sad/Questionable relate to changes to the new game from the original game.  And, since there seem to be lots of changes, not all are written about here.

The Good
  • Zombie changes.  Not all zombie changes are good, in our opinions here.  But there are good ones (the Yeti Chomper is sooo cute!).  Captain Deadbeard is funny and has a parrot that he can use for distance attacks, just like the Cactus does with vegetle drones in the original Garden Warfare.  The scientist has some fun and detailed variants, the mathematician and the zoologist.  The zoologist, especially, is crazy-funny and detailed, with its porcupine gun, living Koala riding piggyback, and prairie dog coif.  The scientist, according to my son, is now easier to use/control, too.  Another new zombie is the Imp with his Z7 Mech, which together are a fun wink at Titanfall.  The imp is a really fun addition to the zombie team.

Continue reading Garden Warfare 2 Beta, Changes and Impressions

Fallout 4. Sometimes Bigger Isn’t Better (Story)

Fallout 4. Nick likes me.
“I got you as a friend. There’s nothing more an old bot could ask for.” This is one of the more satisfying aspects of the game, or is that a social outcast sort-of-thing to think? Here, Nick Valentine, a synthetic human with the memories of a 21st century detective (who’s fiance had been murdered by a crime boss), professes warm friendship.

This is the second part of my Fallout 4 review, Fallout 4.  Sometimes Bigger Isn’t Better.  For the first part, with the introduction and description of what’s similar and what’s different in this newest edition to the Fallout series, please go to Fallout 4. Sometimes Bigger Isn’t Better (Overview).

The Story, or, an Outline of a Story

I don’t know if it was bad directing or bad choices that made the story so shallow in Fallout 4.  This game has a huge map, voice acting, cut-scenes that accompany all the dialogues, all kinds of crafting and building, and many followers that have a lot more comments and quips than in previous games, and all of those things take up memory and developing them would have used up the game’s budget.  Those are things that either weren’t in the previous games, or they were but to a much lesser degree.  So choices were made, and the newest story suffered; it is much more of an outline than an actual story.

The main stories in Fallout New Vegas DLCs, like Old World Blues and Honest Hearts, for example, have more to them than this new whole game does.  Characters in those DLCs talk a lot more about what they’ve done and what they’re doing than in Fallout 4, which has a story where all the missing explanation is an irreconcilable, glaring annoyance.  Your own character doesn’t have the ability to question much of anything, like any normal person would, nor do they have anywhere near the normal level of frustration, sadness, anger, etc., expressed in all things related to your son and your quest for him.

Continue reading Fallout 4. Sometimes Bigger Isn’t Better (Story)

Fallout 4. Sometimes Bigger Isn’t Better (Overview)

Fallout 4 Older Model Synth
An old model synth found in an abandoned part of The Institute (with a “posterize” filter).

Fallout 4.  What can one say?  After years of anticipation, the 2015 sequel to Fallout 3 (2008) and Fallout New Vegas (2010) is found to be bigger and . . . different.  It should be different, at least in some ways, of course.  Fallout 4 (Bethesda Softworks, Rated M) is a BIG game, as so many new ones are today, but it tries to be too much in this reviewer’s view. How can a video game have too much?  Well, Fallout 4 isn’t just any video game. It is one in a series, one in a franchise (Fallout New Vegas technically isn’t part of the franchise, but that makes no difference to player perception or lore) with a certain style and lore.

While there is a lot to be happy about with Fallout 4, the new gargantuan level of building and crafting (together with the related radiant quests) is not integrated well with the actual story of the game. It’s almost as if they’re two different things, two different games held together by thin threads. The story comes off as being really minimal compared to both the other in-game activities and the last two Fallout game stories. The ultra-tragic story sets the mood of the game, and when that mood is betrayed (finds no outlet), the resulting annoyance (anger and dismay, more like) spoils the game. But more on that later.  Since this Fallout review would be really (really) long for one blog post, it was divided into two. This first part goes over things that are the same and things that are different in this newest Fallout (the lists here are not exhaustive), with the second part presenting the story, with commentary, and giving a final overall analysis and rating.

Continue reading Fallout 4. Sometimes Bigger Isn’t Better (Overview)

The Nug King, Dragon Age Inquisition, The Descent DLC

I knew I missed something in the new The Descent DLC playthrough I did for Lingering Trees, but, being busy doing other things, I waited a bit to go back and try and figure it out.  OK, so I did figure it out, and I found about the best part of the DLC.  The Nug King with his nug minions.

The King is accessed from an area that looks inaccessible on the fourth map (Forgotten Caverns) down in the deep.  But first, to get to that area on map 4, you have to walk to it from map 5 (Bastion of the Pure).  Travel to the farthest area on the left side . . . it looks like an undiscovered area, but it’s jut that it goes back “upstairs.”

Bastion of the Pure map
Bastion of the Pure map. Travel to the west to go back up to the Forgotten Caves map.

Once you’re back on map 4 (Forgotten Caverns), go left and then south toward the big chasm.  When you reach the chasm, look to your left, and along the wall there’s a rock that has some writing on it.  It says something like, “only those who believe can cross.”  I can’t read it now because the dialogue ceases to exist after you find your way across.  Anyway, from that rock, just start crossing into the chasm on faith, and . . . a green bridge forms in front of you.

Forgotten Caverns map
Forgotten Caverns map. Travel west, and then south, to the chasm that’s for believer’s only.

I won’t say more, but let you enjoy the Nug King for yourself if you haven’t yet.  But, for anyone interested, I have an episode about it up at YouTube.

Site Update: “About Me” Page and Others edited, moved

An earlier me during an archaeological survey.
An earlier me during an archaeological survey.

I’ve changed pages and updated With Christian Eyes in the past, but there’ve been more changes lately and I also wish to better connect with my followers.  I edited and updated my biographical information in  the About the Author page (formerly “About Me”), and moved a bit of what was in the “Let Me Write for You” page to there and deleted the rest.   I added two table of contents pages for ease of finding articles; there are two instead of one in order to keep the number of links on each page down.

In case you didn’t know, there is a second blog run by my husband here,  Lingering Trees, although I’m going to see about how to transfer it to him to make it separate (for his ease and distinct online presence).  He is trying to promote his and my son’s YouTube account so as to eventually make some money off of it.  This is not to get rich, by any means, but only to make extra money since he is ill so much.  Eventually, unless God chooses to heal him, he’s not going to be able to work a regular job.  It’s too bad Christians don’t support other Christians in this way as much as the worldly folk do–if you don’t know about people making a living off of YouTube, just know that some do extremely well.  We’re not expecting to live off of YouTube income (!), but are working at it with the hope of earning money to go toward living expenses and gifts.

I’ve appreciated the likes and follows so much!  Thanks for the time you’ve spent here.  As we prepare to end homeschooling and move across the country, we’ll still be here!  After that’s all done, we’ll see how God guides us, but I may be able to write more.  I should have more time and ability to focus–maybe I’ll even work on a book or two.  The Lord hold you and smile at you.

Contemplating.  Author photo.
Contemplating. Author photo.

 

Favorite Skyrim Screen Shots (Use Allowed with Attribution)

Skyrim, female Dragonborn using bow with fear enchantment
One of my all time favorite screen shots so far, filtered, and (obviously) used as a cover shot, or thumbnail.

Hello!  I’ve been doing a Skyrim Let’s Play (unmodded game, on XBOX 360, with all expansions) and so far have taken the time to capture screen shots for the video thumb nails.  Please click on the images to see them full size – the small format on this page doesn’t do them justice.

I take many I like that I don’t have a current use for (and I have left some of my best ones out for my own use later).  So, you can use any of these that you like in a blog article, but please attribute them to this site by including a link to this page (I’ll note those I used already in case that matters to you).   I’ll be adding more images and replacing some of the olde ones frequently.  Thank you, and enjoy!  (PS – Even though I’ve spent a great deal of time playing Skyrim in the past, I’ve learned more from viewing it slowly via video and from seeing characters in these stills!)

Skyrim Draugr
Some Draugr are after me! (Previously used as a thumbnail image)

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Skyrim, bloodied dragon
A dragon, all bloodied, about to meet his demise.

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Jyrik Gauldurson and the Eye of Magnus.
Jyrik Gauldurson and the Eye of Magnus. Love his helmet! (Previously used as a thumbnail image.)

Continue reading Favorite Skyrim Screen Shots (Use Allowed with Attribution)

New Skyrim Playthrough, “Let’s Play Skyrim with Babe’s Got Bow”

Babe's Got Bow in Dragonsreach
Babe’s Got Bow in Dragonsreach

 

With Christian Eyes author does a Skyrim “let’s play” with a  cool-looking (magish) female Breton.  For any Christians or simply parents interested in getting a general impression of in-game dialogue and violence, the game introduction isn’t bad way to do it. There is a little swearing in it, which is actually more than in the rest of the game — most swearing, when characters happen to do it, is in ways reflective of the in-game culture (not standard real world curses).

A beheading takes place in the introduction, fairly representative of pretty much the worst you’ll see in-game. Certain perks (like Devastating Blow and Savage Strike) can be chosen later on to emphasize bloody violence, but, as said, that is a choice a player can make.  Unfortunately, however, you can’t turn off the slow-mo killing scenes which happen once-in-a-while (in Fallout New Vegas, which Bethesda also produced, you can.  Maybe the next Elder Scrolls game will have this feature).   There are reasons why Skyrim has a “mature” rating, but as far as mature games go, it’s quite tame.  Thanks for watching!

 

And, episode 2:

Bungie’s New Low: Your Own Team Required for Etheric Light in H.o.W

Someone asked with the Help tag at Bungie’s Destiny site where one can get etheric light.  Since the Trials of Osiris started today, we found that there is NO way of getting etheric light – a requirement for upgrading new game gear – if you don’t have your own play team.  In other words, you can’t get it as a single player and there is no in-game matchmaking for the activities where etheric light can be found.  Regulation of the gaming industry is needed at this point.  Consumers should not be deceived into buying a product that they have little or no chance of getting a refund for.

We preordered the game and the season pass, based on what we knew of the game pre-release.  Well, the game has changed a lot since then.  The amount of play time a single player can get out of the game is less and less, and the latest dlc makes single player useless.  With the House of Wolves you CAN get new gear that is as high or higher than the previous gear, but if you don’t have your own teams to play the meat of the dlc, what’s the point?  To just play the old stuff that happens to have matchmaking over and over again?

Continue reading Bungie’s New Low: Your Own Team Required for Etheric Light in H.o.W