Harry Potter Novellas
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 October 2016, 10:00 am

It kinda released under the radar but three new Harry Potter novella came out digitally about a month ago.  I read them all and enjoyed them a lot.

They weren't full fledged stories but instead little vignettes about various events and people in the world of Harry Potter.  It helped flesh out a bunch of the characters that are key to the series.  I especially liked the sections about different subjects of magic and how they work in the world.  Things like getting all the details about what it takes to become and Animagus or finding out more about potion making were really cool.

I've read some of the other short tie-in books before but these were much better.  I can easily recommend them to any fan of the series.

Rachet and Clank Impressions
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 12 October 2016, 10:00 am

Keeping the Gamefly train going, I tried out Rachet and Clank after hearing a bunch of positive things about it.

I found it to be a highly polished and pretty... mediocre platformer/action game.  It felt like a PS2 game which I suppose makes sense since it's kinda a revamp and remaster of the first game from around that era.

I feel like this is would be a really fun game for people with an attachment to the series but since I don't have that I bounced off of it fairly quick.  But seriously, if you're into the series and haven't checked this one out you probably should.

Just Cause 3 Impressions
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 11 October 2016, 10:00 am

Just Cause 3 is another Gamefly trial game for me.  I kinda liked it... somewhat.

See, the core gameplay loop of moment to moment traversal and exploding things is actually super fun.  I had a great time on the island where you play around while the game installs.  I had fun doing some of the open world as soon as I got control of my character in the main story part of the game.

But then I hit a wall where I couldn't really play around any more until I did some story missions.  Those were a complete drag.  They didn't have an interesting narrative and they definitely didn't have as fun gameplay as just messing around.

If there was a mode with infinite ammo and the entire world opened up for playing around in I might have actually used the keep it button and bought this one from Gamefly.  But as things were the story just got in the way of my fun.

God of War 3 Remastered Impressions
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 10 October 2016, 10:00 am

God of War 3 Remastered was another Gamefly game that came and went pretty fast.  I remember loving the first two God of War games but I was a teenager at the time.  I thought the over the top hack and slash gory action was awesome.

Coming back and trying to play God of War 3 as an adult... I find it much less interesting.  It's basically the same gameplay as it was before with the same old hack and slash formula.  It's not pushing any barriers or doing anything new.  It actually feels old and dated compared to more responsive modern hack and slash games.

The story picked up right where God of War 2 left off but after so many years away from it I just couldn't find any interest anymore.

It quickly became obvious that this one wasn't going to stick and I'm better off just waiting for the reboot coming for the series on PS4 soon.

Attack on Titan
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 9 October 2016, 10:00 am

Despite trying to get into a bunch of anime shows over the years I had never actually finished a full season of an anime until last week.

A friend who knows my tastes really well recommended Attack on Titan (mostly for the pacing) and I ended up really liking it.  Although there were a few slow parts and I could see almost every plot twist coming from a mile away I still had fun watching.

The premise is that humans live inside sets of walls and walls within walls to protect themselves from Titans.  Titans are giants that seem to only have one purpose... eating people.  So, humanity has lived safely within these walls for years but Attack on Titan kicks off with an attack on the walls that's successful.  Titans stream in and start killing people.

The series continues from there and gets interesting once the main characters have a bit of a time jump and join the military to fight back.

The action scenes were a lot of fun and actually had lots of movement.  That's been one of my criticisms of so much anime I've tried, it's just still pictures while characters waste time.  Attack on Titan felt much more fluid and visceral than that.

My main complaint is that nothing is actually answered in the end.  It just stops but without wrapping up most of the loose threads.  Everything is left basically unanswered and it feels like it needs an immediate follow up season of the show.  From what I understand, there will be one eventually but it's already been years and it's no where in sight.

Trying RPGs Lately
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 8 October 2016, 10:00 am
I've been trying tons of Gamefly games lately and writing about them.  I intend to keep do so, but I just had a run of RPGs show up from Gamefly that just didn't click with me at all.

Oh, by the way, we set up a Gamefly offer for listeners/readers to get you a free trial if you're interested.  I still love the service so if it's intrigued you at all while I've been talking and writing about it for the last month or so go check it out.

But anyway I'm realizing it takes a lot for an RPG to impress me these days.  One has to grab me with it's setting, story, characters, battle, and progression systems.  It has to do it quickly too.

The amount of RPGs without "Final Fantasy" in the title that have held my attention over the past few years is slim.  Persona 4 Golden is the most notable exception, followed by Bioware games, and then games like Bravely Default which might as well be called Final Fantasy.

I keep hoping something else will break through but I'm finding I lack the patience for any other RPG I try.  They all feel so samey.  Or so generic.  Or so uninspired.

I don't know exactly why I'm writing this.  Partially to vent.  Partially maybe I'm looking for recommendations?  Honestly, maybe I'm just waiting for Final Fantasy XV, Persona 5, and Mass Effect Andromeda.  Those are the next three RPGs I'm super excited about.

What RPGs have you guys played lately that you've loved?

S1E34 - Horror - “And then BAM! A cat jumps out of a cabinet!”
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 7 October 2016, 10:00 am

In this episode:
  • It’s October! And you know what that means? That’s right, geeks...HORROR! You see,Void thinks horror is dumb and boring. Beej thinks it’s awesome. Is the Beejmeister going to be able to convince the Voidenator that horror is worth his time?
  • Beej taught a horror literature class for English majors a few years back, and he had a wonderful experience with horror in college because all of his friends loved it. So where he’s coming is different from where some fans are coming from.
  • A lot of horror hits on cultural and societal fears, far more than personal. We can trace the entire 20th century’s outlook based on what horror media was being produced.
  • Rarely does horror exist on its i.e. because of its nature. If the intent is to bring people a primal realization of a cultural or societal fear so they can deal with it, that’s not a genre. What you probably think of as “horror” is technically “gothic romance”
  • Emotional connection to events. To situations. Not characters so much. The blank-slate the characters tend to be written that way purposefully, which is why they’re archetypes. But you do have lots of writers, however, that tend to focus on people more than the “hook” of whatever horror element they are writing, which is why Stephen King and his son, Joe Hill, are so successful. It’s why The Walking Dead is so successful. The Walking Dead, for instance, is an ensemble survival drama that happens to have Zombies. Much like Battlestar Galactica is a military drama that happens to be in space, but we are horrified by the events that occur.
  • Different kinds of horror: Physical and Psychological. Stephen King has 3 criteria: Horror, terror, gross-out
  • We use horror as a way to achieve catharsis: We watch this stuff so we don't have to do it ourselves.
  • Beej loves slashers and horror comedies. Friday the 13th, Sleepaway Camp, My Bloody Valentine 3D, Santa’s Slay.
  • Books like Duma Key and It by Stephen King. Heart-shaped Box by Joe Hill. Even Odd Thomas and Phantoms by Dean Koontz are good places to start.
  • The Secret World is the best horror game out there right now (to Beej, at least) because it really grabs a lot of the worldwide horror elements and does them justice. It even grabs Eastern horror and does them well, which is hard to do in America. Other games are obvious like Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Fatal Frame, and Until Dawn.
Weekly Geekery
Be sure to subscribe to the Geek to Geek Podcast your favorite podcast app, drop a review so we know how we’re doing, and feel free contact us via email at geektogeekcast@gmail.com or @geektogeekcast on Twitter with any comments, questions, or suggestions for the show. Thanks for listening, and we can’t wait to hear from you!

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Music by CarboHydroM

The Uncharted Collection Impressions
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 October 2016, 10:00 am

Uncharted is a game series I've always wanted to like but every time I tried it I found it feeling extremely generic.  But, I had only played it in demo form or in passing at friends' houses.  I thought that with my Gamefly sampling it would be a good chance to actually try to dig into the series.

The Uncharted Collection has the first three games in the series in it, so I started with the first and quickly found that it hadn't aged very well.  I moved on to Uncharted 2 and loved the way it started.  Finding the protagonist hanging off the edge of a cliff on a train was awesome and I loved the sequence that followed.  Unfortunately it then jumped back in time and quickly became another generic feeling game (especially once you hit the jungle).  I followed a similar path with Uncharted 3 and then promptly returned the game.

Overall, I played roughly the first 15-20% of each of the games.  When the story is moving forward and the set pieces are cool I had a really good time.  But all the time in between seems like filler.  The combat is lackluster and doesn't have any punch.  The platforming feels slow, outdated, and clunky.  And the environments often fall back on old tropes.

I bet there's a game in here that is about 1/6th the total length (with all the filler cut out) that I would love to play through in one night.  But, that's not what this series is.  At least now I know it's really not for me.

Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 5 October 2016, 10:00 am

Kingsglaive is the tie in movie for FFXV.  I gave it a shot and found it to actually be the best Final Fantasy movie so far.

But, with that said, it's not actually a high bar to clear.  Advent Children and Spirits Within were both very meh.

This ties in directly with Final Fantasy XV and it gave some really good context for what is happening offscreen during the early events of the game.  It is kind of weird that it's out so much earlier than the game itself but I suppose they're just trying to generate as much hype as possible before the launch of the main product.

It's definitely not required watching to play the game but I was super happy with the added context I got from it.  I'm now much more interested in the magic system and political happenings in the world of Final Fantasy XV.

I don't want to spoil the story for anyone but if you're a Final Fantasy fan or plan on playing Final Fantasy XV I would recommend watching this movie at least once.

Persona 4 Dancing All Night Impressions
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 4 October 2016, 10:00 am

Persona 4 Dancing All Night is the latest entry in games I'm sampling via Gamefly.  It's basically turning into my Autumn of Gamefly around here.

It's a rhythm game set in the same world as Persona 4 with the same characters.  Persona 4 Golden is now one of my favorite games ever so I really just wanted to see what this had to offer.

It turns out it has a whole new story and some decent rhythm gameplay.  Symbols fly at the edges of the screen and you hit buttons in time with the music.  It works well enough and Persona 4 has great music to draw from.  My only nitpick with it is that the visuals on screen are so busy that it's often hard to see the notes coming.  I adapted to it fairly quickly but it still threw me off occasionally.

I played it for a day or two but the reason I ultimately sent it back is because the story failed to engage me.  It's about idol culture in Japan (pop star idols) and an upcoming concert.  It turns out that topic doesn't interest me at all... which actually bodes ill for when I try out Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE which is supposed to be a blend of Shin Megami Tensai and Fire Emblem in a Japanese idol setting.

Anyway, it was fun as a straight up rhythm game for a few days.  If the story hooks sound interesting to you and you're already a Persona 4 fan then definitely pick it up.  As for me, it's been sent back to Gamefly.  Gotta keep the game samples coming.

Bravely Second Impressions
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 October 2016, 10:00 am

Bravely Second was the last game in my gaming backlog.  I picked it up for a trip a few month ago and just never got around to playing it.  Now I have!

I have to say, the underlying systems in this game are great.  Everything I loved about Bravely Default is here and most of it has actually been improved upon.  The old systems have been tweaked in good ways and the new systems just add to the game.  I love everything they're doing from a mechanics standpoint.

But... after five or six hours with Bravely Second the story still failed to grab me.  It's set in the same world with a bunch of the same characters and I think that's a major stumbling point.  They all had a complete story arc and now they feel shoehorned into another adventure.  The new characters interact with the old characters and I just fail to care.  Maybe if I buckled down and pushed on further it would change.

For now I just need to set this game down and know I'll come back to it when I'm ready.  It'll be waiting for me on my 3DS.  I'll most likely give it another shot next time I travel.  It'll eventually be the correct time for this game in my life, but now isn't that time.

Honestly, I wish they had just taken the mechanics and transplanted them into a completely new setting.  I feel like the story could have grabbed my attention if it wasn't burdened with being set in the same world and adding on to another (already complete) story.

Dark Souls 3
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 2 October 2016, 10:00 am

Dark Souls 3 was another Gamefly game I checked out recently.  It's actually the most approachable game in this subgenre I've tried so far.  In the past I tried Dark Souls and Bloodborne but never got too far into either one because the difficulty just wasn't fun for me.  I like making progress in my games.

But Dark Souls 3 was actually much more approachable than either of these.  The tutorial was quick and in-game.  I felt like I understood the basics in the first five minutes.  I had enough control to not die at all in the hour or so that I played.  I even beat the first boss on the first try!

So, I thought maybe this would be my first true on-boarding into the series!  But alas, bad player messaging got in the way.  What I mean by that is that I actually couldn't figure out where to go next.  I felt like I explored every nook and cranny while killing all the enemies but the path forward was unclear.  It was super frustrating because I was on a roll with the combat.  It was actually pretty fun.

But unclear messaging like that so early in the game is just a taste of design philosophies that are probably throughout the rest of the game.  So I was done.  Total play time around 1 hour.  Zero deaths.  Stopped out of boredom from not being able to progress forward.

Luke Cage (non-spoilery) Review
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 October 2016, 6:28 pm

Luke Cage is good!  If you're on the fence about trying it out, you really should.  It might not be for everyone, but I think it's a great addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Luke Cage is all about Harlem, coming to terms with your past, community, and culture.  It's also about street level superheroes and gang warfare.

Just as much as Jessica Jones or Daredevil, Luke Cage is about it's villains.  They get at least equal screen time to the main hero cast of characters.  This character development on both sides makes confrontations and payoffs feel like they have true weight.

Overall, Luke Cage has just made me even more excited for Iron Fist and The Defenders.  I can't wait to see all these New York street heroes come together to form a rag-tag team.  There are some nods to this in the story, especially with a recurring crossover character from the other Netflix MCU shows.

I still think Jessica Jones is the best season of TV Marvel has done but Luke Cage is easily above Season 1 of Daredevil.  Personally, I would rank them from "worst" (worst in context but actually still good) to best Daredevil Season 1, Luke Cage, Daredevil Season 2, Jessica Jones.  But that's just me.  I can also easily see Luke Cage being someone's favorite out of this corner of the MCU.

As always, your mileage may vary, but I think it's definitely worth your time to give Luke Cage a shot.

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Impressions
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 October 2016, 10:00 am

My latest Gamefly game was Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE.  If you haven't heard of it I'm not too surprised.  It's a Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensai (SMT) crossover game that's exclusive to Wii U and the localization is text only so all the voices are still in Japanese.  Talk about having a narrow niche for your game.

I found that I loved Persona last year, which is also a spin off of the SMT series, and I've really enjoyed the last few Fire Emblem games so I thought there might be something here for me.

And I did!  Kind of.

The core gameplay mechanics are really solid.  I was having fun with the combat, progression, dungeons, and little touches like the texting mechanic in the game.  I loved the style of the game, very bright and with colors that pop.  It has a cool style to it.  And the fact that it's definitely based in some anime influences didn't bug me too much either.  It's kind of quirky.

A minor complaint, which isn't even very fair, is that I'd have preferred it on some kind of handheld system.  I feel like it would have been a better fit on Vita or 3DS.  But that's just my preference.

My big issue with the get is just the setting.  Just like Persona 4 Dancing All Night this game is all about idol culture in Japan.  It's about becoming a pop star through an agency, fame, and performance skill.  And while they tie this into the gameplay in super clever ways... I'm just not a fan of the setting at all.  Which is ultimately why I decided to send it back to Gamefly and keep this constant demo rotation going.

Not to mention that sometimes the camera placement in oddly sexual.  Now, I have no problem with sex in games, movies, or tv when it fits with the story they're telling.  But this just doesn't fit at all.  The characters will be in the middle of a random conversation and the camera will just stop on a girl's chest.  Things like that totally break my immersion in the game and just feel icky and awkward.  Please, if you're going to include sex in your games make it actually fit.  If you shoehorn it in like this it's just gross.

Anyway, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE does enough interesting things that I really dug into it before sending it back.  It actually has me interested to see if I'd like the SMT main series now.  I think I'm going to have to try out the latest entry soon.  In fact, I'll add it to my Gamefly queue right now.

S1E33 - Modern Board Games - “Fiddly bits!”
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 30 September 2016, 10:00 am

Modern Board Games
We talk about the resurgence of board games. And not like Monopoly, Scrabble, or Clue. We’re talking the genre of Modern Board games that has exploded lately, beginning with Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, and Dominion.
Beej isn’t much a board game player--he prefers simpler “party games.” However, Void has an entire cabinet dedicated to them, and we talk about how he got into them initially (hint: it was a co-worker who made him play Citadels over his lunch hour 5 years ago.)
(We go into much more depth in the episode than I am in the notes, but for the sake of brevity, I’ll just break them down by how we categorized them in the episode.)
Good games to start with for newbies to the modern board game scene:
  • Citadels
  • Ticket to Ride
  • Pandemic
Beej’s big question is this: “What are good two player games that my wife and I can play together (and we are picky about board games) that can be expanded to multiple people when we have a party?”
Good 2 player games are:
  • Love Letter
  • Condottiere
  • Timeline
  • Push Fight
  • Zombie Dice
  • Memoir 44
  • Pandemic
Games from Void’s collection Beej wants to know more about:
  • Wiz-War
  • Mage Knight
  • Exploding Kittens
  • Takenoko
Cool / Big modern board games
  • Mage Knight (super interesting, super complex)
  • Game of Thrones Board Game
  • Memoir 44
  • Cosmic Encounter
  • Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures game, Armada, Imperial Assault
Good games to start a game night with:
  • Love Letter
  • Zombie Dice
  • Push Fight
  • Sushi Go!
  • Timeline
Not quite a board game, but similar! Intro to LCGs:
  • Game of Thrones
  • Netrunner
  • Lord of the Rings
Games that get the most table time at Void’s house:
  • Ticket to Ride
  • Pandemic
  • Push Fight
Co-op games can be amazing with kids. You can even turn games into co-op even if the designers didn’t make them that way. We talk about Takenoko in particular, as well as Pandemic.
Void is a little nuts for Pandemic Legacy. It’s the board game y’all are going to hear about as much as Hamilton and Firewatch. Apparently, it’s just crazy good, and Void is losing his mind for it. Some of the highlights include:
  • Legacy Game, meaning you can only play through it once, but it’s like a video game in that you continue the story, even permanently altering the board to progress the story and change mechanics.
  • Just an amazing experience unlike anything Void has played before
  • There are huge surprises in the boxes you open during gameplay.
Hardest part is that we’re getting to the point where there are so many modern board games, it’s hard to give general recommendations. You wouldn’t recommend Halo to anyone getting into video games, would you? It’s just as hard to give out a broad general recommendation in board games But, if you know one or two you like I can steer you in the right direction. Hit us up on Twitter or the new subreddit.
For more info check out Shut Up and Sit Down. They have a site, a podcast, video reviews, video rules explanations, written reviews, board games news
Weekly Geekery
Be sure to subscribe to the Geek to Geek Podcast your favorite podcast app, drop a review so we know how we’re doing, and feel free contact us via email at geektogeekcast@gmail.com or @geektogeekcast on Twitter with any comments, questions, or suggestions for the show. Thanks for listening, and we can’t wait to hear from you!
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Music by CarboHydroM

Metroid Prime Federation Force Impressions
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 29 September 2016, 10:00 am

Metroid Prime Federation Force is a game I really wanted to like.  It's another one that I tried out via Gamefly because I was unsure about it... and I'm glad I did.

It's not that this is a bad game.  It actually looks like a really solid game, but only under the correct circumstances.

This game seems like it would be great if I were playing on a New 3DS and had four friends in the room with me.  Or even having four friends I could coordinate with online.  But, I'm here by myself with a 3DS XL.

It seems like this game was built from the ground up with four player co-op in mind and playing single player just feels lacking.  The fact that I'm not playing on a "new" 3DS means I don't have that analog nub that functions as a second analog stick.  So, instead of traditional dual analog stick FPS controls it's a huge step back.

Again, this game isn't bad, it's just not for me.  If you do happen to have four friends to sit down with and you all own "new" 3DSes I bet you would have an amazing time with this game.

Star Ocean Integrity and Faithlessness
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 September 2016, 10:00 am

I recently resubscribed to Gamefly since I made it to the end of my gaming backlog for the first time ever.  This is going to let me rapidly try out games that have kind of been on my radar as B tier games for awhile.  This is stuff I would maybe buy when it eventually falls to $5 or $10, but I think this is going to be a better way to approach it.

The first game I was sent was Star Ocean Integrity and Faithlessness.  I liked the style of the visuals and I was looking forward to a Sci Fi JRPG since most of them are fantasy.

What I found was a generic fantasy JRPG with generic action RPG combat.  Nothing about it stood out at all and the amount of the game I played was super exposition heavy.  I never once felt interested in the world or characters.

I looked it up and apparently the game doesn't open up and become a Sci Fi JRPG until later in the game.  For me, I don't want to grind through the generic fantasy setting to get to that.

So, back to Gamefly it goes.  Expect a bunch more of these quick impressions in the near future.  I'm basically using Gamefly as a demo service for games that don't have demos.  I'll probably be turning these game around really fast.

Man Up Review
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 27 September 2016, 10:00 am

I must have been in a Simon Pegg mood because after finishing Shaun of the Dead I jumped over and checked out Man Up.  It's a Rom Com from last year starring Simon Pegg.

I didn't know what to expect from him as an actor when it came to Rom Com acting but it actually ended up being one of my favorite Rom Coms that I've seen in awhile.  Nothing in it is too outlandish or crazy.  There's no big failure of communication that feels forced and stupid.  I feel like it holds together better than most Rom Com plots.

So... I liked it, a lot.  It reminded me how good the genre can be.  I don't know why I like this genre so much but I really do.  It might mean it's time for me to go through a Rom Com phase and check out some more of my favorites.

Shaun of the Dead Thoughts
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 September 2016, 10:00 am

A friend recently reminded me that Shaun of the Dead was a movie that existed and that I should probably watch it again because I couldn't remember it.

They were correct.

Shaun of the Dead is a weird Rom Zom Com.  A Rom Com with Zombies in it.  It's not really a horror movie, which is good since I don't really like horror movies, but it's not a straight up Rom Com either.

It's definitely in the vein of the Hot Fuzz and The World's End which are part of this (very) loose trilogy of movies.

I liked it a lot more than I remembered from my first watch.  I think going into knowing what it was helped a lot.  The first time I basically watched the movie knowing nothing about it.  This time I could just appreciate it for what it is instead of what I thought it might be.

Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 September 2016, 11:21 am

I've been playing Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander off and on for the last two weeks and I still don't quite know what to make of it... which is odd for me.

Generally I can get a feel for a game within the first half hour.  I have enough gameplay experience under my belt at this point that it's pretty quick for me.  But Halcyon 6 has so many elements that come together that I don't know what to make of it.

It's a space game where you have a starbase that you're exploring, fleets that you're sending out, missions you're trying to accomplish, alliances to make or break, but underneath it all is this vein of JRPG turn based combat.  Both the ships and the on foot fights are a spin on that typical JRPG combat system.

Part of the game is also resource management.  Where do you want your officers focusing their attention?  Should we explore this ancient starbase more to free up space to build and expand or should we send them out on missions in the fleet?  Should I build more ships?  Train more officers?  A little bit of everything?

So, why am I writing about this is I don't have a firm opinion yet?  Well, I think some of you might like this game.  Do you like space exploration, base building, resource management, JRPG combat, alliance managing, or anything else I've mentioned?  Then there's part of this game you'll love.  If it sounds interesting at all you should probably take a look.

S1E32 - MMOs - “Alright, WoW it is!”
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 September 2016, 10:00 am

Massively Multiplayer Online Games
In this episode:
  • Our history with MMOs! And y’all, we have some history.
  • We both game to MMOs early in our lives (hooray for the late 90s!). Beej and his friends Ultima Online, while Void was on the other side of the coin and was an EverQuest guy. Despite our differences in early preferences, we are pretty much in the same place with MMOs today--we love the genre and want it to evolve rather than stagnate.
  • The modern era of MMOs can’t escape the shadow of World of Warcraft. It defined the current genre, and again, we both are coming from opposite perspective--Beej from a raider’s perspective and Void from a solo player’s. We talk about the awesome things the game did, and the consequences of it being so popular for so long.
  • Void talks specifically about EVE Online and why it’s kind of a unicorn in the MMOverse. From a single server to an entirely run player economy, we discuss the systems that made us want to play EVE but in reality keep us away.
  • We talk about MMO nostalgia for the games we used to love and how the games may not be the same if we go back and play them today.
  • Where is the MMO genre going and where do we want it to go? From cross-genre games like Destiny that use MMO elements as core gameplay to virtual reality, we talk about what’s going on right now with MMOs and what we can’t wait to see.

Weekly Geekery
  • Beej - Duelyst / Wordcamp 2016: Nashville
  • Void -  Harry Potter Short story collections / Storm Kings Thunder / Gamefly games ( Just Cause 3 / Rachet and Clank / The Order 1886 / Dragon Quest VII / Until Dawn ) / Zelda Project “lite” / Duelyst
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Music by CarboHydroM

Pokemon Uranium
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 September 2016, 10:00 am

I gave Pokemon Uranium a shot.  It's a very ambitious fan game that takes after the Pokemon games of the third generation but with some more modern things for PC too.

It's a really impressive effort and it took years to make.  Of course Nintendo pulled the plug right away but once a file gets out there on the internet it never really goes away.  I'm sure you can find it if you want.

I tried a few hours of it and I was impressed but there were a few too many little things that didn't click with me that made me set it down.  But honestly, most of these details are because it's based off the older games and not the newest.

The other thing I immediately noticed is that it's not paced as well as most Pokemon games.  I actually lost my first battle which is something that has never happened in a Pokemon game before.

Not to mention that it's on PC.  These games are really made to sit back with a controller or handheld while playing.  Having to use keyboard controls is the main thing that pushed me away from the game.

If you're a huge Pokemon fan it's definitely worth taking a look at if you can find the file.  For the rest of us we're probably better off waiting until the next real Pokemon game in a couple months!

Reigns Review
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 September 2016, 10:00 am

Reigns is a really fun and fairly simple mobile game.  I've been playing it on iOS and I love it but it's also on steam and android.

In it you are king and make decisions for your kingdom by swiping either left or right.  You're given one choice at a time and every decision impacts one or more of the four pillars of your society.  They're represented by bars at the top of your screen.  If any of the bars gets all the way full or all the way empty your king will get killed.

But then you get to start over with his heir and give it another try.

I love the simple gameplay loop and the fact that every decision is a simple swipe left or right.  This falls into the category of games that are definitely designed for a touch screen from the ground up, mobile is a perfect fit for it.

The other amazing thing about Reigns is that it's $3.  I highly recommend you pick it up on your smartphone of choice.

Fire Emblem Fates Revelation
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 20 September 2016, 10:00 am

I'm finally completely finished with Fire Emblem Fates.  This game is definitely in the running for my game of the year pick.

The Revelation campaign is the third and final campaign in the game.  It's highly recommended that you finish both of the other campaigns first to get the most out of it and I can see why.  Revelation pulls from both of the other stories and gives you the details about what's happening behind the scenes.  It's the middle path, and the one I think I would have chosen if given the option initially.

It's super cool to see all these main characters that had to fight and kill each other in the other two campaigns finally meet as allies.  It allows for all sorts of interesting conversations.  Pairing up troops from opposite sides of the war was especially fun.

Not to mention that the ending of this campaign felt like the true ending of the game.  Both of the others were satisfying but incomplete.  Playing through all three campaigns feels like the true way to experience the full game.

Having finished off Fire Emblems Fates now I'm excited to see what the mobile version of Fire Emblem will have to offer on smart phone this fall.

Harry Potter Chamber and Azkaban
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 19 September 2016, 10:00 am

After failing to get into the Drizzt series I decided to pick up an old series I hadn't read in awhile.  Since I had recently re-read Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone I thought I would just dig back into the series.

Between reading in my kindle app and listening via audible I've already flown through Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban.  Neither is quite as good as I remember from when I read them as a kid, but both hold up pretty well.

If memory serves, then the series really picks up with Goblet of Fire and stays interesting all the way through the end.  I'll soon find out since the next book I have queued up is that one!

It's been really interesting revisiting Harry Potter as an adult.  I first read these books as a teenager and enjoyed them a lot.  As an adult I can find more plot holes in them and pick them apart more critically but I'm still able to have fun with them and enjoy them for what they are.

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