Blood Drive, Clock Tower, Elder Scrolls Online, Gaming, Gears of War, Kindred Spirit, Multiplayer, Takayasus, Video Games, XBox One

May I Get Some White Sauce With That, Please?

Hello. It’s been awhile since I last posted. Lots happening on the home front that has kept me away. My apologies.

Unique, different, one of a kind and even down right weird have always been qualities that I have taken pride in and sought to foster in myself and others.  No one wants to be classified or lumped into one certain group. All of us wish to be able to contribute to the world something that only we can achieve, making our presence necessary, our essence valuable. Those thoughts are full of possibility and bring us all to a positivity that is undeniable. Sometimes, though,  rare is not always the best. Medically speaking, of course. Takayasu’s is a very rare autoimmune disease. It is now what my condition is being labelled as. Even though the name of it sounds like a mouth-watering delicacy from a Japanese restaurant, it is not that simple. Presently, I am on medical leave which feels extremely weird. I am thankful for the time to focus solely on recovery and remission. I am told that is very important. I begin another round of chemo treatments in the near future.  This time more harsh than the last. Doctors have prepared me for all the nasty side effects & unpleasantries that are to be expected. Remission is the goal. We will get there.

And this too shall pass…..

Now on to gaming speak…..Gears of War has brought back two classic boards. Clock Tower & Blood Drive. I love this!! Blood Drive is a board I learned to play the game on way back when Marcus was still and young guy and Dom still lived. I spent hours on that board learning the art of 2piecing &  how to run. Yes, grasshopper, one must learn to run with the smoothness of glass and the grace of the gazelle one wishes to succeed in the skill of the wall bounce.  🙂 I spent ions on this board wing-manning, hording, frag-tagging, annexing and generally having a great time. It is also the board in which, quite by accident, I ran into a kindred spirit Scotchy and let my trigger finger get itchy. It probably wasn’t the smartest move. But it happened…..At any rate, I have a relationship with Blood Drive in particular. I am over the top excited that like a long lost  love, it is back! Better and more beautiful than ever! If you haven’t purchased a season pass for Gears4 you should seriously get in on it.

With more free time on my hands, I was in need of a good single player. One with a storyline that I could get submerged in, preferably with some ass-kicking involved. A friend loaned me a copy of Elder Scrolls Online and it definitely fit the bill. It’s been awhile but once again I am an adventurer! I rolled a high elf, riding around solving all the world’s problems atop my stallion, Darkness accompanied by my kitten, Merlin. This game is a very detailed RPG and has depth. Whether you prefer to be a magic thrower or a fighter, this game will hook you and show you worlds you have only dreamed of. You can also group up with your friends and quest, form guilds or join randoms in this open world experience. Bethesda never ever disappoints. Plus you can find deals on this game on Amazon.com. I expect to spinning it for a long while to come.

Time to juice so I am off for now. I expect to dust off the game library and sink my teeth into the games that have been idly sitting by patiently awaiting their turn. Who knows what jewels I will find….

Until next time…Happy Gaming & Peaceful Travels

Cya on the Box!

 

 

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Video Games

Ready For More (You Think??)

“If you want to go fast, go ALONE. If you want to go far, go TOGETHER” ~ Unknown

Very wise words whether you are debating life choices or finding your zone during TDM on Gears of War 4: Strength in numbers, be an ocean not a puddle & lead, follow or get the hell outta the way are the only philosophies that truly matter. Especially if you want to come out on top.

Gears of War 4, the latest installment in the series is fast, brutal and highly entertaining. As someone who has been a fan of the series & Epic Games from the get-go, I was hesitant to delve into this morphed, newly developed version of my first and greatest love in the video game arena. Cliff Bleszinski, Rod Ferguson along with Epic Games created and developed the original masterpiece that stole my heart back in 2006 with the release of Gears of War. When Gears of War 2 hit the streets in 2008, I was completely and totally forever smitten. Gears of War 3 released in 2011 after much anticipation and while it was truly bigger, better, faster and a total success for all concerned, as a fan I felt there was something lacking. By the time Gears of War: Judgement released in 2013 my fears were confirmed. The heart & the hook were both lack-lustered and a little forced. Even though I put in many hours in on Judgement, the pull of a great story and stir of emotions that greatly written characters can magically make you feel was just not quite there and left me feeling empty. Missing ingredients: Ferguson & Cliffy B. So, of course, I was a little hesitant to pop GoW4 into my tray knowing that the not only were the “Master & the Mage” not involved in the project but also that Epic Games was no longer the owner or the developer. Microsoft & Coalition, a Canadian studio, has taken over both of those rolls. With that in mind, hat in hand & hope in my open heart, I began the journey of the newest generation of Sera’s inhabitants. I pushed the button.

Speaking strictly in generalities so as not to spoil the storyline for anyone who may not have finished this part of the game, here are my first impressions:

I have just completed my first run through of the campaign, a solo or co-op endeavor. First…this game is fast. I mean really fast. Unreal Engine is spot on when it come to movement and flow. The mechanics and motion of this game is breathtaking. I have always thought that frag tagging was the most awesome thing ever but with the addition of the ability  to grab and stab (or snatch and stick ) an opponent out of cover is both exhilarating & mega cool. Great job on that one, guys and gals!!

The storyline is as it should be I suppose. The journey is one of battle, humor, bonding and tragedy. The monsters are different yet familiar with new yet similar names to the Locust &  Lambent true GearsHeads are used to & are intensely dangerous. The characters, JD Fenix, his Outlander girlfriend, Kait Diaz, fellow Gear, Del Walker & JD’s father, Marcus round out the squad. You also meet a couple of new badass characters along the way that are definitely a breath of fresh air as well as run into some of your old favs.

At first I found JD’s character to be a bit whiny, especially considering he is the offspring of the infamous Marcus Fenix, the biggest badass COG of them all, ever. He eventually began to grow on me though. Perhaps his character grew as the story progressed. At any rate I became a fan. (Although Marcus still rules my world!) The other personalities in this game are endearing, each in their on way. I enjoyed spending the time with them. As someone who values co-op, I was a bit disappointed that the campaign is 2 player and not four. Maybe that is something that will change in the future. That and the fact that the campaign seemed a little short and created more questions than answers are the only two nehhh’s I can give this portion of gameplay. I realize that the trend in video games these days is to leave the consumer wanting more. Obviously. But it has been taken so far in the industry that it has gotten to the point where I feel as though I didn’t get the full game or that the game was marketed before completion. Even though I have paid full price. GoW4 had that quality to me. Maybe the DLC to come in the near future will help repair my feelings in that department.

The Versus Modes are ridiculous! And I mean that in a good way! A fantastic way! Whether it’s KOTH, TDM, Escalation, Arms Race, Dodgeball or Horde, you are in for a great time. Gather your friends and grab your game fuel! Your going to be playing for awhile….Honestly, I have always thought Gears provided the best online versus experience and trust me you won’t be disappointed. Gears4 allows you to play with randoms from around the globe or call your pals and battle each other. There is something extremely fun and fantastically entertaining about shooting you bff in the face or having them frag tag you for kicks and giggles. (Virtually, of course) Good times!

There it is. My first impressions of the next gen GoW. I’m sure I will be talking about it a lot in the future and will definitely be playing often. So push tha button, people! Spin the disc! And if you haven’t picked the game up yet, do so immediately! I promise you won’t be disappointed. In fact, you may find yourself falling in love with all things Gears. Just as I have.

Until next time….Peace

 

 

 

 

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Gaming, PC, Playstation, Video Games, Xbox

I AM Gamer

I approach video games much the same as I do life: I want to get something out of it. Whether that something is time with my friends, progression of an interesting storyline, slaying a badass boss or raising my gamerscore, I need some type of payoff to make it all seem worthwhile.

Hanging with my friends is probably the number one reason I game. There is a bonding effect to co-op gaming. Sometimes my guy and I will split-screen when we don’t have to or “pass the paddle” between us even though we both have consoles. We do this because we enjoy the closeness and the comradery created by putting two minds together. And we love discovering & experiencing new adventures side by side. Together.

The same goes for online co-op. There is a feeling of satisfaction when you have found the right wingman or group to game with. I fully believe that once you know a person’s fighting style, you pretty much know them as a person. It is a beautiful thing when a group moves as one across a virtual battlefield, watching each other’s backs, anticipating one another’s next move, achieving victory as a whole. My regs and I could complete the hardest of challenges together, without a word to one another because we know each other’s style well enough to practically read thoughts telepathically. When you spend hundreds of gaming hours with someone, you definitely get to know them in a way that others may not. Some of my closest friends I met on Xbox.

Gamerscore is another thing that motivates me to pick up the controller. I can be a bit of a “cheevos ho” & when the mood strikes, I can farm for hours just to get that 20g. The best is when we all go achievement hunting together as a group. Helping each other and doing whatever it takes to get the bling. Believe me, when you wingman with someone for weeks straight trying to get that almost in reach but nearly impossible achievement without a word of complaint or a hint of hesitation, you have found a friend indeed.

Yes, gaming is a social experience for the most part, but I also enjoy it because it relieves stress and aggression. I have heard tales of people committing horrendous crimes in reality and blaming violent video games or movies for their actions. I find that to be an unbelievable cop-out. Surely, such individuals had major problems before playing that game or watching that flick. For me, there is nothing I like better after a long, hard day at work than to come home and “shoot some shit in the face.” (virtually, of course) I find it rather relaxing, And it is certainly better than taking out any pent-up aggression that I may be experiencing on the real world around me.

Video games once thought to turn our brains to mush and make us anti-social trolls have now been proven to be good for us. They help to develop hand-eye coordination as well as exercise the brain, teach cooperation and foster good sportsmanship. With the development of Kinect and Wi, you can now literally exercise your body while you game. It’s a total win-win.

To identify as a gamer no longer has the stigma it once carried. Gamers come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life. Once accused of having no life, gamers have changed the world by hosting charity events, giving back to their communities and raising awareness of all types of issues. Once stereotyped as basement living, socially inept, teenagers, the persona of gamers has grown to include doctors, lawyers, plumbers, waitresses, business owners and even the hot mom next door, etc. Gamers have proven that they fit into no particular box and even though they enjoy the hobby of gaming, they are capable of and are accomplishing so much more. Truly, who doesn’t game anymore? Before any non-console or non-pc gamers answer that question, think about your reply the next time you grow a virtual garden on your Facebook page or play Angry Birds or Candy Crush  on your phone or tablet. Gamers are everywhere!  And I am happy & proud to be part of the community.

I am gamer. And more than likely, so are you.

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Destiny, Far Cry 4, Gaming, Gears of War, Kinect, Xbox, XBox One

Pop Goes the Weasel

Old Saint Nick was a sweetheart this year. He left a shiny new Xbox One under my tree, so I am guessing I have been an extremely good girl this year. 🙂  The holiday season was a busy one, as usual, so while the XBOne and I haven’t been properly introduced as of yet, we have fooled around a bit. The console itself is bigger than the 360. It reminds me a little of the original Xbox. Just more sleek. The dashboard is similar enough to what I’m used to that I had no problems navigating it and neither will anyone who may have purchased Xbox One as their first gaming system. It did come with a Kinect which I have not tried out yet. I’m sure I will not be disappointed when the time comes. I am told by others that the Kinect will allow for voice control over the system as well as hand comands, Skype and of course, one is necessary for the truly interactive physicality of Kinect games, such as Just Dance, Xbox Fitness or The Fighter Within.

The first game that I plugged into my new console was Far Cry 4. I was a huge player of its predecessor so my expectations were high and I am happy to say that I am not disappointed. Ubisoft has once again delivered a beautiful game with colorful characters, an interesting storyline and loads & loads of stuff to do. Straight from the opening scene, the excitement and adventure is rich and intriguing. I know that this game will be in my tray for quite a while and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys shooters.

The next game that I tried on the XBOne was Destiny  I know, I know, you have heard me bitch about this game and as I have explained, I’m still spinning it on 360. Mostly for the multiplayer value. Just so happens, my cousin also moved on to the next-gen console at Christmas and he made sure to provide me with a copy of Destiny so we could take this journey together. Games for the XBOne must be installed and this does take a little time. Next I had trouble connecting to Destiny servers but who doesn’t these days? Even Dinklebot looses signal in the Ocean of Storms story mission. Between Bungie’s Zoo (baboon, elk, rabbit, kingfisher, sheep, weasel, Marion Berry, etc.) & asshole hackers, I had a difficult time getting this version of Destiny to load. When I finally did get to play…wow! The graphics “pop” and are much more pristine than in the 360 version. All of my Destiny 360 content moved over to the new console effortlessly and even the DLC, The Dark Below downloaded without me having to repurchase the season pass. This I was thrilled about! It saves me money and it makes it easy to bounce between platforms depending on my mood and who I’m playing with. That being said, I would not mind spending more time on the XBOne version, if I could ever get to the servers. Eight out of ten times when I try to play Destiny on  XBOne, I can’t, even though I have done an uninstall/reinstall. Thank my lucky stars I have Far Cry to fall back on during these times.

Even though I have plenty of new “shinys” to explore, examine and experience (all of which you will be hearing about in the near future), tonight, my friends and are going old school. We are spinning my first love, Gears of War 2 as well as a little Gears 3, just to get the party star-ted. 🙂 Yes! It’s officially game night ’round here and I for one cannot wait to be back in the arms of Marcus Fenix as his frag-taggin’, two-piecing, cog-lovin’, death-defying, killing machine, femme fatale!! It’s going to be a BLAST!

See ya’ll on the box! Stay warm & stay real!

Peace

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