Tales From The Borderlands: Stomping Grounds

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Tales From The Borderlands
. What happens when you take the established and chaotic world of Pandora and switch the focus away from vault hunters and a bajillion guns? Could it still maintain the same feel or would it be impossible to maintain? Would a story based more around choice and consequence still be recognizable as a Borderlands game? 

The short answer is yes. The first episode, "Zer0 Sum" is very much a Borderlands game. From the moment it begins, there is no question what universe you inhabit. Every inch of Pandora looks and feels as it should, from the guns to the psychos. The wit and bloody humor the fills every corner of Borderlands is there as well. Tales feels like a new path through a familiar place. It's familiar enough to be comfortable (or as comfortable as you can be on a planet filled with murderous raiders) but the change of perspective keeps things from feeling tired. 

D&D 5E: An Excellent Successor

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I'm going to start by saying, I'm glad I waited to write this review. There were a lot of things about the newest edition of Dungeons and Dragons that I really needed to spend some time on; my opinion needed time to formulate and evolve past what I had played at PAX. I needed to add a little more experience with the new rules to the mix. Initially it seemed almost too simplified, like maybe Wizards of the Coast had jumped on the rules-lite bandwagon that's been fairly popular these days, but the simple introduction turned out to hide a fairly complex, but accessible, system.

Telltale Reveals Game of Thrones Trailer and Details

Thursday, November 20, 2014

We've known for some time that Telltale was working with HBO to create an episodic game based on the show Game of Thrones, based on A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. All  we knew for certain was that it would be an adventure game much like Telltale's critically acclaimed The Walking Dead series. Game of Thrones themed games have universally been poor (save one, but it's an unlicensed mod) I have been carefully poised astride worry and excitement for months now, but with the first trailer and early details now available I'm ready to commit to excitement.

North to the Future! Again!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I previewed the PAX 2014 demo snippets for Never Alone in my previous article.  E-Line Media was very generous in granting us a review copy on the PS4.  I feel it's necessary to come back and review it from a single (almost) complete playthrough.  During this playthrough, Ssalarn played as Nuna (the girl), and I played as the fox.

I believe that games like this are better with some details of the story unspoiled. To that end (see what I did there) I am writing this before playing the conclusion of Never Alone. It's important that you discover it on your own. I have played through the majority of the game however, and can attest that the journey is full of wonder and danger.

My History With MMOs

Thursday, November 13, 2014

I have often said that I don't play MMOs. Broad statements like that one have the awful tendency to be untrue. I have played many MMOs in my time. In fact my on again, off again history with them reaches way back. Allow me to take you on a journey through my sad and torrid history with several games; some I loved, some I hated and a couple that I forced myself to enjoy more than I should have.

Humble Jumbo Bundle 3 is Here to Delight You

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Humble Bundle has been my go-to source for many of the games I play. Their wide selection of indie and AAA titles, their updated offerings of books and mobile bundles and their commitment to helping charities like Child's Play and Charity: Water makes the service a really easy choice. The latest bundle offer is their third "Jumbo Bundle" and if their previous iterations are any indication, it's bound to live up to the name.

REDUX: Online Multiplayer ...Meh

Thursday, November 6, 2014
One of the many online games that currently occupy my steam library.

In the coming weeks, I plan to talk about a number of online title. My steam library is filling with more and more games typified by their online play, including one or two MMOs. In days long past, I often eschewed online multiplayer in favor of lengthy single player titles. While I can still say that I prefer a good campaign to the average deathmatch arena, my disdain for online play has died a slow and tormented death. To help offer contrast to the matter, I've dug up this old post from 2009 in which I enumerated my feelings towards online games.  

Video Games: The Movie

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Documentarians have had a run on video game themed films recently. Between the intimate journeys in Free to Play, the uncomfortable portraits of Indie Game: The Movie and the focused beam of GameLoading, I'm glad to have finally seen Video Games: The Movie. While all of the before mentioned films are excellent in their own way, only Video Games: The Movie tackles the subject matter in such a broad and- almost - all-encompassing way. 

Director Jeremy Snead and executive producers Zach Braff and Cliff Blesinski (and a ton of Kickstarter backers) have put together a fairly complete history of the video game industry. Snead presents the information in an interesting way. Rather than simply present a chronological history, the film focuses sections on individual facets of video games. 

Pumpkin Preview 2014: Grim Fandango

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Grim Fandango is a classic. Originally released in 1998, Grim Fandango is often cited as the last of the truly great adventure games to come from Lucasarts. It's a game that mixes numerous complex themes and elements. Creator Tim Schafer recently announced that a remastered version will be coming to PC, Mac, Linux and PS4. I can think of no better game to close our Pumpkin Preview.