Handheld Mayhem

Saturday, May 31, 2014

I picked up Borderlands 2 for the Vita yesterday. I’d like to say I was pleasantly surprised, but the fact is, I wasn't. Gearbox has established a solid reputation for awesome and porting a known success to the most capable hand-held device on the market is pretty much a slam dunk, so I expected this to be awesome. And it is.

Broken Age: I Feel So at Home

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Broken Age is a game I've had for a while but hadn't gotten around to playing until now. I don't have any excuse, really. I'm as ashamed as you all think I should be, I assure you. A Tim Schafer adventure game is a dream come true for me. He was, after all, the project head and writer of some of my favorite games of old (including Full Throttle, which is still my favorite SCUMM engine game ever). Kickstarted in 2012 and produced by Schafer's Double Fine, It was a great experience that I'm happy to have had the chance to share with those closest to me.

Sideline gaming; An Introduction of Sorts

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I am hesitant to say I am a gamer. I’d love to be able to just say I am but the perfectionist inside me likes to point out that I am in fact not a “true gamer.” My start to video games, like many born of the 80’s, was Mario and Duck Hunt for the NES.

I could never get the hang of Mario so I usually stuck to Duck Hunt. I’d quickly get annoyed with the laughing dog and my seemingly inability to progress in the game and would quickly quit. I spent more time sitting around watching my big brother and others play the games instead. One of his favorite at the time being Zelda. I didn't play the SNES we owned, instead opting for my favored role of watching.

The Wolf Among Us; Episode 4 "In Sheep's Clothing"

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

"It's the job," is one of the first things Bigby gets an opportunity to say in the latest episode of The Wolf Among Us. "In Sheep's Clothing" is the fourth and penultimate installment of the acclaimed Telltale series base on Bill Willingham's Fables comic. It's an episode dedicated almost entirely to clearing up loose ends, but in doing so, sets up a finale that could really go anywhere. This far into the story, spoilers are increasingly difficult to avoid. I'll do my best to avoid major points, but if you haven't gotten the hint by now, go and buy The Wolf Among Us.

Kitestring Keeps You Safely Tethered

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Kitestring is a new SMS based "safe call" service developed by Stephan Boyer. The idea behind Kitestring is simple but brilliant; before venturing out you can instruct the service to send a text message to your chosen emergency contact if you don't check in after a certain amount of time. The concept is so simple and incredibly useful that it is surprising with the wide variety of personal safety apps available for smart-phones, none hit the mark as neatly as the SMS based Kitesting.

No One's Little Girl; The Walking Dead 'In Harm's Way'

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Walking Dead has had a strong second season so far. Clementine has shown a great deal of growth since the first episode, but tragedy seems to follow her wherever she goes. The first two episodes in this season of Telltale's acclaimed series have put Clementine through some truly terrifying situations. While certainly put through her paces physically, the previous episodes focused more on mental and emotional hardships. The third episode takes all that's been pent up and dishes out one of the more action focused episodes so far in the series.

[WARNING: Some Spoilers ahead.]

Ultimate Awesome

Thursday, May 15, 2014

I feel a certain need to preface the following review by saying that I am currently employed as a freelance writer by Dreamscarred Press working on their Akashic Mysteries project, a re-imagining of the 3.5 Dungeons & Dragons subsystem introduced in the book Magic of Incarnum.

That being said...

Sims Binge

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Recently I've purchased The Sims 3 (brilliant with 4 coming out soon) to relive the glory days of the original game.  In the original, (I should mention I was around 10 at the time and played it for about 3 years), I would build articulate homes, have them die in terrible ways to make haunted houses, send the kids to military school when I got tired of having them around, and absolutely LOVED having the robot butler.  Not to mention the soundtrack (which I still listen to at work for ambiance).

Chronology: Time Travel on Muttonchops and a Prayer

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

An indie platformer with time based mechanics and puzzles. Most people would assume I'm talking about Braid with a description like that. We're on the right track, but mix in a touch of steampunk, multiple character control and a large, metal shelled snail, and you've got Chronology. This indie title just released via Steam Greenlight may sound similar to games like Braid, but it handles time a bit differently.

The Best Kind of DM

Thursday, May 8, 2014

I'm not the most experienced DM out there. I've actually run a relatively small number of games in my time. The lessons I've learned in that time are innumerable. For as many tips and tricks I've picked up through my experience, I've learned twice that number from the DM's I've been lucky enough to play with. Though they all have their particular strengths, there is one in particular I want to talk about today. It's through his passion and incredible knowledge of the games we've played that I've become a better player and a much better DM.

Please Don't Feed the Gorns

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

This is entirely out of date, but I finally got around to playing the Star Trek game on PS3 with Ssalarn.  Unfortunately, we only played for a brief period, and just haven't found the time to continue the game together.  It begins like most Star Trek episodes, with a distress call. This time from a Vulcan space station harvesting energy to speed along the creation of New Vulcan.  So, of course Kirk and Spock shuttle in to assist.  It should be noted that you can either play cooperatively or single player with optional character change out between chapters.

Washington Attorney General Files Suit Against Altius Management Regarding Unfulfilled Kickstarter

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

In a first of its kind effort, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed suit on May 1st against Altius Management and company owner Edward J. Polchlepek III, (aka Ed Nash) for failing to fulfill their obligations to their "Asylum Playing Cards" Kickstarter project backers.

Book and Game: 3 Great Books With 3 Great Games

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Books and games aren't paired together nearly enough. They are perfect pairings, especially considering how many games are directly based on or inspired by books. So why don't we see them together more often? Like a good cheese and wine, it seems only fitting that each would come with a recommended pairing list. A game's story can be seriously enhanced with a good companion book and vice versa.

A recent conversation with a co-worker led me to start compiling a list of good book/game combinations. I've been sifting that list for a while now an plucked out a few that I think are worth passing on.