Archives For game review

6 years, and I’m still in love.

Lise —  February 13, 2018 — 4 Comments

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It feels kind of weird to dedicate a title like that, and a blog post like this to a video game, but that is just how it is. For six years now, one game has been with me since day one when it was released, and i have yet to grow properly tired of it. It’s the fifth game in a series, it is a role playing game and its landscapes really reminds me of the ones we have here in Norway. Some have even called it a Norway simulator when they walk through the woods in game. It is far from a hundred percent accurate, but it is pretty close. The mountains I see in the game, I can also see across the river from where I live. Not exact duplicates, but very similar.

Got a guess about what it is? What I’m talking about is the fifth installment in the Elder Scrolls series published by Bethesda, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

The first time i played it was when my roommate at the time brought the game home from work, left it in the living room and then went to sleep. I grabbed the game, stuffed it into his Playstation 3 and 17 hours later i was still playing as eagerly as when I first picked up the controller. I kind of regret sitting in front of the TV screen for that long but boy, i just got immersed in it. I had of course played through some of its predecessors, Morrowind and Oblivion, but there was just something about it that captured my heart. It must be the role playing aspect, and the amazing scenery, both above and below ground. Alternatively in a different realm, even.

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With the addition of mods and expansions a while later, there was always something new that could be added to the game and it just gives it more and more replayability. I don’t think any of my play throughs have been the same and I’m still discovering things years later.

If you haven’t tried it before and you enjoy role playing/adventure games and dragons, you should give Skyrim a try. I’m sure you wouldn’t regret it. unless you really don’t have time to get sucked into an amazing world. You can follow the storyline of the Dragonborn, or you can just live your life as a hunter.. Or you could be a ruthless assassin or the master of the thieves guild. It is pretty much your imagination that is the limit. With the remastered version, and even a Virtual Reality version to pick from, I’m sure you would find one of them to love.

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They are billions is a steampunk RTS (real-time simulation) game. In the game you build a base, build units to fight against hordes of zombies and generally just try to gather resources to do all of these things. The game is a mix between actively attacking the hordes themselves and preparing for waves of zombies to attack you and your more or less prepared base. The first time I played it I thought it was eerily similar to the Starcraft series, but I quickly discovered it is different too. The strategies I remembered from Starcraft does not work because the AI is quite different, it’s just mindless zombies instead of an AI that tries to build a better base and army than you do.

When it comes to building and trying to form strategies, it’s even more different. It’s not about building the biggest base the fastest, it’s all about taking your time by pressing space to pause the game, seeing where the hordes are forming and strategically reinforce those areas. The maps usually have good choke points where you can place walls, gates and towers to prevent the zombies from entering your colony. If they do, you’re kinda fucked. For every building they attack and destroy, the zombies will multiply. If they hit your tents/houses, you suddenly go from four zombies to like 50 trying to take over in five seconds, it’s crazy. It also keeps you on your toes constantly.

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In the beginning, I only made it to day 7-ish because I had no idea what I was doing. Then I saw a strategy saying that you should see it like how the city in attack on titan is built up. You make the inner walls, when it’s safe you can expand and build new walls further out, move your rangers and soldiers there instead, and so on and so forth. You can see in the picture below how the layout is in that.

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That’s how you should be thinking, expand one bit at a time. It helped me so much to think that way instead of trying to just expand, expand, expand without thinking of my defenses! The furthest I have gotten is to day 70-ish but I’m always eager to start over and try again, to see if I have improved at all since last time.

It is a really fun game, although it has a very steep learning curve, it’s really easy to get lost in it. Once you get the hang of it, a full game can be just a couple of hours, but every time it will be different so it has very good replay-ability in my opinion. So, have you heard of this game before? Or have you tried it? What did you think of it?

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In the fascinating world of ANNO™ the player will sink into a unique building strategy game, where he sets sail in a beautiful island world to master the tricks of trade, diplomacy and economy, building up his own monumental cities. Continuous careful and elaborate planning will help fulfil his citizen’s needs and let his empire flourish. The upcoming ANNO 1404™ will bring this award-winning building strategy series to a new level:

Discover a strange and wondrous land in the uttermost East: the Orient! This highly civilized land will provide you with endless opportunities, and with the help of your new allies your occidental cities will prosper and become mighty metropolises!

Get to know the culture and technologies of the orient

Learn to interact diplomatically with the foreign culture, make agreements and raise your diplomatic status. Learn technologies to produce oriental goods like mosaic, coffee, carpets and many more.

Make the desert bloom

Bring home the Noria, a mighty water pump, to draw ground water. Master the climatic challenges of the desert islands and make your dry land fertile.

Meet the Sultan and earn his respect

Erect impressive monuments in your metropolises to raise the attention of Sultans and Kings! The higher your reputation, the bigger your possibilities will be within the world of ANNO 1404™.

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General information

Anno 1404 (Known as Dawn of discovery in the US) is one of many Anno games out there, and to me it is one of the best. It is a city building game, a trading game, and exploration game and so much more! I love city builders and having the creative freedom to make things look fairly as great as I want them to, only being restricted by having a warehouse, church or a market nearby. I love that you will have to expand to other islands to get the right cultivation for crops, that you can get a nomad settlement to grow new exotic things and that you can do missions/quests in between.

The european/orient areas are new to the game series with this game, before it was more divided, now it is trying to be similar to how europe and the medieval near east was in comparison to each other. You have to purchase gifts from the European side and give them to the leader of the orient to gain his favor and unlock more perks and buildings for your oriental settlements.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who are fans of the Anno series, it’s not a new game by any means but it is still worth the play to see how it is. If you’re into city building games in general, this could be worth a try also.

The game’s plot

The campaign begins when the player is sent to administer a fief granted to him by the Emperor, in the Occident. The Emperor is unwell and Lord Richard Northburgh, cousin and treasurer of the Emperor, is building a magnificent Cathedral to pray for the Emperor’s health. Meanwhile, Cardinal Lucius is making preparations for a Crusade against the Saracens of the Orient, aided by Guy Forcas.

In the first few chapters of the campaign, the player learns the basics of game-play and the economy by assisting Northburgh and Forcas with supply and construction tasks, as well as meeting some of the other main characters.

As the Crusader ships leave the harbor, Northburgh begins to uncover clues to a mysterious plot. He and the player travel to the Orient and befriend the Grand Vizier of the Sultan, Al Zahir, who helps the player to defeat a band of Corsairs and break up a child trafficking scheme. The plot thickens as further clues reveal that a main character is implicated in a sinister conspiracy to overthrow the Emperor himself. Because he comes too close to the truth, Lord Northburgh is captured and the player is tasked with unraveling the mystery.

Over the next several chapters, the player must win over new allies, convince the leaders of the Crusade that they are being manipulated under false pretenses, and survive dire circumstances in order to defeat the villains and restore the Emperor to his rightful place.

The campaign is divided into eight chapters and each chapter can be played on 3 different difficulties: easy, medium, and hard. Apart from the story elements, the campaign serves as a tutorial to prepare the player for the more rigorous scenarios and continuous game modes.

All of the main characters encountered in the campaign are also encountered in the scenarios mode and can be selected as computer opponents in continuous games, although the actions of the characters during the campaign are unrelated to their actions in these modes apart from having similar personalities. Lord Northburgh and Al Zahir act as mentors and trade partners in the other modes, much like they do in the campaign.

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When Fallout Shelter was first released in July 2015, I was immediately hooked, but I lost interest very easily. I don’t know why it happened, but I stopped playing for like a year and six months until it now recently got released on xbox one. I thought the console version of it would be really weird after trying the pc version and not liking it as much, but i was pleasantly surprised and I am enjoying it a lot. It might be because it’s more convenient for me to just turn on my xbox and play instead of starting up my pc all of the time.

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Basically, what you do in the game is to manage and build your own vault. You have to make sure that you produce enough power, food and water so that your dwellers stay happy. You assign them to the different rooms based on their S.P.E.C.I.A.L stats, with power needing S (Strength), water needing P (Perceptance) and food needing A (Agility). The stats are the same that are used in the main Fallout games so you’ll get a hang of it pretty quickly if you have played any of them beforehand. However, previous experience with the Fallout franchise isn’t really needed, as the game is a simulation rather than a role playing game like the rest.

Apart from producing resources, you can have your dwellers mate to populate the vault, defend and protect the vault from raiders or deathclaw attacks, send them on quests or just have them explore the wasteland. Their survival is not guaranteed so you will have to make sure to build science labs and medical bays to produce Stimpacks and RadAways. If you successfully finish a quest or survive exploring the wasteland for a while you will be awarded with weapons, outfits or junk to craft new items with, along with caps to purchase upgrades and new rooms.

The game did really well during its release, and is still doing so, even if people got upset with the game having microtransactions. However, the only advantages those would give you were either more Vault Tec lunch boxes or Mister Handy to collect resources for you. I haven’t purchased either and I still enjoy the game a whole lot. It also gives you a sense of responsibility when you have to gather resources and manage everything on your own without the help of a robot to do it for you.

I would recommend this game for everyone who enjoys simulations and micromanaging, and if you have an interest in the Fallout franchise in general. Have you played anything interesting lately? 

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Hyped for the special edition!

Lise —  October 12, 2016 — 8 Comments

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On the 28th of October I’m so ready to fall in love again! For a while now, we have known that Bethesda is going to remaster The elder scrolls V: Skyrim, and I have just gotten more and more excited.

The game has been my number one favorite ever since it was released on 11/11/11, and I have lost count on how many hours i have spent playing it.. Last time i checked, quite some time ago it was over 2000 hours, which is quite insane! I have probably invested more time into other games too, but let’s not go into that…

With that said, i don’t know if i’ll clock in as many hours just because it’s remastered, but i’m excited to see how the game would feel with “up to date” graphics. I have tried a lot of graphic mods, but having the base game looking like them would be nice. And i think mods are coming to xbox one so that is exciting! Until now, i’ve played both on my old ps3 without mods, and on PC with mods. However, playing on ps3 was so dreadful, the loading screens took literally ages.

I’m just really excited and wanted to share, it has been such a big part of my life for almost five years, it feels like my child at this point, or something. I’m weird, i know! But look at the comparison, it’s beautiful! I wonder what the meshes for the npc’s will look like.

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Are you looking forward to anything this year?