Catching Up on “The Strain”

TheStrain4The past couple of weeks, I caught up on the first season of FX horror series The Strain. Based on the vampire horror novels by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, the show is a unique mix of forensic drama and scares. Interestingly, the story was initially conceived by del Toro as a television series, but he ended up turning it into books with Hogan when that didn’t pan out as expected. It makes for gripping TV now, anyway.

First, let me say that I am not a big fan of the horror genre — or gore. The Strain has plenty of both, but the story is so good and the blend of genre elements so offbeat that I can’t help but watch it anyway.

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Blogger Recognition Award!

One of the cool things about being a WordPress blogger is all the community awards we get to leave each other. This week, I was lucky enough to be nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award from the lovely Christine of Simpleek. Her blog is about video games, anime/manga, and fashion, and it’s one of my very favorites here on WordPress.

bloggerrec_award

Here are the rules of the contest:

  1. Give two pieces of advice (about blogging, it seems).
  2. Tell the whopper of a story about how my blog got started.
  3. Nominate others for this hallowed honor.

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E3 So Far: My Favorite Trailers and Footage

There’s too much good stuff. Let’s be honest. But here’s a quick round-up of my favorite video game trailers and game footage from E3 so far!

Halo 5: Guardians

I got into Halo very recently (like, in the past six months) through my boyfriend. Although I had played some Halo: Reach, I honestly knew next to nothing about the games. Except that they were shooters. And I’m bad at those. But my boyfriend really wanted to play co-op with me, so I did, and I have to say, playing the full campaigns for Halo 3 and 4 in co-op mode was way more fun than playing Reach solo. I’m a little disappointed hearing that Halo 5 won’t support split-screen co-op, but now I’m officially a Halo fan and excited to play the game any way it comes.

In any case, I feel like I’ve seen enough mysterious trailers and was ready for some footage. And it’s awesome. I’m going to try like crazy to get my hands on the demo at some point this week!

Rise of the Tomb Raider

So basically this gameplay footage shows you that Lara Croft is always getting herself into dangerous situations, but so far she seems death-proof. I was very tense watching this trailer. Even though you kind of know she’s going to make it when she has to climb her way up an icy mountain cliff and nearly gets squashed in an avalanche, this game makes me nervous. It’s part of what I like about it.

I also love Lara as a character in these reboots, and I’m excited to see her grow into the more iconic “tomb raider” we know from the past in this game, if that is indeed where it’s headed.

No Man’s Sky

It’s like nothing happens. But it’s so beautiful. I’m kind of desperate to play No Man’s Sky, because it looks so incredibly unique. The emphasis is on exploration. As you fly to a planet, you can see who discovered it — maybe it’s you. And there seems to be no limits to the universe. I’m curious about whether there will be a motive in the game for this exploration, but maybe we don’t need one. At least not an obvious one. It’s exploration, un-gamified, in a video game. That would be pretty cool.

From this footage, I actually feel like it could be a game similar to Journey in evoking a sense of calm and wonder at the same time. I really believe we need more games like that.

Stars Wars Battlefront

So you guys know about my relationship with the Star Wars franchise, right? I enjoy it because it takes me back to being a kid, but it’s almost like you have to be a kid to really, truly appreciate the movies for the rest of your life. Not so with the rest of the world, though. I love reading about Star Wars and hearing about Star Wars and playing Star Wars games, because the world is so damn cool. It’s science fantasy at its best. That’s why I’m really excited to play Star Wars Battlefront, especially since it has a co-op mode. And those lightsabers.

Unravel

This platformer looks adorable. From the looks of it, you control a toy made of yarn on all kinds of adventures. As you move, the little character, Yarny, unravels. For some reason it reminds me of Limbo, but this game feels much more cheerful and colorful in tone. I could do with a new sweet, simple platformer with heart, which is exactly what Unravel seems to be.

Gears of War 4

I don’t know, guys. I honestly wasn’t super impressed by this video, but nevertheless I’m eager to see what Gears of War has in store. Although I can’t call myself a super-fan by any means, I much prefer third-person shooters to FPS games, and the first Gears of War is one of the first TPS games that I really enjoyed. There’s just something about the way the weapons handle, the world design, and the creatures you battle that feels amazing.

Horizon Zero Dawn

This as a big reveal yesterday — a new IP, set in a future where great cities have given way to new life. It’s a post-apocalyptic world, but a beautiful one, in which you live a tribal life, hunting not your average animal for food, but machines. It’s like you’re a caveman fighting herds of weird robots. I love that the character they show is a redheaded woman with a bow and arrow; she’s pretty much every character I’ve ever created in Dragon Age.

My question is: Is this going to be an exciting, challenging, engaging game, or does it just seem so because it’s new and different? I’m hoping it will be as much fun to play as it looks in the trailer.

The Last Guardian

I don’t have a lot of words for this one. It just looks so beautiful and sweet, and I’m ready for that kind of experience again. I know many people have been waiting a long, long time for this game, but I actually haven’t been following it. Now I am.

Mass Effect: Andromeda

I’ll be honest: For the first 40 seconds watching this trailer, I didn’t know for sure it was Mass Effect. I thought I might have clicked on the wrong link or something. But skip forward to 1:12 and things start to get interesting. The trailer is very much an “announce” trailer — not a lot of footage, more a hint of what’s to come — but you see some pretty cool environments, the Mako, the protagonist whip out an omni-tool as he leaps onto an unseen enemy… And then, at the very end, you hear that little echoey note struck that’s so totally Mass Effect. It’s N7 like you haven’t seen it before. I can’t tell much from this trailer, but obviously I’m a Mass Effect junkie and will lap up anything BioWare/EA gives us. And hey, we have a release date of a year and a half from now!

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Can I just call it now? Best game footage of E3! Maybe it was because I got to watch it live at the conference, which is like a dream come true for me. It was pretty exciting. But also, Uncharted has so much charm, with Drake acting like a badass while complaining like an old man — like you or I would, obviously. The sarcasm makes the game so much fun. It’s very different than, say, Tomb Raider games, and it’s a refreshing choice. The car chase is exhilarating, and the last moment of the trailer pretty much sums up the kind of experience you can have in this series. I love it.

— Ashley

Gaming Memory: “Mass Effect” Binge Weekend

Life can get ridiculously busy. For us gamers, when we get busy with work, family, friends, and other events, gaming time is often one of the first things to go. It’s really sad.

That’s why I’ve actually started having designated gaming nights, when I tell everyone that no, I can’t come over, I can’t go to a baseball game, I can’t call them to catch up, because I’m going to be at home playing video games, and also I’m going to be Geralt of Rivia. Sometimes I look back on times when I had tons of free time with a nostalgic feeling. Those were the good old days.

Continue reading Gaming Memory: “Mass Effect” Binge Weekend

Robo♥beat Finally Has a Facebook Page!

It took me long enough to get a Twitter account for Robo♥beat, so you can image how much I would procrastinate on creating a Facebook page… But I’ve finally published one here! Check it out if you are interested in following my blog that way — I’ll make sure to update it every time I publish something here.

Screen Shot 2015-06-06 at 7.29.21 PMAlso, I know I don’t follow enough of you all, so please feel free to send me links to your Facebook pages in the comments in case I’m missing out on some cool blogs or channels!

— Ashley

Screenshot Safari: An Epic “Devil May Cry” Achievement

Here’s post #2 for Murf’s Screenshot Safari! If you don’t know about it, it’s a friendly contest for bloggers to post their favorite screenshots for specific themes all through May — read all about it here.

This time, I’ve chosen to go with the Epic Achievement theme with a screenshot from DmC Devil May Cry.

Continue reading Screenshot Safari: An Epic “Devil May Cry” Achievement

A blog about science fiction, fantasy, and video games.

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