What’s New – February 2016

Hey, guys! Can’t believe the first month of the year has already whizzed by…

If you’ve been following my social media accounts, you probably know that last month I got hooked on Bungie’s video game Destiny. Although I tried the beta a couple years ago (or more?), playing alone just wasn’t that addicting. Now that I have a partner to play with, it’s been ridiculously fun. You can read a whole game diary of my experiences playing the expansion The Taken King here. :)

Hanging out around the CosmodromeHowever, as of this past weekend, I’m starting to feel like Destiny is getting a little stale. I still love the gameplay, the settings, everything — but now that I’ve played the main story and all the DLCs, there are no more fun quests for me. It’s just patrols and strikes everywhere I look. I guess if I was into PvP multiplayer or had a big group to play with, I could tackle the Crucible and 6-player Raids. But as an RPG person rather than a multiplayer person, something feels like it’s missing now.

I’ll still be playing plenty of Destiny, probably for a long time to come — it just won’t be my main game anymore. I’m not quite ready to start a brand new character, so I’ll probably just jump on Destiny once or twice a week to play the Daily Heroic or the strike playlist or something. I just wish there was more Destiny, because despite the 40+ hours of questing I’ve already done, it’s so good I could easily sink another 40 into it!

the magiciansAnyway, beyond Destiny, I’ve started watching the new Syfy show The Magicians. I wrote about my first impressions of the pilot here (spoilers if you haven’t seen it!) and love the college setting mixed with modern-day fantasy.

As for games, I’m still playing Rise of the Tomb Raider, Dragon Age Inquisition, and will finish Spec Ops: The Line soon!

In my more personal life, I’m taking a weekend trip to Lake Tahoe this month to try snowboarding for the first time. I’m also trying to set a better schedule for creative writing so I can finally finish my novel. Sometimes it feels like there’s just not enough hours in the week, but I know it’s up to me to make the time. I am really enjoying the writing right now and feel rejuvenated after taking a little break post-NaNoWriMo. :)

What’s everybody else up to this month? Do you have any video games on your plate?

Ashley

Life is Strange: What I Thought vs. What I Felt

*SPOILERS ALL OVER THE PLACE!

Since finishing the video game Life is Strange recently, I took a breather to get my mind around what I thought of it. Despite a messy last episode, overall I enjoyed the series. Life is Strange is the kind of game that will likely linger for a long time — not just because of the story (which I might forget details of), but more for the feelings it gave me. If you want to play a game with real heart, this is a great choice.

Continue reading Life is Strange: What I Thought vs. What I Felt

What We Know About “Gears of War 4” So Far

Having finished the Gears of War series last year, lately I’ve been daydreaming about the next Gears game. It’s going to be pretty different than what we’re used to, simply because the characters are changing. But from what I can see, it might just retain the same gritty spark that makes the series so entertaining and feel so good to play.

Here’s what we know about Gears of War 4 so far…

Continue reading What We Know About “Gears of War 4” So Far

Decision-Making in Video Games: Should We See the Butterfly Effect or Not?

As someone who plays a lot of role-playing video games, I’m pretty used to making decisions in my RPGs. Sometimes the simplest action can impact the story in a big way later. It makes immersing yourself in a game feel very interactive and exciting.

But how do video games handle the process of offering decisions to players? They can be upfront about it with color-coded choices, hints appearing onscreen, and various indicators that something the player just did is important. Or they can try their best to hide all of that.

Just for fun, I’d like to look at a few RPGs I’ve played and how they handle the presentation of in-game choices — and their consequences — to see which approach feels best. (Minor spoilers for some of these games is inevitable, proceed with caution!)

Continue reading Decision-Making in Video Games: Should We See the Butterfly Effect or Not?

Of Boss Battles and Game Glitches

Last weekend I finished Gears of War Ultimate Edition a second time, this time on Insane difficulty. My partner and I had a really challenging time defeating the final boss, RAAM. We must have restarted the battle like 40 times over a couple of sessions. (I got worn out the first time trying.)

Continue reading Of Boss Battles and Game Glitches

It’s Like (but not love) with Syfy’s “The Expanse”

So I’ve now watched the pilot episode of Syfy’s The Expanse three times. Twice, I watched it by myself. The first time, I was distracted. The second time, I tried to take it all in — really give it a fair shot, without picking up my phone midway. The third time, I watched it in the background while my boyfriend viewed it for the first time.

After all that, I can tell you that as much as I really, really want to fall in love with this series… I just haven’t. At least not yet.

Continue reading It’s Like (but not love) with Syfy’s “The Expanse”

SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY, and VIDEO GAMES!

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