Telltale’s Most Energetic Episode Ever: “Zer0 Sum” Review

It seems like Telltale Games has been releasing all kinds of games lately — so many that it’s hard to choose which one to play first. While I have big plans for their take on Game of Thrones, I couldn’t wait to play the first episode in their Tales from the Borderlands series.


Based on Gearbox’s Borderlands video games, this Telltale Games entry has been on my most-anticipated list since I first heard about it. Maybe it’s because I already knew I loved the gritty, sci-fi worldbuilding that’s like a slightly unhinged partner to Joss Whedon’s Firefly. I was looking forward to spending more time in this rundown world of guns and psychos, and Telltale’s knack for storytelling could only make the experience even richer. (Minor spoilers to come.)



The first episode “Zer0 Sum” starts out in a dusty middle-of-nowhere, with the protagonist Rhys being tied up to tell his story of what-just-went-down — and then you’re living it. Later, a second protagonist, Fiona, is introduced to tell her side of the same story. It’s a framing device that works well for showing off just how tight Telltale’s storytelling can be. There’s also a lot of humor in understanding realizing that some of your assumptions about the story were off when you hear the second side.

Now for the first story. Rhys works for Hyperion Corporation and is due for a promotion. But instead of the meeting he expected, he’s demoted to “senior vice janitor” by his fast-talking nemesis Vasquez, voiced by Patrick Warburton. (Hearing Warburton’s hilariously recognizable voice instantly made my sister and I burst out laughing — he’s a great choice to play this jerk of a character.) This inspires Rhys to take on a new mission in life: To screw over Vasquez. To do this, he and his friend (also a Hyperion employee) steal $10 million from the company to purchase a vault key Vasquez has been after.

The second protagonist is Fiona, a con artist thief living with her sister and father-figure mentor in a seedy Pandoran town. She and her makeshift family are involved in a big con: Selling a fake vault key for $10 million. See how their stories intersect?

Tales from the Borderlands_20141201004737

The character development is some of the strongest I’ve seen in a Telltale game. As a sarcastic, uptight corporate sellout, Rhys sparks when he’s forced to work with Fiona and her free spirit sister. Personalities naturally clash, hilarious bickering ensues, and everything feels as authentic as it is entertaining.



Like all Telltale Games, the story is presented in cinematic style. As the player, you choose dialogue options, move around to investigate during certain sequences, and occasionally engage in quick time events when it’s time for action. I thought this worked well for The Wolf Among Us series — still my favorite from Telltale — because this minimalist style of gameplay was used to investigate crimes. In Tales from the Borderlands, it’s used with a much freer sense of humor. Like for controlling a poetic combat robot. And hitting bandits with a shockstick. And exploring a creepy museum of deceased humans who are stuffed taxidermy-style. Additionally, Rhys has a special ability called Echo-Eye, which utilizes his cybernetic eye to download data about objects and people (and, like, hack into Vasquez’s computer and stuff).

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I found the QTE action in Tales from the Borderlands to be much easier than in other Telltale Games. It’s almost like the aiming system has been made more forgiving, however subtly. Or maybe it’s just the way the action scenes are set up. Combat feels more electrifying and fun in this game than in past Telltale adventures, and the more traditional melee/shooter combat you find in the Gearbox games has a natural home here. There’s even combat on moving vehicles toward the end of the episode, which had my heart racing even though it was easy to act out.

Sense of Humor


Although it’s perfectly possible to play this game with no prior knowledge of the Borderlands series of video games, you’ll appreciate it somewhat more if you’re a fan. References to Handsome Jack, being behind the scenes at Hyperion, the stylized character intros, and exploring more of Pandora give the game a special buzz if you’re already familiar with the series. Plus, Zer0 is there for a few scenes. I was most excited to hear some of the music from the main games; I listen to the Borderlands 2 soundtrack all the time and was happy to be reminded that this game was whisking me back to Pandora.

What I like most about this game is that it keeps with the spirit of the Borderlands series. I’ve always found the Telltale Games to be a little on the serious side — I mean, you never know who’s going to die and when you’re going to have to be the one to pull the trigger. However, Tales from the Borderlands is finally showing off Telltale’s comedic side. It’s the first Telltale game to make me laugh out loud from start to finish.

Some of the game’s humor also comes from its twists on traditional Telltale gameplay. If you’ve played the studio’s games before, you probably know how often they give you tough moral choices; in the first episode of The Walking Dead, for instance, two friends are in danger and you only have time to save one — who do you choose?

However, Tales from the Borderlands skips the super-serious paths in favor of satire. Some of the choices are completely sarcastic, almost as if the game is poking fun of the traditional Telltale storytelling. Additionally, some of the hints that appear in the upper left corner, which usually tell you that something you’ve just said or done will have an effect down the road, are now just another place for Telltale to tell jokes. And what’s best about all this humor is that it brings back to life the free spirit of the Borderlands games — it just totally fits.

Clocking in around 2 1/2 hours, “Zer0 Sum” is one of Telltale’s longer episodes, but there’s never a lull in the humor or action. Although I’m still more of a fan of The Wolf Among Us overall, this is one of Telltale’s most kinetic episodes ever.

– Ashley

Happy N7 Day!

I knew I was going to love Mass Effect almost from the very first moment I launched the first game for the first time.

Codex_Normandy_SR-2_(ME3)Although I remember looking forward to the series after I played Dragon Age: Origins, I don’t remember exactly when I decided to purchase the first Mass Effect game — only that I raced out of work at 5 PM that day to buy it at Gamestop. The first copy I purchased was used and didn’t work, so I had to drive back to the store just to exchange it. I couldn’t wait another day. In the car, I was already brainstorming what my hero would look like, even though I didn’t yet know her name was Shepard or anything about what she would face throughout the series. I thought of Mass Effect as a science fiction Dragon Age, and I couldn’t wait to start playing. Launching the game for the first time, seeing the title screen with the curve of our planet in the background, and then seeing it seamlessly shift to my Shepard gazing at that view out the window of a spacecraft gave me chills.


Not that everything about the series gave me chills. Those long, boring elevator rides in Mass Effect 1, the bumpy rides in the Mako, the mind-numbing tediousness of having to scan planets in Mass Effect 2 – those were not highlights for me, but they’re things that get talked about a lot among fans of the series. It’s like somehow all of those “negatives” are blurred together into a series of endearing memories and talking points that I share with other Mass Effect players. When you love a video game series this much, you come to love its flaws, too.

Since it’s N7 Day, I figured I should write about a few of my favorite Mass Effect memories. Although each player’s experience of the game is unique based on their choices, these are moments that other fans will probably also remember as fondly as I do.

The Archangel Reveal

Garrus_archangelIn Mass Effect 2, there’s a mysterious mercenary commander who’s been taking down bad guys on Omega outside of the law. It turns out this vigilante is actually someone Shepard knows from the Normandy: Garrus Vakarian, a turian sniper who worked with her before. This reveal is not exactly a huge surprise, but there’s something magical about being reunited with an old friend from the series, and this is one of the first times it happens.

Mordin’s Song

Mordin-singsMordin is a salarian scientist who speaks fast in fragmented sentences — usually in the most cerebral (and socially awkward) way possible. It’s always fascinating to talk to him, but there’s one special instance when he breaks the stereotype of serious scientist. That’s when he starts talking about the arts — specifically his singing abilities. It’s one of those silly, magical, unexpected laughs from a well-loved character.

Headbutting a Krogan

I’m not sure if Paragon Shepard can do this or not, but Renegade Shepard can headbutt a krogan in Mass Effect 2  Headbutting is a krogan ritual, and the fact that Shepard understands that and is brave enough to make that gesture with a burly, badass dude she just met is pretty awesome and wins her major points with the locals.

Liara’s Time Capsule


There are at least two or three moments in Mass Effect 3 that make me tear up, and this is one of them. After all Shepard has been through over the years, she’s a battered hero and exhausted by this one last mission to save the galaxy. Liara, an archaeologist who has been a part of Shepard’s squad and a friend for years, is creating a record of the galaxy for future explorers to uncover — and she’s making a special entry about Commander Shepard. Coming from Liara, this feels like an intimate record, and hearing her speak well of Shepard makes their bond even more apparent. It’s one of the most touching moments in the series.

Last Night with Kaidan

I’m really a Garrus girl at heart, but I romanced Kaidan in the first Mass Effect game and have seen what happens when you’re loyal to him through the series or, at the very least, romance in Mass Effect 3. It all culminates in your last evening together before the final fight, when Kaidan comes to Shepard’s room to spend the night. He has a bottle of wine and wants Shepard to relax for a little while. Maybe it’s just how supportive he is of her, or maybe it’s the fact that the way he acts with her — fumbling with his words sometimes, compassionate, nostalgic, a little horny — feels very realistic. To me, it’s one of the most romantic moments in the series and is written perfectly.

Garrus’s Goodbye

Shepard’s romantic goodbye with Garrus before the final fight in Mass Effect 3 always gets me choked up. Garrus is as funny and badass as he always is, but hearing him talk about retiring with Shepard, having kids, and the possibility that they might not make it out of the battle alive is just too much. I really believe Garrus is the best character in the series and even one of the best video game characters ever, and his goodbye suits him and his relationship with Shepard perfectly.


There are a lot of other moments I could talk about here; I can already tell this post needs a part 2. In any case, what’s most fun about Mass Effect is how grounded the series is because of the intimate friendships and romances Commander Shepard forms with her Normandy crew. Science fiction can be a cold genre, but this series is one of the warmest, most emotional stories I’ve found.

– Ashley


My Favorite Combat Classes in Video Games

Whenever I start a new video game, it’s always a great surprise (or not-so-surprise) when I have the opportunity to select a character class. Some games have their own fine-crafted classes you don’t see anywhere else, while others have the more traditional warrior/rogue/wizard breakdown. Whatever the case, I just love having some options. Customizing the game to my personal preferences makes the gameplay experience feel much more personal and enjoyable. And I definitely have a few favorite classes…



The mage is one of my go-to classes in fantasy games, because it typically allows for a detailed level of customization. If you have companions, you can hang in the back as the healer. Or you can rush in as a warlock in armor. With some careful skill balancing, you can create a resilient spellsword character in Skyrim or even try shapeshifting in Dragon Age.

My favorite wizarding style has a heavy focus on crowd control. I love being the first character in an enemy-infested environment, casting a paralysis glyph or dizzying enemies or creating a blizzard to quickly weaken foes. This lets my companions go in and deal damage more effectively — or it gives me time to switch to my melee weapon or pick a good attack spell. Manipulating the masses for the sake of winning a battle is a lot of fun.

It also seems like every gamer who enjoys playing as mages has a favorite element, such as fire. For me, it’s all about the cold. Freezing enemies in their tracks — and then, if possible, shattering them with a well-placed blow — is pretty much my favorite thing to do in a fantasy game. Giving a dragon frostbite is awesome, too.


Predator Bow from Crysis 3.

Predator Bow in Crysis 3.

My other go-to fantasy class is the archer. To be fair, this class is somewhat hit or miss. Some games have a limited skill set for archers, making the class a tad tedious and slow-paced to play. Fortunately, most games I’ve played offer some robust options for archers, and it’s often a specialized path for a more general rogue character. This lets you set up an archer with other complementary skills, such as stealth.

The first time I played Skyrim, I created a two-handed warrior who got crazy with a battleaxe. I still really love that character, but when I went back and played again with a sneaky archer, I found the game much more enjoyable. I wasn’t overwhelmed with enemies as often, because I could sneak up on people and land critical hits before they even knew I was there. It was a pretty awesome combo.

I also enjoyed creating a Bard in Dragon Age: Origins who specialized in archery and apparently singing courage into her companions. Because Origins has a very slow-paced archery set-up, I mostly played as my group’s mage character during that playthrough… but it was still a blast to have the songs giving bonuses to everyone while I jumped into other characters’ skins dealing damage across the battlefield.

I’ve also found that quite a few shooters seem to be including high-tech bows as a weapon of choice. That’s actually what got me interested in Crysis 3, a game I probably would never have otherwise thought to play.

Two-Handed Warrior


Although I don’t usually play warriors in video games — at least not for a first playthrough — I do love melee combat. This is especially true when I can keep it simple. I like to hit once, hard. I don’t need to juggle two light weapons or switch between them throughout a battle, when with one powerful swing of a huge maul, I can crumple a bandit or get those wolves to stop chasing me. That’s why when it comes to playing a warrior, two-handed weapons are the way I usually go.

When given a choice of weapon, I tend to go for the battleaxe. Depending on the game, the swing of the battleaxe feels right to me, compared to the more cumbersome warhammer, etc. The battleaxe also has an aesthetic appeal that, for me, no other warrior weapon has. Because its wide surface gives plenty of room for decoration and variety, a battleaxe can be a very elaborate weapon. Let’s just say I’ve got a collection going in Skyrim.


Black Widow from Mass Effect.

The Black Widow from Mass Effect.

I don’t play a lot of shooters. I’m just not very good at them, because… we won’t talk about my aiming. But that’s why my favorite shooter class tends to be the sniper. Being able to take out enemies from a distance — often before they even notice me — is a huge advantage. When the sniper class comes with special upgrades, such as being able to slow down time to take a few extra seconds lining up the perfect shot. There’s also no firearm sexier than a sniper rifle.



Sure, the Sentinel is a character class unique to Mass Effect, but I feel a real kinship to it after spending so many games and so many dozens of hours playing it. In Mass Effect, you can play as a soldier who’s strong and skilled with a firearm, a biotic who is able to create mass effect fields to do what might be called “magic” (but it’s science, guys), or an engineer who specializes in technology.

As a Sentinel, you combine the latter two classes, dealing both biotic damage and tech damage and being able to act as medic. It’s a jack-of-all-trades style of gameplay, which is exactly why it never gets boring. Because you always have a party with you in Mass Effect, you don’t have to worry about not being strong enough in one area. Sentinels make a great class that I wouldn’t even call “support” — it’s more like you gel with your companions to seamlessly take down baddies. I’ll admit I love to spam Warp, and I will do that forevermore when I play Mass Effect.

Although I do try out other classes in Mass Effect, nothing quite compares to my first playthrough as a Sentinel. That class is a magic formula for me.

– Ashley

The Sci-Fantasy World of Bungie’s “Destiny”

Oh, science fiction. It’s my favorite genre, and I’m always intrigued by a new sci-fi IP. That’s why I’ve been so excited about Bungie’s new game Destiny for a very long time now. This past weekend, Stephen Rhodes was kind enough to hook me up with an extra beta code so I could give it a try, which totally made my day!


So far, playing Destiny feels a lot like living in a crazy dystopian Star Wars-type of universe where I get to be a robot. It’s kind of perfect, but it brings to mind something I’ve talked about here on Robo♥beat before: the science fantasy genre, for which I am also a sucker.

As much as I love science fiction — pure, hard sci-fi — I often find it to be either too cold/scientific or a terrifying post-apocalyptic wreck. Neither of those feels very inviting to me. I prefer the warmth of worlds like Mass Effect, Borderlands, and Firefly. Sometimes they’re sleek, other times they’re dirty or quirky, but what they have in common is a big focus on rich lore and the “people” side of what makes the fictional universe ticks. That’s what I care about.

So far, Destiny has very little character development — yet it still manages to feel inviting. There’s a warmth to the world that goes beyond the MMO-style play. If I had to compare it to just one other world, I would say Destiny reminds me most of Star Wars, and to me, Star Wars isn’t pure science fiction — it’s science fantasy. I believe Destiny is, too, and that’s a big part of what makes its worldbuilding feel so different than that of other sci-fi shooters.

The Traveler


First off, there’s a massive sphere in the sky called the Traveler. At first glance, it looks like a small planet, but it’s actually the size of a city. Its appearance over Mars sparked a Golden Age for humanity, as the Traveler was able to terraform planets like Mercury, Venus, and Mars. This allowed humanity to expand across the solar system for the first time.

The creators of Destiny at Bungie call the Traveler an “ancient artifact.” I think they chose the right name for it. Calling it “the Traveler” feels comfortable, albeit mysterious and powerful and possibly very old. This is not (just) a cold piece of technology or an alien sphere from a distant solar system — this is something people welcome.

But how does the Traveler work? If we had some explanation for how it terraforms planets, we would have science fiction on ours hands. But the Traveler’s technology is a mystery. Its origins are a mystery, too. Nobody knows its reason for existing or for helping humans colonize the solar system.

Interestingly, Bungie’s developers held a panel at the 2013 Game Developers Conference to talk about Destiny’s worldbuilding, and in it, they said the Traveler is supposed to be mysterious. They want players to use their imaginations to fill in the blanks about what the sphere is, and I believe that’s true for the people within this fictional world, too. The mystery of the Traveler’s origins and motivations has led people in this world to concoct all kinds of theories. Maybe the Traveler is an ancient machine, a sentient alien, or a god — all things the people in the world of Destiny imagine. This type of speculation grants the Traveler an arcane quality.

Space Wizards

The Guardians make things even more interesting.

destiny guardian

Apparently, The Traveler has an enemy known as the Darkness, which has destroyed everything except one single city on Earth. The Traveler sacrificed itself to protect this city, which is now humanity’s last safe haven. Yet the Traveler still sits in the sky above the city, granting energy to the Guardians who protect it. The Guardians use this energy to unleash special powers. (It reminds me of the “magic” of the Force in Star Wars.) The character class that can do this is known as the Warlock class — and if you set aside the Traveler for a minute, what you really have here is a space wizard.

Sure, Mass Effect has its biotic powers, but these are explained in a scientific way. Whether or not that explanation is plausible is unimportant here — at least you have the attempt at science. In Destiny, you have something much more enigmatic, because the powers are not immediately justified by reason.

Maybe the game will unveil how the technology works that allows Warlocks to brandish their unlikely abilities. In the meantime, all of this feels like magic to me. That’s part of the fun of this world.

The Inspiration Behind Destiny

In their GDC talk, Bungie’s developers talked about how they built the world of Destiny to feel “hopeful and inviting,” so people would want to spend time there. That hits the mark for me exactly. It’s why I’m personally not a big fan of zombies or post-apocalyptic worlds that are too dark. I know those can be fascinating, but I prefer them in TV shows and movies more than video games — because frankly, I don’t want to spend a lot of time in them.

Mystery and adventure were also important pillars for Destiny’s developers. And after working on Halo, one of their first inspirations was something totally different: fantasy. They liked the idea of monsters and heroes, ancient ruins, rich history, and an emphasis on exploration. But they couldn’t shake their love of science fiction, either — which is why they ended up blending the two genres to create something unique.

That’s why Destiny has heroes who wear cloaks and fly spaceships. You have tombs filled with loot, but you also have advanced technology and weaponry. The Awoken race is partly inspired by vampires and elves, while the Exo race is a robotic species.

As the Bungie team conceptualized, this was the image that hit the mark for them:


That white space tiger gave Destiny its original code name “Tiger.”

Another thing that gives Destiny the warmth of fantasy is the personal spaceship. Very early on in the game, you get access to a personal jumpship that you can upgrade and fly around as you explore. This gives players incredible freedom.  Bungie’s developers say these personal spaceships are the equivalent of horses in fantasy.

Destiny ship

The Bungie devs talk a lot about how arbitrary genre rules are, and that art can lead the way to a more unique and flexible worldbuilding. An example is souls visibly leaving the bodies of the Fallen when they’re killed — something that cropped up in the artwork for Destiny. Although the devs toyed with the idea of explaining this in a scientific way, in the end, they left the explanation as souls being ripped out of bodies. It might be mystical or magical or unscientific, but it feels right in this world.

That’s the key to good science fantasy, really. You don’t have to explain everything from a technological or evolutionary standpoint, but it has to feel like it belongs. For me, Destiny’s world feels very true and inviting, even if much of it remains a mystery.

– Ashley

Assassin’s Creed: The Fun of Easy Games

I have to say that there’s something special about Assassin’s Creed games.

The first things that drew me to them were the historical settings. As a former history major, I’m always on the lookout for games set in past time periods — but they’re few and far between. Assassin’s Creed games piqued my interest for making the past seem like an exciting place to be, and they do a riveting job of transporting players to another time and place. Sure, they may make history a little too glossy and over-the-top, but I still love the vintage feel of their escapism.


However, playing Black Flag recently, I realized there’s something else I love about Assassin’s Creed games: They’re easy. It’s hard to go wrong with these games. Occasionally I’ve failed a mission because I wasn’t paying attention or didn’t manage to distract that one last guard, but it doesn’t feel punishing to try again. And if my protagonist is trying to be stealthy but instead attracts the attention of a dozen armed guards, I rarely sweat over it. As they attack me — often one at a time — I just time my counters with care and then flip them onto the ground or fire a quick gunshot to finish them off. It’s no big deal.


Black Flag also features the good old naval combat. Sometimes you’re just steering the ship. It’s really beautiful and relaxing when you’re in the middle of the ocean, with nothing in sight except maybe a picturesque little island off in the distance. It captures a feeling rarely found in action-packed video games: the bliss of a quiet day. Other times, you’re carefully maneuvering the hefty ship around obstacles or navigating through a storm, but these are often slow-paced sorts of challenges. And other times times, you’re caught in the midst of a major naval firefight, cannons smoking. But it’s not complicated. It’s a breeze. There are very few buttons to remember, and the pace is comfortable enough to give you a little time to set up your shots across the water. Maybe it will get more challenging later in the game, but so far, I’ve loved the excitement of the atmosphere without the stress of the protagonist’s imminent demise.

assflagIt’s refreshing to play a video game that just lets me play. I don’t always have to prove that I’m skilled at everything it throws at me; Black Flag is more about having fun. In Assassin’s Creed, the stories are never very realistic, and neither is the action — but that’s the beauty of the franchise. These games ask their players to dive into this glamorous recreation of the past and make it their playground. And because the combat is so easy, everybody feels like the coolest kid there. It actually helps with the immersion, in my opinion. I’m not thinking about myself as a video game player — “I didn’t press the button fast enough!” “Oh no, not another super hard stealth mission!” — I’m just running around a coastal town, recruiting aspiring young pirates and dropping into haystacks sometimes.

Not everyone is as enamored with how easy Assassin’s Creed games are. Kirk Hamilton’s 2011 Kotaku article gives an argument that it’s a little boring to be so invincible, especially if you compare it to games that are refreshingly challenging, like The Witcher 2.

But does every game need to be challenging? Stealth games can be particularly punishing, and that’s why I often get too frustrated and fed up to finish them. I believe Assassin’s Creed does a great job of encouraging stealth by setting up missions for them. For instance, there might be a cluster of guards in one area and a clear shrubbery-lined path to the next set — so you know exactly who you should take down first and where to go next. Maybe it’s a little bit of hand holding, but I don’t mind in this case. And while it’s sometimes bad to get caught, a lot of times it doesn’t matter; you’ve got your sword and pistol ready for those moments. I appreciate that lack of punishment. Assassin’s Creed is nice to me. It feels friendly.

I haven’t played all of the games in the series, so I’m sure some feature more difficult combat than others. I do remember that one of the first PC games I bought was the first Assassin’s Creed, and it was challenging to use the keyboard for all of the maneuvers. I was just getting used to PC gaming; I’d probably do better now. But a shooter would have been a much more natural introduction to the mouse-and-keyboard style!


In any case, playing Black Flag lately, I’m happy to be playing a game that lets me just shut off after work. It also lets me take my time waking up on the weekends, when I don’t feel like being conscious quite yet. Black Flag just ushers me through a gorgeous, cinematic experience and lets me have fun.

– Ashley


Time to Play Catch Up!

Lately, I have been playing catch up on my hobbies — mostly playing video games, reading, and watching my favorite TV shows. It’s been a crazy year for me so far, with issues like lack of internet, commitments every weekend, and a little bit of sad stuff happening that made me stop pursuing some of my own personal hobbies. Blogging is a big one there. I have no real excuse, but I am sorry for my long absence from Robo♥beat! I’m happy to be back (with internet!) and to have the opportunity to catch up with everybody here on all the things we’ve been doing the past couple of months. =)

What I’ve Been Playing

Black Flag's combat at sea is easy and fun.

Black Flag’s combat at sea is a refreshing feature for Assassin’s Creed.

Video games, I have missed you! The past few weeks, I have dedicated most of my gaming time to Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. I expected it to be fun, because I already enjoy the franchise… but it has exceeded my expectations so far. It’s popcorn gaming at its best: gorgeous scenery, a cool character, and a combat system that asks for just a tiny bit of strategy without ever being punishing. Plus, it’s got pirates.

I’m also slowly but surely playing through some old favorites, like the entire Mass Effect and Dragon Age series, as well as Skyrim. And last weekend, I picked up Borderlands 2 for my Vita, because frankly I don’t have many Vita games and felt that was the perfect one to try. I decided to play as Axton this time around, and I’m actually liking his combat more than I liked Zer0’s! Although I had major issues with the rear touch pad on Vita — like accidentally hitting it with my fingers and throwing grenades at inopportune moments — an update has just been released that should improve that. Borderlands-2-PS-Vita This morning, I also played the latest chapter of The Wolf Among Us by Telltale Games. It is a very solid installment, with less agency than usual but a lot of plot progression. I also loved that the achievement titles for this one told the story of a wolf who tried to fix his old bad ways, which sums up the story of the protagonist Bigby Wolf, however you play him. I intended to make him a hardass, but in this episode, I couldn’t help but play him as a softie. Having learned so much about these characters, I wanted to go easy on everybody — even Mr. Toad, to whom Bigby always gave a hard time in past episodes.

What I’ve Been Watching


Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones and Continuum have been my go-to shows the past two months. I haven’t had time to watch much else, but with Game of Thrones’ best season (seriously, the best) over as of last weekend, it’s time for me to find a new science fiction or fantasy show to fill the void! As for Continuum, my love of the show continues, but it’s not quite as strong as it was in previous seasons. It has taken some rather dramatic and convoluted turns, which was what I worried about when I started watching the show. I mean, it’s hard not to get convoluted when you’re talking about time travel, but Continuum always surprised me with its refreshing clarity. However, this season the show has introduced a secret society, multiple timelines, and a new time traveler. It’s not that all of that is bad… it’s just a lot to take in. And perhaps my biggest issue is that one of the show’s main characters, Alec — easily the most grounded in the bunch — has made questionable decisions and really ruined his friendship with the protagonist Kiera. It’s interesting character development for him, but I really hope we see more of the “good” Alec soon. I miss that guy.



On the plus side, Continuum has lately had some great flashback sequences (and even episodes) that provide insight into Kiera’s history as well as one of the antagonist’s, Sonya Valentine. Those are my favorite episodes.

What I’ve Been Reading



My reading habit has been very hot and cold lately — but hot for the past couple of weeks. I’m finishing up the Sirantha Jax Grimspace series by Ann Aguirre, which I absolutely love. It gets better as the series goes on; the prose softens into a comfortable fit for the brash person Jax is, the worldbuilding deepens, and one of the alien characters (Velith) becomes so well-developed, I believe he feels more real than any of the human characters in the books. If you like a light science fiction read that’s very character-driven, I highly recommend the series. I’ve also been reading a great pick from fellow blogger C. T. Murphy. It’s called The Stars My Destination, written by Alfred Bester, and already talked about here on Robo♥beat in C. T. Murphy’s guest post earlier this year. I won’t give away my thoughts yet, because I’ll be reviewing it here soon! =) — Ashley