This week I attended the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience. At least I think that’s the official name for it. Stadium acoustics aside (it was in the arena where they often host hockey matches), it’s an amazing touring event led by Game of Thrones composer Ramin Djawadi, who serves as the evening’s conductor, musician, and host. The orchestra that played was a local one, which was a nice touch for this particular show of a touring performance.
So I’m finally catching up on all the Telltale episodic games I’ve missed this year, including Game of Thrones. And what I’m finding is that Game of Thrones feels a lot like reading the books or watching the TV show, because there are so many characters to keep track of.
(Don’t worry, no big spoilers in this post… just be careful if you want to go into this game blind!)
Past Telltale games I’ve played (The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us) feature one single protagonist for you to play as. That made it really easy for me to choose a personality for them and keep it consistent throughout the game. (Although in The Wolf Among Us, my Bigby went from being a jackass to an old softie pretty fast. I couldn’t help it, I’m a nice person!)
But in Game of Thrones, Telltale’s take on the George R. R. Martin novels and HBO series, you get to conduct a whole cast of characters. You’re essentially focusing on the Forrester family and their problems, but there’s a lot of them. A lot of family members and a lot of problems, I mean.
Recently I played the first episode of Telltale Games’ Game of Thrones series with my boyfriend. It was difficult — first of all, because I had to wait an entire month until after we were both back from the holiday break and could play together. (He’d already downloaded it, so it was waiting in San Francisco. Otherwise, who knows what I would have gotten up to over the break…)
But you know what’s more difficult than waiting weeks to play a game you’ve been looking forward to for months? Playing a game — specifically a Telltale game, with moral decisions to make that require quick thinking — with someone else.
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
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. 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 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