Tag Archives: Horizon Zero Dawn

What’s New — April 2017

Well, March turned out to be a pretty amazing month for me, and now I’m hoping April will top it. =)

YjgxZjk5MDcxMCMvMU5aSXU4Z2lxdzJWRjVReHdmLVBPYlZzVE1NPS8xOTEweDEwMDAvc21hcnQvaHR0cHM6Ly9zMy5hbWF6b25hd3MuY29tL3BvbGljeW1pYy1pbWFnZXMvd2p1a3hycGJtd3JocGMyaWtpeHA2a2dkN2o3dWdmMG52cWVoanZ2Y2Last month I played Horizon Zero Dawn. It was easily one of the best video games I’ve ever played. The story, the lead character Aloy, the graphics, the scenery, the structure to the open-world questing… everything was near perfect. I’ll post something about it soon, because I’d like to discuss how it approaches an open world format and compare it to other open-world games like The Witcher 3, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and Skyrim.

Aside from that, I started re-reading one of my favorite books ever, the science fiction classic Dune by Frank Herbert. I’m actually listening to the audiobook on my commute, downloaded from Audible, so if anyone is interested in what it’s like to listen to I can review that aspect of it. You can read about my history with Dune here — it’s kind of the book that got me into sci-fi in the first place!

C7yMP1wVUAAZ6yqI also started playing Mass Effect: Andromeda last month, and I must say, it is so much better than I expected. While I tried to avoid reviews before starting, I was hearing a lot of complaints — not just about the facial animations (which honestly doesn’t phase me, that’s not why I play Mass Effect), but also about the writing not being great and the story not being very captivating. Fortunately, I disagree with those complaints. I am loving the game so far. I feel really connected to my Ryder, the protagonist of the game, because Andromeda features four tone options that really shape a unique personality for her. It’s much deeper than what I’ve seen in previous BioWare games.

Anyway, I’m sure I’ll review the game when I’m done with it. In the meantime, you can read my game diary as I play it here.

In other news, baseball season is back! I went to my first game (pre-season) a couple of days ago, and I can’t wait to start watching games again. If you’re into baseball, you can read this post I wrote about the baseball team roster I would create out of Mass Effect trilogy characters. I totally want to do that again for Andromeda now!

I’ve also been working on fitness goals a lot lately. Originally I was going to train for a 10K this month, but I decided to postpone running goals to focus more on strength training and flexibility. I took my first lyra class last week — it’s an aerial sport where you perform transitions and poses in a hoop suspended from the ceiling — and am so sore and bruised, I have some work to do to get in shape for it! I’m excited to start training more heavily as I continue to take beginner’s classes.

As for writing… I haven’t done anything all month. I want to change that in April. I have been thinking about my novel a lot lately, and I miss writing it. I think I just needed a breather to focus on other things (new job, fitness, and video games!) and gain a little perspective on my story. I feel I have that now, so it’s time to dive back in.

Dragon Age OriginsI also attended a Game of Thrones concert last week which was extremely fun. You can check out my mini-review here.

This month is also my birthday, and as always, I’ll be honoring my tradition of playing Dragon Age: Origins again. I hope to complete a playthrough this year, since I didn’t last year. I think I’ll go with a male character this time, which is something I just never do…

What are you guys up to this month? What games are you playing?

— Ashley

Inhabiting a Character: My Favorite RPG Leads

Role-playing video games are how I got into games in the first place. The ability to create a character is a liberating experience. It’s starts with how the character looks, then goes on to how the character acts in their world through my in-game decisions.

Continue reading Inhabiting a Character: My Favorite RPG Leads

“Horizon Zero Dawn” Collector’s Edition Goodies!

It’ll be a while before I can comment in detail about Horizon Zero Dawn (except I can say that so far, I love it!), but this week I got my hands on the Collector’s Edition of the game which has a few physical goodies I was excited about.

Steelbook

I’m a sucker for a pretty case for a video game, and the Steelbook case included in the Collector’s Edition features some gorgeous artwork, focusing on Aloy in action. Here’s a look at the outside of the case!

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Aloy Statue

The whole reason I pre-ordered this edition of the game was the inclusion of the amazing statue of the main character, Aloy. Created by Gentle Giant, the figure has tons of detail that I love.

img_5597Aloy stands over a downed watcher, and you can place arrows in slots near the machine’s head to make it clear Aloy shot this mechanical creature down.

While Aloy’s face doesn’t have the same detail as her outfit or the watcher, you can see her freckles. I love her hair and the way it blends from red to blonde, but you can definitely see the paint strokes and some brown coming through where there shouldn’t be any. But her clothing and the watcher itself are so detailed, they make up for the rest. Just looking at the fur on her arms and shoulders can trick you into thinking that if you touch it, it’ll be soft. The colors are also bright and true to the vividness of the Horizon‘s in-game world.

I’d deem this statue one of my all-time favorites, though it’s actually one of the first non-action figures I have!

Art Book

The art book is a fascinating history lesson diving into how Horizon Zero Dawn was designed. I’ll admit I was expecting a big, 100+ page art book like I have for video games like Mass Effect, but this one is short and wide (shorter than my hand), with about 50 pages of art. It’s more of a bite-sized addition to the Collector’s Edition of the game than a rich art book, which you’d probably need to go out and purchase.

It’s fun to see Aloy’s concept art, as well as the outfits worn by various tribes (the most interesting and unexpected thing in the book, for me!). There is also a ton of art dedicated to the lush landscapes and ruins that make up this world. The only thing missing was much art focused on the mechanical creatures, which is a shame as they are such an important part of the world’s aesthetic and history. Still, I enjoyed seeing the rough concept art that was the foundation for so much of this game!

— Ashley

What’s New — March 2017

Happy springtime, everybody!

So I have no idea why I made such a fuss about Horizon Zero Dawn last month, because it came out on the last day of last month… which means really, it’s March that’s going to be totally full of this game. I am so excited about finally playing it. I ordered the Collector’s Edition and will have a quick review of all the goodies in it up later this week. =)

forhonor-guard-breakLast month I got very into the video game For Honor. You can read my full review here. I also tried Elder Scrolls Online at long last, but I haven’t played much of it as I am, as usual, overloaded with new games to play! I’ll probably have some more posts and some gameplay up later this month as I master my Nobushi class. It’s just so addicting, guys. I can’t recommend the game enough!

I also read (or listened to, since it was an audiobook) Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale, which was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever read. It depicts a near-future dystopia in which women are treated as property. I highly recommend it, and if you enjoy audiobooks, Claire Danes’ narration was perfect. I wish she narrated more books.

I’m also reading the next book in Becky Chambers’ series, after picking up The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet last year. So far, I’m enjoying A Closed and Common Orbit, although it’s not quite as much fun or as rich as the first book. I’m intrigued by the strength of the story so far, though! (You can read more of my thoughts about these books here.)

Mass-Effect-Andromeda-1.pngThis month, in addition to Horizon finally being on my PlayStation 4 and all over my TV screen, I am drooling to think about Mass Effect Andromeda. It comes out toward the end of the month, and… well, you guys know by now that I am totally in love with everything Mass Effect! My main concern right now is figuring out who I’m going to romance. I want to know everything about every character.

That’s pretty much all that’s on my radar right now. Some personal family emergency stuff went down for me last month, which has been occupying a lot of my time and brain space. It is going okay though, and I am relieved for my family about that. But I am also happy to get back to my regular life, my writing, my working out, and my video games.

What’s on your agenda for March? And also if anyone else is playing either Horizon or Mass Effect, let’s compare notes on Twitter or in the comments here! I love to hear how other people play RPGs and where our choices and paths may differ. =)

— Ashley