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Trials of the Gauntlet :- PC Gaming Review

In Trials of the Gauntlet, You wake up in the courtyard of a Steampunk mansion, your arm replaced with an electric grappling hook. You use your new arm to solve puzzles, traverse the mansion and fight your way to the top of the clock tower where you confront the mad scientist who did this to you.

 

 

Trials of the Gauntlet from Broken Dinosaur Studios, a studio formed by students of Full Sail University, is a midterm project for Game Development that has been released as a full game.  The setting of the game is a Steampunk mansion, where your character awakens with a grappling hook where one of their arms should be and proceeds to enter the mansion to find the scientist that performed the mad experiment on you.

 

 

Gameplay consists of traversing the mansion in an upward fashion, largely using your grappling hook to do so.  The grappling hook has another function: an electric hook which is used to activate some electronics and slow down enemies so you can bash them with your other arm.

 

The graphic style is decidedly retro with large pixels eschewing the need for a lot of detail.  The art of the game isn’t bad – but it’s nothing amazing either – with fairly generic looking bad guys and environments.  Due to the nature of the project (being a school project) it was developed in a limited time frame and so some of the animations feel a bit floaty at times, with the character and enemies feeling somewhat out of place when moving.

 

 

I found the controls of the game to be quite fiddly and using the grappling hook was more cumbersome than fun, which is not a particularly good trait for your main game mechanic, and like most aspects of the game it was largely forgettable.

 

Overall, the game feels very much like the school project that it is.  The runtime of the game is estimated at 90 minutes, but glitches and bugs are frequent, which the developers are aware of – again, due to the limited timeframe for development, only critical game breaking bugs were worked on.  Now that the project has been completed the devs can go back and try to neaten up the edges and expand the game, or move on to a new project, but in the current state the game is hard to recommend.

 

Rating 4 / 10

~Sirhc

 

Trials of the Gauntlet is available now on STEAM


June 30th, 2018 by TGB_SirhcAndAr0n
Posted in Game Review, Gaming, General, PC | No Comments »

Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset :- MMO Expansion Review

For the first time in history, the long-closed borders of Summerset are open to foreigners by decree of Queen Ayrenn. But darkness looms over the ancestral home of the High Elves, and whispers stir of Daedric followers organizing in the shadows. Rally your allies, brave champions. Summerset awaits.

Explore an all-new zone packed with adventure. Join the mysterious Psijic Order and gain powerful new abilities. Reunite with old friends, forge new alliances, and work together to unravel a conspiracy that threatens Tamriel’s very existence.

 

 

Summerset is the newest chapter to the The Elder Scrolls Online, and while it adds much new content, a new crafting skill line and a new skill line focusing on time manipulation from the Psijic order, new mobs, two beautiful zones to explore and an amazing continuation to the main overarching story, it does not do much else, which is a good thing. ZOS stuck with what makes ESO great and avoided trying to reinvent the wheel.

 

 

When I do a review I have one main question I always ask myself and set out to answer. Is this fun? And the answer is a resounding OH HELL YEAH. I have long loved the elder scrolls franchise and I love ESO, but the game is not without its flaws, which is true of all games, but I have to say that Summerset is some of the most fun I have had in a long while in an mmo, from new trash mobs with interesting combat mechanics in the open world too the amazing new coral crab mob designs and the quest stories and writing has gone a long way to making this one of the best expansions yet for ESO.

 

 

Underneath the beauty of the High Elven island lies a darker side, The high elves prejudice against the “lesser races” is on full display, their political intrigues show up in force in Summerset’s main story as it is both a continuation of the Morrowwind Clock Work City story picking up right where it left off with more daedric cults and daedric princes up to no good and a continuation of the Aldmeri dominion’s story lines surrounding queen Ayrenn’s ascension to the throne. The quests diving deeper into the motivations of the characters around you and not simply praising your prowess as a world-class savior brings a human quality to the game that helps you feel more connected and immersed in the game. One example of this is Razum-dar, a long time fan favorite, he is not just another NPC but a friend to the player. As a result, Summerset is both familiar and foreign. The new Public dungeons are a breath of fresh air in how they are designed and some of the new bosses look amazing. The new trial, Cloud rest, has you taking on one to the ancient long thought extinct sloads, a slug devil toad abomination that just wants to smash your face with the help of mind controlled minions and crazy daedric magic.

 

 

Summerset brings a host of new additions to the game, The main story as mentioned previously, 6 new delves, 6 new Fun world bosses, 6 abyssal geysers which function like dolmens. 2 new public dungeons which have farm-able collections that net you prizes such as the new ginger kitten vanity pet. A new trial that can be completed multiple ways. The new psijic order skill line which adds 5 active abilities, a new ultimate, and new passives. It also adds Jewelry crafting which allows you to craft your own jewelry and make set piece jewelry. Both of these new skill lines drastically open up build diversity. The champion point cap was also increased to 750 and the game adds several new interesting gear sets to the game.

 

 

If I had to rate Summerset on a scale of 1 to 10 I would rate it a solid 8, it just does so much right in terms of what an expansion should add to the game but it still has old flaws that still need to be addressed from older versions of the game and class balance & build balance issues that continue to still plague the game.

~Darsch

 

 

The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset is available now on –

STEAM
XBox One
Playstation 4


June 30th, 2018 by Darsch
Posted in Game Review, Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, Multiplatform, PC, Playstation, Real Time Strategy, Xbox | No Comments »

Cultist Simulator Review

Today we are taking a look at Cultist Simulator by Alexis Kennedy and Weather Factory studio, Alexis being notable as the creator of Fallen London and Sunless Seas.

 

 

Now if you’re familiar with Fallen London or Sunless Seas then you’ll have a good idea of what is on offer with Cultist Simulator, essentially a narrative based game based heavily on making decisions, sometimes tough, sometimes easy, but always with purpose. Cultist Simulator however, unlike the other games is a card based strategy game as opposed to the adventure, exploration style of the others.

 

Set in the 1920’s Cultist Simulator puts you in charge of a regular person, one that has been beaten down by the world and lacks purpose, just spending their days working in a soul crushing job, although the open of the game places you on their final day of menial work so you can receive your last pay and start your journey proper.

 

 

Now, the plot of the game is quite difficult to sum up, as the game is basically the next evolution of the choose your own adventure story; so you can drastically shift what will happen based on your choices (even waiting too long to make a choice is in itself a choice that will shift the story and your subsequent choices).

 

The main point of the game is to select an old god (from literary icon H.P. Lovecraft’s work) to worship and base your cult around, and then bringing the old god to the current world to take their rightful place, but how you choose to do this is up to you.
In case you were wondering about the whole “aren’t Cults inherently evil” thing: yes they are. You are the bad guy in this game – but that’s not how you see it, following the will of a higher power and all.

 

 

As a card based strategy game you have a board and cards, sounds simple enough, however as a video game there are plenty of secrets and surprises in store, the more choices you make the more cards appear which means more choices become available to you, after a few minutes of playing you’ll find yourself with a dizzying amount of cards, how do you use the cards though?

 

Well you begin with an “option” slot and resource cards, as you make choices you will receive more option slots, more resource cards and modifier cards, so you can drag a resource card into an appropriate option slot which will create a timer countdown while it processes, during this time you can read other cards, make other plays or if available drag modifier cards into the option to change the outcome.

 

 

As you can have multiple timers counting down at once, you never really are stuck waiting for things – but if you do find yourself wanting to speed things up, there is a speed modifier you can select at the bottom of the screen.

 

One terrifyingly realistic aspect of the game is that in order to survive and continue playing, you must expend wealth cards, this also means that you need to find ways to bring in wealth consistently so you don’t burn through it all, again you have multiple options for this that expand as you play, but your first way is to have your character work, this negatively impacts their health (which is something I can relate to before joining Sanitarium FM of course) so there are always ramifications to your choices, if you work to hard you could deteriorate your health, but if you work too little you could run out of money, in the same fashion there are things you can do that will raise your fame which could make it easier to gain new followers, but it will also make you a target for detectives (however you will need to break laws for the detectives to get any evidence against you) so again you’ll need to find the balance that works for you.

 

These things coupled together make the game surprisingly fast paced and tense, with new cards appearing all the time, some of them also with expiration’s of their own, so you always need to be on top of things if you want your cult to prosper and your god to awaken.

 

What seems like a basic and even boring game at first look is one of the deepest and most manic experiences I have had in a while, if you like H.P Lovecraft, reading, strategy and using your imagination then Cultist Simulator could be just what you’re looking for, the game has also seen fairly frequent updates since release so it looks like you’ll have a lot more options soon too.

 

I’ll leave you with a quote from the developers summing up the game:

 

Become a scholar of the unseen arts. Search your dreams for sanity-twisting rituals. Craft tools and summon spirits. Indoctrinate innocents. Seize your place as the herald of a new age.

 

Cultist Simulator is available NOW on STEAM – https://store.steampowered.com/app/718670/Cultist_Simulator/

 

For more of a look at the game, check out the video review below –

 

The indoctrination has begun, 7/10

 

~TGB_SirhcAndAr0n


June 29th, 2018 by TGB_SirhcAndAr0n
Posted in Game Review, Gaming, General, PC, Real Time Strategy | No Comments »

Real Life Cheat Code for Unlimited Money? (Star Citizen $27k Ship Unlock Pack Released)

Do you love money, but not all that annoying work that comes with it? Well why not take Cloud Imperium Games‘ approach, with Guinness World Records listing the sum of US$39,680,576 in 2014 as the highest amount ever raised for a game (2014 also being the first of many release dates promised), fast forwarding to 2018 they now have US$186,783,531, but still no game, nor signs of a release date.

 

 

Star Citizen has been compared to No Man’s Sky during the early days of their campaigns and rightly so, both were space exploration simulators that promised massive scopes and then delivered huge delays, however No Man’s Sky has actually come out, with an approach more similar to Canon Films, No Man’s Sky raised money for a pitch, developed aesthetically pleasing promotions and then released a sub par product to the disappointment of everyone involved (unfortunately lacking the Canon Films unintended charm), since the release the game has been worked on and re-released on consoles, with each new version being closer to the original promise, what a stupid move, Hello Games (makers of No Man’s Sky), didn’t know what they had, and the clever people over at Cloud Imperium Games’ have picked up the slack, draining money from eager fans, wanting to believe their perfect game will come to them.

 

 

Another, somewhat closer comparison to be made is between Star Citizen and Frontier Developments’ Elite Dangerous, Kickstarted 6 months or so before Star Citizen, Elite Dangerous promised a massive open world, space simulation, but they made one serious mistake, they hired people with a vague understanding of how to make games, so when the promised time came, they had a playable game and their hands were tied, they would have to release the game and say goodbye to the crowdfunding revenue stream, they fought valiantly with some DLC releases, but alas they fell into the same pitfall, with both major DLC updates providing more actual gameplay instead of just the hope that Star Citizen provides.

 

 

But the main difference between these three is that, Star Citizen isn’t a game, it’s an idea, it’s hope, it’s a religion, you donate money for the idea of something greater than yourself, helping them build and grow, putting your trust with a higher power (developer Chris Roberts, or should it be Christ Roberts?), without the expectations of a personal gain, in favor of the spiritual gain you receive from knowing you’ve helped these fine people achieve something, not something you can use, but something.

 

 

But how can you continue to help these people fund their sweet lives doing nothing but crowdfunding and making hollow promises, sorry that was a type, I meant helping them create the future of space simulation and the most glorious game of all time, well you can buy plots of land in the virtual world for the mere pittance of US$100, but that’s not really enough, you can dig deeper, for only the cost of a reasonable car (US$27,000) you can purchase all the DLC for the game that doesn’t exist, why not jump over there and take a look now? Oh wait, you will need to donate US$1000 for the privilege to view this amazing deal, or you could send a message to CIG’s staff and they might be nice enough to give you a free look at how much money you could have the chance to give them.

 

 

[/EndSarcasm]


May 29th, 2018 by TGB_SirhcAndAr0n
Posted in Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, PC, Technology | No Comments »

Stan Lee’s Likeness Lawsuit

How much is Stan Lee‘s likeness worth?

 

 

A legend in the world of comic books and an icon in pop culture, Stan Lee is arguably more famous than some of the characters he created in collaboration with several artists, including Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, he co-created fictional characters including Spider-Man, the Hulk, Doctor Strange, the Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Black Panther, the X-Men, and, with the addition of co-writer Larry Lieber, the characters Ant-Man, Iron Man and Thor, so how much is his likeness worth?

 

 

Well based on a lawsuit filed against POW! Entertainment, 1 Billion dollars (USD), Lee claims in a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Tuesday, that the company he co-founded POW! Entertainment, used his name and likeness to close a deal with a Chinese company, the details of which were not disclosed to Lee.

 

 

Lee alleges that the signed document held by POW! CEO Shane Duffy and co-founder Gill Champion, was obtained fraudulently, this document which signs over the rights to Lee’s likeness and the overseeing of his social media presence, Lee claims to have no recollection of the document being read to him and due to his advanced macular degeneration was unable to read it himself.

 

 

This lawsuit isn’t the only one filed by the comic book legend, Lee is also suing his former business manager Jerardo Olivarez who he claims was stealing his blood to sell comic books.

 

With an estimated $50 million USD net worth, Lee isn’t strapped for cash, so neither of these suits appear frivolous, rather they appear like a sad tale of an elderly man being taken advantage of, a sad state of affairs, we’ll need to watch and see how it all turns out.


May 18th, 2018 by TGB_SirhcAndAr0n
Posted in Gaming, General, Movie Review | No Comments »

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