Category Archives: Video Games

Posts about video games or video game characters.

Sims 4 Get to Work Review

I’ve held off on writing a review of the Sims 4 expansion Get to Work for a few reasons. I needed to give myself some time to really try out all of the features, and also time to decide whether I hated it, loved it, or was really “meh” with it.

I’ve talked about it before, but one of the main reasons I like The Sims is for use as brainstorming for writing. So when I saw that I could actually simulate being a detective in Get to Work, I got excited since I’ve been working on a mystery.

As far as added features go, besides adding additional character creator pieces-parts and household items, the expansion adds extra jobs and the ability to own a business. The three professions are Detective, Doctor, and Scientist, and the businesses you can run are retail-oriented, so that you can sell goods that your Sim creates.

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Final Fantasy Type-0 HD – First Impressions

Final Fantasy Type 0 HD

I finally recently picked up Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, one of the first games I was actually interested in for the X-Box One. Well, mostly… it’s a port of a PSP game, with cranked-up graphics. There’s some really solid parts, from fantastic cutscenes, to pretty good third-person action sequences, to a pretty fuzzy world map where you go zipping into active time battles.

One of the first things that I should mention is that this game is rated Mature. That would be an easy fact to miss because, come on, it’s a Final Fantasy game… those are usually rated Teen. However, the decision on this one apparently was that they needed blood. Lots and lots of blood.

However, the blood does a good job of underscoring the serious nature of the story. Four kingdoms, where one decides to invade the others. It actually feels very Avatar: The Last Airbender. Except instead of the fun of that series, you take the more serious tone of Legend of Korra and add in bloody violence to really send the message home…

I’m a couple missions in, so I’ll say a few things about the story, and then about the two aspects to this RPG: action combat, and strategy.

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Life is Strange, and so is the Game

It’s been a long time since I received a game as a present that I didn’t specifically request. It’s been longer since I received a game with the warning, “this may be a bit disturbing to you, but I think you’ll enjoy it.” Looking back, there isn’t a truer description of the episodic adventure time-travel game, Life is Strange (made by Dontnod Entertainment and published by Square Enix).

Life is Strange takes place on the Pacific Northwest over the course of one week in October. Max Caulfield, an 18 year-old student at prestigious Blackwell Academy in Arcadia Bay, is visited by a vision of a horrifying storm destroying the bay. When she awakens from the vision, she is in her photography class listening to a lecture. She rushes to the bathroom to recover from the horrible vision, but instead discovers that she has the ability to rewind time when she stops a fellow classmate from shooting a girl in the bathroom. That girl ends up being Max’s former best friend whom she hasn’t seen in five years, and the two quickly reconnect.

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Science Fiction and Religion – The Apocalypse

Is there just an apocalypse waiting?

From Avengers #3 by Jonathan Hickman.

I love Hickman’s Avengers. I’ve written about that fact before, and especially one of the things I love about his Marvel work – and his other comics – is how he works with both science and mythology. In Avengers, especially, he works on larger, over-arching mythology for the whole Marvel Universe. Its origins… and its ending.

That ending was last summer’s big crossover event, Secret Wars. I reviewed that recently. But it was a lot of time and comics leading into it, not just one crossover and everything is over. The apocalypse did not happen suddenly, although it may have felt that way if you were reading other titles… or just reading about the whole thing in the press about it.

No, in reading the whole thing, the buildup and then the collapse, I got to thinking of two things. One is the obvious, I suppose: other apocalyptic literature. Religious especially, the sort that seeps out into shows like Supernatural or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We were reading a lot of the book of Daniel recently at church, and it’s also just chock full of apocalyptic dreams and visions. So the end of the world: symbolism, signs, and things that are either super literal or completely metaphorical…

The second thing I was thinking of, however, was the Final Fantasy XIII series, wherein the world ends between Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Lightning Returns. In particular, at the end of XIII-2, time itself ends, and the power of death along with it… but as Mr. Fantastic might say, everything dies, and ever so slowly that world does too.

Taken all together, you get what I considered as the alternate title to this blog post: how to end the universe.

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On Gaming and Cultural Literacy

If you are a parent or you plan to be one, you’re gonna need a gaming console unless you absolutely can’t afford it. Sooner than you think.

Gaming has been a pervasive part of the culture for so long, it’s not unheard-of to meet a 50-something gamer. Half of hardcore gamers or former gamers are women. So there’s a good chance that once your kid starts school, he or she will have at least one friend who’s not only REALLY into gaming, but has a parent or grandparent who actively encourages the interest and is willing to share tricks.

The old stereotype of the gamer as a disaffected white teenage boy using the games as an escape from society hasn’t held for at least 15 years, if there was ever any truth to it at all.

basement_cheetos

An old, old line by internet standards. The “serious intellectuals” were calling bloggers basement-dwelling cheeto-eaters when the blogosphere first became a thing.

Lots of successful, well-adjusted people of all backgrounds are gamers. It’s a legitimate, mainstream social activity.

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