Joined 02/23/2012


329 Posts

My impression of Starbound has greatly improved since I saw the trailer for the first time. At first I thought it looked ugly, but it's own artistic style has grown on me and I like it. The graphics remind me of Secret of Mana, a Squaresoft game for the SNES. In that game, when your power level is back to full, you hear some kind of notification and you can see that you are ready to attack at full power. It seems to me that I hear something similar in Starbound. Sometimes either while fighting or finishing off a monster, I hear a "bling" kind of sound. I haven't figured out what this means yet. Any ideas?

My current star system is "Alpha Gloomii 84 III a" and "b", "b" is where I set my home, a forest planet. "Gloomii a" is a snow planet, which has made me use some strategy in order to explore. It's cold on this planet and before exploring this planet, I had not yet crafted a Yarn Spinner nor collected enough leather to make the necessary gear. That was something I pretty much over looked for a while. So I placed campfires at intervals so that I wouldn't freeze to death. The threat level in this system is 1 and enemies aren't providing as much of a challenge as before I upgraded my weapons and armor. I also crafted a Light Stick, which provides some light around me. That and the flashlight help me save on torches, which I don't place very often anymore, instead I use them mostly for campfires now.

Compared to Terraria, I'm not sure how the size of planets are relative to a world. I also wonder if the planets differ in size as well. My first planet seems to be probably as big or bigger than a large world in Terraria. I've already enjoyed an improvement over Terraria which is that the terrain wraps around, going all the way to the left or right will lead you back to where you landed on the planet. I wonder if Terraria will eventually do that.

Some of the ore isn't as necessary as it was in the beginning. I'm mostly using silver and steel now. I don't have much use for copper or gold, but I've found out how to upgrade tools using ore (pretty simple), which is really cool. I've also crafted a refinery, which helps me get rid of excess ore and get more pixels (Starbound currency). I don't die as often as I used to, which didn't help me when I needed pixels.

Since I've been playing Starbound, I feel like I've learned at lot as well. I don't think there is a huge learning curve, especially if you've played Terraria, but there is still a lot to learn. I'm getting used to using more hot keys than I usually do. They have been very useful.

I have not yet traveled outside my starting system. I wanted to save fuel (or coal, which is still important) and stay near by and explore various planets. I've written down my home coordinates because I got a little lost and confused with the navigation system. It seems that you can type in coordinates or click the "Random" button. I'll experiment with that more soon, probably, as I'm making my wait through this final (second) planet in my system. I do now have access to the Beta sector, but I might travel around the Alpha sector for a while to explore the various planets.

I've already defeated a few bosses and some monsters that have that red stuff glowing from them (not fire). I just defeated the robot boss, which was easy since I took advantage of him getting stuck by some terrain between us. I know this was a cheap strategy, but I did take a few hits, he took plenty of them with my Tomahawk (not the Tiny one). One problem I ran into was trying to place the inactive robot so I could activate it. It seems I had to find a good stretch of flat terrain without trees on the surface. The penguin UFO wasn't very difficult, but it was cool and fun.

The game definitely seems a lot like Terraria, which I think is obvious and great, but it's still so much more, which makes it awesome!

I'm finally playing Starbound and I thought I'd share my initial impressions, which actually comes less from game play and more from watching someone play it.

I've been watching Paul Soares Jr.'s YouTube channel ( I decided to start watching his Starbound videos, which I've been enjoying. They are almost 30 of them and I'm almost done with that series (each video is about 20 minutes long).

I thought that by watching some videos, I might be able to get a better idea of the game and whether or not I wanted to play it. I finally decided that I wanted to try it. When I first saw video of Starbound, I thought it looked kind of ugly, although it has it's own unique art style, which can be appreciated. I think it is cool how colorful the game is. It's quite a lot like Terraria and Minecraft. After playing those two games, I was left still wanting more like them, so Starbound was an obvious next step for me. By watching Paul's videos, I also found out that this game has Pokemon-like elements to it, too, with the creature capturing system (in which you throw a kind of ball at a monster after weakening it and then being able to throw the filled kind of ball later to release the monster to follow and help you).

One of the first things I noticed (a difference from Terraria) is the trees. When you chop down a tree, it actually falls to the ground, breaking up into wood to be collected, which is more realistic. This differs from Terraria where trees don't fall, they just break up into wood in midair. I also noticed other โ€œsurvivalโ€ game elements. You have to watch your health meter, hunger, and temperature levels. This is a similarity to Minecraft.

One big difference from those other two games is that you get to explore various worlds in various sectors of the universe, instead of just one world. This means that there is a lot of exploration to do. Right now, I'm not sure how big each planet is, but each one seems to contain one large biome such as forest, desert, snow, moon, and asteroid. Some of these are too cold or lack sufficient oxygen and may require the use of certain gear (like the survival kit) to explore. The game also has a flashlight and a way to look around to get a slight view of what's around.

Another big difference, I think, is the amount of items in the game. I watched Paul pick up so many weapons. I think that is really cool. There are also generated structures than NPC villages. I don't think the day/night cycle is as important in Starbound. I also don't know how to tell whether a monster is friend or foe. I guess the best way to tell is to go near it and see if it attacks.

In Paul's videos, he used Apex characters at first, and went through a series of character wipes (which I believe are over now). In the last video I saw, he created an Avian character. I also watched him play with his son who was using a Floran. I really don't know the differences between the races. I'm not even entirely sure why I chose Avian, but I think my character looks cool.

Like I said, most of my impressions come from watching Paul's videos. I've spent a little time in the game, but not a whole lot yet. One of the first things I noticed was an option to run the game in OpenGL. I'm not sure of how this differs from running the game normally, it's something I may have to look into.

I've made it to my first planet (easy enough, just play the game). There's low gravity on it and some trees with blue leaves, which I think are beautiful. I found a structure not too far from where I landed. The sword that I got initially with my character is now broken and it seems I can't use it, so I need to figure out how to repair it (I'm going to explore the wiki after writing this post).

I think I found a bug already. Pressing "E" allows you to interact with objects, such as the teleporter. However, I've noticed that this doesn't always work. Luckily there's a button to the right on the screen that you can click to teleport to the ship or the surface.

Anyway, I'm very glad to have another game similar to Minecraft and Terraria, since I love both games. This seems like a new video game genre to me and I only know of these three games in this genre. It seems to me that Minecraft created this genre and Terraria picked up on that with it's own style and now it seems Starbound has done the same (although much more similar to Terraria than Minecraft).

For those of you who have also played Starbound, what race did you chose and why? Or, what's your favorite race and why? How long have you been playing Starbound? How many hours have you spent in the game? Do you still play Starbound?

If you haven't played Starbound, why not? What might convince you to play? I'm not sure why I waited so long to get into it, I guess I just didn't feel ready and my very first impression of the game didnโ€™t make me feel all that impressed. I also knew players were going through character and world wipes and therefore having to start all over with a new character. If you've been playing the game for a while, how many of these wipes did you go through? Did those wipes make you lose interest in the game or make you decide to hold off on playing until the wipes were done? I look forward to seeing what you have to say about the game. I also look forward to playing it more and following the game's development.
Now that my son and I have our own computers, we've don't have to share one to play Minecraft. He still watches a lot of YouTube gaming videos and plays other games, like Spore. However, until recently, we never played Minecraft together. It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be, with some simple clicks. If a world was opened to the LAN, the other computer wouldn't detect it. There were other minor difficulties, I say they're minor now because I got around them easily enough by setting up a Minecraft server. However, setting up a Minecraft server wasn't as easy as instructions made it out as they contained an error. Luckily, I understood what I needed to do and what I was doing. Plus, I had Google to search for issue troubleshooting. Really, it wasn't that difficult to do.

I knew my son would be happy once he got home from school that we had a server that we could connect to. While he was at school I set it up and made sure that we both could connect and spawn in a safe place, which I built. We played for a long time. He died more often and needed my help too often.

The one visual difference between us is that he has a custom skin. I don't know how or why as I haven't researched skins, so my character, "GregoPeck," looks like Steve. I've learned some very basic commands, since I enabled Cheats, such as healing and teleporting characters to each other. I often use it to heal myself or teleport him to me as we get separated. That's something else we do, is get separated. I often go wander, looking for something, and he ends up going on way ahead or in another direction. This is also due to how often I mine things I see, like coal. However, by wandering off, he came into a pack of wolves. He tamed two and bred for another.

Today he wanted me to create a new world for the server, so we could start out and build together. I didn't know how to do this, but my habit is to get on Google when I want to know how to do something. While I read a simple solution, I found my own. I created a backup folder in the server folder and moved the world folder to it. This I did after closing down the server. Then I restarted the server and we were on a new world together starting out. Luckily we spawned near a few caves and didn't have much trouble getting iron and coal. So, for now, we've set up camp just inside a cave in a hill. The cave ended up leading to a ravine in which we found red stone, waterfalls, and lava. He found a diamond, but lost it by dying in lava.

What's next? Oh can't you see it?! Terraria. Yes, sometime in the future we'll look into that. smile

Azurephile gives this an astounding "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
Azurephile gives this a "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
Quick Review

  • Recommended +1

  • Seems short

  • Different playable characters with unique abilities

  • Not too difficult

  • Level up Kerrigan and the swarm

  • New units

  • Replay-ability and achievements

  • Multiplayer available
Last night, I finished the expansion to StarCraft II, Heart of the Swarm. It didn't seem to last as long as the campaign, Wings of Liberty, but it was still a lot of fun.

Synopsis: In Heart of the Swarm, you are Kerrigan, pretty much, and are working on getting the swarm back together to get revenge on Mengsk. There are a few different characters you get to control instead of just Kerrigan. Each character has their own unique abilities and roles to play. However, Kerrigan is the only character that you work towards leveling up by completing certain objectives in missions. These objectives weren't very difficult to achieve and I was able to level her up to the max by the time I was at the end of the expansion.

Kerrigan and swarm evolution: When leveling up, Kerrigan gains HP and special abilities. Not only do you work on evolving Kerrigan, but you also work on evolving the swarm, your army, by completing missions in the Evolution Pit. This was a fun part of the game where you learn about a creature that acts a certain way and, as a Zerg, you must destroy it and adapt its essence into the swarm.

New and old units: Familiar Zerg units have returned, but they have various mutations that you can choose. There are also new Zerg units, but that applies to the Terrans (in Wings of Liberty) as well. As for the Protoss, what little of them I got to play in the Wings of Liberty campaign, they had some new changes as well. As for the Protoss, we have to wait for their expansion to be released, which, at the time of this writing, has no release date.

Achievements: I can still replay some missions and get achievements that I missed, but I think I've pretty much gotten most of them. Some of them require meeting a certain objective on Hard mode, something I'm not really interested in. I haven't looked up specifics in what you get with the various achievements, but I'm sure I've gotten all the ones that I really wanted. I replayed some of Kerrigan's missions so that I could level her up all the way. There are also multiplayer options for the game, but I'm not really interested in that.

I'm kind of sad to be done with StarCraft II, as I am when finishing a game that I really enjoyed. What's next? Well, I think I'm going to give this Diablo III demo a try.

Anyway, in summary, if you liked StarCraft, you'll probably like StarCraft II and the expansion, Heart of the Swarm. I'm really impressed with Blizzard for the games I've played (Warcraft I & II, StarCraft I & II). I'm also really impressed that after all of these years, StarCraft got a sequel and it was done with excellence.

The Elder Scrolls Online, "available now" is news to me!

Azurephile gives this an astounding "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
Azurephile gives this a "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.

  • Recommended +1

  • Followed by Heart of the Swarm expansion

  • Legacy of the Void expansion coming

  • Different levels of difficulty available

  • Achievements and rewards

  • $40, less than a common PS3 game

  • Good music, funny things units say
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty did not disappoint. I loved the visual upgrades and the story, which I thought were great, just like the original, but set four years later.

Spoiler-free story intro: Many of the original characters have returned such as Kerrigan, Raynor, Mengsk, and Zeratul. The Zerg and Protoss are still about, but you don't control those forces in very many missions. For the Protoss, you get to play some missions with Zeratul, which are really cool. As for the Zerg, you have to wait until you play the Heart of the Swarm expansion, which is where I'm at now.

A new expansion, is planned for the Protoss, as can be seen on the same wiki (

Difficulty: At the beginning, the missions were very easy, as the game was teaching you how to play. The level of difficulty of missions increased along the way, but luckily I could always chose the level of difficulty of each mission. In the end, I think I finished the last mission of the campaign on Casual. When the game chose to really kick my ass, that's what I did sometimes.

Still, there are achievements and rewards unlocked by beating a mission on a certain level of difficulty (such as Normal or Hard) and accomplishing optional objectives in the mission. I like how this game does this, which adds replay-ability and also value. Still, I think I paid less than $40 for the game and I'd been used to spending maybe about $60 on a game for the PS3.

SC2 is in many ways much like the original, but with some obvious improvements (such as the graphics) and with additional features (such as rewards and achievements). While there was new music (including the awesome song at the end during the credits), much of the original music returned, which I enjoyed. I can't recall all of what the units said when you clicked on them, but they still do that and it's still funny. SCVs, for example, say, "in the rear with the gear." Banshee pilots say, "!"

In the last post, we talked about how the game (along with other Blizzard titles) have different editions. I found some more information about them at, which states: "On December 21st, 2010, a demo version of Wings of Liberty became available. The player could play through the first three missions, or play multiplayer (but only as Terrans against an AI opponent).

As of August 2011 the "Starter Edition" became available. This gives access to the first three missions of Wings of Liberty plus either The Evacuation or Smash and Grab (player's choice), the first two challenges: Tactical Command and Covert Ops, access to Terrans in Single-Player vs AI and Custom Games in the following maps: Discord IV, High Orbit, The Shattered Temple, Xel'Naga Caverns and the custom map StarJeweled, subject to change over time. Achievements and campaign progress will be saved in case the player upgrades to the full version of Wings of Liberty."

Anyone who enjoyed the original StarCraft, would most likely enjoy this sequel, it's well worth it. I also really enjoyed "Terran Up the Night" which can be found on YouTube (

Azurephile gives this an astounding "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
Azurephile gives this a "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
First impressions:
  • Recommended +1

  • Has an expansion

  • Available as Starter, Standard, and Collector's Editions

  • Graphical upgrade over original StarCraft game

  • Quick and easy tutorial

  • Achievements

Expansion and editions:
Since getting my new PC, I've been desperate for a new epic game to play. I decided to get StarCraft II (along with the expansion). I haven't installed the expansion yet, I intend to do that when I finish with the original game. There are apparently different versions of StarCraft II. After I installed the game, it told me to upgrade. I noticed I had installed the Starter Edition and had to use my code that came with the game to unlock the Standard Edition. I believe there is also a Collector's Edition which can be purchased, which unlocks more upgrades and units.

Installing the game took a long time, really that's because of the size of the updates I had to download (at least 2 gigs, I think). While I had the game installing and updating, I decided to search YouTube for some videos regarding the story of StarCraft (the original). I found plenty of videos and was glad that I was able to recall the original story.

My first impression of StarCraft II is that it is amazing and beautiful! Some of the old characters have returned with their original voice actors. The main difference is that everything, including old characters, have a brand new look. If nothing else, the game is a huge visual upgrade to the original. Even for it's age, I think the original StarCraft looks good, but the sequel gives a vast improvement on visuals, which really should go without saying.

The tutorial section is quick and easy to get through. One new thing about the game is that there are various achievements unlocked by completing certain objectives, such as completing a mission on a harder level of difficulty. Other objectives include picking up Protoss Artifacts or obtaining Zerg research. These are available in the Terran missions, which is the campaign I'm currently working on. Various upgrades are available for purchase of in-game "credits." So far, I don't think I've run into any new units.

The terrain and background got a huge visual upgrade as well. On last mission I played, I was on a planet where I had to mine expensive minerals, but had to work around the lava that would overflow low-lying terrain every few minutes. So far, I'm very impressed with the game. Although there is some new music, the original music is in the game as well.
I started to play Star Trek Online months ago on the older computer that I built. It wasn't pretty. Once I got the new PC, I decided to try it out and it was so much better! I was still in the tutorial, which I was able to almost finish, except I got stuck. Instead of staying on the space station, I beamed down to Starfleet Academy, thinking that's where the Admiral was that I was supposed to talk to to end the tutorial. I was wrong and I was stuck. My beam to ship icon was grayed out and I had no way to get to where I was supposed to be. I did some Google research and found out that others came across this bug as well and it didn't seem as though I had any option to get around it. I did send a message to a tech support person, who gave me a list of things to do, things which I was unable to do. So, I decided to create a new character.

My new character has long, blue hair, which I think is cool and unique. Unfortunately, I'm once again stuck in the tutorial, but not in the same way as before. I thought it was good to restart the tutorial (with a new character, the only way I knew how) so I could remember the controls, that was a good idea. Sadly, I'm stuck fighting the Borg, who keep blowing me up. I didn't have this trouble in my previous attempt at it. I'm not sure why not or why I'm having such difficulty with it. But, that is why I haven't been playing it.

Star Trek Online is Free-To-Play. It doesn't seem to annoy you with ads or prompts to pay for stuff. I know there are items you can pay for, I also know you can sometimes get items for free. It seems like a cool game, with some getting used to and some obvious bugs. Still, it looked like a lot of people were playing the game. Hopefully, sometime I'll get the inspiration to try again and beat the Borg Sphere that I'm having trouble with. I seem to recall different battles with the Borg in which I was not the only player fighting against them. Maybe that was my previous edge, I'm not sure.
If you've been following me, you know I just got a new spanking PC, an Alienware Aurora R4 with a GTX690. I've been working on copying files over the network from the old computer, installing, and setting up Windows 8.1. I do finally have Steam installed and configured, although I haven't played any of those games yet. I found out, while putting my Steam account on this new PC, that I got Dota2. Basically, when I logged into Steam, it told me about the new game, which apparently came bundled with my new computer. "Sweet," I thought, since Jon gave me a list of Free-To-Play Steam games and Dota2 was on that list. I think I was only aware of one of those games on his list, Team Fortress 2, which I've never played.

Minecraft happens to be the first game I played on this PC. After installing, updating, and copying over my world from the old computer, the first thing I did was to go into the options menu. I set my render distance to it's max of 16 blocks. My old computer used the default setting and it slugged a little bit when I tried to increase it. This one handles that setting quite well. I maxed other settings and turned others on to test this beast.

I currently have a house on a "floating island" that the game mysteriously created for me, which I had been looking at from a distance. I wanted to get there and build my house, even though I have some holes in caves around my default spawn point, which was in a Jungle, exactly where I wanted to be so I could get a cat. This is my new spawn point, where I have a yellow cat, which hasn't been named yet.

Not far away from the base of my floating island house, I ran into monsters and was awed with the sound. My new Bose speakers are an upgrade from the cheap speakers I used on the old computer. So, it was cool to hear the Zombies moaning, Spiders sounded creepy. Of course, I ran into some Creepers. I really hate those things!

I went into a nearby cave, which seemed darker thank I was used to. Later, my son said that it was probably because my brightness setting was set to the default "Moody." It was, of course, I barely messed with that setting, but I put it at 64 and liked it much better. I then showed him my floating island and we both seemed wowed by how much of the world we could see (this is where that render blocks setting comes in). It was awesome!

In the meantime, I'm going to try to test out other games and see their improvements with the new PC. I don't expect FTL will be any different, but I'm sure Terraria will be as it has some sweet settings to tweak that make it look better. That may, in fact, be my next mission.

I've you've read this far, thanks. Jon volunteered a list of FTP games to play on Steam, what games would you suggest I try playing on my new PC? I did try Star Trek Online with the old PC and wasn't happy with it's performance. I'll have to try it on this one.

Well, that's the question that comes to mind when playing FTL, because that is exactly what I'm working on. I've found out that my standard double laser beam is more effective than I thought. Sometimes I use it after I use a missile on their weapons, but I've found that sometimes I need to use it to disable the their shields in order to get a missile in. So, those are the two that I usually end up targeting.

As for upgrades, I like upgrading my shields to two, which requires power and system upgrades. Whenever I can afford a Drone Controller Subsystem, I like to get it because the Drone that does Hull Repair is a life saver! The Defense Drone hasn't seemed very effective, though I found an upgrade, but never got the chance to use it. I don't really feel the need for System Repair Drones unless I'm low on crew.

I like the rock aliens, especially where ever there's a fire. I also like them and the Mantis when I have intruders. I like the Engi for repairing systems. I've also had a Slug once, but not for long.

I usually try to explore a sector instead of rushing to the end of it. This can be beneficial, since I found out that the level of difficulty progresses with each sector and it's already a "hard" game on "easy." I avoid the spiders and most other "investigate" missions for fear of losing crew. Sometimes I have plenty, but there's usually always room for more and I don't often buy them unless I need to. Having around 10 energy and missiles at the beginning of the sector is good, I think.

I've found some really good weapons. Recently, I found a missile upgrade that sends Drones to destroy a system, very effective and helpful. I've seen it miss maybe once. I've had various lasers and beams and like them, too. I have not yet unlocked different ship layouts. I'm not even sure if I've unlocked a ship, but I'm sticking with the default one.

It's a real fun game even though death seems eminent. The music is good, too. I've played for 18 hours.