169 Posts

https://steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net/steam/apps/648350/header.jpg?t=1530634318
Rad
GregoPeck gives this game a solid "Rad" on the Ghost Scale
This is a fun game, with very few bugs or gameplay issues, and is well worth your time.
Rad
GregoPeck gives this game a "Rad" on the Ghost Scale
This is a fun game, with very few bugs or gameplay issues, and is well worth your time.
If you ever thought it’d be cool to create your own Jurassic Park (or World), then the time for you has come! Jurassic World Evolution is pretty much a Jurassic Park/Wold simulation game that was recently released and seems pretty popular (especially on YouTube). It’s an interesting game and I’ve played some of it, so I thought I’d share it with you.

You’ll start off on one of a few different islands (not Isla Nublar, which you unlock later). You’ll have a basic structure going on, such as a large pen already built. You’ll still need a few other buildings, but you can purchase them whenever you can afford them. The starting layout is pretty good, but there’s more room for you to grow your park. You’ll also start out with a few million dollars to buy new buildings or get started on dinosaur incubation.

You won’t have all (48 I think) dinos unlocked right away, but I think you’ll have at least one “viable” genome with which you can incubate into a dino. You won’t be able to incubate a dino until you have enough DNA, which you get by doing expeditions. This part of the game is pretty simple. You’ll see an expedition map, which contains real-life expedition sites that actually exist. You’ll click on one to send your team to (for a price) and they will come back with fossils after a few minutes. You then have to analyze fossils in order to get more DNA for whatever dino you’re working on. You’re going to want to constantly send out expedition teams to gather more fossils, so that you can incubate more dinos.

Obtaining more of the dinos genome means you’ll have more success when incubating a dino. I believe 50% is “viable.” Also, with a full genome, you can modify each creature, giving them extra stats like disease resistance, better rating, or a new skin. Personally, I’m very fond of the rain forest skin, which gives dinos a bit of blue.

The park has a variety of needs. Each building requires power and a path. Each building also has it’s own utility. The Asset Containment Unit uses helicopters to tranquilize, move, or sell dinos. You’ll also have a Ranger station which uses jeeps to repair structures or resupply feeders. You can drive them yourself, which you may want to do at some time. It also can heal dinos and allow you to take pictures.

Guests have other needs such as shopping, food, fun, and security. You can increase these with an appropriate building. Hotels will increase how many guests you can have. There are also shelters you can place to give your guests some where to go when an emergency happens such as a bad storm or a loose dino. Satisfying all of these needs will earn you ratings on that specific island. In order to unlock further islands you will need to get a three star rating for the island you’re on. Each island is a bit unique. Isla Nublar is pretty much the “creative mode” island, where you have unlimited funds and can pretty much do whatever you like. Another island has a problem with frequent storms, including tornadoes that can severely damage structures or even fences.

It’s worth noting that each island has it’s own amount of money. However, you can use one island to send an expedition team and retrieve fossils. Sometimes these expeditions recover materials that you can only sell. So, once you have those materials, you can switch over to another island and sell them, increasing the amount of money you have on that island. (Pro tip!)

Dinos also have their own needs such as food, water, grassland, forest, social, and population to name a few. If these needs are met, the dino will be comfortable, if they get uncomfortable then they start to break fences and escape their enclosure. This is definitely a problem as herbivores can stampede and trample guests, while carnivores will eat guests (and you can watch this happen). If they break out of an enclosure, you’ll have to use a Ranger team to repair the fence and an ACU unit (helicopter) to tranquilize and move them back into their enclosure. So, it’s very important to keep your dinos comfortable, or else there’s going to be serious problems.

There are three “factions” within the game, science, entertainment, and security. You can do tasks for each of them that will increase your reputation with them. Doing so will unlock a variety of things such as dinos and buildings. They have missions on each island, but they also have contracts. Contracts are basically activities you can do that will not only increase your reputation with that faction, but also reward you with money (which you’ll need).

As you play more and do more, you’ll unlock new buildings, technology, and dinos. You may wish to be careful of which dinos you put together as some of them will obviously not get along and start fighting. Or, you could just decide to see for yourself which dino would win in a fight. You could even edit their genome and make one much better than another. It’s pretty interesting.

The game looks good and runs well. There are some issues you may run into. For one thing, sometimes building is difficult due to obstructions of buildings or the terrain. Also, it seems that some of the animations don’t quite work together. For instance you might see a Rex kill a Raptor, but you won’t actually see them touch, just almost touching. Hopefully this is something the developers will fix.

So far, the game does have one cheap DLC that adds (I believe) 5 new dinos to the game. There was also a free update when Jurassic World Extinction was released, which added more dinos, including the Indominous Raptor. It has been speculated that the game will get aquatic and aviary dinos in the future, but so far that doesn’t seem to be guaranteed.

If you like simulation games and Jurassic Park/Wold, then this game is probably for you.

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https://eu.playgames.dk/9397/the-sims-4.jpg
Rad
GregoPeck gives this game a solid "Rad" on the Ghost Scale
This is a fun game, with very few bugs or gameplay issues, and is well worth your time.
Rad
GregoPeck gives this game a "Rad" on the Ghost Scale
This is a fun game, with very few bugs or gameplay issues, and is well worth your time.
I wouldn’t call myself a die-hard Sims fan, but I have played some of the games in the series, starting with the first one. I’ve also played The Sims 3, as it was given away for free on Origin. However, there was a recent sale and I was able to buy The Sims 4 for just $10. I thought that was a great deal, so I got it. Unfortunately, I was pretty blown away with how many expansions there are for the game and there doesn’t seem to be an all-in-one version, which I think would be cool, although probably a bit expensive. I figured if I liked the game enough, I could buy expansions whenever I wanted or catch them on sale. That said, I didn’t buy any special version of the game, there are some that come with an expansion, but I decided to just get the base game.

If you’re familiar with The Sims or have ever played one in the series, you pretty much know all there is to know about it, with some differences. However, if you don’t know, The Sims is a simulation game. You control people in a household. You move them into a furnished or unfurnished house pre-made or built by yourself. The Sims (the people in the game) have their own needs and desires. They can take care of many of these things alone without your direction, but you can still command them to do other things. Getting a job is not something they will do on their own, so you’ll have to pick one for them, if you want them to be employed. There are a good variety of jobs you can choose from, each suited to different kinds of sims. For instance, creative geared sims may find a job in the music industry. You could also have a writer, who can write and sell books on their own, a cook, a gardener, etc.

When you start the game, you can create your own sims. You can create a household of one or more, if you wish. There are a lot of customization options! You can customize how your sims look and most definitely create unique looking sims. They look good though, there’s a lot of detail in them. There are also a variety of wardrobes you can customize, such as their informal and formal wear. Along with looks, you will be able to customize their personalities. In The Sims 4, you can select their aspirations from a decent list that even breaks aspirations down into more specific aspirations. For instance, creative sims could be creative at art, music, or comedy.

Once you’ve created your sims, you can have them move into a house. There are a couple of neighborhoods to choose from, each unique in their own ways. The neighborhoods pretty much contain the same social buildings such as a library. Different families live in them, too. Once you’ve decided on the neighborhood, you can choose which house or lot to move them into. Here you can have them move into one that’s already built and furnished or unfurnished or you could build your own. You’ll start out with some simoleons, the game’s currency, however there is a cheat you can use to give yourself infinite simoleons and thus plenty of money to be as creative as you want. The game doesn’t punish you for using cheats.

Once you’ve moved in and furnished your house (if need be), you can then start managing your sims. They have a variety of needs such as hunger, energy, bladder, social, fun, and hygiene. In this version, you can actually click on these needs and set them so that the sim will take care of it own their own. One of the first things you’ll want to do is get the sims a job, but you can always switch jobs, change careers, or just be unemployed if you wish. There are other ways to make money without having a job. For instance, writers can write their own books and sell them to a publisher. This ends up generating a lot of income, especially with a high writing skill. You can practice skills by doing them or reading a skill book. So, a programmer could level up their programming skill by practicing programming on a computer.

Since I’ve played The Sims before, I noticed a few differences, although it’s been a while, so I probably didn’t fully notice all of them. The camera was one of the first things I noticed was different. I had to Google how to control the camera, as it is different from The Sims 3, however you can enable an option to use the same camera settings from The Sims 3. Another thing I noticed was the lack of an alarm clock. Previously, you needed an alarm clock to wake up a sim in time for work, otherwise they’d miss it. This time, it seems, you can wake them up manually on time. A notification will tell you, for instance, that your sim starts work “in one hour.” So, you have plenty of time to tell them to get up and take care of whatever needs they have. They will automatically go to work on time, so long as you don’t have them focused on something else. There is, what I guess you’d call an activity bar, where you can cue up various activities for your sim to do. They mostly do them one by one, but there is actually some multi-tasking they can do, like eat and watch TV. It’s easy to cancel an activity, just by clicking on it in the bar.

I think emotions are new to this version of the game. Sims can be happy, sad, uncomfortable, focused, flirty, and a lot more. Certain activities or events will trigger different emotions. For instance, sleeping in a cheap bed will cause the sim to be uncomfortable. There are also a variety of items you can put in rooms that will change a sims mood, which is handy.

Another interesting, new addition is the smart phone. Sims no longer need telephones as they all have smartphones. They can use them to call another sim, travel, or just browse the web.

An employed sim will have a daily activity (such as “practice programming”) and other goals in order to gain a promotion. One of these goals could be to reach a certain skill level (such as reach level 7 programming skill). Some sims will also want to go to work with a certain mood, like “focused.” Promotions can change the job schedule and they definitely increase income.

You can change the speed in which things happen with your sim. For instance, you can make time go by faster while they’re sleeping, but this is something the game actually does automatically. This also happens when they’re at work. So, you don’t necessarily have to wait around forever for them to finish completing an activity. Some activities (like leveling up skills) will also show you a progress bar. Usually for skills, you’ll want to pay attention to the meter above their head. However, other activities, like hacking, will have an outline of the activity in the activity bar that shows the progress being made for that activity.

Other than needs, your sim will have up to three different desires, which depends on their mood or their aspirations. This could be something like “chat with” another sim or “buy an instrument.” If you have your sim complete these activities, they earn another kind of currency which can be used in the aspirations menu to buy traits or potions. For instance, you can purchase a potion to make your sim younger.

It’s a fun, calm, easy-going, and interesting game. I do believe that the latest versions (The Sims 4) is definitely an evolution to the series, as the game has progressed during development. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, you should check it out. Perhaps catch it on sale, buy it a full price, or catch The Sims 3 if it’s ever on the “on the house” part of Origin (the EA standalone game launcher).

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https://steamcdn-a.opskins.media/steam/apps/371660/header.jpg?t=1530032970
Rad
GregoPeck gives this game a solid "Rad" on the Ghost Scale
This is a fun game, with very few bugs or gameplay issues, and is well worth your time.
Rad
GregoPeck gives this game a "Rad" on the Ghost Scale
This is a fun game, with very few bugs or gameplay issues, and is well worth your time.
I found out about Far Cry Primal from one of my favorite YouTubers, Sl1pg8r. He had early access to the game and was able to show it off before it was released. I had never played a Far Cry game, so I knew nothing about the series. I only knew what I saw in those videos Sl1pg8r posted. It looked interesting enough, so I added it to my wish list (on various sites). I ended up buying it recently at a good discount. I recently finished it, so it’s time to write about it!

The game is called Far Cry Primal for a reason, it takes place in 10,000 B.C.E., so you’re not going to have access to modern technology. You do still have a variety of primal weaponry, such as bows (and arrows), spears, clubs, and “bombs.” Although this may sound like a short list, it gets a little longer considering that there are variations of each weapon. For instance, later you can unlock the long bow and also the ability to use two arrows at once, which is definitely very effective against enemies. Also, there’s a one-handed club and a two-handed club. There are also stone shards you can throw at enemies, like throwing knives. You can also toss a rock into a group of enemies to distract them, aiding you in maintaining stealth. Not all missions have a stealth bonus and I don’t seem to recall any actually requiring stealth. However, in some missions if you’re not stealthy then the people you are trying to rescue will get killed.

This is an open-world game, but you won’t be able to explore every area right away. In order to get to some areas, you’re going to need to unlock the grappling hook, which is done while finding a tribesman. There are some humorous cut-scenes, especially with the one who unlocks this skill. Basically the point of the game is to reunite your tribe and defeat the other two tribes. One tribe is a group of cannibals and the other are pyromaniacs.

You’ll have a small tribal gathering, which you can expand by finding new people. They will give you their own missions, which will unlock skills. There’s a small handful of them, but they each have their own role within the tribe. My favorite is the shaman who helps you become the beast master.

One of the features of the game I found most intriguing was that you could tame “beasts” and use an owl as a scout. There are a variety of animals you can tame and each one has their own unique abilities and stats (such as speed, strength, and stealth). Even with a variety of animals, most have their own varieties as well, especially “rare” versions. For instance, there’s a brown bear and a cave bear. Other than bears you can also tame dholes, sabertooths, and wolves. As you advance in the story, you’ll unlock different animals that can be tamed. Eventually, you’ll even be able to tame some that are “hard” (or “very hard”) hunting missions. These animals are the best of the bunch.

Taming animals is very helpful, because throughout the entire game you are alone. You can, however, have one tamed beast with you at a time, which removes that whole fighting alone thing. Your beast can scare away other animals and even attack enemies or other animals, which is why they’re so important. You can also ride some of them, once you’ve unlocked that skill. This can help you move through the map much more quickly and safely.

You’ll also have access to an owl that you can use to scout ahead. However, as you progress and unlock new skills, the owl can do much more for you. It can eventually attack and kill enemies (with one hit). It can also drop “bombs,” which there are a few in the game such as the ball of bees, my favorite, or the fire bomb. The owl is actually extremely useful if you’re trying for stealth. Some missions give bonus experience points for stealth and thus the owl is the way to go. It does have a cool down, so you can’t spam it too fast, but if you’re patient, you can still take out a small group of enemies. You can also use the owl to send your tamed beast in to kill your enemies, this still seems to give you the stealth bonus, as long as you’re not seen.

Not all animals in the game can be tamed, like birds or badgers, but you can still use mammoths, even though you can’t tame them. Once you reach a certain point of the game, you’ll be able to ride wild mammoths, but I think it’s only the young ones. There are still a variety of wild animals that are dangerous and can’t be tamed such as crocodiles, woolly rhinos, elk, and hawks. The hawks will attack you and it’s hard to attack them, but I did once see a hawk pick up a deer and fly away with it, it was amazing!

There are a variety of optional collectibles you can find. There are four types, I think, and I collected all of three of them. However, even by collecting all of them, you still won’t spend a huge amount of time in the game. My total game play was probably about 40 hours, maybe less.

One thing I really liked about the game was how solid it was as a program. The game never crashed nor did its performance ever drag. It is definitely a solid piece of work. It seems there were only two or three patches done to it. I once did run into an issue where I got stuck in the world, or in between things, but I was able to resolve it by fast traveling to another location. Otherwise, I didn’t run into any bugs and I think that says a lot about the Ubisoft.

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In case you miss the slight mention of this in my Extinction post,.....Ark is now available on iOS and Apple mobile devices for free! Feel free to give it a try and let me know what you think of it. I imagine there's a Local (single player) mode, like the PC has, otherwise you'll be playing with random people.

My phone is incompatible so let me know what you think! It obviously doesn't look as great as it does on PC, but at least this gives you an opportunity to experience the game for free!

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Studio Wildcard just released a trailer with a release date for the new DLC expansion, Extinction. It looks cool and takes us back to where it all “begins and ends” on Earth, which is hardly recognizable as it looks like something horrible happened. In the video you get to see a few new things, like a Tek creature using blink teleportation and going after a Giganotosaurus. You also get to see a huge beast, known as a Titan. There are more than one of them and apparently they’re mini-bosses. You also get to see someone using binoculars and piloting a drone.

Extinction is the last paid DLC for Ark and is included in the Season Pass. What comes next? Possibly a sequel! For now, Wildcard is slowly revealing pieces of Extinction during events titled “Extinction Chronicles.” They’ve already begun with a new “Arkaeology” Event in which they released Tek T-Rexes onto official maps that contain Rexes. There are also a few new Explorer Notes which apparently unlock a new Extinction related cosmetic helmet skin. They also created three new skins, turning a few dinos into other related dinos, such as the one that turns a Bronto into a Brachiosaur.

It’s all interesting and this DLC arrives on 11/6/18. In the meantime, Ark has been released as a free mobile game. Also, Ark is having it's "biggest sale ever on all platforms" right now.

More info: https://survivetheark.com/index.php?/articles.html/ark-extinction-release-date-revealed-r850/

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I just thought I'd let you know that some summer sales are already underway! Humble Bundle, GOG, and Origin are all having sales right now! Steam's summer sale begins on the 22nd, according to a source I found via Google.

Is there anything you're planning to pick up? Let me know in the comments! I got Far Cry Primal Digital Deluxe Edition for 60% off! Now I'm waiting for the Steam sale to get Jurassic World Evolution and maybe some other games.

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Fallout 76 has been announced with a trailer (embedded). No other information has been provided. After watching the video, it sounds like it takes place in West Virginia, a neighboring state of mine. I would expect some serious irradiated wild life as WV's theme is "wild and wonderful." Let me know what you think and share any additional info you have.

News source: https://www.cnet.com/news/fallout-76-is-the-next-bethesda-adventure-in-the-post-apocalyptic-wasteland/

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I recently watched a video by one of my favorite YouTubers, xBCrafted (embedded in post). This video was about his top five must-have mods for Ark: Survival Evolved. I left a comment for him, but I also thought I’d write a post here about my favorite mods for Ark. Here we go!

Ark is absolutely my most favorite modern day game. I’ve actually played it way more than I’ve played any other game EVER. I’ve already clocked nearly 2,700 hours! So, I know Ark! One of the great things about this game is the Workshop, the ability to use mods. There are a lot out there and some of them are pretty dramatic, turning the game into something more bizarre and crazy (like special versions of creatures that are at levels much higher than the base game). One of which is Annunaki Genesis, which I enjoyed. It added dragons and elements, like poison and fire. In AG, you can tame Alpha versions of creatures and they also start out with very high levels. I can’t recall which levels, but the highest wild creature in the base game is 150, but AG increased that to 500-600, if I remember correctly! AG is the only such “crazy” mod in this list and I pretty much state it here to give you a good example of what mods can do to the game. I’m not saying AG is a bad mod, it’s pretty good actually and the only one of it’s kind that I’ve tried.

There are some mods that are pretty much ESSENTIAL! One of which is perhaps the most popular mod of all, Structures Plus! S+ makes building in Ark a lot easier. One of the things it allows you to do that you can’t do in the base game is to pick up things (like walls, foundations, ceilings, etc.) that you’ve placed. One problem with the base game is that if you don’t like how you placed a wall, for instance, you can only demolish it, you can’t simply pick it up and place it some where else. S+ allows you to do just that and more. S+ comes with it’s own versions of crafting stations, like the smithy and fabricator. S+ actually allows you to pull resources from one place (crafting station, storage box, or creature inventory) and put it in another. So, if you want to make some flak armor, instead of carrying all that material over to the crafting station, you can click a button and the mod will pull the required materials, if you have enough of them for whatever you’re crafting. There’s quite a lot more about S+. It’s difficult to get into all of it from memory alone, but I strongly recommend this mod! Another tool S+ adds is a “Nanny” which is something you can place that will imprint your babies for you, so you don’t have to wait around until it’s ready to be imprinted. It also removes the requirement to do whatever the baby wants or give it whatever kibble it decides it wants. This is definitely a time saver. It also has something that makes hatching eggs easier and quicker, but I use another mod for that.

Another ESSENTIAL mod for Ark is StackMeMore. This mod reduces the weight of everything and increases their stack sizes. So, you can easily carry a huge load of materials without having to run around back and forth to store things that normally weigh a lot and have very limited stack sizes. I’ve gotten so use to this mod that I can hardly remember playing without it.

Another really good mod is Ark Advance, currently called “Ark Advance 10.” It has it’s own crafting station which allows you to make some interesting things. I primarily use it for two things. With this mod you can make tranq arrows that slow down your target. But, you can also make tranq arrows and darts that are extremely effective! These, to me, are an essential part of taming. The mod author has stated that it could take about 5 of these special tranq darts to take down a max level Rex. Most things don’t take too many darts, in fact earlier I knocked out a Megalosaurus with just one dart. Another really helpful piece of this mod that I use is the feeding trough. This feeding trough uses power to keep food from spoiling fast. This is super helpful. I also like to use the portable refrigerator in this mod.

Speaking of mods essential for taming, TameXL is another amazing mod. Normally when you knock out a creature with a tranq arrow or dart, you have to wait until it’s hungry enough to eat the food you’re trying to give it. You also have to keep an eye on it’s torpor, making sure it doesn’t get too low or it’ll wake up. There’s been debate since the beginning of Ark whether or not you should let the creature starve before putting food in it’s inventory. A hungry creature will eat food more quickly, but you still have to wait for the creature’s food stat to drain. Luckily, this mod removes that waiting time. It allows you to create narcotic that completely increases a creature’s torpor and completely drains their food. This means that you can go ahead and give them food. This really cuts down on the amount of time necessary to tame a creature.

Another mod I really like is called Egg N Poop Collector/Incubator. As the name says, it adds a collector that collects eggs and poop. It can then transfer that poop to another station (within the mod) that turns it into fertilizer, although you still need to add thatch to it. Once that fertilizer is created, it can send it over to your crop plots. This makes farming more automatic. There is a chance that instead of dropping poop, a creature will drop an egg. This collector picks up both, so you don’t have to go hunting around for either resource. Eggs and poop are essential to creating kibble, while eggs are used in the recipe and poop is used to grow crops that are used in the recipe. I also like the Incubator, which requires power. You simply drop a fertilized egg on it and it hatches quickly. Normally to hatch an egg, you need to put it in a place that has the right temperature. Each egg has a different preference of temperature. Normally you would surround an egg with some air conditioners, but this mod removes the need to worry about temperature and hatch time.

Farming and making kibble does require a bit of work, but if you don’t want to bother with making kibble, the Kibble Vending Machine mod is for you! It allows you to make kibble using raw metal (ore). This is really handy! I’ve often carried one around with me when I go out to tame creatures. I usually collect enough metal to have the machine craft as much kibble as I need.

Stargate Worlds is a mod that adds pieces from the sci-fi show Stargate. I mostly use it for crafting Stargates, which are essentially portals. I usually have one in my base and then another where I can harvest metal. So then I can hop on an Anky and teleport to the metal, harvest, and teleport back. It also has rings that provide short distance teleportation. For instance, if you have a base with three floors, you could put one ring on the bottom floor and one on the top and connect the two (by giving them the same name) and thus you can teleport between floors. This also works with creatures. There are other parts of this mod I have no yet explored.

Other than Structures Plus, I normally don’t use very many building mods. However, I did decide to try one out called GlassMetal. I do have a huge base on the island completely made out of glass metal. It looks cool.

Finally, the Builder’s Helmet is another essential. It allows you to pick up any structure. You can craft the helmet out of cheap materials. This is good especially if you’ve made something that isn’t part of Structures Plus. You can even make the skin version of the helmet that can be inserted on your helmet, therefore not losing your armor.

These are the mods I’ve been using for a while. Watching xB’s video also alerted me to another one called Super Spyglass which is a spyglass that lets you see all the detailed information about a creature, like their health and stats. This can be extremely useful and allows you to zoom in as well.

If you play Ark with mods, feel free to share your favorite mods in the comment section.

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Must
GregoPeck gives this game an astounding "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This game achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
Must
GregoPeck gives this game a "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This game achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
I haven’t had very many reasons to get a PS4, but I’m really loving the fact that some of the games I wanted to play have come to Steam. Batman: Arkham Knight is one of those games. I had played the Arkham series before on the PS3 and really enjoyed them. Arkham Knight was very similar, yet very different. This was the first time you could actually drive the Batmobile around. It was an exciting addition that made the game feel a little more like GTA. The story, which I won’t spoil, was good, or at least I think so. When I reached the conclusion, I was surprised, but realized that I really didn’t know everything about Batman, although I think he is perhaps my favorite super hero.

The series started with Batman: Arkham Asylum. Batman has caught the Joker after he escaped the asylum. Batman brings him back, but quickly finds out that this was Joker’s plan all along. Joker has been working on something (again not going to spoil). He has a party to throw and Batman is the guest of honor. It still takes some time and game play to get to that point. As Batman, you traverse the asylum and fight the bad guys. Combat is pretty simple and good. There are a variety of combos you can do even ones that include the use of your gadgets. Speaking of gadgets, Batman gets access to his wonderful tools, although he doesn’t have all of them right away. You’ll end up with all of them by the time you finish the game though, and your going to need them for a variety of reasons.

There are plenty of familiar characters in Arkham Asylum such as Poison Ivy, Joker, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Scarecrow, and Commissioner Gordon. It doesn’t include all the characters as no game in the series does, but it still has plenty of them. There’s also plenty to do. There’s regular combat, where you get into a fist fight with a group of bad guys, but there’s also a stealth element to it. There are times, you’ll find, that it’s better to hide in the shadows and take out enemies quietly and one by one. This is often the case when fighting bad guys with guns.

Batman does have a limited amount of health, there’s also a bit of an RPG element, in that he levels up and gets access to different things such as more protection against guns and new combos. The game auto saves and that’s just fine. When you die, you start over from when the game last saved, which is often when you enter or exit a building and other times. You never go too far into the game and lose tons of progress because of death. The game also has a few difficulty settings and there are extra challenges. Many of the extra challenges are played outside the main story part of the game and are also DLC.

One of the most interesting parts of the series is that Riddler has hidden trophies or other secrets around the map. In the asylum, you’ll find trophies, tapes of interviews with patients, and even spider-like statues that cover the story of the asylum. You can also find maps that reveal the approximate location of trophies, but you still have to look for them. Some trophies cannot be obtained until you’ve gained access to a certain gadget, for instance some require that you have the bat claw, or explosive gel. They can be kind of tricky to find at times, while some are pretty much out in plain sight.

While Batman: Arkham City is the second game in the series, it’s the first I was aware of and played. I had a friend let me borrow it and I enjoyed it so much I bought it and the other two in the series. Back then there were only three games in the series. Arkham City was really fun and bigger than Arkham Asylum. Basically, a large part of Gotham City was turned into Arkham City, a place that contains Gotham’s criminals. In the beginning when you’re introduced to the game, you find out that psychiatrist Hugo Strange has created this city and has captured Bruce Wayne and thrown him in. He knows that Bruce Wayne is Batman. You get to do a little bit as Bruce, but soon after entering, Alfred helps you out by sending you your Bat suit.

Arkham City is very much like Arkham Asylum, so if you liked the first game, I’m sure you’ll like the second (and third and fourth). There are new characters, like Hugo Strange, and the Mad Hatter among very many others. One new change is that you can also play as Catwoman, which is cool. She has her own skill tree to level up and her own weapons and combos. She has teamed up with Batman and takes over for him from time to time. Once you get to a certain point in the game, you can visit certain places on some roof tops in order to switch between characters. The story will have you switch at times, but eventually you’ll want to switch as some of Riddler’s trophies are specifically for Catwoman to collect. In fact, if Batman touches one, Riddler warns you that that trophy isn’t for you. Your trophies are green while Catwoman’s are purple (I think).

Another really cool thing about Arkham City is the ability to change Batman’s suit. My personal favorite is the 1970’s Batman, but you can also use the suits from Batman Beyond, Dark Knight, and others. Arkham City pretty much has everything Arkham Asylum had, just more of it and a bigger map. So, you still have Riddler trophies to hunt down and gadgets you’ll gain access to as the story progresses. You still have hand-to-hand combat with groups of bad guys and you still have fights where you need to use stealth to take out armed bad guys. It’s a really good game.

Batman: Arkham Origins is next and is actually a pre-quel to Arkham Asylum. Each game in the series takes place during a single day. Arkham Origins takes place on Christmas Eve, so you’ll notice Christmas music and themes around. Here you meet Joker for the first time. You start off by investigating what’s going on in Black Gate Prison where Black Mask has escaped and taken over the prison. This game is also very much like it’s predecessors, but includes some cool new features and a bigger map (I think). One of the new features is the ability to fast travel to different parts of the map. You can’t do this immediately, you have to take down Comm stations before you get access to fast travel via the Bat Wing. There are no Riddler trophies, instead you have to collect data packs Riddler has that are spread around Gotham City. These data packs contain files of incriminating information about different people. He also has security cameras set up around the map which you can destroy with a Batarang.

All four games are incredibly similar, but different enough to stand out on their own. While I think Arkham Asylum is good, it’s not my favorite. After I played Arkham Knight on Steam, I decided to get the other three games on Steam as well. Now I’ve played through the first three of them at least twice, some perhaps thrice.

If you like Batman, I strongly suggest you play these games. They are good and they’re also cheap now. I played with a controller and would recommend that as well.

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Meh
GregoPeck gives this game a "Meh" on the Ghost Scale
It’s not amazing, it’s not bad. This game is ok but you may want to choose another title.
Meh
GregoPeck gives this game a "Meh" on the Ghost Scale
It’s not amazing, it’s not bad. This game is ok but you may want to choose another title.
Minecraft meets Ark: Survival Evolved in a new Early Access game called PixArk. At first, I thought it was a mod for Ark, but I was wrong. Apparently Snail Games bought Studio Wildcard years ago and therefore has the IP rights to Ark. The game looks as though everything was made of Lego blocks, it actually looks a lot like a game called Portal Knights.

One of the limitations of Ark is that you can’t dig into the ground, but you can do so in PixArk, giving it a Minecraft feel. It also creates randomly generated maps, which can be troublesome because a map could be created missing certain biomes. Unlike Minecraft (Java version), the maps have their size limitations. Players can also find portals that can be used to get around the map.

Magic is something not seen in Ark, but is used in this game. There are magical creatures, which can only be tamed via magic. There is a magical forest biome, where you can get materials needed for magical crafting.

The game play is pretty much just like Ark, where players can connect to servers and play with others in PVE or PVP environments. But, there is also a single player mode and players can even create their own dedicated server.

Something else in the game that’s not seen in Ark are quests. There are quest boxes around the map. They may offer something such as “tame a phioma with a purple berry” or “gather 10 dirt.” Upon completion, players will be presented a chest containing some rewards. It’s a nice addition that gives player something to do.

The game is in Early Access and is not without its bugs and issues. However, it seems pretty stable on “epic” settings. Portals and supply drops are currently missing in single player mode, so I decided to create a dedicated server to play on. Looking in the game’s guides on Steam, I was able to find instructions on how to create and run a dedicated server. Unfortunately, it didn’t work right away, but I did manage to some how get it working. This is something I imagine may get some more attention in the future.

Star unselected

Meh
GregoPeck gives this game a "Meh" on the Ghost Scale
It’s not amazing, it’s not bad. This game is ok but you may want to choose another title.
Meh
GregoPeck gives this game a "Meh" on the Ghost Scale
It’s not amazing, it’s not bad. This game is ok but you may want to choose another title.
Final Fantasy X: Windows Edition was recently released. It includes some new features and currently available DLC. I was told that this is a short game, that is if you don’t do many of the side quests. I did some of them and finished in about 45 hours, the first time. I then unlocked New Game+ and finished a second time. After doing more side quests and the DLC, I now have over 100 hours into the game. I did play on easy, so I may replay the game on normal difficulty.

You are in control of the main character, Noctis. There are three other characters that are controlled by the AI and are almost always with you. Each character has their own specialization or skill. Noct is a fisherman. Ignis cooks at camp, which can provide temporary bonuses. He can also drive. Gladio “picks up” items at the end of a battle. His skill increases the more he walks. Prompto is a photographer. I think the characters are good and likable. I felt like they were true FF characters.

The demo and tutorial do a decent job of helping you figure out how to play, but they don’t dive too deep into things. It took me a while to realize that Tech abilities level up the more you use them. They do reach a max, but you can also switch them out outside of battle. Each AI character has their own Tech abilities, each with their own strengths or purposes.

I wasn’t too sure about the Ascension grid, so I looked up some helpful tips as it can be a bit overwhelming at first. The Exploration part of the grid helps you gain Ability Points, which you spend in the grid. You can gain AP by doing things as making camp or making long trips via car or chocobo. These are good to have early on to help you gain more AP.

There was a patch released to fix the one main problem me and other players ran into, summoning destroyed your fps. After that, the game crashed on me a few times after playing for a while. Otherwise it usually ran pretty smoothly. The game is beautiful and it reminds me of many games, like GTAV and The Witcher 3. It’s nice to see such a beautiful open FF world. it makes me wish other FF games could look like this one.

I found combat to be a bit different than other FF games. You can see monsters, beasts, and enemies roaming around. You can try to avoid them or get within range of them to initiate combat. There is no separate combat screen like in most FF games, everything happens in real time. It also seemed that the game was more full of fetch quests than being in a state of constant combat. In the end, I think it’s not a bad FF game, but it doesn’t quite capture my heart like FFVII-X.

Star unselected

I feel like there has been a lot of gaming news and releases just within the last day or two. In case you missed, I’m here to cover one piece of it. Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition is being released on March 6th. However, a demo was released and I finished it. This is a game I've had my eye on for a while. It's one of the few reasons I have for getting a PS4. Now that this game is coming to Steam, I have on less reason for that PS4. I makes me feel quite happy that my PC can play games made for the current console generation.

Before the demo was released, Square Enix released a benchmark to test PC compatibility with the game. The result I got was that I should be able to comfortably run the game on high settings.
I actually did run into a part of the demo, at the very end, where the video lagged, but I think that's because Steam was installing a Fallout 4 update. Check out my post for the benchmark (https://cheerfulghost.com/GregoPeck/posts/3620/why-i-don-t-need-a-console-edition).

It’s good to know that game demos are not long gone, even if they may be hard to find. Luckily, Square Enix doesn’t disappoint. I am actually impressed that they released a demo, I wish more games would do this. The demo starts out with the basic tutorials, but it allows you to skip them or even repeat them. Combat takes a little getting used to. I should also mention here that I decided to try the game out with the Xbox 360 controller I have for my PC. The game was really good at detecting it right away, letting me use it, and telling me which buttons I needed to press.

You do get to complete at least a couple of missions in the demo. It basically introduces you to the characters and the world. Later on you’ll see a flood of videos showing the events that were pretty much covered in the FFXV movie.

The game looks great, it reminds me a lot of GTA V and Witcher 3. It’s pretty much open-world. You can walk, run, and drive a car. Driving isn’t bad, the car seems to stay on the road on it’s own unless you turn. One of your companions can drive, but you can manually drive it, if you choose.

The demo takes about an hour to complete, but I feel like it gave me a good taste of the game. I think it is definitely something that deserves to be at the top of my wishlist.

Check it out and feel free to let me know what you think about it.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/671210/FINAL_FANTASY_XV_WINDOWS_EDITION_PLAYABLE_DEMO/

Star unselected

Must
GregoPeck gives this game an astounding "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This game achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
Must
GregoPeck gives this game a "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This game achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
The latest expansion for Civ6, Rise and Fall, has been released. The expansion adds 9 civs and new game mechanics. One of the new features is the ability to use governors. They come with their own unique promotions that provide helpful abilities. They can be established in your own cities, or in a city-state. One of my personal favorite governors is the cardinal, who ultimately can give apostles an extra promotion. There are others focused on other aspects of the game like military, growth, etc.

As time progresses in the game, you will move into different eras, like Ancient, Classical, Modern, etc. The expansion introduces a new bonus system, which calculates an “era score.” You gain points by doing different things, like being the first to fully establish a religion. There are Dark, Normal, Golden, and Heroic ages. Dark ages aren’t necessarily bad and being in one actually makes it easier to enter a Golden age. For a more of a detailed look check out
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2018-02-11-civilization-6-rise-and-fall-era-score-historic-moments-golden-ages-heroic-ages-dark-ages-dedications-explained-5003

There are a few more new things I haven’t fully explored yet. I know that you can actually lose a city if it’s loyalty drops, it can gain its independence. Loyalty is something I haven’t really observed, perhaps it becomes more of an issue at a higher difficulty. There are also world emergencies, in which multiple civs can team up against another. I’ve seen this in my game as I convert other civs to my religion. I had to defend my religion, which I was able to do and was granted a nice bonus.

If you want to know more about Rise and Fall, I suggest looking at the wiki or checking out one of the many videos the developers have released on YouTube. Be sure to check out the one I embedded to see a bit of what's new.

Star unselected

http://cdn.edgecast.steamstatic.com/steam/apps/219740/header.jpg?t=1505326169
I found a site that lists some of the "best indie games." I recognized a few titles I own, like Don't Starve. Some of them I have forgotten about as I received for free, such as via Twitch Prime. One of those free games is Banner Saga and I decided to start playing it and am enjoying it (I may write more about it after I've played it longer).

I bought Don't Starve, I think when it was still in Early Access. I have the DLC for it, but it is a bit challenging. I've watched a YouTube guide series twice, but still feel like I need to figure out how to successfully play the game.

Check out the link below and let me know what you think of these titles, if you've played them. If you haven't play them, you might want to check them out.

https://geeks.media/best-indie-games

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http://mix967.ca/files/2018/01/2018.jpg
I found a list of game release dates for this year and wanted to share. There are a few things that have my attention. FFXV is releasing on PC next month and Red Dead Redemption 2 is releasing in October. I'm hoping to see RDR2 come to PC, but it seems to be just for consoles (for now!). Civ 6 Rise and Fall DLC also gets released on the 2/8, I'm strongly thinking about getting it.

What are you looking forward to this year?

https://www.gamespot.com/articles/every-game-release-date-in-2018-red-dead-redemptio/1100-6455204/

Star unselected

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