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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.


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/


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.


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


GregoPeck gives this a "Meh" on the Ghost Scale
It’s not amazing, it’s not bad. This is ok but you may want to choose another title.
GregoPeck gives this a "Meh" on the Ghost Scale
It’s not amazing, it’s not bad. This 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.


GregoPeck gives this a "Meh" on the Ghost Scale
It’s not amazing, it’s not bad. This is ok but you may want to choose another title.
GregoPeck gives this a "Meh" on the Ghost Scale
It’s not amazing, it’s not bad. This 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.


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/


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


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


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/


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