146 Posts

Confirming rumors, Bethesda has just announced Skyrim: Special Edition, coming to PC, PS4, and XBox One on October 28th. The game has received a superior visual upgrade. Console versions SE will also be able to use PC mods.


Bethesda also announced updates to Fallout Shelter, which includes a PC version coming soon.

Fallout 4 is also receiving some new DLC. Next week, the Contraptions Workshop will allow players to build various things such as elevators, armor racks, weapon racks, sorting machines, and more! In July, the Vault-Tech Workshop will allow players to build Vaults. It seems you can populate your own Vault and experiment on your Vault dwellers. Nuka-World is another expansion coming, it looks like it will allow players to build amusement parks.


"In a couple of months." Doom will be getting DLC called Unto the Evil, which will feature "three new multiplayer maps, a new demon, new armour, taunts, and more." New updates will also be coming out create more multiplayer modes. SnapMap is also getting some updates. (Quoted from GameSpot, link provided below.)


Bethesda E3 2016 Doom news: https://youtu.be/vLi1rdhz908

Also, if you're looking for a Doom demo, your chance is here, but only for a week. Hurry up and try it out while you can, it's a game that impressed me far greater than I originally anticipated.

Check out Travis's post for more info: http://cheerfulghost.com/Travis/posts/3002/e3-2016-sunday-roundup-bethesda-s-announcements

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Far Harbor is the latest Fallout 4 DLC, which was released on May 19th. Expectations for Far Harbor were pretty large, from what little I read about it. Bethesda teased that it was one of the largest DLC expansions for a game in a while. Considering how quickly I went through Automatron, I was looking forward to playing a larger Fallout 4 DLC.

If you're familiar with major DLC in Fallout games, you'll recognize that Far Harbor takes place in an area outside of the main map. For this one, you need to get a boat to travel, which is given to you as you begin the quest. You may also recognize that the new quest comes up by listening to a radio broadcast, this one involves a case Nick Valentine is working on. So, bringing Nick along is a good idea. Nick is familiar with the people involved in the quest and as you progress you'll see that his presence is relevant.

I think of Far Harbor as “Fog Harbor” because the fog in the area is significant and pretty much everywhere. It attracts the island's creatures and is radioactive. Some of the human residents of the island have set up fog condensers, which remove the fog and provides protection for a small area.

While I haven't finished playing the DLC, I've noticed that there are a few factions on the island and I haven't reached a point yet where I absolutely must choose a side to ally with. This may be something that comes up later. I have helped out a few groups on the island already, providing me with plenty of quests. So far, it doesn't seem as though I've run into any quests that are never ending, similar to the ones given to you by Preston. Quite a few of the quests are optional and I've tried to complete them first.

I've been enjoying this DLC. There are new creatures, new characters, new items, and new places to explore. Many of the island's creatures seem to be tough. I found some of them interesting, such as the Glowing Wolf, Glowing Radstag, and Glowing Yao Guai. Normally Radstags don't attack, but the Glowing ones certainly do. Some of these creatures may not be limited to Far Harbor, but I don't recall every seeing them elsewhere. You may also run into the very rare Hermit Crab, such as I did.

There is some new clothing including Marine Armor. I've found some of the new clothing, but haven't really used any of it yet. I'm still wearing mostly Robot Armor, which I got from the Automatron DLC. There are also new recipes, which use some of the new items you'll find around the island. One of them requires Wolf meat and Lure Weed. Be careful harvesting Lure Weed because one of the new creatures, called an Angler, has an appendage that looks like Lure Weed and lies hiding under water waiting to ambush it's prey (which means you).

There are some new weapons as well, but again I haven't really played around with them much. I did try out the new Harpoon Gun, which is pretty strong, but takes a long time to reload. I've not only found the basic version of the gun, but also two significant variations of it.

So far, I find Far Harbor to be interesting and it seems similar to other major DLC released for other Bethesda games. So, if you like the game, check out Far Harbor. Just bring some Radaway and Rad-X with you, or anything else you may find to help protect you against the island's radioactive fog. You're especially going to need it when you come across the Children of Atom, who bask in the warm glow of Atom.

Lastly, be warned, the DLC does have some issues. I read somewhere about people experiencing problems which seemed to be related to rendering the fog. I haven't had too many issues with it, but I've certainly run across a few bugs. One time, instead of walking around with me, Nick was actually swimming in the air for a while. I also ran into an issue where the game quietly crashed to the desktop while I was going through one of the puzzle-like quests.

Speaking of the puzzle-like quest, which you may find yourself running into it, it's not really extremely complicated or frustrating. It reminded me a bit of Portal. I was happy to complete it without looking for help.

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I've played almost every FF game there is, with only a few exceptions. I have almost every one of them and I even multiple copies of some of them since they were released on different systems. So a while ago, I decided to start getting them on Steam. What I love about the Steam versions is that they've received graphical upgrades and have a variety of new features.

It wasn't long after I finished FFIX on Steam that FFX/X-2 HD Remaster came out, which was much sooner than I had expected. I jumped at it and into it right away. I've played both games a few times on the PS2 and really enjoyed them.

Steam says I've spent 157 hours playing it and that's just on FFX. I remember how easy it was to spend 100 hours on the original version. This time, there was more to do, since this is the International version. That means you can choose between the Original and “Arranged” soundtrack. I've heard the Original plenty of times, so I thought I'd try out the Arranged. It definitely seemed to have a much higher quality to it.

You can also choose between the Normal and Expert Sphere Grids. From what I read, it's easier to max out your stats on the normal one. So, I went with what I was familiar with. I did try out the expert one when I created a new game to go back and get some Al Bhed Primers I missed out on the first time. It definitely seemed smaller.

The International version also includes Dark Aeons. These are super versions of Aeons, which are very difficult to beat without Yojimbo's Zanmato move or a completely filled in Sphere Grid. After defeating all of them, a new super boss appears, which is very difficult even with a completely filled in Sphere Grid and using the cheat features.

New features also include tools to cheat like giving yourself maximum Gil, unlocking all skills, enabling “super charged” characters, changing the frequency of encounters and more. While I hesitated to use these at all, I found a lot of the extra end-game things extremely difficult to do without using them. They did make things easier and more fun.

FFX is the only game I have on Steam that I've unlocked every achievement for, which is quite a task, but I enjoyed it. I may post more after playing the FFX-2 part of this excellent 2-in-1 game pack.

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After playing through a few Final Fantasy HD Remake games on Steam, I'm happy to share the news that FFX and X-2 are coming on May 12th (according to the Steam Store). This is very exciting to me. I was tempted to get the PS3 HD remake, but now I'm definitely going to wait to get it on Steam.

Here are the system requirements:


OS: Windows Vista or later
Processor: 2GHz Dual Core CPU
Memory: 1 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA Geforce 9600GT VRAM 512MB or later / ATI Radeon HD 2600XT VRAM 512MB or later
Storage: 37 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card

OS: Windows Vista or later
Processor: 2.4GHz quad-core CPU
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA Geforce GTX 450 / AMD Radeon HD 5750 with 512MB
Storage: 40 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card



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If you're in the market for a new GPU, your wait may be short-lived. Nvidia has just announced the new GTX 1080 which is expected to be released near the end of the month. I just recently ordered a GTX 980 Ti, so I'm a bit disappointed with the timing of this news. If I had found out about this even just days ago, I may have waited.

Quoted from the article:

"According to Nvidia, the GTX 1080 is 'a whole lot' faster than the Titan X, and faster than two GTX 980s in SLI, while consuming a lot less power."

"An on-stage demo of the GTX 1080 had the card's core running at 2.1 GHz air cooled, with a temperature of less than 70°C."

"The memory system features 8 GB of GDDR5X with an effective clock speed of 10 GHz on a 256-bit bus, providing 320 GB/s of bandwidth."


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A few years ago (maybe 10), a friend introduced me to a show on HBO called Curb Your Enthusiasm. I thought it was funny, so I decided to watch more of it. Since I enjoyed it so much, I bought a couple of seasons on DVD. Recently, I was exploring the Amazon video app on my PS3 and found out I could catch up on the show for free, since I'm an Amazon Prime member. Now that I'm all caught up, I've decided to go back and watch the earlier seasons again and I'm loving it. I wanted to tell you about it, hence why I'm writing this post.

I'm not exactly sure how to describe it to you. You could technically call it a “situational comedy,” but calling it a SitCom is a bit misleading as it's not the kind you'll find on regular TV. The main character in the show is Larry David, co-creature of Seinfeld. It revolves around him and his (fictional) wife and their life together.

So, he is a Jewish man living in California with his lovely wife. He has a manager he sees frequently and various celebrity friends like Richard Lewis, Ted Danson (from Cheers), and cast from Seinfeld including Julia-Louis Dreyfus. These people apparently play “fictionalized” versions of themselves.

Larry tends to find him self knee-deep in life's little problems. Many of these he creates for himself by saying or doing something that's not quite socially acceptable. There are really plenty of examples to give, but I don't want to give away too many spoilers. The first episode opens up with him talking to his wife about the fabric “tent” produced by his pants when he sits down. This later turns into an awkward situation when his wife's friend accuses him of getting an erection.

The topics covered in the show are clearly for an adult audience, hence it being on HBO. There are adult situations and language, which provide some more flare. The wife of Larry's manager definitely has a mouth on her and drops some serious F-bombs, but not just for flavor, it's because she yells at Larry and his manager for doing or saying stupid things.

It's a very funny show, I think. There is no laugh track, which I think is great because the audience doesn't need to be told when to laugh. It is funny, but often, I find myself feeling sorry for Larry. He can be a bit of an ass and so are other characters. One interesting fact about the show is that it is often unscripted or loosely improvised.

I think the sad thing is that I can sometimes relate to Larry. Sometimes I find myself saying or doing something completely stupid that comes back to bite me. It's tough saying or doing things “off the cuff” as they say. These things happen to some of us, which creates social anxiety because then you have to be careful what you say or what you do. I personally find it a difficult thing to manage.

Anyway, I do seriously recommend this show. If you're interested in what I've described, check it out or feel free to ask me for more information. I'll be glad to provide more examples. I think it's very interesting and humorous.


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Recently, I finished reading the cover story in the latest Game Informer, which is about Final Fantasy XV. I've known about it's development for a long time, it was originally called Final Fantasy Versus XIII. It's been in development for 10 years now and has undergone many changes, not just by name.

The Square-Enix team working on FFXV realized that while FF became an epic franchise, which has been pretty influential in our current games, some of the fanfare of the series has dwindled. Many fans of the series seem to prefer VII the most and also seem to view the series as going downhill from there. This doesn't apply to all of us though. FFVIII is my personal favorite, although I also really enjoyed IX and X (including X-2). Unfortunately, for me, that's when the series began to dwindle.

FFXI is a game that I didn't get into until a very long time after it's release. However, it is a MMORPG and requires a monthly subscription fee. It also isn't much of a game for one who's used to playing solo, like me. I liked XII and XIII, but for some reason they don't feel as epically awesome as many of the other FF games.

However, it looks like FFXV will change that. From what I've read, it sounds like it's going to be really good. I just hope it lives up to those expectations. The trailer looks really awesome, too! So, I think this is definitely something I want to get into.

However, I don't have a PS4 or Xbox One. A PC version may come eventually. So, I'm thinking that this could be a great reason to get a PS4. Although, something I saw seemed to show the game performs better on the Xbox One. FFVII: Remake is also in development and I think would probably be another good reason to get a PS4. Another Kingdom Hearts sequel is expected, too. That's something else I'm looking forward to.

So, what do you think of FFXV? Do you think it's a good reason to finally get a PS4 (or Xbox One)? Let me know what you think!

Here's a link about the game, although it only scratches the surface of what I read in the magazine:

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I was at my local Gamestop recently and I noticed that Hyrule Warriors Legends has already been released for the 3DS. Since I absolutely love Hyrule Warriors on the Wii U, I thought about picking up this game. However, the associate gave me a warning that I thought I'd share. She said people who have bought the game have stated issues with playing it on their older 3DS models. The game is more suited for the "New 3DS." While I found that to be disappointing, it always wasn't incredibly unexpected.

When I found out that Terraria was coming to the 3DS, I decided to look into it. I read some things on the web and I watched some videos about it. One of the main points I took from all that info was that the game is severely limited by the 3DS's hardware. However, the "New 3DS" has better hardware and more processing power. I think I read or heard that they might make a version for the “New 3DS” or add functionality to that version of the game.

Along with better processing power, the “New 3DS” boasts the following features; face tracking 3D, built-in amiibo support, easy data sharing, better browsing, an improved camera, and new controls including C stick, ZL, and ZR buttons. You can check out more details here: http://www.nintendo.com/3ds/new-nintendo-3ds/

Technical specifications of both hardware models (source: http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/997614-nintendo-3ds/70707570):
New 3DS specs:
- ARM11 MPCore 4x @ 268MHz (one reserved for OS)
- 4x VFPv2 Co-Processor (vector processors, like SPEs in PS3)
- Dedicated Hardware Video Decoder
- Seemingly no change to the GPU, clock rate and all

For comparison, the old 3DS specs:
- ARM11 MPCore 2x @ 268MHz (one reseved for OS)
- 2x VFPv2 Co-Processor
- PICA200 GPU @ 268MHz

I should mention that you can get amiibo functionality on the older 3DS systems by purchasing a separate accessory. As for when I'll upgrade to the "new 3DS," I don't honestly know. In a way I'm kind of tired of these constant handheld evolutions. It seems like a new a one is released every few years or so and it's about another near $200 for each one. I already own at least one system for every DS evolution with the exception of the 2DS. I own at least two of many of them, one for me and one for my son.

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I just wanted to let you know that our beloved game, Terraria, is coming to the Wii U and 3DS very soon. In fact, the 3DS version will be released on March 15th (in 5 days!) and the Wii U version on April 12th, according to Amazon. I have ordered both versions to give to my son, Vinny, for his birthday. He's stated interest in at least the 3DS version. Unfortunately, it seems the 3DS version is quite limited due to the surprisingly low specifications of the 3DS. It only comes in one world size, which seems to be the same as the mobile version. Different companies are working on each version. Both versions are expected to have all 1.2 content and more upon launch with further updates planned.

I just finished reading the post in the official forum and I suggest that you give it a read, too, especially if you have one of these Nintendo systems. One of the biggest things I got from it was stated at the very end, "[w]e have a few more surprises in store for this coming Holiday season, but we will save those for another time." I really wonder what those surprises are. I kind of hope it's not Terraria Otherworld because I thought we should be expecting it soon, but that may be the case. Maybe they'll announce Terraria 2, which I want to see. Feel free to speculate in the comment section below.

Anyway, I still miss playing Terraria and want to play it more, so I'm definitely looking forward to this.

Please see the official forum for more info: http://forums.terraria.org/index.php?threads/dual-threat-terraria-is-coming-to-wii-u-and-3ds.28903/

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So, a few months ago, I made my very first Ark friend on the official forums. She ended up inviting me to join her on an official server. I was still playing in single player mode and this was also during holiday events, particularly Winter Wonderland when the entire map was covered in snow and temperatures dropped severely. This was not a good time to start a new character without fur armor as I would have frozen. This is a “PvPvE” (Player vs. Player vs. Environment) server. I’m really almost never into PvP type games or aspects of games, so that was a large part of my hesitation to join. However, this server pretty much had just made the snow biome the PvP area, although that wasn’t a set rule, just a general consensus, you could still fight people all over the map.

My new friend tried multiple times to convince me to join. One of the main tribe members was missing because he was having issues with his GPU and was waiting on the process of getting that replaced. Other tribe members were mostly inactive, so there were probably only a couple or few active. This meant that there we less people there to make sure all the tribe’s various creatures were fed, and then the tribe was getting raided by another. Eventually, I decided to go ahead and jump in.

She recommended I spawn in the north zone, but had also told me that many people die quickly by doing so because one of the spawn points actually puts people in one of her bases. So, new players are often killed by her creatures. So, I figured I’d spawn somewhere perhaps safer and in an area I had become familiar with, in the south. I figured we’d meet up eventually. I ended up, actually, making my way to the north and meeting up with her. I was impressed by the fact that I survived that trip, as the game is very dangerous for a new character. She invited me to the tribe in-game and then carried me with her Pteranodon over to the main pen. I was impressed by how many creatures were there.

This first day on the server was pretty eventful, too, as the tribe had just been raided and people were still attacking. So, even though I had just started a new character and had next to nothing, I still tried to fight off some attackers, which never turned out well for me, but that was to be expected.

Communication was difficult at first because I wasn’t aware of how to communicate within the game. I did eventually figure it out, how to talk to the tribe only, local only, and in the global chat. One thing I noticed right away was that many people use a microphone, which I don’t have hooked up to my PC. That, however, is going to change very soon as I’ve ordered a gaming headset so I can participate in the vocal chat app that my tribe uses (Discord).

Initially, I was offered a lot of things, armor, weapons, etc., but I declined because I wanted to work my way up and make things for myself. The tribe let me know about another base we had, where I could build. We call it “the Oasis,” but officially that part of the map is called “the Hidden Lake.” I found some damaged structures there, which I began to repair. I also found creatures I could use and started to help feed them. I hesitated using most of them because they belonged to others in the tribe, but I still used some and was very careful not to get them killed.

Eventually, my new friend left out a high level Rex for me so that I could help gather food for our creatures. At this time, there were still only a few groups of them I could feed since I didn’t have access to main parts of the base, because they are locked and accessible to only “admins” of the tribe. That Rex became my favorite creature on the server for a while. I gathered plenty of meat with him and killed some alpha dinos, which helped me level up very quickly.

Just as I had gotten a bit more comfortable with the server and leveled up, disaster began to strike. One time, some tribe members were trying to tame the over-powered Giganotosaurus. I tried to help as I had some tranquilizer arrows and a Mastercraft level crossbow, which I got from killing an alpha dino. Another tribe member knocked it out, but it eventually woke back up and then killed me. I unfortunately lost that awesome crossbow because your inventory drops as a bag upon death, similar to Minecraft, and I was unable to recover it. It also killed one of our Quetzals. That was very disappointing and we eventually gave up on trying to tame it.

Later, some tribe members were trying to tame a Quetzal and I managed to help and two of us finished taming it. This was my first experience with how very long it takes to tame a high level creature on an official server. This process took quite a few hours.

Another tribe had given us a Giga and Quetzal egg and we had bred our Quetzals for more, so we decided to hatch them. This is a very long process! After the egg hatches, you have to hand feed it by putting food in it’s limited, but expanding inventory for many hours. A Quetzal spends 18 ½ hours as a baby and a Giga is 28 hours. After that time, they continue to grow into juveniles, adolescents, and then adults, but at least once they’re a juvenile they can eat out of troughs. We decided to do this during the Valentine’s Day event which sped up this very long process. So, we hatched one Giga and 3 Quetzals. Unfortunately, that event didn’t last very long at all, maybe a day or two. Once it was over, the server had to restart to update. This was extremely unfortunate, because once we logged back on, we noticed that all of them had disappeared, except for the Quetzal I had claimed.

A few of us submitted support tickets and one of us finally got a reply that there was nothing that could be done for a creature that could not be seen. So, we were at a great loss and we were very upset about it. Quitting was definitely a thought for some of us, but we decided to keep playing. While this disaster was terrible, I did learn some things and my place in the tribe was upgraded to “admin.” This meant that I could use any of the tribe’s creatures, resources, gear, and have access everything that was locked up. It also means I could change various tribe options and invite new members to the tribe, but I haven’t done so.

We also realized that perhaps where we were raising those babies may not have been the best place. That’s because the floors are actually ceilings and creatures tend to render under or through them. So, we decided that next time we would raise them in our base that was built in the snow biome. It’s made of metal and the floors are foundations, which creatures don’t normally clip through.

So, here I am again helping the tribe raise some more babies. We hatched another Giga egg and 4 Quetzals this time along with a Bronto. We did recently finally tame a Giga, so we starting using it here to collect meat for the babies. Unfortunately the Giga is very temperamental and the slightest bit of fall damage causes it to rage and kill you. It’s been a day or two and still it’s going to take about a week for all of these creatures to reach adulthood.

So far my experience in the snow biome has been friendly. A while ago, I did make a raft and I sailed over here for some resources like oil and silica pearls. I didn’t run into anyone else. Since I’ve been here helping raise these babies, I’ve only run into two others that aren’t in my tribe. The first complimented the Pteranodon I was flying. The second asked if I had seen any high level wolves around, which I later found and told him about so that he could take away and tame. It was, pretty much, one tribe that was doing PVP here in this area, but that tribe was recently pretty much annihilated and very few are still playing here.

It has been cool getting to know my tribe members and getting some more Ark friends. I enjoy the co-op aspect of this, I enjoy helping out. It’s still fun to me, so that’s why I keep playing. I did, however, take a small break to play some Final Fantasy a couple of times, which made some of my tribe members think I was mad at them or done with this game. I explained to them that I wasn’t mad at all and just wanted to play another game for a little while.

Anyway, I thought I’d share a bit of my experience playing the game on an official server. I may post some more about this game and experience. I have been enjoying it and development continues, new patches are often released on a weekly basis and that’s been the case since I started playing this past summer. There are definitely things I don’t like about the game, like how long it takes to tame or raise babies on an official server or even how quickly the torpor depletes while taming some creatures. But, I also realize these things are in place for balancing. Still, there are things I’m waiting for, most especially DirectX 12 support, which will make the game able to utilize my dual-GPU video card. There’s also plenty that I enjoy, like the new beaver and various other aspects of the game.

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Well, it's been over a year and Mojang is almost ready to release Minecraft version 1.9. I can't recall exactly when I was aware of this new version, but I know it's been quite a while now. As far as my own personal knowledge, this is called the "Combat Update" in which we will be able to dual-wield things such as holding a torch and a sword, maybe a shield? I also know that arrows are getting the various buffs or debufffs, so if you want to heal yourself, you can make healing arrows, shoot them straight into the sky to have them hit you, and then you'll have that buff.

Recently, I found out that the latest update is finally ispre-release and is expected to be fully released next week (2/25). Not much of what I've learned about this new release really makes me want to jump into the game again, but it also seems as the The End is getting a new area with new things, so I think that will be cool to check out.

I've recently decided to rewatch the Minecraft tutorial "Survive and Thrive" videos by Paul Soares, Jr. I watched all of his pre-1.8 videos before I played the game. It did take a while for me to become aware of the game. Initially, my son, Vinny, was really interested in it and I even had a copy for him to play on my computer, but I hadn't played it. Once I watched Paul's videos, I decided to jump in and it's hard to describe how it made me feel. I really enjoyed it, perhaps much more than I expected. I love the music, it seems so relaxing. I also enjoyed the open world exploration, mining, and crafting parts of it along with taming animals. So, since then, I've definitely fallen in love with the game and enjoyed it. It's even become something I've looked for in other games. I have, however, not done everything in the game. Re-watching Paul's videos reminds me of the things I've missed out on like the beacon and Wither boss.

So, I'm curious what my fellow Ghosts think about this new update. Are you excited about it or are you done with the game? Are you going to jump back into the game? After I told my son, Vinny, about the new release expected to come out next week, he's been pretty excited. He asked me how I feel about it and I honestly told him that I do want to play it again when the new version is released. He wants to play together again, on a server, which I've done for us before and I may do again. One of the cool things about the game is that it bridges so many generational gaps and allows people of all ages to play together and have fun. From my experience, it's definitely been something I've enjoyed doing together with my son.

Other versions of the game are expected to receive an update, too. I'll include links to those details below. I do have the Windows 10 and Kindle Fire versions of the game, but I've come to the conclusion that, so far, the regular PC version (for me at least) is the best. I expect other versions (like the Windows 10 beta) to grow and contain everything that's included in the main version of the game, but it's disappointing to play them now knowing that some things are missing.

I'm really hoping to jump in once the new version is released and I'll be more than happy to report my experience with it here at Cheerful Ghost. :)

1.9 patch notes news: http://www.gamespot.com/articles/latest-minecraft-patch-notes-include-bug-fixes-and/1100-6434894/
"Overworld" update for Windows 10 and other versions: http://www.gamespot.com/articles/minecraft-overworld-update-introduces-new-skins-re/1100-6434924/
Paul Soares, Jr.'s Minecraft "Survie and Thrive" tutorials: https://youtu.be/B36Ehzf2cxE?list=PL7326EF82122776A9

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This is one of those Final Fantasy games that I actually have quite a few copies of. I have the SNES cart, which is actually called “Final Fantasy III” and I have the PSX version. I now have the Steam version and, like the other FF games I now own on Steam, I was not disappointed with this version, in fact I enjoyed it yet again.

Along with Steam achievements and trading cards, this version contains updated graphics, like the other FF games on Steam. The other major change for this version was the ATB. Instead of having a bar that gets more full and indicates when your character is ready to perform an action, the action menu rises to a point on the screen.

Since I played using my Xbox 360 controller that I bought specifically for PC gaming, the controls I'm going to mention refer to that. I didn't customize the controller because I was happy with the default settings. When on the over world map, I was able to press X (which is square on a PS3 controller) to get a tip from the game as to what I was supposed to do. This was really helpful, even though the map usually has an indicator of where you're supposed to go next. Using the controller was really a great experience.

The main issue I had with the game's UI was that I never could figure out how to exit the game without tabbing to Windows and closing it that way. After clicking on the Save button, that button changes to “Go To Title Screen,” which was a slight bother because I sometime accidentally selected it. Otherwise, I found no other way to go back to the Title Screen to Exit the game. There's also a Quicksave option, but I never used it.

One of the things that dawned on me after playing the Steam versions of FFVII and VIII was that VIII is very easy, at least to me. I'm not sure if that's because of the game itself or the fact that I've played it so many times before, I suspect both to be the case. VII was definitely challenging and VI was the same way, at least closer to the end of the game.

***Now for some slight spoilers and tips***

Now I'd like to address the things I did and didn't do and give you some tips. I did find all of the game's optional characters. I think I usually get Mog and Umaro (the Yeti) when I play this game, but I'm not sure if I ever got Gogo (the Mimic) before. I probably never really used Gogo before, but I found him (or her?) to be a really helpful character. I found Sabin to be one of my most powerful characters as his final Blitz attack does a lot of damage, so I often used Gogo's Mime action right after Sabin's final Blitz. This was extremely helpful, especially during the end of the game.

At a certain part of the game, the world changes from the World of Balance to the World of Ruin. During this time, the game gets very difficult. One of the things I missed out on in this part was that you can actually go back and save Shadow. Therefore, Shadow was no longer available to me. So, he was the only character I was unable to save during the World of Ruin before going to Kefka's Tower.

Kefka's Tower was a difficult place to be, especially since the game makes you divide up into three different parties. This is necessary as three parties are required to step on different switches so that your parties can access various areas. I didn't really like doing this as I was quite comfortable using only a party of four. I liked using Terra and Celes for magic and I enjoyed using Sabin, Edgar, and Cyan for their abilities that were very strong and/or ability to attack multiple things at once.
One of the most important things I missed out on was having multiple characters learn Ultima, which is the strongest magic in the game. The walk though I was reading recommended this and I suffered a bit for not following that advice. I did get the Cursed Shield, but it never changed to the Paladin Shield. I also missed out on getting Mog to learn one of his dances which can't be learned during the World of Ruin. Other Dances can be learned (as he levels up, I think) and I may not have learned all of the others.

The walk through I read also recommended taking Gau and Strago to the Veldt to learn special abilities. However, I grew a bit tired of waiting around for enemies to use certain spells for Strago to learn. I got a bit impatient waiting for Gau to get some more Rage abilities, too. I probably should have paid more attention to Gau's Rage ability because I didn't really recognize the enemies in the list that he could copy. I could have easily looked them up, but I didn't bother.

So, even though some of the difficulty in the game can be frustrating at first, it gets more enjoyable once your characters get more powerful. As I mentioned, the game doesn't get extremely difficult until a certain point. So, it's still very enjoyable in the early parts. This game is definitely a great one in the series. It has an epic story, music, and contains many things that appear in other games in the series. I definitely recommend getting this on Steam.


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Final Fantasy VII is undoubtedly the most popular game in the Final Fantasy series. While it is a greatly epic game, it's actually not my ultimate favorite of the series. That honor goes to FFVIII, which was the first in the series I played and fell in love with.

After being introduced to FFVIII, and therefore the FF series, I decided to play FFVII once I finished with VIII. I played both games many years ago on the original Playstation. Unlike, VIII, I've only played through VII a few times. I believe I finished it at least once in my college years and I've picked it up again a few times since then without completion. I've played both games on the PC, original Playstation (PS1), PS2, and even on the PS3. However, the very best version of both games that I've played was most recently on Steam.

It's been a long time since these games were released. If you look back at video from the original games, you may be put off by the quality of the graphics. However, the Steam editions come with updated HD graphics that make the game so much better looking. I found this alone to be extremely impressive. But, I've already written about VIII on Steam, this post is about VII.

The game not only got HD treatment with Steam, but also achievements, hardware optimizations, and a “Character Booster” that lets you cheat. I haven't tried the Character Booster, so I can't really report on what it entails. The description says that with it “you can increase your HP, MP and Gil levels to their maximum, all with the simple click of a button, leaving you to enjoy your adventure.” Considering the level of difficulty this game has, this is a tool that could be very advantageous. There are certain boss fights that are extremely tough including the final boss and optional bosses.

I'm kind of surprised that I've only clocked 44 hours in the game on Steam. Not only did I finish the game with characters around level 60, but I also took part in various side quests, some of which I've never completed before. I did not defeat the Emerald and Ruby Weapons. The wiki I was reading for a walk through recommended having mastered some special Materia. I did, however manage to collect all three Bahamut summons along with Knights of the Round, which is an extremely powerful summon.

This time around was also the second time that I actually did the Chocobo breeding and racing side quests. Luckily, the walk through I was reading made it easy to find the necessary wild Chocobos I needed for breeding. Since the game gave me instructions on how to operate various parts of the game by telling me what to press on the keyboard, I often became confused as to which button that linked to on my Xbox 360 controller (that I bought specifically for PC gaming). So, I decided to let my Chocobos race automatically on their own instead of controlling them myself. Luckily, to breed certain kinds of Chocobos you only have win a certain amount of races between the pair you're trying to breed. So in order to breed a blue Chocobo, for example, you have to win four total races with one or both of the Chocobos you're trying to breed. So you could win 2 with Chocobo “A” and 2 with Chocobo “B.” The information I found made this side quest much simpler than the way I attempted it many years ago.

FFVII continues to be greatly popular and fans continue to want more. Because of this, many other games and media were created as a FFVII compilation. Dirge of Cerberus is a shooter game for the PS2 featuring Vincent from the original game. There is also a PSP game called Crisis Core which features Zack and Sephiroth, giving fans a bit of story that happened before the events in FFVII.

A CG movie was also released on DVD called Advent Children. It was later released on Blu-Ray as Advent Children Complete with an additional 30 minutes of story enrichment. It also included a few extra bonus features. I really enjoyed the movie and have watched it a few times.

Fans have been wanting a remake and we thought we might see one on the PS3. I still have the FFVII technical trailer on my PS3. Recently, however, trailers for FFVII: Remake have been released. It seems as though characters have voice-overs similar to FFX. It also seems as though battle occurs in real-time instead of turn-based. I doubt it will be released for the PS3, but it may be a good reason to get a PS4 when it's released. We'll see how it turns out and whether or not it satisfies the huge hunger FFVII fans have for a remake. Right now, the Steam version is, in my opinion, the best to date.

So, if you're a fan of FFVII or the series, I strongly recommend getting the Steam version. I'm really glad that I got to enjoy this great game again. I look forward to the remake and playing even more Final Fantasy games on Steam.

Compilation of Final Fantasy VII: http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Compilation_of_Final_Fantasy_VII
FFVII Steam page: http://store.steampowered.com/app/39140/

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It was about 15-17 years ago that I was introduced to Final Fantasy VIII, which was my introduction to the Final Fantasy series. It's kind of hard to believe it was that long ago, but since then I've come to love Final Fantasy games. FFVIII is definitely my favorite among them, I immediately fell in love with nearly everything about it including the characters, stories, side quests, music, and more.

The Junction system is one of the main things that sets this game apart from the others in the series. The typical FF summons, are called “GFs” short for “Guardian Forces,” like Shiva, Ifrit, Bahamut, and many more. In order to use them and magic, you have to “Junction” them. Doing also allows you to set magic to various character stats like HP, Strength, Vitality, and more. You get magic by using the “Draw” command at a Draw Point or from monsters. Some magic is better for certain stats than others.

My only problem with the game is when it comes to the parts when the story takes you back into the past. Only certain characters time travel at various points in the game. Their Junction configuration gets transferred to characters in the past. Unfortunately, this means that sometimes some members or the past don't get properly Junctioned. This means you have to reconfigure your Junctions before, during, and after these events take place. However, you can get by with not setting up all of the characters in the past with Junctions, but it gets a bit tedious to have to constantly reconfigure your characters.

In the years after my introduction to this game, I've played it numerous times. During a few of my college years, I often played it at least once a year. In more recent years, I haven't played it very often. I gave it a try a few years ago on my PS3 and HDTV, but I didn't finish it. Recently, however, I became interested in playing it once again after seeing that FFIX would be coming to PC via Steam. This rekindled my interest in the series.

So, I decided to jump in and buy FFVIII and VII on Steam. I played VIII first, deciding I would go a bit backwards. Immediately, I was greatly impressed by how this version of the game has updated graphics. Only minor backgrounds and character models reflected how the original game looks. This was really the first HD re-release of a game that I played and I was totally wowed.

The Steam version also includes numerous other additions such as achievements, a tool to “cheat” in magic, and Chocobo World. CW was a mini-game that, until recently, only those with a PocketStation could play, which was only available in Japan. Due to that, I was only able to try it out recently.

Chocobo World is a very small and simple game with simple black and white only graphics. It opens by default in a very small window. You gain access to it once you get a Chocobo in the main game. The very small mini-map contains dots which represent Event encounters. These encounters can be friendly creatures that give you items and weapon bonuses or, more commonly, fights with monsters. Initially, the main objective is to find MiniMog. After that, you can continue to explore CW and eventually you run into a female Chocobo who needs to be saved from CW's final boss.

There is little music in the game and it gets repetitive, but fans of the series will recognize it from FFVII. Controlling your Chocobo is simple using the directional keys on the keyboard and CTRL. When encountering a monster, both it and your Chocobo have to wait for the ATB to count down to 0 before they can attack (and they do so automatically). You can speed this up for your Chocobo by continuously pressing the left and right keys. Your Chocobo is equipped with a “weapon” which can be upgraded by encountering a Moomba. The weapon contains four squares, each contains a single digit. When you attack, the game randomly chooses one of those numbers to determine how much damage you do. So, having a weapon with the digits 9000 means that you have a 1 in 4 chance to actually hit your enemy. Once you defeat an enemy, you get a “stone” that randomly goes into a position on a 3 by 3 square. In order to level up, three stones must match up in a line. If your HP is reduced to 0, the fight is lost and your Chocobo will end up sleeping to regain HP. While exploring, your Chocobo may end up randomly falling asleep, watching TV, or going fishing to replenish it's HP. You can wake it up or get it back to exploring by using the CTRL key.

Getting your Chocobo leveled up helps you in the main game by increasing the damage that the summon can do. Cactuars in CW also give you items, which transfer over to the main game. So, this mini-game has a few ways to help you out in the main game. There's even a Steam achievement for getting the Chocobo to level 100. I accomplished that and beat the final boss, but I spent a few hours playing it, at least 4 or 5.

One of the things I didn't have to try to do in the main game was grind to get to level 100. My characters actually reached that level while I was grinding for rare items for weapon upgrades. Still, I finished the game and explored almost all of the side quests in just 64 hours. In some previous playthroughs, I did work on the card mini-game, but decided to ignore it this time around.

So, if you like Final Fantasy games, especially this one, I strongly recommend jumping back in and getting this Steam version. I've noticed that other games in the series are also available on Steam and I've decided to jump back in.

FFVII was what I played next, so stay tuned for a post about that. When I finished with it, I jumped back into VI. So, stay tuned for more about Final Fantasy on Steam!

Chocobo World: http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Chocobo_World
FFVIII on Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/39150/

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I just read a preview about Final Fantasy VII Remake and watched a couple of videos for it. It definitely looks different in many aspects, not just visually upgraded. It looks like it won't have the classic turn-based combat style.

What do you think about this? Is this the reason to get a PS4 if you don't already own one? I'll wait and see. We don't have a release date as of yet, but this does seem like something that could get me to buy a PS4. Although, what I read seems to hint that it may be coming to PC and possibly even the XBox.

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