196 Posts

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.

*Update 6/4/19*
I just thought I'd add in an update here for my thoughts and feelings about this game. At first, I was kind of excited for this game. I loved Ark and figured more of it would be enjoyable. However, for some reason that's really difficult to describe, I'm not really into this game. As of this update version 1.0 has been released, but I stopped caring about the game a while ago. I tried to play it a few times. I think perhaps the art style wasn't very appealing to me. It does kind of look like Minecraft, but it's not Minecraft. It does kind of behave like Minecraft, in that you can dig into the world, unlike in Ark. However, as of the last time I tried to play this game, there's no variation in how each species of creatures look. In Ark, for example, you can find 10 Pteranodons and almost all of them will look different. Some might be mostly green, or some might be mostly pink or other colors. That is not the case with PixArk, unfortunately. All creatures of one species look exactly the same. I didn't find this very appealing. I also didn't like the music of the game. I think there are some people out there that did like this game, check for those on YouTube. For me, though, this game just isn't very appealing.


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.

*Update 6/4/19*
Oh my, Civ6 how I love thee! I wanted to come back to this post to add some more thoughts and feelings. Gathering Storm was released as a new expansion to the game this year and since then I've been playing Civ6 again non-stop. I really love this game and it may have taken me this long to realize just how much I really love this game. However, this post is about R&F. I don't really have much to add, but I do have a little bit. One thing I recently realized was that I was neglecting governors and not building a Government Plaza. This was a mistake! I now look to build this ASAP. The reason being is that I want to upgrade it to the Ancestral Hall, which grants a free builder for every city you settle after building the Ancestral Hall. This, to me, is quite invaluable, in fact it's pretty much a must have for every city I settle now. There's also a governor(Magnus) who (with a promotion) can make it so that producing a settler does not reduce your city's population. This, again, is a pretty must have thing for me. I always get this governor for my original city and get him promoted before I begin to settle any more cities. It took me a while to realize the value of this and has definitely changed my Civ6 gameplay. I think Rise and Fall is a good expansion, although it may have taken me a little while to realize how good it really is.


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


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/


http://benchmark.finalfantasyxv.com/common/img/ss1en.jpg?20180130
Final Fantasy XV is finally coming to PC on March 6. The PC edition includes all currently available DLC and some new features, like mod support, among others. Because it’s coming to PC, I now have one less reason to buy a PS4, thus saving me some money. Luckily, Square Enix released a benchmark. Check it out and feel free to post your score! I got 6079, which means I should be able to run the game on high quality settings comfortably. (http://benchmark.finalfantasyxv.com/na/)

I’ve long been a fan of the Final Fantasy series, although I haven’t felt as happy with the series in the last decade or so. So, even though I’m a bit eagerly awaiting this release, I feel a bit hesitant. Still, I did watch and enjoy the movie. The benchmark alone looks great.

Let me know what you think of the game, if you have it. Is anyone else planning to get this for PC?

News link: https://www.gamespot.com/articles/final-fantasy-15-pc-pre-order-bonuses-announced-be/1100-6456509/


Quick overview on how to easily get Mending in Minecraft 1.14
  • Mending uses the EXP you gain to repair your gear

  • Simple method: Put a lectern next to an "unemployed" villager (see videos)

  • Longer method: Find a good seed with a village near spawn, recreate world until you get a librarian
Quick explanation with video: Sl1pg8r recently created an elaborate way of transporting Villlagers and changing their professions. However if you watch this video (starting at 4:09), you’ll get an extremely quick look at how to get what you want: https://youtu.be/XJrBuKckez0?t=249 For a more detailed explanation, watch the video I’ve embedded in this post. Although xisumavoid shows you how to do this, I think his method is a bit more complicated than the very quick bit of video you should watch of Sl1pg8r changing a Villager’s profession to get the Librarian trade(s) he’s looking for.

Method details: Mending is perhaps one of, if not the, most valuable enchantments in the game. It’s now much easier to get! This is because version 1.14 has made it so that Villagers can now change professions and you can get them to do this easily. A lectern (https://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Lectern) is a new block that will turn a Villager into a Librarian. Basically, you just need to place one next to an “unemployed” Villager. If they already have a profession, you may want to trap them and remove any Work Tables. For a full list of these visit https://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Villager#Professions. When they become “unemployed,” you can then put a lectern next to them to turn them into a Librarian. Then, look at their trades and see if they’re offering what you want (like Mending). If not, pick the lectern back up and they’ll turn back into “unemployed” and put it back down. Repeat this until you get the trade you’re looking for. And that’s it! It’s incredibly simple to do now.

What is Mending? One of the enchantments recently added is called Mending, which is definitely a game changer. It uses experience gathered and repairs an item with the enchantment. From the wiki, “when an item with the enchantment is held (main hand, offhand, or armor slots), XP orbs collected will repair the item at a rate of 2 durability per XP instead of adding the XP to the player's total. If multiple items have the enchantment, one will be chosen at random for each XP orb collected, and if the chosen item does not need repair, the XP will be added to the player's total as normal, rather than choosing another item to repair.” For more details check the wiki: https://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Mending

Find a good seed: One way to get Mending is to find a village that has a Librarian. This could take you forever on a normal world with the Java version. You could just create some worlds until you get a village near spawn, but there are some good seeds out there already. Luckily, I found one that contains a village near a ravine. There is also an abandoned mine shaft under the village well (seed# 105899026). For more details check the link: https://minecraftseedhq.com/ravine-village-mineshaft-seed/ *Note* Since seeds can differ between versions, you may want to look online for a seed that contains a village near spawn for the version of the game you’re running.

With a good seed:
The trick is to create your new world, go to the Librarian in the village, and see what you can trade. Librarians start off offering a random enchanted book for some emeralds and a book. If the Librarian isn’t offering Mending, recreate that world until Mending is the enchanted book being offered.


After almost 200 hours of Civ6, I find it a good time to write more about the game. Basically, Sid Meier’s Civilization is a turn based strategy game. It’s not completely focused on combat, it’s more about growing a civilization. I don’t really like the combat part of the game, it doesn’t fit my play style and that’s perfectly ok, there are many ways to play. I like to build cities. I’m too busy building districts to worry about units, so my armies are usually very small. Unfortunately this means I’m a bit more vulnerable to attack, but I’ve been playing on the lowest difficulty level to learn the game, so I haven’t had too much of a problem.

The game is very deep and complex, there is a learning curve, but it’s not too bad now that the game has an included tutorial (you can play it in the demo as well). However the tutorial only gives you a bit of a basic understanding. The Civpedia is accessible, but not always the most appealing source. I found some good videos on YouTube including things for “complete beginners.” I learned a lot more than the game told me and I was able to get a better understanding of what’s going on.

I spent a lot of time with the tutorial. I like to play at a slow pace. My first goal was to beat the tutorial, but the only way to do so is with a domination victory. That means using a military to take over every other capital. I spent hours at this, especially since the tutorial doesn’t allow you to save. I ended up watching someone do it on YouTube and I was able to accomplish my goal. So, I moved on to the single player game.

I started out thinking big and went with the biggest maps, I struggled. I watched another video that gave some good tips for beginners that mentioned starting out on a very small map. The bigger the map in Civ, the more opponents there are, unless you modify that. Resources and civilizations get spread out more and it can be quite difficult for a beginner. So, I started doing duel maps which only have room for two civilizations. I also chose the lowest difficulty and I still had some trouble.

The learning experience is part of the enjoyment of the game. The more I played, the more I learned and when I ran into trouble I checked YouTube. This became necessary, because after a while I ran into things I was ignorant about, like the culture and religious victories. I managed to get the science victory on my own with Teddy Roosevelt, which means I survived long enough to colonize Mars.

One of the victories that caught me by surprise was when I lost to a cultural victory. I had to figure it out, so I watched someone do it on YouTube, which was, again, very helpful. Basically, you have to have the most tourists to your civilization. You can get more in a variety of ways, like building wonders, but having great works of art also generates tourism. I had previously ignored these. Other civilizations wanted to trade for my great works, and I always traded them away.

The religious victory is often the most surprising and it can be the most frustrating. I ended up losing to this a few times by surprise, so once again, I had to go to YouTube to see what was up. I found a great series that helped me figure it out. In time, I found that it was the easiest and quickest to achieve and thus how I shaped my Civ6 strategy. I won more games this way than any other.

Essentially, the religious victory is achieved by having more than 50% of cities follow your religion. You start by selecting a pantheon, which grants some religious ability. I usually go with the 15% border expansion. As your civilization generates gold, science, and culture, it also generates faith, which is mostly used to purchase religious units or structures. You are able to create your religion once you obtain a great prophet, either though building Stonehenge or great people points (choose great prophet in your wildcard diplomacy slot).

Once you get your religious structures built, you can generate more faith and then purchase units or buildings (buildings may come with religious ability). There are a few religious units and they can only interact with other religious units. Missionaries can spread religion, but can only defend. Apostles can do both and more. One thing they can do is evangelize a belief, meaning you get an extra religious ability. Another unit seems to just heal other units, I never use them. Some civilizations have other units as well.

I usually buy apostles, even though they’re about twice as expensive as a missionaries. If I get into a religious fight and I kill the opposing unit, my religion gets more influence in the area and the other goes down. Other cities will convert in time, but you can send units to a city’s capital and spread your religion. Before you use this ability, you can see a tool tip on how many of the population will follow your religion after that action. Cities with higher populations are harder to convert, so the best strategy is to go for low population cities. You can only spread your religion a certain amount of times with a unit, although this can be boosted, which is why I use Mosques.

I’ve been enjoying playing the game. I also like the historical aspects involved. I think the religious victory may be new to Civ6, but it does feel a bit OP. I have finally won a game with every civilization, finishing quite a long goal. I’m taking a break from it for now, but the new expansion arrives in less than a month (2/8/18).

Victory conditions: http://civilization.wikia.com/wiki/Victory_(Civ6)
A good Civ YouTuber: https://www.youtube.com/user/BAStartGaming


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