Fallout 4: Day One After the Apocalypse

Posted in Action Adventure, Fallout 4, Fan Service, Fantasy, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, My Stuff, Open World Games, PC Gaming, PS4, RPGs, Xbox One on November 12th, 2015 by thelonegamer


Fallout 4′s Main Theme sets the tone for this Apocalyptic Epic.

Even as I popped the Fallout 4 disc into my PS4, I knew I was going to have to agonize a bit longer. The game installed, which took less than an hour and in the meantime played the entertaining ‘S.P.E.C.I.A.L’ series of videos released by Bethesda leading up to the game’s release. So if you haven’t already watched these funny (and pretty macabre, actually) animated bits, you should. They give a nice briefing on your character’s attributes which are vital to surviving, if not conquering, the wastelands of Boston.

Once the game actually started, with now-familiar opening theme and then the pretty epic, surreal live-action short relating the alternate history of the world leading to the game’s setting, I was really pumped to get into the game. And how do I go about it? By taking my wonderful time exploring every inch of my character Sam’s lovely home in pre-Fallout America (yes, I chose a female for my first playtime). The controls seemed easy enough, and responsive.

To make a long story slightly shorter, I got through the mostly-seen bit of running to the Vault once the bombs start falling. Once we actually get IN the Vault is where the surprises start piling up and I go into uncharted territory. Let’s just say that the experience my lovely Sam goes through in Vault 111 is nowhere near as benign or sunny sweet as they let us on in with Fallout Shelter. Sam soon finds herself waking up in a dangerous, frightening new world where she is left to her own devices to survive and carry out the mission she’s abruptly faced with.


Fallout 4′s live-action intro cinematic.

As I have been playing Skyrim for the past several years, many of the game’s systems are familiar- going into stealth mode, doing melee attacks, sprinting… it’s in there. One thing that I am really annoyed at ignoring was ironically a crucial one- V.A.T.S. (Vault Assisted Targeting System for you Out of the Loop). I treated the game for the most part like a shooter, firing away with reckless abandon with my guns. This is something you really shouldn’t do since, well, ammo is relatively scarce. Probably not Resident Evil or Survival Horror-scarce, but still- it’s not like you can go to a gun store down the block to refill your cache of munitions. As much as possible, once should use VATS when firing guns, if you have the AP and the chance to do so.

That said, Fallout 4 has proven to be a very competent FPS regardless. Once I got Sam suited up in a properly badass long coat and a gas mask (looted from some dead Raiders) and found myself a gun workstation, I was modifying my newfound firearms like a kid with new legos. Guns feel GOOD. The kick they have and the effect on enemies is satisfying, even if not always realistic (can’t see why handgun bullets can sever limbs).
Movement and sneaking around is a joy- at least the stealth in the game seems more viable than it was in other Bethesda games. I think that it would be quite awesome to specialize as a sniper, striking from the shadows. I spent an inordinate amount of time searching the alleys of the ruined town of Concord, sneaking in the shadows as would do Venom Snake proud.

When action finally erupted it was fierce and satisfying. Raiders aren’t supposed to be too hard but carelessness can get you killed quick. In a short while though, I found myself finding an AWESOME piece of kit- a full suit of Power Armor, which in this game is more like a vehicle than just a simple piece of clothing. With a minigun in hand and the ability to fall from heights unharmed, one can feel invincible wearing the Hulkbuster-like suit of armor. That, of course, could not be farther from the truth. A massive Deathclaw- which I feel is to Fallout 4 as Dragons are to Skyrim- appeared to be the first ‘Boss Battle’ in this game. Looking at my gameplay again (which I recorded) I now wince at the DOZENS and DOZENS of rounds I fired off in panic, when I should have used VATS. But ultimately, I cleared the streets of Concord and made my first friends in the new world.

The next few hours was filled with relatively more passive but still engrossing gameplay consisting of crafting, base-building and customizing, all of which can probably leech away hours and hours and HOURS of your life away… I know it did for me. It was only after I pretty much built a small town did I finally manage to decide to pack my gear, gird my loins and head off for new adventures elsewhere.

Then I realized it was 4 in the freakin’ morning.

You know what? This is the real deal. It is, easily Bethesda’s biggest and best game yet. It delivers on what was promised- the detail, the texture, the mood, the action and fun we’ve been waiting for has arrived. I wasn’t a Fallout fan going into this game, but now I am. I’ve been converted. The only way you’ll get me to let go of my controller is to pry it from my cold, Pipboy-encased hand.

Played Fallout 4 on PS4, with a female character on Normal Difficulty, exiting Vault 111 and exploring the areas of Sanctuary and Concord. Still so much to be done. So goddamn FUN.

Got Fallout 4. You?

Posted in Action Adventure, Fallout 4, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, My Stuff, Open World Games, PC Gaming, PS4, RPGs, Xbox One on November 11th, 2015 by thelonegamer


Starting Fallout 4 tonight. HELL, it’s about time.

Fallout 4 is in my hands. It was actually available in the stores yesterday, but since I didn’t preorder, I had to wait till today to get mine. Technically it’s still Nov. 10 anyway so I’m not that late. During the lunch hour, I stepped out of the office, made a run to the mall and plunked down the cash on the counter. Which was the right thing to do, I guess, since as soon as I turned my back a queue of at least five other wannabee-wasteland warriors had already formed. I wouldn’t be surprised if the store sold out of copies before closing time at that rate.

But hey, whatever- I have it. Tonight, I guess I’ll set aside Dragon Age: Inquisition for a while, and set back The Witcher 3 and Metal Gear Solid V The Phantom Pain again… probably indefinitely. Sigh.

Why this is so, I can’t really put my finger on. I’m not the biggest Fallout fan- in fact, I’m not really a Fallout fan. In terms of Bethesda games, I’m more into the Elder Scrolls games, primarily Skyrim. But then, I’ve still kept track of Fallout lore regardless- I guess somewhere inside me is a closet Post Apocalypse World fan. But still, to date, the only Fallout game I’ve played to a significant length is Fallout Shelter. Really. Please, stop laughing. It was FUN.

It can’t be the graphics- certainly Fallout 4 looks good thanks to the new, more colorful and dare we say it, vibrant-looking world to explore. But to put it bluntly, compared to games like The Witcher 3, or even Dragon Age: Inquisition or even Skyrim, the character models don’t quite stand up.

That said, the detail and texture of this world are probably what hooked me. The content, the tons of stuff, the interactivity (which should be just as much, if not more so, than Skyrim, modded), the gunplay, the intriguing customizations and crafting, the ability to create your own house or base… it’s like Bethesda took the best stuff from the mods we enjoyed in Skyrim and put them into Fallout 4.

From what I’ve seen so far of the gameplay- and I’ve tried to minimize spoilers and haven’t seen any of the opening hour- this game is pleasing all my buttons.

In terms of playing this game, I will both be playing this personally AND with a character/playthrough meant for posting on the ol’ Youtube Channel for Roleplaying. Still deciding if I go into the LP/RP blind, or if I save it for my second playthrough. I may decide that depending on how tonight’s first session goes.

So, got your Fallout 4? I say, go. Get. Now. Just don’t kill someone for it, okay?

Dragon Age Inquisition: Why It’s The Best Time to Return to Thedas

Posted in Action Adventure, DLC, Dragon Age Inquisition, Fan Service, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, My Stuff, PC Gaming, PS3, PS4, RPGs, Xbox One, Xbox360 on September 16th, 2015 by thelonegamer


The Trespasser DLC marks the end of the Inquisition, one way or another…

Many months ago, Bioware’s Dragon Age: Inquisition came out on consoles and PC, and RPGers were scrambling all over it. There were highs and lows, with the game impressing with its gorgeous graphics, expansive and varied locales, engaging gameplay and wonderful cast of characters. On the other hand, the game’s linear story, lack of ‘deep’ dungeons and many cutbacks from earlier versions garnered mixed feelings. Still, I say overall that DAI was a wonderful RPG which entertained me for a couple of playthroughs right after release.
Now, more than nine months later though, I am playing Inquisition again. So why have I dusted off my Inquisitor’s Helm and armor from the closet and called the gang back together? There are quite a few reasons why today is the best time to get back into Thedas, or discover it for the first time.

Play as A Different Class. If you are coming back to DAI after playing through it once, try playing again, as a different class. You’ll be surprised how different the gameplay style is. If you played a Mage or Archer who dealt death from afar before, try this time as an in-your-face combatant as a Warrior. Aside from trying out all the new perks and abilities, you’ll find that the story will be slightly different as well.

This time, Play it RIGHT. I remember playing very much like a noob in my first DAI Playthrough- I didn’t really learn all the nuances and rules. I blundered through the first region of the game, barely optimized my characters’ gear and took advantage of their various abilities, and spent WAAAY too much time in the starting Hinterlands.
This time, I knew that it was key to gather as many crafting materials as possible, where to get good stuff, great gear and thus start kicking ass earlier, making the most out of my time. Seeing your characters do much better and handling previously brutal skirmishes more handily is very gratifying. Try out various Character Builds, get into Crafting and start Kicking Ass in the most spectacular ways.

Do the Other Path. There are two distinct paths to take in a crucial moment in the game, that affects the story. This time, play the one you didn’t choose before and see a different chapter, different benefits, allies and villain to battle. Try out different romances. Get the girl. Or the guy. Or not. Ultimately. Maybe.


Bioware’s DAI PAX2015 Panel.

Enjoy the Later Tweaks and Tons of New Gear, Items and Clothing. Since the original launch, DAI has seen many patches to fix exploits (like the legendary Thousands Cuts trick) and balance out gameplay that made particular classes well-nigh invincible (and broken) later in the game. Also, lots of new gear like crafting materials, items, schematics, weapons and armor have been added, including stuff in subsequent DLCs. Also, lo and behold, your Inquisitor needn’t run around in their annoying beige pajamas around Haven all the time thanks to the new Wardrobe. Oh, and Armor Tinting. ARMOR TINTING. YEEESSSS. MY GOSH I may be doing playthroughs with different Character COLORS. Not Classes, COLORS. My God this game rewards my OC Self like no other.

Finish the Fight, er Story. If you love the game like I do, the three DLC Story/Campaign Expansions- Jaws of Hakkon, The Descent and Trespasser- are Must-Haves. All of them can (or perhaps should) be played after completing the Main Game and Story, giving your Inquisition further adventures to test their skills. And you’ll probably need the powerful items and weapons you’ll get then in the final confrontations in Trespasser. No Ifs or Buts about it, Trespasser is the Final DLC of Inquisition, and it gives this corner of Thedas a definite ending that any Dragon Age fan should try themselves.

Right now, Dragon Age: Inquisition is in its most complete form and it’s an awesome package. Currently, I’m enjoying the hell out of DAI, possibly even more so than I did months ago. It’s awesome to see all the stuff I missed or just plain didn’t see before, and to play the game better this time around. Even if Trespasser has marked the End of Dragon Age for now, I won’t be leaving Thedas or my Inquisition anytime soon.

Until Dawn: First 2 Hours Impressions

Posted in Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, My Stuff, PS4, Survival Horror, Until Dawn on August 26th, 2015 by thelonegamer


Until Dawn is a surprisingly gripping suspense title.

It’s been a while since I really got into a game outside of an RPG pretty intensely, and frankly I never expected it to be a title like Until Dawn. But then again, this Choose-Your-Own-Adventure/Survival-Horror/Interactive Horror Movie has surprised me quite a bit since I loaded it onto my PS4.

You play the game not as a single person, but as an entire clique of eight teenagers off on a trip to their friend’s secluded ski lodge, both to have a vacation and exorcise some demons of their recent past. You switch between characters as per the story events, but cannot switch actively on your own.

First off, it has to be said that the game looks fairly gorgeous. In full 1080p, with high resolution HD prettiness, this game is all eye candy made for your big-screen TVs. Where other games fail very consistently- in the character models- Until Dawn makes the grade with impressive results. The onscreen cast of young people that are put under the player’s care are not only uniformly attractive and lifelike, but for the most part likeable and very easy to get invested in. Yes, I’d say it would be fairly easy to be immediately drawn to the person we readily assume to be the game’s main heroine- the good-hearted and level-headed Sam, played by the beautiful Hayden Panettierre (Heroes), simply because her distinct features readily make her familiar. but it’s not long after you meet her friends tbat we should soon become very protective of these teens (unless you’re pointedly wanting to get them killed).

The character models are very well-done. Yes, facial expressions still aren’t perfect- they’re nowhere near even the detail of L.A. Noire. But I guess the excellent voice acting and script fill in whatever gap the digital actors’ faces still can’t quite convey.

In terms of gameplay, Until Dawn is very similar to Heavy Rain- it’s a mix of exploration, Quick Time Events and Choices. Choice, by far, is the most significant gameplay factor. Based heavenly on the Butterfly Effect, which basically states that even the smallest choice can cause vast consequences, this game pretty much ensures replayability since entire paths and branches in the storyline are locked off by choices you make. A strict Autosave prevents players from being able to stop and reload if they make a mistake or decision they regret- this is as punishing as Dark Souls in this regard- once you do something, it’s HISTORY. You have to live with it until your next playthrough. Get someone killed, the story continues onward without them (yes, even without Miss Panettiere, potentially). In fact, you can apparently finish the game with everyone dead or everyone alive (or any combination in between, I assume).

Aside from pretty spot-on controls and an environment which is immediately immersive and atmospheric, the game nails the Horror TV Show aesthetic, complete with an Opening Title Sequence and music and a ‘Previously On Until Dawn’ catch-up interlude in between game chapters. It’s like playing your own slick AMC Suspense/Mystery TV series.

Special mention also has to be given to what may so far be the CREEPIEST psychiatrist or ‘analyst’ I’ve yet met in a game, played by Peter Stormare. In between the game’s story chapters, you go through a ‘session’ with him, as a mysterious character who may or may not be involved in the goings-on at the Ski Lodge.

For some reason, this game has gotten hold of me from the first moment- and from there it hasn’t let go. This game does indeed demand your full attention- lest you miss a QTE and potentially screw up your story. But so far I am having a ball. Until Dawn, with all its horror show tropes, cliches and jumpscares strikes me as an exceptional title for the PS4. I still have to play this for quite a while before give my final, final verdict, but so far this game is coming out aces. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m still working on getting Sam back in the jacuzzi…

The Lone Gamer’s Must-Have iPad Games

Posted in DLC, Gadgets, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, iGaming, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Mobile Games, My Stuff on July 9th, 2015 by thelonegamer


The just-released Don’t Starve is just one of the many Must-Have games on the appstore.

I LOVE my iPad. I own an iPad Air, by the way, and I have no plans of upgrading or getting another tablet. This lovely slate is my constant companion (aside from my Galaxy Note 2), and it is my portable media center. I usually have tons of movies and vids loaded into the media player, but the best part of Apple’s tablet are the GAMES. Emulators not included, I think that the appstore probably has the most and best selection of games you can take with you everywhere. Here are the select few I will never delete from my tablet.

Puzzle Quest. This is the ORIGINAL Puzzle Quest, not the sequel or any of the countless wannabees. Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords is an awesome blend of Match-3 Puzzle and fantasy roleplaying, with you leading an intrepid adventurer through his or her rise to power, from an apprentice wizard or fledgeling knight struggling to survive against a sewer rat to a master conqueror controlling multiple cities. Everything is fought by matching gems, but the compelling story and addictive gameplay make this a cut above the rest. You can just pick it up and play for short bursts or long campaigns as you will, and the variety of character classes make replayability pretty high.
The one problem with this is, well, it seems to be unavailable on the appstore at present (at least from my appstore), but I managed to re-download it from my purchases list. Unfortunately, it seems to play without any SFX now(only music), but the gameplay is still intact (you can still get this classic on Steam for PC) so I’ll still be playing this probably till doomsday.

Infinity Blade III. Every iPad owner should have this installed, not only to have one single game to make onlookers go ‘OOH’ and ‘AAH’ at your device’s impressive capabilities, but also because it’s an awesome game. IB3 does swiping combat like no other game on the platform. Of course, you have the earlier two games, but I think this finale is the best if only for having a second playable (female) heroine to kill behemoths with.

Dead Trigger. Sometimes you just want to kill zombies with high-powered firearms, and this is the game to scratch that itch. The original DT has some of the best graphics and shooting gameplay on the iPad, with chunky zombies that are just begging to be riddled with hot lead. Yes, Dead Trigger 2 came out years ago, but the original is still a notch better due to the simple fact that you can play it OFFLINE.

Civilization Revolution. Yet another huge strategy title that is perfect to play on the iPad’s large touchscreen, CivRev is your portal to countless hours of empire-building-or-destroying obsessiveness.

Plants VS Zombies HD. The original PvZ is still awesome to this day, again a perfect standalone set compared to the constantly-being-updated iAP-rich sequel. Again, the iPad touchscreen is perfect for this classic, particularly for those marathon Endless sessions.

And these are just the classic oldies I love- I haven’t even gotten to the many fighting/action games and several new treats that I am having so much fun with lately. And with games like Don’t Starve: Pocket Edition and This War of Mine coming soon to the appstore, the iPad is truly one of the best Boredom-Beaters you can have with you.

Mad Max Fury Road: The Lone Gamer Review

Posted in Action Adventure, Fantasy, Movies, My Stuff on May 19th, 2015 by thelonegamer


Love action? Cars? Post-apocalyptic action with cars? WATCH.

Last Sunday, I got to watch Mad Max: Fury Road, written and directed by the original himself, George Miller. Been intrigued and excited with this flick ever since the first trailer and now that I’ve watched it… Well.

As a bit of backstory, I’ve watched the second and third Mad Max flicks- I don’t believe I ever watched the first one. They’re cult-classics that have a degree of roughness to them, just like the lashed-together, haphazard vehicles, weapons and implements of this insane world.

We return to a perhaps familiar Post-Apocalyptic Australia where society has fallen, resources are scarce and warlords rule the wasteland. Enter Max Rockatansky, a wanderer and former cop with a heavy chip on his shoulder. Perhaps he is still the same character as previous films, but this time its Tom Hardy filling in his boots.

The grizzled road warrior has the foul fortune of being captured at the start of the film by the War Boys, the bald, white-skinned private army of Warlord Immorten Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne, who coincidentally played Toe-Cutter in the previous Max films). Having O-Positive blood making him a universal donor, Max gets drafted into serving as a blood bag, or walking blood supply for one of the sick War boys, Nux (Nicholas Hoult).

We then see the personal kingdom Joe has made for himself, by virtue of him controlling a vast water source underground. Ruling with his army and deformed family members (Sons? Brothers?) serving as lieutenants, Joe has everything- farms producing greenery, water, women serving as virtual cows for Mother’s Milk (the food for the gods!) and an alliance with two other settlements providing crucial sources of gasoline and ammunition.

But his perfect world is suddenly rocked when he discovers that his most prized treasures- a quintet of beautiful women who serve as his Wives (or ‘Breeders’) have been stolen away from his vault, spirited off by Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), one of his most trusted field commanders. Immediately, Joe mobilizes every able soldier and running vehicle in his army to bring back his possessions, and there is where Fury Road really begins.

What can I say about this movie? This is Action, Car and Post Apocalyptic Car Action as you’ve never seen it. Just the sight of the MAD vehicles running in this film are worth the price of admission- this is Road Warrior Porn. From the central War Rig- which is the main stage of the movie for most of its running time- to the many freaks of machinery like a huge mobile ROCK CONCERT complete with a flame throwing guitar playing in front (an army needs music to roll by after all), this will blow your mind.

Director George Miller truly set himself free in this one- in no other installment do we see so much of the world he has cooked up in his twisted imagination. There is more substance to it, like the evil utopia Immorten Joe has fashioned for himself. Like the religion he espouses, making himself god while his War Boys scramble to die in his service for the promise of eternal life in Valhalla. It makes so much sense it’s… insane. There are truly disturbing sights in this flick, but thankfully it never dwells too much on the more gruesome things, nor is the violence ever gory or overly brutal.

But adding true impact to the action is that most of it is real, practical effects. True enough, there ARE CG moments (probably during one truly heinous sandstorm from hell) but a lot are real, with real machines (all the cars are real running machines) and real stuntmen making these sights possible.
And whoa, there are fights and battles ongoing for most of this flick. I may say that of all the Mad Max films, this one takes the cake in action- less talk, more crash and burn, but still amazingly has more than enough story and depth to the characters and events happening onscreen.

With performances solid throughout- kudos to a tough-as-steel Charlize for making Furiosa both superhuman and human in her debut- she is pretty much Max’s equal and partner in this film. Kinda funny that Miss Theron is so gorgeous that even bald, covered in grease and oil, missing an arm and bloodied, she’s STILL gorgeous. There’s certainly a story behind this character, and who knows- if fates are kind and we are lucky, we may see Mad Max: Furiousa down the road.

Also impressing is Nicholas Hoult, whose War Boy Nux has his own mini-saga within this saga. Overall acting is solid even in a flick that is more action than emoting.

Tom Hardy is readily likable as Max- an understated badass man who lets his actions speak more for him. Is he better than Mel Gibson? That’s really too much to ask for anyone, and no person in his right mind would venture to say so. Suffice to say he makes for a stoic and solid Road Warrior whom I would love to see more of in future Mad Max flicks.

I had an utter blast watching this flick- paradoxically so beautiful as it is grotesque. Filmed with rock-solid clarity and vivid color, this is one action film that is so easy to love because in its quest for Fury Road, it DELIVERS. Nine out of TEN. Watch this in a theater and have yourself A LOVELY DAY!!!

Bloodborne Prepped Me for Dark Souls!

Posted in Bloodborne, Dark Souls, Dark Souls 2, Fan Service, Fantasy, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, My Stuff, PC Gaming, PS3, RPGs on May 14th, 2015 by thelonegamer


Still one of the coolest RPG intros ever.

I think I’ve admitted it before- as a Hardcore Casual Gamer, I love gaming by nature, but my skills and patience aren’t the best. Even more so that I’m getting a bit older, I haven’t been really able to sink into a game too much like in years past, when I’d go on week-long binges or marathons just to finish a game, and then restart them. Perhaps if I got into the classic, masochistic Dark Souls earlier, maybe today I’d be more into it. But nope, I tried playing it when it first came out, got stymied by the repeated deaths and loss of my efforts, and just gave up. Even so, I’ve always been fascinated with From’s RPGs, mainly for the lore, the gorgeous art and designs, and the obvious love and fervor other players have for this modern classic.

So it’s actually a wonder for me today to realize that for the past week or so, I have been PLAYING Dark Souls on my PS3. Playing and loving it, incredibly enough. Yes, I am playing though as a spell-slinging Sorcerer, a class that is for the most part regarded as OP since you deal death from afar. I don’t care though- I think it’s a refreshing change from the hundreds of melee-class characters I’ve seen on all the Let’s Plays on Youtube. Being a squishy spell thrower means though that I will still need to master being able to avoid getting hit and keep my distance from the scary, deadly enemies. Also, I can’t totally rely on the trusty Soul Arrows to mete out victory every single second- so I have to work on having a weapon that can be relied on to kill quickly in as few hits as possible as well.

This of course leads me to the very addictive aspect of these types of games- powering up your hero and fashioning his or her implements of doom is thoroughly absorbing… and to see your work pay off in whole zones rendered silent, littered with enemy corpses is utter bliss.
So far, I am at about Level 43, my svelte Sorceress wearing the tattered but regal robes of a legendary Daughter of Izalith, which makes her look like a female Grim Reaper or Lady Nazgul (I plan on finding a matching Scythe which is apparently the best weapon in the game) and looking thoroughly badass. I’ve just rung the Second Bell of Awakening and am ready to enter the dastardly Sen’s Fortress. All this probably sounds like gibberish to anyone not into Dark Souls lore- just suffice to say I’m well past the point where most of those who just can’t take this game would have quitted a long time ago. And I’m still raring to go.

In fact, I’ve also gotten the game on Steam, and it’s installed on my PC- which is weird since the Xbox controller’s layout is slightly different from the PS3, switching the Dodge button position which will surely have me making crucial mistakes if I play it for any long duration…

Yep, this is all thanks to Bloodborne (which I am currently at the Endgame level, just two bosses away from finishing the game and entering into New Game Plus).

I am now considering From’s latest as a calculated try on their end to get players to give their previous two games- Dark Souls and DS2 a try. BB is just slightly different from the Souls games, but same enough that you can indeed jump into Dark Souls gamely after mastering Bloodborne and not feel like it’s a different game.

In fact, I believe that after the breakneck speed and twitch-reflex gameplay of BB, you’ll find the more methodical, calculated play of the Souls games very easy, or at least manageable. Bloodborne has somehow taught me to not fear the fearsome, to get impressed but not intimidated by the terrifying monsters I am faced with in these games. Yep, Bloodborne taught me, ‘if it can bleed, I can kill it’ (or something like that)… and I’ve taken this new-found courage from Yharnam into Lordran.

Hell, who knows- maybe if I get my ass handed to myself by the famous Ornstein and Smough, I may suddenly give up- but probably not. If I do finish Dark Souls, who knows- maybe I’ll give Dark Souls 2 a try. Then… Dark Souls 3, which I am sure is inevitable.

Damn it From Soft. You got me good.

10 Reasons Why You Should Play Bloodborne

Posted in Action Adventure, Bloodborne, Fan Service, Fantasy, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, My Stuff, PS4, RPGs on April 11th, 2015 by thelonegamer


The Hunt Begins…

I’ve had the pleasure of playing From Software’s latest action-RPG, Bloodborne, for the past week. It’s been bloody bliss, and this from a player who couldn’t get into or through any of the game’s predecessors- the Dark Souls games. Yep, the Dark Souls games make me shrivel and I just don’t have the masochism to endure those nightmares. But how the heck am I getting into Bloodborne then, which is pretty much the third Souls game in all but name? Well, here are the reasons why, from me.

1. It’s a Horror-Fantasy Steampunk Action RPG set in a nightmarish version of Old London, with Lovecraftian elements- and we really don’t get as many of those as we should. It’s a dark, DARK world to explore and experience but somehow is incredibly fun and compelling. You play a foreigner to the land of Yharnam, a Hunter bent on penetrating the secrets of this plague-and-beast-infested place for your own mysterious ends, and once you begin, you can’t let go.

2. It looks GORGEOUS. Despite the 30FPS, this is truly a PS4-magnitude game that will make you happy you invested in Sony’s Black Slab. The settings are darkly fascinating, the creatures that dwell it are things of horrific beauty, and it all looks amazing on a big HDTV.

3. The gameplay is fast, challenging but accessible. Even early on, your Hunter can dispatch most enemies fairly fast and easily- if you know how to properly play. Key is understanding the use of your Tools- firearms aren’t meant to actually kill for the most part, but are best used for Parries- shoot an enemy at close range just as they’re attacking, and you’ll stun them, leaving them open to a devastating follow-up. The same thing was also in Dark Souls, but here it is far easier (but still takes learning and mastering) and far more effective (and satisfying).

4. Leveling Up is fast and straightforward. Having a hard time? Level up. Yes, it will entail grinding, but the rewards for your training will pay off as you get better and once deadly foes become easier to dispatch. You won’t be doing as varied builds as with more traditional RPGs or like in the Souls games, as your Hunter will be more about what weapons he or she will be using.

5. You usually get to wear awesome trenchcoats. And there is something darkly badass than playing a basically what is a heroic version of Jack the Ripper prowling London. OR you can just cross-dress.


Uncover the secrets of Bloodborne…

6. The Enemies are AMAZINGLY scary and varied like you won’t believe. Aside from how freaky a lot of these enemies look, the way they act and move makes battles challenging and fun. Boss Battles are HARD but always doable, and once you beat a hard boss, you WILL yell in triumph and it feels freakin’ good. But forget that- even the common enemies are awesome freaks to behold, and it’s a truly weird pleasure to find out what the next zone or stage of this game has in store for you. I am sure- you will find yourself going WHAT THE HELL IS THAT many times in your first go…

7. Bloodborne’s weapons are BADASS. Look for new implements of bloodletting- there aren’t as many as in the Souls games, but you will surely find a favorite, some weird ones you’ll want to try just for how odd they look, and obsess about stats and upgrades like nothing. Find your favorite tool. Love your tool. Master it. You’ll be so happy. Oh, and did I mention you can get a CANNON?

8. This is legitimately a scary game, creepy and disturbing and will push all the right buttons to creep you out. Insane wails and howls, persistent whispers and footsteps, cancerous coughing… it all makes for a feast of disturbing cacophony that makes this game so immersive. Never mind that you will be facing off with freaks of nature, otherworldy fiends and murderous mobs of psychotics- the sheer dread of what lies behind every corner is already suspenseful enough.

9. The Level Design is textbook awesome From Software mastery. Explore and open up shortcuts that will make you smile as your efforts are rewarded by an easier way back to a deadly boss that kicked your arse. From did their work well.

10. In all, Bloodborne is Dark Souls that any gamer with a bit of patience can get into and have fun with, without the hardcore bent and sometimes impenetrable difficulty of that venerated series. Is it for ‘casuals’? Not really either; you need to get into this game, to let it seep into your veins. You will die, and die many times, but you will somehow still be having fun. And just coming back for more.

Looking Back: Moments from My First Skyrim Let’s Play

Posted in Action Adventure, Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, Fan Service, Fantasy, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, mods, My Stuff, Open World Games, PC Gaming, RPGs, Skyrim Let's Play, Videogame Comedy on February 17th, 2015 by thelonegamer

One year and 1000 subscribers later…

When I started my first Skyrim Let’s Play (or Roleplay, as it turned out), my Youtube channel (which I had been pretty much neglecting all this time) had about 150 or so subscribers who were sadly starved for content. Well, since starting the Adventures of Vryll Lytharn AKA A Coming of Mage Story, it has grown to almost 1000 Subscribers. I plan to post several videos as a Thank You to my wonderful audience- and this is the first.

Lookback: A Coming of Mage Story is a collection/montage of some memorable moments from the LP, hopefully to get a laugh or a smile, and perhaps encourage a few more peeps to subscribe. Heheh. Anyways, with PerMa (Perkus Maximus), the new revision of SkyRe now installed, I plan to keep playing (and LP-ing) Skyrim for a long time to come…

Why Do YOU Play Tekken?

Posted in Arcade, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, My Stuff, Tekken on February 16th, 2015 by thelonegamer


20 Years of Tekken and counting…

My first look at Tekken was in some gaming magazine. It had some rough pics of chunky-looking Virtua-style fighters (Yes, at the time Virtua Fighter was THE 3D Fighter) from Namco (The makers of Pac-man). Back then, it was originally called ‘Rave War’ (you’ll still hear this terms every so often in Tekken documentation). The game would use the same technology Namco used in its racing games. I didn’t think about it much back then.

I would see the finished game much, much later, in the arcade. This strange 3D fighter fascinated me. It was more ‘cartoony’ and a bit more fantastic than the uber-hardcore martial arts sim VF was. But the characters had a cool appeal I dug. My favorite of course was the blonde bombshell, Nina Williams, simply because she had awesome linking grapples (At the time knowing them was a HUGE secret). Since then, I was a Tekken fan. Sometimes a huge one to the point of obsession, at the worst I was more subdued as the series dipped into some low points. But never did I ever say I gave up on Tekken. I was in it for life.

I have to say my favorite Tekken is easily Tekken 6. That was the game that really roped me in, getting me into the arcades for months, plinking down countless tokens to earn Fight Money and purchase my wanted customizations. More often than not, I lost to the veteran arcade players. But never once did I not have fun. The home version of Tekken 6 wasn’t perfect to some, but to me it was the best home translation of a Tekken game ever, and it remains the reason for me to always hold onto my PS3.

Tekken Tag 2 and Revolution admittedly made me sink back into the shadows. I hated the customizations in TTT2 and just found the system too complex. As for the F2P Tekken, I’d rather say nothing.

And so it was that with Tekken 7, my hope is rekindled for a return to form. A REAL, canon, numbered Tekken with all the trimmings you would expect. So far I have not been disappointed, though I am surprised with a lot of the negativity. But I remain optimistic- Tekken 7 holds a lot of promise and I will hold the Tekken Team to that. The next couple of year will be crucial and exciting for me. Let the Rave War continue.