Gaming Goodness

Fallout 76 and S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Storytelling

I have to admit that even I hesitated briefly when Bethesda announced that Fallout 76 would have no human NPCs. After all, the eclectic array of survivors (along with their equally eclectic stories, ambitions, and machinations) has always been part of the charm of the Fallout series. The more I thought about it though, the more the decision makes sense in ways other than just the post-apocalyptic timeline.

After all, Bethesda has been conveying stories through their extensive world design and eye for detail in each of their titles for years now.

Fallout 76 B.E.T.A. (6)
(via Alicia Alexandra)

In Fallout’s case: whether it’s a carefully placed skeleton clutching a dusty teddy bear in the dark of an abandoned bunker or hastily painted warnings scrawled across a boarded door, there is an entire world telling players more about their surroundings than any digestible, scripted dialogue with an NPC could.

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Gaming Goodness, Xbox Lifestyle

Forza Horizon is More Than Just a Racing Game

I don’t drive. I don’t even have a driver’s license, mostly because they’re useless on the island of Montreal, where I spent my late teenage years, but also in part because I don’t really have any interest in driving. While I have a passing appreciation for nice cars, that’s just about where my interest ends when it comes to anything with four wheels. So, there’s really no logical reason I should enjoy a series like Forza Horizon, or at least so I thought.

I downloaded the demo for Forza Horizon 3 on a whim one Friday night when I was stuck at home with a cold and I quickly found myself buying the full game, much to my own disbelief. Why was I having fun? Well, my friend Maxen said it best: the Forza Horizon series is a “car-based adventure game”.

Forza Horizon 4 (2)
(via Alicia Alexandra)

Forza Horizon 4 just came out and it’s a perfect example of how this series from Playground Games embraces different play styles and includes mechanics to make it accessible to both racing and non-racing fans alike.

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General Geekery, Raves and Reviews

Worthy of Royalty – Review of The Dragon Prince

After re-watching The Office for the 36th time, I decided to give something new a shot when The Dragon Prince premiered on Netflix earlier last month on September 14th (my birthday coincidentally). Don’t worry, this review will be spoiler-free so don’t be scared to read on.

So, if you haven’t seen the series advertised anywhere: The Dragon Prince is an all-ages fantasy series that explores the story of a world torn in two over magic, a tenuously-held peace between races and the friendship that forms between an Elven assassin and the human princes she’s sent to kill as they try to right the wrongs of their peoples’ pasts.

dragonprince-season1_recap
(via IMDB)

Brought to you by Wonderstorm, a new creative team founded by some of the key players behind Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Dragon Prince is their first kick at the can as a new studio. It looks like they’re in it for the long haul too, with a video game already in development. Definitely intriguing, given the team also consists of some ex-game developers from studios like Riot Games and Naughty Dog.

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Gaming Goodness, Xbox Lifestyle

Xbox Game Pass is Making Me a Better Gamer

I’m a bit of a commitment-phobe when it comes to games. So much so that it’s become an ongoing joke with my community that I “change games more often than I change my underwear”. I think it’s partly because I’m a variety streamer but also because I’m just really… fickle about how I spend my time and I’m hyper aware of how expensive gaming as a hobby can be.

When it  comes to spending 60 dollars or more on a AAA release I don’t usually leave my comfort zone of fantasy RPGs and sci-fi FPSs. If I try something new and it doesn’t click, I find myself feeling bad for not sinking hundreds of hours into a game I paid full-price for. It seems kind of silly but I’m the first to admit that there’s a certain amount of guilt that comes along with one’s backlog growing as you add a barely played game to your pile of shame.

So, when Xbox announced Game Pass, a Netflix-esque digital library of over 100 games with a low, monthly fee of $9.99 USD, it felt like the perfect way to get over my gaming hangups and try something new.

screenshot_67
(via MCV)

In the 17 months that I’ve had Game Pass, it has let me explore games that I once considered out of my depth or uninteresting with little to no risk. I download something, I give it a shot and if it doesn’t catch my attention: I uninstall it. It’s that simple (and my pile of shame remains the same size).

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General Geekery, Out and About

A Day in the 16th Century – Visiting Bristol Renaissance Faire

My husband and I went on an overnight trip this weekend to Kenosha, Wisconsin. It was a special trip for us as its the first time we’ve been able to travel since getting married as well as our first ever visit to a RenFair.

Bright and early on Saturday morning, amid the pouring rain and mud, we made our way to the Bristol Renaissance Faire. (After a pit stop for rain-appropriate shoes.)

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(via Alicia Alexandra)

As corny as it sounds, stepping through the gates of Bristol feels like stepping through to another world. I’ve always imagined renaissance fairs as migratory events, “tents in a field” sort of deal and some of them may be like that, but Bristol completely surprised me. It’s an entire city. A living, breathing, permanent construction with storybook-like architecture, landscaping, winding paths and water features. We spent a lot of time marveling at the sheer “realness” of everything around us.

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