Gaming Backlog Final Thoughts – Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Does Uncharted 2 remain one of the greatest games of all time?

Adventuring through my backlog of games, one game at a time. 

Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: October 2015 (Originally Oct 2009 on PS3)
Played On: PlayStation 4

backlog gamingThere was a time when Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was considered one of the best video games ever made, and certainly one of the best to emerge from the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 era (it comfortably sits at a remarkable 96/100 on MetaCritic).

To me it’s mostly the sequel to Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. Uncharted 2 is an improvement over the original in many ways, yet still hampered by some of the same flaws, including a horrendously awful final boss fight that’s even worse than the original.

*Note* – since I’m playing the remastered edition from the Nathan Drake Collection on PlayStation 4, I haven’t played, nor cannot comment on the multiplayer components of Uncharted 2. These Final Thoughts are based entirely on the single player campaign. Continue reading “Gaming Backlog Final Thoughts – Uncharted 2: Among Thieves”

DMs Guild Review – Construct Compendium

New races, spells, feats, class archetypes, and monsters, all with a clockwork theme.

A review copy of “Construct Compendium” was provided for the purposes of this review.

Designed by: Brandon Norris, Richie Root

dms guild reviewWhile Dungeons & Dragons has always been firmly rooted in a fantasy setting, even the lowest of magic settings often include golems and rudimentary mechanical devices, like crossbows and spike traps.

The “Construct Compendium” provides a large amount of mechanical-related content. Over 70 pages provide new races, class archetypes, feats, spells, monsters, and a few magic items, all tied together with the theme of constructs. Continue reading “DMs Guild Review – Construct Compendium”

Westworld Season 2 Episode 10 “The Passenger” Recap

Everyone dies, some are resurrected, and this show will never be the same.

All of our characters and storylines came together for a 90-minute season finale full of twists, multiple deaths, a few rebirths, and a whole hell of a lot of frustration and confusion.

Which is appropriate given the somewhat maddening and ultimately unfulfilling sophomore season of Westworld.

Everyone is still headed to the Valley Beyond, the vague goal of just about every character in the park, for various reasons. Delores wants to find the means to conquer humans there. William (Man in Black) wants to destroy something. Bernard is looking for answers, and Maeve is simply trying to find her daughter, again.

The first chunk of the finale is getting everyone there. Continue reading “Westworld Season 2 Episode 10 “The Passenger” Recap”

D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 59 Recap

We gain entrance to the Sculptor’s Tower, the birthplace of TIM and the Warforged army.

Streamed, recorded and uploaded every week. Subscribe for our weekly adventures. Join us live on Fridays at 7pm Pacific/10pm Eastern!

Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

The inside of the tower was eerily quiet. Faces of anguish on frozen statues greeted us as we walked inside.

Beyond them, a pair of creatures turned toward us. They looked like someone had forcibly melded a dragonborn and a crossbow. Their gaping maws held giant crossbow bolts, and they kept them pointed at us while we step inside.

A pair of braziers suddenly alighted on either side, and a circle inscribed on the floor of a podium at the end of the hallway glowed green. In a puff of smoke a satyr appeared. 

“Is the master expecting you?” it asked.

“Who are you?” T.I.M. asked.

“I am Innslow, farrier of the master of this tower. Whom may I say is calling?”

T.I.M. and I glanced at each other, both of us blurting out different, random answers. The satyr paused curiously, the disappeared back into the circle.

Moments later, it returned. “The master has need of you,” it nodded to T.I.M., “but not at this moment.” The little goat-man suddenly looked around and addressed the whole room. “Gentleman these guests will be staying awhile until the master can decide what to do with them. Please make them comfortable.”

We heard a few metallic creaks and whispering groans as the statues around us lurched to life, the nearest one bashing me across the head as I narrowly avoided its grasp. Half a dozen statues lumbered toward us as the bolters began to fire.
Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 59 Recap”

Jurassic World Evolution Tips Guide [Pixelkin]

Read the full guide on Pixelkin

Jurassic World Evolution isn’t a particularly challenging or demanding theme park sim, but it has its quirks, and does a poor job explaining many of its systems. On any of the remote tropical islands within the Muertas Archipelago the Oooh-ing and Ahh-ing can quickly devolve into running and screaming. Or worse, you simply run out of money, whether through guests’ lawsuits or poor planning.

We’ve compiled a list of helpful tips to help prove that a dinosaur theme park can be a successful, and profitable, venture.

Read the full guide on Pixelkin

This week’s D&D session rescheduled to Sunday

Hello D&D fans!

It always pains us to reschedule our weekly live streamed D&D sessions, and thankfully we haven’t had to do it very often. But this weekend half of us will be out of town on vacation.

Instead of our usual Friday evening session, we’ll be live streaming this Sunday evening, June 24. Same time, around 7 pm Pacific/10 pm Eastern.

See you then!

Jurassic World Evolution Review [Pixelkin]

Read the full review at Pixelkin

Fifteen years ago I fell in love with Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis. It was the original dinosaur park sim that let me prove that breeding dinosaurs for consumer entertainment is a totally valid business strategy.

Now from the makers of Planet Coaster comes Jurassic World Evolution. Like the current era of Jurassic World films it’s not quite as good as the original. But Evolution does feature all the joy and danger of breeding and housing dinosaurs for entertainment that makes the concept so richly compelling.

Read the full review at Pixelkin

Westworld Season 2 Episode 9 “Vanishing Point” Recap

Ford’s posthumous influence continues to affect our characters; William sinks to new depths.

The penultimate episode of Westworld season two dives heavily into William’s past, revealing the drama surrounding his wife’s suicide and transforming the Man in Black into an even more intensely unlikable and borderline pointless character.

If you’ve been keeping up with my recaps, you know I’m not exactly a big fan of MIB’s storyline in season two. After discovering the maze wasn’t for him but for the hosts in season one, the Man in Black has been left with little to do throughout the sophomore season.

His story picked up a bit when his grown daughter suddenly showed up about halfway through the season, giving me hope that she would inject some interesting narrative developments into his arc.

Well, so much for that. Continue reading “Westworld Season 2 Episode 9 “Vanishing Point” Recap”

D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 58 Recap

The Hunt for Hekaton begins as we follow-up with clues pointing to The K Society, and return to The Grand Dame.

Streamed, recorded and uploaded every week. Subscribe for our weekly adventures. Join us live on Fridays at 7pm Pacific/10pm Eastern!

Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

The Grand Dame looked exactly as we remembered, complete with surly captain outside demanding we turn over our weapons. We were in no mood for subtlety this time around.

I reached out with my mind, attempting to convince him that we were on official business, and needed to be escorted immediately to the captain’s quarters.

Whether through exhaustion at being teleported hundreds of miles in a matter of minutes or through sheer overconfidence, the man sneered at me in response. “You ain’t on no business.” He drew his weapon and the guard next to him did the same.

I switched tactics, spreading out my arms as a sign of complacency. “Hey friend, have you heard of the Graham Cracker Crew?” 

The man sneered even further, the corners of his mouth threatening to leap off in opposite directions. “I heard of the Graham Cracker Crew. I don’t give two shits if that’s who you are. No weapons on this ship.”

I stumbled my way through a bullshit response, as Halfred crept up next to him. The Captain took a single step forward and Halfred launched himself, planting his head directly in the man’s gut. His eyes bulged, knees buckled, and his whole form seemed to fold in on itself as he teetered for a moment, then toppled over into the water below.

He cried out a yelp as he fell, and the other guard screamed and drew his weapon. We were getting in there, one way or another.

I originally named last week’s session “Into the Maelstrom p1,” but I cannot in good conscience name this week’s session part 2. Thanks to our dumb luck we skipped through the huge Storm Giant dungeon and were able to secure a private audience with their leader, Reagent Serissa, without so much as bumping into any other giants, and from there have already received our next quest – to find King Hekaton and restore the Ordning. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 58 Recap”