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”

Westworld Season 2 Episode 8 “Kiksuya” Recap

The mysteries of the Ghost Nations are revealed.

Big, explosive episodes like last week’s are often followed by a much smaller, slower episode. Such is the case with our eighth episode of Westworld season two.

Yet most shows also don’t focus that episode almost entirely on a minor character, diving heavily into the past and answering questions that we didn’t really have in the first place. “Kiksuya” will most likely end up as the weakest episode of the season, and maybe even the series. Continue reading “Westworld Season 2 Episode 8 “Kiksuya” Recap”

E3 2018 Was All About the Leading Ladies [Pixelkin]

Read the full article at Pixelkin

Four years ago at E3 2014, Ubisoft blundered into a PR nightmare by weakly defending why both Assassin’s Creed Unity and Far Cry 4 lacked playable women characters in their multiplayer modes – they would require too much time and resources to animate.

Female representation in big, blockbuster games has been sporadic at best. Yes we can point to the same franchises like Metroid and Tomb Raider over and over again, but that just proves the point even more.

But there is good news. In recent years diversity and inclusion has become a major focus for many game developers and publishers. The fruits of those labors are beginning to show. We could call it the Overwatch or Wonder Woman Effect, or just a sign of many game companies hoping to avoid stagnation and seek out progressive voices and audiences.

At E3 2018 we were impressed with the number of women characters, both old and new, showcasing AAA games. In case you missed it, let’s run through the new era of leading ladies from E3 2018.

Read the full article at Pixelkin

D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 57 Recap

We teleport inside the Storm Giant lair known as the Maelstrom, and immediately discover all the shortcuts.

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”

I felt the minutes tick by slowly, furtively glancing toward both the staircase and the pool of water.

Korinn returned first, still invisible. She reported that an entire delegation of Giants sat upstairs in some sort of concert or show, hosted by the Storm Giants. It wasn’t the kind of party we wanted to crash.

While we debated on how to handle it, the pool of water began rippling. A gigantic shark head emerged, crashing into the side, sending a water-logged T.I.M. sailing through the air.

He tucked, rolled, and sprang up on his feet. He immediately began babbling like an excited child as he pulled out magical treasures that he and Bryseis had discovered in their underwater excursion. “We found a whale and I made a seahorse friend! I accidentally killed a shark, then I killed two crabs. And I found some stuff. Oh and there’s a bunch of other entrances to other areas of the dungeon.”

We finally journeyed into the Maelstrom, the primary lair of the Storm Giants, via the teleporting conch shell we had grabbed from the Cloud Giants. Then we did what we always do: split the party and skip through the dungeon. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 57 Recap”

Goodreads Review: Sea of Rust

Sea of RustSea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not quite the post-apocalyptic summer blockbuster I was expecting. While there’s a solid chunk of explosive plasma-fueled action, it also dives deep into AI sentience, mental issues, and the uniquely harrowing civil war the robots find themselves in years after they killed all the humans. Protagonist Brittle has a delightfully sly human tone, making it a quick, fun read, but still poking at deeper, profound concepts of individuality, freedom, and sentience.

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