Gaming Backlog Final Thoughts – Shadowrun: Hong Kong

Another fun Shadowrun adventure, but overall weaker than Dragonfall as the series hits its gameplay limits.

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I have finished another backlogged game via Rogue’s Adventures. You can read my latest Final Thoughts below and also on my gaming blog on Game Informer.

Developer: Harebrained Schemes

Publisher: Harebrained Holdings

Release Date: Aug 30, 2015

Franchise Fatigue. It happens to the best of them. Many times it’s a “it’s not you it’s me” kind of situation. Maybe you played a bunch of entries in a row, or maybe a sequel simply doesn’t do enough to differentiate itself form its predecessors.

I didn’t think I’d start feeling Franchise Fatigue in the Shadowrun games. Shadowrun: Hong Kong is only the third game after Harebrained Schemes resurrected the series through Kickstarter several years ago. Continue reading “Gaming Backlog Final Thoughts – Shadowrun: Hong Kong”

Rogue Stormers Review [Pixelkin]

Rogue Stormers is an intriguing combination of side-scrolling shooter and rogue-like dungeon crawler.

Read the full review at Pixelkin

When I spoke to Black Forest Games at PAX South, they revealed that Rogue Stormers went through a major evolution during Early Access. It was originally devised as a standard action-RPG, but came off as too linear and boring. BFG revamped the gameplay, adding randomized levels and multiple characters. The result is an intriguing combination of side-scrolling shooter and rogue-like dungeon crawler.

The world of Rogue Stormers showcases a unique style called “Dieselpunk.” Dieselpunk represents an industrial World War 1-2 aesthetic. Black Forest Games applied this world of bulky technology to the medieval-like city of Ravensdale. A substance called “goop” powers all their diesel engines. It also turns the population of Ravensdale into monsters.

Read the full review at Pixelkin

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 12 Recap

Our heroes defeat a group of pirates at Womford and travel up the Dessarin River toward Rivergard Keep.

Recorded every Sunday night, uploaded on Mondays. Subscribe for our weekly adventures!

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

Sometimes you have to scrap ideas even before they really start. If you’re DMing a game of your own creation you have to play the role of both designer and editor. You create the content, then constantly modify and tweak as your players mess with it.

By utilizing a pre-published adventure, the bulk of the design is already done for me. I primarily do the editing work, which leads to a lot of customization and changes based on what I and my players like to do in a tabletop game.

In this week the party made it to Bargewright Inn, which includes a low-level “Side Trek.” I like that “Princes of the Apocalypse” uses extra content that’s completely extraneous to the plot and fills out the Dessarin Valley area quite nicely.  Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 12 Recap”

Nine Tips for Saving Your Kingdom in Fire Emblem Fates [Pixelkin]

Prepare yourself for an all-out war, and keep your new friends, family, and allies alive with these tips.

Read the full tips guide at Pixelkin

Whichever version of Fire Emblem Fates you play, the biggest in-game decision has already been made for you. Your next decision should be reading these tips. Fates maintains the strict difficulty of its predecessors. Prepare yourself for an all-out war, and keep your new friends, family, and allies alive with these tips.

fire emblem fatesExpanded Weapon Triangle

Fire Emblem’s combat operates on a simple Rock-Paper-Scissors system with Axes-Lances-Swords. Fates adds ranged weapons into the mix, condensing magic into just a single category: Bows-Shurikens/Daggers-Magic respectively. Know which units and weapons are most effective at all times. You can always pull up the Guide at any time for a refresher, and double-check those up and down arrows in the fight summaries.

Examine the Map and Plan Ahead

Before each battle you can View Map to get a full perspective of the foes you’ll be facing and the general layout of the battle. Later battles can easily last over an hour. Take your time and analyze each enemy loadout and prepare accordingly. Lots of archers in a small map? Leave the fliers at home. Tons of cavalry? Equip those beast-killer lances. A wise 80s cartoon once said – knowing is half the battle.

Read the full tips guide at Pixelkin

Epistory: Typing Chronicles Review [Pixelkin]

Epistory uses many successful gameplay designs and a fantastic art style to create something surprisingly memorable – all with just the keyboard.

Read the full review at Pixelkin

In Elementary School we went to the computer lab to play Kiki’s Typing Adventures. It was designed for kids to practice typing. It was mostly boring and lame.

Typing games haven’t really broken out of their “edutainment” mold, so I was very skeptical in firing up indie typing adventure Epistory. I’m pleased to report that the Zelda-like RPG uses many successful gameplay designs and a fantastic art style to create something surprisingly memorable – all with just the keyboard.

READ THE FULL REVIEW AT PIXELKIN

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 11 Recap

Our heroes finally get a chance to spend their hard-earned loot in Red Larch before taking the Cairn Road to Womford.

Recorded every Sunday night, uploaded on Mondays. Subscribe for our weekly adventures!

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse” 

We typically have our Dungeons & Dragons sessions filled with dungeon crawling and combat. But even the most video game-like D&D groups occasionally need a session to sell all their phat lootz.

With the heroes wanting to personally escrot the prisoners from the Sacred Stone Monastery to Red Larch, I decided it was a good time to provide them with ample options to spend their accumulated wealth.

D&D 5E solved the power-struggle quite elegantly with the Proficiency Bonus. The side effect is that magic items are no longer needed quite as much, and end up being more rare than ever before. Heroes still gain hundreds of gold after only a few sessions, however.

If you have a group that’s not particularly interested in the more esoteric role-playing side of RPGs, such as building castles or engaging in politics, it’s difficult to create a proper money sink. My personal solution was to allow them to purchase a few select magic items from their local Harper agent (Endrith Vallivoe), as well as potions of healing, greater healing, and even their own horses. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 11 Recap”

News Writing for Pixelkin

I’ve officially been brought on to help out with news posts for Pixelkin. You can find the links in a new subpage here on my blog.

Good news everyone!

I’ve officially been brought on to help out with news posts for Pixelkin, a site that easily represents a good 75% of my freelance work. I’ll be starting out with one news article per day. I’m still cranking out my usual reviews, previews, interviews, etc!

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Note that I won’t be sharing every single news post here on my blog. Instead I’ve built a News subpage under my Published Work section to keep an updated archive of my posts.