The Darkest Dungeon – The Addiction is Real

I am always late to the party. Like, really, really late.

One of the streamers I consistently watch has played Darkest Dungeon off and on over the years, but oddly, I never actually stuck around to catch the gameplay. A couple of months ago, I finally stuck around for a Darkest Dungeon stream, and it looked like something I would enjoy. When I asked Rugjen about it, he said, “I don’t think you would like it. It’s hard.”

That immediately stopped me in my tracks because Rugjen knows that I don’t like games that are hard just for the sake of being hard (looking at you Dark Souls/Sekiro/Bloodborne).

As the days passed, this game was still beckoning to me from the darkest recesses of my mind. I looked it up on Steam, and like a call from a siren, Steam just happened to have it on sale for $6.00 with an hour left in the sale. Probably the best $6.00 I spent on a game. At the time of this article, you can pick up Darkest Dungeon at full price for $24.99 on Steam. It does go on sale frequently, so I suggest keeping an eye on the price. That being said, it is worth $25.

Darkest Dungeon is a roguelike RPG. What is a roguelike RPG? Whenever you come across the term “roguelike” or “roguelite”, it refers to a genre of game in a dungeon-like setting where you move room to room or level to level. There is usually a permanent death element where you may or may not be able to carry over equipment, talents, and/or currency. Most roguelike games are also turn-based.

The game is rated T for teen for references to alcohol, some nudity, gore, and violence. It is a dark game that could potentially be stressful for certain people, so I suggest watching some gameplay if you know that could be a factor.

The gameplay is centered around building a team of four heroes to take on expeditions in various dungeons. Each hero has a both positive and negative quirks that affect how the hero interacts in the dungeon. Each hero also has various skills that can be swapped in and out to become a better fit for different dungeons. For example, the vestal, which is a healing class, can be spec’d to be a true healer, or a damage-dealing healer. You can potentially have two of the same class in a party, but with two very different roles. After each expedition, you return to The Hamlet, the small town that provides stress relief and upgrades. With each expedition, you gather heirlooms that allow you to upgrade the buildings in The Hamlet allowing you to purchase upgrades for your armor and skills. Most expeditions reward the team with trinkets that allow for more customization of damage, speed, and other skills. As you lose heroes, and you will lose heroes, the stagecoach offers up fresh meat for the grinder.

What Makes Darkest Dungeon Great

In my opinion, what makes this game great is the sheer amount of options you have. There really is no one way to approach each boss. While there may be a general strategy, it is very flexible on how you decide to achieve it. Personally, I get bored very quickly with games which makes roguelikes very appealing to me. Even though the gameplay is the same, the context is different enough to keep me going back.

Is it Really Hard?

I’ve had this discussion with Rugjen and I’ll echo the same sentiments here. When someone tells me a game is “hard”, I immediately think of the skill required to play a game. I don’t think the game is hard to learn or hard to play. There is not a lot of gaming skill needed to play Darkest Dungeon. By gaming skill, I am talking more about reliance on reaction speed and muscle memory. For example, ever watch a kaizo Mario player? They will grind levels for hours to get the right muscle memory engrained. To me, that is what “hard” means to me. You don’t need to memorize boss fights or practice any timing in Darkest Dungeon. The game, on PC, literally only requires you to use WASD to move and mouse-clicks to choose your skill and select the enemy you plan to execute the attack on. So, to say that the game is “hard”, to me, is misleading. The game isn’t hard; the game is challenging. You might think I am splitting hairs, and maybe I am, but I feel Darkest Dungeon is very playable for any skill level. What makes it challenging is being able to juggle all of the elements the game gives you to build a strong team. If strategy or party management is not your strength, this game will be difficult for you.

That being said, I’ll disclose that I play on the easiest difficulty because I was new to the game and it was suggested by many to do a run through on the easiest difficulty to get a feel for the game. I whole-heartedly agree. There is a lot to learn and frustrating yourself with a harder difficulty out of the gate may make your attitude toward the game turn sour before you even really get a chance to play.

I have so much fun playing this game. Finding the right combinations of skills and trinkets to take down the bosses has been challenging, but very, very fun. I highly recommend adding this game to your library. I’ve been playing it non-stop since I bought it!

Gunfire Reborn: Holy Geez!

On a recommendation from one of my co-workers, I grabbed a copy of Gunfire Reborn and holy geez.

About This Game:

  • Gunfire Reborn is an adventure level-based game featuring FPS, roguelite, and RPG elements. Players can control unique heroes—each with different abilities—as they adventure through random levels and pick up randomly dropped weapons. You can play Gunfire Reborn alone or cooperatively with up to three other players (4-player co-op).
  • Every level is random; each new restart is a brand-new experience. You will meet different heroes and experience new weapons, items, checkpoints, and unique combat rhythms across the game’s many levels.
  • Gunfire Reborn is still in Early Access. We will gradually fix bugs, add more content, and come up with new gameplay ideas. Thank you for your support! We will try our best to optimize our game to deliver a premium experience you can’t wait to return to.

Copied from: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1217060/Gunfire_Reborn/

First, let me start by saying that first-person shooters (FPS) are at the lowest end of my skill tier. I have never been great at them. For the most part, I am impatient. I tend to rush in when I shouldn’t. I know this, but I still do it. I don’t have the discipline for it. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I don’t enjoy the occasional jaunt into the genre. In fact, it seems that I’ve been playing a lot of FPS games lately.

This game, however, is nuts. It is this weird combination of simple, and yet, hard. I originally started the game solo and immediately got nowhere. If you want to see me struggle and laugh at my game play, you can watch my video on our Facebook channel. I’ll link it at the end.

I find the game really, really fun. Part of the reason why I don’t really enjoy FPS shooters is the “other player” aspect. Yeah, I don’t really find joy at being slaughtered by better skilled/geared players. When you’re a casual player, and the FPS incorporates seasonal gear or bonuses and you just don’t play enough to be competitive, it’s a big turn off. This aspect, single-handedly, ruins FPS games for me. I know for some of you, that hustle to claw your way to the top is the carrot you need to enjoy a game. That isn’t me. I like there to be a balance, and Gunfire Reborn does that. By going roguelike, it changes the FPS dynamic completely for those of us who don’t want to spend the entire day getting teabagged.

You might be wondering what “roguelike” or “roguelite” means. It is a very loosely-defined term and if you Google it, the consensus is there is no consensus. In general, it typically means there is a perma-death element, and you may (or may not) be able to carry skills, skill currency, coin, or weapons when you restart. Typically, roguelike games are dungeon crawlers or floor-based, but not exclusive to. There are roguelike-card, turn-based card games as well as FPS games. So, when you see the term “roguelike” or “roguelite”, you can pretty much guarantee you get one run and then have to start over.

I have still not been able to beat the first boss on a solo game. That being said, I haven’t made an attempt after I streamed the game. Almost immediately off-stream, I made it to the boss and got wrecked. That is when I employed the help of Rugjen and Pyroplop who are infinitely better at FPS games. Rugjen, on his first or second solo run, managed to make it to the first boss. That just shows the disparity between our skill levels. On our second run as a group, we managed to take down the first boss and are now stuck on the second.

We thoroughly enjoy playing the game together, so I recommend grabbing a few friends and giving it a go. I love the randomness of it all. Some runs, we had divine intervention and all received the weapons we wanted with the skills we needed. And, some runs, we immediately knew we had our work cut out for us. That is what makes it fun. We all get this individualized experience while still being able to work together as a team.

I would say, for the casual player, this game is challenging. You’re going to have to grind some skill currency to boost your stats to make up for the lack of skill. And, you know what? That is perfectly okay! I had a great time earning the first 10 levels on my own before turning to the guys for help. It is my opinion that the developers really did a great job of extending the content in such a way that progress didn’t feel like a grind.

On the flip side, the game may feel childish to true, hardcore FPS players. You are playing against the computer. After playing for awhile, you do learn the enemy mechanics. That may not be challenging enough for those of you who like the thrill of unpredictability.

Overall, I recommend this game. It is early access, so content is still forthcoming. You can also pick it up for the low price of $11.99 on Steam. Honestly, for a few hours of fun, you cannot beat the value you get from this game. Don’t let the early access tag scare you. This is probably one of the cleanest, well-put together, early-access games I own.

10/10 – Do recommend.

Fall Guys: Is It Hype Worthy?

For me, there are two category of games:

Category 1: Not Trash. For me, most games fall in the “not trash” category meaning my opinion of the game could possibly range from indifferent to love.

Category 2: Trash. Rugjen and I tend to call a lot of things “trash”. There are two definitions of trash. The first is obvious. The game should be thrown in the trash. The second definition of trash is sort of the opposite. It means you SHOULD hate it, it SHOULD be thrown in the trash, but you love it for all the wrong reasons.

Fall Guys is pure trash, but in the way that keeps you going back.

Fall Guys is the latest hype. It’s a battle royale game (think Fortnite, Apex Legends, PubG) that will bring you back to the days of Takeshi’s Castle, or MXC: Most Extreme Elimination Challenge, for those of you who don’t know the name of the original show. You play a jellybean-like creature. You battle 60 of your peers through various mini-games to claim the crown. As you level up, you earn “kudos” which is the game’s currency. You can buy cosmetics and emotes to customize your jellybean. There are different seasons to keep things fresh.

It is a straight-forward game. Controls are easy. Game play is easy. It is so easy that I feel like I don’t even need to go into any detail. I do, however, recommend that you play with a controller if you grab the PC version.

It is heckin’ fun. It is the type of game you play a few matches and move on with your life which is great for the casual gamer. If you get anxiety playing with strangers, you don’t really interact with others, so it didn’t bother me. I, typically, do not like playing with strangers and sometimes get anxiety. This game did not trigger that, because, for the most part, it is you against the other jellybeans. While there are some teamwork mini-games, you don’t have to really interact with any of them.

What I love about this game is there is a balance of skill and luck involved. I am typically not a fan of battle royal games. The turnoff has always been that I am a casual player and I don’t have the time to grind to improve my skill. That often leaves me being the first to die, or in team matches, being a burden to the more experienced players. It wasn’t my kind of fun because I was always left feeling inadequate and unskilled.

Fall Guys changes that. Instead of focusing on eliminating your peers, your focus is to get to the end of the obstacle course first. Yes, there is a small element of pushing jellybeans to their death to increase your chances, but those kind of strategies can quickly turn the tables on you. Also, there is a distinct lack of power-ups or weapons, so everyone really is on equal footing the entire match.

Is it worth the hype? I totally think so. For $20.00 on Steam or Playstation, you can’t really beat the value. You get a great game that you can play for hours, or for a few matches and still laugh at yourself. You can also team up with friends and try to stick it out together.

If you want to check out some game play, consider watching my video on Facebook! I’m terrible. So, so, terrible…

*P.S* I have been trying to get my FB videos to embed, but they just won’t. If you click the “Watch on Facebook”, it should take you there. Thanks!

https://business.facebook.com/FilthyCasualGamers/videos/842815219791762/

ChibiChonk’s Thoughts on Obsidian’s Newest Release, Grounded

A few weeks ago, Pyroplop started telling me about Grounded. He had played the demo and thought that it was right up my alley. And, he is right. I love open-world survival games that incorporate crafting elements, and that is exactly what Grounded is. Early access was released on July 28, 2020. I have the XBOX Game Pass, so I am playing on PC.

What is early access?
Grounded is an early-release survival action game. Currently, you can play for free if you have XBOX Game Pass. Otherwise, you can purchase access from Steam for $29.99. If you aren’t familiar with early-access games, be aware that early access means the game is not complete. Early access gives players the ability to assist in the development process by reporting bugs and other issues to the developers so they can move the game toward alpha/beta phases and, then, final release. Early-access has become a more frequent part of the gaming community, so be aware that you are not purchasing/playing a fully completed game, so go into game play with an open mind.

Unfortunately, after two days of hardcore game play, I already found myself being seduced by boredom and no amount of open mindedness seemed to motivate me to continue playing.

What I liked
I almost feel guilty for feeling the way that I do. It is a visually stunning game. You will not be disappointed with the look of the game. I also love the concept. In Grounded, your character wakes up in a strange place and has seemingly forgotten the events leading up to the current state of things. You explore the yard hoping to find clues to restore your memory on how you ended up in such a small state. Of course, not everything in the yard is going to see you as non-threatening, so you have to do your best to survive. From building shelters, to finding suitable food sources, it has all the makings of a very solid open-world survival game.

Bugs. Let’s talk bugs. They are so well done. If you’re a bug enthusiast, you may get giddy at how the ants quizzically look at you, or how the ladybugs seem to chatter at you. And then, there are the spiders. If you have a severe case of arachnophobia, the game has an arachnophobia mode to make the spiders less threatening.

Building. I really like how simple the building aspect of the game is. You chop some weeds for “wood”, slap on some grass/clover and you have a basic base. What I REALLY love is the blueprint feature. Before you actually craft, a blueprint can be placed without using your resources. That way, you can technically build a draft of your base and make changes without spending resources. Also, if you don’t have all of the resources, you can still apply it to the blueprint. You don’t need all of the supplies on you to begin your building endeavors. By far, one of the best features of this game.

Crafting. Crafting is also super easy and not over complicated. As you discover items, you use a science base to analyze them for new recipes. It beats having to hunt down recipes.

What Fell Short

As I mentioned, this is an early-access game. So, my opinions are solely based on what I, personally, found lacking that tarnished my enjoyment of the game in its current state. In no way am I condemning an incomplete game. I’m simply sharing why I think I lost interest so quickly in its current state with no consideration placed on what has been promised to be added.

Game Progression. I play quite a bit of 7 Days to Die which is, in my opinion, the gold standard of an early release/alpha/beta game. 7 Days has been around for years and is still comfortably sitting in the alpha phase of testing. Despite being an incomplete game, they’ve done well to keep me coming back.

The open-survival genre is simple. You’re dropped into a world, you start with nothing, and you have to slowly gather/create the things you need to survive. As you level up, your stats grow and you, as the adventurer, grows stronger. Where Grounded fell short for me is the distinct lack of noticeable progression. In most games, there is some sort of leveling system which Grounded completely lacks. This bothered me. In fact, it bothered me a lot more than I thought it would if I am being perfectly honest. I played for days and it made me feel like I was working toward nothing. I quickly discovered something about myself that I did not know prior to playing Grounded. I apparently need a leveling system to get enough gaming satisfaction to keep me interested. If you’re an explorer and love to unlock different areas, I can see how the game, in this current state, would keep you interested. I am not an explorer. I like exploring in conjunction with a story line, and that is just a personal preference. No right or wrong.

The Story Mode was INSANELY short. I think it took me less than a couple hours to complete what story mode they had available. Again, before you start gathering the pitchforks and torches, I understand it is in early access, but if I am being perfectly honest, it wasn’t enough to charge $29.99 on Steam for. I do think some of you will be very disappointed. That being said, that price does afford you all future updates through final release, but be aware that you might be met with initial disappointment. Once you finish the initial story content, you do get a message that content will be added as the game develops. Who knows how often or how soon that will be.

Inventory Management. The lack of good inventory management can make or break a game for me. Unfortunately, Grounded has a lack of the basic inventory management features that other games in the genre have. Specifically, I could not figure out how I could easily move stacks of items from my inventory to my storage without drag and dropping. In most games in the genre, you have a keyboard + mouse shortcut that will deposit stacks of items into your storage. I couldn’t find that in Grounded. There is also a lack of sorting. If you’ve figured these things out, leave a comment below and educate me, because I was struggling. Again, I try not to compare it to other games, but honestly, that is hard. It would be like playing a first-person shooter and “R” isn’t the default reload. There is a reason the unspoken standard exists. Some people appreciate being different. When it comes to standard gaming controls, I do not!

Food/Water Requirements. I was playing on the default mode, which I believe is called “Medium”. The rate at which one needs food and water is a bit, and I use this term loosely, but, well…unrealistic. Your character will drink a droplet larger than the character’s head, and yet, shortly after, you need more water. While food and water are relatively easy to find, it is an annoyance. This is easily remedied by playing in creative mode. I can always do that.

The Lack of Information on How to Use Crafted Items. Some tool tips or an in-game tutorial when you make new items that have certain restrictions would be nice. For some of you, finding this out on your own might be your cup of tea. A tool tip feature can easily be turned on or off, and maybe I didn’t do enough exploring to figure it out. If I did, feel free to let me know in the comments.

These were the main issues that I think contributed to my very fast burnout. There are a few game bugs that are also annoying, but not a deal breaker. For example, in the menu system, it will show a keyboard shortcut, but it won’t work. I’m not going into all the bugs I ran into, because overall, they did not contribute to how bored I got with the game. I was easily able to overlook any glitch/bug.

I think that a lot of what made me lose interest is simply because it is an early release game. I think if you have a better set of skills to overlook what the game is missing and are able to appreciate the game for what it is in its current state, you will probably enjoy this game a lot.

For now, I am going to tuck the game away and wait for a few more updates before starting all over. Do I recommend it? I do. I think it is going to be a fantastic game once more content is available. Again, if you have a XBox Game Pass, it is absolutely free to play, so you really don’t have anything to lose. However, if you don’t, I would recommend that you wait. You might be disappointed in what your $30 buys you.

Deep Rock Galactic

Space dwarves.

Do you really need any other reason?

About the Game

Take on the deadliest planet in the known galaxy as a team of dwarven mercenary miners in our upcoming procedurally generated co-op sci-fi shooter – Deep Rock Galactic!

In the far future, space mining is big business.

The interplanetary mining corporation DEEP ROCK GALACTIC specializes in securing the most dangerous dig sites in the galaxy. When they need a team for the toughest missions, they call in the Dwarves – mercenary miners, legendary for their ability to survive underground, and infamous for their brutality in combat.

Join a team of up to 4 players to fight, dig and explore your way through enormous cave systems, uncover the greatest riches, and make it out alive.

https://deeprockgalactic.gamepedia.com/Deep_Rock_Galactic

Game Play

I’ve been playing DRG casually for a few weeks. DRG is classified as a first-person shooter. FPS games are not what I gravitate toward, but I do play them on occasion.

Game play is pretty simple. You pick a class. You go on missions. You complete the missions. You earn currency and achievements for upgrades. Obviously, this is very oversimplified, but the basic gist of the game.

Classes. There are four different classes you can choose to play, each with its own specialty. You can play as a driller, scout, gunner, or engineer. Each class has different specialized weapons and/or tools.

The driller is equipped with titanium powerdrills, a flamethrower as its primary weapon, a pistol sidearm, and explosives.

The scout is equipped with a grappling gun, powerful flare gun, an assault rifle and shotgun, and the ability to use a shield that slows down enemies.

The engineer is equipped with a platform gun, sentry turrets, shotgun, and grenade launcher.

The gunner is equipped with a mini-gun, revolver, zipline gun, and can also use a shield.

Single-Player Mode. I found the single-player mode is very enjoyable. You pick your mission and receive help from BOSCO, a drone that can mine out of reach materials and attack enemies.

Multi-Player Mode. The bulk of my game play has been in multiplayer mode with Rugjen and Pyroplop. For those of you who are turned off by first-person shooters because of forced stranger interaction, you can rejoice. DRG’s multiplayer mode does not match you up with strangers. Instead, one of your party members sends game invites directly. For those of you who want to play multiplayer, but don’t have any friends playing, there are “looking for group” channels on the DRG Discord.

Mission Types. There are five types of missions. There is mining, egg hunts, salvage operations, point extractions, and eliminations. There is a mission hub with different regions offering missions of varying difficulty and type. Each mission has a primary and second objective.

Overall, I really like the game. My only concern is the amount of work you have to put in to unlock things. After awhile, it becomes too much of a grind and can turn some people off. If you’d like to see what a basic mission looks like, check out my YouTube video:

Filthy Casual Finds a New Home

A few months ago, we announced that we were moving our stream to Mixer. The biggest motivation for the move was viewership. Twitch is over saturated with streamers, and their platform makes it near-impossible for a small streamer to get viewers. After some consideration, and watching a lot of Harris Heller videos, we came to the conclusion that our viewership would not change if we did not make a change. So, we decided to leave Twitch as our main platform and transition to Mixer.

We did, indeed, gain more viewers and followers at Mixer. Enough to consider making the move permanent, but we weren’t fully committed to the decision. The longer we streamed on Mixer, the more we realized that the platform was dying. Despite all of their moves to acquire well-known streamers, it had little to no growth. Development was at a halt. The writing was on the wall and I think, on some level, Rugjen and I knew. We stopped putting in effort shortly before the announcement. I think we subconsciously started “uncoupling” from Mixer without really realizing it.

We are a small stream. We stream to approximately 10 steady viewers. In fact, we have maybe 2 viewers that consistently showed up in chat. We aren’t doing this to be the next Ninja or Shroud. We do it as a hobby with the hopes that maybe we build a community in the process. That just hasn’t happened for us, and the truth is, maybe it never will. I think both me and Rugjen are okay with that.

Now that Mixer is shutting down on July 22nd, we were forced to make another decision. Stop streaming altogether, go back to Twitch, or try Facebook Gaming or YouTube Gaming.

So, we are happy to announce that our new home will be Facebook Gaming. We hope that you will be patient while we update banners, avatars, and our general direction.

One major change will be the retirement of SupremeOverlord and the debut of ChibiChonk. Same person, new name. When Rugjen and I started this venture, SupremeOverlord was just a name I was using and lacked the creativity to think of something that suited me better. About a week ago, ChibiChonk came to me and I knew. This is it. This is me. Small and chonky. I am commissioning a new avatar for myself, so I am excited to share that with you when it is complete.

Another major change is ChibiChonk’s debut to live streaming. Previously, I hid in the shadows limiting myself to content on YouTube and maintaining the website. I have come to the realization that I don’t have the time to work full time and maintain a consistent schedule on YouTube. Editing takes a long time, and I was struggling to make relevant content. So, expect Filthy Casual Gaming to add a weekly ChibiChonk stream!

In addition, we are considering compilation videos for YouTube. With content coming from ChibiChonk, Rugjen, and then our streams with Pyroplop, we should be able to highlight our content a lot better in an effort to gain some discoverability.

So, we look forward to catching you on Facebook. Please considering following our page and joining us when we go live: https://www.facebook.com/FilthyCasualGamers/

Animal Crossing: Is “Time Traveling” Cheating?

I am new to the Animal Crossing franchise. I have never played any of its predecessors. I am not much of a console or handheld gamer, so I never really gave the Animal Crossing franchise a chance.

I remember watching the Direct when they announced Animal Crossing New Horizons and it piqued my interest. I mentioned my interest to Rugjen, but as the release date neared, my desire to play it wasn’t enough to want to purchase it. As you all know, the release date fell during the beginning of COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders. Rugjen had asked me if I wanted it and I just shrugged it off. He ended up purchasing it anyhow and I’ve been playing it every day since.

I am still pretty ignorant about Animal Crossing. In fact, the other day, I just figured out how to run. All this time, I had no idea that I could run, and I felt pretty dumb when I accidentally hit the B button and burst into a sprint. I still hit the wrong buttons all the time and accidentally erase my custom paths. With over 100 hours logged, I have no idea how I am still, very much, a controller noob.

There are a lot of great things I’ve discovered over the last month. I’ve found that Animal Crossing has a great community willing to share their designs so you can decorate your home, or wear your favorite anime character’s outfit. The creativity is amazing.

Speaking of creativity, if you haven’t watched XWater’s Deal or No Deal show featuring GrandPooBear from the Mario community, you are missing out on some quality content: https://youtu.be/LwD_VrdwhHU

One of the greatest things to happen to Animal Crossing is The Turnip Exchange. The Turnip Exchange is the brainchild of Warp World.

Warp World is known for creating the widely-used queue system for Mario Maker levels for streamers on Twitch. Warp World applied their queue knowledge to Animal Crossing to create a queue system for island hosting and streamlining turnip purchases and sales. Animal Crossing users also use the Turnip Exchange to host catalog events and DIY trades. It connects users from all over the world. If you play Animal Crossing, definitely give the Turnip Exchange a try! I also suggest joining Warp World’s Discord. It’s the best way to catch the most recent live islands.

One of the hotly debated topics regarding Animal Crossing is “time traveling”. For those of you who don’t play the game, Animal Crossing is in real time, meaning, the time on your island matches the real-world time. If it is 9:00 a.m. where you are at and you log into the game, it will be the same date and same time on your island.

However, players discovered that you can “time travel” by changing the the date and time settings of the Switch console.

So, what is my official stance on “time traveling”?

Ultimately, Nintendo has either silently accepted the practice or they don’t want to invest the resources into correcting it.

That being said, I don’t respect “time traveling”. And, that’s okay. We all paid money to enjoy a game, and if you don’t have the patience to play it without “time traveling”, that is your right. Some time travelers do it because they’re impatient and want to fill in the downtime. I get that. What I don’t particularly respect are the players that do it to exploit the community or to fill some empty gap in their ego. I think that is the aspect that I don’t respect. I guess you can say that I support people’s choice to play the game the way they want, but I don’t agree with it.

So, is it cheating?

I am going to say no. It is a mechanic built into the game that Nintendo has chosen not to fix. While I don’t respect it, I am not going to gatekeep, either. You play the way you want to play and those of us who don’t agree with it can focus on what we’re doing and not worry about how others play the game.

My Time at Portia: First Look

Genre: Open-World, Action, RPG

Platform Tested: PC

Cost: $29.99 on Steam; Free with XBOX Game Pass


Hey, Casuals!

Today, I’m going to do a little ditty on the PC-version of My Time at Portia. I’ve had my eye on this game for awhile. It’s been sitting on my Steam wish list, but I never took the plunge.

That was…until Rugjen pointed out it was free on my XBox Game Pass. Woops?

About the Game

Start a new life in the enchanting town of Portia! Restore your Pa’s neglected workshop to its former glory by fulfilling commissions, growing crops, raising animals, and befriending the quirky inhabitants of this charming post-apocalyptic land!

Armed with your Pa’s old handbook and workbench, you must gather, mine and craft your way to being crowned the number one workshop in Portia. Help the locals rebuild the town and uncover the secrets locked deep away beneath it. Be prepared though…it won’t be easy!

The town of Portia is full of friendly new faces for you to meet. Make friends, complete requests, exchange gifts, go on dates and let romance blossom!

Inspired by the magic of Studio Ghibli, My Time at Portia whisks you away to a world of wonder that you won’t forget. How will you spend your time at Portia?

https://store.steampowered.com/app/666140/My_Time_At_Portia/

Game Play

Portia is an adorable game. I absolutely love it. What I love about the game is it is VERY casual friendly.

The game follows a story line that you can complete at your own pace. You begin trying to restore your Pa’s workshop back to its former glory. I don’t know about you, but as a casual gamer, I despise the “grind”. I’ve invested many years of my life into MMORPGs and thinking back about grinding out levels or killing the same damn rockhoppers to farm pelts for hours on end. Those days are long behind me. Thankfully, this game is devoid of that. Materials are plentiful and gathering is enjoyable. There is also a mining element that incorporates relic finding, so again, your time spent gathering materials is fruitful in more ways than one. Portia even has small dungeons that you can farm for specific crafting materials. Everything you do in this game is rewarded, and for a casual player that doesn’t have hours on end to get in their gaming fix, this a good thing.

What this game does well is it gives you a lot to do without feeling the pressure to do it. You can become the town’s best builder, or maybe you just want to farm, or become the town’s most respected citizen. You can do it all and not feel overwhelmed or bored.

Controls are basic. There was nothing terribly annoying about the game controls or mechanics. The game does not auto save. Saving is triggered by sleeping each evening, so keep that in mind.

If you have been considering giving Portia a try, this game gets high recommendations from me. You can play it for free if you have the XBOX Game Pass, or buy it from Steam for $29.99. Still curious about game play? You can check out my first look on YouTube:

7 Days to Die: Horde Night at the Motel Eight

Do you like zombies? Specifically, do you like making zombie heads explode like a popped zit? Or maybe you would rather lay waste to the zombie hordes through the expenditure of mass quantities of ammo? Maybe you want to design survival bases and use the hordes to tweak your designs?

If any of that sounds remotely awesome, 7 Days to Die might be worth taking a gander at. 7 Days is described as a “survival horde crafting game”. This is an early access title still in alpha status, but very playable. You can pick up a copy for PC on Steam for $24.99.

Partly because I am lazy, and partly because they describe their own game better than I can, here is the description taken directly from https://7daystodie.com/ :

HOW LONG WILL YOU SURVIVE?

With nearly 10 million copies sold, 7 Days to Die has defined the survival genre, with unrivaled crafting and world-building content. Set in a brutally unforgiving post-apocalyptic world overrun by the undead, 7 Days to Die is an open-world game that is a unique combination of first person shooter, survival horror, tower defense, and role-playing games. It presents combat, crafting, looting, mining, exploration, and character growth, in a way that has seen a rapturous response from fans worldwide. Play the definitive zombie survival sandbox RPG that came first. Navezgane awaits!

GAME FEATURES

Explore – Huge, unique and rich environments, offering the freedom to play the game any way you want with many unique biomes.

Craft – Craft and repair weapons, clothes, armor, tools, vehicles, and more with over 500 recipes. Learn more powerful recipes by finding schematics.

Build – Take over a ruin, or build from the ground-up. Design the ultimate fort to include traps, electric power, auto turrets, automated doors, gadgets and defensive positions to survive the undead. The world is fully destructible and moldable.

Cooperate or Compete – Work together cooperatively to build settlements or work against each other raiding other player’s bases, it’s really up to you in a wasteland where zombies and outlaws rule the land.

Create – Unleash your creativity and build the ultimate world by yourself or with friends. Enjoy unlimited access to over 800 in-game items, nearly 2,000 unique building blocks and a painting system that offers over a quadrillion possibilities.

Improve – Increase your skills in 5 major disciplines with a multitude of perks under each attribute. Gain additional skills by reading over 100 books. 7 Days to Die is the only true survival RPG.

Choose – Play the Navezgane campaign world, or dive back in with friends in a randomly-generated world with cities, towns, lakes, mountains, valleys, roads, caves and wilderness locations. The possibilities are infinite with nearly 400 unique locations.

Combat – Encounter over 50 unique zombie archetypes including special infected with unique behaviors and attacks.

Survive – Experience real hardcore survival mechanics with nearly 50 buff boosts/ailments including hunger, thirst, infections, broken bones, food poisoning, hypothermia, heat exhaustion, dysentery and more.

Destroy – Buildings and terrain formations can collapse under their own weight from structural damage or poor building design.

Loot – Scavenge the world for the best guns, weapons, tools, armor, clothing, which have quality ranges which govern attributes to provide hundreds of thousands of item permutations. Augment items by attaching a multitude of mods.

Quest –Meet Trader NPCs to buy and sell goods and complete quest jobs for rewards . Enjoy several quest types in over 200 questable locations.

Customize – Create your own character or pick a preset and customize in-game even more with a huge selection of clothing and armor you can craft or loot in the world.

Drive – Enjoy the badass vehicle system where you find all the parts, learn all the recipes and craft your own vehicle including bikes, minibikes, motorcycles, 4x4s and even take to the skies in gyrocopters.

Farm or Hunt – Plant and grow gardens for sustainable resources or head out into the wilderness and hunt over a dozen unique wild animals.

7 Days is one of our go-to games. We are typically joined by friend-of-the-stream, Pyroplop. You can catch our shenanigans live on stream or visit our YouTube channel for some hot horde night action.

 

First Look at Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Hey, everyone! Overlord reporting for duty!

It may be hard to believe, but I’ve never played any of the Call of Duty franchise. I am not really into shooters. Rugjen, on the other hand, dabbles quite a bit in the genre.

Basically, I was FOMO’d into getting the game. Rugjen’s best friend, Pyroplop, had also picked up a copy and I was feeling a bit left out. While I was at work, I had Rugjen install a copy and we played multiplayer that night.

I am terrible. Oh, so terrible.

I couldn’t hit a broad side of a barn! That being said, I had a lot of fun playing with my husband and friend. As I played more, I got a little bit better, but not on par with either of their skills.

I decided to give the campaign mode a try. All of my CoD faithful would tell me, “No one buys CoD for the campaign.”

Even Rugjen never plays the campaign. But, I’m not them. I tend to lean toward solo play, so I gave it a shot.

If you’re interested in the campaign play for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, check out my YouTube video where I play the first half-hour of the campaign mode on “recruit”, because. You know. I suck.