RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Guest Post

Guest Post | The Final Station: A Review

Written by: Sage the Cosplaya

the-final-station-tips-for-the-beginners

I am a sucker for a good indie game. A nice game that can have a wonderful impact on you, unlike many mainstream games. I’m looking at you, Call of Duty. 

A few days ago, I stumbled upon The Final Station, an indie game from Tiny Build. This developer has made a good amount of solid games in the past.

So, what is this game about?

I’d love to tell you, but I don’t know myself! The story is actually the biggest issue. You are not given a prologue or any indication of what the world is like before you begin. You wake up and begin your journey to ride the worst Thomas The Tank Engine ever made.

Okay, it’s more that you travel and deliver cargo that is supposed to maybe save the world from another invasion? Along the way, you pick up rescuers, keep them alive, and drop them off. You also fight off mysterious blackened slimy creatures that were once human beings; that, too.

So what is the good in the game?

What story there is seems fascinating. It has a unique premise. One of the best levels is a mansion, which seems empty at first. You see a few hints of the story in this level. Then, once when you go underground, the real story of this house and its owner, begins. The music is beautiful; it adds the necessary ambiance that makes you feel as though this tragic world is at the end of its days.

The scenery in the train sections are great. It is pixelated art, but when you see it in terms of story for locations or events, it really leaves a impact. The mood and how it changes is done very well.

The-Final-Station-Review-6

So what is so bad about it?

As I’ve said before: THE STORY. To me, any game, regardless of graphics, can be great as long as it has a compelling story to tell. So, lets break this down.

In each level, you get scraps of paper and messages about the people in that level. That is nice, but it rarely contributes to the overall story. You do get some story-driven dialogue from the passengers on the train. This story-driven dialogue would be great to hear… but you can’t because you have to rush to feed the passengers and give them first-aid kits to prevent them from dying. Also, you have to rush to keep and maintain this train from hurting the passengers. You can not listen to all of the dialogue, which is frustrating.

Also, when you can speak to people, you don’t say anything. Instead, the game just displays, “….” and they respond to it. But not like Groot and Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy, where you do get what they are saying despite them not saying anything.

There is honestly a part to the climax of the game where you have to talk to people about changing plans in order to save everyone. The exchange is bascially:

“Hey, glad you made it!”

“…”

“Really? Well, go to this place.”

“…”

“I agree. I hope this plan works.”

What plan? What was wrong with the original plan? What made you want to come up with this new plan? How can we execute this plan? EXPLAIN, GAME!

_1

The ending is another huge flaw (spoilers at the end). It feels rushed and, at parts, abandoned. Even after completing the game, I have watched others play and still have the same reaction. I have a lot of questions that do not get answered.

“Its the journey, not the destination,” you might say. NO! FALSE! When you spend hours getting involved in a game or in a series like LOST, you’re dedicated. The story has you. There are mysteries that you want resolved. You get to the ending and it is such a let down that it ruins the journey and you feel like you just wasted so much of your life. That is this game.

One final flaw: the money/craft system. Throughout the game, you raid bodies, lockers and bathrooms for loot and money. The loot allows you to craft ammo and first aid kits on the train, which you have to do when everyone is talking about the story. Also, if you keep the passengers alive, you get some cash or ammo as rewards. After every act, you get to a city where you can you buy food, meds, and ammo. At one point though, you go to a city and you can no longer buy anything. Ok? But afterwords you still need meds, and you still go to loot for money and crafts, which is pointless because you can not use them again, and there is not a New Game+ to use them on. It’s pointless.

Overall, I give The Final Station a 3/5 trains. It has so much potential for a good ride, but it derails and crashes.

Ending Spoilers:

Read the rest of this entry

Video Games vs Board Games: Which is Better?

Guest Post by: John Martins of gametablesguide.com

Playing games is an unseparated part of our life. It’s an effective way to reduce stress and have fun with our loved ones. Either you love playing table tennis, chess or Call of Duty, the thing is that you must love games. It’s in our human nature.

There are many types of games. Board games and video games are popular ones.

Board games have been around since ancient times and have even been a huge part of human civilization. Just take a look at games like Chess or Backgammon, which have been played by kings and even decided entire wars during history.

However, in our modern age, video games have taken the forefront of gaming entertainment, growing into an industry to rival even that of movies and TV shows. Both entertainment mediums have their pros and cons and here are the main differences.

lady-1702761_1920

Board Games: Old but Gold

We have always loved to play games. It is a way for the human mind to relax and even to play out fantasies. Games can even be considered to be healthy for a human being. And board games were the very first around.

Without going back into antiquity, the best example of a modern board game is Dungeons & Dragons. Having been created in the early 70`s, this game became so popular that it is even played today, almost 40 years later. And it also shows two huge differences between board games and video games: The social aspect as one, and using your imagination, as the other.

The Social Interaction Aspect is undeniable

Board games have always been social games. You gather around with a couple of friends, have good food, beverages and generally a very good time.

D&D requires at the least 4 players to play, and it also involves a human Dungeon Master, who co-ordinates the whole game. You are required to go to a place, meet with people and play with them face to face and interact socially.

Besides getting you out of the house, it is also a great way to improve your social skills. While some people may argue that video games have always had multiplayer components and that you can play them as well with other people, it is not the same thing. Playing through a monitor and computer is not the same thing as sitting around table with other people throwing dice and deciding on how to proceed in the game.

And the same thing is true for other types of board games, from Monopoly to Warhammer to the humble Chess. The main pro for board games is the social interaction you have with other people. Or in other words: Having fun together.

Board Games Enhances Your Imagination

Imagination is another great plus in regards to board games. When you play D&D, as an example, all you get is a wall of text, describing where you are, what your options are and what you could possibly do. You are required to put yourself into the mind of your created player character and interact with your companions to figure out what to do.

There are no graphics showing you anything about the landscape, location, not even your foes. You have to imagine it all, and so do the other players and even the Dungeon Master. The same is true for other board games.

In Warhammer, all you get are hand painted figurines that act as your units and army, and maybe a well-made combat map.

In Risk, you get a map of the world and a couple of figurines to shove around it, telling the other players what is yours and what you conquered.

Generally speaking, most of the game takes place in your head, and it is a great way to train your creativity. And that is true for almost all board games.

children-593313_1920

Video Games: The Modern Age Way of Entertainment

The basic truth about video games, is, that they are a natural extension of board games through advanced technology that we possess in our modern age.

The very first video games that lay the foundation for all others were inspired by board games of a type of another. And it evolved so far, that some video games are hardly distinguishable from a Hollywood movie. And that is one of the major advantages of video games. The other one is ease of use.

The Visual Graphics Keep Getting Better

The cinematic aspect of modern video games is undeniable. Beautiful graphics showing awesome landscapes, vehicles, monsters are one thing, the movement of your characters, the things they can do, even down to the script for conversations and the general story, is another. And rounding it all up are incredibly well done musical soundtracks that only add to the experience.

Modern video games feel just like a movie, only that you can interact and play it out yourself, with you being the main protagonist. This is something that board games will never be able to top. But on the other hand, you lose imagination for the sake of having everything presented to you on the screen.

They Are Straightforward and Easy to Use

Ease of use is another huge aspect of video games. Since most video games are based on a ruleset or another, just like board games, your computer or mobile device will take over the task of rolling those dice, figuring out if you succeeded or not or if you won a battle or lost, without the need of a game master or a bunch of rule books that you have to check for a specific rule that you are not sure about.

That allows the player to fully immerse themselves into the game without worrying about such things and just enjoy the experience. And this opened up games that were really complicated in their board game format to a whole lot of people that came to love them, but did not have the patience or time, to learn all the rules.

Video Games Vs Board Games: Which Is Better?

There is no real competition between board games and video games. Most avid video gamers are also avid board game lovers, and board games are still going strong, with new systems and settings appearing almost every month.

Most gamers who are into role-playing video games are also D&D fans and are still playing it with their friends in the weekends.

Both entertainment mediums have their merits and in the end, it`s just a matter of preference.

And the best thing is, you don`t even have to choose. Just play both.

Guest Post: Synopsis of DC’s Raven Vol 1 (Comic Book)

By Dandc_special_-_raven_1

I would like to thank the staff at Real Women of Gaming for giving me the opportunity to write a few words for them about comic books. As a fellow geek, I understand the powers these sacred tomes hold dear to us, in various ways. I don’t know if I pique enough interest in my digital correspondence to the world, but I’ve never been one for backing down in a request from a friend.

Given the task of writing about a comic book hasn’t been an easy one. I seriously thought about choosing a character I can associate myself with, going beyond the actual powers of said character and resonating with the story itself. Initially, there were a few I thought would be “flashy” or “neat,” but shortly after reading them, I didn’t quite feel the message of what the writers were trying to portray. Deciding I was thinking too hard about this, I’ve opted to go for a gut feeling.

DC Comic’s Raven, issue one, written by Wolfman, Borges and Blond.

First glance of the cover art, I felt a strong sense of nostalgia. Raven’s wings juxtaposed to a shining white light conveys a sense of apprehension in being a protector, torn between the fear she has of people knowing who she is (as the book she’s clutching is a foreshadowing of her father) and the good nature, which I presume comes from her mother, or even her, herself. Its pretty apparent from the age she’s drawn at, she’s in high school, which only further reinforces the fact that she’s going through turmoil. This instantly reminded me of the struggles I faced in school, having been a “weird(nerd)” kid in school, constantly carrying all of my textbooks, being made fun of, wondering if people really liked me (or only for my homework).

Upon reading, you’re immersed into being a typical teenager, who’s lost and trying to find their way in life. The story starts with Raven sent to live with her aunt’s religious suburbanite family. This doesn’t seem so bad, unless you’re the daughter of a prime evil demon and your very namesake would make Poe never quote you. She feels uneasy being around such nice people, even if they are her family, but she craves trying to be normal, still thinking what she’s doing is for the best. This ideology causes her to have conflict with herself and dreams of her father lash out at her. This scares her new family, but they understand from a “normal” perspective, trying to cheer her up and soothe her. Raven’s aunt tries to assure her, that she’s just like every other “normal” teenager, even if she’s the daughter of her “different” sister.

At “normal” school, we’re inferred that she can just basically feel emotions around her. She presses on, knowing that “normal” kids her age are struggling with problems, too, given by a two page spread showing the different thoughts that typical teens might have. She feels that she cannot fit in, but she’s quickly made the center of attention from a group of friends that basically realize she’s not like everyone else, causing an instant bond. However, one teen is not quite like the others, and in comic fashion causes Raven to react to help one of her new found friends. We’re given the idea that someone can use powers similar to Raven’s, although is much stronger and controlled in their powers, and left wondering who that person could be.

Games You Didn’t Play, But Should: Endless Legend

Games You Didn’t Play, But Should: Endless Legend

Guest Post by: Michael Early

Story_Image_1

Gamers are perpetually inundated with an endless flood of new games. I know we all wish we could play every single one, but there is just too much out there to give everything a shot. Quite often a game gets released and is overshadowed by other releases or simply fails to attract mainstream attention. Endless Legend is probably one of those games you might not have played. If you didn’t, here’s why you should.

Endless Legend is a 4X title. The “4 X’s” are eXplore, eXpand,eXploit, eXterminate. Games in this genre include Civilization, Total War, and Sins of a Solar Empire. These games are all about empire building. You’re in charge of everything. Do you want more fancy resources? Go and get them, but make sure you have the military strength to protect it. Endless Legend plays closest to the Civilization series. Fans of those games will find this game to be very easy to pick up and enjoy.

endless-legend

You take control of one of eight distinctive factions; each one with their own military units, hero characters and play style. The Broken Lords do not use the food as a resource; all of their growth comes from Dust, the game’s equivalent to gold, which they can use to both heal their heroes and purchase new citizens. Other factions are able to hire a wider variety of units from the games sub-factions, which are similar to the city states that players might recognize from the Civilization series.

The game’s combat is different for the genre, with battles taking place in real time and armies spreading out across the map’s terrain and taking turns attacking one another. They’re engaging and can be tough, but they are not impossible. Careful positioning and effective use of the terrain can really turn the tide of battle. Units and characters gain experience and level up as you use them, similar to those in Civilization games. Really, It’s not too far a stretch to say that this game will do well to scratch a sci/fi fantasy itch for players who did not really enjoy Beyond Earth.

endless-legend-2

Endless Legends does struggle. The AI is rather easy to exploit, making the game’s difficulty go down quite a bit as you scale into end game. While this does diminish the fun factor, it can be easily fixed by grabbing a buddy or two and engaging in an online campaign. The game’s got a unique style and is one part to a larger universe the developers have created. It really helps to make the game feel like something greater.

I think you should definitely check out Endless Legend, or even it’s sister games Endless Space or Dungeon of the Endless. They’re all pretty great and offer some interesting mechanics. Nice thing is that you can pick them up as a bundle during most steam sales. You haven’t played this game yet and now that you’ve read this: what’s stopping you?

Should Competitive Gaming Be Considered a Sport?

Guest Post by: Kenny Leng

To give you the short and simple answer – Yes! I think competitive gaming should be considered a sport, but I do find eSports a better term for it.

By definition, a sport is “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.”

If you look at some of the bigger competitive games like League of Legends, CS: GO, Dota 2 and Hearthstone, they definitely fit in this category.

This is BLASPHEMY! You SIT ON YOUR BUTT All Day! – That’s Not Sports!

I definitely can see why some people get a huge reaction to this, and rightfully so. Colin Cowherd was one of those that had such a reaction, which was promptly defended by pro basketball player Gordon Hayward. Ex-Laker star Rick Fox has also spoken on this topic as well.

1

For some people, when hearing the word sports, they picture humans with strong athletic bodies and some form of physical contact. But when you put that with video games, it doesn’t seem to match up!

In other words, most do not identify with this and can’t seem to grasp the concept. I think the closest example I can use is Chess. Chess is also a sport that you “sit on your butt all day.”  What most didn’t account for is the mental aspect of the game itself. You have to think a few steps ahead of your opponent and outwit them. People watch chess games and love the strategies and mind games that comes along with it.

In competitive gaming such as CS: GO, fast reflexes and team coordination is very important. Proper execution of strategy is key to winning in these types of environments. Some people also enjoy watching it for the same reasons as chess.

2

The same goes for League of Legends. It is a game where you have to keep track of multiple things at any given time. You need to be aware of what the enemy team is doing and what you should be doing when a team battle happens. There is a lot of mental exertion on the brain to perform well in these situations.

The Stigma Remains

Now video games don’t have the best reputation when it comes to the general public. Most view it as a way to pass time when you are bored.

I recently went back to my home country of Singapore, a country that is very big on the “Education first, everything else is second” mentality. I told some of my high school classmates about eSports and how it has grown into a career for some. They couldn’t believe what I was saying, but they were genuinely interested in what it has become.

To give you an idea, I was talking to about 4 doctors, 6 dentists and 2 businessmen. As you can already tell, they are very accomplished individuals. I just happened to be the odd ball that didn’t do the standard things that my parents wished I did. My parents are okay with me being a video game entrepreneur now, as they know I can pay the bills and support them.

Things Change and We Should Embrace It

Anytime something new or different shows up, we tend to be shocked and become resistant to change. But as time goes by, it becomes the norm.

When I was growing up, my favorite past time was to run around in parks and play with other kids outside. Nowadays, the typical entertainment is a computer and other electronic devices like the iPad. It even changes the way we communicate. Instead of a phone call, most teens are using text and cool apps like LINE and WhatsApp as their main form of communication.

The old me would say that things were so much better back then, but, the truth is, I am just looking back to nostalgia and can’t let go of it.

The world is constantly changing – whether good or bad, it evolves. It is up to the individual to also evolve and adapt to what it has become. The quicker one is able to embrace the changes for what it is, the happier he or she becomes.

That is the approach I have now for competitive gaming and all things in life. I also suggest you try this out. Thank me later!

I Am All for Competitive Gaming Showing Up in Olympic Games Someday

I know this sounds outrageous and something so far out of reach. However, I do believe it will be accepted some day. Right now, competitive gaming is still not widely accepted. It will require time for it to become the norm.

With eSports growing fast, it will get there eventually. What are your thoughts on competitive gaming as a sport? Whether you agree with me or not, I would like to hear your opinions!

Author Bio – Kenny is the owner of Online Fanatic and is fond of writing various gaming topics during his spare time. You are welcome to drop by and say hello or talk about gaming and entertainment.

Women were a rarity, A Guest Post

Magic: The Gathering

Hi there, everyone!  I was asked by my friend Crymson Pleasure to write up a guest post about women in gaming. A little about myself first.  I have been playing tabletop RPG’s since around 1985-86, Magic: The Gathering from 1993, and MMORPG’s since 1999 with Everquest being the one I have played the longest.  

What are my feelings on women in gaming?  There aren’t enough!  Gaming of all types is lacking in female representation, and it shouldn’t be as it’s something that anyone can do no matter their sex, age, color, or any other factor.  There is no reason for women to feel excluded from gaming or made to feel like it’s for boys only.  If more guys would put an effort into welcoming women or getting them to try the games it would expand the amount of available players, and bring more creativity to them.  A great example is my friend Kate.  I met her through my friend Justin, and have introduced them both to Pathfinder and the wonderful world of tabletop RPG’s.  We ended 4 books into a 6-book module set, and they were both enjoying it greatly.  It was first time either one of them have ever played anything like it and she is having as much fun as he and I are.  She asked just as many good questions as he did, and got just as mad as any other player when the dice won’t fall in her favor.    

While I was growing up and playing Magic and early D&D games, women were a rarity, and I think that was at least partially the fault of gamers, and also of the companies making the games.  It wasn’t that we were purposely excluding them, but more that it wasn’t “accepted” as much for them to ask about, and join games.  The advent of online MMORPG’s helped break that mold as – unless you asked – you never knew if the persons you were playing with were guys or girls.  More women started playing games and taking their love of them to the outside world and into tabletop/LARP games.  

Pathfinder Table Top Game

When you look around today you can find women playing and running D&D games, and competing at magic tournaments.  Feline Longmore, and Jadine Klomparens are both women who play Magic at the competitive level and consistently get high placings at the tournaments they go to.  I hope to be that good myself one day.  I am sure there are many more that show up at the individual tournaments and Friday Night Magic in their local area, but there is still not enough.

All in all, we as gamers need to take it upon ourselves to bring more women into the games we play, as they are made to be fun and enjoyed by everyone.  We need to share our love of the games with our friends and loved ones.  Maybe they haven’t joined you in playing because they haven’t felt that rush of a critical hit rolled at just the perfect time, or pulling off the perfect play to a win a game of Magic.  All it takes is that one moment and boom you have them hooked.  

-Henry

Anti Bullying with Frags and Beer

VivianJames

Vivian James

With convention season in full swing, and our own visit to C2E2 coming up in a few weeks, I want to talk a little bit about bullying and harassment at conventions.  These events attract a lot of people.  In 2014, C2E2 alone boasted about 63,000 attendees.  It’s only natural that a few bad eggs will show up in a batch that large.  Just this year at MagFest, a cosplayer was harassed for dressing as Vivian James, a sort of mascot for The Fine Young Capitalists as well as the online consumer revolt against corrupt gaming journalists.  This is just the most recent case of problems at conventions around the world.  Taking this in perspective, conventions receive a great deal of scrutiny because they are supposed to be a place where people gather to share interests, fun, hobbies, and build a network.  In reality, it is like a small city descending on an area, sometimes no bigger than a city block, policed by staff who really aren’t police.  I’ve been going to conventions for years now, and despite the size, scope, and all the horror stories, they tend to be relatively safe, but that doesn’t mean we should take the atmosphere of a convention for granted.
Read the rest of this entry