Category Archives: Fun

The Everyone Wins Game Awards

I posted my top 6 games of 2014 yesterday, but felt remiss for not at least giving mentions to all of the other great (or not so great) games I’ve played that come out this year. So here are the awards I felt best suited to each of them.

Game I expected to be much funnier than it was
Broken Age
– I expected Tim Schafer’s newest game to be hilarious, but suspiciously few laughs were had. An exception is the vomiting tree, that was funny.

Best 14th installment in a franchise
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
– The best Call of Duty I’ve ever played. The only Call of Duty I’ve ever played.

Most avant gaaaaarde
D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die
– A game designed for the Kinect and released right after MS announced it was no longer needed. It involves a cat girl, a fashion designer who is in love with a mannequin, a time travelling detective with a bullet lodged in his brain, and food. Lots and lots of food.

Most pointless gear grind
Destiny
– Honestly, I’ve got nothing amusing to say, this game is just a bore that keeps people playing for better gear despite not actually enjoying most of the time they spend doing it.

Most puzzling use of rock, paper, scissors
Divinity: Original Sin
– In D:OS you get to play as two main characters, each with their own personalities. They may not always agree on your chosen course of action and settle disputes by playing rock, paper, scissors. It’s always fun to lose to yourself in an argument. If I were being less snarky, I’d also give this best old-school rpg of the year.

Best game that I didn’t actually like for the first 20 hours
Dragon Age: Inquisition
– Okay, I’m really done talking about The Hinterlands now.

Game that excels at making people curse angrily at their computers
Hearthstone
– Making a clutch move or getting the perfect draw is great. Except when it happens to your opponent. I actually quit Hearthstone in the summer when I realized it was making me curse more than smile.

Let’s adventure like it’s 1992
Heroine’s Quest
– This game looks and plays exactly like Quest for Glory 1, except with Norse mythology and a female lead. Do you want to be a hero?

The next generation remaster that got outshone by its own DLC
The Last of Us

– TLoU was good, but Left Behind was perfect.

Best party game
Mario Kart 8
- It’s fast (or slow, if you prefer), fun, and you get to sabotage your friends with red shells. What more could you want? Oh, I know what more I could want. A new Mario Party that doesn’t use any motion controls at all!

Worst game of the year
Moebius: Empire Rising
– Horrific character animations, stupid puzzle solutions, and an insulting 50 screen maze that only exists to bloat the playing time. This is not a good game.

Most likely to turn you into a newt
Murdered: Soul Suspect
– Did I say newt? I meant ghost. The way Murdered killed you right at the start and let you solve your own murder was a pretty cool idea.

An hour of my life I want back
Only If
– In the words of Steam user Dorgarr: “By no means is this a Puzzle Game, unless you like to play puzzles in the dark, with half of the pieces from five different jigsaws mixed into one, while a drunken philosophy dropout reads Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave” backwards, in a room slowly filling with carbon monoxide.”

Most confounding way to beat a game
PT
– Beating PT is difficult, and I give major props to the people who figured it out themselves. Walk exactly 10 steps at midnight. Stop moving completely as your controller freaks the fuck out. Talk into the microphone (Leeeeeesaaaa). Hopefully babies will laugh. Hopefully the phone will ring.

Most innovative combat system
Revolution 60
- Part DDR, part QTE, Rev60 combined timing and slick visuals to create a touch-based combat system that was fast-paced and fun.

Don’t forget the Dramamine
Sunset Overdrive
– Sunset Overdrive is like the illegitimate love child of Tony Hawk, Frank West, and a 96-pack of Crayolas that you accidentally put in the clothes dryer. It’s bright and fun, but the constant spinning, sliding, jumping, and gliding does start messing with your equilibrium after a while.

Game that made me hate Wii controllers even more
Super Smash Brothers 
– I didn’t think it was possible, but this game takes everything I dislike about each of the WiiU controllers and magnifies them.

Most satisfying hit of nostalgia
The Tesla Effect
– I love the Tex Murphy series of games and though this Kickstarted game was a bit uneven in places, that good old Tex Murphy charm, humour, and puzzle solving made me feel like a teenager again. But in a good way.

Most disappointing ultimate weapon
Tomb Raider
– Lemme get this straight… my final bow upgrade is a sighted compound bow? Sure, compounds are more powerful, but in terms of visual badassery, they miss the mark. In what world is a (cheating) sighted compound bow cooler than an awesome recurve? Not my world.

Best voices
Transistor
– Between sword boyfriend and Ashley Barret’s haunting vocals over an already exceptional soundtrack, Transistor is even more enjoyable to listen to than it is to play.

Best use of Brahms
Valiant Hearts
– The car chase sequences were a highlight of Valiant Hearts, and all the speeding and swerving were set perfectly to Hungarian Dance No. 5.

Most beautiful location
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
– The visuals in this game put most others to shame. I’d love to take a walk around Red Creek Valley (minus all the murder).

Most disappointing sequel
The Walking Dead: Season 2
– After S1, I had high expectations, and unfortunately this game fell short. Though it was fun to play as Clementine, bad writing and character development in the last episodes of the game left me cold.

Best (only?) use of a Teddy Ruxpin doll
Wasteland 2
– Wasteland 2 is full of easter eggs and inside jokes to those who grew up in the 80s. I had one of those talking Teddy Ruxpin dolls, but I could never find a Grubby that worked.

And, a couple more special awards…

Comeback genre
Isometric RPG
– Thanks in large part to Kickstarter, 2014 saw a number of great Isometric RPGs released – Divinity, Wasteland 2, Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall. It looks like the genre will still be going strong in the next couple years as well with Pillars of Eternity and Torment: Tides of Numenera in development.

Thing that needs to go away
Game titles with colons
– If you need a 12 world title with a colon and subtitle, maybe you should just start making new games, rather than new installments of old ones.

Trope that needs a leave of absence for 2015
The dead wife/daughter/sister/family
– Let’s try some new ideas to give your protagonist emotional baggage. Many things can cause emotional trauma, I promise.

What games need more of in 2015
Diversity!
– Give me new characters, from different places, with different backgrounds. Give me stories I haven’t heard too many times before.

*For more Listmas2104, go to United We Game*

Travels in the Mushroom World (Part 1)

After replaying Super Mario 3 for the first time in many years recently and finding out my skills had lapsed, I am determined to improve. I will beat this game, without skipping worlds, and hopefully with as few continues as possible. Here is my story.

World 1 – Starting a new game. Alone. It’s starts well. The sky is sunny, the grass is green. I travel through the world with only one death. Grass Land is no match for me.

World 2 – I make the trek through Desert Hill’s vast sandy environments without much incident. The Angry Sun cannot catch me and I’m too quick for the quicksand. I only have only one death in the cold, sunless fortress then breeze through the rest of the world. The dry heat agrees with me. Perhaps things are turning around? My skills are returning.

Super Mario 3 Boss Bass

World 3 – Hubris! The first two worlds have made me overconfident and I have paid dearly. The sea is a harsh mistress and makes her presence acutely felt. But my true enemy is Boss Bass. The extra lives I earned in the first 2 worlds quickly disappear down a fish’s gullet. I am killed no less than 6 times before I’m able to hobble across the finish line of 3-3. The rest of Sea Side treats me better and though I come close, I’m able to avoid seeing a Game Over screen. But for how long? The little confidence I had built has been shaken, and I have few extra lives left.

World 4 – In the Land of Giants everything is large and imposing, but it’s not these giant objects and enemies that pose the biggest threat. Level 4-2 brings back the trauma of 3-3. The water is rising! The fish are close! They’re smaller now, but faster. Cheep Cheeps. They leap out of the water, intent on attacking me with their cold fish lips and razor teeth. They are often successful. I futilely try to kill them with ice blocks, but even when I score a hit, they always come back. There’s a horrifying moment when I mis-time a jump and plunge into the watery depths, into their domain. I thrash about violently, struggling to get back on land. My first leap fails, as does the second. I avoid one by mere inches before I’m finally able to get back up. The level takes its toll and I go into the next with only 2 lives left. I get killed by a Sledge Brother. I fall into a bottomless pit. Game Over.

To be continued…

My BlizzCon 2013

This past weekend I got to attend my second BlizzCon. It was amazing, even better than the first one I went to. I got to see so much, play some demos and, most importantly, meet a whole lot of the WoW community and devs.

I got in to Santa Ana on Thursday afternoon, where I met my guildie and roommate Serrath then headed to the Hilton. Immediately after checking in, I ran into the first group of people I knew – Vidyala and Vosskah, who I met before when they came to Toronto and who had procured me my ticket, and Kelesti. After a quick hello, I went to my room to get settled, then met up with a few more of my guildmates – Grumdy, Srs and Jack – then went to wait in line to get our tickets. The line took a while, close to 2 hours. It was nice to have my own name on my badge this year. Last time I came to Anaheim without a ‘Con ticket and someone generously gave me one when I got there. 

Anaheim Convention Centre

The Anaheim Convention Centre

I really wanted to make it to the Wowhead/WI party this year but again, it didn’t happen. After getting badges and going for dinner the party was full by the time I got there. No one really wanted to wait in another line, so we headed back to the Hilton instead. At the Hilton I finally met up with the rest of my guildies – Sara, Kal, Chronis, Slout, Raymiee, Sheep, Shawnelle, Tikari and Kristin.

I also met up Arielle from the Inconspicuous Bear, and we had one or two (or three or four) drinks together, including an N7 toast with Kal. Most of my guildies were tired from the day of travelling and waiting in lines, so I soon ended up as the last member of Apoth standing. It was all good though, there were plenty of people to meet and talk to. I mostly hung around with Arielle; Entropia, an ex-guildmate who knows everyone and was always happy to introduce me to them; and Novvie, who isn’t in Apoth but sort of got adopted by us over the course of the weekend.

I met a bunch of people for the first time on Friday, including: Hamlet, Perculia, Theck, Jed, Quori, Noel (who gives great hugs), Sunnier, Rhidach, Antigen, Dysmorphia, Ophelie, Zahrym, Bashiok, Ghostcrawler, Bajheera and WarcraftJen.

Bajheera with Jasyla and Novvie

Novvie, Bajheera and me!

Thursday night was a lot of fun and BlizzCon technically hadn’t even started yet.

Friday morning everyone got up bright and early so we could get good seats for the opening ceremonies. We managed to find almost everyone and got to sit together for these. While waiting for them to start, Serrath and I snuck off to the Heroes of the Storm demo area to take advantage of the small line. Heroes was a ton of fun. I had never played any type of DoTA/League game before and I really liked playing support as Tyrael. Also, our team won, which makes things even more enjoyable. I ended up playing two games of this on Friday, and while I wasn’t nearly as good playing Illidan, the game was still really cool. I can’t wait for the beta to come out.

My favourite WoW character and I.

My favourite WoW character and I.

Opening ceremonies were great – it’s so obvious how much all the developers and people who work at Blizzard love the work they do and their excitement is infectious. I watched a number of panels, and had a very brief look at the Warlords Demo. I really only had time to look at the new level 100 talents (Hunter talents – amazing. Bola Shot! Druid talents – meh).  In the afternoon Apotheosis met up at the Meeting Stone. Finally, all 16 of us were together in one place! Apotheosis sure knows how to represent.

Apotheosis at BlizzCon 2013

Apotheosis at the Meeting Stone. Yep, we’re babes.

While we were at the Meeting Stone I also got to meet Navimie. I was really excited to meet her after reading her blog for so long and getting Navi-spammed in game. I also got to meet Khuruuk and Tinderhoof, but not Reesi, who I only glimpsed briefly before she disappeared forever.

I watched the fan contests that night. Some of the costumes were great. I particularly liked the feral troll druid, the training dummy and the Tuskarr. The fan-made movies and art were good, and so were the musical acts – though I don’t think they picked the right winner.

That night was the Convert to Raid party where I got to meet even more people. I met a number of the Something Wicked crew – Esoth, Rotund, Derevka, Settesh, and Anafielle. I’m always talking to SW people on Twitter or going to their Flex/LFR runs, so it was nice to finally be able to meet some of them. I also got to talk to Daxxarri, Megacode, Soanix and Kerriodos briefly at the party. I saw, but didn’t meet, Swifty and decided to make it my mission to have girls (or boys) in hotpants follow me around at parties (now accepting volunteers). 

Then it was back to my second home at BlizzCon, the Hilton lobby. Friday was a pretty crazy night, the drinks were flowing, and most of my guild managed to stay up until last call. I got to spend some time talking to one of my favourite Druids – Hamlet.

With Hamlet!

With Hamlet!

Ghostcrawler was also around and he spent some time talking to all the Apoth members gathered around, which was amazing. We got some pictures, and some hugs.

Ghostcrawler

Ghostcrawler

I got off to a bit of a slow start on Saturday. Serrath and I decided that sleeping and goingt IHOP for some greasy breakfast was top priority and we ended up getting to the convention centre pretty late to watch the live raid. When we got there Method was already on Garrosh and Midwinter was wiping on Dark Shamans. Tanking those two shaman together? Midwinter is brave. And crazy. That sounds (and looked) terrible. I’m not usually a fan of watching video games on streams or anything, but the live raid always gets me pumped. It’s surreal and amazing to hear a crowd of thousands of people cheering as a boss is ticking down from 5% health or collectively groaning as some boss ability takes out 5 players.

I also stayed for the WoW systems panel. There are a lot of changes coming in Warlords. The Garrison system looks really interesting and some of the inventory changes announced are huge quality of life changes. The biggest announcement was that hard-mode raiding (now called Mythic) would be one size only: 20. This finally gets rid of the whole 10 vs. 25 man debate and a whole bunch of tuning issues. I think this will make most guilds go through some adjustments, but ultimately it’s a good thing. And I think they picked the correct size.

On Saturday I wanted to hang out with so many people that I ended up going for dinner twice. Once with one group of Apotheosis and then with another group, plus Hamlet, Perculia, Hestiah, Esoth and Ilaniel. After that it was back to the Hilton (surprise!). The lobby was absolutely nuts on Saturday night. Packed to the brim and so noisy. I made it my mission to find the people who I really wanted to meet but hadn’t run into yet and got some help from my friends to find them.

First on that list was Vixsin. She’s been one of my favourite bloggers ever since I read her first post on Life in Group 5. She writes so well and is such a good healer resource. I finally managed to find her after circling the lobby a few times and some tweeting back and forth. There was quite a bit of fan-girling going on.

The next person I really wanted to meet was Absallom, protection paladin from Blood Legion. Not just because of his WoW credentials, but also because he’s from Toronto too and is always posting amazing food pictures on Twitter. I found him eventually and he was super nice and related to my Toronto traffic woes.

Absallom from Blood Legion

Absallom from Blood Legion

I also found Ion Hazzikostas, who I bugged for a bit about raid design. One of the first things I asked was “So, Immerseus. What were you thinking?” Then I immediately felt bad that I was being one of those people, and let him know I really liked the other 13 bosses in Siege.

Ion Hazzikostas

Ion Hazzikostas

I chatted with a few more people before the night was over. Matticus – there is photographic evidence of this somewhere, but I haven’t’ seen it yet. Ghemit – who always seemed to be everywhere at once. Pat Krane, which involved me being a bit of a fangirl – CTR is the most well-made and well-voiced WoW podcasts I’ve ever heard – and being really stoked when he told me how much he liked my blog. 

The Hilton party wound down, Sunday morning came so fast and then it was time to go back home.

I’m sure I met many more awesome people during my time in Anaheim. It’s hard to write this post without just making it a big, long list of people. It was also really cool when people recognized me and came up to talk. It was a bit surreal getting compliments in-person about my blog, or even better, about my food posts. BlizzCon 2013 was a really excellent time and really reminds me why I love this game so much and why I’ve continued to play it for so long.

Thanks for the good times!

BlizzCon!

Only one week until BlizzCon!

Last time I mostly hung out with my guildies in the hotel pool bar, so I didn’t get to meet too many other people, and this year I hope the change that. On Thursday I’ll definitely go to the Wowhead/WoWInsider party at the Annabella Hotel. Last time didn’t get there until really late and pretty much missed the whole party. Hopefully I get to meet a lot of people there.

There’s also going to be a joint Apotheosis/TiB/Team Wafflecast meetup at the Meeting Stone in the convention centre on Friday at 4pm. If you’re a druid-lover or just want to come say hi to me, Arielle, Tinder, Reesi, Sara, Kal or any of the other Apotheosis folks coming to the Con, you should stop by! Apotheosis even got guild shirts to wear!

On Friday night, since I’m staying at the Hilton, I’ll probably stop by the Convert to Raid Meetup, that looks like fun.

Are you going to BlizzCon? What are you most looking forward to?

WoW Drinking Games

Looking to spice up your time in WoW a little bit? Why not play a drinking game! I’ve been thinking about all the healer-related derp moments that happen in raids and came up with a lot of things that should drive a healer to drink. I had help coming up with some of these rules, so thanks to Kaleri, Tikari, JoeEgo and especially Walks, who also came up with the idea in the first place.

Healer Rules

Take a drink any time one of the following things happen in a raid or dungeon:

Druid

  • You see your Efflorescence pop up in the middle of nowhere because some ranged dps is standing off by themselves.
  • Your Lifebloom expires and does 100% overheal (tree form not included).
  • You accidentally Innervate a tank or dps.
  • You let Harmony fall off.
  • You shift out of Tree of Life before it’s finished.
  • You die because you are distracted by having to Battle Rez someone.

Paladin

  • Your Lay on Hands is all overheal.
  • You try to cast Lay on Hands or Hand of Protection but you can’t because your target already has Forbearance.
  • You cast Light of Dawn while facing the wrong direction.
  • You die because of Hand of Sacrifice.
  • Any time you come up against a fight where Resistance Aura plus Aura Mastery is useless.
  • You use Divine Plea right when the healing gets intense.

Priest

  • Your Lightwell comes off cooldown and there are still charges left in your last one.
  • Your Prayer of Mending bounces to a pet. If it bounces to a Bloodworm, drink twice.
  • You overwrite another priest’s Prayer of Mending or they overwrite yours.
  • You can’t bubble the tank because another priest has given them Weakened Soul.
  • Your Shadowfiend refuses to attack anything.

Shaman

  • You cast Chain Heal and it doesn’t bounce.
  • You overwrite another shaman’s Earth Shield, or someone overwrites yours.
  • You drop your Spirit Link Totem out of range of the majority of the raid.
  • You drop a Healing Rain and the whole raid moves.
  • You Ankh, only to die again immediately to raid damage.

Multi-class

  • You fat-finger one of your cooldowns.
  • You have to move and interrupt your Tranquility, Divine Hymn or Hymn of Hope channel.
  • You go a whole fight without using your cooldowns.
  • You get aggro on all the adds in a fight and die horribly or need a Pally’s HoP to save you.
  • All of your Intellect/Haste procs go off when there’s nothing to heal.

Of course, I don’t want the non-healers to feel left out, so here are some rules for the rest of the raid.

Rules for Tanks and DPS

Drink whenever one of the following happens:

  • A Paladin bemoans the removal of Divine Intervention.
  • A Priest tells you to click the lightwell.
  • A healer tells you to stand in the ground heals.
  • A healer tells you to use your healthstone.
  • You die with your healthstone still in your inventory.
  • You die because you stood in the bad.
  • You die because you were standing just outside of the PW: Barrier.
  • You have to be Lifegripped out of the bad, or into a stack point.
  • You get out-damaged by an Atonement priest. First drink, then cry.

I also can’t forget the people who like to PVP. I’m sure it makes many people want to drink away their frustrations.

PVP Rules

Drink whenever one of the following happens:

  • A healer steals a killing blow from you.
  • You realize mid-match that you are not in your pvp gear or spec.
  • Your main class of spells gets locked out by an interrupt.
  • A healer successfully jukes your interrupt.
  • You and another member of your team CC the same person at the same time.
  • You CC the kill target. If you cyclone the kill target, drink twice.
  • You get Mind-Controlled, Typhooned or Thundershocked off a ledge.
  • Someone drops a flag because they tried to mount or stealth.

If you play by any of these sets of rules, I’m sure your whole raid or PVP team will be thoroughly intoxicated within a few minutes.

Can you think of any good rules to add?

Silly Pictures

I feel really sorry for the poor camels in Halls of Origination. Not only do they have to lug my fat tree butt around, but when I dismount, they die!
Giant tree on a camel
This week I found a very amusing quest in Azshara that asked me to rescue baby raptors. Rather than be happy for their rescue, they tried to eat my face. That’s gratitude for you.
Raptors are eating my face!
My fiance bought me a fish last week. My cats are quite taken with it. I can’t tell if they want to play with it or eat it though. Either way, I don’t think it would end well for the fish.
Charlie and Max playing with Buster

Hope you’re all having a good week!

Hard Mode Marrowgar

My photoshop skills are a little lacking, but I try!

Hard mode Marrowgar