Archives: Gamer

I played – Virginia

I heard about Virginia on the Girl Tribe Gaming podcast (Great listen if you are looking for a game review podcast).

Virginia_Key_Art-2

I had not been playing a lot of Indie games until recently. After games like Valiant Hearts or Child of Light I was certainly interested, but now I am hooked. Virginia helped a lot to fuel my enthusiasm.

It was released in 2016, developed by Variable State and published by 505 Games. It is available on all platforms.

It took maybe four hours of gameplay to finish the game. It is hard to tell though because I could not finish it in one sitting. If I remember correctly I played it on three different nights. So maybe around four to five hours.

Because I cannot, for the love of god, create a tight summary of a game, I went to Major Nelson to get a nice short tease for Virginia:

Virginia is a single-player first-person thriller set in a small town with a secret. Experience a missing person investigation through the eyes of graduate FBI agent Anne Tarver. Together with your partner, seasoned investigator Maria Halperin, you’ll take a trip to idyllic Burgess County and the secluded town of Kingdom, Virginia, where a young boy has vanished and nobody seems to know why.“

The game is really weird. It is not like any other game. You hardly act as a player in it, you rather lay back and experience it. For the most part you can not interact a lot. If you can interact with a person or an object you see a circle forming on the screen where you look. That way you know you can do something. The game is mysterious and confusing and to me it seemed like a trip. As the gamer I was hopping on a train and took a ride. I got off and was very confused and happy. Happy, because I love mysterious things. I love when you don’t quite know what the hell is going on. Like in a Kafka book.

Lyndon Holland’s  music helps create a mystifying atmosphere. It is really beautiful music! Especially „Sojourner’s Truth“ is hauntingly beautiful and reminds me of Twin Peaks. Lyndon Holland is also the co-writer of the screenplay.

I don’t want to tell you more about this game because I feel it probably plays best if you know as little as possible. I can only recommend that you play it with an open mind and a bit of time on your hand. I wish I could have played it in one sitting. Afterwards you will have many questions. But there is help for that. There are a lot of answers/interpretations in several game reviews I found. The only question is…do you want answers and interpretations? Or is it sometimes best to let your mind spin for a while?

Next up in „I played“: 7 Days To Die.

 

 

I played – Life is strange

What a game! I had only heard great things about Life is Strange and when I saw a good deal on Xbox I immediately bought it. I have to say I have never before played a game like this. Right from the start I was captured by the music. The atmosphere created by it is beautiful, dreamy and sad. I was intrigued.

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You play 18 year old Max Caulfield, an aspiring photographer who attends Blackwell Academy in the fictional small town Arcadia Bay. Max spent her childhood there and then moved to Seattle for 5 years. After her return things have changed and friendships have suffered.

Life is strange is an interactive, story based adventure game. Throughout the game you are given choices that impact the game and often you have to look for clues and objects to trigger the next sequence. The game consists of 5 episodes. The first came out in January 2015, the last one in October 2015. The studio behind Life is strange is Dontnod Entertainment, a french studio established in 2008. Before Life is strange they did Remember me (2013). Their future project „Vampyr“ is coming out this year. Life is strange is available on all platforms.

So back to the game itself. Right at the beginning of the game Max discovers that she can rewind time, which becomes a well used feature as you can imagine. The gameplay overall is good, not super intuitive (at least for me), but ok. I think the most fascinating part of the game is the amount of emotion generated in the player. I had tears in my eyes not once but definitely up to 3-4 times. The choices you have to make are pretty huge at times. And with huge I mean in a philosophical/moral way. The game puts you in a spot you might not have been before, raises questions you may not have thought about before; in a way it’s a game about life ethics. And maybe the grand „What if“? Is there more than one life? Can I change lives (if given the chance of time travel) or is everything destined to happen one way or the other?

Life is strange is also pretty dark at times. Topics like suicide, bullying, murder, euthanasia and general teen angst are all in the game. At least the latter applies or applied at some point, for a lot of people. And I, although I am in my 30’s, can still remember what it felt like to be a teenager.

I really, really enjoyed the game and I can only recommend it. I am not sure about the upcoming Vampyr game though. It is hard to tell at the moment with only the trailer. Maybe it is the setting that bothers me. But anyway, go play Life is strange.

Next up in „I played“: Virginia.

 

 

To Teabag or not to Teabag

I am back from the holiday hiatus! It took me quite a while to adjust into this new year and find a good rhythm but now I am here again and I want to talk about the teabag. The iconic disgracing of your killed opponent is done by a quick succession of crouch and stand on their body, preferably the head. Reminds you of dipping a tea bag into a cup, hence the word teabag. Just yesterday I was teabagged while playing an Arena Slayer match. I was furious. I felt like he had no right to do the teabag on me. He didn’t do anything great, just managed to kill me. I told my bf and he was like, ok who’s this piece of shit, we’ll teabag the shit out of him. We did exactly that. Like the worst douchebags we both teabagged this guy constantly. After the game I took a look at the stats and saw how much better we had been than him and his team. Then I felt really bad about our behavior. And it got me thinking about when teabagging is actually a valid and ok thing to do. Here is my opinion:

When it is ok:

  • When you defeat an opponent with a ground pound after he unsuccessfully tried it on you beforehand. Meaning whenever you defeat your opponent with his own ‚weapons‘. Not sure if I am making myself clear here.
  • When you kill a camper. Really, you can just sit on his face for a long while for all I care.
  • When you defeat a team of 4 with only 2.
  • When you are out of tactics and you want to try the ‚I’ll make you so mad you will run blindly into the fight‘ tactic.
  • When its your friend. After every kill if you want to.

I am not sure if teabagging is ok when you are not as good as your opponent, but finally manage to kill him. I don’t think it is…

I almost never teabag anyone really. I might do the punch on the body when I am very hyped about my skill and it was a close fight. When I think about it I only teabag when I was teabagged beforehand. What I really love though, is when you get teabagged and the dude is teabagging the ground next to you. Like come on! Do it right! ON THE BODY. ON THE BODY.

On that note: Happy teabagging folks.

P.S. Say teabag one more time, one more fucking time…

 

I played – Firewatch

Since I don’t only play Halo I want to add game reviews and recommendations of other games I played to this blog. Mix things up a little. I just finished playing Firewatch, so here we go!

Firewatch is kind of an adventure game with an interactive story. The protagonist, Henry, starts a job as a Firewatcher…is that a word? Well you know what I mean. It’s 1989 in the Wyoming National Forest.

The game has a very emotional beginning but I don’t want to give away anything of the story. You establish Henrys backstory with choosing from 2-3 different story options. Just one example: Your wife wants a dog. It can be either a german Sheperd or a Beagle. I chose the Beagle because it says she loves it. My boyfriend said he would’ve picked the Sheperd, so he can protect her. The decisions you make don’t really affect the game itself but it’s a nice touch.

The beginning really brought me to tears and I was sucked into the game immediately. You start in the forest and instantly meet Delilah who talks to you via walkie talkie. She will become your guide throughout the story in giving you several tasks and overall talking to you while you run around solving problems. At first you do small things like finding a supply cache or looking into some disturbance. You are equipped with a map and compass to find your way through the wilderness. The controls are pretty easy and I used the map quite often. The whole game has an orangey tint, as if there was a constant sunset and the landscape is just beautiful.

Soon the game changes. Mysterious things happen and Henry and Delilah try to find out what is behind all this. I won’t get into the story any further in case you want to give this game a try.

I can highly recommend this game. The story isn’t very long and it is something different than your shooter or RPG. I wish there would’ve been more music because when there was music it was beautiful and well placed.

Firewatch first came out in February on Playstation 4 and then in September on Xbox One. It costs around 20 $ but I think I got it cheaper on some Xbox One sale. The studio behind this lovely game is Campo Santo.

 

 

Halo 15th Anniversary – Yo, you hit puberty

I can’t believe that I have been playing Halo for close to 15 years now. I can’t believe that the game that has influenced my whole life in ways I could never have imagined, is 15 years old. 15 YEARS! And to me, it still plays like it is brand new.

Today is November 15th 2016 and exactly 15 years ago, on November 15th 2001, Halo: Combat Evolved was released along with the first ever Xbox. Right now I am celebrating this beautiful day by listening to the epic music of Halo. Check the link below if you are in the mood for some Martin O’Donnell tunes:

Listen and marvel at the greatness that is Halo’s music.

Here in Germany the Xbox was released in March 2002, so that’s why my Halo journey started a few months later. But it started. And it continues to this day. Halo is as big a part of my life as is food or my friends. It has impacted so massively that I’m still in awe. I have made friends in different parts of the world, I have traveled to L.A. and attended Halo Fest and I had a film team from 343 in my house to shoot a feature about me. The last two events were the absolute highlight to me. I still feel so honored and grateful. My house is filled with tons of collectibles, I am running this blog about Halo, I run the Girls Love Halo Instagram account and I read everything I find about the lore. Halo is everywhere in my life. On top of this, my fiancee and I thought about naming our daughter Cortana. Don’t worry though, we only thought about it. The passion for Halo has always bonded us. In fact, my fiancee, Alex, introduced me to the game in the first place. So I will forever be thankful to him for doing so. The rest of my family thinks I am crazy. Most of my friends think I am crazy. But that is completely fine.

I am very emotional right now. Maybe I should turn down this music? Nah, it just brings up so many beautiful memories.

I want to give thanks to Halo now. I want to give thanks to Bungie and to 343. I want to give thanks to the Halo community, for I am not alone in my praise for this game. The ever lasting love for Halo is real people. It’s the realest shit you’ll see.

Thank you Halo.

For letting me feel.

For letting me fight.

For letting me evolve with you.

15-years-halo

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