Life is Strange

Max Caulfield from Life is Strange reminds me of myself at the age of 18. She’s insecure, timid, yet caring to her close friends. Playing through Life is Strange reminded me of old high school drama that I experienced. My best friend recommended this game which says a lot because she isn’t a gamer though her boyfriend recommended it to her.  After beating the game, I can without a doubt say that this was the best game I played this year.

Life is Strange Photo by Game Accessibility

Max is a freshman at a prestigious art school in Arcadia Bay, Oregon. As a talented photographer, she was accepted into Blackwell Academy which is her dream school. During a lecture, she experiences a vision of a tornado destroying Arcadia Bay. In addition to having these visions, she hides in the bathroom and watches helplessly as a woman is shot and killed by a student. Turns out this woman was Max’s former best friend, Chloe. Max awakes in her classroom and is able to rewind time to save Chloe. Max now has to balance her newly renewed relationship with Chloe and uncover how to save Arcadia Bay from the tornado.

Life is Strange Photo from Wikia

Life is Strange is all based on making decisions that will impact the later episodes. I often took a couple minutes to think about how Max would react. It could be something as simple as choosing to comfort a mean girl or more complicated responses like trying to prevent a student from committing suicide. The game is all dependent on how you choose to interact with each character.

*Massive Spoilers*

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the end of the game, Max is looking out at the tornado which will soon be upon the shores of Arcadia Bay. Max and Chloe realize that the tornado was created based on how time has been altered. Chloe pleads with Max to allow her to die to save Arcadia Bay so do you: A. Ignore Chloe and watch as your family and friends perish or B. Choose to rewind time, but not save Chloe and allow her to die so the town will be protected.

I chose to let Chloe die like she was supposed to. Morally, I couldn’t justify saving one person and sacrificing thousands. It’s heartbreaking to watch the cut scene as Max is shedding tears knowing there’s nothing she can do to save Chloe.

I’m interested to know what my readers thought about all the decisions in this game and what they chose at the end. Also I really hope there will be a Life is Strange sequel because I will have that pre-ordered in a heartbeat. Life is Strange is the best video game I played and probably is one of my all time favorite games.

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D&D One Shot Monsters and Other Childish Things

Becoming a game master in my own D&D campaign is a recent goal of mine. Last Saturday, I was fortunate to be included in a one shot campaign using the rules from Monsters and Other Childish ThingsPlayers take on the role of children whose best friends are monsters as you play through a custom story about surviving the school day. Ironically, our story didn’t even occur on school grounds instead happening during a sleepover at my character’s house. This campaign can be adapted into a longer campaign or a one-shot which is what my group did on Saturday.

One shot campaigns are campaigns that begin and end on the same day. Most D&D campaigns I have heard of continue for weeks or months. I like that one shots are short because if you’re schedule is as chaotic as mine is, it’s difficult to carve time for a D&D campaign weekly.

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I was required to draw Mr. Waffles, so this is what I came up with.

Ellie Ferguson is the character I created myself. She’s a sassy 7th grader living with her dad, little sister and her monster. Unfortunately, her mother passed away when she was young, so her dad struggles to put food on the table. This circumstance has influenced Ellie to be overprotective over her little sister. Ellie’s monster is named Mr. Waffles who is an orange tabby cat when he’s happy. If Mr. Waffles is threatened, he turns into this raging orange lion monster complete with a sword. Mr. Waffles also has menacing claws that when he scratches his opponent, an ooze leaks from his claws that causes his enemies to hallucinate.

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My character sheet for Ellie Ferguson.

Over the course of the story, Ellie’s father starts dating a woman who turns out to be a witch. The big conclusion to this story is when Mr. Waffles is fighting her in the house. Mr. Waffles constantly is scratching her head to cause her to go insane because of the ooze that leaks from his claws. Also Mr. Waffles can breath fire so the house burned away ultimately collapsing on the evil witch, killing her.

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My inspiration for Mr. Waffles. This is Ajani from Magic the Gathering. Photo by Magic & Wizards of the Coast.

D&D is a way I can express my creative side by envisioning Mr. Waffles walking alongside Ellie. Monsters and Other Childish Things can be found at a local game store that carries D&D handbooks. Otherwise the book can be found online in paperback and PDF format. Hopefully, the more experience I get role playing, the more comfortable I would be in being a game master.

 

Overcooked; the Cuter and more Cartoony Diner Dash

This gaming review is late to my blog because I beat Overcooked way back in April with the boyfriend. I kept shelving or saving this draft and writing about other topics that randomly popped into my head. I felt it was time to carve time to talk about Overcooked and how adorable this game is. Any game that gets me and my boyfriend to team up is worth playing.

Lava level in Overcooked

Remember in 2004 when Diner Dash became popular and it was an instant hit? Overcooked has a similar concept, but you play as cartoon chefs. There are recipes that pop up on the screen and you work with a partner to cook/steam/plate foods. Levels get complicated, me and the boyfriend struggled through the icy levels since you’re character is slipping on the ice and falling into the river. . . oops.

River Level in Overcooked

Overcooked tells the story of the Onion Kingdom that’s currently controlled by an evil entity. To defeat him, you have to feed him on time before he gets hangry. I mean I feel this hangry beast because being hangry sucks and would make anyone want to devour a kingdom. While playing the game, you unlock cartoon characters to play as. I loved the orange cat chef and didn’t play with any other characters.

Overcooked is such a fun, challenging and short game to play. It’s playable on Xbox One, PS4 since 2016 and a Nintendo Switch version should be available now or sometime this year. For all the Xbox players, achievements are easy to earn in this game and everyone needs a boost in their gamer score.

 

Selling “Sally”; Embracing the One

My gaming has consisted of solving a murder in Murdered Soul Suspect and attempting to stop Ganondorf in Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Sadly as I have gotten older, it’s much more difficult to play video games. I try my best to cram in 30 minutes for gaming on my 3DS, but working longer hours to pay bills gets in the way. Besides bills, moving home has made me busy along with organizing the boyfriend’s belongings. He moved home with me because he accepted a job in the Minneapolis area. The boyfriend is a huge gamer so he has his own Xbox 360 and Xbox One which means I didn’t need my thick white Xbox 360 *nicknamed Sally* from 2008. I had two options: I could keep my 360 because it does hold a lot of great gaming memories or I could sell it. I hate clutter, so I made the choice of selling my Xbox 360 to game stop.

Sally provided endless entertainment including online battles in Halo 3, exploring Rapture in Bioshock and fight the joker in Batman Arkham Asylum. I don’t regret selling my 360 because I genuinely didn’t need it anymore. I will never forget the excitement I had Christmas 2007 when I unwrapped the Xbox 360. I wanted this console so bad and my mom made comments about how expensive it was. Sure enough, it was the last present I opened. Thanks Sally for all the memories, but I am ready to accept the Xbox One.

Game Stop totaled the worth of my Xbox and I had $69 dollars store credit to spend. Check out my game stop haul:

Zelda Poster

Breath of Wild Poster

This poster is breathtaking! I actually got this for free because the Gamestop employee found it in the back and gave it to me. I plan on buying a frame for it and hanging it in my future apartment.

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M

Code Name Project Steam

This game features the voice work of Wil Wheaton and the art is inspired by comics what more could you want from a video game?

Deadpool

Deadpool

I don’t know how great this game will be, but it looks like Wolverine and Psylocke may appear at some point so I’m looking forward to that.

Lego Marvel Super Heroes

Lego Marvel Superheroes

Lego games are underrated and usually keep me busy for a good chunk of time.

Life is Strange

Life is Strange

My friend played this game on Steam and loved it. This means a lot since my friend typically isn’t a gamer, but her boyfriend let her play it. After Murdered Soul Suspect, this is the next game that’s going in the Xbox One.

Sonic Boom Fire & Ice

Sonic Boom Fire and Ice

The last game I purchased is this Sonic game. I remember being a young kid watching my brother play a Sonic the Hedgehog PC game. I thought he was the coolest creature and I have a soft spot for any Sonic game.

De-cluttering can be stressful, but I have no regrets in selling my Xbox. I just need to get better at managing adult time with gaming.

 

 

 

Dice Rolling & Deck Building; Star Wars Destiny

My table top gaming consists of cooperative game play, but not deck building games. I dislike the complexity of deck building games like when I play Magic the Gathering some of the cards are difficult to understand and it leaves me feeling frustrated. A couple weeks ago my friend dragged me to the Star Wars Destiny card game release at my local game store. I absolutely cannot recommend this card game enough and I had a blast playing multiple games in a row with friends. This weekend I am teaching my brother how to play this game because I am trying to get as many people hooked to Star Wars Destiny as possible.

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Star Wars Destiny offers two starter decks: Rey or Kylo Ren. I actually wasn’t able to buy either of these because my game store ran out of starter decks. I bought a bunch of booster packs and a couple people gave me cards to help me build a deck, but it does help to buy a starter deck first. I pulled Anakin Skywalker and he is super powerful in this game so I ended up building a Sith deck.

Star Wars Destiny allows players to roll dice to simulate attacks with characters and activate special abilities. When I roll Anakin’s die, I have a couple outcomes including a light saber attack, his special ability, and a blank. If I don’t like the roll, I can discard a card out of my hand to re-roll all my dice. I have essentially one action per turn so if I choose to tap Anakin to roll his dice, that’s the end of my turn. My next turn I could play a card or use one of the dice on my opponent.

It sounds confusing, but once you play a few rounds you catch on pretty quick. There was one game where I kept rolling Anakin’s ability 5 or 6 times in a row and I annihilated my opponent #sorrynotsorry. I also heard that Star Wars Destiny will include Rogue One characters and I will hopefully have that pre-ordered because Jyn Erso will be one bad ass character to make a deck with.

Star Wars Destiny is probably my favorite table top game I have played this year. So now your next step is to buy Star Wars Destiny, obviously. Check out the description over at Fantasy Flight Games/Star Wars Destiny. This card game was so popular that Fantasy Flight is sold out of booster packs and starter decks. Local game stores should have more information about this game if you’re interested in getting started. Star Wars Destiny is a fantastic, easy to learn table top game to tie you over until the release of the much awaited; Star Wars the Last Jedi. 

 

 

 

 

The Tabletop Gamer Tag

Two weeks ago I participated in the gamer tag about my video game preferences. There is also a Tabletop Gamer Tag floating around the blogsphere and I happened to find it on this blog: It’s More Than Just Gaming. Now that you know my gaming preferences, let’s dive deep into the Bizarre Brunette’s Official Table Top Game Tag. 

Favorite Type of Table Top Game

Cooperative is my favorite. I like being able to pick a character and go through the game together. Some great cooperative games include: Arkham Horror, Pandemic and Letters from White Chapel. 

Favorite Game

Birthday Arkham Horror

Left to right: The boyfriend and my brother playing Arkham Horror. My 21st B-Day Summer 2015

Arkham Horror is my all time favorite board game. I have mentioned this game every chance I get, but I love it that much. This picture that I posted above is my boyfriend and my brother playing this game on our screened in porch. That was my 21st birthday and I was a little tipsy off of my martini I had at dinner. This was one of my favorite memories from that summer.

What game have you played the most?

Without a question Arkham Horror. 

What game do you want to add to your shelf?

Smash Up

Smash Up at River Quest

Smash Up is a game I definitely should purchase for my own collection. I love the cat deck obviously, but I also need the expansions too. It’s really easy to learn and goes by quick. Arkham Horror can take 5-6 hours which I am not always in the mood for.

Favorite Game to Share with Non-Gamers?

Shadow Hunters 2

Shadow Hunters is a great game for beginners. The artwork is inspired by anime which is great for all of your manga loving friends. This game also goes by pretty quick and it’s easier to learn too. In my opinion, it’s never a good idea to share a complicated game with a newbie. This game is simple and fun.

Well-Known Game you haven’t played?

Still have yet to play Munchkin! 

Show off your Game Shelf!

Unfortunately, I don’t have a game shelf. My room at my house at the moment is so small that my games are piled in the most random places. Instead of showing off my shelf, I’m going to show off some board game pictures I took. I tend to take a lot of pictures while playing board games because I like to upload them to my blog and it reminds me of memories while playing the game.

Shadow Hunters

Playing Shadow Hunters at my uncle’s house. My brother owns this game so it wouldn’t appear on my gaming shelf. This is a hunter card and she tries to hunt the demons and other such creatures. Isn’t the artwork super pretty though?

Here Kitty Kitty Game 2

Here Kitty Kitty is another quick game about collecting cats. At the end of the game you earn points based on what type of kitties you collect or what cards you have at the end of the game. It was a fun random night of gaming at River Quest. 

Red Dragon Inn

My last photo is from playing Red Dragon Inn 2 outside. Me, the boyfriend and my friend at the time drank some wine and played this game outdoors. This is one of my favorite memories of Summer 2015.

Link your Table Top Gaming tags in the comments because I would love to hear about your gaming memories.

 

The Gamer Tag!

I love casual blog tags such as this one. It adds some personality to my blog and sometimes I need extra inspiration for a blog post. I found this tag both on PrimaGeek and A Geek Girls Guide and I decided to incorporate this onto my blog as well. My gaming has decreased significantly, but I find random bouts of time to play.

1. What is your gamer tag?

Iceskater101 on Xbox Live. Being a figure skater since I was 6, I felt this was fitting and just iceskater was taken. I have thought about changing it, but I don’t want to pay the money.

2. PC or Console?

Console! I don’t have a computer at the moment that gives me enough memory to store video games on. Ever since receiving my Xbox 360 December 2007 (10 years ago!!!!!) was I converted to consoles.

3. Console of choice?

Xbox! As I said my Xbox 360 *nicknamed Sally* is still around. I have the chunky white 360 and I can’t believe it still hasn’t gotten red rings yet.

4. Handheld of choice? (DS, PS Vita, etc.)

yoshis-island

My purple 3DS sitting in my Hello Kitty case. I am playing through Kirby Planet Robobot and I’m enjoying it so far.

5. Keyboard or Gamepad?

My preference is the keyboard, but I’m not a huge PC gamer so I would be willing to try out a gamepad.

6. Singleplayer or Multiplayer?

Single player without a doubt. I love getting entranced into the story of a game. Multiplayer can be fun, but I can live without it.

7. What was the first game you have ever played?

 Dig Dug was one of my first arcade games I remember playing. I always grew up around pinball as my dad was a pinball fanatic. I also played a lot of Sims 2 growing up too.

8. Hardest game you have ever played?

Most games are difficult when you play on the hardest difficulty and I will accept any challenge. I remember Halo being super frustrating on the Legendary difficulty.

9. What was your first gaming system?

Technically the PC was my first system. I remember having a sleep over with friends staying up till 3:00 AM playing the Sims 2. I also played an online game called VMK which was for Virtual Magic Kingdom from Disney. Too bad it’s not around anymore.

10. What is your favorite game of all time?

 There isn’t just one game that is my all time favorite. Bioshock, Gears of War and Batman Arkham Asylum were three games that shaped me as a gamer. I also enjoyed Animal Crossing New Leaf for the occasional cutesy game.

11. What game is currently your favorite?

mercy-2

Overwatch!!  They just released Orisa the defensive guardian robot and whenever I’m on the defensive, I’m choosing her character.

12. Favorite video game genre?

First person shooters have always been my go to, but I have been mixing it up more as I try out new games.

13. Favorite video game character?

Kirby Planet Robobot

 Kirby is my favorite cutesy creature character. I also enjoy Lara Croft and D.VA from Overwatch.

14. Which video game character do you hate most?

I can’t think of a character I genuinely hate. The Joker from Batman Arkham Asylum is obnoxious, but he’s the Joker and he needs to be in the game.  

15. What new game you are most excited for?

I’m excited for the Call of Cthulhu game that is hitting consoles at the end of the year. Otherwise, I’m kinda out of the gaming loop. I have a lot of gaming to catch up on that I’m looking forward to than new releases.

16. Favorite video game company/developer?

Kait

Epic produced Gears of War which is one of my all time favorite franchises. I also do enjoy Blizzard Entertainment because Overwatch rocks.

17. What gaming systems do you currently have?

My Xbox 360 aka. Sally and my Nintendo 3DS. My boyfriend has the Xbox One which I use a lot. I have no plans at this time to purchase any other consoles.   

18. How long have you been gaming?

At least a decade, probably longer.

19. How long was your longest gaming session?

I wish I had the time for one of these! Usually I’m in bed by 9:00 PM. My last gaming session probably lasted till 2-3 AM, but again that was from last year sometime?

20. What game have you clocked the most time on?

d-va-2

Overwatch!! For right now at least… I would say the Halo franchise combined is where I have put most of my gaming hours at. Coming home from school and playing hours of Halo 3.. those were some good times.