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By Jessica Brister On 12 Nov, 2017 At 04:09 PM | Categorized As Books, Editorials, Featured, Opinion, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarWhen looking at epic fantasy series, many times a first book can be a little slow, typically concentrating on a lot of set-up for later books.  Initially, when I heard about The Way of Kings, the first book in Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive series, the most talked-about feature was the one-thousand plus page length.  When my husband brought home the hard-cover edition, I took one look at that thing and immediately put the title on the back-burner.  I went through Sanderson’s Mistborn series and liked it, but I thought that I was going to have a hard time getting into a first book that long.

I was totally wrong.

 The Way of Kings is one of the best fantasy books that I have ever read.  Actually, it is probably one of the best books I have ever read period, and I don’t say that lightly either.  As a former English teacher, I have many wonderful titles on my list of must-reads.  I have to say, though, The Way of Kings really is a fantastic read.  Here’s why:

Despite the epic length of The Way of Kings, the story is extremely fast-paced.  Sanderson is an expert at dangling little pieces of information at the right points to make the reader want to keep reading, despite the daunting size of the text.  The story revolves around a handful of characters living in the inhospitable land of Roshar, a land of storms and stone.  This book focuses on Kaladin, a former soldier turned slave, as he struggles with his purpose in life and the group of slaves he adopts as his own.  They truly are dealing with horrific conditions as the kingdoms of Roshar battle a mysterious enemy who killed their High King.  But as Kaladin tries to keep his men alive, he begins to realize that they are not much more than cannon fodder, and the righteous war that they were supposed to be fighting is beginning to turn into nothing more than a petty political scheme.

The nobility of the kingdoms in Roshar are obsessed with money, power, and Shardblades and Shardplates—extremely powerful weapons and armor from a different era, one which is lost in the echoes or Roshar’s distant history where the Knights Radiant protected the land from true horrors.  One book that recounts some of the former glory of these guardians is The Way of Kings, a text that Brightlord Dalinar Kholin is obsessed with.  The brother of the slain king, Dalinar believes that the book has some secret meaning that may affect the future of the kingdoms.  Not everyone around him is so sure, since many doubt Dalinar’s sanity.

Meanwhile, in a seemingly irrelevant but extremely important side story, a young woman named Shallan must figure out a way to steal an enormously valuable item from Dalinar’s niece, Jasnah, in order to restore her family’s position in society.  While getting close to Jasnah, Shallan soon discovers that Jasnah’s research may hold the key to the Knights Radiant and the real reason behind the war.

The Way of Kings covers everything from political intrigue to the horrors of war to racism and inherent bias.  There’s something for everyone.  Despite being such a lengthy novel, there’s not any filler.  Everything is important and as the story unfolds, the details masterfully build upon each other.  The story is also beautifully written.  Sanderson is an accomplished writer who creates prose that is truly an art form.  I do not say this about many contemporary authors.

One of the best aspects of The Way of Kings is the setting itself, which has a unique feel from most standard fantasy novels.  Roshar is a weather-beaten land where plants retract in and out of the rocks and most typical animals are crustacean-like beings with tough shells to withstand highstorms, which are fierce hurricane-like tempests that will destroy anyone and anything in their path.  Cities and towns are built specifically with these storms in mind, and travel can be a quite rough.  The lore and history as well as the cultures and people of Roshar are fascinating and add depth to the marvelous world Sanderson has created.

The main characters are memorable and relatable.  I happened to really connect with Kaladin, and I ended up learning a few things about myself through his eyes.  All of the main characters have multiple flaws but also many redeeming qualities, making them believable and realistic.  The reader is drawn in to their plights and is concerned for their well-being, wanting them to succeed.

There are multiple conflicts: some from other characters, some from the war, and some that are internal struggles, which creates a well-rounded story line.  Yes, it might be a hefty read, but everything pulls together so nicely that most readers probably won’t mind.  I certainly didn’t.  In fact, I felt a bit lost after finishing it.  I got that let-down feeling after I finish a book when it is so good that I never want it to end, and when it does end, I get depressed.  The Way of Kings did that to me.  Luckily, I was a little late to the game when I read it, so it didn’t take me very long to get my hands on the second book, Words of Radiance (review coming soon).

The Way of Kings did come out in 2010, so this review may appear to come out at an odd time, but don’t forget that the third book of the series, Oathbringer, will be out November 14, so this is a great time to play catch-up if you haven’t started on this series yet.  I cannot praise these books enough.  They really are the next great fantasy series of our time.

Oh, and those who enjoy listening to their books, the book tape version of The Way of Kings is amazing.  I did one read through and one listen through of the book and cannot say enough about the production of the audio book.

No GravatarEvery once in a while, there is an awesome game that comes out, and it revolutionizes the way that a person views gaming.  For me, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is one of those games.  It has everything that I demand in a game: a cool story, fun game play, an expansive world, and the ability to customize my game experience as I see fit.  I love the game so much that it’s one of the top games that I’ve put the most hours into, and that’s saying something because I’ve spent a lot of time on many different games.  It’s one of my all-time favorites.  Here’s why:

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is an open world action role-playing game that was developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks.  It is the fifth game in the Elder Scrolls franchise, following 2006’s Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.  Skyrim was released November 2011 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.  A remastered version is coming out for the game for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in October of this year.  The game uses the Creation Engine, which was specifically rebuilt for the game after some of the issues with Fallout 3.  Skyrim got critical acclaim and is consistently rates as one of the best video games of all time.

Set 200 years after its predecessor, Skyrim focuses on Tamriel’s Nordic area (Skyrim, hence the game’s name).  There are two warring factions at odds against each other.  The Stormcloaks consist of Skyrim’s native Nordic folk who wish to rule their own land (and are extremely racist).  The Imperial Legion represents the Empire and wishes to keep the region safe and at peace (but then the native people don’t have control of their own area).  After being almost killed by the Imperials and surviving a dragon attack, the player realizes that Skyrim is in deep trouble if dragons have come back.  Eventually, the player finds out that he or she is Dragonborn, a person born with the soul and power of a dragon.  In the main quest line, the player must find out what is going on with the reemerging dragons; however, there are tons of other side quests that jump into the rich history and politics of the region.  It’s absolutely amazing.

The main story is pretty involved, but it’s the expansive world that really shines with Skyrim.  It’s definitely got one of the best maps that I have seen (I still prefer it over The Witcher 3’s map, which is also quite expansive).  The scenery is gorgeous, especially since I play on PC with the graphics on the highest levels with a few texture mods as well.  Most of the items in the world are extremely interactive.  The people in Skyrim are interesting.  The places are fun to explore.  I’ve gone walking around the map just for fun.  I’ve even read about people who create characters and don’t even play the game; they just make up their own story and go hunting animals, collect things, and just have fun.  It’s so in-depth with lore and back-story that it’s hard not to fall in love with Skyrim.

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However, even though the open world is amazing, my favorite part of the game is actually the game play itself.  I have never quite come across anything quite like it.  For me, even another Bethesda heavy-hitter like Fallout 3 or even Fallout 4 doesn’t compare.  Sure, Skyrim is a first-person, action RPG.  A lot of games are.  The thing that really makes Skyrim stand out is the leveling and experience system.  It’s very simple: you level up what you use.  Whatever angle you want to play with Skyrim, you just have to use it to level it.  In this way, players are not pigeon-holed into a certain class.  Do you want to be a mage who has thief tendencies?  Go for it.  Do you want you want to be a warrior who also can use magic when needed?  Yep!  You can do that.  Do you like being a thief who enjoys two-handed combat?  Why not?

I love the ability to be able to do what I want, when I want.  I love that I can mix and match with the different combat styles and character niches because…why not?  I hate having to decide what class to play because two hours later, I want to change it.  Skyrim lets me do whatever I want.  When I initially played it on Xbox 360, I was a bit limited with the amount of perks that I could get, so some specialization was required.  However, on PC I can do a bit of cheaty, cheat, cheating and add perks when I run out of levels.  It’s perfect for the OCD gamer.  In Skyrim, it’s totally okay to be a warrior/mage/thief all at the same time.

The graphics hold up very well, especially if you are playing on PC and can put on some texture mods.  On the consoles, it is starting to look dated.  Hopefully, it will look great again with the remaster.  However, when the game originally came out, the graphics were hand’s down awesome.  I love the textures of the scenery.  Even though some of the color palate can be very heavy on grays and browns, the game is still beautiful.

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There is something special about Skyrim, and it may have to do with the fact that gamers can easily make fun of it without damaging the integrity of the game.  How many “arrow to the knee” memes have you seen?  How many times have people made fun of the fact that one can eat 99 raw potatoes in the middle of the battle to gain health?  What about trying to kill a chicken?  Or, my personal favorite happens to be: why are all of the lights on in a dungeon that hasn’t been visited by anyone in hundreds if not thousands of years?  It’s fun to make fun of Skyrim because it’s a game that no one has to defend as being good.  Some people might not like it, and that’s fine.  But it’s hard to argue that it’s a bad game.  Therefore, when there are some “silly” elements of the game, it’s enjoyable to point out the shortcomings because even though there definitely are some, no other game even comes close.

There are a lot of games that I have enjoyed over the years, but there are few that I truly love.  The Elders Scrolls V: Skyrim is one that I absolutely will love forever, even when newer and better games come out.  I have about an estimated 415 hours on the game right now between console and PC, and I have thoroughly loved every minute of it.  I actually cannot think of another game that I have spent so much time on.  That’s the power of Skyrim.

By Jessica Brister On 25 Jul, 2016 At 10:19 PM | Categorized As Featured, Reviews, Toys and Merchandise | With 0 Comments

No GravatarA lot of geek parents often like to share their various fandoms with their children. Call it the perks of being a totally cool parent and all. I am no exception. I love doing geeky stuff with my daughter. When Disney purchased the Star Wars franchise and the release of The Force Awakens, there have been a lot more novelty items out there for fans to love than there used to be. My daughter received a boxed set of Star Wars Little Golden books for her birthday that follow the first six movies. If you don’t know, Little Golden books are children’s books with a gold-colored binding on them. Many of you may have read them as kids or are currently reading them to your kids. I read Episodes I through III with my daughter, and we moved on to the meat of Star Wars: Oh, yes, it’s time for A New Hope!

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Star Wars: A New Hope (Little Golden Book Edition) was written by Geof Smith and illustrated by Caleb Meurer. It was published in 2015 by Golden Books. I got this particular book in a packaged deal with five other Star Wars episodes as children’s books, but for the purpose of this review, I will only be discussing A New Hope.
The book focuses on the main plot points of the movie. Young Luke Skywalker dreams of bigger and better things when he meets Obi Wan Kenobi, a Jedi who wants to show him the ways of the force. On a desparate mission to deliver a set of stolen plans for a battle station capable of destroying planets, they meet up with a smuggler and a beautiful princess. The rest is history. Of course, I’m assuming that if you are interested in this book, you probably already know the rest, so I’ll spare you the details.
I adored being able to go through the little kid’s version of A New Hope. There is something very special about sharing this story with my daughter. The story itself works really well as a kid’s book. Well, except for the fact that an entire planet is destroyed, but I thought the book did a good job of glossing over that fact and sticking to the characters instead.
The book is aimed at older children and has no rhyming or rhythm to it. It is definitely story-oriented instead of focusing on teaching a concept. The book only comes with regular soft pages with a hard cover, so you may want to watch this book with very young children. They tend to like to destroy things, and this is very much not a board book.
The illustrations were great, though the faces looked a little more mature than some of the previous illustrators in this Little Golden Book series. They really helped further along the story when necessary. There are pictures on every page as well as text, and they kept my daughter’s interest as we read through it.

Overall, this is a cute book as a novelty Star Wars children’s book. It is a fun way to share your love of the franchise with the movie that started it all. I recommend it for any geek parent.

By Jessica Brister On 21 Jul, 2016 At 08:34 PM | Categorized As Featured, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarSharing your favorite geek fandoms as a parent is one of the many awesome things about having little ones. As my daughter has gotten older, I have started to slowly introduce her to some of my favorite geeky things. Now that Disney owns the Star Wars franchise and with the release of The Force Awakens, there are a lot more novelty items out for fans to enjoy. My daughter received a boxed set of Star Wars Little Golden books for her birthday that follow the first six movies. If you are not familiar, Little Golden books are children’s books with a gold-colored binding. You may have read them before as a child. After reading through The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, my daughter and I continued through to Revenge of the Sith.

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Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (Little Golden Book edition) was written by Geof Smith and illustrated by Patrick Spaziante. It was published in 2015 by Golden Books. I got this particular book in a packaged deal with five other Star Wars episodes as children’s books, but for the purpose of this review, I will only be discussing Revenge of the Sith.

The book focuses on the main points of the movie. Anakin and Padame are secretly married, and she is pregnant. War is continuing to rage against the Republic and the Separatist army. There are a lot of battles and fighting, and then the inevitable descent of Anakin into the dark side. I’m assuming that if you are interested in this book, you probably already know the rest, so I’ll spare you the details.

Revenge of the Sith was definitely the best of the prequels. However, it did not translate over very well into a children’s book. Even though the author did the best that he could with making the plot a little more kid-friendly, reading it to my daughter was kind of depressing. I thought that the pacing was right for a children’s story, but the story itself just did not fit well. This is not a knock at the author. I’m not sure what else he could have possibly done.

The book is aimed at older children and has no rhyming or rhythm to it. It is more story-oriented instead of focusing on teaching a concept. The book only comes with regular soft pages with a hard cover, so you may want to watch this with very young children if you decide to purchase it. Since it is not a board book, your very little one might tear it up.

The illustrations were well-done and at least tried to make the book a little more child-friendly. It was a tough story to draw, based on everything that happened. There are illustrations on every page with text, and the pictures did a good job of furthering the narration when needed.

Overall, I really liked this book as a novelty children’s book. However, I would caution any parent with the content of the story. It’s a little down. Actually, it’s kind of depressing. You may want to skip this one until your kids are a bit older, but that is one hundred percent your call as a geek parent.

By Jessica Brister On 7 Jul, 2016 At 08:17 PM | Categorized As Best Game Ever, Featured, Games You Slept On, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarSometimes sequels just don’t compare to the original.  In the case of Chrono Trigger, one of the greatest RPGs of all time, there was a lot riding on a follow-up game.  Happily, Chrono Cross ended up being an amazing game with the same ground-breaking game play and story that we loved about Trigger.  It continues to be one of my favorite games of all time.

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Chrono Cross is an RPG developed and published by Square (now known as Square Enix) in 1999 for the PlayStation.  It is the sequel to the critically acclaimed Chrono Trigger, which was released in 1995 for the SNES.  It was developed by Masato Kato as well as others who worked on Chrono Trigger.  Chrono Cross was released with critical acclaim and sold extremely well worldwide.

Chrono Cross follows the protagonist Serge on a gorgeous tropical archipelago named El Nido.  The island and nautical theme runs throughout the game, including the enchantingly beautiful soundtrack.  Serge is transported to an alternate dimension where he died ten years beforehand on a beach and sees how his life has impacted the world.  He meets a thief named Kid and finds out that the universe split into two dimensions on that fateful day at the beach.  He is able to go back and forth between the dimensions by using Kid’s Astral Amulet.  There’s a lot more to the story, but I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t play it (seriously, if you haven’t, you need to).

Now, I know it doesn’t sound like the story of Chrono Cross has anything to do with Chrono Trigger, but it does.  A few familiar characters make cameos, and the games are intricately linked together in ways that I’d rather not say in order not to give out a bunch of spoilers.  Chrono Cross always felt to me like the sequel that you could play without the original and have a great time, but if you played Trigger, it would be even better.  In fact, I played Cross before Trigger and didn’t have any issues following anything.

An interesting concept that was used for (possibly) the first time on this game was the idea of talking to villagers or characters, not to further the story, but to add depth to the setting and feel of the game.  As players, we are so used to this now, but that was an unheard of concept back in the day.  This really adds a cool twist to the game with the dimensional travel, since you can talk to the same character in both dimensions and see how Serge’s absence or presence has affected that person.  It’s a really awesome story element.

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One thing that people both love and hate about the game are the multitude of characters that you can have in your party.  There are forty-five party members that you can have, although you cannot play them all in one game.  But, just as there was in Trigger, you can do a New Game+ in order to have access to all of them.  Some people hated having all of the characters because some of them weren’t developed very well.  I personally loved it because I could find the exact party to fit my play-style.  To each his own, I guess.

The game play is so much fun, and it’s probably one of my favorite old-school RPG systems ever.  There are still a lot of traditional RPG elements to it: an overworld map to go between areas, places to explore, puzzles to solve, and enemies to encounter while going through.  The enemies are completely visible, and there are no random encounters.  Battles are turn-based, which was pretty standard for the time.  This allows the player to take as much time as he or she wants when battling an enemy.  And, of course, there are hit points for each character and enemy.  One revolutionary concept that was added was the fact that you can run away from any battle, including all boss battles and the final battle as well.

Chrono Cross also deals with an elemental system (sort of similar to FF VII), where characters are best with a certain element while the opposite element really hurts them.  Elements are reflected in colors: Red (fire) versus Blue (water), Green (plants) versus Yellow (earth), and White (light) versus Black (darkness).  Red characters match up against Blue characters best, and so on and so forth.  Characters also have Tech abilities like Chrono Trigger, which can be doubled or tripled as well.  An interesting twist to the element-based battle system is the use of a field effect, where if the field is all one color, that color’s power will be enhanced and the opposite is weakened.

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When characters are not using their Tech abilities, they can use standard attacks.  Chrono Cross was also innovative in the fact that it has a stamina bar for attacks.  That stamina can be raised or lowered, depending on whether the character uses a standard attack of an Element.  Another interesting twist is that there are no experience points.  Players level up by upgrading their stats a couple of times through regular battles but do not level up until there is a boss battle.  This concept completely gets rid of the idea of grinding because you actually can’t.  To me, it makes the game play more fun and the story feel more exciting because there are never any lulls.

The graphics for the time were amazing. The opening FMV (full motion video) sequence is probably one of my favorite game openings ever. It seriously gives me goosebumps every time I see it. Even the in-game graphics looked slick (again, for the time). The color-palate is bright and beautiful, which enhanced the overall feel of the game.

This review would not be complete without praise to the beautifully done and award-winning soundtrack.  Yasunori Mitsuda, who did most of the soundtrack for Trigger, came back again and really outdid himself.  It has elements of Caribbean, Fado (Portuguese), Celtic, and some African.  The soundtrack is so good that was officially released in a three-disc set in Japan (one that I got my hands on through E-Bay many years ago).  It is probably the best soundtrack that I have ever heard for a game, and I don’t say that lightly.  In fact, you really haven’t experienced the soundtrack to its full extent until you’ve listened to it on the beach or on the deck of a cruise ship.  The music is magical.

There aren’t many games that have brought me to tears, but Chrono Cross is one of them.  It is an amazing masterpiece of a game, not just a sequel, but an amazing game just by itself.  If you ever get the chance to play or replay it, I highly recommend it.

By Jessica Brister On 16 May, 2016 At 07:20 PM | Categorized As Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarOne of the fun things to do as a geek parent is share your love of various fandoms with your children. I am definitely guilty of this. I really adore sharing geeky stuff with my daughter. Now that Disney has bought the Star Wars franchise and with the release of The Force Awakens, there are tons of new novelty items out for fans to purchase. My daughter received a boxed set of Star Wars Little Golden books that follow the first six movies. If you don’t know, Little Golden books are children’s books with a gold-colored binding. Many of you may have read them as kids or are currently reading them to your kids. After reading through The Phantom Menace with my daughter, we moved on to Attack of the Clones. It was just as cute and entertaining, and my daughter particularly loved this one for whatever reason.

Meanwhile, Obi-Wan goes to Kamino to discover that the Republic has a new army of clones. I’m assuming that if you are interested in this book, you probably already know the rest, so I’ll spare you the details.

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Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (Little Golden Book edition) was written by Christopher Nicholas and illustrated by Ethen Beavers. It was published in 2015 by Golden Books. This particular book was actually a packaged deal with five other Star Wars episodes as children’s books, but for the purpose of this review, I will only be discussing Attack of the Clones.

The book highlights the main points of the movie. Padme is in danger from assassins, so Anakin is recruited to watch her and keep her safe. Romance ensues.  Though Attack of the Clones was slightly better in plot than The Phantom Menace, there were still big long sections of dull stuff that could have just been cut out. As a children’s book, though, the story gets right to the point, glimpsing past some of the cringe-worthy romance between Padame and Anakin as well as some of the boring politics. In some ways, it was more fun to read this story as a children’s story than as an actual movie.

The book is aimed at older children as it has no rhyming and does not focus on teaching. It’s more story-oriented than anything else. The book only comes with regular pages and a hard cover, so parents with very young children might want to wait. I know my little one could only do board books very awhile because she would tear at the pages.

The illustrations were great and very child-friendly. They gelled together well with the style of writing and were very appropriate for a younger audience. There are illustrations on every page with text, and the pictures really did do a great job of furthering the narration when needed.

Overall, I would rate the book highly since it did a great job as a novelty children’s book: tells a fun tale that is full of action and adventure. Attack of the Clones is not one of my favorite Star Wars movies, but it does a great job as being a children’s book. I would recommend this book for any geek parent who would like to share Star Wars with their kids.

By Jessica Brister On 15 May, 2016 At 04:03 PM | Categorized As Featured, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarThe geek in me loves Star Wars. The English teacher in me loves Shakespeare. So why not combine the two and make people just like me extremely happy? Well, this actually is a thing. Someone has gone through an re-written the classic Star Wars movies into Shakespearean plays. I received Episodes IV through VI as a set and think they are an absolute blast to read. For the purposes of this review, I will only be concentrating on A New Hope, or as it has been so aptly renamed: Verily, A New Hope.

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William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope was written by Ian Doescher and was published in 2013 by Quirk Books. At this time, the first six Star Wars movies have been published in this series so that nerds like me can collect them all. Doescher decided to write these books because George Lucas purposely put archetypal characters in Star Wars, and Shakespeare pretty much is the king of archetypes. It was pretty much a match made in heaven to rewrite the stories in the form of a Shakespearean play.

Verily, a New Hope is essentially Star Wars: A New Hope in iambic pentameter with stage directions. The plot has stayed the same, but the dialogue has been greatly changed. It was definitely a fun way to read a story that I’ve watched and read so many times before. I’m assuming that you are familiar with the basic plot of the story if you are reading this, so I will focus more on how this version differs from the original.

Besides the traditional Shakespearean format and rhythm and rhyme, the book is written from the perspective that the reader already knows the plot twists in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. There are several asides that let a couple cats out of the bag. There is also an added scene that I thought was interesting where Luke, after the trash compactor seen, holds up the storm trooper’s helmet he had been wearing and does an aside like Hamlet did with the skull.

It was interesting to see how different parts of a story set in space would work on a stage. Sometimes, instead of seeing the action, a character will just go ahead and tell you what just happened. The big battle at the end was done as characters just standing on the stage, representing that they were in a ship. Honestly, it’s probably the best that could be done as a play.

One thing that got to me—and this isn’t an actual issue with the book—was some of the iconic Star Wars lines had to be replaced by something that sounded Shakespearean. The Han Solo scene on the Death Star on the detention block with the com speaker was just…not as good for me. It’s really nothing wrong with the book itself. That’s just me being crazy about certain Star Wars things. It can’t be helped.

I loved that the story was separated into a traditional five act play and split up into scenes. The story was divided perfectly to demonstrate the rising action and climax. It’s actually interesting how well A New Hope fit as a Shakespearean play. It felt natural. It didn’t feel forced at all.

Overall, this was an excellent addition to my collection of Star Wars literature. It obviously caters to a very small niche of people, so it is definitely not for everyone. Regardless, I really enjoyed it, and I think that any literary/Star Wars geek will love it.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 24 Jan, 2016 At 05:15 PM | Categorized As International News, News, NINTENDO, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarAmazon UK  is listing The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 for Wii U with  Nordic Games as publisher. For those who are unaware, The Book of Unwritten Tales is a point and click adventure series set in a fantasy world. The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 came out in 2015 for PC and later came to consoles. The game has also been rated by the ESRB for Wii U so it seems to be true. The game is also very long for point and click adventure games, coming in around 20-25 hours with a lot of replay-ability. Nordic Games has been very supportive of Wii U including repeatedly putting the THQ games on sale, bringing Legend of Kay to the system and now this.

 

For those who want an idea of what the game is like, please see this video.

 

By SarahTheRebel On 12 Sep, 2012 At 12:06 AM | Categorized As Conventions, Previews | With 0 Comments
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Along with the Neverwinter preview, I also snuck in the opportunity to check out the F2P MMORPG RaiderZ with Mark Hill, Senior Producer of the game.

Hill demonstrated a few of the key characteristics of the game, then handed it over to me to stumble around in. I do have to agree with a fellow journalist in the meeting: this game is a wee bit complicated.

On the other hand, not everyone is a wuss afraid of a little hard-earned fun. Although an entry-level gamer like me might struggle around for a bit, I think that most people familiar with the general setup of a MMORPG won’t have too much trouble.

Plot

The kingdom of Rendel has fallen and vicious beasts, awakened by the contamination of the Prime Stone, roam the lands with an insatiable thirst for blood and a desire to claim Rendel as their own. A team of champions with weapons and armor forged from the contaminated beasts has risen to slay the marauding monsters.

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Gameplay

Fans of Dragon’s Dogma and Monster Hunter should also be excited: you can both hack away at giant beasts AND turn into monsters, gaining different skills and abilities in your other forms.

You can team up with as many as 15 other adventurers at a time. As they say in RaiderZ (and on my frikkin awesome Tee they gave me): Hunt together, or die alone.

(Side note: my first thought when watching this trailer was “OOOH! I wanna fight that monster!”)

Oh, and my favorite: when you beat up a monster, it may drop things like its horns or claws. These items can then be used to create weapons. How great would it be to slay something with it’s own horn that you hacked off and ran away with three days ago? This is awesome.

RaiderZ Monster

Other awesome things include the ability to play guitar, roast a pig, and serve a feast. Dude. You can then use the guitar or plates of food as weapons or consume the food for stats.

An interesting aspect of the character setup is the lack of set classes. You can really pick and choose among the weapons and skills and build out your skill tree the way you want it once you reach level 10. For example, you can choose to be a tank-healer.

Hill stated that his personal goal with this game was to completely change how people view F2P games.

RaiderZ City

“THIS is what you can get from a free game?” he said, enthusiastically showing off the crisp graphics. This game has both quantity and quality, which is pretty exciting based on my short time with it.

Lady Gamers 

As I snagged a wonderfully covered female character, I asked about their views on female players and the design of their female characters. Hill mentioned that a good perccentage of their target players are female.

“We try not to overtly sexualize ANY of the characters,” he said, pointing out that the male characters are given the same treatment. They aim to make the goal accessible to everyone and to not objectify anyone.

RaiderZ Female

“No girls have complained, which has been cool,” Hill said.

I must say I was immediately impressed and actually noticed right away, so kudos to MAIET for being Nerdy without being too Flirty!

Overall I think this is a game many MMORPG fans will be interested in, and one of my authors has already signed up for the Beta waiting list, so hopefully I will have a more in-depth review of that soon!

First appeared on NerdyButFlirty.com

By SarahTheRebel On 12 Dec, 2011 At 06:12 PM | Categorized As Company Spotlight, News, News, PlayStation, Videos, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarThe sequel to Square’s latest addition to the Final Fantasy series gets a new trailer as Square celebrates it’s release in Japan. Out here in the west, we still have a little bit longer to wait before we get our hands on Final Fantasy XIII-2, which will be released in the US on January 31, 2012. For now, take a look at the new trailer that takes us on a tour of the updated battle system, as well as the new ability to collect and train monsters at will. With a bigger sense of scale and open freedom, Square is looking to up the ante with Final Fantasy XIII-2. Check out the trailer below.