Google Pixel 3 vs Iphone XR Camera

I just ordered a Google Pixel 3 a few days ago because it was $150 off on google’s store – sale ends today by the way. After ordering the phone, to kill time I was watching videos of the phone… I am mainly excited about the Pixel 3 camera. I am still using an Iphone 6S… I’ve had since it came out… so almost any new phone camera would put mine to shame. The last android phone I have used was Samsung Note 1 so I’ve been “Team Iphone” for a long time. But Pixel 3’s camera just looked so good. How good is it really?

I took a blind test and played along with this video:

https://youtu.be/Kadb9iHYJ60

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kadb9iHYJ60%5B/embedyt%5D

I watched this and paused it and studied each photo and came to the following conclusions which I wrote AS I was watching it – At the end he will tell you which camera belongs to which phone… I won’t spoil it – you can watch it yourself.

Here are my comments…

1 B
2 B
3 A’s color is better but I do like how B’s subject “pops” out of the background
4 – same comments as 3
5 – B
6 – about equal. A looks a little washed out, B looks a little dark
7 – B all the way, although it looks kinda warm colored. A is probably more natural color, but seems blurry and less detailed
8 – B all the way, no contest. A is blurry and pixelated/noisy. B is much more detailed and “cleaner”
9 – B is much more sharp and crisp, but A is probably more flattering for the portrait, But prefer B because it pops
10 – B is much more detailed and crisp. A looks washed out and blurry but sometimes thats nice for portraits
11 – B – but this one is pretty equal
12 – A captures more “area” you can see other houses and cars. And the things in the foreground pop more, but B has more midrange “clarity”
13 – B all the way, A looks super washed out
14 – B all the way, it really pops out. (Since dolls are my main photography subject this would be the camera I’d want the most)
15 – A shows more background detail, but B is nice for Bokeh, and the subject seems more clear in B

My totals:

B = 10
A = 0
Tie = 5

Did I make a good purchase? – Watch this video to find out for yourself.

Google Pixel 3 vs Iphone XR Camera was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

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Curious Expedition – Indie PC Game Review

Title: Curious Expedition

Genre: Adventure Game, Rogue Like

Developer: Maschinen-Mensch

Platform: PC, playable over Steam and also right in your web browser, stand-alone DRM free client coming soon

Release Date: May 19th, 2015

Retail Price: $14.99

Where to Buy: Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/358130/The_Curious_Expedition/ or Direct from the official website at http://curious-expedition.com/

Overall: 58 / 80 73% C “Good Game for Girls”

Overview: 8/10 Curious Expedition is a rogue-like adventure game with retro style pixel graphics. It puts you in the role of one of several famous explorers from history and lets you compete for fame and fortune. If you become the most famous explorer, you win, and are honored with a large statue in your likeness.

That is, if you can survive long enough to even return home from your expedition. The game uses some interesting mechanics such as a sanity meter, which when it gets low, bad things begin to happen. Mutiny breaks out among your crew, or random disasters begin to befall the group.

You can restore sanity by eating, drinking, or sleeping. There are also certain units you can recruit, or perks you can receive that increase your max sanity, making it a bit easier to explore without going insane.

There are other resources for you to manage as well, such as fresh water, ammo, first aid kits, torches to explore dungeons, ropes and climbing kits, and numerous other tools to help you discover treasure.

While out exploring you will sometimes enter into battle using various dice (amount of dice and colors of dice are determined by which party members you have with you at the time.)

You can always select from 2 different expedition routes, and are presented with a randomly generated objective to complete while on expedition. You can choose to return home after completing your objective, or continue to search for treasure to bring back.

Your movement speed is greatly reduced when your inventory is over burdened. This will make it even more challenging to manage your sanity and other resources. Terrain obstacles such as sand, snow, ice, mountains, and forests will also slow down your expedition and require careful resource management.

Perhaps the most unforgiving element is if you die, you get one chance to load your auto save, and then that’s it, you’ll have to start a new game. And you will die often. 6 expeditions may not sound like much, but I have yet to make it past the 5th.

The overall experience of the game left me both addicted, and annoyed. I have yet to successfully complete a full series of expeditions. But yet, I played all night, and can’t wait to get home to go on new expeditions.

Pros: Strangely addicting Gameplay paired with retro pixel graphics. D&D style dice-rolls and turn based combat system. Fairly large maps (I typically have to return home without fully exploring the maps). Rogue like elements make it great for multiple replays (but admittedly need some tweaks).

Cons: Normal mode is very challenging… like seriously challenging (There is an easy mode (which I have not tried) and an even more difficult mode as well though so this is not really a bad thing). My chief complaint of Curious Expedition is that there’s not enough choices in places to explore. Maps all feel very same-ish. Scenarios seem to repeat, and even when you get a new scenario, there’s nothing terribly unique about the quest to make it memorable or exciting. Need more maps, more variety in quests, more variety in classes, npcs, treasure, random events, etc. My other chief complaint is there’s no multiplayer mode. This seems like a great game for some multiplayer fun as it does show you how much fame/fortune your competitors are earning. It could even make a great persistent online game with credit going to players for being the first to discover new regions, items, animals, native people, etc. So much potential here for interesting multiplayer options, but instead, your competitors are always controlled by the computer. And lastly, my last complaint is that there’s no Steam Achievements. A game like this would be PERFECT for steam achievements. There are steam trading cards, but no achievements which seems once again like a missed opportunity to add some fun gameplay elements.

Geeky: 5/5 – The retro vibe and random rogue like elements, as well as references from D&D and other old school games make this a blast for all geeks who grew up with fond memories of the 80s/90s.

Sweetie: 3/5 – Although it is very text heavy, a lot of the text repeats and is not very interesting on subsequent playthroughs. However, there are some notable female playable characters that represent real women throughout history, which is just awesome. This game highlights women who did extraordinary things and emphasizes their brains over beauty, making this a great game for young girls.

Gameplay: 7/10 – When the game begins, you select which explorer you want to play as. Some will be locked and can be unlocked through game play to be used on subsequent playthroughs. You will be given a few supplies and some animal and human companions.

You’ll then be shown a map of the world. It will have many expedition points, but only ever 2 at a time will be selectable as your competition will be exploring the other parts of the world. Select one of the two routes and you’ll be offered a quest. You can either accept or reject the quest. I assume if you reject it, you can just freely explore the expedition area without a quest in mind. Or maybe you’re presented other quest options before embarking on your voyage. I’m not really sure.

If you can successfully complete a quest objective you’ll get a large bonus to fame and/or fortune. But if you fail the quest after choosing to accept it, you’ll lose a great deal of fame or fortune as well.

Before leaving the docks, you’re given time to buy supplies, and sometimes you will find new crew members who wish to join your expedition. You can only take 5 members at any time, so if you find new members you wish to recruit, you will have to part ways with someone else first.

While out exploring you are shown a map with perhaps a few areas uncovered, but largely, hidden from your view. You click around the map to move and explore. Points of interest or interaction are designated by a white question mark symbol. As you approach, they will reveal themselves to be one of several different locale such as:

Native Villages: Here you can recruit members for your expedition, buy, sell, trade, rest to restore sanity, compile research, complete various quest objectives, and more. Your likelihood of success depends on the villagers feelings towards you. These are determined by how long you’ve stayed in the village, as well as decisions you make to story prompts both inside and outside of the village, as well as certain class roles of your crew, and any special status conditions possessed by your crew, and lastly, the amount of trading you’ve done with the village thus far.

Caves: If you have a torch, or a class member with “perception” skills (blue dice roll with white eye symbol), you can usually safely explore the caves. If you choose to loot treasure, you may anger the gods, villagers, or spring a trap, but it’s almost always worth the risk, as you can trade the treasure in for fame or fortune after you return home.

Stone Circles: You can use these monuments to reveal more of the map.

Temples and Pyramids: Similar to caves, mostly used as a place to loot treasure which usually has some negative consequences as mentioned above, but still is imperative in raising your fame and fortune which is how you ultimately win the game.

There are different types of maps / expedition areas such as:

Icelands, Jungles, Drylands, Deserts, Mountains, etc. I find the Jungles to be the easiest to traverse. Icelands can be conquered with Snowshoes and sled tickets. Drylands and Deserts requires you to carry more water.

While exploring your food and water rations deplete, and also your sanity begins to dwindle (rapidly). You must eat or sleep or drink to restore these meters. If you ignore them, you will suffer a lot of negative random scenarios, such as killing your crew, sometimes you’ll eat them though which will restore your sanity at least lol.

Encounters with various “monsters” (typically wild animals), happen when you enter an area designated by a red border, you can also see a circle icon representation of the beast in question as he also moves around the map. Should you draw attention, he will likely chase you, and be faster than you. Sometimes it’s better to face your opponents head on. If they sneak up on you, they get a free combat round before you can react.

Combat takes place using various dice rolls. Different items in your inventory, and different class roles of your party members, determines which dice you have available.

Each “turn” consists of 3 “rounds”. Each “round” allows you to either keep or re-roll dice. If you have a combination of dice that result in a combo move, they will shake on your screen. Mousing over a shaking die will show the other dice needed to activate the combo – they will shake too. If multiple combos or other dice had been shaking, their shaking will stop when you’re moused over a die from a combo they don’t belong to.

You can activate your combos each round.

For example, your first roll could reveal that you have 3 dice that activate a combo. You can click on those dice to “hold them” once all three have been held a dialog box will appear – click the box to activate the combo, then select reroll. Your next roll may have another 3 dice that activate a different combo, you can again play this combo in the same way, and roll again for your final round. Each time you hold dice, or activate a combo, however, will remove those used dice from your available dice pool, making it less likely to get good combo rolls as the rounds go on.

If you survive, you may be given items, or fame and fortune. If you should die, you will be taken back to the main menu where you can reload your game. Should you die again, when returning to the main menu you will notice there is no longer an option to continue and you must start a new game.

Also as you explore and fight your way to glory, you will be able to promote your party members to make them stronger. There are also numerous random events that may impact your party members’ skills, stats, and abilities.

Return home with your treasure. You can choose to donate to the museum for fame, sell for fortune, or hold onto various items. When you return home you’ll also be presented with any applicable quest rewards and allowed to select one “perk” from a handful of randomly generated ones. Some of these perks are really neat and significantly alter your gameplay, such as allowing you to do culture studies on native tribes, giving you additional dice rolls, permanent boost to max sanity, increased viewable map areas, or more benefits. After choosing your perks and preparing again for your next adventure you’ll again have an option of 2 expedition areas to explore and be shown a random quest.

Survive all six expeditions and have the highest fame to win the game.

Story: 5/10 – You write your own story. This game plays much like Oregon Trail, Horizons New Dawn, or Banner Saga, so if you’ve played any of those, you have an idea of what to expect here. Unlike Banner Saga, however, Curious Expedition is not very well written, nor engaging, simply because it is almost too random, and at the same time not random enough, so that when you hit subsequent playthroughs, it becomes a bit repetitive. I know the game is only just now at patch 1 point something, but after being out for 2 years now, that’s rather concerning too that there hasn’t been more big content updates. It needs more scenarios and random events, but even that can’t save the story because of the nature of the brief random encounters and quest. Lacking a central story, does not detract from how fun and enjoyable this game is, but for those looking for a solid story and great characters, look elsewhere.

Characters: 8/10 – There are a lot of randomly generated characters including various races, classes, genders, likes, dislikes, stat bonuses, ailments, and little quirks, that really make your party more interesting. There are a few, but not many, scenes that may endear some of these characters to you, but most of the time, they are of little consequence from a story standpoint. As mentioned earlier in the review, I am quite pleased to see the inclusion of many female and minority historical figures as playable characters. Curious Expedition is a great game with great rolemodels and unique characters inspired from historical events.

Graphics: 7/10: Pixel graphics are hot right now. I understand they’re not to everyone’s taste, but as an older gamer myself, I enjoy retro feeling games such as this. I did deduct a few points in this area though simply because of the “sameness” of all of the maps / areas / npcs / etc.

Sound: 6/10: The soundtrack is also extremely retro which gives it a fun 80s feeling with lots of nostalgia. But ultimately, the soundtrack is just not too memorable overall.

Replay Value: 9/10: Although it desperately needs some more variations, more options, and more items, npcs, places, and skills, the game does indeed present a fun randomly generated gameplay element that makes each playthrough unique. The challenge of the game also dictates the need for subsequent playthroughs.

Overall: 58 / 80 73% C “Good Game for Girls”

Other Games You May Like Include Horizons New Dawn on SNES and Oregon Trail Classic or Banner Saga on the PC.

Curious Expedition – Indie PC Game Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Pixel x Pixel Games Announces Guardian of The Rose Action RPG With Branching Plot and Multiple Endings Based On Your Choices

If there’s one thing that I love in a game, it’s a branching plot and multiple endings, as you’ll see from many of the games reviewed or news given here on this website. So I was really excited when Pixel x Pixel Games emailed me yesterday to promote their new Action-RPG.

This game looks really great for retro game lovers. It was clearly made with a lot of love and fond memories of someone growing up in the 90s playing all of the classic games.

I’ll just include the message I received from Pixel x Pixel Games below because it pretty much highlights all of the features that I would want to highlight about this game. I’ve bolded the bits that I thought were the most exciting. Check out what Pixel x Pixel Games has to say about Guardian of the Rose below.

Guardians of the Rose is a story of high adventure, taken on by a small group of companions, that are seeking to overthrow the Great Witches that have assumed control of the kingdom. You are a newly christened member of the Royal Guard, the magic-keepers of the king. With the Royal Guard now tainted by witchcraft you have no choice but to take it upon yourself to form a new Guard that will overthrow the witchcraft that has enslaved the kingdom. Encounters with river spirits, groundlings, giants, and dragons alike are some of the adventures that will befall you.

Open-Ended Adventuring – The world is laid out specifically so that you can choose to explore in any direction you want. You can choose to progress the storyline at your own pace while immersing yourself inside the lore and sidequests of the kingdom. These sidequests are not your typical “save my chicken” type quests but instead are designed to make the player feel like he is making a significant difference in the lands around him.

High Fantasy pitting Magic vs Witchcraft – Magic was taught to the people by a legendary hero that saved the world from the Great Witches long ago. Ever since, witchcraft has been outlawed and users of the craft have been hunted mercilessly by the Royal Guard. Now that witchcraft has risen to power again, you are tasked with saving the Kingdom but you have no magical ability like the great heroes of times before.

Compelling Story – Guardians of the Rose was heavily inspired by the classic tales of Homer, Viking Sagas, and high fantasy novels like Lord of the Rings and Winds of Fate. Not only is the main storyline compelling but there is a focus on enveloping the entire game in epic world lore.

Choose your own way to play – The player must choose what path to take, good or evil. The only goal of the game is to restore peace to the land. How it is done is up to the player. You can choose to incite revolution from the stealth of the shadows or you can wage all out war. With a completely customizable stats and skills system there is very little the player does not have control over.

Multiple Endings – Depending on how you play the game, which path you take in your exploration of the lands, and who you decide to party with, the game’s story and ending can change fairly drastically.

Guardians of the Rose is a story-driven 2D action adventure RPG. It controls like a modernized, fast-paced version of old-school Zelda and Gauntlet games with the RPG elements of the Elder Scrolls Series.

Along with the inspiration from classic books and stories the games style was inspired by old school Arcade games that I would play as a kid at Pizza Hut and the local bowling Alley.

Check out the press release provided by Pixel x Pixel Games below:

Press Kit

 

DESCRIPTION

Guardians of the Rose is a story-driven 2D action adventure RPG.

  • Controls like a modernizedfast-paced version of old-school Zelda and Gauntlet games with the RPG elements of the Elder Scrolls Series.
  • Inspired by the Classics of the 8-bit and 16-bit Generations
  • Pixel Art Graphics and Chiptune Sounds
  • Hidden Secrets around every corner
  • Compelling, charming characters
  • Open World Exploration
  • Epic Boss Fights
  • Long lost magical Artifacts
  • Choose how you complete the story: wage all out war, incite a revolution, or something in-between
  • Alternate Endings based on how you play the game

STORY

The illegal art of Witchcraft has tainted the Royal Guard and brought ruin upon the kingdom.  A small group of the Royal Guard has slaughtered the King’s family and taken control of the kingdom.  It is now up to you and a small group of members of the Royal Guard that calls themselves the Guardians of the Rose to save the kingdom.  Your small band of allies has to work together in secret to cause a revolution in the kingdom.  One slip up and you will be on the run from the Royal Guard and wanted by relentless bounty hunters.

And you, a boy with no magical ability, are left with the task to save the kingdom.  Will you choose to taint yourself with witchcraft or will you choose to search out legendary magical items to use in your struggle to save the kingdom?  Explore the Unfellable Forest while avoiding being trampled by Sand Giants and Unfellable Beasts.  Fight off sea serpents and other creatures of the deep that are terrorizing sea port towns.  Venture into the snow-ridden Mountain Lands and discover hidden temples in the wild forests.

(see kickstarter lore for more information on Guardians of the Rose’s Story)

HISTORY OF PIXEL X PIXEL GAMES

My uncle taught me how to play Mario and Duck Hunt on the NES when I was 1 or 2 years old.  Shortly after, he gave me his NES when he was shipped off to Desert Storm.  I’ve wanted to make video games ever since.  I’ve been drawing and selling my art to strangers and my mom’s coworkers since I was 3 years old.

I was a graphic designer/web developer before becoming a stay-at-home dad in 2012 when my son was born.  In late 2012 I published my first flash game to Mochimedia.  After working on a couple more games in ActionScript I realized that I had arrived to the Flash party after everyone else had already left.  I then continued practicing making games on Unity with C# for a couple of years and now have been developing Guardians of the Rose inside of Game Maker Studio using their in-born coding language GML.

SCREENSHOTS

Download all the screenshots, gifs and the trailer as a .zip file:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/f917k4jjiikfacu/Press%20Kit%20Media.zip?dl=0
http://www.mediafire.com/download/633b7ahv3hz998o/Press_Kit_Media.zip
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4W6ptGYrY37VGllRmJqbFI0VGs

Pixel x Pixel Games Announces Guardian of The Rose Action RPG With Branching Plot and Multiple Endings Based On Your Choices was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

Tree of Savior Closed Beta First Impressions Archer vs Wizard Levels 1 through 20

Last weekend I was lucky enough to get into Tree of Savior Closed Beta, thanks to a very nice giveaway at treeofsaviorgame.com – Thank you guys so much for the beta key. I will upload some videos soon <3. Although Closed Beta Phase 2 is ending in just a few days, my time with it has been short but enjoyable.

Overall here are a few first impressions of the game itself, then I’ll give some feedback about the early levels of two of the classes that I played.

The game is rather lonely in the early levels – I don’t know if this is because it’s possible to solo then, or because I got into the beta so late and everyone has already formed their little groups. I only had one person “talk” to me, if you could even call it that. I didn’t respond, because I felt it was rude/annoying. He simply typed “Lady” “Lady” “Lady” about 3 or 4 times, each on a different line, within a few seconds of eachother. I don’t know if he wanted to chat, or wanted to tell me to stop attacking “his” mobs. I didn’t even see him on my screen until I took a few steps further, and he came into my view, It wasn’t like I was trying to steal his monsters specifically. I stopped attacking and moved on a little further down the map.

The game is beautiful. If you love retro games, pixel/sprite art, kawaii monsters, and anime styled portraits, this game delivers. I am a former Ragnarok Online player. I played all through Beta, and even continued when it went pay to play until FFXI came out, and then I switched to that game instead. Tree of Savior is highly regarded as a “true” sequel to Ragnarok Online, because fans were so disappointed by RO2. The similarities in art style and creature design are definitely there.

The text is too damn small!!! “RAGEFACE” :( — I literally can not read anything. And there’s no way to adjust it in game!! I’m just playing on a laptop computer 15.6″ monitor set at 1366 X 768 resolution. Playing in fullscreen mode. So I don’t think it’s my resolution or display settings as my laptop is old and there’s many people playing at even higher resolutions. — This is my main complaint with the game.

The server is laggy, at least in the main city. It’s not like unplayable, but I did get disconnected twice, to what I assume was lag, and there is noticeable delay/freezing when navigating in the main city.

Tree of Savior is split up into different channels within different servers, this takes away some of the “massive” out of the MMORPG – It feels empty. I rarely run into other players outside of the main city.

Monsters tend to ignore you unless you attack them in the early levels. This is strange to me, and even if there’s like 30 monsters on a map, and you’re attacking some of the ones nearby, the others will just wiggle around on your screen ignoring you while you slay their friends.

Character customization in the early stages is a bit limited. You can choose hair style, but you cannot choose hair color. Hair colors are unlocked later in the game (through crafting and questing I believe). Once you’ve unlocked a hair color, you can select it at any time. also their faces are not detailed at all, nope. lol. We’re talking like 16 bit Super Nintendo style sprites here. Cute, but when compared to games like Aion, or even Mabinogi, or even the original RO, this game disappoints in character customization. NOTE: there are tons of cute items to equip on your character, which do show up in game, so that’s a plus.

All of the starting zones look relatively the same as one another. (keep in mind, I’m only level 20 and the game goes to level 600+). (and yep that’s not a typo). (not sixty, but six hundred.) Which is cool because, I don’t like end game; the journey is more fun than the destination. And with 600+ levels, I’ll be kept busy for a long time! That’s insane.

Quests and storyline, or lack there of, are not terribly interesting in the early levels. This is true of most MMORPGs though, with only a few exceptions (FFXI and SWOR both come to mind as having a great story).

The game has some unique features that I’ve never seen in other MMORPG, most notably, the Adventurer’s Journal and Ranking System; where you earn not just achievements, but get ranked against other players based on how much you’ve seen / done / explored / killed / quested / etc. It’s different from just a pvp ranking or gear score, etc. It’s an all encompassing record of everything you’ve done in the game. This makes it rewarding to get out there and explore. I love that. It adds a little competitive edge, beyond just rewarding titles, gear, achievements, etc (which it also does reward all those things too). But now you have a way to see how you measure up to everyone else. And if you do make it to the top, everyone else can see how awesome you are.

The music in Tree of Savior is cute and mostly calming/melodic. It’s catchy and fits the kawaii theme of the game perfectly.

With my initial thoughts out of the way… Here’s some experiences I’ve had as a lowly archer and lowly wizard. Once again I’m only level 20ish and If there is a cap, (there may not even be a level cap) the rumor is that it’s level 600+. Therefore my experiences are only “first impression” and in no way am I authoritative as to which class is better etc. I’ve only played up to 3% of each of these class’ full potential so far.

The first character I made was an Archer because pets are cute / awesome, which you don’t get until later. I still don’t have one :(. But Archer itself is pretty fun. Now there’s a lot of discussion with people saying Archer is the lowest DPS and has no AOE attacks. (see for example this post here) (of course there are people that are coming to counter argue the points made too. It’s a pretty good discussion actually.)

I am of the belief that Archer has a lot of benefits over Wizard which was the second character I rolled. The main plus is fast attack. My wizard gets hit and her casting interrupted all the fricken time. I have never died as my archer, but my poor wizard died 3 times going from level 1 to 20. With my archer, I have greater attack range. I can attack while moving (albeit slowly) and I have swift step which lets me race all around the map “kiting” the mobs so they keep the heck away from me lol. With my wizard, she gets surrounded, she can’t run while she’s casting, and my god, her casting time sucks.

The wizard’s cool downs are better though. (I’m not in front of my game right now so forgive me for forgetting skill names) The first fire ball type attack that you learn, you can cast it 3 times before it goes on “cool down” where you must wait to cast it again (VS the Archer’s skills going on cool down each time they’re pressed 1 time). Wizards do have a shield to reflect some of the damage when you get hit (I still died though lol.) and Wizards can sleep and CC mobs left and right.

With Archer, your choices aren’t as many, and you are going to be auto-attacking a lot (due to the cool down of your skills and/or lack of SP). You do have some nice skills though they are VERY SP (spell point) intensive. I burn through mana pots more on my Archer than my wizard. Something is just f–ked up about that! That doesn’t make sense LOL. Alternatively though, I have to spam health pots on my wizard, and my archer almost never gets hit by anything since I kite the mobs around as I attack them.

For me, and my play style, Archer was a lot more fun, and a lot less aggravating than wizard. Wizard is more powerful. Even with me dying three times, I got to level 20 in about half the time that Archer took me. This could be in part since it was my second play through and I was more accustomed to the quest line / chain of progression / controls / game mechanics, etc.

But Wizard felt more annoying. I did not like dying so often. I know wizards are glass cannons in all MMORPG – they would be WAY too over powered if they were anything else! — But just for me, personally, I rather trade the “dps” for some more “durability” and the kiting play style is more “fun” to me than just sitting there spamming my skills, sleeping mobs to keep them away, and hoping to kill them before they reach me (which clearly doesn’t always go in my favor lol).

I just did the advancement quest on my wizard lastnight to go to Pyromancer. I plan to take my Archer on her advancement class quest later tonight. If I’m lucky enough to get to level 40 or 50 before this phase of the closed beta testing ends, I will write up another review. I also really want to check out barbarian who is supposedly really “overpowered” right now, and cleric to a lesser degree (I’ve never really enjoyed healer classes.).

But for me, right now, based on my, all be it VERY limited experiences with both classes, I prefer playing Archer. My view point could change later in the game, but for now, I consider my Archer my “main” and I am enjoying it.

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Tree of Savior Closed Beta First Impressions Archer vs Wizard Levels 1 through 20 was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

Rogue State Indie PC Game Review

In the interest of transparency and full disclosure, I received this game for free along with another game, “Dungeon Souls”, in order to do a review (of Dungeon Souls) which I still need to do (Dungeon Souls is pretty difficult, I’d like to not be a complete newb when I record a video for it. – Look for some gameplay footage of Dungeon Souls next weekend along with a write up of the game.) I was not asked to review Rogue State, but I spent much of today and lastnight playing it, and I really enjoy the game, so I thought I’d tell my readers about it since it seems like the type of game they would enjoy too :) All opinions expressed within this review are my own.

Title: Rogue State

Publisher: Little Red Dog Games

Genre: Political Simulation

Platform: PC

Where to Buy: Steam

Geeky

Sweetie

Overall: 63/80 79% C+ “Good Game for Girls”

Concept 10/10: You have been put in charge of leading a newly independent nation. You must balance the interests of different party members, your cabinet, foreign and internal government officials, and the general population. Unfortunately, your brother seeks to undermine your success and take power for himself; however he is too popular with the people to be denied a position in your government. You must decide which sacrifices to make in order to minimize the damage that your brother creates.

Gameplay 10/10: Time passes as you build infrastructure, train your troops, create new policies, or call upon your neighbors and allies. You can raise taxes to get income but this will lower the support of your people. You can use a series of sliders to adjust your stance on many different policies trying to strike a balance between preserving your culture and heritage, but also progressing and building a profitable and sustainable future for your nation.

One of the interesting things is that your cabinet members, allies and neighbors are all randomly generated; so sometimes you’ll have a wide mix of conflicting political beliefs, and other times you’ll find less diversity.

As you make new policies, new opportunities for bigger and better policies will unfold. You can also visit the situation room and work on improving your military, invade your bordering nations, or undergo massive research projects which require a lot of capital and time but produce big benefits and earn you more support if successful.

Almost always at some point, your brother will try to overthrow you; depending on how happy the different political factions are, and also depending on how much you’ve researched and advanced, you will be able to successfully defend his onslaught.

Other things like the recession of the economy of the united states, or various natural disasters, or environmental conditions may also occur at random which will greatly impact your reign and your treasury.

At the end of each turn you’ll face a political or moral dilemma which will force you to make a decision which will shift your support and political alignment.

If you can survive 5 years in office, you will get to choose whether to give up your political office to allow the country to elect their own leader, or cling to that power indefinitely for yourself.

At the end of each term in office you must give a speech where you’re presented different dialog options to choose from. You must put together a cohesive speech using strong sentiments that tie into the overall message you want to send. You should align this message with your gameplan for the next term. If you want to focus on bolstering your military for example, give a speech to increase patriotism. Or if you want to focus on helping the poor; give a speech about healthcare reform and education; or if you want to increase profits, give a speech targeted towards capitalism and deregulation.

You need to keep everyone happy while also keeping your treasury profitable. Several military, policy, and research options will require an ongoing upkeep fee which will be deducted at the beginning of each new turn.

You can import and export goods across your borders too to help maximize your profits. Think carefully, you can only sell exports to one country at a time, and you will be locked into a contract for several turns after agreeing to trade to them. The price they are willing to pay depends both on the demand for the item as well as your political relations with the nation in which you wish to trade.

Story 5/10: There’s honestly, not much story, beyond that which I explained in the concept of running a newly independent country and the challenges that entails which will crop up randomly and change each play through.

Graphics 8/10: The graphics, and the user interface, have a very retro feeling to them. There is a bar across the top of the screen which can be accessed via hotkey or mouse press which is where most of the gameplay is carried out. You can also mouse over parts of the screen and if white text pops up it means that you can interact with that object. Your character will walk, sit, stand, and interact with things as you command them to. You can also choose between a male or female ruler; and the government seal is a basenji dog which is pretty cute. Some of the menus are confusing, such as I didn’t realize on my first playthrough how to activate political favors by clicking on parliament and then clicking on the cabinet member you’ve earned favors with, and then clicking on the square which indicates said favor. I think if they would’ve had a tab that listed “available favors” or something it would have been less ambiguous.

Music: 6/10 Ethnic retro chiptune style music, with a bit of comedic value, thanks to recent pop culture references such as Borat. The opening theme to this game reminded me of the national anthem in Borat.

Voice Acting: 8/10 The game is fully voiced and the ethnic accents help create immersion. The only flaw is most of the lines are word for word the same regardless of the different actors used. The delivery changes somewhat, but the dialog itself does not.

Replay Value: 10/10 The replay value is really high thanks to all the random events, and randomly generated characters thrown into the game. As your game comes to an end, for better, or for worse, you are awarded a score and based on that score, you will earn XP which can be used to unlock new campaigns, gameplay modes, or traits that can give you an advantage for your next playthrough, open new dialog options, or more. Each playthrough is fairly short, lasting 60 turns or less which makes it possible to play multiple times in a relatively short time.

Overall: 63/80 79% C+ “Good Game for Girls”

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Rogue State Indie PC Game Review was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

Sometimes Always Monsters Preview Sequel to Always Sometimes Monsters

While trying to promote my recent review of Always Sometimes Monsters over here I came across exciting news on destructoid that a direct sequel is in the works titled Sometimes Always Monsters. As a little aside, that title drives me crazy. I always forget if the first game is titled Sometimes Always Monsters or Always Sometimes Monsters. The only way I can keep it straight now is by reminding myself that A is the “first” letter in the alphabet “Always” and S is the first letter of “Second” or “Sequel”.

Anyways, it aims to preserve the continuity of the first game and be a “direct” sequel. You can import your saved data from Always Sometimes Monsters and your decisions, ending, etc all carry over to the new game.

The main gist of the story appears to follow the “good end” of the first game, in which you win back your love and publish a novel about your crazy journey. You’re now a successful author and you’re going on a book tour to meet your fans. As you travel from city to city, lots of things happen. Some people are jealous of your success, while others adore you and invite you into their lives. Along the way there’s many moral dilemmas and they claim only you can choose the right path. (though in their first game there were some choices which were clearly better choices and imperative to getting certain endings). Like the first game, it will deal with controversial real world issues and ask the player to make some very difficult decisions. The game’s art style seems very reminiscent of the first title as well. From the trailer below, the gameplay seems similar to the first game as well in a sort of “combatless rpg” or “visual novel” in which you can explore the world around you, but won’t find yourself in combat or leveling up or collecting loot. Instead, it aims to be an artistic story and put you on an emotional rollercoaster with very “real” feeling characters and their very “real” feeling problems.

You can pre-order the game already, but they warn there’s still no estimated release date and that it might be a long wait. It is a little pricier than the previous game, going for $15 on Vagabond Dog’s website here: http://www.vagabonddog.com/store/sam

Also, Vagabond Dog is asking you to email them your save files from the first game, and they say that as they work on the sequel they will analyze and incorporate many player’s decisions into the sequel and also exhibit player data at PAX and other game conventions. You can submit your saved game file right here: http://www.vagabonddog.com/blog/continuity

I am floored and excited by the announcement of a sequel. I loved the first game. If you’ve never played it, check out my review for Always Sometimes Monsters

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Sometimes Always Monsters Preview Sequel to Always Sometimes Monsters was originally published on Geeky Sweetie