This is where you can read any of my irregular wafflings about computer gaming. The whole point of this blog is to help motivate me to properly finish games, whether they be recent ones or older ones I played when I was younger that I never managed to beat.
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17th January 2017 - The Aptly Named
I've never really been into console gaming, especially these last few years, but about a year ago I saw The Last Of Us for PS3 really cheap on ebay so went for it. I figured it would be worth a play through, as it has garnered huge amounts of praise amongst the gaming community. As I only really bought it because it is considered a "must play", and the PS3 is really old now, it's quite likely it is the last PS3 game I will ever buy. It seemed right, considering its name.
It's rare I get into games when first picking them up, and this was no different. I quickly started to stuggle with all the stealth sections, which I've never been a fan of in any game, and only played it for a couple of hours before something else got my attention. It took until a couple of weeks ago for me to remember I needed to finish it.
Though I continued to hate all the sneaking around, I still can't aim for shit using a contoller, and there were a host of little things wrong with it, overall it was a really good experience and I'm glad I played it.
The game is set 20 years after a global outbreak of a fungal infection which turned most people into mindless zombie-like creatures. With the world now in a state of total shit, you play as Joel, a man tasked with the job of escorting a young girl named Ellie across the country, to hopefully find a lab to create a vaccine from her incredible immunity to the infection. Along the way you have to fight through a horde of infected citizens, as well as deal with other people who will either help or hinder. Usually hinder.
Though the story was fairly formulaic, it was the characters that made this enjoyable. It was interesting that even the main characters were not really "good" guys. Cool and badass they may be, but these people were pretty much assholes, even Ellie. I guess that's what would happen after the apocalypse.
As stated, I had a lot of problems with the game. Firstly, the initial load time was insanely long. Not really an issue once you were in it, but still.
The frame rate also tanked a bunch of times, especially when I was near water. That poor old PS3 hardware really wasn't meant for a game like this.
I found out near the end, when I tried to save scum for the first time, that manual saves do not work. The game just reloads right back to the last autosave point. So I have absolutely no idea why there's even a manual save option.
And probably my biggest bugbear was how the games mechanics, particularly the listening mechanic, would change throughout the game. Sometimes I could listen and hear enemies all around me, but other times it wouldn't let me. There seemed to be invisible sound barriers at many locations that I had to step through in order to hear anything on the other side. Annoying.
Still, mostly a decent game and well worth a play through.
Note that as I could not get screenshots from my PS3, the following images are from some Youtube videos I found.
Tangling with the infected
The main characters look ahead
Renee from 24 makes her last stand
You are not Spider-Man, Joel
Bill gets his chopper out
Ellie doesn't like Bill
Ellie graduates to badass
Joel gets a love bite
That's a lot of infected coming this way
And the creepy weirdo award goes to... this guy
Lining up the shot
Yeah, they all say that
Save the girl or save the world? What would you decide?
Continuing the trend of clearing things up from early last year, I'm now going to do something I should have done a long while ago, and report on some Blood Bowl games. Way back in May and June, after starting a new board game Blood Bowl league, I soon found myself needing some practice with the amazons and lizardmen, which were both new teams to me. I re-installed the computer game, and started a hard difficulty competition with amazons that had 4 divisions each containing 6 teams. I only played the first season, which saw me trying to gain promotion from division 4. I always intended to go back to it, but have not yet found the time or desire.
Though I couldn't remember what happened in the 5 games, luckily I found replays of them all so I could quickly wizz through them and remind myself what happened.
The first game was against elf team High Sea Surfriders. My worst fears came true when their ball carrier dodged through to score on just turn 2. The rest of the half consisted of a big ruck on the half way line, which gave me a numerical advantage for the 2nd half. I took control of the game, with Erika Zeal managing to get through on turn 12 to equalize, and Kallisto Blaze scoring in the last turn for the win.
The 2nd game was against another amazon team, the Tlanxa Javelins. This was a mess from start to finish, with both teams spending the entire match punching each other near the half way line. Twice I managed to push their ball carrier into the crowd, only for the fans to throw the ball deep into my half and put me under pressure. The game ended 0-0 with no chance to score for either team.
My third game was against the much higher rated orc team Da Severed 'Eads. This one allowed me to bring along Zara the Slayer, but I wasn't very hopeful of winning. Turned out to be maybe my luckiest game playing Blood Bowl. Zara was a boss in the early phases, knocking down their troll twice and bullying the black orcs. On turn 3, all the orcs were on my left flank looking to defend my main push, but I switched the play, with Erika handing to Kallisto, who managed to run down the right to score two turns later after wasting as much time as possible. The second half was a massive defensive performance after Zara got KOd right after the kick off. There were multiple orc failed pickup attempts. I noticed several times that they were not using their rerolls during these. Without doubt my main strokes of luck came in turns 8 and 16, as both halves ended with the orcs gaining solid possession of the ball within a turn's reach of the endzone, but I was saved by the whistle both times.
Game 4 saw me up against a Nurgle team Aukrug Eruptors. I remember these being hard to beat when I played with my orcs a few years back, and this one started much the same. One of the beastmen broke through on my right flank with support, and it took a great blitz from Xena Flame to bring him down. She then grabbed the ball, and ran all the way up the right to score on turn 8. 2nd half went my way also, with ball carrier Erika breaking through late on with support from Nikki Heat. On turn 15, one lady handed it to the other and Nikki ran in for the 2-0.
The last game was insane against the Pinkfoot Panthers halfling team. One particular halfling with the block skill called Nellby Hamson was the thorn in my side, seriously injuring Nikki in turn 2, then badly hurting Artemis Flash and Gaia Light on turns 3 & 4 respectively. The little git had me flustered, but I managed to score with Erika on turn 5. A pitch invasion followed, then an attempted throw team mate by one of their treemen ended with the death of one of the halflings. In the 2nd half I concentrated on killing Hamson, but could only badly hurt him after several turns of trying. Though I'd suffered at the beginning, the rest of the casualties went in my favour and they ended with very few players on the pitch. My 2nd TD came in turn 12 for Korina Jet, after she caught an accurate long pass from Erika. The game ended with me retiring Nikki and hiring a new Nikki.
So season 1 ended with a comfortable league win. Hopefully this little update will make me carry on that competition, as it's nice to win with amazons, which I can't seem to do in the board game.
The first half grind against the elves commences
My first amazon touchdown
A lot of angry women looking to kick the crap out of each other
Zara deals with a troll
The first half against the orcs goes better than expected
Their beast gets hit by a rock
Xena clatters their ball carrier
Hamson fractures Nikki's skull...
...but I soon get payback
2nd March 2013 - Trying To Fill My Bowl With Blood
The poor Naggaroth Nightmares faced me for the fourth time in recent history, and once again I gave them no pity. They had 700,000 gold in petty cash, and came with Horkon Heartripper and a wizard for assistance. The game started in the rain, but my guys cared not, for within two turns five of their players were already off the pitch. Black Orc Basha Brainbursta even had the chance to claim a hand off and run in to score my first Black Orc TD. The weather cleared up for the second half, and Chukko easily got in to score the second, and also got MVP, allowing him a new skill which turned out to be +1MA.
Then came a game that made me think the computer was desperate to see me lose, against the Amazon All Stars. I'd got four of my players KOd and one badly hurt within the first three turns, and their players were constantly dodging away and even knocking down my Black Orcs with little effort. My block dice were constantly push backs and both downs, and with pretty much all their players with block and side step, they were very difficult to deal with. I had received in the first half, but nothing I could do kept them out, and they scored in turn 8. My one stroke of luck came at the start of the second half when their player fumbled their pick up. Lil was close enough to pick up the ball, blitz their player away, and run in to equalize on turn 10. They came on again and I just couldn't get the ball off them until turn 14 when they were within range of another TD. Chukki managed to pick it up and bombed it as far as possible into their half and I held on for the draw. Damn those ladies were tough.
Then another game where the dice were against me, but thankfully the result was in my favour. The Khemri team Nehekhara City Chiefs were the opponents, and their four Tomb Guardians were definitely up for a fight, all coming with guard and one even had an upgrade to strength 6. Not only that, but these four low agility players seemed to constantly be able to dodge and even pick up the ball in tackle zones with little effort. It didn't help that my troll failed his stupid roll on four consecutive turns (5-8) when I really could have done with his strength. However, I got pretty lucky myself in taking the ball away from the Tomb Guardian that had it, and Draggin' broke away to give me the lead on turn 8. The second half was a more normal affair, with Chukko keeping the ball as I drove up the left wing to score on the last turn. Biffa became the last Black Orc to get guard, a little late for the party but never mind.
I was worried going against the Skavenblight Scramblers as those Gutter Runners can be evil to catch, and they had a bunch of upgrades on their's. Luckily I had no real troubles, and kicked them up and down the pitch for the whole game, after which they had suffered 8 casualties and 11 KOs. Couldn't kill anyone unfortunately (thanks to their apothecary), but all went well, with Lil and Zobba scoring. My troll got lucky with doubles and finally got the block skill. It was a tough choice between that and pro, which would help a lot with his stupidity, but block's the beast man. Gotta have it.
Going into the match against 2nd place Black Fangs, I didn't know how many from each group would go through to the knockouts. If it was top 2 I was safe, as the 3rd place team could not catch me. However, if it was only the top team from each group, the Black Fangs would go through if they beat me, so the pressure was still on. For some reason they only started with one of their 6 Vamps, and I smashed several of their Thralls off the pitch early. I came away with an easy 2-0 win, with Draggin' and Lil getting the TDs. At the end of the match Basha Brainbursta got mighty blow.
I needn't have worried about losing, as I then found out it was actually the top 4 of each group that go through, which in my opinion makes the group stage a little pointless, if only 2 from each group get eliminated. Top teams to fall included the Amazon All Stars, who must have stopped trying after playing me as they lost their remaining games; the Forked Tongues, who were the only team with more prestige than me coming in to the tournament; the Champions Of Death, and the Oldheim Ogres.
The Orcs get slapped around by some badass ladies
The Rat Ogre gets its ribs broken
The lone Gutter Runner can't prevent the TD
Anyway, the first knockout game was an interesting prospect, as it put me up against a fellow Orc team for the first time, in the shape of the famous Orcland Raiders. I was expecting a tougher game, but other than the first few turns where our front lines pummelled each other, it was a pretty easy 2-0 win. For most of the first half my troll and their troll stood staring at each other with confused expressions, but eventually good ol' Granite slapped their troll down and injured its back. After Lil and Zobba got me the TDs, Wee Little Jimmy came on for the last turn and stuck the boot in on one of their blitzers, injuring that dude's back as well. Their team might need a good physio after this one.
It was the Reikland Reavers in the quarters, the second game on the trot against pure classic GW teams. In the first half they put in a stellar performance, not allowing me to get out of my own half. Mind you, my rolls were awful (all 5 of my re-rolls gone in the first 5 turns), and Granite continued his recent trend of getting really stupid. Not good when their ST6 ogre was on a rampage, knocking out 2 players and breaking Boffa's ribs and putting him out of the semi. In the second half they received and four of their players immediately broke through my line. I was not confident at this point. I risked not sending many players back to defend, and instead smashed my way to their carrier. Sub Ug The Stupid took him down, and caught the ball at the second time of asking as it bounced around between the players in the area. They were now the ones under pressure with so many players downfield. Ug was able to run in to get the TD on turn 14, and they could not break through again in their remaining 2 turns. What a close fight.
The only other undefeated team so far, the Norsca Rampagers, were my semi final opponents. I have no idea how they were undefeated, as they were awful. Not even their ludicrously lucky dodging could help them, and I battered them into submission from the start, killing a player on turn 2. By the end of the match they had 3 players on the pitch and had suffered 7 casualties. The ladz took another 2-0 win, with Chukko and Chukki (both on the pitch at the same time for the first time in ages) taking the TDs.
Durrr, we so stupid
Where'd all the Norse go?
So, in the last game the Dwarf Giants were once again my opponents in a final, and there was no bigger final than the Blood Bowl itself. Remembering the awkward game I had with them last, I pumped 200,000 gold into my petty cash for the match, purchasing inducements for the first time in ages. I went with an extra apothecary and two Bloodweiser Babes, thinking these would keep the ladz on the pitch. With their 260,000 gold, they went with a wizard and an extra re-roll.
I received at the start, but a pitch invasion threatened to throw my plans into turmoil. Though I had more fan factor, they'd got the +1 FAME for the match, and four of the ladz were stunned compared to their two. However, Granite was about to have the game of his life. With the first block of the day, he smacked the deathroller and killed it, and their apothecary was needed to heal him. I wasn't that fussed, as it got the thing off the pitch and out of my hair already. Chukko got the ball and we drove up the left wing. Granite continued his good form and turned Blitzer for the drive, sprinting up the wing in support and smacking Dwarves out of the way left and right without failing a single stupid roll. By turn 6 they used their wizard on Chukko but it failed, and he opened the scoring on turn 8. For their last turn of the half, there was another invasion. This time I got six players stunned compared to their one. Lucky that there was no time for them to do anything.
I took Granite off at half time now his strength wasn't needed. They received, but left their ball carrier wide open at the end of their first turn. Draggin' blitzed him, killed him, picked up the ball and set off down the pitch in one fluid motion. As cool as this looked, he had no support at all and was soon smacked onto his ass. A ruck ensued that the ladz took the upper hand in, badly hurting two Dwarves and knocking some out. In return, they killed Boffa in his return match, but thankfully my apothecary healed him. By the last turn Chukki had easily recovered the ball and scored to make the final score 2-0, giving the Stompers the Blood Bowl trophy!
Zobba takes the brunt of the wizard
Invasion number 2
Draggin' shows his class
Boffa needs a medic
Chukki makes it 2-0
The Blood Bowl is mine
Though there's not really an end to the campaign, as it will just go round and round season after season, after 50+ games and winning the Blood Bowl, I think this is as far as I can go with this team, and have completed the game as far as I think is needed. However, I've got a bit of Blood Bowl fever right now, so will probably be trying one or two single tournaments with teams I've never played before. Bumping up the difficulty from normal to hard will also make it a tougher challenge and more interesting.
It's been bang on a year since I started this blog, and this is only the 13th game I've actually finished in that time. Considering I have a list of a further 51 games that I own and have not finished, this blog seems destined to hang around for a while yet. Wow, I dread to think how few games I'd have completed without this page as a driving force.
18th February 2013 - The Road To The Blood Bowl
In Da Challenge! Cup, I beat the Rotters 2-0 with Chukko getting both. Then a crazy game against the Forked Tongues. They scored in the first half, and I failed to equalize until the very last turn, pushing it into overtime of another 8 turns. Luckily I got the breakthrough and scored in the last turn to get into the final. In that final I came up against the Stunted Stoutfellas Halfling team. Like the Skinks in the last game, their little annoying gits kept dodging through my line and they took the lead. But I then went about smacking them all over the field and scored in turns 8 and 16 to take the cup. An amazing thing came out of that game, as Speed Demon Lil got lucky for the third time and got +1AG to go with his +1MA and dodge. He's making up for dying on me way back in the 90s in that fated game against Spud's Dwarves (see page 3 of this document for more info).
I cage 'em up as overtime begins
Chukki scores the last gasp winner
Up next was the Joy Cup, even though my trophy cabinet already contains it. Odd. Anyway, up first were the quite well developed Champions of Death, a game I thought was going to be tough but ended up real easy, with Lil getting both in a 2-0 win. Then I came up against the Naggaroth Nightmares, and after the last match against them I thought this would be real easy, but ended up being very hard. They even had 7 players stunned by a pitch invasion at the start compared to my 1, but it still took until the last turn for Lil to get away from their defence and score the winner. The Norsca Rampagers took a beating in the last group game, with two of their players being killed and one seriously injured. They also sustained 14 KOs during the game which ended up an easy 3-0 win. Wee Little Jimmy even got on the pitch for the last few turns and knocked two players out by sticking the boot in, and scored the last one, adding to Zobba and Wagrut's earlier TDs. Zippin' Zobba got +1MA.
The Celestial Comets were the opponents in the semi, and they put up one hell of a challenge. It needed a desperate pass from Splatta to Draggin' on turn 8 to open the scoring. They looked like equalizing in the 2nd half, but Ug The Stupid pulled off an interception, and I then held it in a ruck until the end. I noticed a few odd things in the log during this game, like all their dodges never seemed to be modified by my tackle zones, and Ug's interception was not modified by the -2 interception modifier. He got a 6 anyway so it wouldn't have mattered, but it was still odd. Both my linemen got upgrades, with Splatta getting tackle, and Ug getting pro.
The Nightmares had also made it to the final, and I didn't give them any opportunities. It ended 2-0, with the usual suspects Lil and Chukko grabbing the TDs. They suffered deaths of both a blitzer and a witch elf, and Draggin' gained the grab skill, and Gwapstick the tackle skill, making the team even better against dodgy opposition.
The crowd beat up most of the Dark Elf team
Can't quite remove the last Norse player
Up next: the Blood Bowl itself, with 4 groups of 6 teams each looking to make it through to the knockouts. Up first, wouldn't you know it, the Naggaroth Nightmares...
6th February 2013 - Put Your Platinum Arms In The Air
So, a much larger Blood Bowl tournament beckoned: the Platinum Arm Trophy.
Foolish Dark Elves trying it on
Before the first game I got my injured players back for some reason. Maybe missed games from serious injuries only count during that individual tournament. Anyway, the Celestial Comets Elf team were up first, and I barely had to do anything. They fell over nearly every turn trying to dodge or go for extra squares. Not even Star Player Jordell Freshbreeze could help them, and I won 1-0 with another late Chukki TD.
The Naggaroth Nightmares couldn't touch me. They did manage to badly hurt my current main scorer Chukki Snotpot, but Chukka Snotrag was there to score easily in the last turns of each half for a 2-0 win. They ended up with just 5 players on the pitch, and Star Player Horkon Heartripper had his ankle smashed by Gwapstik.
Once more I came up against the Oldheim Ogres. I had some luck that hardly any of their KOd snotlings came back all through the game, letting me gang up on the Ogres. Still, I was never comfortable in possession, and it took a last gasp pass down the wing from Chukka to blitzer Speed Demon Lil, who ran in to score, to get the win. Lil got +1MA to go with his dodge, making him an actual speed demon now. Goblin Jimmy got diving catch, after getting the MVP yet again though I hardly ever use him.
Another match with the Bruendar Grimjacks was next, and in a very scrappy first half with many turnovers I managed to push them right back to their endzone like the last time I played them. This time, Wagrut managed to sack the carrier and scored on turn 6. In the second half Splatta caught it right from the kickoff, and the cage tried to grind up the middle but was quickly surrounded. Splatta had to lob it up the left wing to Draggin and Chukka who had made a run. Chukka collected the failed pass on the next turn and ran in to score on turn 14. Wagrut got guard, and Ug got tackle.
Then came a disastrous game against the Galadrieth Gladiators. It looked like things would be easy at the start, as I got a Blitz on the kick off table and then badly hurt three players in the first couple of turns. Then their thrower tried to pass and fumbled it, letting some of my players gather round. Chukka gathered the ball and ran in to score on turn 5. They somehow hit back 2 turns later despite me badly hurting 2 more players. A long pass came in to a player who caught while in several tackle zones, then dodged away to score on turn 7.
The passing of a legend
I received in the second half and easily punched through, with Chukka lobbing it to Jimmy, who managed to use his diving catch skill to collect it and score on turn 12. Straight away on turn 13 they tried their trick again. Their player caught the ball while marked by two of my players, but this time fell trying to dodge away. I rushed to try and get more players back, but their players were faster, and the side step skill was proving a pain. Their frustratingly skillful ST4 Blitzer managed to collect the ball, dodge, and score on turn 15, giving me no time to score a winner. On their last turn two of their players ran into my half and teamed up on Chukka, and catcher Trciniien Tathron blitzed him and killed him! My idiot apothecary failed to do anything and my most skillful player was gone. In his 32 game career, he'd scored 21TDs, carried the ball 862 yards, got a ST4 increase and a MA6 increase. He was bad ass. I didn't lose, but conceded my first TDs since back playing the game, and suffered my first death with this team. Gutted. I hired Chukko Snotbog to try and replace him.
For my first game post-Snotrag, I came up against the Black Fangs Vampire team. I figured it would be quite easy considering their Thralls aren't great, and the fact they only set up with 2 of their 6 Vamps at the start of the game. However, a cock up in my own set-up saw new thrower Chukko on the line of scrimmage, and his first action as a Stompers player was to get knocked out. They brought the ball into my half, with their 2 AG4 Thralls and their Vamps (one with ST5) proving awkward to pin down, but I managed to surround them all and smack the carrier. The ball scattered into the crowd, who threw it back near my endzone. On their next turn, their ST5 Vamp dodged clear, picked up the ball and scored. Just what was happening to my defence? With three turns left in the half I thought I could equalize before half time, but Chukki Snotpot failed to pick it up. Right from the off in the second half I got down to business. Chukki got the ball as my blockers and blitzers got angry, causing 6 casualties and 2 KOs. With one of their Vamps running off into the crowd for a bite, they were left with 2 players, which I desperately tried to take out, even having 2 players sent off as I stuck the boot in. On my last turn Chukki easily stepped in to equalize. For their last turn, which I was dreading after the last game, Chukko finally came round from his KO, and somehow picked up MVP at the end. So the second game on the trot to both concede and draw, and my fan factor came down both times. Luckily, second in the table Nurgle's Rotters lost, meaning I remained top. Chukki got nerves of steel, and Biffa Bonebreaka got dodge on a double, making him harder to knock down.
Needing a better game to ensure finishing top of my group, I came up against the Rotters next, who would top the group if they beat me. It was a much better game from the boyz, with their Beast Of Nurgle getting seriously injured right at the beginning, Wizzin' Wagrut scoring on turn 4 and 7, as well as him killing a Rotter. In the second half Chukko secured the ball and we stomped up the left wing, smacking all but 6 of their players off the pitch. Chukko got his first TD on the last turn for a 3-0 win, and picked up block as his first skill. Draggin' also got piling on.
This was the semi, and I found my path to the final blocked by Lizardmen team The Forked Tongues. Pretty much my first action of the game was to kill their Kroxigor, who needed their apothecary to reduce the damage to seriously injured. They then hit back by badly hurting Wagrut, and my team got mad. I held them in their half and smacked them about for most of the first half until a Skink broke through with the ball. Draggin' knocked him flat and Lil got the ball. With one turn left I had to rely on a risky pass play, but it payed off as Lil bombed it into lineman Splatta's hands, who ran in to get the TD. The second half was pretty much a breeze, as Chukko picked it up and I drove up the pitch to score on the last turn for a 2-0 win. Draggin' had a grand old time piling on to KO and injure several players, but I didn't like how the computer game made me use that skill, not realizing I had to turn on the voluntary setting in the options. Basha became my second Black Orc lucky enough to get dodge.
The final was a pure grudge match as it pitted my Orcs against the Dwarf Giants team, fully kitted out with Deathroller. I decided to go defensive, and ganged up on the Deathroller from the off, putting it down nearly every turn, and stopping them advancing into my territory. Unfortunately, we had received bribes from the kick off event, and the Dwarves used this to keep the Deathroller on the pitch at half time. In the second half I tried a risky tactic, knowing I needed to score soon to get that Deathroller out of there, as I was spending far too much time worrying about it. I left holes in my line, meaning Dwarf players could get through and threaten Chukki who had got the ball. But this meant there were also gaps in the Dwarf line, and Speed Demon Lil raced through into the endzone, and on turn 11 Chukki was able to plant a real long range beast right into his hands. The Deathroller was sent off at last, and I formed a line for the rest of the game and stopped them getting through. With that, I took the trophy. Up next - Da Challenge! trophy, which sounds like it's gonna suit my Orciness...
Battling the Grimjacks
The last two Black Fangs find themselves outnumbered
The Rotters don't seem that scary any more
The Lizardmen find themselves a little short handed
The final gets under way
The trophy-winning touchdown pass
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