The Sims 4 – Outdoor Retreat(soon)

09-06-14_3-00 AMBig news has been coming out about Sims 4 this week. Well, big news for me at least. A release date was set for Outdoor Retreat, which is basically a “stuff” package if you’re familiar with previous sims expansions, but here it’s called a “game pack” that is going to release next week. An exact date next week hasn’t been given yet, but of course I’m looking forward to it. The game pack costs $20,  and adds a bunch of new features for your lovely sim families including a herbalist skill. Your sim family will be able to head to Granite Falls, which is a new world and partake in a bunch of outdoor related activities.

EA also released a mobile version of their Sims 4 gallery in an app on the itunes and google play stores. This lets you browse, favourite, and add to your download list. Great if you’re not at your PC and you want to get a fix of sims 4. The interface is easy to use, and I haven’t had any issues getting it to work so far. In fact I quite like browsing the gallery to see what other people have created, especially when I’m in the mood to play the game and not decorate (it happens, rarely). Lately I have been looking at unfurnished homes, and then designing the interior myself once I have downloaded a new home that catches my eye. Designing the structure of a home is something I don’t always feel like doing, mine end up square blocks of ugly, but I love interior design.

There are still a lot of aspects I miss from Sims 3 (most notably the expansions and the open world feel) but I also think they have done an amazing job with Sims 4 and that it will come into its own with time. Once we get some real expansions and maybe a better ‘feel’ for the world (I really want a pet expansion) I can certainly see myself spending a lot of time playing (not that I don’t already spend a lot of time playing).

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

New Game Thursday – Child of Light

2015-01-08_00007For Christmas my cousin got me this steam game, and I have to say I was completely surprised (pleasantly so. Child of Light is a Ubisoft Montreal game, and with it you play the part of Aurora, a young girl who figures herself to be in a dream world, taken from her father. The game is beautiful, the art style one that I was just absolutely in love with the moment it started, and the story is fascinating. That does mean of course that I put the game on the lowest (ie: easiest) setting possible so that I could enjoy the story fully, but I had no issues with that.

Aurora is quickly joined by a firefly, which you control by mouse (Aurora moves by using the WASD keys). The firefly is her companion, and helps during combat. The game is a mixture of puzzles and combat, has a skill and gear system, and even some basic crafting. Honestly, telling you anything more will ruin the story, so I don’t want to get into much detail. What I do want to highlight is this awesome review that someone posted. The entire story is narrated by a calm voice of a woman, and this review mimics the formatting. It talks about how you’re required to install uplay to play the game, which a lot of people (including myself) don’t want to be bothered with.

Dear child,

Tuck yourself in and listen to what I have to say.
It is for those too, who have doubts with Uplay.

When I first heard that a third party program needs to be installed,
I thought ‘It’s too much a bother to be buying this at all’.
But I was in love with the game as I was with Odin Sphere,
so I researched and researched until all doubts were clear.

It seems that Uplay has improved over the years,
as told by a friend whom I very love so dear.
After registering I instantly unravelled
that once I ticked ‘auto login’ it is never a hassle.
Switch Uplay to offline mode so it won’t meddle.

As confused as I was along the way,
thorough research finally made me pay
and playing this game now makes my day.

Child of Light is like a delightful bedtime story.
You play as a little girl, very cute and dandy,
though her arms are a little bit wobbly
to be carrying a sword both sharp and pointy.

What I really appreciate is the effort that they took
to make each and every sentence look so good.
The beautiful world of Lemuria will captivate your eyes,
with beautifully matched music as you zip through the sky.

Bottom line be told,
This game is made of gold.
I did not regret buying it a single bit,
and I’m writing this so that your path may be lit.

Godspeed.

The game was on sale near the later days of the Steam holiday sales, so if you’re not in a rush, you should add it to your wishlist and wait for the next sale. Highly recommend this one.

Those Lazy Minecraft Days

2015-01-05_16.37.21The urge to play Minecraft came once again (as it does every few weeks) and I decided to check out what was new with Icehenge, which I run through Technic. The technic launcher has been completely revamped, and on top of that Icehenge 2.2.0 was released. Lots of new goodies have been added, including a hat mod that is pure fluff (but so much fun). At first nothing was working for me – then I remembered I need to have Java 7 and not 8 in order to make things work. I really dislike java, in every form. It has been nothing but a hassle.

I started a new server on my computer and had fun wandering around exploring the world, one of my favourite things to do. I set up a home base (but didn’t like it that much) and was promptly swarmed by zombies and skeletons. I wasn’t very fond of the world, so I started a new one which is much friendlier to beginners. Home base has been set up and I’m ready to begin exploring. To my north is an active volcano, along with an ice biome. My home base is set up in a cherry grove, which gives me lots of nice red wood to make items out of (like my entire house). There’s a few islands and lakes to the East, and I haven’t explored to the West yet. I haven’t explored all of the mods available (there’s just way too many) so I’m looking forward to getting back into it. Minecraft has always been one of those completely relaxing games that I can play in my spare time without too much hassle.

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

Does Any Game Truly Welcome you Back?

ffxiv_01022015_154829I have been meaning to play a little FFXIV for some time now, but with work, holidays, and a zillion other little excuses cropping up I just had not found the motivation to download the client (again) and log in before now. I played at release but was also distracted by xyz other game and didn’t get that far.

I have a main on Diabolos, but a number of friends are over on Cactuar so I swapped. Plus I had made some annoying mistakes over on Diabolos in regards to my class (nothing permanent thankfully) so I didn’t mind starting fresh. I’m playing Velours Reveurs, a right now level 6 conjurer with aspirations of going White Mage.

I do have one issue with returning, the same issue I have in every single game I return to. Very few of them actually help a player who has been away for some time. I have no idea what changes have taken place, what is new, what has been updated, or even how to play. I wish more games had a method, perhaps a tutorial (optional of course), where everything could be laid out for a returning player. Maybe NPC that discuss the recent changes from the time your account has been inactive for – or a set period that you could select (ie: I have been away for x amount of time, please highlight the important stuff). Knowing how to play, what my hotkeys are, where I should go, etc. All of these things would do wonders in helping me get back into a game, and I would probably be more inclined to stick around. Of course there are websites and patch notes and friends and all the rest but why do we still have to rely on these in order to feel comfortable returning.

With that being said, because my character is at such a low level, I’m not overly concerned with what I have missed. I’m hoping that I can pick things up easily enough and in the mean time the game is just so incredibly beautiful and I’m sad that I never got further than level 15 my last time around. Hopefully I’ll stick with it for a bit, but knowing my nomadic gaming style, I’ll be happy if I even stick around for a month.

Happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

New Year, New Game – Salt

2015-01-01_00013I had not heard of Salt before, but a friend recommended it to me thinking it may be something I was interested in (knowing my love of sandbox games) and so I decided to try it out. I know there’s a demo available, but instead I watched some “Lets Play” on YouTube and a few trailers and videos that Lavaboots Studios released.

The game is about exploration and adventure, with some crafting tossed in. You start out on a remote island and wander your way around collecting resources to help you get to other islands. Crafting is very simple, but you’re not given a lot of information about what you can craft. I wandered around picking up wood (E) and plants, and then stumbled into a pickaxe and a chest with a few treasures inside (some cloth, 2 gold, etc). With those items I was able to create my first “ship” a raft that barely floated. Boat control is a bit difficult, but fun. I parked my boat at the nearest island that I could sail to, and started the true adventure.

The lands are filled with pirates and other treasures to be found. I was running out of food so I created a bow and some crude arrows. Painstakingly snuck up behind a deer and made a quick meal of him. It didn’t fill me up, so I wandered some more and found a few mushrooms to eat (which gave me a buff). I only got one pelt which isn’t enough to make any armor yet, but I’ll hang onto it.

The pirate I ran into almost killed me but I landed the last blow. He dropped a bit more gold, and a key for – I have no idea what. I hear you can use them for pirate treasures, but I haven’t found any yet. Salt reminds me a lot of Banished, even though the two games are completely different. It’s a slow paced game where players may feel that they have “done it all” once they reach some specific goals (making an actual ship, getting a full set of gear, etc). It is still in early access, so there’s a lot of work to be done yet, but I really enjoyed my casual stroll through the different lands, trying to search for neat treasures.

After leaving my boat at the 2nd island and wandering for a bit, I noticed a ship in the water. I was excited – until I realized it was MY boat, sailing away with the tide, without me! I didn’t have enough cloth to make another boat, so it was really important that I not lose it. I swam out to sea in an attempt to rescue the ship, and some how managed to get it back on shore. I did too good of a job, and was unable to push it out to sea when I actually wanted to leave. Thankfully the water once again worked its magic and freed my boat from the shore for me and as it drifted out I managed to climb on board so I can head out and explore yet another island. There’s no map, and I don’t have a compass or other means of guessing where I am at the moment, but I know you can craft / obtain those items. For now I have just been going off of guesses. I leave a flag on the beach where I land so that I know I have been there before. I try to make sure I explore the entire island before leaving, and pick up everything of note.

There are no levels, classes, or progression per say, but I don’t need those things in a game in order to enjoy it. I’m liking the very calm and quiet excitement that comes from finding a new item to use, or a new ruin discovered. Next I need to find / make some better weapons, I keep losing arrows to deer, and I’d like to be able to hold my own a bit longer against pirates.

A peek into my world of mmo gaming