PAX South 2016: Speedrunners and Couch-Gaming

Posted by on February 3, 2016 - No Comments »

speedrunnersThanks to the folks at tinyBuild our LoreHound crew got a chance to try out SpeedRunners for the first time at Pax South 2016. Prior to PAX South, I personally played it either on my own spare time or locally with friends. To summarize the game’s quality: Speedrunners is an addictive combination of easy to pick-up controls and fast, competitive, play. It relies heavily on your ability to quickly react to changing situations – such as your position in the race, the power-up you have, other power-ups players have – and your ability to memorize new maps, making note of item/obstacle locations so that you can utilize them on the next go around. On top of that, after enough time or after one of the players gets knocked off the screen, the ante quickens as the screen itself begins to close in on the players.

There is actually a bit of backstory, though obviously not the main focus. Essentially every character is a colorful superhero residing in a city FULL of superheroes. With so much competition in the city it’s a “race” to get to fight crime. All characters play the same, no special abilities or anything, but each have their own fantastic animations and running styles, my personal favorite being Cosmonaut Comrade; a Russian dressed up as a space-faring Cosmonaut, rocketing (as per his jump animation) past the competition. They also provide nods to other great indie games, allowing you to use skins like Gang Beast, Octodad, Twitch, etc.

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PAX South 2016: First Impressions – Lords of New York

Posted by on February 2, 2016 - No Comments »

Lords of New York

Not being an avid card player, I was pleasantly surprised by Lords of New York. The game takes a very unique approach to poker as the studio aims to incorporate high stakes poker into a rise to the top story seen through the eyes of a 1920’s mobster who ends up in prison.

The game’s visuals are simple but stunning, built in the studios custom built animation software that has garnered interest from big animation companies. The game puts a twist of Texas Hold ‘Em poker through the use of dirty tricks and abilities one would expect in a prison poker circuit. For instance you can spike an opponent’s drink and make them act erratically for several turns. You can even slip by with peeking at your opponent’s cards at a quick glance. These abilities incorporate new layers of strategy. It forces you to learn what bad habits your opponent might be inclined to use and its up to you to play a good poker game on top of playing your opponent. Read more…

PAX South 2016: Lore Trivia Contest – Mass Effect Edition

Posted by on January 30, 2016 - No Comments »

lore_trivia_banner_pax-southIn addition to our normal convention coverage we’re once again running a convention-specific contest. In our best Lore Hound fashion, it’s entirely geared towards picking that mushy pink stuff you keep in that odd container on top of your torso. That’s right, it’s all about lore. Lore that resides in the deep recesses of your brain. If you’re lucky enough to be attending the annual trade show in San Antonio then you may get picked to be on camera, so keep a look out for the crew. Fear not, you can play remotely too! Read more…

Let’s Blow This Thing and Go Home!

Posted by on January 27, 2016 - No Comments »

swtor_goodbyeIt’s been too long since I last updated this thread of TOR posts, so I feel like I’ll just say it – I’m done with Star Wars: The Old Republic. I was over the moon, I wanted to love it. I played the hell out of it for a short amount of time, and despite repeated let downs and lack of real interest or connection to the story, I kept playing because it’s Star Wars, and Star Wars HAS to be good, right? No. No, it doesn’t. The more time I spent inside of the galaxy, the more it really started dawning on me that I was walking around in the gross, sterile, blue and green screen laden Star Wars galaxy seen in the prequel movies, not the roughshod space fantasy I knew as a child. Read more…

SMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained – Amaterasu

Posted by on January 21, 2016 - No Comments »

lh_deities_demigods_gods_smite_amaterasu_Default_CardSMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained is a column dedicated to introducing prospective players of SMITE to its massive backstory of lore. From the Greek to Hindu, each week we’ll look at two characters from a major pantheon and provide a quick recap of their history and in what capacity their digital incarnation will represent on the field of Hi-Rez Studios’ new MOBA.

Allow us to introduce you to a whole new pantheon. One that has been teased by Hi-Rez Studios for months. That’s right lore junkies, the Japanese pantheon is now live and playable with the recent release of Amaterasu (not to be confused with Amatera)! Read more…

Blade and Soul or Black Desert?

Posted by on January 20, 2016 - 1 Comment »

BSBDmashupThis is the question that I’ve been asked the most lately. Blade and Soul or Black Desert? I only have time for one game, so which one is better? The short answer is due to health concerns taking up much of my time lately Blade and Soul will be available to play  by the time I finish this. It is also free to play, so if you are looking for a game to play right now the only choice between the two is Blade and Soul. The longer answer is that they are both very solid games, but they do very different things, so the real question is which one is better suited to what you enjoy.

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What Trash the Heart of the Swarm Campaign Was

Posted by on January 17, 2016 - No Comments »

starcraft_swarm_campaign_reviewBlizzCon 2015 got me pumped for a Blizzard Entertainment product. Shocking, right? I mean, it’s not like it’s ever done that before. However, it’s normally a World of Warcraft expansion. Not this go around. The celebratory event was only days ahead of the impending launch to the conclusion to StarCraft II. Sadly, I hadn’t finished the Heart of the Swarm campaign yet. Ahead of Legacy of the Void’s launch I vowed to wrap that campaign before revisiting Zeratul and the rest of my favorite interstellar telepaths. There’s was one major hurdle to overcome.

The reason I hadn’t finished the Zerg campaign was because it’s terrible. Wings of Liberty spoilers ahead (do I even need to warn you of that years after release?). Read more…

Video Games in Cuba: Development

Posted by on January 7, 2016 - No Comments »

lh_videogames_in_cuba_repair

Rebuild a controller? Sure why not! Build a game? Why, there’s so many to chose from!

In December 2014, Barack Obama and Raul Castro gave simultaneous speeches to their countries announcing that the United States of America and Cuba would, after decades, finally be normalizing relations. We jumped at the chance to see how video games exist, if at all, in the island nation that’s been, at least legally, so cut off from American cultural influence. We bring you LoreSabueso.

There’s absolutely no doubt about the core aspect of my childhood that led me into the world of software development, information systems and project management. It was the  subject of this here very community, video games. Growing up in an age of pre-Steam world of .INI edits (aka modding), massive retail boxes and computers that cost a small fortune meant that PC gamers had to either know a fair amount about hardware and software or have a friendship they could abuse. My older brother had little interest in learning and friends tended to stick with consoles. The activity fell to me. It put me into the tech industry right in adulthood eventually leading to actually contributing to successful video games. Sweet, right? Read more…