Nostalgia Time: Dungeons and Dragons Online

Posted by on February 11, 2016 - 1 Comment »

DDO Q3 2013 16-9 CIt all began with D&D. It was the early 80s. I was an elementary school girl sitting by herself in the classroom with a book during recess because I wasn’t interested in playing house with the rest of the girls. But I wasn’t the only person in the classroom – and I slowly became aware that the group of boys huddled in the corner were talking about interesting things. Elves! Dragons! Trolls and goblins! And then one day I realized that they weren’t talking about books, they were playing a game. Naturally once that hit me I immediately  had to play, too. And now, here I am, decades later, still playing tabletop RPGs and video games, and writing about them.

So when the opportunity to give Dungeons and Dragons Online a whirl for its upcoming 10th anniversary came around, I couldn’t resist taking her for a spin.  Read more…

The Heart of the Swarm Lacked the Subject

Posted by on February 11, 2016 - No Comments »

kerrigan_human_again_subject_legacy_swarm

Only partially towards human norms.

I’m only just beginning Legacy of the Void. You’ll recall that I shirked away from the Zerg campaign because, well, it sucked. It was very bad. Not only the campaign itself, but the additional gameplay elements that came with it. Evolution Missions were minute long distraction, Brutal difficulty was laughable after a few early missions due to leveling and the story. Oh so bad. What early Protoss battles have taught me – aside from how badly the EZMode zerg campaign was detrimental to my skills – is that Heart of the Swarm was rock bottom.

The epitome of detritus was a particular campaign dubbed “With Friends like These.” The setup was simple, convince Wings of Liberty heart throb Mira Han to help the Hyperion once again. She balks at the idea, so we, fellow human beings, decide the only repercussion is wholesale murder. Borderline genocide really. Why? Simply because we required one of their prisoners to hack a Dominion server. Let’s kill everyone in the way. Read more…

PAX South: Neighborhorde First Impression

Posted by on February 6, 2016 - No Comments »

You get to equip cooky weapons such as a pie, squirt gun, even a confetti popper.

I’ve gotten older. My tastes in gaming have changed. There I’ve said it. I’ve come clean. Why did this happen to me, and most everyone I know? Simple, life. I don’t have as much time to get invested in a huge campaign story, or 30 hours a week to raid in an MMOG for the highest tier set. Which is why I can’t find the willpower to put down Neighborhorde, an innocently-styled 4-player survival co-op game that draws inspiration from childhood memories and a simple but challenging theme of gameplay.

Within seconds of jumping into the game for the first time I was fighting off a wave of ghostly puppy heads by destroying them with paper airplanes and bowling balls. Currently the game, which is developed by a small team of three, has 36 unique weapons that can be selected and picked up throughout the game. After each wave you are able to choose a new power such as faster dashing, or an increase to melee power. Along with choosing a new power you can unlock a weapon and from then on it has a chance to spawn each wave. Read more…

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.

Read more…

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…