Why on Earth am I Playing Phasmophobia?

It makes no sense. For the last few years I steered away from horror games. Even games with high tension or stress-inducing gameplay have been avoided. I might watch other gamers play spooky, stressful games, but that’s as close as I get.

The reason: I only get the occasional night to game. Between school work, house work, child care and the occasional D&D game, time for video games is precious and usually just before bed time. Games with horror themes or those that require intense concentration leave me more wired than when I started. I realised I needed to switch things up half-way through Dark Souls. I was ending each evening game more stressed, focused and awake than I care to be just before bed time.

So why have I been playing Phasmophobia for the last few weeks? I could definitely be watching streamers play the game – and I was – but instead I decided to spend the odd evening in a scary game when I’d told myself that was a bad idea. Not only that, but I often play the game solo when my friends aren’t free to join me for spooks.

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How to Watch Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1 Day

Perhaps you want to watch Picard or Star Trek: Discovery, but you “probably should check out some of the older stuff first”. Maybe you’ve always been curious about Star Trek: The Next Generation but “that’s a lot of episodes to get through…who has the time?”. Or you watched the series when you were younger, and want to go back to it, but you’re wary of those really bad episodes along the way.

In any case, I have a guide to help you. Other people have delivered their verdicts on whether each episode is worth your time. I have gone a little further. So much of the Next Gen is golden – or at least a well-crafted silver – but I have reduced the 7 seasons down to what I consider to be the very best episodes.

This list includes only 30 of the 178 episodes in the series. If each episode is 45 minutes long, that means that you have less than 23 hours of Next Gen remaining. Even then, I’ve suggested a few that you could skip (but would be mad to do so). I’ve also highlighted what I believe are five of the very best episodes. If you only want to take a quick dip in the Star Trek pool, you can be in and out in under 4 hours.

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My 1 Year Old Bought a Video Game

I remember the days when a parent or older sibling could hand a young person an unplugged controller and they would happily ‘play along’ with the older gamer. Now, with wireless controllers, a young child can take charge with a single button press.

I’ve not played too many video games around my 1-year-old. As I’ve mentioned earlier, I actually played more games after she was born, when she was struggling to sleep through the night and so on. Of course, she wasn’t aware of the game being played.  Continue reading “My 1 Year Old Bought a Video Game”

Which Game was Your Greatest Disappointment?

I recently hopped into No Man’s Sky. I’m usually late to a game, but in this case the wait was very intentional. You might remember that when the game came out it was met with bile and vitriol. To listen to early reviews and discussion, this game apparently lacked in quality in every way. On the dart board of wild, speculative expectation, the game hit the wall and bounced off.

I’m having a great time with the game, but I’ve jumped in four years late. A mountain of content, patching and tweaks have been made to the game in that time. “No Man’s Sky is good now” is a reoccurring suggestion online, a point which most people agree with. I am very happy I waited, and I was very confident I was going to have a good time.

The real reason I waited, however, was not just because of the early criticism. I’m pretty certain I could have enjoyed the original version. It’s definitely the sort of game I enjoy. No, the reason why I waited was because that original divide between ‘promise’ and ‘expectation’ was something I had seen before. As the game was released, I had a grim sense of déjà vu…

I was so disappointed by a game in my youth, that it makes me doubt that quality of games 12 years later.

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Late Review: The Last of Us

Most people can simply enjoy what they do.  I nitpick, poke fun at things I enjoy and appreciate them even more so, whilst others are quite content to be content. Yet there are those vocal few that find it difficult to just have fun.

There are those that like to take the adversarial stance. The more a game, a movie or a show is popularised, the more likely they are to find fault with it. On the other side, some people cannot enjoy something if they know critics find fault with it. You can usually find these two groups bickering about their most/least favourite thing online, whilst everyone else enjoys that thing without issue.

The Last of Us is a hill on which many people have squabbled. I’ve heard the words “prefect game” and “total garbage”. It cannot be both of these things, and its really neither. No game is without issues, and something so popular must have merit…

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Show, Don’t Tell: Do Games Talk Too Much?

At some point, it was decided that every modern video game needed to include additional story in the form of collectables. As we wander the world, we come across audio and/or text files. We can pause our gameplay to open up the parchment or ‘press play’, at which point we are told a little bit more about the world or given more flesh for the bones of the story.

Sometimes, it’s implemented well. Other times, the extra information is dull or unnecessary. Far too often, the added collectable stories feel forced, as if the developers felt obligated to include such things – All the other games are doing it.

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Late Review: Final Fantasy VII Remake

I recently replayed Final Fantasy X, and when I was nearing the end I made a comment to a non-gamer friend that I might play Final Fantasy X-2 again.

They immediately had questions:

  • Why is it called ‘Ten Two’? Why not call it ‘Eleven’?
  • Why is only one of the numbers in Roman numerals? Were they worried people would see ‘X-II’ and think they had skipped a game?
  • Why is it written as “X-2”? Looks like ‘ten minus two’. Is it secretly Final Fantasy 8?

I didn’t have the heart to break it to them that there are actually three Final Fantasy XIIIs. With all the other spin-offs, prequels and pseudo-sequels out there, I honestly don’t know how many Final Fantasy games are out there myself.

And now we have Remakes in the mix.

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Firesky’s Collection of Abjuration Spells

Self promotion incoming!

Writing Dungeons & Dragons stories is fun, but there’s also something fun in coming up with the spells and magic items to use in the game.

Firesky’s Collection of Abjuration Spells is my first set of magic spells on DMSGuild.com. ‘Abjuration’ spells are all about protection, for you and others.

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Who is the Double Jump master?

There was one Jedi ability in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order that I found so underwhelming that it gave me pause for thought. The protagonist, Cal Kestis, can Force rag-doll stormtroopers with ease, he can lazily block blaster bolts and boomerang his lightsaber across the battlefield.

On the other hand, the boy can’t Force Jump.

When he does ‘remember’ how to use the Force to get more elevation, the result is disturbingly wimpy. At the apex of his normal leap, Cal does a tumble in the air, spinning forwards a few more feet. I mean, it’s impressive (I’m not saying I can do better) but for a Jedi he’s definitely under-performing. For a video game character… it’s a little blasé; a front-flip as a double jump? Seen it.

Not that the Jedi jumps are better in Battlefront

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