The Wonders of the Universe Dream

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My life is just one big game. No, literally. Or at least it was in this dream. I was on a team with the cast of Community, exploring a submerged and ruinous world in our little jet-ski-motorboat hybrid. The game glitched an awful lot (we were in Beta) so whenever there were waves or little pockets of land, we drove over them in a straight line.

We were supposed to be discovering the mysteries of the universe. Somehow they were the key to beating the game. In the final level we found four statues facing a wall with an intricate circular pattern. Abed studied the markings and decided it looked very much like a closed gateway. The exit!

Having played many games between us, we decided the key must lie with the creepy statues. Each had an intricate carving on their blank stone faces and unlike everything else in that city weren’t so much as chipped or scratched. They were each placed on unusual square tiles; the kind that blatantly need something heavy on to make the switch work. But they were already on them, and we couldn’t so much as budge the crumbling stone figures. Jeff  tried with all his might, but the only thing he managed was a broken nail and a blow to his ego.

In the end we decided the key must still be out there. We left Britta to watch the statues in case anything happened and the rest of us split up. I went with Abed on the jet ski. Sometimes the glitches would go from its straight line facepalmery to dipping us underwater and, of course, we got wet despite not properly going in.

After one of these soakings we stopped amidst a glorious turquoise sea to dry off. We could see many broken islands on the horizon. It was a wonder the purple sky didn’t affect the vibrant blue pigment of the sea. Was that one of the mysteries? Probably just science I didn’t understand.

“I think we should explore the nearest island and then work in a clockwise rotation from there so we don’t miss anything,” Abed said logically.

“Yeah? I just want to explore a bit. I might go for a swim, catch you up in a bit?”

Abed gave me a look. “You know what always happens when teams split up in movies.”

“I know. But this is a game. Dude, I’ll be fine. If I don’t find you in the next hour just go on without me.”

He sighed, then waited for me dive overboard before starting up the engine.

“Good luck!”

“You too,” I smiled reassuringly.

The water was beautifully warm and clear, and surprisingly shallow. I almost forgot we had a mission to complete, I was so relaxed just floating along. Something on the sea bed pricked my hand and brought me back to the moment. I looked underwater and saw nothing. There was no blood, no sign of anything. There wasn’t even so much as an urchin, just smooth sand. Something pricked my leg.

“First wonder of the universe,” I whispered excitedly. There was a grinding sound from somewhere in the distance. I swam to a nearby rock and prepared for a cutscene.

Sure enough, I watched in my head as one of the statues turned all by itself to face East.

One down, three to go, I thought. Abed would be mad he’d missed this. And about the fact I’d been right to go off on my own. Hah.

Someone coughed. Looking over the edge of the rock I saw an old man, knee deep in water and wearing nothing but a white loin cloth. He had a long stick in one hand and was covering his mouth with the other. During his coughing fits he was prodding at something out of his reach on another rock. As I approached I realised, impossibly, that he was prodding at an iPhone.

We conversed briefly, but I couldn’t get much sense out of him.Whatever language he spoke it wasn’t English. Not anymore, anyway. After a while he seemed to decide I wasn’t a threat, and shared with me the second wonder of the universe; the iPhone. I reached up and took it uncertainly. But when I turned it over, my breath caught. Somehow, in the camera lens, was a full-sized thimble. I grinned and thanked the old man. I had to show this to Abed!

I swam quickly to the nearest island, which Abed was thankfully still on.

“Abed look! One of the wonders! I think we have to find four of them to turn the statues!”

“I know,” Abed said. “I saw the cutscenes. I found something too.”

He led me to a crumbling old wall with centuries old Egyptian engravings. There were sketchings of robe-clad men on a long boat and lots of cats. Like, loads of cats. But in the centre of everything were four monumental figures commanding all. Abed gestured to take a closer look. Just above the four Gods someone had scratched something. The player before us had scrawled:

A/
ED

Abed looked at it thoughtfully. I could almost see the possibilities running through his head. “Do you know what it means?” I asked after several minutes of complete silence.

“Not entirely,” he replied. “But I have a vague idea. What was it you wanted to show me?”

I took the iPhone out of my pocket and handed it to him. He took it, looking horrified.

“We have to get to Britta.”

 

The models had already begun moving by the time we made it back. They marched slowly towards the gateway, which was already open and casting a striped shadow across the figures. The wind gushing forth from the other side made it all the more difficult to get there in time. We yelled at Britta to stop the statues from entering the portal. The wind carried away our words, but not our intention. Britta grabbed the arm of the nearest one just before he made it through. She pulled with all her might. Then suddenly everything stopped moving and Britta fell to the floor with the statue.

Silence.

We sat for a moment and caught our breath.That was a close one. Now we just had to figure out how to get the Gods through properly…

 

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Dawn: Contrast Cosplay

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As soon as I saw the trailer for Contrast I wanted to play it. I loved the concept of the game and the visuals were stunning. So I decided to cosplay as Dawn for this year’s Manchester MCM Expo.

Materials and Purchases:

Black boob tube: £4 (Boohoo.com)
Black and white striped leggings: £8 (Boohoo.com)
Yellow Material: £2.99 per square metre (Derby Market)
Black braces: Already owned (Primark)
Black boots: Already owned (Primark)
Black scarf: £3 (Primark)
Black shorts: My own, no idea how much they cost (Probably Primark, possibly Dorothy Perkins)
Red underbust corset: £12.99 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00IJ0WQCI/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)
Long black gloves: £5 (Local fancy dress shop)
Black hair dye: £4 (Bodycare)
Orange and yellow eyeshadow: £4 (Superdrug)
Pink blusher: £2.99 (Superdrug)
Fake eyelashes: £3.85 (ASDA)
Buttons and ribbon to decorate.

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Total spends: £50.72

And minimal sewing! We only had to sew the yellow material to the boob tube, and the little details I wanted to add for perfectionist purposes (the buttons, ribbon, and pattern on the shorts, the buttons and white paint on the braces and the buttons on the gloves).

The altered parts of the costume

The altered parts of the costume

I would have bought a wig instead of hair dye, but hair dye is cheaper, and I couldn’t find one in the right style anyway.
It seems quite expensive at first (though nothing compared to some costumes), but I’ll reuse most of the stuff, especially the corset and the leggings.

Make-up wise, I started with my usual foundation, then brushed talcum powder over my face to look pale enough for the pink to show. I layered my eyelids with yellow and orange eyeshadow and then used felt tip eyeliner and gel eyeliner, before putting on fake eyelashes and the pink cheek stuff.
I’m no expert with make-up, but I was quite pleased with what I achieved:

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And this is the final product:

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A big thanks to the Expo for being epic, and all the amazing costumes I saw with so much work put into them, including Rimmer and Mr. Flibbles, Blackthorn Morgana, Booker Dewitt and Gentleman Deadpool.
Plus I met Andrew-Lee Potts, who said, “Cool costume!” So I was happy 😀

:D

😀

Godus V2 Review 2

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asdfghodus

Well the update finally arrived for Godus! And now the game is practically unplayable. Don’t get me wrong, some of the changes they made are definitely for the better.

But a lot got worse too.

The cool noise you heard when you opened a chest? That’s been removed. The annoying noise when you finish collecting Belief? That stayed! And they’ve now added more annoying sounds to accompany it. If you send someone out to build a house, they now shout, “building!” every time, and sometimes randomly for the hell of it.

That plus the game is still, if not even more buggy, so now the sounds get stuck… we get to hear them over and over again! Yay!

But it’s not a completely negative review. Here are the changes I like:

  • Card system revamped and all the better for it.
  • Land is now easier to sculpt.
  • The people are more interesting and do more than just sit in their houses all day, like collect coconuts, or sit around camp fires.
  • Settlements are now prettier and more defined.
  • Less bugs (so far) concerning land expansions.
  • Storms no longer destroy practically every building every night.
  • The God awful AI have been removed entirely and replaced with a different mini game system.

However, here are the changes I don’t like:

  • Card ‘stickers’ get extremely thin on the ground, and you have to rely on the horrible mini game to get most of them.
  • The horrible mini game.
  • The sounds.
  • The fact it now takes about ten minutes to make a small house, and the builders often go home and sleep.
  • People in settlements need to be assigned jobs… but you leave them alone for a while and they end up unemployed for no apparent reason.
  • The fact that halfway through playing the game again, they incorporated new changes such as “you can’t move that land yet.” I’d already moved the land… now I have houses stuck up there.
  • Any houses behind shrines will not be clickable. Trust me. I’ve tried.
  • The inability to move higher up land, to gain any more stickers and to progress any further will make you faceplant your keyboard.
  • The game crashing every. single. time. you try to quit… and sometimes even when you don’t!

I’m seriously hoping the next update will improve the improvements they tried to improve the last game with.

And fast!

 

Godus Review: 7/10

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Godus

Godus

As soon as I saw the beauty and uniqueness of Godus, I wanted it. I just wasn’t paying the full £14.99 for it.

It went on sale at the beginning of January and I snapped it up right away. Godus is a game where you literally play God (if you couldn’t guess from the title). You can mould the land, build houses, farms and… well actually that’s about it.

No I’m kidding, there’s more to it than that. You begin in the Primitive Age, and your first aim is to get a certain amount of population, which when achieved gives you more land to build on, or upgrades for you people. Once you have progressed enough, you’ll move onto the next age.

It is partially a card based system, in that you collect cards, and once you have enough cards you can use your upgrades. You can find some of these resource cards in chests dotted around the vast map (I’m not kidding, the map is HUGE. I still get a bit lost sometimes).

But the primary focal point in this game is the land. It is the source of all your power! Crush homes, build homes, make pretty cliffs or even art…

Pacman Island

Pacman Island

It comes in several beautiful layers of colour, that you can shape to your heart’s desire… providing you have collected enough Belief from your followers, which is essentially your money.

This is a very clicky game. You have to click a lot to make the land go where you want, and even then it will sometimes pick another layer by accident. This can get annoying, but it’s not a major issue.

This is especially annoying with houses. I’ve lost count of how many times I accidentally destroyed a building with land whilst collecting Belief. And yet if you TRY to destroy a building in the same way, it won’t let you.

This game was addictive, and before long I’d racked up 21 hours on it, just in the Primitive Age. Because the game is still in Beta (and according to them only 41% complete), it only currently has two playable ages: Primitive and Bronze. Primitive I enjoyed very much: I got to explore and build and play around to my heart’s content.

The Bronze Age is not so fun. As soon as you reach it, a storm begins. This was terrifying because it was the first real change to happen in the game. The visuals were quite cool though. Until it stopped and you realised half your buildings were damaged.

So I set to work repairing them all, and found out instead of population goals, I now had agricultural goals. Apparently if you have a plot of land near a town, it will become a field for harvesting, and only the houses in settlements are safe from the storms (because we all know that farms are most common in towns, and wind can’t damage houses when they’re together).

So yeah. The storms come back. On a regular basis. Every night, in fact. There really isn’t a point in fixing your houses, and there’s not really a point in the houses at all in the Bronze Age. You just need to farm. This was where I got bored in the game. I knew there was nothing after the Bronze Age yet so there was no point in continuing with it.

There were a few glitches in the game, such as the three land expansion cards I received that didn’t do anything. I could see the unavailable land, and it stayed that way. It was quite frustrating because I’d run out of space and couldn’t do anything about it.

Another was the timers on buildings. They would randomly freeze so I couldn’t use the people in them, or during the AI challenges the clocks would reset when I needed those people most. The bots also glitched out several times. They would try to move land but it would be blocked by my houses. They’d keep trying and not get anywhere, which gave me free time to win the battles.

Another annoying thing were my followers. They need stairs made for them to get to any level higher or lower than they already are. But these stairs need to be perfect to them; many times they looked at my stairs, pointed at them, and then died after walking around doing nothing.

The Pointing

The Pointing

The noises in this game are also quite peculiar. There is a heartbeat sound effect when you near your goal, and it’s quite unnerving, like you’re about to be ambushed. Then there’s the noise if you collect a lot of Belief all at once and then stop. It’s the most disappointed sound ever, and I found myself taking it slowly when collecting Belief to avoid this noise. And the followers make a noise like a choking duck when they die.

And dare I mention the creepy conversation the bots have in the battle challenges! You get the impression someone rather old created these people and tried to talk like a youngster. There are even some on-purpose mistakes thrown in too for realism.

The main storyline is that one guy fancies a girl but gets rejected, and another girl’s cat gets hit by a car, then she gets made redundant and potentially commits suicide… and these are meant to be Godus players. Seems promising!

But all in all this is a really fun and addictive game. Because it’s only in Beta, the glitches and bad stuff are forgiveable, and I can’t wait to see what they do with the other ages and multiplayer. I would seriously recommend it.

Godus

Isn’t It Pretty!

 

Scribblenauts Shenanigans

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My boyfriend told me I would enjoy Scribblenauts Unlimited due to its wordiness and creativity. He was completely right.

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Super Massive Black Hole

I bought it when it was on sale on Steam for about £3, and it was certainly worth it. I’ve immensely enjoyed creating the most random objects I could to try and complete the objectives. From hydras to dead babies to black holes; your imagination knows no bounds (Well… other than the ‘no profanities’ thing).

And then on top of that, you can give them adjectives! Suddenly you have a fire-breathing dog, or a blind security guard, or a massive angry rainbow unicorn. It is extremely beneficial for you to give Maxwell – the main protagonist – the adjectives “superfast” and “flying.” Failing that, just give him a jetpack: you’ll need to fly to reach some missions.

But let’s rewind back to the plot; I got a bit overexcited. Your grandparents were great explorers, who discovered a magical notepad and a globe that transports you anywhere. These were passed down to you and your sister Lily. One day, a magical man curses you for not showing him any kindness. Over time, Lily will be encased in stone, and you need to do good deeds to get ‘Starites’ which somehow help unpetrify her. The magical notepad creates anything you want, so long as it doesn’t involve genitals, real people’s names, or curse words. The fast travel option is extremely handy seeing as half the time I got a bit lost.

The storyline isn’t that intriguing, but the gameplay is so fun you don’t really care – it is a kid’s game after all, and it’s all about the morals. Though how many kids know what adjectives are these days, I don’t know.

So who is the most powerful game protagonist of all time? My vote lies with Maxwell. Who’s going to oppose a boy who can summon a Cthulu, dragon and nuclear weapons, whilst making himself immortal and overpowered simply by writing that he is? Oh, and there is the little fact he could just fuck you up by giving you adjectives like “limbless” or “dead.” Failing that, he could just make you non-existent. I shit you not.

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The missions to get Starites can get a bit repetitive over time. They all consist of, “I want something that does job X. Create it for me.” And it is ridiculously easy to complete these tasks, so much so that I had completed the overall objective of achieving 60 Starites to free Lily before I’d even covered three quarters of the map.

However, there are so many types of people in various settings that you forgive the same-but-different missions and just try to complete them with the most random things you can think of. From pirate ship to haunted house to swamp – they have almost every setting you can possibly think of. They have ninjas, Santa Claus and Paladins wanting you to do something for them.

To name just a few, I’ve pulled a cart along with a hamster, fed a sociologist to a mutant amoeba, and given a religious nut God’s toenail. All of these completed their missions, and sent me into fits of hysterics when they did.

However, they don’t always work. When Neptune wanted something to help him rule the oceans, giving him a dictator wasn’t good enough. When the mountaineers wanted to find something at the summit, apparently God wasn’t what they were looking for. It is quite subjective, but in most cases it will allow you to choose amazing things.

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Invisible Penguins and Blind Security Guards

They have some great references in there too; if you type in “nerd” you are given Napoleon Dynamite. You want to Rickroll? Sure, summon Rick Astley. You also meet a certain Hobbit in a volcano who’s forgotten what he’s meant to be doing, and a penguin with a rubber glove on its head, trying to steal a diamond from a museum. It’s little touches like this that make me happy.

So overall, I give this game 6/10. It’s fun and inventive, but repetitive and the storyline is a bit drab. There is a creator system where you can create your own objects and put them on the Steam Workshop, but that too is quite limited, and I found it tricky to get the hang of.

For more in depth detail on my Scribblenauts shenanigans, visit my other blog: http://scribblenautsshenanigans.blogspot.co.uk/

Kthnxbai!

Would You Kindly Read My Bioshock Review?

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I never considered playing BioShock until I heard about Infinite. It was such a pretty, novel concept and I found myself eager to play it. I got hooked, and enjoyed every moment. The storyline was especially gripping, which not all decent shooters manage to accomplish. It persuaded me to try the previous two games.

BioShock

BioShock

The underwater city of Rapture is – in my opinion – nowhere near as pretty as Columbia (though I can forgive it, seeing as Rapture was invented five years prior), but the storyline is much darker, and fifty shades of fucked up. You get thrown straight into the action after surviving a plane crash, only to be attacked by psychopaths in bunny masks.

You get introduced to a guy named Atlas… and I fell in love with him straight away. Not just because of the picture on his recording, but that suave Irish accent was beautiful. I was willing to do whatever he said.

I love the recordings aspect of BioShock; I like the noise it makes as it plays them, and it gives good insight into the plot and the minor characters we never really see (in their sane state). There are some pretty nasty ones too, like Dr. Suchong’s experiments with mind control – we hear him telling a young woman to break a puppy’s neck, and her compliance several moments later.

The Little Sisters and Big Daddies are adorable. I hate having to kill the Big Daddies to save the girls, but it’s necessary. It gives you the option to acquire more ADAM to spend on upgrades by harvesting them, but I don’t know how anyone could be so cruel. Especially after hearing her say, “nooooo, Mr. Bubbles!” Besides, they leave you teddy bears with 200 extra ADAM for saving them, so you don’t need to harvest them. The only difference is a different ending… where you are horrible and practically take over the world.

Little_Sister

Little Sister

The camera idea was quite cool. It reminded me of the Dead Rising system, and it was an interesting concept that taking pictures gives you bonuses against enemies. However, I quite often forgot about using it. Similarly many of the weapons I didn’t bother using. They were superfluous when I have Plasmids, a pistol, machine gun and shotgun.I hardly used the grenade launcher, chemical thrower or crossbow.

The abilities were cool too. Admittedly I found some quite useless, like Enrage (which never seemed to work for me) and Security Bullseye. But the shock, fire, ice and wind Plasmids were all good. It was quite annoying that you could only carry so many of them at a time and had to go to your nearest gene bank to swap them, but I just left off the ones I disliked.

There were a couple of things I wasn’t keen on in the game. The hacking system was a right pain in the ass and no fun at all. It’s basically a timed puzzle, and you have to switch the panels round until the tubes align. Most of the time the liquid moved too quickly and the machine short circuited. It was easier just to find automatic hack tools.  Secondly, the wallet limit was annoying. 500 dollars wasn’t much when 40 rounds of machine gun ammo cost 60 dollars. Thirdly, those damn security cameras and their autobot flying turrets. They’re not very powerful, but they’re certainly annoying. However, without the cameras the game is much too easy.

atlas

The Dublin Dreamboat

I had been growing a sneak suspicion that Atlas wasn’t necessarily the good guy he was making out to be. But I hoped for the best so I could continue listening to his lovely voice. However, when I finally met Andrew Ryan, the so-called main antagonist of the game, he explained the truth to me: Atlas wasn’t all he claimed to be. He had brainwashed me with the phrase, “would you kindly?” A wash of realisation hit me and I realised he was right – the game had literally brainwashed me into not noticing the phrase. I was amazed. It’s probably something to do with me falling in love with him saying, “would ya coindly?” Yes. Yes I would. And then his voice was replaced by the rough American accent of Frank Fontaine. I had lost my lovely fictitious Irishman.

Although I was happy the Little Sisters helped me out and then led happy lives, nothing REALLY happened. The end of Infinite (I won’t ruin it for the people who haven’t finished it yet) had me reeling with shock with its ending. At least they’ve improved since Bioshock’s ending I guess.However, despite this shock revelation, I found the ending severely disappointing. Because they had this big reveal, the ending had nothing to give and it was very anticlimactic. I had to fight the League of Legends Brand character that my Atlas really was. Sadly, this was achievable with only 8 crossbow bolts, 4 injections to drain ADAM from him, and 1 first aid kit. It was one of the easiest final bosses I’ve ever faced.

Overall, I’d give this game 7/10. It was really enjoyable to play through, but the ending totally let it down. It had an intriguing storyline, good combat system and I liked the moral choice of saving the Little Sisters. I managed to complete the storyline in nine hours, but that was with thorough looting for diary entries. If they sorted out the hacking system too, I’d have given it higher, and I would have liked achievements to be available, but there weren’t (I played on PC). Definitely worth the time though.