The journey of a nerd who loves the Lord

Archive for the ‘Video Games’ Category

Company Ethics



Recently, thousands of gamers raged when a gaming company, Activision-Blizzard, took steps against a gamer. During a live broadcast of a Blizzard event, the gamer shared his support of the Hong Kong movement. Gamers felt betrayed because the company they loved seemingly pandered to China by heavily punishing the offending gamer.  This gaming company has a growing interest in China, and clearly hopes to grow its sales in one of the largest markets of the world. These gamers hope to force change in the company through protest and refusing to buy future products from the company. This brings up a few logical disconnects that I hope to address with this blog entry. (more…)

Review: Pools of Radiance (1988)

goldboxPool of Radiance is a role-playing video game developed and published by Strategic Simulations, Inc (SSI) in 1988. It was the first adaptation of TSR’s Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) fantasy role-playing game for home computers, becoming the first episode in a four-part series of D&D computer adventure games. The other games in the “Gold Box” series used the game engine pioneered in Pool of Radiance, as did later D&D titles such as the Neverwinter Nights online game. Pool of Radiance takes place in the Forgotten Realms fantasy setting, with the action centered in and around the port city of Phlan. (Wikipedia) (more…)

Review: Icewind Dale Enhanced Edition


Icewind Dale was was originally developed by Black Isle Studios and released on June 29, 2000.  Icewind Dales Enhanced edition was later developed by Beamdog and released on October 30, 2014.


Evil stirs beneath the Spine of the World. (more…)

The Best Retro Machine


As a fan of more traditional RPGs (especially turn based) and strategy games, I often have to turn to retro gaming for my kicks.  Out of the dozens (if not hundreds) of games I saw on display during this year’s E3 conference, I only spotted three turn based RPGs, and one sad, mobile strategy game.  Back 10-20 years ago, one could not walk down the shelves without hitting a dozen titles that fit these genres.


Review: Jade Empire

When some do retro-reviews, they attempt to view through the lends of that time.  Given that I played games as they came out in every decade since the 80’s, I certainly have the qualifications to give that perspective.  Ultimately, however, when I rate older games, the bottom line for me is “Did I have fun?  Do I want to play this game until the end?  Do I want to play it again?” (more…)

#MRPG Review – MH4U

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Review

MRPG for the N3DS Entertainment System

mh4u.pngSalutations!  For #MRPGMarch this year, I ran with Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate for the New Nintendo 3DS system.  With everyone (myself included) finishing up with Monster Hunter World, I searched for my next, big challenge.  And BOY, did I find it.

MH4U starts you off with a basic character creator, and the same 14 weapon choice you will find in MHW.  The weapons feel pretty balanced and while some lack the fluidity I got used to, others feel nearly exactly the same.  I really enjoyed how many of the environments encourage you to use multiple levels, walls, jumps from ledges and more to tackle your foes.  The combat system completely does the job well here.  On my New 3DS, I always had a smooth 30 FPS, and the controls always felt spot on.

The star of any Monster Hunter are the monsters, and MH4U features them in spades.  While you can find a few weak entries here, most feel original, and some will utterly surprise.  One ice creature, in particular, always shocks players with a particular attack the first time they see it.  I really enjoyed listening to my friend’s reactions there.  As you would expect, these creatures fight viciously, holding nothing back, and putting you on your toes.


With parts from creatures and other materials you find around the world you create new weapons, armors, potions, consumables and more.  While these systems lack some of the quality of life improvements found in the PS4 game, requiring help from Google more times than not, that only slightly diminished the joy of creating a new shiny gunlance from a recently downed Tigrex.

Of course, there are SOME irritations.  The tutorials are anemic, contributing to more googling.  Thankfully, there are not only great web pages more than up to the task, but awesome YouTube videos on everything from boss strategies to weapon combos.  Environments you hunt in are broken down into smaller, arena size rooms.  Whenever you hit an exit, even on accident, it can rip you out of the action, taking away some of the thrill of the fight.  Conversely, it DOES make a strategic retreat tactic when the aforementioned Tigrex closes in for the final swipe.  Finally, controls feel a bit unorthodox, and take a bit of time to get used to.  However, friends who played MHW informed me that they got on board with this older scheme within an hour or so.

MH4U takes most of what you love about MHW, and cranks it up to 12.  With more monsters, more quests, deeper combining system, and more, there’s a lot to like here.  Obviously, graphics cannot compare, and monster lack the epic interactions you find in the more modern iteration.  With that said, So much of what makes MHW fun came right from this game.  Having all of that in the palm of your hand just blows the mind.  I cannot recommend this game enough.  I have yet to finish the game, even with 80 hours in.  With that said, my current score is COMPLETE IT!!!



April is #ARPGApril – American RPGs!  And for that I choose….


I know… how does Jade Empire qualify for ARPGApril?  Easy!  It’s made by Bioware, a Canadian (North American) company!  Game ON!

Five Reasons I’m Excited for Monster Hunter World


Generally, I really enjoy playing and discussing older and retro-style games.  In fact, I plan to write more than a few articles about them over this year.  However, as you may have read in my 2018 resolution’s list, one new game definitely has my full attention, Monster Hunter World.

The Monster Hunter series sells like hotcakes in Japan, with 40 million sold, worldwide, over the years.  Essentially, Monster Hunter is their version of Call of Duty, with a new iteration coming out nearly every year.  However, most western gamers, myself included, found it unapproachable in the past.  What makes Monster Hunter World worthy of my attention?  Let me give you five answers.