Category Archives: Uncategorized

Doc, tired but bouncy

(Video in post. If you’re in a reader and can’t see the video, click over.)

I see that I should have turned my tablet the other way? Bugger because I hate videos that have this much ‘screen’ around them, but … oh wells. Will do better next time.


Civilization:Beyond Earth, very first impressions

Windows 10 issues with Covilization:Beyond Earth Steam discussion

This was my introduction to Civilization:Beyond Earth … it wouldn’t launch. I made sure my video drivers were up to date. Nada. I changed my “My Documents” folder so that it wasn’t “Read Only”. When that didn’t work I verified the game files. Still, it kept presenting me with the options of playing it with or without AMD Mantle, only to ask again without ever starting the game. Repeatedly. The last thing I did was to change my resolution … I had it 125% bigger due to my current vision problems. Putting it back to 100% (or, normal?) did the trick and finally got her started. If I remember correctly it took around 40 minutes to get the game to finally start.

I’d had a long frustrating day and the launcher issues probably didn’t help. The opening cinematic was unexpected, very well done and served to set the tone well. The game music is exactly what I’d expect from a Civilization game, that being top-notch. In the little time I played (92 minutes?) I did see a bit of Civ V and I liked that as it felt familiar. I think it also helped my mind forget I was playing a new game, however, and maybe that’s why some of then ‘new’ was jarring.

Civilization:Beyond Earth ADVISR

This made me chuckle.

The sound effects are going to take some getting used to. Learning where to fight is also important because on this alien planet there’s this nasty miasma mess that’s helped to kill my soldiers, All of them including my explorers. I expected a learning curve to present itself but when the ADVISR informed me the last of my soldiers were dead, even though I was directing a unit to go and take care of a particularly nasty group of enemies at that very second, I saved and exited to Windows.

I think my frustrating day coupled with the buggy game start had me a bit too tired to really enjoy playing. The new systems look interesting. The other civilization leaders look very polished in a sci-fi-digital age kind of way. The tech tree, at first glance, is an atrocious mess. It’s very hive-like in design and I don’t like it right now. Once I’m used to it I may feel differently. I certainly can’t see me winning a victory in this first game without someone holding my hand! I’ll be starting a new game next time I play but I want to read up on a few of the new systems first. I launched a solar collector and understand that it affects the tiles under it, but, …. in what way? Miasma? Cloaking? Does it rain lasers upon my enemies? I don’t know and if the game told me, I didn’t hear or see it. The quest system is nice though I must admit the directional arrows on radar windows to point me in the right directions (like in LotRO) were missed by yours truly! The introduction of the other civilization leaders … the first introduction scared me. /sheepishgrin

It happens.

My first session was rough, round the edges and a bit in the center as well but I’m looking forward to delving deeper into the game as I learn to play all over again. Lot to explore yet! Any tips for a new player? Did you jump when you met the first other civ leader? Are explorers considered military and soldiers not? Do you hate miasma as much as I do?

Questions, I has lots of them!



Animal Crossing:Amiibo Festival is exactly what it should be!

My youngest son bought Animal Crossing:Amiibo Festival (Wii U) for me for Christmas. It arrived yesterday but by the time I had a chance to play I was by myself. You can elect to play with one to four people so I went with a single player game and the other three spots were filled by computer players. If you’ve ever played the Animal Crossing games and have a Wii U, I highly recommend this game! It’s exactly what you’d expect from Animal Crossing in so many ways!

Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival game length rule

A month, you say?

I’ve only ever played two of the Animal Crossing games, those being New Leaf and Happy Home Designer. My favorite, of the two, is New Leaf. Amiibo Festival takes place in a town much like your own (should you play the other games). Re-Tail, the Train Station, the river and bridges, they’re all there on the game board. Your favorite NPCs are there as well, including some from Happy Home Designer. Some of the NPCs are for regular ‘events’ while others are for special events and mini-games. For instance, I finally met Katie! I’ve never seen her appear in my town so seeing her in Amiibo Festival was a nice surprise. Christmas this year was so busy for me I forgot to play New Leaf and experience Toy Day. My Amiibo Festival game tonight took place during the month of December so I met Jingle for the first time as well.


Trophy ceremony to finish the game, Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival

I won!

I played as Isabelle and enjoyed playing her that much more since my game came with both the Isabelle and Digby amiibo figures. I also have three amiibo cards for the game but wasn’t sure when you’re supposed to use them so they’re still in the box. The mini-games I played were very Animal Crossing-ish and made me feel right at home. Joan and the Stalk Market are a big part of Amiibo Festival, something I assumed I wouldn’t enjoy since I detest it when playing New Leaf. The way the turnip trade works in Amiibo Festival, however, is fun and can swing in your favor. Or not. Still a game of chance with Joan and her roots! I’m hoping to play again tonight with my daughter. I think playing against family/friends would be even more enjoyable, especially if you win. Always feels great to beat your loved ones, no? At one point during the game last night I had the most bells by a VERY LONG SHOT!! Then I found myself in a ‘chance event’ and lost them to another (computer) player. I won’t lie, that kind of irked me, but I still won the game. You collect Happy Points as you play and the winner is the one who’s accumulated the most. Bells come into play at the end of the game as you can purchase one Happy Point per thousand bells. The thief who stole all 90K of my bells is the one on the end holding the wooden trophy. She didn’t place. Serves her right, too, because cheaters never win.


I’ll be honest here and say that after Happy Home Designer I wasn’t sure what to expect from Amiibo Festival. It’s not that I don’t like HHD, I do. It’s just not at ALL what I was expecting from an Animal Crossing game. I half expected Amiibo Festival to be a clone of Mario Party and I would have been okay with that. I’m stoked it’s not and over-the-moon with how well tied into the series it is. There are even nods to HHD in some of the events. Very cute game!

Hope you guys have had a great start to the new year!



My wishlist for the week

This is what I’m hoping happens this week in terms of game time.

  • Dragon Age 2
  • Recettear, getting past day 22 (that 80K pix payment is HARSH!)
  • Octodad
  • Some Mario time
  • LotR: War in the North

I’m thinking this week should be much smoother, more normal, than recent weeks and if all goes well I should get daily game sessions in. I’m most looking forward to playing more DA:2 and Mario as of right now.

I played Recettear over the weekend and thought I was doing amazingly well. I not only made that first loan payment of 10K pix, I had more than twice that! The second payment, 30K pix was startling as I didn’t know it increased that much but that third, woof! I failed that one seven ways from Sunday. Made me not want to put the game down for a few, rethink thinks and look for another guide. I’ve no clue what I should be doing. What I’d like to do is get all those ‘I’m a miser and want you to give me stuff for almost NO money’ people together, throw them in a dungeon and let Louie take them all out. It’s like they don’t get that I’m running an item shop because I’m going to LOSE MY HOUSE if I don’t make the loan payments!


I also have a most serious itch to get back into Dragon Age: Inquisition but I’ve told myself I have to wait until my replay of DA:2 is done. Hard, people! My daughter’s boyfriend started playing LotR: War in the North a few days ago and now I want to finish my game there something fierce! It’s been way too long! I’m going to find my electric throw and get it plugged in by my computer so I can zone out in game after dinner this week and feel nice and cozy warm while doing so.

May the gaming ghods rain time on you this week as well!

Puzzles are certainly different in Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments

Sherlock Holmes Crimes and Punishments, intro screen

I’ve been playing Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments and I have to say, the game is BEAUTIFUL! Frogwares studios delivered another solid game to add to their Sherlock Holmes collection and I’m over-the-moon enjoying working the cases as I play through. So far I’ve completely two and started a third, the “Blood Bath” case. My husband heard a bit of the dialogue on the second case I played, “Riddle on the Rails” and told me he’d read the story that one was based on. I found that to be super neat!

Frogwares admitted, after putting The Testament of Sherlock Holmes out, that they went a bit too far on the puzzles and made some of them too hard. They said the next game, Crimes and Punishments, wouldn’t have those seemingly impossible puzzles and, to that, they’re right. The puzzles this go round aren’t hard to solve at all. That said, the floating ghostly ‘tobacco and cigar’ puzzles drive me batty. You’re presented with a sliding piece image and have to line it up correctly. You rotate the entire image and have to slide two pieces into place to complete it. Sounds simple, no? Deceptively! I’ll think I have the two pieces lined up correctly and when nothing happens, after barely bumping them a million times (seems!) I’ll rotate the image and again to a different view and start over. UGH.

Sherlock Holmes Crimes and Punishments tobacco puzzle

The ‘lock picking’ puzzles are super simple. So far it’s the same basic puzzle (with minor differences) each time you have to pick a lock. I appreciate the simplicity I suppose but I miss the complexity of ‘lock picking’ from Testament. Think I’ve had this puzzle three times now … was hoping for, I dunno, different with each lock.

Sherlock Holmes Crimes and Punishments cab ride screen

Attention to detail is HUGE, again, and I love the cab ride ‘loading screens’ in the game. In the above Sherlock is reading Crimes and Punishment! Other times he’s deep in thought or reading a different book. Watson may be going over his notes or … Best loading screens ever! Baker Street wasn’t changed too much, still looks like Baker Street from Testament, something I deeply appreciate! If you have the game and haven’t checked out the telescope view from Baker Street, you must. (another throw back to Testament) So far the crimes scenes aren’t as stomach-flippingly gory as Testament but I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. Just *is* kind of thing right now.

If you’re on the fence about getting this one, DO IT! Crimes and Punishments has several cases to solve instead of one gigantic case. I like both, having the one story and having several. It’s a great follow-up to Testament, the puzzles won’t do you in and make you rage quit and the stories are interesting. The deduction board does take getting used to but you’ll catch on pretty fast. I have a case to solve waiting on me (think I’m nearing the end of “Blood Bath”) so I must take my leave and get back to ‘work’.