What is Gaming With Grayson really about?

I just wanted to take this moment to let you all know exactly what Gaming With Grayson is REALLY about.

Gaming With Grayson is about building a community to discuss games and gaming news openly, with as little bias as possible and I’d like you all to be a part of it.
I always encourage people to ask questions, give opinions and be active within this community. Whether that be with comments, sending me messages and asking questions, or sharing your own opinions with us. All of you make this community great.

Gaming With Grayson is a place where you can share opinions publicly without getting harassed or worry about flame wars. Here the goal is, for controversial opinions, to create an articulate debate without things getting out of hand. Obviously that means no flame wars or trolls. No question is a stupid question, no opinion is above or below another.

This community was created with the phrase “Be A Better Gamer” in mind. That doesn’t mean get better at video games. What that means is be the bigger person. If someone trash-talks, mute/block them and move on. If people are cheating, report them, leave the lobby and find a new one. Just don’t publicly announce it. Treat every gamer with respect.

These simple guidelines not only create a better gaming environment and help to improve various communities, they also are the foundation for the Gaming With Grayson community. Treat everyone with respect, if someone says something that bothers you, either respectfully inform them, or just move on. If there is a controversial opinion, be courteous and don’t flame. If you need to say something, counter their opinion with yours in a kind manner. Never call someone out for not knowing something you think everyone should know. Everyone has a different perspective and a different mind-set. Remember, not a single question, comment or request is stupid.

Live every day of your gaming life with these guidelines in mind. Be A Better Gamer. Gaming With Grayson is a nerdy gaming community with these values at our core. Be proud to be a part of it and please help keep the standards intact.

Welcome to Gaming With Grayson. Where the gamers gather.

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Lifeless Moon – A Kickstarter Sequel

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Lifeless Moon is the Sequel to Lifeless Planet, which was fully funded on Kickstarter on October 24, 2011.

In Lifeless Planet, we see ourselves stranded on an alien world, alone. Our crew is missing and we wake up with a ruptured suit. We then start to explore the desolate wasteland. Suddenly, we come across a road and power lines. When we follow it, we discover a soviet-era town. It’s long-abandoned and we begin to question if we’re on another world or if this is some sort of test. We find out real quick it’s an alien world.

Lifeless Planet is an interesting explorative story with lots of questions that get answered, has a heavy mysterious/ominous air lingering over the entire game and has a strong narrative. It’s definitely worth your time and is available on Steam, PS4, Xbox One and Windows.

Now, Lifeless Moon is also on Kickstarter. So what’s the story this go around?

During an expedition to the Moon, two astronauts find themselves in a familiar town back on Earth. They soon discover the town is the beginning of a strange and mysterious journey…

Lifeless Moon is a spiritual successor to our previous title Lifeless Planet (PC/Mac/Linux/XB1/PS4). Featuring support for VR (but playable without!), Lifeless Moon takes players on a fantastic journey through the eyes of Apollo-era astronauts. There will be light platforming and a deeper focus on puzzles than in Lifeless Planet. The core game-play experience is one of exploration and discovery, complementing the mysterious and psychological themes of the story.

You can head over to the Kickstarter page linked above for more information on the gameplay.

No doubt you have more questions, well they have some answers!

Q: What platforms will the game be available on?

A: We’re confirmed for Xbox One and PC/Mac/Linux. Other platforms are yet to be announced, but we’re hoping for PS4 and Switch as well. NOTE: The betas will be on PC/Mac only at this time.

Q: Steam or DRM-free?

A: Let’s do both! We offered Lifeless Planet through Humble which provided a Steam key and a DRM-free download. Worked great, so we’re planning for that again.

Q: Is the game single player? Will there be other characters in the story?

A: Yes, the game is a single player action-adventure. There will be other characters in the game, most notably your fellow astronaut crew mate. He will be a guide as you explore the mysterious places you encounter in Lifeless Moon. However, due to a strange Event, you are separated from your crew mate in time. You may catch a glimpse of him or hear him over comms, but it becomes clear the two of you are living in separate time dimensions. Your crew mate is thus a few minutes ahead of you at all times and can sometimes give you clues to what lies ahead. Like Aelita in Lifeless Planet, your fellow astronaut will provide direction and information about the places… and things… you will encounter.

In regards to other characters, we do not want to spoil the story, but we’ll just say “Lifeless” is in part an ironic title (it also speaks to the psychological themes of the story)… Yes the Moon is a place of “magnificent desolation,” but who knows what places or characters live beyond the Event?

Q: Will the game support 4K? What about HDR?

A: Yes, the game will support 4k and HDR on Xbox One X and in Windows.

Q: What will the system requirements be for PC/Mac/Linux?

A: We’re still early in development so haven’t fixed system requirements. Expect a bit more than with Lifeless Planet to get high resolution graphics, but we’ll work hard to make it playable with lower quality settings on slower PCs. (For reference, Lifeless Planet’s system reqs via Steam will be listed at the end of this post.)

Q: What engine are you using?

A: Lifeless Moon is built in Unity. With support for high dynamic range (HDR) and physically based rendering (PBR), Unity is truly capable of leading-edge game visuals. In addition, it provides wide support for all major platforms including virtual reality hardware. Of course, while the tools are important, the vision and skill of the artists are what really counts. Lifeless Moon is an indie game under development by a very small team, but we’re excited about what we’re creating for you!

At the time of this writing, Lifeless Moon has 8 days left to go and is 56% funded. We can make this happen! If you enjoyed Lifeless Planet, or love indie games with great stories and atmosphere, head over to the Kickstarter page for Lifeless Moon and help it come alive!

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NOTE: I have no financial stake in this post or this game other than my personal backing amount, which does not get collected by Kickstarter until the project is fully funded. I was not paid for this post or for promoting this project or its prequel.

As promised, here are the system reqs for Lifeless Planet:

Sorry for the formatting below, for some reason it isn’t staying how I set it.

 

Windows:
Minimum:
                           OS: Windows XP
Processor: Core 2 Duo or AMD equivalent
                           Memory: 1500 MB RAM
                           Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 430 or ATI equivalent
                           DirectX: Version 9.0c
                           Storage: 900 MB available space
                           Sound Card: DX9.0c compatible

Recommended:
O
S: Windows 7
Processor: Intel Core i3 or faster
Memory: 3000 MB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA Geforce GT 640 or faster
DirectX: Version 10
Storage: 900 MB available space
Sound Card: DX9.0c compatible

 

Mac OS X:
Minimum:
OS: 10.7 (Lion) or newer
Processor: Core 2 Duo or Better (2ghz or faster)
Memory: 1500 MB RAM
Graphics: NVidia/ATI Dedicated Graphics (Integrated Intel Graphics not supported)
Storage: 900 MB available space

 

SteamOS + Linux:
Minimum:
OS: Ubuntu 64-bit
Processor: Intel Core i3 or faster
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA Geforce GT 640 or faster
Storage: 900 MB available space

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ChromaGun – First Impressions!

 

If you’re like me, you’re wondering just what the heck ChromaGun is. Well, I got the opportunity to play it and let me tell you, this game is pretty dang fun.

So what is it? Well, it’s simple, really. You have a ChromaGun and you use it to solve puzzles. If you’re good at mixing colors, this game is pretty easy. There is even a Colorblind mode!

It draws heavy inspiration from games like Portal but gives it’s own unique twist. Instead of making portals, you’re making colors! Instead of turrets, you have spikey balls of death!

I’ve not made it very far yet (only the end of chapter 2) but I’m having a blast and it makes you think. I’ve had to take some tactical impalements due to messing up a section. You can always just hit “Restart Level” but where is the fun in that? Some levels get pretty intense and heavily rely on your ability to think on the fly. You’ll be surprised how often you forget how to make Purple or Orange when you’re being chased by 5 spikey balls of death.

ChromaGun is a fun little game that will likely fly under the radar. That said, it’s worth a pickup! You can pick it up now on Steam, PS4 and Xbox One.

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Refunct – A Review

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Refunct is a nifty little interactive experience by Dominique Grieshofer. The style and controls call to mind the Pure Time Trials DLC from the original Mirror’s Edge.

This is a game that very short but can be very thought provoking. It’s a very relaxing and soothing atmosphere with some nice music you can just kinda chill to.

The premise? You run around and hit buttons and collect cubes while all the platforms you step on get colored. Sounds dumb, I know. However, it’s presented in a way that isn’t overly challenging and it just… Is. It never promises to be anything more or less than what it is.

The controls are very responsive, the music is great and visuals are very pleasing. Replay allows you to beat your previous run times and paint the ground with a new color each time.

In the end, this is a game that can last 3-60 minutes each run. You’re painting a picture. Of what, I will not say. That’s part of the experience. In fact, you might say it’s the entire experience, as you are painting your own experience with each platform.

This game is only $3 and is available on Steam (Win, Mac and Linux) and Xbox One. Currently, it’s on sale on the X1 for $1.50 for another 8 days. It’s also worth noting that on Steam it’s overall and current ratings are “Overwhelmingly Positive” with a total of 4,730 reviews and on the X1 it’s rated 4.5/5 stars.

Refunct allows you to take a look into yourself in a way most others don’t. It allows you to Refunct Your Heart.

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The Dwarves – A Book’s First Impressions!

I started reading The Dwarves by Markus Heitz last week in my spare time at work. I’ve had my eye on the game since it launched on Kickstarter, and wanted to find out the story behind the game. The book is 730 pages long, or, for a frame of reference, the same length as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

In just a week, I’ve gotten to just shy of 1/4 of the way through. Also keep in mind, I get about an hour a day to read, at most. The Dwarves starts us off 1,035 year in the past in the 5,199th Solar Cycle. It is here that the catalyst for the events of the book are to happen. We follow the Dwarves of the Fifthling Kingdom as they make their final stand against the Perished Lands.
The Dwarves of the Fifthling Kingdom have always stood watch against the hoards to the north, but a disease has wiped out most of them. A strange curse comes from the North with the invaders. When a Dwarf falls, he is brought back, soulless, and fighting against his kin.
As more fall, the gates that have remained closed since the dawn of time, open for the first time, allowing the invaders access to all of Girdlegard.

We then jump to the 6,234th Solar Cycle, where we meet our hero, Tungdil Bolofar. He’s a Blacksmith. A Dwarf that is living in a kingdom of men. He has never met another Dwarf. After a series of events, Tungdil gets sent out on a journey, his first quest. Which is good, because he yearns for adventure, and the possibility of meeting another Dwarf.

Along his way, he meets some kind strangers, but also gets thrown into bad situations, including being forced to sneak out of an Orc encampment, getting his leg caught in a wolf trap, and other hang-ups.
Tungdil has never fought. He was raised as a Blacksmith and scholar. Where I stopped, Tungdil had just killed his first Orc, and is about to take on another.

The further I read, the more I look forward to playing the game that just released based on this novel. I’m only on page 177, and I would highly recommend picking up The Dwarves by Markus Heitz.

If you are interested: http://www.dwarves-game.com/

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ABZÛ – First Impressions & Wrap-Up!

This post will contain spoilers near the end. I will mark them so readers who want to experience this journey for themselves can stop reading.

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ABZÛ comes to us from the art director of the renown games, Flower and Journey. For those that aren’t familiar with those titles, Flower made use of the Six-axis on the PS3, as you played as a flower petal, moving along the wind to bring life to the world. A gorgeous and relaxing title with an amazing score. Journey saw us in a multiplayer setting, in which we are in a desert, and making a journey to a fallen star on a mountain top.

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A scene in Flower depicting the movement on the breeze.

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A scene in Journey depicting one of the many “sand-surfing” segments with your final destination in the background.

ABZÛ means “Ocean of Wisdom” and plays off its meaning very well. You begin as a lone diver, apparently stranded in the water. The opening scene of James Cameron’s Sanctum comes to mind. You awake and begin to explore the ocean. You can breach the surface, hold on to larger fish, find meditation statues, secret pools of fish, hidden seashells, and just generally enjoy a beautiful view of the ocean.

The controls took a bit of getting used to, but once you learn the little hidden things you can do, such as boosting, you can move around quicker and just have a lot of fun swimming around.

This game is short, but I would recommend picking it up for fans of Flower and/or Journey, or fans of scuba diving or the oceans. Normally it’s $19.99 USD, but right now it’s on sale for the Xbox One for $16.99 USD.

 

 

~~HEAVY SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT! IF YOU DO NOT WANT SPOILERS, PLEASE STOP READING!~~

 

 

Alright, so while playing ABZÛ, I was so confused. I knew there were going to be ruins of an ancient city. What I didn’t expect was the utilization of underwater rivers in a technological standing to open doors. I started thinking, I must be in Atlantis. This was further pushed into my mind by giant mechanical doors.

That’s when I started to notice something in the murals. People looking just like the diver teaching people who looked slightly different. I started to think, alien race. Now, modern tech is modeled after them.

The further I pushed, the more my suspicions were confirmed. You find a destroyed upside-down mechanical pyramid. You watch as it creates machinations. That’s when you discover that you might be a robot. That gets confirmed shortly thereafter. Eventually you go to destroy the machinations and return life to the ocean.

Finishing ABZÛ, I have a lot of theories. The primary being that you were a mechanized race, come to show people technology and how to utilize the soul of the ocean. Something went wrong. Either they rebelled, or a catastrophe happened. I think it WAS Atlantis based on technologies and buildings you see, especially an entire city (looking like Jules Verne’s Atlantis from Journey to the Center of the Earth).

I also think that, seeing what happened to the ocean, you make amends by giving parts of your own technologically advanced soul, to bring life back to the area. To repair what your race damaged.

If you’ve played it, what are your thoughts? Theories?

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Coming Soon: ABZÛ – First Impressions!

abzu-752x430That’s right! ABZÛ is a game brought to us by the former Art Director of Thatgamecompany, the guys who brought us Flow, Flower and Journey. He formed his own company after finishing his work on Journey, Giant Squid Studios, in order to create a game that was more “full of life” in comparison to Journey’s very desolate and alone feel. Published by the ever-famous 505 Games, ABZÛ promises to be an adventure just like Journey or Flower.

Matt Nava decided to use his love of Scuba diving as his inspiration for what we will come to know as the Ocean of Wisdom.

Stay tuned for my First Impressions, followed by a Wrap-Up in the very near future!

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Lara Vs. Croft Manor – A 20 Year Celebration.

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The Rise of the Tomb Raider’s 20th anniversary has gone live! It’s available in multiple forms. You can buy the 20th Anniversary edition, you can be a Season Pass holder, or you can buy it individually. Not only does it include skins from previous Tomb Raider titles, but it includes new Co-op modes, a new “Lara’s Nightmare” mode, as well as a single-player story that takes place after the events of the primary game.

The single player story takes place in Croft Manor, and instead of combat, it’s focus is on Lara re-discovering her family home and trying to save it from falling into the hands of her uncle. Lara will rediscover her childhood, remember her father and mother, and even learn of secrets hidden away in the bowels of the manor.

Lara’s Nightmare takes place in the manor as well, and is similar to the Cold Darkness Awakened game mode, in which Lara fights infected in her nightmare inside the manor.

On top of all of this, if you play any version of Rise of the Tomb Raider by the 18th of October, you’ll be able to go to the in-game marketplace, head over to “Gifts” and get 100,000 in-game credits, just for playing during the 20th Anniversary Celebration week!

So dust off your copies, grab a friend and take on Rise of the Tomb Raider’s game modes together!

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