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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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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Help Save An Extra Life.

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Hey everyone. It’s that time of year again. I’m participating in Extra Life! As I did last year, I’ll be streaming whenever I play for Extra Life, and I’ll post when I’m doing it.

This year, if you donate $15 or more, you’ll get a personal shout-out on stream every hour. $25 or more, you’ll get your name on my Game Day Shirt with the shout-out. $50 or more, you pick the game (out of what I own, of course) with the $25 and $15 rewards! $75, you’ll be made a moderator of the Twitch chat with all previous rewards! $100 and you’ll get whatever phrase or quote you want on the Game Day Shirt with all previous rewards! More than $100 and you’ll get a personalized shout-out post via Gaming With Grayson and my personal Facebook with all previous rewards! If you donate $500 you will get a hand-written thank you letter with all previous rewards! If someone donates the famous $1,337, they will be immortalized in my book and game with all previous rewards!

My game day(s) will be throughout October and November. Official Game Day is November 5th, but due to having a very active 4 year old and early work hours, I likely won’t be able to do a 24 hour session, but I will certainly try! Tonight will be the first gaming session! So head on over to twitch.tv/noriyuki_sato at 10:15 PM Mountain Time!

100% of the proceeds go directly to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and are 100% Tax Deductible.  Help me save a life. Please spread this article around as much as you can. Above you’ll be able to link to my profile page, and here you can Donate. These kids need our help.

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Keep Your Eyes On That Horizon – A Firewatch Review

maxresdefaultFirewatch is a story-driven game by developer Campo Santo. People call it a walking simulator, and, while that’s true, it’s more about the personal development of your character, Henry, and his relationship with his boss, Delilah. The writing and dialogue in Firewatch tops the list for Walking Simulators for me.

Firewatch released on PC and PS4 in February, and just released on the 21st of September for Xbox One in NA and will release on the 30th of September for Xbox One in EU.

Firewatch starts us with simple text on a screen. Through this text we explore the background of Henry and a woman named Julia. I won’t spoil anything about the back-story here, but it reminds me a lot of the beginning to the movie ‘Up’. The text sequences are broken up by Henry going to his first day on the job, which includes him getting into his truck, starting on the trail, walking the trail and getting to his post. These are nice sequences that give you a feel for your environment and where you’ll be during the course of the game.

It’s the summer of 1989 in the Shoshone National Forest. Henry is here for the whole summer as a Firewatchman. His first few days are pretty eventful as he learns the ropes, chats with Delilah and has other events occur that will begin to shape his summer. What you say to Delilah will begin to shape the tone of the relationship they have.

You progress through a few consecutive days, before finally getting a peaceful summer, at which point, the day count jumps up by a month. You play through sporadic days as events begin to occur, including a large forest fire (which you get the honor of naming), missing persons, and even a mystery that revolves around Henry and Delilah.

The conversations in Firewatch feel more real and genuine than most games in recent memory. Personality, feeling and emotion are put into the dialogue, which truly makes you feel like you are experiencing life through the eyes of a man named Henry.

This story allows you to be comedic, serious, scared, comforting, accusatory, questioning, and various other things, all through what you choose to say to Delilah. There’s no action in this game, so don’t expect to fight wildlife, however it offers a gorgeous location in the Shoshone National Forest, a wonderfully written story with real characters, choice, exploration and an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind experience with a realistic ending for Henry and Delilah based on their backstories and lives.

Firewatch is $19.99 and worth every penny, even if a once-through will only be about 4 hours, I’ve already gotten 8 hours worth of enjoyment, and plan on many more to come.

A good way to look at this, is if you paid $6/hour for every game (standard movie tickets are about this much depending on length and your location), this game would cost $24 for a once-through. $19.99 is a great price, but never fear, as sales are sure to be ahead with Black Friday and Christmas around the corner!

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