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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Divinity: Original Sin – Enhanced Edition. All the fun of a tabletop RPG without all the erasing!

I’m a huge fan of Tabletop RPG’s, in fact, I play Pathfinder regularly. Divinity: Original Sin – Enhanced Edition is the prequel to the original Divinity, which has a sequel, Divinity II – Ego Draconis/The Dragon Knight Saga. While I never played the original (or spinoffs) I played both versions of Divinity II, totaling ~200 hours of my life. Pro-tip: If you own Ego Draconis, your save does NOT carry over to TDKS as they have different coding. That’s due to Atlus buying the title and re-releasing it as TDKS.

Divinity II is an RPG style of gameplay by modern standards. Third person rear-view, run around, open combat, etc. Original Sin (the most recent… Read All I’m a huge fan of Tabletop RPG’s, in fact, I play Pathfinder regularly. Divinity: Original Sin – Enhanced Edition is the prequel to the original Divinity, which has a sequel, Divinity II – Ego Draconis/The Dragon Knight Saga. While I never played the original (or spinoffs) I played both versions of Divinity II, totaling ~200 hours of my life. Pro-tip: If you own Ego Draconis, your save does NOT carry over to TDKS as they have different coding. That’s due to Atlus buying the title and re-releasing it as TDKS.

Divinity II is an RPG style of gameplay by modern standards. Third person rear-view, run around, open combat, etc. Original Sin (the most recent installment) plays out like a Pathfinder or D&D game. It’s actually really tough, even on easy, which I feel is on purpose. That’s how a good Pathfinder/D&D game goes. Everything is turn/round based as you would expect, based on initiative ratings. There are saving throws (automatic) skills, perks, base stats, feats, etc.

You start off with two characters, which you can customize. However, pick your class before customizing skills/stats or they get reset and you have to do it over. You can even choose the AI Personality, which chooses how they act during conversations and decisions, as well as how they will react to what you do/say. You can also choose “No Personality” to manually choose how they will react to every situation, sometimes leading to a mini-game to decide who will win the argument. It’s Rock, Paper, Scissors. You can switch between your party members at any time, and even separate the group to deal with traps.

You can have up to 4 members in your party, and honestly it can get to be a bit much. The good news is, you can play solo, couch-co-op or online co-op. That takes some of the burden off. Each of you then takes control of the main characters (leading to some interesting experiences), and can control either of the other party members at will. This also makes splitting the loot more interesting.

I got this game on an amazing deal on the Xbox One at 74% off. I would have been willing to pay the full price for this game. It truly does an amazing job of giving you the pencil & paper experience without the need for erasing and getting new sheets. The only other thing, is so far, you don’t get the full 100% freedom of say, choosing a killer out of 3 suspects, you have to investigate to find the 100% without-a-doubt killer. That could also be a DM decision, where the Guard Captain wouldn’t believe you without irrefutable proof. I also understand that this isn’t meant to have the freedom of Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment, so I’m not really upset about it.

Anyone who has ever enjoyed pencil & paper RPG’s should pick this up. It’s got a 60+ hour campaign and is worth every penny.

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(Quantum) Breaking the norm.

This review comes a little late to the party, but here it is!

For all the mixed reviews it got, Quantum Break aimed to make use of Microsoft’s original vision of the X1. Combining games with other forms of media. Originally there was going to be a television show that aired alongside Quantum Break, instead, they put it in-game between the chapters. You can opt to skip these, but they show an interesting view point, which is Monarch’s side of the main story and the internal struggle going on there.

This is your typical Remedy game. That means it’s not very long, but the story, visuals, sound, gameplay, controls.. All of it is top-tier. You play as Jack Joyce. A man who, through an accident, gains the ability to manipulate time in small, isolated quantities. He uses his abilities to attempt to stop Monarch, the corporation responsible for time fracturing.

At the end of each chapter you will play a junction section, where you play as the head of Monarch, Paul Serene. The decisions you make as Serene, will alter how the rest of the game, and the TV show, play out. Remedy was able to score top-notch actors, including Sean Ashmore as Jack Joyce, Dominic Monaghan as Will Joyce and Aiden Gillian as Paul Serene.

If you’re looking for a new single-player story-driven game, check out Quantum Break. You can pick it up on Windows 10 and Xbox One, if you own both copies, you can play the same save file on both platforms, so you can take it with you whenever you go without having to start a new game. That’s a pretty cool feature, and it’s another first that Quantum Break can be proud of. Not only did they incorporate the X1’s original vision, but they were the pioneers in allowing cloud saves to sync to a PC copy of their game. A big kudos to Remedy for pulling it all off successfully.

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Elite: Dangerous

So I picked up Elite: Dangerous last week. I’ve been playing it a lot and I’m really enjoying it. You have the entire galaxy to explore, but only about 900 of the 300,000 star systems are occupied, and they’re all in one area. That’s really all the bad news. The good news is, this game is great. I’m having tons of fun, even just choosing to be a space trucker. I’ve dabbled in bounty hunting and smuggling as well. Right now, I’m in the process of becoming a fuel rat, who are the people that rescue stranded pilots by giving them, you guessed it, fuel.

There really is a LOT to this game in occupied space, but in the scale of the galaxy, there isn’t much to do.

Before I do that, however, I chose to take on a personal journey. I will be visiting the center of the galaxy, which will take me about a month real time to get there and back in a lot of unoccupied space. I will be chronicling my journey for you through a series of role-played posts with images of my journey. Below is the first set:

 

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“The first leg of my journey into the big black empty is over. 42 jumps in and i’m roughly 1/25 of the way home. I’m travelling to the center of the galaxy and back. It’s empty out here. Wish I had some company on this voyage. Fly safe CMDR’s. o7.”

~ CMDR NoriYuki Sato | Heavy Metal King – Space Trucker.

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Streaming Tonight!

Hey Gamers, I will be doing a live stream tonight and I will be playing Elite: Dangerous. I’ll be doing a live review during the stream. Elite Dangerous can be slow, but the entire Milky Way is at your disposal. The premise is, you complete pilot’s training, got a loaner ship, have 1,000 credits to your name, now go make a living.

If I get 25 viewers I will play it online for the very first time! That means I could get blown to hell and back by space pirates or accidentally caught in a combat zone, so tell your friends and watch me potentially get blown up!

The stream will be around 8:30PM Mountain Time. For reference, that’s 7:30PM Pacific Time, 9:30PM Central Time and 10:30PM Eastern Time.

Tune in to twitch.tv/noriyuki_sato! Hope to see you there!

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