Tag Archives: PC Gaming

Marvel SNAP July 2024: Maximum Effort

Introduction

I found myself getting annoyed with this game again towards the end of the Celestials season. I played just enough to get all of the awards from the season pass and then gave up for the past few days. And, even though Marvel SNAP July 2024 brings Deadpool in time for the movie at the end of the month, I’m not terribly excited about the actual contents of this month’s season. Oh well, this happens from time to time with SNAP. I’ll be back into the game once they release some cool cards again.

New Locations

Neither of these locations impress me terribly. Weapon X is obviously nice for a Disco deck, but I rarely play those. I’ve been having fun with my Skaar deck. Now that I think about it, I have played that deck quite a bit. Maybe that’s why I’m bored. I need to switch it up. Well, in any case, the Chimichanga from the Taco Truck is an 0/2 that merges with a card when played. That can be a fun one with the right cards.

New Characters

After each turn, this moves if a player snapped.

Image 1 of 5

Perhaps I was too hasty in judging this season. None of the characters themselves are terribly exciting. However, I like many of their powers and think that in the right decks they can be a lot of fun. Gwenpool looks like fun in my “ones” deck as a late game buff to give me options. Hydra Bob is just dumb fun, much like his character. I’m going to see Ajax in a bunch of debuff decks, but I don’t play that style, so I probably won’t run him often other than the quest. However, might need to slot good old Shang Chi in as a counter. Copy Cat involves too much randomness for my tastes. I don’t think there’s a way to intentionally bottom a card in your opponent’s deck, so until that happens, no Copy Cat for me. In the right deck, Cassandra Nova is a bomb and can also fuel Ajax. Hmm, mabye I will try to put something together to inspire me to play more.

The Verdict

Marvel SNAP July 2024 actually fooled me. While the characters themselves are kind of boring or annoying, I ended up liking their powers and possibilities. It’s been a while since I’ve done a deck list. Maybe I will fiddle around with Cassandra and Ajax to see what I come up with. Keep an eye on this page for updates.

Images SNAPped from Marvel SNAP Zone.

After The End: Fallout 4 Journal

Introduction

Back when I wrote, like way back in high school when I still harbored dreams of making something with my writing, I started a novella called Under the Mushroom Cloud: A Post Apocalyptic Love Story. I probably still have the notes around here somewhere. I named the nuclear event “The End” and wrote the story with the idea that after the end, things still happen. Some of that turns up in Fallout and Robert Kirkman said that The Walking Dead meant to tell such a story.

I only say this because I definitely have some talent for storytelling. I’ve just never been a good salesman and that’s ultimately what sunk me as a writer. The good news is that I still get to write for this page. The bad news is nobody reads my writing. Oh well.

What Makes Me Special?

What Makes Me Special?

Note: If you never played the Fallout games, they organized character stats into the acronym, SPECIAL. In the interest of time, I consulted a walkthrough for the game.

Strength: 4

Perception: 4

Endurance: 2

Charisma: 6

Intelligence: 8

Agility: 2

Luck: 1

Name: Lucy. Yes, I became that which I hate and use names from other pop culture related to the games. Sue me.

After the end and Into the Vault

My husband and I woke up and perform our morning bathroom routine together. I go first so that I can check on our baby, Shaun. He’s doing great, so I head into the kitchen to get some coffee. Our Mr. Handy, Codsworth meets me with some coffee. As my husband, Nate, comes into the kitchen, Shaun starts fussing. Codsworth goes to attend to him as there’s someone at the door.

A Vault-Tec rep gives me the pitch about our place in the local vault, 111, due to Nate’s service. I sign the papers in spite of the fact that I hope it doesn’t come to that. Nate assures me that it was the right choice. Just some paperwork for piece of mind? Codsworth tells me that in spite of being changed, Shaun still fusses. I make my way to his crib and play with him a little Nate joins me and we admire our young son.

Codsworth again interrupts, telling us that we need to come see. On the news, the reporter says that both New York and Pennsylvania have been attacked with nuclear bombs. An alert tells all citizens to make their way to the vault. Nate, Shaun, and I run to the barrier. We are met by a soldier who waves us through even as he threatens those not on the list. Those poor, poor people.

Another soldier leads us to the lift. We take our spots. The lift starts to descend. A flash in the distance. A mushroom cloud. The seismic wave passes over us just as we get below ground level. Someone makes the comment that if we were only a minute later. Good God.

Decontamination

We walk up some stairs to an area. A woman hands us vault suits and a doctor leads us to the decontamination area. I enter mine and watch as Nate carries Shaun into the on opposite me. A gas is released and I start to feel tired. It gets colder. Wait, this isn’t decontamination!

Awake Once

What, what just happened? How much time has gone by? Was I just dreaming? Are we ready? Two soldiers open Nate’s chamber. They try to take Shaun. Nate fights them. The soldiers shoot Nate. What the hell are you doing? As they leave, they look into my chamber and say, “At least we have a backup ready.” What the hell does that mean?

After the End of the Vault (Out of Time)

My chamber door opens. I see Nate dead in his. Alarms sound all around and a voice urgs me to leave the vault in an orderly fashion. Well, me and the other dwellers. But, there’s nobody else here. I slowly make my way through the corridors, picking up things that may be useful. Tools, cigarettes, small appliances. Eventually, I make it into the Overseer’s office. Someone is dead on the floor. What the is going on? What the hell happened? Is everyone else dead?

I boot up the computer and look through the records. Apparently, the vault meant to test the effects of long term suspension on unwilling subjects. What the hell? Also, the last days of the vault sound grim. Starvation, killing, and the eventual meltdown that opened my chamber. Good God.

I fight off radroaches on the way to the vault door. Along the way, I find more supplies, including a 10mm pistol and some ammo. That will come in handy, I’m sure. The vault door requires aPip Boy to open. This poor fella here with his arm detached has one. Well, he won’t need it. I open the vault door, descend the steps, and step onto the platform.

Into the Wasteland…

The Verdict

I remember when I first played Fallout 4 and after the end, you play through the vault. It reminded me very much of Fallout 3 but you now lost your son instead of your father. Still, an engaging story and kept me entertained through the introduction and some tutorial nonsense.

Note: I used this page for my stats. I chose the tinkerer build.

The First 19 Years: Fallout 3 Journal

Introduction

I thought Christine was going to hang out with her old friends from Warwick. She planned to do so. However, she decided to stay home. Therefore, my plan to record the first episode of “The Poppy War” for Noob’s Book Club gets put on hold for now. So, I flipped the script and decided to write my journal for the first 19 years in Fallout 3.

What Makes Me Special?

Note: If you never played the Fallout games, they organized character stats into the acronym, SPECIAL. In the interest of time, I consulted a walkthrough for the game.

Strength: 9

Perception: 1

Endurance: 9

Charisma: 1

Intelligence: 9

Agility: 2

Luck: 9

Name: Lucy. Age: 19. Yes, I became that which I hate and use names from other pop culture related to the games. Sue me.

2258 (A Star Is Born)

I hear a voice. “Are you a boy or a girl?”

How do I remember being born? I don’t know, but the memory is so vivid. I see my father and my mother. The voice again, “Oh look, we have a daughter.” Then another voice, “A daughter. A beautiful baby girl.”

The first voice, my father, says, “You have a bright future. You look just like your daddy.” Mom’s monitor speeds up and then flatlines. Dad orders someone to get me out of the room so that he can try to save your mother.”

One Year Later (A Born Explorer)

“Come now, Sweetie. Walk to Daddy.” I toddle over to him in the pen. “Okay, I hate to leave you her alone, but you’ll be okay while I take care of some business.”

As soon as he leaves, I open the gate and start exploring the room. I see a book on the ground and pick it up. There are silly pictures in the book and they make me giggle. Dad enters as I’m flipping through the book. “Goodness me, you’re quite the explorer. Your mother would be proud. Let me show you something. It was her favorite passage from the book.” Dad reads it to me.

“Now, let’s go visit your friend Amata.”

9 Years Later (Surprise!)

Nine years later and still friends with Amata. She and my father put together a surprise birthday party for my 10th birthday. I visit with guests and receive gifts; a sweet roll, a poem, a Pip Boy 3000 (wow!) and a fight with Butch. That guys a douche, but he’s gonna get his eventually.

When I meet up with Dad again, he tells me to go meet Jonas down on the reactor level. I make my way down there. “Hey, what are you doing down here? There are no kids allowed.” I stammer, “Uh, but my dad said to meet you here.” “I’m just kidding.” He assures me. Dad joins us too and gives me a last present, a BB gun. he takes me into a shooting range and I practice by shooting three targets and a Radroach that wandered in. Time for a picture.

3 Years Later (Off on that Adventure)

Amata wakes me in a panic. “Jonas dead! Dad gone!” “What are you saying?” “It’s all gone wrong. You need to get out of here, too. Go, find your father!” “How? What?” “Get to my father’s office. There’s a tunnel to the vault door. I will try to talk some sense into him.”

On my way through the vault to the overseers office, I run into radroaches, security forces, and other vault dwellers. I take care of the security officers who either try to shoot or smack me with their batons. I save a few vault dwellers, including Butch’s mother. In spite of our differences, I couldn’t let her die.

When I make it to the admin level, I see the overseer and another officer have Amata and are interrogating her. The officer charges and I dispatch of him easily. I threaten the overseer for the key and password, but he refuses. “Fine, I’ll do it myself.”

Inside his office, I gather some last minute supplies and use the password I found written on a piece of paper in a locker (sloppy) to open the secret tunnel. It takes me right to the vault door. After opening it, Amata meets me to say good-bye. Then, two more guards break in. I knock them both out and step into the Wasteland.

The Verdict

The first 19 years in Fallout 3 are both eventful and educational. I like how they incorporated the tutorial in the story this way. Making you a baby learning to walk and then drawing out the character stats with a baby book. It all makes perfect sense and acts as a minor jab at the need for tutorials in these games.

This game is slightly more modern than the others, so I used a more modern page for the walkthrough.

Arroyo Village, Part 1: Fallout 2 Journal

Introduction

Surprisingly, I find myself with less time now that when I was in school. Okay, that probably isn’t true. But, I feel busier now with all of the things that I’m trying to catch up on. So, this Arroyo Village Part 1 journal will be shorter than the previous entry. But, I wanted to keep the momentum going, so I’ll finish up the Village during my first Final Friday Fallout 2 session in August.

Back to the Elder

I enter the Elder’s tent. She smiles when she sees me. “Ready for your quest?” She asks. “Where you trying to get me killed in that temple?” “Nonsene, Chosen One. You needed to prove yourself worthy and those trials all showed your mettle. So, ready for the quest?” “Yes,” I sigh because I must admit that she’s right. They can’t just send anyone out into the Wasteland. They’d be killed by the sheer size of the place alone.

“Good, good. This flask comes from sacred Vault 13. If you take it to Vic in Klamath, perhaps he will have some information for you.” “Vic in Klamath. Got it. Goodbye, Elder. I will not fail.

Before that, What Else in Arroyo?

I walk north to Hakunin’s tent. He greets me with eyes distant due to his chem usage that allows him to visit other realms. In flowery language, he asks me to destroy the darkness in his garden. I accept his quest with no consideration for money and he thanks me for my effort.

Two Vineplants terrorize the garden. I kill the first without much effort. Though, the plant injured me quite severely. Without any regard for my well being, I walk to the other. It kills me quickly due to the injuries sustained in the previous fight. GAME. OVER.

Or, is it? The Afterlife

Something or someone looks out for me and I find myself back in front of the Elder’s tent. I again must accept the quest from her and then go back to Hakunin’s tent. This time, I use healing powder in between the fights to help my injuries. And, as a result, I defeat the mosters and drive back the evil. Hakunin gives me more healing powder and tells me he can make even more.

Then, I go see my cousin. His dog has gone missing. I travel to the hunting grounds to find him.

To be continued…

The Verdict

So, the old adage that anything in the Wasteland can kill you holds true in Arroyo Village part 1. I died at the hands of a plant, after all. Nevertheless, the story is starting to get good and there seem to be plenty of side quests to keep me busy for the next few months as I play through the game.

Since I’m playing a game made over 25 years ago, I’m using an old school guide.

Temple of Trials: Fallout 2 Journal

Introduction

After watching the show, I got the idea to do a week of Fallout content. Then, as often happens, I suffered from delusions of grandeur. Why only a week? Why not a month. Nothing scheduled for June and school ends. The Fallout from the end of school! Perfect. Las week I wrote about the first couple of sections of Fallout. This week, I continue with Fallout 2 and the Temple of Trials.

What Makes Me SPECIAL?

Note: If you never played the Fallout games, they organized character stats into the acronym, SPECIAL. In the interest of time, I consulted a walkthrough for the game.

Strength: 4

Perception: 6

Endurance: 6

Charisma: 8

Intelligence: 10

Luck: 6

Name: Lucy. Age: 21. Yes, I became that which I hate and use names from other pop culture related to the games. Sue me.

The Chosen One

Sometime in 2241: A village elder calls me into her hut.

Come in, Chosen One. The village is dying. Crops, livestock, sick children. However, there is hope. The Garden of Eden Creation Kit. It brings life to the Wasteland. It will be your main quest if you show yourself worthy. Travel to the Temple of Trials to prove yourself, find the G.E.C.K. and be our salvation.

The Chosen One?

Still in 2241 (The Temple is a short walk from the village): A guard takes me to the temple and I enter. It consists of stone corridors with lit torches on the wall. At the very least, the village knows how to set the mood. What are the trials?

At least, initially, it seems like the only trial is as exterminator. I kill bug after bug, all ants and scorpions. At the end of the hall is a locked door. I could search for a key, but it’s quicker just to pick it. Easy, peasy.

Oh crap!

This next corridor is filled with pressure plates that trigger spears shooting from the wall. No time to disarm them. Instead, I just run through and hope for the best. Then, more ants and scorpions. A chest with an antidote for the poison that the scorpions injected into me. At least they thought of that.

Another door. This one steel. I see no lock to pick. Hmm, what about these explosives that I found randomly sitting in an “inconspicuous” jar in the middle of the temple just past the massive hole in the ground? Set timer, GTFO. KABOOOM! The door is gone.

More ants and scorpions. Another chest with more antidote and healing powder. Yet another door. This one opens without picking or exploding. A guard stands before what I now assume to be the exit. He says that we must engage in unarmed combat with the victor emerging as worthy. Do we really have to fight? I ask him. Yes, of course, the elders deemed that the final test. Yes, but accidents happen. What if one of us ends up accidentally dead? I give him a look that says, “We both know which one, right?” He stammers before regathering his composure. Uh, yes, of course. I wouldn’t want to accidentally kill the chosen one. Then he runs from his post, presumably to pick on some other poor soul.

I emerge victorious. My prizes are a vault suit and the Pip Boy 2000!

The Verdict

A very different feel from the introduction of the first game. You still start the game underground in the Temple of Trials. But, after that, you go back to an above ground village to begin your main quest. I like that they changed things up because the whole starting in a vault thing, while classic, sometimes gets old. Join me in a couple of days for the next installment!

Again, because I’m playing a game made over 25 years ago, I used and old school guide.

Terraria Very First Impressions

Introduction

My Financial Algebra class works on a project where they design a “tiny house”. I actually assign it to a few different classes. But, this year, I gave it to them as a way to break the funk and try to get them inspired to do some work. Pleasantly surprising, but it worked. What does any of that have to do with my Terraria very first impressions?

Well, one of the “tricks” I use to hook them into the project is that i tell them they can build the floorplan in Minecraft if they want. One of my previous classes came up with idea. I loved it. And, so, I offer it as an option now. Even though they’re high school seniors, at least one group in every class gives me something really cool in Minecraft.

Well, last semester, one student asked, “Can we build it in Terraria instead?” I heard of Terraria but never played it. Nevertheless, I shrugged. “Can you build it in Terraria?” “Absolutely, he replied. “Neat. If you want to build it in Terraria, go for it.”

Noob’s Journey into Terraria

The student made the claim that Terraria is better than Minecraft. This statement intrigued me because I always thought of the game as a lesser 2 dimensional rip off of Minecraft. So I made a note to try the game on their recommendation. They strike me as someone who knows their video games.

Fast foward to a couple of weeks ago during April break. Inspired by a couple of holes in my daily posting schedule, I figured I could do something on Minecraft and Terreria. Then, I missed those deadlines, so the articles moved to this week. I again missed a Thursday deadline for Terraria. But, I played the game earlier today and finally feel prepared to bring you this article.

Okay, What’s the Big Deal Here?

I started the game . Walked a bit to the right. Then, walked a bit to the left. A zombie killed me. I respawned. Hammered away at some trees with an axe and got an acorn. But, the tree didn’t break and I got no wood from it. Weird. I saw some ore underneath the ground, so I switched to my pickaxe to try to collect that.

I successfully figure out that you have to hover over the block that you wish to collect, and hold the left mouse button, then it works. I noobed it up and committed the cardinal sin of these games. I dug straight down. Then got stuck because I couldn’t see. Frustrated by my stupidity, I resorted to Googling, “Stuck underground in Terraria”. The only results I received talked about the usual collection detection problems and not someone who dug straight down (without a torch, I’d later discover) and couldn’t find their way out because of the darkness of night.

Screenshot proof of my noobing it up.

I gotta say my Terraria very first impressions leave me a bit underwhelmed. I exited out of the game and restarted. It put me back at my spawn point. Since it was night, too, several zombies attacked me. I killed one in completely wild self defense and it dropped a torch. Aha! I can use the torches to dig my way out of the tunnel after mining the resources down there.

Let there be light

The Verdict

I played a few more minutes before exiting the game to come write this article. I also recorded a new episode for the Leaf Riders YouTube series and wrote some notes for Jurassic Park Episode 11. Oh, and a workout. Because of that Terraria very first impressions leave me somewhat humbled. I absolutely sold it short by calling it lesser than Minecraft. Also, I wouldn’t strictly call it a rip off even if there are similarities. As has been proven over the years, a space exists for both games.

Minecraft Update April 2024

Introduction

What comes with this Minecraft update April 2024? Good question. I wrote Minecraft in my calendar for last week when we were on April break from school. I usually get inspired to pick up Minecraft again during the school holidays. Well, inspired by my decision to write the game into my gaming calendar, I started a new world.

Uninspired because none of my kids joined me this time, I piddled around in that world for about a half an hour or so and then turned off the computer to paint my models. So, even though I last touched the game over Christmas vacation (? Maybe?), I honestly don’t have much of an update to bring you this time around. Nevertheless, I committed to this page and updates regularly, so let’s see what happens.

The New World

The spawn point dropped me in the middle of the tundra, as you can see from the picture above. I found some trees and a place to build my mountain cave abode that I always build in my worlds. The one thing that I wasn’t sure about was food. I actually Googled “Minecraft food in tundra.” It told me something about rabbits. Ever since playing with Quinn and his refusal to kill rabbits because of his pets, I too won’t kill rabbits for any reason.

When discussing my recent rediscovery of the game with the boys, Aiden came up with a great idea. I said to him, “I started playing MInecraft again. This spawn put me in the tundra.” He replied, “I hate those spawns.” I said, “This one isn’t too bad. The only thing I’m having trouble with is food.” He said, simply, “Fishing.”

And the light bulb went off. Fishing.

The Verdict

Okay, so not much to this Minecraft update April 2024. But, I think I might have finally delivered what I promised. I hope to bring some more about this game and world over the next couple of months. Stay tuned to see what I come up with.

Trucking Around California

Introduction

Okay, you got me. This isn’t technically a new game for the new decade. Hell, you can even argue that it isn’t new to us. After all, I wrote a few months about my then obsession with Euro Truck Simulator 2. And, honestly, much that I said there can be said about this game. Still, in the interest of keeping the site as active in spite of everything else, I went trucking through California.

As you can see from those screenshots, the game obviously differs in style and theme from the European one. You know from one to the other that you’re in a different country. However, the fundamentals more or less remain the same. You drive a truck. In the American western states. Admittedly, I’ve only played it a couple of times to confirm that, but the driving bug hasn’t hit me again just yet. Stay tuned.

Starting Over

I can’t be 100% sure about this, but part of the reason might be because I already completed so much of the European version of the game. I bought my own truck, worked back from debt to buy another, took out a loan to buy a third and fourth, and hired three drivers.

That makes going through the process again a little tedious. Especially when there’s no hook to keep me coming back. California is great and all, but out of all of the United States, it’s honestly at the bottom of my list of ones I want to visit. I think I might have purchased some DLC (at actual cost because my key got stolen from my Humble account before I changed all my password) for the game, but the only state I saw that you started was California.

I tried picking Bakersfield as my starting city to get that hook. I also picked it because I am still perpetually an angry teenager that pines for the old days of “Nu Metal” or whatever they called it in the beginning. Oh, speaking of music, they give you a different choice of radio stations in the game, too.

The Verdict

I enjoy Euro Truck Simulator 2. After trucking through California, I no doubt will like this game, too. I just need to take some time to dig deeper into what it has to offer. Oh, I just saw they have an Oregon and Washington DLC available. Next pay check, I’ll pick those up and

Marvel Vs. Capcom Infinite First Impressions

Introduction

Would you believe it took this long for me to come up with Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite first impressions? Of course you do. You’ve been here long enough to know that we take a while to get around to things sometimes. Honestly, I fully intended to cover this game when it first released. If I look back at my notes, I’m sure I’ll find at least one mention of the game in there over the last five years.

Then, I fell victim to the online troll factory that slammed the game as “not as good as the others” and it fell off of my radar. I genuinely forgot it existed until I went searching for a way to play MvC 2 and found out that I can buy the deluxe edition on Steam for like 11 bucks. Or I could. Looks like I missed the sale by a day. Hmm, that puts a new wrinkle into things.

Well, Isn’t That A Pickle?

I’m not paying 40 bucks for something that will be 8 or 11 again most likely by the end of the month. Instead, I’m gonig to set up an alert for the next time it goes on sale and we’ll all have to wait for my Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite first impressions. Until then, I’ll keep playing X-Men Arcade.

PC Gaming is a Gift 2023

Introduction

You may notice the word “console” missing from the title PC Gaming is a Gift 2023. This year saw several things happen that explain that omission. First, Aiden tried to fix the XBox by soldering the HDMI port back in and ended up soldering through the motherboard. Second, I never got around to buying a PS5 as I planned. We really want to play both Spider-Man games. I also wanted to play MK1. Neither of those happened because I came to my senses and decided to wait until a price drop for the purchase. Finally, we played almost no Mario Kart this year. Liam, Quinn, my brother Tim, and I played some of the new Mario game.

However, I fixed my old gaming laptop. The charging port broke a couple of years ago. I did some research to see how tough it might be to fix it. Turns out, not difficult at all. The hardest part was that because it’s a laptop, everything it jammed in there. So, it took some finesse to fit it in properly. Other than that, though, no problem.

Train Sim World 3

One of the reasons I wanted to fix the laptop was I remembered a Humble Bundle that I purchased several years ago. It contained a train simulator game. I don’t remember the original reason I wanted to play the train sim game. However, going to Germany and seeing first hand the famous European rail system sparked something inside of me. I came home with a new appreciation for the game.

That appreciation lasted for a few months. Then, I discovered another simulation game that caught my attention. When asked the other day by one of my classes what my favorite genre of game was, I had to admit that right now I’m obsessed with simulation games. They made the usual comment that people made (in jest), “Oh, you want to play a game of something you can do in real life?” Well, not quite. I’ve never driven a train.

Euro Truck Simulator 2

I also never drove a tractor trailer through the countryside of Europe. I drove a mid size SUV through Germany. So, when I saw this game, it took me back to that trip and time. I saw things that reminded me of being in Germany. And, so, the game became like a cozy blankie for me.

I played the hell out of the game. Started in Munich and branched out slowly to the neighboring countries. Eventually, I drove across the continent, took a ferry to the UK and drove into England and Scotland. After going back to school, I got busy and neglected the game for some time. I just said to my family the other day, “I haven’t driven my truck in a while. My employees probably think I’m dead.”

The Verdict

Truly, PC gaming is a gift 2023. I also flirted again with World of Warcraft, especially after the announcement of the next series of expansions. I saw the advancement of a plan that I came up with decades ago. The USFL of the 1980s is back through my USFL Distant Replay page. We are 12 weeks into the 1984 season and looking to bring some big things for 1985 in a couple of months. Join us over there for more.