Game Review: Skyrim

Today I’ve decided to try something new, a game review, hopefully this is something that everyone will enjoy. I try not to go in depth for the story, so nothing major is spoiled.

 

Skyrim: The Elder Scrolls V was released by Bethseda studios back in 2011. It’s one of the most played games with over 20 million sold copies.

 

Overall Story: Skyrim is one of the newer generation of games that allows you to make your own story. This is great as it makes the game open world with no real constraints (except murdering children, I’ve tried almost every single method, I feel bad, but I just really wanted to know whether I could kill them). However, making the game open ended also leads to a couple of issues I’ll touch on later.

 

Graphics: The graphics in Skyrim, while not the most amazing I’ve seen, are well done. They have a reasonably realistic feel to them, which I liked, as it helps to immerse you in the game.

 

Combat: During your first 20ish levels, every fight is a challenge, and it’s can be dangerous and you’ll sometimes just keep dying, however once you hit the point of about level 20, it just becomes a massacre, you are like a god. I’ve taken out Dwarven centurions (a type of nasty monster that is usually the end boss of Dwarven dungeons)with just my fists by this point. However, it is possible to mitigate this with the difficulty setting, but even on the highest difficulty, I was having no real trouble. On top of that, the Dragons you fight in the game are laughable, which is disappointing as they should be the hardest enemy in the game, that’s why they need you, the “Dragonborn” since otherwise Dragons are unbeatable, however the Dragons are such a joke that the city guards can take them down.

 

Powers: Well, a large part of the game is that your the “Dragonborn”, and can shout like a beast (quite literally). But honestly, by level 30 your shouts are pretty much useless.  However, that does not stop making it awesome when you yell at someone and sending the flying off a  cliff, or you shout fire at people.

 

The magic system is unbalanced and the only reason mages are viable is that they can permanently stun lock somebody, and at higher levels can cast any spell without using any Magicka (the games mana).

 

Combat System: I enjoyed melee combat in Skyrim, I’ll admit every now and then it gets a bit repetitive, but that is why I like changing around my builds, one day I’ll go in with two swords and light armour attempting to dodge all shots at me, while others I’ll go in with so much armour that I make tanks jealous and pummel whatever looks at me funny with a huge war hammer.

The archery system in the game was well designed, the arrows functioned like actual arrows, forcing you to adjust for their drop (though wind doesn’t exist thankfully, that is too much realism).  I also liked the integration with the stealth skill tree, as when sneaking, if you shoot someone they take double damage.

 

Quests: The quests were in general enjoyable, and as you had a fast travel system via your map, making even delivery quests less of a chore. While there isn’t a whole lot of variation in quests, I find the unique story lines for the main quests redeem that (except for the main story, that was just painful).

 

Modding: This game really is at its best when you’ve modded it. However, I would still recommend clearing you’re first play through without mods, as it’s a good idea to understand the game before you do. There are a large number of mods, Skyrim is likely to keep you hooked for another 50 hours (and that’s just for exploring all your shiny new houses).

 

Flaws in the game: One of the major problems in the game is just how weird the game can get by the end. By the end, you are Arch-Mage of the Mages Guild, Guild Master of the Thieves Guild, Harbringer of the Companions (while technically speaking not leader, you pretty much are), and Listener of the Dark Brotherhood. I mean seriously, you’ve got more jobs than Barbie. On top of that, you’re the Dragonborn, a werewolf or vampire, and if you’re a vampire, you’re also the Vampire Lord, you’re the richest man in the world, you’ve murdered the emperor. I just find  it odd the game doesn’t even try to adjust for that, really, you should be Lord Emperor of the entire world with how much you run.

 

The game also does not have a good amount of repetitiveness without mods,  I understand you can change your playstyle and start on a different questline etc…, but in the end, you’ll end up doing the same quests, and while in my second play through I was a sword swinging brute, in the end, it just wasn’t as enjoyable as the first play through because it was all predictable.

 

Overall I would say the game is worth your time, it’s a robust game and should keep you entertained for many hours. However, I would recommend not getting the game until there is a sale going on, as the game is not worth  $20 without DLCs, and if you are getting the game, I would highly recommend getting the game with DLCs for the  best experience.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Book Review- The Way of Shadows

“Life is empty. Life is worthless. When we take a life, we aren’t taking anything of value.”- Durzo Blint

The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks is a work of fantasy that is a rather dark piece of literature, based in the fictional city of Cenaria, a city almost completely dominated by a criminal organization called the “Sakage”. This organization controls all illicit operations in Cenaria, ranging from assassinations to the brothels. This organization also employs or bribes many powerful individuals in the city, including wetboys. Wetboys (pretty lame name) are magic wielding assassins, the most deadly and famous of the current generation of wetboys being Durzo Blint. Wetboys are such skilled killers they do not refer to their victims as targets, but deaders, leading to the prominent quote, “a wet boy has a deader, an assassin has a target, because assassins sometimes miss.”

The central protagonist throughout the book is an orphan named Azoth. Living in the slums of Cenaria, the Warrens, Azoth and his two friends, Jarl and Doll Girl must steal to survive. A bit later into the book Azoth has the opportunity to apprentice under Durzo Blint, the city’s top wetboy. Becoming a wetboy, Azoth must leave behind everything from his past life, and, perhaps most dangerous of all, survive Durzo’s training to become a skilled wetboy.

The magic system within the book is based off of something called the talent, and these talented individuals while also have talents in particular parts of magic. This is best exemplified by the fact of some mages having almost no talent for fire magic, but they might have a great deal of affinity for healing. The talent has three parts, all of which are necessary for a person to use their talent, the Glore Vyrden or life magic, this is basically the magical reservoir. The second component is the ability to recharge your Glore Vyrden, without this you could only use the talent once or twice in your life. A person with this ability generally recharges their Glore Vyrden by absorbing sunlight or from other light sources. The final part is called the conduit, a person with only a small conduit is only able to channel a small part of their talent at once, whereas a person with a large conduit can use large amounts of magic at once.

Overall this is a worthwhile read if you’re interested in reading a darker novel. It’s got magical assassins, so what’s not to love. With good character development, an intriguing story, and quite interesting finish, this book is definitely worth your time.

Side note: This book did not have a kindle edition on Amazon, so while I fully support authors getting paid for their work, this time I’ve included a link to a PDF instead.

The Way of Shadows 

Book Review- The Alchemyst

An excellently written story based off the idea that Nicholas Flamel was actually successful in finding the Philosophers Stone, and managed to create an Elixir of Life using the powers of this stone.

This book is set in the modern era, with computers, cars and basically everything we have come to expect in life, except that in the book, magic is real.

The basic premise of the story is that the Flamels have been waiting for twins of legend, one would have an aura of pure silver, the other of pure gold. The prophecy as quoted is “The Two that are One, and the One that is all, One to save the world, One to destroy it.” Basically fairly standard stuff, yet it still makes for an enjoyable read.

The system of magic within this series is aura based, as you may have guessed. To perform magic, an aspiring mage must first have their magic “awakened”.

Overall this is an enjoyable read, has an interesting plot, good characters and interesting character development. It’s also made more enjoyable by the fact that famous mythological figures appear in the book, such as the Morrigan, Baset and Hecate. If your looking for a fiction book with some famous figures, I’d definitely give the series a go.

Link to the book: Alchemyst

Update on the Youtube channel

I’ve made a couple of changes to my Youtube channel and I figured I should probably talk about them because I figured some of you might be wondering what’s happening.

Agrarian Skies- So I know I haven’t been very active with this series recently, but this was because I moved to a new laptop and the save file wasn’t working. I appear to have gotten this fixed and should begin the series again.

Modded Pixelmon- My new laptop seems to loathe running the save file from the old world for some reason. The world will never load etc… and I’m not really sure how much I enjoyed the series. The problem was I felt the focus was no longer on Pixelmon but on the mods I’d added and therefore I decided I should drop the series. Sorry if you enjoyed that series.

Hunger Games: So I will be recording Hunger Games fairly frequently. I won’t be editing the videos so it only shows ones where I do well, however because I might do badly in one game I will do 2-3 games in one video.

Minigames- Depending on what I find I might record mini-games every now and then, however these will not be a frequent thing on the channel.

Knights of the Old Republic- I’ve been enjoying this a lot (but where are the lightsabers? argh). I’ll definitely be continuing on with this.

Some thoughts on future things-

Modded Skyrim playthrough- This is definitely something I’ve been contemplating. Unfortunately Skyrim seems to dislike running with anythings so recording this just might not be possible.

My own personal Minecraft mod assortment- This is also something I have been considering. I’ll just have to find mods I enjoy (which there are plenty of, I just have to think it through a bit more).

Age of Empires III Asian Dynasties- So I’ve been considering doing this for a while. What I’ve been thinking is that I would record a multiplayer game with friends, unfortunately thus far, I have been unable to get an even number of friends.

Warcraft III Frozen Throne- This is also another one I would like to multi with friends, yet so far I’ve had the same issue.

So this has been my update, if you’ve got any game suggestions or maybe mod suggestions make sure you leave a comment.

My channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdAnPPhZInxF8CqOmCPcdXw/feed?view_as=public

Book Review- Demon Accords Series by John Conroe

“I have no Native American heritage, but I had decided as a child that my spirit guide animal would be a bear. We were both loners and fighters, at least that’s how I looked at it. I don’t know how the Great Bear felt about it, as I had never given him the option to say no.”-Chris

Ok, so as soon as some of you saw the title you probably went, what? Demon Accords, what a horrible sounding name, I’ll never read that.  If that was your first reaction, then this book won’t be quite what you were expecting.

This book also deserves a warning like Dune. This book will involve a lot of killing (I mean a lot), a bit of romance (in case you don’t enjoy that sort of thing, though it’s not too long) and will talk about demons (I know some people don’t enjoy these things). If you don’t mind all these things, then you’ve done yourself a favour, because this book is one of the best series’s I’ve ever read.

This series mainly centers around a demon hunter named Chris. He has been given the power to combat demons using what essentially is his aura.  He is an exorcist with a mission.

The setting is basically urban fantasy and virtually ever legend is true and walks around causing trouble – there is almost never a quite moment for Chris and his, rather cool, girlfriend.

God Touched – During book one the book sets the scene for important character and explains a bit about these characters. I enjoyed this book immensely, though it was not my favourite book in the series.

Demon Driven-Book two did a bit more scene setting for some of Chris’s new powers but it also had a lot more combat, dialogue and just all around action than book one.

Brutal Asset-Book three is almost all combat, during this book Chris begins hunting down several things that really should not have tried to irritate him, I mean really, have they learnt nothing? This book also introduces the newest (and definitely furriest) member of the group.

Dual Nature-Book four is has more politics (cool politics, not the type of politics were everyone just stands there and drones on) than action, although this book does also have some serious action. This book definitely had some really awesome ideas, especially… actually, I won’t spoil it.

Fallen Stars- Book five took a bit of a break from vampire politics to move onto what Chris does  best, kill demons. This book also introduces the character that will be prominent during book six.

Executable-Book six is an oddity, it’s during  the time of book five from the perspective of a completely different character. Chris and the main character in the book have never met each other before (except during the end of book five, but that doesn’t really count in my opinion) so I definitely found this interesting. This book also gives you a bit more of an insight as to how witch’s powers work.

Black Frost-The last book (or third book technically but it’s a short story so I put it last) is also something of an oddity. This book is also about a different character like book five, but it never has Chris meet up with the main character here. This makes it less important to the series, but it is definitely an excellent book.

Overall my favourite book would definitely have to be book five. I loved the ideas in that book and that is what made it stand out for me compared to some of the other ones.

Why I won’t be doing videos on Minecraft Homeschool’s Summer Program

So I know when I finished off with my Castles and Cannons tours and posts I said that I would be doing  Minecraft Homeschool’s summer program.

Unfortunately I decided not to do any videos on it because I didn’t enjoy the Summer Program.  I know some of you out there might be wondering why this is, especially when I said I absolutely loved the Castles and Cannons class, so let me just lay out my reasoning for you guys (for those of you who are interested, this will not affect me joining other classes, it simply means you won’t find me online on the summer camp server)

First off this program was way to easy, I mean starting off with /fly made everything just that much easier, and made it not really feel like Minecraft, because in all of my other modded single player worlds I’ve always had to struggle to get methods of flying, and getting flying this easily made me not really feel like I earned it (maybe because I didn’t), I still used it, but it didn’t really feel that good using it, unlike in Castles and Cannons where I felt we had earned it and we really did need it for our later construction projects.

Secondly the world was just too limited, I couldn’t for example, make my house as big as I wished too, because we were limited to a 15×15 house and I just don’t build houses that small (this is at least partially because I play with mods and have so many things I want to place in my house). Also, with the 15×15 house limit, we weren’t allowed to go build another house somewhere else. The reason for this limitation was because there were something like 233 players (not sure my figure is 100% corrects, but I think it’s pretty close)  we just didn’t have enough space.

Now, I know some of you who play Minecraft are going, not enough space?  That’s ludicrous, it’s Minecraft.  But the reason for this is because we were limited to building inside the Grand Canyon, an area made by the staff to look like the Grand Canyon. Whenever we tried to do something outside of the Grand Canyon we would get error messages.

The final problem though is definitely what made me leave the Summer Program. The final problem  was Team Speak (which I will now refer to as T.S).  The problem here was that with 233 students T.S was always going to have too many people for me to actually have a decent conversation with anyone, simply because there were so many people talking at once.

Because the main reason I enjoyed Minecraft Homeschool was that I got to talk to new people on T.S, the Summer Camp was just not right for me.

Unfortunately, the addition of all these elements means I won’t be doing tours of the Summer Camp and you won’t see me online in the Summer Camp.