Video Game Review – Mýrdalssandur, Iceland

TL;DR – It was a fantastic experience from an execution, experience and price point perspective

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Mýrdalssandur, Iceland. Image Credit: caves rd.

Review –

These days, video games can be created by vast teams with hundreds or even thousands of people working to bring a vision to life. However, there are still those games, or in that case more of an experience, that is the focus of a single creator’s vision. Today we look at just such a case with Matt Newell’s Mýrdalssandur, Iceland.

Now I should make clear right from the start, this is not a game, but more of an experience of walking around the titular Mýrdalssandur that you can find on Iceland’s southern coastline. It is a place of wondrous beauty and stark contrasts of green moss and black volcanic rock. If this sounds familiar to you, then it is likely that you have seen it before in Rogue One or other similar films.

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Humankind – Features Post

Humankind Title Image. Image Credit: Amplitude Studios/Sega.

In this thread we will be documenting all the new additions for Humankind from Amplitude Studios.

TL;DR: You can layer from 60 different civilizations from history to create your own unique narrative. It will stretch from the Neolithic to the Modern age. In the end, the civilization with the most Fame will be the winner. Full of Humanmade Wonders, Natural Wonders, Units, and Buildings for you to construct.

Note: all images are created by the team at Amplitude Studios

Cultures

The Civilizations. Image Credit: Amplitude Studios/Sega.
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Movie Review – Sonic the Hedgehog

TL;DR – Unfortunately this is a film that mostly falls flat in-between shout outs to Olive Garden.  
Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

Review

For a long time, there has been a drive to find a great adaptation of a video game, and on the whole, the best we have gotten is mediocre. Well, today we look at a film that is trying to break through that history and alas it does not quite get there even though it is clear that all the cast is giving their all.  

So to set the scene, in a magical kingdom far away, there was a young blur bouncing across the green world with in-built loop-d-loops. His power is almost limitless, but that comes with danger and one day that danger comes home to roost. As they are attacked, Sonic’s (Ben Schwartz) adopted mother Longclaw (Donna Jay Fulks) helps him flee by giving him rings that allow him to jump from world to world keeping ahead of the kidnappers. Well, many years later, one of those jumps leads him landing on Earth where he watched the residents of Green Hills, Montana like the local sheriff Thomas Michael “Tom” Wachowski (James Marsden) go about their lives. All is good, until one day when he accidentally sets off an EMP, drawing danger in the form of Dr Robotnik (Jim Carrey) right to his door.

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Movie Review – League of Legends Origins

TL;DR – An interesting look at the rise of one of the world’s most played video games, even if there are a few rough edges to the presentation.    

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

League of Legends Origins. Image Credit: Riot Games.

Review

When you think about sporting spectacles, you think about Wimbledon, or Superbowl, or The Olympics. However, as time is going on, Esports is a growing phenomenon drawing in more people and more money than ever before. In this world of Esports, one of the biggest and fastest-growing games is a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) that goes by the name League of Legends. This documentary explores the history of Riot Games’ League of Legends, its growth and its potential future.

The fact that a game created in 2006 is still around today, is one of those quirks that rarely happens in the video games industry, the fact that it continues to be one of the most popular games in the world makes it more so. For that very reason alone, it makes this documentary interesting because it is really engaging watching a game go from being working out of a basement to having a grand final in the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing. This is coming from someone who does not actually play the game. I have tried to get into MOBAs like LOL and DOTA before and while I like watching them be played but I have no skill in playing them.

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TV Review – Help! My Kid Is A Gamer – Season 1

TL;DR – This is a really good resource for parents wanting to know more about video games to help understand and engage with their kids on the issue

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Help! My Kid Is A Gamer. Image Credit: ABC TV.

Review

Video games, they are the latest hotness in the world, but like a lot of new technologies, there is a lot about them that can be difficult for people to understand if they are not familiar. This is amplified when it is parents trying to understand the world that their kids are living in. Today we look at a series that is trying to de-mystify some of the real issues around gaming and to give parents the tools needed to understand and help kids develop.

Each episode of the show revolves around one aspect of the video games industry and how it applies to children and then talks to the experts to help parents understand the issue. For example loot boxes and microtransactions. This is all presented in a form that is easy to digest which is important when dealing with very complex issues where there are quite often no straight forward answers. I feel that this show is really important because it does not shy away from the problematic aspects of video games but it also does not lean into the sensationalist reporting that you get from most of the Australian media that does not know how to write stories unless it is about “insert game is the new addiction” like we saw just last week with untitled goose game. There are real problems and concerns with video games, but these are no different for any other types of media and as a parent it is important to be across these issues.

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Video Game Review – Civilization VI: Red Death Battle Royale Mode

TL;DR – Adding aBattle Royale to a Civilization game seems really counterintuitive, that is until you play it.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Civilization VI: Red Death. Image Credit: Firaxis Games.

Review –

In 2019 if there was ever a trend that could be considered the new hotness that every video game company wants a chunk of, well that has to be the Battle Royale mode. For those who may not know, a Battle Royale mode/game is where you have an ever-shrinking map so you need to gear up, get to the safe zone, defeating any enemies you come across, and be the last one standing. This is where you get your chicken dinner, or in this case your escape from a dying planet. But most Battle Royale games like PUBG, Fortnite, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4: Blackout are first/third-person shooters, surely it can’t work in a strategy game, well I’ve been able to play a couple of rounds so far so let’s see.

My experience with Battle Royale games is not as extensive as some people, however I have played/watched enough of the genre to get a good sense of the common aspects of the game. You have the same phases in a match, when you land you have to roam around quickly to try and get resources, troops from ruined cities, helicopters from raider camps, or even a coveted nuclear weapon. You need to move quickly because everyone else is out there doing the same, so you have to stretch your resources, but not so much that you overburden yourself. Then you might pick off one of the players that were not quick enough while keeping to the ever-shrinking safe zone until there are only one or more players left and you battle it out head-to-head.

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Video Game Review – Stellaris: Ancient Relics

TL;DR – A fantastic addition to the base game that really improves the exploration phase.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Stellaris: Ancient Relics. Image Credit: Paradox Interactive.

Review –
 Last year I got back into Stellaris a 4X space strategy game, a combination that feels like a video game designed just for me. Over the years it has had a lot of improvements building upon the strengths of the base game. Since then there have been a couple of expansion packs and DLCs and today we are looking the latest addition for the game Ancient Relics.

The core component of this new story pack is the addition of archaeological digs and from this the addition of minor and major artifacts. As you explore out at the start of the game you may stumble across archaeological digs on random planets. These require a science ship to work them much like anomalies but with a little twist. There is a random element in the process where you have a chance to improve until you crack the next level. Most of the digs have multiple levels that you have to progress to before you can complete it and earn research points, resources, or more.

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