Jesse’s Adventures #3 – Tomb Raider (2013)

Welcome to the world of Tomb Raider

TRforBP

Today’s Focus: Story, Gameplay, and Review

As usual, I like to say a few words before I ramble on about the games I write about.

Tomb Raider (2013) is an extraordinarily fun game. I’ve played it completely once, and the game was some of the best 15 hours of my life that I’ve wasted. I wouldn’t say “wasted” because I felt accomplished when the final credits ended. Anyways, this game is worth the time and money. Now, on to the focus.

Story

The main protagonist of the game is Lara Croft, big surprise, and it is something like a prelude to her main Tomb raiding shenanigans. It focuses on the events that made her into The Lara Croft. She’s a young archaeologist looking for the final resting place of the fabled Sun Queen; Himiko. The whole game focuses on Lara and her expedition team trying to leave the Dragon’s Triangle, or Devil’s Sea to us Americans, while trying to survive the psychotic tribes of men who are actively seeking to slaughter them all.

Gameplay (Intro – First Chapter/Act)

The game starts with the shipwreck of the Endurance onto the shores of the island Yamatai. Most of the crew somehow makes it alive despite the unstable weather conditions, but Lara is kidnapped by some random crazy dude. She wakes up in a cave filled with corpses and other gross things.

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The game is full of puzzles to solve, but this one was pretty straightforward. All I had to do was move my mouse until Lara caught on fire. It was actually uncomfortable playing this part, for she kept groaning because of the pain(The voice acting was superb).

After she falls, I cringe even further. Lara falls on some sort of steel rod, and it impales the left side of her hip. She rips it off, and walks it off like a real thug.

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So Lara, presumably after being shocked by the pain and thus not feeling it, continues onward. She walks through a number of caves, and steps into her second puzzle. This time it took some brainpower to figure it out.

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The puzzle dealt with buoyancy and other physics stuff that I’ve yet to learn. It also dealt with fire and things that go boooom.

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The explosion opens the way for Lara, but it causes a chain reaction. Rocks start falling everywhere, and chaos ensues.

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So after a quick time event, that is too gruesome to show, Lara barely manages to escape her captive, who is instead crushed by a falling boulder. Lara then has to scramble up a dirty and slippery hillside in other to reach freedom. The way is also filled with falling boulders that do not seem to enjoy the presence of humans.

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And after she has escaped the cavern, the actual game begins.

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We are greeted by a wonderful landscape, and the game’s title. I apologize if the visual doesn’t look too good, for this is the original version of the game. This is about as good as it gets, I promise. (The Definitive Edition was released mid-2014 but I didn’t see the point in getting it, though the graphics are 4 times better)

More pictures.

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Lara then has to regroup with her expedition team while doing some awesome Parkour up an old WWII heavy fighter.

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Eventually I got to a small campsite, and that’s where I stopped for the day.

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Review

Overall, this game is really fun, and it has a great story. Having already played this game before, I can give it a solid 9/10. There were a few aspects of the game that bugged me, such as the ending and mindless killing machine mode, but they were small. The story was well written for a reboot of the entire Tomb Raider franchise, and I eagerly await the sequel; Rise of the Tomb Raider.

Below are a few pictures from my first play through that look way better than the ones I have.

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Bonus; Picture of Lara before and after the incident on the island

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That’s it for now. This was Tomb Raider.

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Jesse’s Adventures #2 – Mass Effect 3

Welcome to the world of Mass Effect 3

FemShepforB

Today’s Focus: Lore of the Universe

Before I get into my nerd talk, I’d just like to say that this is one of the best game trilogies that I’ve ever played. The amount of ways to play the game is astounding.

Now it’s time to get into my nerd talk for this blog post.

History

So in the beginning of Mass Effect’s universe, there was one dominant race. Those primordial creatures were known as Leviathans. The Leviathans made other races, but soon had to build an artificial intelligence(AI) in order to keep those races in line. Soon after the creation of the new AI, later known as the Catalyst, it began to kill its masters, and in turn created the Reapers. Reapers were made from both organic material acquired from the Leviathans, and they were also made from synthetics. The first Reaper was named Harbinger, and you can infer why. Under the guidance of the Catalyst, the Reapers were to “cleanse” every single civilization every “Harvest” Cycle. In order to increased the efficiency of this “Harvest”, the Reapers constructed what is known as the “Mass Relays”. Mass Relays allowed interstellar travel and such.

So around 68,000 BCE, the race known as Protheans achieve space travel, and thus are able to traverse the Mass Relays. The Prothean Empire expands due to this, and is able to drive for nearly 20,000 more years.

Around 48,000 BCE, the Reapers begin their Harvest, and the Protheans fall to them.

Around 2148 CE, Humans discover Prothean technology on Mars, and thus learn of Mass Effect Fields. From this research, Humans are able to achieve space travel.

One year later, Humans discover a Mass Relay on Pluto’s moon, Charon.

This is all there is to know in order to understand what I’m about to talk about.

Mass Effect 1-2’s Story & Mass Effect 3

Slight Spoilers, but I guess that’s the point of game discussion, no?

Anyways, the trilogy is set before, during, and after a Reaper Cycle. The Protagonist, and this is my favorite part, is Commander Shepard. Depending on the player’s choice, Shepard can either be male or female. I have a bit of a quirk when it comes to choosing gender in games because I always play as a female. It feels better to play as a female than to play as a guy for the trillionth time.

Anyways, Shepard is sent off to a Human colony to investigate the destruction of them. This happens during the first Mass Effect. So Shepard finds out about the Reapers, and tries to warn the Citadel Council about it. The Council dismisses the Reaper threat, and continue to do so until a Reaper, by the name of Sovereign. The name is kind of ironic, for in the end its “supreme power” still isn’t enough. So Sovereign attacks the Citadel, and the Council finally decides to act on the threat. So ends the first game.

In the second Mass Effect, Shepard learns of a new threat. They are called the “Collectors”. It appeared that the Collectors have been working with the Reapers, but the answer is not confirmed until the end of the game. The Alliance/Council won’t help Shepard fight the Collectors, so Shepard joins the organization known as “Cerberus”. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that the Collectors kill Shepard before the Second Game, but Cerberus resurrects Shepard through science and a lot of money. So after Project Lazarus, which brought Shepard back, Cerberus gives Shepard all the money she needs, and sends her on a mission to find the greatest warriors in the galaxy. This is because the Collector’s home system was discovered, but it is extremely dangerous. It is essentially a suicide mission. So the team goes and fights the Collectors, and find out that they had been abducting Humans. The Collectors killed the captured humans, and they used to as parts for a Human-Reaper abomination. So Shepard & the crew destroy the Collectors and Prototype Reaper. The crew returns with news that the Reapers had been spotted heading towards the Milky Way galaxy.

And so on to Mass Effect 3. The Reapers have begun their cleansing and are going to kill every single organic life form. Shepard wants to stop this cycle, but the only way is to build a machine from schematics left by the Protheans. So the game goes on with Shepard trying to gather an army to defend the Earth while the machine is built, but receives little help. Every other race is trying to save themselves, and do not see the importance of the machine. So the game goes on towards the end, and Shepard discovers that the Machine, which is the Catalyst, is incomplete. There is no way to stop the cycle unless a final part is added. It turns out that the whole time the Citadel, a structure made by the Protheans, is the final piece. The Reapers are fighting the combined forces that Shepard managed to recruit on Earth, and it is the final stand. It’s either kill the Reapers once and for all, or die. So Shepard links the Catalyst, and is given a choice.

This is where the story is crafted by the player. Three options: Kill, Control, or Synthesize.

Kill: Destroy everything in the Galaxy. This option destroys organics & synthetics alike, so the Reapers would die,

Control: Shepard acquires absolute control over the Reapers.

Synthesize: Organics become part Synthetics, and vice versa. The Reapers no longer harm anything.

It’s quite obvious that the “correct” choice is Synthesize. That’s what my ending is, at least.  That is a very short explanation on the Mass Effect Universe, and is very badly written.

The games are 400% better, I guarantee it.

That’s it for this time. Mass Effect 3.

MaleShep

Disclaimer: I’m horrible at explaining.
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Jesse’s Adventures #1- Welcome to Dark Souls: Prepare to CRY Edition

Welcome to Dark Souls

Dark Souls for WP

Today’s Focus: Sif, The Great Grey Wolf & Artorias the Knight

Before I get into the first of many adventures, I must give some background information on this amazing game. Dark Souls is set in the fiction world of Lordran. You play as the “protagonist”, who is a human afflicted by the Undead curse. You are not simply any human; You are the Chosen Undead. Now, you might be wondering what exactly IS the Undead Curse, what the Chosen Undead is, and what any of this means. Let me explain more from the bits and pieces that we, the players, have put together through the game’s vague storytelling. In the beginning of time, there was only Darkness, and in that Darkness prevailed the Everlasting Dragons. But there was also fire. It is unknown who or what lit the First Flame, or why it was lit. But then came the darklings*, whom found the Lord Souls from within the first flame. Being all-powerful and all, the new Lords fought the dragons. The Lords, whom were four, fought the dragons, and prevailed in the end. The Lords were as follows: Gwyn the Lord of Sunlight, The Witch of Izalith, and Gravelord Nito. But there was one  who forgotten: The Furtive Pygmy, who took the DARK Soul. So the Lords killed the Dragons with the help of Seath the Scaleless, who betrayed the dragons, and built a kingdom in the Age of Fire. But alas, all that is good does not last, and the First Flame that fueled the Age of Fire began to dwindle until only embers remained. This is when you, the Chosen Undead, go on a journey to discover the faith of the Dark Soul.

Now that we’ve got the basic, yes I said basic, lore behind us, I can begin the tale of Seriv, the Chosen Undead.

I play as Seriv, whom I created, who I dressed up as the iconic Elite Knight from the Dark Souls box-art. Anyways, I had been deciding on what to write for this adventure, so I went ahead and went to go fight Sif. The story of Sif and Artorias is one of great sadness. Artorias was one of Gwyn’s, the Lord of Sunlight, four knights that guarded the city of Anor Londo. Continuing, Sif was Artorias’ companion. As the story goes, the people of Oolacile awoke a dark being. This being was Manus, Father of the Abyss. Manus spread the Abyss, and Gwyn ordered Artorias, and Sif, to repel the creatures of the Abyss. During the fight, the two were eventually overrun by the dark creatures. Artorias, being the good guy, sacrificed himself. Using his greatshield as a barrier, Artorias shielded Sif. Artorias was then consumed by the corruption of the Abyss, and was no longer himself. The story ends here, and my mini-adventure begins.

The Fight

So I went into Darkroot garden, previously Oolacile, to fight Sif. Upon entering this area, it became clear that it was a grave.

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I approached closer to examine the greatsword that lay upon the grave, and was greeted with a cutscene.

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Before I could touch the sword, Sif appeared.

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He took the sword, and the fight began.

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During the fight, it became clear that the sword was Artorias’, and Sif was mimicking Artorias’ fighting style. He was beating me to a pulp the entire 10 minutes it took me to kill him, but I eventually did it.

Please ignore the horrible timing of the screenshot.

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The victory didn’t feel good at all. The message that every casual player takes from the game is that everything you face is evil, and is trying to kill you. This is when my morality came into play. Was Sif really bad? Was he good? Was he trying to kill me? Did I have to kill him?

I didn’t discover the answer to my questions after researching a bit more, and eventually I did. Sif was only fighting you because he wanted to protect you. Sif did not want you to take the Covenant of Artorias, for it had led to the death of Sif’s companion. He only tried to protect you, but you didn’t know that. It left me questioning whether I should continue playing at all.

That’s it for my first adventure. This was Dark Souls.

* – There is no definite name for the Pre-Lord beings. I just called them “Darklings” because it fit.

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