Far Cry 4 is Getting Weird on Me

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I picked up Far Cry 4 from Amazon for about sixteen bucks.  I actually bought the disk.  It seems that lately I’ve been buying the download more and more often.  I didn’t even think I would like the game.  I’ve never been a huge fan of first person shooters but the huge expanse of Far Cry 4 (FC4 for the rest of this article) has kept my motion sickness at a minimum.

Things I like:  I think my favorite thing to do is hop onto the little one-man helicopter (although I discovered you can carry a rider when I played co-op online) and fly all around the land of Kyrat.  I like searching for treasure and the helicopter is the way to do it.  Another thing I enjoy about the game is the stealth.  It takes me back to my love of Sniper 3 except it is in first person.  I enjoy sneaking around and taking down enemies without raising an alert.  I am not always successful in preventing the alarm but I am either able to overcome or I perish.  If I die during a mission, the game is very generous with checkpoints.

Things I don’t like: As the title of the blog entry suggests, the game is getting weird on me.  The country of Kryat is a mystical land and has a religion similar to Hinduism.  Although the culture is fascinating, my character had to “worship” at a holy shrine.  I know I am not really the person in the game – I’m just me, but the game really pushed right to the edge about what is acceptable to me as a Christian to do.  You know, that whole “no other gods before me” thing from Exodus.  And now, later in the game I have come across two characters named Yogi and Reggie.  They openly smoke pot and initially my character refused the drug when it was offered.  However, when I played last night, my character accepted and went on a “drug trip”.  The colors of the game changed.  The music changed.  People changed into rhinos right before my eyes!  My character was terrified and ran through the terrain trying to escape real and imaginary enemies.  The last thing I want to bring up was the mystical trip to Shangri-La.  It was an interesting section as far as game play.  I had a tiger that I was able to use to attack enemies.  But the enemies were strange demon characters and I somehow was able to restore order to Shangri-La by ringing a few bells.  If only evil could be overcome so easily!

I’m going to keep playing for a while, but I may not stay with it if the game keeps weirding it up!

I’ve Been Sniped!

Every so often in life, the unexpected happens.  Sometimes good – sometimes not so good.  The tale I have to tell is about a certain video game that I was not expecting to like.  I’ve come to realize that I have become something of an Xbox fan boy lately.  (My friends at Theology Gaming University group on Facebook have commented that it may be because Xbox games have more of a western “flavor” as opposed to the Japanese designed PlayStation.). Because I am a member of Xbox Live Gold, I receive “free” games every month.  Last month the free game on the Xbox 360 was something called Sniper Elite 2.

Sniper Elite 2 in action

Sniper Elite 2 in action

I downloaded it and played through the entire game.  I could not stop thinking about and playing the game!  I played it through on Easy mode and then started to go through it again on a harder level.  I never do things like that!

Here’s why I like this game:

  • I can take my time
  • The game is as stressful as I allow it to be
  • Super slow motion bullet time
  • Super X-Ray vision effects

When I take my time and set up the right shot, the game rewards me by going into slow motion.  I watch the bullet spiral through the air.

This image brought to you by the new CAPTURE feature on Xbox One

This image brought to you by the new CAPTURE feature on Xbox One

Then as the bullet gets to the target, the game shows an X-Ray of where EXACTLY he has been hit.  Bones break and organs are destroyed.  Kind of disgusting but it appeals to the little boy in me that loves gross things!

As a result of the free Sniper Elite 2, I immediately got excited about playing Sniper Elite 3 on the Xbox One.  Fortunately Sniper Elite 3 Ultimate Edition recently was released and I purchased it on Amazon.

Me and a friend playing co-op.  This poor guy perished standing up!

Me and a friend playing co-op. This poor guy perished standing up!

Also, I discovered that there is a version of Sniper Elite 2 for the Nintendo Wii U for sale on Amazon and I picked it up for less than $15.

A handy map on the Wii U gamepad

A handy map on the Wii U gamepad

So I have a lot of sniping  to do.  This is a great game series!

Knit Me Something Video Game Style

This is a special posting for a certain group of ladies who informed me that they regularly click on my blog posts even though they often have no idea of what I’m talking about.  I know they love to knit and create.  So today, I dedicate this to them as I search the internet for anything related to knitting.  My main resource is Etzy, because I don’t know of any others.  Click on the photo and it will take you to the actual site where the item is for sale.

Item #1: Journey Scarf – I’m not much of a scarf person but I would be proud to wear this scarf that has the unique design from the game Journey on the Sony PlayStation 3.  The scarf is a huge part of the game’s mechanic.  It helps the player to literally float or glide in the air.  That would great if they could add that feature to this real world scarf.

Hand-Knit Journey Inspired Scarf

Item #2: Pac Man Drink Coozie – It would be really cool to have a favorite beverage wrapped in a classic retro video game coozie.  My spell check hates the word coozie, it keeps trying to change it to cookie.  I hope I’m spelling it correctly but you get the idea.  I would love to have these for drinks if I had friends over to play some games.

Knit Pac Man and Ghost Beer Coozie

Item #3: Legend of Zelda Knit Cap – What else can I say.  Take Nintendo’s legendary game series and make it something real and tangible.  I would love to wear this cap on a cold winter day.

Knit Made to Order: Link Hat from any Legend of Zelda Game

So those are my top three items!  Ladies, I hope you enjoyed it (and all you other game lovers too).  I also want to mention that I found this Flash-based knitting game: (although I believe it is more like cross-stitch).  Click on the link below to give it a try.

http://www.y8.com/games/Knitting

 

Shadows of Mordor – A Really Dark Game

I'm not very much fun

I’m not very much fun

I’ve played Shadows of Mordor for an hour and a half on my XBox One and so far it has not appealed to me.  I would love to be convinced otherwise.  I love Middle Earth.  I love Tolkien.  I dislike this game.  Why?

Reason #1: This is a really dark game.  I shouldn’t be surprised because the title makes it clear, but Mordor is not a setting that I enjoy.  There is no sun.  There are orcs and goblins all over the place.  There are humans who are bound in slavery.  I would much rather be sitting on a bench in the shire with pipeweed in my bowl.

Reason #2: This is a really hard game.  I don’t feel like there is a learning curve.  The only games I can think to compare it to are Demon Souls and Dark Souls – but those games were at least rewarding in their own way.  In Shadows of Mordor, I find myself failing again and again, but I’m not learning anything from it.

Reason #3: I don’t enjoy the controls.  Maybe I have played too much of the Assassin’s Creed series but I keep holding down the right trigger to run and climb.  In Mordor, it makes me sneak slowly.  The A button is the run button.  I am still getting used to the combat but it is just not enjoyable to me.  I have been told the combat is similar to the Batman games – but I never played any of those.

Reason #4: Stealth.  I am on one of the first missions and I have to be stealthy.  If I alert the guards they raise the alarm and the mission is over.  I don’t even really know how to do a stealth kill move.  I think it is right trigger – X.

Reason #5: I’m not sure how this really fits into the Tolkien worldview.  The Lord of the Rings trilogy always has a glimmer of hope, “That there is good in the world and it’s worth fighting for.”  In this game, I’m some guy who is a ranger.  His name is not memorable.  He is somewhere between life and death (since Tolkien was Catholic this part may actually fit in as a kind of purgatory) and revenge seems to be his motive so far.

So please.  All of you out there who may love this game.  Help me find something to love in it.  I want to like it because…Tolkien….

Halo 4 has me too stressed out man!

I'm Master Chief.  I don't even eat or go to the bathroom

I’m Master Chief. I don’t even eat or go to the bathroom

It feels like I’m crawling through Halo 4.  Right when I was almost finished with level 8, my wife popped her head into the game room to tell me she was home.  I was so focused on the game that I nearly jumped out of my chair and hit my head on the ceiling!

Is the game a hard game?  I guess it depends on what kinds of game you like.  I usually play a game in order to relax.  So far, playing the role of Master Chief definitely keeps me on my toes.  It’s not enough to be running around shooting space aliens like the covenant, I also have to face these “anti-matter” type foes.   Then,  since I am the “Master”, I also can drive any vehicle, walker, or spacecraft in the repertoire.  I was flying some kind of spacecraft when my wife surprised me.  I was shooting at turrets and squeezing through tight spaces.  Dying again and again – because I stink.

I may have had the shakes – but at least I wasn’t seasick!

Honestly, I have been enjoying the game and part of me is sad that it will be coming to a close.  At least until Halo 5 comes out…

I going to try to beat the game tonight

LATER .  .  .

Note:  YES!   Finally complete at 10:59 pm!  Master Chief is headed to bed at last.

A Million Games Out There, and I’m Playing Plants vs. Zombies?

How long has Plants vs. Zombies been out?  At least seven or eight years I would guess.  And yet, instead of playing Halo – I’m playing PVZ.  Even more strange, I’m not even playing the main game!  I’m spending my time cultivating my little zombie Zen Garden.  Why is it so appealing?  Probably for the same reason people enjoy Farmville or Minecraft.  It is fun to build and create.  It is fun to make something that actually works.  I promise you, my real life attempts at gardening would never be so successful.

Garden happiness

Garden happiness

Yet here I am, adding water, fertilizer, and some music to make my little plants happy.  I want them to be happy because when they are, they produce lots of little coins.  So many coins that I’ve had to purchase a snail who goes around collecting the money.  It is not a very reliable snail because it frequently takes naps and I have to wake it up by pouring water on it.  I’m a pretty mean gardener.

There is something satisfying about taking care of something and watching it grow.  The same thoughts can apply to friendship, to parenthood, to your career, to your calling.  After all, according to Genesis, there was a garden from the beginning.  A garden can be a place of wondrous happiness.

“He – I came to my garden, my sister, my bride, I gathered my myrrh with my spice, I ate my honeycomb with my honey, I drank my wine with my milk.  Others – Eat, friends, drink, and be drunk with love” – Song of Solomon 5:1

Wild Man Ted Update & What I’ve Been Playing

Greetings!  Wild Man Ted here, responding to nasty rumors of my disappearance from the internet.  No, I did not perish from a Dramamine overdose and neither did I have to check myself into a clinic for video game addiction.  In fact, it has been something far more mundane – just life.  I don’t know if you have ever felt like this but sometimes just having a full time job can sap most of my strength.  When I would come home, I just wanted to relax and play a game – not try to think up something to write about, find appropriate images, and publish.  So for now, I’m just going to write a little something and see if I can get back into the groove.  I appreciate all my friends from the Theology Gaming University Facebook page for being patient with me.

I have a new piece of equipment in the video game room.  It is one of those video game chairs.  What is cool about it is that it folds over into an ottoman.  It is relatively comfortable to play in.  It has built in speakers but I have not tried them out yet in the game room.  Just a quick test on Christmas morning with my Surface RT plugged into it.

The game I have been playing the most lately is HALO: The Master Chief Collection.  I had never played all the way through so it has been fun getting the whole “HALO” experience.  Plus, it is hard to beat a deal like four full games all in one package.  I am currently on HALO 4, on the fourth chapter.  Here are some of my the Master Chief Collection thoughts:

HALO One was fun to play because it was the only one I was playing as a repeat from the original Xbox.  It did have a new HD remake so it looked better.  I noticed how far game design has come since this game.  I can’t run!  Boy, I thought all FPS’s would let you run!  Second, I remembered how much back tracking I had to do throughout the game.  The best part of the game though is the driving sequence at the end – intense!

HALO Two was the most recent game to receive the HD treatment.  It truly looked stunning and the cut scenes were spectacular.  I liked having the ability to go from the new look to the original look with the press of a button – even the cut scenes.  Game play was more of the same although I personally enjoyed playing as the Arbiter.  I understand some fans didn’t like that very much.

HALO Three almost felt like a graphical let down after playing all the way through Two.  It had a great storyline and the same consistent game play. It had another fantastic driving sequence at the end and wow, what an ending.

At some point I watched Forward Unto Dawn on Netflix, I was told it would help me understand the events from HALO Three and Four a little better.  I guess it did, a little.

Finally, I have been working my way through Four and it has been challenging.  When I am playing alone I have to be very patient or I will die.  I am very motivated to finish the game.  I want to get back to Earth and save Cortana.  I’m going to try to complete another chapter tonight.

When I have completed all four, I can move on to the next game that sits unopened on top of my Xbox One…