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Dad Plays Games at Lunch Episode 5 - The Evil Within

Welcome to another episode of Dad Plays Games at Lunch Episode this time I take a look at The Evil Within!  I like me some horror games and this one was masterminded by the team that made Resident Evil so it promised to be a scary one and mostly it delivers.  The Evil Within starts very tense but ends up actiony and then tense again and I kinda like it.  The game is very Japanese though with weird characters, stereotypical male/female personas and lots of yelly exposition.

The art style is really cool though with a dank/dirty grimy veneer that makes the game very atmospheric.  The Evil Within did not blow the doors of the gaming industry but it was a modest success and a bloody good time.  It has been out for a while so fairly cheap steam copies are pretty easy to find.  Make sure to play with headphones on and the lights lowered...enjoy me trying to get through part of the game and failing pretty hard at times!

PAX East 2016 Coverage Part 3

This is the final instalment of my look back at the PAX East 2016 conference and the articles I wrote there.  As mentioned in the previous posts this convention is not straight videogames and it is certainly not about marketing speak.  There are real chances to speak directly to developers, I had some great chats with the creators of Battleborn, We Happy Few and Fated to name just a few.  The show is always terrific and the atmosphere in Boston is incredibly welcoming.

There are always a number of after events to attend and this year and I was lucky enough to attend a few of them.  I always show up for the annual alchohol infused but charity driven PokeCrawl and this year I also attended a social with the Fated developers, headed to a Hitman party and then had late night drinks in the suite of a middleware developer and his friends that I met at the party.  The point is that PAX East inherently brings out a great, friendly and inclusive crowd and I can't wait for next years event.

P…

Whiskey of the Year?

Late in 2015 a relatively inexpensive, frankly cheap, whisky from Canada called Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye won a very prestigious award - Worldwide Whiskey of the Year beating out out champions from Scotland, Japan and the US.  In the words of the reviewer Jim Murray:

“Crown Royal Northern Harvest pops up out of nowhere and changes the game,” said Murray of the whisky, which he awarded a record-tying 97.5 out of 100 points. “It certainly puts the rye into Canadian Rye. To say this is a masterpiece is barely doing it justice.”

Naturally as a developing Whiskey connoisseur I wanted to try this $40 bottle of Rye Whiskey myself, but an announcement like that broke the walls of the drinking world and the Northern Harvest Rye has been selling out for nearly 6 months with further accolades coming in the meantime:

In addition to being named 2016 World Whisky of the Year, Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye received a double gold medal at this year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition.…

Dad Plays Games at Lunch Episode 4 - The Division

Taking a little break from the PAX East recap posts I wanted to show a little more of my Let's Play series Dad Plays Games at Lunch.  In this episode I was playing some Division days after launch and wowee was it laggy and tough to play.  I have since finished the game and it is collecting a bit of dust but I plan to re-visit to check out how it has evolved.

The Division is fun but very flawed, the game really falls into a series of patterns very quickly as I highlighted in a Review on BlogCritics recently.  Get into new zone, complete a couple of story missions (which are quite good) complete the same exact side missions from the previous zone but against slightly different enemies.  I also found that the customization has some high points - Gun layouts and modifications, and low points - really, REALLY boring outfits which has me wondering why I am exploring so much.  In Destiny the armor just looks cooler and cooler, in The Division I get to choose between a purple or black Park…

PAX East 2016 Coverage Part 2

Sorry for the long delay, life gets real busy around here!  So on to more PAX East coverage, one of the things I love best about the show is how diverse it is.  I attended panels on games, but also on diversity, tabletop, game design and more.  I also get a chance to check out hardware such as the HTC Vibe and Occulus Rift as well as unconventional playtests like board games.  PAX East is an incredible experience in how involved the attendees are, everyone is happy, cosplayers are everywhere and the vibe is always incredibly positive.  On to the coverage from the show:

PAX East 2016 Preview: Betrayal at House on the Hill – Widow’s Walk Expansion


PAX East is not all about video games or nerd culture; it also has a robust tabletop and roleplaying experience that is easy to lose hours in, if not days, during the conference.  At this year’s show I was able to try the upcoming expansion of the classic game Betrayal at House on the Hill called Widow’s Walk. The original game, released nearly …

PAX East 2016 Coverage Part 1

I attended PAX East once again and as always it was an amazing time, the show just never gets old for me. You can browse Triple A blockbusters like Overwatch and walk 10 feet to see a small game called Thimbleweed Park in the Indie Megabooth. There are huge Tabletop areas that you can sit and join Magic or D&D rounds (as well as dozens of other game systems), you can chill in the arcade or handheld lounges, get food, attend panels and just have a glorious time. 

The fact that it is in Boston is the icing on the cake, it is such a cool chill town with hundreds of years of history, architecture and amazing seafood. I attend PAX every year to represent Blogritics.org as a freelance writer and tend to write 8-10 articles about games and events at the show. I checked out a ton of games, panels and events, but I have to say Fated on the VR platform was one of my favorite items. Below is the first block of articles I wrote while attending the show this year. Enjoy! 


PAX East 2016 Pre…

Dad Plays Games at Lunch - Episode 3 - Diablo 3 Re-Visited

Episode 3 of a Dad (me) playing Games (in this case Diablo 3) at Lunch (I had a sammich I think?) was a chance to re-visit Diablo 3 after many months. I bought Diablo 3 day one and finished the game pretty quickly and swiftly got bored. The games was bogged down by terrible loot drops, a real money market that imbalanced the game and real progression required multiple playthroughs. In the last three years though Blizzard has added so many modes and features as well as an expansion called Reaper of Souls. I jumped back in and finished the expansion and saw what the new loot drop mechanic is like (it is awesome) and got acquainted with the Seasons mode, bounties and many other great modes. Enjoy while I run through the start of the season and see the carnage I inflict as I run through a chunk of the early game.

Dad Plays Games at Lunch Episode 2 - Grim Dawn

I continue to play games at lunch and tend to be all over the map on what I will play on a given day. For episode two of my series I played a section of a game I backed on Kickstarter called Grim Dawn - this is from ex-Diablo veterans and really echoes that early Diablo vibe. Dark, gritty, visceral and a lot of fun. The game is finally complete, with 4 acts and a ton of character types. I really enjoy this game, it is not as slickly polished as Diablo 3 (but what is really) but the core game is deep and satisfying....the enemies are really gruesome too which is awesome!
I have started a new series of media called Dad Plays Games at Lunch which is simply me (a Dad) working from home and playing games on my lunch break. I usually do this anyway and I thought it would be fun to record myself doing it and share it online. The first episode focused on the AMAZING game Darkest Dungeon. This is a brutal game that keeps me coming back despite it killing my favorite characters over and over again. It is a dungeon crawl that focuses on the stress and psychology of adventuring and what the terror would do to characters. You need to manage resources, items and skills as well as the stress levels and phobias of your characters. Great fun and a game everyone should try.