Archives For Gaming

little nightmares banner image

From its promotional materials, I assumed Little Nightmares would be a cute, perhaps even quaint game—maybe something tonally along the lines of a creepier Little Big Planet or a Tim Burton film. Just a few minutes into the game, I realized I had it all wrong, and I’m so glad. Honestly, Little Nightmares is unlike anything I’ve played before, so it’s difficult to throw around comparisons. You seriously need to experience it for yourself. Here’s what you’ll love about it:

1. Mechanics

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The gameplay is intuitive. You’re not torn out of the game by tutorials or prompts. You’re dumped into a dark world, alone to figure things out through trial and error. This is gameplay mechanics as they should be. I don’t need a map of the controller to remind me what all the buttons do, and I don’t need to customize any cumbersome in-screen dashboards. (I’m looking at you Breath of the Wild. I love you, but OMG. Chill.) Little Nightmares is clean, with nothing on the screen to distract you from the story, along with natural-feeling controls.

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night in the woods

Years ago, I played a game demo at the Pop Culture Museum. It included a scene with a talking cat and a fox who get sugar-high off donuts until their paws shake and they swear they can see through space and time. I was sold.

I had to wait an agonizing couple of years before Night in the Woods was complete. I bought this beauty the day it came out, and I tried to savor it, but I finished the game in a week. Here are just a few reasons to love it:

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If you’ve never been to PAX, it can be tough getting your bearings. There are lots of weird little things that you wouldn’t know unless you’ve been before (or you’ve read a post like this one). Here are the tips I wish I’d known before attending for the first time:

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PAX West is just around the corner! My nerdy heart goes pitter-patter just thinking about it. At PAX, I love walking the floor, attending panels, and playing games—but I also love taking advantage of the beautiful host city. Last year, I had so much fun spending a couple of extra days in Seattle, exploring like crazy. Because it’s so massive, the options can be a little overwhelming, so here are my top recommendations for what to do while you’re there.

1. Make Friends with a Bridge Troll

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This friendly troll resides at 4505 North Troll Avenue in Fremont, under the north end of the Aurora bridge. Getting to this troll’s abode means taking a 15-minute Uber from downtown, but it’s worth it. Not only do you get the unique experience of coming face-to-face with this massive monster (which will put a smile on your face), but there are lots of other cool things in the Fremont area—it’s my favorite neighborhood in Seattle.

2. Visit Add-A-Ball in Fremont

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Pinball, arcade cabinets, booze, and an insane Patrick Swayze mural reside in this cozy underground gaming space. Bonus: there’s a nice patio out front with seating if you need to get some air between heated matches of Bubble Bobble. Add-A-Ball is located at 315 N 36th Street, Seattle—just an 8-minute walk from the bridge troll.

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I recently picked up Dishonored for my PS3, and I highly recommend it. After discussing it with a friend, however, I absolutely have to talk about something that I feel is overlooked: the skip all story option. Every time a player interacts with a character outside of combat, they have the option to skip it entirely. I’m not going to try and read meaning into every single game I play, but this story is dripping with meaning.

He looks neighborly.

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Geeky Get Well Package

Ashley Walton —  September 7, 2012 — 2 Comments

The husband has been a bit under the weather, so I put together a little care package for him. It included Pass the Popcorn (movie trivia game), season one of Batman: The Animated Series (a favorite from our childhoods), Drag Me to Hell on blu-ray,  Scrabble Slam, and Borderlands, Dead Rising 2, and Monster Madness: Grave Danger (games for PS3). Oh, and some super dorky Got Milk? straws that magically turn your milk into a cookies and cream flavored treat. Being stuck on the couch was as fun as possible.

Gaming Lounge Adventures

Ashley Walton —  August 27, 2012 — 2 Comments

Sometimes you just feel like blowing off some steam and playing a video game in the dark at home,  just you and the comforting glow of the screen. But sometimes you get the urge to play with others. Hopping online with friends, you can connect with people miles away while you lay snuggly in bed, a book as your mousepad. But sometimes you get the wild urge to leave the house, and that’s where gaming lounges come in. Gaming lounges are a unique place. You don’t have the dissonance of playing at home with a bunch of peers far away– you take comfort in being in the same room as your comrades, not to mention you also meet new people.

Last week, I went to a gaming lounge with my husband and his little brother, and we played Left 4 Dead II for several hours. Since there were only three of us and it’s a four-player game, the fourth player was the computer. So, when zombie hoards ripped us apart, we used all our med packs, unlabeled pills, and healing supplies on ourselves, leaving the computer to fend for itself, since it wasn’t a real player. However, sometime within the 3 hours we played, a fellow comrade from the gaming lounge joined the game and we hadn’t noticed the name change. So, we’re not exactly sure how much time passed while we left the poor guy mangled and bleeding alone before we realized it was no longer the computer but an actual person! Once we realized our mistake, I called out, “Sorry, dude!” and healed him with a med pack, and a guy from across the room looked up and said, “Thank you!” And the four of us banded together and were a much stronger force with the computer player out of the picture.

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