Tuesday, November 9, 2021


Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars is a new RPG from Square Enix that recreates the feeling of a table top role playing game in video game format.


Consistently breaking the fourth wall the Game Master will guide you on your adventure across what turns out is multiple Islands dealing with a plot that covers growth, betrayal, and the world's over dependence on the pharmaceutical industry, and no I didn't just make that last one up but I won't get to deep into the weeds on it for fear of spoilers.


What really pulled me into this game was the over world map. As soon as I saw the cards laid out in a hex pattern I knew I was going to buy this game. It reminded me of the World of Greyhawk maps I got from my uncles when I was a kid from the D&D sessions they played when they were teenagers. And more recently the hex crawls my players went on in the land of Chult. There are a lot of fabulous Hex Crawls out there. Look them up!


While the overworld is laid out in a hex platform town and dungeons see cards shift from a hex to the more traditional square (ish), they are cards after all, layout. Random encounters abound and not all of them are of the monster variety, you can find wandering merchant, bandits, and even a stray monster that just needs a hand. (Or, you know, you could choose to merc it). Early on I found the random enemy encounters to be too frequent but having played through the game to completion in about 15 hours I realized that they were perfectly paced to get me to the appropriate level for any type of boss.


The game presents it's self as a "card" game but it's not a deck builder. Functionally the game UI is presented as cards but mechanics like chance to draw certain cards is missing. You are limited to the number of abilities you can have equipped at anyone time, 4, but you'll always be able to use those if you have the resources, there is no random chance to draw the ability you need from your deck.


The mechanics of the abilities are easy to understand and fun to use. While the depth of the game is a little shallow the fact that it doesn't overstay it's welcome and become a 60 hour slog fest makes that forgivable. The main campaign should only take you about 13-15 hours to complete and then you can go back and try and find anything you missed. There is one optional boss that only opens up after you roll credits but overall this is a compact story that is respectful of your time and there aren't too many fake outs that drag the game on and on.


An interesting twist on some of the cards is you'll have to roll a die or dice to see if your ability lands or if it has a bonus proc. This makes it feel even more like an table top role playing game or a board game.

I recently saw a question asked what is your favorite game that is a board game in video game format. While Voice of Cards is not a board game I do think this game does a wonderful job of casting the illusion of being one.


I do think that Square Enix has a possible missed opportunity with this game. While new IP's can always be exciting if they had replaced the carriage master with a chocobo station and added in some crystals they could have called called this Final Fantasy: Voice of Cards and probably sold 10 x.


Over all I found the game to be an enjoyable experience and was a very good game and I'd give it a 7 falling just short of being a great game.


There is also a card game within in the game that is designed for multiplayer which isn't really that memorable and they could have probably done with out but if you want to extend your time in Voice of Cards it's there for you to play. 

Saturday, September 25, 2021


Let's go over how you can attempt to reserve your name.


Let me start off by saying, this isn't exactly ideal. Thanks Amazon.


Since names are globally unique if  you live in the Americas, or Asia you are going to have to get up at randomly weird time that correlates with 8am Central European Summer Time or CEST and  log into the EU servers. You can go to a place like worldtimeserver.com and find out what this is in your own time zone. I'll post a link in the comments below.


You don't actually have to play the game. All you need to do is create a character and reserve your name.


Also don't wait around actually personalizing your character. Just accept it as is and get that name. Once you secure the bag if you get put in the queue you can back out and go to bed. You name is now locked to your account and then at a time that is convenient for you can go back and delete that character and remake them on whichever server you wish. The name will be bound to your account for a period of time. We aren't clear on how long so people are assuming it's at least a minute.


Players on EU, hopefully this doesn't create too big of an inconvenience for you. Please register all complaints with Amazon Customer Service.

View Giveaway


I hope you found this helpful and check my social medias because I'm giving away a free copy of New World on Tuesday when the game is released.


Thanks and I'll see you in Aeternum.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Today I'm going to cover a list of things you should know about New World that are different than your normal theme park MMO.

 Let's get started.


  1. If you want to tank. Slot a Carnelian gem on your weapon for taunts. Yes it's weird, I know.


  1. If you are a dps or healer worried about threat toss a Carnelian on your armor to reduce threat.


  1. Did you see that? The same gem has different effects depending on whether or not it is slotted in your armor, or slotted in your weapon.


  1. In order to enter instances you need a key known as a tuning orb. You can craft these but you can only craft 5 a week. (168hours / 7 days) You need to do corrupted breaches to make keys for dungeons.


  1. You can learn every weapon, every tradeskill on your characters


  1. You can only have one character per server. That means no alts and no twinks. Fortunately you can do it all on one character. Keeps player from being in both factions at once.


  1. Dungeons are known as expeditions. Currently they are not time limited but your party does need a key to get in. Crafting the keys however are time limited. 5 per week.


  1. Only one person has to go to the dungeon, the person that is using their orb. Once they use it everyone else will get a prompt to hit f1 and enter the dungeon.


  1. You can repair your gear, not an NPC. You can do this anywhere, including a dungeon and you don't have to worry about having to whip an anvil out of your pocket.


  1. Salvaging gear gets you money and repair parts so you can repair your gear


  1. You can skip the tutorial but you really shouldn't if this is your first time through? But if you do make sure to talk to that dying NPC so you can get his loot. In this case a shield.


  1. You have to eat or take a potion to regen health. You can't just get out of combat. Some foods will leave a buff on you for a period of time that allows you to regen health out of combat but you don't start off with that ability passively.


  1. You can make a tent in the field. You'll learn how in one of the first quests. It costs 5 green tree lumber and 1 flint.


  1. You can craft rations at that tent.


  1. If you craft at your tent you avoid taxes


  1. This game has taxes


  1. Toggling on PvP will give you a bonus 10% experience while out in the world harvesting, questing, killing…


  1. Not only do you earn expereince from gathering and crafting you earn experience from refining.


  1. Before level 20 respeccing is free. Don't be afraid to try new builds.


  1. Before level 10 weapon mastery respeccing is free. See number 19 about the builds note.


  1. Your house acts as a second teleport location. You can return from the field to an inn or your home.


  1. The weight of your gear will impact whether you can roll, dodge, or shuffle. If you can't roll anymore and you just changed your armor you are probably not bugged. You just moved into a new weight class.


  1. Your crafting will be limited by the level tier of the facilities of the town you are in. Just because it's a forge doesn't mean you can make your top tier gear.


  1. Some craftable items have to be learned with recipes. You learn a recipe by salvaging it. I know… that sounds weird but I did it a couple times and learned how to make a table and cook some food.


  1. Crouching will obscure your name plate. Laying prone will basically hide your nameplate. I literally laid in a bush for a PvP mission while other players walked by me. It was a trip. Go prone in a bush.


  1. Your primary heals are going to be AoEs. Look for the green circle on the ground. Stand in it!


  1. Remember that tent? Set it up before you go into a hard area. If you die you can rez at it if you are within 500 yards.


  1. You can't set up tents in a Point of Interest.


  1. There are no set classes. Mix and match any and all weapon combinations that you heart desires. Have fun with it.


  1. Tab targeting doesn't work.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Rob's updated ultimate guide for Amrine Excavation


Hello everyone and welcome to Rob's updated ultimate guide for Amrine Excavation. This guide takes into account some open beta changes, a now has 100% more resource locations and ways to acquire tuning orbs. In this video I'll cover the locations of all the caches, the named enemies you'll encounter, and strategies on how to defeat the two bosses in the Excavation, as well as the solution to the puzzle to unlock the bridge.


Amrine Excavation is the first Expedition that is available to adventurers in New World.


Through the course of normal questing, you'll receive a main story quest that will guide you to go to the Amrine Excavation to pick up a heart gem. In order to unlock the excavation, you'll need a key that can be acquired from the main story quest. These keys can also be crafted. You will only need 1 key for an entire group but once the key is used, you'll lose it. This means a group of 5 players each with a key can run the instance 5 times before they need to look for more keys. Each player can also receive another tuning orb at level 23 as part of a chain of side quests for William Heron in Everfall. This now puts that same group from earlier up to 10 from 5.


Outside of the Excavation is the good boy Barkimedes. Barkimedes will offer you a repeatable quest to defeat Star Excavation Ravagers and collect their succulent bones. As of Open Beta players had to be level 23 to get this quest. There is Five Star Excavation Ravagers in the instance but you only need 3 bones. This means that you can leave the instance midway through after completing the quest, turn it in, and then go back and get 2 of the 3 bones to complete the quest again. So you'll be able to complete this quest 3 times from only running the dungeon twice. You can't all leave the dungeon at once, however, four people can leave, 1 can stay in, then once those initial players come back into the instance the last player can go out, turn their quest in, and come back in with everyone else and complete the instance. The roughly 5k experience from this quest is a pretty big chunk and worth the minor inconvenience of leaving the dungeon and coming back in.


There are 6 named mobs in the Amrine Excavation not counting the two bosses.


Tainted Tanner (Hearty)

Zippy (Cold Aura)

Burnt Becca (Armored)

Mad Mckenzie (Fire Resistant)

Safety Office Richards (Explosive)

Frozen Forest (Brutal)


Neither of them at this level require a lot of coordination. They are purely tank and spank fights like almost all the trash in this instance as well.


The only real challenges you'll face in this instance are the two actual bosses. Foreman Nakashima (Brutal - Ice Resistant)

And Simon Grey (Frozen and Hearty)


In order to solve the puzzle of the grand traverse you'll need to step on three platforms at the same time. When you do the bridge will complete. I've marked the locations of the platforms on this map.



Most of the trash in here is simple tank and spank so I won't walk you through the entire instance. There is a main story quest that directs you where you need to go. Just watch out for the withered nests. You need to kill those or they will continue to summon lost.


There are three pages to the Star Excavation journal located in the instance.

The first is on your left as you enter

The second is on the stairs on the way up to the bridge in the Grand Traverse

The third page is located next to a chest where you'll summon the foreman.

The fourth and final page is outside next to Barkimedes


There are 6 chests in the Amrine Excavation.


The first is located behind a tent next to a star excavation withered nest in the room you'll fight Zippy.

The second is hidden behind a waterfall. Once you are in the grand traverse and make a left to head down to one of the pressure plates jump off into the water and you'll find this chest tucked away. There is also some mining nodes down here.

The third is located behind a pillar in the Hidden Vestibule

The fourth is by a stack of crates next to where you fight the Foreman. There is also a note located near bye.


The fifth is up on a ledge in the room you fight the Foreman

The sixth and final is located after you defeat Simon Grey.



Foreman Nakashima


Has a couple of tricks in their bag. In addition to attacking whoever has drawn the foreman's aggro the Nakashima will also summon a pink ring around a seemingly random player. If this player touches the ring it will stun the entire group for 2 seconds. To complicate matters the foreman also summons waves of ghostly adds to fly over the area in the pink ring. If you get hit by one of these adds you could easily lose up to 1/3 of your life. If you are good at dodging, it's possible to avoid these ghosts. If not you may want to consider whether or not it's worth the entire group being stunned to prevent you from dying. Good news is it's easy to resurrect up a dead player. You could decide to just gtfo the rings asap and deal with the stuns since they don't last very long.



Simon Grey


Has 3 primary attacks. Have the tank get aggro on the boss and Simon will focus his melee attacks on them. He'll do a double fisted overhead front ground attack that will deal physical damage in a circle in front of him. He's punching the ground and anything in this way. He has another frontal attack where he vomits a cone in front of him and does elemental damage. Lastly, and this is the big one, he will summon waves roughly every 20 seconds. While the tank focuses on holding Simon DPS need to burn down these adds. These are you number 1 priority and if you don't kill the adds fast enough you could become overwhelmed with adds. Simon IS NOT the threat in this battle. His waves of adds are. So tank aggro Simon, healer keep tank alive, DPS kills adds, healer help keep the DPS that take damage alive and deal a bit of damage to that adds as well. Hopefully with the correct life staff skills you'll be able to deal damage and heal at the same time.


That's it's you've completed the Amrine Expedition and you can collect your Heart Gem and don't forget to loot that last Supply Stockpile.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Where should you level in New World once you hit 20? Deadman's Cove.

So you've spent the last few hours or even days leveling and you've made it to 20. At this point you should have a main story quest pointing you towards the Amrine Excavation, the fist available expedition in the game. DO NOT DO IT YET. I know it may be tempting but as of now it's not the most efficient. Hold off just a bit more. I'll get into why later.

What you should to do is gather a group of your fellow adventurers and head to the southern part of Monarch's Bluff. Nestled in between the bluffs and Cutlass Keys is the Deadman's Cove. This point of interest (POI) is what some people refer to as an open world, or open air dungeon. This is a POI that is not instanced but is recommended for 5 adventures level 25 or above. However, as of open beta you won't need that. Sure it will help if a few of you are above level 20 but at level 20 you can start killing the monsters effectively. Keep in mind though this is based off beta so these enemies could be adjusted accordingly at release.

Before you set into the area make sure to place your camp outside. People are going to die. There will be overpulls. Don't get  discouraged. You don't suffer an XP penalty. Gear is easily repaired. Even if you wipe with your camp so close the recovery time is negligible.

At the lower level's you'll want to start on the outside of the area closer to the Nautilus of Nunez. These mobs are lower in difficulty which you can tell by the fact they only have two gold stipes under their health bars. As you gain confidence, gear, and maybe a level or two you'll want to start pushing inside of the wall and into the caves.

As you push your way into the caves the monsters will shift from two gold stripes to three.

One big thing, especially early on to keep an eye out is for whether it is day or night. During the day you'll have a much easier time. During the evening hours Tortured Electrogeists will spawn. These glowing electrified poltergeists can be a pain because they'll spawn in between packs and do little patrols which makes it easy to overpull. They really aren't that difficult on their own but they can take a standard pull and turn it into chaos. You'll also want to make sure that if you are using a weapon that has elemental chain damage that you run a higher risk of pulling extra lost.

 Don't be afraid if you see other groups in the area. There are plenty of enemies in the area for multiple groups to farm here at the same time. Even if you end up on the same enemy at once the experience penalty is pretty light. Normal kill on a poltergeist would award 55 xp. If it was killed by two groups each member of the groups would get 39 xp. Sure it's not ideal but it's not the end of the world.

In under and hour I earned 15,000 character experience points, enough weapon points to go from 10 to 12, and enough standing experience to go from 2 to 8 in Monarch's bluff. Like spice, the experience flowed.

A normal elite mob in the cover awarded 41 player experience, 40 weapon experience, and 35 standing. When we dropped down to a 4 man group we were earning 57 experience, 54 weapon experience, and 39 standing.

The Tortured Electorgiests awarded 55 exp, 54 weapon exp, and 35 standing.

Also every pull seemed to result in mobs dropping green loot. There were also more chests than I could count and a lot of higher level resources like star metal. This is a great way to collect resources to either sell or use to level your crafting later.

There are also two boss encounters inside the cave. There is Master Cannoneer Jennings in the south part of the caves. In this part of the cave  you'll be able to mount a cannon and attack the lost. If you hit one dead on you'll be able to kill them in one shot and do significant damage to their pirate brethren next to them.

Jennings isn't' necessarily hard he just has a lot more health than other named monsters in the area. Once you beat him down you'll earn about 143 xp, 136 weapon exp, and 163 standing. Seems like killing named mobs in this area reward you with bonus region standing. 

In the norther branch of the cave there is what we will call the triplets. There is

Mizaru which is a 3 stripe elite Kikazaru and Iwazaru

There are a couple rarer chests in this area so it's worth killing these mobs for the experience alone but no one picked up any special loot in multiple kill attempts.

 After two runs we got it down to where we could clear the entire cave section of the cove in 12 minutes. The mobs were respawning but we were clearing the area so fast that the chests were not.

While I can't say with a mathematical certainty that this is the best damn farm spot for this level but what I can say is it's excellent and will get the job done.

I did however do some rough math and this is why I maintain that you should continue to farm here over running Amrine

There is a repeatable quest that opens up at level 23 from Barkimidis the dog that awards you around 4800 exp. You can do this at least once per run but if you exit the dungeon you can do it as many as 5 times for every 3  dungeon runs.  Running Amrine with the Barkimidis quest you can get about 18-20k an hour. Without the Barkimidis quest you'll earn a hell of a lot less.

I earned close to 20k an hour in Deadman's Cove and that was without any quests. If the area does become over run with adventurers and you are fighting for spawns then you can always head back to Amrine but it's best to start off here until you are 23 and then make your way to Amrine. Or just stay here until you are 25 and can wear the good blue gear you'll pick up in Amrine.

I'll see you in Aeternum!

If you still haven't picked up New World yet you can order it on Amazon here.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

XBox Wireless Headset Review


I hustled to my local Best Buy today to pick up my XBOX Wireless Headset. 

After spending a few hours using them I've come to the conclusion that they are not for me.

Aesthetically I like them. The green accents on the black matte finish just look aces. But what I can't get over in the faux leather material on the ear cuffs. They just feel tacky. And I don't mean like 70s shag carpet tacky. They stick to your skin. Maybe it's the curse of the bald man. Maybe it's just me. But for the price the feature set on  these headphones are fantastic. I preordered them the day they were announced because they specs were so nice.

Make sure to check out the video for more details:

I spent some time combing the internet looking for some common questions. These are the ones that popped up the most. All of these answers are backed up with responses from official Microsoft reps.

Q: What is this compatible with?

A: This headset works on Bluetooth 4.2 and will pair wirelessly with your Xbox Series X, series S, and the Xbox One. You can also get it to pair with your PC but that might require additional software updates. Even though this does work on BT it is no designed to work with other consoles. So while you may be able to hack it and hook it up to a Switch or PS5 it's not intended for that.

Q: Are these noise cancelling?

A: No. They provide noise reduction which is different. The microphone is designed to isolate and pick up your voice and eleminate most of your background noise. It is NOT designed to prevent you from hearing background noise. So if you have a gaggle of unrully kids in the background your friends might not hear them but you still will.

Q: Can I pair this with my Xbox and my phone at the same time?

A: Yes. And you can control the mix of each. So if you want to turn down your friends and turn up the RP time in a cut scene you can. God I wish I had these for back in my MMO days.

Q: Can I connect to multiple BT devices at once?

A: Nope.

Q: What size are the drivers:

A: For you audiophiles out there: Speaker size: 40mm Speaker material: Paper composite diaphragm and neodymium magnet Speaker Impedance: 32 ohm Speaker Response: 20Hz - 20kHz

Q: Are the ear cups replaceable?

A: Sadly they are not. If they are damaged Microsoft recommends you send them in for repair. This is a bit of a bummer.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

How Assassin's Creed: Valhalla fails to live up to the legacy of Origins or Odyssey


Assassin’s creed Valhalla is a tremendous commercial success. Outselling it's predecessor, Odyssey, in the first 4 months by over 50% according to industry tracking site Superdata. It's fair to say that when it's run is finally done AC:V could end up being the most successful Assassin's Creeds of all time.


I’ve spent over 100 hours storming the shores of England as Eivor the VIking, and I’ve loved a lot of my time looting and pillaging but I still don’t feel like I’ve “beat” the game much less finished all the content it has available and this has largely left me feeling unfulfilled.


I've pacified England


Laid waste to the Order


Grown my settlement to rank 6


Found the locations of all the hidden ones


I've even walked on Asgard



And while parts of Valhalla are an excellent game. All of these disparate story lines and game systems cobbled together make for an overall broken narrative that lacks any true cohesion and because of this disjointedness  wind up detracting from the whole.


I was able to tie up all of the territorial England Arc's before I wiped out the order and that effectively culminated at the strategy table with….. Well, a message that informed me that there is a lot more to see and do. Go check it out! At this point Sigurd was back at my side even if he was a shell of his former self. And that betrayal they referenced at the beginning of the game? I never really felt it. I had learned a bit about the animus, and I did have a confrontation with Odin's but I didn't realize his arc was over but apparently it was. From that point I assumed that I just had to kill the order and then I'd end up with a satisfactory ending. 


What was once a central focus of the series, the order, feels shoehorned in at best. I had only killed about half the order members before I knew who their leader was. Unfortunately I couldn't do anything about it, and while that's not really anything new for the series it felt rather pronounced in this case. This forced me to kill the remaining members and hunt down the last zealots. Zealots were an inferior version of Phylakes from Origins and Mercenaries from Odyssey. Those enemies inspired fear. They always showed up at inopportunity moments when I was clearing out forts. They'd force me to run or reassess my assault. They were a severe thorn in my side and the challenge they provided was welcome. The Zealots were tame in comparison. I never ran into one in the world on accident. The majority of them I hunted down at the end and killed once I had completed the story. They were uninteresting, they were never scary, they provided no tension, and were entirely ineffective at making themselves anything other than a speedbump in my gameplay at the end. They were utterly superfluous Then when I was able to confront them the resolution was odd to say the least to and I was left feeling, is that it? Is the game over? I didn't get a credit roll, there was no climactic event. I was climbing to a peak but once I got there it was like? Is this over?


I couldn't believe it.


I was in shock.


So I went back to my camp and worked on finishing all the rest of the quests.


I had a quest from the seer that at first I just assumed was a side quest. But now I was convinced that maybe I had to complete it as well.


I also had the hidden one's quest line open. Maybe that needed completing too.


When I collected the materials for the seer and began the Asgard storyline it felt to me at this point like DLC when in fact it was an excellent allegory for what was going on in Eivor's life that would have enriched my experience had I played it in parallel with Eivor pacifying England. However, the game never really nudged me to go back and participate in these two questlines at the same time. Had it been more intertwined it would have been much more impactful. Once I completed the troubles in Asgard I felt that this story arc had reached a meaningful conclusion, however, this wasn't the main focus of the game. Upon entering Asgard for the first time I finally became male Eivor. Which, I thought it was pretty weird. I had spent the first 90 hours of the game so far as female Eivor. I did choose to let the game auto select my gender for me the parts it thought was most appropriate. Apparently playing the game as a mortal I should be a lady, but when I'm Odin I should be a dude.


But I can't stress enough just how good the Jotunheim region is. With the magic and shifting environments this is the most engaging and fantastical content in the game. Mythological fantasy buffs are gonna love it, and I almost missed it.


Finally I made my way to uncover the remaining 3 hidden ones locations. There was a lot of lore in this missions as you uncovered the missives and it was nice to hear Bayek's voice again considering he is my all time favorite Assassin's Creed character. But once again, when I completed this quest, it was just done.


Sigurd's Arc, Asgard, Order Arc, Conquer of England Arc. There were a lot of Arc's but none of them really felt like they received a proper ending. Like you beat this game. Now have fun running around England and reaping your rewards and discovering the secrets you have yet to uncover.


I also really don’t like the fact they nerfed the bird. He used to be majestic and grand. A flying eagle that was a warrior and could help attack your prey. Now it's just a flying periscope. They did you wrong crow.


It's not all doom and gloom though. The moment to moment game play is tremendously fun. Combat is as visceral as ever. Eivor has enough fatalities and brutalities to make a Mortal Kombat fighter blush.


The new point of interest location system on the map worked out really well for me. You could always look out into the horizon and see that there was plenty to do.

Valhalla is also a great Tomb Raider hunting down Britain artifacts. You'll know them on the map because their markers look like Tomb Stones but the puzzles these contain are fun and engaging and different then most of the puzzles you'll find in villages or outposts.


The world that was built for AC: Valhalla was also beautiful with little secrets sprinkled everywhere to find. On top of one hill I ran into a town that had fallen prey to a cult and there were burning man symbols everywhere littered with corpses and bad juju symbols.


There is a huge amount of content in this game and that's wonderful. You without a doubt get your money's worth. This isn't a case of the developer being lazy, This is not an inconsequential amount of content Ubisoft has delivered. This is thousands of people hours of work we are talking about. They did not take the easy way out. They've just over encumbered themselves by trying to consistently outdo themselves.


I'd like for the next game in the franchise to take a step back and put the order back as a primary focus of the story. I think it's great Ubisoft has put less and less emphasis on the modern day storyline tied to the animus because frankly at this point I don't think 99% of the people even care. I know I don't. While assassin’s creed origins was not the first game in the series it was in effect a soft reboot for the franchise and a fresh place for new players to jump in as the game switched focus from adventure to full fledged open world RPG. Over the next two games the developers began to weave a story of benevolent assassins pushing back against the order. But they still pulled in context from the current time via the animus. This most recent addition the animus could’ve just been left out. It's another arc that just abruptly ends. I keep expecting to see my modern day player character but she hasn't made an appearance in a long time.


Keep the combat, keep the order, tighten up the story, and you'll have a better game.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Unwrap of the Controller Gear Xbox Pro Charging Stand

Yesterday while I was at the store I picked up a Controller Gear Xbox Pro Charging Stand for my Shock Blue Xbox Series X controller. I was able to buy it for $29.99 but I see it range anywhere from $30-$40 USD on the internet depending on the retailer and the color.

I'm impressed with the style and they way the controller rests in the stand. It fits like a glove. Had I not known it was manufactured by a third party I would have assumed this was a genuine Microsoft peripheral. 

The color match is impeccable and while a lot of chargers are going overboard with the LED indications on the charger the Charging Stand has one subtle LED on it to indicate that the controller is charging.

My only three complaints (and two of them are very minor) with this controller are, the battery life is only 12 hours and that is exceeded by some of it's competitors. However, most of us will charge our controller before then so the point is pretty moot. Secondly at this price you can buy a bunch of different charging systems for a lower price that handle two controllers at the same time for example the PowerA Dual Charging Station or the Nyko Charge Base.  

Finally this charging station does not use a USB cable to plug in so you can't connect it directly to your console to power it,  you'll have to plug it into the wall directly. For some people this is a good thing though. So your mileage may very. 

You can watch the full video on YouTube here:

If you like the Controller Gear Xbox Pro Charging Stand you can pick one up on Amazon

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Unwrapping and First Impression Videos

It's been a while since I've made a post over here. A few weeks ago I started doing a series of unboxing videos mostly as a joke. Turns out the joke was me though because they were fun and I actually enjoyed it. They are up on my YouTube channel here

I'm really enjoying it because I'm taking the time to learn more about the inner workings of YouTube and flexing some brain muscles I haven't used in a while with the video editing. The videos have started off pretty rough but I think they are getting better as time goes on. Something I'm really focusing on at the moment is making better thumbnails so I get a better click-through rate when people see my videos in their recommended feed. 

Here is the first video I did and it's very rough (but also has the most views, frankly it's because it's of the 3070 which is insanely hard to get): 

Here is the video I've made that has garnered the most traction (other than the 3070 that is): 

Finally here is the video I've most recently made. I'm happy with the growth it's shown since the first video but I know I have a lot left to learn: 

By the way, people seem to love that Xbox Series X and Series S Power Station. You can find them here.

You can purchase the Power A Charger Station here in Black: https://amzn.to/3h65zKg
You can purchase the Power A Charger Station here in White: https://amzn.to/3aeJGqR

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Wargroove: Fun Based Strategy Game, a Quick Review

Wargroove is a stylish turn-based strategy game with gorgeous pixel art visuals from developer Chucklefish.

Upon loading into Wargroove you are greeted with an anime cut scene that teases the rise to power of a young queen and her dog companion. Shortly thereafter we learn that Queen Mercia is forced to flee her home in the Cherrystone Lands and go on a pilgrimage to save her people and to reestablish her kingdom.

While the game is visually stunning it isn't all flash and no substance. There is a compelling campaign with well-written characters that range from humorous to sullen, and righteous to shifty. There are also a number of optional side missions which progress individual character narratives outside the main story. These side missions once completed unlock options for you to play as different characters in the arcade mode.

Besides the main campaign, Wargroove has a number of ancillary systems as well. There is a map editor and campaign editor. As well as the ability to upload your maps and have other players take part in your content. This user-generated content could lead to Wargroove having a long tail for die-hard and casual fans alike. Online coop play will also be cross-platform between the PC, Xbox, and Switch.

Wargroove has everything you would expect from a strategy game. A large number of different units to select from each with there own strengths and weaknesses. Command units that have special abilities known as grooves that make them more than just another unit with higher than average defense and damage output. Wargroove by default can be a challenging game. Fortunately, Chucklefish built in a number of options to allow you to tune the difficulty of the game. From hardcore down to baby mode. I had to turn down the enemies' damage output on a few missions in order to complete them. 

My only real complaint about the game has to deal with the UI. When inspecting a unit it can be hard to tell what other units they are strong or weak against. This is the only time the game's art really works against it. The game also doesn't have any character development elements through experience gains or a skill improvement system. The only character progression is narrative. 

Due out February 1st for the XBox, PC, and Nintendo Switch. A PS4 port is set to follow sometime in the near future. This is one game I can say with certainty that if you are a fan of turn-based strategy or fantastic pixel art Wargroove is well worth your $20. If you are a fan of either Advanced Wars for the Gameboy Advanced of the Fire Emblem series you'll enjoy Wargoorve.

Score: 8 out of 10

A review key for the Nintendo Switch was provided by the Wargroove PR team.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Darksiders III: A Step Back for the Franchise

Like many of you, I've been patiently waiting for the release of Darksiders 3. For the longest time, I didn't think it would happen. With THQ's bankruptcy and the IP acquisition by Nordic. Then when I learned it would I was excited. I could patiently wait to see what the new developer would bring. But now that it has? I almost wish it hadn't.

To begin with the new Horseman, Fury, is a subpar character. It's like Gunfire Games went out of their way to make her unlikeable after giving her such an amazing new weapon. Sure these are the Horseman of the Apocalypse and not the nicest Nephilim on Earth but she comes off as the Starscream of the Decepticons. Whiney, petulant, and self-serving. She doesn't want to save her brothers out of any sense of familial responsibility. She wants to save them so she can be the boss.

This newest entry to the franchise undoes a lot of the improvements made in Darksiders 2 over the original. This game is less focused on finding new gear and weapons and powering them up. Instead, you'll focus on gaining new abilities.

The game also places a heavy emphasis on puzzle solving and platforming. However, some of the puzzles aren't intuitive and are just downright frustrating, not fun. Also in the early game, Fury's jumps are awkward and do not handle well. This takes what should be one of the highlights of the game, the environment, and makes it frustrating to navigate around in. 

It's not all doom and gloom though. One nice thing is that within the first few minutes of actual gameplay you'll be in your first boss battle. The bosses are not easy. Some of them are as much puzzle as they are combat. This boss immediately sets that tone.

The two things I enjoyed the most about the game was the aesthetics and Fury's chain swords. It looked like an evolution of the Darksiders Franchise. As soon as I hopped in I felt, yep, this is a Darksiders game. Also playing with the new chain weapon was a lot of fun over just the standard sword. Unfortunately, the rest of the experience didn't pan out. 

I played an advanced review copy on the XBox One X provided by the developer and the game suffered from unsteady frame rates. I also had the game crash after defeating a sin and I had to replay the entire stage, which while not too difficult is a bit of a gut punch. It goes from a triumphant to a defeated moment in the blink of an eye. Hopefully, this is something they can patch in the near future.


Thursday, September 13, 2018

Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Workout and Review

Shadow of the Tomb Raider comes out tomorrow and if you haven't heard by now it's pretty rad. I reviewed it for MMORPG and you can check it out here. There is a delightful conversation in the comments too, which is rare.

I created a funny little workout for it while I was reviewing the game. I have a stationary bike, yes I've joined the cult of Peloton, (you can find me under Grak) and I thought some of you might enjoy it so I've chosen to share it with you.

You can pick whatever works best for you for length. I would usually choose a 30-35 minute scenic ride. It wouldn't work well to choose a live or VOD class. I would then establish my flat road with at least an 80 cadence. I'd suggest no less than 30 on resistance. I started off with 40 and made it one higher each time. By now my flat road is up to 45. This is what keeps it interesting. Whenever you hit a loading screen (which isn't that often unless you die) sprint! Get your cadence up to over 100 until the game is done loading. Whenever you find a relic or document, you have to climb and get out of the saddle. Read the text and once you are done you can go back to seated. By the end of the 30 minutes, you'll have got a fair amount of game time in, had some fun, and got a heck of a workout.

That's it. It's quick, simple, and fun. I hope some of you have fun with it.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Dragon Quest XI: My Review for MMORPG

So this is another title I reviewed for my old site. If you are interested in Dragon Quest XI make sure to stop over at MMORPG.com and give this one a look. You can find it here.

All you really need to know is that it's an instant classic. This franchise has been gone far too long from the west and I'm glad it's back.