Sunday, August 31, 2014

Screenshot of the Week #1: The Gold!

I currently have few different categories of articles on my blog and because of this I thought about writing a new type of articles (if I could call it that, considering the length it will have). In these new articles I will post a screenshot from my recent gaming activity. The screenshot will be either beautiful, relevant to the game was taken from, show bugs and funny moments or other things I found worthy showing and commenting about.
So without further ado I present you my new rubric: Screenshot of the Week!

This week Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls 2.1.0 was released, rebalancing the classes and difficulty, adding new content to the game and introducing the season’s system. I started to play the game again with some friends so I could check the new features.

I can say that I'm enjoying the new content in the game, even if I don’t know how much it will last until I get bored again, but it is for sure a breath of fresh air to an over-farmed game. Considering all these things is kind of obvious that this week screenshot (and the first of these series of articles!!!) is going to be from Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls.
I'm rich!!!

This is the new goblin's rift introduced with the new patch, by killing treasure goblins (while in the explorable world) there is a chance to open a portal to goblin's zone. This area is a gold paradise (each player could easily get 100 million gold in this zone) that could help players with the re-rolling hell.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Best female characters in video games Part III

Cortana – Halo Franchise

While technically not a female, Cortana does look, speak and act like one despite being an Artificial Intelligence. Inspired by Jane from Ender’s Saga, Cortana is a supportive character to Master Chief, the main character of the Halo series. She was created by flash cloning the brain of the doctor responsible for the Spartan-II Program, a project to create human super soldiers. Cortana had to choose a Spartan to accompany in battle and she picked the protagonist of the series and as the action of the game progressed their relationship evolved.
Cortana has no physical body and can communicate through holographic images or comms. She resembles her creator in thoughts and look, being a younger version of her, she even shares some of her creator original memories. Her goal is to aid in battle the Spartan she was assigned to and has critical information about the Halos, massive interstellar rings designed by a highly-advanced race of aliens in order to stop an alien parasite from taking over the galaxy.
The PC gamers didn’t get to see much of Cortana since only the first two games in this series were released on PC, but in these games players got to see the beginning of the relationship between Cortana and Master Chief and how deep as a character this AI can be.
The curious thing in her relationship with the main character is the fact that their roles as beings are reversed as he is almost emotionless and she acts more human than he does.

Human or AI?!

Jill Valentine – Resident Evil Franchise

Resident Evil series dates back to 1996 and so does Jill Valentine, being part of one of the STARS teams sent to investigate a mysterious mansion which turned out to be infested with zombies.
Jill Valentine is a brunette (sometimes brown-haired) attractive girl, a bad-ass fighter member of multiple organizations that fight against bio-terrorism. She is also the co-founder of BSAA together with her good partner Chris Redfield. She shares a special bound with Chris and they both have each other’s backs and are ready to sacrifice for one another, though it was never shown in the series, fans dream about a romantic relationship between the two of them.
Since the original game of the series, Jill made multiple appearances in the franchise, most notable as a protagonist in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, where she has to battle a humanoid bio-weapon designed to hunt down and kill all members of STARS. Another notable appearance throughout the series is in Resident Evil 5 as a villain controlled by Albert Wesker and later on after being rescued she becomes a support character; and in Resident Evil Revelations which links together the action between the 4th and the 5th games.
Jill is a fighter, she can wield any of the weapons available in the game (even while dressed in a miniskirt) and ravage the zombies with them. Her team spirit, fighting skills and dedication to her cause make her a great partner.
In a franchise with many strong female characters, Jill Valentine stands out the most and she shown her worth throughout the series and I hope to see more of her in the future games.

Resident Evil dream team!

Tali’Zorah nar Rayya – Mass Effect Franchise
Tali is a Quarian, a humanoid race of technologically advanced aliens forced away from their home planet by Geth, the artificial race they created. Quarians now live aboard a huge spaceships fleet and because of their weak immune system they are forced to wear a protective suit all the time that stops any outside pathogens from affecting them.
          Like any Quarian, Tali is wearing a full suit, never showing her face, this adds up for increasing mystery throughout the Mass Effect series as Tali becomes more and more important to the main character the curiosity about what hides behind that mask grows stronger. If Tali is chosen as a romance interest for the main character, during the Mass Effect 2 events, she will show her face to commander Shepard (no to the players) in one of the cutest moments in gaming history, the fact that she gets a cold after this happened makes the moment quite funny.
            Her relationship with Legion, a Geth member of Shepard’s crew, makes her (and us) understand the Geths and opens up the chance for peace in the never-ending war between Quarians and Geths and if the player makes the right choices this peace can be achieved.
Tali’s weapons of choice are shotguns and heavy pistols, she also uses an omni-tool to help her with repairing any damaged tech.
            She is a complex character, a smart woman with an affinity for technology and some fixed ideas that she manages to overcome during her period as member of Shepard’ crew. It is sad that when the players finally got to see her true face she was nothing more than an imitation of a popular Instagram picture (…). Still, her mysterious nature, intelligence and loveable dialogues make her one of the greatest female characters seen in video games and one that should not be missed or forgotten.
Quarians fashion.

Cutest Mass Effect romance!

To be continued...


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Best female characters in video games Part II

Alyx Vance – Half Life 2

          The most important female character in the game, Alyx Vance is probably the only character players could get attached to. She was introduced in Half Life 2, but a picture of her as a baby could be found in the first game, and serves as a support character for the protagonist, Gordon Freeman.
Alyx is the child of well known physicist Eli Vance and is part of the human Resistance against the Combine occupation of the Earth. She helps Gordon in his mission to reach and destroy the citadel, as she is a skillful fighter who is able to use many weapons well (she’s also immortal in the campaign!). On top of her combat skills, Alyx inherits some of the scientific skills from her parents, being able to repair all kind of damaged electronic equipment and hack into the Combine systems. She also created Dog, a really powerful sentient robot that protects her, and later on, the main character.
She’s a great help and company during the campaign and there are few crucial moments in both Half Life 2 and the Episodes that followed when your heart stops beating as she is in grave danger.
Gordon Freeman wouldn’t have made it this far without her and because of this she has a well deserved spot on this list. If we live long enough we might see her again in Half Life 3 or Episode 3, but as things look now this could take Valve twenty years or even more (slower than Blizzard releases…).
Alyx and her guardian.

A friendly face.

Clementine – The Walking Dead Series

The only child on this list, Clementine might look like one but because of the situation she has been through in the game now acts like an adult.
            Clementine is the second most important character in Season One of the game. While her parents went on a trip out of town she stayed at home with her babysitter, when the zombie apocalypse started she escaped the danger and climbed in her tree house waiting there for things to unfold. When the Lee Everett, the player character, arrived at her house she helped him fight her babysitter, now a zombie, and realizing her parents might not come back she left together with Lee. During their adventure together, Lee started to care about Clementine and take good care of her.
            With the conclusion of Season One, Clementine became the new protagonist in Season Two of the game. She serves as a moral balance for the groups she joins, reminding everyone to be human. Clementine shows great intelligence, patience and courage in difficult situations and she has a very mature attitude for an eleven years old kid, all these qualities helped her survive.
            Clementine is a great character and I hope we will see more of her in the future, as the Season Two has not concluded yet by the time this article was written. I'm confident she will be fine, after all, if there is anyone in these series that will survive the zombie apocalypse that person must be her.
Like a family.

Don't underestimate the child!

Lara Croft – Tomb Raider Franchise

I was never a big fan of Tomb Raider series, but I know a lot of things about Lara Croft as many of the gamers out there probably do even if they didn’t play any games in the franchise.
Lara Croft is a British archeologist with a great thirst for adventure, she is beautiful (all of them are!), intelligent, athletic and a great fighter. She shows almost no weaknesses throughout the original series and is ready for anything.
Lara Croft’s main occupation is to search the world for lost treasures and by doing this she ends up in forgotten caves and tombs (hence the name) which most of the time are lurked by supernatural and extremely dangerous creatures (and mean humans). There is a wide variety of weapons put at Lara’s disposal, but the most iconic for her are the dual pistols, which even if they are weaker than most of the weapons in the Tomb Raider games these pistols represent her the most.
The original Tomb Raider series is comprised of twelve games in which Lara Croft is the protagonist. In 2013 a reboot of the franchise was launched showing a younger Lara, before her true adventurous spirit kicked in. In the new game she is unsecure and scared, but as the action of the game progresses so does her character turning slowly into the unbreakable heroine everyone loves.
We will see more games being released in the rebooted TR franchise in the future and it will be interesting to see how Lara’s new adventures will unfold and how her character will change in the process.             
TressFX and that beautiful face!

Nice anniversary!

To be continued...


Monday, August 25, 2014

Best female characters in video games Part I

Female characters are as important as male characters in any video games (as a guy I would say females are more important!). And since the beginning of gaming we had quite a lot of different archetype of awesome female characters. So I decided to make a list of females that impressed me in video games (not necessarily protagonists) based on their skill, attitude, background story and more.
These are the best female characters out there:
(Warning this might contain spoilers!)

Harley Quinn – Arkham Franchise

                There had to be someone crazy on this list and there is no better pick then Harley Quinn. Originally a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum, Doctor Harleen Frances Quinzel was assigned to try to treat the Joker, but instead she becomes obsessed by the criminal and believes to be in love with him. She helps the Joker escape and takes a criminal identity of her own as Harley Quinn (how well her name worked out, it’s like she was designed to be a joke!) and dresses up accordingly with her new name.        
                Harley Quinn is one of the main villains in Arkham games and she aids the Joker in his insane plans to toy with Batman and eventually destroy him. Her insane and reckless behavior makes her extremely dangerous, but also a real treat to watch as the player.
Team crazy!

A new boss in town!

 Rayne – Bloodrayne Series

                Rayne is an American dhampir, the child of a human and a vampire. Her mother’s family was killed by her father which triggered Rayne to hunt him down throughout the world.  She was recruited by an organization that exterminates supernatural creatures that put the world in danger and this lead her to fight the Nazis which were making supernatural experiments and were trying to bring demons into the world.
                Rayne is a young looking redheaded girl, wearing a tight leather costume which has attached to each arm one sharp blade and Rayne uses them to destroy her enemies. She is agile, powerful and can be ruthless and possesses lots of supernatural powers and the ability to suck her victims’ blood in order to regenerate her own life (as vampires usually do).
                Rayne is not a character to mess with as she always hunts down her target, leaving a bloodbath behind after she got the job done, the Nazis would know…
Those eyes! Those blades! Those ....!!!

The sexy vampire.

Kate Walker – Syberia Series

Kate is an intelligent woman and overcomes a lot of conundrums in her quest, each more difficult than the last one. 
As a lawyer from a New York Company it’s her job to watch over the sale of Voralberg toy factory. As she finds out that the thought deceased brother of the previous owner of the factory is still alive she embarks on an adventure to track him down in order for the sale to finish. This leads her to different and strange places in faraway lands and as the action of the series progresses the character starts to forget about her previous normal life and becomes somewhat obsessed in discovering the apparently still living woolly mammoths.
                Her courage in life is admirable as she gives up her job as a lawyer and abandons her fiancé to pursue an old man’s life dream.

Kate Walker will make a comeback in the third installment of the Syberia series which was announced this year by Microïds.

To be continued...


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Vacation time!

It's time for me to take a vacation from writing, so for the next two weeks I won’t be posting any articles. The bright side is that I will have more free time to play some of the games I didn’t get to play to see how good they are and write reviews about them.

See you in two weeks!