On My Rader – KURSK

Standard

KURSK has ran silent and deep off my radar up until this last week. I’m surprised at the amount of detail and even the genre of the game, which is being billed as an adventure-documentary. I’m all for historical tourism by video games. Curious to see how the adventure, narrative, and gameplay come together. Can’t wait until KURSK surfaces on the PS4.

Advertisements

A World of Nightmares, A World of Fears – A Night with Inside

Standard

Playdead’s Inside opens on a bleak night in the woods. Rain pours down as you, the player, guide a young boy to safety from those looking for him. In the brief moments where I have failed to evade capture, those hunting me have not hesitated to kill or send in the dogs. Strangling the life out of the boy, tearing him to pieces, and other times shooting him as if he poses a threat. Why are these government agents so angry, efficient, and deadly? Why does the boy’s life have no value, in the world of Inside, unless he is dead?

In the midst of the tension of evasion and escape, developer Playdead showcases a subtle technical prowess. For example, the rain storm that immerses the opening of the game naturally comes to an end. If you look in the background of the pictures below, you’ll see how the boy has moved through the storm to the point where the clouds are diminishing.

 

The limited color palette provides for some striking visuals. I love how the game uses natural light to highlight scenes and immerse the player deeper into the overall tone of the game.

Inside also cleverly uses light in it’s puzzles. My favorite so far (not pictured), being an unseen light overhead moving back and forth. As the light hits a pipe, the light bends around it, forcing the player to move in order not to get caught. It is as if Playdead is having a silent conversation with the player, dance with the light and death will not become you.

I have so many questions about the brutal world of Inside. My biggest question right now is: By the way the camera is positioned, is something watching me? I’ll keep playing to find out. But first, let’s end with something cheerful, shall we.

The Aetherlight Bible NLT

Standard

The Aetherlight Bible is tool, a companion piece meant to help players navigate through the fog. Presented in the New Living Translation, this Bible is easy to read for both children and adults. Built with the desire to connect players of The Aetherlight: Chronicles of the Resistance with Biblical truth, The Aetherlight Bible features:

  • A soft cover and overall size that feels sturdy and fantastic to hold
  • Inserted pages that tie in-game characters with their Biblical counterparts
  • A Dictionary/Concordance
  • A 365-Day Reading Plan
  • Words of Christ in scarlet
  • Footnotes, in the Old Testament, that point players towards Christ
  • And my favorite part, at the bottom of some pages, Aethasian sayings such as:

Build for others what you would want them to build for you.

AetherlightBible

From the outside cover to the smallest details found inside, The Aetherlight Bible is a video game tie-in done right. Each page, from the watermarks to the quotes, show that much time and love went into the creation of this Bible.

However, I dislike how the page numbers are situated near the spine of the book. But, I realize that this formatting choice could force readers to actually learn the Books of the Bible. Clever.

I recommend this Bible to the hardcore players of The Aetherlight: Chronicles of the Resistance and to those not familiar with the game.

Parents, grandparents, this is the Bible you want to buy your kids/grandkids.

The Aetherlight Bible’s cover is inviting. Almost begging the reader to pick it up, read it, and embrace the adventure.

I was given a copy of this book for review. All opinions are my own.

Beyond the Pixels of Minecraft: Story Mode

Standard

Minecraft: Story Mode has taken over our household. Soon after my last post, Wyatt and I beat Episode 1 – ‘The Order of the Stone’. We finally figured out that the game plays better if I hold the controller. Allowing me to read the dialogue answer options and then press the corresponding button. This setup keeps the experience frustration free. Also prevents us from calling someone an idiot, in-game, on accident.

Lukas is a good guy.

Lukas is a good guy.

Story Time:

There was a moment in Episode 1 where the characters are huddled in a hut. Rain falls outside, everyone exhausted, stomachs grumbling. Axel, the big tough guy of the group, offers everyone a cookie, except for Lukas, who he doesn’t like. The game offers us a choice:

  • Eat the cookie?
  • Or give the cookie to Lukas?

We ended up giving our cookie to a thankful Lukas. Wyatt couldn’t figure out why Axel was being such a jerk. So we discussed group dynamics and treating others as you want to be treated. A teachable moment brought about by a video game? Why not.

maxresdefault

We are now moving through Minecraft: Story Mode Episode 2 – ‘Assembly Required’. Enjoying our time with Jesse, Reuben the pig, and Lukas. Turns out Jesse didn’t have to adventure on alone.

The Red Bow

Standard

The boy and I went on another adventure last night. Once again we fought our way through a backyard filled with scary monsters (re: trees). This time though, we came across a new nemesis, the red bow.

Looks all cute and gigantic during the day.

As we walked past the bow, which had somehow been declared a “monster bow” over the weekend, my son started firing his light-up gun at it. “I shooting the monster!” Bam. BaM. BAM! I just smiled, patted his head, and thought, “good boy”.