Category Archives: Reviews

The Joy of Overwatch: The Game I Never Knew I Always Wanted

This isn’t going to be some comprehensive review of the gameplay, characters, fighting system, etc.. of Overwatch. This is my general excitement a new type of game (new to me, that is) that I never thought I would like. And how this new game has opened my eyes to the wonder of the world of the team first-person shooter.

I love Overwatch.

I never knew I would feel this level of excitement for a game that wasn’t a new God of War, Assassin’s Creed, Final Fantasy or Gears of War. Or a good LEGO game (my guilty pleasure). Those are my staples, my go-to games. Whenever there is one on the horizon, I usually pre-order it and have it ready and waiting when I get home from work (Bless you, Amazon)! Now, I heard about all of the excitement and hype about Overwatch but didn’t think anything of it. It’s not one of my staples so who cares, right? Not that I am opposed to trying something new. I have managed to discover lots of fantastic games based on recommendations or reputation. But no one I knew was playing Overwatch, so I moved on.

But the more I read the reviews, the more I became interested in it. Not enough to buy it quite yet but enough to learn more about it. And then I heard it was a team game and required being online and I was out. I am not big on the multiplayer gaming scene. I like fighting alone through a game with a great story. I miss the days of selecting RPGs with multiple discs (yes, I am that old) and taking my time with it. For example, I love Gears of War because I can fight in story mode whenever I want to. I have friends that meet up and fight together, but that’s just not for me. I never had an interest in Call of Duty, Battlefield, Halo or any other team first-person shooter.

And then this Overwatch Free Weekend came along, and I couldn’t pass it up. A free chance to try out this game? I’m there! I made sure to set the alarm on my phone so I could log on to my phone to PS store on my phone on Friday. I wanted to start the download early, while at work, so I could start playing immediately when I got home. I log on, with curiosity and excitement, and complete the Basic Training. Side note: I am immediately amused because the training takes place with Soldier: 76. While I was at Salt Lake Comic Con last weekend and, while waiting to take a photo with Mark Hamill, a group of guys was dressed in Overwatch cosplay in front of me. Granted, I had no idea that they were supposed to be, so I googled “jacket 76 outfit anime” while waiting. Instead, the Overwatch character popped up. Funny how the only character I knew from the game was teaching me how to play now. 

And then I finally jump into a Play vs. the AI battle. Oh, the joy. The joy!

I never thought I would enjoy playing a game with no real background or story. You and 5 random people (near your playing level) are given 22 heroes and heroines to choose from that are divided into 4 categories: Offense, Defense, Tanks, and Support. Once selected, you are thrown into one of  12 areas with different objectives, maybe 1 or 2 with several steps until completion. And that’s it. There is no need for save points, no tedious dialogue, and no time for long-winded strategies. 6 – 10 minutes and you are done. If you don’t want to play anymore, you leave the game and are back to the main menu. If you do, you actually move from game to game with the same players (unless someone drops out). It’s simple. It’s great for a 30-minute session or an all-day marathon. It’s whatever you want to do! Maps are random so you never know where you are going to be until the start of the mission.

You would think those short sessions would get monotonous but they don’t. Because you can play as any of those characters, you learn which characters work best in each situation. You learn more about the terrain and the best strategies for that situation. And since each character has their limitations, you learn how to make the best of their strengths. I have learned that I love either Tanks or Defense characters. I am all about sacrificing myself for the good of the team. I love hiding in corners or on rooves and she shooting the crap out of our opponents. I die…a lot. But it’s well worth it. I am even adding new friends that I meet in these random matches and scheduling match times with them. This coming from someone that is very selective about online friends. I usually only add people I know personally. Now, I am adding decent to good players just for Overwatch.

The simplicity of Overwatch makes it a great game. More maps and characters are coming in the future so this game won’t get boring. Almost two dozen characters, succinct matches and ever-changing opponents (and teams) make this game an ever evolving entity.

Long Live Overwatch!

Winter Is Coming

FYI: This article will contain season 5 spoilers as well as some book. If you’ve not completed Season 5, or read the books you may want to turn back now! 

157468_54_news_hub_141389_656x500

One of the shows I’m simply obsessed with is Game of Thrones. Its one of those obsessions that have lead me to read every single book in its entirety in a span of 15 days, even the long drawn book 4 which is the book equivalent to watching paint dry, spend too many hours to count on countless tumbler pages and YouTube channels reading and watching fan theories and testing out just how likely they are. With all the books being completed up to last season and having some idea of how the show was going to play out has been amazing. In my opinion HBO has done a gorgeous job of the story lines they’ve chosen to follow and the synchronicity between the show and the books. Going in to season 6 without having a guide is a mixture of feelings for me, most of it is anxiousness. So much Anxiousness!  So a quick recap of the cliffhangers they left us with at the end of of season 5.

Arya: Arya is embarking on a journey to become a Faceless Man; an assassin if you will, sent on a mission to prove herself worthy of the title she’s sent on her first assassination to kill a fraudulent insurance agent. Instead of killing him she sees an old familiar face,  Meryn Trant, and takes the opportunity to kill him, resulting in her becoming blind.<Insert huge panic OMG face here> I adore Arya she is by far my favorite character of all. All of her attributes of fierceness, bravery, angst and a deep seeded need for revenge has shaped her in to remarkable character that you cannot help but cheer on and hope the she survives the carnage that George R.R. Martin is legendary for creating. In the books we know that the blindness is temporary she survives and continues along her Faceless Man pilgrimage; but what consequence will the murder of Trant create? Will Arya have the opportunity to check mark more names of her list?

Jon Snow: I Love Jon Snow! (I’m seriously thinking of having buttons made that express this). Jon Snow is what many consider the last great hope for the Stark Family, Winterfell and The North. However, last time we saw Jon, in both the book and the show, he was being stabbed repeatedly and left lying in a pool of his own blood in the snow. Heartbreaking. Gut wrenching. Tear inducing end scene. I was absolutely gutted in that moment. So many emotions and questions flooded through me. Is this the end? This cannot be the end?! Who’s going save Jon?! Where is Ghost?! OMG I cannot believe this is happening?! Help!!!! Yeah, needless to say all the feels for Jon Snow. He hasn’t had an easy time at all and he’s done everything in his power to do what he think is the best decision for The Night’s Watch, The Wildlings, and the Realm as whole. Will his final scenes of him laying in the snow be all of what’s left of Jon Snow or will he find someway to survive his wounds, triumph, and punish those who sought to end his days?

Sansa: Let me be clear; I am not now, nor have I ever been a fan of Sansa. 100% of the calamity that has happened started with her. Had she only told the truth about Joffrey being a vicious little worm, and kept her mouth shut instead of telling Cersei that they were leaving Kings Landing and going back to Winterfell, Ned might still be alive, Katherine and her children would have more than likely made back home. With all that being said however, the brutality and rape which she suffered this past season, I wish that for no woman, real or fictional. I’ll fully admit I was somewhat okay with the harshness she received from Joffrey because again that’s what she wanted, and as far as I was concerned she made the bed and now she has to lie in it. Ramsey Bolten on the other hand, is a whole different type of beast. Ramsey is the hallmark of what it means to be cruel, cold, unfeeling, and utterly despicable and spiteful. He has raped, beaten, humiliated and brutalized Sansa. So much to the point where she decided that the possibility of dying by jumping from on of the walls of Winterfell with Reek (formally known as Theon Greyjoy) was better than living. Does the pair survive the fall?  What consequences wait for them on the other side?

Bran Stark: Many may have forgotten about Bra. The last we saw him, He, And Hoader had finally made their way to the 3 Eyed Raven, who turns out is even more bizarre than it sounds. The 3 Eyed Raven is also a man who’s vowed to train Bran so that he can fully tap into and control his abilities that he’s discovering. So far these abilities have  manifested as glimpse in to the past, present, and future.  We also know that he has warg abilities, or the skill to possess any animal or human use them. So far we have seen Bran inhabit his direwolf Summer, Jon Snow’s direwolf, Ghost, and of course Hoader. We are all curious to see what other abilities Bran will unlock and of course learn more about the 3 Eyed Raven

Kahleesi Daenerys: Last time we saw our shero, she was being carried away by Drogon the the dragon and dropped off somewhere in the plains surrounded by a group of Dothraki. Now this could be an exceptionally dangerous situation for Daenerys to be in, in Dothraki culture with the Khal dies, typically their wives are removed from the tribe and sent to live off in the Dothraki city.  Tales have been told about Kahleesi, will she be greeted as friend or foe by this new tribe?!

Tyrion: Living in exile Tyrion made his way to Mereen where Daenerys has been ruling, promising to be an ally in the future fight for Kingslanding, he’s agreed to stay in the city while Jorah and Dario go in search of Daenerys; suddenly a familiar face makes an appearance. Varys the Spider is in Meeren and offering his network of spies once again to Tyrion.

Cersie: Last we saw our second favorite one to hate, she had been stripped naked, head shaved and force to walk naked through the streets of Fleabottom up to the Red Keep. During her journey she is tormented by the subjects she loved to rule over. Once at the doors of the keep she is swept up by a giant figure clad in armor. Fans of the show know there is only one possible person who that could be. but he’s dead isn’t he?!

Jamie: Former King Slayer and incest enthusiast Jamie was last seen on a rescue mission of sorts to Dorne to reclaim his daughter/niece Mycella after Tyrion sent her away. Being seen as unwelcome guest Jamie and Bron did their best to sneak in the country, unfortunately they were captured by the Sand Snakes, aka the daughters of the recently deceased Red Viper, Oberyn Martell, who are being led by his paramour and mother of one of the Sand Snakes, Ellaria. Ellaria is poised for revenge for the death of beloved; enraged that  Doran Martell, the ruler of Dorne, will not take action she decided to takes matters in her own hands. Convinced by Doran that Jamie and crew should be freed, we see Ellaria give Mycella a good bye kiss as they board a ship towards Kings Landing. Once in the middle of the sea, we see Mycella with a nosebleed before collasping in Jamie’s arms. We then learn that Ellaria’s kiss was poisonous.

With so much that happened in this final episode the first episode of season 6 will be epic! Will we have answers to all these open questions or will it take an episode or two? Several possible spoilers have been leaked just this week as to the fate of two characters. I won’t comment on them at this time. I would rather wait to those episodes actually air to confirm as to rather or not I need to go in to mourning for one of my favorites. Please feel free to drop your thoughts in the comment section. The new season premiers on April 24th at 9p.m. on HBO. Be sure to check the back here BlackNerdSQquad.com  during the week after the episode for my recap and thoughts on the episode!