Geek Approved – October

October has now passed and time just continues, barreling down the hallway of life like a crazed quarterback. Seriously. I can’t keep up.
r2-d2-falls-over
Me dealing with life.
A lot of cool things happened between exams and curling up in fetal position from lack of life-handling-skills.
These were my nerdy favourites for the past month:

1. Roleplaying

svavelvinter bok rollspel roleplaying book

As I wrote in (Tabletop Roleplaying – My First Time) I have kinda feared the actual roleplaying. Then I was sidetracked with some lovely character creation and forgot to be nervous. But yesterday, the time had finally come.
I would have to actually… act. Or at least pretend in front of people and not just in my head.

But it was amazing. Yes, my face was kind of red. Yes, I had to have a drink or two for bravery. But it was SO MUCH FUN. I love exploring new worlds, through gaming or books and I will now add roleplaying to that list.

The best moment of the night was when my character had to desperately defend herself. At the crucial dice roll which would decide if she would succeed in defending herself with wind magic, or likely die, I scored sixes. Which meant the assassin was literally blasted across the alley by a gust of wind so powerful it took everything in its way with it.
I felt like goddamn Kvothe when he called the wind for the first time.

excited minions

It was, just to cement your view of me as a sad little nerd, everything I’ve ever dreamt of. Can I always be her instead of me? Okay, maybe that’s not a healthy approach. My point is, it felt like being there. The only equally strong sense of stepping into another world and affecting it myself, not just spectating, was when I first played World of Warcraft, many years ago. And that is saying something.

To all others who are afraid of trying out tabletop roleplaying, who thinks it is too nerdy and that they will feel embarrassed playing pretend like that:
With the right friends and someone to guide you through it, it can be an absolutely amazing experience.

2. Guild Wars 2

guild wars 2
I never fell for GW2 like I though I would. It was a very pretty game and I loved customizing my character (so much I made four in a row before even pressing play).
But the story didn’t grab me and I felt that I had no direction or purpose. Sandbox games are not always my cup of tea.

Now though
, on the third attempt, there’s a spark.I’m getting the hang of my abilities and the game mechanics- I’m thoroughly enjoying discovering events and hunting down bosses. I’ve not gotten excited about a “new” MMO in a long while. So yay!
dr horrible fingers crossed

3. Halloween

Halloween is always a highlight for me. But this year things got quite stressful. Eventually it worked out though and I had a brilliant night with my BF and friends.
Here is my costume! (Or you know, the parts of it that fit in a bathroom selfie.)

fawn_halloween
I was some kind of Urban Fawn-Demon/Forest Creature. Just go with it. xD

I got lots of compliments on my horns which of course made me go  ~*w*~ (=starry-eyed, overly excited and waving my arms around like a jellyfish, in case that wasn’t clear.)

If you want to make your own for a cosplay or a party or something, you can  have a look at my antler-tutorial here. Quick and cheap, the way I like it. (Y)

What did you enjoy most in October– a book, a movie or dressing up as something awesome for Halloween?

/Joh

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Until Dawn – First impressions

Hayden-Panettiere-Poster-Until-Dawn
Gloom and doom. Let’s do this.

In the outro of my LoTR fan’s Fall To-Do List I mentioned a great weekend involving scary games. And one of these games has stuck in my mind so adamantly that I really want to share my impressions of it with you guys.
I’m talking about new survival horror game Until Dawn.

Haven’t you always thought that you would be so much smarter than the characters of *insert name of any major, stereotypical horror movie*?
I used to think so too but now I’m not so sure anymore. Turns out making the right choice can be seriously complicated.
(Except if your choice is to instantly disagree to crap ideas like spending a weekend on a haunted mountain with a convicted criminal on the loose in combination with no cell phone reception. That would have been a good and simple choice.)

Heading up to the cabin. I'm feeling good about this decision.
Heading up to the cabin. Feeling real good about this.

I will admit straight away that I did not touch the controller. That is still out of my league because the terror is real. But I was part of the decision-making and  watched intently for about five hours so thus I feel qualified to tell you what I think of the game so far. xD

Until Dawn allows you to step into the classical horror movie tale of teenagers isolated in a cabin in the mountains. The wealthy Washington family has built their luxury cabin on a mountain that is sacred to a native american tribe, and now an unidentified lunatic is set on bloody, excruciating revenge.
You alternate between playing as the different teenagers, who are a rather dramatic and bitchy crew let me tell you, and chose how they react in different situations and what they say.

The  game’s biggest unique selling point, in my opinion, is how one tiny action or dialogue choice heavily impacts how the game plays out- the butterfly effect. This is what really drew me in and kept me in the room even after shit hit the fan and I started screaming on a regular basis.
I had to know what happened because of the choices we made, and see if we could avoid the next death through smart play.

Which alternative will get someone killed in the next chapter? So much pressuuuuuure
Which alternative will get someone killed in the next chapter? So much pressuuuuuure!

An interesting feature interacting with the butterfly effect was the totems. Tying in with the native american theme, you can find and pick up totems lying in the snow or in dark corners of the cabin. These can for example warn about Death or Loss or give Guidance. The visions of possible events add another level to the butterfly effect, will you create that very destiny in your efforts to avoid it? The atmosphere is one of constant doom looming and frankly, I was exhausted after a couple of hours trying to cheat death and get everyone through the night and off that damn mountain.

Phew, yellow totems offers guidance.
Yellow totems offer guidance.

In between acts, we get to visit the shrink. I don’t yet know if he will turn out to be a real person or just a figment of your imagination. But he is very creepy.
This moody and gloomy character is modeled after and brilliantly voiced by Peter Stormare (swede high-five!).
For the record I think it’s awesome how it is possible to merge the film and game medium like this, letting professional actors lend their voices and even their mimicry through motion capture – another big name doing a wonderful job is Hayden Panettiere as Sam.
Anyway, Stormare’s shrink starts out semi-friendly and helpful, but soon things take a sinister turn and I have a feeling that these sessions will get very dark, very soon. I am also pretty sure that this is a clever way for the game to mold itself after your personal fears and preferences, while also giving tantalizing clues as to what will happen next.

Dr Hill is in.
Dr Hill is in.

You can’t write about Until Dawn without mentioning the graphics, because they are ah-mazing, as you can see from the screenshots I’ve included above. It’s a new, fresh game and it looks the part. Apart from a few dodgy freeze frames on too-toothy smiles when a new character is introduced, the game is eerily life-like. The snowy woods, the log cabins, the people, the gore– everything looks almost too real for me to able to cope with. And my guesses are that I’ve by no means seen the worst of it yet.

If you have nerves of steel, or back up from several friends including one that can handle the steering, I highly recommend trying out Until Dawn. I NEED to know how it ends! And then I would like to figure out how to get things to end better. Arrrgh.

/Joh

Get excited for Overwatch – Newest Member of the Blizzard Game Squad

I will admit to being somewhat of an RPG fairy. Meaning I like going on quests and saving the world in a peaceful-esque way (a little poison, say a bazillion arrows and a few explosions might be involved though). Anyhow, Borderlands is one of the few FPS games I steeled myself to play, and I did it all for you Tiny Tina.

But now a new challenger is entering the scene- Blizzard’s team-based shooter Overwatch.

Overwatch squad goals
The Overwatch Line up

The game is scheduled to closed beta testing this fall and you can already see that tantalizing Overwatch icon in the Battle.net client.

I am a huge fan of Blizzard, but even if I wasn’t I’d have to admit that they make some of the best cinematics around. Want proof? Get a nice cup of tea (or coffee I won’t judge) and watch this six minutes long, epic trailer.

I wish this was an actual movie. So badly.

The game play reminds me a lot of Team Fortress, I kept yelling “MEDIIIC” when I saw Mercy do her thing in the trailer. Which makes me happy because team shooters are just so much more accessible than single player ones if you’re a wimp like me, or just enjoy the strategic depth teamwork offers.

Since I’m a sucker for stylized  graphics, of course I think Overwatch looks amazing. One of my favourite parts of the aesthetics if the diversity of the characters. From gender to ethnicity (with accented voice overs that I think adds a lot of flavour and depth) to the armor designs. I felt like I was being served a buffet of funny, cool and beautiful options to play as. I can’t wait to try Hanzo, Widowmaker, Tracer or Reaper out. : D

For those who didn’t have time to enjoy the entire trailer here’s a summation of the characters:

GIF created by Redditor a_leethal_llama. Drool.

Who do you want to play as? : D

/Joh

Badass cosplay – Laura Craft

I admire cosplayers, their dedication and leet crafting skills. Someday when I have magically become much less lazy and slightly less poor I hope to join their ranks.

My gorgeous friend Laura (Laura Craft Cosplay) specializes in video game cosplay, loves League characters and has done some amazing work.

Check this out.

Night elf from World of Warcraft
Laura’s stunning Night elf from World of Warcraft- Herman Koch Photography
Lara Croft from Tomb Raider (2013)
Lara Croft from Tomb Raider (2013) – photographer Louise Kock
Laura as Nidalee from League of Legends- so beautiful!
Laura as Nidalee from League of Legends- Danarki Photography
(Scary as hell) Nurse from Silent Hill!
(Scary as hell) Nurse from Silent Hill! – Mikael Hakali Photography
Leona from League of Legends. Wow.
Leona from League of Legends – photographer Louise Kock
A female version of Ziggs from League of Legends, love it!
A female version of Ziggs from League of Legends – Sofia Wilhelmina Photography

I honestly think every single one of them is incredible, but I am most blown away by the Night elf. I can’t even imagine how much work that costume must have been! (And WoW will always have a special place in my heart. For the Alliance, yay or nay?)

/ Joh