There’s a new eSport in town

No I’m not talking about Rocket League, the game I mean is LockBall.

What’s that? You haven’t heard of LockBall?

Neither had I until I started playing World’s Dawn.

I’ve played Stardew Valley, in fact I brought it while it was in early access. I thoroughly enjoyed the slower paced leisurely, “do whatever you want” style so when I was browsing steam the other day and came across World’s Dawn I thought “yeah why not?”.

It is essentially a Stardew Valley clone. You can farm crops to sell, make friends, fall in love and play the epic game known as LockBall.

In town there is a LockBall pitch where you can practice against the villagers.

The controls are quite simple, the arrow keys move you around and the space bar shoots and “locks down” the goal preventing your opponent scoring. I’ll admit I still have no idea how to lock down the goal. I’ve tried tapping space bar, holding space bar, shouting at the ball, everything.

Anyway, when I first played someone I lost spectacularly. I found the arrow keys on my laptop a bit to small to get the movements right. So with my defeat I thought that’s a stupid game I wont play that again. But then a few days later (in real time) I was informed by the villagers that there’s a LockBall tournament/festival on so thinking I could regain my pride I entered. The first two rounds against the villagers weren’t that bad and I surprised myself and got through to the final.

That’s where it all goes wrong as in the final you play against Paxel, who is some sort of LockBall God.

You would expect him to be harder but his AI really is a step up from the previous rounds, so much so I couldn’t beat him.

Never mind second isn’t too bad.

Then the game goes and does something that is unheard of,  it offers you a rematch!

6 games later I still cant beat him and the closest I’ve got is 5-2. Determined to win whatever amazing prize I’ve been promised by Bloom who runs the tournament I ask Chris if he wants a try.

It takes him a few tries, most of which involve swearing, shouting and laughing but Chris finally defeats him and I happily accept the new clothes and 300 coins as a reward.

It turns out, that if I had actually played the villagers when they appear you get better stats at LockBall, but even so, after doing some googling I am not the only one to have trouble facing Paxel. Most resorting to sheer force of will to beat him or even a glitch in some cases!

If other eSports have lost their appeal, I recommend a game of LockBall, I guarantee you will be 2 arrow keys away from throwing your keyboard out the window.

Survival, it’s harder than you think

A few weeks ago during the Steam sale I was looking for a new game to become obsessed with. I quite enjoy my life simulators and RPG’s but I found myself looking at a game called “The Long Dark” a survival game set in the frozen wilderness of Canada after a geomagnetic disaster. There’s no zombies, which is good for me as I would probably just scream a lot, just you, mother nature and a load of wild animals, that depending on what setting you play on, want to eat you.

Sounds good right?

So I purchase the game, started it up and chose voyageur difficulty with “mystery lake” as my starting location.

I did not survive long.

The game spawns you in the middle of nowhere with no instructions and off you trudge to look for shelter, food or even just some warmer clothes. My first attempt resorted to me finding a small raised shelter and then attempting to make a fire by dropping the wood I had collected onto the floor and throwing matches at it to light it. It didn’t work.

I was determined to not read anything about the mechanics of the game and it wasn’t until my character started suffering hypothermia that in my panic pressed every button on my controller I realised there was a radial menu with things like a campfire, water, food etc. These be crafted or used depending if you had the materials. Unfortunately this knowledge came too late and I died from hypothermia a short while later.

My second attempt was a tad more successful. I spawned in a different place and managed to survive a night now that I learned how to make fire. Travelling during the day I found I was right near a lake with lots of fishing huts with a reasonable amount of supplies I could gather. Feeling pretty confident I travelled between each of the huts stripping them of supplies and continued my adventure. It wasn’t until I fell through some weak ice and ended up with hypothermia again that things started to go south. I managed to make a fire and heal myself of the affliction but by then my health meter had taken such a beating that the second time I fell through the ice I didn’t survive.

Third times the charm right?

Well it was at first as I found an actual house and could use it as my base of operations. A few days hiding and surviving I decide to venture further out. Unfortunately for me I happen upon a wolf that chased me back to my house, I barely make it back inside, patched myself up and waited a few hours. I then open the door and find the wolf waiting outside, it launches itself at me, scaring the living daylights out of me and as I press buttons frantically I can add a different style death to my list.

At that point I change the setting to pilgrim mode and manage to survive 11 days before I get myself stuck on a railway bridge, the game glitches a little and the only way I can move is sideways which results in me falling to my death.

At least it wasn’t hypothermia this time.


The Sims 4: Key to extended life = Pregnancy?

I’ve played the Sims since it was released back in 2000…wait really, that’s 17 years ago?!

Now I feel old.

I remember my first family was myself and my Husband, who was loosely based on a guy I had a crush on at the time…

Don’t judge me, I was 14.

We had quite a few children but this was before Sims aged so soon we were just reliving each day like a version of Ground Hog Day that was until they released Sims 2 and everyone could grow old and eventually die.

Anyway I’ve owned and played nearly all the expansions, including The Sims Medieval, which could have been so much more then it was and lived the ups and down with my sims. I’ve done all the normal stuff like imprisoning random neighbour sims, breaking up families, “accidentally” setting the house on fire for story progression and completing a Legacy Challenge. So with that I’m now playing Sims 4 with the City Living expansion and it’s recent addition of  Toddlers.

The added life stage is pretty good though it does trip over itself in a few areas. For instant there isn’t a buggy or a pram to take the toddler out in. I’m sure there was one in a previous version? So without this you have to carry them everywhere or wait for them to catch up and making a toddler chase after its parent is a little bit cruel.

It also doesn’t help that the toddler DOESN’T KNOW WHAT IT WANTS.

Fair enough it is suppose to be a life simulator but it’s just really frustrating when you’ve just put the toddler on the potty, stood there for god knows how long (is it just me or does it take Sims an age to do anything!) and then once they are done and you ask the toddler what they want, yep you guessed it, they want to go straight back on the potty.

The whole check toddler interaction seems a bit redundant as it often contradicts what the needs menu is telling you and you just end up cancelling interactions.

I’ve also recently realised that pregnancy extends the Sims life. I don’t know if this was in any previous versions,  or if its something that has appeared with an update but I had a family who had twins, a boy and a girl. Time passed and they grew into adults and found partners of their own and the female sim fell pregnant. Now I don’t often click on the lifespan menu as I like to be notified that my sims are ageing up or that they are in fact dying in an undetermined amount of time but I must have clicked on her menu whilst she was pregnant and the lifespan bar was glowing like it does when they age up.

Funny I don’t remember a notification telling me about a birthday. I check her twin brother’s life bar and his isn’t glowing and is a fair way from turning into an adult. The pregnancy continues and when she has the baby her life bar returns to where it was before she got pregnant, so my twins now have different birthdays. By time shes has had her second child he is just becoming an elder whilst she is still an adult.

I can understand that elder female sims can’t have children because of this thing called the menopause but why freeze ageing during pregnancy? Seems to me that ageing should just progress normally and if a sim turns into an elder during it then that just how it is.

So there we go, the key to extended life is pregnancy as long as you’re a Sim that is.



Virtual Horse Missing if found please return to the Dragonborn

So I’ve been playing Skyrim for a fair while now and like any game its got a fair few bugs that lead to some interesting moments, most of which are hilarious, like animals swimming upside down through lakes and bandits dying in strange positions half stuck in the ground but the other day I experienced a heart breaking bug.

One of the first things I done when I had enough gold was to buy a horse. I had a quick look on the wiki and decided I liked the dapple grey from Riften so headed off on foot in that direction. This was also before I realised that the guys with the carts outside the cities will take you to certain places without the need to walk. I broke the first rule of RPG’s, talk to EVERYONE.

So after a long arse journey and several dead wolves later I arrive in Riften, challenge the stable owner to a brawl, beat him and get 200 gold reward so technically I get my horse for 800 instead, bargain!

I decide to name her Patches (because I’m obviously incredibly original) and we set off to have many adventures together. She helps me take down a dragon or two and only dies once from me walking her off a cliff (accidentally I might add). I immediately reload so Patches avoids her horrible fate and our adventures continue.

It all starts to go wrong when I’m almost finished with the Staff of Magnus quest in Winterhold. Whilst protecting the town from the magic anomalies I can hear Patches neighing but can’t find her anywhere. We are dealing with the anomalies so I don’t think shes in danger. Once the quest is done I try fast travelling to a couple of cities but when she still doesn’t appear I assume she died in Winterhold. I reload but after a few more tries to find her I conclude the game has bugged as every time I can hear her but not find her. I am now horseless…

I eventually move on and do the quest to get Frost from the guy in Riften and settle in to using him instead. Time passes and then the game gets weird again. After fast travelling back to Riften to hand in a quest Frost is at the Stable and there are two other horses in the stable as usual, except the saddled one is the same colour as Frost and when I hoover over it it doesn’t say steal so I own it. I’ve not purchased any other horses…it’s  like the game has replaced Patches with a Frost clone. I cautiously take the clone for a ride just to see if I end up with a bounty for stealing. Nope nothing. Then as I ride away from Riften down a road who do I see standing in the road…Patches.

Somehow I’ve acquired three horses and Patches has returned from the dead. So I leave the clone in the middle of the road and jump on Patches and ride off into the sunset. All is well until I have to loot a corpse and get off the horse. As soon as my feet touch the ground Patches turns and heads in the direction where we’ve just come from. This game of chasing after the horse continues every time I get off so eventually I decide that maybe Patches has had enough adventuring and is hinting that she wants to retire. I fast travel whilst mounted, one more time back to Riften and put her near the stables. The clone has also returned to the stable so at least she won’t be lonely.

Guess I’ll have to use Frost instead

Happy retirement Patches.