GophersVids: Giving Skyrim Let’s Plays a Voice and a Story

Posted in action-adventure, fan-service, gaming on July 22nd, 2019 by Bessie Peters

Who needs daytime TV when I have Skyrim LPs?

I’ve probably posted about Youtuber and game modder GophersVids in the past, but hell- I’m posting about him again. What can I say- I love this guy.

If you’re a Skyrim fan, one thing that will totally help keep you playing and enjoying the world is a constant imbibing of media on this game- which luckily is not in short supply.
On Youtube there is a veritable constant stream of Skyrim content- countless Let’s Plays (basically just gameplay), live-action or Machinima skits or features (whether comedic or serious), mod videos, tutorials and so on.

But in the past several months, the best media that has kept me playing and enjoying Skyrim is GophersVids’ Let’s Play. The strange thing is, all he’s doing is playing a (heavily) modded Skyrim on PC; he’s not doing anything overly flashy or special aside from using quite a few mods (and adding or taking them off as he goes, since he IS a modder himself).

He’s not doing anything like doing speedruns (in fact, his LP is probably one of the most leisurely you’ll find- he doesn’t fast-travel or shortcut much), nor does he presume to play like a boss or be overly adept at the game.
But what Gopher does that makes his LP a cut above the rest is, well, his VOICE. Perhaps both literally and figuratively- the man has an amazingly smooth and mellow, English-accented voice which makes it perfect to be heard over hours. But more than that, his Voiceover for his LP (which, let’s face it- is basically what sets good LPs apart from just simple gameplay videos) not only commentates on the onscreen action, but he actually tells a story.

Just like his previous LP (which I actually haven’t watched, though I may someday), Gopher weaves a pretty detailed story into his vids, giving his onscreen character an actual name, background, character and motivation that he sticks to more or less religiously throughout the series. Yes, often he’ll break out of immersion to commentate on some things, or explain mods, but for the most part he stays in character- and that just makes for entertaining watches. This is, pretty much, a TV series for me. Mindboggling.

Gopher’s Skyrim Sanctuary series gives in-depth looks at some of the game’s cool mods.

His current character for example- a Breton named Richard– is supposedly a ‘Librarian’- a scholar on the run from the Thalmor who has found himself in Skyrim, getting into sticky situations and heroic problems that he’d much rather just avoid. Little by little though, the scrawny bookworm (and man, does he collect a ton of books) turns into a seasoned archer and yes, warrior, throughout the episodes.

It’s all just simple editing (no flashy tricks), his commentary and storytelling, but it makes for an absorbing, relaxing watch. Perhaps it’s something really only Skyrim gamers would appreciate, but hell don’t I find it an addictive habit. I certainly can’t do this myself (I don’t have the voice), but in my own time, as I play my own game, I guess I silently add my own story to my own Dovahkiin.

The most recent episode above of Gopher’s LP apparently ends the current Chapter and finishes the Dragonborn DLC, which always gives me a tinge of melancholy. He has said that he will continue to play Skyrim, perhaps taking on Dawnguard and the main quests- so hopefully I’ll have more soothing, English-accented gameplay vids to watch for a while longer. If you’re into Skyrim, check out Gopher’s channel and vids- simply awesome.

MGS4 delayed to 2nd Quarter 2008

Posted in action-adventure, gaming on July 22nd, 2019 by Bessie Peters

Argh. Oh well, we all already knew that the Last Adventure for Solid Snake wouldn’t make it this year, but now it won’t make ‘early 2008′ either. Konami has delayed the release of Kojima’s opus to ensure that the end product is all the more perfect… gah. Oh well, what can you do? Better break out the gazillion-or-so trailers and just keep dreaming, people. Whatever. Anyways, here’s the press release, so read and weep.

METAL GEAR SOLID 4 GUNS OF THE PATRIOTS Release Update October 31, 2007

KONAMI announced today that “METAL GEAR SOLID 4 GUNS OF THE PATRIOTS”, the latest in the METAL GEAR series, is scheduled to be released in the second quarter of 2008.

KONAMI had initially intended to release “METAL GEAR SOLID 4 GUNS OF THE PATRIOTS” this winter and has been working on the production of the title. KONAMI has decided to delay the title’s release in order to make further improvements to the quality of the game and provide even greater enjoyment for more customers worldwide.

KONAMI will continue its efforts to make “METAL GEAR SOLID 4 GUNS OF THE PATRIOTS” meet everyone’s expectations.

Further information regarding the release date will be announced as soon as possible.
Title: “METAL GEAR SOLID 4 GUNS OF THE PATRIOTS”
Expected Release Date: the second quarter of 2008
Genre: Action
Platform: PlayStation 3

MGS4 TGS Trailer!

Posted in action-adventure, gaming on July 22nd, 2019 by Bessie Peters

In case you didn’t already know, there’s a new trailer for Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots out at TGS.

SPOILER Warning!

Anyways, the trailer doesn’t feature the recently-revealed new Bosses from the Beauty and the Beast Unit. It’s more story oriented, and shows off the cast including, of course, Old Snake himself, Otacon, a quite fetching NaomiMeryl and her nano-enhanced squad, some new ninja-like PMC soldiers (who may or may not be female enemies), Liquid OcelotEva, VampRaiden and Olga Gurlukovich’s daughter, Sunny. There are also views of Gekkoes and Metal Gears galore. Story’s still a bit of a mixup- it still seems to be about Liquid Ocelot planning a worldwide ‘insurrection’ and everyone getting tangled in the mess sure to erupt.

My thoughts? I like the fact that there seems to be a lot of sides to the conflict. Looks like you’ll be able to control a Metal Gear. I am thrilled at the segment where you’re being chased by Gekkoes through the streets. I find the ending pretty from left field, and not what I’d ever expect from this game though. But the best thing I seem to notice from the trailer is that the girls seem to finally be hot. I mean, all that military hardware and the thing that stands out for me is Naomi ripping her skirt and kicking off her shoes. Mmm.

Fart gags notwithstanding, Hideo Kojima and Konami seem to have thrown everything, everyone AND the Kitchen Sink into this stew, and it’s sure to be awesome. The graphics look totally amazing (if still in that green-tinted look of MGS) with character models improved over previous trailers. What can I say? This game will be the thing next year. I am so all over this one.

Anyway, see the trailer for yourself by heading on over to Gamevideos.com for a HD version ready for download.

Bringing out the Big Guns

Posted in action-adventure, gaming on July 22nd, 2019 by Bessie Peters

Okay, the title probably has a lot of meanings, but mainly it’s all around Sony’s Death Star game for 2008 (EARLY 2008, damn it), Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.

Man, all it takes is a few trailers from Hideo Kojima and we all forget that it’s been more than 3 years since this game first showed itself, every frickin’ time. We just eat up everything that man coughs or farts out, don’t we? And this time, it’s literal. Heh.

Anyway, I am loving the last few trailers and vids. Here are some thought on all the shiz coming out.

Naomi’s cleavage. Now, everyone’s wailing about why Naomi would be showing off her twin guns in a moment of crisis. Well, what do you expect, people? She’s asking Snake to rescue her. How ELSE do you get the old guy’s attention? Seriously though, Naomi Hunter’s the last MGS female I’d ever thought to show sex appeal, but hey- in MGS4 she’s a fox. She seems to have a big role in this final chapter, given how she created FOXDIE and all… who knows, she just may hold Snake’s life in her capable hands? Clearly one part of the game concerns rescuing her, and it appears Snake does succeed in doing so, with Raiden’s assistance (but hopefully not at the cost of the ninja’s life). Probably this will result in her being a fund for info and other stuff as the game progresses.

The FROGS/Haven Soldiers. If you missed it in the trailer; the four enemy soldiers in the hi-tech bodysuits and clawed booties were all female. They are apparently part of Liquid’s army, and you’ll probably face off with them a lot. To go with female bosses, there are now female grunts. Good stuff! I wonder if Snake’s crotch grab will work on them, as well?

New FOXHOUND. What the heck? Johnny Sasaki is now with the good guys? Is this a good thing? Still faceless, still got a bad stomach. But yeah, I like it. It’s a great finale for the perpetual loser, and I hope he does have a nice resolution. As for the other guys- they’re just big grunts. Meryl’s of course hot as always, but the uniform just is oh, not sexy. Naomi trumps her this time. I wonder if Snake will comment on her butt again?

Drebin and Little Gray. What the heck? It’s Chris Rock. Or Wesley Snipes. Or Dennis Rodman. Looks like MGS4′s anwer to the Merchant from RE4. Wouldn’t it be a scream if Little Grey was actually an Alien? Or turned out to be one of the Patriots?

Sunny. Olga’s daughter finally makes her appearance. What role does she play? She’s cute, but of course, she’s also, like, ten. But why do I feel like she seems to have come from a quiet mid-western town named Silent Hill?

Metal Gears, Metal Gears. Rex, Ray, Gekkoes, MkII… they’re all over the place. Hopefully you’ll get to fight a few of them. Or even pilot one or two. It all ends with this one, so a big battle with the Big Gears should be a given.

The game is Damn PLAYABLE already! Look around online and you’ll find gameplay vids. This game is the real thing. It’s gonna be huge and awesome. I just wish it’s long and sweet. I don’t mind hours of cinematics. Give us tons of missions, tons of bosses, tons of enemies to CQC and stuff into drawers. I want this one to last. ‘Cause it’s the last. Or so they say.

A playable demo is rumored, but don’t hold your breath. In any case, I just want the GAME itself. But another trailer won’t hurt, so just fart or vomit another our way, Mr. Kojima. We’re ready.

MGS4 Gameplay Videos

Posted in action-adventure, gaming on July 22nd, 2019 by Bessie Peters

I have to say this.

Pretty much every single gameplay video of Metal Gear Solid 4 I have seen, from Gamespot to Gamevideos to Jeuxvideos… all of them SUCK. I mean, the players all seem to have six pinkies on each hand. The camera is all over the place, Snake keeps walking in circles or walks into gangs of enemies and either gets killed or looks stupid… and I think he’d rather die than look stupid.

Partly I blame the inexperience of the players, but darn… it just HURTS to watch these videos. Haven’t any of them played a single MGS ever? Or used a frickin’ controller? GEEZ! I mean, you’re THERE with frickin MGS4 playable in front of you and you SUCK!!! What a waste!

I’d rather not think the game’s controls suck at this point- but I do see that the enemy AI’s are pretty questionable. PMC soldiers walk into a room with Snake just kneeling there beside them and they don’t notice him until he runs up beside them. After which, they skitter back and forth shooting sporadically. It’s kinda rough, but the game’s still unfinished so I’ll just excuse that.

Man, I just want this in my hands already. Oh well.

Kojima Coughs It Up

Posted in action-adventure, gaming on July 22nd, 2019 by Bessie Peters

Gamespot recently posted a lengthy article on Hideo Kojima’s presentation at the TGS where he revealed more about Metal Gear Solid 4′s story, characters, weapons and other good stuff coming to the PS3 in early 2008. It’s quite a nice read and just whets our appetite more for the gaming nirvana ahead. Among the things revealed is the general world situation and early plot of Liquid’s scheme to launch an insurrection using the nanotechnology SOP and his PMC armies, a rundown of the game’s included weapons and each of the so far revealed cast, including the new FOXHOUND, the Beauty and the Beast Unit, The FROGS, Sunny, Eva, Drebin and Little Grey.

Check out the whole article for yourself here.

Kingsglaive: The Lone Gamer’s Movie Review

Posted in action-adventure, gaming, my stuff on July 22nd, 2019 by Bessie Peters

Well, at least it’s much better than Spirits Within.

As the gaming world counts the weeks to the late November release of the long-in-development Final Fantasy XV, gamers all over have a wide selection of material to occupy their attention before the actual game hits. Of course there’s the anime OVA series, FFXV Brotherhood (nowhere near as good as FMA Brotherhood, I assure you), which is of course made to introduce us to the heroes of the game- Prince Noct of Lucis and his roadies. Kingsglaive, a fully-CG animated film, is another such prologue, though much more immediate to the events within the game.

As the opening seconds of the movie roll in with the familiar voice of Lena Heady (our most beloved mad queen of Westeros) giving narration, we are introduced to the big players- Lucis is the ‘peaceful kingdom of magic’ while opposite them is The Empire of Nifleheim, a militaristic nation powered by Magitek (ah, Magitek, we know you so well). The Empire of course is on the verge of total victory, with the capital city of Insomnia (really? A city is named after a sleeping disorder?) the only remaining bastion of Lucis’ control. After a flashback showing some tragic events that befall Lucis’ former ally, the country of Tenebrae, we get into the thick of action with the Kingsglaive.

The titular Kingsglaive are apparently Lucis’ main (or perhaps only) military force- not sure about how many, but there seem to be not many- certainly nowhere near a hundred strong. The Glaive are ‘mighty warriors’, all of whom are recruited from Lucis’ provinces (all of which are probably now under Empire control or attack) due to their ability to use magic. The magic they wield though comes from one source- the King of Lucis himself, King Regis (voiced by another GoT stalwart, Sean Bean). So who are the Glaive? They look kinda cool- very similar to Assassins from Assassins Creed, but in black and wielding one main weapon- a dagger or short blade which they use primarily to ‘Warp Strike’; as in, they throw the dagger and then can teleport to wherever the weapon goes. While it certainly LOOKS awesome, I find it highly impractical and sorta haphazard. I guess the Glaive are trained to be really good and accurate throwers, but come on- you’re limited by throwing range, the speed of the person’s arm, his accuracy, the fact that they can go wildly out of control (and many do in the course of the action) with a bad throw.

Anyway, in these couple of dozen or so fighters is Lucis’ main defense. What has the enemy got? Oh, aside from armies of certainly a lot more soldiers, both human and mechanical (armed with GUNS), they have Magitek war machines AND apparently controlled monsters (just like in the games!) which range from flying creeps and cannon fodder to larger beasts like a Cerberus (three-headed fire dog) and a smoky demon which also seems to be half mechanical. How a few guys with daggers is able to hold off such a force is beyond me. But well, somehow they do.

Or do they? At the moment of apparent defeat, the Empire withdraws, allowing the Kingsglaive to get a breather. Later on, the court of King Regis is visited by a strange visitor- the shabby but kinda cool-looking Ardyn Izunia, perhaps the first Final Fantasy villain ever to sport a fedora and what seems to be a beak on his right arm (really, WHAT THE HELL IS HE WEARING?). Ardyn brings an offer of peace- well, pretty much an armistice, which offers a stop to the war at the cost of Lucis surrendering all its territories save Insomnia itself. Oh, and the Prince must also marry the Princess Lunafreya, who has been an Imperial captive/ward all this time.

Of course, you just know that the Empire is up to no good, and from there it’s a nice build-up to the day of the treaty signing. In the meantime, we see ugly sides of Lucis, which utterly puzzle me. So the Kingsglaive are all recruited from non-residents of Insomnia… WHY are they regarded by Insomnians with an obvious racist disgust? They are DEFENDING YOU, IDIOTS. The Glaive themselves are not your picture of loyalty or unity either- of course, you have the gung-ho, fearless hero Nyx, his clumsy oaf of a best friend Libertus and the one hot girl, Crow. The rest are either faceless and unimportant or belligerent or smarmy. With their ranks thinned and dissent growing cracks in their resolve, in the Kingsglaive may lie the fate of Lucis as the Imperial plot soon unfolds.

First off, the movie is GORGEOUS. That much can be said readily. There’s a lot of detail in the characters, and its much improved from previous Final Fantasy films. Faces of many characters look great, and at least by this time we don’t really think uncanny valley that much any more. However, there seems to be a slight disjoint between lip syncing- or perhaps the mouths of characters don’t quite seem to jive with the words.

While the first half of the movie up to when the shit hits the fan, the movie is quite engaging. However, after a certain point and we head into an unwieldy final act, it all crumples into a mess of a pursuit/chase, and large scale “Giant Monster’ action and action that’s so zippy and flashy, it can only be described as anime. Things happen to characters that normal humans would not walk away from easily, betraying the CG nature of the actors and the world. And the action in the final battle, while pretty amazing, seems hollow, without weight and ultimately, unsatisfying.

But then, I guess Kingsglaive is not meant to satisfy. It’s here to set the stage- with the bad guys winning or on the upswing, while the heroes are- well, they’re not here. The real heroes are in the upcoming GAME, which you will need to play to get closure. I wonder though how closely they’ll keep this movie to the final game? In that way, I guess that while Kingsglaive has its faults, it was worth seeing and certainly has me stoked into kicking Imperial butt this November on my PS4.

New Ghost in the Shell Trailer hits!

Posted in action-adventure, anime, fan-service, movies on July 22nd, 2019 by Bessie Peters

Scarlett Johansson is The Major coming this March.

Ever since its announcement and subsequent casting of actress Scarlett Johansson, the live-action version of the anime Ghost in the Shell has been controversial. Of course there’d be hubbub over having an American in the role of a Japanese anime character named Motoko Kusanagi (I think they just call her The Major in the film). One would wonder though if a film starring a Japanese actress (Rinko Kikuchi perhaps? Maggie Q?) would be more successful with decidedly less star power. Hell, we don’t even know even with Miss Johansson that GITS will be a hit.

The second trailer shows off more previously-unseen footage along with the now-familiar scenes of The Major in her ‘naked’ bodysuit and the nightmare-fuel mecha geishas. But now there’s a bit more talking and some bits of the plot. While the film does share some scenes with the original film and manga (some, like the confrontation with the gunman at the waterway seem painstakingly-reproduced), the overall storyline seems to have been simplified a bit, or at least made with The Major more central to the story. It seems more of Kusanagi seeking her actual identity, rather than the more existential jargon in the anime. I guess it may take a bit of fixing to make the original’s concepts and musings about what corporates being human more easy to digest (the anime tended to be very long-winded in exposition). There’s Blade Runner-esque imagery, some cool action and a hot lady in a form-fitting bodystocking… what’s not to love?

Well, we’ll see if this is a hit or a hack this March. Ghost in the Shell also features Takeshi Kitano as Daisuke Aramaki and Pilou Asbæk as Batou.

Logan (2017) Movie Review by The Lone Gamer

Posted in action-adventure, my stuff on July 22nd, 2019 by Bessie Peters

Wolverine’s last(?) film is gloriously depressing, exhilaratingly violent.

Has it really been 15 years? Yep, fifteen years since we first saw Aussie actor Hugh Jackman take the role of Canadian X-man and arguably the most famous and beloved mutant of all, Wolverine AKA Logan. From the original X-men film by Bryan Singer, to X2: X-men United, X3 The Last Stand, X-men Origins: Wolverine, The Wolverine and X-men: Days of Future Past, we’ve seen the triple-clawed warrior slash his way through evil mutants, commandos, cyborgs, ninja and giant robots- who’d have thought it would be his own secret weapon- his adamantium skeleton- that would be his downfall? Reuniting with fellow X-men mainstay Patrick Stewart as Professor Charles Xavier, Logan takes us into the waning days of a beloved comic book-turned-film hero. The result is depressingly glorious but strangely satisfying.

Sometime in the future, we are reintroduced to Logan= The Wolverine- a once infamous superhero and mutant, but now noticeably older, more scarred and looking more vulnerable than we’ve ever seen him. No longer a scion of Xavier’s School, or even a care-free drifter- ‘Old’ Logan is now apparently working as a Limo driver for some kind of Uber service. A scuffle with some car thieves near the border with Mexico reveals that Logan isn’t as formidable as he was before, but he’s still go the claws, and when he connects it does DAMAGE.
Unfortunately, it is soon learned that Logan is dying. His adamantium skeleton- since time immemorial his claim to fame and invulnerability- is now poisoning him, causing his incredible healing factor to slow and even fail. And he’s not the only one on his last legs. We learn that Professor Xavier is also still alive, cared for by Logan and the living mutant-detector Caliban (Stephen Merchant) in an abandoned factory, the Professor being housed in a huge metal silo in an effort to contain his often-out-of-control telepathy. Stricken by Alzheimer’s and dementia, Xavier’s mind can potentially release a lethal, paralyzing psychic attack in a wide radius unless he takes regular medication. In fact, we learn (in no ready detail) that one such psychic episode was responsible for the deaths of many of the X-men (and presumably the decline of the School). Now all Logan and Charles have to look forward to is a hopeful solitary, final vacation out to sea- if Logan can gather the funds to buy them a boat.

But of course, that isn’t to be as Logan is soon sought out by a woman named Gabriela (Elizabeth Rodriguez), who pleads with Logan to take her and a girl named Laura (Dafne Keen) to North Dakota. Laura is soon revealed to be a mutant- the first seen by Logan and Charles in years (mutants having seemingly gone extinct in the last several years for some reason), and she’s naturally being pursued by the ones who created her. So now it’s up to Logan, a dying warrior who just wants to slink into a dark hole to die quietly in peace, to find what remains of himself within to protect the next generation of mutants from some truly despicable villains.

Taking inspiration from films like Unforgiven, Logan is in some ways a breaking down of the superhero movie- the film itself takes potshots at itself, with Logan remarking at how X-men comics don’t actually show the real deal. Nope, not at all. In Logan, heroes aren’t clean and flawless and always save the day… they can die, and along the way, other people, even good people, can get caught in the crossfire with them. Somehow though, there is still redemption to be found even if everything is at its bleakest and there’s no happy ending in sight. Just lots of blood and more blood.

Logan is a gloriously depressing road trip movie- certainly a radical departure from all the previous X-men films, and it prospers because of it. The down-and-dirty, R-rated action is never truly gory or gratuitous, and at times is quite satisfying thanks to how truly needing of some much-deserved killing the baddies are. Jackman and Stewart, as the franchise mainstays, decisively give their onscreen characters their most memorable performances. In no other film is the bond between Logan and Prof. X this more profound and touching. As X-23 AKA Laura Kinney, Dafne Keen is eye-catching and amazing in the fight scenes- one hopes that perhaps there will be future romps with her, but only time will tell.

I’ll admit, I would have wished for a slightly less depressing conclusion to Logan, but then again, the guy’s had over 200 years to walk the earth, and he’s made his three-clawed mark on it many, many times. You’ve earned your retirement, Wolverine. What a way to go.

Logan (2017)
The Lone Gamer’s Movie Rating: 4 of 5

The Extended Uncharted 4 Demo is EFFIN’ GODLIKE!

Posted in action-adventure on July 19th, 2019 by Bessie Peters

Better than most any action movie sequence EVER.

This post is a bit delayed, but I felt I had to post it regardless. One of the best things shown at this year’s E3… scratch that… THE Best thing shown at E3 2015 for me was the demo for Naughty Dog’s utterly amazing demo for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. It was 7 and a half minutes of unrelenting, jaw-dropping action movie awesomeness- easily one of the most impressive cinematic sequences you’ll see in a game yet, or even in any action blockbuster film. The graphics were amazing, the detail unheard of. As I watched Nathan Drake go through a breakneck running and driving battle against an army of thugs, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, up to the sudden, abrupt, cliffhanging ending.

This was what we all saw during E3. Some time after though, it was revealed that what we saw was only HALF of the freakin’ demo.

The Uncharted demo’s action continues for about another 7 minutes or so, seeing the whole chase sequence/battle to its explosive, rip-roaring conclusion… and to a little epilogue which ironically leaves Nathan in even greater peril (Heh).

This just may be Naughty Dog’s Opus, and perhaps the crown jewel in the PS4 Library. I must admit, I’ve never really been an Uncharted fan, but I just may become one seeing this trailer. This game is now SOLD, a year before launch. I want this game. I need this game. For now though, we have this divine trailer/demo to tide us over. WOW. Just. WOW.