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  1. As we're now in December, I am going to cover tunes that either Christmasy, Snowy or Icy in nature for this months #TuneTuesday tunes. To kick things off, here is the #Persona3 FES version of Snow Queen, composed by Idehito Aoki & Kenichi Tsuchiya, arranged by Shoji Meguro. This is the version that most Persona fans would be immediately aware of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=An_XpXXnxnQ The original comes from the original Persona, which I will include here also, for comparison's sake, which definitely has a more snowy flavour. (NOTE: when I am able to embed the videos properly again (when YouTube starts behaving itself) I will do that, so apologies for the links) I've discussed the Persona games in great detail before, so I will just give a brief overview. Take your favourite shonen, slice-of-life anime, slap it with Pokemon with an existential crisis, and you've got yourself every Persona game. The plot of Persona 3 revolves around a group of Japanese high school kids (surprise-surprise) who hit the books by day and hit the Shadows (daemons essentially) with their powers of Persona summoning by night. These are manifestations of one's inner self, which are essentially more mature 'Pokemon' based on real-life mythic deities. Persona 3 had an extended version (like the Pokemon games) do call Persona 3 FES, which didn't add in a whole, besides previously Japan-only DLC 'The Answer', an epilogue to the original story and additional music for the dungeon areas, known as Tartarus, a seemingly neverending tower that reaches the heavens by the end of the game. The remix of The Snow Queen was one of those included tunes, which is in A minor, not in the original's C minor and is an emotional dance track and not the whispery orchestral version found in the original Persona game. It's inclusion in FES is a very good one, as it works well as you make your ascent in Tartarus, especially when you reach the final few floors at the game's climax. Another altered version is also on 'Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight', which just adds to the emotional drive of the tune. The Snow Queen is a famous boss in the Persona universe and some gaming circles for two reasons. 1) She is a gruesomely difficult boss, as is her arc in the original game. It is not part of the main story, and players can only do that route of the main story route as if The Snow Queen was DLC or a story in an alternate universe. The reality is that both The Snow Queen and the main route happen at the same time, but with different members of the party, depending on one which ones you choose to explore with or what you decide at a certain point in the story. 2) The Snow Queen questline is not found in any version of the original Persona, outside of Japan and no one seems to know why (inform me if I am wrong about this!). I am presuming it is because of it being too difficult for western audiences, but I am not certain. Both versions of the cue have become iconic within the Persona fanbase, for good reason. They are both incredibly moving, delivering on the intended emotions and setting of each perspective game.
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  5. This weeks #TuneTuesday comes from the recent(ish) remake of one of my favourite games. It is the Acid Jazz remix of YO from Catherine Fullbody, composed by Shoji Meguro, with rap and sung melody by L-VOKAL & Meitsuki respectively. For a quick summary, you play as the hopeless Vincent Brookes, who is pressured into marriage by his long-time girlfriend, Katherine, who is portrayed as strong, stern and remarkably cold at times. Vincent, after one drink too many at The Stray Sheep, he finds himself momentarily intoxicated by alcohol and Catherine, who is best described as the opposite of Katherine; young(er), childish, busty and remarkably blonde, resulting Vincent taking her back home with him. Thus begins a tragically hilarious love triangle, as the game presents to you the idea of you being able to choose your waifu, Catherine, or Katherine as you respond to text messages from both of them at night as you wander around the bar, talking to the other punters (or patrons, to you Yanks out there) and choosing how to respond to them as well, which affects a morality meter unlike any other. I am usually opposed to such methods in games, as you either have to be a cunt or saint to reap the maximum benefits. But without saying too much and ruining the ending, this plays slightly differently in Catherine. And to further complicate Vincent's love life (and the number of waifus to choose from), Fullbody adds another girl, Qatherine, (or, Rin) who Vincent runs into (literally), saving her from some stalker, giving her a place to sleep, and a job at The Stray Sheep, playing the piano. What I have just described is one portion of the narrative, which is the beloved social aspect of many of ATLUS' games. The game proper is a weirdly difficult puzzle game, where Vincent and the souls of other indecisive men (who all appear as sheep to each other) must climb various towers, by pushing blocks about, forming their own climbable paths. On a related note, Catherine (and Fullbody) doesn't shy away from its mature content. That's not to say there is anything pornographic, but do prepare something to say if a member of your family walks to find a naked Catherine straddling Vincent. As for the tune itself, it is a remix of the original theme, titled YO. Unlike that one, it is not a slightly expanded Acid Jazz remix a semitone lower (Bm-Bbm), with a new sung verse, sexy sax, seductive flute and a proper phat bass line. I won't lie, but this is an incredibly sexy arrangement, one that has matured nicely, like an old wine. It immediately lets you know that you are going on a ride like no other. What I think is most odd is the fact it is a rap song in a romantic horror Japanese game. It's very interesting, to say the least, but I think a lot of ATLUS' choices for Catherine could be described as such.
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  8. Post any new PC components or tech here! I'll start: Intel revealed it's new i9-9900KS and releases on 30/10/2019 The i9-9900KS processor is unlocked and boasts eight cores and 16 threads, up to 4.0 GHz base frequency, 127W TDP, 16 MB Intel Smart Cache, and up to 40 platform PCIe lanes for gaming and overclocking.... Click here to take a look at this special edition processor!
  9. Looking for something in particular? Maybe a new component, part or game? Ask away here! Another member might have seen it cheaper elsewhere!
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  12. Come and join the Community fun with host @LolaSunnybutter as we jump straight into the latest installment of the Jackbox Party Pack series! It’s the wildest Party Pack yet, with the absurd deathmatch Trivia Murder Party 2, the weird word circus Dictionarium, the hidden identity game Push The Button, the comedy contest Joke Boat and the offbeat personality test Role Models. Going live at 9PM BST! Did you decipher the code? DM Franchize and tell him with a screenshot of this event!
  13. Developer: Steel Mantis Platforms: Nintendo Switch (reviewed), Steam, Xbox, PS4 Price: $24.99 Genre: 2D, Action, Platformer Metal. Gore. Destruction. Insanity. After playing several hours of Valfaris, you'll understand more about these words than you ever have in your lifetime. From the team that brought you Slain: Back from Hell, Valfaris sets to deliver a new type of experience, with similar mechanics and gameplay. It has all the attributes of a heavy metal concert and 90's sci-fi movies all mixed into one. Grab your pick of destiny and get ready to ROCK! Whether you've played Slain: Back from Hell or not, Valfaris is a great game to get your feet soaked in blood. You play as Therion, son of Vroll, and he is on a mission to reclaim Valfaris for his own. Vroll has taken control of Valfaris and tainted it with evil spread across every inch of the grandiose citadel. A bit full of himself and riddled with puns, Therion seeks to strip his father of his powers and will rip through anything to find him. After a short introduction scene opening the game, you finally get thrown into a 2D post-apocalyptic world with a hint of cyberpunk like colors. I was pleasantly surprised by the tight mechanics of the game but wasn't completely satisfied with the button layout. Lucky for me, I was able to swap out certain functions with others—happy with the new button layout, I was on my way. Right out of the gate, you are overwhelmed by hordes of bloodthirsty foes. Equipped with trusty weaponry, Therion is ready for anything the darkness has to throw at him. There are three types of weapon classes: Sidearm, Melee, and Heavy weapons. Sidearms are quick and easy to use without having to consume combat energy. Melee is close range, risky, but useful in gaining additional combat energy from enemies. Finally, Heavy weapons are meant to output massive damage but consume the most combat energy. As far as defensive actions are concerned, you also wield a shield that acts as a form of parrying if timed just right. Another neat feature with this shield is that you can hold projectiles and redirect them at your foes! Over time you'll collect new weapons that add a new way to play, and I found it's a good thing to swap these out from time to time based on sections where enemies would prove to be more difficult than others. Weapons add some sort of strategic value to the game, and you'll want to balance what weapons work best for your play style, but also weapons that are the most effective. Valfaris has a system of making upgrades to your weapons. Be on the lookout for piles of skulls that may contain an upgrade material known as 'Blood Metal.' Certain enemies may drop this material as well, and eventually, enough upgrades will warrant a new material you'll need to collect to make this final upgrade. Resurrection Idols are placed throughout the game and play a vital role in how checkpoints function. If you've got a big set of balls on you, hold onto those resurrection idols and increase your health bar and combat energy. However, if you're like me, I prefer to use them at each checkpoint, so I can avoid having to backtrack as often. You do eventually collect enough to build up your health bar and combat energy slightly. There comes a point when you reach, what I like to call, a 'vending machine.' This vending machine gives you blood metal, in return for resurrection idols—choose wisely if you're low on idols but desire to upgrade a weapon. One of the biggest challenges of the game is the fact that you encounter so many varying enemies and bosses with unique traits. Keep your eyes peeled for traps and other inanimate objects that seem to crush, suffocate, and impale you, too. You'll get familiar with dying, so prepare for the worst—I say this because everything WILL kill you. Fortunately, you won't encounter a "You died" or "Slain" phrase each time you kick the bucket. The best way to stay alive is to be vigilant and hope enemies drop additional health or a blue skull to replenish your combat energy. If not used, the hearts and blue skulls will disappear after a short time, so make use of these promptly. Anyone a fan of mechs? That's right, you reach a point when manpower is only so much and you'll need aid from a big, beefy bit of machinery. Causing complete chaos, you feel like nothing can stand in your way. Similar to how you play with Therion, there are three types of attacks and a booster jump that will crush enemies below. It's a little clunky, but ultimately I think it's a solid addition to keep things fresh within the game. Everything from gameplay to enemy and level design meshed very well, though, my only real gripe of the game is how you aim. There were times when I would attempt to shoot down, and Therion would only crouch. Movement is key to staying alive, and despite being able to freeze your character to aim, I thought crouching was a bit redundant. I fully understand why it's there it just didn't work all that well for me. One more thing to plug here is Steel Mantis has been hard at work to bring you a New Game + mode called "Full Metal Mode" that will challenge the player even more than Valfaris already does! The update will feature: All weapons, upgrades, and upgrade items will be carried over Enemies and bosses will be more aggressive The player will take more damage Players will have access to one additional Destroyer class weapon At the time of writing this, there is no set date on when the update will be released and it will be free across all platforms. Finally putting this review to rest, Valfaris has an enticing story and wicked cool visuals that will keep your lust for blood quenched. I found the soundtrack and SFX to be quite gritty, grungy, METAL and I loved every second of it! The game is brutal but it's doable—challenging in just the right way. Valfaris is an indie title you should be eager to drop some cash on. Grow that hair out and get ready to ROCK! Game code was generously provided by Big Sugar for review purposes only on the Nintendo Switch. We appreciate your willingness to spare us a code!
  14. Want to test your mettle against the very best (and worst) Rocket League players The Forge has to offer? Then sign up to our next Community Event! Past events have seen great success with the likes of Dead by Daylight and Overwatch games, and we expect this one to be just as popular! It'll likely be played as duos, though we may also have some 1v1 and 3v3 exhibitions if time allows! The winning duo will also be pitted against each other in a 1v1 fight to the death! And the best part? It doesn't matter what platform you're on - any can take part. Rocket League is one of the first fully cross-platform games! So whether you're PC, Switch, PS or XB - you can still take part! Sign up today here: https://forms.gle/m42qsfNk6ANhyiSc7
  15. Hello there darlings! Here you may suggest any games you think I would be interested in playing or that you would like to see me play / stream! Keep in mind that I do primarily play on PC, but will play Xbox if need be! Thank you for the suggestions in advance!
  16. A few weeks ago, Blizzard released the long-awaited World of Warcraft: Classic - a throwback to the early days of WoW, warts and all. Until that point, I had never played World of Warcraft. Roughly 2 weeks in, my Orc Hunter, Orcthisway, is sitting at level 31 and I am thoroughly addicted. So, what took me so long? I'd never been a fan of subscription-based MMOs. I hated the idea of paying to keep playing a game. However, after a lot of persuasion from friends, I gave it a shot. I paid for a month's subscription to try Classic out. I've not touched the modern version, referred to as "retail" WoW, but will likely do so in the not-too-distant future. The following will be a series of rambling thoughts on Classic and it's design. I had a little bit of help from a friend in grasping the basics, navigating the UI, and so on. "Intuitive" is not a word I'd use to describe Classic. It's of an era where RPGs required the player to read quest information and figure things out for themselves, rather than the modern standard of "follow the quest marker". Now, there's nothing wrong with quest markers, but I personally find the over-reliance most modern RPGs have on them to be a little too much. Hand-holding throughout the opening of a game is fine, but when you're max level and a master of the combat system, having the game point you in the right direction feels very patronizing. I often turn quest markers off when I play RPGs I'm familiar with, so I found Classic to be oddly refreshing in the sense that the only directional markers you get are to the nearest settlements (and your allies, if you're in a group). Markers for finishing quests only appear on the mini-map when you're nearby, and the only other markers are from abilities you have to track certain enemies or harvestable materials. You want to know where monster X that you need item Y from is? Read the quest log and figure it out. Can't figure it out? I guess Google is your friend, right? I love this kind of design. Yes, it can get frustrating, but it makes it all the more rewarding when you finally get it done. And the reading leads to actually learning more about the world than you would if you were simply told a few things and led around. The writing is pretty good, and I'm enjoying learning about the war between the Alliance and Horde. There's some nice humour in there, to boot. Leveling is SLOW. It's been around two weeks and I'm level 31. The level cap is 60, so I might hit that by the end of the month - if I'm lucky. Unlike a lot of other MMOs, you have to mob-grind: kill as many enemies as you can on the way to your next quest, and you'll have an easier time leveling up. The majority of enemies that are around your level are capable of killing you fairly easily if you're not careful. I enjoy this challenge. It makes the enemies feel tough, and you not feel all-powerful. Grouping up to take down tougher "elite" enemies and bosses is essential, but if you're trying to get a particular item to drop, you're going to have a hard time. Loot is shared rather than individual, and unless the rest of your group has already got the items you need, you've got to rely on often low drop rates to get them. The only exceptions are bosses and certain items, where the whole group will get them from the same enemy. XP is only given from enemies that you or your group hit first - if a random passerby hits (or "tags") the enemy you're after before you do, you're gonna have to wait for it to respawn, or find another. Speaking of respawning, the timers for some bosses are painful. Some enemies take 10-15 minutes to respawn, which slows your progress right down. If you're after a boss and someone's just killed it, go make a coffee or something. You'll still be waiting by the time you're back. I get why Blizzard did this - to slow players down so they don't burn through all the content too quickly - but holy shit, it can be tedious sometimes. Getting around is also very slow. Be prepared to walk a LOT. Flying from one area to another (once you've unlocked the flight paths) can take quite some time, as well. It's another of those "go make a coffee or something" moments. I suppose it's a good thing, as it gives you an opportunity to take a break, but if you're just trying to meet up with your friends, it can be pretty boring - especially if you're trying to fly somewhere to get to the ships or zeppelins that take you to different regions, then flying even farther once you get there. Thankfully, mages can teleport and every character gets a Hearthstone, which teleports you to whichever inn you've set as your home. Mounts are available at level 40 for a hefty fee, which cut down on some travel time, and some classes get abilities that speed you up - the hunter, for example, gets a 30% speed increasing ability. This reduces some of the travel time, but it's still very slow to get around. It's amazing what you take for granted in modern games. Classic just says, "Fast travel? What's that?". You might think I'm complaining, but honestly I absolutely love this game. Yes, the game is slow and can be very dull at times, but roaming around an unforgiving world, slowly killing one enemy at a time in the hopes that you get the items you've been searching hours for, is a challenging and rewarding experience, and an absolute breath of fresh air in an age where everything is practically given to you on a silver platter. You have to earn those levels, your mounts, etc. and it feels so damn rewarding when you level up... only to have to go back to your class trainer to spend the majority of your money on new abilities. WoW Classic is a rough place, but somehow I still absolutely love it. I've not been gripped by an MMO this much in a very long time. I look forward to when I'm done and move on to retail WoW, where I'll no doubt have my hand held and level much faster, but the world and it's lore has sucked me in. It only took fifteen years for it to finally do so.
  17. I've been at this whole streaming thing for a couple of years now. I feel like it's time to reflect on the journey so far... Humble Beginnings I originally started streaming as a distraction from my anxiety and other issues in my life. Things were pretty bad for me, personally, and instead of moping around all the time, I thought I'd give streaming a shot in my spare time. A friend gave me a push in the right direction and I started streaming in August 2017. I had streamed before, but it was more for messing around with friends whilst doing some Dark Souls co-op than actually making an effort to put on a decent show. But I digress... I started off with single-player games. I did a pretty big Fallout 4 run where I tested a few mods and did my first run through the game's various DLCs. Aside from a couple of friends who were only around every now and then, my streams were pretty slow, as you might expect. I was just having some fun playing a game, and never really thought much of it all. That was until someone popped into my chat and said they were really enjoying the stream. I'll never forget that feeling of accomplishment. It felt like I was doing something right, y'know? A few months of my incredibly inconsistent schedule later, and I'd found a few regular viewers, moved on to a full run through The Witcher series, and had felt like I was making some genuine connections on Twitch. Then I got my first big raid whilst testing out a Dark Souls mod, which pushed me over the 50 follower requirement for Twitch affiliate. I got an e-mail on Christmas Eve about joining the affiliate program and was over the moon. This was where I thought I should try and make a regular schedule and see just how far I can take this. Just over a year and a half later, here we are. I'm pulling in a fairly consistent viewership, I have a core group of pretty dedicated regulars, my channel's growing at a good pace, I've made some great friends, and I even joined the Forge Discord community (back before it was even called that) and have made it to admin! Ups and Downs As with life in general, it's not all sunshine and rainbows. The highs are great, but the lows can be pretty terrible. I've had some bad experiences in my time on Twitch. I've learned that some people thrive on conflict and drama, whether it's someone having a personal problem with me or a group of people jumping on the hate bandwagon for other streamers. It's childish, it's unnecessary, and to the types of people who can't get enough drama, I must ask - why? Do you genuinely have nothing better to do with your lives? When something bad goes off, I pick myself up and get on with life. There's absolutely no point dwelling on things. I've had friends fall out with me before and not let it go. It's in the past. It certainly doesn't bother me, and I don't let it get on top of me. And you know what? I'm happier for it! It amazes me as to how long someone can hold a grudge, and with how much overlap there is in a lot of Twitch communities, it's all the more present in our lives. And it is completely unnecessary. Moving on from such silliness, I will say that the majority of my experiences with Twitch have been positive: I remember getting raided by a partnered streamer, and being able to send that love on to someone else which gave them that push they needed to make affiliate. It felt like I'd come full circle. I was the one helping someone else reach their goals. That feeling is unlike any other. I've had a clip of mine featured in a montage on TwitchCon. Not only that, but it was singled out at the end by the panel. Of all the clips, they sat and talked about mine. It absolutely blew my mind. I've had to stop playing what I was playing on-stream because chat was so active that I didn't even need to be playing a game. We'd just sit there with me on the pause menu, simply chatting away. The time flies by so fast when this happens, and I love every second of it. I've had people come in and drop hundreds of dollars' worth of bits, or a bunch of gifted subscriptions, or even donations. People have gifted me games. They've even bought mugs and t-shirts with my artwork on them! That is all insanely humbling. There are people out there who are willing to spend money on me just for sitting here in front of a camera & playing videogames. And I swear I'll never get used to it! I am eternally grateful for everyone who has supported me like this. Lessons learned Standing out on Twitch is incredibly difficult these days. The platform is oversaturated, to say the least. Views can be extremely inconsistent on not only a game-by-game basis, but a day-by-day basis as well. There's no real formula for success. I've tried variety, I've tried sticking to a single game, I've tried sticking to similar games, I've tried MMOs, single-player games, multi-player games, just chatting, you name it. I will say that the bigger MMOs and multi-player games are definitely less viable for smaller streamers - you'll just get lost in the long list of streamers, which are always sorted by number of viewers. Twitch has taken steps to help smaller creators stand out, but also some missteps. The loss of Twitch communities was a big one. The tags they introduced to replace communities are mostly awful. A large percentage of viewers don't even read titles or tags. The "no spoilers" tag encourages viewers to spoil games. The LGBTQIA+ tag attracts far too many trolls, but I will say I've had a lot of positive interactions from using it as an ally (give us an ally tag, dammit!). Communities were a great way to find like-minded people. On a more positive note, the Discover page (basically the front page) now highlights smaller creators in a "recommended" section. I've met a few great streamers through that. It always feels like Twitch could be doing more to help, though. Better sorting options, perhaps? More diverse tags? More prominent titles & tags displayed on channels? I'm just throwing ideas out here. Either way, I think discoverability is an absolute nightmare as a smaller streamer, and it's 90% due to the oversaturation of Twitch. Putting your name out there outside of Twitch seems like the best way to go. It shouldn't be, but here we are. The Future Well, this is my first entry into writer's blocks here on Ember. It's been rambly as can be, but that's just how I write things - they're just my thoughts typed out as I... think them, I guess! Regarding my future as a content creator, I've made the decision to try out streaming on Mixer, which I'll be starting in September. I also aim to create Youtube content, and potentially more. I'm pushing to diversify the content I create, spread it out over multiple platforms, and really get my name out there. Twitch has been fantastic for me, my mental health, and even my social life. I'll not be leaving any time soon, but now more than ever is the time for me to really knuckle down and create as much content as I can, of as high quality as I can. Every time someone tries to kick me down, it lights a fire under me that motivates me to keep doing better. And I will do better. Watch this space.
  18. Oh man - do we have a monstrously good competition for you! Today we launch 'The Great Ember Profile Giveaway' - your opportunity to win a copy of Cyberpunk 2077! The competition is simple - three steps! 1. Sign up to an EmberGN account at https://emberapp.gg 2. Complete your EmberGN profile! 3. Follow the EmberGN Twitter account - https://twitter.com/ember_gn - and RT the competition tweet! We're looking for big, beautiful, colourful banners; profile pictures; long bios; short bios; favourite games; Twitch/Youtube/Twitter integrations if you have them - just be as creative as possible! The profiles feature an incredible amount of customization, so make the most of it! You can then go on to set your country; your social media links and share your online presence with the rest of the Ember Users! You can even use gifs for banners and profile pictures! Looking for somewhere to start? Check out this instructional on setting up your profile: Profile Basics Entry will be open to all Ember profiles, with the competition closing on the 31th August 2019. The Admin team will then select 10 finalists to be shared on social media - with the most popular profile taking the top prize! Preorder keys will be issued at time of selecting winner. Winner to advise on preferred platform.
  19. WoodyREC

    It Goes Beyond Gaming

    Now what do I mean by this? This article is going to be memories or instances where as much as the gaming is a vital point to the story, it transcends the computer screen; it could be my first game played and the memory of it, bonding with a family member over a game or just something that had impact on me outside of the game. So here are some special gaming related moments for me, and I would love to see yours in the comments... Resident Evil 3: Nemesis I had been playing video games a long time at this point, not to give away my age, but this is the first game I have memory of playing from start to finish. I definitely wouldn't have been old enough to play the game at the time, but I have the most vivid memory of sitting down a few times a week for a couple of hours with my uncle to play through it. Taking turns, mainly him, as it was so hard to navigate the game for little old me. I could list so many titles we played through, Shadow of Memories was another favourite, such a unique storyline and gameplay. World of Warcraft I had just started my first job, and I remember Wrath of the Lich King was just coming out. I was so nervous heading into work, wondering how I'd get on with work colleagues, and then one of them asked me what games I play and when I said WoW there jaw dropped. Turns out a lot of them were massively into it, and we became instant friends. They invited me onto their server, their guild etc and not only did I feel right at home on WoW I did at work too. WoW in general is one of those games you make lifelong friends on, and you can end up speaking to them as much as family or friends - it truly is a unique experience. Heroclix This one is a tabletop game, but I think it still fits the article loosely. I have travelled the UK playing this game, winning sealed events at Nationals, playing friendlies in comic book shops and meeting and creating friendships all over. I've made countless good friends and acquaintances from this game that I would have never met if not for this, and I think that's the beauty of competitive miniature, card or tabletop games. Pokemon Go This was my final choice, partially for the fact I had so many friends and family join in something I've always been a massive fan of, partially how it made me get out and continue to be more active. For me, this game epitomised the title of this article. For a few months, a year, a couple of years some people were able to forget their restraints and the stigma and just have fun. It took over the world, everyone was playing it, and it was an incredible time. This was a game that did this, a game. Thank you if you've made it this far, and like I said at the start, I'd love to give your special gaming stories a read so drop them below!
  20. This Tuesday, 13th August, for the first time ever I started to stream. I’ve grown up watching people on Youtube and Twitch, and genuinely spend more of my time watching people on these websites than I do TV or maybe even play games myself, maybe… So what made me take that leap? My favourite streamer is Nickmercs, not because of the games he plays because quite frankly I can’t stand Fortnite or the crazy building coordination it takes, but because of who he is and the attitude and enjoyment he brings to his viewers. It’s insane the impact someone like that can have on you without realising. Probably around 4-5 years ago now I was 4 stone heavier. I’d just got out a pretty toxic relationship and was pretty low. I spent so much time watching people like Nick, and one thing about his streams is his fitness. Now it wasn’t an overnight thing for me, I didn’t suddenly drop all that weight or go out the same day and start working out, but I would watch him and slowly built up a drive to do so from what I was seeing from him. I was going to the gym, eventually Pokemon Go would come out and I’d be walking for hours at a time playing games and making friends and honestly between getting that push from him, without him realising, and through Pokemon Go I was in a different mindset, became a lot healthier and happier. So that was a big reason for me, pay it forward. If I could have one viewer who watched me, and I cheered him up, that would make it all worthwhile. And with that in mind, I loaded up without a second thought and played some Apex Legends, chatting along to my 3 or so viewers. I got a couple of new followers and that’s just the beginning! I’ve made content for Youtube, and built up somewhat of a following (currently stuck around 1477 subscribers), so I’ve seen those comments before ‘Thank you for helping me..’ etc which for me, is the reason I do any of this. I love playing games and joking around with friends and the thought that can impact other people is amazing. For me though, Twitch trumps Youtube in every way. The recording process feels so much more natural and responsive with the live aspect, and I just enjoyed it so much more - which is why I intend on doing it on Twitch now instead, whether it be messing around with friends on games or a podcast. So that’s my story of how or why I wanted to start streaming and why I continue to do so, what’s yours? Drop them in the comments below because I would LOVE to hear them.
  21. Tabby

    Welcome to The Cartridge

    Hello everyone, my name is Amy, and this is The Cartridge! You may be asking yourself, what does this entail? What is the cartridge? Well, let me tell you all about it. The Cartridge is going to be my little place to write about games that I love, games that I don't love, and everything in between. Reviews, I guess you could say. It might take me a little while to figure this whole thing out. I feel like a bit of a granny, trying to know what to write about, and what the people will enjoy. But, I guess we can go on this awesome journey together! Let's just talk a little bit about the writer for a second, get to know the lady behind the keyboard. So, my name is Amy. I'm 21 years old at the time of writing this. (Ew) I am a student at university, studying Journalism and Creative Writing. I have a passion for gaming, fantasy novels, and gaming journalism. (Does that surprise you? It shouldn't.) Hence why I'm here! I am also a streamer. Quite irregular, but I do my best to try to hold up my end when possible. You can find me on Twitch, in case you're interested. My favourite games include: Bioshock 2, The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+, Sims 4 and Slime Rancher, just to name a few. On stream, I often play Binding of Issac, or League of Legends. I have a very hefty steam library, so I'm slowly crawling my way through it. I'm currently playing Dark Souls Remastered for the first time ever. (No one told me it was gonna be this difficult...) So, maybe you'll see an upcoming review for that! If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me a message. I look forward to hearing from you, and hope you enjoy my upcoming articles! Thanks a lot guys, Amy.
  22. This weekend I attended the Heroclix Nationals 2019 (a superhero tabletop game I play) for a couple of days of play. It's always super fun to play in and nice to catch up with everyone and play the game we love. Saturday consisted of a constructed and sealed qualifier which proved a long day! We arrived around 10AM and probably left around 9PM. Now I've done this before, and as long as you stay hydrated, eat when you can and take it in steps it can be done. One big problem this time was I'd forgot my glasses. They were prescribed for when I do tasks that require concentration, and this game in particular that's crucial. By the time 12-1PM rolled around and I'd been playing without my glasses I had a headache. I was running off 5ish hours sleeps and I felt awful. By the time the second tournament started I was sat there holding my head in pain. So as the title says, always prepare. That should've been the first thing I packed, but I was so focused on the game I ended up getting there and not really being able to play. I still got to see friends and enjoyed the Sunday a lot more - but never underestimate the importance of preparation and health. Thanks for stopping by for my first article, make sure you're followed for a couple of posts a week. I'll be touching on my first EVER streaming experience later this week so hang around.
  23. During a bit of research, I recently stumbled across the fact that Ken Rolston, one of the lead designers on both Morrowind and Oblivion, cut his teeth working on the Stormbringer pen & paper RPG. I wouldn’t be surprised if that doesn’t mean anything to you, but that’s exactly why I’m writing these words right now. The more you look into the most celebrated works of fantasy gaming over the years, the more you hear the name of author Michael Moorcock and his criminally underappreciated protagonist, Elric of Melniboné. Elric VIII, 428th Emperor of Melniboné, might sound like the most clichéd paperback name you’ve ever read, but nothing could be further from the truth. Elric was first introduced to the world in June of 1961, via a novella titled The Dreaming City. At that time, most fantasy fiction was either pulpy stuff like Conan the Barbarian or the high, complex fantasy of writers such as Tolkien. These stories told tales of unlikely heroes, slaves, hobbits and downtrodden humans, who sacrificed everything for the good of their people. Elric, on the other hand, was an irredeemable asshole. While Frodo was busy traumatising himself for the good of Middle Earth, Elric was off betraying his own people to a bunch of pirates, accidentally killing his lover, and spending the entire journey home contemplating his own suicide, and that’s just the plot of the first story. However, it wasn’t just in its rejection of Tolkienesque tropes that Moorcock’s work was innovative, many concepts which are really key to modern gaming were forged by the pen of this criminally overlooked writer. He was the first fantasy author to really explore the concept of order vs chaos, especially in relation to a pantheon of Gods. This would later become a staple of fantasy RPGs like D&D and Warhammer, the latter of which pretty much copied everything, right down to the symbol. The concept of a vorpal blade, a term first penned by Lewis Carrol, was really only solidified by Moorcock in the form of Elric’s sword, Stormbringer. A demon which transformed itself into a sword, Stormbringer is capable of devouring the soul of anyone it cuts. Elric both loves and hates the sword, as it is the source of all his power, yet it frequently causes him to slay friends and lovers. This exact archetype would later appear in pretty much every fantasy universe going, from Nethack, to D&D, to the DC comic book universe. I could go on and write a full essay about why the Elric saga is such an important piece of historical geek culture, but I’d prefer you to discover it for yourself. The legacy of Moorcock’s work is far-reaching, from Hawkwind’s 1985 album, Chronicle of the Black Sword, to Vampire: The Masquerade creators, White Wolf, naming their entire company after one of Elric’s titles. Stick some heavy metal on, pick up The Dreaming City, and soak up the doom-drenched atmosphere. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
  24. Hey all! If we were to implement some Forge Game nights - what would you guys like to play? And on which platforms? Post your answers below!
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