Zack Snyder stepping back from JL

A family in need of healing.

Zack Snyder is stepping back from Justice League and letting Joss Whedon take the reins for now to allow him time with his children after the suicide of his daughter.

Most details are being kept private for obvious reasons but Zack wanted to let the masses know why he was doing this. He stated that he knew stories would pop up on the internet if he didn’t give an explanation and at this point he doesn’t care anymore what is said because the healing of his other children, his wife, and himself are more important.

This is as good a time as any for anyone reading this to know that if someone you know is struggling, reach out and help them. Sometimes all they need is a shoulder to lean on, a hand to help them up, or an ear to express their troubles to. You could make the difference they need.

I think all of us looking forward to the movie can agree this is much more important than continuing to direct the movie right now for Zack. Instead of bickering about who should be directing it or what should happen let’s keep Zack and his family in our thoughts.

Be safe out there friends.

Not the Loser you thought He was.

“You know how to talk to fish right?”

Anyone who knows anything about comics, especially DC, knows that the laughing stock of the Justice League lineup is Aquaman. The man who can talk to fish right? Well, not quite. With the upcoming JL movie on the way later this year I figured I would give a quick recap of the man and his feats.

Anyone who has seen the trailers for JL has witnessed the scene where Bruce Wayne mentions to Aquaman (Arthur Curry) that he hears he can talk to fish. This has been an ongoing joke both inside and outside of the comics. Can he communicate with fish? Yes, to an extent but he can’t carry on a conversation with a goldfish or a beta anymore than you or I can. His connection to sea life is telepathic, he can know what the fish is thinking and let the fish know what  he is thinking and nudge them to do certain things. He is the king of the sea realm, fish and other life respect that even when other Atlanteans don’t.

So he gets fish to help the League?

Arthur ordering fish’n’chips at his favorite restaurant.

So many people ask what good is he when the League has the likes of Superman and the intelligence of Batman. Well all Atlanteans are stronger, faster, and more resilient than your average human. Because Arthur is half human and half Atlantean he is stronger than even the average Atlantean. This makes Arthur  not only Super-Human but also Super-Atlantean. He has strength than can keep him going toe to toe with Superman, he has on a few occasions when defending his  beliefs or his people. He also does not share the weakness of the Atlantean’s of needing to be in water most of their lives.

As far as weaknesses he has very few, he has no natural weakness to magic or a green rock like some other superhero we all know. His major weakness would be his attachment to Mera, his girlfriend and current ruler of Atlantis by his side. If she is in danger he becomes a bit reckless.

So he has a pitchfork?

He carries with him almost everywhere the Trident of Neptune. Created by Atlan the first king of Atlantis. It is held as a symbol of his royal heritage and title of King of  the Seas. It is also a formidable weapon against any foe, he once used it to pierce the chest of Darkseid himself. Aquaman has also been given a weapon temporarily by Poseidon, one of the Gods from the world of Wonder Woman. This particular Trident gave Arthur the ability to control certain weather, and throw lightning. This weapon also gave Arthur the blessing of unaided flight. Unfortunately this was only for a short time, and Arthur sacrificed the weapon to save not just our world, but another which was invading ours through the means of magic.

Movie vs. Comics

So in all of his comics the normal Aquaman is blonde, and always has been. His hair length has changed, and that is about it. He did have a beard once but it was the same color as his hair. He also is a muscular person but he has never had the build of Jason Momoa, the actor portraying him in the upcoming films of the DCEU. As per usual, the movies are making things how they see fit and we get to deal with it. It is hard for any DC fan or otherwise to complain when the head writer of DC, Geoff Johns is involved in all of the films.

The trident has been seen in the film previews, and they did a really good job making it look accurate to the comics.

Jason with the Trident.

As you can see above the trident isn’t much of a trident when it has 5 points but it has been drawn like that for some time now.

Arthur also has traditionally worn the orange Atlantean royal armor and his signature green pants. We can see an orange bracer and shoulder armor of some kind on Jason, but he shows a considerable amount of skin compared to his comic counterpart.

What to expect

As far as what to expect when it comes to the movie we will all have to wait and see. I am very hopeful that the movie will do well, I enjoyed Batman vs. Superman, and I am looking forward to Wonder Woman as well. Here’s to hoping that the movie will do well, and the characters will be true for the most part to their written companions.

Stay safe out there friends, and game on, read on, and enjoy the movies.

10 Hottest Women in Gaming (2017)

We got tired of wading through pages and pages of advertisements to see other websites’ list of sexy game ladies, so we made our own! Here are the YeahDude picks for the top ten sexiest women in gaming (in no particular order)!

Cereza (Bayonetta)

 

Into dominant librarian types? Long legs, stilettos, and super tall chicks your thing? Have we got the woman for you! Dual wielding pistols wasn’t quite enough for this Umbran Witch, showcasing the first set of stiletto pistols we’ve seen in gaming. This walking fetish even has the ability to use her hair to attack foes. Oh, that clothing? Yeah, that’s her hair. Cereza has less coverage as you use her special attacks and has a thing for posing in overly-sexual manners when slaying opponents, but hey, we’re not complaining!

Chun Li (Street Fighter)

Chun Li (Street Fighter)
Chun Li by Sakimichan

Thunder thighs is an understatement! Chun Li is known for her massive legs and deadly kicks, but who hasn’t dreamed of being crushed by those same powerful legs? Oh, is that just us? Well… this is a bit awkward…

Elisabeth (BioShock Infinite)

Elisabeth (BioShock Infinite)

Is there anything sexier than a strong, independent woman tossing you ammo and money? How about doing such without constantly needing to be saved or standing in the way of every bullet intended for an enemy? Elisabeth is by far one of the best support characters in any game and you’d be hard pressed to find anyone that didn’t ship her with Booker (before *spoilers*)

Tifa Lockheart (FF VII)

Tifa Lockhart (Final Fantasy VII)

Without a doubt, Tifa kicks ass. Ass kicking is a pretty common topic on this list, and why shouldn’t it be? Women that can really hold their own in combat are sexy, and Tifa is one hell of a fighter!

Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)

Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)

Did you really think we could make a list of sexy ladies without including one of the earliest pre-teen gamer’s wet dream? Confident, determined, and a general force to be reckoned with, Lara has earned her place on our list.

Cidney (FF XV)

Cidney (Final Fantasy XV)
Cidney by Sakimichan

With her southern accent, mechanical prowess, and strange wardrobe choices, it’s hard not to love Cidney. She has no problem being flirtatious while also being your key to the open road, and really, who doesn’t love a sexy mechanic?

 

Mercy (Overwatch)

Mercy (Overwatch)
Heroes never die by Sakimichan

We’re probably going to need a resurrection after this one. Trying to narrow our list down from the huge cast of sexy ladies from Overwatch was murder! Being one of the most essential members of the team certainly helps, but we chose Mercy for her medic qualities. Embodying support and tenderness. Mercy is everything you want in your girlfriend: support, understanding, and cooperation while still being a total badass!

 

Samus Aran (Metroid)

Samus (Metroid Series)
Sexy Samus by Sakimichan

More specifically, Zero Suit Samus. There’s plenty of fan art out there of Nintendo ladies, but Samus really holds her own as both sexy and badass!  Image credit to Sakimichan.

Tali’Zorah (Mass Effect)

Tali'zorah (Mass Effect)

Mass Effect has no shortage of deep and diverse characters, but there’s something about Tali’s intelligence and timid nature that makes her our pick from the series. The way she gets nervous around Captain Shepherd is both adorable and lends itself to the reality of the situation. Tali is rather blunt and straight-forward in conversation which can come off as accidentally sexy at times.

 

Velvet (Tales of Berseria)

Velvet (Tales of Berseria)
Velvet Crowe by Sakimichan

Ok, so Tales of has a bit of a soft spot for us, and there’s so many sexy ladies throughout the games (Sheena, Cheria, Pascal, Milla, just to name a few), but we decided to go with Velvet from the most recent Tales of Berseria. She’s a scantally clad, totally badass half-demon, confident and sexy. What more needs to be said?

 

Stay tuned for our list of the Top Ten Sexy Men in Gaming

Ghost Recon Wildlands: A look at the HUGE team shooter.

The open world concept in gaming has become a staple in the industry. There are so many games attempting the open world idea that it is hard to keep count honestly. Well, Ubisoft decided to take Tom Clancy to Bolivia and to the open world environment with Ghost Recon Wildlands. The game is a massive military shooter, focusing on having a group of friends to play with and accomplish taking out the drug cartel currently controlling the small country.

Unfortunately…

Gameplay.

So the game unfortunately only scores a 1.0/2.0. The shooting mechanics are fantastic first of all. There is a flawless transition from looking down the sights to looking over the shoulder with a simple click of the right joystick. You get a plethora of guns to choose from. And when I say plethora what I should say is a metric sh*t-ton! You also get a decent arsenal of secondary weapons such as grenades, mines, and C4.

One of many sniper rifles.

You get a cool drone too. It is great to be able to hover that above an enemy settlement or military base and tag the guys so you know where they are and where they are moving. You can do this same thing with your set of binoculars.

There is an RPG element to the game as well. With each objective completed or skill point found you can upgrade your character in numerous ways. Anything from the amount of ammo you carry, how resilient you and your team are the bullets, how effective your drone is, to even unlocking new weapons and equipment like night vision and thermal vision.

The issue with the gameplay is the utter lack of interaction with the environment and the people. You can shoot the bad guys with a silencer, you can even sneak up behind them, sort of, and knock them out but what happens when someone else sees the body? They become alarmed, that’s what happens. It is incredibly frustrating you cannot interact with corpses to move them, especially considering you can do just that in pretty much any other Ubisoft game like Assassin’s Creed or Splinter Cell.

Audio.

The audio in the game is to be expected, it is a shooter. It gets a 1.5/2.0 overall. The voices are decent, there are no issues with those, but there isn’t much of a story so don’t get to excited for any conveyed emotion in this game. The music I don’t really notice unless I’m in a vehicle and its the local radio station, which means its old style Hispanic music. (sorry that’s the best description I can come up with) So it is twangy guitar and high pitched little dudes singing in some sort of Spanish language. When the music is not playing you listen to slightly repetitive messages from the radio jockey about how great the drug cartel is.

The shining example of the audio is best to be truly experienced with a headset. With a headset you hear the environment around you as you lay in the grass unseen, the road to your far left, the water to your right. You hear the footsteps of the civilians walking near you. And when you pull the trigger of your un-silenced sniper rifle the deafening blast really echoes and sends people running. It is a very satisfying feeling.

Graphics.

Good lighting effects in the jungle area.

Graphics gets a 0.5/1.0. The character creation menu when you start the game looks good. The environment looks great, especially when you are standing on a ridge and looking out over a large area. The guns look good, and they have a decent amount of customization as well. The weather effects, which is pretty much only rain, look good and effectively make it much harder to see. Night time also makes it hard to see obviously, making night vision a valuable ability.

The only issue I have with the graphics would be the very little interaction with the plants around you, other than that the plants look great too. Only the largest of trees stop a vehicle or person, otherwise you drive or walk right through them.

Story.

Well unfortunately this isn’t a game like Gears of War or Uncharted where they have shooting elements but are amazing stories. This game is designed to be a shooter and that is it. So it gets a 0/2.0. There is a little story, the opening sequence explains how an undercover agent within the cartel was discovered and killed. It is your job to dismantle the organization person by person until you get to the main guy, not much more to it than that.

Ghost Recon Wildlands gets a 3.0/7.0 in our G.A.G.S. rating system.

 

The game gets a low score with us, and gets a low score with a lot of other reviews. But let me finish by saying if you enjoy shooters, and you enjoy playing those games with friends then this game is great for you. I know I am getting a lot out of it and I am playing mostly solo. It is worth trying at least, to see what you think.

Stay safe friends, and game on!

Star Ocean

By: M. Spider
My first introduction into the Star Ocean series was Star Ocean Till the End of Time (Star Ocean 3 from here on out) on PlayStation 2. This was at a time where my life was a strange mess, and honestly, video games were the only thing that kept me from taking a very dark turn. Constant battling with depression and anxiety kept me from doing a large number of things I enjoyed, but throughout everything, video games were a constant supply of a delightful combination of enjoyment and escape. Between dealing with the aftermath of my parents’ divorce and a slew of emotional and physical torture during high school, my deep and complete enjoyment of video games is one of the biggest reasons I am here today.
While Star Ocean 3 didn’t help me through these times directly, the game that eventually was my basis for trying Star Ocean 3 – namely, Tales of Symphonia – was. You see, I had seen Star Ocean 3 a few times at my local GameStop and thought “hey, this looks cool,” but it wasn’t until I saw it compared to Tales of Symphonia on the internet that I decided I needed to give it a shot, and what a delight it was! A Sci-fi adventure of epic proportions, with a great real-time battle system, was only amplified with (in my opinion) one of the greatest twists in gaming to date. And before about 50%, if not more, of the people who played Star Ocean 3 go into a rage, I realize that the twist was hated by a large number of fans who felt betrayed and cheated by the company for implying that their efforts in the previous games were trivial and without meaning. I personally enjoy viewing the different worlds portrayed in video games as an alternate universe/reality/whatever flavor you want to put on a world that is not ours. The twist in Star Ocean 3 gave me a greater sense that the trials and tribulations the main characters go though mattered and that, maybe, all these video games characters struggles are more real than they initially appear.
Regardless, the Star Ocean games have certainly left their mark on the gaming landscape, and with Star Ocean Integrity and Faithlessness releasing in the States (in 2 weeks as of this writing) hopefully the future looks bright for a series and universe I would very much like to explore in greater depth in more games!

Horizon Zero Dawn: A Look Into 2017’s Best Game About Dinosaurs – Review

by: Doctor Moth (guest writer) and rahz0mbie

Late February and early March of 2017 is, without a doubt, giving the gaming industry a much needed boost of vitality.

While many readers are surely lost within the wilds of Nintendo’s latest installment of the Legend of Zelda series: Breath of the Wild, or facing off against the mechanical dystopian hoards in the follow up to the cult classic title Square Enix’s Nier, appropriately titled Nier Automata, there is another game that was released at the tail end of February that demands the attention of these two big-name titles and refuses to be left in the shadows.

Guerrilla Game’s Horizon Zero Dawn incorporates both the open-world aspect that has many LoZ fans enthralled while also bringing its own unique flare to a post-apocalyptic world of machines. Horizon sets players into a future where mankind has regressed to a state of tribalism and players slowly start to piece together why mankind, once flourishing with technological advancements that would make any science fiction author proud, has been reduced so dramatically.

You play as a young woman named Aloy, who grows up as an outcast to the Nora tribe, one of the predominant tribes in the game. The Nora tribe shun the ancient world and live in a matriarchal society set in their old ways. After your tribe is attacked, you are named Seeker so you can hunt down those who have wronged the tribe and discover the truths of the ancient world which are forbidden to the rest of your people.

Story

Aloy must prove her worth to those who still view her as an outcast and venture out into a world infested by leftover machines from ancient times fashioned in the likeness of various animals. The game steadily intensifies the level of difficulty for your enemies, starting you out by having you stealthily hunt down Watchers who function as scouts and alarms for other machines. Subsequent enemies are then larger, tougher, and increases in quantity during encounters.

At the start of the game you are armed with nothing but a spear and your bow, but by the end you’ll have a wide arsenal of tools that can help you exploit elemental weaknesses, tie machines down, or tear off their own components for your use. At one of Horizon’s trial grounds, I found myself manically laughing as I tore off a massive disc launcher from an enemy known as a Thunderjaw, turning the tide of battle into a frenzy of slaughter in my favor as I used it to rip all the machines apart. Each weapon has its own set of ammunition that keeps players from being locked down by set stats like other games, and you are able to modify weapons, tailoring them as you want.

(The almighty Thunderjaw.)

 

(The almighty Thunderjaw, bathed in pale moonlight.)

 

A good hunter in Horizon relies on far more than just their weapons though; the game encourages you to use the beautiful landscape to your advantage whenever possible. There is tall grass covering many of your battlefields allowing you to avoid enemy detection, set traps, or make quick stealth kills.

During my exploration, I stumbled upon two Rockbreakers, enemies that can burrow underground and spit lethal jets of rock at you if you are not careful. The area had no grass for me to hide in but I discovered a tall boulder that shielded me from their breath attacks while I took potshots and launched fireballs at the beasts. Exploring the environment fully and collecting the various viewpoints and relics grants you a deeper understanding of Horizon’s world and lore. Many of you, no doubt, will have the game’s impressive map fully completed by the time you finally wind your way back to the story missions.

Overall, Horizon Zero Dawn combines a beautiful story and world setting with combat mechanics that make it feel worthwhile to experiment as the game goes on. Cling to the shadows and make enemies work for you, or go in slingshot blazing all while working your way through breathtaking tundras, mesas, lush jungles, and the ruins of mankind. Just make sure to really take your time with Horizon and fully experience all that the game has to offer. Aloy discovers this world as the players do and will make your $60 investment worth every cent.

Visuals

From toe to tip, everything about the game is graphically beautiful. The scenery is colorful but realistic; the grass moves with every step… sometimes, and the way the leaves on trees blow in the wind is a pleasant escape from the flat, lifeless greenery featured in video games from the last decade.

The humans look like humans with actual human faces, which is something that many games from the last few years have tried very valiantly to accomplish, even using state-of-the-art motion capture technology, but fell short. The only thing that could stand to be improved is the slight lack of facial expressions on many of the characters in any situation. That, I think, is easy to forgive when you remember how fantastic everyone’s hair looks.

(The beautiful, pensive-looking Aloy.)

 

(Aloy, looking concerned at a villager.)

Much of the voice acting is fantastic and believable – during long “cutscenes,” if they can be called that, it’s easy to detach from your own world and become absorbed in the game, as if it were a movie. But during more than a handful of moments across the 30+ hours I’ve put into the game so far, some of the mixing on the voice acting has been a little off; Aloy will maintain a calm meter to her voice, but the person she talks to kinda shouts at her for a bit. Woops.

The combat is solid, and fairly easy to adapt to after being used to playing a variety of different games before Horizon’s release. I hope you like bows, because here are nine different types of arrows, and they are your lifeblood. Have fun!

Horizon Zero Dawn gets a 5.5/7 on our G.A.G.S. rating system. 

Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness – Review

By: M. Spider
Star Ocean Integrity and Faithlessness is the fifth main entry into the Star Ocean series. As the name might clue you in on the games are a combination of sci-fi and fantasy. The series as a whole has a checkered past with the second game being loved by most while the third and fourth main titles are disliked by almost just as many. I’m one of those outliers who has enjoyed every main game released thus far and even more so since I love the twist in Star Ocean 3. That being said what does Star Ocean 5 have in store for long time fans and newcomers?

Gameplay

Star Ocean 5 sticks to the gameplay that can make Star Ocean great with a real time combat system and more item creation than you can shake the stick at. Even personal actions make a return which are little side conversations where you learn more about the party and what makes them tick. So far so good sounds like they hit the nail on the head for Star Ocean fans right… well yes and no. While I am enjoying the game I can’t help but nitpick about a number of issues. Anyone who has played Star Ocean 3 will recognize a large amount of animations and battle skills lovingly borrowed from the title and as much as I love to see ethereal blasts animation giving it to Fidel as his rush attack has certainly taken away a little bit of what made Fayt special in Star Ocean 3. Another issue is the way personal actions were handled they feel very forced and intrusive and I end up annoyed by the sheer number of them every time I go back to the various towns. Which brings me to my next point almost the entire game takes place on a single planet which while not inherently bad, after traveling to different planets in previous games seems like a step backwards. To complicate matters while the environments are diverse the number of locations you visit seems very limited compared to previous games.

Off-topic

I would be remiss not to mention I haven’t finished the game yet and have every intention of doing so, but I haven’t been able to even play my ps4 in eight days because holy shit Pokémon Go. I don’t know what it is about it but I have gotten more exercise in the last week than in the last eight months. I can’t stop playing and thinking about when where and how I’m going to catch my next Pokémon. I know the game is overly simplistic and limited but God damn there is something amazing about walking around and catching all the Pokémon like I was 13 again and playing the original Pokémon Red and Blue again.

Back on track

At any rate Star Ocean 5 is sitting at about a 7 out of 10 for me right now. Despite the flaws I mentioned and a few I didn’t as a long time Star Ocean fan I am enjoying my time with the game more than I have with the few of the recent AAA titles I have played recently. However take that with a grain of salt because I am definitely not a new age gamer and perfectly content to play and enjoy games released 20 plus years ago over a number of titles released in recent years. And Pokémon Go has the potential to be the single greatest thing to happen in my life since my wife and child.

Unplugged: Bringing down the Hammer, 40k style.

By: Dark Wave
Here at YeahDudeGamers it is the Season of SciFi so this time around, Unplugged is bringing you into one of the darkest SciFi worlds of them all: Warhammer 40K. The game is set in the grim darkness of the 41st millennium where the Imperium of Man struggles to survive against countless foes both from outside and within. Warhammer 40K is a table-top war game put out by Games Workshop that utilizes miniature figures representing super-soldiers, various alien species, and the war machines these armies drive into battle. The popularity of Warhammer 40K has caused it to expand far beyond the war table and into the pages of novels, role playing games, and more. Join me as we enter a world so ultra-violent that it brought us the term “grimdark.”
In the far future mankind has come together under the banner of the God-Emperor of Man and conquered countless planets. This success is due, in no small part, to the Imperial Guard, the Inquisition, the Adeptus Mechanicus, and possibly most important of all, the Adeptus Astartes also known as the Space Marines. The Imperial Guard acts as the God-Emperor’s hammer and anvil upon which his enemies are forged and broken. While the Inquisition acts as the God-Emperor’s will and the Adeptus Mechanicus keeps the technology of the empire running the Space Marines are the God-Emperor’s sword, crusading against all who oppose mankind. The Space Marines are the mightiest of mankind’s warriors due to a harsh combination of genetic alteration, psychological conditioning, and rigorous training. These warriors stand as titans on the battle field. Between 7 and 8 feet tall, they are even larger in their signature power armor, a suit that is both the epitome in combat defense and space survival.
It is a good thing mankind is armed to the teeth because their enemies come in no short supply. Among these enemies are The Eldar, a society of powerful psychic aliens who view mankind as un-evolved pests. Next are the Orks, with an almost Mad Max like society they live only to spread and destroy. Third are the Tau, who, with their advanced technology, are determined to bring all races under their rule for the greater good. Then come the Necrons, these monsters inhabit robotic skeleton-like bodies that constantly repair themselves, making them nearly unstoppable. However, one of The Imperium’s greatest foes are the dreaded Tyranids. These monsters are a race of rapidly evolving aliens who care about nothing except consuming every trace of biological material in their path. The Tyranids are literal world-eaters that make natural enemies ban together to survive. As intimidating as these foes are, none are as terrible as the forces of Chaos. The Chaos Gods are Khorne The Blood God, Tzeentch The Changer of Ways, Nurgle The Plague Lord, and Slaanesh The Prince of Pleasure. With their corrupt Chaos Marines they threaten the very existence of mankind and the stability of the universe itself.
Now you may be wondering how all of this translates into a game. For every faction in the world of Warhammer 40k there are miniatures to represent their army and a custom handbook for that faction. Along with these you will need a copy of the core rule book, a set of six sided dice, a tape measure, model paint, model glue, and area-of-effect templates. All of which you can pick up at most hobby shops. Once you have purchased your supplies you can begin putting your miniatures together and painting them according to their faction or in whatever colors you like. Now, I won’t lie to you, Warhammer 40K can be an expensive, time consuming hobby and is not for everyone. However, many who give this game a try become hooked and it quickly becomes their passion.
If you find the amount of work to play the game daunting, or if war games are just not your thing, don’t worry. There are other ways to enjoy the world of Warhammer 40K. There are some great video games for you PC-gamers such as the Dawn of War series. If your table-top gaming inclination is more of the role playing variety, Fantasy Flight Games has put out several table-top RPGs that run on the same system allowing you to mix and match your gaming experience. Dark Heresy allows you to play as a new member of the God-Emperor’s Inquisition while Rogue Trader allows you to take to the far reaches of space as a freelance trader and smuggler. Deathwatch lets you become one of the God-Emperor’s mighty Space Marines while you cleans The Imperium and beyond of alien scum. The newest addition to the Warhammer 40K role-playing experience is Only War, letting you join in the might of the Imperial Guard. The 40K experience does not stop there. You bookworms out there will be delighted to hear that there are many novels on book store shelves set in the grimdark world of Warhammer 40K! Now grab your dice, your favorite bookmark, or load up your computer and go to war!

Unplugged: Welcome to my world

By DarkWave
There are plenty of sandbox games out there that give the player immense levels of creative freedom but sometimes that just isn’t enough. Sometimes with that need to create comes a need to tell a story. If that sounds like you then you might have what it takes to run a table top role playing game. The individual running the game can be called many different things depending on the game you are playing. For the sake of simplicity we will be using the term GM which is short for Game Master.
The first thing to do as a GM is decide what kind of story you want to tell. Do you want to tell a classic story of fantasy where your heroes battle dragons? How about a story about adventuring into the far reaches of space? Or maybe something more modern with a dark government conspiracy to take over the world? These are only a few of the limitless possibilities at your disposal. Once you know what kind of story you want to tell you can choose the table top RPG that best fits that story. A few recommendations are Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder for fantasy games, and any game put out by White Wolf if you are into the supernatural or science fiction games.
Now that you have decided on your story and picked your game you can begin building your world. If you are not comfortable building a world from scratch many games have pre-written adventures you can purchase. These games can be just as fun as one you come up with on your own and many new GMs choose to use them for their first time. If you have chosen to create your own adventure there are many different methods you can use to help you do this.
My personal favorite is the ‘Small town, Big problem’ approach. In this scenario a town or some other relatively small group of people have a problem outside their capabilities to handle so they call in outside aid. This set up is simple but very effective but is best used if you are comfortable with improvisation as it tends to come up more than in other methods. For example you could have a small town hire the party to investigate a strange series of disappearances at the edge of town. Nothing is stopping your players from exploring the town before embarking on their adventure and it is up to you to role play the people in that town and decide the town’s layout. This method is also popular among new GMs due to it being less labor intensive. A lot of hard but rewarding work goes into planning a game so making a smaller adventure with room to improvise can make the process a lot easier.
Some GMs, including some close friends of mine, prefer to take a much more detail-oriented approach building their world from the ground up. Sometimes even starting with the creation of the universe. This ‘God View’ method gives you greater control over your world and allows you to know exactly what effect your players’ actions will have on a grander scale. Of course, the cost of this method is an increased work load. I would only recommend this method to those aspiring GMs who can dedicate the time to planning their game. That said, if you can dedicate the time and energy to that level of planning it can be extremely rewarding for both you and the players who get to experience the world you built.
The methods I have mentioned are only two extremes on the spectrum. There are countless methods in between and every GM develops their own style as they go. Another important aspect of your GMing style is how you tell your story and how much freedom you give your players. Some GMs create elaborate dungeons and send their players on a decided path, while others build massive cities and leave their players to explore at will. Whatever you decide to do it’s important to maintain control while still allowing your players the freedom to play their characters as they like. After all, no one wants to play a game that isn’t fun.
Now, we have talked about building your world and telling your story, but what is a world without its inhabitants? The characters you will fill your world with are called Non-Player Characters or NPCs. NPCs come in all shapes and sizes, from the goblins you kill in a fantasy game to the shady business man in a modern one. How much detail you give them ahead of time is largely based on your method of planning, but it is usually a good idea to figure out who will be important and flesh them out more than others. When confronted with a situation you have not planned for, such as players talking to an NPC you didn’t flesh out, it can be helpful to have lists of names and random personality traits at your disposal. Suddenly the nameless shop owner becomes Tim the disgruntled halfling. Keeping simple tools like this at your disposal can make working on the fly a lot less stressful.
At this point I can only hope I piqued your interest in starting your own table top adventure. If you want to learn more I recommend the D&D Dungeon Master’s Guide. It contains great story telling tips that are useful for any game. If you want to see great GMing in action, I recommend online shows such as Titan’s Grave and Critical Role. You can also contact me, DarkWave, through YeahDudeGamers.com if you want to hear more on the topic. Now grab those dice and roll on!

Halo 5: Guardians Review

I waited an abnormal amount of time to play this game first of all. My previous Xbone had broke and I was graciously gifted one for Xmas by my friends and wonderful wife. When I finally was able to play this game about 2 months after release date I was ecstatic.

I had done my best to stay away from spoilers and reviews online, only saw the occasional sentence or two of hatred for the game and I was admittedly nervous about it for a while. It looks fantastic, I love the way the guns look, the way the characters move and interact with the environment, the way the enemies move, basically everything about the mechanics of the game look great. The battlefields look amazing as well,  the size of them, the details, the interaction. I enjoyed the more open world concept of the linear game style, there are now more paths to get to the same goal, more ways to flank the enemy and really strategize your attack.

I enjoyed the addition of having a fire team, the idea of giving them orders was fairly well done. It was simple with only having one button to give them multiple commands, the issue with that was sometimes the movement of battle makes you give your characters the wrong commands. Allowing you to choose weapons they can pick up was a great addition. The issue with this was the fact that although many times I have had them pick up a weapon, that does not mean they are going to use it. And what gives when it comes to plasma swords? The first time I encountered one on the ground that I did not pick up myself I figured it would be awesome to have Master Chief and Spartan Fred slicing and dicing side by side together through countless covies’ but instead I got a nonchalant response from Fred. “I’ll leave that one for you Chief.” Ok so they didn’t want to animate the fire teams using swords, another thing they didn’t want to do along with split screen, but that is a different rant. The first time I encountered multiple vehicles for the spartans was in the first mission for Blue Team. I placed my crosshairs over a Banshee and pushed ‘up’ and a Spartan headed my command and entered a ship, I was pleased. I repeated the command and in my head expected the first Spartan who followed the command to jump out of the Banshee they were in and grab the new one, instead a different Spartan followed suit and piloted away. Honestly I was stunned and happy at the same time because it was great how well the command system was integrated into the gameplay.

The changes to weapons I both enjoyed and was disappointed with. Let’s get right down to the first issue, no Halo game has brought back the Magnum like it was in Halo: CE. This needs to happen 343, we are all waiting.

Ok so the boltshot, I did not like this gun in Halo 4, this is not a Halo 4 review so I will not go into detail but to put it quickly, it was a poor gun and whenever I had no other gun to pick up I would rather melee enemies to death before using it to shoot. They greatly improved upon this gun, the seeking bullets are awesome. I was slightly bummed they got rid of the charge shot but when I thought about it, I am partial to shotguns and the only reason I liked that aspect was because of the similarities. The changes to the binary rifle, I was not to keen on. I enjoyed the one powerful shot from H4 and now it has this effect where it needs to linger on the target in H5 in order for it to cause as much damage as you would like it to. I do like the changes to the Incineration cannon, the charge shot makes it much easier to locate and fire at a target. This actually caused me problems when I went to play H4 again, I thought I was going to charge it and blew my own face to pieces.

The battle rifle was once a great gun. In Halo 3 it had it’s uses but could have used more power, in Halo 4 they brought that power to the gun and it was great. In H5 they didn’t exactly weaken the gun but the 3 round burst is so short now it seems more like one bullet and I am not a fan of the way it zooms in now. In contrast the DMR was excellent in H4 and equally useful and deadly in H5. I enjoy the new rocket launcher, much faster to reload, tracking system when zoomed in, just more useful all around. The hydra launcher is great too, basically a gattling mini rocket launcher, how can that not be cool? The rail gun has the capability of firing much faster in succession, which is just the bee’s knees.

When it comes to the covenant weapons I did not find myself using them much unless nothing else was lying around. The storm rifle I did not like from H4 and it only got worse in H5, bring back the plasma rifle. The plasma pistol gets less and less useful each game so honestly I never found myself using that gun at all. The main covenant gun I found myself using was the fuel rod cannon, and that was only when I needed the firepower to take out a vehicle of some kind.

I could go on and on about the guns, the enemies, the mechanics, but I think now it is time to focus on the story. I enjoyed every minute of it and I do not quite understand why so many people don’t. We all knew, if you listened carefully, that Cortana was not dead at the end of H4, just merely the part of her that saved Chief so he could return to Earth. It is a bit cliche that they are going with the whole AI takes on humanity in a war genre, but with the way that ties into the Forerunner technology and the mantle of life, I am ok with it. I was a little bummed there was not more Chief playtime but it also reminded me of H2, where I personally loved playing as the Arbiter. Also I might add that when he came on screen for the first time I squeed like a little girl in a Build a Bear Workshop for the first time. I liked Spartan Locke’s addition to the Halo universe, I like his character, he isn’t necessarily dumb enough to just blindly follow orders like I assumed he would be before I played the game, he has a good sense of what is right and what is wrong. With the way the game ended I am really excited for info about Halo 6 to come out. It just an action packed ending, and I cannot wait for the Chief and Locke to team up and kick some serious Forerunner ass and teach Cortana she probably should have shut down at the end of H4. I like where 343 is taking the franchise, so until 2020 when they will hopefully make a 10 year anniversary edition of Halo: Reach following their current tradition, I eagerly await Halo 6.