Wednesday, May 24, 2017

7 Days to Die (Xbox One Edition)

Zombie Survival with a touch of Minecraft

Before I even start my review, I just want to say that, as of writing this, I've only put in about 6 and a half hours in the game, so I may have no idea what it is I'm actually taking about.


There isn't one, unless you make one up in your head. The game starts out with your selected characters (there's like 12 to pick from, and as far as I know, it's just cosmetic) waking up at a random spawn point and you're given a brief tutorial (how to craft and make things), then let loose on the world.

Your goal is to just not die, which is easier said than done in this new world.


Graphically, the game is unimpressive, it has the look of a late last gen game. This isn't terrible, but if you're expecting hyper realistic, you'll be disappointed.

He so cuuuuuute :3

While the graphics leave a little to be desired, the world is still quite "beautiful", or as beautiful as a end of the world game can look. Depending on while biome (Minecraft users will be familiar, but for those who aren't, a biome is basically an environment type. You have several, a forest, fields, tundra, wasteland, and a few others) look pretty good and are fleshed out well (if you like flowers, find a field, flowers EVERYWHERE).


Here are a few biomes you can find, there are 8 total so far, and each time you make a new random generated map, you may get all or a few of the biomes.

A few of the biomes, TL - Desert, TR - Wasteland
BL - Forest, BR - Tundra

Music & Voice

The music is somewhat like what you'd get in Fallout, very low, almost non-existent at times. Sounds are pretty basic for the most part, but that's not really a bad thing. This type of game does well with little and low sounds, helps immerse oneself in the game if you aren't been chased around by a bunch of theremin(s?) and orchestras.


If you've played Minecraft, you'll adapt pretty quickly to these controls (and I mean, MC was free the week prior to this writing, so why wouldn't you have played it?). Otherwise, get friendlt with those triggers, you'll be using them a bit, they are used to play, upgrade, attack, and "other" functions (some items have unique uses, like said upgrading).


This isn't your ordinary Minecraft clone, it is VERY in-depth. Ever wonder what your hydration levels were? Or if you were too hot or too cold? Maybe you're curious about what that dirty water may do (protip: dysentery)? Well, this is the game for you, all of that is in this game (and more). You'll need to keep an eye on these stats as well as others if you want to survive.

Stats can be seen in the upper right of the menu

Clothing not only protects you from damage to a degree, but also keeps you insulated. Leather in the desert, yeah, you gonna die. Cloth in the tundra? I always wanted hypothermia (and by that, I mean to be dead). There's a lot of crafting in this game, it's almost more of a craft sim with zombies thrown in for giggles. At times, it's almost ridiculous how much crafting you HAVE to do, and the extents you need to go to find what you need (or maybe I'm just unlucky when it comes to scavenging).

Crafting menu, there are over 100 things to craft

As with Minecraft, you'll find many premade structures around the world (oh, and yeah, they are randomly generated), use these to your advantage. I found a sweet little cabin with a few floors that I'm fortifying and upgrading, I love it!! Military bases, gas stations, grocery stores, and other settlements can be found if you explore, so don't sit in one place.


I haven't touched the MP yet, so I can't really comment on it, but will update this when I do.


Only 4 achievements require another person, that's the good news. The bad news is that you'll need to amass 2,500 kills for that achievement. LUCKILY lfcjohn at TrueAchievements has a pretty good solution for it, so check it out. Otherwise, it's more about surviving and doing what you normally would in a game like this, build, kill, explore. Be prepared to spend upwards of 100 hours on this, which isn't a lot actually, considering the type of game this is.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Stardew Valley

Don't we all just want a relaxing farm?


Stardew Valley (from now on simply referred to as Stardew) starts out with you, the player getting notified that you have inherited your grandfather’s property in Stardew, which happens to be a rundown plot with a ragged home and field full of rocks, weeds, and other junk. After being shown the property, you’re free to do as you wish, with very little story given to you, but it’s there.

You can either help Stardew become a flourishing community, or sell it out to a Cola company that wants to set up a factory. Besides that, the individuals in Stardew have a pit going on as well, and by befriending them, you can learn more about their plights.

Other than this though, you aren't given much direction, which can result in some confusion as to what you're supposed to be doing at all.


Stardew is done in an 8-bit style, so graphically, it’s not impressive, per say, but has a cute, old school factor that has quite the charming feel. Despite having old school graphics, the designs are still well done; water has wave motions, and leaves flow through the wind in the fall, snow during the winter, and cherry blossoms in the spring.

Music & Voice

The music is some of the best done in these farm sim style games, with a relaxing melody that really gives life to the town of Stardew. Music changes from upbeat in the Spring, to almost melancholy in the Winter, making you feel as if the world around you is aware of its own death and rebirth.

There’s no voice acting, so nothing to really note there.


As this is an old school game, there isn’t much to the controls. You move, switch items, and use them. Using the control stick (in default) will have you run, but using the D-pad makes you walk (though this can be changed in the settings).


If you're an achievement hunter, be prepared for hours of grinding. None of the achievements are particularly hard to obtain, but they require time, and lots of it. The achievements revolve around shipping X amount of items, shipping ALL items, making friends, and making money. The friends thing alone will require a bit of time, so if you're not ready to put AT LEAST 100 hours in to this game, either skip it (not advised), or don't worry about the achievements until later, because they will all come through natural progression (though I do suggest keeping track of what you've shipped (the game helps with this, but you should keep track too)).


While you’ll spend most of the time farming or taking care of animals, don’t forget to head to the mines and, if you’re brave enough, venture to the deepest parts of them. You’ll find both valuable ores to craft stronger tools, as well as rare equipment to make dealing with monsters easier, and relics to donate to the local museum/library/day care (kidding, but not really).

There’s plenty of events to attend as well (almost all real life events are mirrored in Stardew (minus their religious significance), so be sure to attend the festivals and contests!!

There’s so much more than I can fit in a quick review, but if you’re a fan of Harvest Moon or Rune Factory, you’ll want to check out Stardew Valley, and if you get the physical copy (same price as digital, as of writing this), you’ll get a copy of the music in the game, so I suggest getting the physical copy if possible.