Archive for the ‘RPG’ Category

If you look at the most successful people in the world today they would mostly be businessmen of every sort. It has always been that way ever since merchants and traders started buying and selling goods in ancient history.

Skip to the modern era and you will find that many countries are run on a system, this system that increases wealth is called capitalism,basically it’s the same system that gets gaming companies to sell lots and lots of games. Sometimes these games are either great ones that are worth bang for your buck and sometimes its the bad kind that make you think why the hell did they made this crap?!

Thorughout the years, I myself have experienced the good, bad and ugly in games. Every year was either a good or bad one, and ever since most gaming companies did it for the money, it was not good news for us gamers who wanted our dreams to be held in more capable hands.

The good news is that indie games made it into existence and former game developers from big companies are shifting their jobs to make better games. It’s better to be your own boss than to slave from some corporate sleazeball.

Not to say that every company is generally greedy or corrupt, but they gotta survive too, such is also the tale of a particular item shop called Recettear.

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I accidentally stumbled on this game with Steam, it’s preview images made me nostalgic of older games on the PSP, Nintendo DS, I had to find it since I was also a sucker for anime games.

Recettear was unique in its gameplay in that it gives you the role of an item shop seller, quite different from the role of a loot-collecting adventurer, but your initial impression of a shop merchant won’t be a disappointment.

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Recettear follows the story of Recette, she’s a typical good and cute girl whose ditziness you will sure to love, Wondering why a girl her age is running an item shop then? That’s when the story starts…recettear 2014-07-09 10-14-24-66

One morning a fairy named Tear wakes her up to tell her that her father (an wanna-be adventurer) has mysteriously gone missing and that he has acquired a massive amount of debt and that if no payment is given then the house will be given over to the authorities.

Recette could not handle the shock and does not know what to do… Tear has a suggestion however and helps Recette to pay off the debt by turning part of the house into a business, and in a town of adventurers the most profitable venture is…an item shop.

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The game runs just as a visual novel/simulation/rpg game. From the very start I got hooked with it. The colorful anime art and music will satisfy that craving for anime-themed games. The characters themselves are full of personality and the japanese voice-overs are sure to delight your cuteness needs.

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As much as the game is liken to a slice of life in a medieval fantasy realm, the chunk of the game is based on running the item shop or Recettear (I bet you can guess the name now). If you have run games that involve shopping,trading,mercantile systems then this game will latch on you like a leech. You will learn how to haggle, barter, and deal with each customer you get.

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If this seems overwhelming then don’t worry Tear will guide you via tutorial so read and understand. You might not be certain on how to start the running the shop at first but once you get used to item prices on the market and selling your stuff to your customers, then you will get the pattern once you buy better items later. The main tip is to BUY LOW and SELL HIGH.

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At the end of each day (4 timeframes) Tear will assess your work. Don’t get too comfortable selling though, remember you have debt to pay at the end of each week. It’s handy to keep spare notes around for item prices. (I did not consult any wiki on this).

Sometimes, you might find yourself lacking on items or money to buy them. This calls for some dungeon crawling, head on to the adventurers guild and get someone to hunt items on you, you start out with Louie a poor swordsman who survives on a daily basis. He has skills though and sometimes buys form your store. There are alot of adventureres you will meet though, from a know-it-all mage, to an aloof woman with no sense of direction you meet at a dungeon. All sorts await at Recettear.

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At almost every 5 stages or so, are the boss stages, most are nostalgic of earlier rpg games and it’s up to you to find their weaknesses. Mostly their behaviors are patterned on a certain attack basis so pack up some food to defeat them.

Overall Recettear gets a 9/10. 9 being the game is “ubber fantastic”, and while the game does present some difficulty, it still is addicting as ever.

What does happen if you don’t pay the debt? well… that’s for you to find out. Hopefully you won’t allow that to happen to Recette, right?

And now for gaming morals. I actually learned alot from the game especially on entrepreneurship. I am experiencing it first hand working for a cosplay shop named Sugarfluff, and this game is a reference point to help improve the shop too. I will write about that later but for now here is what I have learned from Recettear.

-Buy Low,Sell High, but not to the point that greed takes over your main objective.

-Debt can be bad, but if you pay it as consistenly as you can then it helps you to get back up when life pushes you down.

-Sometimes life will force you to do things that you are not prepared to do, don’t be afraid to ask help from others.

-Running a business is hard, but when you do it and imagine it as a game you need to win or reach the high score, then you are bound to succeed.

-Start small, you don’t need millions of money to make a business, the most successful and richest ones in the world started from a simple idea or they rode the ones that were trending.

-Business is war, prepare thyself for if you are not competing with others, then you compete with yourself.

-If ever you are thinking of making a video game, why not make one based on road’s less travelled? Recettear took a route that was diffferent from all those other games with big sword wielding heroes or scantily clad healer stereotypes.

-Take care of your friends and they will take care of you.

-Life can actually be a good RPG, but it still depends on how you play it.

-Indie games are video game promises fulfilled.

I am having fun blogging again everyone, till the next post 🙂

 

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Buenas Dias fellow Zamboanguenos, this post was delayed for yesterday due to the blackout.

Looking back at the PSP, I am happy to have played so many games on it. The RPG’s where my favorites. But among them came a game that I really loved to play and that is Valkyria Chronicles 2.

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This is the second game in the series that was exclusively for the PSP, the first game is exclusively on the PS3, that leads to a WTF moment. I had to do some research and watch the anime. It tells of a story of two warring factions, the Republic and Empire, (sounds familiar) caught in between is a small country of Galia. Let me summarize it for you.

Galia is a small independent country which is fiercely defended by it’s militia. It is vital to both the Empire and the Republic due to its high mineral resources used for the war. There is also a back-story regarding ancient Asgardians with mystical powers and a crisis with discriminating Darcsens

 

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As you watch the anime and play Valkyria Chronicles it becomes clear that many of the features in that game are carried over to this portable version which improves upon the gameplay.

Fast forward to VC2 timeline, There are still remnants to the war as a new faction rises to throw the government. The Gallian Revolutionary Army which takes advantage of the weakened Gallian Army.

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So it’s up to the militia to get to work once again. But this time they come from an elite military academy which can size up to Hogwarts.

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Speaking of the game movies they are uniquely done just like an anime should be, the watercolor paint style really does blend in and makes it look retro and child-like which is a good thing. They even add up some World War I and II cinematography which faded out yellow and sepia imagery.

In the story you take on the role of Avan Hardins, the typical dorky, oblivious and easily-impressed protagonist that enrolls in Lanseal after an attack on his village. Wanting to follow his older brother Leon’s footsteps and investigating his disappearance.

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Avan meets two more of his future comrades Cosette and Zeri. They are fated to go to class G together (reminds me of my college days) and they meet with the rest of their fellow classmates.

Life in Lanseal is a mix of the usual college-life infused with the strict military codes. Love-swooned couples, playful antics and friendships develop as you play the game. In class the students learn subjects ranging to Politics,History,Literature, Military Tactics and Stratagems (boy would I love to enroll here!)

In the training fields students are tasked to capture,hold, and do mock-battles that will serve them on the battlefield. This is where your first taste of combat training comes. Combat is turn based and relies on a stamina bar for movement limit.

There are 5 different classes that each specialize in dealing with the enemy. Avan from the beginning is by default a scout but he can change classes if you want. I kept him as a scout since most of his stats do best this way.

Scouts: Fast but lightly armored, can do long range movement and attacks with the rifles. Equipped with grenades for enemy clusters. Use them to gather recon or flanking.

Shocktroopers: Medium in movement and armor, can finish off enemy squads with machine guns, equipped with grenades perfect for enemies in cover. use them for assaults, defensive and flanking tactics.

Lancers: Anti-tank infantry, medium range of movement, heavily armored against explosives. Uses rockets/lances to deal enemy damage. Deploy only with enemy vehicles present as a tip. Does well against heavily armored units too.

Engineers: The medics/mechanics, lightly armored and good range of movement. Uses pistols for short range combat. equipped with medpacks for allied infantry and wrenches for allied vehicles. Best used for support purposes and close ranged combat with light armored units.

Armor Tech:The melee-class excels in close quarters combat. Low movement range but heavily armored. Equipped with hammer, shield and grenades. Use well against entrenched enemies or defending escort targets.Best used as a vanguard or sentinels with base and flanking maneuvers by the enemy.

These classes can specialize into 2 sub-classes as they level up later on.

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There is also a Tank and it sure is handy for taking out lots of enemies at early levels. You are also responsible for your squads loadout so start investing cash and experience points for better and bigger guns built by blueprints.

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The achievements made are better than medals themselves. You can name your squadron from the default Class G and make them something that suits your tastes. And taking about Class G, you guys are a class of underdogs that will have to rise up in the rank as starting out means you start with the worst missions and the worst gear.

Each member of class G has their own story lines and sub-quests which can improve their combat stats as Avan helps them, so get them out on the front lines as much as possible. You would also want to complete the many challenges,missions before ending the campaign.

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Class G really feels like family, The lack of a romance plot in this game is a let-down to most fans of the franchise and many are building fan-made Avan-ships.

As I finish the game the campaign tones down to focus more on the fighting, with every quest done and every gear upgraded to the max, the ending was really graduation time. I would like a sequel of this game to find out what happened after they go their separate ways.

Graphics: The water-color and anime style art will get many fans excited to start cosplaying as their favorites. It makes use of the powerful processor unit of the PSP to deliver a rich content that rivals the PS3 which featured the first game.

Sound: The melodic tunes of military fanfare, romantic, and comedy blend well in the game. Voice-overs are solid but I would have liked it if every dialogue was voiced. the sound effects could be better but that’s just possibly too much for the PSP to handle.

Gameplay: Much of the gameplay from VC was carried over to VC2 with added features such as more customization, class specialization, sub-quests and achievements. The plot branches into other sub-stories with connections but the main plot has really been to vanquish the Galian Revolutionaries, and while the Valkyria comes into play it only plays as an overpowered opponent on the field and nothing more.

Overall: VC2 gets a 8/10, if you have a PSP till now then get it. You will not be dissapointed. The game takes a long time to accomplish. Multiplayer is great but beginners might be overpowered easily by the more skilled players with higher tier gear. Again we apologize this segment to be delayed. The blackouts hindered the progress of publication.

Lessons: Treat your friends as loyal as you can, helping them solve their problems goes a long way. And that allows them to treat you better.

Studying hard can really put you on a better future. We are fortunate to be spared from the recent crisis of armed conflict.

Salute our brave men and women fighting out there on the fields of battle. They ensure your freedom.

Guys it’s finally thursday and that means we will be doing a game review from ages long past. Our first game to be featured in TT is *drumroll… FableImage

Ah this game takes me back to 2005, Zamboangamer first encountered this game on my friend’s Xbox, (thanks Karl John Montina) I had to wait for the PC release due to extended content and it turned out great.

Fable is an Action-RPG, you take the role of a Hero, whose bloodline revolves around being guardians of a faraway land called Albion (this was the ancient name of the U.K). The game was so fun from the start that I installed the game again and reliving the joys of simpler times.

Unlike most RPG’s that start you off as a young adult, Fable starts you off as a child, I had delights of exploring the hometown of Oakvale. Which is a quiet village near the sea, Your first quest is to gather some gold for your sisters birthday present and it doesn’t involve killing mobs but doing either good,evil or a mix of deeds.

Your about to give your birthday present to your older sister Theresa and enjoy the day celebrating her birthday with your family and have peaceful days aheadImage

Bandits attacked Oakvale and killed everyone including your dad. Your mother and sister have been taken away and you are left alone, only to be teleported by a mage named Maze (so original XD)

You are then admitted to The Guild of Heroes a powerful school that has made heroes out of so many. Your life then begins with training and study, until the day when you can exact vengeance on your enemies.

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There are three combat disciplines to master. Strength,Dexterity and Will, which is subdivided into more sub components covering speed, toughness, spells etc. Once mastered however no challenge is big enough anymore.

The game is very easy because Zambogamer039 was taught early on by KJM tips to easily strengthen your hero.  That includes a certain weapon and a merchant, search the game guides to find out more. Facing the final boss is disappointingly easy due to your maxed out stats if you decide to invest experience before the final fight.

The only difficulties encountered is gathering enough XP on the Will Tree since it involves so many spells, fighting enemies that surround you ,which is most of the time and upholding your boasts (example no damage obtained in missions).

The main missions are linear at best, kill a number of enemies, or hold out in defense. My favorite is Witchwood Arena Questline since a lot of XP will be gain from it.

The minigames like fishing, cards, coin pong, and fist fights are fun to play and they are sometimes essential to get more gold and recognition.

The Day and Night and A.I cycle is far ahead than that of Oblivion or Skyrim’s Radiant A.I, Shops and houses are open by day, workers are unloading goods and merchants displaying items and people going about. By night guards patrol for sneaky thieves, that includes you too.

Morality in this game affects not only those around you but your hero as well. The more goody-goody two shoes you are the more older you get…plus a holy Aura shows while your standing and butterflies swirl around you, the darker and sinister you get the more your horns grow and a rotting aura fills the air as you momentarily pause.

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In retrospect get this game, the graphics were cool at that time and it still awes alot of people today, the sound music and effects are so memorable, I can even play Oakvale’s theme on piano, though not as mastered its still nice to hum to it. The gameplay is for you to really experience and it’s a long one fro the completionists. And whether you love or hate Molyneux this game set the tone for many unique rpg’s out there. This game is a 8/10.

Lessons:

Every one of us is a hero. As I am writing this I give tribute to the many soldiers fighting in the filed, those who have died to defend our liberties and rights. To the volunteers for their dutiful services in the midst of the dangers and our city’s current crisis. To the donors for your generosity to the less fortunate evacuees who number in the thousands I salute you guys.

You don’t have to do big deeds or embark on epic quests to be known as a hero, even the tiniest act of kindness sends a ripple to many, it may not be much to you but to those you have helped it will certainly be great.

We are all made in the image of God, thus we all have the seeds of greatness within us, we only need to start growing it.

Mining Away 2 – A Minecraft Journey

Posted: September 15, 2013 in RPG

The previous entry was a review of the game Minecraft. Now we here at Zambogamer will continue the journey. Starting off from the last scenario…

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A creeper, outside my fort along with a skeleton archer that’s hitting me with arrows. This creeper in particular comes near you and explodes, you will hear him getting ready to blow by the fusing sound he makes. I had to do something to last the night.

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I started making a dungeon which will have murder holes in place. If you are wondering what those are, then its a medieval trap designed by castles to well murder the invaders. You will get a better look later. As Steve is digging and placing some cobblestone for added protection (dirt is softer) I had another encounter…

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A skeleton archer, this might be the one shooting arrows at me earlier, he just dropped in, really shocked me. Luckily  I was able to instinctively place a cobblestone to block his advance. I switch immediately switch to my stone sword,

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The skeleton dies easily after 2 hits. He left some bones and arrows, I love the arrows, but don’t know what to do with the bones yet, I still save them though.Image

I retreated back to the keep to see the sun rising ala Lord of the Rings style. It was day 3 of my survival now. I decided to get more resources such as wood and stone and food to heal the hearts (life). In the day all the undead burn in the sunlight with the exception of the exploding creepers.

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Seems like hamburger is on the menu hahaha, The sheep on the right gave me an idea to make a bed so I can skip the dangers at night. I don’t have shears yet so my sword will have to do the shaving.

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He might be colder, but I will sleep warmer at night. hehehe

I still have to look for food. There were pigs yesterday near the vicinity if you read the last blog post. But they have disappeared. hmmm… wait found one and got some raw porkchops (image not shown due to cubic violence XD) 

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This is a typical murderhole, I had some difficulty planning it in the mind, but basically the creepers will step on it, thinking they can scale the walls, and that is when I start hacking of their legs. You can try it also, its simple to build, just make sure you are well protected with cobblestone.

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I went to look for more seeds to plant and harvest some bread later. Steve plans to build his farm underground… is that even possible without sunlight? In minecraft yes it can, But for now I must retreat to the safety of the fort.

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In the furnace I started making windows from sand and charcoal and my dinner which is fried pork chops, you could eat it raw but it doesn’t heal as much or is as tastier when fried.

On the second image I made two doors for two corridors in the fort. having a door makes me feel safe. And finally a bed, from wool and wooden planks, beds will help you skip the night better if you want to avoid confronting zombies, just make sure you are well protected.

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It’s time to sleep, I hope I won’t wake up with a zombie staring down at me, the door is locked, and the windows get me a good view. Better hide my sword under the pillow.

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The next day I was ambushed by a creeper, exploded in my back, good thing Steve did not die, I better make some repairs. What I told you about cobblestone durability is true, most blown off are dirt.

I spent the rest of the day mining for more cobblestone back in the old cave which was featured in the last entry. I wanted to build the tower this day to at least give me a height advantage.

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In the tower area, I crafted a chest, which I put all the misc or other items to use for later. If you combine two areas in one spot you can store more items.

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All this time I had no roof in the fort house, so instead of adding more stone, I just placed wooden planks. I don’t want to get wet when it rains.

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I built my tower up to the second floor when night came, it gave me a heightened view but everything was so dark…I might have to lay out torches on the field tomorrow for better vision. I spent some minutes patrolling the wall and sometimes checking with the murder hole trap below but nothing…hmm I wonder what they are planning…I’m getting impatient, so Steve decided to go to sleep because of the tiring day.

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Good night everyone, keep safe out there. For all those in Zamboanga City, Pray and know that the crisis will end soon. As for Zambogamer we are still making more reviews.

 

Today is my second review and its on Minecraft

This addictive game from Mojang got so many hits from around the world that millions have made creations of astonishment, from castles to the seven wonders of the ancient world, to cute stuff like Nyan-Cat and Steve himself (the main character). Fan made tutorials abound the youtube channels gathering millions of views. It’s inspiring to see a game that puts your creativity to good use.

For us at Zamboangamer we did not create such feats…yet. We will however go from humble beginnings to give you our adventure. We will start off with a simple world named Minecraftia (put ‘tia’ in any word and you have a world).

Before we get to our story, let me tell lay a bit on those who don’t know the game yet. Minecraft is a game of building, hunting, exploring and most importantly mining and crafting (as the name suggests). There are two separate modes of play; Survival and Creative.

Creative mode is for those who want to build stuff with unlimited supply, if you see pictures of awe inspiring wonders on the internet, most of them are created with this mode.  You might spend countless hours with it so plan your creations first and get lots of screenshots.

Survival mode (my fav) is the mode which gets the blood going, this mode lets you rush to gather materials on the first day, for when night comes expect…danger. Its an experience that many players enjoy and because of the dangers, you will mostly be making defenses, traps,armor and weapons.

We shall review the game as we get with the story. Let’s start!

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Minecraft is a game that I followed ever since I saw the first videos on youtube. I never expected to play this game in 8-bit. I am happy because it takes you back to those Family Computer (SNES) days…90’s kids can relate. Some expect the graphics to be ugly, but Zamboangamer loves games too much to bring them down.

We start off in a desert area, It’s not what I expected since most RANDOM points start you off near the coastlines. You play as Steve, a silent protagonist who is a talented Robinson Crusoe like man. The main objective of survival mode is to get to a place called “The End” and defeat the Ender Dragon. Though the objective is simply linear, to get to the end of survival mode is a long journey. Finishing the game takes a lot of mining, and you will spend of the time in the darkness of chipping away stone blocks.

Lets not get ahead of the backstory, back to the present, I decide to go seek for shelter right away as I don’t want to spend the night wandering when there are creepers (enemies) abound.

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It wasn’t long till I found a patch of green, since I had time I decided to instantly collect wood. It is the first resource that gets you from point a to b, from wood we can get started on making a crafting table (super important) and tools. I decided to make a pickaxe and skip all the other tools as I want to upgrade to stone right away. I have some prior knowledge since this is not my first playthrough.

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I also decided to find a cave and start chipping away, this serves for two important purposes. First, stone (cobblestone when mined) is a good material for building defenses such as castles or forts. Second, a small secure cave is better than a wooden house out in the open area. I’m lucky I found a random generated cave early on (Note that your journey will likely be different from mine).

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I instantly made a stone pickaxe that will replace the wooden one made with the crafting table. Upgraded materials like stone or Iron perform better than wood. I also put cobblestones to shut myself from the world so I can concentrate on getting more stone.

The sounds minecraft make are fitting with the environments, Im in the cave with winds howling. I hear sheep,pigs and ducks making sounds outside. The small music tracks while mining away make me feel safe and secure, even with the thoughts of scary spiders or creepers lurking around every corner.

The cave feels dark though, so I decided to make torches and put them on the corners, I do this while feeling like a caveman, perhaps most players feel this way starting out. Upon mining more cobblestone I made more tools out from it, an axe,sword,hoe (farming), a boat and shovel and furnace, Steve spent 3 pickaxes to mine for some stone which will be made into a fort and tower later.

The crafting table is the most important tool in the entire game. From it you can make a large number of items, its handy to have an extra mobile one for long trips.

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Minecraft’s gameplay in survival mode takes hours but its seldom boring. Your adventures can take you to places sometimes funny, sometimes scary but thats always a good thing as the world is huge and covers lots of climates from snow covered tundras to warm sunny jungle islands. The place I am now is a quaint forest grassland which is advantageous for its animals, rivers, and mines near the mountainsides.

My first funny adventures involves looking for coal, before making the torches I needed to find more coal, so I ventured out and tried to look for it. I searched for any source in the nearby caves and it did not take me long to find a vein of it just near from where my cave was.

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Above the cave ceiling was a small vein of coal and started chipping away, confident that I would finally have the resources to light my cave (I showed you how to make torches in the previous images and that is after I found this). Image

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When I made some torches I placed them and started more mining only to find that there was coal in my cave all along. I giggled at my own serendipity after that and thought I should have done this in the first place.

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More mining took place last night, it was good that Steve did not need bedrest (to be talked about later). I did not care for the world outside since it was probably swarming with creepers and evil things now (poor animals). Day one of my survival had ended. but it has only begun. When I saw first light of the rising sun I stepped out and this is what I would share to you guys.Image

Clear skies, reminding me that in times of darkness like what our city situation is, there will always be hope and a sunny day (corny as that might seem its true).

On my second day of survival, Steve will be looking for a good place to build a fort, from caveman to a medieval lord is a great leap. I decided to look for a vantage point in the mountain or hillside to get a good view of the surrounding area. It is a good tip for starting players. We found one just above our cave and its a perfect spot for defending against the dark hordes at night.

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In building the fort I consumed a lot of cobblestone 300+ i think or less. The tower is still under construction and I hope to add 3 or more floors for it. looking from a crevice near the location it would mean instant death for me…or the creepers, just need to set a good trap for them.I also put up a dirt marker with torches in case I get lost in the wilderness. It helps to make your markers from dirt, or stone if better and place torches and signs(later).

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This guy even welcomed me in the new location. Hello Piggy :3 I will hunt you down later XDImage

The beautiful sunset only reminds me to rush the fort’s semi-construction. I need to start barricading myself in. And so Steve did enclosing the fort. With darkness soon coming in I found myself patrolling the walls and getting hit by some arrows. As I retreated to a secure place in the fort and looking for the hidden archer… I found myself encountering for the first time…this creature…

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…Will Steve and I survive this night? Stay tuned. For now lets wrap this review up

Graphics:

Minecraft’s graphics are reminiscent of 8-bit games before and now. Frame rates are good for video capturing programs like Fraps (I’ve already captured footage and will be posting at a later time,stay tuned).

Sound:

I expected blocky 8-bit video game sounds on this one, but turns out it wasn’t the case, I still love the short music tracks that play and the ambiance they give off. They set the mood when playing the game.

Gameplay:

A huge chunk that will provide you hours of fun and replay. When I first played Minecraft, I spent days reading item guides and tips, watching tutorials and experimenting  them on my games. Controls are simple to use, Camera can be adjusted in sensitivity. There is no in-game tutorial though so kudos to fan-made tutorials on Youtube.

Creative mode is fun as you spend hours building on projects, You can fly can take screenshots as soon as you got what you are looking for. Planning on your creations helps make you dream come true.

As I write this review there is an inclusion of Adventure and Hardcore mode. Adventure mode allows you to play player generated maps with the exception of destroying certain blocks. Haven’t played one yet though since I am content with Survival Mode for now. Hardcore mode is basically Survival Mode on Hard.

The multiplayer mode is a nice addition as it allows player-driven communities to help each other out. Some servers may be too laggy here from my experience. I welcome any server suggestions for better game play. Let’s help each other out.

Overall:

Minecraft is a 10/10 for its simply addictive experience, the file size is small enough for a regular hard disk compared with other games that need large amounts of disk space and have short content. Minecraft is updated actively as more patches continue to improve the gameplay and performance of the game. Whether you are a newbie to it or an experience veteran, then you are sure to come back to Minecraft for more.

Credits to Minecraft Wikia for educating players on the world of minecraft, you are an indispensable guide.

Note: Will continue the Adventures, more updates soon