Salad Saturday Screenshot [23]

I feel kind of bad to re-visit it, but it’s the game I have by far the most screenshots of – and there’s so many I want to share! This week it’s a Mount & Blade screenshot again – sorry!

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I’d say that you should probably listen to this while looking at this screenshot to fully appreciate it. I think I was playing Scotland the Brave at the time, right in full view of the enemy’s guns and I didn’t give a damn. I didn’t die once – I don’t know if they were showing me mercy and not shooting at me or I just had some Scottish luck.

Its a perfect example of why I love Mount & Blade. I didn’t kill anyone on that round and it didn’t matter, I had all the fun I could ever want being a bagpiper inspiring my comrades on.

I really like this screenshot, I find it kinda inspirational – without wanting to overdo it! Here’s to standing up brave and strong for whatever you believe in.

Digital Salad – lifeasadigitalsalad.wordpress.com

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Salad Saturday Screenshot [20]

Not much of a special milestone, but this week is my 20th weekly Saturday Screenshot. It’s my favourite thing to write and I always look forward to sharing one of my many screenshots – I just hope they’re just as fun to read about!

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I’m actually going back to Mount & Blade for this 20th screenshot. I’m sorry I revisit it so much, but I’ve spent so many hours on it, I’m sure you can believe that I have quite a few screenshots of it that I’d like to share!

This screenshot is from the popular and vibrant mod Full Invasion 2. It’s probably the best part of Mount & Blade – the developers have embraced the modding community warmly and given them the tools to go crazy. The community of modders this created is second only to the likes of Skyrim; and Full Invasion 2 is the best of the bunch.

This is a screenshot of one of the mod’s most popular servers – one that runs purely Lord Of The Rings maps. Now, there are some players who play these for hours and hours every day. If they enjoy it that much that’s awesome, but I’m admittedly not that dedicated. However, I sure do enjoy every couple of weeks or so jumping in the Battle for Minas Tirith, which you can see above.

At this point I was a horseman of Rohan and I’d been dismounted in a charge against a big bunch of orcs. I was lucky that the infantry was already carving in to this group, so I had chance to survive. We took most of them down no trouble – the little grunt orcs are notably weak but large in number, true to the world of Middle Earth.

One armoured troll was much tougher than your average orc. I was battered by this point, my shield half gone and my health starting to take knocks. It was me and two infantry backing me up taking this brute on, which can sometimes take a lot of killing. This screenshot reminds me of that epic fight for survival, which we thankfully won. This screenshot reminds me of the best that Mount & Blade can be.

Digital Salad – lifeasadigitalsalad.wordpress.com

Mount & Blade Challenge

You may have noticed I’m a bit of a Mount & Blade fan. In fact, I’m such a fan that the different versions I have on Steam clock in at nearly 30 days solid of game time – and that’s not including the original which I used to play offline before Warband came out!

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In all those many many hours of gameplay I’ve had fantastic fun – the vast majority of which has been online. I’ve played the multiplayer only Napoleonic DLC for Warband as my go-to game, and it’s probably one of my favourites of the series. Thing is, apart from the original Mount & Blade, which I played offline back in the day, I’ve never played the single player campaign without cheats on (I’m a bad person, I know).

What that means is that I only have just slightly over 50% of the achievements on Mount & Blade Warband, which is astounding when you think of the hours I’ve sunk into it over the years.

I’ve decided to change that though. I’m determined.

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I’ve decided to aim for 100% achievement completion. I want to complete Mount & Blade: Warband officially. I think I’m a pretty decent player of it, I just need to cement that with the 100% medal now.

I’ve made a start and done my research. First stop was an incredibly useful guide I found on the Steam community.

I enlisted the help of CakeBoxFox with my last two multiplayer achievements, which I was within grasp of. I needed to kill 5 more mounted real player horseman whilst I was infantry, as well as make roughly 15 real player kills on horseback with a lance. I encouraged CakeBoxFox onto a private multiplayer server, we both picked horsemen and we were away. Much fun ensued (it was far more fun when both of us were in absolutely no armour, making for quick and brutal fighting and many laughs). Me jumping up from the ground to sword slash Fox off her horse ended with me nursing a sword to the crotch – PAINFUL! DigitalSalad somehow survived that ruthless maiming and got both achievements in 30mins or so.

Smiting CakeBoxFox from her horse
Smiting CakeBoxFox from her horse

Next it was on to the singleplayer, and to make a start on the ~40% of achievements I had left to get there.

Mount & Blade Warband has a series of achievements for doing various things in the singleplayer campaign specifically as a female character. So the best advice for a new campaign is to start as a female – and that’s exactly what I did. Meet DigitalSaladette, with cheats absolutely turned off this time.

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So far I’ve been busy destroying parties of mountain bandits for an achievement to do with them. After that, I have factions to conquer and a continent to become Queen of – oh, and lords to insult the dignity of too! That’s gonna take a little bit of time, but it feels good to have made a good start towards my 100%. I’m determined to keep going, just like this real player infantry charge on a M&B Napoleonic DLC match recently.

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Digital Salad – lifeasadigitalsalad.wordpress.com

Salad Screenshot Saturday [13]

This week I am breaking from strategy for my Saturday Screenshot. This week It’s back to an old favourite that I’ve already featured on the Saturday Screen a few times already; Mount and Blade Warband.

2015-02-23_00004This screenshot’s taken from the fantastic mod for the game: Full Invasion 2. I think I should probably title this picture “ouch”.

It sums up the craziness of Full Invasion 2 (FI2) brilliantly. I’m a Roman centurion, with a musket, fighting off hordes of Zulu warriors. Why? Because its damn fun, that’s why!! I have great fun with FI2 and it never fails to surprise.

I thought this week would be a good week to post a screenshot of Mount & Blade for another reason though, that is the 2014 financial year has ended. Yeah, not so exciting on its own, but it coincides with a bunch of statistics coming out – one of which has been Steam’s average hours per user per game.

For all games released before 2012 on steam; Mount & Blade: Warband comes a very respectable 7th place for the most hours played per owner. That’s just one place behind the venerable Skyrim!! Its nice to know that Mount & Blade’s still doing well and giving plenty of gamers hours of joy. Well done Mount & Blade and well done everyone on a successful 2014-15 gaming year!

That’s it now until next week though; keep having fun in the meantime.

Digital Salad – lifeasadigitalsalad.wordpress.com

Super November – The Salad Take

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November is a big big month in gaming releases. Everyone and anyone is releasing something, or several somethings, to get a chunk of the Christmas market. Here’s my thoughts on some of the biggest, and a few smaller, names coming out this month.

Assassins Creed Unity

Unity-Gate I kinda want to call it. A game full of so much promise. Heck, they even delivered most of what I asked for in my post Mulling Over Assassin’s Creed.

They really mucked it up though, as has been well published across the gaming, and even mainstream news, internets. Ubisoft shares have plummeted, just like the reviews of their games.

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Unfinished is probably the kindest way to describe the Unity-Gate farce. The game has literally dozens of game breaking glitches that make it next to unplayable. Even on semi-official gameplay videos you see fairly serious glitches popping up. So much for the fantastic new revolutionary game engine!

Quite honestly though, having watched a fair amount of gameplay (I must admit to not actually having played it) it looks pretty darn boring as a game. The world somehow still falls flat, even with the big crowds. Go off the beaten track and you could be forgiven for not being able to tell the difference between Arno’s Paris and Ezio’s Florence of AC2.

I wanted to like Assassin’s Creed Unity, I wanted it to make me want to buy it. It even gave me most of the things I asked for and yet it still mucked it up. It did everything right and then tripped flat on its face at the very last hurdle. It’s kinda sad to see, and I do hope they managed to get it properly fixed in a decent amount of time.

Farcry 4

I’ve never really been big into Farcry as a gaming series, but Farcry 4 – whether you like the series or not – is a really beautiful game.

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The gameplay really shines through. The Farcry series has consistently refined its core gameplay, and it works. Ubisoft take note!

The RPG style skill tree elements are still there and still relevant, which I like in a game that could otherwise be a very flat and dull FPS. I also like that there’s a decent co-op mode, even if it is online only. Too many games shy away from co-op when it could suit them wonderfully – just like it does with Farcry – so kudos to them for going for it.

Farcry 4, for a game series that makes a big fuss about its story, doesn’t really seem to have struck many chords with its story. Personally I’ve never got on with the stories of Farcry games, and that’s probably my biggest gripe. They leave me with a feeling of ‘why bother trying’ when faced with x y and z to save characters I don’t really care about.

On the whole though, Farcry 4 is a good offering this November, and deserves to well – if only because its a decently polished game!

GTA V 

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GTA V is still GTA V.

It knows its the best game out there and its still going strong. The recent release on the next gen has actually surprised me with how much energy its still got behind it as a release that’s over a year old.

The graphical updates are amazing on the next generation. Whilst not always immediately noticeable, look a little closer and the world shines even more than before. GTA V next gen is by far the most alive gaming world out there.

I guess it was always going to be though, Rockstar take their time to get things right.

The one thing that doesn’t really float my boat though is the new first person mode. It just doesn’t feel like GTA to me, more like some knock-off mod slapped on to the original game.

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I know a lot of people really like it, as a novel change to the resolutely 3rd person series, but it doesn’t work for me. I’m happy for it to be there for those that like it, but I’ll stay away from it mostly.

All in all though, GTA V next gen has been a dependably good release.

Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire

This is the November release I’m most excited about, no questions.

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As a real late-comer to the series with Pokemon X/Y, I’ve immediately gelled with the series. A true legend in the gaming world for good reason.

Because CakeBoxFox and I pre-ordered the game, we also got hold of the free demo version of the games. It looks set to be just as good as hoped.

An interesting mix of more modern Pokemon gameplay & lore ideas from the X/Y generation mixed up with the classic world of Ruby and Sapphire. It looks like they’ve pulled off another fantastic release and I can’t wait to get my copy.

Just to put it out there, Alpha Sapphire is going to be my choice. I’m a Kyogre fan-boy and proud of it!

Super Smash Bros

Super Smash Bros is another game I’m seriously excited about. The best bit? It comes out on the same day as Pokemon. Well done Nintendo on officially stealing my next weekend!

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I’ve always loved SSB but never actually owned one. Such a fun and crazy game, it’s unparalleled for pure fantastic fun; and this new version will be no different.

Playing as the Wii Fit Trainer and some other odd new additions will be interesting, adding hours more fun to the already addictive formula.

Well done Nintendo on wrapping up November/December 2014 with two very solid releases.

Mount & Blade Warband: Viking Conquest

Somewhat off the main radar, but I was super excited to hear that a surprise new DLC is coming to Mount & Blade: Warband.

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I readily admit to being a fanboy of the series, who would buy anything from the team regardless of what it was, but I thought it deserved a note on the list of Super-November. I really hope the developer all the best and try to support them as much as possible. It’s not easy for a small developer out there, even when you have a really good game concept.

And that’s it for now! I know I’ve missed a few recent releases, but forgive me. A Salad has only so much spare time! When time allows I hope to be able to look into all the recent releases in a little more detail, but for now, that’s it. I hope you’ve enjoyed.

Digital Salad – lifeasadigitalsalad.wordpress.com

Digital Salad Gaming Update

I’m back after a bit of a hiatus and back to updating on what’s been going on gaming-wise in the life of Digital Salad. Last time I blogged about gaming I was talking about how I just couldn’t get on with ESO; just like many other gamers. The free 30 days expired a couple of days ago and I certainly didn’t purchase any more game time – in total I used about 6 hours of those 30 days (all within the first 2 days). So here’s what else I’ve been playing in the meantime.

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Aside from being a spectacular GIF of a Xbox One exploding, it also represents where I’m at with console gaming these days. I’ve only used my Xbox 360 console to play DVDs in the past 30 days. It has essentially turned in to a fancy DVD player for me and I think that comes down to the games.

With some exceptions, not many console games really push my buttons. They’re all re-hashes of previous games or just plain old broken. I saw the inevitable announcement of Assassin’s Creed Rogue this week – the franchise’s last hurrah on the older generation – and sighed from the resignation that Rogue is just Assassin’s Creed IV meets III with no new features as far as I could tell. I had a feeling it wouldn’t be groundbreaking, but that just smacks of laziness from Ubisoft.

There’s been one console game that I have kept dabbling in though, and that’s GTA V. I still think that GTA IV’s DLCs were better games that GTA V, but for having fun the fifth installment is much better.

In particular the awesome guys at the YouTube channel Achievement Hunter have got me back into GTA V with their fantastic ‘Let’s Play’ videos. I love the videos they make – full of just having fun. Whilst Gavin in particular irritates the other guys with his incompetence at the game they bring him along anyway for the fun, and that symbolises the best parts of why I like their videos. Give them a watch and you’ll be itching to play GTA V.

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The only problem with the Achievement Hunter videos is that it really makes me want to play GTA V Online. However, at the risk of sounding like a sad and lonely Digital Salad, I have no friends to play it with – so it could never be as awesome as the fun they have.

The other gaming I’ve been up to has been Pokemon.

CakeBoxFox is a life-long Pokemon fan, but I’ve never actually played one. I’m from the generation that’s had pokemon all the way, from the very original GameBoys onwards. Damn I sound retro.

Nearly everyone I knew and know has played a Pokemon game of some sort, but not me. I had a deprived childhood it seems! So CakeBoxFox suggested I give one a go. We picked up Pokemon X and Y for the 3DS and got gaming.

The new generation of Nintendo handheld console – the 3DS is definitely the best place for me to start my Pokemon adventures – where I can trade and keep in touch with CakeBoxFox over the internet whilst we adventure side by side. I’ve been honestly loving it.

2 gym leaders in I’ve got about 50% of my team pretty much sorted. I started with the Grass starter – Chespin – who has been a great trooper so far. I picked up a Squirtle courtesy of the Professor and I’m sticking with a Litleo as my fire pokemon main because of how insanely cute he is (although later on he probably will be replaced sadly). We’ll see what else I pick up, but I’m quite enjoying having a Ghastly in the team for now.

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I’m getting there with learning what types are good and bad against others, but it’s a big task. I’m loving the adventure so far, but most of all the best bit about Pokemon is the ability to drop in and out of it – playing for just a minute or two a day is do-able! I like a game that does that.

One other gaming discovery I’ve made is the Full Invasion 2 mod for Mount & Blade Warband; a game I’ve gushed about many times before!

Full Invasion 2 is an online only mod that pits you cooperatively against increasingly difficult waves of enemies and bosses. It’s classic zombie/bot survival. The real magic to it is the insane amount of options you have for who to play as. I have played as the French Army of the Revolution against the Soviet Red Army. In the end, Stalin was a boss just too powerful for us even with our looted machine guns.

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And there’s me defending Helms Deep as an archer of Gondor against the hordes of Mordor. In the end Sauron saw us off, although we did kill all the Nazgul and Mumakil with him – no mean feat!

Honestly, I think Full Invasion 2 is not only the best mod I have ever come across but it would be a respectable game in its own right. I recommend anyone with Mount & Blade Warband or even thinking of picking it up to give Full Invasion 2 a go, it’ll be worth it.

That’s it for now, I’m planning a few more posts in the next couple of days so stay tuned!

 

Digital Salad – lifeasadigitalsalad.wordpress.com