New in Gaming: For Honor

On February 9th, Ubisoft released the beta version of For Honor, an action fighting game made for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows. The full version was released February 14th, and is a third-person, melee game. Upon starting the game, players select one of three medieval era-based factions to join: the knights, vikings, or samurai. While this doesn’t directly affect gameplay or restrict character choice, it is one of the main components of the multiplayer system.

Currently, there are twelve playable characters, four per faction, and each has their own unique fighting style. The four characters within each faction belong to one of four classes: the Vanguards, the Assassins, the Heavies, or the Hybrids. Assassins are quick and work well in duels, while the Heavies use much slower, but stronger, attacks. The Vanguard lies somewhere between the two, as they are the most well-balanced class. Hybrids, on the other hand, contain elements of the other three classes. These characters have some of the most unique and complex play styles in the game.

The storyline of For Honor takes the player through each of the factions, giving them a chance to use each of the characters. The story also contains numerous unlocks and chances to gain steel, the main in-game currency, and Scavenger Crates, which are used to obtain new gear. While the story is enjoyable, the main emphasis here is on multiplayer. There are five different game modes, each with the option of Player vs Player or Player vs AI. Most modes are played in rounds, best of five. Duel is simply a 1-on-1 fight. Brawl is 2v2, with each player starting in a duel scenario. From here, there are three modes for 4v4: Dominion, Elimination, and Skirmish. These 4v4 modes are the only ones that incorporate the gear equipped and the character’s four abilities. Each ability is unlocked as you gain renown points for completing objectives. Elimination is a 4v4 adaptation of the Brawl mode and the last mode using rounds. Skirmish and Dominion use a point-based system. In Skirmish, points are acquired by killing enemies, and the players can respawn when defeated. Dominion, as the central game-mode, contains elements of skirmish but also uses a king-of-the-hill playstyle. There are three areas on the map that can be controlled to gain points, in addition to those gained from slaying enemy players.

The biggest draw in For Honor is the combat system. Dubbed the “Art of Battle”, it completely alters the melee-battle experience. When entering combat, a held button put the character in guard mode. While in this, a three-sided shield appears on the screen. This shows the direction the player is currently guarding (up, left, or right). Directional markers also appear when the opponent is attacking, again, in their selected direction. On top of this, there is a light attack, as well as a heavy, a guard break ability, a feint-dodge, dodge-roll, as well as character-specific combos and abilities.

All in all, For Honor is an enjoyable experience. The battle system puts a completely new spin on melee combat, and it remains versatile via character choice. Each character plays different from the next, so playing, and eventually mastering, different characters keeps the game fresh and full of possibilities.

Genres

In many forms of entertainment there are genres. In all types of genre in all types of forms many people feel like they don’t need to explore the other side. For example, in movies, people may be fine with adventure, romance, and comedy but not others like horror, sci-fi, or fantasy. Similar to my main idea in my post from last week, I think a huge and important part of life is experiencing new things and opening yourself up to new ideas and opinions.

When we talk about music it almost seems like things are even more limited. It matters where you live, how much money you have, and even what kind of mood you were in when you first started listening to it. We could tie this to things like stereotypes or just by having a completely innocent dislike of a certain genre but I think that the biggest influence that decides the kind of music that we like is our parents or important role models in our early lives. The early lives part is especially important since we are so impressionable when we are young. Think of all the things you learned early in life. Manners, habits, and music choice are some of the first ones that I think of. Of course there will be exceptions, whether it be a rebellious act or if the child just isn’t exposed to their guardian’s music taste often. Personally, I listened to hip-hop everyday on the radio when my mom drove me to school and that is why I am still a fan of it today. Over time, many people try different things and find out that they wished they had tried sooner. Even I’ll admit that I don’t listen to country just because of the things that people who don’t even listen to country will tell me.

The question behind what makes people like certain types of music is a hard question to answer and pinpoint as there are so many factors that attribute to the decision. I’m sure that many of you have heard stories of how music has changed people’s lives for the better, I ask you to search for other types of music. It doesn’t have to be drastic but by just peering through the door can yield thousands of opportunities.

P.S. I’m listening to music to help me write this.

Joe Satriani: the greatest guitarist you’ve never heard of

Experts believe the guitar was invented in 16th century Spain – with four strings and reasonably small and acoustic. And it really didn’t change much for the next 450 years.

The last 50 years? That’s an entirely different story, as electricity and musical geniuses like The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen raised the bar for guitars and their masters.

But there seems to be one common thread through this modern renaissance of guitar, and he may be the greatest axeman you’ve never heard of.

Continue reading “Joe Satriani: the greatest guitarist you’ve never heard of”

Music and Life

In high school I was given two choices, participate in sports or do band for the next four years. I chose band because my instructor had told me that I was a good musician and would become much better with more practice. Of course any sports coach could have told me the same but his words really stuck a chord with me because I didn’t have many role models in life that persuaded or encouraged me to keep doing things. I also agreed to this because I had been in sports since I was much younger and band was something new. I think that this was one of the best decisions I have made so far because it helped me meet new people, learn more about myself, and increase my knowledge and appreciation of all kinds of music, even those that I personally don’t listen to.  This became much more apparent when I started jazz band. It was a lot different than normal concert band because of the rhythms and style that are associated with it but it was unique and is the reason why I remember a good amount of the songs we played like Straight No Chaser, Fables of Faubus, and Alamode, to name a few. Even though I loved Jazz, it took me until my senior year when I really started appreciating it and the history behind it. The big names like Louis Armstong and Miles Davis were huge inspirations and encouraged me to keep practicing when I was discouraged. Because of this I was able to perform well during my first solo in jazz. Even though I had doubts about myself, all I had to do was remember the fundamentals and things that I remembered when listening to interviews from famous jazz performers. This solo was very important to me because it was one of the first times in band where I could express myself directly to the audience.

Overall, I think that it is extremely important that you take risks in your life and open different doors that you haven’t gone through yet. All of the best experiences in life are found, not given.

Avid Book Worms Have Travel Agents Known as Book Clubs

Travel trip map
Travel Trip Map Direction Exploration Planning Concept

I’ve been an avid reader most of my life earning myself book worm status.  It wasn’t until about 3 or 4 years ago, I discovered my first book club at the Independence Library.  I found out what book the club was reading for the month, read the book, and went to the meeting.  I discovered the follow up joy of reading a good book is to meet up with others of your kind and discuss the monthly treat among yourselves  learning new and different ways to look at the same thing. Continue reading “Avid Book Worms Have Travel Agents Known as Book Clubs”

The Dark Tower series: spaghetti-western meets Lord of the Rings

The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King

The word ‘gunslinger’ used to mean something. It brought hope to the people and fear to criminals. These gunslingers were trained from a young age to become peacekeepers, one way or another. They were emissaries from the capital city, Gilead, to maintain balance in In-World and Mid-World, but that was long ago. Something is wrong in the world. In all worlds. An evil has infected the dark tower, the heart of the universe, which lies at the nexus of all space and time. It has been a long journey for the gunslinger, and it is a seemingly endless one. Even so, the gunslinger will go on.

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”

This first line immediately sets the tone for King’s incredible series. Even he calls it his magnum opus, and for good reason. The 7 book series was written over the course of 22 years, and it was given an 8th installment (placed between the 4th and 5th books) in 2012. This series also contains bits and pieces from many of his other works, as well as a few books by other well-known authors.

The Dark Tower series was an experience I have not had with Stephen King’s books before. It doesn’t contain much by way of horror, as many of his other famous works do, but, instead, King’s gift for suspense takes a different approach, still keeping the reader just as immersed and glued to the page as ever.

Attitudes Thrive in Sunny Climates

Sunny cliffsKeep your attitude sun tanned year-round with a sunny disposition.

There are many benefits to keeping your attitude positive as much as an individual can manage it.  There’s the benefit of better health since having a positive outlook on things can often relief stress in your life.  Stress can cause a wide array of health problems if stress isn’t squashed down to manageable low levels

It can determine which direction you are moving in as Zig Ziglar said, “You can’t climb uphill by thinking downhill thoughts.”  Continue reading “Attitudes Thrive in Sunny Climates”

What’s better than a good movie? Real life, answers Joshua Ferris.

When you really think about it, a good movie is just about that — good. Sure, we may convince ourselves it’s cool, visual and suspenseful. But just how compelling can it truly be if we know the hero is just an actor and the storyline is simply contrived?

And that’s ultimately what makes the book “And Then We Came To The End” by Joshua Ferris so engrossing. A feature film? Meh. Juicy gossip from your co-workers? Bring it on. After all, in these days of endless corporate cubicles, it seems too many people are relying on office hearsay to feed their addiction to drama.

Ferris’ story is based on his own experience in a Chicago marketing agency. It identifies an intriguing modern phenomenon – the idea that so many Americans are caught up in the tribulations, rumors and innuendo within their workplace. As Ferris alludes to, it’s a major shift that has affected the attitudes and productivity of millions of Americans who have been huddled together in unnaturally close quarters for the sake of corporate America.

I encourage you to check out this book. It will make you view your workplace differently – and it might just save you a little money at the movies.