The Nerd Essentials Awards

The Nerd Essentials Awards

I’m not really one for  traditional GOTY awards, especially seeing as I’ve missed a few titles that I would’ve liked to play this year. That’s why I’ve taken a page from classic era Penny Arcade, and chosen a bunch of games that I really liked this year, and given them a We’re Right™ twist.

Without further ado, here are the winners of  the first Nerd Essentials Awards:


Best Game of Just One More Level, I Can Do This:

Spectra features arcadey gameplay with the eponymous chiptunes album by Chipzel. The music is great, the visuals are appealing…And it’s one of those games where I suddenly found myself a few hours after I should’ve gone to bed. But seriously, I’ll just try to nail this level ONE MORE TIME, okay? Okay.


Best Game I Ragequit, But I Swear I’ll Finish It, Some Day:

Bloodborne is my first serious foray into FROM Software games. I’d tried out the first Souls game a few years ago, but it never really got me. The aesthetic of Bloodborne is just so damn awesome that I had to try it out. After some time, I’v only managed to take down 3 bosses. At the moment, I’m stuck on either the Blood Starved Beast, or Vicar Amelia. The worst part is, I can see that I keep dying to them because I’m impatient. I might contain myself for a while, but then I’ll rush in and get myself killed because I don’t have the patience. I’ll get back there and complete the game someday, though.


Best Non-David Cage, David Cage Game:

Until Dawn is perhaps one of my favorite game experiences this year. Great writing  as a schlocky horror movie, great performances by the actors. I managed to save everyone but two in my first playthrough, and I still need to get a run where I save everyone as well as one where I do everything that horror tropes tells me I shouldn’t do. I could see this being a fun game to play with other people, too!


Best Game That Tricked Me Into Playing a Sports Game:

Rocket League came out this year, and being a PS+ subscriber, I got it for free. I checked it out, even though the concept seemed kind of dumb at first. Cue me suddenly finding out that it was the middle of the night, and wanting JUST ONE MORE MATCH. The game is on PC as well, and I fully intend to get it there some day (and hopefully convince some of my buddies to play it with me). This is also my pick for best quick-fix game of this year.

Best Early Access Game That I Use To Relax:

I’ve posted about Starbound before. There’s just something about it that gets me – the music is awesome, and the atmosphere is amazing. Starbound has been getting some significant updates this year, making it even more fun to play. I’ve put around 120 hours into Starbound since I bought it,  and I haven’t even seen all that the Colony and the Combat updates have brought to the game.


What were your favorite games of this year?




Posted by Barl0we in Blog, Gaming, 0 comments
Starbound: Things I learned on the first night of playing.

Starbound: Things I learned on the first night of playing.

Tonight, the beta for Chucklefish’s new game, Starbound, finally became open (to those of us who have supported the game by pre-purchasing). Note: If you do not want to have anything of the  Starbound experience spoiled, please don’t read this. There are no story spoilers (I haven’t found much of the story yet), but some crafting/building spoilers.

Quickly described, Starbound is a spiritual successor to the very successful game Terraria. In fact, due to having one of the same developers on the team, Starbound is pretty similar to Terraria…On some points.

The basics of building may be more intuitive for someone who played a lot of Terraria (which I, unfortunately, did not). Here are a few things I learned (see the screenshot below for reference):




  •  Your Matter Manager (I’m pretty tired, but I *think* that’s what the multitool you basically start with is called) can be used to fell trees, dig up stuff and break down built stuff. It’ll take a fair while though, so it is definetely worth the materials to build yourself a set of Tools.
  • To place a door, you must have a block both above and below it.
  • You can either place a block of tree (or almost any other block) in a “big” block (as seen by the ground level floor), or as a small single-block as seen on the top floor walls and ceiling. To place a small block, hold down shift while placing it.
  • Avoid freezing to death at night, either by having plenty of sources of warmth (like the furnace and fireplace), and / or by placing walls in the background of your house. In the current screenshot, going to the top floor (where there is not a wall in the background) would cause my “warmth” / “freezing” meter to show up, and gradually decline.
  • On the topic of background walls: Place them by right-clicking . It seems like you need to place them with a “floor” – I was not able to just place my background walls willy-nilly. I had to start from the floor, and build my way up.
  • On the topic of flipping items around: Support Beams (as seen on the first floor with the bed) are, by default, flipped from left to right (as seen in the left side of the screenshot). These set pieces are context sensitive, and will flip over to the “right” (or other) side once they get close enough to a wall. Another set piece that is context sensitive is the yarn spinner on the top floor of my house.
  • Sleeping in a bed will heal damage taken. I presume that a higher quality bed will heal damage faster – the Wooden Bed is none too fast. Hopefully the Iron Bed will heal at a faster rate
  • Tools such as the Pickaxe and the Axe have durability that will eventually run out. It seems like the standard Stone tools last pretty long, so it’s not Minecraft levels of annoyance at the beginning tools.

One of the interesting ways that Starbound differs from Terraria is that there are Quests in Starbound. The first few help you get set up, so a completely new player should hopefully be less confused than a completely new player of Terraria.

The soundtrack to Starbound is pretty damn excellent so far. I can easily see the soundtrack helping me on marathon sessions of Starbound in the future!

Once I have more time to play the game, I’ll probably get into making some guides for the game, and possibly a Let’s Play. Luckily, Chucklefish seem to have given the green light for Youtubers to do their thing.

Posted by Barl0we in Gaming, 0 comments