Witcher 3 and Worldbuilding

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is one of my favorite worlds to explore in gaming. As I am replaying the game, I am appreciating all the little things they do to keep me imersed.

Landscapes and City Life

The world is beautiful. Just look at any screenshot of this game and you feel like you’re in another world. The trees are beautiful and lush. The weather system is realistic like the when it rains or a storm is coming. The day and night cycle causes different things to occur like maybe the villagers are asleep at night. There are items you can collect while exploring such as different flowered trees being a symbol that you can collect herbs to use for potions.

The cities are also fun to see during different hours of the day. In the daytime you can see vendors and people shopping. You can also hear live bands. At night you can see guards patrolling the area or in Novigrad you can run into bandits. If you go into a tavern you can usually see someone there at any time of the day. All these little things make you feel like you’re in a real city.

Encouraging Exploration

One of the first things I do when I open up a new area is look at all the new sign boards in the area. Seeing them on the large map and going to them unlocks new fast travel areas and reading the signboards unlocks quests and question marks. Question marks are fun to explore because maybe you find hidden treasure, maybe you help the villagers gain back a piece of land that has been overrun by monsters, maybe you stumble across a monster’s nest. Another fun part is when you come across something that is way too challenging. A skull will appear next to the area you explored to let you know you can go back there later once you’ve leveled up some.

Characters

Each minor or major character in this game has a unique story that makes them feel real. For example, I am currently on the quest “Broken Flowers” and every single woman that I have met has something unique about them. The first woman I talked to turned out to be twins that were playing a prank by pretending to be each other. I also learned that one sister wrote a letter to Dandelion so that the other sister who had a crush on him could meet her. Later on, that same character led me to a “Fencing Lessons” side quest where I got to learn more about her personality.

Speaking of Dandelion, I do love how this game builds on fantasy stereotypes. We have the bard whose quest to find him has me running all over town talking to the many women he flirted with. But, based on what the woman have revealed, it’s possible that he was trying to talk to them to uncover clues about something he wanted to know about.

Story Quests

Whenever a quest line ends, you get a painting that shows the ending of that quest. My favorite was just a small side quest. I had to find Corinne because she could learn about Ciri through dreams and learned that she was investigating a haunted house. I found out that she was trapped in a nightmare by a godling named Sarah. Sarah just wanted to play and didn’t understand that nightmares were bad because she loved having them. She was also the reason the house was haunted because she loved pulling pranks. I could force her to leave or let her stay. I decided to let her stay and later on found out that she became friends with Corinne and they moved in together so Sarah could have a friend. I loved the painting because there was a little picture of Geralt tucking Sarah in like she was a little kid.

Favorite Worlds To Explore

I’d like for you to think of your favorite worlds to explore. Maybe there’s a game that you’re playing right now that also gives you the feeling like you’re in another world! I am enjoying replaying The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and I am looking forward to writing more about it as I progress more in the story.

Let me know your favorite gaming worlds in the comments!

Fun Moments in Gaming This Week

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This week I played a few games and just wanted to share some of my favorite moments from the games I’ve played! I played Super Mario 3D All Stars, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Super Mario 3D All Stars

This weekend I played Super Mario 3D All Stars and posted an impressions post on it.

Super Mario 64 is really fun. My favorite part so far is all the hidden secrets. I was about to go into the ice level when I saw this hole in a wall so of course I try to go in there. I’m greeted to water level where I have to collect 8 coins to get a star which was really fun! I also used stars to open a section of the castle where I had to jump through a Peach window and go down a slide to learn about hidden levels.

Super Mario Sunshine is my favorite due to how unique it is. I love being on an island shaped like a dolphin. Most of the enemies so far are either weird or cute. I love the little paint Octopus enemies even though they are annoying. The weirdest one that had me laughing was this bird with a little butt that show out brown paint like they really made that an enemy?! The award for pain in the ass goes to the whirlwind with glasses as I can only stun it; not defeat it. It made collecting the red coins in the first level even trickier than it already was.

Speaking of cute, Super Mario Galaxy’s Luna are so adorable! I love the little stars and it’s so cute when they’re hungry and you feed them! I also loved when they turned into bunnies. This game is so fun seeing all the different planets on just one level!

Vice City

I did not know Judas Priest’s music was in this game so I was so happy and excited when “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” started playing. I definitely am loving all the 80’s music! I did not get too far as I was on “Guardian Angels” and it honestly took me almost 10 tries because the two people I was supposed to protect kept dying. I also am so confused by this game’s pedestrians because they have a habit of jumping in front of cars. I also started up the game one day, exited the apartment after hearing a crash to see a car accident that caused a massive pileup of cars and people running around panicked. I barely started playing the game and the pedestrians were causing chaos!

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

I am on the Bloody Baron storyline so it was mostly very serious, but the side quests made everything funny!

First, an unintentional funny moment. I was participating in the fighting tournaments where I was talking to someone to start the match and this one NPC kept hiccupping loudly in the speaker behind my left ear. I’m trying to talk to this guy while this NPC kept interrupting the conversation with hiccups so I just started laughing!

Then, I met Trollololo again. I love that troll! He loves to sing although he’s not great at it. Then I found out that I draw worse than a troll. Basically he asked me to bring him paint. Then he had a problem: he has the paint but how does he paint? He doesn’t know how. I decided to tell him to do it this time around to see what would happen. He called the bird ugly, but it was a beautiful bird! I tried to recreate it and mine looked terrible because I can’t draw.

Your Favorite Gaming Moments?

Now that I’ve told you all the things that excited me and made me laugh this week, please tell me some of yours! This weekend I’m going to be continuing these three games as they just make me smile!

Adventures in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

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Replaying The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been really fun! It’s all I have been playing lately so I wanted to highlight some memorable things that have happened while I was playing.

Exploration

I entered the Novigrad and Velen areas and the first thing I like to do is collect quests and explore the area as reading notice boards brings up question marks for treasure or monsters. So I started visiting the notice boards and exploring all the question marks that came up.

I forgot that once you exit the tutorial area, exploring can be dangerous because you can easily run into very powerful monsters. That’s how I have a fast travel location that spawns me into a group of powerful ghouls which I have to run away from. I have also had to come back to some question marks later because of golems (which I somehow forgot were a thing) and wyverns (basically dragons that can’t fly).

Another funny and scary thing that happened while I was exploring was a leschen appeared. They scare me, I don’t like how powerful they are plus the creepy long black robe and antler skull head. Of course he had to appear while I was adjusting to wearing glasses while gaming since they’re meant to give my left eye a boost and protect me from blue light and glare. So a nice stroll through the forest admiring how detailed things were from further away turned into a chase, but I somehow got away from it!

The only other glasses related incident happened during a quest that luckily didn’t involve combat at the time. I like drinking tea at night and knew that it can fog up my glasses, but I also liked how clear I can see the TV with them on so I figured while exploring a side quest I could keep them on unless combat happened. So while this woman was telling me please do not explore this side quest further as no one needs to know what happened to her sister, my glasses started fogging up but I could still see her and see that she was hiding something.

Contracts

Patrol Gone Missing

This one I came across accidentally. I was exploring and a wyvern appeared. I panicked because they’re typically too high level for me so instead of planning like I have been trying to do before fights; I just kept hitting it with my sword. I somehow survived and then the contract was complete.

Jenny O’ The Woods

This one was really sad, but there are sad contracts in this game. Usually if you come across a wraith contract, you know something traumatic happened to her. In this case she loved someone and wanted to leave her abusive relationship. The guy found out and killed them both. She appears at night in a black dress and was hard at first due to a small error. I didn’t wait until night to prepare with bombs, potions, and oils. I meditated during the day to wait until night came to make her appear after drinking the potions and preparing the oils so they wore off and she killed me quickly. When I prepared at night and then summoned her, the fight was easy!

The Merry Widow

This one was a creepy one. It involved a grave hag and she kept talking about her wanting her bones back. She was in the old graveyard luring kids out and killing them. She also had a tongue vine move that could really hurt so I had to make sure I dodged so I would not take damage.

Side Quests

Thou Shalt Not Pass

I love the reference to The Lord of the Rings films! Basically I needed a pass to enter Radovid’s areas. I could have gotten one for finding out who was killing the troops. It turned out to be elves and I like elves so I decided to leave them alone. Because I did not tell the guard who was killing the troops I had to get them from a shady merchant. Somehow the guards fell for it and let me in even thought the writing was atrocious and there was no stamp.

Wild at Heart

This was the most recent sidequest I did. This man lost his wife in the woods. The village including him thought she was killed by wolves. While exploring her sister came by and told me not to explore further because there was no use finding out how the sister died. I could have stopped but I wanted to see what had happened. It turns out she technically killed her sister. She was in love with her sister’s husband who was a werewolf and did not know the sister knew he was a werewolf. She brought her sister to see her werewolf husband to scare her off from marrying him which led to him accidentally killing her. He then wants to kill the sister for forcing him to kill someone. I let him do it because I was mad that she killed her sister out of jealousy and then the werewolf asked me to kill him so he wouldn’t kill anymore and Geralt automatically did that.

Meeting Characters From Previous Games

Letho

I met Letho after a widow asked me to save her old home from monsters. The home was abandoned and full of traps where I met Letho. He was on the run after the man who hired him to slay the king in the last game decided to kill him to hide what he did. I chose to follow Letho where he confronted the people who were after him and Geralt offers him a place at Kaer Morhen.

Lambert

I found Lambert, who I know now from both the books and the games, while I was hunting a werewolf. Lambert killed the werewolf and then he is after all the men who killed his best friend Aiden (who now reminds of Beyond: Two Souls because I just completed the game). I helped him find leads, but I need to go to the next area to finish the quest. I want to finish the main quests in the area I am currently in before continuing.

Continuing Story

I have finally see what The Wild Hunt can do again. I was meant to meet a contact that was following Ciri. The Wild Hunt came and killed him and now the area is permanently covered in frost. I am on my way see the witch who saw Ciri last.

What games have you all been playing recently? Any stories from the games you have been playing?

 

What I’ve Been Up To This Summer

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This summer has been going by fast especially with all the RPGS I have been playing!

Witcher 3

I finally got past the tutorial area. Now that I understand the story leading up to this game by reading the books and playing all of the games, I understand the war going on better than just wondering who the Nilfgaards are. I now know a lot more about Geralt, Vesemir, Yenn, and Ciri’s backstory. I know about Geralt and Yenn’s relationship in the books as well as his relationship with Ciri. I know how she sees them as her parents. She even calls Yenn “Mommy”.

In the games I trusted Emhyr. Now, there’s no way in hell I will. He does some really nasty stuff in the books including using a Fake Ciri to trick Cintra.

I also know why The Wild Hunt wants Ciri before the game tells me. So I understand a lot more about that story as well, but don’t want to give spoilers.

Because of this, I am able to focus on the story better since things don’t have to be explained to me. Like it somehow went over my head that there was an interconnected story in the tutorial island involving the noonwraith and the isolated villager. I was just so focused on trying to get everyone’s names and stories that I would miss out on minor details. Basically the king’s son had a relationship with this male villager and the king became furious when he found out. When the noonwraith’s husband said something about the king’s son, the king murdered them leading to the noonwraith haunting the well.

I am looking forward to also seeing Triss and The Lodge as I am curious to see how I will approach them. I know Triss and Geralt’s relationship in the novels and how he feels about The Lodge. I loved The Lodge the first time I played as it was really cool to see a bunch of sorceresses banding together, but now I know about their politics involving Ciri so I’m not sure if I will still like them.

Persona 4: Golden

I finally rescued Yukiko so now I am just waiting until she recovers. I also found the weirdest fetch quest which I wanted to share. I wanted to try fishing, but needed a rod. I looked up how to get one and had to follow these steps:

  • Talk to boy in shrine and give him steak croquette
  • He will give you a ladybug
  • Go to the nightclub at night and talk to the lady. She says her fish isn’t eating his bread crumbs and the fish will get so excited to eat the ladybug, he will drop a fishing hook.
  • Talk to old man during the day to get a rod.

Video game logic!

Sims 4

I finally am playing The Sims! I only played it once when The Sims 2 was out and a friend of mine showed me her Sims family. It was on sale this weekend so I got it! I got the base game with the Pets pack, the Island Living Pack, and the Vampires pack. I have one family with a human girl and a mermaid who are sisters with a calico kitten and a husky puppy. I have another family with a vampiress and a human guy who are friends. I needed to add a human to the house because she cannot go outside and I got her a Samoyed puppy that only wants to be outside and an adult orange cat. Those two are my fun family because one is a kleptomaniac and the other wants to be a Master Vampire.

Since I haven’t really played The Sims, I did get confused and make some funny mistakes. I actually had put the girl, vampire, and mermaid all under one roof because I did not realize that I was making a family for one house. I then moved them to the Island living place because I did not know that they would be all under one roof so I had a happy mermaid and a miserable vampire who really didn’t want to live in what was basically like Hawaii.

I also did not know anything about house building and built what can only be described as an abomination. I just bought rooms and tried to put them together without realizing I could build an empty room. I then somehow put the roof on back wards and it was a mess because the house was built funny. Finally, when I tried to have them move in, they couldn’t because I forgot to build a front door and windows. Then I built the door and no one could get in because it needed stairs. The only stairs I could find were for a second floor so I couldn’t make stairs. I just gave up and deleted the save  I just then I made a new save and got two pre-built houses for the two families.

Summer Plans

I’m hoping to finish The Witcher 3 and then finish either Persona 5:Royal or Persona 4: Golden.

What have you been playing?

Summer of Gaming!

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It’s finally summer which means warm weather, swimming, and video games! I really want to play some new games and replay one game over the summer so here is my list.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

I have played this game before, but I want to replay it because I feel like I will understand and appreciate it much more the second time around. The first time I played it, I had not played the previous games and I had not read the books. I have now played all the other games and finished all of the books so I really want to play the game again and see what choices I make now that I know more about the story.

I highly recommend reading the books. The reason I started was because I heard that the players who read the books disliked Triss so I decided to read them to see why the hate for Triss and also just so I could learn more about the lore. It gets confusing hearing about Novigrad and why is Yennefer a big deal and who’s Triss when you haven’t read the books or played the other games. The game does it’s best to explain what’s going on to new players, but I feel like I will have a better understanding replaying the game.

Persona 4: Golden

I had this game on the Vita, but decided to get the Steam version so I could play it on a bigger screen. I really want to play this game after beating Persona 5. So far I love the music and am interested in the concept of people being thrown into their palaces in this game as opposed to their palaces being built because of their distorted desires in Persona 5. I love mysteries and between the murder mystery and the mystery of who Marie is, this should be a fun game!

Persona 5: Royal

I am intending to play this game more. I am still at Kaneshiro’s palace because I am slow. I am interested in seeing the changes as well as talking about this game with my friend who finished it a while ago. I am also interested in seeing if there are any new endings.

Beyond: Two Souls

I saw someone play this game years ago on YouTube. When I saw it was on Steam, I had to get it so I could play it and see what choices I make. So far I have been in the majority. What I like about this game is it’s concept. You play as Jodie who has an entity named Aiden linked to her. You can also play as Aiden and help Jodie or cause chaos. Jodie and Aiden’s characters are shaped based on the choices you make in the game.

Xenoblade Chronicles: Future Connected

I really want to see what happened after Xenoblade Chronicles so I intend to hopefully finish this over the summer! I am interested in finding out what happened to Alcamoth. I am also interested in seeing how the first game connects to the second game.

What games will you be playing this summer?

My Top Ten Games of the Decade

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Happy New Year everyone! This was a fun list to do, even thought it was hard to number everything! These games were games I loved and have special memories with!

10. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

This is the only game on this list that I haven’t finished, but I think it should be on here! I just love that it encourages exploring, there are memorable side quests, and it’s also kinda like the Sims where you built a family and get a house. I definitely am glad I got this on the Switch and I really enjoy playing it!

9. Yakuza 0

This is the game that got me into the Yakuza series. I loved playing as Kiryu and Majima! I also loved the activities like disco and karaoke. The story is great because it’s very emotional, but also breaks things up with funny side quests. This was not a game I was sure I would like, but I am definitely glad I decided to play it!

8. Final Fantasy XV

This game was the first game I ever played on my PlayStation 4! I got the PlayStation 4 bundled with this game so it is decorated like Final Fantasy XV! This is also the series that got me into Final Fantasy. I loved the music and the story and loved the story of three friends going on a journey together!

7. Super Mario Odyssey

I really enjoyed this game! I loved exploring the worlds and collecting moons. The game was really relaxing and just made me smile. It was also the first game that I beat on the Nintendo Switch.

6. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

I really wanted to put this game on the list as I feel it is an important game to play. This game allows you to understand what it is like to have a mental illness like schizophrenia. I was impressed that the developers worked hard to make sure that their game accurately represented schizophrenia.

5. Nier Automata

This game was just amazing! I loved the story, the side quests, the multiple endings. I loved playing this game and the story definitely made me cry a few times! I am really glad I got to experience this game!

4. Zero Horizon Dawn

I loved Aloy! It was fun playing as her and exploring the world! I loved that I got to define her character based on my actions. I also loved battling the different robots.

3. Persona 5

I loved the characters, the music, the combat, and the story! This game was so much fun! I loved taking down palaces to change the world for the better and the twists in the story.

2. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey

Playing as Kassandra and exploring ancient Greece was amazing! I also loved the branching story paths and how things would change depending on what you did during the story. I loved how Assassin’s Creed was changed for this entry!

1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

This is my top game of the decade! I loved this game; I loved Geralt! I loved that there were different choices to make, the multiple side quests like contracts, and the main story was really fun. The expansions were fantastic too! This is the game that got me into The Witcher game series, book series, and now the Netflix show.

What were your top 10 games of the decade? Did any of yours make this list?

Why I Love The Witcher Series: Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt

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I have been a fan of The Witcher since I decided to pick up The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt  when I saw that I could get the complete edition for $20. I did not know too much about the game beforehand. All I knew about the game came from watching Conan reacting to The Witcher 3 and he was mainly focused on the unicorn scene. After playing it for myself, I saw a beautiful world filled with lore, complex characters, and a thrilling story.  After buying The Witcher Enhanced Edition  on Steam, starting the novels, and knowing that The Witcher Netflix series is coming out this month, I have decided to write a series of posts about The Witcher starting with the first game I played.

Characters

Geralt

This game is full of amazing characters! I love Geralt. At first, his voice seemed dry, but I began to love his humor and wit. I also love how much he cared for Ciri.

Ciri

Ciri is also a fun character. She has a strong personality that starts with her as a child. I enjoyed playing as her as well because her combat was really fast.

Triss and Yen

Triss and Yen are also amazing. I am really impressed by how women are represented in The Witcher 3. Triss and Yen are both strong sorceresses. Triss has more of a fiery personality and she is in all three of the games. Yen is introduced in this game, but I love how mature she was. She is a motherly figure to Ciri and she was very independent. Even though she is helping Geralt find Ciri, she is following her own path. She is also extremely intelligent.

Dandelion and Zoltan

Dandelion and Zoltan are Geralt’s main companions. Dandelion also writes in the journal entries of the game. I noticed immediately how much he flattered himself. He definitely fits the bard stereotype with his ego (especially when it comes to his ego about his writing and poetry), but he also truly cares about his friends. Zoltan is a dwarf who is strong, bold, and caring. He is not afraid to speak his mind and he has fought and survived many battles.  He really looks after Geralt even it just means having Geralt sit down and have a drink with him.

Story

The main plot is mostly about finding Ciri and stopping The Wild Hunt. But, there are also multiple plots that overlap such as the Bloody Baron’s story and King Radovid’s hatred of non-humans. These plots also come with multiple endings and finally the final ending. So you can play through the game multiple times to find different ending to both main and side quests.

There are also a ton of side quests in this game. I don’t even think I finished all of them in my first playthrough. There are story side quests, treasure side quests where you find gear or gear sets, and contracts where you kill monsters.

The nice part is that despite having two previous games, the game does its best to explain what it can to you. There are backstories in journal entries. You can choose your own story that happened in The Witcher 2 even if you’ve never played it. Characters like Triss that appeared in all the games are fully developed in this game. I understand more about the characters and the lore now that I am playing the previous games and reading the books, but this game still did a great job at making this a good game for first players.

Humor

This game is really funny. Geralt’s dry humor really makes me laugh. The first time he really made me laugh was when he met a scholar at the first inn who listed his various titles and Geralt said he was a “Witcher. With tenure”. I also love the scene where he gets drunk at Kaer Morhen.

I also love the scenes with the trolls especially the troll named Trololo. The name was funny enough  but he also sings and just randomly says “Trollololo”. There was also a funny scene where Philippa is an owl and Zoltan thinks she’s a real owl so he gives her a perch to sit on and wants the owl to  learn to speak and play gwent.

Massive World to Explore

There are five main locations in this game: White Orchard, Vizima, Novigard, Skellige,  and Kaer Morhen. They all have different environment, different people, and different cultures. Even within the maps themselves there are differences such as the poorer towns outside of a castle.

The worlds have maps full of questions marks where you can explore and find treasures, caves, or monster dens. The monsters in the worlds are full of variety. There are journal entries for each monster so you can learn about them and how to fight them. Some of these monsters were genuinely terrifying like the Leshy.

Combat

The combat mainly consists of using swords, but there is also a crossbow for flying monsters and underwater monsters. I loved the swords because they are so fluid. I also love the movements with the pirouettes. It makes the swordplay almost look like a deadly dance.

I also love the use of signs like Igni for fire and Quen for shield. They can be used in combat or dialogue.

Finally alchemy is a major component in battle. Making potions can strengthen weapons, heal Geralt, or be used against monsters.

Expansions

The main game also comes with two massive expansions that are almost like two separate games.

Heart of Stone

Heart of Stone centers around vampires. You have to fight against Olgried Von Everec who cannot die. It also features a literal toad prince boss which was funny due to the concept, but awful to fight.

Blood and Wine

This gives an official ending to The Witcher games. Geralt is set to find out who the monster is that is killing guards by the ruler of Toussaint.  Geralt inherits a vineyard for his help and this world is a whole new map. I love owning a vineyard while also exploring this high fantasy world.

First Witcher Game

I really loved this game and consider it one of my favorite games of all time. It also got me to play the other games on Steam and get the novels so I could get more background on Geralt and the other character.

Was The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt your first Witcher game? Have you played the other games or read the novels? Are you looking forward to the Netflix show?

 

 

 

Backlog Crusader’s Analysis of Wolven Storm

Yennefer. Who is she, really? In the Witcher 3 we see her relentlessly pursuing her goals across multiple continents, taking down any obstacles in her way. Yes, she cares passionately for her love, Geralt, but he won’t distract her from her ultimate goals. Despite their closeness, she keeps extremely important secrets from the Witcher during […]

via Wolven Storm – Musings on Love and Feminism in Witcher 3 — Backlog Crusader

I love Angie’s analysis of this song! One thing I loved about The Witcher 3 was its portrayal of women like Yennefer and Triss because they were complex characters with their own stories and motives. I love how Angie analyzed this song and compared it to Yennefer’s character. I really enjoyed this article and you can read it here!

Winst0lf’s Post on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

 

“Show a little more respect… For Faerie Tales…” -Sydney Losstarot, Vagrant Story

via The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (2015) [PS4] — The Well-Red Mage

Winst0lf – The Bizzaro Mage wrote an amazing post on The Well Red Mage’s blog. Winst0lf gives a review of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt which is one of my all time favorite games. I loved the story, graphics, music, and the world! I loved the game so much, I picked up the books so I can read about The Witcher once I get around to reading them! Enjoy the post by clicking here!