Game Cocktails: Saint Denis Sazerac

PIKUBYTES // Video Game Cocktails Saint Denis Sazerac Red Dead Redemption 2

A tumbleweed rolls by a deserted saloon, its doors creaking slowly as if yearning for better days. Dust has long settled on the ornate glassware, covering the traces of many poker games lost and even more drunken shots fired. A rider appears at the prairie’s horizon. She’s determined. She has to keep at it. She’s got to START WRITING HER BLOG AGAIN. She pulls up a chair at the saloon and scans its shelves. You lucky devil. There’s just enough for a Saint Denis Sazerac. Wouldn’t you want to know how to mix one?

Continue reading

AI Has Feelings Too: Three Adventure Games to Try

PIKUBYTES // AI Has Feelings Too: Three Adventure Games to Try
Autumn has a strange effect on my pace of life and game library. I’ve been spending more time on adventure games, walking simulators and just good ol’ stories. Exploring abandoned space stations has been a running theme. Just me, the cosmos, and tons of other people’s things to snoop through… But wait. There’s always an AI. Watching, judging, persuading… Is it friend or foe? A machine to bark commands at or a friend to confide in? Will robots improve or take over our flawed civilization? Here are three indie games with their take on AI consciousness: Tacoma, Subsurface Circular, and Event[0].

Continue reading

Augmented for Perception: 50 Easter Eggs in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

PIKUBYTES // Augmented for Perception: 50 Easter Eggs in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
As I set foot in the cyberpunk world of 2029, it certainly didn’t look like the promised paradise for humanity. The tension between augmented humans and “naturals” was mounting, segregation and overt discrimination was a norm, privacy was just a hazy concept, and me… Well, I was just screenshoting easter eggs! Make no mistake, I thoroughly enjoyed my non-lethal playthrough of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (side missions > main ones, imho), and its themes gave me food for thought about our modern world. But this time Jensen was also tasked to capture references to popular culture, so we’ve scored about fifty of them. Are you are fellow explorer too? Then let’s dive head-first into the world of Mankind Divided. SPOILERS INCLUDED!

Continue reading

The Dust Has Settled: My Personal E3 2015 Highlights

PIKUBYTES // The Dust Has Settled: My Personal E3 2015 Highlights

Boner-inducing trailers and awkward “pause for applause” moments, 30’s inspired indies and modern holograms, lots of yays and some nays. I still haven’t digested all the information that E3 bombarded us with last week. It’s obvious that the in-game worlds are getting bigger, more emergent and visually stunning, making you lose sleep over your next rig upgrade. Brace yourselves, we’re in for a very busy year of gaming and keeping up with all the releases. For now, however, here are just four fresh game titles I’m excited to see on my desktop. Continue reading

Up for 10 More Cultural References in Witcher 3?

PIKUBYTES // Up for 10 More Cultural References in Witcher 3?

Oh yes, I can definitely feel the heat of summer. Or is it just my PC overheating? I’m just a liiitle bit guilty for being glued to the screen on such lovely evenings. Perhaps I should be feeling the wind in my hair instead of watching Geralt’s. Anyhow, I’ve still got some Witcher 3 easter eggs to share with you, my fellow gamer. Curious to find out how Snatch, Twilight and even Trololo made their way into the game? Without further ado, I bring to you 10 more pop culture references you may or may not have found already. SPOILERS INC, obviously! Continue reading

A Wild Hunt for Easter Eggs in Witcher 3

A Wild Hunt for Easter Eggs in Witcher 3 // PIKUBYTES

Grab your baskets and let’s get collecting! Whether subtle or obvious, easter eggs and intertextual references can enrich your experience of a video game. Any developer who can incorporate inside jokes into their work will always get a thumbs up from me. As I started playing Witcher 3, I decided to keep my eyes peeled for references to other games or media. I’ve been exploring every nook and cranny for hidden treasure, both in terms of loot and personal stories. Gotta say, I’m completely fascinated by the world! The atmosphere of a war-ravaged land and coherent writing has pulled me right into the vicious circle of “Just one more quest…”. So far, I’ve stumbled across five easter eggs and I’m hoping to find many more as I progress into the game. Here they are. (SPOILERS AHEAD!) Continue reading

My Polymer Clay Miniatures, Part I: Video Games

Polymer Clay Miniatures: Video Games | pikubytes.wordpress.com | Geeky earrings

Okay, so I’ve been slacking big time on updating my blog, but I’ll just put the blame on my life and my no-life. There, now that we got that out of the way, let’s get down to business. As I’ve already introduced you to my clay miniatures of Claptrap, Moonkin and Heavy, I thought I might as well share more of my work. By now, I’ve got a decent collection of clay jewellery, mostly all sorts of miniature food, fictional characters and some really random things that some people get away with by calling it art. But let’s not be too hasty to discuss all the studs and pins at once. This time I picked out 10 of my minis from various video games, enjoy! Continue reading

War in Video Games: Propaganda or Entertainment?

Propaganda in Video Games: Modern Warfare in the Call of Duty Series | pikubytes.wordpress.com

It all started a few years ago when I had to write a short paper for my media studies course. Thing is, all I wanted to do that week was laze about and play video games. In the end, I sort of managed to do both as I decided to look at three Call of Duty games from a critical approach. While shooting people in the face was still fun, my goal was to stay conscious (in both senses of the word) and pause to write down anything I found relevant to my analysis of warfare propaganda and glamourization. Today I can definitely challenge some of the claims I made, but I choose to share my article unamended and unabridged. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic and how you think these issues apply to more recent titles in the industry! Here goes. Continue reading

Brave New We Happy Few, Will You Conform?

Brave New We Happy Few, Will You Conform? pikubytes.wordpress.com

“If one’s different, one’s bound to be lonely,” was the verdict spoken in Huxley’s novel. If you stand out in the drugged society of We Happy Few, though, you might just get beaten to death. This upcoming stealth survival game by Compulsion Games made me gasp and clap in anticipation. Set in a dystopian à la 1960s England city, Wellington Wells, the game deals with the question of conformity. The town’s population is kept docile and supposedly happy thanks to Joy, a drug consumed regularly and whenever one becomes slightly rebellious or starts questioning things a liiitle bit too much. Soma, anyone? Mindless TV entertainment, anyone? Our modern society, ANYONE? But I digress. Check out the early trailer first! Continue reading

The World Needs More Pillars of Eternity: My Week as a Watcher

THE WORLD NEEDS MORE PILLARS OF ETERNITY: MY WEEK AS A WATCHER // PIKUBYTES

Depth. Substance. It only took me a few hours of playing Pillars of Eternity to realise that something’s been missing in my recent gaming conquests. Truth is, I’ve grown so accustomed to action-packed and explosive AAA cutscenes that I’ve forgotten how engaging a good piece of writing can be. So I just want to bring this game to your attention in case you haven’t heard of it yet. At this point, I’ve probably only played it for 20 hours, but I give it a thumbs up and here’s why. Continue reading