Dabble With Diablo This Weekend

Every so often, games are made playable to everyone with Xbox Live Gold for a weekend so they can try the game and see if they like it or not. This weekend is the turn of Diablo III – Ultimate Edition.

This is a five act story which allows you to play as a character referred to as the Nephalim who fights through levels of enemies trying to defeat the minions of darkness. You can play as one of several character classes

  • Barbarian – A beast who gets up close and personal with the bad guys and can rip them apart. An ability to leap on the heads of the beasts has always been a favourite for me.
  • Crusader – A knight of sorts who uses sword and shield and can heal party members.
  • Demon Hunter – Uses crossbows or hand crossbows – one in each hand for extra attack speed – and can summon creatures to aid him.
  • Monk – A martial artist who can attack many creatures at once and can even pass through enemies, attacking them as they go.
  • Necromancer – Only available through DLC purchase. Raises the dead to fight alongside them, and curses the enemies, or even makes corpses to explode to kill other enemies.
  • Witch Doctor – Uses blow darts or summons creatures to do their bidding and terrifies the enemies, sometimes literally scaring them to death.
  • Wizard – Wielder of powerful magicks and spells that can slow down time make enemies attack each other.

The game is free from Thursday, July 27th, 2017 – Monday, July 31st, 2017. It is an isometric view game with lots of blood and gore. Each character has their own story that goes with them, and there are male or female versions of each.

The Eternal Edition is also on offer during this time, and this includes the Necromancer.



Games With Gold – July 2017

Every month on XBOX One, two games for the XBOX one and two games for the XBOX 360 are made free for users of the consoles who have XBOX Live Gold. The games for XBOX 360 are playable on the XBOX One through Backward Compatibility.

The games are staggered through the month.

July 1st – July 31st
Grow Up

July 16th – August 15th

XBOX 360 July 1st – July 15th
Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days

XBOX 360 July 16th – July 31st
Lego Pirates of the Caribbean


Games With Gold

Each month, XBOX gives free games to people who have XBOX Live. It’s a way of saying thank you. Sometimes the games are utter kack, and others, like this month, are blinders. There are four games given away a month. Two are for XBOX One, and two are for XBOX 360 but are playable on XBOX One through Backward Compatability.

The first XBOX One game is available from 1st of the month to the last day, and the second is available from 16th of the month to 15th of the following month.

The first XBOX 360 game is available from 1st of the month to the 15th, and the second is from the 16th of the month to the final day.

Currently, the games available are:

Speedrunners (XBOX One) Available until June 30th 2017

Watch_Dogs (XBOX One) Available until July 15th 2017

Dragon Age: Origins (XBOX 360) Available until June 30th 2017

A Book Battle Played Out

In books, there are sometimes battles. When these battles are put on to film, you want to feel like you are actually there.

But what if you could be?

Drew Wagar is an author of a few books, and has been given the task of writing the next book that coincides with the game Elite Dangerous.

his last book that coincided with the game was Reclamation which followed one main character, the daughter of an Imperial Ambassador, Lady Kahina Tijani Loren. At the end of the book, she was seen to be doing something unusual.

She has since given up the title and the name, and gone by the pseudonym she was given by the young pilot who rescued her – Salomé. The young pilot named her after his pet cat.

On Saturday 29th April 2017, Drew Wagar’s next book – Premonition comes to a head. He is leaving the final battle to be told by the players in the game.

So April 29th 3303 (game year) two sides will come together in battles the like that have never been seen before in the game, and very much likely, the whole gaming community. There are four commanders in Salomé’s group that have very sensitive data that could topple the major players in the game. It could spell the end of the Federation and the Empire. Or it could be a precursor to a galactic invasion. Either way, the Federation and the Empire have put a bounty on her head of Five Million credits. Each of her friends has a bounty of two million credits on them Only one of them needs to survive. This battle will be kind of cross platform. Three of the compatriots will be appearing on the PC servers, and one will be appearing on the XBOX servers.

I will be there in an Imperial Eagle trying to defend her friend Yuri, and make sure his data gets through. It is not going to be easy, and I imagine there is going to be a lot of destroyed ships at the end of it.

This is not a run and see what happens, this is an organised fight with everybody having roles to play. I am not a PvP (Player versus Player) gamer, so I have been given a scouting role.

It is going to be interesting. If you want to watch what happens, you can follow my feed on Saturday on my Beam channel HERE (or click the image at the side)

Drew Wagar also has a lot more inside information on what is going on. He will no doubt be tweeting a lot of it, so go follow him on twitter – HERE

Check out his website as well for more background – HERE.

planetary eclipse in the space

Mass Effect Andromeda

As many people who know me are aware, I have a love of RPG games and particularly the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series. The latest of these games to come out is Mass Effect Andromeda.

My excitement for getting this game was not hidden. I had been waiting for this since they released a trailer for it on November 7th (N7 day) 2015. The gameplay video was released, slight information was released, bad guy information was released, and I was becoming more and more excited for this game.

Mass Effect 3 was released in 2012, so five years later, the next installment came out. I had it on pre-order via digital copy so I could play it on release day just after midnight. As it happens, anyone with EA Access could have a ten-hour preview before hand.

I started playing the game and I loved it. Then I saw people complaining about glitches, graphical anomalies, and other issues. Some faces looked like they had botox overdoses, others looked skittish, and some heads twisted in weird directions.

I have come across some of these, and some are just plain funny. Talking to an Asari Pathfinder and her eyes are going left and right as if she is hiding something and wants to get out of there.

People out of stasis are looking upwards while leaning over so their heads are the opposite way round, some dialogue is out of synch with the mouth.

Some of the voiceovers sound like they are being read. Thankfully this is not the case with the main characters.

There are six characters in your squad, seven including you, or eleven including the ones who never leave the ship.

RYDER: You. Your name is Ryder, you can be either of the twins, Scott or Sara. Either way, the other character is in the game and controllable at one point. You can design what both characters look like, and your father has a mixture of both faces. You take over from your father as Pathfinder, looking for places to settle and colonize planets. Sara/Female Ryder is voiced by Fryda Wolff – voice actress on a number of games including Evolve. Scott/Male Ryder is voiced by Tom Taylorson – voice actor from Octodad.


CORA HARPER: A female biotic who used to be a Huntress working with Asari Commandoes. Cora is romanceable by a male Ryder. Cora was part of the team that was on the Human Ark going to Andromeda. Haper is voiced by Jules de Jongh – vocal performer on the US version of Thomas and Friends.

Cora Harper 1

LIAM KOSTA: A male who starts the game with you. I detest him, and from the forums, so do a great many people. He used to be a cop and then a Crisis Responder. He dislikes the Turian, Vetra. Liam is your first companion when you land on the first planet in Andromeda. Liam is romanceable by a female Ryder. Kosta is voiced by Gary Carr from Downton Abbey.

Liam Kosta

VETRA NYX: The first non-human to join your squad. Vetra is a Turian smuggler who knows where to find things and who has what. She can source items that you didn’t even know you needed. She joins the crew just after you gain the ship The Tempest. Vetra is romanceable by either male or female Ryder. Nyx is voiced by Danielle Rayne from Penumbra.


PELESSARIA B’SAYLE: An Asari nutcase who joins you on the first planet after you reach the Nexus. Peebee is a Remnant expert – as far as one can be in a new galaxy. She has a carefree attitude and is a bright side for any party. Peebee is romanceable by either male or female Ryder. Peebee is voiced by Christine Lakin from Family Guy


NAKMOR DRACK: Drack is a very old Krogan who joins you at the end of the first planet after getting the Tempest. A friend of Vetra, he is reluctant at first to join, but after an intense fight, he decides to go against his gut and joins the crew. He is the oldest character in any of the Mass Effect games at 1400 years old – give or take a year or twenty. After 600 years in cryosleep, he is effectively over 2000 years old. Drack does not have a romance option with Ryder, but Lexi may stand a chance with him. Drack is voiced by Stanley Townsend – vocal actor on Cars 2


JAAL AMA DARAV: The first proper alien to join your crew. Jaal is an Angaran from the planet Aya in the Heleus Cluster of Andromeda. He wants to learn how people from the Milky Way react under stress and to see what they really want. Jaal has a romance option for female Ryder. Jaal is voiced by Casual actor Nyasha Hatendi



SUVI ANWAR: Suvi is the ship’s science officer with an awesome Scottish accent. She is friendly and warm to either Ryder. She is a romance option for female Ryder only. Suvi is voiced by Fallout 4 voice actress Katy Townsend.


KALLO JATH: The only Salarian on the crew, he is the pilot and helped build the Tempest in the Milky Way. He is very protective of his “baby” and gets into a few heated arguments with Gil over upgrades and adjustments to the ship. Kallo is voiced by Garrett Ross, known for … well … Mass Effect Andromeda. His voice bears a striking similarity to Charles Hawtrey.


GIL BRODIE: Engineer on the Tempest, and he loves his job. He tries to fix the ship to give it the best possible ship and to give it the best possible abilities, much to the disgruntlement to Kallo. Gil is romanceable by male Ryder only. Gil is voiced by Game of Thrones’ Renley Baratheon actor Gethin Anthony


LEXI T’PERRO: Lexi is an Asari doctor aboard the Human Ark, and then the Tempest after the original Doctor, Harry, is injured on the first planet. Lexi is voiced by the talented and beautiful Natalie Dormer of Game of Thrones fame. Lexi is not romanceable but does have a very soft spot for Nakmor Drack.


There are some very annoying bugs and glitches in the game, and at times they are aggravating. I am hopeful that these will be fixed in the near future. It does not detract from the game being a good game with good enemies in the Kett and the Remnant. There is also a “post-credits scene” that changes a lot of what you have seen and also leads perfectly into either the next game or DLC for this one.

Elite Dangerous Exploration

In the game Elite Dangerous, one of the things you can do is explore. There is literally a whole galaxy to explore and discover. Maybe with some, even get your name on it as the first person to discover it.

I play on the XBOX One, but these tips will also be useful for PC and PS4 versions of the game.

If you are going to explore, then you are going to need a decent set-up. A good ship, a good engine, good power, a good fuel scoop (because there is no gas station after you get out of the “bubble” (the are where most planets are). When I went exploring, I went to the centre of the galaxy. To Sagittarius A. The black hole at the centre of the Milky Way. Who on earth decided to call it the “Milky Way”. Why couldn’t we get a decent galaxy name like Andromeda, Centaurus, Hoag, Malin. I suppose it wouldn’t have been so bad if a chocolate hadn’t been named after it.

But I digress.

The first thing you are going to need is a decent ship. The best one is the Asp Explorer.


Image courtesy of Frontier

Then you are going to want to start filling it with a decent layout.


Image courtesy imgur

There are a couple of sites that can help you with fitting the ship out. It tells you what it will cost and how much power it will use. The site I generally use is coriolis.

This is the build I would suggest for exploring.



You don’t need much of power distribution because you don’t have much in the way of things to need power apart from the Frame Shift Drive and the thrusters. You have no weapons – nobody will be shooting at you when there isn’t anyone around.

Auto Field Maintenance is to fix the ship when you inevitably stray too close to a star or land on a planet with a bit of a thump.

Advanced Discovery Scanner so you can see what is in a system and know where everything is.

Detailed Surface Scanner when you come close to a celestial body, you can give more of a scan, netting you a few more credits.

Life Support is low because if you lose your canopy, there is no way you are getting somewhere safe in a maximum of 25 minutes, so take the one that weighs the least.

Shield Generator This is one that some people say you don’t need, but I think it is a requirement. When you land on a planet, the shields can take a little of the brunt if you come down too hard, and the AFM (Auto Field Maintenance) only has a certain amount of uses.

Planetary Vehicle Hanger because you are going to want to drive on a planet that no one has ever been to before.

Cargo Rack for the odd bit you pick on the planets.

All in all, the cost is around 54 million credits, including the ship. It is worth it. I have this ship sitting in a station waiting to go off somewhere when I feel like it.

The best thing to do is to find an occupied station closest to where you want to explore from and refuel and refill from there before heading out. With the transfer options as they are now, you can have your ship transferred to a station, get in it and blast off into the unknown regions.

Scooping. When you go on a journey of exploration, you will need the fuel scoop. These scoop at stars as soon as you enter a system.

There are some stars that you cannot scoop from, so make sure there are places where you can pick up from. My own rule of thumb is, if I haven’t scooped fuel in the last three systems, I will deviate from my course to make sure I do. I switch off non-scoopables so I can see where I can go.

Non-scoopables are:

  • DA
  • DC
  • Y
  • T
  • L
  • TTS
  • Neutron
  • S
  • W

There is a phrase that will help you remember which ones ARE scoopable – if you remember the phrase:

Oh Be A Fine Girl Kiss Me


Oh Be A Fine Guy Kiss Me


Always Bring Fuel Or Gonna Kill Myself

Now let’s talk about money.

You will want to hand in your scans when you get back from your jaunt. If you are lucky, you will make a few million. My trip to Sag A, I came back and earned 19 million credits. I hurried some of the way back and only “honked” systems. Honking is when you enter a system, scan and leave. No detailed scans or anything. Just a scan while the scoop refills your tank.

Someone posted an updated image recently of how much each celestial body is worth on a scan. If you find a system with a lot of bodies (I found 101 in one system) then you can make an absolute mint if you want to spend the time there. Click on the image to open it in a new tab / window, then right click on the new one and save the image for your reference. I have no idea who created this, so I can’t give them my thanks. But whoever did – thank you.


Something Different

 I already have three other blogs, and I thought I would add one so I could cover one of my passions.

I enjoy gaming, and as a 49-year-old man, I want to show that it is not just the kiddies out there who enjoy this pastime.

I have two children – the youngest is still a teenager for another year and a half, and they are both gamers as well. Although they are a lot more mobile than me, so they enjoy other things as well like having a life.

All reviews I post on my blog are of my own opinion and may not be shared by other people. Every one of us has different tastes and that’s what makes humans great. Or most humans anyway.

I can’t say as my posts will be regular, but when I dose them with liver salts, it should be okay.

Thanks for stopping by.