End of another week, What have you been playing?

It’s the end of another week and with two weeks until E3 I am quite excited as I’m sure a lot of you are, to see what is shown at the show. Especially from Nintendo. Perhaps more on their Fire Emblem title slated for 2018 for the Nintendo Switch, or a little more on Monster Hunter XX that was just announced that’s also coming to the Switch and of course Xenoblade 2!! And maybe a western release date for Dragon Quest XI. My list actually goes on and on but let’s save that for another post. I would love to know in the comments below on what you’re looking forward to seeing this year at E3 2017.

Now back to what I’ve been playing this past week.

I have to say this past week has been a lot less crazy than usual. I’ve cleared up all of my review titles finally. Auditors at work are finally done so I’ve been coming home earlier and most of all I’ve started video game hunting again and managed to pick up a few good titles, one specifically that I’ve been after for quite some time – Nier (on the PlayStation 3). Nier was actually recommended to me by two good friends who both are HUGE JRPG veterans. One of them actually has his own blog (Graham) dedicated to tackling his backlog which I highly recommend especially if you’re trying to slay your own video game backlog and I mean honestly, in this day and age who of us doesn’t have a backlog. So please make sure to check out and subscribe to his blog right here.

So to start things of the first title that I probably keep playing on a daily basis is of course…

Fire Emblem Heroes
Fire Emblem Heroes is possibly the easiest and most accessible title for me to play at the moment with it being on mobile I can pull out my phone, jump into a battle and level up my heroes all before my PC starts up at the office in the mornings…okay fine my PC starts up a lot faster than that but you know what I mean right. And with the continued support in new events and heroes, its going to be a while before I stop playing.

Next up we have a title that I came across on YouTube believe it or not. While searching Nintendo’s YouTube channel I found a trailer of Team Kirby Clash Deluxe. I immediately went into the eShop to search for it and to my surprise it was free to download. If you’re a Kirby fan, love fun and smashing bad guys with a team of friends than Team Kirby Clash Deluxe is for you. Four different classes to choose from namely Sword Hero, Hammer Lord, Doctor Healmore and Beam Mage as well as weapon and armor equips this Kirby title is tons of fun with superb soundtracks and epic boss battles. Check out the trailer below and let me know if you’ve played this as yet.

Following Kirby Clash Deluxe is a title that I picked up two days ago while game hunting:

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 Road to Boruto

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 Road to Boruto is a must for all fans of the Naruto franchise. I will admittedly say however that I’ve never played a Naruto title before but am a huge fan of the anime. With that being said I will advise that if you’ve not watched the anime as yet and intend on doing so you might want to stay clear of this title until you’ve caught up especially with there being spoilers in it. After playing Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia as well as the Kingdom Hearts series I will say playing Naruto felt like a well needed break. Yes the game has some what of a story to it but at its heart is a fighting title and boy what an action packed, transformation and super powered title it is! I’ve only played for about four hours thus far but I have to say being in the shoes of Ninja’s such as Naruto, Kakashi and Obito is empowering. I can’t wait to dive back into the world. Let me know if you’ve ever played any of the Ultimate Ninja Storm titles before?

And finally as I’m sure some of you have seen another mobile title that I’ve recently started playing once again and quite possibly have become addicted to:

Fallout Shelter

I’m honestly not sure what exactly pulled me back into Fallout Shelter. It could be the fact that E3 is drawing closer and I still remember Bethesda’s conference in 2015 as clear as day or perhaps my hopes and wishes for a Fallout 5…yep impossible as it may sound, I can still wish right. So after downloading it once again two days ago I’ve thus put in 8 hours. My vault known as Vault 999 has also spawned a featured post on Controller of Life which I intend on updating once a week either on a Friday  evening or Saturday, with progress on how its doing so please check it out here.

Well that’s it for another week on Controller of Life but please let me know what you’ve been playing?

  • Zain
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Welcome Dwellers to Vault 999 – Fallout Shelter

I’ve recently been thinking a lot about a certain video game, one that I really attached myself to whilst playing, Fallout 4. After purchasing it at launch I completed the game three months later but the characters, world setting and story still resonates with me a year later.

So with E3 looming once again I remember just how excited I was during the Bethesda conference when Fallout 4 and more importantly for this post Fallout Shelter (announcement trailer below) was announced. And to every ones surprise Fallout Shelter was made available to fans immediately after the conference. Now this was of course way back in 2015 and since then I’ve downloaded Fallout Shelter and admittedly played it for about a month before dropping it. Yesterday however I decided to give it another shot and created Vault 999.

WELCOME DWELLERS TO VAULT 999

So after downloading it late yesterday afternoon I began creating the safe haven for survivors also known as dwellers from the harsh environments of the post apocalyptic world that is Fallout.

After about 4 hours and 50 minutes I am completely hooked (honestly was already hooked in the first 30 minutes) and this time intend on sticking around, which lets be honest is sometimes easier to say than do right. Which got me thinking, “why not share my progress in a weekly post”. And this is what brings us to a new feature on Controller of Life – Fallout Shelter Vault 999. I’ll be sharing screenshots (game-play videos in future posts) and updates every week possibly a Friday or Saturday on my progress through the inner workings and struggles into running and overseeing a safe haven known as a vault in the world of Fallout.

So to kick things off lets take a quick look at my vault currently which can be seen in the image below.

First Level:
– 1 Residence that can hold up to two dwellers just after the vaults entrance
– A Water Treatment Station (two placed next to one another and upgraded once)
– The Overseer’s office where my dwellers can leave on quests from

Second Level:
– Power Station (three placed next to each other and with the upgrade it has merged into one room)
– Diner (three placed next to each other which has merged into one room)

Third Level:
– 1 Living Quarters that can hold up to six dwellers (this is also three placed next to one another and merged into one)
– A Medbay (two placed next to each other which of course merged into one)
– A Storage Room

Vault Stats
– 21 Dwellers
– 1 Pet
– 6 Babies Born
– 9 Weapons
– 14 Outfits
– And to my surprise 10 raider attacks

I’ve added a few images below of raider attacks, a dweller on a quest and Dennis my Vault entrance guard in his brotherhood armor with his pet.

I would love to know if you’ve ever played Fallout Shelter before or perhaps currently playing it.

Until next week this is the Overseer of Vault 999 signing off, stay safe out there dwellers and be sure to always carry Stimpaks and Radaways before adventuring out into the harsh environments that is the wastelands.

  • Zain

Lets catch up – what have you been playing?

Hey guys,

Hope you all had an amazing weekend. It’s been a long week on my end so I thought I’d end it of with a post on what I’ve been playing this past week as well as this weekend.
*Edit* full disclaimer this post was supposed to go out on Sunday the 14th of May already but I was actually in fact hard at work on two reviews set for Monday the 15th of May as well as one for the 16th of May which you’ll see more on below.

So starting up the line up we have Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMix (PlayStation 4). I’m still reviewing Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5  on the PlayStation 4 for SaGamer. We unfortunately received the game to review late here in South Africa as we normally do with some titles but nevertheless I’m still trying my best to get the review out as soon as possible for those who perhaps are still considering purchasing and playing the PlayStation 4 version or for those who have perhaps never played the games before. Believe me there are some that have never played them before.

I’ve also been pushing hard at another review that I’m working on for Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. The review’s also for SaGamer and unlike Kingdom Hearts we thankfully received this review code quite early. Reviews on Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia drop in this coming week so make sure you stay tuned to my social media especially twitter to catch a glimpse of it when the embargo lifts. Reviews on Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia have in fact dropped and you can check out mine right here. Being a huge Fire Emblem fan its always epic to receive a game to review that you’re a fan of. Of course this is provided you get it early and don’t have to rush through the game.

Next up on my list is a mobile game – Fire Emblem Heroes. YES I’m still playing this and with its recent updates and Nintendo and Intelligent Systems continued support with character, story chapters and item updates its hard not to leave this game alone. More often than not its always just easier to pull out your mobile phone when you’re out and about for a quick five minute game rather than an actual hand held console.

Lastly it was my turn this week to submit a Retro review for SaGamer. Every Monday SaGamer submits a feature review titled Blast from The Past where we basically play retro titles or any titles as old as two generations ago and submit a review on it. Its actually quite a good reason to dive into and submit yourself back into the retro period. This week I played and submitted Punch-Out!! A game that I’ve heard so much about and sadly never played. Well that all changed this past weekend and I have to say it’s one of the most EPIC titles from the retro line up that I’ve played in a long, long time! Be sure to check out my review here.

I’d love to hear what you’ve been playing or planning on playing.

-Zain

Video Games on Vacation

I recently took a trip down to the ocean side to attend a wedding and although I knew my time would be extremely limited I still had to take at least one console with me. ENTER my Nintendo 3DS. Why my 3DS you ask, well two reasons. Firstly my cousin down at the coast is a HUGE and when I say huge I mean colossal size Monster Hunter fan so its only likely that being the person who introduced him to Monster Hunter and being a big fan myself I knew we’d spend most of the time whilst not busy with the wedding preps and chores playing Monster Hunter Generations. Secondly I was lucky enough to receive the review code for one of my highly anticipated titles of the year believe it or not, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia.

Admittedly I never really had a chance to play much of Fire Emblem during my trip however Monster Hunter Generations was thoroughly played and enjoyed. Over a period of 3 days I would say we put in just over 10 hours which is a lot considering the limited time we had during those days. If you’ve never played a Monster Hunter title before I would highly recommend it on one condition though, be prepared to sink some major time into it and make sure to watch this vid from Nintendo. In short the game puts you in the shoes of a hunter who is recruited by villages to protect them from monsters/dragons/beasts and retain peace in the land. The games allow for up to four players to hunt simultaneously in a co-op manner and also tasks the player to create/upgrade armor sets and weapons that are created from pieces obtained from the monsters you hunt and capture. Players will also have to forage for certain items and mine ores to create items that will assist along the hunts. Some of the items include Mega Potions, Shock Traps, Antidotes etc.

My first Monster Hunter title was back on the Sony Psp – Monster Hunter Freedom which was 11 years ago back in 2006. Funny story is that I had just started working and was making a trip down to the coast and needed a new game for the six hour journey. I visited the nearest store that sold video games (unfortunately they weren’t a specialist in video games but fortunately for me it was my first introduction to the MH franchise) and only found sports titles until I came across a title that looked like something I would be interested in Monster Hunter Freedom. Over the years I’ve put in about 2000 hours into the games in total having played every game since MHF and introduced some of my closest friends and family to the franchise also solidifying their fan-ship into the franchise.

This got me thinking and even made me publish a similar topic on SaGamer discussing more about what you do on vacation and if you’re even allowed to bring along anything gaming related on your trips?

-Zain

Time! Is it your enemy or ally?

I’ve recently been struggling a lot more than usual with my time. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not referring to time management specifically but more like how best to spend my time doing the things I love and balancing that out with my 9 – 5 job. Okay fine that is kind of time management but I’d like to focus on time management in video games. So as you might know from previous posts I am a contributor for a publication here in South Africa known as SaGamer. The reason why I mention this is because when it comes to review games there is literally no option there on choosing what I play some evenings. With embargo dates and deadlines to be kept, you literally have to tie yourself down and steam right on ahead while reviewing a title. Of course if the games good then that usually works in your favor, and if its bad…well you should have the idea more or less.

So moving on to the topic at hand, Time! Working in a 9 – 5 job and being a husband and dad to two little girls doesn’t really give me much time during my week to actually sit down and have some good game time sessions. And when I’m not reviewing games and actually have time to myself I tend to blank out not knowing what to tackle first. With there being such limited time and a high number of resources (video games in my collection) by the time I decide on what I’ll be playing its bed time. Hence time tends to be my enemy in this instance. However on Friday evenings and sometimes Saturday evenings I tend to find an ally in time where I’m more relaxed and the family is a lot more chilled than during the week so my decision making on choosing a game is a lot faster and precise.

Which got me to thinking, how do you choose to use your time when it comes to video games. Do you play much during the week? How many hours do you put in during the week or on weekend sessions and most importantly in this growing digital age of ours where buying a new game is almost instant with the likes of steam and the PlayStation Store to name a few. Does this affect your decision making in any way on what to play in our never ending curse and gift known as video game backlogs.

-Zain

Anime & Video Game Soundtracks

I’ve been listening to some of my favorite soundtracks this weekend from anime and video games. Included in my choices are Air Gear, God Eater 2 Rage Burst and Persona 4 although there a many more I’d love to add from anime series such as Naruto, Bleach or more video game titles like the Tales of series and Fire Emblem however lets keep it short for the sake of this post.

Sadly Air Gear only released 25 episodes of the anime and a single special episode. I thoroughly enjoyed watching this series, thrice. The series does however follow through on the manga side for those wanting to follow on with the story. The character development in this anime is amazing, especially the main character, Ikki. Check out my favorite song from the anime right here. The soundtracks name is Chain.

God Eater was incredibly deep for me.
The world and characters rung out so deeply in despair and the opening cut scene to the game
is incredibly emotional. If you’ve not played the game or watched the anime then do yourself a favor and watch this! The soundtracks name is F.A.T.E.

The series itself (both video game and anime) takes place in a post-apocalyptic world. A world destroyed by monsters known as Aragami. To combat the ever lasting terror Fenrir was formed. An organization formed with humans that are capable of bonding with weapons known as God Arcs. Resembling large swords and sometimes guns these weapons are created from Aragami cells and are the only things that can kill the Aragami.

 

Persona has recently been doing the rounds all over social media due to the release of Persona 5 but my focus is more on the opening soundtrack found in the anime based on the fourth game – Persona 4. I’ll be honest I do have the game on Vita and although I have not finished it as yet I have heard only great things about it. I have however watched the anime series and instantly fell in love with this opening soundtrack. The soundtracks name is Sky’s the Limit.

Another series I absolutely adore especially its soundtrack is the Fire Emblem franchise. More so the Fire Emblem Awakening OST. Although I thought I should at least include this beautiful piece from Fire Emblem Fates which Azura usually performs in the game – Lost in Thoughts All Alone.

As you’ll notice each soundtrack above is completely set apart from each other. I thought it would be good to share these specifically showing off the different moods set by each of them. While Persona is jazzy and smooth, God Eater is fierce and adrenaline pumping! I am sure many of you have your favorites so please feel free to share and suggest a few, I love hearing what others listen to.

  • Zain

 

My Favorite Anime Studio & Movie – Studio Ghibli

Ever since I was in school anime and video games went hand in hand for me which pretty much also explains why I love JRPGs so much. Its about 20 years later and I still cannot get enough of either one of them. What I’d like to focus on however is the studio that’s not only produced some of the best anime movies out there, but also produced one of my favorite anime movies – Spirited Away. The movie won a Golden Bear (an award handed out at the Berlin Film Festival for the best film) in 2002 and in 2003 received an Academy Award.

Studio Ghibli was founded in 1985 making it more than 30 years old and has since spawned multiple films with most being critically acclaimed. Sadly in 2014 the studio announced that they will be holding all production since the co-founder and director Hayao Miyazaki retired. Although Miyazaki has come out of retirement this year to direct one more time for Studio Ghibli. The studio also has a museum based in Mitaka. A city in Tokyo, Japan. One of my dreams is to visit the museum sometime in the near future.

Some of my favorite movies from the studio include the below:

1988 – My Neighbor Totoro
The movie stars a family that moves to what seems like the country side. The reason for their move is so that they can be closer to the hospital that their mother has been booked into due to her recovering from a long term illness. Whilst their father works during the day the girls encounter forest spirits. One of the spirits being Totoro which is in fact Studio Ghibli’s mascot.

2001 – Spirited Away (I cannot tell you how many times I’ve watched this movie)
Spirited Away follows the story of a young girl who while on her journey with her mother and father to their new home enter the spirit world. Here she has to over come challenges set out by the witch Yubaba who has turned her parents into pigs. She will need to fight in her own way and free her parents from the spell cast upon them and escape back into the world of the living.

2004 – Howl’s Moving Castle
In a world filled with magic there is war amongst two kingdoms. The story follows a young women who is cursed by a witch and turned into an old women. She encounters and cares for a young wizard known as Howl. Little does she know that she in turn has just become apart of the war.

2008 – Ponyo
The movie revolves around a fish named Ponyo who in fact is the daughter of a wizard and scientist. After adventuring away from her home she is caught in a fishing trap but saved by a young human boy. The story revolves around this unusual friendship and their struggle to over come the ‘magic’ set out to keep them apart.

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Image Pinterest

Now keep in mind that I am solely focusing on Studio Ghibli in this post but will in the future cover my other favorites.

Do you watch anime? Are you a fan and what are some of your favorite movies and studios?

 

  • Zain