Bits & Pieces

The Wild, Wild West: A Review for Hard West

“My second sample review, this time on CreativeForge’s Hard West.  Just my take on the RTS and what I thought about it.” -Justin, March 2016.

           After reading about an X-COM style real time strategy game, I decided to pick up CreativeForge’s Hard West.  While I did get a lot of enjoyment from the hours I sunk into X-COM: Enemy Unknown, as well as the expansion Enemy Within, as a gamer who wasn’t used to the combination of macro and micro-management, I felt a bit overwhelmed by trying to balance the many different resources and objectives within Firaxis’ game.  In Hard West, I found a comfortable niche that both retained the tactical turn base combat with less to handle during the larger “World” play time.  Though the story had been competently written by CreativeForge’s team, it was the fun combat system that kept drawing me back to the fire fights in Hard West’s old Western style settings.

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A Dragon’s Worth of Gold: A Review for Dragon Age: Origins

“An attempt to broaden my horizon.  This is one of the two sample reviews I whipped up just to get my feet wet in regards to writing not only nonfiction, but also my own opinions in a piece.  Reviews are always subjective to a degree, but here’s my take on Bioware’s first installment in their Dragon Age series.” -Justin, March 2016.

Bioware’s Dragon Age: Origins deals with a world teetering on the brink of annihilation, and it’s up to the player’s character to rally the multiple conflicting factions within to unite and face the impending threat before all is lost.  While it used a basic premise taken by many different roleplaying games in the past, Bioware had always differentiate themselves by the sheer amount of detail they put within their lore, as evident by their Mass Effect series, as well as storytelling, with Knights of the Old Republic.  They have done the same thing this time, following a successful formula and creating one of the best RPG experience I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing within the 2000s.

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Intro to Tales from Thedas, 9:42 Dragon

“This was the introduction to another roleplay I wanted to participate in.  To those not familiar with the term, it’s almost like collaborative writing that multiple people participate in over certain forums online.  Unfortunately my partner for this one on one roleplay never got back to me, so while I really enjoyed this piece, this was all that went into the story, so think if it as the start of a Dragon Age fan fiction that I may or may not finish in the future.” -Justin, December 2015.

Somewhere near a road by Redcliffe Village. 9:42 Dragon

Maker damn this luck.

A battered looking man stumbled through the underbrush of the Ferelden forest near Redcliffe, using his battle scarred equipment as crutches to aid him in his flight. Under the blood, grit and grime covering the soldier, there appeared a relatively handsome man with dark brown hair and green eyes. The soldier continued forward, away from the fading sounds of battle. As the cries of war and screams of pain and agony left his ears, the relatively young man pushed forward, almost limping as quick footsteps could be heard following him. With a battered long sword in one hand and an equally worn down shield in another, Farrell Vassell came to a ravine, and stared at the face of the cliff that surrounded him 160 degrees in front of his eyes.

A dead end, quite possibly a literal one.

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Heirs to the Throne

“This is the first Screenplay I’ve ever written.  It probably won’t take Hollywood by storm, but I do value it for the learning experience I’ve received during its production.  Shout out to Professor Michael Lucker, who taught me that not only can young whelps like me write a screenplay, but you can have fun doing it.  Sorry it had to be in the PDF.  If I pasted it on here like any other pieces, the formatting would come out all wrong (I used Celtx to make this).” -Justin, November 2014.

Heirs to the Throne


The Black Shield and The Watch Commander

“Okay, so this one’s actually a fanfic of a sort.  Recently I’ve gotten more into roleplaying, especially within the Warhammer 40k universe.  This was the backstory to the character that I play as, so a lot of people will probably not get a lot of the terminology or significance of the names and ranks within this short story (more of two flash fictions really).  If you’re interested here’s a link that would greatly help with defining what’s what in this fictional universe, otherwise, I sincerely apologize if the lack of context lost your interest in this one.” -Justin, September 2014.

Watch Commander Mordigael read the files of the young marine in front of him, studying his features. From his medium length, dark brown hair, to the posture of his body under the black and white armor, every feature pointed to a youth. Indeed, his file’s basic information said that the young battle brother was barely half a century old. Yet his eyes seemed like they had already lived three Astartes’ lifetimes. Unfortunately, the files contained little else except his combat capability, which is substantial. The Watch Commander looked at the young marine.

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The Rebirth

“Here’s the first flash fiction I’ve ever done.  Wrote it for class a while back.” -Justin, October 2013

I’m falling faster than my tears now.  The salty liquid spheres hovering around my face.  It’s amazing how clear your mind can be after suffering so much pain.  The betrayal in my brother eyes as he squeezed the trigger.  The moment of shock as the bullet pushed itself through my suit and me out of the plane.  The last image flashed over and over in my mind: my raven haired Father watching the whole scene apathetically; the picture of his younger self dying in front of him doesn’t even faze the old man.

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