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Category: Articles

The home for the written work of The Bonus World

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Gut Check: Solasta Crown of the Magister

Not so long ago I wrote a lengthy piece about my issues with the state of the early access release of Baldur’s Gate III. Without rehashing that entire article here, the main crux of it focused on the mechanical liberties Baldur’s Gate III took with the rules of Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. My initial thought was that translating the rules of D&D into a video game would naturally require a ton of concessions, however another CPRG named Solasta Crown of the Magister recently entered early access and proved that theory wrong…

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Some Notes About Baldur’s Gate III

Before I dive into the bulk of this article, it should be mentioned that no video game could ever truly capture the Dungeons & Dragons experience solely because there are static limitations to any video game. You can account for a lot of things as a game designer and try to cater to dozens of styles of play, but no game could adapt to the wild and imaginative things that players regularly ask of their DM’s quite like a living, breathing person present. Yet in spite of all of that Baldur’s Gate III already shows incredible promise when it comes to representing D&D and is a game I’m genuinely enjoying…

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Gut Check: Hades

When I finally gave in to all of the peer pressure I felt from the deluge of praise people were hurling at Hades and begrudgingly bought it, I felt this immediate wave of buyer’s remorse wash over me. After playing a little of it however, I can honestly say that it’s one of the most fun action games I’ve played this year. I can also confidently say that I won’t be seeing it through to the end because I’m bad at it…

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The Master of Disaster: Prepping – 16

One of the most interesting, fun and tedious parts about being a Dungeon Master is preparing from session to session, but even more of a challenge is preparing a new campaign entirely. My group and I are currently wrapping up our “one-shot” of The Sunless Citadel, a pretty decent Dungeons & Dragons adventure, and are gearing up for our next big campaign. As luck would have it, Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden released just as we were finishing up, so we decided that it would be our next adventure. Being that this is my first time prepping a full campaign, I figured I do it as meticulously as possible. Here’s what’s happened…

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Gut Check: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2

It’s rare when something that’s so clearly playing off of your nostalgia actually delivers and makes good on all of those memories you have of a game instead of just reminding you how flawed your brain is. It turns out that the original Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series was phenomenal and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 brings everything you loved about the series into the modern era extremely successfully…

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Gut Check: Spiritfarer

You’d think that a game about aiding the souls of the recently deceased in completing their various unfinished businesses would be a downer, but Spiritfarer just might be one of […]

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The Master of Disaster: Combat Encounters – 15

People often talk about the three pillars of Dungeons & Dragons and how crucial they are when making a well rounded campaign. Of the three pillars, exploration, role-playing and combat, I usually tend to focus on the role-playing pillar the most while paying less attention to the others. I’ve always felt that exploration was the toughest one for me, but as I run more Dungeons & Dragons games with different groups, I find that combat ends up feeling the weakest and least interesting…

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About That Avengers Beta

Since their surge in mass popularity during the 2010’s, I’ve been yearning for an Avengers game that would appropriately blend the varied powers of the Earth’s mightiest heroes with actual fun gameplay. Things were looking very promising when Marvel’s Spider-Man released two years ago on the PlayStation 4, but all of those positive feelings slowly drained away as I spent some time with Square Enix’s Marvel’s Avengers beta…

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Gut Check: Fall Guys

Approximately 17 years ago at the last E3, the folks over at Devolver Digital had their annual conference(?) in which they revealed among other things, Fall Guys. Looking at that initial trailer, I had no idea what to expect and immediately shrugged it off as some sort of Mario Party clone. Fast forward to just last week when it finally released on Steam and as a “free” PlayStation Plus offering, and it’s completely blown up to the point where the servers couldn’t handle the amount of people trying to play it. It turns out Fall Guys isn’t a clone of a bad game from a bad franchise…

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Exploring My Biases Against Certain Genres and Mechanics

Have you ever seen a trailer for a game and immediately knew it wasn’t for you? This happens to me consistently, and all it usually takes is a trailer or screenshot for me to see the mechanics at play to know a game isn’t for me. While I try to keep an open mind about every game, it’s a challenge for me to look at certain mechanics or genres and still feel compelled to play it despite what the critical reception is…

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Gut Check: Ghost of Tsushima

I went into Ghost of Tsushima knowing very little about what the game was outside of it being an open world action-adventure game set during a Mongol invasion of Japan during the 1270’s. A cool premise to be sure, but a cool premise alone wasn’t able to change the fact that I wasn’t having much fun with the game itself…

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Review: SpongeBob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated

Towards the end of my time with SpongeBob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated, my opinion of it had soured so drastically from how I felt when I began it. Being a 3D platformer from 2003, it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that you’re hopping from level to level, completing challenges and solving puzzles in order to obtain some sort of shiny object, which in this case are golden spatulas. Collecting enough golden spatulas grants you access to more levels, where you’ll do more challenges and so on and so forth. It’s a 3D platformer through and through…

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Review: BarnFinders

BarnFinders is a game that I am deeply conflicted about. It’s the exact sort of mindless, meditative gaming experience that I love so much, most of which involves you finding, repairing and selling various flotsam and jetsam at your own junk shop. It also is a game that is tremendously unfunny and at incredibly problematic in the way it represents various ethnicities and cultures…

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Gut Check: Among Trees

There is no denying that Among Trees is cut from the same cloth as the countless other survival games that have existed over the years, but leaving it at that would not only be dismissive and reductive, but fairly inaccurate as well. While Among Trees is one of “those” kinds of games, it sands down some of the rough edges of other titles of its ilk that usually lead me to avoid the genre entirely. But there’s something about this particular early access survival game that has me so fascinated and eager to continue playing it…

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Gut Check: Hardspace: Shipbreaker

Hardspace: Shipbreaker is a game that might have been made with me and my proclivities in mind. In Hardspace: Shipbreaker, you play as an unnamed “cutter” for a company that dismantles and salvages derelict space crafts for various clients, while making sure to pick through everything in an effort to get a little extra bonus cash. It’s currently in early access which is reassuring considering its various and completely understandable technical issues, that hopefully will be fixed as time goes on…