Virtual Tourist – Assassin’s Creed Origins 8/2/20

Morning!

Life continues in its usual chaotic cycles. I used a few days of vacation this week, and instead of vegging I spent them working on writer stuff. 😛  I never learn. 

I have been learning a lot about landing pages and opt-in pages and figuring out how to get more traction for my novels in general. Writing a good book is but one of the many things you have to do. The writer’s life is not for the faint of heart. Heh heh. 

Assassin’s Creed Origins

City of AlexandriaOur first view of the city of Alexandria! A sprawling metropolis and cultural melting pot.

Temple in AlexandriaA temple in Alexandria. Depending on where you are will depend on whether they are Egyptian, Greek, or even Roman. Some are hybrids.

Ptolemy statueA Ptolemy statue. He was Cleopatra’s younger brother and has usurped her rule. Destroying them is one of Bayek’s little pleasures. 😛

Side view of Alexandria Side view of part of Alexandria. The game has a photo shooting utility and the photos will show on the main map. So you can like other peeps pics. A neat idea! They even do a picture of the day. Encouraging us all to be Virtual Tourists. 😛

Tiled FloorsHere is some gorgeous tile work. Definitively showing Greek influence. 

Home in AlexandriaInside one of the homes in Alexandria. I so love all the detail!

A main street in AlexandriaOne of the major streets in Alexandria. 

Building in AlexandriaThe Library of Alexandria. Imposing, is it not? Yet a perfect example of the mishmash of cultures in the magnificent city. (Ah, makes me think of Rachel Caine’s awesome series The Great Library set in an alternate history where this bastion of learning was not destroyed.)

Pharos LighthousePharos the Lighthouse in Alexandria – one of the seven wonders of the world. 

Inside the Great Library Inside the Great Library. There are scholars everywhere you look. 

Giant gyroscopeA giant gyroscope inside the library. 

BuildingIt’s awe-inspiring to see what people managed to build in ancient times. 

 

The top of the Pharos LighthouseView of the top area of the Pharos Lighthouse. 

Statues in the waters of AlexandriaStatues in the waters of Alexandria. Just how did they get these out here? 

The Tomb of Alexander the Great

The Tomb of Alexander the Great

If you are not currently subscribed to my newsletter/blog – now might be the time!

I am giving away a FREE short story entitled “Elixir of Life” to any who sign up. (For those of you already on the mailing list, don’t worry! I’ll be sending info on how you can get it soon! 

 

Virtual Tourist – Assassin’s Creed – Origins 6/14/20

Morning!

I hope you are all doing well. Life is getting more back to normal, yet it’s too early to drop all precautions. The numbers are still climbing for COVID-19. Stay safe!

Assassin’s Creed Origins

Assassin's Creed Origins - Mountain of the DeadOne of the rooms in the Mountain of the Dead near Siwa. Canopic jars and all sorts of treasures for the afterlife. 

Assassin's Creed OriginsCat mummies! The Mountain of the Dead has a room just for cat mummies! Cats figure heavily into the game. They love Bayek. I think I’ve had five gather around and follow him. No pet command in this game, but if you get the angle right when you crouch, he will pet them. Still, a room of cat mummies! I was so surprised. Lol. 

Assassin's Creed OriginsTwo essential things in this picture. First is the tablet. It will show up over and over in different tombs you explore. Each will give you an ability point. So it’s well worth searching for them. (The exploration itself is fun, too. Though not always easy! They get tricky!) The second thing is the boy next to Bayek. He’s got the old-style bare head with a ponytail! Heh heh.

Assassin's Creed Origins - starsThere’s a quest for Bayek that he is doing for his son. There are 12 constellations that have been recreated on the ground. It was his son’s wish to visit all of them with his father. Here is the first. 

Assassin's Creed OriginsOnce you find one, you will see the corresponding stars and then the image of what/who they represent. On the first one, you have a flashback of Bayek and his son talking about the constellations. It’s a very touching sequence. 

Assassin's Creed Origins - Temple of Amun EntranceWhile there are a lot of ruins and crumbling statuary, others are still in perfect condition. Say hello to Wanderer (aka Roach) Bayek’s camel. Camels, horses, chariots, boats, there is a myriad of items you can use for transportation. Using them in town can be a little hazardous. You will destroy property like fences, jars, etc. (DOH!) Much to my surprise; you can get an achievement for it. (Double DOH!)

Assassin's Creed OriginsOutside view of the temple we started from at the beginning of the game. It lies some miles outside of Siwa. Since we had to follow Bayek’s old friend out from there, I didn’t get a look at the front! 😛

Assassin's Creed Origins - first temple interiorSuch lovely detail! I didn’t recognize I’d been here until I got this far in. 😛 

Assassin's Creed Origins - Temple of AmunThis is the object that has brought such misery to Siwa. It is what lies beyond this door that has brought the calamity upon Bayek’s life. Yet, though it has been a year, his enemies still have not figured out the secret to getting it to open. I’m sure I will have to return here for that very thing later on.

Assassin's Creed Origins - Temple of Amun - upper areaTemple of Amun – upper temple area. Gorgeous! But also a place of tragedy and pain for Bayek. You can see the masked evil-doer right at the bottom. 

Assassin's Creed Origins - Bayek's TombModern Time – this is Bayek’s mummy, and that is Layla, the one using his DNA to look into the past. She’s built a portable Animus. Looking at all her files, they do some nice tie ins to the movie and some of the other Assassin’s Creed games. She’s fearless and a little crazy. Lol.

Assassin's Creed Origins - Bayek and Senu

Senu and Bayek. Aren’t they cute? 🙂

Stay calm, stay safe, stay optimistic!  Until next time!

 

 

Virtual Tourist – Assassin’s Creed – Origins 5/3/20

Morning!

I am running late, but with some luck, I will get this post done on time!

Support Small Businesses

Remember to support small businesses during this time of uncertainty. (Like my publishers!) We’d all really appreciate it! I think Zumaya will try to set up a promotion in the next week or two. Get ready for possible deals. 😛

Assassin’s Creed – Origins

Hubby and I played an interim game between the two Assassin’s Creed games, but it ended up being just a preview. I may still share, as I enjoyed what we played, but this new (for us!) Assassin’s Creed is too gorgeous not to share!  

So far, the mechanics work a lot smoother than Black Flag. They’ve also added a neat feature with the iconic eagle and gives the player an aerial view and other fun goodies!

Anyway, here we go!

Assassin's Creed - Origins - Logo

I loved how they merged the normal Assassin’s Creed logo with the Egyptian hieroglyphs. Looks awesome! 

Assassin's Creed - OriginsA super cool combo of data streaming and hieroglyphics. Too cool! 

Assassin's Creed - Origins - DessertIntro film – showing us the unforgiving desert. As with the other one I played, they dump you in the middle of things without context, which is slowly revealed during gameplay.

Assassin's Creed - Origins - Siwa villageThe prosperous village of Siwa. 

Assassin's Creed - Origins

A royal visitor – and the moment things began to go wrong. 

Assassin's Creed - Origins - buried templeA year has passed since Bayek noticed the masked figures with the royal caravan. Bayek is a Medjay for the Siwa village before tragedy struck. A Medjay is a protector and policeman of sorts. (I kept thinking they were saying magi! DOH!)

Assassin's Creed - OriginsIsn’t this gorgeous? The detail is outstanding. You even burn cobwebs with the torch. Bayek has just dispatched the first of the five men responsible for corrupting the country and destroying all he held dear. 

Assassin's Creed - Origins - buried temple statueI loved that he apologized to the gods for infiltrating their temple and pilfering some treasures. It was also fascinating to hear him say ‘ancients’ when that is how we think of him in 48 BCE or so.

Assassin's Creed - Origins - wall carvings

Just look at the awesome wall paintings! The neat columns! Such gorgeous work!

Assassin's Creed - Origins - wall decorSuch intricate work. Though you can’t take it with you, there are a ton of wonderful representations of actual items you’d see in the bigger tombs. Wait until I share the pic of the cat mummies! Squee!

 

I’ve put Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles and Inner Demons back for free at Smashwords if you need reading fodder. But if you can spare the cash, please support my still existing publishers! Much appreciated! 

 

 

 

Pancakes a la Oliver!

Morning, all!

Being Shut-In is not easy. Luckily, we live in a rural area and taking a short walk with no one around helps keep the cabin fever in check. 😛

Anyway, hubby made something yesterday that I made for myself this morning and thought I would share it! It might be fun to try with the kiddos! A new way to bling out breakfast. 🙂 

Pancakes a la Oliver!

  Pancakes a la Oliver

1 – Grab one stack of your favorite frozen pancakes.

2 – Heat the pancakes per instructions, unstacked on a plate.  (I add a tiny bit of butter to melt on top.)

3 – Once done, add a slice of Colby and a slice of thin-sliced ham on each pancake.

4 – Put them back in the microwave for 30 sec.

5 – Remove from the microwave and add a drizzle (or more) of syrup and eat!

Pretty tasty! (It’s like a pancake Montecristo!) 

Speaking of Montecristo, I am thinking of trying some jam on top the next time. 🥰

I hope you guys are safe and virus-free! Stay safe!

 

Cover Reveal – Alien Redemption

Greetings, all!

Yes, we finally have a cover!  See what Charles Bernard has created. 

Alien Redemption by Gloria Oliver

Isn’t it lovely? It has a lot of elements (maybe even hints) from the book. 😛  

The Kindle and Nook ebook versions of Alien Redemption are now live! Trade paperbacks should be available soon!

Don’t forget two books are currently free at Smashwords to celebrate the release of Alien Redemption. They won’t stay that way forever, so if you’ve not downloaded your copies, do it soon. 🙂 And please pass the word along! 

All your efforts are very much appreciated!

Enjoy!

 

Virtual Tourist – Assassin’s Creed – Black Flag 02/16/20

Morning, all!

I haven’t done one of these in a while. Between YE chaos, added work chaos, and the coming release chaos, somethings I’ve had to let slide. (Though it’s over a year since the gall bladder surgery, I’m still not back to normal.) 🙁

Anyway! Here goes!

Assassin’s Creed – Black Flag

This is the first time I’ve tried playing one of the games in the franchise since the first one. Back then, I had to stop because even though I could close my eyes during synchronization, the baud rate in the white room of the prisoner in modern times was so low that even though nothing was moving, it gave me horrible motion sickness.

I am happy to say that this addition to the franchise does not have the same problem. I can even enjoy the beauty of the synchronizations as they got slowed down a bit. (Just don’t have Edward drink alcohol. Talk about side effects. I won’t do that again!) Lol. 

The vistas are gorgeous, and the longer you play, the more options of stuff to do or equipment you can use open up. But some of the mechanics are clunky or get in the way. A decent tutorial on combat would have been nice – I still have trouble. 😛 (The same goes for ship combat!) But overall, hubby and I are enjoying it.

Our time vessel is Edward Kenway – a man desperate to gain fame and fortune. He wants to prove to his estranged wife and her family that he did not make the wrong decision by striking out on his own. Now that being a privateer has been outlawed, he’s going to become an outright pirate.

Assassins Creed - BlackFlagEventual intro! Pictured here is the Port of Havana.

Assassins Creed - BlackFlagEdward and a mysterious man have survived the destruction of the ship they were on. Things turn a little weird here. The strange man is injured, and he asks Edward to help him get to Havana. The mysterious man has clothing fitting the Assassins Creed members, but seemingly he is a traitor and is working with the Templars. Somehow these two end up not coming to an understanding, and the wounded man speeds off like a gazelle, and Edward has to catch him. (I did say it got weird.)

Assassins Creed - BlackFlagFrom what I understand, the game has no way to remove the UI for pics. A pity, because as you can see, the visuals are lovely. 🙂

Assassins Creed - BlackFlag

After catching up to the assassin, Edward takes his coat, message, and goods for himself. (No hidden blades yet, so cutlasses are for us arrh!) I loved the rainbow with the waterfall!

Assassins Creed - BlackFlagEdward does a lot of swimming. In a heavy coat to boot! 😛 Even his crew will make fun of him for it. Lol. There’s also an achievement. 😛

Assassins Creed - BlackFlag - HavanaHavana without the logo. So nice!

Assassins Creed - BlackFlagThe ever-present hawk leads us to the synchronization spot. Havana has multiple of these as it is a large city. 

Assassins Creed - BlackFlagThere are cats, dogs, and parrots you can pet in the game! There’s even an achievement for petting dogs. Too cute!

Assassins Creed - BlackFlagWhile some items are repetitive in their look, there’s plenty of excellent detail. Shafts of soft light from small fortress windows – how nice!

Assassins Creed - BlackFlagHere is a lovely view of several ships leaving the harbor. Look at the gorgeous water! Isn’t it amazing?

 

I hope you have a great week!

Obligatory Promo Section!

Yep, I gotta have this since a book is pending release. I am hoping to share the cover soon! 

Don’t forget the Kindle and Nook versions are currently on pre-order at a discounted price. 

You can find sample chapters here.

Don’t forget the free ebooks to help celebrate the release and to thank you for your help in getting the word out, doing reviews, whatever you feel like – Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles and Inner Demons

Thanks again!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mini Movie Reviews 12/15/19

Morning!

This time of year is always bonkers for me. The weather, too, especially as it swings from cold to warm and back again. Then there’s squeezing in the holidays while trying to juggle all the year-end accounting projects before the close in January. Since the company is now public again, the amount of requirements for auditors and reporting goes way up!

I hope you guys are having a better time of it! 😛

Mini Movie Reviews

Knives OutKnives Out – This film was a lot more fun than I expected. It’s a classic Agatha Christie setup, but then it takes a left turn in an unexpected direction. Secrets, machinations, lies, a ton of details pulling every which way. Even when you think you know what happened, it turns out it wasn’t that way at all. Great performances, good twists and turns. There was something odd on the way close-ups were filmed, which made the actors and actresses look off, but this could have been intentional.

Rating: 3.75 out of 4 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again!) 

 

Jumanji: The Next LevelJumanji: The Next Level – Hubby had been chomping at the bit to see this one. 😛 They did a great job showing some of the reasons Spencer chose to try to fix the game and going back inside. Some new people and characters get introduced as Jumanji gets thrown into a bigger crisis than before. The actors doing the avatars get to reinvent themselves as the people behind them have changed. They did such a great job! Awkwafina did a great Granpa Eddie. ROFL. Some new skills and new weaknesses. The prehistoric ostriches were super cool and scary. Lol.  One extra bit ties the end of the film back to giving homage to the original Jumanji as well as a possible leading to another film! Favorite quote: “You are the worst Bravestone ever!” 😛 

Rating: 3.5 out of 4 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again.)

Have a great week!

Virtual Tourist – Yakuza 0 9/15/19

Morning!

Dropped off the planet again. Seems to be more often than not anymore. Apologies! 

I could bore you with the weird health issues or the insanity at work with the horrible software we now have to work in, but I won’t. 😛 Let’s look at something more fun. 🙂 

News – Edits on “Alien Redemption” are moving forward! I don’t know if the publisher will work it all in before the end of the year, but I am hopeful! So keep your fingers crossed! 

Also, for anyone up in the Oklahoma area, there are activities on Nov 2-3, 2019. I won’t be signing up but thought it would be worth passing then info. It’s the Tulsa Pop Culture Expo 2019! (They were super nice to reach out and send me info, so I figured I’d help them in return. :))

Tulsa Pop Culture Expo

Yakuza O

Yakuza 0 - Substory Producer

One of the crazy things about the game is the substories. The main storyline is super serious, but everything else? Not so much. Lol. In this one, I’ve been helping out as a “producer” for a difficult director. They even dressed me for the part. Well, the guy behind Kazuma is the real Producer. The clothes are an exact match. lol.

Yakuza 0 - Dom substory

Another bizarre substory. Helping a dom learn how to talk the talk. (She was too polite and her customers weren’t feeling it. ROFL.)

Yakuza 0 - Kappa Statue

So adorable! Look at the cute kappa statue! Awwww!

Yakuza 0 - Maharajah Disco

Maharajah Disco. There’s one of these in both cities in the game. The dancing mini-game is HARD! (At least to my uncoordinated fingers.) 😛

Yakuza 0 - Kazuma does Saturday Night Fever

Like the substories, all the mini-games take things to farce levels. They have the guys to Saturday Night Fever struts before we do the dancing. The disparity between the main story line and everything else is extreme, but also a lot of fun. 

Yakuza 0 - Disco Fever!

See what I mean? (Oh, and during Karaoke, it goes super crazy. No pics as I am pushing arrow keys like mad! lol)

Yakuza 0 - swank Hotel lobby

Swank hotel/office lobby. I’m about to go see a mysterious benefactor.

Yakuza 0 - kid substory

A lot of the substories end up having to do with kids. Some of the stories are too adorable.

Yakuza 0 - the meeting

Kazuma has such awesome facial expressions! Lol. 

Yakuza 0 - Oda

This is Oda. Right-hand man to Tachibana, the mysterious benefactor. He wants to test my mettle. 😛

May your week be fruitful and calm! 

 

Virtual Tourist – Yakuza 0 6/30/19

Morning! I’m running late!

Yakuza 0

Yakuza 0 - Title Screen

The Yakuza 0 title screen. 

Yakuza 0 - mysterious man's suite

Kiryu is helped out by a mysterious man. This is his swanky pad. 

Yakuza 0 - Pachinko

Outside a Pachinko arcade. No Sousa marching music though. 😛

Yakuza 0 - convenience store

One of several convenience stores in the area.  One of the few places you can buy food to take with you to up your health after a fight. At restaurants, you have to eat it there, unless your health is full, in which case you can’t eat at all. 

Yakuza 0 - Kiryu's neighborhood

Kiryu’s neighborhood. He has a one-room apartment on the second floor of the building on the right. 

Yakuza 0 - food displau

A restaurant food display.

Yakuza 0 - mini car races

One of the places Kiryu can play side games. This is for mini car racing! You get a free car, and you can buy or find parts to improve it. One of the few side games I did OK at. Lol. 

Yakuza 0 - 50's hoodlum

One of the substories. Rather hilarious. Love his 50’s Yankee look. 

Yakuza 0 - rebel singing group

These guys are part of a singing group that is very popular with delinquents. They look like delinquents but are far from it. They want me to teach them how to pass as badass, so their fans don’t realize the truth. Lol. (The leader talks tough on second, apologetic the next, hilarious.)

Yakuza 0 - restaurant

One of the restaurants you can buy food. On the minimap, they show as orange. The yellow squares are for places you can buy things, like the convenience store. Purple colored areas are places with games. The Sega Game stores have UFO Catchers! (Something else I’m doing decent on! Yay! Stuffed animals for the win! :P)

Have a great week! And a happy 4th of July!

Virtual Tourist – Yakuza 0 6/16/19

First off, Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there!

Happy Father's Day

Mini Movie Review

Men In Black International Men In Black: International – They are back! With more attitude, bigger weapons, and the usual chaos! 😛  The original theme music is back, so the film had a nostalgic vibe to it. There’s even a painting in High T’s office of J and K saving the world. 😛  There’s a recurring theme in the film they pound into you hard – the universe always puts you where you need to be when you need to be there. They stretch this out a bit much! And while some explanations on why things have happened are shown, there are others you have to infer from what’s been presented. (For example: Why H changed so much in 3 years. And no, it’s not the girlfriend. Though if you don’t put it together yourself, it’s gone :P) Cool effects, fast pace, overall a good ride! Rating: 3.5 out of 4 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission.)

Yakuza 0

This is another Japanese console game that has been converted for PC. For the most part, they’ve done a good change over, though I have run into one issue on a keybinding that drove me nuts as it trapped me on a fighting style tutorial. Ugh.

It’s 1988 in Kamurocho, a fictional small town/district in Japan. You’re Kazuma Kiryu, one of two orphan boys who joined the local yakuza when they became of age. Kiryu is a straight shooter, who’s gets set up for murder so the shame can be used against his boss in a tangled political power play. 

In the middle of the serious storyline, there are substories to get involved in and mini-games (karaoke, pocket racers, baseball batting, etc.). Some of those are far from serious. Watching Kyriu pose with his pocket racer and doing his “I win!” bit are hilarious. Geek fun abounds!

Yakuza 0 - Kamurocho District

One of the streets in Kamurocho at night. Loads of clubs and adult entertainment. Following my friend Majima to do some drinking.

Yakuza 0 - club street

The opposite side of the same street. Video stores, pachinko, and more.

Yakuza 0 - Majima and Kyriu

Majima and Kiryu. Both orphans raised at the Sunflower Orphanage. It’s financed by their boss, Kazama, which is why they both decided to join the yakuza. (He did try to dissuade them, but these two are stubborn.) (I love Kyriu’s sideburns!!!!!!!!)

Yakuza 0 - upper floor in Dojima HQ

Look at the gorgeous woodwork! Upper floor on the Dojima HQ. (Dojima is the main Yakuza family in the zone.)

Yakuza 0 - Kuze

Kuze – one of the three top lieutenants in the Dojima family. He’s willing to do anything to get a shot at being captain. A position currently held by Kazama, Kyriu’s boss, who is currently in jail. (That ceiling is rad!)

Yakuza 0 - Kuze's tattoo

Kuze’s Yakuza tattoo – the King of Hell (Underworld). Heh heh.

Yakuza 0 - Kyriu's Yakuza tattoo

Kyriu’s yakuza tattoo – work in progress. He’s currently pretty low in the ranks.

Yakuza 0 - Tachibana Realty head

I really liked this image — the view from a top floor of one of the buildings in Kamurocho. Tachibana of Tachibana Realty is the man reflected in the window. A non-yakuza group who is also vying for control of the “Empty Lot.”

Of course, I forgot to take a shot of the login screen. Fighting skill tree pic is also probably in order. DOH!

Have a great week!