Showing posts from May, 2020

Freebie Friday; Borderlands, the Handsome Collection and more

Borderlands, the Handsome Collection
If you haven't played any of the Borderlands games yet, and you have a PC, you should check out Epic's current free game, Borderlands, the Handsome Collection. The collection collects Borderlands 2, Borderlands the PreSequel (which includes events that presage the story in Borderlands 2, but came out between Borderlands 2 and 3), and all DLC content.
Yes, it's the second installment in the saga of dystopian irreverence and ribaldry that is the Borderlands series, but it's a good jumping on point. The first two Borderlands games are among the few that I've played all the way through, and - with two and three - among the even more rare game that I buy as close to launch as possible. The series has been praised as the first of the first-person looter-shooters, combining the appeal of Halo and Gears of War with the unique loot options and gear mining of Diablo and MMORPGs, it's not hyperbolic to say Borderlands launched a genre,…

Want early access to Crucible?

Crucible, the new free-to-play, third-person action shooter from Amazon, launches in the morning at 9 a.m. Pacific time. But you can get in on the action three hours early with one of the codes listed below. (First come, first serve, so hurry up!)

From the Crucible team e-mail:
We heard you were running out of codes, so here’s a fresh batch.
Use the codes below to invite members of your community to participate in the streamer preview event which starts at 9am Pacific (6pm CEST) on May 20. Anyone with a code will be able to play the game for three hours ahead of the public launch. You can start giving these keys away now, but just let your friends and community know that the game servers won’t be up until 9am Pacific on May 20.

More free games! (GTA V and NinjaGo)

Free PC game
If you didn't know already (I didn't until recently*), Epic Games has been giving away a LOT of free games since opening their online store. Their most recent offering, available now through May 21, is the critically acclaimed Grand Theft Auto V. The PC version of the game – the version offered for free – has been a fan favorite, thanks in part to some amazing mods (if you don't know, Google "GTA V whale", and "GTA V cat gun") and has a Metacritic score of 96, with a user score of 7.8. That means people like it. In fact, the giveaway garnered enough attention that demand for the game took the store down for a little while on Thursday when the game was first listed for free download.

GTA V has an ESRB rating of Mature, for players 17 and older, so it isn't one you are going to want to set the kids loose with on the laptop, but if you've been interested in checking the game out and hadn't yet, now is a good time to do so. Be sure t…

Free Game!


What I'm doing and what I should be doing (aka, in praise of the rewind feature)

So, I'm well into my second week of furlough. I should be trying a little harder to look for other jobs. Or, I should be writing new content (like this post) for the blog. Since I noticed yesterday that the company not only took down the website for my old newspapers and redirected all links them to the closest daily paper they still operate, but also haven't (yet) migrated the content from that site, I should be posting all the relevant content here – things like my coverage of Bigfoot sightings and UFO reports, and video game reviews and esports stories.
Instead, I've been playing a lot of NES and SNES era Legend of Zelda.
See, a while back I got a year of free Nintendo online service for the Switch. I used it a little. I tried to get my stepson interested in playing the old school Super Mario Bros. titles with me, which resulted in much eye-rolling and pleas to play Super Mario Odyssey instead, "Alone, please."
I told my fiancee that they had Metroid and, la…

The Devil came to Lawrence County

Devil lore is rich and old. In the early Christianization of Europe (4th to 8th centuries CE), traditional beliefs died hard. While folks might have given up openly worshiping or honoring the old gods and nature spirits, they kept their beliefs and traditions alive as superstition, legend, and folklore. At the same time the early church demonized these old spirits and beings, conflating them with the devils of the new, Middle Eastern religion poised to sweep the continent. Fast forward 800 to a thousand years and, while the superstition, fear, and mysticism remained, all the superficial traces of paganism had been neatly laid over with a thin Christian veneer. In this new paradigm there was no room for ambivalent spirits, no space for tricksters that taught while also tormenting. There was simply good, and there was evil. Misfortune, illness, tragedy, all could be (and were) attributed to the Devil.
We see this in the 1638 case of the thunderstorm at Widecombe-in-the-Moor, in Dartmoo…

Thieves or a UFO?

On the Evening of August 17, 2004, according to the late investigator Kenny Young, three ladies from Lucasville ventured outside to check out what they believed to be headlights or powerful flashlights from someone illegally trespassing on their property. There had been a number of thefts in the area recently, according to their report, and their initial concern was that someone was there looking to steal something. Little did they know how that evening, and those to come, would play out.

The lights
Lisa, her roommate Sheila, and Sheila’s friend Della (last names withheld by the investigator for privacy reasons) had been spending the evening socializing at the home near Blue Run and Morris Lane when they first spotted the lights. After watching them for quite some time, as they reflected off of a mailbox, they moved into the kitchen to see if they could determine exactly where they were coming from. It was then that they noticed that lights were also reflecting off the vehicles parked…

The Old McDaniel Hermit Place: Odd Apparitions and Missing Persons

In December of 1896, Scioto County, Ohio would see one of its oddest, and least explainable, reports of an apparition. While presented as a sort of ghost story, it doesn’t fit your typical haunting. In fact there are some elements that seem more akin to modern Bigfoot sightings, such as late night screams and vocalizations, and others that seem to indicate an abduction or disappearance.
You can’t even begin this story without addressing inconsistencies in the early reporting. While some sources list the story as first appearing in the December 14, 1896 issue of the Portsmouth Times, a review of microfiche in the local history department of the Portsmouth Public Library reveals the story actually ran in the December 16 issue. If only this were the end of the confusion, but this story leaves more questions unanswered than answered. What we do know is that the events of the evening in question began at the home of a Mr. Henry Crowe. In addition to Henry, others in attendance that evenin…

Free Game!


In my humble opinion...

I don't have a lot of money, but there are things I'm willing to throw a few dollars at every now and then. For example, there are certain charities, like the AbleGamers Foundation, that I'll always give to or support in any way I can. (And if you aren't familiar with AbleGamers, take a minute to learn more about them. They really do fantastic work to make gaming an accessible hobby for everyone.)
It's one of the reasons why I fell in love with the Humble Bundles, and have been supporting them - and growing my Steam collection to an unmanageable size - for years now. I have supported Humble Bundles for PC games, for console games, for mobile games, for e-books and audio books and comic books and - you get the picture. It's hard for me to say "no" to a book about building my own coffee roaster for a dollar, especially when I can decide how much of that dollar goes to charity, how much goes to the creators, and how much Humble Bundle gets to keep.

Invasion on Chestnut Ridge: Small Town Monsters highlight oddities in feature

(Originally published in edited form in October, 2017 in the  Ashland Daily Independent)

On the evening of December 9, 1965 witnesses across the Midwest – from Windsor, Ontario to Kecksburg, Pennsylvania – reported spotting a bright reddish orange orb zoom through the night sky. Kecksburg, a small town along Chestnut Ridge in the Appalachian Mountains, was where it finally came to rest, crashing along the area now known as Meteor Road. A meteor is all it was, if you believe the official reports. But the people of Kecksburg say it was something entirely different. If reports from the small community are to be believed, it was the sight of Appalachia's own Roswell-type event, complete with the crash of an acorn-shaped unidentified flying object and a military response and cover-up. If the events of December 1965 were the only odd thing to happen on Chestnut Ridge, it would still be an interesting story. But according to the folks who live there, the area of Chestnut Ridge, which …

Even my memes are dated...


Borderlands: Game of the Year SHiFT codes

Have you played the original Borderlands yet? No shame if you haven't, this site is all about those things you may have wanted to check out, but never got around to. But it's a great game. The "original looter shooter" has launched three sequels (four if you count the also excellent episodic Tales from the Borderlands from Telltale games) for a reason. It's one of the few game series where I have made it a point of picking up each new installment as soon as they come out - or as soon as fiscally possible. I'm a journalist after all, I'm not made of money.
You can pick up the Game of the Year edition, which includes the base game and all DLC, for under $30 on the PlayStation, Steam, and Xbox stores - and may even be able to find a physical copy for cheaper if you look around. Right now you can also get five Gold Keys (codes good through 5/12/2020) when you enter the above SHiFT codes on the Borderlands website or through the game interface. These Gold Key…

Better late than never

I first bought this domain almost a year ago. I'd gotten a code for a game -Second Hand: Frankie's Revenge - through my day job at the time as a newspaper writer (more about that later) and figured if my paper couldn't use it, or our big sister paper didn't want it for their entertainment section, I might go ahead and review it anyway and put it up on this new blog I had been mulling over. See, I play a lot of video games. Or, at least, I played a lot of video games before my son was born. Now I start a lot of video games, and then stop them when he requires my attention, until I finish the game weeks or months after starting it or a new game grabs my attention.
One of the things I've noticed over the past several years, which I'm sure most of you who have been playing games for a while have noticed as well, are the preponderance of "retro" styled games; titles that eschew the polished graphics and giant file size of the AAA titles from big studios a…