Gameplay from the Boss Fights of The Menagerie Wing of the One Night in Karazhan Hearthstone Expansion

The third wing of the Hearthstone One Night in Karazhan Expansion has released. As with the other wings, I played through all the boss fights and challenges and uploaded videos of them. Here’s the fights:

The Curator

The Curator has a hero taunt ability. You can only attack him or other minions with taunt with your minions or weapons. You can still use your hero power or spells to kill off his minions in this fight. Beating The Curator unlocks the Zoobot and Menagerie Warden cards.

Nightbane

Nightbane is a really fun fight. You start with 10 mana so you can load up your deck with high cost minions and spells. Beating Nightbane unlocks the Nightbane Templar and Runic Egg cards.

Terestian Illhoof

To beat Terestian Illhoof, you need to kill the imps he summons throughout the fight. Killing an Imp does 2 damage to Illhoof and resummons the Imp. Illhoof is immune to any other damage than the imps. Loading your deck up with cards that can do 1 damage to the board is a good strategy for this fight. Also, using cards that benefit from many minions on the opponent’s side of the board (like Cyclopian Horror) is a good idea. Beating Illhoof unlocks the Purify and Avian Watcher cards and completing the wing unlocks the Menagerie Magician and The Curator cards.

Hunter Class Challenge

You fight against The Curator in the Karazhan Hunter Class Challenge. You are given a Hunter decks with lots of secrets and cards that benefit from secrets in this challenge. Completing the challenge unlocks the Cat Trick Hunter card.

Mage Class Challenge

For the Mage Class Challenge, you fight against Nightbane and are given a deck with a lot of high cost cards to take advantage of starting with 10 mana crystals. This is a fun challenge and likely the first time you’ll be able to play with the Medivh card. Completing the challenge unlocks the Babbling Book Mage card.

Warrior Class Challenge

The Warrior Class Challenge has you fighting against Terestian Illhoof. You are given a deck that has a lot of AoE effects and cards to deal with the 1 health imps as well as cards that work well when the opponent has a full board of minions. Completing the challenge unlocks the Fool’s Bane Warrior card.


That’s it for The Menagerie. See you next week for the next wing! If you want to catch up on previous boss fights in the Karazhan expansion, here’s the playlist link with gameplay from all the fights and class challenges: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLSSxbgWfJMqGjfk7ltZ6eSVhLctFYGEtj

Here’s the X-Box Games with Gold for September 2016

gwgsept2016

The free games for X-Box Live’s Games with Gold program were announced for September 2016. They are:

X-Box One:

Earthlock Festival of Magic (New Release)
Assassin Creed Chronicles: China (Metacritic Rating: 67)

X-Box 360

Forza Horizon (Metacritic Rating: 85)
Mirror’s Edge (Metacritic Rating: 79)

Here’s my opinions on all of the games:

Earthlock Festival of Magic:
It’s always great to get a new release in Games with Gold or Playstation Plus. No one can complain about already having purchased the game previously. It also looks like a game I might enjoy.

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China
This is a 2d stealth puzzle platformer. I personally am burnt out on the puzzle platformer genre and the one AC Chronicles game I did play I did not really enjoy due to this. If you enjoy the genre or stealth games though, you may enjoy it. Don’t expect it to be anything like the main Assassin’s Creed series.

Forza Horizon
I love this series. I am only a casual racing fan but I have enjoyed both of the Forza Horizon games. Definitely give this a try. It is a fantastic game.

Mirror’s Edge
This game has been on sale quite often for around $3 and given away for free several times in the past on different platforms so it isn’t the best in terms of value. I personally did not play the original but enjoyed my time with Mirror’s Edge Catalyst.

Overall, this is a strong month in my opinion.

Gameplay from The Opera Boss Fights from One Night in Karazhan Hearthstone Expansion

The Opera Wing of the One Night in Karazhan Hearthstone expansion is now out. Here’s gameplay with commentary of each of the boss fights:

Romulo and Julianne:

For this fight, you need to kill off Romulo before you can damage Julianne. Completing the fight unlocks the Pompous Thespian and Onyx Bishop cards.

Big Bad Wolf

This fight is based off of Little Red Riding Hood. The Big Bad Wolf turns all of your minions into 1/1 versions that cost 1 mana. This actually works out in your favor though because you can play big minions with effects for only 1 mana. Completing the fight unlocks the Kindly Grandmother and Arcane Giant cards.

The Crone

The Crone is based off of the Wizard of Oz. You need to protect Dorothee or else The Crone will instantly kill you off. After beating The Crone, I intentionally die in this video to see what her 100 damage ability looks like. It actually has a really nice animation! Completing this fight and this wing unlocks the Wicked Witchdoctor, Moat Lurker, Swashburglar, and Barnes cards.

Paladin Class Challenge

You face the Big Bad Wolf again in the Paladin Class Challenge. This challenge is incredibly easy since the Big Bad Wolf’s ability actually works in your favor. Completing the challenge unlocks the Silvermoon Portal card.

Warlock Class Challenge

The Warlock Class Challenge gives you a deck based around the discard mechanic against Julianne (and Romulo). Completing the challenge unlocks the Kara Kazham! card


That’s it for this week! The Opera was a really cool part of the Karazhan World of Warcraft raid and it is adapted really well in Hearthstone. I’ll be continuing this series when next week’s wing comes out. Here’s the playlist link where you can see all the boss fights from the Karazhan expansion with my commentary: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLSSxbgWfJMqGjfk7ltZ6eSVhLctFYGEtj See you next week!

Lies of Astaroth is a Free to Play Card Battling game out now on X-Box One

lies of astaroth

Lies of Astaroth is available now for the X-Box One and is free to play. The game focuses on card collecting and card battling. I played the game for a couple hours and found the game to be mostly enjoyable. However, I found it best to let it play itself, almost like a clicker/idle game, by turning on the auto battle function and just sending the game to the next quest location after the battle had played out. It’s likely that over time that more strategy will be required than turning on the auto battle function to progress further in the game though :).

Here’s the full achievement list for the game. There’s a few that are quite easy and 3 achievements should unlock within the first 5 minutes of launching the game. There’s some that will be an incredible grind though like hitting level 100.


Richer than a King
Have fifty million gold at hand.
25g

Prophet of Doom
Get all the chests in Doomsday Tower.
20g

Power Struggle
Exceed 50 rounds in one fight.
15g

Four-star Card
Get your first four-star card.
10g

Flawless victory
Win a fight with 100% HP.
15g

Flame Walker
Get all the chests in Flame Tower.
15g

Daily Login?
Consecutively login for seven days.
15g

Daily Login?
Consecutively login for five days.
10g

Card Expert
Collect 300 different cards.
50g

Card Beginner
Collect 100 different cards.
25g

Card Amateur
Collect 50 different cards.
20g

Ocean Bed
Three star all stages in map 10.
50g

Narrow Win
Win a fight with 10 HP or less.
25g

More Money Than God
Have one hundred million gold at hand.
50g

Jade Forest
Three star all stages in map 4.
10g

Heaven’s Knight
Get all the chests in the Sky Tower.
25g

Green Emissary
Get all the chests in Jade Tower
15g

Daily Login?
First login.
5g

Charred Plains
Three star all stages in map 5.
15g

Card Superior
Collect 200 different cards.
25g

Sky Castle
Three star all stages in map 8.
25g

Sea Turtle Island
Three star all stages in map 9.
25g

Runes Master
Collect 30 different runes.
25g

Legendary Hero?
Your hero reahces level 30.
10g

Legendary Hero?
Your hero reahces level 10.
10g

Dark Shadow
Get all the chests in Shadow Tower.
15g

Daily Login?
Consecutively login for thirty days.
50g

Daily Login?
Consecutively login for three days.
10g

Underground City
Three star all stages in map 6.
15g

Ultimate Rune
Enchant a rune to level 4.
15g

Training Forest
Three star all stages in map 1.
10g

Legendary Hero?
Your hero reahces level 80.
15g

Legendary Hero?
Your hero reahces level 70.
15g

Legendary Hero?
Your hero reahces level 50.
15g

Five-Star Card
Gey your first five-star card.
20g

Explorers
Unlock 6 hidden levels.
50g

Daily Login?
Consecutively login for fourteen days.
25g

Zephyr Island
Three star all stages in map 3.
10g

Upper Class
Have ten million gold at hand.
15g

Unlucky
Get 6 grey runes in a row.
25g

Legendary Hero?
Your hero reahces level 100.
50g

Legendary Hero?
Your hero reahces level 90.
25g

Doomsday Gorge
Three star all stages in map 7.
20g

Sunset Wilderness
Three star all stages in map 2.
10g

Sunset Warrior
Get all the chests in Sunset Tower.
15g

Legendary Hero?
Your hero reahces level 5.
10g

Merciless
Finish a fight in less than 10 rounds.
15g

Storm Elf
Get all the chests in Tornado Tower.
15g

Gameplay from the Prologue and The Parlor Boss Fights from One Night in Karazhan Hearthstone Expansion

one night in karazhan

Today, Blizzard released One Night in Karazhan, a Hearthstone Expansion. The Prologue is available for free and The Parlor is available for purchase. The Prologue has one boss fight and unlocks two cards. The Parlor is available for 700 gold individually or you can purchase the entire expansion for $19.99.

Below are videos with gameplay and commentary of all of the fights in The Prologue and The Parlor:

The Prologue (Free): Prince Malchezaar

The Prologue fight faces you against Prince Malchezaar as Medivh. You receive a pre made deck with super overpowered cards. Completing this fight unlocks the Deadly Fork and Silverware Golem cards.

The Parlor Boss 1: Silverware Golem

The Silverware Golem summons plates and other utensils. His cards grow in power based on how many plates are currently on the board. Completing this fight unlocks the Deadly Fork and Silverware Golem cards.

The Parlor Boss 2: Magic Mirror

The Magic Mirror has a passive ability that summons a 1/1 copy of any minion played. In normal mode, both you and the mirror receive a copy of the minions played. Note: There’s a funny glitch that happens to me at the 4 minute point in the video above and I can’t figure out if it is a glitch or part of the gameplay 🙂 Completing this fight unlocks the Arcane Anomaly and Pantry Spider cards.

The Parlor Boss 3: Black King (The Chess Fight)

This is the Hearthstone version of the Chess fight from the World of Warcraft Karazhan raid. The gameplay in this fight is definitely unlike any other Hearthstone boss fight. Completing this fight unlocks the Ivory Knight, Protect the King!, Cloaked Huntress, Arcanosmith, and Moroes cards.

One Night in Karazhan Priest Class Challenge

This is the Priest Class Challenge from the Karazhan expansion. The deck seems to revolve around silencing minions. Completing this fight unlocks the Priest of the Feast card.

One Night in Karazhan Shaman Class Challenge

The Shaman challenge is against the Magic Mirror. You are given a deck strong against the Mirror’s abilities that revolves around low cost AoE and minions that benefit from summoning copies. Completing this fight unlocks the Maelstrom Portal card.

That’s it for now! You can check out the full playlist of videos here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLSSxbgWfJMqGjfk7ltZ6eSVhLctFYGEtj I’ll be continuing to update it each week as new content is added. I’m a big fan of the single player adventure content that Hearthstone puts out and so far am enjoying the One Night in Karazhan expansion.

What ‘Done! Unlocking…’ means for X-Box One Achievements

done unlocking

If you have an achievement on your X-Box One that looks like the image shown above, then you’ve been hit by the ‘Done! Unlocking…’ bug. This occurs when you meet the requirements to unlock an achievement but it does not unlock on X-Box Live’s servers. It’s not clear exactly what causes this to happen but there are times when this bug becomes much more widespread and affects many people.

How To Fix It

Over time, every achievement that is in the ‘Done! Unlocking…’ state will unlock. It could take a few hours or it could even take months. I’ve personally had achievements randomly unlock that were stuck in this ‘Done! Unlocking…’ state for over 2 months. When it does unlock, it could be at a completely random time in a completely different game, it just takes time.

If you can’t wait for an achievement to unlock that is stuck, it is sometimes possible to force the achievement to pop by fulfilling the unlock criteria again. This does not always fix the problem though and many achievements will just be stuck this way until they unlock on their own. On average, I’d say about half of the achievements that were stuck in this way for me were able to be unlocked by fulfilling the requirements a second time. It’s probably not worth it to go out of your way to repeat the process if it will take you significant time since it is not guaranteed it will unlock after meeting the requirements for unlocking the achievement again.

In Summary: Your achievement will unlock but it may take some time. It will unlock on its own and does not require you to even launch the game again for it to unlock. It’s an annoying situation to be in but at least it will fix itself over time.

How to Repair Your Ship and leave the first planet in No Man’s Sky

The first quest you need to do in No Man’s Sky is to fix your ship. This can be a bit complicated for new players since the game’s inventory system and menus take some getting used to. Here’s the in-game tracking for the quest:

Leave Planet
Repair Launch Thrusters
Repair Pulse Engine
Refuel Launch Thrusters

Here’s the steps you’ll need to follow to complete it:

1) Obtain Iron and Carbon from the environment

No-Mans-Sky-Iron

Use your Mining Tool (Press RT if using a PS4 controller) to mine Iron and Carbon from around you. Iron can generally be found from rocks and carbon from plant type life around you. Every planet you spawn on is different but for the tutorial, there should be enough resources close to you to complete this.

2) Fix your Launch Thruster by crafting 4 Carite Sheets.

Launch Thruster Repair No Mans Sky

You’ll need to craft Carite Sheets to fix your Launch Thruster. In your inventory, select your Starship and select an empty spot in your inventory. Bring up the crafting interface (with Square button on a PS4 controller). Craft 4 Carite Sheets. Then, you can fix the Launch Thruster with these sheets you crafted. Each Carite Sheet requires 50 Iron to craft.

3) Fix Your Scanner and Analysis Visor Multi-Tool

Fix Scanner No Mans Sky

Open your inventory and tab over to the Multi-Tool portion. Fix your Scanner with 25 carbon and Analysis Visor with 25 Carbon. The scanner allows you to scan the environment for discoveries with the LT trigger. The Analysis Visor allows you to send out a pulse locating points of interest around you with the L3 button by default (clicking the left stick on a PS4 controller).

4) Gather Zinc, Heridium, Plutonium, and Thamium9

Send out a pulse with your Analysis Visor (L3 button by default with a controller) and you should see some items you need displayed around as icons. You’ll need to gather 200 Heridium and 20 Zinc to fix your Pulse Engine. You’ll need Plutonium to charge your Launch Thruster and Thamium9 to power your Pulse Engine.

5) Repair your Pulse Engine

With the 200 Heridium and 20 Zinc you collected, fix your Pulse Engine like you did with your Launch Thruster.

6) Charge your Pulse Engine with Thamium9 and your Launch Thruster with Plutonium.

In your starship inventory, you can recharge your ship’s Pulse Engine and Launch Thruster. You’ll need to do this often throughout the game to travel around in your ship.

7) Blast Off!

Get in your ship and blast off! Hold RT and head towards the sky! You’ll visit many, many planets so it usually is best to explore planets and not hold much attachment to any one planet. Your starter planet helped you repair your ship, now you can explore everywhere else!

VGS Channel and Site Update – August 2016

Hey everyone! It has been a while since I updated this site and have been slow to update the Youtube channel so I wanted to post this here to let you know what’s been going on and future plans for this site and the Youtube channel. Just a warning, this post is entirely site news so you’ll need to have followed the site or Youtube channel to get any value from this post 🙂

For this site, I had planned to post a little more than I have been here lately as well as compile guides and walkthroughs from the Youtube channel into posts here. I’m still planning to do this going forward. However, I have mentioned in the past that the type of content on this site will be extremely varied. As a one person operation, it is completely impossible to cover all gaming news. However, there are unique takes I have on specific issues like shopping deals and guides for specific games that I would like to write about more in depth on the site. What I’m trying to say is that the content will probably jump around quite a bit from one subject to the next on this site. One post may be an in depth guide to a specific aspect of a game followed by a general news story that I feel I can provide some interesting commentary on. The fact is a lot of content on this site will be like content when I started my Youtube channel: useful to people searching Google for specific detailed information about one topic. So, you may not get a great deal of value from reading every post on this site but I appreciate if you do!

On Youtube, I have been trying to post more videos with commentary. Unfortunately, this has massively slowed down my production of videos as shown with the recent playthrough I did of LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I do still want to do let’s play videos on the channel but I may have to balance it out a little bit more. As I mentioned above, one of the problems is the wide coverage of games on the Youtube channel. Jumping from a LEGO game to Hearthstone to a game like Mirror’s Edge can be difficult to do. I’m still trying to figure out a way to balance all of this together. One of the metrics I look at in determining whether something is working or not is the average watch time of a video on the channel. I’ve mentioned this in the past in some commentary on videos in the channel, but if a video only shows 25 views with an average watch time per view of 20 minutes, I would consider that to be a good video. Obviously, there are some videos on the channel where a lower watch time is actually a good thing (like achievement guides which I try to make quick and to the point). However, especially for let’s play videos, I do look at these watch time numbers to get an idea of what content I’m putting out is interesting and what content is not doing so well. Generally, here’s a breakdown of how some videos on the channel have performed:

Channel Update Videos/Vlogs/General Gaming News Videos: In terms of average watch time, these videos perform by far the best on the channel. I absolutely understand why these perform so well and I plan to expand on this format soon 🙂

LEGO Star Wars: TFA Videos: While the watchtime on these videos were usually above the average time for videos on the channel, they didn’t perform that well compared to the no commentary walkthroughs I did for LEGO Marvel’s Avengers. I feel a lot of the problem was I was trying to be very dry with my commentary style and combine a Let’s Play format with a walkthrough in these videos. This didn’t work well and I feel these videos just didn’t work for either a walkthrough of the game or something enjoyable to watch/listen to. Lesson learned here.

Ratchet & Clank No Commentary vs With Commentary: So, I did an interesting experiment with Ratchet & Clank. In marketing, this would be considered a ‘split test’ (though not a perfert one 🙂 ) I first uploaded my playthrough with no commentary as a walkthrough. Then, I did the New Game+ mode with commentary a couple months later as a let’s play. The versions with commentary had about double the watch time than the versions without commentary (that’s a very good thing for the versions I was talking over). There’s a few reasons for this but I think what worked well here as compared to the LEGO Star Wars playthrough was that I was knowledgeable about the game and really enjoyed playing through it and talking about it. What this shows is that viewers of the channel do prefer talking over a video with commentary as opposed to no commentary.

Enter the Gungeon Videos: These were my very first attempt with a Let’s Play format. In these videos, I rarely talked about the gameplay but talked more about gaming news/channel news. In the future, I plan to bring this style into their own individual videos instead of labelling them as a game’s let’s play. Overall, these videos did well in watch time but did poorly in total views since it was a small and oversaturated game on Youtube.

Hearthstone Arena Videos: Right now, there really isn’t enough data on these videos to draw conclusions. Some have done really well in terms of watch time while some have not. For now, I will continue uploading them from time to time. I plan to do the next expansion content for the first time with commentary which will be a sign of how Hearthstone content performs on the channel with me talking over it vs not.

First Hour of Gameplay / Gameplay videos: I have started to cut videos off sooner if there is just nothing interesting to fill an entire hour with. That’s why I have been uploading more gameplay videos that are 15-30 minutes long. I have more recently started to add commentary where appropriate to these videos. It seems these gameplay / first impression videos do MUCH better with me talking over them rather than just the raw gameplay.

Live Stream Archives: These are the archives from Youtube livestreams. These actually do perform fairly well in terms of watch time. Unfortunately, streaming to Youtube at the moment is a bit difficult for me so I’ve put on hold more streaming on Youtube for now.

Achievement Guides / Strategy Videos: Overall, these perform well with low watch time. I actually feel I succeed if a quick guide has low watch time because that means a viewer found their answer quickly (Sadly, Youtube’s algorithm does not agree)

Based on studying these analytics of what is working and what isn’t, I’ve been considering how to best proceed forward with the Youtube channel and this site. Here’s some of the ideas:

Gaming News: I follow gaming news very closely. If I feel I can offer a unique perspective on a topic, I’m planning to break it out into a video going forward (instead of for instance talking about it in an unrelated let’s play). Historically, gaming news videos have done incredibly well in terms of watch time for the channel. It will probably take some time to find the right format for this though.

Gameplay Footage/First x minutes of gameplay: I’ve really enjoyed this format and in terms of watch time, it does best with me talking over it. I’d like to make this a series but don’t have a good name for it right now. Maybe something like Let’s Look at x game, or Let’s Try x game. I’m not sure yet.

Let’s Plays: I’m still trying to figure out the best way to do this on the channel. I’ve considered a more edited format. I need to experiment more with this to see what works and what doesn’t. It’s very difficult to figure out how to balance this properly since I play a very wide variety of games and am not known for one game or even one genre. This means viewers may be interested in one game and completely uninterested in the next.

Personal Updates / Vlogs: I’m well aware I have been terrible in my own personal branding on the channel :). I’ve always been very skittish about what personal information I put out about myself. Going forward though, I will try to be a little bit more open about myself and my motivations for playing the games I play and why I make the videos that I make on the channel. One thing I have considered is a monthly update wrapping up all the games I played and completed for the month. Many times, I never give my final thoughts on a game and this might be a good format to do it without making an official review video.

Guides / Walkthroughs: This is the toughest part right now to figure out how to balance. I started up my channel to do guides and walkthroughs. I feel though that many times these can clog up the channel and annoy repeat visitors since they are very targeted to people having a specific issue in one specific game. I’ve actually considered opening a secondary channel which would just be no commentary guides and gameplay and turning the current channel into only commentary. For now, I’m going to keep putting stuff up on the current channel but we’ll see how everything goes going forward.

Live Streams: Unfortunately, Youtube’s live streaming didn’t really live up to the hype. I would still be willing to give it a shot but I am having a few issues streaming at a good quality to Youtube. I have actually considered going back to Twitch since Twitch has made some improvements to their player and VoD playback. We’ll see 🙂

Final Thoughts: I know overall the VGS Youtube channel is quite small at a little over 1,400 subscribers. However, I constantly see people grinding out great content on Youtube and struggling to reach anyone. This makes me realize that I am fortunate and should be working harder on the channel. I greatly appreciate anyone who follows what I do online and is dedicated enough to read this post 🙂

Tumblestone First 13 Minutes of Gameplay on X-Box One

Tumblestone

Tumblestone is out now and free until August 15, 2016 on X-Box One Games with Gold program. Here’s a video uploaded to the Video Game Source Youtube channel showing the first 13 minutes of gameplay:

As you can see from the video, Tumblestone is a match 3 puzzle game. The game actually ramps up in difficulty pretty quickly. Maybe I just need to play the game more to understand the best strategy in clearing puzzles. It’s definitely worth a download to try out since the game is free until August 15, 2016 and about 1 gig in size.

Nintendo Launching NES Classic Edition on November 11, 2016

nes classic

Nintendo is creating a new device that plugs into your HDMI display and allows you to play 30 classic NES games. Here’s the full list of games that are included:

Balloon Fight™
BUBBLE BOBBLE
Castlevania™
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest™
Donkey Kong™
Donkey Kong Jr. ™
DOUBLE DRAGON II: THE REVENGE
Dr. Mario™
Excitebike™
FINAL FANTASY®
Galaga™
GHOSTS’N GOBLINS®
GRADIUS™
Ice Climber™
Kid Icarus™
Kirby’s Adventure™
Mario Bros. ™
MEGA MAN® 2
Metroid™
NINJA GAIDEN
PAC-MAN™
Punch-Out!! ™ Featuring Mr. Dream
StarTropics™
SUPER C™
Super Mario Bros.™
Super Mario Bros. ™ 2
Super Mario Bros. ™ 3
TECMO BOWL
The Legend of Zelda™
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link™

These games are stored onboard the device. You will not be able to play classic NES cartridges with it. The NES Classic Edition will retail for $59.99.

This seems like a great move by Nintendo to start to take advantage of their aging NES generation who may now want to introduce their kids to the retro games they used to play. This is a reasonably priced and legal way to play older NES games. I expect this to be a big seller during the 2016 holiday shopping season.

Source: http://www.nintendo.com/whatsnew/detail/relive-past-glories-with-nintendos-ultimate-retro-gaming-experience