Play: A Gamer’s Blog

10 Sep

Review: 2018’s Spider-Man for PS4

With the recent release of Spider-Man by Insomniac Games, the Spider-Man hype is at an all-time high. There are so many great Spider-Man games, but let’s be honest – everyone has their personal favorite. Here’s the scoop on why Insomniac’s Spider-Man is my new fave. Believe the hype!

05 Sep

Old Childhood Computer Games

Do you ever wonder what happened to classic computer games? Back in the day my friends and I would have a blast playing them and when my parents would buy me a new one I was over the moon about it. Unfortunately, it seems that not too many people play computer games anymore. Here’s a flashback to some of the games I used to love from the mid-1990’s to early 2000’s.

Boy wearing headphones playing a computer games with a mouse and keyboard

17 Aug

Pokémon Games Ranked Worst to Best

Pokémon is one of the most iconic video games of all time. First launched in Japan in 1996, this role-playing video game quickly spread worldwide. Game Freak and The Pokémon Company made sure to include a Pokémon game for every Nintendo-based console. For 20+ years Pokémon continued to grow. Now, with 802 Pokémon and over 100 games, it’s hard to decide which ones are the best (but I’m gonna try anyway)!

13 Aug

25 Tips and Tricks for Dungeons and Dragons Players: Part Three

The ultimate tabletop game, Dungeons and Dragons, is having a major popularity boom at the moment. Like so many others, if you are just learning how to tackle the tremendous world of Dungeons and Dragons with your friends or in a DnD club, the size, scale, and complexity of the game can feel overwhelming. As a longtime DnD gamer, I’m here to tell you that there are plenty of tips and tricks that can help you master Dungeons and Dragons! In fact, I’ve got 25 of them right here! If you haven’t read Parts One and Two, check them out now. If you’re all caught up, here are my final tips and tricks that will turn you from a novice into a full-fledged gamer!

 

09 Aug

Gamers Can Score Big At Bookmans

Are you a gamer looking for the latest video game releases? Maybe you’re a collector looking to fill out your retro Nintendo cartridge collection or find some rare Playstation JRPGs. Perhaps you simply want a cheap and entertaining video game system to occupy the kids. Whatever video games you’re looking for, chances are you’ll find it and more at Bookmans Entertainment Exchange. Take a look at some of the awesome systems we see regularly!

05 Aug

25 Tips and Tricks for Dungeons and Dragons Players: Part Two

Thanks to the recent resurgence of 80s nostalgia (I’m looking at you, Stranger Things), the already incredibly popular tabletop game Dungeons and Dragons is attracting new players every day. If you yourself are new to the world of DnD, Bookmans is here to help. Some of our employees are, in fact, and this should be unsurprising, serious DnD gamers. As a devoted Dungeons and Dragons enthusiast myself, I am always happy to impart some wisdom to newbies. If you haven’t read Part One of this 3-part blog, catch up here. If you’re ready for some more tips and tricks, read on, adventurers!

Markers, multi-sided dice, game pieces, and writing on a tap signifying a Dungeons and Dragons game being played

27 Jun

VR: Taking Gaming to the Next Level

Is it finally time to take the plunge and invest in a virtual reality gear? If you’re interested in technology, are a serious gamer who needs the latest and greatest, or are just looking for a new and exciting experience, it’s time to take a virtual reality video game offerings. Follow me down the rabbit hole of video game VR and discover some pretty awesome game recommendations that were literally made to be experienced in virtual reality.

14 Apr

Mesa’s ZapCon 6 Arcade and Pinball Convention

What is ZapCon?

Zapcon is a weekend-long party where gamers devote their love and attention to the classic arcade and pinball machines. No need for quarters as all of the games are set to free play! It’s a wonderful throwback to all the games you love and remember. Celebrating it’s SIXTH year anniversary, the list of arcade and pinball machines that are going to be in attendance and available to be played is sure to make even the most die hard gamer want to Power Up. But where did Zapcon originate from?

10 Apr

Nintendo Switch Review

The Nintendo Switch has been out for a little over a year now, and I must say it is one of the most clever consoles Nintendo has come out with. Like, ever. IMHO, the Wii and Wii U were a bit of a flop. Although owning a Wii myself, it is frustrating sometimes using the motion sensor in the controller to aim directly at the sensor bar. You’re pointing the controller directly at the Wii yet nothing is happening. I JUST WANT TO PLAY THE GAME. Enter the Nintendo Switch and my new endless gaming smile. Nintendo Switch console with controller in red and blue

12 Mar

Upgrade Your Game Night with These Tabletop Gems

We’ve all played board games before, and yeah, Monopoly is good I guess. Sure, Scrabble is great if you’re my grandma. If you’re bored just reading that, it’s time for a board game revolution in your home! Let Bookmans shed the skin of boring board games and boring game nights past and shout to the world board games are awesome!

27 Feb

A Gamer’s Field Guide to Couch Co-Op

Don’t go in alone! Always have a buddy who’s got your back!

If you spend a lot of your free time gaming, you’re a lot like me. I mean, how can you not – they’re awesome! My wife and I are always on the hunt for our next great gaming adventure. For us, that next great hidden gem of a co-op experience is harder than trying to find Will in Stranger Things. It’s frustrating that a key feature that shaped many childhoods, mine included, is being forgotten. I miss the good old days where all you needed was a few good snacks, a great game, and a second controller. Here’s a walk down memory lane with my list of awesome co-op games you need to play with a buddy.

Couple playing video games together on a couch

07 Feb

Everyone Loves Dungeons & Dragons

Dungeons & Dragons isn’t geek culture, it’s pop culture. For the uninitiated, Dungeons & Dragons is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game. Of course, for those who play, it’s so much more than that. At its core, D&D is about storytelling; it’s about you and your friends telling a story together. This includes guiding your heroes through quests for treasure, battles with deadly foes, daring rescues, courtly intrigue, and much more. Each player creates a character with different attributes and abilities that they can level up through playing multiple sessions, otherwise known as the campaign.

Dungeons and Diners and Dragons, and Dive-ins, and Dives book cover

08 Dec

Bookmans Recommends: Nintendo Classics

Bookmans is obsessed with all things Nintendo. Classic games like Super Mario Bros., Legend of Zelda, and the ever loved Pokemon franchise… we could talk about those for hours! Since the release of the Nintendo Switch, we are all buzzing with excitement – and a bit of nostalgia too. Every time a new console is released, our minds go straight to the memories we made playing the Nintendo games that were such a big part of our childhoods. For most of us, Nintendo games were a comfort and a friend; an escape from the long days at school or how we made and grew friendships. With that in mind, let’s take a moment to geek out and reminisce about the best of Nintendo franchises.

Nintendo Switch console with Pokemon, Yoshi, and Mario Amiibo figures. A Zelda game is shown on the Switch screen.

08 Nov

Farewell, Vox Machina: Critical Role Season Finale

After 3 years on the air (and 2 years off-air), the Critical Role campaign of Vox Machina has finally come to a dramatic close as the intrepid adventurers face off against Vecna, a powerful lich who became a god. For fans of Critical Role that have followed Vox Machina’s journey, this ending is bittersweet. Over the months and years, we have come to love the characters of Vox Machina and share in their highs and lows, loves and loses, and look forward every week to be enthralled in how a completely improvised story can truly capture our hearts.

11 Aug

Bookmans Recommends | The Guild 10th Anniversary

By C’loni Bailey, Assistant Manager at Bookmans Mesa

Summer of 2017 marks the ten-year anniversary of the The Guild web series. It’s hard to believe that a decade has passed since I was first introduced to the adorable awkwardness of Codex and her wonderful gang of unruly weirdos. For the uninitiated, The Guild is a comedy web series created by geek goddess Felicia Day. The series follows a group of MMO gamers in an online guild called “The Knights of Good” as they try to awkwardly navigate real life with little understanding about how to manage relationships outside of the virtual world of The Game. The series stars Felicia Day as “Codex”, aka Cyd Sherman, an unemployed violinist who spends 8-9 hours a day playing The Game with her guildmates, whom she has never actually met in real life. The other members of the guild include Zaboo the love interest of Codex (sort of), Vork the neurotic guild leader, Clara the alarmingly neglectful mother of three, Tinkerballa the ascerbic ranger, and Bladezz the vulgar teenager. The Guild aired for six seasons and featured a slew of geeky guest stars like Wil Wheaton, Nathan Fillion, Erin Gray, Zachary Levi, Doug Jones, Neil Gaiman and even features a cameo by Stan Lee.

18 Jul

Bookmans Recommends | Our Favorite Video Game Movies

By C’loni Bailey, Assistant Manager at Bookmans Mesa

Video games are extremely difficult to translate into film. After all, how do you transfer something that is designed to be played by an active audience into something that is purely meant to be viewed? How do you handle a story that is designed to be shaped by the decisions of the player? As a result, video game movies are notoriously bad. But just because a movie isn’t great doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyable. If you’re anything like us, you can get plenty of enjoyment out of some pretty terrible video game movies. The following is a list of some of our favorites.

16 May

Geeking Out | Mass Effect: Andromeda

Five years after the release of the final climatic installment of the original Mass Effect trilogy, Bioware is back with the much anticipated Mass Effect: Andromeda. The story of Andromeda begins around the same time as the first Mass Effect game, as tens of thousands of the diverse Milky Way races (human, asari, turians, salarians, and krogan) depart their home galaxy for a 600 year journey to the Andromeda galaxy.

 

06 May

Sony PlayStation Does Virtual Reality

It was the year of 2016 and virtual reality was becoming the next big thing. Once Sony PlayStation stepped into the VR (Virtual Reality) world, I became a pushover for it. I mean let’s be real, if you have a PS4, then you are pretty much halfway there.  The PSVR operates off of the PS4 console itself, then all you need is the VR component/headset and a PlayStation 4 Camera. The PSVR easily plugs right into the back of the PS4, while you slip on the lightweight headset. Now that I’ve been explained a little bit on how it gear up let’s expand more on the actual VR experience. 

virtual

27 Apr

Bookmans Recommends | Art Academy (Nintendo 3DS)

If you were born in the past 40 years, you’ve probably played video games at some point in your life.  You know how easy it is to get sucked into a long story driven game on your console at home and how rewarding using your phone to slingshot little birds at green pigs can be.  These days, video games come in all shapes and sizes.  Titles have become so diverse in both content and method of interaction. Video games have even been used in schools to teach children since the 80’s, The Oregon Trail likely being the most notable example. Since then, a plethora of titles attempting to teach basic cognitive skills like math, grammar, and reading through play have found their way into homes and schools. But what about art? For those looking to master the brush,  Art Academy is a pleasant surprise.  

Academy

05 Jan

Bookmans Recommends: Critical Role by C’loni Bailey

The creeping crud has been going around and I spent the last week bedridden with little to do but watch videos on my phone. Fortunately for me, a week in bed is the perfect amount of time to catch up on my current geeky addiction, “Critical Role”.

critical role

For the uninitiated, Critical Role is a show on Geek and Sundry that features famous voice actors playing Dungeons & Dragons. Dungeon Mastered by Matthew Mercer, the voice of McCree in Overwatch and huge D&D enthusiast, he and a group of his voice actor friends play through his original campaign every Thursday. The main cast features Liam O’Brien (Illidan Stormrage in World of Warcraft), Laura Bailey (Jaina Proudmoore in World of Warcraft), Travis Willingham (Thor in Avengers Assemble animated series), Sam Reigel (Donatello in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series), Taliesin Jaffe (Blanka in Street Fighter IV), Ashley Johnson (Patterson in Blindspot), and Marisha Ray (Batgirl in Batgirl: Spoiled). In addition to the regular cast, the show also often features many famous guest players such as The Name of the Wind author Patrick Rothfuss, Wil Wheaton, Chris Hardwick, and many more.

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