Tag Archives: Console Gaming

GrogHeads Interviews Dr Ezra Sidran

The master of artificial intelligence returns to hobby gaming after a sojourn into the professional gaming world ~

Jim Owczarski, 09 April 2016

I write about wargames because I love them and want to share them with others.  One of the added benefits is being able to meet some of the people who made the games that stole away entire years of my life as I imagined myself Alexander, Grant, or, most frequently, Berthier.  I’m very pleased to have now added Dr. D. Ezra Sidran, designer of the seminal Universal Military Simulator and Universal Military Simulator II.

He’s recently returned to commercial wargame production after a while away — some of the reasons for which he goes into in this interview — to begin work on a new game based on the classic Kriegsspiel.  Titled General Staff, it promises to take a typically Sidranian (neologism for “awfully damned different”) look at digital wargaming along with a level of A.I. that I myself had once described as chimerical.

He was kind enough to answer my questions, even those which were likely of interest only to myself, and along the way talk about his games old and new, digital wargames in the neolithic era (the 1980s), and what he’s been up to since companies like Firebird, Rainbird, and even Microprose closed their doors.

GrogHeads Previews
Tom Clancy’s The Division

So with a first look inside the new Clancy-branded shooter, what does our guest author find? ~

Guest Contributor John J. Szucs, 25 February 2016

Like many of you here on GrogHeads, I have been a long-time fan of Tom Clancy’s work. His second book, Red Storm Rising, was a milestone in my life, taking me from an early-teenaged “Rambo is cool” level to life-long serious study of the art and science of warfare that helped shaped my career and given me some extraordinary experiences working side-by-side with our warfighters in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere. While the books in Tom Clancy franchise went through a period of dilution and exploitation with ghost writers, UbiSoft has generally done right by the video game side of the franchise and looks to be on track to put out three very solid titles in the 2015-2016 gaming season. The recently-released Rainbow Six Shield is the deepest and most innovative tactical shooter of the past twelve months and Ghost Recon: Wildlands looks very promising.

The third title in this line-up is Tom Clancy’s The Division, an open-world, massively multi-player online (MMO), third-person tactical role-playing game. The game recently had a closed Beta test period and just completed an open Beta period that ran from Friday, February 19 through Monday, February 22, 2016. Xbox One players, like myself, had a one-day exclusive on the open Beta, starting on Thursday, February 18.


GrogHeads Reviews Dragon Age: Inquisition

Kimberly Poet, 23 January 2015

Many dragons were harmed in the making of this review.

click images to enlarge (Images from Doug Miller)

Trilogies are tricky beasts. Much of their success depends not only on the original story, but also on its sequels. Dragon Age has had its share of ups and downs –  the promising epic RPG followed by a sequel which drew vitriol for its departure in tone and cobbled-together presentation.


Dragon Age: Inquisition, however, not only exceeds its preceding games, it sets a new standard for Bioware entirely. The relatively open-world regions give you a chance to immerse yourself in Thedas and are both lush and diverse, from the moonlight deserts of the Hissing Wastes to the verdant tangle of the Emerald Graves. Crafting also makes its first appearance and allows you to tailor your character even further. The combat system is more fluid than Dragon Age: Origins and more strategic than Dragon Age 2. Its scope is broader, the relationships between the Inquisitor and their companions more intricately written, and the customization and graphics – sweet baby Andraste, if someone tells you they spent less than thirty minutes creating their character, they’re a filthy liar.


Bioshock Infinite

Developer: Irrational Games
Publisher: 2K Games

Review by Son of Montfort, 7 April 2013

order of the hex

GrogHeads is proud to induct Bioshock Infinite into the Order of the Hex, for its Mind-Bending Narrative.

And in attempting to explain the full level of awesome that it is, Monty tries to express his love for the game without spoiling too much of the plot, like that really annoying kid in 3rd grade that told you Vader really was Luke’s father.

"Bring us the girl and wipe away your debt." It always starts so simply. Rain on a secluded dock, an abandoned lighthouse in a storm, a mysterious pair rowing a boat in yellow slickers. But from the moment that the sky lights up in answer to the lighthouse’s call to the mind-twisting finale, Bioshock Infinite is anything but simple. It is a complex, breathtaking, heartbreaking, and shocking tale of penance and redemption. It is also a tale told with outstanding visuals, set against the changing backdrop of a gilded city floating in the sun-drenched realm above the clouds.