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Where's My Groove?

Being the computer geek I am, when my computer's sick, so am I. (Although, given my hey fever, the high tree pollen count may also be a contributor). My AMD-64 3000 CPU, which I had once pried loose from a heat sink with industrial wire, may finally be showing signs of age. It seems slow, a 3612 3DMark 2005 rating being considerably lower than many systems with the same configuration. Something is dragging my computer down, and me with it.

Time has determined that, aside from substantially reducing my boot up time, the Windows XP reinstall did nothing for my performance. Thus, I botched all my precious data for nothing. (But then, none of the data I lost was particularly precious, I lost nothing more valuable than a saved game file.)

Losing my save game files impacted Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Jade Empire the most. I lost about 12 hours of progress in Jade Empire and I can't see myself slogging through the same story to get back to where I was. In Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion I tried making a hardcore combat character, the opposite of the completely indirect stealth hero I was playing before, but the magic was gone. (It doesn't help that a mysterious graphic glitch is now affecting Oblivion, either.) I guessed I'm okay with an RPG so long as the story is fresh or the gameplay is good, but neither is the case here.

I've been invited into the City of Heroes Issue 9 beta. I'd love to spill the beans on it (it'd be one of the few worthwhile things I post here) but it's a closed beta so the developers would rather I don't. Suffice to say (and this is something you can read from any published interview on Issue 9) a functioning economy and crafting system is coming to City of Heroes. It certainly makes things interesting, but will it be interesting enough to make the long grind to 50 more bearable?

I'm thinking maybe it's time to play around with my Scrapper again, or else play on the villain side again. That suggests I'm bored of Psi-Caster, and possibly City of Heroes in general. If I simply can't get excited about City of Heroes again, it may be time to move on to another game.

My brother's been pointing out S.T.A.L.K.E.R.:Shadow of Chernobyl to me, and now I'm interested in it. The multiplayer demo I played was a decent Counterstrike clone, but I'm mostly interested in the single player mode. I love Deus Ex-like games, provided they're done well: Deus Ex, Vampire: Bloodlines, and System Shock were good. Deus Ex: Invisible War was not that great, but I still finished it. The appeal behind S.T.A.L.K.E.R. appears to be that it's an open-ended RPG of a FPS that uses a pretty nice engine to simulate a realistic post-apocalyptic environment. Seems like a good idea to me.

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