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Oblivious Heroics

Well, at least my prediction about what I'd be doing with my Spring Break seems to have come true. It's about a third over now and I've mostly been playing Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and City of Heroes.

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

My Infiltrator in Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is now up to about level 12 and about 20 game days in. He's now over half way through the main plot. Of course, if I focused completely on the main plot, I could probably finish it in a single day. I've also been doing various quests including the included plugins that came with Knights of the Nine. As for Knights of the Nine itself, I plan to hold off on that until after I complete the main plot.

I've leveled my Infiltrator up slowly. In Oblivion you only gain a single level when you rest (in a bed) after having gained 10 points total across your 7 major skills. Any more major skill points earnings beyond the 10 needed to level are carried into the next level, requiring additional resting. I've held off on resting immediately to take advantage of training. Each level brings with it an opportunity to pay for up to 5 trainings in any skill, major or otherwise. Unfortunately, training costs money, and to these ends I've been rapidly cleaning out dungeons to obtain the needed loot to do this. I've even resorted to burglary through the Thieves Guild, rendering several of the shops and homes of Bruma unfurnished. I still haven't caught up with my leveling needs.

I've hit a little bit of a snag with the included summons in Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul. Where there was once just one method of summoning via Conjuration, there's now three separate lines of summon spells for Alteration, Conjuration, and Restoration. That's all well and good, but there's two issues I've found with this: First, it goes against my grain that Conjuration now has competitors in other magical schools because conjuring monsters is basically all it's good for. I fear that the Alteration-made Golems are actually superior to the Conjured versions, making me regret taking that in the first place. Second, it's possible to summon more than one foe at a time, and that's far too badass. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to get used to that, or else crank up the difficulty slider.

City of Heroes

City of Heroes remains a game best enjoyed in small doses. I'd really like to get level 50, unlocking a Kheldian sometime during my lifetime. Yet, even at level 36, I'm looking at weeks of grinding to make it happen. Why oh why did Cryptic decide to make the leveling treadmill so strict? Possibly simple greed, but personally I suspect that their numbers have been off since people could engage +10 leveled targets in beta but not now. In any case, I guess so long as I keep playing I'll always be moving forward, so level 50 is inevitable. No sense forcing myself to get there, the only mistake I can make is to start a brand new characters. Boredom causes me to start new characters, and that's why it's a good idea not to play too much City of Heroes at once.

Though I have dabbled a bit with a level 34 Scrapper and a level 16 Blaster recently, I have mostly succeeded in my aims to stick to playing my Controller. I'm beginning to realize that he really is the most powerful character I've got, due to his incredible defensive capacity married to a reasonable offense, and also thanks to the ability to creatively exert myself through his weird power mixture. As I may have mentioned in earlier blog entries, at the point where it really matters to me how fast the foes are defeated, I'm probably just bored. So long as I'm enjoying myself, Psi-Caster (my Controller) remains the best choice for me.

Other Distractions

Though I firmly side with the protection of people's intellectual property, I have to confess that I've taken a liking to viewing some of the distributed anime series over YouTube. I have not thoroughly immersed myself into them all (or else I'd certainly have no time to play games) but I can name four series I've viewed lately.

Tenchi Muyo GXP, which I made a passing reference to in my last entry, is a pretty well done space opera even if it isn't as humorous as the original series. They put a lot of work into this futuristic vision, and the regular references to the original Tenchi Muyo OVA throughout instills a certain sense of continuity that I can appreciate. Though the primary attraction is supposed to be the beautiful space women behaving badly, I find that I appreciate the atmosphere more. Despite poor Senian being regularly victimized by women, I appreciate how everybody in the future is so kind to this earth boy outside his element.

Despite it being a failed 2001 kids show in which the creator himself resents, I liked the few episodes of Parappa the Rapper (TV) I found. The characters are likable and the execution emotionally stimulating on many levels. I thoroughly regret not being able to find more than four episodes. I guess I'll have to settle for Um Jammer Lammy (a Playstation game) which (if all goes well) should arrive late this week or early the next.

I regretted that Adult Swim did not keep Crayon Shinchan, but I've been able to see some more episodes thanks to YouTube's lax information policing. A thoroughly good series even without shocking barbs being jammed into it by overzealous localization teams.

Finally, I caught two thirds of an episode of Powerpuff Girls Z. Quite an interesting experience seeing the Japanese take on the once-popular Cartoon Network series. However, far too much posing and dancing in leotards during protracted transformation sequences for my liking. At least the artwork is top notch.

Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged has found a new home, but all this hubbub over having some of his episodes removed has prevented the creator from creating any more episodes.
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