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Showing posts from July, 2007

Yesterday's Scares

Yesterday, I finally caught up to 1999 and finished System Shock 2. Having earned a spot on any of the Internet's "top 10 scariest game" lists, System Shock 2 initially scared me away due to its deep psychological horror where Doom 3 and F.E.A.R. did not. However, after killing my 20th cyborg midwife with a rusty wrench, the horror factor of the game largely wore off, and in the end the permanent shock on the faces of the plethora of dead crew members was a source of amusement.

It makes me wonder what the point is of having horror in a game if you're just going to get desensitized to it anyway. It's just as well, I was there for the game play, which remains quite awesome even by 2007 standards (when I'm not getting stuck on walls) and not because I enjoy being scared. The end of System Shock 2 was actually not all that climatic, as my hybrid character with the best weapons, tech skills, and four out of the five tiers of Psi beat SHODAN in 30 seconds fla…

Armageddon Empires, Heavy Duty

Two more interesting games have crept onto my radar. One is an already released independent turn-based strategic game. The other, an incredible looking quasi-action strategy sandbox that has been in development for so long I suspect it may never emerge from its Russian-borne womb.

First, the game that is already released. Armageddon Empires is a post apocalyptic war game developed by Cryptic Comet. Sifting through their official website alone, I'm not sure if this company is anything more than a single man operation, but it does mention that there's just not enough good turn-based strategy games out these days and it's their goal to rectify this problem. If Armageddon Empires is any kind of indicator, then they may just have what it takes to reach this admirable destination. (Click here for a 30-turn demo link.)

Armageddon Empires feels very much it originated from a cardboard wargamer pastime. There is your hexagonal grid of tiles, your units are cards placed down o…

The Analytical Gamer

Here's a Diamond in the Rough for you: Threadspace: Hyberbol. (No e.) It's somewhat like an artillery game, but 2d and in space. It's got the kind of intelligent gaming vibe to it that made Moonbase Commander interesting. The demo is here, you'll need to install Steam if Half-Life 2 didn't do it for you. Full version is $19.95.

GrimGrimoire and a look forward on the PC front

My GameFly games are in, and suddenly my cup runneth over with quality gamage. Not only do I have GameFly setting me up with current and previous console games but it looks like PC Gaming is about to get a much needed shot in the arm.

GrimGrimoire is a cute little real time strategy game with very nice production values. As with Odin Sphere, VanillaWare continues their trend of making 2D games that look so good as to make 3D games look like a fad. The game itself is relatively simple, especially compared to advanced PC RTS games like Supreme Commander or Company of Heroes, but I suppose this can't be helped considering the hardware limitations involved with making a RTS on a PS2.

GrimGrimoire GameTrailers review

GrimGrimoire is especially heavy on the micromanagement. For example, my latest mission required me to do silly things like order my "Morning Star" unit to produce the very ammunition they need to attack. They could only hold 5 shots at a time, so replenish…

Seeking Direction in a Rambling Journey

At three business days after they shipped, my GameFly games still haven't arrived. Perhaps they'll be here in another couple hours, perhaps tomorrow, but in the meanwhile: I'm bored. Maybe I should start doing my homework. Nah. Instead, I'm going to address a matter that has been bothering me a bit about this Blog, and that's I have no direction here.

"A rambling journey of present-day pixelated delights from a two decade computer game addict" is about as far as I can confirm.

Am I "attempting to find the diamonds in the rough of an industry made up of far too many imitators"? Well, if you interpret that was me playing a lot of games, even non-mainstream games, then the answer is no. I would love something new, and I keep my eye out for them, but I do not perform extensive research along these lines. I do end up playing the occasional weird gem (UFO: Aftershock, Odin Sphere) but this is just because a distinguished (and rather desperat…

Bracing for BioShock

Slated for an August 21st release, BioShock is now a little over 40 days away. Even with that much time between here and then, my gamer instincts are going nuts, and I've been following it pretty heavily lately.

The latest news would be that the system requirements have been released. It looks like fairly middle of the road, it won't require an incredible system but you will need one that's capable of running a relatively modern game. 1 GB of ram, 2 GB recommended. A 2.4 Ghz processor, a dual core recommended. A relatively up to date (about 2005 or later) video card with at least 128 MB of RAM, a good video card with 512 MB recommended.

The most comprehensive video developer commentary I've seen of BioShock, hailing from last year's E3.

However, what do we know of BioShock itself? On first impressions, BioShock would seem to be another System Shock. We know that Irrational Games, developers of System Shock 2, were involved in the creation of BioShock. The se…

A Brave New World

Geldon Gets Gamefly

Following the advice of the Internet's most valuable resource, the anonymous heckler, I have begun my new Gamefly account. Frankly, I put it off for too long. I can't afford to shell out on too many retail games and when I do I usually only play them for a few days and then never boot them up again. I had a Blockbuster gamepass, but their selection was abysmal, the best games nearly always being out. We'll see how Gamefly compares, but immediately I can see that its selection is better and dropping a prepaid envelope containing the game I've bored of sounds like something I can do.

In the meanwhile, my recent purchase of the PC game Overlord is vindicated by the knowledge that Gamefly simply does not offer PC games. (Although, technically, I could have rented the XBox 360 version.)
Overlord Oppressions Impressions

Overlord, a tongue-in-cheek game that has your dark armored figure plodding through a fantasy land trailing a horde of gleeful gremli…

Unjustified Rants (Pt 3)

I apologize for the state of this blog and my vicious comment reply a couple entries back. I know that my whining about various alt-a-holicism issues of the past might seem like awful reading, and frankly I've considered going back and pruning it entirely. However, when you get right down to it, this is a Blog. It's little more than a reflection of myself, and if I were truly interested in being honest I'd keep the good and the bad here. If this were a syndicated place I were writing, perhaps I'd be a bit more guarded with my tone, but it isn't. This is just me, it's a place I reside on the internet, a mental home away from home (and you can make a fun pun out of that).

But that doesn't really explain the viciousness of my comment or why I would refer to specific denizens of certain Lum The Mad spinoff sites so brutally. The thing is that I've dealt with those people for too long, I've ended up the butt of their barbs and object of their sland…

Unjustified Rants (Pt 2)

Well, that last Blog entry got a little attention. Unfortunately, the one person on the planet who apparently read it was confused. So, out of obligation to this gigantic audience, I'm going to clarify what I was getting at in my last Blog entry.
The "heavy gamer" on the "bleeding edge" of gaming. I'm not saying you're clueless when it comes to games if you have a life. I've covered this when I wrote, "I think that, in the long run, everybody who enjoys gaming is fated to eventually develop the same tastes as the Heavy Gamer even if they only play games for 16 hours a week or less." If anything, a "Heavy Gamer" will get bored faster because they play more. This is common sense. But why is this "bleeding edge?" First, I'm going to going to have to ask you what you think "bleeding edge" means. Frankly, it's a ballsy proclamation that anyone is truly on the "bleeding edge" of any technolo…

Unjustified Rants

A somewhat innocuous Gamespot News Post basically takes a poll of over 11,000 gamers and boils them down into categories.

Now, to an extent, categorization is a lie: Just because you label something as such does not make it so. However, the interesting aspect that I pulled from that article is that the type of gamers who play 40 hours a week make up less than 2% of the gaming population. The other 98% of gamers play 16 hours a week or less. Usually, much less.

Kinda makes you wonder about the viability of the ranter.

When you think about that, the hardcore gamer (or what this article calls the "Heavy Gamer") is a massive minority to the game world. We often grow frustrated about how games seem to be vapid and boring, lacking in depth and breadth, and otherwise lambast the entire gaming industry on developing games which can not or will not satisfy our hardcore gaming appetite. We've ranted about this at length, until our throats and fingers grew red and we final…

This isn't a game, it's a quantum singularity

Usually, I can just play a game for a few hours and eventually I get a little bored of it, put the damn thing down, and get my work done. UFO: Afterlight will have none of that. Friday and Saturday were consumed utterly by this beast and Sunday did not escape unscathed. Life is too short to spend playing this game. Literally. It feels like I'm likely to die of old age before I could put this game down and get my homework done and that's factoring in I'm only 30. Seriously, what was the target audience for this game? Immortals?

The initial trouble with UFO: Afterlight is that there's no small scale activity. Instead, it's just an interlocking fusion of things to do, primed to generate a compelling desire to find out what happens next. However, the killer combination is just the time flow of the game, which might be stopped, moving in slow motion, or (thanks to reloading a saved game) going backwards.

I begin playing UFO: Afterlight on the "strategic vie…