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Showing posts from October, 2012

A Whole Pile Of Gaming Mental Snafus

Today, I started my new substitute position.  The people are nice, I think it will probably go well.  That said, I'm not entirely sure where I am, relative to my gaming, right now.  I spent about 2-3 days essentially playing nothing, doing nothing more but spamming boards about differences of opinion as to what's canon in the lands of Equestria.  Not really because I'm that obsessed with ponies, but because it occupied my time.

Granted, the ponies are a lot of fun.
Why can't I seem to bring myself to play a game?  Perhaps a case-by-case example will shed some light on this.  Here's what games I have sitting on my desktop right now, simply in order from top to bottom:
Minecraft -  I've found that reverting back to 1.2.5 in order to play some of my favorite mods (Thaumcraft, a more stable version of Millenaire) does make the game a lot more appealing.  However, I still remain somewhat trapped in a catch22: "hardcore" mode is infinitely more interesting, …

Dwarf Break!

My new job as a substitute is looking to have a really loose schedule, so it looks like my gaming time won't be impugned much.  Unfortunately, I'm so very burned out from Skryim right now that my goal of completing the game does not seem immediately likely, and I see XCOM still has awhile to go until I get to do a bug-free replay of it, having not bothered to release a patch since the Oct 11th hot fix had not gone so very well.

I've spammed up my favorite forums enough, my procrastination really needs another outlet.  A Game Of Dwarves to the rescue.
What is A Game of Dwarves and wherein lay the appeal?
Start with Dwarf Fortress, an extravagantly complicated text-based simulation where you are essentially designating things to do and your "dwarves," like a determined colony of bearded ants, go about attempting to fulfill your orders.  You have a nice randomly generated map of multiple levels that your dwarves' AI is sufficient to navigate to get the job done.Ge…

A Bit Late For Contentment In Skyrim

This latest Skyrim character that was created from yesterday's angst isn't so bad.  Heavy-armor, one-handed, blocking, with a bit of conjuration on the side.  Straightforward, perhaps, but he gels well the idea of dragon shouts because he has no spells interfering with it.  He does not do much sneaking but, you know, I can still lurk fairly effectively if I want to try to eavesdrop on my enemies before bashing their skulls in.  I've been playing on "Expert" difficulty, and I feel reasonably well challenged... but then, I've yet to abuse end-game smithed and enchanted gear fully.
Granted, even though I got level 19 with him (from level 1!) in one day, I know I won't be able to complete everything I wanted to complete about Skyrim before Monday.  So it's a bit late for contentment, I might as well accept that as long as I enjoyed the journey, I suppose rolling a ton of alternate characters was worth it. 

Thus relaxed, I'm pondering to myself that m…

Sheogorath Would Be Pleased

Three days ago, I pondered exactly what I must want to do to address my Skyrim snit, and came to the conclusion I could probably do a Sorceror-type character, which in Elder Scrolls terms is basically a magic user who spurns weapons but wears heavy armor.

The resulting character, Makor Mystwielder, lasted about 8 hours.  At about that point, I had managed to score some pretty decent destruction magic at level 18, and I found myself thoroughly bored by the fact that stuff was dying nearly as easily as a smithed bow stealth kill.  Thus disheartened, I then spent an entire day browsing forums instead of playing Skyrim.

I knew was in trouble, as I had now set up the following premises for myself:
I can't take a melee weapon or a bow, because they could all be smithed to the point where everything dies too fast and it's boring.  (Funny how "then just don't smith," is not an option for me, isn't it?  Part of the reason for that is because having access to that kind…

The Dovakiin's Easy Mode

I really was hoping not to start over again in Skyrim, but given that I'm running two new add-on expansions and a whole new host of mods, I have doubts to my old save game viability.  I loaded up my furthest-along-yet-still-working-character, pretty much a mage with no qualms about wearing heavy armor, and encountered a courier running around in his loincloth and a non-animating bear that slid around on the ground like a stuffed bear on invisible wheels.
Yeah, it'd probably be for the best that I start over.
So I opted for a sword-and-boarding (one-handed, block), heavy armor wearing warrior who does his own smithing, and I'm encountering very smooth progress.  Too smooth: this is easy mode.  Smithing guarantees me both cutting edge armor and weapons, granting me plenty of physical damage and physical damage resistance, and my Breton's natural magical resistance takes care of the non-physical aspect.  Is he an unstoppable juggernaut?  Well, the rare higher-level bandit …

My Skyrim Snit

X-COM: Enemy Unknown is down for patching.  Quite a mean feat when it's a single player game (with an optional multiplayer mode) that you can currently play right now, but when they're busy patching what's broke and those patches are breaking more things, that's "down for patching" enough for me.  Until the smoke clears and the game is in good enough shape that one could actually play in "iron man" mode without fear that their one-and-only-allowed saved game file will have something terribly wrong with it, I'm instead attempting to play Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim again.

I must have some confidence I'm going to get back into the game, because I have both add-ons now.  I just bought the Hearthsfire DLC largely because it's only $5 and I've spent more on a discounted McDonalds meal, but I'm well aware it doesn't exactly review well and I'm not surprised because I don't particularly see the point in adding extravagant player…

X-Canonical Enough

Though I had nearly twenty years of opportunity to do so, I never completed the 1994 X-COM: Enemy Unknown because the game is damn hard, and I simply got discouraged sooner or later at just how impossible it was to keep my favorite squaddies alive.  Yet, just two days after getting the 2012 re-imagining, XCOM: Enemy Unknown's "normal" mode lay completed before me.  It was a blast.

When I look at the Metacritic review compilation, Fixaris' re-imagining has certainly fared well with professional reviewers, but there's apparently quite a few players that felt it was a dumbed-down version of the original and they dislike it for that.  I respect their right to have an opinion, and hopefully they'll be as respectful of my opinion that their opinion is stupid...
The thing is, I've recently replayed the original, and I have to say that there's very little to revere about the game mechanics.  By today's standards, it's a frustrating, kludgy mess of a …

They're No Saints, But They Know How To Have A Good Time

Volition, Inc is one of my favorite game development companies.  I haven't forgotten the marvelous job they did on Descent: Freespace.  These days, I understand they've been making Grand Theft Auto clones, like everyone else.  Pity.  However, they're redeemed somewhat because they made what some could call the epiphany of a GTA clone series: Saints Row, a series that focuses heavily on the "fun" aspect.  I picked up Saints Row: The Third for a bargain $10, and I haven't regretted it.

The "insurance fraud" mission is an excellent example of the ridiculous fun to be had in Saints Row: The Third.
If I were to say that there was a chink in the armor of such a quality experience of this, it would be the ridiculous infeasibility of the whole scenario.  It's a game where you're the leader of a hyper-violent gang whose exploits have, contrary to summoning the National Guard to put them down for good, made them world-famous household names with their…

Escapism Ruined

Altaholicism, not to be confused with alcoholism, comes down to wanting to sample everything an RPG gives you by playing all the various classes the developers have split the game up into.   I think that this is a natural state for a hardcore gamer - there's a desire not only to see the game to the end destination, but also to see the journey from all perspectives.

If I still played World of Warcraft, I probably still wouldn't have a
level 80, but I would have about 80 characters.
It can't be done.  If you play a single class (or a single build in a classless system) then you'll not be able to see the perspective of the other classes (or builds).  If you play multiple characters, you're going to encounter the same introductory content several times, to the point where you're likely going to be good and bored of it.  You cannot start a plethora of new characters in order to have your cake and eat it, too.  But you want to, because there's a lot more instant g…

Those Were Hostile Waters

A complete game playthrough is a rare thing for me - I'll usually get well and truly bored of it before then.  Yet, out of excitement for a game I currently could not afford, Carrier Command:Gaea Mission, I ended up installing and completing Hostile Waters: Antaeus Rising, a game in some ways similar.


A 2001 game, it's just a bit surprising to see Hostile Waters run so well on a Windows 7 system.

From a CD I originally purchased about a decade ago, the installation was a standard affair, and a "DirectX Enumeration Failed" error was quickly resolved by simply modifying the properties of the shortcut to run the game in Windows 98/ME compatibility mode.  See?  Sometimes Microsoft knows what they're doing.  Funny how the game nags me to register with Interplay every time I launch it without a "never register" option.  Yeah, good luck with that!

The game itself ran relatively flawlessly, no apparent timing issue, although sometimes the interface lagged a bit…