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Below are the 19 most recent journal entries recorded in Thrantor's LiveJournal:

Friday, June 18th, 2010
10:23 am
Game reviews:
Red Dead Redemption: Excellent game. I'm even having fun doing some of the completionist tasks. Admittedly, some of the tasks are a bitch but they are fun enough as to be worth finishing.

The gun play is excellent. The horses are well done. Buy a horse deed soon as you can for the good horses. Don't wait like I did. The horse deed allows you to re-summon the horse you want if your current horse dies for whatever reason. Otherwise, you get a random horse that comes when you whistle.

Definite "buy". There are of course nitpicks but generally... excellent. I'll try to update when I finish it.

Dwarf Fortress 2010: Excellent changes. I highly recommend looking into it again. Some tough changes to get used to. Like there is no "get your ass back inside" button anymore. However, you can replicate it with burrows. But burrows are definitely a bit more difficult to understand than a simple "RUN FOR IT!" button.
10:01 am
Buying the house.
I'm finally working on buying the house that I'm living in. Much awesome this is. Big house party for everyone once the place is mine. Although, downstairs is still a mess so nobody is allowed down there.

*grin*
Tuesday, August 18th, 2009
12:00 pm
Resident Evil Addendum
I'm nicer than Yahtzee is. I suspect that I always will be. Take the case of RE5's inventory system. It sucks to have only 9 spots but what can you do. You either play the game or don't.

I was working through the game hoping that I'd be able to buy a inventory upgrade at some point but obviously at this point it's not going to happen. It would have been a nice feature if they had added a couple more spots in the inventory but it would then have screwed there dpad weapon equiping system. But I still think it could have worked but it would have required jumping to a 4x4 which would have added 7 more slots. Probably more than they wanted to add.

Either way, the unforgivable thing is the armor takes up a spot in your inventory. And costs 10 GRAND and sells for 1000$. If you are going to do things like this, tell the player ahead of time so that they can make useful decisions about things or at least allow them to sell things back at the same price if you haven't left the window.

Sure sure... 10k$ isn't that much money in RE5 but at the time it was all the money in the world for me.

Prince of Persia:
I've played and even killed the first boss. I'm not sure if I want to pick it up again. It's both too hard and too forgiving. If you can't line up for a jump and the only reason you aren't going back to the save points are because of the godlike lady who keeps you alive over and over and over... something is wrong.

It means that your controls are not as well thought out as they should be. But since there is no threat of death, you know that through simple choice of time sooner or later you'll just brute force hammer your way through the levels. It's really pretty annoying and frustrating.

But I want to see the end and the story along the way... *grumble*

Still not sure it's worth buying yet. Still a rental.
Wednesday, August 12th, 2009
1:52 pm
Resident.. Evil... 5...
Or so the intro screen says.

Good game. Glad I rented it.

End story...

Naw... That'd be too simple. You need more information. Admittedly, these are old games and therefor not anything anyone is going to clamor over... but still they are fun games.

Resident Evil 5 is part of the story of Chris Redfield. He's a resident evil old timer and has been around for ages. I'm sure you can lookup his history on wikipedia.

But RE5 is the first game in the series where a AI character is forced on the player for pretty much the entire game. RE4 had Leon stuck with the presidents daughter(Ashley, I think) sometimes but she got kidnapped as often as not. However, Sheva is an important part of the game. You always have someone to talk to about things and it's nice to have someone covering your back. Admittedly, a real human would do a better job in a few circumstances but honestly... I rather liked the AI version. She was a better shot than I certainly ever was. So giving her the long distance weaponry(sniper rifle) has so far worked out wonderfully. She's helpful if a bit stupid.

The storyline of the game is pretty normal for a RE game. You are one of the only people in the area and you have to save things. The stakes are definitely a bit higher though. In RE4, you saved yourself and the girl. In this one, you save yourself and the world. You're trying to prevent the baddy from doing something on a global scale.

Initial baddies are pretty "hohum" as far as challenges go but just as often you get the "Oh, my god... what the hell is that?" moments. Pacing on the enemies is spot on. You are dealing with the "eh" guys in the beginning but there are just enough of those moments to keep things from getting boring. The first fight scene is against a foe who as far as I can tell can't be killed. You've got to simply survive until you can get away. It's a fast paced introduction to the world. And the boss monsters are inventive and fun. For the most part, the weak spots are either spotted by yourself or your AI partner points them out after awhile.

All in all, the game is fun and I continue to play it. I anticipate finishing it probably this weekend. So I'll provide an final update later.

But right now, I haven't had any "oh, screw this game... I'm going to bed." moments with it.

Definitely worth playing.
Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009
1:53 pm
Next two games to look at... I think.
Resident Evil 5... and Prince of Persia.

Hehe... Originally typed that as "Prince of Purrsia" which would be a very different game.

Gamefly should be delivering them today or tomorrow.
1:46 pm
Gamefly...
Gamefly is an excellent service. But it must be prefaced with a couple provisos.

1: Don't hold on to the game. Either play it straight through or send it back. If you keep a game long enough that the monthly rental fees would have paid for the game, you've failed at the idea of Gamefly.

2: This links to #1. Make other people playing games that you rented for them understand #1. Having your fiance holding onto a Spyro game and not playing it for 2 months is failing the idea of Gamefly. Gamefly loves you... but it's kinda silly.

3: When you desperately want a specific game. Like "must have it now otherwise I'm likely to run out and spend 60$ on a potentially two hour game but by god you want to play it" want it. Gamefly will not ship you the game you want. They will ship you the next game down on the list which won't even be in the same genre of the game you really really want to play.

4: Decide as quickly as you can if the game is worth keeping or sending back. But understand that with some of the deals that Gamefly has... it's pretty cheap to "Keep" the game.

Why am I talking about this stuff? Cause I've done all four of the above. *grin*

It's an excellent service and very worth while. Particularly for someone like me who wants to play all the new games but certainly doesn't have the income for it.
1:36 pm
Evil Genius Addendum
If your boss is an Evil Genius and you walk by a group of goodie goodies sneaking into the base, wouldn't you raise the alarm? Or mention it or something. "Hey boss, I think someone is here to be jerks and steal your stuff or shut off your generators. Maybe you should look into it."

Since the security camera system is pretty useless(read as won't actually alert you to anything), I, occassionally, find myself coming back from the "assign minions to do naughty things out in the world" screen to half my base on fire! "How did that happen?", I have to ask myself. Oh, perhaps it was all of my minions, including the nasty nasty henchmen, giving the heroes TOURS of my evil base!

"And here are the generators that will kill power to all the automated things in the base. And here is the control room of his exploits out in the world. Destroy these two rooms for best effect." So what do the heroes do... Destroy my generators and set my control room on fire. Thanks minions for the heads up! I appreciate it.

Still a fun game... but a definite nitpick. I'm enjoying the fact that my base is a black hole... Spies come in... but they don't go out. You think that would alert the world powers as well. "Hmmmm... we've sent 40 spies to this one island and oddly enough they haven't come back... Oh, well... just a coincidence I'm sure."
Monday, July 20th, 2009
3:30 pm
Evil Genius!
Ok, people say it with me... Evil Genius!

It just has a ring to it doesn't it. It is also a quite fun game.

So much so that I "woke up" from playing this morning at 5am. Mental note... When you have to get up at 7am to go to work... 5 am is a little to late to go to sleep.

But this is a game from 2004. The graphics for the nitpicky are fine but blocky compared to today's games. But it's the game play that is the fun fantastic bits.

It's setting is very similar to No One Lives Forever. That kind of fake sixties evil super-villain vibe. You choose to play one of three evil genius(geniuses? Genii?) And your job is to take over the world... BUWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Now, Yes... I did play this game when it first came out in 2004 but man... I don't remember it being this much fun. It could be one of two things... One, as is often the case... In the past, I was an idiot. Two, I probably was trying to "win" the game on hard difficulty. Yes, it makes sense that the game would kick your ass if you are playing on hard.

So now, it is the present and therefore I'm not an idiot. And I'm also not playing on hard. I've also actually listened to the tutorial information as well. "if you have high heat... they will come" is very accurate information. If you keep somewhat low profile, then you are less likely to have your base overrun with ever yahoo to consider himself a spy.

Anyway, I'm still having trouble with traps. They don't trigger very well and if you have tons of minions running through the same area... Well, if an agent sets off a trap you might catch a minion or 10. Add in the fact that you can't really say "ok, have this trap fall on their heads right as they trigger it." They have to trigger it, walk a bit and then be there when the trap falls. Yeah, that logic fails me as well. Since they tend to wander around a bit if they are just looking. So they trip the sensor, activate the trap and 5 of my minions die. Yeah, the traps disappeared quickly.

The objectives are humorous and appropriate for the style. And controlling your minions is nicely handled. I'd have prefer to have a "your minions have arrived" beep but it's not a killer issue.

The best praise I have for the game though is still that I didn't realize it was 5am until I realized it was 5am. That says something for a game.

And it's 10$ on steam or GoG.
Friday, July 10th, 2009
2:20 pm
Dwarf Fortress.
I was trying to introduce one of my friends(Friar. Everyone say "Hi, Friar.") to Dwarf Fortress last night before I passed out and it's a tough tough game to try to sum up and explain.

"Ok, the most important button is 'd', it allows you to.."
How do I tell what things are what?
"Oh, right... the most important button is 'k' to see what things are..."
Is everything just this flat plain?
"Oh, right... the most important buttons are '<' and '>' because they change the elevation you are looking at..."

etc etc...

Everything adds on top of each other. If you don't know what the little symbol means, how can you know where to mine? If you don't know which creatures are your dwarves and which are rampaging goblins, which do you kill? If you haven't mined, you don't have stone to build with.

I'm not really sure there is a quick way to explain in. The tutorials on the wiki are very useful for trying to kind of introduce you to things over time. But they basically lead you by the nose to building your first fortress. From there you can diverge.

Doesn't help that d13 is slightly buggy and not showing the menus correctly.

Honestly, I haven't been playing many video games other than Dwarf Fortress in a couple days.

Roleplaying:
I have been playing online roleplaying games using OpenRPG. I'm not sure I'm happy with the client. But, it could definitely be worse. Our first real game involving combat went pretty well once we started getting a map and using the mini's to move around.

The players in the two groups will be interesting to see how things go. It looks like we've got three "front" liners, an arcane caster and a druid in the one night. The arcane caster is David Falcon. The player has decided that his character is a Lord(meaning noble and everyone else are peasants) and a dickhead(meaning the head of a dick).

Ok, I can deal with the uppity noble. But a dickhead... Yeesh, There is NO reason(ok, other than the one I'm currently using) that my guy would deal with this person for very long. Honestly, I can't imagine him having lived to the age that his character is with the way that he treats people.

Our druid is a filthy street urchin that grew up dealing with the animals of the gutter. He companion is a dire rate. She described it as about 3ft long and the size of a good sized dog. David's familiar is a falcon, he sends the falcon to eat her rat. She says something about whiskers enjoying looking around the area and he has his falcon go to eat her rat. He missed out on the fact that the rat is probably 10x the weight of the falcon and took back the action once he realized that the rat might just fight back. But he still, for reasons only he likely understands, was going to kill the pet of another PC. HELLO!

Urg. *grin* I'm still a little annoyed at the guy. The rest of the group is so far fine. One is a wishywashy(so far) half-elven ranger. Another is a human fighter who seems reserved. Keela, our druid, is pretty interesting so far. Hadn't ever thought about the idea of a "street" druid before. Interesting though.

My character, the monk, is kind of just following him to see what he does next. "Quick, lets follow the trained monkey and see what other trouble he gets into." At one point, we're in the keep of the Protector of the town trying to talk to the treasurer. He tries to convince the party to assault the guards and ransack the treasury. AT 3RD LEVEL! With Friar GMing?!?! INSANITY!! Not to mention, I'm playing a good monk.

Anyway, it was a fun session and I'm looking forward to next week. Although, at some level my character will just be done with him and walk away. Likely, AFTER he's given Thelvion the part of his treasure that he deserves.
Tuesday, June 30th, 2009
4:26 pm
Starcraft 2
It was announced either today or late yesterday that Starcraft 2(SC2) will not be supporting LAN play.

Of, course... as with any announcement. The intertubes went wild!

"I'll never buy another Blizzard game ever!"
"How could they screw over their customers like that?"
"blah bitch blah whine!"

Get over it people. Yes, the idea of LAN games is a nice thought. But honestly.. what is the likely hood that the people buying SC2 have some sort of near permanent internet connection? Hmmm... any takers? I'd say pretty close to zero.

Most gamers that are going to have the capability for a LAN party will have pretty much zero trouble plugging one of the wires into the internet connected router. After that... KABLAMO... you've got the game working.

Now, I understand the idea of "We're at a convention. What convention is going to want to supply internet bandwidth for 200+ people playing SC2?" And yes, I understand that... And I'm not sure what to do about that. Other than maybe cry that I'm not going to get to go to most of those conventions. *sob* And neither will most of the SC2's customer base. They won't be hosting LAN parties where the bandwidth is going to be a real issue. Provided of course that SC2 isn't some crazy bandwidth hog.

Today's always on cable modems and DSL lines will be more than enough to handle large scale gaming at people's houses.

Arstechnica has a poll up about "What are you going to do about SC2 now that they don't have LAN play?" 25% say "UGH, I'm skipping the game now."

I call Shenanigans! BULLSHIT! You are going to bitch about it publicly and then go buy the game as soon as it's out. You know it and I know it.

So quit whining... Give Blizzard some credit. They, like Bioware, have yet to produce a game that is crap. I can't think of a blizzard or bioware game in the last 10 years that has even been as bad as "good". So give em a chance and stop whining.

Spiderman: Web of shadows... It's fun but some events are too rare. If I have to spend time intentionally trying to get civilians hurt just so I can fulfill the "save blah civilians" missions... IT'S TOO RARE! Not to mention... If I drop a car on joe sixpack... HE SHOULD BE INJURED! So far I'm liking the plot as well. I'm kinda afraid that the combat difficulty will ramp up higher than I can currently handle... but we'll see.
Wednesday, June 24th, 2009
2:18 pm
Gaming.
Played a little Spiderman:Web of Shadows last night... Well, it was supposed to be a little bit. I ended up playing about 2 hours when I should have been studying for my Calculus test. So far... quite fun. Thanks Spidey for the demo.

Dwarf Fortress:

Yeah, tried to play a little bit last night in the "background" while studying... yeah. After reading the dev journals online... I can't tolerate playing anymore. Once the new controls come online... Sign me up... but I look at things now and kinda go... *sigh* when will the update come?!?!
Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009
1:21 pm
inFAMOUS

Short review:

I finished it. It was much fun.

The slightly longer context for this is that I rarely finish games. Most of the games I rent or buy end up on the "I don't have enough time" shelf. To hold my attention long enough for me to actually finish the game is pretty impressive. Now go buy the game.

Longer review:

inFAMOUS is the story of Cole LighteningPants. He's had a bad couple days after the intro cinematic. This, of course, tends to be the way these things start out.

This is one of the few games I own for the PS3. I also own Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix(meh), MGS4(double meh) and... well... inFAMOUS. Ok, Ok... Before the bitchforks and torches come out. I like MGS4. It just got pushed off by who knows how many other games that struck my attention more. Yes... sooner or later I'll probably... maybe... go back to it. Keep in mind I never finished MGS2 and never played MGS3. Never finished MGS either now that I think about it.

Anyway... inFAMOUS. Hehehe... Love how that sounds in my head when I type it. inFAMOUS. Try it.

Story:

Cole LighteningPants is a delivery boy who conveniently is also an urban explorer. (This explains why he's able to climb like a monkey.) He's just done something that causes a big big boom that kills thousands of people. Time to go to Disneyland! But wait he's trapped in downtown NYC er... Empire City. The boom gives him mystic powers of electricity control and forces the city into a quarantine. He initially is just trying to survive and get out of the city but eventually turns into either a hero or a bad guy.

Ok, upon looking back and typing it up when you try to tell people about the story itself. It's pretty goofy. But so are a lot of other stories that people treasure. "Ok, well... It's a story about this guy with hair on his feet that has to throw away a ring that is taking over his mind! But get this, he's got to throw it in a Volcano! Neat huh?"

Each story resonates with each person differently. I liked the story of inFAMOUS. ok, caveat to this discussion. I am a goody goody. It pains me to try to play 95% of games as a jerk. Of course, 95% of games have the "bad" choices as Snidly Whiplash hand wringing moments of pure villainy. Do I save the nice little girl or force feed her the adorable kitten while playing xylophone on the bones of her parents? Huh... Which am I gonna choose? Although, the scenario I just came up with is kinda funny in a sick kinda way.

Anyway... asides aside. I feel the story does an admirable job of getting us from point A to point B. In the beginning, you don't really feel like a hero. Just this kinda everyman who got shafted and is trying to deal with it. Sure he's got powers and can climb... But he just wants his girlfriend to like him again, to get out of the city and maybe have a few beers with his best friend. But life doesn't let him have it the way he wants. He's got power... and suddenly... he can change the world. It's a powerful idea that some people(myself included) are quite affected by. And looking at the overall story from my own choices and what I would do... It's a compelling narrative.

However, I have to admit... Tycho is right. Some of moral the choices are exactly as I described above. Snidly Whiplash gone nuts. But... on some level I'm sad to say this... but... I have a friend that is pulled to those evil choices. They CALL to him like siren song. He is, currently, working his way through inFAMOUS forcing himself to play as good. His reasoning... "Well, once you go evil you just can't go good. So I lose half of the replay value of the game." My friends... This is somewhat sound reasoning. He's forcing himself to play the game in a way he doesn't enjoy just so he can reward himself with wholesale dickery. yes, there are people out there who enjoy those "Powerful moral choices." Thank you Tycho for the wording.

Gameplay:

Ahhhh, the fun stuff. You get to shoot lightening out of your hand and fry baddies! The powers are fun and make you start to really feel like a lightening god! You can form shields, throw balls of lightening that go boom, shoot balls of lightening that go BOOM as well as other powers.

The quests are all fun. Admittedly, some more than others. The side quests are what are the worst offenders. They repeat but with different window dressing. Not enough as to be annoying but enough to be noticeable. The story quests are good and occasionally incorporate a genuine choice. One of the choices I was surprised about. By this time, I'd actually come to care about someone(in game) enough to make the choice more than a "HAH!!! Let em die! I don't even know who they are."

Since your options continue to expand as you proceed in the gameyou keep finding new and fun ways to get around. As well as things to do while getting around. AFTER I'd finished the game, I actually spent time looking for collectibles because I was enjoying doing it. Normally, you have no hint as to where the collectibles are and hunting for them is just play annoying.

Sadly, you quickly learn that melee is next to useless. The melee lock on doesn't exist... So it's very possible for you to run up and punch somewhere near some baddie while they quite happily step a foot to your left and continue to unload on you with firearms. Ok, ranged it is...

Other stuff(graphics, audio and other Junk):

Meh, it all did it's job. Nothing distracting or annoying. Ok, maybe a little annoying. The camera will occasionally have issues in weird physical situations. If you are too close a building on a ledge in cramped quarters... The "auto-camera" that happens occasionally will maybe sometimes freak out. Nothing big... but still annoying.

Although, dear god do I love the effect for the last power you gain. WOOF!

Conclusion:

Buy it.
Monday, June 22nd, 2009
4:38 pm
GTA: Chinatown Wars
GTA... It's a name that brings either cries of "Save the children!", "yeah, lets go kill me some prostitutes!" or "Yay, another excellent game with a fun storyline that I will enjoy for many many hours."

Guess which one of those I was yelling? Ok, ok... after I "got dun" yelling for the killing of ladies of the evening I settled back into my more normal frame of mind. "Sweet. I generally enjoy me some GTA!"

I haven't finished Chinatown wars, but I really think I will. I made the mistake of buying two games at the same time for the same platform. I grabbed Zelda the Phantom Hourglass and GTA... BOTH for the DS. My previously ignored DS felt some love while I was on a bus heading for the boondocks of upper Michigan. "Go U.P.!"

I'll try to talk about Phantom Hourglass later but for this post I'll concentrate on what is so far an excellent GTA game. (PS... I nearly melted the Zelda card into slag in fury within the first HOUR of playing the game. but since then it's been fantastic!)

First off... This is not your father's GTA. It's a DS!!! So no cinematic cutscenes. No 1080p. No licensed music radio stations. The cut scenes are still frames and it works nicely. You'll have to read. Oh, darn!

The game is 3D, most of the action happens up in the top of the DS clamshell and it's well done. Graphics are passable and work nicely for a handheld. I'm sure I'll be retching at them in 10 years but such is the tread of technology.

Most important are the gameplay and the story. As long as the rest of it is good enough to not get you to put the machine down then it's done it's job.

The story is the same basic idea as the rest of the GTA franchise. Young criminal is thrown into the deep end and rising in power or prestige as they go. This version of the story is set in the aforementioned Chinatown. It's interesting to see the more asian take on crime. More about honor and such. Who knows how much of it is bunk but it's fun and that's the point of a game.

The gameplay... Oh, here is where the game shines. I am enjoying quote a few of the side games more than I am enjoying some of the main missions. Drug running is fantastic and appeals to the buy low sell high mentality that some people gave. I keep looking for sales on drugs. Where can I find a better bargain? MUST HUNT FOR CHEAP DRUGS!?!

Now after having flagged myself to various government services... we resume our previous discussion of the game.

The drug running is fun and you can make pretty decent amounts of money. Far more than I've been making in the story missions so far. Shamusyoung did a comic about how much Nico is being paid in GTA4. The funny thing is I didn't think it was accurate for GTA4. But for Chinatown Wars... 200$ for killing 10s of people, getting yourself mangled and then driving like hell on fire across town to deliver the 3 bags of drugs that you could have bought for 200$ is kinda funny. His reviews and impression of GTA4 is kinda off... but still a good read.

The driving portion of the game has something they call auto alignment(which you can turn off for the hardcore). Basically, it means that if you are driving down a street after a period of time(half second or so) the game will automagically align you to the direction of the street you are driving on. Very helpful. The driving is fun but not Gran Tourismo. However, driving is just sloppy enough that bikes are a deathtrap! I have yet to survive a cross town trip on a bike.

So basically, you have a fun story("Must find ancient family sword!"), good gameplay("Must run drugs for fun and profit!"), silly yet fun minigames("Must play scratch off lottery tickets!" or "Must cut open doors of vans to find hidden drugs!") as well as portable and easy to pickup for short periods of time.

Simple answer... I'm enjoying it. Since I tend to be a plot person, I don't think I'll REplay it... but so far it's fun.

Oh, I finished inFAMOUS! That alone should tell you how good a game it is. But I'll put up a review later.

Mercs2. Still haven't gone back to it. Might not.

Dwarf Fortress. I'm excited about the new changes in the Dev Log... WOOT!
3:44 pm
Back from Vacation.
I was in Michigan for the last week. Gaming updates to follow.

I also got an 112 on my calc test. Yes, I even got the bonus question correct. Highest grade in the class. WOOT! Go me. And friar, you are correct. I need to get a page up that is separate from things like "Back from Vacation!"
Friday, June 12th, 2009
4:09 pm
Calculus test.
Oh, I think I aced the test. Go me!

Edit: I'm going on vacation in about an hour. I'm not sure how much gaming I'll get to. But I'll have my DS with me. We'll see. OH!!! Mental note. Go buy the Zelda game for DS. Must have for the trip.
3:41 pm
Old timey games and modern viewpoints.
BEGIN RANT!

Holy mother of god! When did they make one of my favorite old timey games suck!?!

And now that I've gotten over the initial reaction I had... I'll provide information about what is going on.

I grabbed XCom Apocalypse from Steam awhile ago. Hey it's cheap and I never finished it. At the same time I grabbed the original XCom.

Quick commercial interlude... GO BUY XCOM!!! NOW! It's a moral imperative!

Ok, back to Apocalypse. First, It's running in dosbox. Not a horrible thing but kinda... "Huh, what?!?!" For those that don't know, Dosbox is a technology that allows you to play all those old dos games you enjoyed so much. Of course, Apocalypse was a DOS game so DUH it should be running in Dosbox. Hey, nobody said I wasn't slow sometimes.

Anyway, I start it up. and BAM right into the game. Oh, right... buttons. and a really closely zoomed in screen. MAN!?! How did I enjoy this game when you can't zoom out from this view? Ok, I know there are buttons here to do research, lets start there. Ok, I got my base setup, lets wait for something to happen. YAY!!! An alien is spotted! Huh? I know what these pyramids are in the sky... but if you hadn't played it before how would you know or even think about them.

RIGHT?!?! The alien! Ok, send off my assault squad and the plane to go kick some ass. I watch my slow ass plane meander around the city scape until it reaches the build and watch it land. I select the building to begin the assault YAY!!! Death to the aliens. But wait... Where are my guys? The plane is empty. Instead of getting in the plane, my guys decided to hoof it to the building several continents away.

Deciding that my minions are too stupid to live(Or I am to stupid to know how to put them in the plane properly), I quit the game and decide to worry about it another time. The alien invasion of Earth can wait while I go to bed.

END RANT!

I hadn't realized how much I've kind of gotten attached to tutorials in games. Alot of the older games don't have any tutorial. Just the manual that came with the box. Sure, I know the back story to XCom Apocalypse since I read the manual when I got the game the first time... but that's because I read those kinda things when the game is installing. I'm wacky like that!

Not to mention, had there been a tutorial, I'd have remembered that I(probably) need to drag the poor brainless assault squad to the plane before sending them off to their doom.

Of course, someone like me doesn't really mind. One failed alien investigation mission isn't a death sentence on a game. You learn how the game wants you to do things... But in today's gamer world... You'd get REAMED for not having a tutorial and just dumping some poor schlub(ie ME!) into the game world like that.

It's a fun game... It is definitely worth the couple bucks it costs... Hehehe... But a steeper learning curve than today's gamer(or press) would admit to liking.

SEPARATE POINT: Gamefly

Mercenaries2 from Gamefly. I still stand by my saying it's worth $3. But foolish me kept it rented from Gamefly for two months before deciding to cash in my Gamefly coupons and discount and pick it up for $3. But the game is so edge case that I wasn't sure if I wanted to buy it but I did want to finish it. Or at least get closer to the end. So I hemmed and hawed until my rental fees would have paid for the game twice over.

Mental note for the future... DECIDE ON GAMES FASTER!

Sypro... Spyro, I've decided on. If my fiance wasn't obsessing over finishing it... It would have gone back by now. Funny how "non-gamers" are sometimes worse about obsessing about games than gamers. Hehe...

Haven't played anything else since then... Well, except for a couple minutes of Dwarf Fortress in the background. If you haven't checked the game out... Go here and download it. IT'S A MAC GAME AS WELL! *GLEE*

I could go on for awhile about Dwarf Fortress and eventually... I might. But today... Just go play a bit. OH! And read the wiki. For the love of god... read the wiki. This game has about the same learning curve as Beta Eve Online. But... way fun.

Ok, maybe I'll talk a bit about DF. Toady, GET THE MILITARY UPDATE OUT NOW! My dwarves are getting their butts kicked because the squad leader falls asleep and the entire squad ends up in his bedroom watching their leader sleep. It's kind of creepy. Of course, the rampaging dragon is two levels down and tearing through the workshop... But somehow I can't wake the leader up to get their squad into the combat.

Doomed!!! My dwarves are doomed!
Thursday, June 11th, 2009
4:31 pm
Gaming and things that people say I'm good at.
I've been told that I should write a gaming column and that my voice should be heard. Not that I agree with them but I'm a little bored at work for the next 30 minutes until I head to calculus. Let's see what comes out.

InFAMOUS:
I'm playing infamous at the moment and it's pretty decent. I've been playing it since a couple days after it came out. I've been amazingly busy and therefor haven't had the chance to really focus on it. However, I'm enjoying the world.

Penny Arcade's Tycho said that the writing was pretty crappy. I say eh. I'm not someone who focuses on over used story arcs or whether or not this plot point doesn't follow from that plot point. But, I have to say that some of the moral decisions are pretty laughable. Do you let other people pick up the food that was air dropped or do you kill them and keep it to yourself? Well, first off... It's a meaningless choice. You don't eat food and therefor it's all mental. It's not a matter of "If I keep the food, I won't have to search for food so soon." Something like that might encourage you to actually keep the food instead of doing it just to be a dick. Another choice is somebody has strung someone up by their ankle for some reason, do you free them? It's evil to leave them to hang. Even if you don't know why they were strung up and can't really make a value choice on the situation. "He murdered a little girl." Ok, yeah leave him hanging or hand him to the police station... "cause he back talked my girlfriend." No, it's not ok to just string someone up because your a dick.

Anyway, maybe Tycho is write that some of the writing is laughable. But then again. If you start examining it. So is most game writing.

But graphics. They are good enough to get the job done without me making me want to rip my bleeding eyes out. So I consider this a win.

Gameplay.

So far, It's been dropping experience and powers at a decent enough rate that I'm getting new things to play with enough to keep me interested. Each of the powers is for the most part fun as well as useful. Some aren't as obvious, though, as to if they are really that useful. The reduce damage power for example. A 10% change isn't that easy to actually notice. So people don't neccesarily think it's worth going for. Of course, 30% less damage is pretty nice but it's the full power upgrade. But since it's player choice, you get to choose... So plus there. The ability to glide is nice. The overload power is almost useless. The amount of time it takes to charge compared to the amount of damage it does it laughable. I can spam the normal lightening attack faster to do more damage while still moving. Kinda a silly power, but you of course, don't have to upgrade it if you don't want to.

Ranged combat is fun and nice. Melee... Not so much. It's hard to actually be able to attack someone in melee. If you run up to them and attempt to kick them it's as like as not to just simply kick somewhere near them while they happily shoot you a lot.

I've still got a full island left to explore... So I'm kinda worried that I'll have run out of "new" by the end. But man the powers are fun(on the whole). Being able to jump on a power line, ride the line to the middle of the alley, jump off, throw two electric rockets at the bad guys, glide to another roof and keep running is LOTS of fun.

Audio. Good enough to not annoy me. Cole's voice is pretty good. Although, Zeke can get annoying.

So far, a definitely fun game. I'm not sure if I'll finish it with my current schedule but I'll certainly try.

Prototype:
No information as yet. I'm hoping to pick it up soon. It looks fantastic.

Star Ocean: The last hope:
Playing it. Information later. Definite positive at the moment.

Mercenaries2:
Playing it. Positive but lots of issues. It was worth picking up from gamefly for 3$.

Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon:
Tiger is playing this at the moment. It looks like I would have torn my hair out and quit the game days ago. But she's struggling on. She says it's not as bad as some of the other spyro games. Oh, how the mighty spyro has fallen.

Infinite Undiscovery:
Sad thing is... I've played it for probably 10 hours. I don't have a real useful description or memory of my time spent playing it. Sadly, that says something. I might end up going back to it someday... but right now... No real pull to do so.

Rockband: The Beatles:
PISSED! I'm buying it. I'm excited about it. I want it. I'm pissed about it! Can you say mixed emotions? I'd like to be able to play all the songs I've downloaded without having to pop the disc and boot into another game. So if you have friends over to play, you aren't going to play the beatles if you have any desire to play other music. But hopefully, the DLC and songs on disc will be enough to make people not mind playing "only" beatles tunes.

More stuff later when I'm not running to calculus. YAY!!! Test tonight. Wish me luck.
Tuesday, May 12th, 2009
9:21 am
Gay Marriage.
I'm assisting with Research for Tiger. She's got a sociology paper due this Friday and she's talking about gay marriage.

So we're looking for both positives and negatives to gay marriage from a sociological point of view. Religious or Moral points of view don't qualify towards this paper.

So any help would be appreciated. Well thought out negative points of view especially. I'm afraid we're going to end up with a purely positive piece. And that's just biased.

Thanks peeps.
Friday, April 10th, 2009
10:10 am
Party...
Party at my place. Tonight at 6:00pm-ish. Hot dogs, hamburgs and rockband.

It's all good. For lent, there will be pasta. Maybe some fish or veggie burgers.
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