Category Archives: Video Games
So I’ve been playing Terraria.
Like, a lot of Terraria.
Too much, really.
Skills! There’s a bunch of them in Eschalon: Book 1. Some are classics like lock-picking or swords. Others are a bit strange, like Cartography or Skullduggery. I like that there’s a wide range of skills. I don’t like that not all of them are useful.
My biggest problem with skills is Cartography. If you don’t have any points in it, you don’t get a mini-map. At all. Your character is apparently too stupid to draw on paper. What’s worse is that you need a certain level with Cartography – I think it was 5 points – to know how to use blue to mark water.
Yes. A character in Eschalon: Book 1 with less than 5 points in Cartography is worse at drawing maps than my 4 year-old cousin.
A bunch of points in Cartography will indicate chests, enemies, and other stuff. I love the idea, but I hate the execution.
Lock-picking’s okay. You have a percent chance to unlock any door or chest you come across. Lockpicks can break, and I never had more than a 55% chance to open any lock, no matter my skills or ability points. I bought maybe 15 lockpicks through the entire game, and went through maybe 4 of those? It was an okay system.
The game has a buddy system; they are just friendly NPCs who help you or ask for help from time to time. The first part of the game, I liked the buddies. Specifically, I liked Michele Dachss. I’d get a quest, she’d call me up and offer an additional way to fuck over both the UFLL and the APR. She was always full of piss and vinegar, snapping about how she hated all these bastards and wanted to hurt them. My kinda gal. We had good teamwork.
Then she dies at the end of the first act. All your buddies do, apparently. I couldn’t find a way to prevent it. And then, act two tried to replace Michele with some piece of shit scumbag, Xianyong. When I do a quest, Xianyong would call me up and whine. He was very annoying, and most of his side missions involved covering up for him. I had no motive to do so. I started ignoring him after a while. He’s no Michele, that’s for sure.
Far Cry 2 starts with a five minute cut-scene, where a man drives me to a hotel, I get malaria apparently, and then the man I’ve been sent to kill rummages through my possessions as I lie helpless in bed. He mocks me and leaves.
We’re off to a great start! I’m having a lot of fun being useless.
Oh, how I love Good Old Games! They bring me all kinds of old games that I used to play for half an hour and then forget about. But now I can finish them! And complain about them!
So GOG has the Atomic Edition of Duke Nukem 3D. The game is broken up into four scenarios, all of them linked together loosely.
In short: these games are excruciating to play and irritating to listen to, but some of the settings and mechanics are still important. We can learn from this game. There were moments where I had fun.
I downloaded the demo for Age of Decadence. Here’s what I thought.
I was frustrated. Age of Decadence is a soon-to-be RPG, in the style of Fallout – the original Fallout, not the new bullshit first-person shooter ones. I’m a big fan of Fallout. It holds up. I played Fallout a year or two ago, and it was still fun.
Age of Decadence (AoD from now on) seems to have taken away some of the wrong lessons. But they sure got some things right.
The stars aligned: the new Batman movie was about to come out, a dirt cheap Steam sale appeared, and I’d been long overdue to play Batman: Arkham Asylum since it was released. The action adventure pits Batman against the Joker, who has seized control of the island fortress prison known as Arkham.
“And me without my bat-umbrella!” (Source)
Steam roped me into buying Portal 2 by putting it on sale. Ten dollars for a game I was pretty certain would be excellent? Yeah, I couldn’t help myself.
Now, I’m not done with the game. I’m not even sure how far I am into it. But I’ve played enough to know what I like and what I don’t. So, uh, here is a rough outline of those things. I start with the things I liked, which, though brief, is actually most of the game. Then I talk about things I didn’t like, and at the end, I talk about some great things I loved.
Spoilers, of course, if you haven’t played. Read the rest of this entry