Friday, September 24, 2010

8 Days Gone

Then, as it was, it shall ever be, and though the course may change some times, rivers always reach the sea.

I will finish The Witcher.  Eventually.  It's an awesome game, with a great dark fantasy world and a smooth operating badass protagonist.  In one session a few nights ago I bedded two separate attractive females, and I am entirely unrepentant about enjoying it.  One I knew was eventually going to invite Geralt to her bed, but I didn't figure it would happen so soon.  I also like the dice poker and crazy quests you end up taking on in this game.  I must be getting near the end of chapter 2 by now.

I'm actually in chapter 3 of FFT: WotL now, working down the job trees on getting to the ninja and arithmeticians and such.  I understand there are new classes in this version of the game, including one that looks like a dark knight from some art in the manual.  That would be cool.  I just love the plot of this game.  It's so much more interesting than the typical JRPG tripe.  This is a kingdom plagued by real problems in addition to the supernatural ones.  It's almost like the video game version of George RR Martin's A Song Of Ice And Fire.  It's pretty telling that even though I consider this one of my favorite games of all time, I wouldn't  have been able to clearly recall or summarize the plot until having played through this remake with it's amazing localization.  Wiegraf actually has motivation! Delita's actions actually kind of make sense!  So good.

Some months ago I was playing and writing about Demigod, a 'Defense of the Ancients-inspired game,' or whatever we're calling this little sub-genre that it and League Of Legends belong to.  I really enjoyed that game until something else came along and distracted me from playing it any more.  Cut to the present, and I've decided to try out LOL after having heard good things, read good things, and out of curiosity about the free-to-play business model that a lot of online games are going to these days.  I've played a game just about every night this week, and I'm kind of getting into it.  LOL, I'm given to understand, is much closer to what the original DOTA mod for Warcraft III ended up evolving into, though not without some additions and changes to spruce things up a bit and make the game a little more inviting and less incredibly unfriendly for newbs, as DOTA and Heroes of Newerth are reputed to be.

Upon completion of a match of LOL, a player is awarded Influence Points, which can be used to purchase either perks that strengthen the player's character in game or permanent access to the game's champions, it's player characters.  There are something like 60 champions to choose from, 10 of which are free to play at any one time, the selection rotating every week.  I've been playing in practice matches so far, but only earning like 30-70 points per match, which isn't a whole hell of a lot.  It could take quite a while of playing before you have enough points to purchase much of any worth, from what I can tell.  That's to be expected when the company would rather you pay with your money than time, I guess.

I guess I should talk a little about how the game plays.  I'll try to get into that in my next post.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Man, I Have Got To Finish Some Games

I'm holding off on purchasing anything new until Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, which I plan to cash in my completion tokens for next.  I really want Civ V too, though, so I need to be plowing through some shit right about now.

Unfortunately I'm deep in a couple more that I only recently began, FFT:WotL and Hitman: Blood Money.  I'm going to be a while finishing those, too.  I should really pop back to Bayonetta and polish her off before CV hits. That only makes sense.

It's awesome to be playing another Hitman game.  It's been about 4 years since I played about halfway into Contracts.  I love this series; it's so cool.  I love the hiding in plain sight by impersonating other people, and I love how each mission is like an intricate puzzle with a very simple solution just there for discovery.  You're free to go balls-out and kill every motherfucker in the level, of course, and that's good to work out some frustration issues from time to time, but the real joy is in observation of the AI, realizing that this faction of people have access to this part of the level, and that your target tends to wander from A to B to C and back in this pattern, etc.

And of course, FFT is legendarily good, and the new translation only makes it better.  I've yet to run across any serious slowdown on the PSP version, either.  Maybe having a PSP-3000 helps to alleviate that or something.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

En Taro Adun, Executor

My life for Aiur! For Adun! I have returned. I have returned. I have returned. My life for Aiur! For Adun! I have returned.

Yes, I have been playing a lot of Starcraft recently.  I beat it, actually, finally finishing off the game with the Protoss campaign.  Each race's campaign was 10 missions, and if I had to guess, each took somewhere around 12-15 hours to beat, it not more, counting all of the failed strategic gambits and false starts and reloads. Thus, I've been counting each campaign as a separate game.  I did the same with Oblivion's guild quest lines, and will split other games into halves as it suits me, perhaps Super Mario Galaxy will count again if I go and collect all the stars, or Peace Walker if I can ever finish all of the missions it has to offer.

I've enjoyed Starcraft, but have yet to get fully comfortable playing it.  Each campaign would probably need to be twice as long for comfort to set in, and what do you know, I have the Brood War expansion waiting, which features an additional campaign for each race, and a few new units, too, from what I gather.  By the time I'm done with that and the SC2 campaign(s), I should be ready to try multi-player.  At this pace, it'll be at least a year before I get there, though.

As far as strategy goes, I want to finish Dawn of War II next, and then I've got that game's first expansion, Company of Heroes complete and Dawn of War I complete to play, as well as the aforementioned Brood War, and I'll want to pick up Warcraft III at some point, too, since I don't own it, yet.  That's not to mention turn based or or 4X or SRPG or DOTA type games!

It's been a few weeks since I've written up a post about what I've been playing, but the list is fairly small.  In addition to finishing off Starcraft, I picked up Bayonetta, and have been enjoying that some, though I'm still not very far in.  The last week or so has been almost all Starcraft, though I've been trying to get back into The Witcher, an effort which was put off by a failed GPU fan.  Dell replaced my card, though, and so that will be back on just as soon as I get back from my trip this weekend for Labor Day.  While out of town I'll be playing FFT: War of the Lions, which I've also put a few hours into over the last couple of weeks.  Both that and Bayonetta I only have dabbled in (though I'm an old hand at FFT on PSX), but both are looking very good, and I'll have more to say on those later.

The game plan now (and it's always subject to change) though is to focus on Bayonetta, The Witcher, and DoW II once I get back, and to play more FFT and MGS PW while I'm gone.

I've also been reading recently--my first venture into the Warhammer 40K universe, a book called Eisenhorn by Dan Abnett.  It's almost a noir detective story, only set in the far flung future and strung out across the galaxy over centuries, chronicling the lengths one Imperial Inquisitor will go to in service of the God Emperor. It's very good.  Very, surprisingly, good.  I was expecting a level of quality along the lines of  books emblazoned with Dragonlance or Halo or Mass Effect logos, but it puts them to shame.  I would recommend it to anyone interested in sci-fi, especially anyone who likes Dune or anything with more fantastic elements.  Eisenhorn is an omnibus of three novels Xenos, Malleus, and Hereticus, with two interleaving short stories, the first of which, Missing In Action, I thought was especially good.