Saturday, October 1, 2011

Going Back

Never until recently have I been able to return to a game midway through without feeling like I needed to restart the whole thing to get back into the swing of it. Maybe it's just that I don't have time to restart every game these days, and at the same time I can rarely make myself play a game to completion at the exclusion of playing other games. I used to do that. Back in the SNES and PSX and even PS2 days I used to have a laser like focus to get through whatever game it was I was playing at the time. I might divert to play a fighter or racer or something, but as far as narrative single-player structured games went, I was monogamous. The NES days though, were more like today, with many different games to choose from, and little reason to hunker down and concentrate on any particular one. That was on a much smaller scale, though. Where now I have somewhere around 200 games at my disposal, back in the day it was maybe 10, max.

But in those freewheeling days of the 90's and early 00's, if I got halfway through a game only to be distracted by something else, I would usually be restarting that game when I got back around to it. I don't feel that compulsion so much, anymore. I did with Titan Quest, recently, but that was also due to the fact that I'd put 8 hours into a character build I was into at the time, but didn't feel like playing on restart. My most recent Titan Quest character is a very straight forward dual-wielding melee type, engineered that way specifically so that I can easily return to the game after a long absence and pick up right where I'd left off. Fallout 2 and Nehrim are two other RPGs I'm in the middle of, and feel like I could jump back in pretty much anytime and not be lost, or at least not anymore lost than I was when I last played them. I couldn't even tell you what sort of character build I have going in Nehrim, but I tend toward the simple melee in games where the choice is between that, magic-focused, and rogue-ish characters.

Case in point, I finally replaced my PS3 yesterday and have returned to playing Demon's Souls once again. When I started this game almost 2 years ago, I began as a Wanderer, which is basically an agility-focused melee class with an affinity for curved swords like falchions and katana. Lots of dodging and quick stirkes, which suits the way I'm used to playing action games. I've been playing this game in fits and starts ever since beginning, but I always come back comfortable with where my character development left off. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to carry over my save to my new PS3, and that I would have to start over with a new character. I was thinking I might go with a little bit of a beefier tankish class. Luckily that wasn't necessary.

I cleared 3-1 last night on my first time through the level. The mindflayers went down in two slices of my Uchigatana +4. I'm at soul level 58 now, and I've cleared 1-1, 1-2, all of world 2, 3-1, 4-1, and 5-1. I had been focusing on 4-2, but reapers and black skeletons get me most of the time, the gold skeletons don't do it first. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to push to the end this time, or pick up Dark Souls right away and start in on that, instead. Best to finish Demon's first, I guess. I probably won't be doing a new game+ on it though, when I can move onto whatever improvements are there in Dark Souls. With a lot of tough game still ahead of me though, it's really hard to say what I'll end up doing.

I finally finished another game I started about 2 years ago--Dawn of War II. I was only 5-6 hours from the end when I'd left off last time. I've been on a big 40K kick lately, and I also just started reading the Horus Heresy. 40K is pretty cool. Dawn of War II was also pretty cool. The single player game was kind of a proof of concept, with a lot of reusing the same maps and same basic mission types, but the way the game plays is pretty unique and a lot of fun. It's somewhere between Diablo and Starcraft. It's almost like controlling a whole team of LOL or DOTA heroes and taking on hordes of enemies as you make your way from point to point and usually either defend a location or fight a boss monster. Plus, there is loot and experience for each of your squads (you have 6 by the end of the game, 4 of which deploy at any one time). If it sounds addictive, it is.

I hear Chaos Rising is even better, with more varied mission types and additional RPG elements concerning how pure or corrupt your squads become based on your deeds and wargear. I'd like to start that game soon, but I should probably work on finishing off some of this other stuff that I'm halfway through!


Greg said...

Welcome back to console gaming Count! I know you prefer PS3 because of the free online play but did you have any trouble deciding to re-purchase a PS3 vs a 360?

It seems like Sony's online business model appeals to your values more but Xbox has some of your favorite exclusive game franchises such as Gears, Halo, and Forza. Plus, having party chat support across all games is a nice feature if you are willing to pay for the Gold membership.

Count Elmdor said...

No, it was a pretty easy decision between all the unfinished PS3 games on my shelf like Demon's Souls, Batman, Red Dead, Dead Space, and 3 import Yakuza games. Plus, upcoming Dark Souls, which will probably be better on PS3, and ACR, which will be free to play multiplayer, of course.

On the 360 side, I've already played all my games but Halo Wars, and I can wait a while longer on Gears 3 and Halo games.... aside from that I don't really feel like I'm missing anything. Forza, perhaps. XBLA hasn't really had anything to catch my eye in a while. I do still have a few unplayed XBLA games, but they can wait, too.

Count Elmdor said...

Also, don't you have to be a gold subscriber to use Netflix on 360? F that.

Greg said...

Probably have to be a gold member for Netflix on 360 but I'm not entirely sure. I don't mind paying the $50/year for Live due to the sense of community on that platform.

I still feel far less connected to friends on the PS3.

Count Elmdor said...

It does feel more disconnected, but it doesn't really bother me. It's very rare I'm playing anything with anyone I know, anyway. I can't commit to being able to play at a certain time for a certain time, so I lone wolf it 99.9% of the time.

I vastly prefer the XMB to any/all versions of the 360 firmware. I just can't tolerate the ads. Just personal preference, but even with all the dumb quirks of PSN, it's a better fit for me. I'm glad Sony is keeping basic online multi-player outside the paywall. PSN+ looks like a pretty cool package, and I think that's because they are forced to come up with other benefits to being a member. I don't really plan on ever joining, but I find the idea more palatable then Microsoft's holding hostage of a good portion of your gaming library's content.