Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Space Cadet/Dropout

Not too long ago Egosoft released another iteration to the X series called X3: Albion Prelude. It's actually an expansion to X3: Terran Conflict, and requires that game to run. I spent about 18 hours with Terran Conflict and never really clicked with it. It's quite the deep space trader game. Albion Prelude does a little bit to improve the graphics and user interface, and also adds a stock exchange in case the game's incredibly deep economy wasn't complex enough for you. I picked up Albion Prelude for the might-as-well price of $10, hoping that the game finally would hook me, but I'm sad to report that it has not.

I think that there are some fundamental problems with both of these games, and those revolve around how long it takes to do anything. I spent more time just staring at stations as they drew nearer, my ship on auto-pilot and time sped up to 600%, than I did having any fun with the game. I'm sure that the capacity is there to have a whole fleet of AI guys run my trade empire for me, but that's not something I would accomplish in the first, say, 50 hours of play. That's stretching it a bit, even for a guy like me, who's willing to put time into a rewarding game to get the most out of it (S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Far Cry 2). I like what X looks like, but I can't get on with the execution. There is another major entry in the series set to be released later this year, I believe, called X: Rebirth. I'll be watching it; maybe it will be the one to click.

In the meantime, I have Freespace 2, hailed by many as an essential classic in the space flight genre. I've only played just the first mission so far, along with the three training missions. It seems fun. I think I am going to need a better controller than the mouse, though. I want to see if I can get my 360 pad to work with it.

Elsewise, this past weekend I played a little bit of both Batman: Arkham Asylum and Just Cause 2. Not really anything to report on either, just that I spent an hour or so with them.

I've spent a great deal more time playing Dota 2 over the last few weeks than anything. I'm still learning the basics and some intermediate stuff that a total newb wouldn't get to, as well as learning more about how to build my Windrunner for success. I'm kind of hooked on Dota 2, and I want to stick with it and really learn the game, because it's a lot of fun. It jives with a lot of what I enjoy about several types of games.

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