Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Uninstall: NightSky

I've been out of town for the last 10 days, but before I left Oregon, I did manage to do an uninstall for Call Of Podcast on the game NightSky. It feels good to check out an indie game that's been on my backlog for who knows how long. NightSky is a physics puzzle game featuring a ball in silouhette. You use the left and right arrow keys to spin the ball clockwise and counter-clockwise (which rolls the ball of course, but has other applications, as well). There are eight or ten worlds each consisting of eight or ten short stages--most seemed to be exactly three screens long. I'm sure your well-versed gamer mind can fill in the details. It's a nice looking game, has relaxing music, and the puzzles are neither too brain-dead easy nor overly exacting in terms of required technique. There are even secret exits to discover, and a few bonus stages to tackle. I give it 2 out of 2 balls in silouhette.

To further catch this blog up to the point when I left on this business trip, I ran through the next little section of Darksiders leading into the 2nd big dungeon. I'm on my way to meet someone... Uriel, their name might be. No, wait, Uriel Septim is a character from Oblivion. This person, they do have a name. I assure you.

I also finished up my 20 matches of Dota 2 playing Faceless Void. I saw Gabe Newell on a video saying that (Dota honcho) Icefrog advised him to randomly select his heroes until he became good at the game. I'm not sure if that is the approach for me--but then, I'm not sure it's not. However, I do feel like my pick a hero, play 20 matches method has been effective so far. I'm through Windrunner, Bounty Hunter, Omniknight, Silencer, and Faceless Void, now. I'm still thinking I want a hard carry next. Void is a carry, but he can be pretty fragile. I want a big slab of hard-hitting meat, but I'm not sure who fits that bill the best in Dota 2. I'd like to try Chen or Visage, maybe, but I'm not sure I'm ready for sub-units and ctrl-groups in Dota. The 2012 International is happening this weekend, and I want to watch a bunch of that, so maybe that will help me decide on a hero to learn next.

I'll bet you can't guess what game I've been playing in my hotel room here in Arkansas. Oh, you got it. That's right, the O.G., the recently retired, the reknown, Diablo II. With a "II." I just can't seem to get enough of the loot pinata, slot-machine effect. Well, and I'd never played a few of the classes available in that game, and had only completed it a single time as an Assassin. Knowing how finicky D2 is about skill point allocation, I looked up a build for a Barbarian, and have been busy over the last week and a half filling it out in-game. It revolves mostly around the Double Swing and Frenzy skills, basically just attacking so quickly and so heavily that enemies are effectively stun-locked when they are able to survive past the first couple of hits. It's fun. I've just finished up Act III on Normal. I've had three set items drop to this point, and one of them, a breastplate, I'm actually wearing. I've been playing offline, not that it really matters. I don't really plan on doing anymore than finishing Act IV, maybe the expansion act, and then just leaving the character to rot on this computer for any future trips out of town. After all, patch 1.0.4 for D3 came out just after I left town, and there's more I need to delve into, there.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Uninstall: Moon Base Alpha

Wow, has it been over two weeks, already?

I haven't been playing much of anything new. I did an Uninstall for Call Of Podcast on Moon Base Alpha, the free NASA-affiliated game about repairing broken parts of a moon base in Shackelton Crater in the year 2035 or so. It was alright, for a free edutainment type of thing from the people behind America's Army. I am a big space enthusiast, so that was fun. I think Shattered Horizon was better, though. Moon Base Alpha is all about tedium, though there is that sense of satisfaction of mastering a routine through optimization of technique and efficiency.

I've played a bit more Darksiders since my last post, but still not enough to really go at length. Diablo III and Dota 2 have been getting a good amount of attention, of course. I finally managed to kill Belial and get to Act III of Inferno. I'm taking a break now until I come back from a business trip and the next patch is live, though. In Dota, I've been playing Faceless Void and having a blast playing a carry. Dota is so good. I've never enjoyed a competitive multi-player game as much as I do it.

Oh, I forgot about CS: GO. I did play some more of that, as well, and it's good fun. I like the Arms Race mode, known as GunGame in CS: Source.