PAJ89 / Member

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PAJ89 Blog

Ruing the Day

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This one is probably just for me. The first thing I've written in a long while. Slightly clunky interface, excellent as an adventure game. Like a good story? Ignore the former and enjoy the latter.

Very much enjoyed playing and writing about Gemini Rue. Wish I had more motivation to do that more frequently... lots of things I'd like go back to and lots of things I'd like to try, not sure how to go about either at the moment though. I think I need a kick to go and do something. Though I've been reading a lot recently. I'm almost at the end of 1Q84 Book 2. It's getting weird, but no less enjoyable.

Anyway, greetings and best wishes to any old friends who might stumble upon this. Hope alls well with all, I really must check the blog roll now and then; I say that every time I make my sporadic appearance here, maybe it'll stick this time.

Review: Bar Oasis

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Review of an odd little game called Bar Oasis on iOS. I enjoyed it, though it's better thought as of an interactive story than a game, in my opinion. To any and all who happen to stumble upon this barren and deserted blog of mine, hope you enjoyed E3 and hope you are having an enjoyable and fulfulling life in general.

Review: You Don't Know Jack (iOS)

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Review of kooky quiz game You Don't Know Jack, which I picked up recently on my iPod Touch. £1.79 is a fair price if you enjoy the off-the-wall humour, but perhaps not if you wanted a quiz game with thousands of questions. Long time since I did one of these, so tried to keep it simple. Might start reviewing apps and downloadable games rather than full retail releases, my attempts always seem to end up half-written and forgotten about. Hope alls well with all.

A Tale of Two RPGs

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I ordered Dragon Age 2 on a whim and it arrived a few days ago. I've always loved RPGs and games that you can lose yourself in for hours, but I haven't had the time or motivation to get really stuck into a game for the past couple of years. I've found myself dipping into smaller downloadable games more often, which is quite a big change from, say, five years ago. The one good thing about this though is when I dodecide to pick up one of the blockbuster titles of the year, it's usually on a whim so I go in with little in-depth knowledge of the game. As someone who has traditionally done a lot of tracking and research about games I buy, this is quite refreshing.

Anyway, I don't really know what the purpose of that little ramble was. Just felt like typing it and I guess that is what a blog is for.

Dragon Age 2. I'm an hour or two in. I've come into the game off of two play throughs of Origins. The first of which I enjoyed a lot, the second of which I considered an effort to see through,

It's pretty corny.Some of the voice acting and lines I've come across are rather cringe-worthy. Carver's early lines stand out as particularly stilted and awkwardly delivered. On the other hand, Varric's voice work is incredibly good.

I like the faster pace.I thought Origins suffered from an incredibly sluggish battle system. I love the potential depth of strategy and tactical planning behind it, but the pace was far too slow (especially when the frame rate dropped). I haven't played around with tactics slots enough to know if the depth is still there, but the fluid animations of combat in 2 is very impressive. Regular attacked have now devolved into mashing a button, but I don't think that's necessarily worse than Origins' shortcomings.

I've lost my ability to inventory manage. I'm picking up so much stuff and I don't know whats worth equipping, selling, trashing or stashing. Not been comfortable with this kind of thing since Oblivion.

Leaves taken from Mass Effect 2's book are positive.Action-ing up the game a bit and borrowing the conversation wheel are both great decisions. Speeding and streamlining a game aren't always the right things to do, but I think Dragon Age needed that a lot. Doesn't look like it's had the same success as Mass Effect's re-think, but still, better off with it.

In summary, enjoying it. If not being blown away. The story-within-a-story thing is pretty cool, as is the extended time period the game is told over, though it looks like returning to previous areas will be impossible on occassion due to this. And from brand spanking new to ancient...

... I got a tip about the Good Old Games website a long time ago (I think by RK-Mara). Never checked it out until a week ago, when I helped myself to Planescape Torment. Again, I'm going into this with no knowledge except that it has a reputation as an outstanding RPG. I can see why it's so proclaimed after two hours or so. The writing and detail is incredible, puts a lot of what has followed it to shame. And the style of the game holds up. Very old of course, but the look and animations have a quality that is attractive to me. I know it's a decade-and-a-bit old, but it's not feeling like that. The soundtrack is fantastic too.

Hope all's well with all.

Steaming

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Fresh from my excursion into space with VVVVVV (beat the main game and have two more trinkets to find), I've been playing a lot of Penny Arcade Adventures on Steam. Was always curious about the first Episode on Xbox Live but not for that asking price, but the £2.25 deal for both episodes a few weeks ago was a deal-maker. Beat and enjoyed the first episode very much, and am about an hour into the second one. Slightly bittersweet as I understand the planned third and fourth chapters have been canned.

Very late to the party with Steam, if anyone has recommendations on some hidden gems let me know.

Tomes

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Traditionally, I've never been one for reading fiction. From pre-teen to about six months ago, the only books that ever entered my hands were for studying. Six months ago, after finishing university, I found myself quite aimless and searching for something new to consume my time. I've been a great fan of the Bioshock universe, which as you may or may not know, is influenced by the works of Ayn Rand. Based solely on my experience of enjoying Bioshock, I decided to buy a twin-set of Rand's novels: The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. I have read the former and am close to halfway through the latter, and I really do find them incredible, both as compelling stories and as musings on philosophy. So... I think this has ignited a desire in me to read.

Since it was a game that got me to try those, I figured I'd see if there was any interesting reading in that area. I've since invested in The Infernal City, which is a novel set in The Elder Scrolls universe (after the events of Oblivion). Maybe it's because I've been away from Elder Scrolls for a long time (must be two years or more since I played Oblivion), or that I'm engrossed in Atlas Shrugged, but the short amount I've read hasn't left me captivated. Without a doubt I'll finish reading it, but I'm wondering if books based in a video game universe have the same sort of problem as when a game is converted to film (i.e. not always being very good). I've noticed there are quite a few around (two Mass Effect books and an Assassins Creed one, probably some more I'm not aware of); has anyone read them, and if so would you recommend? And in the wider realm, as a newcomer, are there any novels you would recommend in the same sort of vein as the Rand books I've been reading?

Re-entry?

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Hey all who still might be reading, hope everything's well. Been a long while since the last one and much has changed: mainly that I've been working my first full-time job for the last three or four months. Not been playing a lot of games until the last few weeks or so, where lots of Super Meat Boy and New Vegas has been slipped in when I've had time. Hoping to start writing reviews again, starting with Meat Boy, first effort in a long time. Time is going so quickly now, can't believe it's mid-November already, makes me appreciates the uni lectures that dragged at the beginning of the year... Anyway, hopefully winter is being kind to you, not long to Christmas now.

The Happy Pilgrim [Tag]

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Tagged by tinoshke and Big_Bad_Sad... why not I say, an excuse to blog. Won't bother tagging anyone, get shuffling if you feel like it.

1. Put Your iTunes (or other music player) on Shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. You must write down the name of the song no matter how silly it sounds!
4. Put any comments in brackets after the song name.

1. If someone says, "Is this okay?" You say...
Tight Pants - The Stooges

2. How would you describe yourself?

Love Removal Machine - The Cult
(I hope that's not true!)

3. What do you like in a guy/girl?
Giant Steps - John Coltrane

4. How do you feel today?
Way of Illusion - Michiko Naruke (Wild Arms Soundtrack)

5. What is your life's purpose?
Stop Breakin' Down - Dim Stars

6. What is your motto?
Double Yellow Line - The Music Machine

7. What do your friends think of you?
A Certain Girl - The Yardbirds
(Again, I'd hope this one isn't true!)

8. What do you think of your parents?
Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want - The Smiths

9. What do you think about very often?
Loose - The Stooges

10. What is 2 + 2?
King's Call - Thin Lizzy

11. What do you think of your best friend?
Psycho Killer - Talking Heads
(I probably wouldn't be doing this blog if this was true!)

12. What do you think of the person you like?
These Things Take Time - The Smiths

13. What is your life story?
Love & A Molotov Cocktail - The Flys
(I like this one, conjures a romantic image.)

14. What do you want to be when you grow up?

People Who Threw Away the Will to Live - Nobuo Uematsu (Chrono Trigger Soundtrack)
(A touch depressing.)

15. What do you think of when you see the person you like?
Shapes of Things - The Yardbirds

16. What will you dance to at your wedding?
Clash City Rockers - The Clash
(That'd be quite amusing, though I doubt the bride would agree.)

17. What will they play at your funeral?

Mic Check - Rage Against the Machine

18. What is your hobby/interest?
Gimmick - The Cult
(This one is definitely a long way out!)

19. What is your biggest fear?

Aphrodisiac Jacket - The Cult
(I could think of much scarier things, in fact, I think I'd quite like an aphrodisiac jacket.)

20. What is your biggest secret?

Courage and Price - Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono Trigger Soundtrack)

21. What do you think of your friends?
Bye Bye Love - The Cars

22. What will you put as the title?

The Happy Pilgrim - The Only Ones

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