Dear Esther

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I haven't posted here in a long time. I don't think anyone actually has a gaming blog on Gamespot but I'm glad they still have it so I can post some thoughts.

I'm also glad that Gamespot is still paying attention to PC games, although not as much as I think they should.

The reason: I've been thinking about buying and playing "Dear Esther", a game that has the industry scratching its head, is so I can see my thoughts before I play it and show whether I'm the type of person who likes "art for art's sake" or a good adventure.

Dear Esther is rated around 80/100 on Metacritic and on Gamespot.

But the fans either love it or hate it.

A review by BunnyRed on MetaCritic wrote: "I'm not exactly sure what I just played, but it was one of the most beautiful things that I have ever experienced. Dear Esther is something of a new genre of game, all to itself. It's more of an artistic expression coupled with minor interactivity and a frighteningly poetic story. As an advocate for games as art, this is my new "exhibit A"."

On GameSpot, Omnimodus78 wrote "I just don't get it..."

And Eruptflail said "This game takes gaming in a direction that I've never seen before."So, I'm going to try the "game" and when I complete it, I'll post a review and a blog entry.

Pharoa & Cleopatra still fun

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My mom is staying with me for the next couple of months after her open-heart surgery. Because she has a lot of time on her hands, I thought I'd give her something to do and asked her if she wanted to play a computer game. I put San Andreas into my desktop and she absolutely loved it and asks if she can play it all the time. But, I have to use the desktop for my employment so she can only play during the evenings. Instead, I pulled out an old laptop and got an old game that would play on it and that I enjoyed and thought she might like: Sierra's Pharoa and Cleopatra. She completely adores it and is playing it now as I speak. I played a couple of the missions and still think this game is a lot of fun. I hope more historical city-builders come out for the PC but I also hope that there are some additions to it that can make it more fun and original to play.

Strategy Gaming

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I went through the bargain bin recently and found a few games that I wanted to try and I discovered Europa Universalis III. This game has the CIV franchise beat BY FAR. There's a lot to do in this game, but everything in the game matters politically instead of needless micromanagement (e.g., actually building roads and rail). There is a new expansion pack, "Napolean's Revenge" but when I tried to buy it, Paradox Interactive had problems with their site. Many others also couldn't purchase the game. I've been too busy to go back and try to find it but maybe one day I'll buy it.

Another game I tried for only $3 is CivRome. I love the Sierra city builders and this game is identical but it's not as entertaining because it brings nothing new to the franchise. And the effort to incorporate the "CIV" franchise does absolutely nothing to the game. This is a simple game but after you play it once, you get tired of it.

I also bought "Rush for Berlin" for $3. This is produced by Paradox Interactive so I wasn't expective heavy graphics and I certainly didn't get it. This is done on the 3D isometric map (can you really call that 3D today?). I suspect there's a lot to this game but I simply can't get into it because there's too much to do for a game that has the feeling of "been there, done that".

The last game I bought was "Just Cause" for $3. This has a fantastic premise but the reviews came back hard and I agree with them. There's nothing fun to this game. The AI is poor and the graphics are substandard. The aiming is a waste of time and there's not much of a story to the game. You have to wonder if someone actually tried to play this game before it was released. Because the premise is still a strong idea, it seems the publisher is now working on Just Cause 2 and plans to correct the issues.

World in Conflict takes over the Battlefield series?

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Ever since Battlefield 2, I haven't picked-up a war game. I still love Battlefield 2 but when they released the next version, 2142 (?), I just didn't feel like going there and so I got tired of the games and have moved onto other series. But now that World in Conflict is out, I feel like this could be the next step in the Battlefield series -- where I think DICE should have take Battlefield. Although I haven't played WIC because I need to buy a new computer to do so, from all the player and medie reviews, I think DICE has just lost their franchise.

Star Trek games still stink?

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I posted a question on GameSpot forum about the state of Star Trek games but no one has yet replied. This may explain what is happening with Star Trek games -- the fanbase isn't there to play them because they've been burned too many times with crappy games.

http://www.gamespot.com/forums/show_msgs.php?board_id=314159266&topic_id=25718162

With such a successful franchise, why hasn't anyone developed a worthy Star Trek game?

The Ship Rocks!

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I've been playing this game off and on for the week or so because of time and I'm VERY impressed! It's very creative, yet simple. There is a lot of strategy involved with this game despite appearances. I've played the Battlefield series for a long while and enjoy them but no matter how much you want to strategize, you end up simply running and shooting because that's what the other players are doing. The Ship forces you to strategize. You get penalized for killing others who aren't your target and it will also reveal who you are. For example, there are police around so you can't kill anyone while security is watching. But you can bribe them and they'll overlook your murdering ways. But if people see you bribe the security officer, they flee. So, you have to be very sneaky in this game. I absolutely love it and hope lots more people catch onto it.

The Ship

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After reading many reviews I decided to buy The Ship. I bought it last night for $20 but haven't had the chance to play it. I did load it though and discovered it's a Steam game which was very disappointing. Steam games take forever to load even though I use cable, and it eventually locked my computer as an application tried to run in the background.

This seems to be common for every Steam game I've owned (Half-Life 2) and I eventually play a couple of maps and give up.

If I can eventually play this game I'll post it here.

May as well try this

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Well, I figured I may as well try the GameSpot blogs and see what they're all about.

I just read about the new SimCity: Societies development and I'm completely devastated SimCity is taking such a downgrade of its franchise.

The new game, developed by Tilted Mill instead of Maxis, looks like a cheap immitation of SimCity even though it's in 3D whereas the last SimCity, SimCity4, was in 2D. It appears the realism has disappeared completely from the game. I'm hoping this is just a side product instead of a continuation of the franchise which has been silent for the past four years.

I wrote a post a while ago about what I think the developers should do to revive the franchise. Once I post it, I will post in on the blog.