alx222000 / Member

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alx222000 Blog

Absolutely positively definitely seriously not a blog about games

'Cos I've gotta say I'm back to studying, and not too long before back to work.

Meanwhile, I've been playing some games.....:P

Indigo Prophecy (or Fahrenheit) is like watching the Matrix with quick-time-events.....Lots of quick-time-events.

Overlord is like Pikmin for the evil-inclined. You're a big guy with a swarm of little minions ready to drown themselves at your command. Fun, good sense of humour (Random villager after being nice to the village "I'm gonna name a pumpkin after you"), possibly a bit repetitive since there's not a whole lot of strategy.

Bioshock. Awesome story and setting. You can set people on fire.

Painkiller is a decent old-fasioned FPS. Horde of monsters + big guns = You do the math. The weapons were nicely designed too, not just stock stuff. To quote Yahtzee, "It shoots shurikens and lightning." Though, personally, it did get a bit tired for me, though I'm an ammo-conservative-worrier always using the gun with full ammo.

Trine is what you'd call a 2D physics-platformer. Unfortunately, it does use the same shtick regularly, and there's not a lot of variety in enemies. Also, drawing the wizard's objects was a bit hit-and-miss. Still, somewhat nice, and the graphics are pretty.

Red Faction: Guerilla is about destroying stuff. Unlike previous entries, it's outdoors, and you can destroy buildings rather than the environment. Destroying stuff using hammer, explosives, rockets or vehicles is fun, Unfortunatly there are the enemy soldiers who can go from nice hammer-fodder to great inconveniences to your health, and sometimes it just doesn't seem possible to find cover to hide behind and recover.

Jade Empire is like Mass Effect's older, lesser-known brother. Set in an ancient magical asian kingdom where ghosts aren't passing on. The story was interesting, as were the sidequests. Combat system is different. Basically a beat-em-up, with the character switching between using strikes, status effects, transformations and long-range magic. And battles can be quite tough if you don't have a companion healing you from the sidelines. Also, not much micro-management.

Strange how I keep blogging about games.

Many games acquired over the holiday sale on steam, and only one thing cost more than $10. So I've been playing games quite a bit.

Finished Mirror's Edge. Had a nice feel to it, running and jumping around obstacles. You could really get into it and enjoy yourself, except the instant you do, the game is guaranteed to whack you over the head. The best moments had you chasing someone else, however this only happened twice.

Abe's Oddysee (also got Exoddus), was a lovely classic 2D adventure platformer (flashback, Prince of Persia). Though I did feel at times that the game did not appreciate the nicety of margin for error.

Broken Sword 3 the Sleeping Dragon is another example of a series going 3D and immediately losing out. Aside from the 3D models having nowhere near as much charm as the wonderful 2D sprites of previous entries, which, in turn, marred what was probably decent voice acting, they went with a keyboard-only control scheme, so they could put a ton of box-pushing puzzles and little mazes where you climb up and down ledges. Oh, and a few, sneak-past-a-bunch-of-guards bits. And all these useless doors to try opening.

Full Spectrum Warrior is a nice little army squad tactics simulator, though I found the squad to occasionally not show much intelligence. And things did start getting repetetive about half way through the game, given there wasn't really a whole lot of tactical options. It doesn't help that the game is quite slow-paced.

Shadowgrounds: Survivor. Pretty much the equivilant of an expansion pack, with new levels, but not much in the way of new methods to eradicate the horde of aliens, and less atmosphere. Stick to the original. Oh, it's an arcadey overhead shooter, and the original was a bit spooky.

And a whole bunch of other games that aren't worth talking about or that I haven't got far with yet.

Mass gaming

Well, since the last time I blogged, I have acquired a few more games. It would be fair to say that I've got a bit of an oversaturation of games right now (there was a big package deal I couldn't refuse), so here's the usual wall of text with just the highlights.

First, I finished Mass Effect. In 36 hours, doing 40 side-missions (including the free DLC) and completing 23 achievements. Game was well-made and interesting, but wasn't really all that enjoyable, especially at such length. Also, I got really annoyed with the enemies who can one-hit-kill you.

I went vanguard (shotguns, pistols, force-pow......I mean biotics). Once I got a decent level, equipment and the explosive rounds upgrade, I did have a bit of fun with the sniper rifle, but the lack of scoping really ticks me off, though that might have worked with another class....
Only got the neutral ending. Was going to go for renegade, but I kept helping other people when it seemed important :P

Also quickly got through Monkey Island Special Edition. I do own the original, but it was going cheap so I got it for voice-acting. Didn't really do all that much for the humour for this 3rd or 4th playthrough though. And the new art...ugh..too artsy. Especially Guybrush's hair. Curse had simple, cartoony art, and it was great. There was also this weird detail that moving sprites (guybrush, mostly) looked like they weren't part of the picture. Like.....those little cardboard cutout puppets....or something. The art problems may have been related to the new art being slapped directly in place of the old.

And of course, there were other niggles. No line skip, and I actually had to memorise what key brought up which verb (using scroll wheel was annoying). All in all, not worth it if you've played the original, IMO. At least it was cheap.

What else.....I'm almost finished Phoenix Wright. If you don't know, it's part adventure, part logic puzzle, with you in the role of a defense attorney. Quite good, nice and funny writing, interesting characters, interesting cases. Possibly a little short, but not as bad as I expected.

Also got a few other games, but haven't gotten far with them yet.
Evil genius
Mirror's Edge (just a little painful trying to figure out where to go sometimes, even with the ability to look in the direction of the next waypoint)
Red Faction: guerilla (Destroying stuff = Fun. Trying to drive through small towers while under constant fire = Grrrr)
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 1&2 (just need to figure out which to start with)
Saint's Row 2 (Just walking along, minding my own business, and a car careens off the road into a pair of pedestrians a metre or so in front of me :lol: Glad to see a world where I'm not the only guy who'll be ignoring traffic laws)
Titan's Quest (really not sure if I can be bothered with this)
Company of heroes
Full Spectrum Warrior
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
(...........)

Indie stack

Just a round-up of game purchases since last blog.

There was a set of indie games on sale on steam (some time ago now :P), so I've now got:

Audiosurf - Nice idea, take any music, and it becomes a little racetrack with coloured blocks to collect and make sets, like a puzzle game. Unfortunately, I'm not that into trying to beat online scoreboards, so there's not much insentive for me to play this.

Blueberry Garden - More a piece of art than a game. Haven't played it much, but I know it involves finding things that can be used to build a makeshift tower.

Braid - Platform puzzle with temporal physics and a lovely artstyle. Quite good, though I was really annoyed when I found out the reason I couldn't complete a puzzle was the fact that the game didn't tell me I could change how fast time rewinds. One puzzle. One, single, puzzle in the whole game needed this. If it wasn't for that puzzle, the feature wouldn't be necessary. But the puzzle existed, so it was necessary, so why didn't they tell me about it? *rage*

Crayon Physics Deluxe - Draw shapes to make a ball roll past obstacles to the star? Nice idea, but this game doesn't really feel like they've done it right. Example - Creating swinging objects to knock the ball. Okay, the first time, with an outline is fine, but ever time after you have to judge the distance yourself, and it's tempting to go find a ruler or compass so you don't have to watch the hammer you just made run into the ground for the umpteenth time. Actually, the original (free) CP, which restricted you to rectangles, was kind of fun.

Darwinia - A minimalist RTS, with a style reminiscent of (really) old shooters like Robotron. The story and feel are nice, but pretty much every level involves going through the same motions, with only a handful of available strategies. and since you can't really lose, it's not that difficult. One nice thing, you get upgrades over time, so if you do get a bit stuck (if), you'll eventually get some improvement to assist you.

Everyday Shooter - Static screen shooting game, but with a bit of music and flair. From what I remember, the main hook is that by shooting stuff, you create additional notes that add to the background music. It was a nice feature, but not really all that. Still, the actual game was solid, and each level was interesting to play. Though, I found it quite difficult to get through all the stages with just the default amount of lives, but that's why you can buy more.

Gish - Platform game with a mildly physics-based character: A ball of tar. The abilities are: stick, slide, heavy. But the physics aren't really a puzzle thing. Small gap? slide. Enemy/small wall? Jump and heavy. High platform? Stick and climb the wall. Not really a bad idea, but sometimes it's just too difficult to do what you want. You can sometimes get stuck while sticking (ha), and trying to get a decent jump is annoying, bouncing up and down until you've got enough height (which doesn't always work properly).

Mr. Robot - Part isometric puzzle-platforming, part RPG, with a nice story. The platforming and puzzles are solid, though the isometric angle can be a little difficult. The RPG part is decent, but a bit on the easy side (last boss is a pushover). One thing, the upgrading/equipment part made me feel like there should have been more to find, for instance, some equippable items have slots. I started finding slot equipment about half-way through the game, but only found a couple of items to use in them until right near the end of the game, and then, there were only two different types. Oh, and the stat boost items, well, raising your max HP by 1 point is alright when you have about 10, but once you've got 20 it becomes a bit pointless. At least those boosts can be switched to something else.

The Path - Little spooky exploration game, with a red-riding-hood theme. Not really horror, just a spooky atmosphere. Is interesting, but can take a little long.

World of Goo - Physics puzzle, attach blobs of goo together to form a structure that takes them where they need to go. Very nice, with quite a bit of variety.


That's all for the pack. I also wanted to mention that just yesterday I got a few more games, Assassin's Creed for the PC (Draw distance on some of those objects is terrible, is that just the graphics not being set high enough?), along with a few DS games, Scribblenauts (just had to), Pheonix Wright and Sonic Rush adventure.

Okay, I'm done, I'm not even going to proofread this thing, bye.

A word unto the silence

Well, thought I should mention, I've started my yearly work. Would have considered the announcement more important if it actually made any difference here, but with people being boring, it doesn't really.


Badly-drawn al-X raises an eyebrow at you. You take 9999 damage.

Got little King's Story for the Wii. Nice so far, though it can take a little long to get places and sort out particular things, I also keep kinda wishing there was another layer of control.

What's that? You're bored as well as boring? Okay, couple of good old-arcade-type flash games: Dodge & Boomstick.

Blog O' Spam

One blog, ingredients: 0% content, 100% spam.

Here is an appropriate song. Now, on with the spam.

I occasionally find links to various flash games, but I'm starting to notice a trend, that many of them, particularly the better quality ones, seem to be found on one site, a place called Kongregate. And since I was ending up there regularly, I thought I might as well create an account and see just how much of my life I end up actually spending there, by accumulating points and achiev....I mean, badges. They also have a referral thing, not sure why people bother, since the points have no actual use, yet anyway.

A few examples of fun/interesting games I've tried out on Kongregate: Spewer (liquid-physics platform-puzzle), Crush the Castles (trebuchet firing), Shift 4 (perspective-change platform-puzzle), Gravitee (planet golf). Apparently there are also things called 'multiplayer games' on there which I have yet to explore.

What? Trying to get people to do stuff to boost a pointless score on some website? No, no. If I was trying to do that, I'd tell people to go visit MyBrute and give my guy an exp boost. What is it? Well, I guess you would call it a little, pyramid-schemish, raise a guy to fight thing, where most everything is random/automatic, apart from choosing who to fight. There's not really much to it, but it does look nice.

Let's see, what else.....

The Escapist is home to some nice video series, like Zero Punctuation (Cynical and humorous game reviews at sports-commentator speed), Unforgotten Realms (Animated D&D parody), and I suppose I'll mention Unskippable (Game intro movies with added humorous narration).

If there are any Team Fortress 2 fans reading the blog, you might want to check out Nerf Now. Best TF2 webcomic I've come across so far, though I suppose that's mostly because it isn't a Garry's mod thing:P

Hmm, alright, I seem to be out of spam, for now.
Blog Ends.

Psychobabble: better Left 4 Sam & Max while Meeting the Spy

To the weak, I seem as a god,
To the strong, I am indistinguishable from the sea of people.
I am both revered, and in reverence.
It is a curious balance, one of many I see in my self.
I appear a creature, determined to balance, no matter the situation.
I could strive to improve myself,
but then, the balance would shift.
I could stop trying,
but then, the balance would shift.
However, to remain, to stay absolutely still,
I become stagnant, stale, and lacking in purpose.
And thus, the balance is entirely lost.


Got a couple more games since last time. since I've recently gotten a way of purchasing games via steam, I'm now an owner of Left 4 Dead, and all the Sam & Max episodes.

Sam & Max, well, it's just a great adventure series, so just go download the 4th episode. It's free.

Left 4 Dead is interesting, but it doesn't quite have the compelling grip of Team Fortress 2.

And speaking of TF2.....Valve just released the 'Meet the Spy' video. Even if you're not a player of TF2, I still recommend watching it, because.....it's awesome:P Oh, yeah, one little, tiny disclaimer of violence, though I'm sure everybody reading this will have seen worse. Linky.

A Boom was Unleashed from the Shadows

There are 3 types of people,
Those who say the glass is half-full,
Those who say the glass is half-empty,
and those who learnt to use the verbs filled and emptied, so they didn't have to be a part of this kind of philosophical survey.



Picked up a copy of Boom Blox for $30au. I think that's the cheapest price I've ever seen a new (as opposed to second-hand) console game. Seems fun, though I think I'll have to wait till I can get someone to play with me before it reaches it's true potential. For those who don't know about the game, it's a lot like having a rickety jenga tower, then throwing a tiny ball at said tower. Simple, destructive, fun. Okay, not quite that simple, since the what I've played so far has mostly been puzzles that task you with figuring out which peice to knock out for maximum destruction. The only unfortunate thing is that the camera really doesn't let you get the most out of explosive ends. Anyway, there's also an adventure mode, which I have yet to delve into.

Sonic Unleashed, the verdict. Keep in mind, this is the Wii version, which was apparently developed by a different squad to the PS3/360 version.

I like it. But still, there are many problems with the game.

Probably my biggest complaint, is that the ratio of werehog-to-hog is tipped heavily in favour of the werehog. However, when I think about it, I realize that this is the only time they'll be using these exact mechanics, so they probably wanted to do it as much as possible. And while it's not incredibly interesting, the werehog bit is (generally) solid. Apart from the walk/run detection, which stresses me out, trying to tap Sonic a little closer to the edge, then running right off it, or wanting to run, but taking 5 taps before it shows interest.

On the other hand, the hog levels are wild fun, zipping around all over the place, skidding/drifting around corners, and there's plenty more paths for me to find. Still, I'm not too fond of the couple of quicktime events where failure kills you, or even the ones that don't. And if you want to actually kill a single unimportant enemy in your way, you can lose a lot of momentum, unlike Secret Rings. The bosses aren't terribly complex, but they definately feel right. Some kinda feel like an old arcade shooter, dodging those little bullets.

Until I finished the game, I thought the amount of lives was a bit too tight, until I realised I was ignoring a way of permanently increasing my lives.

Anyway, I like it, maybe not quite as much as Secret Rings, simply for the feeling of constant momentum.

Oh, I will note that I went with the GC controller, as tacked-on Wii-waggling was kinda obvious, and pointless.

Got Shadowgrounds off Gametap, nice. Kinda like an updated Alien Syndrome, with rotating camera and spiffy light effects that have a little usefulness. Hour-long missions with no mid-level save option is a bit annoying though. Wonder how the co-op would be.

Still Alive

Hmm, had a bit of difficulty with my intenet, for about a week. Though it seems I've missed little.

Got Sonic Unleashed and De Blob for the Wii, both on sale. Haven't really played them yet.

I've played about half-way through Far Cry, and.......wasn't this game supposed to be good? Because I just can't find the good game in it. I get the feeling that it was held up by it's graphics, but they aren't aging well.

Prince of Persia: Two Thrones is alright, but doesn't feel as interesting as Warrior Within. There are also a few frustrating things.

Anybody familiar with Team Fortress 2 and informed about Portal may find the following interesting. Would have used spoiler tags.....


Heavy is Still Alive

This was a triumph
I'm taking a vote here
"Huge Success!"
Its hard to overrate my competition
So me and Sasha
We turn all to dust, because, we can
For the good of all of us
Except the ones who are Red
But there's no sense trying to run away
Natascha here says she wants you to stay
And the shooting get's done
With my very big gun
At the babies who are Still Alive!

I'm really quite angry
I'm going, to kill, you now
That's because you broke the man who healed me
And blew him to pieces!
And burned every piece, a-with, your fire
As it burned, it hurt, because, it was a-burning me too!
Now these bullet holes don't go in a straight line
But I'm quite sure
They will find you many time
So you laugh that I got burned
But now you're going to learn
Not to leave a Heavy, Still Alive!

Go ahead and leave me,
Yes go, and run, and hide
Maybe you'll find someone else to help you.
Maybe that medic
That was a spy, HAHA, cry more
Any-way this sand-vich is great!
It's so delicious and moist.
Look at me still eating when there's shooting to do
When I look out there, it makes me glad I'm not you.
I've got babies on the run
from my very big gun
Oh the babies who are Still Alive!

Believe me I am STILL ALIVE!
I'm dominating and I'm STILL ALIVE!
I feel good! and I'm STILL ALIVE!
While babies are crying I'll be STILL ALIVE!
And when they are dead I will be STILL ALIVE!

STILL ALIVE!

STILL ALIVE!

Axe one, substitute another, and game on.

Christmas? I got a new axe, clothes, and a clothes voucher.

Why an axe? Well, a picture speaks a thousand words:

stumpy

In this case, that includes the word 'chop' about 200 times. Though it doesn't speak of the roots that go for metres in every direction.

Now that's over, onto things of more importance.

During the holidays, my mother's computer fried. It was getting on, anyway, still running windows 98. So, I decided the best course of action would be to upgrade my own computer, and give mum my current one. I also decided to avoid pre-builts, so I travelled over to the next town, rocked up to a computer shop, found that it was closed for the holidays, then changed to another computer shop. Didn't really look around, just got prices one week, but they didn't have it all in stock, so I came back the next week, grabbed all the parts, and went back home to start putting them together. And since mum also gets a computer out of this, she paid a chunk of the price too.

Had a few difficulties, like the stuff (accidentally) not including any SATA cables (necessary), and my copy of Windows Vista coming with the wrong version code (basic instead of the premium I payed for), but now, it's all sorted, and my new comp is running beautifully.

Oh yes, specs. 2.8Ghz Intel core 2 duo (I assume that means duel core). 2 Gig of RAM. Nvidia Geforce 9500 GT.

I did pick up some budget games, but they don't really push the limits of the machine. I got FarCry, which is alright so far, but not as great as I remember hearing, perhaps it hasn't aged well, but I still have a lot more to play. Prince of Persia: Two Thrones, nice, but very familiar after completing Warrior Within. Also, Rainbow 6: Vegas, which I haven't gotten around to, yet, think I'll need to focus when I do, I did complete Rainbow 6 on the N64 before, co-op, it was tough.

But none of those matter, because I'm still playing a ton of Team Fortress 2. Really getting value for money with that. May have to get Left 4 Dead. And I'm seeing how high I can get on the local TF2 server's rankings. There aren't that many people in it, but there are some good players.

When I first turned on TF2 after getting the new comp, I was quite surprised by how much smoother it seemed to run. It almost seemed too smooth.

Of course I've also been watching anime. Watched Excel Saga, 'twas crazy, and now I'm onto Dragonball Z, season 2 & 3, and I'm at the last couple of eps of Freiza right now. Do have a couple more DBZ collections, but they don't go all the way to the end of Cell Games, so I'm not sure whether to wait till I get that set or not.

Still got plenty of anime, either way, and I should receive the rest of my backorders soon. I'm starting to worry my anime shelf is buckling.....