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indigoAK200 Blog

Love That Booty!

Playing Quest for Booty and loving it. Alreayd finished it, but giving it a second run through.

I wrote a review here on GameSpot, but it seems to have *poof* vanished. Weird.


Lost != Video Game

Okay, I thought I would give the Lost video game, subtitled "Via Domus" (that's Latin for "the way home") a try. Boy do I regret it. This has to be one of the most terrible games I've ever played. The graphics are nice, but everything else is just horrible. The controls are sluggish, there's quite a few performance issues, the stand-in voice actors suck, and the story is total trash. I honestly had more fun playing My Horse and Me from Atari.

Ubisoft Montreal should know better than to develop crap like this.

Rome: Total War

On a whim, I decided to buy Rome: Total War today. I've heard good things about it from Delphy and other various sources, so I went into thinking it was going to be a great game that would offer me some fantastic times. Sadly, that's not what I got.

The game just rubs me the wrong way. Maybe it's the current mindset that I'm in - I mean, the last few weeks I've been really craving some good old fashioned role-playing experiences (I'm currently playing through Neverwinter Nights 2 and its expansion, and the original Neverwinter Nights plus expansions as well), but this games just seems extremely dull. I started out with the tutorial, which wasn't all that bad...until it kind of left me hanging without any real sense of direction. With a game like this, the tutorial can make or break things for a lot of people and I think the tutorial in Rome: Total War completely dropped the ball. It does very well while it's going - it gives you a good sense of the features it does explain, but it leaves you to do your own thing far too early and fails to elaborate on many of the game's more complex features, leaving to guess and/or stumble around to find out the solution to your issues.

Once I got tired of the tutorial, I decided to give the main game a try. Thankfully, you can tweak the options of the main campaign to make the game a little more exciting - you can set the game to auto manage the dull city tasks for you and you can change the mass battle mechanics to be slightly more action oriented (although I personally couldn't really tell a difference, but that's just me). The problem with this though, is that the computer AI doesn't seem to produce units in auto-manage mode (I played for a good 150 turns or so). Just buildings. Normally, this would be all find and dandy, but the senate tends to give you a lot of missions and many of them require separate armies. So you're basically forced with choosing between managing the cities yourself which is extremely overwhelming with everything else going on the game or letting the AI manage your cities and being severely gimped by its flaws.

At this point, I'm not sure if I want to continue. It'd be great if there were a mod that managed cities and created units at the same time; that might allow me to focus on the part of the game that does interest me - the massive battles. I guess I'll have to wait and see.

Gothic 3 (Or how not to make a game)

I tried the demo for this game awhile back and didn't really care for it, but I decided to try and give the full game a go since it's been out a couple years. Well, they haven't fixed jack ****. I mean, deep down there's a great game here - the world is huge, the graphics are fairly nice, and the combat (while mindless) is kind of addictive - but all of this is beat to bloody death by the fact that game was NEVER optimized. Seriously. I can only imagine this game never touched a QA system. Even after several patches and whatnot, the game eats hard drives alive. You're running along in the forest and then all of a sudden the game freezes for one to two minutes while it does...whatever. I mean, yeah the world is huge and it's seamless, but so was Oblivion and Oblivion didn't/doesn't do this crap.

Oh, and there's a condition for the combat system being fairly addictive. That's if you have god mode enabled. Yeah. You want to know why? It's because without god mode enabled, enemies in this game are the cheapest ******* things ever. How cheap? Imagine this: you're walking along and you see a wolf; you go to attack and all of a sudden, the wolf hits you twenty times in the space of two seconds, while you can't retaliate because your character is stuck in the stun animation. THIS IS A KNOWN ******* BUG THAT THE DEVELOPERS HAVE ACKNOWLEDGED BUT HAVE MADE NO ATTEMPT TO FIX.

So yeah. **** this game.

EVE Trinity

Okay, so EVE has finally been released on Steam. Being the wonderful supporter of Steam I am and the fact that I've always wanted to try the game out, I decided to download and start plying the Steam exclusive 21-day trial. Basically, you get to play the full game with all frills attached for 21 days before you decide whether or not you want to keep playing. Twenty-one days is pretty much unheard of when it comes to MMO trials, so I jumped right in.

Initially, EVE is an extremely daunting game. It starts of feeling complex, involved, and completely overwhelming. There's so many statistics, skills, buttons, and words to keep track of that at first it's hard to really get your head around around everything. This is the one and only hardcore space simulation MMO out there that I know of, but as I played through it in earnest today I really got the hang of the mechanics and you know what? I like them. Being the Star Trek buff that I am and the fact that from childhood all the way until the age I am right now that I've always dreamed of being a captain in the Star Trek universe, EVE gives me a lot of flexibility in kind of making that a dream a reality. I mean, you get your own little space cruiser, you can mine asteriods, hunt pirates, form corporations with other players, be a pirates yourself, hunt player pirates for player corporations and get credit rewards from them. The possibilities in this game are simply astounding as far as depth and sheer quantity are concerned.

First off, I love the skill system. This isn't WoW where you level up and spend some gold to learn new skills. You have to actually learn skills in real-time doing real activities. Essentially, you get skill points for every action you take in the game, be it warping to a planet or firing your ship's weapons at an enemy target. You then spend those targets to learn new skills. The catch is that you don't learn that skill right away. Your character can take hours, days, or even weeks in real-time to learn the skill you chose. And to keep people from exploiting the system, you can only train one skill per account at any given time. Skills in the later stages can take up to WEEKS to learn. Fortunately, since the game universe is constant even when you're logged off, that learning period continues even when you're not playing the game.

Second, I love the fact that you have to actually build your ship. Sure, you can buy ships off from markets or through the economy system, but you don't magically get the ship. You just get the blueprints or a kit and some basic materials, and then you have to actually BUILD the ship yourself. This gives the an amazing sense of hands on approach, and it gets you involved. It gets you connected to the world inside the game, which is a great feeling.

Finally, EVE has an actual economy. There's far more players in the game than there are NPC characters. The vast majority of in-game corporations (guilds) are player-controlled, so there's an amazing dynamic there for interactions. There are zero game-controlled markets in the universe of EVE. Every single item you buy has been created by a player and every single credit you spend ends up in someone's pocket (or your's if you're selling). Furthermore, making ships and the like isn't the only way to get rich. You can be a bounty hunter, a space pirate that raid corporate headquarters or cargo frigates, or you can be a miner who primes materials to sell to wholesale outlets for distribution to production facilities. ANd these are just the tip of the iceberg. EVE really is LIVING.

In any case, I've decided to keep playing this game even after my trial ends I think. Given EVE's complexity and depth, I think this is right up my alley. They is something I can get into because it suits me.

(Update: I bought the game and upgraded to a full account. :P)

Lost Odyssey Impressions

Hmm, where to start.

Visually, it's probably the best looking Unreal Engine 3 game out there on any platform and the main reason is because it doesn't look so damn shiny or plastic-like. The environments are simply gorgeous and unlike Blue Dragon they don't feel too open for their own good. They feel very organic, which is awesome. One of the things I've found fun so far is that in battle when you go to attack, the camera sort of sinks to ground level as your character charges to hit the enemy and sort of follows them at a low angle. The closest thing I can think of that's similar is the "roadie run" camera angle from Gears of War, but this feels much more energetic.

Gameplay wise, I'm not sure what I think yet honestly. The skill and Ring systems feel pretty involved, which is kind of nice since Blue Dragon and Eternal Sonata were kind of shallow when it came to skills and equipment - the last RPGs I honestly played (JRPG mind you) that had something this deep in regards to skill and equipment acquisition; it's probably a tie between Star Ocean: The Second Story and Final Fantasy IX.

In any case, I haven't really played the game long enough to give any concrete judgment regarding quality. All I know is that right now my heads hurts (I had a bad day) and I should probably head to bed as soon as Nurrah gets home. She works the late shift.

March = God of War

I'm rather slow at getting around to things I admit; this especially since I didn't really get a PlayStation 2 until fairly late in its life cycle. I didn't even own it for a year before I replaced it with my 80GB PlayStation 3. Anyways, one of the series I never got into was God of War. I mean, it always looked kind of interesting, but as I said it wasn't until Nurrah moved in that was able to actually get my hands on some Sony hardware and even then I guess the thought of buying God of War and God of War II just escaped my mind.

But I think I'm going to have to spend my March going through these games. Sony released the demo for God of War: Chains of Olympus for the PSP yesterday and I gave it a whirl tonight. I'm glad I did. It's probably the most visually impressive game the system has ever seen. And the gameplay is incredibly fluid and fun - and with just the right difficulty; I didn't feel any frustration but it wasn't like I was skipping through Cakeland either.

So I'm gonna look for them when my check hits (I'll get Chains of Olympus at Wal-Mart and maybe God of War II there if they have it, so that Nurrah can use her discount for them) and play through all three of them because I can't believe I waited so long to play these games. In the meantime, I'm gonna run through the Chains of Olympus demo another time 'cause it's just that good.