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rasputin177 Blog

Video games and Art

I was reading the article about the verbal abuse Jennifer Helper suffered in regards to her comments on skipping gameplay in favor of story. While, I do not agree with her it brings up something that really bothers me about gamer culture.

If you want video games to be considered art you need to treat it like art. We pay for books, movies and music but at the same time recognize that the product is also a real live persons art. If it is not our cup of tea we stay away but there is not the same sense of entitlement found in the gaming community. We expect the devs should give everyone one of us exactly what we want because we are the ones paying them to make the games, but is it really so different then paying to see a movie? I don't think so. For some reason in that medium we accept the fact this art and not something tailored to meet every single one of our needs. If we want games to keep elevating themselves to "art" we need to start treating it as such.

Mass Effect 2 is one of the greatest games ever created

I have not yet completed the game so I am going to wait to do a review but wow is this game great. I have not finished Skyrim or Arkham City yet I can't bring myself to put down ME 2. I avoided this game for a long time because I am more of GOT fantasy or Dragon Age type guy and I heard the RPG elements had been toned down. Can't believe what I was missing. The setting just really seems to be able to intergrate the gameplay elements much better than Dragon Age. Mix this with some of the best writing in the bussiness and a fantastic structure and you get a fantastic game. I will have a real review up soon.

Please help my find my favorite game as a kid!

So, I have spent the last five years or so trying to figure out what my favorite game as kid was called so I can find it and play it again. I am going to try and give as much information as possible and hopefully one person out there will have some idea what I am talking about.

The game was very much like Zelda. In the art direction, story, atmosphere and even title if I remember right. The music was also very similar. The main difference was the game was much more restricted. You would enter a "cave" which lead to a dungeon with various enemies that kind of looked like something from pac man. After beting a dungeon you would come out of the cave in a new town. The town would have a few shops and people but the most important person was a fortune teller who I believe was in each town. I think she saved your progress or maybe improved your combat? When you were done with the town a new cave entrance would be at the right end of the screen. The old cave entrance was on the left side I think. The gameplay was pretty basic with you hacking and slashing through foes that I believe had a color coated system of difficulty. I am almost positive you were doing all this to save a princess. The title of the game was either her name or the character you created. I always want to call it Zink or some other combo of Zelda and Link. I would have been playing it in the early to mid 90s on a PC. I remeber Wolfenstien was popular at the time. I also remeber thinking the game was sort of a Zelda clone in a good way even if there were signifigant differences. Does anyone have any idea what game I am talking about? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I am going to rack my brain to come up with any other details I can. If anyone has any information or even a sight that may be able to help me please please let me know. Thank you for your time.

Two Worlds 2

I have some free time on my hands away from a system as well so I figured I would talk a little about a nice little gem of a game called "Two Worlds 2"

First of all this game is not for everyone. I believe the game was developed for a certain audience and stays true to that audience. If you have never enjoyed pouring over gear and stats and are used to playing very polished action oriented games I doubt you will enjoy it. On the other hand if you enjoy huge open worlds, deep and open ended class system and looting to your hearts intent then this game might be just what your looking for as there are not much else on next gen ps3 or xbox 360 games like it. It very much has the feel of a computer game, and a deep one at that. Here are some of my basic thoughts.

Graphics: Nice, not best in class but a strong art direction and huge variety help make exploring Antaloor very fun. They have a sort of realisitic feel to them. I also must mention the dungeons are much better then in Oblivion (which is like the over achiever father this game looms in the shadow of). Pulling out your torch and watching shadows dance on dank dungeon walls is a treat.

Sound- Quite good when it comes to the back ground music. I enjoyed how different regions have different theme songs and enjoyed them better then most games in the genre. Overall a very solid score. I don't notice sound effects much to be honest but they don't get in the way or anything.

Story- I still have not finished this huge game so I can't really say much yet. The main quest line is decent enough but the side quests are what will grab your attention. The quests make sense and will usually help you learn more about the world around you. Its also a great way to explore the vast and dense world that has been created. Its not great but its also not bad enough to really hurt the game. On the other hand some dialogue and the body movements that go along with it are quite akward. With the main character raising his right hand every time he opens his mouth. He also says "fair enough" a little too often.

Gameplay- Here it is the meat and potatos. The gameplay in TW2 is greater then the sum of its parts. The combat on its own is a bit wonky and not the most fluid system you have ever seen. It does help to make some fights intense though and adds a layer of realism to the game. I think the gameplay is best descibed as the love child of "Oblivion" and "Sacred 2". It has the atmosphere and realistic graphics of Oblivion with the insane detail and loot driven gameplay of many European RPG's. Killing Varns, Spiders and Bandits are not the only thing to do in TW2. As you mow down foes you will be given skill points that can be put into any skills you want as long as you have the attribute points. As your character grows in power he will also find tons of loot that he can either keep, sell or break down to upgrade equipped gear. You can slot runes into gear as well and even fuse them together. Very nice loot and upgrade system. Along with gear some foes will also drop body parts that can be used the Alchemy system. Its a nice little extra incentive to kill as much as you can. Its not the deepest but it serves its purpose and is a nice addition. Last but not least you can create and tweak your own spells. Using different cards you can buy or loot along your journey. This is a very deep system and one of the best spell crafting I have ever seen in a game. If all that is not enough you can also win money playing dice, pick locks, steal, sail and even make your own music and if your good you can earn tips.

Overall this is a deep and dense open world rpg that has an emphasis on exploration, loot and giving you a sense that you do more in this world then kill Varn after Varn. I think its probably the best fix for this type of game until Skyrim comes out. Its also very cheap now and there will be an expansion coming out in the future. All of this and I have not even mentioned the multi player because I have not even had a chance to scratch the surface.