29Jan '15
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The Old City: Leviathan

Every description I have seen of The Old City: Leviathan has been…cryptic to say in the least. Most games strive to tell you all about their features, how you can do this or that. The Old City however, does not. In fact, the most prominent points in its description are that it focuses entirely on the story, and that the objective is simply to understand. This intrigued me enough to buy and play it, so now I’m able to give others a little more insight as to what exactly this game is.

If you believe gameplay is king, The Old City will disappoint you. There’s almost nothing that you can interact with in the environment. Just doors to open and notes to read. There are no platform puzzles, no weapons, no combat, no enemies. If you have no interest whatsoever in philosophy, the definition of truth, and how the mind works, you will likely find it very boring.

What I discovered is that The Old City is a story where you start in the middle with no background information, and the sole narrator is most likely insane. This is not just me guessing; right after you begin the game, you will see a screen that simply says: “You are about to inhabit a broken mind. Not everything you see or hear is trustworthy.

I will admit that I spent the first half hour wondering what the hell I had gotten myself into. I didn’t know where I was, who I was suppose to be playing, or what was going on. There were no NPCs standing around, helpfully informing me on what was going on. Only what I was seeing and a voice saying things that didn’t make sense. It was eerie to say in the least. Read more →

15Jan '15

Lots of game publishers still don’t like female protagonists

The number of games that have only a male protagonist wouldn’t bother me so much if there was an equal number of games with female protagonists. Well now we know why that is. Publishers don’t think that having a female lead would work. Yet somehow games like Mirror’s Edge and Portal managed to be loved by so many gamers.

And for any guys who feel awkward playing a female character kiss a male character: deal with it. That’s what I’ve had to do in the numerous games where I had to play a male character with a romantic relationship with a female character. I survived without it scarring me for life, you can too. Who knows, maybe you’ll even grow up from it.

Square Enix Is The Only Publisher That Would Touch Life is Strange Because It Has A Female Protagonist | The Mary Sue.

Back in 2013, Moris told Penny Arcade, “We had some [publishers] that said, ‘Well, we don’t want to publish it because that’s not going to succeed. You can’t have a female character in games. It has to be a male character, simple as that.’” Moris also said of that game that the lead character’s gender “just felt right from the beginning of development,” and that changing it for marketing purposes would have “endangered the consistency of the whole game.”

Apparently with Remember Me, people took issue with male gamers playing a female character who kisses a male character. “We had people tell us, ‘You can’t make a dude like the player kiss another dude in the game, that’s going to feel awkward,’” said Moris. “I’m like, ‘If you think like that, there’s no way the medium’s going to mature,’” he said. “There’s a level of immersion that you need to be at, but it’s not like your sexual orientation is being questioned by playing a game. I don’t know, that’s extremely weird to me.”

01Jan '15
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2014: The Good, the Bad, and the Unplayed

I had originally intended to write this yesterday, but instead spent most of the day feeling like someone had taken a baseball bat to my skull. So instead I wallowed in my own self-pity. 😛 So today I felt better enough to get to this.

2014 is a noteworthy year for me. I built my first computer, participated in Extra Life for the first time, and redesigned the Lair (again). I think I’ve finally shook lose of any residual interest in WoW, discovered my love for Mass Effect and all things FemShep (as I sit here in my N7 hoodie), and began amassing a collection of video game music. I also feel as though I’m moving away from most MMOs and focusing on playing the single-player and indie games I’ve missed over the past several years. All in all, it’s been a fun year.

Now it’s time for some lists!

Favorite games from 2014

Some of these are games that were released in 2014, others have been around for a while and I finally got around to playing them.

  • Mass Effect series (obviously)
  • The Sims 3
  • Banished
  • Planet Explorers (still in alpha)
  • The Fall
  • Never Alone
  • Portal 1 & 2
  • Mirror’s Edge
  • Transistor
  • A Story About my Uncle

2014 Disappointments

  • ArchAge. I usually have little to no problems running most programs but no matter what, I cannot get ArchAge to run. I’ve uninstalled, reinstalled, restarted, redownloaded, turned off my firewall and antivirus…and every time, I get Hackshield errors and can’t get past the opening cinematic. I’m just glad I decided to try it before buying anything or I would have been pissed.
  • Mount & Blade. I really want to like this game and play it a lot. But it seems I am horrible at realistic combat and I quickly end up as someone’s prisoner. Maybe I just need more practice.
  • 4X games like Civ 5 and Endless Space. More games that I want to like but I just can’t seem to get into. I think it’s the turn-based gameplay, it’s just too boring for me. Coming from a Wurmian, that’s saying something.

Games I am looking forward to playing in 2015

  • Planet Explorers. What they’ve done just in alpha is amazing and I can’t wait to see what the finished game will look like.
  • Sequel games to The Fall. I need to know what happens to ARID!
  • Maia. I love the idea of managing a space colony and this game has a lot of potential.
  • The Book of Unwritten Tales 2
  • The Long Dark. I’ve played a few hours of it already and I really like what I see.
  • Ether One. This game has special meaning for me and I really need to play it more.
  • All of the Half-Life games
  • Finishing off the Dragon Age games (maybe?). I still haven’t finished the first one…
  • The F.E.A.R. series
  • More of The Sims 3.

As for MMOs, I’ll probably continue playing Wurm Online but I don’t know how much at the moment. My interest is waning since they keep setting back adding bridges again and again. The Sims is also filling my need to build and create much better. I’ve also been jumping in Fallen Earth from time to time. What I really like about this game is that I don’t have to pay a subscription, so I don’t feel like I’m wasting money by not playing.

I hope 2015 is off to a good start for you all. Happy gaming!

29Dec '14
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Shinies and sundries

Has it really been just over a week since my last post? So much has happened that it seems longer. First there was the trip to the emergency room on the night of the 22nd. Nothing life threatening but I now have a medical condition that could take months to recover from and has left me with a more or less constant headache among other things. Tylenol Extra Strength has been my steadfast companion since then. Then after only a few hours of sleep, it was off to visit my family for Christmas for a few days. That kind of put a damper on my mood but my family was pretty great about it, using the right mixture of concern and humor to make me feel better about it.

We came back home on Boxing Day and then just yesterday was my birthday. Due to some of the obvious physical signs of said medical condition, I haven’t felt like going out in public so eating at a restaurant like we had originally planned wasn’t in the cards. So we ordered in pizza and watched Star Trek: First Contact instead. Low key but I enjoyed it. Being born in the middle of the holiday season means that I’m used to not having large, crazy birthday parties anyways.

Other than the health problems, I’ve had a fairly good holiday. I got some great geeky/gaming loot, including some expansions for The Sims 3, Dragon Age: Inquisition, The Book of Unwritten Tales 2, Steam credit, some awesome ThinkGeek gear, RiffTrax DVDs, and the Blu-Ray collection of Star Trek: TNG movies. I was also happy to see that people enjoyed the gifts I bought them, especially the computer that I built for my parents (I’ll have to write a post about that later).

Onto in-game loot, The Sims 4 got a free Holiday Celebration Pack which I’ve downloaded but haven’t played yet. It’s hard to play The Sims 4 when the Sims 3 has all these expansions and the open neighborhoods.

Wurm Online always gives away presents to premium characters every year, and this year it was a yule goat. Some people were complaining about their “uselessness” but I think they’re cute and they’re free gifts anyways. I lined my three up in front of the “Charlie Brown” Christmas tree next to my token. You can see the (slow) progress I’ve been making on the hall in the background.

Yule goatsI hope everyone else is having a great holiday and is able to fit in some relaxation/gaming between all the celebrations. You’ll likely hear from me again before the new year. Until then!

21Dec '14
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Sims 3 Legacy, Attempt #2

After the unfortunate demise of my previous founder, I started over again with a new founder who I also named Terra Nova. I hoped that using the same name wouldn’t automatically doom this character too.Terra Nova (the 2nd)

This Terra settled on a different lot than her predecessor, one in the middle of town rather than on the edge so traveling would be easier.

The mostly empty lot in the center

The mostly empty lot in the center

Due to some custom content I downloaded, she was able to buy slightly cheaper furnishings and bought a few more things, including more than one chair and a chess set. Big spender, I know. Read more →

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