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Showing posts from February, 2012

Alabastra

"So welcome to Alabastra!  It shall be the death of you once more."

This is what Gadflow said to me after I freed the House of Pride.  How charming!  Of course, that name makes me immediately think of Alabasta from One Piece.  (Do not bother looking up One Piece.  Do you really think you'd enjoy a Japanese Anime where the main character is named Monkey D. Luffy?  I thought not.)

But back on topic, and the topic is KoA.

First of all, you'll notice a lack of videos in this post.  Mostly that is because I'm better at writing about games than I am making videos about games.  And mostly because I'm not particularly that -good- at playing video games.  And let's be honest here -- you weren't watching them anyway.  I'll leave the videos to the experts.  Not to say I'm an expert at writing, either -- but I would like to think that I am able to keep you relatively beguiled with the magic of words.  Otherwise, why are you here, anyway?

So where did we leav…

When Is Long Too Long?

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And if your mind went into the gutter as soon as you read that title, congratulations.  You think like me.  However, that's not what I'm going to talk about here.  Sorry to disappoint you!

I'm 46 hours into Kingdoms of Amalur, with still no end in sight.  Typically, I never complain about a game being too long, and I guess this is true because either I don't like a game and stop playing it before I finish it, or I love a game and I finish it with a feeling of wanting more.  It's rare that I find a game that sort of falls in-between that, but KoA might be one of those games.

When it comes to Skyrim, there are still side quests that I haven't done.  Probably not very many at all, mind you, but there are still some.  That's not necessarily a bad thing, and I will certainly take care of those at some point.  (Probably when the DLC comes out and I have renewed interest in playing the game.)

It's different with KoA.  I'm finding myself getting bored, actu…

I'm Awake Now

I've been wanting to use that as a blog post title for a while now, and just never had a way of doing so.  Seems appropriate now for a post about the end of Alan Wake.  If you're wondering, it's the title of a song by the Goo Goo Dolls.  It's one of the first songs of theirs that was mildly successful -- I'm talking about the days before Iris, Black Balloon, and Slide.  The song actually appeared at the beginning of A Nightmare on Elm Street 6, better known as Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare.  And now that I think about it, it's actually a VERY appropriate title for a blog post about a game that's all about being awake, given the fact that the Nightmare moves are about just that -- nightmares.

Anyway, before I get utterly and irrevocably off-track here, I finished Alan wake in a little over 8 hours on Tuesday night.  The ending wasn't the best, but quite honestly it's rare that I like the ending of a game.  Take the Half-Life series, for exam…

Time to Wake Up, Part 2

Now that I've had sleep and have a bit of caffeine in me, I'm prepared to tell you more about my experiences within Alan Wake.  This morning, I'm going to be making a couple of comparisons.

The first is a bit of an obvious one.  There are parts of this game that remind me very much of Max Payne.  This is obvious because the original two Max Payne games were developed by Remedy, the same developer of Alan Wake.  (They're Finnish!)  Specifically:
"Bullet Time" shows up on several occasions throughout the game, which of course was basically invented in video games by Max Payne.  This shows up as a piece de resistance at the end of each conflict with a group of "Taken" -- a slow motion 180 or 360 degree spin to highlight the cool thing you just did in the game. The sound effects are giving me a major case of nostalgia.  Some of them are identical to the sound effects from Max Payne, such as a lot of the footsteps, and most of all the sound of a locked do…

Time to Wake Up, Part 1

I've been playing Alan Wake.  It's that game that came out on consoles over a year ago.  The same game that just came out on PC less than a week ago.  Oh, and I should also mention how the PC version paid for itself in less than 48 hours.  Score.

I'm going to talk about this game in pretty considerable detail, but probably not in this post.  It's 1:30 AM and I'm tired.  The things I want to say before I go to bed tonight is that this game is something different.  For one thing, it's actually rather difficult at times.  I've never had a game own me so often.  I've gotten frustrated a few times, and I've cussed at my monitor plenty.  Sometimes the game is a total dick!

But when the game -isn't- being a dick, it is doing one of two things quite well: Either telling me a fantastic story, or scaring the mother-loving poo out of me.

I consider Amnesia: The Dark Descent to be the greatest horror game ever made.  Alan Wake is a different kind of horror …

KoA Stories: Part 1

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Even through I'm 37 hours into Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, I'm still figuring out exactly how I'd like to present the story.  Because, y'know, it's a good story.  It's hard for me to tell you that, because there's a LOT of content to go through, and the story admittedly moves quite slowly given how much of this game I've played.  That's fine for me, but might not be so fine for other people.  So what I'm going to do from this point forward is kind of provide videos that highlight really important bits, and just tell you about the rest.

When last I left off, I had two quests in the main storyline.  The first was to help the gnome from the start of the game.  I've decided to leave that be for the time being, and instead focus on the other quest with General Tilera.  So, for her, the first thing I needed to do was activate a bunch of stones that were spread out all over the map.  This would allow met to access a cave that she would never be …

The Definition of Insanity

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Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  That pretty much summarizes my sleep regimen.  I was so tired this morning that I couldn't even open up my eyes all the way.  That's some hardcore tiredness right there.  It's funny, because my desire to sleep is utterly BACKWARDS.  When it's a reasonable time for me to go to bed, I'm wide awake.  When it's time to get up, I'm tired as fuck.  Body, y u suck at sleeping correctly?  

Here, this graph will explain it:


Just ignore the horrible grammar in the image.  I didn't make it.

I trashed a whole evening's worth of KoA main storyline recordings because, well, it was boring.  I'll just summarize what happened, instead:  I tracked down Hugues and agreed to help him out.  I also tracked down the General and agreed to help her out.  That's basically it.  I was tired and cranky when I was playing anyway, so trust me when I say you don't want to hear that.

Damn it'…

The Plot Thickens!

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This is, in my opinion, the best KoA video I've been able to record in regards to the content of it.  In a matter of speaking, it's a place where the story gets blow wide open and you learn quite a bit.  It's excellent.

I think my favorite thing about this is the cutscene with the King.  Specifically, his VOICE.  I freaking love that voice.  I looked the guy up.  He's from New Jersey!  New Fucking Jersey!  Color me impressed to hell and back.  He is BRILLIANT.

That's really all the words I have to say about it.  You just need to watch it to fully appreciate my enthusiasm.  I -will- explain the story a bit, though, just to summarize:

I completed the tasks the tree gave to me, and he gave me his blessing and permission to enter Ysa -- the kingdom of the Fae.  I went to see the King then, and presented him with the codex that I retrieved within the Theater of Fate.  When the two of us touched the artifact, a vision occurred.  (My favorite part of the video.)

It now see…

Let's Talk Story

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The main focus of this post, and thus the meaning of the title, is the storyline of Kingdoms of Amalur.  You know -- that game I've been obsessed with for a week now.  But I also feel like just rambling about absolutely nothing.  So before I get to the two videos I have to share, there's going to be some of that.  My condolences.

First, let's talk books.  I tried to get into a book by the name of Gardens of the Moon.  It's a fantasy novel by Steven Erikson, and it's the first book in a ten book series.  I was in the mood to read such a sprawling fantasy novel.  That desire was quickly raped and murdered by the start of that book.  I read the words, and it was the English language, but I comprehended nothing.  Eventually I decided that I actually wasn't in the mood to read such a novel after all, and I returned to Black House.  Well that was a novel idea.  (See what I did there?)  The first thing I read about when returning to that book about about a guy lying i…

Different Ends of a Spectrum

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Bonus points to you if you didn't see RECTUM instead of SPECTRUM.  Or perhaps I shouldn't assume that everyone's mind is constantly in the gutter like mine.

Now before I get completely off-topic, the title of this post is referencing how a game can be both brilliant and utterly crap all at once.  More specifically, how some things can be done perfectly in a game, and others can be totally botched.

There are a lot of things that Kingdoms of Amalur does right.  The story is done right -- it's very, very typical high-fantasy fare.  Which shouldn't surprise anyone, since the writer for the game is an author of fantasy novels.  It's sort of a given.  The inventory system is done right -- it's very easy to navigate, and I love the "Junk" system, where you can send all your unwanted items and them sell them all at a vendor in one fell swoop.  There a lot of other little things too, more that I care to mention in this post.

There're also some things t…

Sunday Funday

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It's funny -- my intent on recording just the main story of Kingdoms of Amalur was so that I wouldn't have a ton of footage to present.  But the main bits of storyline that I recorded the other night ended up being like an hour long.  So yeah, I'll be working on getting that uploaded here soon.  In the meantime, I should probably catch up on the other videos that I have waiting to be posted.  Most of it is Serious Sam 3 stuff.  I do have another Jedi Knight vlog to post, which I'll get to soonish.  
Also, I have three screenshots here to provide examples of how Kingdoms of Amalur can indeed be a very pretty game.





So you see, the game can look pretty damned good once you get past the whole "fuzziness" look it tends to have.

And now, it looks like I left off with Chapter 7 of Serious Sam 3, so here's the rest of the videos I have.  I think all I have left to do is the last level, or thereabouts, but it will probably be a while before I get back to it, given …

Too Tired to Make a Proper Post

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So have a video.  Make it two.



A Dragon Age Retrospect

I looked over at that little "Most Popular Posts" gadget today, and saw my article on Dragon Age II sitting there.  (For the record, that gadget is never accurate because hardly anyone will actually CLICK on an article to read it on my blog, because you don't have to.  The entire article is just right there.)  Anyway, I felt the urge to validate the opinions that I made in that article due to how much hatred the average gamer has for Dragon Age II.

First of all, if you are one of the people who vehemently insists that Dragon Age II is worse than Dragon Age: Origins, I want you to stop for a minute and really think about what you're saying.  Are you saying it's worse because you actually think it's worse, or are you confusing worse with DIFFERENT?

Next, I'm going to address some of the common complains I have read about it.

"It feels rushed."
If you are referring to the fact that it reuses the same environments often, sure, I'll agree with you …

KoA Overload

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Here are five videos covering about another hour and a half of Kingdoms of Amalur.  From this point forward, I've decided that what I'm going to do is only record the main questline.  Anyone watching should have a pretty good idea how the game goes by now anyway.

I've played another two hours of the game this evening, bringing my total up to four.  I'm digging it.  Actually, one of the reasons why I decided to only record the main storyline is because most of the footage I recorded this evening is just the gameplay with me being utterly silent, because I was too immersed to remember that I was actually recording.

In any case, enjoy these.  Tomorrow I'll probably post another Jedi Knight vlog, cause I won't have much game time.









Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - First Impressions!

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I've played the game for two hours, so I'm prepared to at least provide you with a bit of an overview of what I think.  A lot of what I'm going to be saying here you'll be able to hear me say in the videos I'll be posting -- I've been recording everything -- but just because I've been posting videos doesn't mean I'm going to stop actually writing.  And, well, y'know...I like writing.

First off, I cannot call this game a Poor Man's Skyrim, because it's the same price as Skyrim.  Natch!  And actually, Skyrim is currently on sale on Steam for $39.99.  So Skyrim is actually CHEAPER for the time being.  And let's not beat around the bush here -- this game is not as good as Skyrim.

But enough about that.  The comparisons between the two could go on for infinity (and beyond!), but it's not really going to tell you very much, is it?  Nope.

So let me lay it out for you here real simple like:  You're going to play this game, and for th…

Serious Sam 3 - Chapter 7 - Unearthing the Sun Part 1

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Jedi Knight Vlog: Part 7

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Y'know how my videos were kind of not fitting within the blog borders, and the right side was sort of sticking out a little bit?  Yeah, I fixed that.  Was pretty simple really -- I just never remembered to look into it until now.  Looks a lot nicer!

One other thing before we get back into the Jedi Knight story:  My music playlist currently contains 5,744 tracks.  That's a lot of music -- enough for Winamp to continuously play for over a year without repeating, actually.  I keep all those tracks in one playlist, and when I'm listening to music I just throw it on shuffle.  There are times when a song will come up that I really like, but had forgotten about over time.  I love when this happens.  Yesterday it happened to me with a song called "Radiate" by the band "Puddle of Mudd".  Have a listen to that song if you're not familiar with it.  You won't be sorry.

And now, on with the show!

So, when last we left off, I had a choice of where to go next. …

Serious Sam 3 - Chapter 6 - The Riddler Part 2

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Gaming in 2001: Max Payne

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The year 2000 or 2001 is when I really, really started to get into gaming.  Before that, it was more of this fascination.  It wasn't until after I got a job and could afford a good computer that I started to play more than just Doom.

Max Payne was a really special game when it came out.  It surprised everyone with its style, and I really haven't seen many games quite like it since.

I played through the first level last night for old time's sake, for reasons that you'll hear me explain in the video below.  If you've never seen this game before, well now your chance.

Jedi Knight Vlog: Part 6

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Okay, so where were we?  Oh yes.  I landed on Ord Mantell and got a briefing from the General aboard my ship.  Now it's time to actually get on the surface and meet my contact there for a short conversation.



This guy wasn't able to tell me very much about this base, which wasn't surprising -- it -is- a secret island base, after all.  Heh.  No matter, though!  One of my specialties just happens to be the exploration of secret enemy bases!



I have NO idea what's up with that epic heroic music there at the beginning when I zone into the story area.  All so I can...wait on an elevator!  But no matter -- I really like this video anyway because there's a lot of fighting!  And an interesting conversation at the end of it.  I really didn't get anywhere, sadly -- we learned a little bit about Angral's plans, and not much more.  Not a -ton- to go on, but it's better than nothing.  So, having cleaned the place out, I had a few more short words with my Ord Mantell c…

The Darkness II Sampling

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This morning was a bit annoying, because there was an accident on I-376 that had traffic backed up for several miles.  It's really frustrating to be a bit late for work only because some asshat was probably driving too fast and caused an accident with their stupid self and their stupid BMW.  I don't wish any harm upon them, because that would be horrible of me.  But I do hope that his or her precious little car is marred beyond recognition.

But, in any case, I'm here now and I have a video to share with you.  The Darkness II comes out next week, February 7th I believe, but there's a demo out for it now.  I downloaded and played through it last night, mostly because I wanted help making the decision of playing that, or playing Kingdoms of Amalur.  They both come out the same day.

I think I'm actually still undecided.  This game has given me mixed feelings.  On the good side, it seems a lot of fun.  It kind of reminds me of Prototype in a way.  On the other hand, it&…