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What game are you playing?
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xtal
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July 16, 2011 - 3:09 am
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It would, you murderous, anti-human lunatic.

[Image Can Not Be Found] [Image Can Not Be Found][Image Can Not Be Found]

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Mat
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July 16, 2011 - 1:07 pm
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Progressing well in New Vegas now. Just reached a part when I can see I'm having to make some pretty big decisions regarding who to trust and who to roll with. I did just try back stabbing everyone a few times but that didn't go so well and I had to keep re-loading.

I've also just discovered Team Fortress 2. That is, I've finally given it a proper go, worked out loosely how the whole thing works, and now I think I'm hooked. 

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Pokey
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July 16, 2011 - 11:24 pm
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I just finished Honest Hearts and am at level 34 with 106 hours playing New Vegas. There was some nice exploration of Zion. Most of the quests were not difficult and the end seemed fairly easy. I made the choice to go with Daniel since I am more of a pacifist. I enjoyed my visit to Zion and have returned to the Mojave to maybe do a bit more exploring till another DLC is released.

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Finkbug
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July 21, 2011 - 6:15 am
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"Vampire: Bloodlines to the market, I think they had proven themselves."

That's the game where I knew they were a failure and I made a rather snarky comment about their design first motto when they went under. None of their games worked. Bloodlines had its nice bits but it was also an overcomplicated clusterfuck of bugs, bad UI, bad upgrade system, and...if you found it an incomparably richer story than Deus Ex (flawed game that worked) I recommend medication.

Or vampire LARPs.

grooowrrrr! [menace menace] rrrrowwwr!

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Jakkar
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July 22, 2011 - 6:20 am
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Deus Ex: "I'm an emotionally retarded science fiction experiment reminiscent of Solid Snake without a sense of humour. Oh shit, Illuminati. Oh shit, Area 51. Oh shit, the dichotomy of man and machine." - I adore the game but plot was not its strongpoint any more than art, and the characters were universally spiritless. The game was a bland-flavoured stew of every famous conspiracy theory bar JFK and David Icke's reptilian overlords glued together using emotionally insecure cyborg and some traditional Mission Impossible style doublecrosses. Fantastic gameplay despite clunky combat, lacking writing.

Bloodlines was admittedly only a little less cheesy in terms of overall plot - and was based in a prebuilt RPG setting - but comparing Smiling Jack, Jeanette/Therese, or Sebastian LaCroix to say Paul, Manderley and Walton Simons you've got a game with fantastic writing and a rich artistic style versus a game barely any more emotive than Barney and the Science Team.

It feels like an excellent 2d/isometric RPG uncomfortably jammed into a 3d, first person engine and gameplay structure. The writing quality, quest writing and art-style vye with the classics in a way Deus Ex never could.

I've never judged a game's quality by its bugs - they can be immensely frustrating, but I'm not playing a game for a smooth experience, I'm playing it for the story, the emotional impact and the challenge. An early release by a bankrupt studio under a brutal publisher does not diminish the achievement - it just makes me feel sorry for them. And very grateful that community members have since patched the game into a respectable product.

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Steerpike
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July 22, 2011 - 11:27 am
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Well, Deus Ex was intentionally a stew of every conspiracy theory ever; that was one of their core design goals. So I can overlook that - I never finished the game (distracted by something shiny) but all in all I thought it was a good installment. DX2, now, I absolutely hated that game. Until I played it, which sounds like a strange thing to say, but it's the truth. My first try turned me off it to the point that I didn't return for more than a year, by which time some patches had made it PC-playable. And playing it then was a very pleasant experience.

As for Bloodlines, I did love what I could of that game. It reminds me a little of Alpha Protocol, actually. A really well-executed concept and story hobbled by technological failures.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Toger
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July 22, 2011 - 6:17 pm
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I'm playing Children of the Nile

well, not so much playing it as attempting to convince those damned nobles not to riot in the streets because they won't walk an effen 20 ft to the shrine to worship or walk down the hill for their all important common goods of linen, mats, baskets and pottery. But they're all over the luxury stalls now that I've given them servants!

If I were an all-powerful Sith pharaoh, I'd simply force choke their butts and then feed them to that [Image Can Not Be Found] wandering the flower fields. I keep waiting for the croc to attack the perfume vendor as he's gathering flowers. Now that's a game! [Image Can Not Be Found]

Instead, I zoom in to watch my farmers planting wheat, barley and veggies and listen to their kids sass them… in the modern vernacular (which just cracks me up)!

Powered by PMS ™

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Jakkar
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July 22, 2011 - 7:54 pm
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Someone give Tarn Adams the Children of the Nile engine and a team of programmers willing to adapt his work to it..

Steerpike: Sure, it's no more nor less than they wanted to achieve as far as I can tell - but wanting to achieve something infantile doesn't make it any less infantile. I do not look down upon the game for it, but it is held back. Something a little more original would have been more respectable, I think? Or at least a more interesting spin on the old ideas.

In terms of writing and art, comparing Deus Ex to Bloodlines feels like comparing Grim Fandango to Monkey Island.. Same genre, similar teams and methods, all excellent games with strengths and weaknesses - but in artistic terms I can't imagine Grim or Bloodlines being classed the lesser of their pairings. A matter of opinion, perhaps - but I often feel impelled to draw the line somewhere between the undeniable fact and the foggy regions of opinionated flexibility...

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Jarrod
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July 23, 2011 - 1:26 am
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I used to LARP, Finkie, back in the day...  in a country Australian town... Too many damned Gangrel wannabes.

A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war, wide awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. – The Teachings of Don Juan

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Finkbug
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July 23, 2011 - 7:28 am
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Half-vampire badly scarred but strangely beautiful ones I'm sure Jarrod. You've my sympathies.

 

"I'm an emotionally retarded science fiction experiment reminiscent of Solid Snake without a sense of humour. Oh shit, Illuminati. Oh shit, Area 51. Oh shit, the dichotomy of man and machine."

The weakest thing about Deus Ex's story is it gives far, far too much away in the opening cinematic. I always recommend people skip it.

FEMA--pre-Katrina--as a play for world domination? Olaf Stapledon's Last and First Men as a toss away detail on the bedside table of the older "brother"? Either of those suffices to elevate the game's story over the diagramatic ten kinds of vampires with dress up wank off satisfaction from the game manual source of Bloodlines. I'm scary vampire in tunnels! I'm crazy aristrocrat vampire! I'm sexy vampire! I'm thug vampire!

I quite enjoyed Bloodlines but they aren't on the same planet when it comes to story. Many disliked the admitedly unproffessional voice work of JC but his lack of affect is great. For the majority of the game he's got no idea what's going on and is professionally trudging through the set ups and conspiracies around him.

grooowrrrr! [menace menace] rrrrowwwr!

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Mat
Sheffield, UK
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July 23, 2011 - 9:53 am
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Started Mass Effect.

Can't say I'm thrilled with it so far. All seems abit bland at the minute although I'm sure that will pick up in time. Performance wise it's also the worst game I've played yet on my PC. Graphically it's not as good as I was expecting and it's prone to some pretty annoying slow down and visual glitches. Nothing major but it's a little underwhelming.

Will try and press on with it I suppose. First impressions aren't great. 

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Jen
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July 23, 2011 - 2:45 pm
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I just started Two Worlds II on my super-boffo new laptop last night, all settings full out. I have not gotten through the long prelude-slash-tutorial yet. I think I'll like it.

 

[Image Can Not Be Found] <-- I just hadda use it.

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Jakkar
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July 23, 2011 - 4:01 pm
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Mat: I've heard if you can endure the tedium until a certain point the game becomes much more rewarding. I hear this about a lot of Bioware games. Personally, I've never lasted that long. KOTOR left me angry to the point of deep discomfort, Dragon Age almost calcified my attention span and Mass Effect... Well, Mass Effect was just rather boring. I didn't think it was a bad game, as such - just a bit 'big shallow popcorn blockbuster', in game form. Certain aspects of the art style are very rewarding though. Argh. Don't want to spoil. You probably saw them already. Near the beginning, I think. *twitch*

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Mat
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July 23, 2011 - 7:00 pm
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Jakkar said:

Mat: I've heard if you can endure the tedium until a certain point the game becomes much more rewarding. I hear this about a lot of Bioware games. Personally, I've never lasted that long. KOTOR left me angry to the point of deep discomfort, Dragon Age almost calcified my attention span and Mass Effect... Well, Mass Effect was just rather boring. I didn't think it was a bad game, as such - just a bit 'big shallow popcorn blockbuster', in game form. Certain aspects of the art style are very rewarding though. Argh. Don't want to spoil. You probably saw them already. Near the beginning, I think. *twitch*

I've progressed abit further with the game now and have to say it's starting to click. It still feels a little empty and soulless coming straight from New Vegas, but I'm definitely getting a stronger vibe about the world and characters the more I play. Unless I come across anything game breaking I reckon I'll play enough to see it out. 

I've also fixed my performance issues. The graphics options are pretty limited, but it turns out ramping everything up to the maximum possible settings gives it a more stable performance than asking it to just run at "high"..  

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Scout
Portland, Oregon
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July 23, 2011 - 11:03 pm
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Mass Effect was like a mirror smooth pond to me. At first all I could see was my own discontent. But when I finally broke the surface there were worlds. Mass Effect 2, not so much.

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Jarrod
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July 26, 2011 - 10:22 pm
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I just got Red Dead Redemption on sale for $36 (it was either that or Mass Effect 2 for $26).  RDR is more polished than I thought it would be, although the steering the horse is difficult.  I've only played for a couple of hours, and it's not a genre that usually appeals to me, but I am enjoying it despite myself.

A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war, wide awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. – The Teachings of Don Juan

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xtal
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July 26, 2011 - 11:10 pm
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It can't be as boring as L.A. Noire or GTA IV. Keep us posted with your thoughts, Jarrod. I've got that one still in its shrink wrap.

Also, don't bother with Mass Effect 2 on PS3. Skipping the first game isn't worth it.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Steerpike
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July 27, 2011 - 8:51 am
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I was really into RDR for a while. Unfortunately my mediocre-ly performed laser eye surgery left me unable to read the tiny tiny tiny tutorial print that disappears in three seconds. This alone was not a major problem, but it caused me to mishandle a duel in the street and spend a year in prison. For some reason that really pissed me off and I never went back. But for the hours I played, and they were comparatively many, I liked RDR quite a bit.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Jarrod
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July 28, 2011 - 10:12 pm
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Yeah, the game seems pretty unforgiving with it's saves – you only get three at a time.

 

At least the acting, voicework, and story telling are pretty well done.

 

@xtal - I haven't played the first ME, but had heard the second was better than the first... but have to admit neither ME nor ME2 struck me as overly desirable...  sad, because I like sci-fi-ness and RPG-ness.  I'll just have to wait until Bethesda give TES/Fallout the far far far future treatment.

A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war, wide awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. – The Teachings of Don Juan

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xtal
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July 30, 2011 - 1:13 pm
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The second does play better than the first, for sure, Jarrod. If you want to know which of the two tells a more complete, tidy and at least somewhat interesting story, it's the first game. The downside is that the same building architecture is used for almost every side mission, vehicular combat is sometimes required (and is tedious at best, infuriating at worst), and the on-foot combat is not very good either. It's really just a methodical plod the whole way through.

Mass Effect 2 is fine as a shooter, even good, if sometimes imbalanced. It's often as good as any other cover based game, minus a few flaws (tapping the cover button more than once and leaping over cover only to be slaughtered; or the incredibly annoying jolt you take from one melee punch, which under most circumstances will end your game).

I'd wholeheartedly recommend a play-through of Mass Effect on the lowest difficulty, Casual, just so you can enjoy the other aspects. There's good science fiction hiding beneath the surface of a bizarre inventory system and haphazard combat.

When it comes to ME, as with a lot of other games, I like to defer to a very rational statement that Steerpike made some time ago: The game's not as amazing as the fanboys would have you believe, and it's nowhere near as bad as the detractors make it out to be either.

Oh, and play as female ("femShep") Shepard. Jennifer Hale puts in a much worthier performance than Mark Meer does. And that's coming from someone who "played as her" in 2007, long before the Facebook vote-a-thon and escalating hype made it cool to pledge allegiance to her.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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