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What game are you playing?
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Scout
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December 12, 2009 - 11:14 am
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I'm dipping my toes into Dragon Age, trying to get revved up about it but so far it hasn't caught. I also keep putting Mass Effect in my checkout cart at Amazon and then not buying it. Before that I did actually play Risen almost all the way to the end. I think the contrast in gameplay between Risen and Dragon Age is still a bit jarring. Been a while since I played with a party. I tend to run into the battle and then wonder who those other guys fighting behind me are.

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Meho
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December 12, 2009 - 12:32 pm
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Would you say that Risen is woth the effort, man? I was eyeing it the other day and thinking it might be worth a try some time after Dragon Age Origins. But then I remembered there's also Ego Draconis to consider... Damn.

As for Mass Effect, well, I know I've been badmouthing that game quite a lot and it deserves it no less, but I imagine it must be stupidly cheap on Amazon by now, so... I'd get it if I didn't have it already.

As for this

"The multiplayer component is especially fascinating. Producer Takeshi Kajii invented it after an experience when he and several other motorists were stuck in a snowstorm. They all got out of their cars to help each other out of the snow, one at a time, but once a car was freed, the driver had to keep going or he/she'd get stuck again. So no one was able to stop and thank their fellow drivers or even really communicate. They were all complete strangers helping each other and then vanishing. The result is a multiplayer side that I've never really experienced before, and which is really a huge portion of the game's value."

Wow, what a story!!! Didn't know that and... yes, essentially, this is exactly how the game feels to me. (Aside for oportunistic fucks who will give you fake warnings and lure you into traps so they can invade your game and kill you, but that improves the experience anyway.)

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Toger
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December 12, 2009 - 2:10 pm
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I've had Mass Effect since last year (gifted) and have started it three times... I've never gotten further than whatever that first city is called. I loved both KotOR and Dragon Age, but cannot get into ME. I'm thinking it's the shooting. I'm much better with swords or lightsabers as damage doesn't require the exactness of shooting a laser rifle. Maybe I'll try again during my Christmas break.

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Steerpike
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December 12, 2009 - 2:51 pm
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People seem divided about ME - either they really enjoy it or they have difficulty getting into it, but can't quite put their finger on the reason. I personally belong to the former camp, but I understand the views of the latter one; especially if shoot-centric titles aren't your cup of tea. Mass Effect is a peculiar hybrid of shooter and RPG, and I think it just doesn't appeal to all gamers. Even those who liked it a lot, such as myself, recognize that it sacrifices a lot of both genres by trying to serve multiple masters. Also there's the fact that much more than any other Bioware game, it takes hours to really get started. For cheap, though, I'd recommend it.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Meho
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December 12, 2009 - 2:55 pm
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The problem with ME's shooting is that it tries to be like Gears of War but it's not like Gears of War. The AI (especially friendly) is shite, the feedback the game is supposed to be giving you about who you are shooting and who's shooting you and from where is all confusing etc. Also, the driving parts are atrocious. I wouldn't be complaining but there's so much of both in the game.

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Scout
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December 12, 2009 - 3:13 pm
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Meho, if I ever get my Risen review posted, I'll be advising people to wait for the price to drastically lower. I spent 50.00 for the game and felt it was only worth about 25.00 at most. An odd way to grade a game but considering that the first halfof Risen is great and then it nosedives it seems only fair. If you played and liked Gothic 2, this is a few notchs or so below it in quality.

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Steerpike
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December 12, 2009 - 3:13 pm
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Yes, yes, so true. I spent much of the game wishing it was an RPG that actually had combat like Gears, instead of saying it did. And the driving parts are a waste of time.

But I did enjoy many of the quests and the dialogue system, a version of which I think we'll see next in Alpha Protocol (or ME2), so I recommend it... but only to gamers who are looking for a shooter+RPG and are tolerant of many faults. I will certainly say that just because a person loved KOTOR or Dragon Age or Baldur's Gate, they won't necessarily love Mass Effect. It really divided people, and not without reason.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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geggis
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December 12, 2009 - 3:48 pm
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Belated post!

Yeah I read Abyss of Addiction when it was posted and that was what put Demon's Souls on the radar for me. Incidentally I re-read it before posting my question! I spoke to my friend some more about it and he echoed what both you and Steerpike said about failure being so brutal. This is something I can live with providing the game plays fair and by the sounds of things it does. What I think has seduced me is the tension that will be wrought from such a punishing death and of course the risk/reward dynamic that comes with it. I also liked the eerie silence as my friend trampsed around the castle.

Anyway I bought it last night but the site went under maintenance while my card was verifying - very annoying - and now the company isn't responding to my emails to confirm they received my payment!  It's too close to my Christmas holiday for shit like that to be happening!! That would be a kick to the balls if it arrived when I go back to work... [Image Can Not Be Found]

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geggis
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December 16, 2009 - 8:34 am
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Is there anybody on here who would be interested in giving Solium Infernum a whirl? I'm itching to play it but alas, it's apparently a better multiplayer experience. As it happens I haven't much time to play games in real time at the moment so turn based email multiplayer seems like a winner as well. I'd be happy to start a new thread for any people interested.

It's had some good press over at RPS and a seductive review has been written up here.

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geggis
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December 28, 2009 - 1:29 pm
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I've finally got round to playing Penumbra and it's paptastically scary. I've ordered some man-sized Huggies just in case.

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Helmut
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December 29, 2009 - 5:52 pm
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Snagged Fallout 2 and Freespace from GOG.

My Dark Souls single player sensibilities are protected by a +10 GfWL Firewall of Ineptitude

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xtal
planet
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January 20, 2010 - 1:59 pm
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I picked up Freespace 2 on GOG a while back, as well. Though I haven't sat down with it for more than an hour. Echoing something I read in one of Steerpike's reviews, it is often very hard to get into an old game that you initially missed during its in period.

I've also posted about my beginnings recently in the world of Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl. Most recently I've been very tempted to put my sawed-off shotgun to the back of some guy's head who is twiddling on a guitar around a campfire ... alas, I find more value in my living than in his dying.

As it is almost January 26, 2010, I've also been preparing my "proper" go-round of Mass Effect in time for the glorious sequel. In response to some of those who posted around the holidays in this thread: ME definitely does have a slow and frustrating start. Especially if you choose Therum as your first destination once you command the Normandy (the planet where you find Dr. T'Soni). All I can say to you is to go back and give it another try. If you're having trouble with the combat-- which as a few people have said: it tried to be Gears of War-ish, but didn't work exactly-- you can use the aim assist feature to soften the difficulty, and it works quite well.

Being a BioWare devotee I grabbed ME upon its initial November 2007 release, played it for about a week, got frustrated with the ridiculous driving portions in the Mako, and didn't touch the game for another two months. When I finally came back I was determined; and I finally did get by that damned driving portion on Therum and went on to find much joy in the game, that which I probably couldn't relate here in any fewer than ten-thousand words.

Anyway, if you fancy yourself a big sci-fi-aholic you owe it to yourself to see the game through. While the main story is not anywhere near as revelatory as Knights of the Old Republic's nor as subtle or moving as Jade Empire's, it does well enough to carry the experience along. I found most of my satisfaction with it came during individual missions or character interactions, not the overarching story. Particularly if you enjoy Star Trek-like fiction, you know, the "future of humanity in space" sort of thing, you might be surprised and find many sublime moments throughout; whether it's through conversation, exploration, sheer imagination, or small things like the detailed descriptions of otherwise seemingly useless planets, there is a lot of good in Mass Effect that helped me fill in some of the holes left elsewhere.

I'm hoping Mass Effect 2 delivers all this, improved tenfold.

Oh, and a couple tips for any who return to ME: maxing out Liara's Singulatiry power and Tali's AI Hacking will greatly aid you in combat. And Wrex makes a fine meat shield.

Phew, I've talked enough!

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

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Helmut
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January 20, 2010 - 2:26 pm
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I can totally see your point with Freespace 2. I played this a dozen times since 1998 and it pretty much serves as the terminating bookend for the space sim genre. It's hard to get excited about playing it when no one else is playing similar games.

In its day this game set a very high standard. While it had some bugs in the missions, it never once crashed to the desktop for me. I've installed it successfully on three operating system versions and on at least six different systems without a hitch. All the FMV and gameplay remain perfectly in-synch and properly paced despite the 70 heptillion increase in processor power since its release date (unlike all versions of wing commander). It came with a dedicated ranking and matchmaking server (the first that I remember, there may have been prior examples) that operated for free for years, and as a final act of generosity, the source code was opened up and serves as the basis for a modern upgrade to the Wing Commander game. http://www.wcsaga.com/

I'd encourage you to play it through. There are some very cool capital ship battles that I think will still astonish. I bought Freespace (1) before Christmas and wish I had played it back before the second one, it has some rather interesting story to it that cleared a few things up.

My Dark Souls single player sensibilities are protected by a +10 GfWL Firewall of Ineptitude

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Steerpike
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January 20, 2010 - 2:27 pm
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Well said, xtal. That sums up my feelings about ME quite nicely. I too am looking forward to the sequel, though I'm a bit torn about whether to get it for PC or 360. Generally the PC is always the winner, but I have saves from my ME1 playthrough on 360 that I'd like to import.

Freespace 2 is a classic, a beloved game. But as you say, in most cases it can be hard to return to something once its heyday has passed. I'm still amazed Helmut had the patience to play as much Daggerfall on DOSBox as he did. Of course some of our readers are great lovers of the classics, but personally I have difficulty getting into a game that's past its expiration date.

I took a break from Modern Warfare 2 to get into Uncharted 2, which I love. Once that's done it's back to MW2 for me, plus of course Mass Effect 2 in a week and Call of Pripyat on the sixth and Heavy Rain and and and.

Where will I find the time? Perhaps I should take a year's sabbatical.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Toger
Somewhere, out there...
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January 20, 2010 - 4:19 pm
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Thanks for the ME tips xtal! I'm trying - for the 3rd or 4th time - to get into ME and it's the combat that kills me (literally) every time. I shall attempt your fixes and see if that makes a difference... especially that aim assist feature.

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Steerpike
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January 20, 2010 - 7:49 pm
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Toger, the combat in ME is mushy and unpleasant - hard to control, difficult button placement (I assume you're playing on the 360?), just generally hard to get the hang of. I know you're not a shooter player, so this comparison probably won't help you, but when weighed against the tight, responsive controls of a Gears of War or an Uncharted 2, ME's combat feels awful. It has a lot more to do with the game design and a lot less to do with any player's skill in shooter-based games. Control design is very important in games like that. RPGs are a lot more forgiving of squishy controls, and Bioware's chief experience is with RPGs, so...

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Toger
Somewhere, out there...
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January 21, 2010 - 3:29 pm
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Steerpike, I think I know what you mean: I've played a little of Uncharted (usually I'm the running/jumping/puzzle solver while my friend is the shooter) and the controls for that seem much tighter than those of ME. I'll still give it one more try as I'd like to experience the story.

In other news, I just picked up Fallout 3 (360) for $18 as part of an Amazon Gold Box deal today.

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xtal
planet
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January 21, 2010 - 9:42 pm
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Wow, is it the Fo3 version with all the "DLC" attached? (It's sad to me that anyone generally new to gaming, i.e. they've discovered it during the so-called seventh generation of consoles, is being raised, so to speak, in this environment where extra content, aka "DLC," is viewed as a nice low-priced treat. To drop a grand cliché, back in the day I remember they either gave it away for free (a patch!) or had the balls to claim it as a substantial half-priced retail product (expansion pack!) Heck, can you imagine how much money Blizzard could make if they retroactively charged Battle.net accounts for every balance patch they slapped onto StarCraft?)

Er, parenthesized rant aside there, that's a nice pickup.

Steerpike, I've had Modern Warfare 2 since launch and oddly haven't touched the single-player campaign. I've spent but all my hours on it blundering around in the castrated PC multi-player suite. I really can't do the twitch shooters (and I make no mistake that CoD is a twitchy shooter, not a tactical one) when it involves other humans. They're just too good...and I have to go to work sometimes.

My piece of advice today: do not under any circumstances fire up a new game of Plants vs. Zombies at 11:30pm on a week night. It's just way too addicting. And they trick you but not having a quit or save button, too. Dastardly!

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

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geggis
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February 25, 2010 - 3:51 pm
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I can't say I found Plants Vs. Zombies that addictive really. My favourite tower defence game is Immortal Defense, something I highly, highly recommend. The demo is massive. The thing that really sets it apart is the story line which is up there with Planescape: Torment, or every bit as haunting at least, and I know that sounds totally ridiculous but it's true. Also some of the towers represent emotions such as courage, love and fear. It's a very interesting game and there are a lot of tactics to be gleaned from the different tower combinations. Seriously, check it out.

I've been playing XCOM: UFO Defence recently after the Steam sale a few weeks back. After tinkering with the XcomUtil I think I've finally got the difficulty bug sorted and a few other changes such as the tank actually being useful and alien research being much more difficult when you don't have any contained live aliens. I'm really enjoying it and I'm sort of dreading choosing the Superhuman difficulty…

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Toger
Somewhere, out there...
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February 25, 2010 - 4:12 pm
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I've finally gotten around to playing Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. It seems a tad easier than the originals, but it's still just as crazy/quirky. Never fear, I have picked the up new one with Miles, but I won't crack the shrink-wrap until I'm done with this one.

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