Sunday, February 23, 2014

February 2014 Play Log - Day 22 to 28

22 - I wasn't planning on being up late, but these things have a way of getting out of hand. I got into playing the next chapter in Killzone: Shadowfall and just couldn't stop until I got to the end of it. It took longer than it should have because either I missed a prompt somewhere on using my Owl or the game glitched out. I basically thought I was following the correct objective, but when I got there, I wasn't able to complete the objective or have the directional beacon show me where I should go next. So, I had to restart a couple of times and try a different approach. Add in the fact that this level felt like I was reliving Dead Space all over again and I just wanted it to be over with.

23 - Since I got little sleep from Killzone-ing into the wee hours the night before, I'm turning in early tonight. Can always game tomorrow. Oh, but I did finish my PS3 game shelf. Not a bad job, if I do say so myself for someone with the carpentry skills of a jellyfish. *Update*: I found it impossible to turn off the laptop without playing at least a few minutes of FTL first. And yes, I made a new ship, The Enterprise, with Kirk, Spock, and Scotty as crew members. Sadly, Spock didn't make it back to the ship before the space station he was trying to save people on exploded.

24 - The first thing I saw on the Internet today was a tweet from a news feed announcing that Harold Ramis had died. I was suddenly living in a time when one of the Ghostbusters was gone. Yeah, I know, it's not really fair to tie a man's life to a character he played in two movies, but as someone who never knew him in person, it's all I have. And, I hope, I think he wouldn't have been upset at being typecast by me - Ghostbusters is one of my all-time favorite movies. Of the four Ghostbusters, Ramis was the one who mostly faded into the background of Hollywood. Murray, Aykroyd, and Hudson have been in enough films and TV shows that we've seen them age, but my mental image of Ramis was always the thin, black haired Dr. Egon Spengler. And how could someone so young be dead? All I knew is that I wanted my evening's play session to honor his Ghostbuster legacy as best I could. So, I started playing the Ghostbusters game for the Xbox 360 from 2009. Unlike most movie license tie-in's that drift to the bottom of the quality scale, this one was very well done. Maybe it was because it wasn't tied to the release of any Ghostbuster revival so it didn't have to be out by a certain date. Or maybe it's that it was written (at least in part) by the original team of Ramis and Aykroyd, and that the original actors did their own voice parts. Either way, the game has given me a chance to spend some time with Egon/Ramis and for that I am grateful. Losing a piece of your history, especially a very happy part, is never easy.

25 - I decided to stay with the Ghostbusters game for awhile, mainly because this is one of those games where you need to remember a lot of unique button mappings in order to play effectively. It's also a very fun game! There's a surprising amount of dialog/banter between the actors (you play as their new intern) that is genuinely amusing. The ghost and particle effects are very good too. I will say it's not the easiest game to control - there are times when I'm trying to get a ghost over a trap and can't manage it very well. I also think I must be playing it Lego-style - I don't think I can "die" at this level (casual), and that's fine by me.

26 - The busting of ghosts continues. I'm currently in the New York Public Library level (which was the demo level) and it's interesting to see that the designers wrote a history for the librarian ghost from the movie. Apparently, she was a doctor even, but not the medical kind, who felt she needed to "protect" certain rare books. Someone named The Collector tried to use her to get to these books and when that didn't work out, he killed her and that's why her ghost haunts the library. The game is still playing well enough, but I did have one very frustrating area where I was supposed to pull beams out of an archway. While Ray kept telling me to get on with it, I tried to figure out what it wanted me to do. I could grab the beams and "wrangle" them, but they wouldn't move. There was also an artifact somewhere in the corner of the room, but every time I got close to it, the lights would go out and the "night vision" on the goggles wouldn't come on. I finally figured out that there was a space behind the bookcase in front of me (which was pitch black) and found the artifact. When I went back over to the beams, I tried again and this time, since I started farther away from them, I was able to pull them out! I guess the playtesters never tried pulling the beams from only close to the archway.

27 - More ghosts. It's actually starting to feel like I'm trapping them. Early on, the game helps you out a lot and you begin to sort of feel unnecessary. But during a fight in the museum, I caught a number of Civil War ghosts almost without any assistance.

28 - I had originally planned on playing the demo of FFXII-2:LR (which I downloaded mostly to test my second-hand 360's connecting to Xbox Live - I'd had some issues yesterday) but when I went to pick the demo off the dashboard, I accidentally started up Ghostbusters instead. So, that was the game I finished the week up with. I think I'll have to GameFAQs and see how long this one is. It's times like these that I wish games were more like movies in length.

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