Sunday, February 09, 2014

February 2014 Play Log - Day 8 to 14

8 - Other than a few minutes of Super Mario 3D Land, no gaming today, but we (ie, me, wife, brother, bro-in-law, sis-in-law, nephew) did manage to get tickets to San Diego Comic Con 2014! About 5 months until the madness begins.

9 - As part of my "24 Games to Play in 2014" plan, I started a little bit of Mario & Luigi Dream Team...and fell asleep on the couch! Ok, in my defense it was Sunday afternoon, the house was quiet, and I was playing a game about sleeping (well, one of the characters was sleeping), so I don't think you can really blame me. This is actually a problem I've had for years - falling asleep while playing handheld games. I used to fall asleep on Pokemon all the time. That was fairly easy to do, since the game doesn't require anything of your character if you just stand still. I don't have this problem with console gaming since (from what I've read), your body creates chemicals in your system that keep you awake in response to your eyes seeing bright lights. In a way, this explains why people watch TV (or play games) long into the night and say they can't sleep - it's a self-perpetuating cycle. Anyhow, I played a bit more later in the evening and stayed awake long enough to start to get a little annoyed at the game. I forgot that a number of the reviewers of the game criticized its almost preschool level of hand-holding. This is one of those games where people say that Nintendo must believe their gamers are idiots. I honestly don't need a tutorial on using a "Jump" button, guys! I want to stick with it long enough to see some of the cool things that happen in Luigi's dreams, but I doubt I'll go all the way with this one. I've also read that the game can take up to 60 hours! For a handheld game, that's really too long. My late night gaming was starting the second episode of The Wolf Among Us. According to the achievements, I'm about 4/5th's of the way through, so I'll do a full write up on it tomorrow after I finish it.

10 - As expected, I finished the second episode of The Wolf Among Us. On the whole, I like this type of game distribution - getting a 2 hour or so chunk at a time. It means I'm much more likely to finish the game. However, I don't think I particularly like this game. I'm not sure if it's because it's a point-and-click adventure without exploration or if it's that I wasn't a fan of (or even knew about) the comic books before I played it, but I feel detached from the story in general. I know that if they had done a pricing model like The Walking Dead where the first episode was available by itself, I wouldn't have bought the other four afterwards. Anyway, when I was done, instead of doing the smart-ish thing of going to bed a little after midnight, I decided to start up The Stanley Parable again and see what mischief I could get into. I remembered seeing a catwalk that I thought I could drop onto to get to another area of the building and wanted to see if it was possible. After "splatting" to my death many times, I finally landed on it and it indeed went to another area with some alternate endings (if this game can be said to have a "real" ending). I managed to find the Minecraft and Portal areas which were very amusing! Now I guess I'll have to try to find more "secret" areas.

11 - (Nice to see you haven't forgotten me.) Hi, Raven. It was good to see you too in KoA tonight. (I didn't say I was glad to see you, just that...oh, never mind.) So, looked like you were doing some general questing. Anything interesting? (Oh, you know, the usual. Someone, a monk this time, tells me his monk buddy has gone off in search of adventure and hasn't heard form him in weeks. These things always end up the same way. I go trudging through caves and caverns only to find the poor schmuck stone cold dead with a book of his last, deranged scribbles. I should have taken the job, gone behind a tree, wrote out some "farewell cruel world" stuff, and gone back for my reward. Would have come to the same ending.) What about the people in those ruins? (Them? Weird group. One lady thinks her honey has been turned into an antelope but really he just wants to be rid of the crazy wench. I covered for him and told her that lover boy had been eaten by monsters. Figured I was doing them a favor - it never would have lasted. The other woman was just looking for a scroll her guy had. Didn't care about him, just the scroll. Found him in the same state as the monk. Big surprise.) And that Fae? (Oh, don't go there! What the flower ultra colored kite was he trying to do? First he wants these seeds for some Flowering ritual - if he had said de-flowering ritual, I would have slit his throat then - which are all over the area. Then he tells me to come to this cave and put the seeds in these plant things. Next thing I know, I'm fighting a cavern full of sprites! Mid-battle he's like, "Whoah! You're not supposed to hurt them! You're supposed to give yourself to them." I thought these Fae guys were all happy-nature-forest-dudes, not sacrifice-the-shield-maiden-psycho-freaks. Teach me to be so trusting. It was a messy battle, but I was the last person/thing standing. Now I've got to go sell a bunch of stuff and do some serious repairs.) Then what? (I'm doing a little backtracking before I head over to meditate in the Sidhe. Oh, nice controller, by the way.) Thanks, just got it. I thought the blue chrome looked pretty cool. Feels good to hold. (Do you really want me to get into the whole "men and their joysticks" thing?) No, Raven, not really.

12 - I was a little more tired tonight than usual (probably from being up the night before til 1am running Raven around Amular), so I only put in a half an hour or so on Mario & Luigi Dream Team - and I'm still not to a point where Mario has entered Luigi's dreams yet! It will be interesting to see what my playtime is, according to the 3DS record keeping, when I get to that first dream. Playing this game has me wanting to write a blog post about my experiences with gaming's most iconic figure - Mario. We go all the way back to Donkey Kong arcade machines. A lot of history there.

13 - No gaming tonight, unless you can count trying to pick out a new PC as "gaming". My PC refused to bring up the desktop after running my (until recently) trusted registry cleaner, CCleaner. Old Sabertooth has some sort of hardware problem that's produced some BSoD issues, but none recently and none during this episode. The idea of putting more money into it isn't terribly attractive. Tried booting to Safe mode, restoring last known good config, etc, with no results. Switched over to my laptop, Aragorn for the time being.

14 - Worked on the PC some more and did finally get it to boot up all the way long enough to move my C drive files to a data drive and make a fresh mirror copy of all my data. I used the System Restore Point method by booting off the Windows DVD, but it actually said that it didn't complete successfully. Did enough though. However, it became clear that all was not sunshine and rainbows. I got some nasty errors that basically spelled out "O/S Corruption". So, time to upgrade to Win 7 64-bit, I guess. I did think about getting the new box (would cost around $2K), but if I can get by with Sabertooth, why upgrade?  There doesn't seem to be the overwhelming need to upgrade PC's today like there used to be. Indie games usually have very modest system requirements and even Triple-A games scale based on hardware. You might not get the best graphics, but does it make that much difference? I was interested to see that the min specs for Titanfall are below my PC with the exception of the O/S (it needs 64-bit). Add to that that I only run games up to 1920x1080 and as long as Sabertooth runs reasonably reliably, I'll stick with it. So, the new install starts tomorrow.

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