Sunday, February 02, 2014

February 2014 Play Log - Day 1 to 7

As a bit of an experiment, I'm going to try to update this blog on a daily basis. I'll update this same blog entry each day this month as I write them.

1 - It seemed fitting that when I went to download The Stanley Parable, one of my 24 games to play of 2014, it showed as being a 3gb file, but when it actually started, it changed to only a 1gb download. Like everything about this game, nothing is as it seems. Even calling it a "game" is a little tenuous. Playing it is akin to reading a crossword puzzle for the story. It's like having a dream or nightmare that is being narrated by Stephen Fry. I did "beat it", but what does that mean in a game like this? Or is it a game? Maybe I should start again.

1 - It seemed fitting that when I went to download The Stanley Parable, one of my 24 games to play of 2014, it showed as being a 3gb file, but when it actually started, it changed to only a 1gb download. In this game, little is really what it seems to be. But is it a game? That's a difficult question to answer. I'm probably not the person you should be asking about it. Why don't you go and check some other websites and see what they've had to say about The Stanley Parable. I'll wait here until you get back. Remember to use the left door on your way out...No? Staying here, are you?...Fine.

1 - It seemed fitting that when I went to download The Stanley Parable, one of my 24 games to play of 2014, it showed as being a 3gb file, but when it actually started, it changed to only a...oh, we've been over this before haven't we. We're right back where we started. I mean, look at the date. It's still says "1". This is the third paragraph and we haven't made any progress! I know, why don't you try to type a "2" before the next line and we'll see it gets us moving.

1 - Oh dear.

2 - Messed around with one of the Mario 3DS games for a little while. (Hey, Nintendo, it's getting a little hard remembering what combination of "Super", "Mario", "3D", "Land", and "World"you're using each time.) Also put some more time in on Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. Raven, you there? (Huh? Oh, sorry. I was just admiring the pic of me you added to last month's blog. Nice.) Well, I thought the readers should know what you look like. I never really described you to them. (Yeah, I'm sure all 2 of the people who read this care deeply!) Thanks. So, what were you doing in Amalur today? (Cleaned out the Castle Yovan area. I guess you could say I was getting my Link on - call me Raven, Slayer of Clay Pots! By the way, what is the compulsion of NPC's to put small handfuls of gold pieces in random pots in a deserted ruin?) Uh, they thought they were piggy banks? (Very funny.) How'd it go with the Widow? (Oh, you know, the usual. Saved up all my Fate juice, got her into a corner, pounded her with the ol'electric chakrams, and then skewered her with a white glowing spear.) You really don't like spiders do you? (Don't even start.)

3 - Gamestop's offer for an additional $10 in trade-in value for PS4 games got me motivated to play Killzone: Shadowfall again. It's a better FPS than I remembered - and looks better too. The choices the developer made for the controls take some getting used to, especially if you haven't played it for awhile. I will admit that the graphics are remarkable, but I just keep telling myself that this is the next generation's "Oblivion". By the time they get to "Skyrim", it's going to be amazing! I'm happy enough that I'll keep it for now. It looks like Chapter 3 is going to be aboard a derelict spaceship. Reminds me of Dead Space!

4 - I decided to take a break from PS4 FPS-ness and went back into KoA. (16.) I'm sorry, Raven. What? (16. That's the number of hours that your brother has put into Amalur more than you. At this point. Oh, and here's another number - 165. Know what that is?) I'm sure you'll tell me. (The number of achievement points he's racked up in the game. I'm afraid your's is about half that. 85 to be exact.) Have you been trolling on Raptr again? (Maybe. Girl's got to do something to stay busy.) You looked pretty busy in Amalur. Finished off a couple of quests, didn't you? (Well, yeah. I teamed up with Agarth again and we took out this creepy surveillance thing that the Tuatha were tracking me with. And I met their Numero Uno - Gadflow. Two questions. One, if I'm such a threat, why didn't Mr. Winner of the Satan Lookalike Contest just snuff me out then? I thought we were going to throw down right there!) That would have made for a pretty short game. (Fine, but why do I have to chase his ass all over this friggin world? Anyway, my second question.) Yes? (Gadflow? Seriously?? Not much in the ominous name department is he? I bet they called him "Gaddy" when he was just a young devil! And "flow"? Oh, I could teach him a thing or two about "flow"!) You're not taking this adventure very seriously, are you? (So sorry, my liege. But have you noticed that things are starting to sort of unravel in here?) Such as. (Oh, hearing conversations before I actually enter a location, sudden jumps in the action around quest markers, NPC's being total idiots.) Are you referring to the alchemist in Didenhill? (Yeah, the one that couldn't figure out I had the ingredients he needed for that fire salve.) Ok, that did look kind of broken. (You should send in a bug report. Maybe 38 Studios will fix it in the next patch.) Uh, yeah. Raven? (Yes. Hello?) How do I put this? Your world? It's sort of been abandoned. (Wha?) Your "creators", as it were, went bankrupt and shutdown. Whatever remains of the code of your world belongs to the state of Rhode Island. (...) Raven? (A minute, please.) Ok. Take your time.(....SSSSSSHHHHHHHHIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!)

5 - After telling two young people at the mall that the only way I get any gaming done is to give up some sleep, I decided to not give it up tonight.

6 - Kingdoms of Amalur again. You know, Raven, you surprised me a bit tonight. (Really? How so?) Well, you must have run past 3 or 4 new exclamation points getting through the main story quest. (Look, not everyone's problems are my problems. I can't do everything in here!) True enough. We should probably work at actually getting through this game or we'll never be done. (Yeah, and then what?) What do you mean? (I've got no future! This is it for Amalur. No expansions, no patches, no MMO! Seventy-five million dollars! How do you spend that much money and not have anything to show for it?) Some of it was spent on your world, you know. Big Huge Games actually started the design and then 38 Studios had them put it in the Amalur world. Sales of KoA:R were supposed to go to creating the MMO, but...(But what?) Well, your world only sold about 1.3 million copies. (Only?! That sounds like a lot.) No, it is. But according to the accountants, it would have had to sell almost 3 times that just to break even. (So, I'm stuck in this single game with no future because someone screwed up the math???) Pretty much, yes. It's a tough commercial landscape out there. Your world just didn't stand out enough. Probably needed more boobs. (WHAT? Excuse me?) Well, the cover art for KoA:R was a big male warrior in full armor. With 90% of the game buying public being teen to twenty-something males, it wasn't a particularly good choice. (That is insultingly sexist!) And probably true. Don't you think that it would have sold much better if Alyn Shir had been on the cover?
(Oh come on, that is the most ridiculous excuse for armor I've ever seen! She should be covered in scars with all that showing.) Yeah, but remember: it's not just a fantasy world, it's a male's fantasy world.

7 - This was my night for checking some Xbox 360 games from Gamestop to see if I needed to return them before the 7-day "rental" period was up. What I didn't realize was that, even though the games had radically different themes, the basic gameplay of all three was the same - 3D environment brawlers.

  • Transformers The Game - This is the HD version of the PS2 title I already have. Looks like it sort of follows the story of the first movie. Sounds like they got the voices of the actors (at least Optimus Prime). Pretty good looking action with a fair amount of button mashing. I'm a sucker for Transformers stuff, so it's a Keeper.
  • Splatterhouse - I think Namco must have spent 75% of their development time on liquid dynamics for blood. That would account for the other 25% being spent on making a less than entertaining game. I like the material - crazed Jason-esque killing machine - but just too much button mashing and too difficult too soon. It's a Returner.
  • Afro Samurai -  How can you not get a game with Samuel L "MoFo" Jackson in it? Well, he's doing the voices because he did them for the anime. Have to say this game has style out the wazoo! Like playing a comic book movie with action reminiscent of the Kill Bill movies. I'm not sure it's going to be a fun game to play unless I really get the combat down, but it's an impressive game to have in my collection. Keeper!

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