Gaming

Blog 811: Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project

I didn’t know anything about Duke Nukem before I played the demo of Manhattan Project, but he obviously hit a nerve as I spent the rest of my years at school putting on my deepest voice and delivering all the lines — “makin’ bacon!”, “hail to the king, baby!”, “ooh, that is gonna leave a mark”, “there’s only two ways this can end, and in both of them, you die!” — blissfully unaware that most of them originated elsewhere and the Duke’s appeal was merely in concentrating them into a single pastiche. I’m more widely read nowadays, honest!

Thing is though, it was also a really fun game. Why haven’t I replayed it for years? Good question. Let’s see if we can answer it.

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Gaming

Blog 810: Atrox

I seem to have a thing for games that end in “ox”. We all know Exon is a vast tribute to Nox, and one of the other reasons I built my old XP computer was Safrosoft RoX… and then we have this RTS Atrox. Like Age of Empires II, Atrox suffers from having a 256 colour palette in a 65-million colour world and so needs to be played in the past.

History has likely forgotten it for more reasons than that, though. Atrox is a Korean Starcraft clone that is… Well, just how closely they managed to copy Starcraft with such a small core team is actually quite impressive. Three asymmetric factions. Two resources in convenient little semi-circles. The same cliff/plateau/ramp style of terrain.

Even so, it’s one of those games that’s been lodged in my psyche since the day I first set eyes on it, so let me tell you why it’s deserving of at least a little attention…

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Gaming

Blog 807: Elex

I enjoyed Risen 3: The Titan Lords. It wasn’t perfect, but it was good, colourful, vibrant fun. So when the same studio made a sci-fi game that was noted for being pretty similar, I thought… Well, who doesn’t want more of a good thing?

It came on sale and I figured it had been out long enough to be stable and final, so like the comet that brought the titular magic crystal (and the apocalypse) to the planet of Magalan, I took the plunge.

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Gaming

Blog 806: The Conquerors

I remember seeing a (p)review for the Age of Empires II expansion pack The Conquerors in an issue of PC Gaming World at the time… In fact, I’ve still got it on my shelf. (It’s the same issue that gave Deus Ex a very lacklustre write-up. Oops.)

I remember misreading the word “allies”, in tiny text next to a tiny screenshot, as “aliens” and getting really excited for all the wrong reasons.

Well, it turned out okay in the end.

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Gaming

Blog 804: Master Chief Collection: Halo: Reach

I realise now that the name “Master Chief Collection” was a poor choice for this compilation, because the two best games out of the five Halo titles that I have now played are ones in which the titular Chef is nowhere in sight.

Halo: Reach is the game they wanted me to play first; a notion which I rejected in favour of playing the games in their original release order (with their original potato graphics where appropriate). While Reach‘s narrative may take place seconds before the original Halo, like all prequels, it wouldn’t make a lick of sense if you were just dropped straight into it. You really do need to have played the others first.

It would also be hella jarring to go from one of the best games in the series right back to its… uhhhh… roots.

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Gaming

Blog 801: Master Chief Collection: Halo 3: ODST

Considering how the Halo franchise has gone thus far, I was completely expecting Halo 3 spin-off ODST to be yet more of the same, except maybe with a different main character than the Master Chef himself.

But… it’s not! It plays with the formula! Quite a lot! In good ways!

Woah.

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Gaming

Blog 798: Oblivion Awaits

The last time I did a wee Elder Scrolls binge, I played Morrowind and then went straight to Skyrim. I’ve never had much of a thing for Oblivion; while I find Skyrim‘s viking aesthetic reasonably boring, it’s not half as boring as Oblivion‘s extremely straight trad-fantasy trappings. But these feelings come and go regardless of how your conscious mind might object, and sometimes you just need to float around grassy hills and bash some glass-hammer-wielding minotaurs.

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Gaming

Blog 796: Master Chief Collection: Halo 3

Considering that Halo 2 just stopped rather than ending, I had to start Halo 3 immediately. Just think, though — imagine you’d played Halo and Halo 2 on PC the first time around, and then they just… didn’t release Halo 3 on PC at all. That would have been truly awful, and right here lies the vindication of my decision to avoid all contact with Halo until I could play the lot. At least if the┬áMaster Chief Collection had never come, I wouldn’t have been cut off mid-swing.

And after all that… Will Halo 3 be even more of the same?

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