Gaming

Blog 847: Neverwinter Nights

As far as I can remember, I played Neverwinter Nights precisely once at the time, and the same again for its first expansion pack Shadows of Undrentide (before missing out on its second expansion Hordes of the Underdark). A while back, gog decided to hand out the complete Diamond Edition for free, so I figured it might be time to give it another shot. I created a Paladin who seemed to be utterly unable to hit anything and gave up on it not far into chapter 2.

But I was haunted by this failure; I had to try again and see it through. This time I made a Fighter — who I knew would be boring to play, but at least should be able to hit things and not die.

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Gaming

Blog 843: Gunlok

A long time ago, so long ago it defies memory (~2000), I played a demo of a game called Gunlok. I didn’t understand how to play videogames so I don’t think I even managed to move my dude(s), let alone complete it, but the blurb made it sound well cool. Fast-forward two decades and here’s me browsing through old games on a popular internet auction site, looking for things to put on my XP machine and, what ho, it’s a factory-sealed copy of this very game!

I barely remember what genre it was, but I’m long past hesitation now.

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Gaming

Blog 837: Final Grindtasy VII

A part of me thought this moment would come much sooner than it did, but as I activated the endgame of Final Fantasy VII it arrived at last — the moment where my team simply weren’t powerful enough to get past the challenges in front of them.

I had to go back to an earlier save and commence… the Grind.

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Gaming

Blog 835: Final Fantasy VII

I have never played a JRPG before, let alone a Final Fantasy game. The closest I’ve ever got to Final Fantasy is my affection for classic cinematic CGI romp The Spirits Within (another party to which I was late, as I first saw it on DVD as an adult).

But I know that a lot of stuff I like was influenced by Final Fantasy, and the seventh entry comes up again and again and again in discussion. I have felt for years that this is a hole in my experience, and it was one I thought that I could never fill because Final Fantasies are traditionally console games… until I was told that Final Fantasy VII was indeed available on PC, and had been for a very long time.

Oops. Better late than never, right?

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Gaming

Blog 824: Wasteland 2

I read recently that gog.com was having financial troubles, which is a shame because they’re one of about two places that sells properly DRM-free games (oh well, if they do go bankrupt, at least I have offline back-ups of everything I’ve ever bought there). On the other hand, they keep handing out free games, which seems like a poor strategy for making money.

A while back, they gave out Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut, the Kickstarted sequel to the game that was (apparently) Fallout before Fallout; something in which I had a passing interest but wasn’t in the mood for… until now. After all, didn’t I always like to get a big chunky RPG from Santa?

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Warcraft III

Blog 819: Black Wind

I was feeling sorry for myself and replaying the Rexxar campaign earlier in the year, and decided it was time to try to make another Warcraft III map. Exon is supremely complex and World Editor has always been utterly beguiling in its simplicity and ease of use — you can make stuff so quickly and yet push it so far… if you’re that way inclined.

But this time I was not that way inclined. I just wanted to make something short and simple, inspired by the more innocent maps of those heady days when Warcraft III was new and I wasn’t so jaded.

So for all those who say “Robbie can’t limit scope” and “Robbie never ships”, I present to you… Black Wind: a Nightmare, for Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Made from scratch in a few very spread-out weeks, between working on Exon (and, y’know, having a job).

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Gaming

Blog 818: Dragon’s Dogma

My old WC3 modding pal Dionesiist spent a lot of time urging me to play Dragon’s Dogma, to the point that I can barely type it without auto-correcting myself to “Dragon’s Diogma”. That was years ago, though, and I am not a man to rush into anything — but nor am I man to forget. So this one’s for you, Dio! (Give him a commission, why don’tcha.)

Besides, Dragon’s Dogma is a third-persion open-world action-RPG where you climb up giant monsters and stab them in the face; it’s totally up my street.

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Gaming

Blog 812: Shadows of… Damn

I replayed Baldur’s Gate earlier this year and foolishly thought I could get away with just that, and not immediately transferring my character to the sequel. Fast-forward a few months and yep, here I am, chugging through Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn. Except I’m realising more and more that…

Despite all the quality-of-life improvements made to the Infinity Engine, despite the more detailed NPCs and the fun extra-planar jaunts, I really do prefer the original game. Even worse, I’m beginning to think that I don’t like Baldur’s Gate II at all.

(There will be spoilers.)

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