Sunday, February 27, 2011

Monday Musings - 28 Feb 2011

Week 3! I'm still sunburned and sore from Soundwave on Saturday, but i had a great week of gaming. Let's get started, shall we?


A couple hours after writing last week's musings, i loaded up Stacking and completed it. The final boss was a fun collection of puzzles with only the last part of the fight being somewhat annoying. On completion, i clocked in at 82% finished. I have no desire to go doll collecting and find all the hijinks at the moment. We shall see if i decide to do so later.

As an aside, i would probably buy an additional chapter or two if it was released via DLC

Fallout 3

I am continuing to explore the wastelands. Almost level 8. The game can certainly make me jump. I think it's the stark contrast to the world being so desolate and lonely, and then all of a sudden you're under attack by a hostile force. I mean in the ruined cities or in a building, you expect raiders or super mutants, but out in the wilderness, i never fail to be on edge.

Power fists are amazing weapons.

That wasteland survival guide for Moira? Testing radiation poisoning, i found it hilarious that to get myself sick, i was standing in radioactive water, casually drinking it from my cupped hands. Passers-by would have been very puzzled.

Final Fantasy XIII

The second RPG i've played this week with 3 in the title. This linear JRPG is a nice contrast to the open worldness and loose levelling system of Fallout 3. I really like this game. The story is intriguing, i like all of the characters (yes, even Hope), and the voice acting is decent. The combat system is fun, the levelling system is just a strung out version of the sphere grid from FFX, and the game is gorgeous visually. What i don't like? Just when the battle music gets to the part i really like, the fight is usually over.

You know, i think another reason this Monday Musings thing is good is it will track my progress with these long games that i usually end up putting down, and i might be more inclined to ride them out to the end. We shall see.

World of Warcraft

Level 17 now. I had my first dungeon run last night in the deadmines. Our tank turned out to be a bot so we kicked him and got a better tank. Story over! Nah, it was lots of fun. Dungeons have always been my favourite part of WoW. Something about having a specific role in a self contained area for an hour or two, with great rewards along the way. Yeah, when everyone in a party knows what they're doing, it's a great gameplay experience. If people don't, or act like douches, then the experience can certainly be frustrating.

As for the main game, i'm off the island, went to Orgrimmar and am now levelling in the new Aszhara. Good stuff so far. A nice amount of variety in the quests, and i like how quests are bundled together in a section, and then once completed, either a new bundle becomes available, or you get sent to somewhere else on the map where a new bundle becomes available.

I was busy Friday so i played WoW on Sunday. So much for WoW day.

Super Meat Boy

My favourite game of last year. I haven't touched it in a while as i was stuck on level 6-4. I completed level 6-4 last night and am now stuck on level 6-5. Ever since World 4 it's been like this. Beat 1 - 2 levels, get stuck, quit. Come back, beat level, beat 1 - 2 levels, get stuck, quit.

Sometimes i go back and play the dark levels in earlier worlds, or open up warp zones and try my hand at them. They are very difficult because you have lives. You can't just play the level till you complete it, and then watch as hundreds of meat boys die for your amusement. I also unlocked level -1 a little while ago in World 1. That one is really hard too. I love all the secrets though. I think there are two more worlds i have to discover as well.

This game just has content oozing out of it. Definitely value for money.

Final Thoughts

I play RPGs for two main reasons (and i imagine lots of people play for these reasons). One is to experience a solid story. It can be hard to find an RPG that fufills this, but they are out there.

The second reason is levelling of characters. In Borderlands, outside the town of Firestone there are usually 3 bandits that run up to attack the town regularly. Level up quite a bit, come back, and they explode in one shot. RPG level progression is all about becoming stronger. It's a mechanic that reflects a coming of age or being where you need to be. Once that plateau is reached, i for one take immense joy in exercising that power on groups of enemies.

Most gaming involves power fantasy, but in many FPSs, the only progression is better guns. I personally like the idea of starting out kind of weak but full of potential, and then by the end journey being a badass. That's why i enjoy RPGs.

Till next week, happy gaming!

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