Posts tagged ‘PC gaming’

10/21/2012

In the immortal words of Paul Phoenix…

by wfgodbold

Bring it on, ya aliens! (also, be careful; the embiggened screenshots may have mid-game thpoilerth)

I’m about ready to wrap up my first* playthrough of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and you’ll be happy to know that Earth has been saved from the alien menace.

This time.

Firaxis’s update makes XCOM play a lot like Valkyria Chronicles;** your soldiers can move and then shoot/defend/item/grenade/etc. Different classes (assault, heavy, sniper, medic) use different weapons and have different special abilities. This makes it a lot easier to keep track of who does what – in X-COM, I had to change the characters’ names to indicate what they were best at, which led to soldiers like Col. Wolfgang Krauser 70TU 80AIM.***

The red armor is three times faster than the usual armor.

The strategic layer is more streamlined, too. I would have preferred being able to have multiple available teams (if you build multiple Skyrangers) so that you don’t have to choose between missions. More UFO attacks wouldn’t hurt, either. As the game progresses, it seems like you do a lot of waiting at the geoscape for something to happen (whether it’s an abduction, a terror mission, a council mission, or a UFO). In the original X-COM, the longer the game went on, the more frequent the UFO attacks became, until you ended up getting overwhelmed.

I know 1994 was a different gaming era, but I think that really added to the tension.

Taken as a whole, the updates are generally good. The game is still hard, the aliens are still unforgiving, and your soldiers still die heroic (and sometimes, unheroic) deaths. I’ll probably play Classic next, and then I might even give Impossible a try.

I let a third of the civilians die and it rates my performance as “Good.” Yeah, this is X-COM.

You know, when I have copious free time (which means I can pencil it in for December, I guess).

*For certain values of “first.” I restarted my Classic difficulty Ironman game several times while trying and failing to get a grip on the changed systems, before finally caving in and dropping the difficulty back to Normal (though still Ironman).

**Which played a lot like Sakura Taisen, which in turn played a lot like X-COM: UFO Defense. The circle is now complete!

***Yes, I know Wolfgang Krauser is an SNK character. It seemed like most of the random soldiers I got ended up being German with random German names, and this was all I could think of.

10/11/2012

In lieu of the post I am too incredulous/furious to write…

by wfgodbold

Here’s a video of Jake Solomon, the lead designer for XCOM: Enemy Unknown, trying to convince people in a game store they should buy his game:

I’ll post my review of Taken 2, and the post that would have been here but for my hunch that I’d say something I might regret, this weekend.

09/26/2012

Tabula rasa*

by wfgodbold

First, XCOM: Enemy Unknown news:

It hits Oct. 9, which was probably old news to you if you cared.

The PC “demo” is up on Steam. It’s actually the tutorial, and is on rails for the first mission and part of the second.

You do get to experience enough of the game for it to give off that X-COM vibe, though, and I’ll definitely cash in gift certificates and various reward points to get it at launch.

Firaxis gave Game Trailers a new gameplay video, this time of a downed UFO mission. Unlike the other videos they’ve shown, this one is not in an urban environment.

Monolith Soft released the opening movie to Project X-Zone, their Super Robot Wars-esque mashup of SEGA, Capcom, and Namco characters. I would be all over this game if (1) I had a 3DS, and (2) Nintendo hadn’t made the 3DS region free. The licensing problems a game like this would cause pretty much nixes any chance of its release in the US.

Falcom is porting Trails in the Sky to PS3. I’m sure it will look great (since the original game was on the PC and supported high monitor resolutions), but I don’t know how many people in Japan are going to be willing to pay again for a game they’ve already bought once or twice before (PC, PSP, and now PS3). The Square-Enix business model focused on rereleasing your good old games to fund your crap new games will only get you so far.

Ufotable’s animation for Tales of Xillia 2 is just as good as everything else I’ve seen them animate. This preview video also has portions of Ayumi Hamasaki’s theme for the game.

Using his own logic, I could have the UN Secretary General shut up for “[humiliating] my values and beliefs” (i.e., free speech). The answer to bad speech is more speech. The idea that people or groups do not have any agency and are forced to dance to the whim of the speaker is reprehensible.

In the same vein, Posner** is a big fan of the heckler’s veto.

*No, not that SF MMO Lord British tried to make. It’s close enough to “tab clearing” for government work.

**No, not that Posner (though it is his son).

06/04/2012

Still busy.

by wfgodbold

So here are some links:

Namco’s next Tales of game is Tales of Xillia 2! I wasn’t expecting this at all (since only a few of the Tales of franchise have had actual sequels), and now I’m really looking forward to it.

There’s a Kickstarter page up for a new Tex Murphy adventure game! The only one in the series I played was The Pandora Directive, but it was pretty good (in spite of a few esoteric puzzles).

Good Old Games has the Ultima and Wing Commander games on sale (for another 6 hours) at half off. I played so much Wing Commander II back in the day. I had such a blast shooting down Kzinti Orions Catians Kilrathi. Once I had the computer properly configured, anyway (which was never trivial with Origin games).

I’m still pretty pressed for time (though it’s not as bad as I thought, since the law review write-on ends next Monday and not this Friday (like I originally thought)). Hopefully things will clear up by next week.

05/29/2012

I live again!

by wfgodbold

The first night of summer classes went okay. I’m taking Pre-trial Criminal Procedure and Patent/Trade Secret Law. My evenings/afternoons for the next 2 months are going to be full of law and headaches.

And weekends and daytimes too (for the next week and a half until the law review write-on ends).

Three more of my Diablo III hardcore characters have died; another barbarian (who made it to level 51 and nearly finished nightmare before I fat fingered my way to death) and two demon hunters (one at 48 in Act III nightmare to a pack of annoying elite monsters, and another at 24 in Act III normal to a pack of annoying monsters’ exploding corpses). Somehow I’ve managed to turn into a mainly hardcore player; in Diablo II, I strictly played softcore. I think it’s the shared stash and gold; banking good items is so much easier when you don’t have to switch between characters or get a mod (to share stashes between offline characters). Thanks to my disproportionate time spent on hardcore mode, I’ve now got 6x the gold there that I do on softcore.

I didn’t post for Memorial Day. I’d like to say that was by design, but it wasn’t. Borepatch has a great post, and Mark Tatulli’s Liō strip for yesterday was pretty good, as well.

Swiss Army Knife maker Victorinox is making a bunch of Upotte-inspired knives (Upotte, if you recall, Weer’d mentioned a few months ago, and is about a bunch of anthropomorphized rifles attending a school for girls. Really.).

Ys Origin comes out on Steam this week for $20. Once things calm down, I may have to get it (assuming I don’t just wait for one of those inevitable Steam sales).

For some reason, the Army is banning polymer magazines. Which seems crazy, since they’re light and awesome. All of my mags are polymer!

Namco is teasing the next Tales of game. No subtitle yet, just some vague question about whether or not you’re prepared to break the world on behalf of a girl.

Ever wonder what those electronics instructions actually say?

The Penny Arcade Report takes a look at XCOM: Enemy Unknown (AKA the good upcoming XCOM game). I’m seriously going to have to give up sleep for all these games, what with law school. Especially once this comes out.

This guy has NFI how taxation, social security, or anything else works. Especially in a country with demographic decline issues.

And now that my browser is relatively empty, I can actually tell what webpages I’m reading.

Your help with this episode of Tab Clearing for Diablo III Addicts™ has been greatly appreciated, dear reader.

05/24/2012

Today in Diablo III news…

by wfgodbold

We learn that Blizzard really has no clue. At all. Have they never played another game before, or what? This smacks of more MMOification (making it more of a strict numbers game, like WoW).

Since my last post, I’ve lost a hardcore Barbarian in Act I nightmare, and gotten a hardcore demon hunter to Act II nightmare. My softcore barbarian is in Act I hell, and I haven’t really played any more with my monk or wizard (let alone started a witch doctor).

In non-D3 news, I’ve been busy too; summer classes start on Tuesday, and the write-on competition for the law review started this past Monday (and goes until the end of the first week in June, I believe). So unfortunately, it’s not all demons and clicking here.

Especially since I’ve been dealing with the car service people trying to get my headlights squared away. One or the other will randomly shut off while I’m driving, and that’s not exactly helpful (one time both shut off, and wasn’t that exciting). Turning them off and on again fixes it, but usually only temporarily (and I’m not the only one to experience this problem (yeah, I drive a Prius; the price was right, and thanks to the wonders of ethanol-free gasoline, I regularly get 48-50 mpg (I would classy it up with an NRA sticker or something, just to screw with people’s heads, but I’m paranoid (and here I go, overusing parentheses again; like semicolons, they’re a hell of a drug)))).

I’ve been able to avoid the headlight issue for a while by not driving at night, but since my summer classes are all in the evenings, I decided I’d put it off long enough.

I should be back to a more regular posting and tweeting schedule in the coming weeks, but for now, I’ll probably still be intermittent (Oh, I have some D3 screenshots to post, too, but that will wait for another day. Maybe I’ll schedule daily D3 screenshots or something).

05/19/2012

Can’t sleep. Must keep clicking.

by wfgodbold

Finals wrapped up Thursday morning, and to celebrate, I may be playing Diablo III to excess.

By which I mean I have a Barbarian and a Monk in Nightmare (they finished Act IV Normal at level 32 and 31, respectively; the barb is in Act II NM and the monk in Act I). For both characters, I strictly played single player (though I did take advantage of the shared stash to keep my monk in ridiculously good equipment my barb kept finding). I’ve played a bit of multiplayer with a wizard, but not a whole lot. It seemed to go pretty well, too.

The game is pretty good (obviously, if I’ve played it that much). The plot is okay (the twists seemed pretty obvious, though), but the gameplay is awesome.

Given my rant on Wednesday, I thought I should point out that this endless complaining from the interwebs about a sequel to a beloved Blizzard franchise is nothing new: people hated Diablo II at launch (H/T CarbonatedFalcon).

The more things change, the more they stay the same, I guess.

Update: Also, NM is far harder than normal. Elite packs are rough, champions and unique monsters have multiple damage modifications, and death is inevitable. Especially if you get a pack with, say, molten and plagued, so the entire ground around all the enemies turns into one giant pool of “stand here for more than 1 second and you’re dead.”

It makes it a bit tough to melee them when that happens…

05/15/2012

Good old Blizzard.

by wfgodbold

They obviously didn’t learn anything from their 7 1/2 years running a MMO, because the Diablo III launch has been terrible.

Just terrible.

The servers were down for maintenance for a few hours earlier today (on launch day), and now I’ve been disconnected (and can’t reconnect) because of an error that claims battle.net itself is down.

And all I want to do is play the single player game!

Once I’ve gone through the story once or twice, I’ll start doing multiplayer games, but for now, single player is all I care about.

And thanks to their retarded internet connection required DRM, I can’t.

Oh, if the servers ever do come back up, and you want to talk/play, my battletag is DrWyrm#1924.

03/19/2012

At the risk of sounding like a paid shill*

by wfgodbold

Ys: The Oath in Felghana is on Steam for $15. If you like old-school action games where you either learn the boss patterns or you get destroyed, you should check it out. Especially since if it does well, it could pave the way for more of Falcom’s catalog to come out via Steam.

I’m not buying it** (though I am sorely tempted); I have the original Japanese PC release, the Japanese PSP release, and the US PSN release. I don’t need to buy it a fourth time.

If you like great action and great music, you owe it to yourself to give it a shot.

*Which I’m not; I don’t work for Valve, XSEED Games, or Falcom. If you buy Ys: The Oath in Felghana off Steam, I won’t see a cent.

**Though I will buy the Steam release of Ys Origin; it uses the Felghana engine and is supposed to be the best in the series.

03/16/2012

I had an idea for a post when I clicked “New Post”

by wfgodbold

But it’s completely gone now. Like it never existed.

I think it was something about Kickstarter and how it’s reviving long-dead series and genres (Wasteland 2, a new Tim Schafer adventure game, etc.), but I’m not really sure.

I guess I”ll just do some tab clearing, instead.

Falcom posted some samples of the rearranged music from Zero no Kiseki Evolution, their PS Vita full voice remake of the PSP game. Like the most of their music, it sounds great.

New this month from Baen Night Shade Books is a sendup of the John Carter of Mars books, called Jane Carver of Waar. Good timing on their part, what with the movie release (which everyone has seen, right?). I may have to buy it.

Sony sent out the Super Stardust Delta download codes for PS Vita 3G buyers who signed up for their free month of 3G with AT&T. It’s just as addictive as the PS3 version; you keep playing one more game to try to better your score.

Diablo III comes out on May 15. I still haven’t decided if I’m going to buy it.

The newest Rurouni Kenshin trailer looks awesome. They even have plans to release it internationally!

SNK is getting back into the handheld market with their new Neo Geo X, which comes with 20 Neo Geo games and an SD slot for future expansion. No word on pricing yet, though.

I added a link to my Amazon store on the right side of the page under the twitter widget; if you want used imported video games, knock yourself out. I’ll add more to it this week after going through my PS2 collection.

And finally, a comparison shot with my Vita and PSP-1000, with a game case from each:

Edit: Fixed the publisher for Jane Carver of Waar; it looks like Baen is handling the ebook, and Night Shade Books is publishing the trade paperback.

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