Delayed Responsibility

I Shouldn't Be Gaming Right Now… But I Am!

Archive for June, 2008

Diablo 3, But Let’s Talk About Baldur’s Gate

Posted by deckard47 on June 28, 2008

As you may or may not know, Diablo 3 has been announced, and here is the Blizzard FAQ page. There are two classes confirmed so far (Witch Doctor and a fancy new Barbarian), and they all have female and male skins. The game will be available for Mac and PC, and will feature lots of cool stuff (including Diablo). Here’s a link to a bunch of screens. So, without further ado, lets talk about what’s really important today: The Baldur’s Gate Trilogy.

This is essentially a largish patch for Baldur’s Gate 1 & 2 and their expansions. It updates Baldur’s Gate to have BG 2 quality graphics and presentation (and gameplay), and allows for a host of other mods. The number of cool mods and add-ons is absolutely amazing.

Saw Wall-E last night, it was very good. Just saw Wanted, and it was god-awful. Really shitty. Off to do Flash homework, later.

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Mass Effect, Paragon Style

Posted by deckard47 on June 24, 2008

I actually have a whole bunch of things I want to write about, but I can’t remember them right now. So I’ll just write about Mass Effect. I just finished my second playthrough, on Hard mode, as a Soldier. Being a Soldier is boring, as long as you buy the special Specter gear and use the right ammo, you never die. Of course, watching mon frere play through the game, on Normal, as a Vanguard, I realized how incredibly hard the game is. Admittedly, he doesn’t try as hard to completely master silly and badly designed control schemes, but he still tries. At every turn, he is amazed by how weird the controls are, or how annoying a certain aspect of design is. And he’s never wrong. Still, since he played it for about 6 or 7 hours yesterday, he probably likes it, right? It’s impressive, I guess, how shitty their control scheme and documentation is (when he first flew out into the different star systems, I was reminded of a certain comic. They just shove you in there, and let you drown.

Anyway, as regards finishing the game as a good Commander Sheperd, it’s a totally different experience. When you [SPOILER – SPOILER – SPOILER] choose whether or not to kill the council [END SPOILER], the repercussions are huge. I mean, I realized that it might change how you have that last conversation, but I didn’t realize that it would change the people involved in that way. Very, very cool. So, the question is, what character class next? I’m thinking Engineer or Adept, just because it’ll be a big change from soldier. I guess we’ll see. Any suggestions?

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Blog Banter: Digital Distribution – Loving and Hating it

Posted by deckard47 on June 21, 2008

I download so many demos of games, full games, and episodic games these days, it’s hard to remember when this kind of thing was impossible. Of course, back when all we had was a 386, Simant, and Doom, we wouldn’t have been allowed to use the internet. Even when Counterstrike originally came out, we had a 56k modem, and it was always a struggle to play through matches, hoping to go unmolested by lag. And downloading games? Forget it.

Now, I have a fast connection, and I love what it allows me to do. Sure, boxed copies make me a bit nostalgic, but the ability to snap up a game on release day without braving crazy gaming people at the store (although you often have to brave a very slow download) is fantastic. I picked up Bioshock on the first day, and was playing it about an hour after starting the download. The same goes for The Witcher, Penny Arcade Adventures, and others. Sure, there are a few problems in the various downloadable systems out there (Steam, Stardock, etc.), but fixes are being introduced all the time. The only thing you might miss from an actual boxed edition is the manual, and the box itself, I guess.

For most games, this doesn’t matter. I love some of my old games, and some of my new ones, but the only reason to get a boxed version is to get a Special Edition. Unfortunately, there’s no way I’ll pay 70 or 80 dollars for a little pewter toy and some bad extras. I expect quality box pack-ins, for a regular price. Of course, I barely ever got my wish. I can count on the fingers of both hands the box art and doodads that were worth it: the first and foremost would be all Bioware games (before KOTOR). They had cool little cloth maps, great manuals (oh, the Baldur’s Gate 2 manual, so much like a D&D Rulebook), and they came in those badass big boxes. While we’re on the subject, I loved the big boxes. They had huge foldouts and great art. Along with those games I’d include… nothing else, really. As I recall, flight sims and strategy games were always supposed to have cool stuff, but those weren’t for me.

In the end, the possibility of scratched discs, shitty padding, bad pack-ins, and of course, lost CDs, make digital distribution a godsend. Sure, I miss my miniature Monstrous Manual and silly maps, but the triumphs of a couple of games can’t offset the crimes committed by all the others. Look at Mass Effect, Freedom Force or any new PC or console game, really. You’d think they were worried about scaring us with interesting stuff and a comprehensive guide. So many games are so poorly documented: I love to read the unnecessary backstory in manuals, it makes me happy, in a very geeky way.

In the end, I couldn’t be more happy that digital distribution is here to stay. Maybe they could ship me a map or two, to make up for all those authentication problems?

Welcome, welcome to the 6th installment of Blog Banter, the monthly blogging extravaganza headed by bs angel! Blog Banter involves our cozy community of enthusiastic gaming bloggers, a common topic, and a week to post articles pertaining to said topic. The results are quite entertaining and can range from deep insight to ROFLMAO. Any questions about Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!


Check out these other Blog Banter articles! Living Epic, Silvercublogger, Mahogany Finish, Video Game Sandwich, thoughts and rants, weblog.probablynot.com, XboxOZ360, Zath!, Delayed Responsibility, Gamer Unit, Hawty McBloggy, Triage Effect

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Dragon Age Dated!

Posted by deckard47 on June 19, 2008

Yes, it looks like Dragon Age will be coming out 1st quarter next year, which I can safely say is both good and bad. Good, because I love Bioware, and I’d love to see how they go into Dragon Age, having just made a game like Mass Effect (will the conversation be different, better, will the combat be solo or squad-based, etc?). Bad, because I think it’s PC only. And me with my little last-gen Macbook Pro. So sad.

Secondly, you should all go rent “Never Back Down.” Seriously. It’s amazing, it was obviously written by a creepy, dorky 45 year-old screenwriter who wishes shit like that happened to him in high school (and who thinks all high school parties are like Hollywood sex-pool parties). Plus, it teaches us that beating the shit out of people is ok, if you girlfriend, teacher, and mother say so. Plus, girls are like walking sexy-bikini-dolls, and black people are honorable teachers (think something like the awfully written and stereotyped Mr. Miyagi, but stereotyped in a different way and played by Djimon Honsou), DJs, announcers, or nonexistent. Oh, and the main villain looks scarily like my little brother. Crazy. It’s time to go weave some dreams, wish me luck.

Also, shit, DeepCrow!

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Screens and more Screens

Posted by deckard47 on June 15, 2008

I put a bunch of cool new screens up in the Flickr thingy, from Legendary (formerly and amusingly called “Legendary: The Box”), to Warhammer 40K 2, to Infinite Undiscovery. Go check it out. More importantly, we have some very seksy pictures from Star Ocean 4. We have a giant lizard attack, a beautiful spacescape, a fight with a bow, and, my favorite, a moody gas station moment. Very, very cool. Check it out:

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Gamefly, Wii, and 360 update

Posted by deckard47 on June 14, 2008

So the first two of my Gamefly games showed up today: Metroid Corruption and Culdcept Saga. Both of these games are fun (Metroid is definitely more fun), but they both feel a bit simple, for lack of a better word. Metroid is, in many ways, amazing. The graphics are cool, the control is great, the settings are interesting and varied, and it’s just a fun shooter. Yet its plot and storytelling remind me of Halo 3, in the worst possible ways. I mean, they’re a little bit better, but for the most part, any joy I derive from the story comes from the info I read about my cool fellow bounty hunters. I know that many games use logs, encyclopedia entries and such to keep you in the story, but those games (Mass Effect, Bioshock, ACP2) had a far more compelling narrative, I feel. Yes, even AVP2.

Culdcept Saga’s problems are much more obvious. I like the board game aspect, I like cards, I like leveling my spaces up, but I hate the characters, “plot,” “acting,” and art, in many cases. I know, that’s not what the game is about, but why spend money on that shit if it is going to suck this much? Spend it elsewhere. I basically skip all of that stuff as it is now presented in the game. I watched the first two long cutscenes, and I sure wasn’t impressed. Oh well, Devil May Cry 4 will show up when I return one of these games: talk about great plotlines and acting!

The Wii is awesome, although I use a VGA plug for it, same as my 360. This means I switch them a lot, and I’m worried I’ll strip the screws. I’m gonna order a VGA extender, I think, so that if I break something, it’s the extender, not the cable. The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age is coming along nicely. I’ve just started making my way through the land of the Roharim (or whatever the spelling is). Love that plot. Mon frere has just reached the Citedal in Mass Effect. Watching him fight enemies, I realize just how unintuitive and badly designed the interface is. Fighting, moving, everything is designed in the most ass-backwards way possible. Again, I long for the PC version, with its mouse, and more importantly, more than 3 fucking buttons to map everything to. That’s about it from here, although I keep on telling myself I need to try playing NWN2, even if it breaks my computer. We’ll see.

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Surprise, Surprise, Surprise

Posted by deckard47 on June 11, 2008

I’ve spent all morning hooking our Wii up to an adapter that will play it in some kind of fantastical resmolution on my monitor, and I just got it working. Fantastic. Even better, there is a new expansion coming out for NWN2. Wait a minute, you might say, that game was kinda buggy and junky and lacking in style, character and personality. Well, yes, but it is DND, and it is Obsidian, so I still wanted to like it for a long time. It seems like my hopes may have been answered. NWN2: Storm of Zehir, looks to bring NWN2 a little bit closer to the old BG II, in terms of gameplay. It’ll feature full party customization (I’m not sure what that’ll add over the original, but I hope it will allow us to do everything we could do 5 fucking years ago, dungeon crawling (I actually have no idea what this means, since there were dungeons in NWN2… maybe you crawl now, as opposed to walking?), and a more open and explorable world map. Honestly, I can’t play the game, my computer isn’t up to it. Maybe I’ll wait till they make a good 4th edition game. That could be very cool. Anyway, interesting news.

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New RPGs, New Fun!

Posted by deckard47 on June 11, 2008

So there was a big to-do somewhere in Japan, thrown by Microsoft, trying to convince us that someone besides Bioware is providing Microsoft customers with good RPGs. Interestingly, they succeeded, for the most part. Last Remnant looks cool, although it suffers from the same problems Lost Odyssey suffered from: that Squeenix look combined with Unreal 3. I know Unreal 3 is a fancy engine, and I know that Square Enix has perfected their fantasy tech/magic look for multiple games, but it all looks some damn similar… I just played an hour or so of The Third Age (that awesome LotR game I wrote about last time), and although the game is pretty soulless, playing an RPG not set in some whimsical magitech world feels incredibly refreshing. This is why I like the Penny Arcade game so much, this most recent LotR acquisition, and the recently installed (but not yet played) Divine Divinity. It’s why I want to go back and re-install Baldur’s Gate II for the 10th time. Oh well, I still like the look of last remnant.

The same goes for Star Ocean 4, although there isn’t even any gameplay in the new video, it just looks fancy. Still it looks neat, and it’s an RPG, so I’m still interested. I wish I wasn’t so easy.

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Fly!

Posted by deckard47 on June 9, 2008

I’ve gotten a bit farther in PA: The Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness, and it has sucked me in, as RPGs are want to do, regardless of how good they are. Speaking of which, I just signed up for Gamefly and got their special deal, 3 games, first month, on the cheap. My first three games will be Metroid Prime: Corruption, ICO, and The Lord of the Rings, The Third Age. I expect all of you to know what the first two are. I’ve never tried either, and I’m sure they will both be excellent.

The third is a guilty, guilty pleasure of mine. Imagine a Final Fantasy game (circa number 7 or 8), set in the Lord of the Rings (movie) world. You have elves, humans, dwarves, and they play the typical parts of mages, rangers, fighters and everywhere in between. You travel through linear (more so than most games these days, even Final Fantasy games) areas, doing awesome random encounters, picking up armor, weapons and powerups, and working through the back story of the Fellowship storyline. The plot is (in my humble opinion) ludicrous and for that reason, entertaining. The battles are pretty tough, but the game is as simple as an “RPG” can be. I’d call it crappy and cheap, but it leverages the movie franchise in a way that no other game has done, and I was amazed by it when I rented it for a week. Now, I’ve got it for as long as I want, and I’m going to finish it, I swear. I might even use my Wii to play it in slightly higher definition on my monitor. I’m so excited!

Where was I… Penny Arcade. The game shows a truly amazing dislike for the homeless, and the humor that any person who reads the comics will recognize. When I realized I could upgrade my weapons, they had me. Once a game does that, it is very hard to make me dislike said game. I can’t think of one, right now, that has ever done so.

Soon, I’ll be wandering through lonely halls, escorting that weird horn dude and his connected-at-the hand companion. I’m really looking forward to it. Finally, I’ve just started a game of Civ IV: Beyond the Sword. I realize why I was strangely drawn to Civ Revolution on the 360: a lot of the stuff in Civ Iv annoys me. The fact that I have to automate units to get by is annoying. I like micromanaging, but if I didn’t automate my workers and fishing boats, it’d take a week to get through one turn. Also, they’ve taken away the throne room progression and viewing screen. Anyone who played Civ II knows what I’m talking about. That was my main reason for playing that game. Now it’s gone…

Oh, and Owen and I made up for our bad movie choices. Gone Baby, Gone was quite good, I thought, despite being a bit silly toward the end. All I can say is, don’t fuck with Ed Harris, he’s fucking crazy. Oh, and Casey Affleck makes a convincing private detective badass. Good for him. Oh, and that scene which ends with Casey Affleck being chased by the woman? Scary shit.

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Wii Update!

Posted by deckard47 on June 7, 2008

So a mysterious message asked for a Wii update. Here it is. Owen picked up a Wi at the local college bookstore, they had it for 250 bucks flat, which as you know, is fucking amazing. It came with Mario Galaxy, and we’ve since picked up a second controller and Mario Kart.

Mario Kart is very fun, it’s kinda sad we don’t have the double karts, but I love the rest of, so that’s ok. The new bikes and tricks are great, and almost all of the tracks are awesome. Still, there are some problems. The GBA and SNES tracks are shit. Like bad. They’re all flat and featureless. Nintendo, either gives those maps some fucking topography other than flat all over, or pick other maps. This isn’t Grand Turismo or some Formula One shit. I want jumps and tunnels and giant dinosaurs. Multiplayer is excellent, although playing with a GCN controller is not nearly as good as it should be. Oh well. Oh, and it is easier to get knocked from 1st to 12th in this game, but it’s manageable. If you’re a Kart fan, you should be able to suck it up and deal with it.

Mario Galaxy is also great. To tell the truth, I got Mario 64 for my DS, and was quickly bored. Unlike that game, Galaxy is beautiful, interesting, and the art indulges less in absolutely crazy stuff, and more in cool, pretty crazy stuff. The gravity changing and different suits (Bee suit!) are cool, and the game has the cute, weird Mario vibe down. More importantly, it’s the closest thing to “magical” I’ve ever seen a game get. It makes the Little Prince look boring. Rocketing from planet to planet, changing gravity, it’s all wonderful. Maybe Zelda should take a hint and shake things up a bit.

Aside from the Wii, I downloaded the Bad Company and Civ. Revolutions demos. Bad Company is actually quite bad. The controls are not nearly as precise or sensible as they should be, deformable terrain adds nothing to the play. It’s like a crappy amalgam of Warhawk and COD4. I don’t care that it’s Battlefield, it sucks. Did all the other Battlefield games suck this much?

Civ. Revolutions is fun. It’s kinda ugly, and kinda badly designed, but it’s still CIv., so like GC II, I can play it (just the demo, mind you) for hours, and have done so, fully intending to play some other, “better” game. I recommend it to people who think Civilizations is to fiddly, or people who have a 360, or people who like fun stuff.

Owen and I have been on an unfortunate bad movie binge. My friends know that I often indulge in bad movies. If it weren’t for me, they wouldn’t have seen Blade Runner, Raising Arizona, Army of Darkness, or any number of other bad movies. Anyway, Owen and I thought we were renting two good movies: We Own the Night, and Boarding Gate. Wrong. Boarding Gate is stupid, offensive, and full of bad acting. It also has Michael Madsen, which is a bad sign. Because he is a human monster.

We Own the Night started out alright, and then descended into stupidity. The writers obviously got lost, or drunk, or died, just before the chase in the rain. The movie could have ended there for all I care. The plot and dialogue after that point were written by a child, I think. Finally, it was apparent that the writer had no idea what to do with Eva Mendes. Maybe his thoughts went like this “um, ok, we need a Sexy woman. Um, Eva Mendes. Now, wee need to relegate her to an almost pointless and shittily written role. Fantastic.” Blech.

I’m considering a Gamefly account, that way I can rent single player games, and not feel like I’m wasting money. I really want to try Metroid 3 for the Wii. Also, tonight I am cooking pesto, because I rule. Later.

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Get Me Out of Here

Posted by deckard47 on June 1, 2008

Quick post this time, as I often write. I’m absolutely stunned, by the selfishness, unintentional cruelty, and petty grasping exhibited by some people. As Nick Cave would say, people just ain’t no good. I guess I figured this all along, but this weekend, I’ve figured out how true it is. People are just bad, in many ways.

Otherwise, The Wire Season 2 is quite excellent, Run Lola Run is awful when it is dubbed in English. I’m looking forward to getting back into Mass Effect (my good and virtuous new spacer is the antithesis of her alter ego, my first heroin), and Warhawk still calls to me. I you see deckard47 1, 2, and 3 flying around the Archipelago, look the fuck out.

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