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A short but sweet article on moral ambiguity in The Old Republic. You know, as much as I found Mass Effect: Arrival and Dragon Age 2 to be flawed, this is attracting me enough to kick the tires when it comes out.
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Playing heavily into Sims 3 lately, even split my legacy family in two and sent the younger brother off to start a new legacy. I'm enjoying the fact that I'm probably at generation seven or eight and my core neighborhood hasn't shown signs of blowing up yet. I don't feel like extensively documenting my game with screenshots, but as a rough synopsis:

Janet Martinez: I really should have documented the drama. While she was pregnant with her second son by a hot-headed, inappropriate, and commitment-phobic husband, he made a pass at one of her moms at a birthday party. Things quickly degenerated from there with a mutual insulting match, a crying toddler, and a mess of unhappy party guests. Of course, it made working with the toddler more difficult.

Michael Martinez: Married the maid and moved off to another community.

Used tax return funds to buy Portal 2. I'm loving the lush and decrepit environments and black humor. I've been trying to stay away from spoilers so I won't add any of my own. The puzzles so far feel more cognitive and less twitch than the original.

Nibbling my way through NWN and Dragon Age 2 playthroughs over the weekend as well.
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I'm working through my second playthrough of Dragon Age II and feeling many of the flaws noted by Ben Yahtzee Croshaw. I still find it to be an OK game with some interesting writing and a surprisingly deep narrative, but the fact that you'll see just about everything in the game at least twice, and a relative absence of tactical strategy disappoints me. I feel similarly about MMORPGs right now, as most play tends to reduce down to mashing three or for abilities until the mob dies.

So, I found GOG.com which had a dirt-cheap Neverwinter Nights, which just happened to be (mostly) compatible with Crossover Games so I don't need to touch Boot Camp. Substantially less voice talent, but substantially more variety in the design of the world as well.
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Some character thoughts after completing Act 1 of Dragon Age II:

Mild spoilers. )
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Kind of makes me glad that I didn't get too far into playing the version of Starcraft I picked up years ago in the KMart budget bin. I get rather annoyed at casual romanticizing the American Civil War. The plot seems to be driven by "what kind of cool battles can we set up?" along with personalizing conflicts as being about grudges between a handful of key people.

In this respect, I'm a much bigger fan of EVE Online lore as the factions are extrapolations of 20th century political conflicts: manifest destiny, corporatism, European liberalism, and post-colonialism. In that game lore, individual characters get steamroled by ideological and economic differences.

Also since I'm in a bit of an anti-WoW mood, I can't get past how Blizzard retreads old material. Kerrigan is roughly equal to Sylvanas. And Arthas doesn't hold a candle to Moorcock's Elric now that I finally get to read the Elric stories.

Speaking of Moorcock I'm finally reading him after spending years pointing out that Tolkien is not the only influence, and sometimes not even the primary influence on modern fantasy and fantasy-based RPGs. My previous encounters with him was the story London Bone and his sympathetic interview of Andrea Dworkin (which I unfortunately can't find).

The Elric stories are pulpy, raw, and by Moorcock's own admission, not terribly good. (He does have moments where his prose is excellent though.) I'm not certain the influence is as direct as Tolkien as a result, but Gary Gygax was fairly explicit about pulling ideas from Lieber and Moorcock. From there a bunch of ideas like cursed swords, law and chaos, antiheroes and barbarians made their way fairly broadly into fantasy.
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Still debating over whether to get Sims 3. But a COH makeover.

So the Original:

From CoH Avatars

Read more... )
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Honestly, I don't know how much time I'll spend on the game but CoH has something that I've really felt lacking from WoW: character customization. And I've found that I can get generally good results from a few minor tweaks.

Read more... )
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Feministe has a disturbing article about harassment of game designer Jade Raymond. Things like this really make me hate the gaming community.
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I got a half-day off today, so I ended up kicking the tires on some old games that I'm thinking about buying. Given that I'm a cheap as heck and buy from the bargain shelf. My Mac was the "low end" offering when I bought it three years ago. But hey, if Go can survive 2,000 years, why not an RPG? I also talk about A Tale in the Desert

Read more... )
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Heh, I've been working a lot of overtime and so I feel entitled to spluge a bit on a game, the question is which one that is friendly for my aging mac and fits into my budget.

I'm thinking about kicking the tires on A Tale in the Desert which I've heard some good things about. Also I'm having a hankering for Neverwinter Nights but again, I'll probably try the Demo. A part of me is sucked into the Geneforge trilogy, but I'm a bit bummed in that I'm 2/3rds of the way through Avernum 4 and feeling really really bored with it.


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