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Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -
Warning, this post has a huge 'dear diary' factor for which I apologize but I felt the need to share.  

 
My morning is typical.
I awake from sleep believing the door bell just rang so I walk down the stairs, fighting and wrestling myself into some clothes, and find out I'm having one of these lucid dreams again.
They're becoming pretty frequent.
As I'm downstairs anyway I settle down with a cup of coffee and the morning papers.
I converse with myself as I go through the headlines that grab my attention and I'm somewhat sad at their level of importance, or lack off, when I flip the last page.
Walking over to the garden door I drag away the curtains and spot a fat cat, it's black and white and stares at me with the most wicked grin I ever saw.
Is this my chess shire cat? Will I follow it into my own realm of madness?

I intend to find out, unlock the door and open it wide, another flash of gray and black shoots past me and it is then I realize my own kitten has also taken note of the intruder.
I watch and sigh as the giant black and white cat is intimidated by the presence and fanatical hissing of my little kitten (she's barely a year and she owns the neighborhood), my dreams of a Wonderland disappear as the beast turns tail and disappears through the hedge.
My kitten looks up, zigzags through my legs and lets out a approving meow.
If she only knew what she just cost me.
With broken expectations I climb the stairs up again, having entrusted the protection of the garden realm to my fierce kitten, and go enter my room but not before stopping by the bathroom.
The mirror shows me, still me, and I try to brush my annoying curls into submission.
A mission doomed to fail I realize after minutes and I give up, irritated by my hair's reluctance to be tamed.
The computer is already softly snoring and beeping, I seem to automatically press the 'On' button with my toes every time I wake, and I pull up my chair to check the morning gaming news.

 
Another conversation with myself occurs and after discussing the future of some of my most beloved franchises I must note, with some disdain, that my inner self is much less of a cynic than I am.
I'd call it disappointed though, I'm way too done with this generation and the thought is confirmed when I glance at the Xbox360 joystick plugged into the USB port of my computer.
Where I once would never have associated a controller with a pc it seems the fact is that my recently purchased controller has not been used once on the console it owes its name to.
I sigh, nothing seems to make sense anymore as I wait for my favorite games to be remade or continued.
Remembering what started my gaming drive is easy, the entry barrier was much smaller back then and a lot of households dabbled in home consoles ranging from MSX to Snes, but trying to remember why I'm still gaming right now is a whole other matter.
I want to be blown away and I have been, The Witcher 2 made damn sure of that, but back then every game seemed to be a unique experience.
Sequels were highly anticipated and played with renewed fervor but I can't seem to muster that same kind of enthusiasm anymore for most titles.
"Exceptions, there are." Said Yoda in my head and I must agree, I won't speak against that.
For me this generation started when my little brother bought a Xbox360 at launch and convinced his sister, the fanatical Nintendo fangirl, to try out two games on it.
Saint's Row was a lot of fun and I remember with a smile how I made a typical trailer trash kind of guy, complete with beer gut, mullet and only a pair of jeans on his body, armed him with a shotgun and had loads of fun doing just about nothing.
(Saint's Row is now one of my favorite franchises, just so you know)
It was just another San Andreas though I told him, wrongly so but I would not learn that until later, and asked him to boot up the second game.
I waited for the intro and company logo's to finish and I felt a longing to return to my own room and play my beloved gamecube, Phantasy Star Online was waiting for me to three hit my way into a finger injury with its infuriating yet so satisfying gameplay that promised the prize of rare and powerful weapons, but I stayed put and I'm glad I did.
The Elder Scrolls? Oblivion? I remember playing a Morrowind of some sorts and enjoying it, but not its extensive load screens, so I focus on the screen a little more in a effort to understand the game.

It is not until I find myself wielding a sword, faced against a giant rat, that I understand what the power of this generation is.
I sweep at the beast and blood flies everywhere, as did pieces of the rat as it crashed into a wall.
Stepping into the dark hallways my finger slips when another rat scurries towards me in the dark and my character fires a breath taking fireball.
Engulfing the room in its fiery glow as it crashes into the rat as it tried to lunge towards me.


I smile, remembering the slaughter that sucked me into the next generation and made me buy my first non Nintendo console, but as I sit behind my pc I contemplate how fast this generation seemed to go.
The Xbox360 launched in 2005, meaning we're up to seven years of this current generation, and I'm starting to doubt if we ever reach the next level.
I remember this year's E3 with a sour face and quickly click open my Steam library.
Even with 87 games in my library I can't muster the will to play any of them right now.
There's games that I want to replay (Witcher 2) but the memory is still too fresh and there's games I can't play because I don't feel like getting sucked in for another week or two (The Darkness 2).

Besides that there's games that have amazing ideas but seriously lack in story, gameplay or other departments so I decide not to boot up Renegade Ops or Duke Nukem Forever and close Steam again.
Sitting behind my desk I wonder where my will to game went, my only longings right now being a round of Defense of the Ancients 2 or doing a quick skirmish in Lord of the Rings Online.
Am I spoiled? Are we all? Yes, I think we are.
I love high quality games, like The Witcher 2 recently, but it does seem to totally kill my enthusiasm for anything lesser.
I appreciate the games, for sure, but after seeing Lord of the Rings you just won't settle for Eragon.
After being drowned in the worlds of Batman Arkham City, The Witcher 2 and Metro 2033 I feel a emptiness when I start up a game like Frozen Synapse or Magicka.
Somehow their concepts and worlds don't seem to pull me in anymore and their selling point, the gameplay, loses its charm way quicker than it should have.
 

Perhaps I'm just getting older, growing up in a way, and I confess I have enough to do on a daily basis that I should still cut down on the time I spend gaming or on gaming forums.
That's silly to think though, what with laptops and smart phones allowing you access to such things on the strangest of places and moments.
I think there's nothing to do but to wait and eventually buy another game that enthralls me completely.
My mind shoots to The Legend of Zelda, both A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time, a game series that has a deep personal meaning to me and is one of the few games that stand for huge points in my life.
A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time meant a new world to me, a new experience and a new boundary broken.
It was a feeling so complete I would not experience it until many years later when I played Mass Effect 1.
The thought of the space epic makes me think of myself.
I have two tattoos for my favorite games, I have a Triforce on my left shoulder blade/upper back and the N7 logo on my right upper arm.
I've been wondering at times if I did not make a wrong choice in getting these but I remember fondly how Zelda is my link to my deceased mother and how Mass Effect 1 showed me the galaxy and the power of storytelling.
Regret is not applicable here.
Sighing heavily I feel kind of relieved being able to think all of this through and my other, somewhat annoying, side has seemingly retreated into its cave of despair and angst.
   
I reach for my cell phone and dial a number from the list, while opening a browser on my pc with my other hand.
Just as the phone gets answered I press enter on my search query.
The conversation is brief but productive and I have made an appointment with the tattoo artist to discuss a new design when I put the phone down a minute later.
Games are a part of me, of who I am, and I am proud for that fact.
I never wanted a tattoo but these two, soon to be three, have been such inspirations and eye openers to me that I found that this was my way to show off that appreciation.
As I browse art work and designs for Geralt of Rivia's Witcher's medallion I drift off thinking where the tattoo should be set and I realize just how much I love the Witcher's universe.

Without extensive explaining I'll just say I had a blast playing The Witcher 1 but playing The Witcher 2 just recently was amazing.
I'm a Nintendo fan girl, I love Zelda and I adore Mass Effect, but The Witcher 2 has knocked them off their thrones and taken first place.
Its world was alive, vibrant and while still bound to the limitations of the hardware and engine it was amazing to behold.
Seeing that level of perfection achieved was hard to swallow when you think of other games that struggle to be mediocre.
I make it a point to enjoy videogames and appreciate their being nonetheless, even if I can't stand the game or lost interest.
The gaming world can be a happier place when we put more faith in new plans or extensive sequels to existing franchises.
I'm not the one who gets to judge if there's room for another shooter on the modern war market, nor am I the one who gets to tell developers that "GODDAMNIT STOP MAKING MMO'S OUT OF MY BELOVED FRANCHISES" but gosh, I kind of wish I was at times you know?

Every game ends though, even the ones without story have game over points.
Win a round, lose a round, get busted by the cops or crash your car beyond repair, eventually there's going to be a spot where the game has to (re)load and that's our sign to get the fuck out before we are swallowed anew.
Just one level, just one dungeon, just one more round.
Where games seem to end my mind continues and it is not uncommon for me to scour every piece of information behind a game's universe.
That's just me though, I have learned that when games (or books or series) end, I have the power to continue on.
I can sit down and write that fan fiction, continue that unexplored side story or better yet, come up with my own world.
And I did, oh how I did.
But that's a story for another time, as I hear my kitten outside hissing and screeching as if she's imitating the Balrog in the Mines of Moria.

Believe in yourself people, believe in your choices and never doubt your own creativity.
These games we adore were made by people too, they're not gods or such, they're as flawed as you and me.
And one day soon, all of you will find their passion and wrest it into submission so we can create what others don't.

Art saves.
 

Too long didn't read version:
#1 Edited by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -
Warning, this post has a huge 'dear diary' factor for which I apologize but I felt the need to share.  

 
My morning is typical.
I awake from sleep believing the door bell just rang so I walk down the stairs, fighting and wrestling myself into some clothes, and find out I'm having one of these lucid dreams again.
They're becoming pretty frequent.
As I'm downstairs anyway I settle down with a cup of coffee and the morning papers.
I converse with myself as I go through the headlines that grab my attention and I'm somewhat sad at their level of importance, or lack off, when I flip the last page.
Walking over to the garden door I drag away the curtains and spot a fat cat, it's black and white and stares at me with the most wicked grin I ever saw.
Is this my chess shire cat? Will I follow it into my own realm of madness?

I intend to find out, unlock the door and open it wide, another flash of gray and black shoots past me and it is then I realize my own kitten has also taken note of the intruder.
I watch and sigh as the giant black and white cat is intimidated by the presence and fanatical hissing of my little kitten (she's barely a year and she owns the neighborhood), my dreams of a Wonderland disappear as the beast turns tail and disappears through the hedge.
My kitten looks up, zigzags through my legs and lets out a approving meow.
If she only knew what she just cost me.
With broken expectations I climb the stairs up again, having entrusted the protection of the garden realm to my fierce kitten, and go enter my room but not before stopping by the bathroom.
The mirror shows me, still me, and I try to brush my annoying curls into submission.
A mission doomed to fail I realize after minutes and I give up, irritated by my hair's reluctance to be tamed.
The computer is already softly snoring and beeping, I seem to automatically press the 'On' button with my toes every time I wake, and I pull up my chair to check the morning gaming news.

 
Another conversation with myself occurs and after discussing the future of some of my most beloved franchises I must note, with some disdain, that my inner self is much less of a cynic than I am.
I'd call it disappointed though, I'm way too done with this generation and the thought is confirmed when I glance at the Xbox360 joystick plugged into the USB port of my computer.
Where I once would never have associated a controller with a pc it seems the fact is that my recently purchased controller has not been used once on the console it owes its name to.
I sigh, nothing seems to make sense anymore as I wait for my favorite games to be remade or continued.
Remembering what started my gaming drive is easy, the entry barrier was much smaller back then and a lot of households dabbled in home consoles ranging from MSX to Snes, but trying to remember why I'm still gaming right now is a whole other matter.
I want to be blown away and I have been, The Witcher 2 made damn sure of that, but back then every game seemed to be a unique experience.
Sequels were highly anticipated and played with renewed fervor but I can't seem to muster that same kind of enthusiasm anymore for most titles.
"Exceptions, there are." Said Yoda in my head and I must agree, I won't speak against that.
For me this generation started when my little brother bought a Xbox360 at launch and convinced his sister, the fanatical Nintendo fangirl, to try out two games on it.
Saint's Row was a lot of fun and I remember with a smile how I made a typical trailer trash kind of guy, complete with beer gut, mullet and only a pair of jeans on his body, armed him with a shotgun and had loads of fun doing just about nothing.
(Saint's Row is now one of my favorite franchises, just so you know)
It was just another San Andreas though I told him, wrongly so but I would not learn that until later, and asked him to boot up the second game.
I waited for the intro and company logo's to finish and I felt a longing to return to my own room and play my beloved gamecube, Phantasy Star Online was waiting for me to three hit my way into a finger injury with its infuriating yet so satisfying gameplay that promised the prize of rare and powerful weapons, but I stayed put and I'm glad I did.
The Elder Scrolls? Oblivion? I remember playing a Morrowind of some sorts and enjoying it, but not its extensive load screens, so I focus on the screen a little more in a effort to understand the game.

It is not until I find myself wielding a sword, faced against a giant rat, that I understand what the power of this generation is.
I sweep at the beast and blood flies everywhere, as did pieces of the rat as it crashed into a wall.
Stepping into the dark hallways my finger slips when another rat scurries towards me in the dark and my character fires a breath taking fireball.
Engulfing the room in its fiery glow as it crashes into the rat as it tried to lunge towards me.


I smile, remembering the slaughter that sucked me into the next generation and made me buy my first non Nintendo console, but as I sit behind my pc I contemplate how fast this generation seemed to go.
The Xbox360 launched in 2005, meaning we're up to seven years of this current generation, and I'm starting to doubt if we ever reach the next level.
I remember this year's E3 with a sour face and quickly click open my Steam library.
Even with 87 games in my library I can't muster the will to play any of them right now.
There's games that I want to replay (Witcher 2) but the memory is still too fresh and there's games I can't play because I don't feel like getting sucked in for another week or two (The Darkness 2).

Besides that there's games that have amazing ideas but seriously lack in story, gameplay or other departments so I decide not to boot up Renegade Ops or Duke Nukem Forever and close Steam again.
Sitting behind my desk I wonder where my will to game went, my only longings right now being a round of Defense of the Ancients 2 or doing a quick skirmish in Lord of the Rings Online.
Am I spoiled? Are we all? Yes, I think we are.
I love high quality games, like The Witcher 2 recently, but it does seem to totally kill my enthusiasm for anything lesser.
I appreciate the games, for sure, but after seeing Lord of the Rings you just won't settle for Eragon.
After being drowned in the worlds of Batman Arkham City, The Witcher 2 and Metro 2033 I feel a emptiness when I start up a game like Frozen Synapse or Magicka.
Somehow their concepts and worlds don't seem to pull me in anymore and their selling point, the gameplay, loses its charm way quicker than it should have.
 

Perhaps I'm just getting older, growing up in a way, and I confess I have enough to do on a daily basis that I should still cut down on the time I spend gaming or on gaming forums.
That's silly to think though, what with laptops and smart phones allowing you access to such things on the strangest of places and moments.
I think there's nothing to do but to wait and eventually buy another game that enthralls me completely.
My mind shoots to The Legend of Zelda, both A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time, a game series that has a deep personal meaning to me and is one of the few games that stand for huge points in my life.
A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time meant a new world to me, a new experience and a new boundary broken.
It was a feeling so complete I would not experience it until many years later when I played Mass Effect 1.
The thought of the space epic makes me think of myself.
I have two tattoos for my favorite games, I have a Triforce on my left shoulder blade/upper back and the N7 logo on my right upper arm.
I've been wondering at times if I did not make a wrong choice in getting these but I remember fondly how Zelda is my link to my deceased mother and how Mass Effect 1 showed me the galaxy and the power of storytelling.
Regret is not applicable here.
Sighing heavily I feel kind of relieved being able to think all of this through and my other, somewhat annoying, side has seemingly retreated into its cave of despair and angst.
   
I reach for my cell phone and dial a number from the list, while opening a browser on my pc with my other hand.
Just as the phone gets answered I press enter on my search query.
The conversation is brief but productive and I have made an appointment with the tattoo artist to discuss a new design when I put the phone down a minute later.
Games are a part of me, of who I am, and I am proud for that fact.
I never wanted a tattoo but these two, soon to be three, have been such inspirations and eye openers to me that I found that this was my way to show off that appreciation.
As I browse art work and designs for Geralt of Rivia's Witcher's medallion I drift off thinking where the tattoo should be set and I realize just how much I love the Witcher's universe.

Without extensive explaining I'll just say I had a blast playing The Witcher 1 but playing The Witcher 2 just recently was amazing.
I'm a Nintendo fan girl, I love Zelda and I adore Mass Effect, but The Witcher 2 has knocked them off their thrones and taken first place.
Its world was alive, vibrant and while still bound to the limitations of the hardware and engine it was amazing to behold.
Seeing that level of perfection achieved was hard to swallow when you think of other games that struggle to be mediocre.
I make it a point to enjoy videogames and appreciate their being nonetheless, even if I can't stand the game or lost interest.
The gaming world can be a happier place when we put more faith in new plans or extensive sequels to existing franchises.
I'm not the one who gets to judge if there's room for another shooter on the modern war market, nor am I the one who gets to tell developers that "GODDAMNIT STOP MAKING MMO'S OUT OF MY BELOVED FRANCHISES" but gosh, I kind of wish I was at times you know?

Every game ends though, even the ones without story have game over points.
Win a round, lose a round, get busted by the cops or crash your car beyond repair, eventually there's going to be a spot where the game has to (re)load and that's our sign to get the fuck out before we are swallowed anew.
Just one level, just one dungeon, just one more round.
Where games seem to end my mind continues and it is not uncommon for me to scour every piece of information behind a game's universe.
That's just me though, I have learned that when games (or books or series) end, I have the power to continue on.
I can sit down and write that fan fiction, continue that unexplored side story or better yet, come up with my own world.
And I did, oh how I did.
But that's a story for another time, as I hear my kitten outside hissing and screeching as if she's imitating the Balrog in the Mines of Moria.

Believe in yourself people, believe in your choices and never doubt your own creativity.
These games we adore were made by people too, they're not gods or such, they're as flawed as you and me.
And one day soon, all of you will find their passion and wrest it into submission so we can create what others don't.

Art saves.
 

Too long didn't read version:
#2 Posted by Gizmo (5389 posts) -

This totally reminds me of Jeff's award winning Persona 4 : Arena review idea on the Bombcast.

"It was Monday, and my finger really hurt..."

#3 Posted by falserelic (5334 posts) -

I love games aswell I've been playing them when I was a kid. Sense my brothers was born in the earlier 80's, and I was the youngest me born in 92. They showed me abunch of old classic games they played in there generation. It was fun watching games evolve over the years. I still miss the old ps2 days abit. I had more fun playing games in that generation then I do now.

Nowadays I just find alot of games to be boring as shit.

#4 Edited by jewunit (1054 posts) -

New Games Journalism! Tim Rogers would be pleased.

P.S.- Please don't take offense to this comment. You actually wrote a very nice long essay on your gaming habits.

#5 Posted by Jeust (10482 posts) -

Great blog! Art really saves lives and  wills.

#6 Posted by RPGee (759 posts) -

I like games too.

This is a very candid, interesting piece, if I may say. I can understand the harsh feeling of being kind of fed up with playing games at times, and sometimes it can help to put pen to paper/finger to keyboard. And you do genuinely seem like a person who enjoys and appreciates games a whole lot and wishes they were all better. So thanks, I liked it!

#7 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -
@Gizmo:  Thanks, I guess?
 
@falserelic: I know the feeling but the gaming is still there, its just buried behind so much hype, graphics and downloadable nonsense. I miss the pure days, hence why I loved playing Witcher 2, it felt complete (even more so due to the Enhanced edition).
 
@jewunit: No clue who or what that is so the joke's not landing, if there was one! I'm confused! But thanks!
 
@Jeust: Thanks, and yep! Creativity is key!
 
@RPGee: Thanks for reading! As I referenced a little at the end I did indeed pick up the pen and worked to become writer, which is now several years ago, but its still a sweet release to write about these kind of things.
Anyone who knows me a bit can testify to your comment too, I really love gaming (and games) as a whole, its such underestimated experience and influence on people's lives that more non gamers need to acknowledge as a valid source of inspiration or such.
#8 Posted by DeF (4810 posts) -

you should put the Witcher medallion on your upper-chest below your neck so it looks like you're wearing it*

*= stupid idea.

#9 Posted by me3639 (1729 posts) -

And scene.

#10 Posted by LikeaSsur (1495 posts) -

I expected a lamentation of gaming's lack of creativity in this generation and a cautious optimism that the next would reinvigorate you.

I did not expect that inspirational section at the very end. Something tells me you're going to infect someone's deepest thoughts and feelings with that last line. To that I say, good job.

#11 Posted by pyromagnestir (4252 posts) -

Did you and coordinate these posts? They seem linked in some sense.

Anyway...

Games are pretty good. I should probably play one.

And your kitten sounds bad ass! Post a pic of her!

Online
#12 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -

That was surprisingly relaxing and deep, I enjoyed reading this long uncut blog of thought and feel.

What I can say is that, while you seem to think you're in a gaming rut, I don't think you are.You barely play games because the masterpieces you love have set high standards and raised a bar that forces you to wait for the future to bring you similar perfect quality. You are infatuated with your favorite games and your journey through their universes is far from over, even when they end and the credits roll. That's pretty commendable. Enviable even.

That's not a rut, nor is it a sign of being spoiled, you're just passionate about this art form. I barely play games anymore as well, but it's because I feel an emptiness that even the greatest of games fail to fill. An uncomfortable void that makes me truly enjoy a game only once or twice a year (Max Payne 3, Witcher 1 and Arkham City come to mind).

P.S. I'm surprised that Witcher 2 has won your heart. For a Witcher 1 lover, you're supposed to be let down. You disappoint me! But I'm happy for you.

#13 Posted by Claude (16254 posts) -

I just got my Wii back from being prepared. In doing so, I lost all my saves. I might just download A Link to the Past and try playing it new again. Great read by the way.

#14 Posted by Aetheldod (3514 posts) -

Fuck Yeah videogames !!!!!!

#15 Edited by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -
@DeF: That was my first thought too! Guess I'll settle on my upper left arm then :P 
Been looking at a tribal design of the wolf, but I'm going to keep digging, maybe I can find another cool design that will be nice to visually show off as well!
 

@me3639

: Should I take a bow? I'll take a bunch of flowers and my royalty checks now please!
 

@LikeaSsur

: That old chestnut? Creativity is too subjective, what feels fresh to me feels old to you. But thanks! Infecting people with creativity is nearly as much fun (and rewarding) as being creative myself! 
Hope people take note and do stuff!
Or try to and realize, hey, its not all that natural or easy! People actually work when they're writing!
 

@pyromagnestir

: I saw his post and thought the same thing, kind of sad as the first time in ages I forum post a blog of mine and Claude comes to steal my thunder :P  
Glad people are still reading it however, I kind of despise 'dear diary' stuff myself but hey, I'm a hypocrite.
Pic of my kitten chasing away more uninvited guests:  @AhmadMetallic: I'm not really down or anything, I'm just a bit sad there's so many stale stuff happening.
Where's the Timesplitters of this generation? I finished Black Ops 1 (with pain, believe me) and I was actually surprised it didn't turn out to end in a zombie invasion, setting up that mode.
I miss the 'fantastical', I miss the wonder! I don't use games to get away but I appreciate a vast world!
Just do it however, if you love a game, you love it.
Many people seemed to embrace their gaming madness with the Mass Effect series but in general sense people need to be vocal about their wants and needs more, and what they did appreciate.
 
Why should I be let down by the Witcher 2 btw? Sure I kind of liked the quirkyness of Witcher 1 but Witcher 2 really is the next generation of that game.
Just arriving at Flotsam and walking through the forest outside was magical, I'll admit to it right here, I broke down.
I wandered those woods of perfection and for the first time I truly felt part of that world.
The sounds, the trees, the leaves rustling...the band of Nekkers that jumped on my back and promptly tore out my throat. 
Not to mention the characters and their animations...
 
I love gaming, so should anyone who enjoys them as much as I do. 
 

@Claude

Thank you! That's high praise coming from you! :)
I played Link to the Past so much I broke the cartridge surrounding the chip and ruined the save function (don't ask me how, I don't know).
So I kind of ending up replaying the game (and finishing it) every day for a long while.
I was that in love with it!
Hope you can rekindle that old flame!
 
@Aetheldod: Well put. ^^
#16 Posted by pyromagnestir (4252 posts) -

@TaliciaDragonsong: I want a Gandalf kitten! Where can I get one?

Online
#17 Posted by LikeaSsur (1495 posts) -

@TaliciaDragonsong: Believe me, I know writing is hard work. I've seen and been a part of the work that goes into writing even something as simple as a poem. It takes a lot of talent and even more creativity to do something with words that people want to read. If you're one of those few (and you are, I can tell from the flow of this blog), then my non-existent hat is off to you, for doing what you do.

#18 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -
@pyromagnestir: I caught mine on Route 4 (Near the Bridge of Khazad Dum, between Enedwaith and Loth Lorien) at night. 
 
@LikeaSsur: Thank you so much! 
I've written two manuscripts but writing a 10 sentence poem last night was the hardest thing ever!
I think the trick is to accept it, show it to your writing buddy or put it online and go from there.
Sometimes you hit the creative jackpot, but usually you don't, which doesn't matter as creavity and talent are muscles that need training.
I never believed that until I started writing myself, I actually fucking enjoy challenging myself when it comes to writing, I dissect books and poems to learn their secrets and I have read every book from my heroes twice.
So yeah, practice, and a little insanity.
#19 Posted by krazy_kyle (716 posts) -

Eugh, too artsy fartsy for me, sorry.

#20 Posted by LikeaSsur (1495 posts) -

@TaliciaDragonsong: I've always wanted to write, but never had the confidence/will/inspiration to do so. You seem like you could help me with that. May I have your permission to "pick your brain" in the near future?

#21 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -
@krazy_kyle: No worries, just enjoy videogames!
 
@LikeaSsur: I'd like that, I could learn from that as well. Please do when you feel the need.
#22 Posted by IkariNoTekken (990 posts) -

Wasn't sure where this was going at first, but of course... games.

You are extremely passionate and it's easy to tell you have a tad bit of frustration longing for something more; longing for another game to take hold of you.

It ends with a certain positivity though. Lots of talk of Witcher 2 as well, I'm happy about that. :P

A lovely read.

#23 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -
@IkariNoTekken: Thank you for reading! And thank you for The Witcher 2! ^^
#24 Posted by CosmicBatman (317 posts) -

Well you've just convinced me to play the Witcher 2.

#25 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -
@CosmicBatman: Victory! Have fun! I know I did! :)
#26 Posted by NlGHTCRAWLER (1215 posts) -

@CosmicBatman said:

Well you've just convinced me to play the Witcher 2.

This.

Great read btw!

#27 Edited by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -

@TaliciaDragonsong said:

@AhmadMetallic: I miss the 'fantastical', I miss the wonder! I don't use games to get away but I appreciate a vast world!
Many people seemed to embrace their gaming madness with the Mass Effect series but in general sense people need to be vocal about their wants and needs more, and what they did appreciate.

I couldn't agree more

Why should I be let down by the Witcher 2 btw? Sure I kind of liked the quirkyness of Witcher 1 but Witcher 2 really is the next generation of that game.
Just arriving at Flotsam and walking through the forest outside was magical, I'll admit to it right here, I broke down.
I wandered those woods of perfection and for the first time I truly felt part of that world.
The sounds, the trees, the leaves rustling...the band of Nekkers that jumped on my back and promptly tore out my throat.
Not to mention the characters and their animations...

Witcher 2 is a masterpiece. But its short length, small scale, and Mass Effect 2-ish "game hollywood" feel, through fancy flashy story telling and bright clear loudly-speaking characters are to me a total insult to the long, consuming and compelling Witcher 1 which had much bigger scale and an indie-movie-ish underground-ish quirky feel to the dialogue and the world, with characters that came off as ambiguous rather than the IMO uninteresting "clear and obvious" hollywood characters of Witcher 2. If that makes any sense at all...

I mean, I basically think that the things that stood out in Witcher 1 and made you or I love it (the length and scale, the ambiguity, the unclear air and uncertainty all around), were totally dropped in the sequel. That's why sadly my experience with that sequel (which like I said is a masterpiece) was bitter and confusing and left a bad memory of the game for me. Because I expected more Witcher, and barely got any.

#28 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -
@NlGHTCRAWLER: Thanks! You have fun too! :)
 
@AhmadMetallic said:

Witcher 2 is a masterpiece. But its short length, small scale, and Mass Effect 2-ish "game hollywood" feel through fancy flashy story telling and bright clear loudly-speaking characters are to me a total insult to the long, consuming and compelling Witcher 1 which had much bigger scale and an indie-movie-ish underground-ish quirky feel to the dialogue and the world, with characters that came off as ambiguous rather than the IMO uninteresting "clear and obvious" hollywood characters of Witcher 2. If that makes any sense at all...

I mean, I basically think that the things that stood out in Witcher 1 and made you or I love it (the length and scale, the ambiguity, the unclear air and uncertainty all around), were totally dropped in the sequel. That's why sadly my experience with that sequel (which like I said is a masterpiece) was bitter and confusing and left a bad memory of the game for me. Because I expected more Witcher, and barely got any.


I disagree. 
Your words do make sense but come on, short game? I spend 36 hours on my first play through.
That's more than Mass Effect 1 and two less than Mass Effect 2 so that's pretty good in my book since most games...hell, I don't even finish them. 
In the Witcher 2 there was a huge improvement in character models (no more 15 of the same old ladies with the same 15 voices saying the same 15 lines "THE NEIGHBORS LAUNDRY IS GETTING WET") and environments.
The game felt bigger and less condensed than Witcher 1, there was more to see and do and there's a lot of little secrets a lot of people miss ranging from easter eggs to hidden areas on the map or quests/story moments you never encounter with certain choices.
 
I'm now very convinced you played a different game than I did because you barely got any Witcher?
Improved alchemy, more namedropping and gawking at Geralt, more references to the Witcher profession as a whole and if I felt one thing playing as Geralt was 'outcast'.
In Mass Effect I didn't quite feel like a Alliance marine or Cerberus defecter, I was just the saviour because...I was meant to be.
In the Witcher there's so many options presented that allow you to be a Witcher its almost wrong to follow your own feelings and not stay neutral as Witcher's usually do.
It made the game all the more immersive as I was trying to find the balance between me and Geralt, what would the Witcher do (what's his mindset on this problem?) and what would I do (gamer mindset, what's my reward/consequence). 
I felt disliked, I felt reluctant to help people because as Geralt himself says...he's a problemsolver, he's handy when he's needed but shunned and wished dead when he's not.
The fear of being a super human mutant was also balanced just right with the combat and Geralt's bad ass attitude.
He was haunting to his enemies and went to great lengths for friends, even showed a lot of emotion for a man of his profession and history.
Not to mention the ending...one of the best ever, from the fight to the talk and to the last shot.
 
I get what you mean with the underground feeling but Witcher 1 was a pretty big mess and that's coming from a huge fan of that game.
You spend most of the game running errands in Vizima in the first game and there was very little focus on the Witcher himself in that game besides the fact he was there and he was being used by other forces.
Witcher 2 felt more personal, more story and perhaps because of that a little more 'hollywoody' than 1 but it is by no means a lesser game.
 
At least, that's my opinion on it.
I get your point and I mean no offense with any of my response but hot damn, the game is quality.
That said I could have appreciated a mini expansion for the Witcher 1 though, it tasted like more!
#29 Posted by NegativeCero (2976 posts) -

Nice read. I can relate to your games feeling stale compared to magical games that you've played in the past. Like you, Oblivion was one of those for me. I still remember being completely sucked into the world, to the point that I can remember weirdly specific things from the time like certain music I listened to that I now almost associate with my experience. It's weird because despite loving Skyrim, I didn't feel the same way. Maybe because it was the first time and I can't get that back, I don't know.

Also, good luck on the new tattoo.

#30 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -

Very nice piece, you have a really strong narrative voice that comes through and I would definitely be interested in reading more of your work.

If you don't mind me asking, how old are you? The only reason I ask is that I was having a conversation with my wife and a few of our friends recently, and I basically mirrored everything you said (well, barring the Nintendo fan and being female).

Part of me wonders if perhaps there is a kind of gaming midlife crisis that occurs?

#31 Edited by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -
@NegativeCero: Yeah, that, to a extent.
I know there's new experiences waiting out there but still, I have this intense need to experience new things instead of sequels and remade stuff.
Sure I'd love some, you won't hear me complain as I buy Darksiders 2, Borderlands 2 or play a remake of some good game but I just keep wondering why there's so much talk and so little action in this game industry.
We can't live on indies, at least I can't, but expecting a Witcher 2 sized face slap every few months is also not realistic...sadly!
 
Thanks for reading!
 
@Tim_the_Corsair
Thank you! I'm considering putting more of this stuff on here since the response has been very great! :)
I'm 23 right now but I kind of feel 50+ lately.
As they say, if you experience a lot you often age faster, I guess that applies.
#32 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -

@TaliciaDragonsong said:

short game? I spend 36 hours on my first play through.

For real? I thought it took 25 hours max based on what people on the internets said. I wouldn't know, All I wanted was to see the credits roll and get the game off my hard drive, which happened in about 18 hours in the span of... 8 months. Damn I really hated that game and I'm sometimes clueless as to why I did. I really wanted to fucking love it. Something went terribly wrong.

The game felt bigger and less condensed than Witcher 1, there was more to see and do and there's a lot of little secrets a lot of people miss ranging from easter eggs to hidden areas on the map or quests/story moments you never encounter with certain choices.

There was a lot to see and do in a 3-chapter game that consisted of: 1)A small town with a great forest around it 2)A soldier camp with an empty motionless painting-like forest 3)Another soldier camp with no open world since the game ends almost as soon as chapter 3 starts (which to me makes the game consist of 2 chapters and an epilogue), than a game with 5 chapters with two big villages, a 3-section town with massive sewers, two big swamps, a lake area, a crop field and a dock area?

Are you sure you played Witcher 2? 36 hours and 'a lot to do', you're crazy tali!

You know what... This has been confusing to me for the longest time. I mean now that I read the rest of your post I can see a lot of true things, yet I still feel like Witcher 2 totally alienated me. It really felt like Geralt and his friends packed their shit, took a rocket to outer space and the events of Witcher 2 happened on a planet there. It does NOT feel like the continuation of Witcher 1, because aside from the protagonist and his story, the Witcher 2 universe just feels like it's from outer space compared to 1.

But yeah... There were a lot of good mystical quests. The abandoned hospital, the dead sisters, and much more.

Maybe one day I'll launch the game and enjoy it rather than suffer through it like I did on my first playthrough. Fuck you for enjoying both games and leaving me behind, I thought we were Witcher buddies. I got to Witcher 2 FIRST, bitch, I teased you with those screens! You just have no respect!

@TaliciaDragonsong said:

In the Witcher 2 there was a huge improvement in character models (no more 15 of the same old ladies with the same 15 voices saying the same 15 lines "THE NEIGHBORS LAUNDRY IS GETTING WET")

#33 Edited by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -
@AhmadMetallic: Yeah I did spend that amount of time on the first run.
I did all I could however and even that wasn't enough to do it all.
 
Rambling response:
#34 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -

@TaliciaDragonsong: Notice the change of opinion I had in the middle of that post. I realize the game is great and I admit that it had stellar sidequests and good content, not to mention the unprecedented polish, I just dislike it because of the surprisingly.. negative way I perceived it in light of expecting a Witcher 1 sequel in a different way, when I first played it.

I guess at one point, a gamer's mind goes beyond logic and relies on emotion and impressions to like or dislike a game. That's what it's all about right? The feel? .. I appreciate CD ProjektRED and I respect their masterpiece Witcher 2, but something went wrong for me and I don't think it'll ever be fixed. It's a shame, I had unbelievable hopes for Witcher 2 after beating 1.

#35 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -
@AhmadMetallic said:

@TaliciaDragonsong: Notice the change of opinion I had in the middle of that post. I realize the game is great and I admit that it had stellar sidequests and good content, not to mention the unprecedented polish, I just dislike it because of the surprisingly.. negative way I perceived it in light of expecting a Witcher 1 sequel in a different way, when I first played it.

I guess at one point, a gamer's mind goes beyond logic and relies on emotion and impressions to like or dislike a game. That's what it's all about right? The feel? .. I appreciate CD ProjektRED and I respect their masterpiece Witcher 2, but something went wrong for me and I don't think it'll ever be fixed. It's a shame, I had unbelievable hopes for Witcher 2 after beating 1.

I noticed, don't worry!
I know the feeling though, its how I experienced Mass Effect 2!
And yeah, I had the exact same thing I thought regarding Mass Effect 2.
 
At one side, its a shame, but on the other side that totally happens.
I'm missing out on good movies, games and series just because I cannot stand certain actors or story choices...but hey, that's the consequence I guess.
#36 Posted by StarvingGamer (8031 posts) -

I too like games!

#37 Edited by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -
#38 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -
@StarvingGamer: We should hang out!
 
@AhmadMetallic: Have a wonderful time! Pick Iorveth and try to find the hidden bandit hideout in Flotsam! (If you didn't already!). :)
#39 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -

@TaliciaDragonsong: Yeah, my suffering with the game began in the second chapter with Roche, I hated that Henselt camp so much. So I'm going Iorveth this time around. I'm gonna take it slow and let it sink in, the negative overwhelmed element is gone so now it's time to enjoy this fucking game.

WITCHERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!

#40 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -
@AhmadMetallic: Have fun! I just started my own insanity mode run to get 100% :)
#41 Edited by Tennmuerti (8012 posts) -

This may sound trite but it was a great read and like @AhmadMetallic: has pointed out quite soothing.

@AhmadMetallic: Giving Witcher 2 another try?

@TaliciaDragonsong: Holy shit you are a miracle worker!

But hey people keep your chins up, the gaming rut is coming to an end, i personally have about a dozen games lined up before the end of the year, starting from next week. For times when there is nothing to play i keep a stack of books on shelf, tho this summer has been kind of pushing it.

@AhmadMetallic: I think you are feeling a bigger disconnect then most people simply because you played them one right after another. While a lot of us had a long time between the two games. And taking an educated guess here, but Witcher1 was never planned as a trilogy or series like a lot of games are these days, it was a bold new step for those guys that paid off, so in Witcher 2 is not only on a completely new engine and a way bigger team but it seems like the actual jumping off point for a whole new adventure, unlike the more self contained Witcher 1 was. Expectations can color our perceptions a great deal.

#42 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -
@Tennmuerti: Not trite at all! I cannot begin to explain how good it feels to get these praises! Thank you! 
The best way is to just work through games or at least give them a fair chance, which I did and when you think of the prices I paid for most of my Steam library I'm not feeling that bad about not completing them.
If you don't like it, you don't like it.
I loved Darkness 1 but the gameplay was not for me, so I played what I could, gave up and watched a play through.
Now if only Darkness 2 wouldn't crash on start up I would have started that now! :/
#43 Edited by Tennmuerti (8012 posts) -

@TaliciaDragonsong: Funny thing i never played the first Darkness and it did not appeal to me all that much what i saw in video form. So i was not all that interested in Darkness 2, but grabbed it on the recent Steam sale for next to nothing. It's a short game but i thoroughly enjoyed it. Both in terms of little story beats and gameplay.

Speaking of game play, the one thing Darksness 2 does excelent is make you feel like a complete badass, it was a power trip from start to finish for me, fast paced combat that somehow pushed me naturally into being more aggressive rather then defensive, creating a great feeling of just plowing through enemies. Something at which games like Crysis 2 totally fail and instead of feeling powerfull in a super duper future suit you feel restrained rather then liberated. But Darkness 2 pulls it off.

I resolved my Darkness 2 startup crash by gutting Zone Alarm completely, used it for a while but it got more and more cumbersome of a firewall over the years and has interfered with my installs one too many times, worked like a charm.

#44 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -

@Tennmuerti: Hmm.. Very interesting analysis and perspective, it makes a lot of sense. I'd jump into the game if it didn't need forever to download patches right now haha.

#45 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -
@Tennmuerti: I've tried turning Zone Alarm off but it still wouldn't work, I'll try to remove it from my pc and try again then.
The thing I loved about Darkness 1 was the power you had at times, but the gameplay just put me off too much, glad to hear that's back!
 
I do need a replacement firewall then, though.
#46 Edited by Tennmuerti (8012 posts) -

@TaliciaDragonsong: ZA keeps a background process running that you cannot even manually shutdown from the task manager and this process remains running even when ZA is shutdown and even disabled at startup. That is the process that messes with Darkness 2. You can stop it without deleting ZA by turning off some setting but i don't remember which one (there was more info on the Steam forums). I was getting tired of ZA messing up my stuff anyway and it was easier to just delete it altogether.

#47 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -
@Tennmuerti: Aye, I've no problems against that, trying to figure out what I should get as replacement now though, I really don't put time in that stuff.
#48 Posted by Dunchad (474 posts) -
@TaliciaDragonsong
 
That was a fun read. But you confused me early on - I kept wondering about these "livid dreams" you keep having. Are they dreams in which you are really angry? Or do you just wake up angry? Are the dreams angry at you? What did you do to anger the dreams? If "Sandman" is anything to go by, you don't want to anger the Dream.
#49 Posted by ComradeKhan (687 posts) -

If only you could have followed that cat... maybe next time. 
 
Hopefully Darksiders 2 will be one of those games that grabs you and pulls you in. And you've always got that second playthrough of The Witcher 2  : )

#50 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -
@Dunchad: Thank you! You're totally right, I got confused between vivid and livid...while I meant lucid. 
The lucid dreams do piss me off though, getting me out of bed for nothing :P
 
@ComradeKhan: Rest assured I will some day follow that cat. And get arrested for trespassing someone's garden but so be it.
I'm probably going to buy Darksiders 2 and Borderlands 2, although I'm kind of putting myself in a bad financial position with it.
Games are like drugs to me though, so, that kind of justifies it.