Yes, I've been off of whatever magical mystery trip I was on for almost a week now, so I might as well talk about some of the games I've been messing with since then. That's fun and relevant, right? It's also what my rivals in the Blogosphere do. Since Steam apparently hates me though, both Vampire the Masquerade and Civilization V have been weekend deals for cheaper than when I purchased them during the Steam sale. In fact, you should probably pick up Vampire at some point, if only because it's at a finally reasonable price. Not that I could comment on the game's actual quality at this point but, y'know. It's cheap.
Speaking of Vampires...
I'm not going to be playing Vampire: The Masquerade --Bloodlines anytime soon. Despite all my earnest efforts, there's way too much technical jank for me to comfortably play it on my old, old computer. That ranges from my computer somehow not being able to retain a decent frame rate in the hub areas, or the obnoxiously long loading times. Fear not loyal reader(s?) I will get on that when I get a computer that isn't 9 years old at this point. Which actually might happen pretty soon. From what I have played, it certainly seems interesting. It has the Deus Ex/System Shock 2 thing of all the guns totally being dice rolls and that sucking, so I'm not sure if I'm going to dig the combat, but from the hour or so I've messed with, it has potential. It's clearly taking cues from both Fallout and Deus Ex, and while my opinions on Troika's other two games are wildly divergent (Temple of Elemental Evil is awesome. Arcanum is not), It is at least my hope that the "This game is horrifically flawed in a few specific ways" will be in the way that I can tolerate rather than what I cannot. Either way, we're not going to find out until I get that college laptop, won't we?
So anyways, about the games that I did play:
Sid Meier's Civilization VIs a very good game. That I can secretly run on my parent's iMac without them knowing. I bought the game, and all of the DLC factions during the steam sale, despite said DLC factions still kinda sorta being a horrific financial ripoff. It was to my chagrin that Civ V was the weekend deal the day I came back for even less than what I paid for it. In any case, it's awesome. It takes the somewhat bloated, somewhat unneeded elements of Civ IV, such as the half-baked and kinda pointless religion mechanic and streamlines everything without losing much in the process. Are there things about Civ IV that I probably like better? Yeah. But the best improvement for me, and the reason I will never go back is the removal of unit stacking, turning the game into some sort of Advance Wars lite in the combat department rather then you just winning through sheer brute force. Then there are some other things, such as making culture actually mean something other than the size of your borders (though I do feel like it could do with a little more choice/consequence akin to the government or civics systems found in previous entries), and giving each civilization a unique power and some unique units or buildings that can determine how they should be played, even moreso than Civ IV, though still perhaps not as much as Alpha Centauri. Like Alpha Centauri though, my main problem with Civ V still is probably the AI. Factions who were my total buddies will denounce me for reasons unknown, and yet doing similar things to them is of little accord. Like SMAC though, war is pretty much an inevitability thus making conquest the most viable option. It's lame, and I don't really think that City States are that great either (just being a way for you to waste your money constantly), but I think in this case the good outweighs the bad by a significant margin.
TerrariaIs similarly very good at wasting my time. I think what endears me to it more than minecraft is that its more of a game instead of a dumb sandbox, while still kinda being a dumb sandbox for you to craft stuff and explore cavernous caverns. I'm not sure if it's still entirely a game meant for me, but I am liking it so far from the several hours I've been playing it so far. Hopefully I'll reach a point where I'm getting crazy good loot left and right, because I'm just glad I've gotten to a silver pickaxe at this point. Hey, it was $5. I can't really complain.
Deus Ex: Invisible WarIs a video game. That I intend to play to completion. I at least owe the first game that much. Same goes for Human Revolution when that comes out. Other than that, I couldn't tell you anything about how I feel about it from the hour or so that I've messed with it. The main character Alex at least attempts to have some vocal inflection, and the removal of RPG leveling mechanics may actually make the pure mechanical part better by virtue of not needing dice rolls or requiring a specific build. And the levels are clearly trying to do that dynamicism thing, although they are clearly far more sectioned off and compartmentalized. Universal ammo is still a really dumb concept though. And I can already tell you that the story is somehow even more poorly told than that of the first game. In any case, it's far, far, far to early to tell at this point if this game is the spawn of satan like all of the internet except Sparky Buzzsaw seems to think it is. We'll see soon enough...
Since the formatting for photos is still kinda retarded, I think I'll use this space to tell you that I also think Bastion is pretty awesome. But I didn't buy it on the steam sale. So it doesn't get its own section. Oh, and the DLC characters for Mortal Kombat are all crazy. Not sure if they're my kind of crazy, but Kenshi and Rain are kinda cool.