Wordy title notwithstanding,just an update for the sake of updating.
I planned two months ago to begin a series of articles based on the merit of revisiting some of the top quality Iso camera games of yesteryear,beginning with Diablo II.That was progressing along pretty well.....until I got a number translation projects in the middle of writing.Needless to say,due to getting paid,hunting down people to get paid,and my general abilities of procrastination,it remains half done.However,the plan is to finish it as soon as I get the time,so hopefully that will see the light of day in July.Subsequent articles will be written based on when I get the opportunity to play a few more.While some of them are very memorable,I don't trust my thoughts/memories from as much as a decade ago to make for very good writing.
Contrary to my lack of previous content,I've written up a review for Terraria,a little gem that can be purchased via Steam for ten Brad Dollars.Needless to say,if you were on the fence about buying it,I strongly suggest picking it up.It's a hell of a lot more fun and enjoyable than four cups of espresso(though depending on the roast,the margin might be debatable).I've put about ten hours into it at this point,and at this point I feel pretty comfortable with how the game handles,the best ways to plot out my spelunking endeavors,etc.I even went and built a few houses and a base of operations near a massive cavern as well as what seems to be a dungeon full of baddies.I wouldn't be against trying the game's multiplayer function out,so if you're looking for someone to play Legos with online,send me a friend request.Steam name's Jaredinho.One Hint:Don't use hints.Part of the thrill of the game is learning the ins and outs as you go along,and that sense of discovery and achievement is blunted if you go and look up some FAQ.A bit of trepidation and fear of the unknown is in this case a positive.
Celebrated my 24th on the 13th by......doing not much of anything.That being said,it was kinda nice,slowing down for a bit,getting away from distractions.
And that's it.If you know anyone looking for a freelance writer,translator,or localization,send 'em my way. ;-) Cheers.
In an act of looking back at the various archaic things I've collected over the years(an act otherwise known as spring cleaning)I came across my old CD folder that had been maintained since the late 90s,featuring such luminaries as Cibo Matto,Jurassic 5,Weezer,and Paul Oakenfold.After flipping through several of the pages,I had a "remember when ____ ....?" moment and decided to carry on with my tasks.However,out of the corner of my eye,I catch a brightly colored disc gleaming from the depths of its plastic prison.That disc was Roller Coaster Tycoon...
However,this story isn't about Roller Coaster Tycoon,oh no.It's about what was cradled alongside it...
Yes,tossed in with the Heavy Gear IIs and theme park sims of the world were a group of iso perspective games that lent credence to the phrase "good from the top down".But all puns aside,a thought arose:"How would I perceive these games now in comparison to the rose colored glasses of yesteryear,and do they still hold up in the face of more technically advanced and powerful competition?"
So the idea came to mind.A feature on these stalwarts of yesteryear,and a comparison to not only their future offspring,but to the gaming titans of today,in a search of whether the last decade of the millennium had it all figured out,or if there could've been more....
First part of the series next week....Diablo II.
Now that I'm left with only one Cup to have a reasonable chance to go see(looking at you 2014),I've suddenly got some time to worry about other things this week,such as:
While in the middle of what could be the biggest economic crisis the US has faced since the '30s,it's been somewhat refreshing to see some businesses not blow up and fail to contain a cataclysmic disaster to my budget.And with various online avenues such as Steam,Amazon,and now Games for Windows starting to play up quality(i.e. expensive) games on the cheap,it raises one question in my mind:How soon will it be before the online game market overwhelms the brick and mortar market(Gamestop,EB,etc.)much like Netflix,Redbox,and Gamefly did to the rental industry?Even with several movie companies signing exclusivity deals(think DLC released to one console,then the competitor months later) as well as the begrudging support of Hollywood,Movie Gallery went under and Blockbuster,once a major money earner(and former employer,not that I'm bitter or anything ;-) ),was forced to file for bankruptcy as well as close a large number of stores.If steps are taken in a certain direction,much of the same could very well happen to the gaming industry's future;where physical copies of games,much like music,would be limited to select boutiques and Walmart.Unless CDs are the way out of the next Great Depression(GDII).
Unlike all of you kids who drive flying cars and play World of Warcraft:Cattackalysm on your newfangled computers,as of late I've been looking back to my old library to keep me company,namely, Civilization IV ,the original Neverwinter Nights,and Battlefield 1942.All of which share a few common traits(Note:I'd throw the first two Fallouts in,but damn it if Windows won't let old people in its club...)
Getting a bit long in the tooth
Set the bar for its respective genre and style
Have incredible communities who contribute significally even now
Much like the improved and simplified system set up in Civilization V,its predecessor has had its lifespan increased significantly by game changing expansion packs as well as an active community that continues to provide new mods,scenarios,and even game changing gameplay elements.If you're looking for a bit of a switch up to your raping and pillaging as Genghis Khan,try these mods out for starters:
Star Trek - This is a mod based off of Civ V Lead Designer Jon Shafer's own mod Final Frontier,which was included in the Beyond the Sword expansion.While that in itself was a very unique way to play,there's just something to boldly going places in spaces with the Federation that just feels right.
Fall From Heaven 2 - In similar fashion to the Fall From Heaven mod that shipped with BtS,this is Civ with magic in a fantasy realm.What sets this miles apart from Civ however is the complexity of its magic and RPG-like upgrade and equipment system,uniquely styled civilizations and leaders who necessitate separate strategies and play styles,a good and evil system that affects the world as the scales tip to one side,and several in-game scenarios that deviate entirely from the standard style of play.In any other dimension,this would be called a great game in its own right.In this one,it's one of the most popular mods for Civ IV,with talks of a follow up for the new game already picking up speed.
Blue Marble - A graphical mod developed from NASA(!)'s project of the same name that improves the appearance of both the in-game world as well as the interface.After using it for a handful of months it's tough to imagine playing the game without.
There's been a few years since Neverwinter Nights 2 has been released,but as of now there is still an active presence in its older counterpart.Originally released in 2002,the game that set several precedents for the currently booming MMORPG genre has been given a second wind by the Community Expansion Pack,a fount of the various tweaks,additions,graphical and gameplay fixes,and mods developed by the community over the years.Furthermore there are a large number of modules that can kill hours of your time if you've finished the original campaigns or want a break from standard online play.
Battlefield 1942 was the FPS that practically defined the idea of a team-based multiplayer shooter.And while there have been several Battlefield games since,several years worth of patches and mods help it keep pace with improving gaming hardware and innovations.A substantial number of mods can be found online;ones that stand out include Eve of Destruction and Battlefield 1918,which overhaul the graphics and physics engine for the game as well as add an immense amount of new tech,weapons,and vehicles,many based off of actual WWI and WWII prototypes.
All goes to show you that looking back doesn't just have to be left to Christmas's past.
I became the last person to make the jump to Twitter last week. Eh. But in a shameless act of self-promotion,feel free to add me @chesnutroasting.At this point my dignity's all I got left.Might as well lay that off too. ;-)
And that's been my diatribe for the week.Now if Wikileaks would only post something about FIFA....
Completely ridiculous,which is why I seem compelled to do it.Considering that these things tend to be a waste of time that only serve to embarrass myself a few years on down the road("How the hell did I write that?" mutters my future self...)I'll feel free to scratch this itch in the future.Who knows,I might even write about a video game on this site,whenever I get tired of talking about cooking,records,and drinks,which,counting high noon shootouts and wearing canary yellow,tend to be my favorite detractions from an early grave.So enjoy if it's here,and if not find something interesting.....this is the internet after all.....