Mass Effect 1 PC Review

Rated: 2/5

Don’t worry, PC doesn’t stand for politically correct.

Went back and gave this game a play.  Would’ve been a little more boring if I just played the same exact game from several years ago, so I mixed it up in the best way possible, modding.  Didn’t mod it extensively, just an HD mod.

Anyway, upon revisit, there are some things I still like, and some things that are worse than I remember.  So if you feel like going back and revisiting the original trilogy before the new Andromeda game comes out, and want my thought on the first game in the trilogy (don’t worry, reviews for the other 2 will come later), here’s what I thought.

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Wing Commander review

Rated: 2/5

So this PC version is from GOG.com, and uses DosBox.  Well, this is a game that certainly shows its age from 1990, coming out 3 years before Doom, that had 360 degree movement.  So in some respects, Doom is actually a step back in terms of gameplay compared to this game, but on the other hand Doom also had cooler weapons, monsters, and puzzle solving (although the puzzle solving aspect frustrated the hell out of me in that game, but that’s another story).

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Revisiting the Sensitive Censorship Issue in Board Gaming.

Some of you may remember in an earlier blog post how I was outraged at the alteration of card art for a game I backed on kickstarter.

Original Art
Original art on game card.
Revised card art; supposedly chainmail added, but it looks more like silk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outraged because I was under the impression that the art was changed due to Tristan Hall (the creator of Gloom of Kilforth) caving into the demands of a petty few who took issue with the original artwork. Turns out I was too hasty with my opinion. Tristan has given an update (yes, I’m very late with this, but what can I say, I’m a procrastinator):

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Obduction review

Rated: 4/5

I helped fund the kickstarter campaign, and I’m late to the party in reviewing it. I wanted to make a gameplay video first, showing my runthrough, but apparently it’s never that simple. I used the Nvidia Geforce Experience Shadowplay Recorder. It tends to split the clips up into 15-20 minute increments, which didn’t seem like much of a problem at first, until I realized that combining clips isn’t as easy as you would think from a memory standpoint. Plus the goddamn Shadowplay starts glitching out if you try recording for longer than 1 hour straight, which I found out after my initial record playthrough, where I played through the entire game in a little over 3 hours (only on your second playthrough will it likely be that short, your first playthrough will likely more than double that). More than 2/3rds of that first recording attempt was useless. So I lost the will to try it again for a few months until recently, where I tried again, with the knowledge in mind. Played it, beat it again, recorded it all, now I’m procrastinating with the gameplay footage upload onto youtube.

Anyway, Obduction is an exploration adventure game, created by those who made the famous point-and-click adventure game Myst. Now, while that game is arguably the most famous point-and-click adventure game ever made, it’s not the best. Some of the puzzles in that game are just fucking ridiculous, especially that part where you have to painfully drag yourself through the underground train area. Fuck me, even if you knew how to get through that part it takes forever to get it done.

It’s the sequel to Myst, Riven, that is the true masterpiece among all point and click adventure games, in my opinion. That game is absolutely fantastic, and the puzzles are much more meaningful and logical. There may have been one or two which were a bit too difficult, but it’s leaps and bounds better than Myst, and what I consider to be the highest standard of games in that genre.

So, over a decade later, the creators of those games went indie, kickstarted a campaign for Obduction which will be an exploration game like Myst and Riven, only without the static screens and the point and click element (unless you decide to use that version of the game as opposed to real time first person movement). I backed it, and received my copy upon its release.

So, how is it? Did it live up to expectations? Kind of.

It has some beautiful visuals with beautiful colors. But best of all, all the puzzles are logical and don’t require a stretch to figure out. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll be doing some thinking and exploration, but it’s definitely possible to beat this game without the use of a strategy guide, or looking up youtube videos to see how others who are smarter than you managed to beat the game. For the record, I’m one of those dumbasses who ended up looking at online help once or twice to get past an area. Twice because when I figured out that you needed to know how to write 222 in an alien language, I knew where to go to get the answer, but I wasn’t capable of getting there from my position in the game, which was fucking bullshit, so I looked up a video online so I didn’t have to start a new game just to get back to that point to figure out how to do it. Since then though, there’ve been some game updates which I believe solve that issue, giving you a path to the outside so you can get to that area if you didn’t figure it out at an earlier time. So some patches improve the game on more than just the graphics and glitches.

Oh, right, you may be wondering what the story is. A seed that shoots across the sky and blows blue sparkles out its ass comes to you and transports you into another world where you have to figure out what the hell just happened and what the hell is going on. Eventually you’ll find out that there are multiple worlds to explore which are all linked together somehow. That’s all I’m going to say. You want to know more? Play the game, or watch a video of someone else playing the game.

Huh, I guess I don’t have much else to say about it if I don’t go too much into the story. I will say that it is refreshing to have live action actors mixed in with the CG graphics. I miss that about some of the older games. Just because they have the tech to replicate real life people in great detail and put them into games doesn’t mean they shouldn’t ignore the method of actually putting the actors themselves into the game. I mean, seriously, wouldn’t that at least save on the budget to some extent? Am I the only one who actually likes the charm of games doing that?

Music is used sparingly, and it’s good for what it is, you just won’t be remembering any of the tunes in the game. The intro to Myst was more memorable music-wise than anything in this game. Come to think of it, I don’t remember if the music in Riven was all that memorable either (I guess that answers that).

And, uh, that’s all.

This wasn’t in the game.  False advertising alert!

Censorship!? Sensitivity!? A rant against both in Gloom of Kilforth

Introduction

So, background.  Gloom of Kilforth is a fantasy sword & sorcery setting board game designed by Tristan Hall, a project that was successfully funded on September 27, 2015.  The gameplay mechanics and art style interested me greatly, and there aren’t enough board games in that genre that manage to do both (the best fantasy board game I’ve currently played is Magic Realm, made all the way back in 1979).  The main thing that won me over into backing that game is the passion the creator has for it. 8 years this has been developed, tested, modified, updated, tweaked, and improved during all that time. No way is someone that passionate over a game that is destined to be weak sauce. The final thing that brought me on board was the fact that this is a kickstarter exclusive game. It won’t be funded any other way, and won’t be brought onto store shelves. It’s a labor of love from beginning to end, with plenty of positive reviews along the way. It gained my admiration and my pledge.

Over a year later, Tristan made an update, stating that the files were sent to the presses, to see if they could begin printing the cards, rulebook, box, etc.  But then game one word in one section of the update that took me completely by surprise.

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