Assorted Gaming Stuffs

I deleted Second Life. Why play a game in which my avatar’s life is even more aimless and in need of direction than my “first” life? Admittedly, I did enjoy The Sims, however I have no desire to play it again. I spent so much time building a house, telling my Sims what to do, and and all that nonsense, but it was all rather aimless.

Give me missions and quests and monsters to kill. I want goals. I don’t want to make my own story (necessarily), I want a reasonably fleshed-out world that I can jump into. I want a world in which I can participate in a story, either through my own character (e.g. Guild Wars) or through the eyes of another character (e.g. just about any other game that I like). I don’t want an interactive world masquerading as a chatroom, which is what Second Life seems to be. Am I wrong?

I downloaded and played the demo of Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy. PS2 controls would make this game far more enjoyable to play than a keyboard and mouse. Even though the American version is censored, I shall have to get that one instead of the PC version (although I am still on the fence about getting this game). It requires a lot of button-pressing manouevres, which are better-suited to a controller interface.

The story itself is pretty intriguing, but I would have to play the demo a few more times to get all the “endings”. It strikes me as similar to one of those Choose Your Own Adventure books in which, after each chapter, you are given a choice of what you want to do next. You make the choice, and you turn to a different part of the book and read the consequences of your decision. I loved those books.

I finally played Facade. It’s kind of an uncomfortable “game” to play, because you feel awkward in the midst of the characters’ marital problems. It’s more of an interactive drama than a game, really. Both times I played through, I broke up the characters’ marriage with my comments. In the first play, the husband walked out. In the second play, the wife walked out. When they walked out, they both thanked me, though, so I suppose breaking up a marriage was all right if it got at least one party to realise that it was a bad situation. Still, it felt weird. I would so not want to be in that position in real life.

Judging from Atul’s review, the drama could end in many different ways. It was a bit too stressful for me to want to play it just to see what I could get away with. I guess that says something about the strength of the voice acting. I know it’s silly, because these are just characters, but I couldn’t bring myself to do anything “evil” to them just to find out what would happen. It’s irrational. I mean, if I was playing Fable, I would probably be more inclined to experiment with morality. In The Sims, I wouldn’t mind so much if my Sim died in a freak kitchen accident, although when I played I did do my best to keep them healthy and happy. In Facade, where there is more emotional involvement, I just couldn’t do anything bad to those characters. They already seemed like they had enough problems without me causing chaos. I know, it’s dumb! Oh well.

I went to GameStop on Saturday. I was good, and I didn’t buy the last copy of Sigma Star Saga they had in the store. I saw a new copy of Killer 7 going for only $29.99. That game was $49.99 a couple months ago. I resisted. Grr! I am tough!

There was a new kid working there (there always is, because retail turnover is usually high). He looked really weedy and nerdy and young. LOL. Was I ever that young? He seemed like he half didn’t believe that I used to work there, but the manager-on-duty knew me. We chatted about the Xbox 360 and GameStop’s insane $2 000 ultimate bundle (available online only).

The weekend is over, and my list of games to purchase for the rest of the year stands thusly:

  • Minna Daisuki Katamari Damacy — Duh!
  • Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy — It looks too interesting. It’s one of those games with a good concept that could be badly excecuted, so I shall wait for reviews and comments before purchasing.
  • Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth — GameStop says that the release date is 1st November, EB Games says March 2006. Since Bethesda Softworks says 4th quarter 2005, I’ll believe GameStop. I’m seeing a suggested retail price of $39.99, which is nice for a new game.
  • Neverwinter Nights Platinum — This is a low priority, but I will eventually get it. This year. I’ve actually been putting it off for a while. :>

  5 comments for “Assorted Gaming Stuffs

  1. 6 September 2005 at 14:18

    Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth has had an awful time making it to store shelves. I’m a huge Lovecraft fan so I’ve been waiting for the game since it was first announced (sometime back in 2002-2003). It has slipped past so many release dates that I’m starting to doubt that it’s ever going to come out – or maybe it will end up with some other great vaporware titles (Duke Nukem). Although everyone seems to agree that 10/10 is the new release date… Only time will tell I guess.

  2. 6 September 2005 at 14:52

    I only managed Facade twice too. Not only was it quite uncomfortable, they’d often misinterpret something I said. It was hard to know what to say also – your comments rarely had the intended effect. Still a really interesting experiment but arguably nothing more.

    As for The Sims, I got hooked on both 1 and 2 briefly before realising how aimless it was, like you said. That’s usually the way with sandbox games though I guess -lots of freedom, no real aim. Sims kids these days often set themselves challenges though e.g. get the richest family in 10 generations. It’s like they’re playing games within the game.

    The sheer amount of creativity The Sims 2 has inspired in its players is pretty astounding too – it blows away Quake and its mod scene for sheer number of participants.

  3. 6 September 2005 at 18:57

    Thanks to you, I came really close to picking up Killer 7 tonight–but then I remembered that my girlfriend has the Gamecube this month. Oh well. Amazing how fast it was marked down.

  4. 8 September 2005 at 19:20

    I’m not sure how I feel about Second Life. On the one hand, it does feel pretty aimless and really unpolished, but on the other hand, every time I read an article from The Escapist that mentions it (and it’s mentioned quite a bit), I feel like I ought to give it another chance.

    I guess it seems as though games like Second Life aren’t actually games, but more like weird virtual communities. SL feels like a 3D version of a social MUD like LambdaMOO, and LambdaMOO never even marketed itself as a game. I guess all I’m saying is that while those kinds of virtual communities aren’t really my thing, I still think they’re really interesting to observe and I’m glad they’re around.

    I’m not sure how I feel about The Sims, either. While it was definitely addictive, I don’t really have any particularly fond memories of it–SimCity, on the other hand, is something that I’d really like to try again. As Pete said, I think it’s all about setting your own goals for the game, kind of like a free-form science lab or something. And it’s more fun for me to think of interesting experiments with cities than it is to think of experiments with dollhouses.

  5. 10 September 2005 at 20:41

    The Husband borrowed Killer 7 last month — I would classify it as an interactive art piece.

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