Writer, artist and musician. Also retired from the demoscene. Concerned primarily with technology and education. Oh yeah, and good games.
... and no better than it needs to be.
5 hours. Yeah, so October is a rough go for me and sleep can be elusive. Thankfully there's a lovely little bundle of Dancing Dragon RPGs on sale on Steam until the 24th. That's great because I love bundles and it includes a game that's been clogging up my wishlist for two years.
Oh sometimes I really like to like them simmer.
It's $12 (CDN) for four, read me, competent RPGs. I'm ready to review Skyborn, almost. As it stands my thoughts are; it's too aware of itself and the things it dislikes; it was very rushed; it's too blasted short, and Claret's a-freakin'-dorable.
So suspense is included in the package.
Well, it's longer than 1200 words, but they're all heartfelt words. HL2 was a breakthrough for me; I learned to love shooters again, and survived Ravenholm. That place can still freak me out if I let it. Sure the enemies are canned, and my reflexes are muscle memory at this point, but ... the atmosphere is still haunting.
An insightful conversation with Nightfire supplied some valuable introspective that was sorely needed prior to writing that review. He suggested a retrospective, so I approached it with my first experience in mind and memory.
Yes the dune buggy a lame, spazzy vehicle, but it's part of an epic moment that you enjoy on its own if you let it be. I was so excited at the time, and that's all that matters. HL2 succeeded in doing what games are supposed to do.
Everyone's played HL2, but I think I know why we may never see HL3 ...
The problem is I'm having a darned time turning it into a review. I've got more of a dissertation on the topic of narrative disappointment and lockdown than subject critique of the game's strengths and flaws.
HL2 isn't the sort of game you review. No, you experience it and then run around like a fool looking out for anyone who might possibly play it, or who already has. It's that Lord of the Rings moment when you know you've just got to pass on the experience, but you're not sure why.
Looking around at the current political climate, I can see why. As a writer, though, I am determined to do right by the review and ... get it right. Oh, and the key to HL3? A spoilerific change of cast members.
You know the one I mean.
Appreciation of what we have and what we've lost.
I've always found it interesting that when fans love a game they often to a better job of post-release support, especially when the publisher shows no interest in doing so. We'll address the strange framerate issues, the bizarre ratio problems, soundtrack options and de-dubbing that should have been included at launch.
So how is an achievement that says "Customer Appreciation" at launch making us feel appreciated? That's like, hey, I bought the game. Great! You bought the game and launched it! Woot!
The answer's pretty easy, actually ... games I've played! (Huzzah!)
So portioning out another review, a new review, mind you, meant ponying up a few bucks for the Steam/PC version of Final Fantasy IV. You see, it was my Great Induction into the world of Japanese fantasy role-playing games. I owned the SNES version (FFII), currently own the GBA and DS re-releases, but was irritated that the PC release just didn't differ at all from the DS version.
I was enthralled and enraged, compelled and propelled through FFII. I replayed it over the years until I could minmax my way to the end without much effort. There /are/ ways to mess with the stats - Ogre/Poison Axes & headband is a serious winner's combo. It lead me to the other story driven titles; FF IX, FF X, FF XIII and some Tactics, here and there.
School was around the corner, so I figured, why not?
Reviews are a fleeting interest of mine. Long ago it might have become a career if I'd had any confidence in myself. That portion of my life is past and I have the confidence I need.
Though I'll admit I didn't expect to be published by HG. You grow accustomed to rejection on the fiction circuit. This was a nice change of pace, so I promise to make a habit of it. In fact, I have at least four reviews ready to go, and I'm working on a re-write for my Half Life 2 review, as it was broken at the time. (The game, not my review, though now the reverse is true.)