A brief backlog update
June 19, 2015

Last night, I finished Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Fun game, but I was getting a bit tired of it. Possibly because (uh, spoilers ahoy) the last area scorns the fun stealth-based strategy for getting rushed by cyborg zombies -- or should I say, cyborg zombies with hilariously bad AI, such as when they stop in front of you and just stand still so I can shoot them with whatever gun I feel like using. Hell, I didn't even bother saving David Sarif when he radio'd for help. Nope, just going straight through to where the yellow X is on the map. Time to Typhoon the hell out of the final boss until the credits roll.

This morning, I noticed this is towards the end of Steam's Summer Sale and all four games on my list of shit to buy were on sale. So I took one game off the backlog and added Avernum 2, Icewind Dale Enhanced Edition, Heroes of a Broken Land and Pier Solar. Kudos to me for that very common-sense based purchase, which will soon be duplicated after using my credit card a bit more to get the cash back points for another $100 Amazon gift card.

As for the ABOMINATION, since I'm giving the whole Alpha Marathon a run this year, instead of picking one of the very fun and highly regarded 360 games for my next one for that system, I went with Venetica to eliminate V. Oy. This will be an ordeal.

On the surface, other than how the graphics and animations seem primitive PS2 in spots and how the dialogue might need a more strict proofing than the first draft of the average EmP review (ZING!), things aren't that bad. The game starts quickly, with your character's village attacked and mostly destroyed and her boyfriend killed, leaving you to start collecting quests and stuff. But as soon as you start doing stuff, things go hilariously wrong in so many little ways.

1. You control your character with the left stick and the camera with the right. Cool, except for how you about have to micromanage the camera stick due to how it swings wildly with regularity. Fighting is just a royal pain, especially when enemies start rolling and evading and I find myself running away to turn around and wait for the foe to get back over to me to resume the fight because the camera zoomed in and spun a bit so I can't even see where he went to. I suppose the fact I'm stuck in an area with nothing but narrow forest paths isn't helping. This leads to how the only effective way to fight is to lure one enemy at a time (nonexistent AI here!) to you.

2. I don't know if I'm in awe or insulted by this. Near the village is a clearing with ruins where a few regular assassins and one master assassin. If you start to enter the place, you'll get treated to dialogue about their attack on your village. If you listen long enough, the master assassin finishes by saying "Now tell me again about how you had so much trouble with this village." And the entire dialogue loops again. That's either really clever (foregoing the "we said our piece and now...silence" or really stupid. I can't decide.

This shall be an adventure... Step one: figure out if I'm fighting Dervishes or "Derwishes"!

Most recent blog posts from Rob Hamilton...

EmP EmP - June 19, 2015 (10:18 AM)
You talk like my reviews goes through a second draft. The other option is to try to use the site's editor, but by the time that happens the window of relevance is dust.

A few years ago I had picked Venetica up as my V choice and I think I probably enjoyed it a little more than you (I might have spoken about it a few times in ye olde blog; I may try to look that up). I think I was down to the last few stages before I forgot I owned a console until, well, about now. I liked some of the exploration and the light/dark moral choices are so hilariously black and white it made me smile. Maybe I'll go back someday. Maybe.
overdrive overdrive - June 19, 2015 (11:09 AM)
Lol, yeah. I was laughing at one I had last night where you find a will for two bickering brothers. You can go with what the will says and give everything to the "booze and whores" brother, lie big-time and give it all to the other brother, who plans to build an orphanage or simply lie and say it's a 50/50 split.

So, apparently the woods near a mostly ruined and isolated village that's under siege from assassins will now be getting a tavern/whorehouse. Good for me! I have to admit that if I'm reading things right, it doesn't matter if you're good or evil -- as long as you do...uh...stuff, you get reputation. I like the concept of finally being able to be an utter bastard to people without getting frozen out of quests/allies/etc., which usually happens in WRPGs.

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