We are having a video game revival over here. We're a generation behind, but we are tearing through some games. I've just basically given up sleep and have been a zombie at work, but my philosophy has been if i'm going to be miserable i ought to be tired as well.
Monsters first, and then get the treasure, dammit!
We just played through D&D Heroes for the X-Box. When we first played it, i thought it wasn't as good as the Baldur's Gate games for the consoles, but it's actually just a slightly different style and once you accept that it's great. It's more action/arcade oriented than the Baldur's Gates which makes sense because it is four players and with four people sitting around you don't really want to click through a ton of dialogue - you just want to go on a rampage. Or at least, 3 of us wanted to go on a rampage. The 4th - and i won't say who - just wanted to smash all the boxes and open all the chests and grab the loot while the rest of us were occupied.
The only bad thing - and i see this a lot in all different types of roleplaying games - is that by the time we got to the end of the game we were super-powerful and there wasn't really a challenge anymore. We had millions of heal potions and raise dead amulets, super-mega attack spells, and even my wizard was killing the bad guys in a couple of hits. After we beat the game on Hard, we unlocked the Nightmare level and we started that up and loaded our characters... and it wasn't much of a Nightmare at all.
Blue Valkyrie shouldn't shoot food. Yellow Warrior shouldn't shoot potions. Red Knight shouldn't shoot--- are you people even listening to me?
So we've moved on to Gauntlet: Dark Legacy (I am noticing that GameSpot is totally not liking these games that i think are great, which is interesting.) I played through this once before but the others have not, which is cool cause now i get to play as one of the characters i unlocked along the way last time. This is (nearly) pure arcade style fun, especially when you switch the controls to "Robotron Style". Damn right. We're playing on Hard, which means all the treasure chests and barrels are full of Poison Apples and Junk, but we're getting along.
There's a Secret War in my Xbox, and everyone's invited!
Meanwhile, we're playing through Marvel Ultimate Alliance. Yeah, it's for the original Xbox (I'm not moving on to the next video game generation), but i still think the graphics are fine, plus, who cares... you can be like every marvel character, and you get to fight the rest of them. We've fought Dragon Man, and Modok, and Fin Fang Foom, and Radioactive Man, and tons more. It's like they made the game for me! Oh, the game's actually pretty good, too. The controls are pretty intuitive and you need to have different sorts of strategies for fighting different types of charagers. About half of the boss fights aren't straight button mashers, either. There's lots of little variations and tricks to them. And you get to create a "team" - you pick a logo and enter a name (we're Power Pack, of course) and you can earn a reputation by being heroic, and you use those points to buy benefits for your team.
The only real problem is the upgrade system - sometimes when you go up a level you get a point, and sometimes you don't. Sometimes you use points to upgrade your powers, and sometimes you have to pay money. And some powers you can't upgrade until you are a certain level, which is odd (they should just make it so that it costs enough points that it's restrictive to buy at lower levels, just for consistency). But that's a minor complaint; superheroes don't really "upgrade" their powers very often anyway.
Who will be master Baten?
Meanwhile meanwhile, when the whole group isn't here, me and min are playing Baten Kaitos Origins. It's a non-action roleplaying game, which i usually don't like to play cause there's not a lot of strategy or anything involved, but we were trying to find some games that don't make certain people dizzy. And it's actually pretty unique - instead of selecting moves, it's got a Yu-gi-oh style card system where moves come up on your "deck" and you have to pick them in the right order to execute combos. And it's real-time turn based, which means you have to pick the cards quick. So it's not billed as a two player game, but i really do need a wingman to tell me what the hell is going on while i'm picking my cards. The only weird thing is, i'm a character in the game. I'm the spirit that lives in the main character's heart (uh-huh). So he keeps turning around to ask me questions. But what i've learned is, i have to always agree with what he's saying. If he asks me a question (What do you think, Chumley? Should we trust her?), if i say i don't trust her and he wants to trust her, it means we don't get certain bonuses. So it's sort of like fascism, or maybe like getting an essay assignment in school and having to answer it the way the teacher wants instead of what you think.
Using an X-X-A Combo to Fight the Power!
This post may look like a bunch of video game reviews, but it's actually a political post. This is my new manifesto. I've decided i'm not going to put my life on hold just because i'm working at a crappy job. I'm gonna stay up all night playing video games if i want to, dammit. I'm gonna enjoy my life. I'm gonna --- zzzzzzzzz...