10 April, 2006

Out Of Hibernation (And Mana)

Warning: This is mostly stream of conciousness with plenty of gamer jargon. It's mostly just me mentally catching up with the gaming I've done.

I have played a lot of games. But for pictures, I haven't had much to post except Joint Ops, and I figured you'd be tired of that. Then I realized that there's no more than two people who even read this thing, and you'd love some more Joint Ops. :) I'm not posting this from a place where I've got access to my Joint Ops photos, but you can expect further updates in the not too distant future. In the meantime, I'll blather about WoW.

World of Warcraft is a decent game. But like most MMOs, it's largely about fighting monsters to get bigger weapons to fight bigger monsters to get even bigger weapons to fight even bigger monsters. Size is the 3D game equivalent of palette shifting. I'd explain, but the gamers know what I mean. And it's not that everything in WoW is size adjusted. There's palette shifting too. :P Seriously, though, it's the same treadmill. But I don't care anymore.

I'm all played out.


I spent six months playing games and played everything there is to play.

That's not strictly true of course. There's always more to play, but I've played the best in every genre I care about. I even got to the point where I could be playing a well made game and be bored with it. Sly 3: Band of Thieves is the game I'm thinking of. I enjoyed Sly and Sly 2. Sly 3 was still good, but didn't feel much different from Sly 2. I'd had enough gaming goodness. And don't think I hadn't done a good deal of looking around.

I played every game I cared about on Yahoo's subscription service. Out of all of them, I only bought Thief: Deadly Shadows to keep after my account expired. I think that game made the best use of bump mapping of any game I've seen. Medieval environs are just perfect for the type of rough stone and brick textures bump mapping brings out. Sure, DOOM 3 had it, but Thief 3 really used it.

And that asylum level was fantastically creepy and way more fun than Silent Hill 3 in its entirety. The problem I have with most horror games is that they aren't really horror games, but rather action games with really bad controls. Even Resident Evil 4, the best of the lot, fits that description. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed RE4, but lost interest on my second playthrough. The thing I like about games is that they give you the tools to perform amazing feats. Most horror games just don't do that. If you want to make me play a clutzy writer who's fallen into a horrible conspiracy, that's fine, but do what a novelist would do and give me the kinds of puzzles and situations that would make it somewhat feasible for my character to perservere, not just a nerf version of an action game protagonist fighting cumbersome nerf monsters. That's incredibly lazy design.

Meh. I have no room to talk. It's not like I'm writing a game. I was at one point, but I'm just too damn lazy. Spending time with family and friends is as much as I want out of life. So that's what my gaming life has become. I play WoW because my friends do, even avoiding advancing too quickly so no one gets level envy and we all get the same XP. I play Joint Ops because Baby Einstein does. I could still play with 69 Rocket GC, yoshahorror and some of the others, but without the voice chat and accompanying silliness (the ballad of DanielB), it wouldn't be worth it.

Hanging out with friends and family. That's my gaming life.