Well how the hell is everyone doing?
Hopefully the new year is really treating you like Kings, and Queens, and you’re getting what you so desperately need.
I think I’m ready for a new recap of some things, and also an outline of some post concepts.
With a new year, I did not make any actual vows or resolutions. Typically cause I find them to be false starts and irrelevant, and easily forgotten or just tools for one to feel guilty, when they don’t accomplish some goal that wasn’t realistic when set.
But.. that leads to .. The Blog State of the Union.
For a while, I’ve been considering what I want this blog to be about, and in a lot of cases, guess what. It’s just an outlet for my creative juices. But by that same token, where as I visit a website daily or weekly myself, waiting for some word or thought or deed, I found myself thinking back to this blog.
And I think I want to turn it into an opinion piece, and share some various factoids, via game reviews, even if they are late to the party “as it were” .. but also movie reviews, and gaming ideas and concepts. And general philosophical debates, with pro and con, and sometimes an actually formed opinion.
So.. let’s get the ball rolling.
Personal life? For me, it’s going very good. Several things I’ve been working on in my personal life have developed into a fruition that will lead to another future fruition. (In love, and it is sappy and eternal, and what not. And I’m not ashamed of stating that I love this woman.) So on that front, great stuff.
Hmm.. okay games.
Wow, this year contained a lot of interesting games (this year being 2010) from the hands of Steams mega deals. I pretty much avoided quite a few games this year, waiting till a Steam super sale. And boy did they bring some seriously interesting games that I’ve been putting off purchasing for a long time, because the price was right.
(Quick deviation note, I realize that Impulse is a good alternative to Steam, and while I like to support Stardock and their developers and publishers that they put out through their system. But I’ll be completely honest. Steam works for me. Hands down. And often the prices during their super sales are exactly what I’m looking for. And also get me to try some other games that I wouldn’t of under any other circumstances. But solely because the price point on their 66%+ off sales are really a nice way to just pick up something easily and give it a shot, without the loss of to much coin if the pay off fails. And I would do similar with Impulse if you know.. they offered the same low costs. But they don’t, so I don’t. For whatever reason they can’t, I also can’t justify going their route short of exclusive games.)
So back to Steam..
I picked up quite a few games this year. Many that I haven’t even played yet, but not to fret. I am beginning to play through them slowly and giving them shots.
Borderlands game of the year edition. I see what everyone was talking about. It really is a great and fun shooter. Coupled with that venn diagram involving RPG items Levels, Shooting, and Screams. “Good Boy Bloodwing.”
I’ve got more to do in that game, but it was worth the price I picked it up for.
A gem of a game that I didn’t know I would enjoy as much as I have.. Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale. It’s fun in a jrpg format (Japanese RPG for those not aware of that acronym). I’ve played it a bit, and found it really is a fun game. Difficult and unforgiving at times, but quite entertaining across the board. Most definitely worth it’s sale price.
King Arthur – The Roleplaying Game, I’m finding I like this game. It’s got a bit of flavor that I dig, though again I wish they would decouple these ideas from lore of Camelot and instead go with a fantasy feel from stem to stern instead of making us take on the role of Arthur.. But that said, it’s a fun game. Though I’m still within the “Tutorial” that it’s running me through. But good stuff in general. No full rating yet, but I’m liking it, and think it’ll be worth the sale price.
Transformers: War for Cybertron, this one should be an instant hit for me.. and I really like that they’ve got the actor for Optimus. But I didn’t like the campaign they’ve got going on.. it’s visually interesting, but a little too busy on the screen. While also some weird ass side angle view of your Transformer off center.. it isn’t what I was expecting. And while I know it’s doing a good job of sharing an interesting story, and believe me I’m a big fan of Transformers. (Hell my original version of Optimus Prime the miniature in great condition met the Firegod many years ago along with some D&D books in the great Cleansing.. but whatever.. ) but this game isn’t hooking me like I was hoping. (I didn’t want to be prime, Rachet, or Bumblebee , I wanted to be my own autobot.. but that’s only apparently during multiplayer.. I don’t know.. not sure it was worth the sale price. I’ll finish it at some point.. but this was so far the only game I’ve possibly regretted buying.
I picked up a few others, (Aliens vs. Predators, Dawn of Discovery – Venice, Europa Universalis 3, Fantasy Wars, Guardians of Graxia, Hinterland, IL-2 Sturmovik: 1946 with all DLC, Machinarium, Magic the Gathering Duel of the Planeswalker and all DLC, Wings of Prey & it’s DLC)
But of those, none of have been played for anything length of time yet.
And that leads me to another computer game..
Elemental War of Magic, still haven’t played it. But it sounds like they are starting to make some significant headway with how the game plays, almost enough to be considered worthy of my time to come back and really delve into it. Letting time cool my frustrations with it so it’s like a clean slate so when I get back in.. I can judge it on it’s actual merits. And then I can make some decent suggestions and do more videos for those who may care.
Ah.. now remember my rant about D&D and The Slumlords of the Coast.
Yeah still pissed off at them, but the anger is slowly being to be assuaged. But.. that said.. by having gone the route of playing Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3rd Edition..
I am finally for the first time in years, feeling less constrained by the rules.. the heavy handed numbered mechanics.. from D&D any version.. gone. I’m not spending hours on planning out 10 interesting “Fights/Encounters” on the way to some goal, while also paying attention to making sure magic items are found, and wealth distributed.
Those issues.. gone. And now.. I also did something else.. I ditched the Warhammer universe. I’m using the mechanics and reskinning various aspects of the game, using my own game world that I use for my D&D campaign. And I can’t tell you how much freedom that’s given me. By using this system, I’ve come to the conclusion I’ll be making my own careers / classes from the inspiration of 4th edition D&D Heroic classes, Paragon classes and Epic level destinies. And just skinning them into this mechanical system..
And I CAN tell you.. HOLY SHIT!
Wow.. I’m focusing on the stories of the characters and the actual budding story of the campaign. And because I’m not burning the fuck out of myself, by spending hours upon hours upon hours building interesting encounters … and stressing about all the mechanics working perfectly.. to achieve a numerical probability that degenerates into a game of numbers (any edition of D&D as it were).. with these new dice and associated concepts.. it frees up those mechanical locks to give me.. the focus on .. everything else that I couldn’t make work properly cause our group is rather fond of combats, again partially because that’s what the conceit of the system bred.. (kill or drive off X creature for Y XP, repeat Z times for level).. now the players show up and play.. and..
Get an xp to spend that actually improves their character.. thus gratification for the players for showing up.. having fun getting into character.. and helping get us all to focus on the next story “Lord of the Rings” in epic scale.
But I’ll explore that more in future installments.
I don’t have a specific publishing plan for this blog yet.. but I’m going to make a concerted effort to post much more frequently, and at least once a week, until I can get to more frequent stable posting plan.
Oh.. a movie I saw that was enjoyable.. “True Grit” good film, very much similar to the story of D&D characters who are unlimbered from mechanics.. just sayin’
Another film that I viewed, and found very thought provoking.. Restrepo. It’s military documentary about a military deployment to Afghanistan and the Korengal Valley. You owe it to the soldiers who are out there fighting for America.. to watch it. Educate yourself on what the hell they are going through. This is a must see movie. 4 out of 5.
Talk with you all soon.. (off to some game or something to relax!)
Sincerely and Respectfully,