Cult of the Turtle

Joe Tortuga's musing on life,tech and gaming

My Week In Gaming: June 14, 2010

June 14, 2010

I began my week still having Nier, Blur, and Red Dead Redemption. Nier got moved up the Gamefly list, and Blur is on it waiting for Tam’s approval/desire for it.  I’ll play it when she gets it, but I’m not feeling pressed to play it; it’s not like I’ll do any of the online races, anyway.  Travis suggested that I play RDR until I got the lasso, so I gave it one more shot, and got to the lasso mission, but got to frustrated to complete it.  I pulled it off the Gamefly list; I’m not sure what my deal is, but missions that early in the game shouldn’t be so hard — I have to assume I’m missing something, but at this point, it’s probably “caring about this game.”

The good news was that Demon’s Souls was coming from Gamefly.  I played this around the time it came out, and had real difficulty with it — something I now understand was made more difficult by there being “black soul” weekend events when I had it. When I played this on Thursday, it was substantially easier, aided by a different class (Royalty, this time) and an almost incredible amount of healing drops.  I finally finished off the first boss, and am getting into the meat of the game.

I guess it befuddles me a bit, Demon’s Souls has a reputation for being incredibly hard, picky and punishing, and I’m not only doing well, I’m enjoying the game. RDR does not have anything like that reputation, and I find it stupid and frustrating.  I’m not sure why this is; certainly I wasn’t invested in RDR’s story, but DS doesn’t really supply a story to be invested in (beyond my own narrative, of course).  Certainly there’s overall less different options in DS, so I’ve focused on what I have in front of me, and have a general idea of what is available (if not entirely possible) to do next.  Some part of me still wants to play RDR to answer that conundrum, but, well, maybe some other time.

Kongregate has a few games that caught my attention this week. Necronator is a sort of 16-bit game about a necromancer out to destroy a fantasy world. It’s by Toge Productions, who also did Infectionator, a similar game about destroying the world with zombies.

My favorite flash-game developer, jmbt02, put out  a new game this week, as well.  I did a little happy dance when I found out, although this isn’t one of my favorites of his, his games seem to be regularly high quality.  I followed his blog, so I wouldn’t miss this sort of thing again.

I also spent a bit of time playing The Enchanted Cave, a sort-of rogue-like rpg.  Much like Demon’s Souls you lose all progress when you die, and can leave (dropping all normal equipment). There are ways to progress, and I think I’ve got the strategy down now.  The other game that kind of intrigued me was Castle Wars 2, a game very much like the card game from Might and Magic VII.

As you can see, there’s a real problem for flash game developers, as I found four enjoyable games in a week. Getting noticed is hard, and while Kongregate has some tools for that (it’s how I found these games), I imagine there’s a lot that is good and is missed.   Of course, this was a particularly good week for this, too.

Given that Fantasy RPGs were the theme for the week and weekend, I returned to Dragon Age: Origins, this time to play a violent warrior.  I was reminded of one of my favorite D&D fighters, a character who didn’t want to be still. She always just wanted to go on to the next thing, and be pointed at the next batch of monsters to kill, or door to knock down.  I created her to take a break from the more intense story and characterization of GMing, and she was simple and a blast to play.  My City Elf Warrior is much the same, and it made the clichéd City Elf origin story much more fun to play. Particularly when I got to the king.  (Of course, I k new I didn’t have to make nice with someone who was just going to die, anyway, too).

The big focus for my weekend was tabletop roleplaying.  I’m getting the Dresden Files RPG books soon, and I need to pound out an adventure and more characters over the next two weeks, as I’m running it at origins on the 26th.  This weekend was also the Columbus D&D Meetup, and I’m running a game there. I’ll write more about that later, but overall the adventure was fun to run, and I think everyone enjoyed it. It was a bit short, I admit, but, again,  that’s what Girl and I want, and worked for our players.

Of course, I spent a good amount of time playing Dungeons and Dragons Online this week. We had a couple of good days playing our low-levels.  I really enjoy these particular quests, when it doesn’t feel so overwhelming and where we feel competent and successful. Of course, it could also be that our complement works better, since we have most of the roles covered (Fighter/Cleric and Rogue/Wizard).  It’ll be interesting as we get a few more levels and take on some more difficult dungeons.

I had a good run with Tam in Puzzle Pirates, as well. One issue with Puzzle Pirates is that there’s very little you can do on your own or with a small group.  That means that until you join a steady crew (which requires being a more steady player than I am, I think), you are always risking joining a group that has overshot their ability or who has interpersonal problems.

Tam and I got planked (kicked off the ship) during a battle we were winning, because someone’s little brother had a fit of pique. So we headed out to do something a else, perhaps a bit easier.. “I want to win,” I told her, so we joined something easy.  And did very well with a smaller group, and even made pretty decent cash.  Hopefully we’ll play again one night this week.

Heavy Rain is on its way from Gamefly as I write this, and I guess we’ll see how long I keep that one. I don’t have high hopes, but again, it’s a game I feel I should at least try before passing on it.