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freedumb

May 4, 2009 Leave a comment

This is, as far as I can recall, the first ever post I’ve made on this (or any) blog at a cybercafe. And the only reason I’m typing this at a cybercafe instead of at home is because, yeah, exams are over and I’ve been indulging in my growing CoD4 addiction with a couple of friends. Today’s been the best gaming so far, since we’ve managed to play quite a lot with 6 people instead of the usual 4. It’s also been good because I’ve been pretty much owning my buds, although that might have more to do with their lack of ability rather than any sort of real talent on my part.

Exams are over and I feel good about it. Very good. We all do, I assume. It’s, I guess, a mix of both having gotten both Syntax papers out of the way and of having finished the bloody exams. The relief is evident, I guess, due to the fact that people have been making comments about how I’ve been looking particularly happy and/or relieved. And who am I to argue? I am, pretty much. Relieved I am. I’m still not totally in the holiday mood, but hey, they only officially start tomorrow so yea.

I don’t think I’ve celebrated the end of exams like this, ever. Many, many hours of CoD4, dinner at Williams, etcetc. Usually everyone just goes their separate ways, but I don’t know why it’s been kinda different this time. If I hadn’t proposed the idea of playing a few games of CoD4 last Monday, though, things might be very, very different. As it is, we’re all addicted to CoD4, and it shows. Two three-hour sessions a day? Oh yes, pretty much addicted for sure. Sure, I can play at home, but it’s not as fun as, y’know, playing at a cybercafe with friends. The gaming is about the same, but the social element is a bit different. And I enjoy the social element.

I’m finding the widescreen monitor here at this cybercafe really . . . interesting, for lack of a better term. I almost think I want one. Almost.

Categories: gaming, life and times

whee~

Apr 30, 2009 Leave a comment

I’m tired. Pretty fucking tired. Getting two hours of sleep and being up since 2am (it’s 9pm) now does that to you, I guess. Caught the Manure vs. Arse game, and then, since I had an exam at 9, I (along with the three other buggers I was with, all of whom were sitting for the same exam) somewhat decided to, y’know, not sleep. Or, at least, not much. Yeah. The only way I’ve managed to survive until now is being around friends, making shitloads of noise (TALKTALKTALKTALK) and lots and lots of gaming. Spent three hours at one of the cybercafes here in Kelana Jaya after the exam, most of which were spent playing CoD4, as is the norm these days, although not without a few diversions here and there.

I was just about ready to pass out while watching some episodes of Top Gear just now.

For some odd reason I’ve started gaming much, much more recently. Maybe it was that fateful spur-of-the-moment decision to play some CoD4 with a handful of my friends after our exam on Monday. Maybe, maybe. I was never much of a hardcore FPS guy, much preferring solitary pursuits such as RPGs, but man, I don’t know, I really like CoD4. I’ve started playing Left 4 Dead, too. Which is also great, and, y’know, might just become my next obsession. Shitloads of zombies! Weapons! Blood! Guts! Ace replayability! What more could you want?

One more exam on Sunday and I’m done for this semester. Can’t wait. Will be pretty occupied between now and then, though. I’m playing at a jam session here in KJ tomorrow evening, and then I’ll be hitting the Gudang Noisy stage with xLumbrahx on Saturday. I’ll probably be playing two sets tomorrow, too; one with a (most probably) one-off band playing Misfits, Ramones and Weezer covers and one with xLumbrahx, as a sort of warmup for the aforementioned Saturday gig. At least, that’s the plan. I’m looking forward to my first somewhat-public performance behind the drumkit, too, and have been trying to get more people to attend. Let’s just hope I don’t fuck things up too much. Might want to lay off the slightly overambitious double pedal bits. Yeah, yeah. That might be better.

Oh, and no surprises for guessing what I’m going to be doing after that last paper. Dude who used to have long hair and who likes to use the word “dude,” you better bring it!

(Why lie, I actually suck at CoD4, it’s just that my friends suck more.)

bits and pieces

Feb 11, 2009 Leave a comment

As if there wasn’t reason enough to love the Ricecooker shop already, over the past two weeks I bought a couple of pretty damn impressive—and pretty damn noisy—CDs in the Al-Thawra / Winters in Osaka collaboration CD and Bastard Noise’s Descent to Mimas. Yeah, motherfuckers. Bastard-fucking-Noise. I admit that I’m not totally sold on the merits of the Bastard Noise machine, but that CD I bought is pretty fucking killer, I have to say. Worth the cash. And, unless someone beats me to it—highly unlikely, but you never know—I’m going to be getting Guilty Connector’s Cosmic Trigger / 2 A.M. Visit CD next. If this was the me of ’08 I’d be all over the Prurient CD they have (Shipwrecker’s Diary… yeah, it’s all Ground Fault stuff) but I’m thinking I’d rather spend my cash on other stuff first.

I also attended both of Goh Lee Kwang’s recent concerts at the Findars Space at the Annexe, yesterday and the previous Tuesday. Enjoyable experiences both, although two very different experiences. Last Tuesday’s performance was acoustic, while yesterday’s performance was pretty much pure laptop-based noise. I have to say that I preferred last night’s performance over his previous one, but it’s all good.


(Last week’s concert.)

I’ve been playing Baldur’s Gate 1 like a motherfucker recently. Great, great game. I just wish that the characters, y’know, walked faster. Or that you could, y’know, have them run. BG1 seems a bit old-fashioned and unrefined compared to later Infinity Engine games, but I guess that’s to be expected. It is, after all, the first IE game. I would’ve used BGTuTu or whatever so that I could play BG1 with the Baldur’s Gate 2 engine, but I seem to have lost my BG2 CDs and, well, the Internet’s being hugely sucky so I can’t download it.

And, if I may make a complete detour: this whole Perak business and the sudden emergence of boatloads of idiots who thump their chests and shout “Daulat Tuanku!!!” makes me sick. Utterly, utterly sick. What the fuck, people? No, seriously. I’m hardly a supporter of Nizar or whoever, but fuck you guys man, I want nothing to do with idiots that deify their—very nearly pointless, to these eyes—sultans and rajas and etc. It just makes me sick. And pisses me off. Some people are just so… stupid it beggars belief. I just don’t see the logic behind it at all. Not one bit. Respecting your leaders is all well and good, but this shit, this belief that they’re above everything and that they’re somehow special and that anyone speaking out against them deserves to be stoned to death and et cetera et cetera is just plain fucked. 21st century my ass.

Mari menderhaka, folks!

one of us cannot be wrong

Feb 2, 2009 2 comments

I love this song. So, so, so much. Every time I pick my guitar up these days I just have to play this song at least once. Usually more. At least twice.

I started playing Planescape: Torment today. Expect my already-slightly-slow posting schedule to become even slower. This does not bode well for my writing. I had a few ideas earlier today, but I didn’t act on them quickly enough: once I started up PS:T everything kinda just, y’know, flew away.

Eight straight hours in Sigil, motherfuckers. And, after quitting, chilling for a bit and listening to a Mindflayer album, I loaded the game back up again and spent another hour in Sigil, running around, finishing odd quests and picking fights with thugs and various other hostile creatures of both the humanoid and non-humanoid varieties.

People keep mentioning how important it is to be a lawful character in the game—and the reasons for doing so are pretty good, I have to admit—but I don’t really like playing a lawful character. It just isn’t… me, I guess. Yes, I know it’s called role-play for a bloody good reason, but I suck at playing roles that I dislike/disagree with. Yeah.

I like to really get into my (C)RPGs but playing lawful/do-gooder/saintly characters means I find it that much more difficult than if I played my character as a virtual, gameworld extension of myself.

Yeah. Nerd.

Categories: gaming, music

i am done

Nov 11, 2008 Leave a comment

With Fallout 3. Took me just under 40 hours over just about a week, if you don’t count the first weekend where I only played an hour or so over two days. Did a lot of exploring and did a respectable number of side-quests, although I didn’t clear out every location I stumbled upon, nor did I do all of the sidequests.

Sucks that I ended up with negative karma due to resolving one (just one, but I’m sure all the stealing I did didn’t help) situation in a “evil” manner, but, well, all the more incentive to play through it again! Maybe I’ll try and keep my hands to myself this time and not indulge in so much stealing.

I didn’t really like the ending, frankly. I would’ve liked endings for specific locations/towns/groups of people, much like in the originals. Instead, we seem to get one generic ending depending on your karma. So you could do one (apparently) very bad thing and do shitloads of good things for other people and still get a negative ending. And see the Rivet City marketplace riddled with bodies when, you know, you didn’t harm a soul in there. So basically it smacks of, well, organised religion. It don’t matter what you did, it only matters about how “good” or “bad” it was… judged, of course, using a somewhat-hackneyed, slightly-baffling scale.

And then there’s the cliche-ness of the end sequence itself. It is somewhat moving, I will admit, and there is a sense of things coming full circle (if, of course, you choose to), but yeah. It’s cliche. No two ways about it.

10/10? As I mentioned previously, probably not. It’s not perfect, and some decisions, like the level cap, are somewhat baffling (and almost maddening… what’s the point of having a level cap so low that one can concievably reach it halfway through the main story arc? Way to kill any sense of advancement, Bethesda). The bugs, too, are occasionally quite disruptive.

But I’m willing to forgive its shortcomings (perhaps because I hear rumours of a patch that will get rid of that damn level cap) due to the sheer… immersiveness of the whole experience. While I didn’t come close to pulling an all-nighter playing Fallout 3 (something I did with regularity with Fallout 2), the game is perhaps more immersive than the previous two. As I’ve mentioned, the first-person viewpoint and 3D engine aid immensely in this. As well as, of course, all the locations and things to find, rocks to clamber over, plains to cross and ruins to sneak through. Post-apocalyptia brought to life? Indeed.

I honestly feel a bit of attachment towards Vault 101 (and, I have to admit, Amata) as well as some of the characters I met over the course of the game. An attachment that will probably result in me starting up a new character sooner rather than later. If that’s not the hallmark of a good game, I don’t know what is.

No, not perfect. But pretty damn good. Surprisingly, in fact. Surprise of the Year? Probably!

(I just wish I could’ve slaughtered all those fucking children in Little Lamplight. You give us kids we actually want to kill for the first time but you then make children unkillable? Fuck you Bethesda, where’s my Childkiller reputation gone?)

Categories: gaming

when you bump into an outdoor cinema in the middle of the capital wasteland…

Nov 10, 2008 Leave a comment

…and there are quite a few rotting, rusting examples of those wonderful metal coffins we call “cars,” what do you do?

Honestly, what kind of question is that? Of course you use one of those frag grenades you never use (and, as usual, fluff up your first throw due to it being the first time you’ve ever thrown a frag grenade since… forever?) and then you watch as, in quick succession, this happens:

flash

fire

burn

And then you go blast some Raider heads off alongside your trusty Power Armoured Ghoul sidecick, loot their outpost and go “oh fuck” when you reach the other end:

the lights!

Categories: gaming

many, many hours later

Nov 8, 2008 Leave a comment

I’ve put about 30 hours into Fallout 3 since I got it on Saturday evening (I played precious little over that weekend though . . . if I had that number would be considerably larger, I feel) and I have to say that I am well and truly addicted to it. It is quite, quite enjoyable. Good game, definitely.

10/10, though? I dunno, probably not. It’s not perfect. I can’t think of any game I’d ever give a 10/10 to, though, so it’s probably just me being stingy. The inner Fallout fanboy in me isn’t too thrilled with the changes to the SPECIAL system though, notably the skills and perks. Perks every level are kinda nifty, but not when most of the perks are pretty crap. It feels far less like a “big Choose Your Own Adventure” book (to use Chris Avellone’s term) than the previous two though, for some reasons I haven’t managed to pin down yet.

Some of the reasons I can’t give this a 10/10 would include: 1) The writing, as well as all the dialogue, isn’t that great (for example, it seems like the stat check dialogues for, say, intelligence or agility could have been said by anyone reasonably intelligent or capable to clamber over rocks and the odd counter or two). 2) The AI is pretty rubbish, both in terms of pathfinding and combat. 3) The bugs and random CTDs I get. Random, seemingly unprovoked CTDs are not fun. Occasionally the graphics become pretty fucked up when I enter V.A.T.S. and the visuals get stuck when I’m shooting at enemies (but the game moves on and returns to normal soon enough). Once or twice I’ve even had the graphics get all corrupt like I’d overclocked my graphics card too much (I hadn’t). Granted, nothing hugely game-breaking but they aren’t leaving a very good taste in my mouth. It’s generally stable, but one does get the feeling that it could have done with a bit more testing. Sure, neither of these reasons are reason enough to call the game “bad,” but in an RPG, bad writing and dialogue is, well . . . not great. But it’s not a huge problem, though. Not at all.

It occured to me that one of the most compelling reasons to play Western-style RPGs (the Baldurs Gate series, the Fallout games, etc) is, generally, the ability to play it how you want to. You get your main story quest and then lots and lots of sidequests you can, more often than not, complete whichever way you want. Diplomacy? Gruntwork? Bash skulls in and blast holes in flesh? Up to you, with, of course, the requisite repercussions. You’re not bound by some sort of moral code dictated by the storyline (god knows how many times I felt that I agreed more with the bad guy than the hero and his party in various Japanese-style RPGs), so be as evil or as good as you want. Prepare to face the consequences of either, though.

Speaking of morality, my karma just took a dive towards the “evil” end in Fallout 3, after having been at “neutral” for most of my wasteland-wandering career. While I would have preferred to have kept it at the in-between, I did what I felt I would do if I was really in my character’s shoes and thus I have no hang-ups about it. The Regulators that periodically pop up trying to kill me are piss-easy, so no worries there. Wastes of ammo, though. But then I have the trusty Charon and his infinite shotgun ammo to blast ’em down, so no biggie.

Also, I do like the reference to the first Fallout after I solved the Vault 101 problem the way I did. Perhaps I could have done better from a technical, “gameplay, not roleplay” aspect, I did it, again, how I’d do it if I was in that exact situation.

And now, more screenshots:

fallout305

fallout304

Why lie? At heart, I am, and forever will be, a videogame nerd.

Categories: gaming