RPG

2018 I HAS REVIEW – Q4

October 2018

  • Posts: 3 (Really? Just 3?)
  • Games: Magic The Gathering: Arena
  • Other Media:

October was my second lightest posting month and 3 in a month (along with the couple 5s I had earlier in the year) shows my inability to post consistently. Blogging is one of those things I love when I feel like I have something to talk about but struggle with when not – I would be a terrible place if I needed to have dependable, episodic content. October was about blahs and a general post, followed by a rentry into MTGA after the wipe (which I dreaded), and then an inspired post about an old gaming friend who I lost touch with – we were quite close, and he was suicidal near the end, and when we lost touch I worried about him. I still do from time to time.

In October 2017 I was playing Destiny 2 and Warframe

November 2018

  • Posts: 7
  • Games: Perfect World, Torchlight Frontiers, Breach, Magic The Gathering: Arena, Battlefield V, World of Warcraft, Fallout 76
  • Other Media:

In November I cleared out what was at the time, my last batch of Spring Cleaning blog posts drafts. It was a fun exercise. Checking recently, seems as though I may have another batch to do in 2019. We shall see. I had an Alpha based post on the 4-5 I was in at the time, as well as a great laugh at the bloopers from the Fallout 76 terrible launch (and the game continues to plague them, from what I am reading. I started playing (and being excited about) Battlefield 5(V) which I am still playing and being excited about. New free content update drops this week. I , along with many, many others groaned about the general boringness of Blizzcon this year.

In November 2017 I was playing Warframe

December 2018

  • Posts: 1 (FML)
  • Games: Slay the Spire
  • Other Media:

To be fair I had 3 weeks of vacation planned in December and that included a spill over into the first week of January – and two separate countries on two trips. Still, I didn’t put the effort in. My game of the year was Slay the Spire which my game of the year post neglected to mention (outside of the gameplay and screenshots). Never a dull moment here at IHASPC

In December 2017 I was playing EQ2, DDO, Warframe

Overall, not a bad year here statistics wise although I fell short of my 6 posts per month that I’d like to stick to. Good news is, heading into 2019 I have a lot to write about already and I only have two fears heading into February. The first is that with the upcoming Anthem launch IHASPC will become an Anthem blog for the foreseeable future. My other, bigger fear is that it will not – and Bioware will fade as my favorite gaming company.

Once again, thank you for reading, and here is to a happy, gaming filled, healthy, satisfying 2019!

My Influential 15

One of my favorite blogs to visit is The Ancient Gaming Noob (TAGN) and he recently posted an Influential 15  list – started by another blogger and other sites are also playing along. The parts I read indicated not too many rules, but just do not overthink it – only take 15 minutes, and list them out.

This sounds like fun. I am going in chronological order!

Mario Bros (arcade) (1985)

I spent most of my allowance money playing this game with two of my best friends at the local bowling alley. It was close enough to our school that we could run there at lunch breaks, and always went right after school as well – but just for 20 minutes before racing home. This introduced me to the side scrolling platform [honorable mentions: Ghost and Goblins, Castlevania, Bionic Commando]

Hardball (c64) (1987)

Two teams – the red, power hitting team and the blue, speedy team. That was it in this baseball game. My brother and I played for hours at home – nice to not have to be at the arcade. (I always got stuck with the blue team). [Honorable mention: Madden (I still buy it every few years]

Police Quest (PC) (1987)

My first foray into the Sierra games series (King’s quest, Space Quest, etc.) and it was always a weekend event at one of my friend’s houses who had it. I think it took us 6 months to complete, since we only had limited weekend time (we mostly played outside – kids those days!)[honorable mention – Maniac Mansion]

Street Fighter (Arcade, SNES) (1987)

Another arcade favorite the one on one bragging rights was a blast. Learning the combos, fighting friends (and arcade enemies) for the right to stay on the machine for the next challenger… flipping a coin for the left or right hand side. All sorts of home field advantages. [Honorable mention: Mortal Combat]

Star control 2 (PC) (1992)

Exploration, adventure, discovery. Space. Has anyone come close since? I am avoiding throwing my money at Star Citizen yet watching it closely. That is a completely separate blog post. [Honorable Mention: Wing Commander. If only for the space.]

Doom (PC) (1993)

We had huge contests at university with Doom – inter dorm rivalries. My philosophy class suffered fiercely. I made a philosophical argument about augmented reality to the prof and he BFG’d me. University was so cool. [Honorable mention: Half Life]

NHL 94 (SEGA) (1993)

Oh Sega hockey, with the one move that would score 100% of the time.. that was up to you do defend properly. Both ends of the rink, there was that ONE move. Yet it was still awesome. Plus bleeding heads.

X com (PC) (1994)

Turn based mastery. This is on many ‘best of ever” lists, so not going to explain its full awesome-ness. Many have explained it better than I ever could. Xcom is the perfect example of a game you loved but refuse to play it again. I have it through steam. It sucked to relive it – but awesome the first time around. We are not conditioned to accept failing the first X missions before we have a chance. (see what I did there?) [Honorable mention – Civ 1 – bit of a stretch, but very turn based]

Baldur’s Gate (PC) (1998)

I had played a lot of Pen and Paper games and this one reminded me the most of them. I hadn’t played a lot of D&D at the time  and this was my first real foray and experience into that. I don’t even remember if I won or what happened in the game – I just remember the hours spent hunched in the darkness… in amazement. Just one more encounter. One more.

Rainbow Six (PC) (1998)

The AI could be buggy as hell when you were planning your rescues, but this was an AMAZING shooter – one shot and you are dead, get caught/spotted and the hostages are dead. Great premise and superbly executed at the time. You could do many missions in many different ways and had the choice of your own path. The planning and thinking part was as exciting for me as the executions. And oh yes, permadeath! [Honorable mention: Counter Strike]

Everquest (PC) (1999)

The MMO game changer that has spawned 100 clones, for better or for worse (often better, jaded vets may argue worse. It doesn’t even matter anymore. It was awesome and really kickstarted the genre.) It has ruined MMOs for me since, but that is also because of the testserver play environment (hint: community). The rose colored glasses often adorned!

Sims (PC) (2000)

Sims the original was the first game that I could get my girlfriends to play. And my non-gaming roommates. It was the first time I realized games could be for everyone. Then I invented the Wii. (or should have, at least). All that being said, I am pretty sure the things my girlfriend at the time did to the Sims (or tried to do) made me realize that maybe she wasn’t the one. Sicko. May have saved my life.

Dark Age of Camelot (PC) (2001)

My second MMO I played the heck out of and my first real PVP experience was also amazing. I also played on the testserver (Pendragon) and the strength of the community there really improved the overall experience. Sadly, game developers have learned that test servers make bad for the quick hitting types of testing they want with enough sample size, and they don’t really exist anymore. The lesson they should have learned is that smaller, more dedicated communities make for stronger ties. Another post. DAOC taught me to embrace PVP and how humans always beat AI on experience – always.

World of Warcraft (PC) (2004)

What to say? The most successful MMO ever made took an inaccessible genre and made it easy for everyone to participate. While I have spent my fair share of time arguing WoW has hurt the MMO space in many ways, you cannot argue against its influence. I still go back every expansion, do the theme park rides, /hug and /hi to my friends still playing, and then out again.  I think the next MMO Blizzard makes is going to say a lot about what they have learned from WoW. I’m intrigued.

Battlefield 2142 (PC) (2006)

The multiplayer FPS I judge all other FPSs against. It was great. It was better than great – it was awesome. The kits, the vehicles, everything. COD always felt too twitchy and gamey in comparison (even the DICE successors did) and I started playing more strategic, slower paced shooters afterwards. BF2142 was just the perfect balance for *me*. [Honorable Mention: Project Reality]

That’s It!

There is my list! Crazy, and a *bit* sad that the most recent game launch on my list is 8 years old already, but influence is influence. As I re-read this there were a few I wanted to add (RTS such as Warcraft -or- Command & Conquer) but I decided to keep it pure – the ones that spoke to me first. I’m sure as I read through other’s lists I’ll have many an “aha!” moment. I hope mine brought along some positive smiles and memories!

Tempting Tesh

C’mon Tesh, just try to fight it – you know you want to!

Bought Blood Bowl: Chaos Edition (66% off – or 10 bucks – for players who purchased an earlier version) and recalled how amazing turned based strategy games can be.

Which lead to me remember how perfect a MechWarrior game would be in that format.

Which lead me to much googling, and finding that linked site.

Chomping at the bit for this one – need to investigate a bit more but heat sinks, custom build outs, tonnage limits, and hex spaces are all in. They manage to take away the ~300 dice rolls per turn and its a match made in heaven.

Building Blocks

grinders0018_06-19-09

Comic created by Masssively.com. Funny Stuff!

The Cities XL closed beta started last week (I cannot confirm or deny being a part of aforementioned beta) and it has brought a lot of attention back to one of the great PC staples of the ‘building genre’, and ties a little MMO into it. I loved Sim City (le original). I stopped playing at Sim City 4 (although I still boot that up now and again – great solo play game) and unfortunately the Sim series hasn’t really moved past that. Sim City Societies was a whole new ball of wax. I am surprised at the following of the game still from genre enthusiasts. Last time I checked, Simtropolis had over 350,000 registered users – who still mod, create skins, and are passionate for the Maxis Sim City series.

Interested to see how Cities XL turns out. Will be one of the first MMO’s of it’s kind, albeit in a typical complex gameplay format – will it be dumbed down to appeal to the masses or will it provide that “just right” challenge? Will City enthusiasts enjoy the core gameplay? Will it be the natural next step in builders – building online planets, instead of just single player cities – and why didn’t the Sim City folks – the creator of the genre – think of this step first?

Regardless, looking forward to this one (although it is only being launched in Germany and France first, September 3rd).

Continuing My Excellence in Game Breaking News

Tyson winking at you was scary back then, too

Tyson winking at you was scary back then, too

So much to get excited about, I’m not sure where to begin.

With that in mind I will begin here.

Released in the late 80’s (1987?) Mike Tyson’s Punch Out was a game on the SNES that my friends and I played for hours on end. It was a classic. Ah the memories.

The 2009 version, besides fun new Wii controls (disclaimer: I haven’t bought this yet.) Enjoys an expected graphics update.

I don’t even like boxing as a sport – but the game was so much fun. Sadly, without playing the game I am not here to review – just share in my excitement for the upgrade and then ponder a question that has been asked many times before: What games would you love to see “updated”? And as a follow-up – can the magic of a couple decades old game be recaptured with today’s tech and design differences?

Time for my top 3? Glad you asked.

3. Privateer (1994)

Be your own Han Solo, run missions, fight in space sims, buy/sell/kill? Yes thank you. Missions felt oft-repeated, but with today’s tech and design I would like to think this would be the easiest of games to update and make super cool. Could probably even Multiplayer it – or, (shudder) Massively Multiplayer it. Great part was there was a main story line, but you could freely stray from it to do an endless stream of side missions

 

Where is Chewbacca?

Where is Chewbacca?

2. Star Control 2 (1992)

I didn’t ever know, or figure out, how to win this game. I just explored and played and played and played. Diplomacy, gathering, and combat components as I ventured out to save the earth from slavery. I don’t want to include any spoilers here, in case you are thinking of picking it up to give it a whirl.

 

The fate of the earth is in on your highly pixelated ship.

The fate of the earth rests on your highly pixelated ship.

1. X-Com (1993)

‘Nuff said.

Resource, Research, Team Managment and turn based combat. Pure Joy – and a great challenge.

 

All ur base are belong to you

All ur base are belong to you

I know those are easy picks, but I wonder how Punchout (2009) will fare both on it’s own merits and the nostalgia merits. I wonder if PC gaming will go the route of Hollywood and start remaking old classics for revenue. I certainly wouldn’t complain – Although I am half afraid to pick any of these titles back up for fear of let down. What was great 10-20 years ago, may not feel so spectacular now.

What are your favorites?

Ebert @ the MMO

I finished Fallout 3 – very quickly. I probably spent 10 hours on side quests, and 5 on the main quest line – and it was over. I finished at level 12 (I hear there are 20 levels, but I didn’t figure that out). The end was a bit of a dissappointment, but at least I have replay value. Going through it again, but this time I am going to be a goody two shoes. I didn’t get a friend in that game, and the dog stuck around with me for a bit before he hit a chain of landmines. Instead of burying him a la “I am Legend”, I scavenged the dog meat and moved on. I was thinking about how good of an experience that game is and immediately started thinking on the ways I would have liked it to be different.

Why?

I caught myself and asked that question. I don’t go to the movies and want to change the movie. The movie is either good, or bad, or somewhere in between. I don’t come to my blog after watching 007 and say “boy, that James Bond movie was SWEET! Too bad the Aston Martin didn’t have a built in grappling hook. Or that part, where he shoots the guy in the foot and does a round house kick? That would have been SOOO much better if only he shot him in the face and then kicked him in the nads. And the camera angle when he was hanging off the bottom of the chopper should have been from the left, not right. And if only they changed his spy name to 009 – haha, then it would have been a GREAT movie!!”

We don’t think that way. I suppose it is because movies (and television) are passive entertainment. You pay, you eat popcorn, you watch, you enjoy. Maybe you don’t enjoy, but you observe. At the end, you are $25 bucks lighter and had an experience, good or bad. Games are move active entertainment. You control the hero/bad guy, and you go out and shoot your own movie. Movies are also “one offs”, you know you can settle in for 90 minutes and it’s done, where in gaming it is a much larger time commitment (for the most part) and you have to invest that time, and money, to advance your entertainment. My final point is that I prefer gaming as entertainment to the traditional passives, and I want to see better choices made.

Why do we do it? Did I miss anything important?