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1  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Warhammer DOW: Winter Assault Review [IGN] on: September 23, 2005, 05:09:47 AM
I love the 40K setting. I've picked up most of my knowledge from playing with veteran players, reading backstories behind the big campaigns they run, and a couple of the fancy art books.

I'm usually very leery of game related fiction, but the Black Library ( has published some good stuff.  The comic book writing is hit-or-miss, but I really enjoyed the Daemonfuge graphic novel as a Sisters of Battle fan. I've just started reading Dan Abnett's Eisenhorn trilogy, and it's entertaining and well written.  I can't vouch for the rest of the 40K fiction, but there's some good stuff out there.
2  Gaming / Analog Gaming / I'm getting the Serenity RPG! on: August 22, 2005, 04:38:07 AM
I tried to get a copy Saturday afternoon, but they were sold out. It didn't even occur to me Ron Glass was right  there across the room to sign copies.
Double darn.

I think they were selling all or mostly softcover copies at the show. I was told
a hardcover version is soon going to be able for order online, with no charge for shipping. I forgot the website he mentioned, but I imagine its one of the Margeret Weis related websites.
3  Gaming / Analog Gaming / Arkham Horror boardgame released, a cooperative Cthulu game on: July 20, 2005, 05:34:00 AM
I hope to get a gaming group to play Akham soon. In the meantime, I'm playing solo - it says 1-8 players. My lone investigator is always one roll away from going to the insane asylum and the terror level is rising, but I'm holding my own and having fun as I learn how to play. I think they got the setting and feel right.

I play my first game of Shadows over Camelot this weekend with 3 players. Good fun was had by all. I'm delighted so many neat board games are coming out. I still have to get to Twilight Imperium 3rd edition.
4  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / How many PC games do you have installed? on: July 12, 2005, 04:04:40 PM
My PC game playing is way down. Most recently, I played a lot of Guild Wars. I have currently installed

Guild Wars
Dominions 2
Doom 3
Dawn of War
Swat 4
World At War
Neverwinter Nights
Rise of Nations /  Thrones and Patriots
Freedom Force vs Third Reich
Civ 3 / Conquests
Rome Total War
Joan of Arc
Universal Combat
Vampire Masquerade Bloodlines
Chaos Overlords
Silent Storm
Jagged Alliance 2 (source code)
5  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / When will you buy one of the new consoles? on: May 18, 2005, 10:04:08 PM
As a game player, the release of new hardware doesn't excite me per se. I buy consoles and upgrade my PC when there's a game I really, really want to play, e.g.,  Animal Crossing was my killer app for Game Cube. Launch titles usually don't appeal to my tastes so I expect it'll be at least a few months until something comes out I really want.
6  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Guild Wars Launches this week..who's in? on: April 26, 2005, 10:50:33 PM
Me, me, me. I'm in. My copy should be arriving this afternoon, and I've been whiling away the time toying around with builds. I got completely addicted to PvP during the last beta weekend, but I'll see how I feel playing the real thing. Who knows, maybe I'll join the chorus of voices pronouncing, "Guild Wars Sucks!"
7  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Jade Empire Character Choice on: April 22, 2005, 09:19:49 PM
Well said. Most games have you playing a character you control during the game, not yourself. I usually play them as such. This gets strange in MMORPGs where I often speak in the 3rd person about what my character is doing and feeling.

I think the female character designs in RPGs are usually better than the male ones and certainly more attractive. There are exceptions. I started playing Scholar Ling in Jade Empire, but then switched to the monk bonus character, basing him upon "Number Ten Ox" in the book "Bridge of Birds."

I think character designs, particularly the male ones, are getting better. The characters initially drew me to Guild Wars: the female necromancer, of course, but also some cool male characters like the male ranger.
8  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Worst game you ever bought - against reviews? on: April 22, 2005, 12:32:41 AM
There are only a few games I can remember purchasing that were worse than mediocre and pissed me off they were so bad or throughly disappointing:

Imperium - the old incomprehensible EA space strategy game
L'Empereur - I thought its UI and game mechanics were a mess
Ascendancy - for the lack of AI and any challenge
Master of Orion 3 - 'nuff said
Lionheart - I liked the concept...

I'm sure there are others I can't remember, but I consider myself pretty lucky. I've missed a lot awful games like Chess Maniac 5 Billion and 1.
9  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Guild Wars Beta Impressions? on: April 18, 2005, 08:17:51 PM
My experience this weekend was similiar to skystride's. It was my first time playing Guild Wars. I expected that I would just want to play PvE. I usually play rangers and controllers PvE in MMORPGs. To my surprise, I ended up playing PvP most of the weekend, trying out different warrior/monk and warrior/necromancer builds. I had a blast. I got in some great groups and joined a guild.

I wouldn't compare PvP combat to the hyper-quick combat of Diablo 2, which I didn't like. I like the speed in Guild Wars. It's fast and intense, but I never found myself dying so quickly there was nothing I could do and frustrated with my inability to click fast enough.

I'm impressed the variety of builds and skills. I made a couple of variations each of just the warrior/monk and warrior/necromancer classes. I tried elementalist and hunter builds, and, as I expected, it was very different. There are a lot of the usual MMORPG combat dynamics, but there's enough new and different to be interesting to me. I'm glad the days are gone when you just have to hit 'a'.

All that said, I don't know how much I'll like the PvE, and I don't know how long its appeal will last. Some of veterans who had played in 5 betas were kind of bored at the end. I'm sure I'll get my $50 worth (only $30 with my Phantom Dust rebate). Treating the game as an RPG-combat alternative to UT Onslaught, I had a blast.
10  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Guild Wars Beta Impressions? on: April 16, 2005, 04:25:38 AM
I just started playing this evening. I've been soloing a ranger character. I want to try out the different classes solo as well as some PvP. It's weird playing solo in large instanced outdoor areas.

You can point-and-click or use keys. The interface seems pretty good so far.
11  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Phantom Dust : Best Crack Ever?? on: April 13, 2005, 04:32:25 PM
I agree. It's by far my favorite game so far this year. An obscure game I got for $20 with a $20 rebate, and I keep playing it while God of War, Brothers in Arms, etc. sit unfinished. I'm not ready for Jade Empire and Guild Wars this month.

I'm in chapter 6 of single player, and the story is suprisingly good. It's good enough that I keep putting up the tedium of running around the base. There are 142 missions so the 5th mission barely scratches the surface. The multiplayer is quite fun too.
12  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Guild Wars? on: April 06, 2005, 06:49:48 AM
The instanced multiplayer gameplay you describe sort of sounds like how Yserbius used to work on the Sierra games network. I had a lot of fun with that game, and I've wondered why that model hasn't been used more widely.

I didn't pay much attention to this game until I saw some screenshots lately. The character designs look awesome, both male and female. I usually try to find reasons not to get addicted to yet another MMORPG, but I'm a sucker for excellent character design.
13  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / So when the heck is Black and White 2 coming? on: April 01, 2005, 05:16:14 PM
Based on what I saw at GDC and Lionhead's track record, I think it'll be Q1 2006. Maybe one of those weird first week of January titles.
14  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Splinter Cell - PC or XBox? on: March 31, 2005, 05:53:00 AM
Thanks for the info about Starforce. I was debating whether to get the PC or Xbox version, and this makes the choice easy. This is now the 3rd game I'm not going to buy for PC because of Starforce.
15  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / God of War on: March 24, 2005, 02:06:22 AM
Whee! I'm having a lot of fun playing God of War. I like the uncompromising characterization of Kratos. What a nice nice guy. I'm pretty lousy at action  games and the difficulty on normal is fine. I don't know what it is, but I just just don't want to stop playing.
16  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Crossing Games on: March 18, 2005, 10:38:57 PM
Animal Crossing and Starflight - Alien Crossing
17  Gaming / Analog Gaming / Who here plays non D&D pen and paper RPGs? on: March 18, 2005, 05:14:01 PM
I've played several non-D&D RPGs: Runequest, Glorantha, Call of Cthulhu, GURPS, In Nomine, ShadowRun, and Feng Shui. The Glorantha universe is amazing. I really like the Feng Shui rule system.

I own a lot of PnP RPGs that I'll probably never have a chance to play. They are fun to read and often full of great ideas. The range of material and game mechanics is amazing. I wish CRPGs had as much variety.

After I discovered the indie RPG scene last year at GenCon, my eyes were opened to a whole new world of roleplaying. It's been bad for my pocketbook. My favorites include

- Sorceror (and supplements)
- Dogs in the Vineyard
- Shadow of Yesterday
- Dust Devils
- Prime Time Adventures
- My Life with Master
- Engel
- Mechanical Dreams

I'd love to find a group to try some of these.
18  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Its time.... "What are you playing?" on: February 25, 2005, 07:29:02 AM
Resident Evil 4
Dai Senryaku VII

Good games keep coming out, keeping me from clearing out my backlog (I'll play Ico someday, I swear).
19  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / DAI SENRYAKU VII on: February 24, 2005, 08:43:35 AM
I picked it up today, and I'm enjoying it quite a bit.  I could keep playing all night. I'm just on mission 2 so I haven't gotten to anything like the full range of units, but I can see how the full complement of unit types,
supply, and detection will give me plenty to sink my teeth into.  The game system seems pretty polished and the UI is easy to use. For $20, I'm delighted. I wouldn't have guessed it, but there's an old school wargamer in me still.
20  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / KotOR2 - Light or Dark? on: February 20, 2005, 04:58:45 AM
I know there was a scene towards the tend that I missed  because I said I went dark side in the first game.  It's definitely isn't enough to make me want to play through another time.
21  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / KotOR2 - Light or Dark? on: February 17, 2005, 03:29:06 AM
I played as a light-side Guardian/Weapon Master and a co-worker played as a dark-side Consular/Sith Lord. As far as story, I  believe I would have enjoyed playing as dark side more, based upon watching my co-worker play though. Like in KOTOR 1, doing nasty stuff and hosing everyone is just fun. However, I think I had more fun developing my guardian character and fighting in battles.  He found the battles too easy as a consular (on diffucult) in all but a handful of battles: lightning, lightning, lighting.

I don't think light or dark will make a huge difference. I wouldn't expect huge "pay off" moments as either light or dark, unlike KOTOR 1.
22  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Just won Vampire Bloodlines and... (*minor spoilers*) on: February 10, 2005, 07:43:54 AM
Hm... an interesting question. What RPGs have a played recently that are less combat intensive than VtM: Bloodlines? They've all been pretty combat intensive, but some haved offered more social interaction, exploration, stealth, and puzzle solving than others.  

Overall, I felt I spent a fair amount of time in Bloodlines talking to people, sneaking around, solving simple puzzles, and using skills like persuasion, lock picking, and computer hacking.  Remarkably, I was more invested in my Malkavian character and the characters in the Bloodlines story than I have been in most RPGs. On the other hand, the last quarter to a third was linear and combat intensive, and there wasn't the sense of a wide open world with a lot to explore.

Between KOTOR 1 and Bloodlines, I'd say KOTOR 1 offers more non-combat fun but not vastly more. I'd say Bloodlines had more than KOTOR 2 (and fewer problems too). I'm early in Fable, but my impression so far is that Fable offers more. I think Morrowind has more, as it's a huge wide open world. Lionheart was degenerating into a hack and slash fest when I stopped and was just a mess.  It felt like I was roleplaying more and doing more non-combat activity in Bloodlines than Neverwinter Nights, SoU, and HotU, not to mention Icewind Dale. I'm not sure how I'd compare Bloodlines to Japanese console RPGs like SMT: Nocturne, Final Fantasy X, etc. -- I mostly associate them with combat (with the addition of lots of movies and maybe mini-games).  There's really no comparison if you consider SRPGs like Disgaea and Phantom Brave, hack-and-slash games like Dark Alliance and Champions of Norrath (haven't played Bards Tale),  Dungeon Siege, Sacred, and MMORPGs: they're all about the combat.

So Bloodlines stands up pretty well in my book.
23  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Simple KOTOR 2 Question on: February 01, 2005, 05:32:25 PM
I would wait for the PC version.

On the Xbox, I encountered at least a dozen annoying level and quest scripting problems, a couple places where I got stuck in geometry or fell through the level, and four crashes including a crash while saving. I got used to the long load times and framerate drops, but they definitely detracted from the enjoyment. There are serious difficulty and balance problems:  I found the game to be way too easy on difficult as a Weapons Master and its even easier as a Sith Lord. Last but not least, there are a few incomplete plot threads.

I don't know if these issues will be addressed in the PC version, but I think its worth waiting to find out.
24  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Vampire worth getting? on: January 26, 2005, 05:54:50 PM
From what I understand they had plenty of time .Vampire was done months before HL2 came out so they could release it. They basically just sat on it till they could let it out the door. They shoulda used that time to debug it hehe.

What's your source for this information? Linoleum on quartertothree, who claims to have worked on the product, says this isn't true. It seems to be a popular misconception.

The rumors about Troika's demise continue.
I hope this isn't true, since I love Vampire, but it wouldn't surprise me.  Life for independent PC game developers in the US has only been getting harder.
25  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Just won Vampire Bloodlines and... (*minor spoilers*) on: January 19, 2005, 05:37:53 PM
I read people's complaints about the later part of the game, but I loved the whole thing. The second half became more linear and combat-oriented, but I still enjoyed it. I liked the story and the combats. My gun-wielding Malkavian was a lot of fun to play.

I guess my experience is atypical. I ran into one or two minor quest bugs, and I think I had one crash. Perfomance on my machine, which is over a year old, wasn't great but passable. I really wish KOTOR 2 on X-Box was as in good shape (god, it's a mess).

I admit that I'm so happy that a game like this is made at all, I was naturally inclined to cut the developer's some slack while playing it. Still, I think Troika did a bang-up job, their best yet.
26  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Panzers vs. Soldiers: Heroes of WW2 on: January 10, 2005, 11:19:25 PM
I was interested in Soldiers, but I found out it uses StarForce. Beware.
27  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / PC Gaming version: Shut up! It IS time to reveal your GOTY on: December 17, 2004, 02:26:35 AM
Vampire: Bloodlines. City of Heroes is a close second.
28  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / HL2 vs Vampire on: December 02, 2004, 06:56:57 PM
Make sure you have a driver for your monitor.
29  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / HL2 Steam vs. Retail on: December 02, 2004, 06:54:04 PM
I bought it retail, and I feel like a complete idiot. It cost more money, and it turned out I couldn't install from CD because of some kind of incompatibility between the copy protection software and my CD/DVD drive. I had to install Steam, register my CD-key, do the hours-long online download, and now I need the CD to play! Absolutely awful.
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