Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Finally, a fresh title to sink my teeth into. I am speaking of Dishonored of course, a game that I finally had a chance to clear in the past month or so. I had been waiting for Dishonored for a long time, and basically bought it when it first came out and managed to play it while I was in my dorm room in Urbino. Unfortunately though, while I was Italy, I discovered that it was the game that pushed my laptop over the edge and would make it overheat. So I finally managed to sink my teeth into it when I got back and managed to get a cooling mat for it. After the first couple chapters I put the game down, as I do with many of my games, and switched to a different one to see how that one suited my fancy for a while. However, in the past month, I made a pact with myself to clear all of my games that I have that I never really cleared (at least the ones with clear endings). So now I only keep five games on my laptop at any time, four games that I dive into, and one for casual play. Thus, Dishonored was reinstalled, and completed finally. WARNING: SPOILERS.

First off, I would like to comment on the beautiful environment that was created in this new world. The city of Dunwall came to life with the distinct architecture though out the entire city, the citizens that had motives, character, depth, and the way that The Outsider spoke to me. The world is huge, allowing you to take multiple paths to the same goal, making it so if I couldn’t sneak past a guard and into the lighthouse, I could scale another building and blink between roofs, and hide in dumpsters to get there. Now, I ran a “no kill” run for my first play through for a few reasons: one, my friend who had seen the game seemed skeptical of an assassin game that could be cleared without killing a soul, two, I wanted the challenge of being the city’s crusader, and three, I read some of the repercussions of killing people and decided to leave that to my “kill everyone” play through.

Going through the game, I noticed that the atmosphere stayed relatively constant: you have a person to murder or not, and you are wanted for killing the empress so you’ll be killed on site. Things were dark and grimy, just the way you’d expect a city in downfall would be. The game doesn’t get too dark though, you never have to murder your sainted mother or anything, for the most part, you are just killing people who are either A, evil or B, part of the evil machine. The environment does all of the work, and a couple of characters add to it, like Granny Rags and The Outsider.

The mechanics work like a dream, never really breaking stride in the game, allowing you to seamlessly blink across a roof, possess a rat, sneak into the building, hit a guard with a sleep dart, steal a safe code, and make it out through the fourth floor window. However, that sequence happened about the six time that I tried the mission. I give the game points for definitely being challenging when trying not to kill people. However, now that I have tried playing by killing everyone that I see, I have found the game much easier to get through. Now, that same sequence goes more like this: kill the front guard, take his key, kill the guard guarding the safe code, and walk out like a boss.

I’ve also started to experience the difference in high and low chaos now that I have started my “kill everyone” run. Playing the first assassination mission showed more rat swarms to start off with, which I know is just the beginning of the mayhem that is going to ensue. Overall, I give the game a high rating, and I’m waiting for the Knife of Dunwall DLC(s) that will be coming out (though depending on price, I may not get them, we will see).

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Architect

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This time I think I’ll discuss another issue that is close to home for me which is the upcoming generation of videogame consoles and all of the rumors and what not going on with them. Now I wanted to discuss the current issues with the videogame world because it’s an important part of my life, it’s how I blow off steam, relax in the evening, and generally just calm down sometimes. I also use them as an escape from the real world from time to time, because it is just nice to take the role of the dark knight and crusade through the dark streets of Gotham every once in a while. However, recent developments and rumors have made me worried for this wonderful time suck, most of which coming with the new generation of consoles.

I’m first going to address the concern about certain companies that have gone bankrupt in the recent months, mostly the THQ liquidation. These are the people who created Darksiders, Saints Row, Red Faction, Homefront and many other games. The company sold off most of their divisions and kept only one for themselves, but for the most part, we can say goodbye to this company and what they strived for in games. Now this is a concern because we are always hearing now that companies are not doing very well and are starting to go under. This isn’t helped with the media and government scrutinizing every aspect of the games that they produce. We have people saying that videogames are awful things that consume lives, devour their souls, and turn them into murdering members of our society. Others say that games are a First Amendment right that should be protected because they are a freedom of expression and storytelling that has developed in the new generations.

My weigh-in on the issue of looking into games and banning or any other restrictions is that we already have a rating system for the games that tells you the age range, why, and when you purchase mature games you have to show an ID showing you are of age or have a parent or guardian there to purchase it for you. At that point, it comes to the parents taking time to go and look up what the games their children are playing are about, all of the information is only ever a few clicks away on the internet. I feel that a lot of the issues that the government or other concerned people comes down to are actually on a more family based level of inspection. Parents should ask their kids what they play, and research it. Parents who buy their kids games and don’t even think about what it’s about should first look at what they are doing first. My parents knew the games that I played and actually controlled what I played for the early years of my gaming youth, but after a while, once they knew I was mature enough, they let me take the reins of it and police myself. Videogames are what you make of them, if you always spend 16 hours a day playing a game, then that’s not good, but if you play for a couple hours a day or every once in a while then you have a better control of the actual potential problem. It’s like alcohol, you could drink every day and never feel your toes again, or just have a drink when you go out with friends.

Now we start moving into the current console issues that are cropping up because of the recent set of rumors coming out over the next PlayStation and XBOX systems. My largest concern is the rumor about the idea of blocking used games with one time activation codes or tying them to the initial system that you play them on. This is a concern because I like to share games with friends or bring games over to their houses and play multiplayer with everyone. This would limit that ability and actually participating in the festivities. The also hurts the resale market which is another part of the industry that developers have had to deal with other the course of the videogame existence. Resale stores are always going to be around, that is just a fact, look at clothes, watches, computers, music, art, movies. Now the resale industry already screws all of us over, but having system tied games hurts the resale stores as well. When I want a game that might not be very available or what, I go to a resale store and see if they have it, and they’ll probably have it for the cheap. Then, when I sell my games back to the resale store and get a dollar back for it all, I feel violated by the sheer cheek these people have to offer so little for so much. Developers have tried to get people to buy new games by adding first time activation codes, DLCs, and special bonus features for buying the initial product from them. The problem with these is that there isn’t enough bang that goes with them, getting a new skin for my character isn’t really worth paying full price for the game, nor is a multiplayer map. Give me something bigger, more dramatic, and more significant; give me something that makes me think, “I want that!” Also, stop releasing DLCs the day after the game comes out. That’s ridiculous. Include the DLCs in the game; don’t make me pay an extra five bucks to get the Trials of Dunwall pack.

The next point is the actual games themselves and the fact that they aren’t as juicy as previous generations. I know games have changed over the years, but when Cruising World is ten hours longer than the latest Devil May Cry game, we have a problem. Yes, it’s racing versus a hack and slash, but come on, I cleared DmC in three hours and at least S ranked each mission while I was drunk. Cruising World took many hours of fine tuning, practice, and throwing the controller on the damn moon level. Now here is the problem with this: I felt that Cruising World earned every penny and then some of my money that I spent on it years ago, while DmC was $60 and barely entertained me for an evening. Sure, DmC looked better than Cruising World, but it wasn’t as much fun and this is the flaw with the gaming world at the moment. Shut up about graphics, I don’t need to see the sweat coming off the biceps of a character three miles away, what I want is a game that I can immerse myself in and enjoy for many hours. And I know people say, “Well that’s what replay is for!” Yes, it can be, but everything shouldn’t be built on the hope that you will go through the same game three or four times, it should have a story and game play that stands strong with one play through. Also, games now don’t have much replay value, only if you care about leaderboards, but otherwise you are just playing the same game, same everything, again, with no endearing qualities to make you want to do that. So I get screwed with the initial cost, hence one reason I don’t tend to buy games new, then I get screwed with the actual amount of content, thus screwing me by the development teams, and then if I sell it to a resale store I get screwed over by how much I get back, finally screwing me over by the resale stores giving me a quarter of the price of a game that came out yesterday.

Overall, the whole community of gamers, developers, story tellers, politicians, and everyone else, needs to get together and fix things slightly so that we all get what we want. Gamers need to be more forgiving of certain things that developers do, but steadfast in the fact that we do not take multiple mistakes well. Developers need to listen to the gamers about what they want, but should try new things and shouldn’t be destroyed for trying something new and it not going well. Story tellers need to get back into the business and stop bogging us down with volumes of back stories of the plains of no one cares, story should be seamlessly woven into the game. Politicians need to stop scape goating videogames for other people’s problems, but instead invest time in helping people understand the good and the bad of the industry. We all want to be happy and are reasonable people for the most part, let’s all come together and make the community great again.

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Architect

Today wasn’t that eventful, though I did manage to clean up my room some and get in some conversations with some of my friends about things going on. I also keep getting emails from the university saying that I have somehow not filled out the forms properly for one thing or another. This is getting annoying. I already did the days of seminars for the study abroad, I filled in the paperwork and everything months ago. Why am I getting these complaints only a couple weeks before I leave? It gets really frustrating some times, because I am the one who gets them the information as soon as possible and I know that there are other people who are giving them their stuff at the very last minute.

Besides my frustrations with the organization of my university, I have been compiling movies that I would like to watch while in Italy while I’m working on my projects. So far I have a lot of the classics and some of my favorite staples. I don’t think my studio will enjoy the weekly movie marathon of Lord of The Rings though.

After my one drunken night, I haven’t had so much as a taste of any alcohol. This crossed my mind because I was thinking of having a rum and coke some time, but then I decided against that because of the residual feelings from the last time. It wasn’t very pleasant. Oh well, maybe I’ll have a beer some time before I go to Italy, kind of a fair well beer.

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Architect

I kept up with my usual activities for the day. I played some solid hours of the new Kingdom Hearts game, the plot is interesting, though I could do without the whole weird time changes. I kept up with that and my Fallout exploits for the rest of the day. I feel it was a day well spent. And with this post, I am caught up.

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Architect

Not quite sure what happened today, but I’m going to think it was nothing besides my usual, though I have been watching movies that are all really good. I started with Die Hard and am moving my way through all of the different action classics since I already watched all of the romantic comedies known to man. It really gets me pumped up to see it all because I’ve either never watched most of the action staples or saw them in bits and pieces or saw them a long time ago. Add all of that to me listening to Two Steps From Hell and I think I’m going to be having a pretty action packed week.

Tomorrow is the final chapter of John’s D&D campaign for a while until we all get back from college or see each other again. Tonight though we made it to IHOP and had one of our usual derp sessions there with pretty much everyone. It was a good time with some good company.

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Architect

So I woke up and did my usual for the day. My dad went to the doctor, so while he was out he picked up the cleaning and my meds, so now I’ll be taking the right meds and be looking sharp whenever I go out.

I hung out with the gang for most of the day. We started with lunch at Chili’s which was pretty good. Afterwards we broke up for a while, then all went to Jake’s house to play Mario Party and Magic and stuff. Once we ran through a couple games of Mario Party we went on to have dinner at Whataburger where we discussed video games and other current events. And to close out the night we went to Josh’s house to play Killing Floor, though we never won while we were there. Still a great time though.

After finishing up and helping Josh clean up his room, I went back home and talked to my dad a bit. After talking to him, I decided I would have a rum and coke to cap off the night, but when I took out the bottle of rum there was less than I thought there should be. My dad just told me that’s why I puked so much, and that if he had seen how much I had had then he would have cut me off at some point. So with that thought, I figured I would just have a soda and call it a night.

While writing this though, I find myself in higher spirits than usual. I’m not sure if it is because I actually am in a better mood or if it’s because I’m listening to a bunch of Owl City music. I have been listening to Good Time which makes me want to go camping some time, though that probably won’t be for a long time. Also listened to Fireflies which makes me want to go up north again and just watch them fly around. I think my mood is better because I’m thinking about things that I want to do again, not for other people, but for me. To cap off this post, I think I will just state that I haven’t made my appointment with my shrink yet, even though I need to.

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Architect

I went to my doctor today to get my meds adjusted and get a prescription for when I’m in Italy. Well, turns out I wasn’t taking quite the right meds that I was supposed to, so he wrote me a new prescription for the rights ones and increased my vitamins some more. We will see how this all affects me in the near future.

After that I went and ran the rest of the errands that I needed to do. I went to Office-whichever-the-fuck-it-is, and got some filing stuff for my mother. I hadn’t been there since I had made my prints of my D&D mats and before that was my portfolio run around. Afterwards I went to the bank to deposit the check that the university sent me for the refund of my deposit on my dorm room there. I was kind of surprised because I spilled a number of colored drinks on the carpet and wall, but I’m not going to complain about money. Once I finished that I made it back home and took a nap.

Once I finished my nap I went back to reading The Hobbit, and by the end of the night I finished it. Once I finished I was really worried for the movies that they are doing now, because it seems that it doesn’t have enough for three whole movies. Two movies was pushing it already, but I really don’t think they can make three movies from that one book, even if they use the deep sea scrolls of Tolkien’s work. After I finished reading I had pot roast for dinner with the family and talked about the movies with my family. We all shared similar fears about them.

After dinner, I went out for my run and started going through my emotions again. I kept getting mad at everything that was going on with me and how I was dealing with it all. I mean, I go to a shrink to try and fix what is wrong with me, I go to group therapy to fix other things that are wrong with me, I take meds so I don’t feel so tired just from getting up in the morning. I work so hard in school for B’s and little to no praise for what I do (some of that is reasonable, especially with my last project), I try to have friends where I am, and I just don’t understand. Why do things have to be so hard? Why can’t I just have something be easy, or be good, or be nice for once? I know I’ve done some bad things, but I actually have changed, and not the bull crap where I say I have, but I’m just lying so things will go away and just be simpler. I’m thinking that I’m just self-destructive at this point. That everything I do is actually to make it so I’m never happy. So I have a constant struggle and a constant complaint in my life. And that goal and stuff that I said yesterday? Yeah, that is gone. I just want a life where I don’t have to wake up each morning, drinking three cups of coffee after my meds, and try to figure out why that is so hard. Why can’t I just get rid of all of my problems, be happy, find someone who actually likes me, and just have a good life for once?

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Architect