Saturday, December 31, 2011

Top 4 Movies of 2011

In 2011, I saw four movies that, in my opinion, deserve four stars. No all-time favorites this year either, but I guess I don't expect them pop up all but very rarely.

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Best of YouTube 2011

In 2011, I watched more YouTube videos than ever before. Gaming content in particular spent a heavily increased amount of hours in my browser's flash player. Although, towards the end of the year, I found myself watching fewer videos fully or just didn't watch them actively, doing other things at the same time. Nevertheless, here are some clips (and their producers) I found enjoyable this year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Song of Ice and Fire: A Game of Thrones

This is going to be -- more or less -- a comparison between the TV show and the book. That's probably inevitable so I might as well embrace it. I also think A Song of Ice and Fire somewhat rivals The Wheel of Time (in planned length if nothing else). Thus pointing out how they differ and match might be a thing worth doing, even if I've only read one volume of the former and nine of the latter.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Monthly Roguelike: Demonhunt

I was waiting for Tales of Maj'Eyal's beta to end to play it as the year's last monthly roguelike but as this didn't happen (beta continues still), I decided to try something else.

Fate: The Traitor Soul

The whole Fate series is sort of a poor man's Torchlight. But it still is something to play while waiting for Torchlight II to come out. Fate: The Traitor Soul -- the second standalone expansion -- is again basically the original game (or the previous installation more precisely) but with more things.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Dragon Age: Origins

Describing Dragon Age: Origins as a spiritual successor to Baldur's Gate is somewhat dubious. Many games could be called that if DA:O is what makes one. But BioWare did that anyway.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Monthly Roguelike: Legerdemain

I didn't get very far in this game. After my second character died to the very same monsters in the evidently not randomly generated starting dungeon, I decided this game was not worth the effort.

Elminster Must Die

"Ed, we're moving the Realms into the 4th edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Elminster must die."

Monday, November 7, 2011

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II

Relic Entertainment decided to not make just improvements to the original game but instead they took the Dawn of War series into a new direction. I liked the first game (and all its expansions); it's the only real-time strategy game I'm any good at. The grim and dark setting helps a quite bit as well.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mirror's Edge

Sometimes I get that funny feeling when I am in a danger of falling from a high location -- in a game. Mirror's Edge is all about traversing from a rooftop to another but the funny feeling gets old really fast. Probably because you will fall constantly, and it does not cost you much; you just begin again from the last checkpoint.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mass Effect

It is so very convenient how all the races of the galaxy happen to speak English. The Canadian RPG makers, the people of BioWare, probably thought so too when making their elevator simulator, which some may know as Mass Effect.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Monthly Roguelike: Angband

Angband is the roguelike I've played second most, and is probably also the only one besides ADOM I've played a considerable amount of time. Even though the controls are somewhat different, I found it to be easy enough to get into. And it doesn't look too dissimilar to ADOM either.

IRC Noobs

QuakeNet, currently the world's largest Internet Relay Chat network, is often visited (plagued) by people new to IRC. This is probably because QNet provides a browser-based webchat client and sites often link the client right into their irc channel.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Jade Empire

Jade Empire, a BioWare game set in a world inspired by mythical China, begins at the edge of a realm in a small village called Two Rivers -- just like The Eye of the World, the first book in The Wheel of Time series. The name of the village is hardly very original and thus just a coincidence but it amused me nonetheless.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Temple of Elemental Evil

After releasing Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura, Troika Games set two teams to develop games simultaneously. One of the their projects was Vampire: The Masquerade -- Bloodlines, which was released in 2004, and after which Troika Games closed their doors in early 2005. The other game was The Temple of Elemental Evil (released 2003). Like Bloodlines, ToEE is an RPG and -- sadly enough -- similarly riddled with bugs.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Monthly Roguelike: Cardinal Quest

Once again, a month managed to slip by without a roguelike -- almost. I had been meaning to try one certain roguelike the past week (I tried its tutorial in fact) but ended up playing Cardinal Quest when an opportunity to test a prerelease of its next version presented itself.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Where Trees Are Square, Part 3

Welcome to Stoneforge, my biggest Minecraft project so far. I've been working on it since April or so. And eventually I got bored of it, and decided to not really finish it.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Where Trees Are Square, Part 2

This is the second set of screenshots from my Minecraft single player map. This project was smaller in scale than my first one but has quite a few details. Seaside Mansion I called it while building it.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Where Trees Are Square, Part 1

I, too, have spent an hour or two in Minecraft. Mostly I've played in my single player map, but I've visited some multiplayer servers as well. The purpose of this little series is to show the stuff I've build.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Gauntlgrym

Regis and Catti-brie are dead and Bruenor feels like he still needs an adventure in his old age. With the help of his friends, the old dwarf fakes his death -- to get away from his duty as the king of Mithral Hall -- and is off with Drizzt to find the long lost dwarven kingdom, Gauntlgrym.

Fate: Undiscovered Realms

Fate: Undiscovered Realms, a standalone expansion to Fate, followed the original game three years later. It continues with the same concept but has some lazy and outright weird design choices.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fate

Fate (or FATE) is the game Travis Baldree made before Torchlight (I think he worked on Mythos between them), and if you've played the latter, you will find Fate very similar. In fact, they are almost the same game, Torchlight is just an improved version.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Deus Ex: Invisible War

The sequel to Deus Ex takes the original game and cuts down every aspect of it; areas are smaller, there are less biomod slots, and the game is much shorter. This lead a number of fans to dislike the game, some even deny the whole existence of Deus Ex: Invisible War.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Monthly Roguelike: Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup

Adding tiles will ruin your roguelike. Mark my words. However, as I find Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup's 33x17 (only ~30% of the screen) view of the game map intolerable (the HUD fills rest of the space) even with scrolling map, I thought I might aswell try the tile version. I have never liked the game anyway.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Done with DS2:BW for Good

Evidently, it took about three months to play through the Veteran and Elite difficulties of Dungeon Siege II and its expansion after I finished them on Mercenary in May.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Wheel of Time: Winter's Heart

"I'm going to cleanse the male half of the Source," he said in a flat voice. A momentous announcement. A grand scheme, more than grand. Grandiose, most would say. He might have said he intended to take an afternoon stroll, for all of Min's reaction.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Monthly Roguelike: DoomRL

Hah, finally I'm back on schedule.

As July's roguelike I decided to play Doom, the Roguelike. It's fairly popular, I believe, and one of the reasons for that might be the fact it has sound effects and music.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

(June's) Monthly Roguelike: Dance of Death

"But I promise I'll play June's RL while it's June." Haha, right.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

American McGee's Alice

Who the hell is American Mcgee? And is there maybe a British McGee somewhere or something? This I asked myself before reading the Wikipedia article of American McGee's Alice. Evidently, American is actually the guy's first name. Huh.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Wheel of Time: The Path of Daggers

The Path of Daggers, the eighth book of The Wheel of Time, has easily the best cover so far. It depicts Rand, wearing the Crown of Swords, riding in front of an army, the banners of the ancient Aes Sedai Symbol and the Dragon behind him. Although, I must say the horses seem rather small if you compare their sizes to the men riding them...

The Wheel of Time: A Crown of Swords

The seventh book of The Wheel of Time series gets its name from the Laurel Crown, A Crown of Swords, worn by the king of Illian. It really isn't a fitting name as the whole thing isn't even mentioned until the last chapter. And neither do the previous chapters really tell much about his attempt for the crown.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Deus Ex

Many claim Deus Ex to be the best video game of all time. I knew, even before playing, that I wouldn't think so, simply because of its genre; it's not fantasy. I'm not too good with first person shooters either. Luckily, Deus Ex is not a pure FPS game.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Wheel of Time: Lord of Chaos

The lions sing and the hills take flight.
The moon by day, and the sun by night.
Blind woman, deaf man, jackdaw fool.
Let the Lord of Chaos rule.
-- chant from a children's game
heard in Great Arvalon,
the Fourth Age

Sunday, June 5, 2011

(May's) Monthly Roguelike: Pyromancer

Erm, I'm not sure how I again managed to not play the monthly roguelike in time. I guess was focusing on the local Warhammer 40k tourney or something but I totally forgot. Thus, it's a bit late, once again. But I promise I'll play June's RL while it's June.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Portal

This was a triumph and the cake is a lie. And yes, I did indeed play Portal three and a half years after it was released.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dungeons & Dragons: Dragonshard

I remember there being a tiny amount of disappointment for me when Dungeons & Dragons: Dragonshard was revelead to be a real-time strategy game instead of another D&D RPG. And I totally missed the release of the game, as I was doing my military service in 2005.

And I guess in 2006 Dragonshard was already buried as a failure. At least I never saw it even mentioned anywhere until recently in one of TotalBiscuit's This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things videos on YouTube.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Dungeon Siege II: Broken World

I have played Dungeon Siege II and its expansion through twice already but something made me start a new game once again. This time I decided to make a weapon and a shield using Fist of Stone (melee and nature mage hybrid) character instead of the usual dual-wielding pure melee build I favor.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Contents of My Bookshelf

My small collection of fantasy books keeps growing, and I thought maybe I should write down what I own. Couple (or more) books have been loaned (yeah, I know -- "Never loan a book.") and thus I don't have them with me at the moment. They're both (or all) Salvatore's Drizzt books but I can't recall which ones, so I'll just skip them, and instead just list what are actually here.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Wheel of Time: The Fires of Heaven

The fifth book of The Wheel of Time is the first one (I don't know if it's the only one too) in the series to completely ignore one of the ta'veren -- Perrin doesn't appear in the book at all.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

(April's) Monthly Roguelike: Incursion

I decided to drop the 'review' part from the title of this series as I don't seem to play each new roguelike more than couple hours at best. Thus my posts are more first impressions than proper reviews (implying I know how to write such things).

Also, this was s'posed to be done yesterday (when it was still April) but I found that Incursion didn't look very playable on a 1024x600 resolution netbook screen. So I had to wait until I got to a bit larger one.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Wheel of Time: The Shadow Rising

The fourth book of The Wheel of Time has an ominous name -- The Shadow Rising -- and I was expecting something similar to The Empire Strikes Back; the bad guys seem to be winning and not so nice things happen. And I guess stuff did happen eventually, to a certain degree.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Monthly Roguelike: Brogue

Someone on #rgrd claimed Brogue to be one of the best looking roguelikes around there. Me being rather suspicious about what people consider visually pleasing had to obviously grab the roguelike and try it myself.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Wheel of Time: The Dragon Reborn

Even though the book is titled The Dragon Reborn, it almost completely lacks Rand's (The Dragon) point of view. Which is slightly unexpected. Rand goes solo from the start to journey alone to Tear to get his hands on Callandor, the Sword That Cannot Be Touched (except by the Dragon), and the story is told mainly from the points of view of everyone else following him or travelling to Tear for their own goals.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Monthly Roguelike: Frozen Depths

How fast does a month go by... February's reviewed roguelike is Frozen Depths, developed by Glowie.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Wheel of Time: The Great Hunt

I'm not sure how Robert Jordan did it, but he did it well; the end of The Great Hunt is incredibly epic. I had to even pause for a moment from reading to be able to grasp the grandness what is the final chapters of the book.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos & Frozen Throne

I recently finished Warcraft III and its expansion for the third time. I'm not really a fan of real-time strategy games; I mostly like the game because of its story and theme.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fable: The Lost Chapters

Fable: The Lost Chapters is an rpg - an extended version of Fable - released in 2005 for Mac, PC... and Xbox, which is why I was slightly uncertain will I like it.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Monthly Roguelike: Ancient Domains of Mystery

I got this idea to feature a roguelike each month on this blog to get me playing more of them and to see the works of fellow developers. Instead of picking a new roguelike, however, I must start with the roguelike I played first and most, which got me into making my own (might get finished some day...), and which set the standard for a rogulike to me.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Icewind Dale II Soloed

It took some time but I finally completed Icewind Dale II with a single character; a drow sorceress as planned. A dark elf because of the ability score bonuses and spell resistance, and a sorcerer as they are easily the best caster class for solo play with their spontaneous casting feature.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The End of the Pyramid (Scheme) Is Nigh

Our DM revealed the next gaming session - which is tomorrow (today) - would have the last two encounters of the Pyramid of Shadows. They will or should be also our last encounters in the heroic tier. We'll see how that goes; our warlord won't be around...