Thursday, November 23, 2006

Of Dreamers, Shifters, and Disciples

I just finished Dreamfall: The Longest Journey last night. Almost exactly a week after I installed it. And the game's ending left me shocked.

Zoe faded away while in coma, April Ryan was apparently dead in the swamp, and Kian was captured by his fellow Azadi. To top it off, WATICorp still manages to release the Dreamers and "the Undreaming has been unleashed," apparently upon the twin worlds of Stark and Arcadia.

I'd like to say I feel cheated, but if there's one thing my most favorite story of all time has taught me, it's that heroes do fall, if only to make them more heroic when they do rise again (and, um, return). Dreamfall is the second game in The Longest Journey series, and it seems like Ragnar Tornquist took a page from The Empire Strikes Back!.

So, all in all, looking forward to the next game in the series! Be it TLJ3 or DF2 (really, I don't see the difference), I'm hoping it will finally bring The Longest Journey to a satisfying destination. I just hope it gets released in my current PC specs' lifetime. Heh.

Game on.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Video Games!

Picked up three games last week when I got my paycheck: Neverwinter Nights 2, Dreamfall: The Longest Journey (or is that the other way around?), and Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. So far, I've installed and played the first two only.

Neverwinter Nights 2

I still haven't finished Neverwinter Nights 1, having only reinstalled and restarted playing the game earlier this year. For the original NWN, I've installed everything: the two expansions, the community expansion pack, some premium modules (Witch's Wake, et.al.), but I've never finished even the original campaign. I'm lazy like that. And now, with NWN 2 installed, chances are high that I won't be able to play NWN 1 again anytime soon. Times like these, you wish you don't have Real Life(tm) to attend to.

I've played quite a bit of the NWN 2 original campaign since I installed it last Wednesday. As usual, my character's a fighter/rogue, Laire Random, with almost the same build I used in the first game. I'm also shooting for the weaponmaster prestige class. Fighter/Rogue's are the epitome of the fantasy hero for me, or rather, the fantasy adventurer: wise-cracking, witty, quick-on-his-feet, tough without being too brawny, and most of all, wields a big-ass sword. Not to mention access to most magical items via Use Magic Device, and you've got a very well-rounded character that could go toe-to-toe or hurl spells from a distance, depending on one's mood.

From what I've heard, a lot of people are unhappy with the changes made in this latest edition of NWN. Which is puzzling, because most of the changes I've seen actually do improved the game experience. Well, "improved" in the sense that you get a more true-to-the-pen-and-paper-game feel. For example, and perhaps one of my most favorite changes was the removal of the Stone of Recall, a magical item that you get since Chapter 1 of NWN 1 that allows you to essentially zip back to base and return, a la Diablo town portal. Another example would be the new familiar/animal companions, which bring them more inline with what you'd actually get in the actual D&D rules. Maybe it's just that those complaints come from people who have not played the actual pen-and-paper game.

The graphics are nothing to get all excited about, although they're definitely an improvement over the previous game's. One of the things I really like was when you finally reach Neverwinter. The city layout was vastly improved, owing to NWN 2's new capabilities, I guess. Gone was the squarish city blocks of the old game, and the districts actually look like they've been taken almost directly from the Forgotten Realms pen-and-paper game supplements.

All in all, NWN 2 is definitely recommended for RPG fans everywhere, especially if your tabletop game of choice is D&D 3.5.

Dreamfall: The Longest Journey

Dreamfall is the sequel to The Longest Journey, which is an adventure game (in the traditional point-and-click gameplay sense) featuring a single female hero who must travel between Stark (the Earth of high technology) and Arcadia (the Earth of magic) in order to save both worlds. At least that's how I remember it, since I can't remember when I actually played the first game. Nor can I find my copy of the game cds.

Anyway, Dreamfall is essentially part 2 of TLJ, and this time, the story focuses on three people: a new chick, the old chick from the first game, and an adventurer-type guy. I forget the names right now. Too lazy to check the manual. Sorry.

Dreamfall's set in the same world, or worlds, as the case may be, and is still an adventure game (in that you need to solve puzzles and pick things up in order to advance the plot), but with the addition of certain action game elements, like a combat system. So in this game, unlike most other adventure games, there's a possibility for game over thoroughout most of the game.

The graphics are crisp, colorful and cartoony, but not too cartoony--a combination I like very much. The worlds of Stark and Arcadia, some locations of which you'll revisit in this sequel, have all been rendered in glorious 3D.

I haven't gotten very far yet, because of NWN 2, but I'll definitely play more of this later.

Maybe I'll post some screenshots later.

As for Oblivion... I don't really like the cultures presented in the Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, although the game really was immersive. Well, at least until I started playing Lineage II. But since it was cheap, I thought I'd buy a copy. But I don't think it'll get installed any time soon.

Well, then, I'm gonna clock some more quality gaming hours. Until next time, folks. Game on!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

So True.

You Are 15 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

Yay! I'm more boyish than girlish!

You Are 70% Boyish and 30% Girlish

You are pretty evenly split down the middle - a total eunuch.
Okay, kidding about the eunuch part. But you do get along with both sexes.
You reject traditional gender roles. However, you don't actively fight them.
You're just you. You don't try to be what people expect you to be.

Friday, March 17, 2006

On the bus home...

It's the end of the day. End of the week as well. YAY!
Sky's still blue, but Park Square 2's orange night lights are already
on. Someone just sat beside me, had to move over. Paeng just texted
me: HOSTEL TOM. Don't know if I can come. Bus is leaving now, and my
mobile's lowbatt already, so until next time...this is fun!

test again

hiya! this post was done using mini opera and gmail mobile and my post! heehee!

--
=-====================
Leonard Anthony P. Arcilla
[blog]Random Punk: http://randompunk.blogspot.com/
[serialnovel]Beyond Black Doors (A Knights of Obscurity Tale):
http://beyondblackdoors.blogspot.com

"Without this playing with fantasy, no creative work has ever come to
birth. The debt we owe to the play of our imagination is
incalculable."
--Psychological Types, Carl Jung