Sunday, May 20, 2007

Of Whalesharks and Gaming

My friends and I went to Donsol, Sorsogon last May 16 to 18, a literally "sleepy" town where the only thing you can do is basically go diving for gigantic whalesharks. I almost drowned the first time I leaped into the seawater. Lifevests are good. Will post pics later (promise!).

Last Monday (May 14), I finished the NWN Hordes of the Underdark campaign. It was great fun using Mephisto's True Name to command him to die. All in all, a very epic ending to the NWN official campaigns.

I've also got all of Bioware's Premium NWN Modules installed, but after playing a bit through each, I'm seriously reconsidering their worth.

For starters, Witch's Wake, apparently their attempt at a "story-oriented" module, is unbalanced and sleep-inducing. Damn killer rats. Being "story-oriented" doesn't mean combat needs to be deadly!

Infinite Dungeons, on the other hand, suffers from too much combat, and has Monty Haul treasures as well. Sure, it took some pretty l33+ scripting sk1llz to pull off ID's random dungeon and item generators, but they didn't have to go overboard and make each and every monster carry a multi-function magical item!

I thought Pirates of the Sword Coast would be a bit better. I mean, how could anyone go wrong with pirates? But I was wrong: one of the very first fights (with those damn gangbangers at the Neverwinter Docks) are a bit impossible to win. And I was really looking forward to this module.

My only hope: Wyvern Crown of Cormyr, Kingmaker, and Shadow Guard. I'm not holding my breath on the last two: I hear they're both a bit short. In any case, there's some awesome fan-designed modules, and I'm looking to start the Shadowlords arc as soon as the fancy strikes me. For now, I think I've had my fill of Neverwinter Nights.

Yesterday, I installed Beyond Good & Evil, as an alternative to NWN. Haven't gotten far into the game beyond the starting sequence though.

On the handheld gaming front, the DS Lite finally got a real RPG: Etrian Odyssey, a turn-based dungeon crawl through a massive "forest" dungeon. The game features balanced character classes, an awesome stylus-based mapping system, and lots of quests and items. Looks like I'm gonna be hooked to my DS for quite some time. Thank you, Atlus!