V.19 No.27 |

Video Games

What Did You Play This Weekend?

I think as a rule, people who obsess broadly about games leave a fair number of the games they play unfinished. Consequently, most of these gamers find themselves festooned with piles of (physical, and nowadays digital) half-played games which they always mean to get back to, but never quite do. My habits fall easily within this pattern. I take a good, healthy shot at most games, but unless they've got something that keeps me coming back, I'm pretty wont to set them aside for the next hot thing to come down the pike. Of course, the bright side to this is that I've got MANY partially complete games I can always revisit (to name a very few of them that haunt me still: Mass Effect (PC), The Witcher, Lost Planet, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Bully, GTA IV, FEAR 2), should the mood strike. This weekend I hopped back into two of my favorites: Half-Life 2: Episode 2, and Civilization IV. Episode 2 has just about the best ending ever devised for a video game. Is it ART? No. Is it completely awesome? Oh, yes. Two words (and one picture, upper right): Magnusson Device. With Civ IV, I jumped back into a playthrough I'd left sitting for a couple of months now. I just need to figure out how to care a little bit less about what happens to my cities every turn, and I won't wind up needing the rest of my life to nitpick my way through the game. I'm not quite sure how to pull that one off, but maybe I can find help.

V.19 No.25 |
Olly Moss

I picked up the original Half-Life on the cheap during the Steam weekend sale - a game I only played a little bit of when it came out. The big takeaway after our 40 minutes or so reunion? Hindsight is a bitch without a dose of dimenhydrinate. Yes, it was an amazing leap forward in design at the time, and the scripted bits neatly clear up a lot of the Doom/Quake monster closet problem, but oh man, there's just something about an old shooter which sets my eyes to spinning queasily. Maybe it's the constant twitchy movement. Or is it that the game space (so far) is all claustrophobic mazes? Whatever the case, that creeping sense of ick forces me to turn away after short bursts of play. I've done a little fiddling with the field of view, which I think is helping some, but this old school ship may have sailed on me permanently.

Also, if you haven't checked out Olly Moss' photostream, do.