Progress Report: Overload on Indies

le sigh, My little holiday over the Christmas season is finally over. Second day back at work today and I am dying, after 3 weeks I’m just not used to moving that much anymore. It has been a rather busy holiday: a weekend up the coast once, a trip down to gold coast another day where me and the hubby wined and dined and many other little trips around to entertain. It just doesn’t compare though and well, it doesn’t help that I spent most of my free time nestled into the comfy couch with my laptop playing games.

I tried jumping back into Crusader Kings 2 and I absolutely no idea what I was doing. There was a wealth of menu systems and information points and I had forgotten all of it. I remember liking it before, even if I was rather terrible at it back then but the main impression now was that I had suddenly gone from playing checkers to chess.

I think I’ll try to get back into it again for a bit, just to flex that grey matter a little.

A rather prominent game over this week was still Rogue Legacy. There is just something so compelling and addictive about this game that I can’t stop playing. You just want to have one more dive into that dangerous dungeon to try to make it further than the last time and collect more gold to spend. You slowly notice your gaining in power and skill within the game as you make it further each time, you better adapt to the environment and know when and what to do in certain circumstance. It just drives you on and on to play and play.

I did end up killing that next boss, the skeleton head one which was quite the accomplishment. It wasn’t too hard though as I had one of the hard-hitting magic type characters with the fire aura and that just melts enemies; it chewed through the bosses health and killed a lot of the additional spawns.

Now it seems the next step is on to killing the next boss which, I’m rather scared about. Haven’t even seen it yet as that next area is a lot harder.

One game I picked up in the sale that I’ve been meaning to play for a while is Guacamelee. It’s a great side scrawling brawler with an interesting aesthetic, a fast paced combat with combo system that loves internet memes. The story is rather ridiculous and the characters even more so but it all fits together really well.

Guacamelee

I didn’t end up playing too much though as it’s another game that is more frustrating than enjoyable to play on the keyboard so, I went out and bought a controller. I was going to get a ps4 controller since I’m eventually getting one, and they look pretty, but based on some web searching it seems the drivers to do it still have a few problems to work out so I just went with the regular gamepad. This means this week I should be able to play more of it and Rayman.

My favourite game over the holiday has to be the absolute insanity of Hotline Miami. It is an insanely violent drug fuelled killing  rampage wherein you’re overcoming the many different scenarios by using problem solving, patience or pure bravado. I usually don’t enjoy gorey games and movies, they kind of disgusts me a little as I’m very squeamish but I loved every moment of this.

With the art style and aesthetic it removes you from the act in a certain way, distances you from what you’re doing enough that the acts become rather comical. With the violent reactions, the decapitated bodies, and the wonderful blood sprays that spread across the walls and floors it engages you in some sort of primal way.

Hotline Miami

I jumped back into Starbound with some friends over the week just to show them around a little and have some fun but that big fat potential update and wipe coming up really hampers your ability to go further in the game. I’ve done it once.. or was it twice already and I just don’t feel like playing anymore if I can’t keep my progress and build creations.

starbound

One game I had never thought I would actually play I ended up jumping into after being subject to a little peer pressure this week was Star Trek Online. It’s a weird game and have no ideal why it appeals to me but it does. The ground combat is rather terrible and the animations appalling, the story that wraps it all together is week and it has the same insidious cash shop based system that inhibits my enjoyment but…I want to keep playing.

The first time I saw that large system map I think was when I started to get more into it. Seeing that large space filled with some amazing looking ships was just.. an utter nerdgasm.

Star Trek Online

I have always enjoyed sci fi and the star trek franchise was a big part of that growing up but I’m not really a trekkie per se but those sapceships are amazing. It isn’t just the nerd appeal as I actually enjoy the space combat aspect. It’s rather simplistic with minimal skills but it can be rather tactical in how you use them and it works great in group play as the instances get more challenging.

I might have to write a post about it coming up.

I ended up playing Blade and Soul for another hour and then uninstalling. It’s pretty, and the visuals and animations are great but it’s pretty much exactly the grind I thought it was going to be. Kill quest after kill quest… apparently it gets worse later on with the usual dungeon grind for items that you have to gamble in order to upgrade. bleagh

And of course there was Mass Effect 2 and wow did that escalate quickly after my last save spot. After last time I expected that I must just have to talk to the right character on board to get this all started but I took my time talking to most of them as I kind of expected this would be the last time I might get to talk to some of them again. I still thought I’d have more time than what you get though.

The best conversation of all of them had to be Mordin again. He had some really interesting insights about the prometheans in how in the process of creating a legion of devoted soldiers and cloning over generations that they became more of a husk held together with technology. Basically a body held together by tape with no conscious thoughts of their own or any semblance of a soul.

There was also a rather poignant part about how Mordin linked a cultures technological advancements to its current limitations and how subverting that can often have disastrous results. He references his races own manipulation of the Krogan and the implications. I can’t help but think they were trying to reference certain real world parallels here, although, probably best to avoid talking further about that.

oh.. and this bit was awesome

After that, and a quick joke from Legion regarding wanting to see humans on their knees it was onto the next area. And what a ride that whole sequence of events was. I don’t think I could really wrap the event and that buzz that was with me the entire time. You’re making so many important decisions while also being involved with some fast paced combat that it just creates a great high that then peaks on seeing that gigantic Reaper. I never even knew what a reaper was and that thing is just insane.

Mass Effect 2 reaper

And it was all tinged with sadness as I fist lost Legion, then grunt took a hit. Jack was killed taking the crew back to the Normandy and finally Somara in that last Defence. I have no idea how I could have made any better decisions to keep those characters; Legion was rather interesting and I don’t know why but I liked having grunt along in combat and now I won’t see them in the sequel.

Mass Effect 2 legion

At least Garrus survived. I was worried the entire time that he wouldn’t survive. I didn’t want to sacrifice the mission and he seemed like the best candidate to lead the secondary group… well, the only other one was the whiny Miranda and I do not like her at all. Every time the came under fire though I expected to see the cutscene where he died and I probably would have cried. I think what made me even more in love with the relationship between Shephard and him was what happened before. I chickened out of going forward with the sexy time but then while in the captains quarters he comes up in this terribly awkward but hilarious pick up scene and then this happens.

Mass Effect 2 Garrus Shephard

It was a great ending to the game. Jetting out of their in a blaze while that giant Collectors space station explodes around you. And then getting to tell the illusive man to go shove it afterwards was just brilliant.

Well that’s about all from this week and oh how I already miss being able to play games that much in a week. If anyone wants to sponsor me in the year to come just throw your cash at the screen now. I should get a random selection of games in over the week and hopeful finish off a few more games before moving onto to more of my steam library but there is just not enough time in the day when your fitting in work.

Take care out there and may all your in game lovers make you all squishy inside

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6 thoughts on “Progress Report: Overload on Indies

  1. The formula for achieving the perfect “everybody lives” ending in ME2 requires some pretty specific steps.

    1) You have to do everyone’s loyalty mission. Which, because iirc you only get to finish one mission after acquiring the IFF before the whole abduction thing plays out and doing anything but moving straight on to the collector base means your crew gets put through the puree setting, means you NEED to do everyone’s loyalty mission before going to the derelict reaper and then immediately go do Legion’s loyalty mission afterwards.

    2) As I recall, there is a specific “best character” for every role inside the collector base. If you use anyone else, or if the person you send isn’t loyal, they have a very high chance of dying horribly. Mordin for instance will almost always bite it in the shootout scene at the end so you need to either send him back to the ship or keep him in your final party if he’s going to live.

    3) You need all the ship upgrades to keep people from being killed on the approach to the collector base as well. Which means either an eternity spent on that stupid bloody minigame or just using a trainer to cheat like I did.

    Of course, I kinda feel that getting the perfect end almost sort of cheapens the whole deal. So I never bothered too much after my first playthrough.

    • yeh I do thin that would kind of cheapen the experience. It’s nice to have it reflect your story and choices even if it isn’t some fairy tail ending.

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