Thief

I’d been wanting to play this game for quite a while, but at the time of release did not have the funds or really the time to devote to it. And so ended up being loaned a copy.

For those not familiar with the Thief franchise, it’s a series of Stealth games where you play the Master Thief, Garrett who in-amongst all his nefarious deeds generally ends up being dragged into conspiracies and usually ends up saving the day as a result.

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Underwhelmed

So a few weeks back, with finally some time and the urge to actually boot up the XBOX I finally got myself to finish Assassin’s Creed III. And it’s about time too as my last achievement date which I think was also my last play date was something like December 27 2012.

I don’t think I’ve ever left a game that long without playing it, maybe I have.

I’ve mentioned this before, but the AC series is one of my favourite game series to date, and I have enjoyed the games immensely. And found when I booted the game I was in the last sequence and so didn’t have that much to complete. And well when everything was said and done, I was rather underwhelmed.

I was also frustrated because although I’d finished the ‘In the Animus’ portion I had some elements to finish up in the ‘outside the Animus’ missions and did mange to get myself rather lost and then frustrated negotiating the map.

I’m not sure why, maybe because I managed to get spoiled on the ending pretty soon after getting the game, or had a rough idea of what happened. Maybe because I’d left the game so long that finishing didn’t feel like a compulsion or a thrill it felt a bit like a chore, a thing hanging over my head that had to be finished. Or maybe because of leaving it so long I’d forgotten a large chunk of what had happened over the course of the game.

I didn’t have much reaction, not the relief of besting the game, not annoyance at how the ending panned out, not joy at seeing that arc completed, not a sense of achievement, not confusion at what happened.

Just nothing.

I also found I had less urge to chase up after all the objects as I did in previous games and find areas and items to unlock.

Maybe if I leave it a while then come back and try and complete the game and try and do a bit more searching my reaction will be different.

I said I was a Gamer, I never said I was good at it.

I would consider myself a gamer.

I enjoy games, immensly, I spend a fair chunk of my ‘free time’ gaming, I own several gaming platforms (although several are currently hidden in the attic), I usually end up buying at least one new release a year, and I’m always wanting to keep up to date on what’s coming out and generally games are something I have a very big interest in.

However, I would not say I am ‘good’ at gaming.

I’m ‘okay’ at most of the games I play, give me a bit of time and I can generally work out what I’m doing and can usually play a game to completion. However, I would still not say I am really ‘good’ at playing anything.

I do wonder if it was because to some extent I was a ‘late bloomer’ in my gaming.

I’ve grown up as part of the technology age, and I have been using a computer since I was very young. However, as a child my time on the computer was limited, and the only ‘games’ I played tended to be educational ones, point and click type stuff with no real skill.

Although a child of the 90’s I did not have a gameboy or a playstation. My older brothers games but everything they played wasn’t for me, I was too young.  (I once got my brother in trouble as I played Unreal Tornument, in my defense I was only playing with bots,)

I was not raised on video games like so many others, I’ve never touched a Pokemon cartridge, never played Spyro. I didn’t have a NES or N64 tucked away for me to play with. Well I did have an old Gamegear but then the wire broke and so that was the end of that.

Closest thing I had a brush to proper gaming for most of my childhood was a PC version of Croc and some random Disney racer game I got as a free trial type thing.

I did get a PS2 when I was about 13, however even then I didn’t get to game much as my parents would get annoyed if I plugged it into a TV, same went for getting a Nintendo Wii a few years later.

I played games on the computer, I had the Sims, I played KOTOR, Monkey Island, Oblivion, Need for Speed; Underground, played Thief: Deadly Shadows, had a brief flirtation with WoW, played Fable.

But I was still not a gamer, I played seldom and then when the only gaming suitable (but only just) PC in the house went I couldn’t play anything.

I only got an XBOX a couple of years ago, and it wasn’t until then that I think I became a ‘proper’ gamer, so many games to play so much stuff to catch up on.  The PS2 did get played with a few times but using it was an inconvenience to my parents.

I think I’ve only been a ‘proper’ gamer for a couple of years.

But as it turns out I’m not very good at actually gaming.

I get stuck, I can’t button mash to save my life, I’m usually digging around for walkthroughs and some games I just blunder around, I find out really basic stuff about halfway through the game.

My list goes on.

I enjoy gaming for the most part, even though some games do make me want to throw the controller out of the window (and in a few cases the whole blasted machine).

Some games I do give up on as I feel I won’t get anywhere (Bayonetta I am looking at you)

I can’t play racing games very well, I am really bad at racing games, I can play Burnout but that’s probably because it encourages you to crash the car.

In a way it is annoying as of course I want to play all the stuff I missed out on, but it would seem the classic button mashy type games are beyond my experience.

Although not a button masher I remember trying to play Final Fantasy XIII, I have honestly never played any game in this series. (I do have a copy of X but didn’t get very far) I haven’t touched it as believe it or not, I can’t for the life of me understand the levelling system,

On the one hand I should have learned but then I ended up switching my attention to other games I could play better. (I swear I will get back to it)

Gaming is a unique hobby as although it is the act of playing games there is no set way to do it.

There’s many platforms, many games and no real hard and fast rule on what you can and can’t do like many other hobbies. Similar to reading in a way.

Modding Misadventures

So for the last few days I’ve had an interesting challenge.

Modding a video game, Dragon Age II specifically.

I recently obtained physical PC versions of both Dragon Age games after having the console versions for some time. And of course getting the PC version meant I had access to mods. I modded Dragon Age:Origins with relative ease, due to a mod manager utlity.

As you may have guessed I am not exactly a ‘tech minded’ person, whilst I feel I’m quite competent with computers I have never strayed that far into more technical aspects of working around programs and machines so this was a new thing for me entirely.

But Dragon Age II proved to be another species.

At first it seemed simple, download mods, to use mutiple mods entailed editing the chargenmorph.xml. Okay seemed easy…

Nope, broke the game. So I uninstalled and decided to start afresh.

I had found the ‘mod compiler’ and managed to get that to work after realising there was a file that needed to be kept near it. So I installed the mods and they seemed to work, no broken game. Woo…

Then this happened:

Short version, some of my installed mods didn’t work as I seemed to get a bunch of blank textures and one mod didn’t seem to work at all.

And then so that started more work, more wiping mods, reinstalling mods, one more reinstall. Then I found the problem. One of the mods for some reason part of it was slightly broken. So after a nervewracking attempt to mod an xml file, everything started to behave and as you can see here now my character screen looks like this:

 

Revenge Solves Everything

So I have in the last ten minutes or so finished Dishonored (at least when I started writing this post) and so I will atempt to review this game as best I can. Potential spoilers up ahead.

I admit, I didn’t know a lot about Dishonored before it came out but my brother had preordered it anyway and what I’d seen looked interesting which I suppose helped as I didn’t have too many preconcieved notions about the game.

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Sometimes You Just Have to Admit You Made a Mistake

So, you may remember a recent post of mine where I bemoaned how bad I was at multiplayer games.
Well, I found one thing that may be factoring into that on said mentioned playthrough.
It turns out that I did something very silly, and it’s affected several levels of my game. You want to know what I did?
I had an orange gun (rare) and a green gun (common) now my character can duel wield pistols. And well,
turns out I’d put the green gun in my characters main hand and the orange in the off hand. Which meant that my character wasn’t doing as much damage as she should be which was probably factoring into why I kept getting my backside kicked in game. I switched said guns over and marvelled at the immediate improvement it made.

So it looks like I will hopefully be able to steam on with my Smuggler’s storyline. Just need to gain an extra level before trying the last part of Smuggler class quest on Tattooine.

A Year in Skyrim (Or Just About)

So yesterday I was made aware of something. Skyrim has nearly been out for a year, and I am still playing it nearly a year on.

And unlike some games it’s not a case of ‘left it for a month and came back’, according to my Raptr tracker I have clocked up about 64 hours of game play and I am ‘dedicated’ to the game. So since it’s relase day Skyrim has been an almost constant presence in my gaming life.

And I am honestly not done with it. I find every time I go into Skyrim there’s something new. A quest I will do different, a new part of the map I haven’t found, even a new glitch to find. Like the one where you can turn yourself into a horse. I feel I’ve only scratched the surface of the game and there’s just so much I still want to find, want to explore, new characters to roll and you get the picture.

My first character, Le’Fel was a Khajiit she was my first character who sort of became my test dummy, she was the one that I had no real plan for and I used to just run about my merry well trying out as many quest lines as I could.

Then came my Nord, Branda Fire-Blade. Branda I had a plan for, she would become a Companion, she’d use a greatsword and she married Farkas. And as I played I started thinking more and more about her and how she lived and where she came from. I decided that she came into Skyrim seeking to see the land of her ancestors and that she lived on a homestead near the Colovian Highlands and that she had a younger brother.

Then came Ferret, an Imperial. Ferret became a thief but she never embarked on the main quest, I decided she wasn’t the Dovahkiin. I’ve been working on her story and how she came into Skyrim. She’s quite young, and she’d vey attached to an Ebony dagger that was one of the first things she ever stole.

And the beauty of Skyrim is you don’t have to do the main story, you don’t have to become the Dovahkinn. You don’t really have to do anything, you could if you so desired just stand on the top of a mountain and watch the sky.

Although as much as I love RPG’s some despite the fact they have a different class and other variables aren’t as ‘free’ as the Elder Scrolls games are. Although some games give you scope that things can go a bit different most are very linear.

In Skyrim as soon as you get out if Helgen you can basically do whatever you want. Want to follow Ralof and follow right through with the quest? Go ahead, Want to go wandering in the other direction and find random stuff? Go ahead.

The game doesn’t stop you, there’s no ‘zones’ as such, no barriers you are completley free to do what you want.
I can’t think of any game that just gives you that scope of freedom.

I wonder how long it will take me to ‘complete’ this game if I will ever do so. Maybe I’ll still be playing this game a year later, we will see.

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