Monday, 22 September 2014


More than a month? I must have been busy.

A lot of my time recently has been taken up by developing a game; it doesn't have a name yet, and it's not ready for public consumption in any metric, but it's coming along and I'm enjoying stretching myself. I've never written a 3D game engine before, so there's a lot of learning to do. I'm also unsure how efficiently I'm doing things, so I hope the engine will continue to chug along nicely even as the game world gets more complex.

Of course, this wouldn't be a Lag.Blag post without a bunch of new games.
  • Neutopia (VC) because Emily wanted another Zelda game
  • Dungeon Explorer (VC) as I wanted another dungeon crawler
  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms IV: Wall of Fire (VC) because I don't own enough strategy games already
  • Tropico 4 and associated DLC (PC) as I liked Tropico 3 despite not playing it much yet
  • Tales of Maj'Eyal (PC) it's a roguelike
  • Dishonored (360) it was free
  • Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine (360) it was free
  • Warlock - Master of the Arcane (PC) it was free
  • Anvil of Dawn (PC) GOG sale
  • Heroes of Might and Magic III and associated expansions (PC) GOG sale
  • Receiver (PC) it was free
  • Halo: Reach (360) it was free
I've played a little Wall of Fire. So far I managed to throw my units uselessly at Gongsun Zan and get destroyed. Might need to read a little about the strategy of this game before I play it again.

Also, I've finally beaten Nier! I had been suspecting 'the twist' for some time so it didn't come as a huge shock, though I was already fairly numb after the constant soul-crushing nature of the plot until this point. You're obviously meant to keep playing after beating it, though. To that end, I've started the next game but I haven't got too far yet.

I picked up Eternal Quest almost two years ago on a whim and finally got around to playing it a few weeks ago. It's a simple roguelike, with (unnecessarily) flashy graphics, but some rather bizarre additional mechanics. The most confusing is the Jewels command, which fully depletes your mana bar (which rises by killing stuff) to deploy a bunch of damage-over-time traps on the tiles around you, depending on how much mana you had. It also removes any 'Possession' effects you might have until now - they (otherwise) permanently increase your level by one at the cost of doing you damage occasionally. Yeah, I don't know either. It didn't take too long to beat, maybe 6 hours. Might speedrun it one day.

Diablo III has sat unplayed for some time. I pre-ordered it and wasn't particularly enthused when I finally got it; it wasn't the massive disappointment that Final Fantasy XIII was, but something seemed missing. I revisited it recently and found it pleasant enough to beat, though again nothing special. For a title with such a long development cycle and gigantic amount of work behind it, I still find it very underwhelming. The biggest single fault I could point to is the lack of customisation, though I do like that the swapping-skills system encourages you to play around with combinations. It's just mindless fun (for a few hours) but nothing you'd want to pour your life into like Diablo II.

You saw Halo: Reach on the list up there, and I've already beaten it. I don't really count myself as much of a Halo gamer or fan but I have beaten the first three titles on Legendary (in coop) on other people's consoles. In fact, I beat Halo 2 before I even had a Live Gamertag, so unfortunately Halo Waypoint isn't picking it up. I decided that trying solo Legendary would be a waste of time, so I compromised with Heroic. To be honest, I didn't find it very much fun; the plot is risible and the dialogue is chock full with military nonsense that made me want to skip the cutscenes, though I didn't. The gameplay itself is Halo, again, which is fine, but I felt like the variety in firefights wasn't as interesting as the previous games. Several times I felt like I'd already beaten the mission I was on, and near the end of the game it made me re-take a position I'd already conquered from a different direction, which was just dull. The ending with the cannon also confused me for a long time, as dying seemed inevitable. Took the stupid measure of simply waiting by the cannon until asked to fire, then getting in and firing. Overall, disappointing.

In non-gaming news, Emily and I will be travelling back to America in a few days! It's been a long time, because of Emily's right-to-stay application, but finally I'll be back to eating bagels every morning and actually playing on my 2DS. It will also be a pleasure to see Marc and Jess again, and possibly even stream some gaming/speedrunning with them! Ah, I said it was non-gaming news.

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