Thursday, 28 December 2017

Elder Scrolls Online: When your guild goes completely mad

So one of our guildies got the idea to do a madness run of a trial (12 man dungeon or raid) with lvl 15-20 characters. Originally it was supposed to be lvl 15, but crafting equipment is either lvl 14 or lvl 16, and we allowed up to lvl 20 for unintentional overshooting.

So for the past two to three weeks we've been getting a group together consisting of people who have experience running veteran trials, setting up our characters, setting a date and choosing a trial. I decided to stick to my healer role which I have the most experience doing trials as, but going as my new Warden character (playing Warden for the first time). Crafting purple (epic) lvl 16 high-end gear felt completely wrong but hilarious at the same time.

We decided today. 8pm my time. Normal Sanctum Ophidia (the toughest of the pre-DLC trials). No CP allowed.

All of us fully expected it to be extremely hard and expected us to wipe several times and mostly not even get past the first boss.

Pre-run group shot!

Not only did we get past the first boss, but we completed the run with no wipes. And with all of us being so used to the mechanics of normal trials it actually went really smoothly. Everyone knew exactly what to do and when to do it and in the end it didn't feel very different from doing an ordinary trial with our fully levelled CP characters. It was mostly just slower than usual.

Post-run group shot!

It was a lot of fun and we're already planning another run, with the same characters, but with a different trial!

A couple of guildies recorded the run and here's Nico's video:

Monday, 18 December 2017

Game completed: Prey

There are no story spoilers in this review.

I've been following this game for the entire year and I was so excited about it when I got it for my birthday. I started playing it just a few days later.

What intrigued me to begin with were all the parallells to Bioshock. Scary things happening in a confined space, experimental drugs that enhance people, and a mysterious threat. But as soon as I started playing, Prey came into its own and completely separated itself from Bioshock. They are both FPS with RPG elements. They are both dipping into the horror genre, Prey even more so going into survival horror as it is. Prey is scarier than Bioshock. While Bioshock created tension it relied more on jumpscares with the Spider splicers than anything else. Prey has the affinity of creating the psychological horror of never knowing what to expect around the next corner.

Being a little bit of a survival horror game, Prey had an ammo problem. Several times I ran out of ammo because there just wasn't enough crap to scavenge and recycle into clumps to make ammo from. That's until I read up about other people having ammo problems and learned to abuse the Recycler charges and turn doors and cargo and furniture into clumps to make ammo from. The space station was pretty darn empty when I was done with it, but afterwards I had no problems with ammo anymore xD

Storywise Prey is really, really good. Without spoiling anything, you play as Morgan Yu (doesn't matter if you're male or female - you're Morgan Yu) and you work at a space station. Yay, you! When you wake up things are weird and you start trying to figure out what has happened. This is hard because you're suffering from memory loss and it's up to you who to trust (even which version of yourself to trust), and the choice who to trust will change several times over as you learn what happened on the space station while you were out.

The game has multiple endings. One of them can come about waaaaaay ahead of the others and even without solving anything. You can just leave. There's one more ending where you can leave without actually solving anything, but that's the asshole ending. The other two versions completely depend on who you choose to trust in the end. I did both of them and in total three endings. I liked one of the true endings better than the other.

The final parts of the game where you choose which person to go along with had me going WHAT THE SHIIIIIIIIT!!!! several times. Because holy shit. Wow. I have no other words. Just wow.

No matter which true ending you choose you'll end up with exactly the same little cutscene after the end credits. The fact that it was the same no matter what you did at the end cheapened it a little bit. But if you only do one ending this cutscene definitely adds to the whole "what the frick. what is real" vibe of the game.

Prey is excellent. I loved it. I even missed it in the days that followed after I had finished it. Go play it.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Dealing with backlog: Bioshock Remastered

I played the original years ago and I remember thinking it was difficult. Especially the last bossfight against Fontaine. This time I just breezed through the whole game. I saved just before the last fight since it was getting late and I had to go to bed. Started the game the next day and I finished the fight and thus the whole game in about five minutes. Wtf? I expected an epically hard fight and it was over in five minutes. Talk about anti-climactic!

But apart from the anti-climactic ending this game was just as amazing as the first time I played it. The whole Would you kindly twist is still great even if I knew it was coming this time, and having played Infinite too this time around, the whole Would you kindly thing was just amazing.

I had completely forgotten exactly how crazy Steinman and Cohen were, and that's even with having read the book! It was chillingly amazing to rediscover their insanities.

Like the last time I played I chose to do go the good way and save all the Little Sisters.

There isn't really much else to say. This game is amazing. Go play it.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Elder Scrolls Online: The Clockwork City DLC

I was planning on doing this post ages ago, but it kept slipping my mind! A while ago the new DLC, Clockwork City, was released for ESO. I was super excited about it since it will probably be the only Dwemer-ish release we're likely to get and because I'd finally be able to explore Sotha Sil's realm more than I could in the original Morrowind.

Before the release an introductory quest showed up in-game telling a story of how people were attacked by their own shadows due to some daedric influence. With the release of the DLC Divayth Fyr shows up in your alliance capital and asks you for help in getting inside the Clockwork City, Sotha Sil's realm which is hidden in a different dimension. Getting there you realise that the shadow problem is there too and that there's a plot against Sotha Sil that you have to uncover and stop.

I really enjoyed the look of the Clockwork City and the two world bosses were really cool. However the delves were not really to my taste. All the quests were really cool, though I'm not a fan of the Blackfeather Court daily quest.

What was amazing was the new trial: Asylum Sanctorium. It's a mini-trial so it's not much bigger than an ordinary dungeon, with the exception that you need twelve people rather than four to complete it. I've only done it a few times, but we did really well those first few times. The last boss was of course the hardest, but we didn't wipe as many times as we did with for example Halls of Fabrication or Maw of Lorkhaj. Actually after just a few tries we didn't wipe at all, though many people died from time to time we always had great teamwork and ressed people as soon as possible so that we always had a team.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Dealing with backlog: Thief

I first started playing this game in 2014 or 2015 when it was new. But back then I thought it was really difficult, especially I thought that everywhere looked the same and I couldn't figure out how to get from place to place. I didn't get further than chapter 2 that time.

I decided to play through it properly this time around, and I feel like it goes to show home much I've evolved as a gamer in the past three years. I had no trouble finding my way anymore, sneaking about and using powers came naturally and for the most part I actually found it to be quite leisurely. The only thing that bothered me was that the playing tips on the loading screen kept telling me that if I had a running start I could leap great lengths - but every time I tried it Garrett just fell to his death.

I rarely play stealth games as stealth games, and Thief was no exception. Instead of bothering sneaking past the enemies and the guards I pretty soon started to just eliminate the enemies and then casually stroll about looking for loot.

The story was alright. It felt like it needed to have the details worked out more, and it would also have been nice if the story missions weren't all broken up like they were. While I really liked Garrett as a character Erin came across as a weedling, whining, childish brat both before and after the Primal and I just couldn't like her. The Thief-Taker General was an odd character. Whose side was he on? Was it always Aldous'? Because it seemed, for a while, as if he was working for the Baron... The boss fight against him was interesting but pretty straight-forward. First I tried sneaking past him and let him live, but because he kept one-shotting me with his blast arrows or whatever every time I tried to make it across the room, I simply decided that he was too annoying to live and so I defeated him, looted the room and then left him to go deal with Aldous.

The story mission at the old asylum was the creepiest thing I've played in a long long while. The invisible ghost making noise and groaning sounds at the male ward creeped me out, but even scarier was the ghost in the female ward who kept appearing and disappearing and force me out of rooms and at one point even made an illusionary fire burst out of one of the cells while pushing me out of it. That's when I nope'd out on exploring and just decided to follow the quest markers. That wasn't any better, The people warped by the Primal freaked me out and they hurt like hell. It wasn't until much later that I figured out that fire arrows could damage them and blast arrows disintegrated them. The visions Erin kept sending me via the Primal's power didn't make things any better. I was extremely grateful to be out of there.

The final battle was odd, but way too easy to even be considered a battle. Just dodge and run.

I can't help but compare this game to Dishonored. While I think Dishonored has a much better story I actually prefer Thief's gameplay. Less powers in Thief (I rarely use anything other than seeing hidden things in Dishonored anyway) and less huge annoying enemies in Thief. I hated the guys on stilts in Dishonored and the clockwork soldiers in Dishonored 2 were equally bad. Thief didn't have those higher level enemies, and was more focused on stealth and loot, which I actually prefered. Thief made me realise that I prefer my stealth games to be loot-based rather than action-based, and Dishonored is definitely more action-based.

I really liked this game and I'm hoping for a sequel. I'm aware it's a remake, but I don't feel ready to try the old games.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Dealing with backlog: The Elder Scrolls Legends

I've been meaning to try this out for a very long time. Mostly just because it carries the Elder Scrolls name. I don't really have any interest in computer card games. It was free on Steam and fpr my week off from work I thought why not. The campaign was pretty easy with the allowance of a loss here and there while figuring out the enemy's new deck. My strategy soon became go in with the Imperial Might deck, if that doesn't work go in with the Alduin's Bane deck and slaughter them with dragons.

The original campaign was pretty fun and straight-forward. But once the campaign ended and all I was left with was solo arena or the versus arena against other players the game quickly lost its charm for me. I really didn't like that the entire versus arena was one big pot of players and you couldn't put yourself in separate groups. So people like me who were only just figuring out their decks and their cards and which cards to use together were mixed with people who had played for ages and knew exactly how to use their decks and how their cards worked together. Which in the long run meant that I had no chance in the versus arena whatsoever.

I decided to buy the DLC, which turned out to be larger than the main campaign (wth?) and also not as fun. Halfway through the first act I just stopped playing and I don't really miss this game.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Dealing with backlog: Might & Magic Heroes VII

So the whole point of me getting this game was entirely because I used to love Heroes of Might and Magic V, and my world crumbled a little when I noticed how ugly it had become and how non-responsive the Steam version was. So I got the newest one, with the sole intention of playing random matches against AI, but also to try my hand on the campaign - all like I did in HoMM5. Campaign went mostly smoothly, but I soon got bored of it, the same way it happened in HoMM5 even if they had spiced it up a little bit since the olden days.

My favourite faction has always been the Necromancers. The ghosts were always a pain to be up against as any other faction and the ability to raise defeated enemy units as skeletons is absolutely fabulous. Apart from the Necromancers my favourite were the Dwarves but they haven't been in any game since HoMM5 and they were DLC there...

Being used to HoMM5 this game was amazingly beautiful, and I loved the graphics. However, I soon sped up the battles because seeing the same few animations over and over and over for eternity became kind of lame. I used the same tactics as I did in the old game = pick up as many resources as possible, claim all the mines you can, and fight everything you can, focus on defence and creatures in the keep and hide from the enemies for as long as possible before engaging them. And also - find the Tear of Asha. Mostly it goes well, but my tactics take a bit of time so a huge map is preferred.

For the campaign I realised how much I had forgotten about Might and Magic lore when it started and it all came rushing back inside my head at the same time.

All in all a really good Might and Magic, and I will probably pick it up every now and again just to do some random matches.

Game completed: Fire Emblem Awakening

When my computer died this summer I started playing this game on my 3DS. Before that it was ages since I used my 3DS at all. I learned of this game on Tumblr and people over there in general seemed to love it.

I did too. More twists and turns in a story are hard to find! And when I figured out you could make couples out of all of your companions I spent hours upon hours pairing them up so they'd get to know each other.
Fire Emblem Awakening is a turn-based game with RPG elements. You create a player character to begin with; my character was a female mage. The tutorial starts as an ominous boss battle, which then ends with a story sequence where the main male protagonist, Chrom, dies at the hand of the player character. So without trying to spoil the finer points of the story; after this sequence the player character is awoken in the middle of a field by the very same person he or she just killed. You're taken in and cared for by the group of people who find you in the field; some of them loudly protesting against it. The first town you come to after being rescued is beset by creatures known as the Risen. No one knows where they came from, but there was a mysterious explosion in the sky before. Just after you woke up in the field. The group fights against them and they all realise that you're a really skilled military tactician, so they all agree to bring you back to HQ and have you become a proper part of the group. Here you meet the rest of the main squad and over time you meet a whole lot more people who all join your group.

The first part of the story is all about uncovering a plot against Emmeryn, the queen and Exalt. The fact that the Exalt is in danger is revealed by a mysterious masked figure who calls herself Marth; after the warrior of legend. The group travels to different parts of the country to rally people to help protecting Emmeryn and fight against her enemies. Emmeryn isn't urging anyone to do anything, she's the Exalt, and believes that words alone can change the minds of people. She manages to change people's minds everywhere, except where it counts, and in the end she is murdered, Although the time and location has changed from the future Marth reveals she comes from. War erupts against the enemy who murdered the Exalt. After he's defeated fast-forward two years to the second part.

My character is now married to Chrom and they have a daughter together called Lucina. Marth reveals that she is actually their daughter Lucina come from the future to make sure it doesn't happen. She's from a future full of despair, death and war after the dragon Grima was awoken. She studied the history up until the point where Grima was awakened and decided where to go into the past to change it. A war is now on-going in the West. A conqueror has conquered almost the entirety of the Western continent and his now pushing into the East to continue there. It's revealed by Lucina that the conqueror must be stopped, and together the group charges into the West, where they join up with the resistance and together fight to defeat Walhart and his companions. It's revealed that the player character is the child of the villain you fought in the tutorial and that he has a unnatural, magical influence and power over the player character. He can assert his will and make the PC do whatever he wishes. While the group struggles with this information, they defeat Walhart. and then part three begins.

After they return home they recieve an invitation from said villain, Validar. They decide to go there with a full force hiding in the shadows, fully expecting Validar to backstab them. Which he does. And in the same breath reveals that he's the one who awakens Grima with the help of the Fire Emblem, which is taken from Chrom by the PC under the influence of the villain. They chase after Validar to interrupt the ritual and the scene from the tutorial is played out. However, this scene had been shown to the PC in a dream/vision (the scene from the beginning) and so he/she uses this knowledge to prevent the death and the fight turns in their favour. Validar then reveals that thr PC was born to be the perfect vessel for Grima. The PC refuses and the fight turns in their favour. However, when Validar dies the Grima-possessed version of the PC arrives from the future to complete the ritual and Grima is awakened anyway. Chrom decides to ask the deity Naga for help and she grants them her power and tells them that Grima has a weak spot in the nape of his neck. Naga offers to transport them to Grima's back. She also tells them that if Chrom is the one to deal the final blow, Grima will only go back to sleep for another thousand years, if the PC is the one to deal the final blow, both Grima and the PC will disappear. This is completely the player's choice. I chose to let Chrom deal the final blow, because I had grown too attached to my PC's little family to have it destroyed. The ensuing final battle is on the back of a dragon and it's frickin' epic.

My favourite characters would have to be Olivia, Nowi, Henry and Lissa.

I absolutely loved this game, to the point where I went and got Fire Emblem Fates Birthright just after I finished this game, and because several of the characters from Awakening make appearances in Fire Emblem Warriors I'm also really curious about that game, although Warriors is more hack'n'slash and and not really turn-based like the previous ones. And if you've read my post about Viking: Battle for Asgard you know that hack'n'slash isn't really my forte.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

My last 5 books: 19th century horror and some modern comics

1. Adulthood is a Myth, by Sarah Andersen and
2. Big Mushy Happy Lump. by Sarah Andersen. I love Sarah Andersen's comics whenever I see them online so I decided to buy both of her collections to date and I read through them fairly quickly. The first one was extremely relatable in all aspects. I do most of these things and I feel most of these things. And sometimes I'm not sure whether I should actually laugh at it or cry  :P I love them and I'll keep on buying her stuff ♥

3. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley. Being fed the Hollywood version my entire life, this book was definitely not what I expected. Apart from the monster being created by a scientist the movie doesn't get many rights from the book. The most major thing is that the monster is actually eloquent and intelligent. He entered the lives of people with hope of finding family and warmth, but kept being shunned by them and eventually shunned himself from society. He gets in touch with his creator asking for a mate, but Frankenstein refuses and the monster goes on a killing spree; killing everyone Frankenstein loves in an attempt to force Frankenstein to make him a mate so he'll stop the killing. Eventually the monster takes it too far and ends up with a dead scientist. Resigned to being alone the monster leaves and travels to the Arctic, intent on living out his days in an area without people. There are no mentions in the book of any of the theatrics used in Hollywood; no shambling walk, no zombie sounds, no square head, no bolts to the neck - the monster is ugly af and well-over 2m tall, but he's not a freak except for the ugliness. Also, in the movies the monster is always raised through the roof during a stormy night to have the thunder boost life into the dead body - no mention of this anywhere in the book. Also, the classic line "It was on a dreary night in November that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils" made me think of this song and thus I always had that song on my brain while reading.

4. In a Glass Darkly, by J. Sheridan Le Fanu. I bought this short story collection on a whim because I recognised the author's name, but I had no idea what it actually was. When I later put the pieces together and realised that his name was familiar because he's the author of Carmilla (one of few 19th century vampire tales older than Dracula which have survived to this day) I was very excited about reading this. But of course Carmilla was the last story in the book. The first three didn't excite me much while I read them, they were actually pretty boring imo. Then came The Room at the Dragon Volant, which seemed like quite the modern heist story. I despaired at the gullibility of the main character, but otherwise the entire story was good and there were a few twists and turns that I didn't expect. I really liked it. But then, ofc, came Carmilla and I was hooked. From a modern PoV the entire story was pretty straight-forward and obvious, but at the same time I was amazed by the clearly obvious lesbian undertones in a short story from the 1870s! Mid-Victorian times and this woman isn't even trying to hide her intentions, only the gullibility of her intended victim keeps her secret safe. I liked the story in general, but for a modern person who's read a fair amount of vampire tales this story offers no surprises other than the lesbian one.

5. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson. I've never actually read this story myself, only heard retellings of the story and seen Hollywood's version. So from what I knew I didn't expect Jekyll to actually enjoy the transformations. From all the retellings I've heard and seen Jekyll was always the victim, and he was always a young and proper man. In the original Jekyll is in his 50s and despairing his lost youth he enjoys the transformations into Hyde who's significantly younger and freer. But after Hyde murders someone Jekyll realises that he can't keep transforming into Hyde. He needs to get rid of him, but at the same time he has lost control of the transformations and in the end it's enough that he sneezes to transform. He starts having to take the serum to transform back into Jekyll, but he runs out of the serum and because the first batch was just a fluke, he can't seem to make a new batch - and so he's doomed to be Hyde, which brings him to take his own life.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Game completed: Far Cry Primal

I got this game for Christmas last year and only got around to playing it now. I've only played Far Cry 3 before so I wasn't sure quite what to expect with Primal, but it was amazing, and until I've played the rest of the series Primal is now my favourite of the two.

When I started it up for the first time, my initial reaction was "Don't say they're gonna speak English." And they didn't. And I was happy. I'm not sure if they're using an actual modern-day language, but if they don't I'm pretty sure they used Native American and African tribal languages as an inspiration. However, I soon started to figure out what certain words meant since they said them all the time, i.e. I'm pretty sure wah'pahti means hello.

The first thing I did was to not crouch when the game told me to and was promptly killed by a mammoth.

The general mechanics were pretty much the same as in Far Cry 3; take over outposts and bonfires to free an area from the invading tribes, hunt rare animals, complete quests, and fetch all the collectibles. What I actually preferred about this game was that you didn't have to scavenge for ammo, you just crafted more, and with the abundance of crafting nodes it was never an issue to run out of ammo.

For taking over outposts I soon discovered my preferred way of doing it sneakily. Hide behind a rock or in the bushes not too far from the outpost. Send out my owl to scout the area and tag all the enemies, and then have the owl tell my tamed lion or sabretooth which enemy to attack. All the while my owl dropped bombs on the enemies my great big cat wasn't attacking, and when there was only one single enemy left in the area have my owl attack that last one to finally free the outpost. Takkar never had to do anything; the animals did everything for him.

The NPCs all had interesting stories. Sayla was suffering from PTSD from seeing her entire village be slaughtered by Neanderthals (Udam) and she kept killing them whenever she got a chance and collected their ears in an attempt to silent the cries she could hear all the time. Karoosh was on a personal mission to avenge the death of his son by the hand of a Neanderthal. Tensay, the shaman, had been kidnapped and burned by the sun-loving Izila tribe and their leader Batari and wanted vengeance on her. Jayma was the veteran huntress, the master huntress, and all she was focused on was continuing her legacy, so when Takkar completes the master hunt mission she gves she leaves the village to die in the wild with the animals she had hunted all her life. Wogah was completely out of his mind. He built traps for the Neanderthals to trap and kill them for taking his arm. And then there was Urki. Urki was crazy, and if there ever was a stone age redneck - he's it.

So to completely root out the invading tribes Takkar starts taking over outposts and bonfires. Then I chose to go to the Udam fortress. I started my attack and then soon realised I had run out of both arrows and wood. So I ran all the way back down from the hill it was on, with the enemies chasing me and started picking up wood for dear life. When my pack was full and I had a full quiver of arrows I started up the hill again and took over the fortress. Then I defeated and captured their commander, Dah. With Dah in the village I learned some Udam tricks. Dah eventually told the story of how the Udam were dying out due to what he called skull-fire. He got Takkar to perform a lobotomy on him, and in the end, after the Udam were defeated, asked Takkar to kill him. The whole story with the Neanderthals made me sad. For most of the story they were presented as heartless monsters. Then came my final fight with Ull, their leader, and when I defeated him he crawled to where the tribe's children were and offered them to Takkar, saying that his tribe, Udam, were weak and dying and asked Takkar and the Wenja to take care of the children.

It was the same way with the Izila, capture outposts and bonfires, and then attack the fortress and capture their commander, Roshani. The Izila were more advanced than the Wenja, in the sense that they had figured out farming, and to get away from living caged up like an animal Roshani gave up the location of their seeds and showed the Wenja how to farm. As time passed, Roshani lost more and more of the blue Izila warpaint and started dressing like a Wenja. In the end, when asked if he wanted to leave he said that he was a Wenja now. The final fight against Batari was really cool, much more so than my fight against Ull. First of all, to breach the final area where Batari hid I had to ride a mammoth to break through the gates. Then I went all over the area saving enslaved Wenja who helped in the attack on Batari's temple. The fight against Ull had mostly been me kiting around him to stay out of reach from his melee attacks while sniping him with my bow. Batari used a bow herself, two arrows for each shot, and she kept calling in reinforcements. So for this fight my tactics became hiding behind a rock, peeping over every now and again to shoot her with double arrows of my own, while my sabretooth handled the reinforcements (mostly).When Batari was defeated Takkar carried her into the flames and let her burn - just as Tensay had asked him to do.

With both invading tribes defeated the end credits started rolling, and after the end credits came a small scene with the Udam girl training to be a Beast Master like Takkar and taming a bear.

I wasn't sure whether the game would have a hard ending (like Dragon Age Origins) or would allow me to continue exploring afterwards, so I had completely 100% completed the map before my final fight against Batari, but after the small scene with the Udam girl I could once again play as Takkar. I still opted to not complete the pre-order DLC The Legend of the Mammoth. I had done the first quest of it and it was so very very very bad that I decided to just not do it. I read up on it, and from what I read of the story and the quests, I'm very happy I decided to skip it.

Far Cry Primal was great and I'm a little sad it's over.

Oh and because of the language I had this song on my brain for the entirety of the time I played it xD

Monday, 23 October 2017

Dealing with backlog: Original Tomb Raider and Fallout

I've never played the original Tomb Raider and when it showed up on sale on Steam I grabbed it, thinking I'd finally play through the origins of that whole franchise. The controls were a mess. Or ratehr a mess from a modern PoV (steering with the arrows and jumping with Alt wasn't at all uncommon in the 90s), and I couldn't find a way to change them. On top of that the PC version is run through DOS box (it's that old) and so there was no controller support. The wonky controls are what made me stop playing it. It was easy enough to start with, then came the first puzzle (open a gate with a lever, jump down, jump up, go through gate before it closes again), and the wonky and frankly nonresponsive controls made me too late every single time. I spent an hour there and then I gave up and uninstalled the game. So basically I never even got inside the first tomb :P

The original Fallout went somewhat better. Old school turnbased games work a lot better than old school action rpg-style games. There was a lot of trial and error. First time I almost lost all my health to cave rats just outside the vault before I figured out how to equip my gun and how to use stimpaks. Then I got attacked by radscorpions in the desert and died, more than once to them before I figured out how to use resource managment on my AP so I would maximise my shooting them before the round ended (seriously, who decided that opening your backpack would need 4AP when you only got 8AP, and one shot with the pistol costs 5AP?!). I got to the town of Shady Sands and immediately volunteered to help them destroy a nest of radscorpions. And I died again :P Then I found a companion in Shady Sands and together we went and destroyed the nest. We were welcomed back with open arms after destroying the nest. Then I thought I'd help them get rid of the raiders too before actually going out to find that water purification chip. But they killed me and I resolved to move on from the game. It's not bad and I sort of enjoyed playing it, so I'll just keep my save and return to the game later on. But for now I'll continue on my backlog.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Week 42

It's been a full week!

There were no new disasters at work so the whole week went pretty smoothly on that front. (Except for the fact that people are still idiots unable to read signs that are there for their benefit). To the point where I made this video on Friday morning just to show everyone how many signs there are and yet I get these questions every day:
"Where are the restrooms?"
"How much is it?"
"Can I use euros?"
"Where do I pay?"
"How do I pay?"
"The card machine isn't working!" (Yes, it is but you're doing it wrong)
"Is this a changing machine?" (No it's not it's a charging station for your phone)
But apart from restroom issues (fingers crossed we'll be getting rid of that soon enough!) the week was smooth.

On Friday evening I continued working on my backlog and dealt with Necronomicon: The Dawning of Darkness and Vlad the Impaler. Both of which failed to impress me, but Vlad could possibly be a time-drain if I let it.

Yesterday we went to Sci-Fi World in Stockholm and it was really cool! I bought myself two books about the making of the Fantastic Beast movie and I also found a time-turner and a Fullmetal Alchemist pocketwatch :3
In the evening we had people over for drinks and then we went out to the pub and had an amazing time.

Today has been a relaxing day. ESO until dinner and then after dinner I played some original Tomb Raider and Fallout.

Now it's bed time! :)

Friday, 20 October 2017

Dealing with backlog: Two short horror games

Necronomicon: The Dawning of Darkness is a horror/mystery game that I bought back in 2013 or 2014. It's a port from an old Playstation game and it shows. The controls are kind of clunky, the animations and voice acting leaves a lot to be desired and the story makes no sense. I bought it because I was looking for Lovecraft inspired games at the time. There's no tutorial and no direction in what to do, but when I figured it out the game was pretty easy.

I knew from beforehand that the game was far from bug-free, because the mixed reviews on the store page said so and the forums contained lots of tips and tricks on how to get past bugs. I got almost all the way to the end (the guide I looked up made it seem that way anyway) when I got to a bug I couldn't find a solution for. Seemed like nobody else had gotten that particular bug. I was at the library looking up books to find out what the antagonist was up to. One particular book refused to be picked up, and without having that book I couldn't get any further.

Vlad the Impaler is a visual novel-esque point-and-click adventure. You're thrown right into the game with no tutorial whatsoever and no indication as to what importance the stats have and what will influence them and what they influence. That's easy enough to learn, but I never managed to complete the game. Because no matter what course of action I took beforehand, saving the Sultan's life was impossible and I was always killed by his guards. I figured it was because my stats were too low, but at the time it seemed as if I had taken every possible combination of actions beforehand and I still didn't have high enough stats to pass that check. My mind keeps turning up alternatives now though, so i may actually pick it up again at a later time and try to complete it later on.

The story seemed odd and to not go together and all in pieces when I did my first run, but after a while when you discover the different routes the pieces all start to fit together. It's just odd that you'd have to play it multiple times to figure out how the whole thing fits together.

I did love the style of the game though.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Watching old, old movies part 9

Next batch! Going through this list, and here are my previous entries.

25. House of Usher (1960)
More Vincent Price :3 This is a movie based on the short story by Edgar Allan Poe. I've read the story so I was curious about the movie. Unfortunately I wasn't very impressed with it, but I can see where Crimson Peak garnered some inspiration! Anyway, Mark Damon played a loud, obnoxious manly man who just wouldn't take no for an answer (the kind called douche or asshole in modern society). Granted that Vincent Price played a secretive and slightly insane man, who just couldn't abide Damon's behaviour. And then there was the poor girl caught in the middle. Tbh the only sane person in this whole get-up was the butler. I knew the story from before so I was mostly interested in how they would portray it, but what caught my attention the most was Damon's shiny, shiny, so shiny black hair. If you touch that hair does your hand come away black and slimy? The men both got what was coming for them, when the girl takes her revenge.

26. The Invisible Man (1933)
Based on the story by H.G. Wells (which I haven't read yet). It was Claude Raines breakthrough although his face is only shown briefly at the end. I had a lot of fun with this movie, because the invisible man was delightfully crazy. Yes, he murdered people who he percieved had wronged him, but more than that he was mischievously crazy, and it was a joy to watch an old movie where all the characters aren't all prim and proper. I was really interested to see how they managed to pull off the special effects of making him invisible, but they must've had some really skilled people to clip the film because I couldn't notice any seams at all. Though it was obvious that Raines' voice had been recorded elsewhere and then added to the movie. All in all I liked this movie, it just felt a little bit sped up at times. As if they were hard pressed for time (it's just 71 minutes long!)

27. The Bad Seed (1956)
This movie was odd. It felt like a drama (sometimes even a comedy) not a horror movie. It felt like theatre rather than cinema, even more so because they only used two sets. So basically the story is about this couple who has a perfect little daughter, but accidental death follows her around. Babysitter slipped and fell down the stairs to her death, a classmate drowned, caretaker was burned to death when exelcior packing caught fire in the room he was in... After her mother finds out the truth about her origins she starts to suspect that her daughter is the bad seed, and that all the accidental death was actually caused by her. The daughter eventually confesses to her mother, but the mother is overcome with a need to protect her daughter and becomes her accomplice insofar as she doesn't reveal the truth to anybody. Until the day she cracks, that is. The actress who plays the little daughter is amazing and actually the only actor/character that I like on the whole set (the others feel too exaggerated). But apart from that I'm not a fan of this movie.

Dealing with backlog: Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut

I played Shadowrun Returns back in 2013 and I absolutely loved it. A few years later Dragonfall was on sale on Steam and I picked it up. Now it's been a few years since I bought it, and it was finally time to play it.

I chose to make an elf streetsamurai. Just like I did last time. I even used the same character portrait. The story of Dragonfall was a lot deeper and well-developed than the one in Returns, and the characters were a lot more memorable. The only thing that brings the overall feeling of the game down is the dice-rolling combat. It kept screwing me over to the point where I actually had this scenario more than once: 97% chance to hit. Standing right in front of the enemy. With a shotgun. *miss* *facepalm* But apart from that the game was amazing.

Shit hits the fan almost immediately and then it's just a crazy ride from there. You're a shadowrunner who's called back on a personal favour from your friend Monika Schäfer. You're in Berlin which is an anarchic flux-state. The job was supposed to be easy. Just in and out, no big deal. But it all goes to shit and you find yourself in a real mess that seems to lead back to the Dragonfall decades earlier, when the dragonslayer Adrian Vauclair defeated the dragon called Firewing. To find out what is going on you decide to ask the best information broker in the world for help and she demands 50,000 nuyen in payment for her services. So you and your friends go out on a bunch of odd jobs to earn it all. All the while the Kreuzbasar is your home and safehouse.

When the money is all earned up you go to meet this information broker again, but turns out the information she turned up has her real scared so instead of showing up in person she puts it all on a datachip which is delivered to your character. This is when the revelations start to pour out. You find out who's behind everything, what he's done, what he means to do and how. And you can either choose to destroy his work or join him. If you're high enough in charisma and intelligence you can even talk him out of his own conviction and make him change his mind about what needs to be done. And as usual there are several instances where you choose whether to kill or save someone. And the ending can come about in several different ways.

Over the course of the game, you talk to your companions and find out their backstories, which leads to trust missions. Glory is my favourite out of all of the companions and her backstory was really interesting. I think I got the bad deal out of her trust mission, but I still love her, and I wanted to do more for her. I even got so far as to wishing they had romance options in the game.

When the game ended I was sad. I actually considered replaying the whole thing right then and there. I had so many questions. Most of them concerning Glory. And it makes me sad that I'll probably never see her again in any other Shadowrun game

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Week 41

Can nothing ever go smoothly?

Well, most of the week went fine. Got a visit from the taxfree people and had a talk with them. Finished reading my book. Picked up two parcels at the post office (a new wintercoat and collections of Sarah's Scribbles).

On Wednesday we had a get-together with a few of the people from hotels all over the city and travelled to Stockholm Quality Outlet. We went with the Hop On Hop Off sightseeing buses there and on the ride we had amazing mozzarella/parma sandwiches and wine. We got there and after a nice little presentation we each recieved a goody bag, that among other things contained a gift card. There was also coffee/tea and cakes (not in the goody bag, but during the presentation). Afterwards we went around the outlet (it's like a quaint village with shops all around, very cosy) and looked around for something we could use the gift card for. I decided to go with Happy Socks :P The ride home contained more sandwiches and more wine. Lots more wine. And an impromptu karaoke session because we knew songs on the radio. I got home quite late and went directly to bed.

Friday was the 13th, and while I'm not superstitious this day everything just went to hell. I arrived at work and the electronic tag we use to open and close the storage lockers was gone. Completely vanished. I called the guy who closed up the night before and he said he put it where we usually put it. I had gone over the whole desk. It was nowhere. So I called down to security hoping that they'd have an extra we could borrow. They said they didn't. Called the superintendent hoping he'd have an extra. He didn't. Called the on-call number for in-store emergenices hoping they'd have one. They didn't. But the girl on call immediately started running around the store looking after solutions. In the meantime I put up signs saying we didn't have any luggage storage today. On top of dealing with annoyed customers due to that situation I had to chase down more parking tickets (buy stuff in the store for over 1000 SEK, get 3 hours free parking, we hand out the three hours parking tickets), which is always a circus, so we wouldn't have to deal with annoyed customers over the weekend when there's almost no admin staff present in the building. In the evening, not long before my shift would end. Two colleagues came by saying they'd seen the footage from the surveillance camera so they knew what had happened with the tag. So then we knew the tag was completely lost. But on their way in they had talked to the security and found out that they actually had a backup tag (the girl I'd talked to just hadn't known about it). So we made a deal with them that we'd borrow their tag in the morning and then hand it back in the evening, until we could get a new one. That could've solved the problem that morning and finding out about it hours later having had to deal with annoyed customers the whole day, made me quite annoyed. Can anybody in this building actually know what they're doing?!

Turns out not. On Sunday I got an email from the store manager asking me if we could give a tag to the on-call people since they were supposed to have one and they didn't. So I had to explain the whole situation to him and then he asked if we had planned on manufacturing new keys any time soon. We have no contact with the people who are responsible for the lockers. None. We just deal with the lockers because our desk was placed right next to them. He's the top guy. He should know this. But as usual. Nobody in this building knows anything.

I was extremely relived to go home. I spent the evening watching Buffy/Angel and trying out the original Tomb Raider and the original Fallout, before settling into ESO.

Yesterday I mostly did nothing but play Shadowrun Dragonfall and today I finished the game. Now I'll watch an old b/w movie before bedtime.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

My top 20 most played PC games

Back in 2015 I did a post like this. Let's see how it changed! (The bonuses at the end of last post remains so I won't add them here).

1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (currently 808 hours on Steam) (post)
Still my favourite game.

2. Dragon Age: Inquisition (currently 508 hours on Origin) (post) (post) (post)
Too many playthroughs. Too many new characters. Too many romances.

3. Fallout 4 (currently 207 hours on Steam) (post) (post) (post)
All the story paths. All the DLCs.

4. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (currently 179 hours on Steam) (post)
One playthrough where I did everything + one playthrough that I didn't complete.

5. The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt (currently 154 hours on Steam) (post) (post)
I did every single thing in the base game + the DLCs.

6. Dragon Age: Origins (currently 147 hours on Origin) (post) (post)
Favourite DA game has less hours than the newest one. Mostly due to this being significantly shorter.

7. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition (currently 127 hours on Steam) (post)
This is one single playthrough that I just did for the heck of it. Got the SE for free so why not :P

8. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (currently 122 hours on Steam) (post) (post)
Also one single playthrough where I explored every inch of the bad pixel map and did all the quests I could find.

9. Dragon Age II (currently 96 hours on Origin) (post)
This is three playthroughs. Still the least good DA game.

10. Mass Effect 3 (currently 83 hours on Origin) (post) (post)
Favourite ME game.

11. Mass Effect 2 (currently 78 hours on Origin) (post)
Least favourite ME game tbh, but at least 2 playthroughs because of wanting different storylines in ME3.

12. Mass Effect: Andromeda (currently 70 hours on Origin) (post)
I loved this game. I did everything in this game.

13. Fallout: New Vegas (currently 69 hours on Steam) (post)
The craziest FO game in existance, but apart from that specific DLC, this game was amazing.

14. Mass Effect (currently 66 hours on Origin) (post)
I liked this game a lot. It's not ageing well, but damn it's good!

15. The Sims 4 (currently 64 hours on Origin)
Play it for a month. Leave it for 6 months. Play it for a month. Leave it for 6 months.

16. Fallout 3 (currently 61 hours on Steam) (post)
This game did not agree with my system. I rushed through it, played it as much as I could and left it when I got an unbreakable bug at the end.

17. Far Cry 3 (currently 48 hours on Steam) (post)
One of few FPS I've played. Liked it a lot and bought the rest of the series :P

18. Empire: Total War (currently 38 hours on Steam) (post) (post)
My favourite Total War game to date.

19. Long Live the Queen (currently 34 hours on Steam) (post)
Really cute-looking. Surprisingly difficult and surprisingly dark.

20. The Sims Medieval (currently 33 hours on Steam) (post)
I really enjoyed the RPG like nature of this game. But EA seems to have forgotten the game exists on Steam and make no attempt to fix the bugs. Got it on Origin, but that requires you to set your computer clock to 2011 for the game to run at all, and the game-breaking bug from Steam still exists on Origin. So maybe EA just forgot all about this game :/

So yes. Still the RPG type huh?