The Dord of Darien

Musings from the Mayor of the Internet


Nostalgia Warrior

So I’ve been doing this thing. Every time I go to EB or wherever to browse through games, I pick up the DS remake of Dragon Warrior IV. Then I put it down. Then I pick it up, then I put it down. I just can’t decide if I should get it or not.

Dragon Warrior IV was one of my favourite NES games when I was a kid, and I have a lot of fond memories of playing it. My copy got swiped by a friend many years ago, so it’s been a long time since I’ve played it, and I end up thinking "oh, hey, I should get that." But then I evaluate the game rationally, and I just don’t know that I’d have the patience for it these days.

See, the thing is, when I actually look straight at it and try to remember how it plays, it occurs to me that Dragon Warrior IV was one of the all-time great grinding games. It’s in five chapters, and each chapter starts you with different characters, and all the characters start at level 1. So you immediately buy a damn copper sword or club or whatever and go grind on slimes for a while. Then you’ll go up a few levels and you can grind red slimes or prank gophers instead. Sooner or later you grind high enough to complete your quest, and then it’s back down to level 1, since it’s time for the next chapter. And, lest we forget, chapter 3 ends with the epic grind of, what is it, like twenty thousand gold to buy Talloon a damn storefront?

On the other hand, I remember really enjoying it when I was a kid, and that’ll probably win out eventually.

November 8th, 2008 Posted by | Games | no comments

Steam demo time again

Short reviews of the latest batch of Steam demos I’ve hacked at.

Mr Robot: I was hoping this would be an update of the classic C64 game "Mr. Robot and his Robot Factory," but it was not to be. Turns out it’s actually an isometric platform/adventure hybrid (remember Solstice? Yeah, like that) with some odd Shadowrun-y RPG combat sequences. Takes a bit of getting used to, but overall it’s pretty fun; it would be nice if some of the functions could be rebound, though, since the default bindings don’t do anything for me.

Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee: Yes, I realise this game is about ten years old, but I never played it when it came out, and it’s on Steam now. Or that’s what I thought, anyhow, but it turns out that I actually have played this game; thing is, back when I played it, it was called Prince of Persia. I didn’t like it then, and I don’t like it now either. But if you’re a big fan of Prince of Persia and you’re keen to play the same game but with aliens, hey, here you go.

Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis: I don’t really know why I installed this one. It’s obviously a wordy shitty cutscene-y adventure game. True to form, I installed it, started it up, watched a few minutes of cutscenes and then started mashing the "skip scene" button (bonus points for actually including that, though) so I could get to the damn game. Then I got to the damn game and started mashing on the X in the corner of the window so I could get away from it.

Samantha Swift and the Hidden Roses of Athena: I don’t really know why I installed this one, either. I also don’t know why I liked it so much. It’s very clearly a game for kids — and not just any kids, but girl-type kids. But you know what? I had fun playing it, so screw you anyhow. It’s basically just Where’s Waldo with the occasional weird puzzle or cutscene; if you liked searching for Waldo, you’ll probably like this game. If you don’t give a rat’s ass where that dude is, don’t waste your time.

Mount and Blade: I really wanted to like this one. It seemed kind of groovy at first, and the music in the tutorial was getting me in the mood to chop some dudes up with my sword. Then I walked out of the first room, got stuck in the door, and had to spend about two minutes wiggling and jumping trying to get free. So my initial impression wasn’t so hot. Then I got to the combat part and found another interesting tidbit: the collision detection and AI are a bit wack, and mobs will tend to run over until they’re standing directly inside of you, and you can’t hit them there. They, of course, can still hit you, which, combined with the fiddly controls, makes combat twitchy and annoying more than anything else. And, since as near as I can tell, there’s nothing to do in this game except fight mobs, that’s sort of the whole ballgame right there.

Tomb Raider: Underworld: I haven’t actually played this one, but I note with some amusement that Eidos hasn’t changed much over the years. Note the part of Lara’s anatomy that they feature in the game’s logo banner on Steam. Classic.

November 8th, 2008 Posted by | Games | 2 comments