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Wizards and Hobbits
By ucblockhead (Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 01:59:17 PM EST) (all tags)
I am management now.  Plus, I played Bioshock.


Throw away holiness and wisdom,
and people will be a hundred times happier.
Throw away morality and justice,
and people will do the right thing.
Throw away industry and profit,
and there won't be any thieves.

If these three aren't enough,
just stay at the center of the circle
and let all things take their course.



The coding I had on my plate was never getting done, so now it is officially being delegated away.  I guess that means that I have gone the whole way and am entirely of the non-productive class.  (Other than design, which means that I get to write down how things should be down without having to do things myself.)

I wonder how long until I forget how to code?



I finished "Bioshock" last night.  I really found it to be a disappointment.

Loved:

  • The fact that they tried to make the game "about" something more interesting than space marines vs. demons.
  • That they really got both 40s era dialog and Objectivist philosophy right.
  • The art deco decor.
Hated:

Lots of stuff.  The "splicers" all look mostly the same, and are really only differentiated by the attacks they use.  The game has a heavy quasi-RPG character improvement system, but this is completely undercut by the way the "splicers" ramp up in power during the game.  So while you are far more powerful at the end than at the beginning, it is hard to notice as you are still fighting all the same monsters.

At the "normal" setting, I found the game a bit too easy.  The "Vita chambers" essentially destroy all pressure about the game as you can essentially keep respawning until you overcome.  The last boss battle was one of the easier I've encountered.  (And a coworker also found it dead easy, so its not just me.)  It seems like there's a general gaming trend to coddle the player.  For instance, at one point, you are told that your task is to protect a little sister.  Yet this is completely undercut because if you fail at this, the game doesn't end.  Instead, you are just given a replacement to protect.

The much vaunted "choice" is not much of one.  The game tells you that you will be penalized if you make the "good" choice over the "evil", but as far as I can tell, the penalty is so mild that it hardly matters.  I'd hoped that they might do something interesting with divergent goals depending on your choice, but nope, you just get end scene A or end scene B.  It hardly matters.

You also never really got the sense that "Rapture" was an actual operating concern given that everywhere you went, you only ever saw completely homicidal splicers.  You were told that these were driven into a rage by too many plasmids, but I suspect the irony that you are trained to attack everything on sight just like the splicers do was unintentional.

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One of them | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Sounds like a handy trick by fluffy (2.00 / 0) #1 Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:26:20 PM EST
Can I delegate my coding tasks away to someone else too?  Shit's giving me a migraine.

busy bees buzz | sockpuppet revolution
Yeah by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 05:35:01 PM EST
I suggest delegating to the guy in the corner next to Stef and across from Todd.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
Oh, you card (nt) by fluffy (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 10:44:41 PM EST
*makes sign of The Horned One* by dark nowhere (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:55:30 PM EST
Back vile thing! I seal you away with Satan's power!

I don't actually mind easy end fights in this kind of game. Final bosses are just there for closure anyway. Once you get to them, the game's basically over, and I find I could just as easily watch the ending and credits without even doing the fight. Ninja Gaiden was really weird in that respect. The last boss is also the first boss and he's a real pushover compared to the entire rest of the game. Especially the first time you fight him. This is odd for a game that forces you to play better for the next five minutes than you had been for the past five. (Great system, btw.) Beyond that, making a satisfying final boss is something that seems to backfire a lot, by way of shark jumping, etc.

I found the vita chambers to be 100% stupid. The fact that they're basically "the nearest respawn point" really trashed a lot of the game for me. Actually, the hard parts in the game weren't very fun for me, but I still think Doom 1&2 are the best examples of "difficult = fun" in FPS games. Demons, Attrition, Space Marines, hell yeah.

Chill out, snowflake.

Doom by gzt (2.00 / 0) #7 Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 10:36:20 AM EST
Doom, or maybe Doom II, eventually got annoying after a while when you started having to come up with tricks to get stuff done, like precisely jumping from platform to platform to avoid falling into lava. I don't want stupid maneuvers, I want to shoot things! Otherwise, I love Doom. I might go home and find the shareware demo of the original to play tonight...

[ Parent ]
That would be Doom II by dark nowhere (2.00 / 0) #8 Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 02:18:07 PM EST
like precisely jumping from platform to platform to avoid falling into lava - I think I know exactly what level you're talking about.

Although they didn't really overdo it. IIRC it starts getting like that really late in the game. Personally, I think Ultimate Doom (which is Doom with a bonus episode) is by far the best.

Then there's the absolute nonsense of Final Doom, which is essentially fan-made and Id-published. It's very good, but the nonsense comes in terms of difficulty. (At some point you're expected to cross an invisible bridge surrounded by a lot of nasty demons, and you don't have the ammo to take them all out.)

Chill out, snowflake.

[ Parent ]
Aye. by mrgoat (2.00 / 0) #5 Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 08:14:25 AM EST
I thought the "good" choice that "penalizes" you in bioshock gave better rewards than the "evil" choice that "rewards" you. Still, great game. I can overlook having only homicidal splicers and "city not functional" feel pretty easily, since we don't know quite how the current state of Rapture came to be (besides "they all got all spliced up and junk") and that I suspect a real Objectivist would do a crappy job setting up a city anyway.

I reccomend Fallout 3 next. I'm playing it now, and it's much more RPG-ish, in regards to the choices and consequences. Not as great as the first two, but then, what would be? (Answer: Planescape: Torment)

--top hat--
Fallout 3 by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #6 Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 09:49:20 AM EST
I've had it sitting on my desk since it launched.  I was determined to finish Bioshock before I broke the shrinkwrap.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
Bioyup by duxup (2.00 / 0) #9 Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 03:35:37 PM EST
Nice setting but it disappoints in the end for sure.  Not a bad game, but not great either.

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