Did some work behind the scenes of the game blog page so that the game filters now work much better.
A couple of months back I found loads of old notes about all the old Epic Space Marine games we played, starting from back when I was in high school. I thought it would be a good idea to type them all up as best I could, and upload them all. While I was at it, I also converted the Epic-S and 40K battle reports from their PDF state to HTML, and they can be found on the Warhammer 40K page.
Finally got my pointing pictures up and into the Vault. Don't ask me why.
This is where you can read any of my irregular wafflings about computer gaming. The whole point of this blog is to help motivate me to properly finish games, whether they be recent ones or older ones I played when I was younger that I never managed to beat.
Yesterday Scoob and I continued our recent run of finishing some games, and completed the next chapter in the Serious Sam franchise, The Second Encounter.
Unsurprisingly, this thing was just as mad as the first, maybe more so. While it was kind-of fun to just lose ourselves in brainless gun action, the fatigue started to set in much faster than when we played the first game last year. Because of this, it took us longer to get through it, as we only played a level or two every weekend.
I can't really say much more about it, as it was literally just like the first one.
And like the first one, it's been ticked off the to do list. Never to be played again, I imagine.
Just recently Scoob and I have been going through Serious Sam: The Second Encounter, and playing that pretty old FPS got me thinking about a really old FPS, in the shape of Dark Forces. I had played this not long after it came out in the 90s, but never finished it. Last time I looked at the game, someone was working on a promising mod for it called DarkXL, which made the game a little more up to date and added in proper mouse controls. It was my plan to wait for that mod to be completed, but unfortunately it doesn't look like it's had any development for some years.
Out of curiosity, I did some searching as to whether there were any other ways to play the original game a bit more comfortably. As luck would have it, many people had reported success using a tool called GlovePIE, which makes it possible to play with the mouse.
So after a great deal of tinkering to get Dark Forces, DOSBox, GlovePIE and Fraps all configured so that I could play and take screenshots, I once again stepped into Kyle's boots, around two decades after first doing so.
This was a massive nostalgia trip, and though I couldn't remember all of the levels and locations in the game, many of them brought back memories of playing it as a teenager. Without a doubt, playing it with the mouse helped a great deal, and it was nowhere near as awkward as trying to play it on the keyboard. Yet, the game does not have a targeting reticule, and instead Kyle kind-of auto-aims at enemies in his line of sight. This means sometimes you can try and shoot at one enemy, but Kyle picks another and your shots go off in a totally different direction. Also, it makes it impossible to lead your targets when they are moving, as Kyle always aims at where they are at that moment. It made fighting flying enemies a lot harder such as the Dark Troopers and Boba Fett.
I thought at first that the game seemed really easy, and I picked up enough spare lives to max out at 9. Then I got captured by Jabba the Hutt and had to fight his Krayt Dragon. I didn't think I was supposed to fight it hand to hand so instead I was running around trying to escape somehow. By the time I gave up and just punched the thing in the face a bunch, I had lost 5 lives and was down to 4. From that point on, the game became a lot more challenging, and included some shady level design such as placing sneaky enemies waiting to ambush you as you go up elevators and such. My lives were slowly whittled away and I only had two remaining when I went against final boss General Mohc. Luckily, that guy gave me no trouble compared to his Dark Trooper underlings, and I was able to pull out the win.
Pretty damn stoked to have finally finished this game, as it's one of a handful that have hung over my head for years. It also means that I've completed the entire Jedi Knight series featuring Kyle, at long last. Cool.
It's been quite a long time since I first tried Star Trek Fleet Ops, but just recently had another little hankering for it. I remember not really liking this mod when I first played it a few years ago, I think due to it not seeming like something that should be played single player.
For no other reason than just to check it out again, I did some skirmishes that unsurprisingly left me feeling exactly the same way about it. If I put on limited resources, the AI can build ships way faster than me. But if I use unlimited resources, I can go straight for big ships which the AI just doesn't do for some reason, and it's too easy.
Hot on the heels of Party Hard, we just got through another game with old style pixel graphics. There sure are a lot of games that look like this out these days...
This one is very much inspired by 80s, side-scrolling beat-em-ups like Double Dragon and Streets Of Rage, and that is why Scoob in particular really wanted to try it. In the game, which is called Mother Russia Bleeds, players take control of several characters who have been imprisoned in an alternate history Russia, where they have been turned into test subjects for a new drug called Nekro.
It's up to the players to escape, overthrow the evil government, and break their addiction to the drug.
Man, this game was dark, brutal and bloody. You can beat the absolute snot out of the bad guys, and they you, and it was not uncommon to see people getting their limbs or heads blown off or cut off.
There were a few irritating parts, and none more so than the end boss. After taking out the government stooges, the characters experience a vivid hallucination where they must fight a representation of the Nekro drug. The fight takes place over three progressively more frustrating stages. It probably took us 20-25 attempts to beat this guy on normal difficulty, until on the last try, everything just clicked into place and we took him down in very short order.
Overall, the gameplay was fairly solid, and probably the best game of this type I can remember playing. Not that I've played all that many, mind. As for the story though, it was pretty much your typical affair, with only the addition of the drug addiction making it stand out as anything different.
Mostly a fun game though, and one we were glad to have played.
Just recently got done going through a simple-looking but very violent game called Party Hard with the Scoob. In this game, you play as a character who loses his shit when a nearby party prevents him from getting to sleep. So to shut them up for good, he heads into the party to stealthily take out all of the attendees. When he's done with that party, he decides to go on the road, and crash parties all across the country to kill everyone at those as well.
Well, that's what seemed to be happening in the game. I couldn't really tell you to be honest, as we skipped all the cutscenes except the first and last ones. The story just didn't interest us at all. We just wanted to kill everyone.
So many games have been released in the last few years that use an older pixel graphics style, and this game is certainly one of them. Truth be told, I'm not a fan of this style, and would much prefer my game graphics to be sharper, cleaner and more modern. Still, at least this blocky style didn't really detract from the gameplay at all, unlike some other games I've tried like Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine.
There were some interesting and sneaky things you could do in this game, like setting traps and using secret entrances, all of which were useful in trying to accomplish your mission without being spotted. But some things didn't make sense. For example, you could throw people from the roof or from a boat in plain sight of other party-goers and they wouldn't care, whereas at all other times if they see anything suspicious they run to call the cops.
Anyway, it was a fun if not spectacular few hours, that finally gets 2018 on the board with a completed game.