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22nd June 2020: Shocking Behaviour

It has taken me far too many months, but I've finally completed Bioshock for the first time. I wish I'd been more into this, but it just didn't grab me in any way, and it felt like I really had to grind my way through it.

The game is primarily a first person shooter, though it's also supposed to have horror elements. I found the horror elements entirely lacking, much like I did for System Shock 2, which this game is apparently the spiritual successor of. Granted, the game world is all kinds of messed up. But there was nothing scary here at all.

The game is set some decades ago, and in it you play as a guy who finds himself in an underwater city that has fallen into a state of absolute depravity and chaos. There, he is drawn into the latter stages of a war between two people and their followers, who both wish for control of the city.

Twonk

Twonk

The hacking minigame was a chore

The hacking minigame was a chore

Stop dodging you little shit

Stop dodging you little shit

Hmm. I'm gonna need a bigger wrench.

Hmm. I'm gonna need a bigger wrench.

My love affair with the flame thrower begins

My love affair with the flame thrower begins

Overall, I found this game very mediocre. I can see why people really like it, or at least, why they really liked it at the time. But for me, I found the story too boring and bland to hold my attention. It was also delivered in one of the most irritating ways, in the form of audio logs. The few NPCs you interact with were pretty crappy characters also, essentially pointless in the long run.

Neither did the gameplay feel particularly great. When I play an FPS, I want to be able to go in all guns blazing, but this game doesn't allow you to do that. For a start, I found ammo to be very scarce, especially early on. It also takes a crap-ton of time to reload when your gun is empty. For whatever reason, I also found there to be a funny feeling to the mouse movement, which I couldn't fully eliminate no matter how I tinkered. All this just added up to the game being an empty FPS experience for me.

It doesn't really fill me with any great motivation to push on and play the other games in this series, which I do have. But if I do, hopefully they will grab me better than this one did.

Never bring a gun to a wrench fight

Never bring a gun to a wrench fight

Say cheese

Say cheese

Bioshock predicts the plot of Last Of Us 2. What? Too soon?

Bioshock predicts the plot of Last Of Us 2. What? Too soon?

Draining the big bad's mojo

Draining the big bad's mojo

I did enjoy burning things

I did enjoy burning things

27th December 2018: Follow Me, Light Bulb

Today we got done with the Dying Light expansion, which is called The Following. We didn't really like this as much as the base game, and so after a while just focused the main story and completely ignored the side missions.

We both felt like it was mostly ruined by the massive map and wide open spaces, all just too different from the city setting of the base game, and we hated having no buildings to jump around on. The map was so large that it required the use of buggies to get around.

Now, we enjoyed some of our time in the buggies, especially when we found a horde of zombies in a field and just plowed them all down.
But relocating from one part of the map to another in the buggy was a pain in the ass, as the game insists on spawning exploding zombies right in front of you, the noise of which then instantly lures hordes of aggressive viral zombies to your position. Just made no sense how they could get to you so fast when you're driving high speed down a road.
And the game constantly forced you to go all over the place to do its missions. It was a ball ache.

Like the base game, the story and characters were kind-of pointless. It has you tracking down a potential cure for the zombie virus, only to throw some weird shit at you like a cult, prophecies and weird revelations at the end that leave you with a choice to make. Like the base game, it does not allow you to play the final mission co-op, so Scoob and I were able to take opposite paths and see how the two different choices play out.
I gotta say, they were both pretty shit, and the story ends (with either choice) making you feel like playing the whole thing was a waste of time. It's just a good thing that the story for this game is really not its selling point.

The fight against Holler was the longest in the game

The fight against Holler was the longest in the game

I run over a zombie

I run over a zombie

Scoob runs over a zombie

Scoob runs over a zombie

A rumble against four volatiles

A rumble against four volatiles

Scoob hanging around

Scoob hanging around

Headshot!

Headshot!

15th December 2018: Lights Out

And so our adventures in the city of Harran came to an end today when we polished off Dying Light. Like the vast majority of games these days, this one had some things that really annoyed us, but overall it was really fun to play.
Several times during the playthrough, it made us think back to the good times we had playing Saints Row The Third, during which we also spent a lot of time just running around and getting into fights, only stopping to do the quests every now and then.

The things we didn't like included any mission where we had to climb up a tower, any mission where our equipment would be taken from us and returned to our stash (the game's inventory system is hot garbage), the shitty characters and story, and all the idiotic bugs.
And who doesn't enjoy the finale of a game when the end boss fight is just a series of button presses in a QTE style event. I mean, we had machine guns, shotguns, grenades, massive swords and axes, and instead we engage in a knife fight against a one-armed man and nearly lose. Sheesh.
Well, I guess a shit end fight quite suited how shit the villain was.

All the strengths here came from just running around the city and killing zombies and the human bandits, which was so much fun. In fact, it looks like we're going to go straight into the expansion, and get through that as well, as thankfully, the new GPU and PSU seem to have fixed my old computer.
To that end, I've got Diablo 2 installed on it again, just to see if it was the card that was making that game crash as well, or whether there is another underlying problem.

Scoob duels with a volatile

Scoob duels with a volatile

Who does this dude think he is?

Who does this dude think he is?

Zombie loses its head

Zombie loses its head

Lotsa loots

Lotsa loots

Weird zombie baby thing

Weird zombie baby thing

Building feels sad

Building feels sad

Strange hallucinations are strange

Strange hallucinations are strange

Hey I can spit on your head from up here

Hey I can spit on your head from up here

QTE end boss fight. Just what we wanted. Not.

QTE end boss fight. Just what we wanted. Not.

2nd December 2018: Killin' Dem Zombinos

Our adventures through Dying Light are also continuing, but a few things are hampering us.

Firstly, we unfortunately discovered that it wasn't Diablo II which was crashing my 2nd machine, as it started to happen when playing this game also. Sometimes it's a hard crash which completely locks up the computer, sometimes the game freezes but we can alt-tab out and kill it, and sometimes the game freezes for a few seconds then comes back. It's weird.

I've run memory checkers on the RAM and VRAM, and even fully re-installed the machine, but with no luck. I'm pretty sure it's something hardware related, so I've ordered a new graphics card and PSU, and am just waiting for them to get here. If that doesn't get rid of the problem then the machine will probably be going to the big LAN party in the sky.

When the computer works we've been having quite a lot of fun in the game. After a few weeks of just dicking around looting and killing zombies, we're now really pushing forward to try and finish it, and have just reached the other map called Old Town.

Though it's fun running around and playing the meat of the game, the story is definitely weak, and I couldn't care less for the characters at all.
We're also getting a bit cheesed off by how the behaviour of the zombies is changing as we are going through the game. At first, the regular zombies were very slow and dumb, but now they come charging at us in huge mobs as soon as they see us. This is in addition to all the new types of enemies that keep getting added to the game. It's still not hard or anything, but it's the lack of consistency that doesn't make sense. It's like the game is trying to artificially ramp up the difficulty.
Really, the behaviour of the regular zombies shouldn't change from one moment to the next, surely?

Zombie does some wall-walking

Zombie does some wall-walking

Arrow hits so hard the zombie flies back

Arrow hits so hard the zombie flies back

Covering Scoob as he makes for an air drop

Covering Scoob as he makes for an air drop

Putting a lot of arrows into a big dude

Putting a lot of arrows into a big dude

Flaming arrows

Flaming arrows

Exploding arrows

Exploding arrows

Weird bugged-out floating arrows

Weird bugged-out floating arrows

Scoob puts the boot in

Scoob puts the boot in

6th November 2018: Light It Up

After the Diablo 2 disappointment, we have instead been dipping our toes into a much more modern game that I bought from GOG a short while back. This game is all about surviving in a city after a zombie outbreak, and it's called Dying Light.

Though it's early days yet I'm really liking it so far. We're just a few percent into the story, but to be honest we've spent most of our time just running around, looting, and beating the snot out of zombies. The mission we did last weekend unlocked the interesting day-night cycle of the game, as during the night, much more powerful zombies come out to play who are seemingly impossible to stop with our starting weapons and equipment.

There's no doubt we'll be spending a good few weekends more on this little beast.

Not good for acrophobes

Not good for acrophobes

Drop kicks in this game are lit

Drop kicks in this game are lit

Nearly kicking Scoob in the face

Nearly kicking Scoob in the face

How'd he get up there?

How'd he get up there?

Zombino dodges my kick attempt

Zombino dodges my kick attempt

This zombie has a metal rod up her arse

This zombie has a metal rod up her arse

Looting in this game seems more like fondling to me

Looting in this game seems more like fondling to me

Alms for the poor?

Alms for the poor?

They're queuing up to take on the mighty Scoob

They're queuing up to take on the mighty Scoob

Scoob about to get twonked

Scoob about to get twonked

Zombie horde + molotov cocktail = fun

Zombie horde + molotov cocktail = fun

9th September 2018: Why So Serious?

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.

Not these things again. I hate these things.

Not these things again. I hate these things.

Scoob auditions for a Hollywood action movie

Scoob auditions for a Hollywood action movie

This room was bonkers

This room was bonkers

Me and Scoob get belched on

Me and Scoob get belched on

I think it's dead

I think it's dead

I take a rocket to the gut

I take a rocket to the gut

End boss does some Matrix shit to dodge Scoob's lasers

End boss does some Matrix shit to dodge Scoob's lasers

27th August 2018: The Darkest Forces

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.

It's a trap!

It's a trap!

Boy I remembered these things

Boy I remembered these things

Sneakin' up on some fool

Sneakin' up on some fool

Silly Imperial falls down the stairs

Silly Imperial falls down the stairs

How big was that bomb I just planted?

How big was that bomb I just planted?

Shooting a Stormtrooper in the nads

Shooting a Stormtrooper in the nads

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.

Can Stormtroopers even piss in that armour?

Can Stormtroopers even piss in that armour?

Probably the most frustrating part of the game

Probably the most frustrating part of the game

Putting Boba Fett down

Putting Boba Fett down

This conveyor belt system is where I got to in the 90s

This conveyor belt system is where I got to in the 90s

Duelling with a Dark Trooper

Duelling with a Dark Trooper

Mohc gets smoked

Mohc gets smoked

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