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29th October 2015: More Darkness

In the last couple of weeks I've finally been motivated to work through Assault On Dark Athena after finishing Butcher Bay a while back. It was mostly much of the same, but I found some of the later sections very frustrating and difficult. I breathed a sigh of relief when it was finally over.

My main issue was with how the fighting style changed as the game progressed. In the early sections, it was all about sneaking up on people and taking them out, or stunning them with the tranquilizer and moving in for the quiet kill. Later on in the game, sneaking became pretty much impossible, as the enemies always seemed to know where I was. With the added loss of the tranq-gun about half way through, the game pretty much became an FPS, where the enemies had more accurate and stronger weapons than I did. It sucked.

Some of the bosses were also a pain in the ass. Pretty much all the later bosses demanded I use a weird mine-shooting gun called the SCAR gun. That thing loaded so slowly that just one miss could totally screw me, and regularly did. The last boss in particular was the worst, as you need to use the mines to knock her down an elevator shaft. Sometimes the mines would knock her over, sometimes they would knock her back, and most of the time they would do nothing at all. It took me ages to knock her back enough times to get her over the edge. What a ball-ache.

There were a few bugs here and there, but I don't think as many as the first game. The one that really pissed me off was when all the Nanomed cartridges I had saved up just went missing from my inventory for no reason, meaning I couldn't heal up. Fucking game.

But it's done, and that's a good thing. I was hoping it would set up Pitch Black, but it gave absolutely no clue as to how Johns captures Riddick leading into that film. Oh well.

The Dark Athena spotted

The Dark Athena spotted

Game tries early to make me care for a little kid, but that shit don't work on me

Game tries early to make me care for a little kid, but that shit don't work on me

Yeah I can see you, you dirty bastard

Yeah I can see you, you dirty bastard

Automan, is that you?

Automan, is that you?

This dude's got problems

This dude's got problems

Behold, the magical floating gun's big brother

Behold, the magical floating gun's big brother

This drone looks like it needs a hug

This drone looks like it needs a hug

Game never explains why the Athena is bombarding this planet

Game never explains why the Athena is bombarding this planet

Still don't get how she survives me stabbing her through the neck

Still don't get how she survives me stabbing her through the neck

Got the drop on these fools

Got the drop on these fools

Ooh, she mad

Ooh, she mad

Get outta here, biatch

Get outta here, biatch

Before tackling Riddick's second adventure, I had originally intended to complete a game from a Humble Bundle I bought ages ago, as it was about time I had a go at some of those games. I chose Psychonauts, as though it's an old game, it seems to be held in high regard, and looked worthy of a play through.

I was wrong.

It's been a while since I've played a game that got me this frustrated and wondering why I was wasting my time playing it, but this one managed it very quickly.

Without a doubt, the most annoying thing was the very limited camera controls. I even switched from controller to mouse and keyboard trying to find the best way to play it, but that only made it fractionally better. Most of the time, there was hardly any vertical movement available on the camera, so I couldn't look up or down more than a few degrees. For a 3D platformer, this was stupid. Then at other times, the camera was completely locked, especially during boss fights for some reason. Give me control damn it!
Didn't help that there was no compensation on the camera when it came to the environment, so things like rocks and trees would constantly block my view as well.

I found the controls a bit awkward also, but I think this was mostly linked to my camera issues. It only got worse when using the psychic power "levitate", as my character pretty much had a mind of his own at that point.

The last straw came when I reached a level that flat out told me I could go no further without levelling up first. There was no way I was going to go back through the old stages to grind and level up, so I decided to immediately uninstall the game. What a piece of shit.

I'm still not sure what the story was about, and I guess I never will. It was something about this kid wanting to become a "Psychonaut", kind of like a psychic crime fighter or something. There was some bad shit going down at the training camp he is attending, and he had to figure out what. That's about it.

I really did try and finish it, but holy shit the game was so frustrating I just couldn't drag myself through it.

This annoying kid is the main character

This annoying kid is the main character

What the hell is going in inside my brain?

What the hell is going in inside my brain?

Punching some psychic manifestations

Punching some psychic manifestations

This fight's not going too well

This fight's not going too well

This woman was inappropriately creepy, and should be on a register of some kind I think

This woman was inappropriately creepy, and should be on a register of some kind I think

Levitation racing. Not easy.

Levitation racing. Not easy.

Fuck this camera

Fuck this camera

I seem to have an old man inside my head

I seem to have an old man inside my head

OK, I'll admit it. I loved these guys. They were ace.

OK, I'll admit it. I loved these guys. They were ace.

5th October 2015: Made It

I'm being naughty here and uploading this blog entry without completing a game, but it still needed to be done as I have just managed to hit a target I've been aiming at for the last few months. Also, it's been a long while since I've done any League coverage, even though it is still my most played game, and has been for the last couple of years.

So, me and Scoob really got into playing ARAMs late last year, but I had to drop out for around 6 months because I couldn't trust my internet. At the time we stopped playing, I had quite a lot more losses than wins, not helped by a massive 11 game losing streak back in December, or by all the people on our team who acted like idiots or ditched the game entirely.
When we got back into ARAMs in August, I made myself a strict target to hit 100 wins before 100 losses. Lots of study concerning runes, masteries, builds and tactics followed, finally allowing me to play a bit better and managing to finish games with more kills than deaths.

We really started to pick up some momentum, and today it happened that I hit those 100 wins with 91 losses on the board. We only lost 9 of our last 38 games, which is good considering the losses we were picking up some months ago.

I was very worried loading into the last game, as typically I ended up with a champ I'd never used before, being Azir. I had no idea what I was doing, but we managed to pull out a very close win. Near the end, I even had a chance to take their Nexus myself, but couldn't quite manage it before they caught up to me and took me down. But still, we won in the end and the goal had been reached.

I looked up some pointless stats from the match history website, but it only tracks the last 186 games, so my first 5 ARAMs must have been played before the new match history was created. Oh well. But from the last 186 games:

I'm especially salty about the single loss with Soraka. It would have been really nice to be unbeaten in her 10 games, which looking back would also have given me a 12 match win streak. But it was not to be, mainly due to two of our team mates spoiling it, with a Singed player refusing to play, and a suicidal Wukong player. There was only so much healing I could do man...

Me and Annie bringing all the CC

Me and Annie bringing all the CC

Getting caught by the enemy team

Getting caught by the enemy team

Commanding my soldiers

Commanding my soldiers

Trying to claim all the glory for my 100th win, but failing

Trying to claim all the glory for my 100th win, but failing

Getting that big 100 with 9 matches to spare

Getting that big 100 with 9 matches to spare

Last 186 ARAMs, newest to oldest

Last 186 ARAMs, newest to oldest

30th September 2015: What A Blockhead

Today I bought the latest Humble Bundle, being number 15. I've purchased four Humble Bundles before this one, and was a bit angry with myself when I realised that I'd only tried six of the games from the previous four bundles. That is not a good ratio.

There are a few games from this bundle I quite fancy having a bash at, and I started with Q.U.B.E., a game I'd never heard of before but was immediately intrigued by due to its interesting looking puzzles.
In some respects, it's similar in appearance to Antichamber, which I also really liked, but the puzzles in this were far easier to get my head around. To complete the puzzles, you use special gloves to manipulate coloured blocks, which in turn allows you to reach new doors and elevators that open up as you progress.

It starts off really really easy, but a few of the later puzzles had me scratching my head for a while. Mostly because I couldn't see the end goal of the puzzle rather than not being able to figure out how to get there. Happily and surprisingly though, after two and a half hours of play, I reached the escape pod and the end of the game, all without looking at any help even once. That's pretty good for me I think.

Reading up, in the original version of the game that was released a few years ago, there was no actual story and it was just a puzzle game. This version though is the director's cut, which adds narration explaining that you are an astronaut with amnesia who must defeat the strange maze in order to save the world. Yes, it's weird, but whatever, I liked it. It was short and fun and activated what's left of my brain for a little while.

Things start off very simple

Things start off very simple

Things start to get more complex

Things start to get more complex

Man, I wrecked this place

Man, I wrecked this place

I escape the maze

I escape the maze

21st August 2015: Who Doesn't Love Hot Pizza?

Just got done with one of the most fun games I've played while doing this blog, in Saints Row The Third. I know it's a bit old now, but I was super happy to get to play it after GOG released it on their website a few months back. So me and Scoob joined up with the other Saints to rid Steelport of other rival gangs, and it went something like this...

Because my 2nd computer is too old to run the game, we first had to figure out how to play LAN co-op over the internet, which was something we had not done before. We were originally going to try hamachi, until I read on several sites that Tunngle was supposed to be better for games. Whether it's better for games or not I can not answer, but I have not enjoyed using it for the last few weeks, and am glad I can now remove it. I don't appreciate any service that forces you to watch ads, which Tunngle does. What's worse, very often after waiting through the ad, the program would crash at the end of it, meaning I would have to reload and sit through another bloody ad to get into it. Grrr.

Once in the game, we spent most of our early adventures driving round and blowing shit up while playing the hot pizza song, and certainly had a laugh doing this. Because the game is so bat-shit crazy, even its many glitches and graphics bugs only made it more fun. There were one or two bugs that became annoying, mostly when you were trying to get in a car, or trying to get the NPCs to get in a car, but we managed to muddle through them.

I'm not quite sure what the writers were smoking when they came up with most of the story, but we went from fighting normal gang members to fighting zombies through to going into a computer game disguised as a toilet and a sex doll. Odd.

I guess the main problem with the game was that it was way too easy, especially by the end when we were levelled up. Hardly anything in the game can do damage to you when you hit top level, and I think that was a bad choice.
But overall, the game was a right laugh and gave us something to do outside League Of Legends for a while.

My car doesn't survive an encounter with Scoob's tank

My car doesn't survive an encounter with Scoob's tank

Blowing more shit up

Blowing more shit up

Scoob's high heels give him magical levitation powers

Scoob's high heels give him magical levitation powers

I must have really wanted that guy dead

I must have really wanted that guy dead

Tank mayhem

Tank mayhem

This dude walks straight through my new car

This dude walks straight through my new car

My car scratches an itch

My car scratches an itch

Dead guy twitches

Dead guy twitches

This guy may have lost his legs

This guy may have lost his legs

Arrgggh! Tiger!

Arrgggh! Tiger!

Ninja Scoob covers my back

Ninja Scoob covers my back

Samurai Scoob has special powers

Samurai Scoob has special powers

Beating Genki to death with a giant dildo

Beating Genki to death with a giant dildo

Scoob threatens to shoot my junk off

Scoob threatens to shoot my junk off

Well that's just rude

Well that's just rude

I think I just stubbed his toe

I think I just stubbed his toe

How dare they blow our place up

How dare they blow our place up

What the hell happened to this dude?

What the hell happened to this dude?

Time for some toilet popping

Time for some toilet popping

I don't give a chainsaw!

I don't give a chainsaw!

Zombies!

Zombies!

All hell breaks loose in the final battle

All hell breaks loose in the final battle

Wailing on Killbane

Wailing on Killbane

As expected we didn't play Star Wars The Old Republic for all that long. Me and Scoob managed to get through the starting world with our Sith characters, and I trudged through the first two worlds with my Jedi, but MMOs are just too boring, and it couldn't keep hold of our attention. I really wanted to continue the stories, but the game forces you to do all the typical MMO grind quests to get high enough level to do the story quests.
No thanks.

Arrggh, everything burns!

Arrggh, everything burns!

Time to die big guy

Time to die big guy

Klapdud gets pistol-whipping

Klapdud gets pistol-whipping

Kreethen gets his lightsaber

Kreethen gets his lightsaber

Die, Sith scum

Die, Sith scum

How am I reaching through this wall?

How am I reaching through this wall?

Are we in the Construct?

Are we in the Construct?

Finally looking like a Jedi

Finally looking like a Jedi

Is that you Han?

Is that you Han?

Strange graphics bug makes Klapdud's companion lose her clothes

Strange graphics bug makes Klapdud's companion lose her clothes

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