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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: Galactic Farewells

So all right, this entry is not really about finishing a game, as this is a game that can not really be finished. But I've allowed myself to do this as I have finished something within a game. And the something I have finished has taken hours.

This last month or so I've had a big run on The Old Republic again after not really touching it since back in July. This run ended yesterday when I finally finished the class storyline for Kreethen, my Jedi Consular.
And boy, I'm glad it's over.

As MMORPGs go, I think this is arguably the one I would pick to play again if I absolutely had to. I think the way it tells its story content, with the choices and fully voiced dialogue, just made me more interested to see what was going to happen next, compared to other such games like WOW where you just get a wall of text that few people actually read.

That being said, the game is still a very typical MMORPG, filled with dull as fuck loot quests, kill quests, and endless travelling back and forth. Actually getting to the end of one character's story has been quite the miracle, and there are seven other characters to choose from, as well as all the expansion content.
But yeah, I'm going to happily forget all that stuff even exists.

To be fair, a few times I did actually think whether I should subscribe and get the expansions, but in the end I think I've had enough of this type of game to last me the next few years. I did however at one point put a little money into the game just so that I could hide what Kreethen was wearing on his head, as the helmet designs were getting more and more ridiculous as I went through the game.

But for now, and probably for ever, this game is done, and has now been uninstalled.

Kreethen's fashion sense is top notch

Kreethen's fashion sense is top notch

Bad dude tries to dodge

Bad dude tries to dodge

Gold digger

Gold digger

Blocking some Sith lightning

Blocking some Sith lightning

Senator Grell has a Sullustan-shaped growth

Senator Grell has a Sullustan-shaped growth

Kreethen uses a proton pack

Kreethen uses a proton pack

Dead guy floats

Dead guy floats

My companion Nadia takes on a Sith

My companion Nadia takes on a Sith

Bad kitties

Bad kitties

Invisible Jedi

Invisible Jedi

Getting well and truly zapped

Getting well and truly zapped

Defeating the end boss

Defeating the end boss

Taking all the plaudits

Taking all the plaudits

Level 50 Kreethen

Level 50 Kreethen

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

29th November 2018: Contenders Assemble

After all those purchases I made a few weeks back, I've really had my hands full putting a lot of models together. It's not helped that I decided to go through my (now pretty hefty) bits boxes and recruit many more reinforcements from the old or previously unassembled models found within it.

In quite a stupid move, I decided that all my spare Space Marine models and parts should be put to use. This meant stripping a few 90s metal Grey Hunters, as well as bringing some Rogue Trader era plastic "beakies" out of mothballs. What this means is I've now got around 30 more Marines to paint. Bugger.

Not had to use a stripping pot for a long while

Not had to use a stripping pot for a long while

Old Marines reappear

Old Marines reappear

Putting together new Marines

Putting together new Marines

Also into the stripping pot went some old Tyranid parts, including a Biovore I got from ebay, and some old Imperial Guardsmen. I've not actually had to do a lot with my Nids this past month, other than stick 2 old Warriors together and tidy up some things I got from ebay, but the Guard have had a lot more work.
I've been using all the tricks in the book to try and get as many models table-worthy as possible, including chopping the torsos off of some old tank commander models, as I had plenty of legs but no bodies to go with them. They look a bit weird having Cadian bodies with Catachan legs and arms, but like all of my armies, my Guard have never exactly been uniform. Not at all.

Have I really got to paint two more of these things?

Have I really got to paint two more of these things?

New meat for the grinder

New meat for the grinder

Getting some bodies for all those legs

Getting some bodies for all those legs

I got a bit nostalgic the other day when I focused in on one of my bits boxes, which is an old Epic Battle Group box. That was one of the first things I ever bought for Epic Space Marine back in 92 or 93 I think. It got me thinking of that old game, and remembering that this year was supposed to be the year I brought it back to the tabletop. However, I've just not had the time to take on such a huge task of re-writing all those rules again. Someday soon though, I'm gonna make it happen. I miss that game too damn much.

If I remember right it only cost £12, and there was so much stuff in it. A year or two later, GW broke that box down into its 4 component parts, and sold them individually for £6 each, effectively doubling their money. That was basically the first time I realised GW were money hungry assholes.

Old Epic Battle Group box

Old Epic Battle Group box

We have managed another 40K game, which took place this past weekend. Stepping it up to 1000pts, Scoob was able to use his Orks for the first time this edition after their new Codex came out.
It did not go well for me from the start, with the first attack of the game killing 8 of my 9 man Devastator squad, leaving me with drastically reduced firepower with which to try and thin the advancing Ork horde. I also rolled pathetically, and my poor Marines fell left and right to overwhelming Ork firepower. Even though I'd taken flamers and storm bolters, I barely killed anything, and after Scoob's 3rd turn, I only had 4 Terminators left on the board, and we called it there.

I remember back in 5th Marines had trouble dealing with lots of cheap troops, but now horde armies seem to be so prevalent in 8th edition, it's no wonder that Marines seem to be struggling a lot. I need my other armies ready for the tabletop, and pretty damn sharpish it seems.

Orks swarm all over the surviving Space Marines

Orks swarm all over the surviving Space Marines

As if I haven't got enough games to play, rules to work on, and painting to do, I recently came across a new game called Gaslands which looks like a lot of fun. In this game, you use Hot Wheels or Matchbox type cars and vehicles to race and attack each other in a post apocalyptic, Mad Max-ish kind of future.
I had actually bought some cheap Formula One looking cars a few years back as I had always planned to make a racing game with templates and dice, but this thing seems to do what I want, and adds in guns, oil slicks and other dirty tricks as well.
So over the last few weeks I've managed to pick up a few cheap vehicles to use. They are however going to need guns, and paint. Hmph. Nothing's ever easy is it?

Picking up some stuff for Gaslands

Picking up some stuff for Gaslands

6th November 2018: Not Having A Blast

Xenon 2 Megablast was a game I tried to play a few times back on my old Amiga in the early 90s. I quite liked the style and sound of it back then, but I think I remember finding it too hard or just preferred Battle Squadron which I could play co-op with my mates.

I recently went through this thing on my Amiga emulator, and holy crap, I know now why I may have found it so frustrating. This thing was a ballache.

For starters, the ship does not automatically shoot when you hold the fire button down, so I had to spam it like a crazy person. You can purchase an auto-fire upgrade from the in-game shop, but even with that the ship did not fire as fast as I could do it manually. In addition, that upgrade seemed to vanish whenever I died.
And I died a lot.

By far the worst thing about the game was trying to weave the ship through some of the levels with tight corridors. Whenever the ship hit a wall it would just stick to it and jitter around like it had got ants in its pants. This was very frustrating when trying to dodge enemy fire that was being sent at me from all directions.

If I'd not died at all the game probably would have passed very quickly. However, as stated earlier, I died a lot, and I'd have never finished the game using just the 3 default credits. Luckily, like what we did for Pang, I used the emulator's save state feature to constantly reload and make progress that way. It took me a lot longer than it probably should have done.

I can't shoot straight

I can't shoot straight

Shooting a boss's weird bum-eye-thing

Shooting a boss's weird bum-eye-thing

Something just died

Something just died

A space crab throws sausages at me

A space crab throws sausages at me

Trying not to get licked

Trying not to get licked

Laying down fire on the end boss

Laying down fire on the end boss

For some weird reason, I fancied taking a stroll down memory lane with another game I used to play on my old Amiga. This one was John Lowe's Ultimate Darts.

This wasn't a game I played a ton of back in the day, but I remember having a few little fads on it here and there. After firing it up after all these years I jumped into a game of soccer darts, and tried to see if I could remember how to hit those 180s.

Once I'd got the feel of it again, the opposing player could not even push forward on the attack, and I won pretty easily. Not a difficult game though, to be fair.

Not my best effort

Not my best effort

But a nice 180...

But a nice 180...

...gets me my second goal of the game

...gets me my second goal of the game

Back in the very early 2000s I played a bit of Diablo 2 after hearing my bro talking about it. He'd played it co-op with a few of his friends and they all seemed really into it, so I ended up giving it a try.

It was all well and good, and I was quite into it. That is, until the third act I believe it was. During that part of the game, as far as I can remember, you are tasked with collecting three items that will allow you to unlock some magical staircase and continue the adventure.

Now, I collected these items, and used them to open the way forward. Then, I saved the game and turned it off. The next time I came to play the game, I found that the way forward was again closed, and all of the items had vanished from my inventory. As I didn't feel like playing most of the third act again, I just gave up.

I never really bothered with the game after that other than a few years later when Scoob and I started to play it co-op but didn't even get out of the first act.

Anyway, fast forward to this September, and out of the blue we decided to try again. After (seeming) to get it to run on my two current computers, we fought our way through act one, and were enjoying our couple of hours in the game every weekend.

However, the progress did not come without its costs, as at several times, my older computer just decided to crash in a variety of ways.

After the last crash on the first sewer mission of act two, we seem to have decided to not push this one any further. Unfortunately, this again seems to leave this game in its perpetual state of limbo, as it's unlikely I'll play it on my own.
Just not sure what to say. This game appears to be cursed for me for whatever reason.

Scoob and his force of skeletons looks on as I break into a chest

Scoob and his force of skeletons looks on as I break into a chest

Trying to hold back an army of demon women until backup arrives

Trying to hold back an army of demon women until backup arrives

There was a battle here

There was a battle here

The Countess goes bye-bye

The Countess goes bye-bye

Act one boss Andariel wants my booty

Act one boss Andariel wants my booty

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

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