sobota, 31 lipca 2010

Gaming Diary, 31.07.10

Just a quick heads up.
First of all, I'm not going to label these posts with the "Day something-or-other" title any more, because I lost count. Instead, I'll be adding dates. As you can see above, anyway.

I've reached Typhon, the main boss in Titan Quest today, and, surprise surprise, I can't do anything to him. This is a common problem people have - this boss is just too overpowered (they actually made him more difficult in the expansion), and after you've defeated so many enemies and bosses with relative ease, he's a really nasty surprise. So it seems I'll have to spend more time on trying to kill him... or not. Titan Quest is so much fun, I already have three more characters which have interesting builds and I will probably just play with one of them from now on. Sorry, Melissea, it just didn't work out.

Also, Kane's Wrath. We'll see how it develops, but right now it's very nice, the campaign is solid and interesting, plus the World Domination option (a game type akin to the campaign in Soulstorm, or Dark Crusade) seems to be something which gives Skirmish games a little more sense.

I'm only 10 days away from going back to England, and using my crummy laptop again. Sniff, I'm going to miss my computer.

Short Review #5: Command & Conquer 3 - Tiberium Wars

I'm a relative newcomer to the C&C franchise. The only game from the series I knew and loved was Red Alert 2, and then I played C&C3 for a while, but left it unfinished (for reasons I can't remember now). Then, I got Tiberian Sun and Red Alert 1, and after that C&C: The First Decade. I had the chance to play all titles from the series from before C&C3, and did that, with only Generals left unplayed at the moment (will fix that, just don't know when). So my love for the series is pretty fresh, only about a year and a half old.

That said, I consider C&C3 to be the best C&C installment, in the same way I think RA2 is the best Red Alert. It's got all the things I thought it needed - beautiful graphics, interesting units, good plot and great in-game movies. Though the game gets me with the same stuff as any part of the franchise (I don't really know how to use the units I get efficiently), I still enjoyed the whole campaign experience (I don't really do Skirmish games with RTS').

There's one issue that bugged me a lot though. I started playing the GDI campaign on the Normal difficulty, and faired pretty well up until a certain mission, when I had my ass handed to me with little effort on the part of the AI. I changed the difficulty to Easy... and experienced no difference at all. When I finally managed to pass the mission, I decided to play on Easy all the time now, to save myself the stress and curse words. And see, it's not that the game was difficult - it was absolutely unfair. How was I supposed to retrieve my MCV, while at the same time I had to defend my base from all four sides? The AI didn't have to mine for minerals to dish out tens of units each minute, while I had to fight for every tiberium crystal I got, and the moment I got it I had to use it and then get some more, because repairing the base costs cash.

I've experienced the same scenario several times during the campaign. I know that plot-wise, when you fight on enemy ground they will probably have infinite resources compared to you, but it's still friggin unfair that you're under attack 24/7 and whatever you do, you'll still be attacked relentlessly. This was especially irritating in the first mission of the third campaign, when you had to use crappy units against a well organised and far more experienced enemy force which attacks you ALL THE TIME, with little to no pauses. Not cool, people. And that was EASY difficulty, though for me it was more like Hard.

If not for this issue, the unfair and absolutely random (some Easy missions were banal, some others were almost impossible to do) difficulty level of the campaign missions, this would be a strong 9/10. But for me, the single player campaign is the only thing I get out of an RTS, which means it's the single most important thing. Which is why C&C3 has to get 8/10 on my scale. I just installed Kane's Wrath, and I'm just hoping it's not going to be as irritating.

środa, 28 lipca 2010

Short Review #4 - Doom 3

Having just finished the game, let me share some thoughts.

First of all, I know that some people consider Doom 3 to be pretty much shit. I don't know why. Is it because it doesn't add anything particularly new to the genre? Doom 3 has premiered in 2004 and there are still games made who share that characteristic. Hell, when I reviewed Quake 4 a year ago or so, I said the exact same thing. So neither game is anything new. Is that a problem? I say it's not if the game's still fun. And Doom 3 is fun.

It's major asset is the atmosphere. The game's quite gory, it has little to no music (leaving the player with only sounds of the machinery and whatnot), some excellently paced scenes, and a lot of that feeling of threat. It's not because the enemy can spawn anywhere at any time (this is actually quite a big con to the other pro's), it's just that everything that happens, the way the monsters attack you and the general feel is that you have to do your best to survive.

Doom 3 isn't particularly scary, although it does rank somewhere on the threshold of my tolerance for this kind of thing. But given that I'm a wimp when it comes to the 'cheap scare' trick (something jumps at you from the darkness, that sort of thing), the game had me pretty scared a few times. Mind you, this is nothing compared to the constant 'shit-your-pants-scary' atmosphere of Dead Space, but it was still enough to make my heart beat faster a few times.

The game isn't perfect though. The lack of a secondary fire for weapons is a trade mark for ID (I guess they do that just to show that if the Unreal franchise, and all the others, do that, it doesn't mean they have to), but I was more surprised by the general blandness of weapons. There isn't one gun which is really fun to shoot, as in Painkiller fun (look up the game and the weapon bearing that name), and even the sounds of firing the weapons are just dry and unsatisfying. Shooting a gun in Call of Duty 2 is so much fun I could shoot in the air just to listen to the rattle of the machine guns. In Doom 3, the primary weapons (Pistol, Shotgun, Machine Gun) sound very dry, you just feel as if you were using a pea shooter.

Also, the game gets a bit boring by the end. A special level you get about 1,5 hour, two hours before the end makes things interesting again, but it ends pretty quickly and you're back to the same thing you've been doing for the rest of the game. Suffice to say, I was happy to be finished with Doom 3, and I'm postponing playing the expansion pack, as I'm pretty bored of this game at this point.

Anyway, the final rating is a 7/10, or maybe more of a 6+/10. As I mentioned before, the strongest element of the game is it's atmosphere, while the rest is either 'ok, but nothing special given today's standards' or rather bland. Still, if you're FPS enthusiasts and for whatever reason haven't played this yet, you can try it out.

One last thing - the game menu features a very kickass track, check it out:

wtorek, 27 lipca 2010

Gaming Diary, Day 26

A phrase which summarises today quite accurately is: nihil novi sub sole.

Played a bit of Doom 3, some Tiberium Wars (finished the GDI campaign, started the Nod campaign and got somewhere half-way through) and Titan Quest. I'm going to play the latter for the next hour or so, just to chill out before going to sleep.

So yeah, nothing new here. I'm beginning to feel tired of playing games, which is a good sign, since usually when that happens, I turn towards doing some creative stuff. Game design, writing, RPG's, that kind of stuff. Not sure if I'm relaxed enough to feel comfortable with that (my flight out of Poland is nearing), but we'll see how this week develops!

poniedziałek, 26 lipca 2010

Gaming Diary, Days 24 - 25 (right?)

Ok, so not much happened lately. Today, I only installed and launched TimeShift because the copy I bought had a quite damaged CD and I wanted to check if it's going to work. It did, but I haven't played the game enough to get into it's gimmicky options - right now it's just a run-of-the-mill FPS, which is good enough for me, I suppose. Especially given the fact that I won't be playing it full-time yet.

Yesterday I got to the final mission of the GDI campaign in Tiberium Wars. Haven't started it yet, maybe I'll try to finish it tomorrow, so I can move to the NOD campaign, and then the expansion.

Also, a list of stuff I bought today for about 20 pounds altogether:

Condemned: Criminal Origins
Earth Universe (Polish RTS games, all 3 of them + 3 expansion packs)
...F.E.A.R. + Extraction Point
F.E.A.R.: Perseus Mandate
Jade Empire
Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends
The Suffering + Ties That Bind

Suffice to say, I've got enough games to play for the next year or so.

sobota, 24 lipca 2010

Gaming Diary, Day 23

Well, I got through one of the toughest missions in an RTS in my experience in C&C3, and I'm fighting the Scrin as the GDI now. No Doom 3 yesterday though.

I'm off to play a session of Klanarchia, a Polish RPG system. After a week of gamemastering, being a player is going to be a nice change. I don't know much about the setting, and what I know is neither here nor there, but I've got a trusted player to GM for me, so it's going to be fun in any case.

And in the evening, I'm playing Chaos in the Old World at another friend's place. Maybe if I get back early and provided I'm not meeting a friend tomorrow morning, I'll play some Doom 3 or Titan Quest.

Also, I'm planning to buy several games, as an electronics company started a price cut a week or so ago, and games are as cheap as 10 zloty (which is about 2 pounds, or 3 dollars). The following games are on the "To Buy Dirt Cheap" list:
- Jade Empire (a BioWare game I haven't played in a setting which may be interesting)
- Timeshift (according to the reviews, nothing special, but I like shooters, so hey)
- Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends (I like the factions, missed out on this a while back)
- Condemned (as mentioned before, time to perform suicide using stressful games...)
- Suffering 1 & 2 (action/horror, can be really fun)
- Earth (all Earth titles, 2140-2160 + expansion packs, a Polish RTS I never quite got, but liked some things about it)

I was also thinking about Broken Sword 4, but I can get it cheaper second hand back in the UK, plus I still have at least two adventure games to play.

piątek, 23 lipca 2010

Gaming Diary, Day 22

Update about yesterday - I played Doom 3 (almost at the 1/3 of the game, according to what I know), Titan Quest and C&C3: Tiberium Wars. I had to go through the hardest mission in an RTS in recent memory (not counting Kohan: Ahriman's Gift campaigns).

Pray, tell me, how am I supposed to attack and defend at the same time when I'm low on resources, attacks come often and from every direction, and I have to constantly repair my defence structures? I had to use a walkthrough to learn that you should finish one of the objective BEFORE you get it at all to have any chance of finishing the mission. I first tried to change the difficulty to Easy and was quite surprised to see that it didn't do shit! Oh well. I hope it was a single mistake the designers made in the otherwise great game.

Plan for today: some more Doom 3 and C&C3, but I don't know how that'll go, since I'm leaving in the evening and I'll be back tomorrow morning.

środa, 21 lipca 2010

Gaming Diary, Day 21

... or Day Whatever, because at this point I realized I had to make an error with the day numbers at some point. But let's pretend everything's fine and dandy.

I installed C&C3: Tiberium Wars yesterday, and instantly remembered all I loved the game for. The great cut scenes, fun gameplay and terrific graphics made this RTS an instant winner with me. I can't really remember why I haven't finished it the first time around, but I'm pretty determined to fix that now.

Also, today, Dead Space has finally made me remove it from the hard drive. Not only after 5+ hours of gameplay I'm still stressed as hell and can barely take the atmosphere of it, the difficulty setting arbitrarily changed to Medium (from Easy) and the change was quite noticeable AND the stupid and unclear save labelling system made me delete my progress through a very tense 30 minutes or so of the game.

Now here's what I don't get in video games. Why the arbitrary save points? Why can't I just save whenever I feel like it? Sure, some of the tension may or may not be gone, but so is the frustration. I shit on the argument that Save points instead of a regular "Save wherever you want" system add to the suspense - if that's the way the game's authors see building atmosphere, then they should get back to creating a story which does the same, not rely on such an archaic (coming from old consoles) system...

So Dead Space is no more and I don't see myself installing it again any time soon. I left the saves in place, of course, just to not play through the whole hellish experience again. Maybe in a few years time, I'll grow out of being scared by crap like that and will know the plot (virtually the only thing that kept me playing until now, as the game itself isn't anything special - the atmosphere and story are the two things important about it, the rest is merely OK). I feel a bit guilty, but hey, it's not like I haven't played it at all.

My biggest gripe now is that the game Condemned: Criminal Origins is dirt cheap in a store in Poland and I'm planning to buy it. Now, it is said that it's also close to the horror genre and it's pretty scary, but I want to buy it anyway because of its good press. Thankfully, I'll do that no earlier than in December, because my schedule is still pretty tight and I won't have time for playing these games now. My absolutely wrecked nerves have enough to worry about with the, quite scary and atmospheric, Doom 3.

poniedziałek, 19 lipca 2010

Gaming Diary, Day 20 / Short Review #3: Red Alert 3

I played some Doom 3 today and finished Red Alert 3. Some quick thoughts about the first title - it's pretty creepy, but not nearly as nerve wrecking as Dead Space. It's one step above Bioshock, which is still easily acceptable for me. Enjoying it so far, though I can't say I was particularly stunned by the weapon design to date.


Red Alert 3 was... hmm. A bit dissapointing, I guess. The cut scenes were there, the outlandish units with quirky names (Shogun Battleship, Apocalypse Tank, Century Bomber) were all accounted for, but it still fell a bit flat with me. Maybe it's because of the not very strong storytelling (some elements of the three stories are simply reused), or too much micromanagement (all units have two different attack types), or maybe the same fault all C&C games share for me - I have nothing to look for in them after I finish the campaigns. The skirmish mode is simply not gripping enough to hold my interest.

The game has a lot of good stuff though. The special abilities you gain when a lot of action takes place add some nice variety, but having played Company of Heroes, I haven't found them to be much of an innovation. It was still quite fun to use the Final Squadron, or to launch a decomissioned space station right on top of an enemy's base. The superior weapons were, as always, very fun to use, and some of the units were really great to watch in action.

I have to say something about the way the Empire was portrayed. Seriously, Japanese characters talked about honour all the time, drank tea, and dabbled in bonzai. All's well, but isn't that too stereotypical? I mean, granted, the Soviets are shown the same way, but that's funny, while the super-serious Japanese just rub me the wrong way. Also, I have to say the lieutanents in this game were pretty dissapointing. They had little to no character, and some other major characters seemed largely underdeveloped (Peter Stormare's scientist being my main surprise in this field - I thought I'd see a lot more of him). The stories, as mentioned above, weren't very strong either. I can see the Soviets killing off their General when treason was supposed, but the Allies doing the same with the US President seem crazy.

So yeah, for the fans of the RA series no recommendation is needed. Would I recommend this game for people who do not know the franchise? Yeah, I guess. It has some flaws, but mostly considered with the storytelling and that's not always what people are looking for. For die-hard RTS players, RA3 offers some quasi-innovative solutions which provide a lot of strategic possibilities. I'm just not the sort of guy who plays Skirmish games over and over to become good at a single title. I'll probably keep the game installed just out of sentiment, but I don't see myself playing it too often.

I'm leaving the DRM issue aside this time, only because I'm planning to discuss that at a later time.

To sum up, Red Alert 3 is a good game (with some very strong tracks and themes!), but it's nothing too special. A 7/10 on my scale sums it up nicely: a game you can play and will probably enjoy, but not an instant hit.

niedziela, 18 lipca 2010

Back in Business...

Alrighty, just to let you guys know that I got back from Fornost (which was a blast for the most part, with some problems here and there) and I'm planning to go back to my gaming schedule. First off, I have to finish Red Alert 3. Finishing Dead Space can prove to be a matter of the next few days, with some luck and courage. And I'm just installing Doom 3 to give it a go today and see how it works like.

Also, I won two games as a reward for my role-playing during the main game on Fornost. I played an Elf, named Elbrethil, in the Middle-Earth universe, and the GM's unanimously decided that I nailed that character. So thanks to them for granting me this honour, and thanks to the other 3 players who got the same reward as I did (two of which are my good buddies, so it's only more fun this way).

Oh yeah, those two games are Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood, and Drakensang. Chances I'm going to play them while in Poland are pretty slim at the moment, but who knows, maybe I'll finish the other things faster than I anticipate.

środa, 7 lipca 2010

Gaming Diary, Days 12-19

Huh, I haven't updated this since Saturday... But I have a reason for that! Simply put, things have become quite frantic recently and apart from playing a single mission of Red Alert 3, some Left 4 Dead and a bit of Dead Space, I haven't had time to play anything else! Thing is, I had some terrible headaches this passing week (I'm blaming Dead Space and how much stress it causes), so even though I was very tempted to install Doom 3 or finish Red Alert 3 so I could start C&C3, I just couldn't do it. Since I haven't got much time left to prepare for a convention I'm going to, I don't think I'll be playing anything in the next few days. On Friday, I'm leaving for Fornost, a LARPing/Tolkien-esque con, during which I gamemaster some RPG sessions and play a role in the last, big, game. I'm getting back on the 18th of July and given my junkie attitude toward gaming, I'll be begging to play stuff intensively for the next week or so.

This 'taking it slow' period will probably end in me not meeting my ambitious plan (according to it, I've got six more games to finish), but maybe that's for the better. We'll see, I'm guessing that I still have a good chance of finishing Doom 3 and the expansion, as well as the Chronicles of Riddick. I wouldn't be so sure about C&C3 or Mafia. Not to mention Company of Heroes, which I brought from the UK to play here, and the same goes for Titan Quest... Tempus fugit, or as I used to say: "So many games, so little time!".

sobota, 3 lipca 2010

Gaming Diary, Day 11

Today was peculiar. I played Dead Space, and only about 20+ minutes of it at that. Why? Because it shocked me so much I couldn't take any more. I'm a sissy when it comes to scary video games. You know that one level in Vampire: The Maquerade - Bloodlines with the haunted hotel? Yeah, the first time I passed that I had to play cheerful music in the background and turn off the volume of the game so I don't get scared. A silly game like The Devil Inside took me several years to finish because the first time I tried to play it, I was too scared. So I'm not sure if I'm going to finish Dead Space at all. And I'm definitely not planning to buy the second part. As much fun as it is, I just can't bear the tension.

Other than that, played a quick match of Unreal Tournament 3, remembered how stupid the bots behave on Warfare maps and turned off the game. Played a single mission of Red Alert 3, I've only got 4 or 5 missions left to finish the game, and I decided I'm probably going to keep it installed on my hard drive, even if there isn't much chance I'll be playing it a lot in Skirmish mode. I've played a co-op match of Left 4 Dead to decide if I should remove it or not, and decided to keep it for the time being, as it's still quite fun.

Plans for tomorrow - probably finish Red Alert 3, and perhaps start playing Doom 3. I hope it's more of the 'Bioshock creepy' vein rather than 'Dead Space OH MY GOD I'M DYING INSIDE scary' one. The first one, I can take and I enjoy. The second I enjoy, but I'm going have to invest in some tranquilizer to keep myself calm while playing...

EDIT: Oh, right, I forgot. I also finished playing Portal. Have I mentioned that you should play it if you never have? Anyway, go play it, it's a great way to scratch your brain a bit.

piątek, 2 lipca 2010

Thoughts on Mass Effect

I recently finished Mass Effect, and decided that a review is in order. This is going to be more of a "my thoughts on" than a very detailed text, just to give you an idea of what I found good about the game, and what I found irritating.

First of all, I have to say - this is not as good a game as I thought it would be. Some of my friends called this a very good RPG, and a very good video game in general, and I have to admit that overall, my 25-or-so hours spent with Mass Effect were enjoyable. Unfortunately, I saw way too much small things which ruined the overall experience for me. Some may call this nitpicking, but to those people I can only answer "The fact that they didn't bug you doesn't mean they weren't there.". Anyway, lets deal with the plot first, because that's usually seen as BioWare's 'thing'.

The story itself is strong, but it is full of cliches (saving the world, being it's last hope, the only person capable to turn the tide... boooooring), and it seems largely reused from KOTOR! Let's see... the antagonist is known from the start: check. The antagonist searches for an artifact to give himself the edge in the coming conflict: check. The protagonist receives a 'promotion' early in the game: check. There is a race of ancient beings with which both the Protagonist and Antagonist interact: check. Visions as one of the game's themes: check. I probably could pick out other stuff, but let's just add the stereotypical characters (especially visible with Wrex who is a re-themed Canderous Ordo). Seriously, it's ok to praise Bioware for the plots of their games, but am I the only one who noticed this? Not cool.

Anyway, there are some memorable moments in the plot - probably the one which is the most crucial is a choice you have to make late in the game (sacrifice teammate A or teammate B), and some other ones which leave an impact. However, those do not come close to the important and long-term choices you were forced to make in The Witcher (which is, by the way, a very underrated game and probably one of the best cRPG's out there).

The locations you visit throughout the game range from interesting to run-of-the-mill, with some beautiful planets (Virmire being a prime example for me). Unfortunately, again, there are some hickups. First of all, some locations are simply reused all the time (interiors of the ships and mines), while other have an uninspired feel to them (say what you will, but The Citadel didn't make an impression on me at all). Secondly, the exploration missions which constitute a good part of the game grow tedious very fast, and the bad driving mechanics do not help. You traverse the surfaces of planets in Mako, a six-wheeled tank-ish vehicle, which is, apparently, made of rubber and doesn't weight a thing. You can go up a steep slope, and on your way down, if you hit the wrong direction key at a wrong time, you'll do a 180 degress spin, or start turning around in the air.

Surveying the planets is also a bit pointless. All you have to do is select a planet and click a single button for the planet to get surveyed for artifacts or resources. Which simply means, that if you want to finish some of the quests, you are forced to mindlessly click all the planets in a system, as if it couldn't have been done automatically (it doesn't cost you any effort anyway, and what's the point of clicking a planet if you're not planning to click a second time to get the prize?).

Those, however, are secondary missions. Or even tertiary, really, since you've got some strong secondary plots going on without the tedious surveying and driving around in Mako. The main story is, as I already mentioned cliched and, at points, derivative, but I think the main problem with it is that it lacks immediacy. In KOTOR you got cutscenes which showed you Darth Malak plotting and advancing his plans. The main antagonist of Mass Effect, Saren, is seen once at the begining of the game, the a second time in the last-but-one main quest, and as a boss in the games' finale. Of course you fight with his allies, the mechanical Geth, but because you do that all the time, you stop seeing them as any threat. They are just there, and you have to get rid of them to progress. No threat, immediate or otherwise is felt - the NPC's (outside of your team) don't even bother to point out that your search for Saren is of the utmost importance from time to time.

To finish off the plot-talk, I have to say that I was pretty dissapointed in the choices you are given. As a rule, you can only resolve a situation in two ways. There are no middle options, no chances to role-play subtle traits of your character. In one mission, you can either kill a bunch of crazed settlers, or try to pacify them in a non-violent way - the only choice you get is how many of them you wish to spare. No options for sneaking past them, or creating some diversion. This is quite poor, but then again, I haven't seen any game transcend this yet. Which is, by the way, both a shame and an interesting problem to discuss.

I found some of the mechanics very puzzling at first, and they haven't become clear even nearing the end of the game. My main problem was the abundance of items you can collect. First of all, you've got four main weapon categories, but with no control whatsoever over which weapon the NPC's will use, you never know which gun you should give to which party member. One of the few characters who can use a Rifle - Wrex, kept using a Pistol by the end of the game, for reasons unknown to me. For the main character, this isn't cool either. There are no real differences between, say, Sniper Rifles and Assault Rifles if you have the same skill in using them. There is a difference between a sniper rifle and a shotgun of course, but other than that, the weapons are pretty much interchangable. And with the number of different models in a category, it can get quite silly when you try to min-max your team with no knowledge of what weapons are actually going to get used. You can also customize ammo, which is a fair option, but it only adds to the general feeling of "Too much options". Also, your inventory can get clogged pretty fast, and there's virtually nothing to do with excess equipment. Sure, you can change it into Omni-Gel (with a limit of 999, which I reached right after half of the game and seldomly fell under that later on), or sell them, but you've got way too much money anyway, so what's the point?

On the other hand, the system for character progression is great. It's intuitive, you can see what you are getting and all that, but again, it was hard for me to judge which skill I should put points into. In KOTOR or The Witcher, I always had a skill or two which I knew I wanted to get. Here, it's more like 'Meh, I'll just take this, not that it matters much'. I hardly ever used the special abilities granted to my by some skill choices, but that's probably because on the Easy difficulty, the game is not much of a challenge, or really is no challenge at all.

Speaking about characters, your team mates have some interesting stories to tell, but I found them too short. You do not get that much options to talk to them about something related to the plot, and I ran out of dialogue options long before I reached the end. Also, I found the alien races in the game to lack character. Neither their artistic design nor their character traits were very interesting, and again, the game seemed to try and mimic KOTOR, but fell short of Lucas' Universe. Which is quite an achievement, given that Star Wars has a very uneven record when it comes to alien races. Also, why do all the aliens speak plain English? What's up with that? I thought for a moment that they had some kind of vocalizers (Garrus' and Turian voices in general sound a bit like they were projected through some kind of device), but I don't think that's the case. Seriously, Humanity has made first contact not 30 years earlier, but already everyone in the galaxy speaks English?

Well, apart from minor annoyances, Mass Effect stays a game with fun gameplay in general. While it has it's flaws, and they are aplenty, and doesn't quite beat KOTOR in my eyes, it is a good cRPG with a few interesting twists. Although a bit too combat based for my taste, I've come to terms with it by calling it 'Gears of War + RPG elements'. That formula seems to work well for the game, but not well enough for it to get a rating higher than a not particularly strong 8/10. Mind you, this is not a bad game, it's just very uneven in it's quality - both that of gameplay, and that of plot. Still, I can recommend this to all cRPG or Sci-Fi fans out there.

Gaming Diary, Day 10

Well, not much playing games today either. I wanted to finish Bioshock, nice and simple, but the god damn SecuRom software screwed me over - I had to restart the computer several times, reinstall my anti-virus program and reinstall the game. Not to mention install the patch and look up several topics on SecuRom problems on the net. Funny thing is - none of that helped, but the game worked anyway for some reason, after I gave it time. Strange stuff, I tell you.

Important thing is - I've got another review to write, but this one is probably going to be shorter than the Mass Effect one I'm preparing. After all, Bioshock is much shorter and isn't as complex.

Tomorrow may or may not be Dead Space day. I've still got to finish Red Alert 3. I also have to work on some other, non-gaming stuff.

Gaming Diary, Day 8/9 (30.06. / 1.07.)

No Diary yesterday or the day before that, and here's why.

On Wednesday, I was out for half the day, and later met with my friends, which means I haven't really played anything - I've only showed them the Red Alert 3 intro cinematics.

Then, yesterday, the same friends stayed around until 1pm, but I managed to show the a bit of Portal and some Mass Effect. After they left, I started finishing Mass Effect, and managed to do so before 10pm. A review is going to appear here quite soon I think, though I've also been thinking about talking about the game on-videom, but that probably won't work. I rated the game 8/10, as an enjoyable experience, but rich in some tedious moments and having a lot of small drawbacks. Plotwise, it was ok (great at times), but it smelled a lot of KOTOR, and wasn't very surprising (apart from a few twists). Ok, I have to stop, or else I'm going to write the review today, and I don't have time for that...

So yeah, Linda comes over today, so I would imagine I'm going to finish Bioshock later on. Then only Red Alert 3 remains of the "first batch". Since Linda was pretty excited about Dead Space, I'll probably uninstall Mass Effect today, and install DS to play with her.