wtorek, 29 czerwca 2010

Gaming Diary, Day 7

It's been a whole week since I started playing my new purchases here. The fact that I'm still playing all three of my initial picks only shows that you can't only play games all the time, and even if you can, you usually have to play a bit of this, and then a bit of that. Anyway, I was away for most of the day today, so I've only managed to play 4-5 hours of Mass Effect. I have to say, the game is growing on me - the longer I play, the more I like it. Some stuff which I thought uninspired sinked in and now I accept it without problems, but some other stuff keeps reminding me that ME is not the perfect cRPG as some people seem to think. At least not for me. As of now, I decided to write a big review of the game, so I'm not telling you yet what bugs me the most. At any rate, it is unlikely that I'm going to rate it under 8.0 on a 1-10 scale. But, unless it blows me away in the upcoming part, it's equally unlikely to receive a note higher than 9/10.

So, to recap.

I've been playing Bioshock, Mass Effect and Red Alert 3. The first one I almost finished, and given the fact I only played it for three days, I could have easily closed it up yesterday or the day before that - but my arrangement with Linda allows me to have more fun with the game, so that's alright.

Mass Effect, hard to say. I'm about 16 hours into the game, so I'm either at the half, or nearing the half - depending on how many subquests and additional stuff I've got left. I'm beginning to get tired with ME, but on the other hand it sucked me in, so I shouldn't have trouble completing it.

As for Red Alert 3, I'm nearing half of the last campaign, but I am still unsure whether or not to keep the game installed. On the one hand, I'd like to play some skirmish games. On the other, I'm not sure if the novelty is going to keep me interested for long enough. And the game does take up several Gigabytes of space on the hard drive, with some other 'space heavy' games awaiting installation...

poniedziałek, 28 czerwca 2010

Gaming Diary, Day 6

Today passed under the sign of Bioshock. I've played around 6 or 7 hours of the game and almost reached the finale. The plot of the game is one of those where you get seemingly unrelated bits and pieces of info, after which, nearing the end, the plot tells you what's it all about and then you can see how those pieces fall together to create a whole, great, story. It's pretty rare, I only seen it done (well) in the first KOTOR, and here. Anyway, I'll finish the game on Thursday when I meet with Linda again. Next in line is Doom 3, but I'll probably take a day or two off playing shooters so I won't get bored.

Other than that, I finished two mission in Red Alert 3 just some minutes ago, after which the game crashed at the beginning of another mission. Huh. Didn't happen the first time, either - a single skirmish game I wanted to play ended the same way. I hope it's only a matter of some program upsetting the background work of the computer, and not with the game, although I don't see myself playing RA3 skirmishes to much after I finish this last campaign. I have to get to C&C3 after all.

niedziela, 27 czerwca 2010

Gaming Diary, Day 5

I've played some Titan Quest in the morning, while listening to new music I got - check out Omnia, it's a really nice pagan folk band.

Other than that, got through the last Allied mission in Red Alert, though it wasn't exactly easy (quite irritating in fact). Started the Empire's campaign, seems interesting, but I can't shake off the feeling that everyone in the Red Alert 3 is a raving lunatic who doesn't care how many lives the operation is going to cost, or who will die in the process. The Allies kill the president of the USA - a thing which perhaps could happen with the Soviets, but don't the Allies, like, have war trials or something, instead of just disposing of their leaders when they do something stupid (also, Hasselhoff has a cameo in the end movie, yay!)? And the Empire's first strategic attack is against a helpless Soviet village which happens to have an important port. Those great and honourable warriors attack a village on New Year's Eve... and the briefing for the mission is like "Yeah, you should totally level the town, who cares, we're superior to them, let's just get rid of everyone in our way..." Seems a bit odd, don't you think?

Anyway, haven't played anything other than that, as we played Chaos in the Old World twice and then finished off with Senji. CitOW proved once again to be an unpredictable game, and one which surprises you all the time, while Senji showed off some of it's great features, as well as some considerable flaws. A very enjoyable afternoon/evening nonetheless!

sobota, 26 czerwca 2010

Gaming Diary, Day 4

Closing notes for today.

Played through most of the Allied campaign in Red Alert 3. I have the last mission (or so I think) to go through, and then it's time for the Empire. I found the writing a bit weak, as the Allied campaign is almost an exact copy of the Soviet one, plot wise. There is the additional theme of a temporary alliance between the two factions, which is nice, but besides that, most of the stuff is strangely similar... Also, according to my regular preferences, I liked the soviet strategies more, although the powerful Allied aircraft are quite a nice addition. I also like the Athena cannon a lot, but I found the Mirage tanks irritating - they don't attack automatically when ordered to hold position, which renders them pretty much useless as cover for the Athenas...

Anyway, also had my dose of Mass Effect. I'm nearing to 11 hours of play, and I'm enjoying myself quite a lot. Now that I have an understanding on how the game plays (although some things are still a bit unclear to me), and having played in this setting a while, I think I'm slowly putting aside whatever gripes I have with ME and I'm starting to see all the good stuff. Mind you, I will still have a few complaints about the game when I finish it, but I leave that for my Short Review, whenever I finish the game.

That's it for now. I'm playing Chaos in the Old World (a board game) tomorrow with my friends and Linda, but I'll definitely play some Red Alert 3 in the morning and Bioshock in the evening.

Gaming Diary, Day 3 (25.06)

I haven't updated yesterday as I was quite tired, so though this appears today, it's about Friday. A second entry will probably show up later today to sum up today's play.

Yesterday was Bioshock day. I've played through about 4 hours of the game, which I think is close to one third of the whole thing. It's great fun, and it's becoming increasingly creepy with the introduction of some enemies which are really hard to pin down. I'm playing on the easy difficulty, and it seems to me that I played on medium the first time I had the game (which was a few years ago), because it's just so much easier than how I remember it. Mind you, that doesn't bug me much because I'm into this for the story, but I would advise anyone who's had any experience at all with FPS' to play on the Medium difficulty. Easy is simply not challenging at all, even the Big Daddy's and boss fights are simple, to say the least.

I also managed to play a match of UT3, and I decided to make a blog entry which is going to be a comparison of weapons from UT, UT2004 and UT3. I'm not sure when that's going to be made, but I'm pretty sure I will have to break my "Max 15 games installed" rule to install UT and UT2004. But since that's for "science", I think I can let it slide.

Today's plan is Red Alert 3 and Mass Effect. Maybe some other additions, we'll see.

czwartek, 24 czerwca 2010

Gaming Diary, Day 2

Right, here's my update before going to sleep.

I've played a bit of Portal today, got to about the 11th or 12th stage (where it starts to get more tricky). About the game itself, I'll keep it short. If you haven't played it, do so ASAP. This is one of the best experiences I had in my history of playing games. I finished the game a while back, and got it for free via Steam. You can't do that anymore, but if you happen to find Portal somewhere, do yourself a favour and buy it.

Then I finished the Red Alert 3 Soviet campaign and started the Allied campaign (finished the first mission). The acting hasn't improved much, the plot was ok I guess, and there was some innovation with the missions. What really made my gears work was seeing my co-commander at work. The visual of RA3 are not stunning (quality wise, they are, but I've seen less detailed graphics which left more of an impression, see Supreme Commander), but some scenes are just so much fun to watch it's unbelievable. Pirotechnics are top notch, and I'm beginning to get the hang of how the game ticks. One gripe is that the campaign missions are not very long, but that's also how Red Alert 2 felt at times, so nothing too serious.

I've also played 5 hours of Mass Effect. Apart from the uninspired alien races (stereotypes seen in Star Wars, but with less flavour I would argue - more like a mix between SW and Unreal 2, which was pretty bland) the stereotypical characters (typical of BioWare games), and an overly complicated system (I still don't get some stuff, it's easy to feel lost), things are interesting. Being the "last hope a.k.a. defender of the universe" for the 100th time doesn't help much, but I can cope. Mind you, the game is not as addicting for me as KOTOR was, in fact it has yet to surpass that game in my mind, but I think it's partly due to the fact that I'm not that much drawn to cRPG's anymore. I enjoy the tactical fights though. All in all, this is a good experience, but not as good as I was told it is. At least not yet.

Linda's coming by tomorrow, so I suppose I'll be installing Bioshock (she asked me to wait for her before I start playing). Other than that, I may be able to play a mission or two of RA3, but I'm out and about for most of the day, so I won't be playing as much.

środa, 23 czerwca 2010

Gaming Diary, Day 1

Alright, I am cheating a bit because I haven't gone to sleep yet. But I'll make this report so that I don't have to worry about it tomorrow.

I first struggled with the installation of Red Alert 3 for about an hour before it actually started. The DVD was sitting in the drive for fifteen minutes straight or so before it initiated the install. I got very mad and used a lot of curse words, but it worked out in the end. However, I had to wait another hour before the three patches downloaded and installed one-by-one. I've managed to play through the longest tutorial I ever seen for a RTS, though it was pretty pointless at times and I had my doubts about whether or not to finish it. I then played the first two Soviet missions, and stopped at the third. My initial thoughts are these:
- definitely a change of ambience from Red Alert 2, as well as a change in gameplay. Not sure yet if that's good or bad.
- the acting seems a bit inconsistent. On the one hand, it's enjoyable and all, but I keep seeing small stuff that bugs me (like the fact that the Soviet attendant always gives you this smug look and speaks the same way all the time, regardless of the situation)
- the units are nice, but I've got yet to grasp how to actually 'play' the game
- missions seem very short, but I've only played the first ones, so maybe that's the reason

I sidetracked after that and downloaded a community pack for UT3, but later on discovered I actually did that already in Winter. So that was pretty pointless. This game gets hardly any support and additional materials, which is a shame, because personally I consider the basic choice of deathmatch maps pretty weak for UT standards. Oh well, I guess this is just how things are.

Anyway, Mass Effect. Not what I thought it's going to be. Got through the first mission. I still have to wrap my head around all the various options, probably read the 'manual' in-game. Right now this is a slightly 'RPGised' Gears of War, which is fair I suppose, given that I very much liked Gears of War. Presumably the RPG elements are more accentuated later on. I don't particularly like the fact that the protagonist can again be either good or bad with little in between, though the dialogue options so far were rather subtle, which I liked. I'm not sure about the setting (a fantasy-esque SciFi... I usually like one or the other, Star Wars excluded), but I suppose it'll sink in sooner or later.

Suffice to say, I'm eager to see both games in full action, which will commence tomorrow. I'm also planning on installing Bioshock, but that probably won't happen before the weekend. I may be tempted to have a match or two of UT3 in the meantime, as well as perhaps a Soulstorm battle, or maybe a mission from Company of Heroes or Supreme Commander (Forged Alliance). The latter two are a bit less likely however.

Gaming Diary, Day 0

Alright, so I decided to post every day about what I played the previous day. Maybe it's silly, but there you go.
I'm planning to install and play Red Alert 3 today, as well as (maybe) Mass Effect. I'm also planning to play some other games already on my hard drive. I'll give you a report tomorrow.

For those of you who don't know, I just came back home to Poland for holidays, taking with me a lot of titles I recently bought. I planned on doing a video on that, but it didn't work out, so you'll just see how it goes while I'm at it. I also brought my WebCam with me, which means you can expect a video one of these days, but no promises.

Until tomorrow.

środa, 16 czerwca 2010

Short review #2: Anachronox

Sylvester 'Sly' Boots is a private eye on the mysterious planet Anachronox. In search of money to buy himself out of a serious problem he has with the local crime boss, he takes a job for a scientist fascinated in MysTech, mysterious artifacts of unknown origin.

The premise sounded interesting, the reviews were great, therefore I decided to pick this up second-hand when I had the chance. I played the game before, but it rubbed me the wrong way. I was hoping a second attempt is going to suck me in... I was wrong.

I don't know if it's just me, but after all the games I played in my life, Anachronox is simply bland and boring. There's nothing there that keeps you going, nothing that is able to hook you, or in fact to give a damn about the plot. The technical side of things doesn't help either.

I don't mind the graphics. Though, obviously, very dated (modified Quake 2 engine) I thought they gave the cyberpunk/sf feel quite well. What I do mind is the general game system, and almost everything about it bugs me. Anachronox is supposed to be an RPG, but every single RPG element it encompasses comes out as inefficient. Let me elaborate.

First, we've got the characters themselves. They do level up, but the player has no control over what that actually means. An increase in Hit Points occurs, but that's about it when it comes to important changes. Stats increase with equipment, which is hard to find, and in insufficietly labeled. I didn't know what half the stuff did at all, and the ones I figured out I couldn't tell which one is better than the other, or worth using at all. The inventory system allows very little options, and some of the better items are hidden in such places that I wouldn't be able to find them without a walkthrough.

The quest side is remarkably poor in this game. First of all, you can talk to all the characters in game, and to use up all the dialogue (or monologue - there are no dialogue options apart from rare situations) you have to click them several times. Most of them do not give you any important info, but some of them give you quests. You wouldn't know, however, because the quest log only covers the main plotline, and not the side missions. It is therefore impossible to track a side-quest once you get it.

To do some things in the world, and that includes crucial elements of main quests, you have to use your characters' special skills. Problem is, you rarely get any tips on which skill you should use and when. The walkthrough I used suggested using one of the character's abilities in places when I would never think about it. I don't count clicking each character in game (and there is a lot of them) to check if my ability will give me anything as 'fun'.

The plot itself has no impetus to it. You just don't care about learning what comes next. The game's notorious for it's slow start, but at more than seven hours in, I still didn't care the smallest bit about what's going on. Most reviewers point out the humour of the game and a lot of jokes which help you forget about other shortcomings. The thing is, while some of them did end with a snicker from me, most are simply bland, as the rest of the game. The whole world of the game has this Zany feel to it, and that's good, but in my opinion Anachronox doesn't build on it, but rather uses it as a way of saying "Hey, we know you're bored to death, so here's a joke for you. Please keep playing? Pretty please with sugar on top?". It's not the Monkey Island school where humour is so integral to the gameplay, that you actually expect a joke or pun at least every few minutes. It just seems forced, and is another element of the game which doesn't make you care about it.

The combat (which doesn't happen very often at the beginning of the game, but I heard it's more common later) is static and uninteresting. There's a real-time turn system, which works ok, but I would prefer if it was just plain-and-simple turn based - surprisingly, that would make it faster. As it is, you do your one action, then wait again for your turn to come while all the characters stand around doing nothing waiting for their turns to come again. Also, nothing ever happens. Your turn comes, you pick an enemy, shoot or whack him, and do that three more times... yay, you've won, congratulations. To the moment when I stopped playing, all fights were like that - no tactics, no advanced options better than just using your basic attack. Even the battles in Disciples 2 - where you spend the whole game using the same tactic in EVERY fight - are more interesting than this, because things can actually go wrong from time to time and you have more of a sense of control over what's happening.

All in all, this is not a game I would recommend. If you read good stuff about it on the net and you think this is your thing, by all means, give it a go. If you were just wondering if you should pick it up, I would suggest - don't. The game if pretty long for the mediocrity it delivers, and, especially presently, there are many more titles worth your attention.

However well this game was rated back in 2001, I doubt anyone can sincirely say it lives up to that rating today. And some, even older games, do that and more.

Final Rating: 5/10. Mediocre, generally not worth your attention.

czwartek, 10 czerwca 2010

Not yet published... Games I want to see and play.

Here's a short list of titles I've been interested in recently (or for some time!) with some thoughts on them.

X. Disciples 3: Renaissance
Being a moderate fan of Disciples 2, I want to see how the series translate to 3d. Not long now. Their website, and what art there is on it looks very promising, but unfortunately it's in Russian only... The battle graphics I've seen around the net do not look very good though. http://disciples3.ru/

IX. Starcraft 2
I was very excited to hear they're doing a second Starcraft. I was still excited for the first few months, when I looked at the screenshots and initial videos. Right now though, this is the bottom of the list. From what I've seen, all Starcraft 2 is, is a run-of-the-mill Blizzard RTS, and they haven't even put that much effort into the campaign. Plus, it's going to be broken into three parts? Bullshit, says I.

VIII. Max Payne 3
Compare these two screenshots:

See any resemblance? I don't.
To be honest, the game they are making now looks NOTHING like Max Payne. It just doesn't make any sense to drop all the stuff which was great about the original game, and yet keeping the same title. The only more radical change they could make is to establish that Max is an Alien from another planet, kind of like with the second Highlander movie. Didn't make any sense then, and changing a noir story of love and revenge into a story of sweat and South America doesn't make much either.

Which is why, even though I love the series with all my heart, I will most probably skip this game at all, unless it gets very favourable reviews.

VII. Space Marine
So I'm a Warhammer 40K fanboy, sue me. I'm not a big fan of the Space Marines (I like their Chaos counterparts more), but I do love the setting itself. There's a petition out there to have the game released for PC, and it's a real let-down that such a petition is needed at all. Gaming seems to turn it's back on PC's, and I find that very unfair.
Here's a trailer for those of you who haven't seen it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFHKIFDjk9I There's a newer one somewhere in the net, but I can't be bothered to look it up now.

Also, they call this game an "RPG", but I'll be damned if there's any role-playing you can get from having the main character to be a Space Marine who, apparently, kills Orks 24 hours a day, every day. Things just got a mite more silly.

VI. Diablo 3
I was absolutely hyped to see Diablo 3 announced, and the initial stuff they showed was promising, although far from as impressing as I hoped. The more things I see connected to this project, the more I feel that the direction in which Diablo 3 is going is the wrong one. I'll dedicate a separate post to that at some time in the near future.

V. Mechwarrior 5
Mid position on the list, though I'm not that much of a BattleTech fan. I'm just hoping it's going to be a nice, dark and brutal Mechwarrior game, if it's coming out at all. I heard they had some problems with copyright issues.

IV. The Old Republic
I'm not a MMO fan, but I am a moderate Star Wars geek. What this means is that I'm definitely going to give The Old Republic a try, if it's going to be free. It probably won't, so I'll only play a Trial or something and leave it at that. I'm just not interested in paying for a game I already bought once.
Also, I saw a Jedi stop a Lightsaber blade with her hand in one of the movies. What the hell is up with that? Making the franchise silly as per the Clone Wars animated movie (god, that was awful) or the Force: Unleashed game doesn't help it one bit...

III. L.A. Noire
So, yeah... not much is known about the game, but I'm a sucker for Noir and Rockstar usually delivers good games. High on the list, because I'm interested AND it doesn't have any issues I find irritating or stupid (not surprising, as there's virtually no info on the game at the moment).

II. Deus Ex 3: Human Revolution
Deus Ex was a game I had to approach twice to get into it and love it. Deus Ex: Invisible War was a letdown, but not as much of a letdown as some people thought. Human Revolution may or may not be a real heir to the first part. It's hard to judge from the trailer, which is awesome in it's own right, but I'm just not sure if it isn't overly flashy and action-focused. I'm hoping for some real RPG elements, as with Deus Ex, and a good number of configuration option and gameplay choices. Seeing how the game was only recently announced though, I'll probably know anything not earlier than in two years...

I. Kohan 3
Ok, this is a stretch. Kohan 3 was not, and probably will not, be announced. It is my right to hope, however, isn't it?
For those of you who do not know the series, Kohan is an innovative RTS published back in 2002 (or something like that), with a follow-up independent expansion called Ahriman's Gift or Battles of Ahriman (depending on whether you live in Europe or the USA I think), and a second part released in 2004 (or 2005) Kohan II: Kings of War. It belongs to my favourite games, and knowing what kind of technology can be used now, it would be great to see a third part. Even though, mind you, Kohan 2 is still as good as six years ago, and in my opinion has only a handful of equals in the RTS genre.

Honourable Mentions
Alan Wake and Heavy Rain. Both have been released more or less recently, both are games I would REALLY LOVE to play, but chances are that I won't play either of them. Why? Alan Wake is X-Box exclusive, while Heavy Rain is PS3 exclusive. God, I hate those people. And no, I won't be buying a console for a single game, so screw you, you assholes!

poniedziałek, 7 czerwca 2010

Short review #1: Mechwarrior 4 - Vengeance

I decided to write these up when I finish a game, just to let you know what I thought about an experience. I will add them as I finish titles, so you can expect a number of these, but not too regularly. I will cover mostly older titles (from around 2000-2002) but some newer ones will also make an appearance (or so I would think). Do not expect any new releases, as I don't buy premiere games at the moment (and even if I did, my laptop would not be able to run them). Alright then, here's the first of these short reviews.


Mechwarrior 4 is set in the Battletech universe, which originated as a tactical battle game, later also having an RPG equivalent - although the battle game itself has stayed the most popular. FASA Corp, the company behind it, has went under early in the 2000's, but before that happened, Mechwarrior has been translated into a simulation kind of game (of which the reviewed title is the fourth part) and a tactical game where you command a mech lance in various operations (MechCommander).

You are Duke Ian Dresari, who's family has been murdered in a treacherous attack by House Steiner. You come back to your home planet, Kentaris IV, and lead the remaining loyalist forces in an uneven fight against Steiner. Soon, an all out rebel movement also appears, aiding you in your actions.

For those of you who know the series, this is nothing new. You get inside your Mech and wreak havoc on your enemies, fighting tanks, helicopters and other Mechs along the way. There is a good amount of options - you can have a fast mech, but he won't have much armour, or you can have a very heavy mech but pay the price in speed. You can pick your weapons, modify a lot of small stuff (adding equipment, modifying the amount of armour and pick weapons from a large number divided into Ballistic, Missile and Energy weaponry) and basically have your own take on a mission.

The AI is ok, although later on in the game it seemed to me that it's not very good in dense cities. Your lancemates are a nice lot, although they don't have too much personality. The plot is fine, with a dramatic turn here and there, which nicely complements the overall "fighting theme" of the game. The missions are not very varied, but the gameplay is very fun anyway. What I found very useful, was that every mission allows you to choose an "Infinite Ammo" and "Invulnerable" options, so if a player finds the game too difficult (or simply doesn't care much about a challenge, as myself), he can always enable these and have a romp without too much consequences. The controls can be difficult at times when using a keyboard and mouse, but when you get used to them, it becomes pretty satisfying, and easy, to shoot down a helicopter or snipe an enemy Mech while moving with your torso turned 90 degrees.

My only real gripe about the game, and a small one at that, are the cut-scenes. First of all, there are no subtitles, and the characters do not speak at the same volume. Ian Dresari talks very silently, while some other people's lines are clearly understandable. The second problem is that the cutscenes turn themselves on each time you get the mission briefing screen. So if you watched the whole sequence, and then entered the MechLab to modify your machine, when you get back, the briefing starts over. Luckily, you can skip it, but it's still a minor annoyance. Finally, the quality of the acting is very uneven. Most scenes are ok, but some are just badly acted out.

That aside, I found Mechwarrior 4 to be a fun experience, even though not a very gripping one. I played the game over the course of several months, just because it wasn't interesting enough to keep me playing mission after mission. Those are very short (rarely does a mission last more than 20, 25 minutes), but there is just that something lacking. I haven't played the expansion (called Black Knight) yet, but I'm planning to when I feel the Mechwarrior call again.

Final Rating is 7+/10. Good experience, but lacking that special something which would keep me playing. I guess that multiplayer could be pretty fun, but I'm not planning on trying it out, as I don't know if the servers work any more, and also, I suck at this game ;)

PS: Mechwarrior 5 is supposedly on the way, and it's looking glorious - http://www.piranha-games.com/MechWarrior.html

sobota, 5 czerwca 2010

To play, or not to play?

I've recently introduced a certain regime in my playing culture. The idea comes from that time some while ago when I was writing about how I have too many games installed. I decided to go on gaming rehab.

How this works is that I limited myself to playing only a few games at a time, and the rule is that when I'm playing something, I have to finish it. Some titles are out of this system, like Diablo 2 or Jedi Academy, because those are games I tend to play all the time, not for the sake of finishing them (as with some campaign-driven games), but because I like to get back to them often.

The effects? I've managed to finish C&C: Tiberian Sun - Firestorm and Mechwarrior 4: Vengeance, as well as remove Warcraft II, Freedom Force, Evil Genius, Grand Theft Auto and Grand Theft Auto 2 (the first I wouldn't play, the second I decided was not my thing, the third doesn't run well enough to keep it, the last two were here because of the nostalgia, but were to irritating for me to care). At the moment, I'm trying to finish Anachronox and an expansion for Disciples II. All of this means that I went from about 30 games installed down to 21. I am forbidden to install any new titles as long as I'm at the 20 mark or higher. This is an additional incentive - if I want to play some of the stuff I recently bought (including Tony Hawk's Proskater 3, Age of Empires II Gold, Resident Evil 2 and Mafia) I have to finish some older titles first.

I know this may sound funny, but I'm deadly serious about this system. I just hate leaving things unfinished. With a majority of titles, I will only play the game once - that includes Anachronox (which I'm playing at the moment) and Grand Theft Auto 3 (which I'm going to take on somewhat soon, I would imagine). Some older titles I will inevitably re-visit, but I would like to finish them first (Total Annihilation, Starcraft or the expansions to Disciples II fit this category nicely), as they are not gripping enough to play all the time.

The plan is pretty much the same for when I get back to Poland. The trouble is, I've got about eight new games that I'm planning to play while there, plus at least three or four that are already there which I'm going to play anyway. So I'm going to be under quite a strict schedule. With only a "max three games at a time" allowance, I'll have to finish some titles rather quickly to manage to come back to England satisfied. That may be quite the challenge, but I'm planning on finishing at least half of my new purchases.

After all, there's more to life than only playing video games, and even I get bored of staring at the monitor at one point or another... Remember my Triangle of Interests? It's shifting slowly towards board games again, at the cost of both RPG's and Video Games. Maybe that's a good thing - they are not as damaging to your eyes as the latter, and I can actually play them, which is not the case with the former...