Guess it’s a GW2 themed day, but I liked this shot of a kid’s playroom in the game and wanted to share it:
Despite protestations about the live event, I did end up running the Scarlet fight a couple more times this past weekend. Maybe it was seeing a lot of other people plow through this even in frustration at the bugs, maybe it was an email sent by ArenaNet’s PR saying that the problems were fixed (are they? Sorta.), or maybe it was just a desire to see the end of the whole shebang. You know how it is, you’ll show up for a TV finale even if you haven’t been the most loyal viewer this season. You’re just curious how it’ll all end.
I lucked out with a very good group on Saturday morning that got through the entire hologram fight with no problem whatsoever (although I had groups after that that could not do it). Still dang long, but actually winning it seemed worth it. There’s a long ending cutscene that had me wondering what I missed, lore-wise — why’s Scarlet drilling? Why does this lady have hiccups? Is big-eyed Charr girl still bugging those eyes out? Does this game honestly need MORE dragons? Who at ArenaNet has a dragon fetish that cannot be satiated? It prompted me to do a little back reading to fill in the gaps. There’s parts of this game’s lore that causes my eyes to glaze over, but enough that seems interesting as well.
Above and beyond the fight, I realized that all of my activities had — without really trying — filled out 12/15 of the meta achievements. A little effort past that and I got the goodie chest, which was certainly nice.
I think I might be done with Lion’s Arch for now, however. I still much prefer to be running around the country side doing vistas/hearts/POIs/waypoints with other characters (mostly my Ranger), so I’ll probably be doing that for a while to come.
(This is part of my journey playing through Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within. You can follow the entire series on the Nostalgia Lane page.)
It’s time for a new retro game series, and for this one I’m going back to the adventure genre and for the second part of a series I have yet to complete. A few years back I greatly enjoyed Sierra On-Line’s Gabriel Knight, the darker, more voodoo-obsessed cousin of Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. Even with just pixel art/sprites, it was a disturbing (and gripping) tale that saw a private eye realize his potential as a solver of supernatural crimes.
Since my friend Hoppy has been bugging me just shy of forever to play Gabriel Knight 2, I thought I’d stop putting it off and just do it already. I know very little about GK2, other than it marked when the series switched to full-motion video (FMV), something that the 90s was captivated with for whatever reason (GK3 went to a 3D look, if I recall). Oh, and this has something to do with werewolves. The cover kind of alludes to that anyway. Let’s do it!
So the (non-interactive) prologue gives us our first taste of FMV with a couple of sequences intercut with loud (but good) music and credits. It starts in the 1750s with a guy who’s locking up a room. What’s in the room? Is there a beast within?
So I guess it’s as good of a time as any to comment on full-motion video. As I said, this was very much the product of the 90s. When storage space for games exploded with the advent of CD-ROMs, designers felt unshacked from the bounds of stingy memory storage and went nuts just cramming as much visual goodness as possible. This… wasn’t necessarily a good thing. It was like throwing an Amish kid into a rave; the sudden freedom usually meant disaster in the end.
Now, there were some great products that came out with FMV in them — Myst is probably the most notable example, and perhaps the latter Wing Commander installments — but there were also so many games that were instantly dated and sunk because of it. It was cool at the time to have actual video in video games, but it was hard to program interactivity with it, to make it look natural, and to have acting/directing that was up to at least TV standards. What you didn’t want was for the whole production to end up looking like some cheap, cheezy Saturday afternoon B-movie, which is what happened more often than not (see Night Trap). As with most technologies, the novelty of it wore off and what really mattered was what the team did with it, not that it had it. So will Gabriel Knight 2 sink or swim because of FMV? I’m very interested to find out.
So here’s a bit of that cheesiness that I’m talking about: Melodramatic soap opera music playing as a kid’s worried face is shoehorned into a shot with flames in both the foreground and background. Welcome to hell, I guess? That’s what you get when you wear ruffles, dude.
Mostly my gaming weekend was taken up with Guild Wars 2 and RIFT, just for a change of pace, and while I’ll talk more about GW2′s living story tomorrow, I wanted to at least mention what I’m doing in RIFT.
Because I know I have a weakness for alts and sometimes that weakness actually works against me in returning to a game (so many choices, can’t settle down, give in to despair, quit), I’ve decided that if I’m going to play RIFT, I’m going to see my highest-level character — my cleric — through to the end. It’s been a long while since I abandoned her in the death zones of Storm Legion at level 56, but everything came back to me quite quickly.
Last night I had a great deal of fun doing two things in the game. First, I created a new build that’s a healthy blend of Druid and Justicar. It’s seriously one of the toughest and most flexible builds I’ve made for her, because survivability is dang high, plus she can pull out the greater faerie seer and blast single or multiple targets like crazy. Plus there’s a pull so I don’t have to run up to an enemy to melee — the enemy now comes to me. Felt like I was grappling them in, good times.
The other thing was that I spent a lot of time just randomly exploring. The artifacts in RIFT are a great excuse to go off-roading, because you get rewarded more with finding them the more you go off the beaten path. I turned up six or seven during my parkour adventures diving off buildings, running through thickets, and climbing peaks and overhangs.
I’m keeping it light and fancy-free in the game, but there’s hope that RIFT won’t disappear from my gaming diet, especially with 2.7′s new souls coming up.
On Friday night I was being silly and had some fun with the Guild Wars 2 character creator. I ended up making a Human Thief who had that big bushy beard I admire (why don’t more female models have beards?) and a mohawk. And, what the heck, I made his hair and beard a frosty pink.
Well, now I had a color theme going on, so I spent a good long time thinking of a name. Probably took me 20 minutes to come up with an appropriate punk. What would go well with the color and that profession?
Then I logged in with that character and purchased every shade of pink, heather, coral, and what have you in dyes.
Thus, the legend of Pink Pocket was born.
ALL HAIL PINK POCKET!