System Shock 2: What’s up, Watts?

(This is part of my journey playing through System Shock 2. You can follow the entire series on the Nostalgia Lane page.)

monkeyAlready I’m starting to dread that horrible monkey sound in this game, because I know that before too long I’m going to have some teed off primate tossing psychic poo in my face.  Listen, monkey, I never did anything to you.  I’m an innocent pawn in this messed-up world.

Of course, if I had an angry face grafted onto my belly, I’d probably be indiscriminately angry.  Great PDA quote: “Does anyone have any idea how much crap 150 monkeys make in a day?”

I start today’s session by moving down a corridor, which is obviously a horrible sin because a turret and a monkey start shooting at me.  Then it gets better when I duck into a nearby room, because Mr. Security Camera whips up a gaggle of opposition for me.  So alarms, monkeys screaming, and voices spouting out mad jibberish fill my ears with happy fun time.

It’s also disconcerting when the hybrids attack while screaming, “I’m soRRRYy!”  Sorry doesn’t get me a new jaw, pal.

As I plunge into the crew quarters, the PDAs that I pick up continue to unravel the backstory leading up to the events of this broken ship.  One PDA talks about a guy who dies with the parasite attached and then resurrects (a hybrid), while another discusses “first contact” on a nearby planet.

artIn a neat little touch, the game lets me fiddle with an art projector to show different scenes in a guy’s quarters.  Another room has a grenade launcher, which totally makes me happy until I find out it’s jammed.  I pull out the grenades and toss the launcher — my inventory is too full as it is.  Far better than that, however, is an armory room that decks me out with an assault rifle and lots of ammo.  Have I mentioned that I need more space in my inventory?  I hate not being able to hold everything.

armoryAround the same area are a few upgrade machines.  One gives me the choice between several awesome perks, but I choose to get three more inventory slots because of my whining above.  I also beef up my strength and health.  Watch out world, here I come!

toiletMoving on to more crew quarters, I’m a little dismayed to see the bottom section flooding with water.  Because outer space is a big ocean and the ship is sinking?  I guess?

Or perhaps this toilet is overflowing really, really badly.  It’s all the janitor’s fault, I knew it!

wattsOur goal here is to find the elusive Dr. Watts.  He’s not in his room (really, why would he be at a time like this?) but his R&D access card is.  Score!

Quote of the Day: Cynics

“This post is ask gamers one thing: don’t be so cynical. Of course games can be even more awesome. Of course developers can improve their methods. Of course players’ rights are important. Admitting any one of those things doesn’t deny any participant said things because this isn’t a zero sum game. We’re not suddenly evil just because we can afford to improve.”

~XP Chronicles

This summer’s starting to heat up!

yeahWhew… I’m back!  And it looks like, for once, the MMO world didn’t implode/explode/morph without me.  Good to know.  As much as I like going on mission trip, it’s nice to have it behind me so that I can stop stressing about it and start enjoying the remainder of the summer.

And what a summer it’s shaping up to be, yes?  While there are no major launches on the horizon, studios are definitely not slacking in giving me options of what to play:

  • WildStar: Even as I rolled a new Spellslinger last night and resigned myself to the fact that I’ll never see a hoverboard at level 25, nevermind hit the level cap, Carbine’s getting ready to push the Strain out in early July with tons of endgame content.  That’s fine with me — I have more than enough to do right now, and knowing that there’s fun stuff ahead waiting for me is comforting.  For the record, I really like the goofy plague theme.
  • LOTRO: My sabbatical from this title continues, although the upcoming Update 14 might drag me back in for a night or two a week.  We’re starting a new epic book and heading into Gondor (finally), and the Paths of the Dead are begging to be explored.
  • The Secret World: Our group continues to explore Issue 9 on a weekly basis, although we don’t think that we have much left to do before repeating missions.  I don’t have any idea when Issue 10 will release, although I thought I remembered Funcom mentioning mid-summer, which would be terrific.
  • Guild Wars 2: Season 2 begins tomorrow, and I’m actually a little giddy about it.  I very much applaud the Journal feature for the story, as it’s attempting to solve two big problems that the game had with season 1 (a lack of a cohesive, followable story and temporary content).  I’ll probably just keep playing my Engineer for the forseeable future.  Would be nice to finally finish mapping the WvW zones by the game’s second anniversary, but I never seem to have much luck in that department.

Outside of those games that are immediately of interest to me, RIFT just announced its second expansion and Landmark continues to develop nicely.  Both are of fringe appeal to me right now, but one never knows.  I’m also following ArcheAge’s alpha/beta closely, looking to see what Trion may be doing to cut down on the toxic community already developing.

Tack on a ton of new books coming out in July and way more TV/movies than I have time to do, and at least I won’t be bored during what entertainment time that I have.  No complaints here!

Your guide to surviving a week without Bio Break

calvinIf you’re reading this, I am no longer with you.  Now that you’ve gotten in your daily allotment of gasping, let me say that I’ll be back — I’m merely on my yearly mission trip with a gaggle of teenagers.  But this week there will be no further posts on Bio Break, a fact which may cause consternation and withdrawal symptoms among my loyal readers.

So if you’re really jonesing so hard for something to fill in the gap, here are a few recommendations:

1. Read my stuff on Massively I did pre-write a few columns that will come out this week over on Massively, stuff that is so majestically worded that it will make you weep uncontrollably.  If a loved one comes in, blame it on allergies.

2. Discover a few new bloggers.  Over on the right there is my blogroll, which isn’t just there because I’m playing some sort of intense game of Tetris that uses words, but has a collection of surprisingly good writers for you to check out.  Do it!

3. Catch up on Battle Bards It’s not only the world’s best MMO music podcast, it’s the world’s only MMO music podcast!  We have 29 excellent episodes for you to listen to, including World of Warcraft, Dead MMOs, and WildStar.  Have you listened to them all?  Have you listened to them all twice?

4. Go through one of my retro gaming series Whether it’s Planescape Torment, Space Quest, or Gabriel Knight 2, the Nostalgia Lanes page has links to several series playing through these classic games.

5. Form a support group in the comments section of this post.  I’m appointing Rowan as your designated group therapist.  I’m sure this will be a surprise to him as it is to you.