Updated: 10/6/04; 3:35:07 PM.
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Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Sims 2 and Fable

Picked up both today. Managed to manfully resist playing either until this evening. Proceeded to freak out.

The Sims 2: Wow. I mean, sure, it's mostly the same game as it's always been, but the little critters seem just about smart enough now. They seem to actually learn how to do things (clean up after themselves, flush, etc), and they seem to display actual preferences and interests. It's weirdly fascinating. I was a big micromanager in the first game, but it feels like you don't necessarily have to in the new one.

They've kept some of the nicer additions from the expansion packs (the better friendship system, the community lots), added a lot of new interesting interactions, and added some new gameplay mechanics that add a lot. Specifically, they added aspirations and aging. Aspirations add frequent and interesting short term goals to the characters (buy this thing, learn this skill, have this interaction), which change as you accomplish them or as time passes. Interestingly, the aspirations adapt to the character -- my Eric-analogue started out wanting a medical career, but his goals shifted to the culinary as I started him making meals. It's fascinating.

The aging aspect is interesting, but I may leave it disabled for a while. I can tell time is passing too quickly already, and I want the sandbox to mess around with these characters. But I'm sure I'll turn it back on, because it encourages the idea of developing a multigenerational clan. But boy I'm glad real life doesn't pass this fast :).

Fable: I've only tried Fable briefly, but so far it seems comparable to my expectations. The combat system is simple but interesting (and purely action-based; it's not a turn-based RPG in any sense), and the graphics are pretty. What I find most fascinating is the way that folks you pass will comment on things you've done. There are no conversation trees, either. Instead, as you progress you learn gestures and primitive utterances that you can deliver to NPCs, which influences their reactions to you. So far, I'm only early in (barely out of the tutorial) but I'm looking forward to seeing more.

And of course, any moment now, CoH Issue #2 will come out, and my head will explode. Time to get my bug count whipped back into shape again so I have time for that to happen.  11:57:04 PM  (comments []  

Because Inquiring Minds Want To Know

I'll shill this link to peterb's collection of comments on the fascinating appeal of the Sims, since (a) I'm quoted in it, and (b) I get called splendiferous, and I'm always a sucker for attention. You'll note that I had just finished listening to Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential, and that perhaps that emphasized my already breezy wordsmithing just a tad there.

I'll also respond to Berger's persistent aspersions that perhaps my computer upgrade was a tad, oh, overzealous, given my likely amount of time spent playing Doom 3 compared to amount of time upgrading and fixing the machine. And sadly, so far, it's true, I think I spent more time on the agita then on the onslaught. (I think I've gotten to, what, Alpha Labs? I mean, c'mon, I haven't even hit hell yet.)

This is mainly City of Heroes' fault, and I say that with all best compliments. I am freaking out over this game. I had this obsessive goal, where I wanted to get to level 20 before the expansion pack with the capes shipped, and now I've met that goal, and yet the freak out train rolls on. So why? Mostly because (a) I like playing with my little superhero action figure, and (b) the rewards are just frequent enough to keep me sucked in. Also (c) the team strategy can get pretty interesting once you've got enough powers, and (d) that's especially true if you've got a a small group of good players to play with (which I do, which of course means we all reinforce each other's sick obsessions).

But a big part of it was when I figured out I could put down caltrops, lay down two massive AoE attacks in a row, and knock out a decent sized mob in twenty seconds. Oh man. That's power justice.

Compared to that, Doom 3 is just a very pretty shooter. A very pretty shooter. With a nice flashlight. And I'm sure I'll get back to it. After I finish with The Sims 2. Oh, and I'm pretty sure my copy of Fable is down at the EB, too...

As I said (jokingly!!!!) to Carrie earlier today, it's convenient that the September games onslaught coincides with her super-busy campaign season. :)  1:06:51 AM  (comments []  

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Last update: 10/6/04; 3:35:07 PM.