Updated: 10/6/04; 3:35:11 PM.
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Sunday, September 19, 2004

BTW, Penny Arcade's Gabe has some fairly on-point criticisms of Fable. I'm still in that "boy, this seems like it has promise, but it's irritating enough that I just am not playing it" stage. Meh.  1:21:57 PM  (comments []  

Game Notes

Fable is hard. I hit a mission early in where you have to defeat more baddies than another character. If you fail at this, you have to redo it; there's no option to just fail it and move on. It's making me feel like the game is saying "Yes, you have total freedom, and what? Didn't you know you were supposed to be powerleveling right at the start?" My more mixed-approach character is having trouble outwhacking the other, more melee focused character. Feh. Also, the control scheme is complicated; you have to do a lot of chording to get more esoteric things. So feh.

On the positive side, I like the flexibility offered; I like the idea of wandering around a relatively dynamic world plying my trade as a mixed swordslinger/spellslinger. I'll probably go do some other missions and then come back to this one when I'm tougher.

The aging system in The Sims 2 is totally compelling. It turns out that if you satisfy characters' aspirations, you can by an elixir of life dispenser to retard or regress the aging process. This makes the whole aspiration thing a big gameplay mechanic; not only does it provide a teleology for the characters, but it also provides a tangible benefit. I'd turned aging back on because I wanted my sims to have a kid and raise it, which also provided a pretty fascinating experience (I was having trouble keeping the kid's fun level up until I finally realized I was supposed to be buying toys for it).

Generally I'm fascinated by the look and feel of the new Sims. The character design and animation really feels right. The pacing also feels greatly improved; I'm finding it easier to actually try things in the environment, instead of just getting onto a "needs satisfaction/job preparation" treadmill. The addition of days off and vacation days also helps quite a lot.

Issue 2: A Shadow Of The Past, the new update to City of Heroes is also great. The capes are cool (the day it went live, hordes of folks immediately went to go do the cape mission), and the badge system is a nice reinforcement (you get badges for achievements, missions, exploration, and other things in the game). My favorite is the new baddies, the Rularuu, who keep opening portals from some mysterious parallel dimension, and sending scouting/invasion crews into the various city zones. The baddies won't engage unless you engage them, but if the heroes don't band together and take out the portals, the zones get overrun. It's pretty sweet.

And because I'm a huge dork, my first Sim family included my main City of Heroes hero, which caused me to discover that my secondary character is actually the daughter of my main character! :) It's freakish fun.  1:08:55 PM  (comments []  

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Last update: 10/6/04; 3:35:11 PM.