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Tycho / on Mon, May 2 2005 at 10:30 am

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Try Our Meef Quesarito

The strip has a sharpness to it, something mean, but speaking for myself the idea that I could just watch an Oddworld story without having to twiddle a gamepad is something I’m genuinely looking forward to.  Stranger, what would eventually come to be called Stranger’s Wrath, was my favorite of the bunch - and I was still toiling from cinema to cinema.  The desire to slide into noninteractive entertainment has always been there - their Big Brand aspirations being clear from the first Abe manual - and I think it’s also clear that he would enjoy it more anyway.  For an extremely intense interview with Lorne Lanning on closing down development and the realities of business as a third party, clicka this link.

I had intended to discuss Guild Wars in more detail today, but it’s starting to become clear to me that I don’t know shit about it. 

It’s not for lack of playing it, either.  I think I heard it had a twenty level cap on characters, and assumed that a few sittings later I would be some kind of Guild Wars genius.  This has not been borne out.  What’s more, I have the sneaking suspicion that the entire area I’m in - the verdant forests that surround Ascalon City - is the equivalent of a training area.  But I’m in full-on obsessive-compulsive mode now, and I can’t resist quests or the attendant rewards for their successful completion.  Levels in Guild Wars are, as they are in all games which use the terminology, a general indication of character power - but Guild Wars play comes down more to what skills you have and how/when you use them, and thus far I’ve earned skills from quests as opposed to raw leveling.  That’s different.  So, I guess I’ve learned some things.  Just the same, I haven’t gone into weapon or armor upgrades, customization, their take on crafting, basically most of the non-combat aspects of the game, simply because I am too busy puncturing lizard men.

I play the game with a friend of mine, which has revealed some odd behaviors.  They aren’t bugs, they’re just philosophical things that I either don’t understand yet or are just designed in a fashion that is counter to my way of thinking.  For example, if one member of your party leaves an adventure area to enter another one, the entire party is teleported to the next place.  Sometimes, I want that to happen - but that’s not what I expect as the default.  You can complete three different quests to get a belt pouch, but you only have one belt pouch “slot,” and your other bag slots are apparently for “sacks,” which is a level of container granularity that is commendable but probably not strictly necessary.  Any city you have been to, “cities” being social hubs, can be teleported to instantly - and as a person who has run from this end to that of almost every retail MMO let me tell you that I was keenly interested in this feature.  If you use it, though - who wouldn’t? - it breaks your team up, which will then need to be reformed.  After a few days of play, that process is completely automatic for me.  But it gives me the impression I’m playing the game in some way that is out of accordance with their wishes when all I’ve done is utilize game features.

I mentioned that before a game is released I really prefer to see Interface Shots, but pictures of buttons and so forth don’t drive the kids wild and so it’s rare to see a company taking up its marketing bandwidth that way.  What should I see at Battlefield Nation but fully seven shots of hard-hitting buttons, maps, and inventory selection - even a server browser!  And here I thought today was going to be boring.   

(CW)TB out.

it’s not like i owe him money

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