Friday, 12 October 2012

Lined in Blood

Short post today, but I wanted to get a quick weekly in. Been a very busy week at work this week (I've categorically done the most work in a week since records began), so even less game time than normal. Suffice it to say, I haven't got the fourth island in Fantasy General finished. My goal was to try and hit an island a week, but I couldn't manage it. I'm almost there - I reckon another two or three battles to go - but I've run out of time and I'm away for a long weekend tomorrow, so no gaming to come until Tuesday. I keep meaning to say something about the writing in Fantasy General. The overall campaign is nothing original - you need to beat Mr. Evil...that's pretty much it - but the incidental writing is excellent. Every battle has a couple of paragraphs of introductory text that draws you into the narrative, explaining the enemy's current movements and the goals and necessary outcome of the upcoming battle. There are also little snippets of text when you capture the shrines and temples on each map. For example, in one of the temples in my last game I found a scene of slaughter where the enemy had mercilessly wiped out a herd of unarmed centaur on the sacred ground of the temple. In the middle of the bloodshed was a lone survivor driven mad with the shock and horror of his experience. On seeing us, he immediately attacked us as a new evil come to desecrate the temple. Okay, so essentially in game terms it's just that I entered the temple hexagon on the map and a centaur warrior was spawned to attack me, but the little bits of writing really pull you deeper into the game and make each battle more of an experience rather than just staring at a bunch of static icons and numbers on a hexagonal map.

I have, though, managed to finish Castlevania: Bloodlines on the Megadrive/my phone. It's a pretty short game (there are some sub-40-minute speed runs on YouTube), and actually a bit easier than I thought it would be. I always thought the early Castlevania games were pretty hardcore, but it wasn't too bad at all. Admittedly I did use save states, but I consider that a necessity when playing in short bursts rather than cheating. Anyway, I'm quite enjoying the stolen minutes of emulator phone gaming. No idea what I'll play next there yet.

The game list grew a bit this week, too. With over 3000 games there, I suddenly realised the other day that even if I managed to finish a game a day, it'd take me 10 years to get through them all...and I'm barely even doing a game a month at the moment. Ah well, I figure I'll be quite a happy chap if I'm still playing old DOS games when I'm 50.

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