Thursday, 31 October 2013

King of Amalur

By the skin of my teeth, I did manage to finish Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning by Halloween. The end game actually came really quickly. After spending hours (a whole lot of hours...) doing side quests and exploring, the last part of the game was focussed solely on moving the main story forward, and it did so at some pace. In fact, there was so much exposition in the last level that I did wonder if perhaps they'd had to cut a bunch of content because of time restrictions, so had a character tell you about it rather than having you do it. The final boss was also slightly disappointingly easy. It was big enough, and impressive enough, but maybe because I'd reached the level cap by doing all the side quests, and maybe because of the mage character I'd chosen, I basically just spammed the same couple of spells over and over (as I had been doing the whole of the game) and bossman waved bye-bye fairly quickly. I don't think I even moved my character. Still, I suppose that's better than me complaining that he was too hard (I'm a bit rubbish at these computer game things, and there's nothing more annoying than having to fight the same boss over and over again). Anyway, after all that moaning, I did really enjoy my time with it, and it's another game down! No platinum trophies for this one - you have to beat the game on hard to do that, and there's no way I'm playing through it  all again! Next up on the PS3 list is the perfect Halloween game - Costume Quest. It's a Double Fine game, so I already love it, and the demo I played of it was pretty fun, so I'm looking forward to this one. It should also be quite a lot shorter!

In other news, I'm slowly grinding my way through Retribution. Every time I play it I consider quitting it and moving on to the next game, so that should give you an idea of how much I'm enjoying it! It's really hard, and it's not made any better by the fact it's a flight sim/arcade game controlled by the mouse. I think you should be able to use a joystick too, but I can't work out how to change those settings. It's so annoying in so many ways (e.g., when you die, you have to click about 20 different things in order to restart again) but it's also strangely compelling. There are 44 missions in the game (4 missions on each of the 11 maps), and each one can be finished fairly quickly if you get it right, so you're always progressing the story in bite-sized pieces. I think I'm on the 4th or 5th world at the moment, so a little over a third of the way through. As I mentioned, the game is hard, so if I hit a level further on that completely stonewalls me me then I'm likely to rage-quit and move on. At the moment, though, I'm getting through levels at most on the 3rd or 4th attempt, so it's not too bad. I'll keep on it for a bit longer.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

We kicked their A...

Yay! I finally finished X-Com Apocalypse last night. It was a crazy-long game, but well worth it. I did indeed have to go back and forth between earth and the alien dimension for every single building, but actually it wasn't that bad. The game's so fun, and it's so addictive to make progress in it that I didn't really notice the time whizzing by. It also helped that I developed the final Annihilator-class ship and some decent weapons and shields, so the trips to and from the alien world and ours weren't so bad any more. I muffed up once when I killed the alien queen instead of taking her alive (I couldn't help it, I'd run out of stun weapons and all my psionics were dead). I think that would have given me extra research options, but hey, there was no way I was going back to re-do that level. The end of the game just gave me a single final score (and an excellent movie) but I have nothing to compare it to, so I don't know if it's any good. It would have been nice to have seen some final stats - how many agents I lost, how many aliens I destroyed, etc., but it wasn't to be. Ah well. Next game up in the series is Interceptor. As far as I know, it's basically a space combat sim set in the X-com universe, so a step away from the strategy of earlier games. I don't remember it getting that good reviews, but it'll be interesting to see what it's like (and nice to get away from strategy for a change). Next up, though, I'm going to switch over to Retribution and see what that's like. Hopefully it won't be too long a game, I'm pining to get away from sci-fi for a bit.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Apocalypse Now

It's been a while, so I thought I'd write a quick catch-up post. I've made quite a bit of progress in X-Com Apocalypse, but it's just so slooooow. Researching new techs takes a while...building new techs takes an age...and all the while you're constantly under attack from the aliens. I guess that's the whole point of the game, but even so, it feels like I'm at the point in the game where I just want to get it finished. I've finally made it to the alien homeworld, and I'm going around systematically destroying the buildings there. You can't just do this in one run, though. For each building you need to visit the alien dimension to see the building, then come back home so that your scientists can research it and find a weak point. You've then got to go back to the alien dimension and land a squad in the building (while fending off a bunch of attacking aliens) then use that squad to disable the building (by destroying certain structures) while fighting off the usual mass of increasingly difficult baddies, get back to your ship, and make it back to earth. Then you've got to rinse and repeat for the next building in the chain. I've done about three buildings so far; I don't know how many there are in total, about 10 or so. Each building takes a long time, maybe a couple of play sessions, and they're getting harder as they go on. It's getting to the point where I feel like jumping out and playing something else for a while, but I'm so close to the end now that I just want to get it finished. Hopefully the next post will be a Won post. Oh, I also hit an 'insert CD' error, which worried me a little bit, but I reloaded and managed to avoid it. I've taken to saving before the start of every mission, so when I hit it again (which I have a few times) a quick reload fixes it. I guess there must be a particular missing asset that sometimes pops up in the randomly generated levels. The joys of dodgy software :)

In other news, I've also been playing a bit more Kingdoms of Amalur, and have made it to the second continent. The story's moving along a bit quicker now, so I feel like I'm getting somewhere...but, of course, the new continent brings a bunch of new side quests, and my crazy brain says I just have to finish them all! I have to admit, the second continent's bigger than I thought it would be, which is a bit daunting, but hopefully I'll be able to power through it. I set myself the target of trying to finish the game by the end of the month so I can play Costume Quest on Halloween (when it's based), so...we'll see.