Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Gamer Meme

Another meme doing the rounds at the moment is around the number 7.

There are actually two of these, one is First Seven Jobs, the other is 7 Fave Games. I hope you'll understand if I don't do the First Seven Jobs, cos most of them are jobs I won't say anything about here. They're all engineering, which is about as much as I can tell you here !

Actually - let's see : Paper round, data entry person, dishwashing person, civil servant engineer. And there's a bunch of jobs in that civil servant engineer bit.
Although repairman is more technician, not engineer. An engineer is the one who takes it apart, puts it back together again and hides the leftover parts that you didn't need anyway. The best engineers make death dealing robots out of the leftover parts.

Games ?

I'll actually do a couple of these lists because ... differences. There's a bit of a difference between "Games I have sunk most time into" and "Games I would come back to now".

First list - what's got the most hours on my Steam list and other places ...
1 - World of Warcraft. I think it was 14 days playtime to get my first level 60 and WoW was with me for so many years as I built and enjoyed the Mercenaries guild, helped out with the Guildlink stuff and then ran away to the Hot Swedish Girls* of Violence Reborn. You need a good group though for WoW, it's not a game you can enjoy solo.
*(the HSGs are the running joke but I only saw the pictures of a few of them. Pretty yes but the important thing was people like Swedish Sandra who was a massively good friend helping me out at a rough time for me emotionally)
There were some good times in that game but it has changed soooo much.

2 - Elite Dangerous has about 3 weeks worth of playtime. A beautiful game in its perfect representation kind of way. No Mans Sky has potential to be similarly beautiful in a more cartoonish style but I don't think No Mans Sky has the variation to support weeks of playtime.

3 - Defence Grid - a tower defence game which was a good one to sink a few relaxing hours into as your carefully arranged towers annihilate waves on waves of enemies. I didn't think the sequel was quite as good.

4 - Deus Ex Human Revolution - pretty much perfection in what it does. It's a stealth oriented first person shooter with strong role play elements, set in a dystopian future where cybernetic augments are becoming the norm. Loved this game, looking forward to the sequel due out in a couple of weeks.

5 - Stellaris ... and Hearts of Iron IV is coming in there too - these are strategy games by Paradox who I have to say, do a remarkable job of making ultra playable grand strategy games. I've enjoyed playing these since discovering them and ... I'm checking out their other strategy games too.

6 - Planetbase. 112 hours on record. It's a colony builder game set in space. It has great gameplay built on a few simple rules with the resources. There are a few more posts about it here :-)
7 - Elder Scrolls V Skyrim. This is an odd one. The combat system really sucks. A role play game should depend on how well the character skills are developed ... but this is all about the player skill. This one has a massive world which ... doesn't change very much at all. It does not seem to progress as you go through the story. I sunk 89 hours into this one but ... did not get even maybe 30% of the way through the story. Good game but ... it outstayed its welcome for me.

Not all of those will be in the next list, which are the games that really made an impression on me at the time :

Best games ... evah !!! In no particular order :-).

1 - Elite, Frontier and Elite Dangerous. The possibility of leaving the Earthly bonds behind really appealed and I love this game series (although Elite Dangerous is perhaps a little dead to me now, may go back now that the No Mans Sky hype is dissipating). You could fly where you want, the Frontier games let you fly all the way into the capital cities of Earth etc. Elite Dangerous is an absolutely gorgeous game.
2 - Deus Ex Human Revolution. It hit the spot and is the best shooter game I've played.

3 - Neverwinter Nights (NWN) - the original, not the newer massively multiplayer game. This one was based around Dungeons and Dragons 3rd ed rules, which are probably the best iteration of that game that I've played. it had a decent story and the gameplay was balanced for parties of up to 3 (2?) people. The earlier Baldur's Gate was balanced for parties of 6, which made it too unwieldy for me. Anyway, I enjoyed completing NWN and its expansion many, many times with multiple different character classes.

4 - Master of Orion 2 - a grand space strategy which was the best at that for me until Stellaris came along. Old ones can be awesome.

5 - Star Wars Pod Racer - best racing game for me. Hopefully it will come back to being viable to play on PC soon. It would still install and play on Windows 7 but you needed to play it all the way through as it couldn't find the save games.

6 - Tie Fighter - best story based space shooter for me. This cost me a First at uni ! Oops. Yep. Great story missions, that Star Wars soundtrack (in simplified midi format) and excellent gameplay. I bought X COM Interceptor too, which was also a space based shooter ... but they got the gameplay wrong in that despite cloning most of it from XWing and Tie Fighter. Tie Fighter was the pinnacle of this series.

7 - the Mass Effect trilogy. This story saw you racing around the galaxy as a futuristic space marine, attempting to save the galaxy from the impending apocalyptic invasion of genocidal machines. This series had the lot, gameplay, graphics, space, characters and feels from the interaction of those characters. I'm enjoying the Chrissa streams as she replays them.

There we go. There will be a few that I forgot to put on the list but these are the big ones. Honourable mentions go to games like Star Fleet Command and Star Trek Armada. Jagged Alliance 2 for squad level combat, the XCom for more tactical combat. Falcon 4 for hitting buttons as a flight sim, although it was unforgivingly unstable. World of Warcraft was an excellent adventure but at some point, you hit maximum level and run out of content unless you do group work.

Games often do one bit well but fall down on other things. Sometimes they try and do too much and the failings take the gloss off the rest. The Civilisation games were great ... until they got to end game micromanagement. This is where Stellaris really scores over Master of Orion 2, because it takes that micromanagement away from you.

Time to get back to that Mass Effect stream though :-).

G'nite !

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