Game My Life Away


My computer gaming has been pretty active lately. Neverwinter Nights, Fairway Solitaire and Armageddon Empires have sucked up plenty of time, something always in a very short supply. So just what I need to do - add a PS3 to the mix!

My weekly session of Neverwinter Nights, cooperatively played across the 'net with C, as been going along pretty nicely. The latest update made a huge difference with game play, which is a pretty strange thing to say about a game that has been out as long as NWN has. We just finished the first of four chapters and I've been enjoying the character tweaking and inventory management that goes along with a "hard core" RPG. C likes to view cheat sheets and walk throughs, which is not my style at all, so I let him do that while I blunder about.

I've also been wasting some serious time on a couple of strategy games that came highly recommended by Bill over at Dubious Quality (an excellent blog). First up is a card game called Fairway Solitaire. Yeah, I know what you're thinking - Yet Another Solitaire Game. But no, this game is a blast, as they are deceiving little solitaire boards laid out on a "golf hole", with funny little twists to each. You play 18 "holes". It is unbelievably addictive and fun to boot. Be very aware - the 60 minute demo flies by and before you know it, you're out a whole US$20 as you simply have to buy it.

Then comes the indie game of 2007. Heck, it may have been the game of 2007 period - Armageddon Empires. A turn based strategy games where you play cards and move units on a hex board, it hits the sweet spot for me between too simple and just overwhelming you with choices. Lots of nice chrome with a very easy play. My one nit to pick is that the differences between using a right click and a left click seem to be rather arbitrary and confusing. But man, does this make the time just fly. I wanted to sit down and play a few turns the other night (I've been feeling pretty sickly lately) and next thing I knew, it was midnight and I was exhausted! Probably not since X-COM: UFO Defense have I been so engrossed in a game.

Bill does a great job of explaining the game and giving a tutorial here. It even runs great on Linux under WINE, so I can play without rebooting (for better or for worse!).

It also looks like a PS3 is in my near future. I almost pulled the trigger on a system over the weekend, but looking over the games just didn't inspire me. The only RPG available is The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, and I already have that for the PC. A couple of first person action games seem interesting (like Uncharted as recommended by Jay), but those aren't really my strong point. I don't see any cooperative games at all and even the strategy games are non-existent. And I was going to purchase the new 40gb system, which isn't even backwards compatible with PS2 games. I see that Target was advertising the PS2 for only US$99, so I figured I'd add one of those too later.

While I was at Costco yesterday, I noticed they have a $515 bundle that includes all the accessories I was going to buy (another game controller and the DVD remote), as well as a BluRay movie (Spiderman) and a game (Ratchet And Clank), so that's probably the route I'd go. I finally got a bite on a much sought after boardgame I own (Elfenroads) that I'd had up for sale on the Boardgamegeek site for a while, so that should get me 3/5 the way there. It breaks my heart to sell the game, as Elfenroads is an excellent game, but I think it is a fair trade.


Oblivion is still my favorite game to date, on my PS3. I have been playing it since September and I'm nowhere near done with it nor am I bored with it. (I abandoned the "official" quest at first opportunity, and now I'm level 20 and still roaming about. :P) But give Uncharted a shot....its cinematic qualities are worth it alone, and it's not very long. Really. You could easily finish within a week of casual playing.I'm debating on adding the Oblivion expansion I really need that much more distraction???

I had fun on the PC. I even wrote a blog about my adventures (natch): wasn't crazy about the idea of self-leveling encounters, where as you get stronger the things you run into get stronger. I'm not sure that's the right thing to do in an RPG.But I noticed Oblivion was only $25 used for the PS3, and I like gaming on gaming platforms better than my PC, because I spend my whole day at the keyboard as it is. So I might go that route. And I stayed away from the Morrowind expansions because I figured I'd never finish the main game (and I was right).

Yeah, that kind of sucks, as in my opinion you'd still run into the same weenie enemies you would otherwise even as you level up. It's a strange choice they made with that feature. But the game looks so nice, in HD, and there's so much detail put in there with stuff to explore and people to talk to (although it would be nice to have a FEW more voice actors) that I can't complain. Still, I wish I had the feeling that my new-found badass weapon actually did something spectacular rather than just bashing on a newly-stronger enemy same as my old one. Oh well.I went archer route, BTW, so I'm enjoying a more sniperish approach to the game. I think it helps. And I just (literally) cleared up a nasty case of vampirism, which was handy for some things but aggravating every time the sun came up. I'm back to my former not-so-dead self again. ;)

Funny - I too went the archer route, only I added some fireball spells to the mixture. I was just re-reading my journal - darn, I should have kept it up! I just have very little 'stick to it'-ness when it comes to computer games. Pretty much the only games I've ever finished are those I play co-op, where I get the added pressure of another player to keep up with.

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on February 27, 2008 8:17 AM.

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