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    Clash of Clans (iPd)    by   jp       (Oct 21st, 2014 at 16:38:02)

    I decided to play this for two weeks just to see what all the fuss is about. I was pretty sure I knew what I was going into, and sadly(?) I wasn't mistaken. I don't to imply that it's a "bad game", rather that it's gameplay isn't particularly appealing to me. I found that I spend more time waiting for stuff to happen rather than actually doing things. So, the game seems rather shallow - it's not about making difficult choices as much as it is about being hyper-efficient with your time. To be fair, I also decided not to spend any money to speed things up.

    That being said, I REALLY enjoyed the fact that you could quickly and easily re-arrange your village/base. There are so many games out there where you build a base and are stuck with what you went with. In this case I felt I could experiment with the layout of things in order to (hopefully) make my base harder to attack/defeat.

    I'll probably play another week or so (it's only been a week) just to see if things evolve/change in any significant way.

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    Dragon Age: Origins (PC)    by   dkirschner       (Oct 7th, 2014 at 08:30:04)

    I'm way late to the party on this one, even though someone gave me the game upon release...5 years ago. My reason, and the reason I have other similar games sitting for so long, is twofold: (1) I know I will love it, and I tend to follow the saying "save the best for last," and (2) I know it will be a long romance. It is daunting to start a 70-hour game. But, it's a good time to start since I don't have any other huge, complicated plots floating in my head right now.

    I chose an Elven Mage. Most any race/class combination presents you with an "origin story," which in my case I managed to do in about 4 hours over 2 weeks. The Mage's origin story involves going through a deadly trial called The Harrowing to move from being an apprentice to an actual mage in the Circle of Magi. There is so.much.lore. It is overwhelming, and since I've barely been playing, I'm losing some detail over time. But last night I played about 3 hours straight and was starting to finally get into the game. I like a lot of good lore, and this is delivering.

    A friend I met at a convention this past weekend raved about Dragon Age. She said she's played it all the way through four or five times (!) to see all the origin stories and to experience the game from different perspectives (races, sexes, classes, conversation choices). I got the bright idea to do all the origin stories before beginning the main game, and then take my favorite character and play the rest of the game with them. But after finishing the Mage origin story last night, I am totally ready for the main event. Perhaps I will sprinkle other origin stories throughout the main campaign.

    DA:O reminds me (obviously) of the old D&D games like Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights. The most interesting thing to me is the camera. You can switch it between the top-down or isometric Baldur's Gate style and the 3rd-person Neverwinter Nights style. They call them the "tactical view" and "exploration view" respectively. I've been bumbling around both views, and generally prefer a zoomed out exploration view, a middle ground between the two. I think as I gain experience controlling my party and moving during battle, I will make more use of the tactical view in combat.

    My other big surprise so far is that I've already been able to outright murder three NPCs. I generally don't do that due to repercussions with townsfolk, party members, or impact on questlines, but I was curious because it seemed like there WOULDN'T be any such repercussions...and there weren't. I got a quest from a prisoner being held in the middle of a camp. He was wrongly imprisoned (sort of), starving, and just wanted food and water. He also had a key to a locked chest nearby. I could either find him food and water or kill him and steal the key. Being a nice Mage, I tried to find him food and water, but the guard wouldn't give me his. I searched the camp, and gave up. It's possible that, later, I could get some somewhere else for the man, but I opted to knife him instead. The guard turned around and said, "Hey, what did you do that for?!" I said, "He lunged at me! I protected myself!" And the guard said, "Oh, well, okay." And that was that.

    The other murder I committed was even more blatant. I don't even remember the circumstance, but the victim was in the middle of a populated area in camp. I killed him, and no one so much as blinked at me. "Weird," I thought. Then I had the opportunity to do another guy in, but I opted to blackmail him for a sword instead. I felt bad about that one because he was supposed to be bringing the sword to someone else, and the camera zoomed to his face, his lip quivered, and he sobbed, "You're such a mean man." :-(

    I find these interactions interesting, even though killing people in the streets without repercussions is highly unlikely to me, even in fantasy-land. I'm going to invest my next bunch of skill points into Cunning so I can learn the Persuade trait to have a silver tongue in conversation. I always like exploring all the dialogue choices, and seeing the range of ideas that NPCs have, the range of things they will say. It fleshes out characters and situations.

    Anyway, I'm going through my trial to become a Grey Warden now. Still getting used to the combat system and dying a little bit, but figuring it out. Totally intrigued and impressed overall. Looking forward to finding some free time this month to hurl fireballs at Darkspawn.

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    de Blob 2 (DS)    by   jp       (Oct 6th, 2014 at 22:05:00)


    Definitely a nice palate cleanser. I decided against pursuing 100% completion or any of that nonsense mostly because the apparent reward (change colors whenever you want!) didn't seem like that big of a deal. So, on to the next game!

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    Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (PS3)    by   jp       (Oct 6th, 2014 at 21:38:36)

    Finished. I think. Well, mostly.

    So, the main campaign menu states that I'm aprox. 50% complete which confuses me because I saw the end credits. Maybe it's because I didn't collect all the intel? Or maybe there's something else? Either way I'm not sure I want to continue playing. It's not that it's a bad game - it's just that after a while it really does start to feel like you're playing the same game again. Lots of "follow me, don't get spotted" kind of stuff going on.

    The ending though...hmmm, that was strange. Something of a let down. On the one hand the main bad guy (Makarov) is oficially dead (which explains why the next CoD games are in a different storyline/world/timeline. I was a bit put off by the violence of the ending though. This is quite a violent game (lots of shooting, lots of executions, etc.), but the ending felt gratuitous. Now that I think about it though, perhaps it's not all that different from summer blockbuster action flicks? (e.g. Die Hard) I'll need to think about that a bit more.

    What I did find neat/interesting is how they weaved in some of the prior game into this one. Notable, the "alternate" viewpoint of the "No Russian" episode that was so controversial last time around. It was a short interlude, not really all that playable, but I thought it did a nice job of tying things together a bit more.

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    de Blob 2 (DS)    by   jp       (Sep 30th, 2014 at 23:07:47)

    While the difficulty hasn't ramped up considerably (I have yet to lose a life), I've definitely warmed to the game a bit more. It really does have a nice, safe, friendly vibe to it that is quite refreshing. Even though you don't really have to do anything special, I kind of like coloring the environment. There are moments when you get sprayed with black ink - which results in you reverting things/places back to their original setting. While you don't have to re-color them, I often feel the need to. The gray ones are so drab and boring!

    I'm currently at about 80% completion so I only have about 5 stages left or so. I should be done in a couple of days.

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    What is GameLog?

    GameLog hopes to be a site where gamers such as yourself keep track of the games that they are currently playing. A GameLog is basically a record of a game you started playing. If it's open, you still consider yourself to be playing the game. If it's closed, you finished playing the game. (it doesn't matter if you got bored, frustrated,etc.) You can also attach short comments to each of your games or even maintain a diary (with more detailed entries) for that game. Call it a weblog of game playing activity if you will.

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    1 : jp at 2014-09-26 18:24:02
    2 : dkirschner at 2014-09-19 23:41:17
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    10 : dkirschner at 2014-08-19 17:42:54
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    World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade (PC)    by   Verp

    most recent entry:   Friday 9 February, 2007
    Today I started doing Karazhan with my guild. Its a 10-man raid instance that takes a lot of teamwork to complete. Its a bit wierd raiding with only 10 people since in the days before the expansion you needed 40. Since my guild was built to run 40-mans, we have way to many people and are forced to make multiple groups in order to get everyone a spot, and has created problems making sure each group has the right amount of each class to be successful. Overall though its been really fun. The upside to the smaller group is that the raid is much more focused, less downtime, and we get more done.

    I've also been doing some player vs player (PvP) trying to gear up for the upcomming arena season that will be launched in the next few weeks or so. Its been somewhat fun, but not a lot of people are PvPing at the moment especially from my guild so I end up playing with random unorganized groups of people, which can be frustrating. I am looking forward to being able to play in arenas where I know everyone on my team is good, and where we will have good teamwork.

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