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    Feb 26th, 2008 at 10:33:48     -    Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn (PC)

    I played a while yesterday again, and finished a job for the city thieves. I haven't gotten any interesting NPC conversations lately, but I've been feeling rather intrigued about the first Baldur's Gate.

    As I said previously, I'm trying a mod based on an original Baldur's Gate 1 NPC that has been adapted for the second game. But since I haven't played the first part of the story, there are a lot of details I don't know, I just know roughly what was that part about.

    So far, this hadn't been too much of a problem. When you start the game, you're at a mad wizard's dungeon and have to escape. Your sister, Imoen, wakes you up and gets you out of your cell. There you get the chance to ask her who she is and where you are - you've been tortured, so storywise you could have forgotten stuff for a while, which doesn't make your questions that odd.

    So there she tells you quickly what Baldur's Gate 1 was about. Or you can just say you remember everything and then she doesn't tell you anything, in case you played the first game.

    There are some other NPCs that appeared on the first part too, two of them have been captured with you by the crazy wizard and you can have them join your party. As the game goes on, you can talk to them about Baldur's Gate 1, and while you play, some quests are also related to things that happened in the first game.

    So eventually you can play the whole game without knowing much about the first part and discover about that game as you play... but still I wonder how much stuff am I missing for not having played BG1.

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    Feb 20th, 2008 at 17:03:39     -    Neverwinter Nights (PC)

    This game was rather disappointing to me. I had finished playing Baldur's Gate 2, and Neverwinter Nights seemed like a good choice to play something of the same style. I was wrong.

    GAMEPLAY

    First you've got to create your character. You have like a million options here, between gender, race, alignment and class. You can multiclass and you get to choose your skills from a vast list, and even take skills that are not class specific if you want to experiment. This is actually a great thing. I know people who get obsessed trying to get the ultimate tank/mage/cleric/rogue/something built.
    Its also very confusing at first, because you get SO many options. But once you get the hang of it it's kinda great (so the first time you play, your character will probably be crap, heh).

    Playing a fighter ain't that complicated, you just hit stuff and use a few other skills. Playing magic users on the other hand can be tricky. You can place your spells on quick slots, but finding them and casting takes always longer than just hitting the stuff (buffing takes forever when you're high level)- still, if you like the magical kind, you get over it. Rogues are all about stealth and also are more difficult to play than a warrior.

    During the game, you get the chance to get one NPC to help you (only ONE, not 5 like in Baldur's Gate), which limits the amount of strategy you can think of for every battle (if you're a mage, get a tank, if you're a tank, get a mage, if you're something else, well, you can choose a support character). Each NPC comes with a quest also and they talk to you about their lifes (you've to ask them stuff as well).

    So far, things sounds okay. But what really disappointed me was the

    PLOT

    Basically, you're a guy who got trained at a Hero's academy. Then some people start attacking it and a plague is killing everyone in the city. Important people gather and tell you to find a cure and help defeat the evil people while they worry about other Important Stuff.

    I got the sensation, during the whole game, that I wasn't the main character. I was just the guy other more Important People sent to fetch stuff and solve their problems. (Almost all of the big quests were: Go North and get item 1, go south get item 2, go east get item 3 and go west to get item 4. Fight monster, end). But hey, nothing really happened to my character... it happened instead to the Important People. This made it all much more boring.

    Maybe I felt this way because I had just played Baldur's Gate, where the story is all about your character and how he/she can change the world, which made the whole thing thrilling and surprising...

    MULTIPLAYER

    Since the plot was sloppy, the multiplayer option is the choice. Here the game can shine and be a lot more interesting. The game includes a developer's set with wich you can build your own worlds and mods. It's simple enough to use (though I didn't have the patience to create a whole WORLD). So on the Internet you have a whole range of different games you can play, which can be much more fun. I think this is quite impressive for an old, old game like this one. A bit like World of Warcraft, but limited and old.

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    Feb 20th, 2008 at 14:10:51     -    Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn (PC)

    Yesterday I played for about 45 minutes, and it was longer than what I had planned, but hey, it's almost impossible to play this game for less than an hour.

    Why isn't it possible?
    Well, I like to complete quests each time I play, so I usually pick one and play until I finish that one, and save the next ones for the next time.

    Usually during quests you get other new quests, and end up with quite a long list of stuff to do (if you go around talking to the people who populate the fictional cities. Sometimes people approaches you and asks you to do stuff, but usually you've got to get the jobs yourself).

    So at first this might look like a problem, because you could forgett what the heck you were doing, or what quests you still have to complete. But it's not like that because there's a journal tool that automatically saves an entry when you agree to complete a task.

    It gets written as if it was a real travel journal (with date and everything). A bit like "I was approached by a woman who asked me to help his son, Tiris. She said he was attacked in the woods last night. The woman said he was very frightened, and asked me if I could go talk to him. They live in the house next to the X estate blabla"... well sort of like that.

    So you can always check that list out to see what you've got to do... entries update themselves once you advance on a quest, and move to a "completed quests" list once you finish them.

    Also you can write your own entries if you want to put something else you don't want to forget.

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    Feb 18th, 2008 at 10:53:24     -    SSX Blur (Wii)

    So... I've had some random encounters with this game in moments of boredom since my brother bought his Wii console, and firstly I was attracted to the whole snow theme, being a skier myself.

    I know skying is like nerdy and snowboarding is cool... and in this game it also is a bit like that, but you do have the chance to use skis and do a whole set of different tricks that you can't do with a board, so yay for that.

    I think it's great how the wiimote and nunchuk are used here. Direction is guided by the nunchuk, that you have to twist left or right for turning (the analog stick is used only for accelerating and stopping), while the wiimote is used to jump and perform tricks.

    If you play solo, you've got to choose a character and he/she gains experience, equipment and allows to unlock tournaments, races, and other characters. The other characters you didn't pick won't be allowed to play those tournaments though... they have to gain their own experience, etc., so that makes the game quite endless, I think.

    So now my brother and I are playing with the same account but with different characters.

    So far it has been pretty adictive (I run the same tournament like 10 times before I qualified, and didn't give up until I did qualify), but also each task doesn't take forever, so you can play when you don't have so much time to spend playing...

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