Please sign in or sign up!
Login:
Pass:  
  • Forget your password?
  • Want to sign up?
  •       ...blogs for gamers

    Find a GameLog
    ... by game ... by platform
     
    advanced search  advanced search ]
    HOME GAMES LOGS MEMBERS     ABOUT HELP
     
    Recent Entries

    Feb 9th, 2008 at 02:30:05     -    Sacrifice (PC)

    Sacrifice

    GAMEPLAY

    So, about that Gnomish civil war… I may or may not have used unnecessary force. Well, it was going well at first; I was plunging deeply into the heart of the war torn gnome kingdom, effortlessly pacifying or conscripting the warring gnomes. This continued right up until I came upon the warcamp of Thestor, the gnome who dared to usurp the monarchy and start a war that pitted mythological fae creature against mythological fae creature. The battle was glorious albeit swift and the rebel was killed in the melee. Apparently assassination was not exactly what Peresephone aiming for when she sent me on this mission of peace. After the god of death decided to take time out of his busy schedule to personally commend my handling of the situation I realized that I had erred, and erred greatly.

    My next mission got me into the real meat of the game as in it involved my first real battle with another wizard. I had decided to make the best of a bad situation and do a mission for my new friend, Charnel, the aforementioned jovial god of death. I can’t help but feel very wrong when the deity whose portfolio includes slaughter, pestilence, death, and strife is more fun to be around than the lady who is supposed to protect nature and safeguard the weak!

    Whatever, that’s politics, so apparently Charnel wants me to take back some real estate from a squatter wizard, and open some sort of demonic portal to horrors incomprehensible. Which leads me to describe why removing wizards is no easy feat. All wizards have altars venerating their chosen deity, in this case mine is to Charnel and my enemy, Abraxus, has one supporting Stratos, the god of (hot) air. If either of us is killed we’ll simply regenerate at our altar to go wizarding once more. The only way to prevent this is to desecrate the wizard’s altar by sacrificing one of your minions there in an elaborate ritual performed by the ever useful “sac doctors.” You can then grant your spell slinging foe a final death so long as they don’t interrupt the ongoing ritual. If this sounds extremely difficult, that’s because it is supposed to be. Just as other strategy games want you to raze all the buildings of your foes, Sacrifice requires that you desecrate your opponent’s altar. The game really does earn its name in this regard.

    DESIGN

    Sacrifice is a game like no other. In trying to be both an RPG and a strategy it manages to blend both genres seamlessly together and creates and experience I have yet to see replicated. Other games that have attempted this merging have split players into the differing roles of strategist or hero, Sacrifice requires players to be both. If you plan poorly your summoned troops will collapse under the magical onslaught of your foes and if you take too long to plan then your wizardly rivals will overwhelm you. That eight years have passed without a game even so much as attempting what Shiny had done in 2000 is a testament to Sacrifice’s innovativeness.

    In addition to having ingenious gameplay, the plot of the single player campaign (like any strategy game worth its salt, Sacrifice also has multiplayer) is truly inspired. The characters are all beautifully well written and voice acted and few games have offered such a cornucopia of memorable quotes. There were times during gameplay were I honestly felt for the characters onscreen, something unheard of for me outside of Bioware games and Metal Gear Solid much less a strategy. That the game can manage all this and still juggle the freeform level system and multiple endings is something short of miraculous. I’m only disappointed that the game was such a commercial flop and so few people have actually experienced the enjoyment I got from it during my five some playthroughs.

    read comments (1) read comments  -  add a comment Add comment  -  read this GameLog read

    Feb 9th, 2008 at 01:23:17     -    Sacrifice (PC)

    Sacrifice

    SUMMARY

    Sacrifice is a computer game produced by Shiny in 2000. The game is a combination of a 3D real time strategy and an action RPG. The player navigates a wizard across a battlefield, summoning creatures to form powerful armies. The game is freeform and has several different endings depending on alliances and betrayals performed during the course of the game. The plot is complex and revolves around the machinations of five competing gods and their minions.

    GAMEPLAY

    When I wrote my log on Vampire: the Masquerade – Bloodlines, I referred to it as, “a lesser known game.” Well, I can safely say that if VtMB is “lesser known,” then Sacrifice is damn missing link. Created by Shiny Entertainment in their younger days, before they started churning out crap like The Matrix, they produced a quaint little real time strategy called Sacrifice. I say quaint with only the greatest sense of respect, as the Sacrifice team clearly did the most with what appears to have been a very small budget. The graphics are quite decrepit when compared to the games of today, yet they still retain some of their charm. The cutscenes are would be laughable were it not for the engaging story and excellent voice acting.

    The game begins as the main character, a grey skinned wizard named Eldred (Although his name can be changed at the beginning of the game), begins telling the story that begins the game. Apparently Eldred got involved in some bad things back on his home world and traversed the boundaries of space and time to escape a dire fate. Well his journey finally ends in “The Ethereal Realm,” which is some kind of Olympus like place where gods gather and fraternize among themselves. After pleading with the manifold deities they reveal themselves to be combative bunch of twits as they begin calling each other names or announcing their superiority. After the argument dies down, our protagonist is left to choose which god he will follow. At least for the first mission anyway.

    That’s because Sacrifice is pretty freeform and for a while you serve as basically a wizardly mercenary, taking odd jobs from the gods themselves. Well, I chose to ally myself with the deity Persephone who appears to be the goddess of nature and zealotry. She constantly goes on about fighting iniquity and bringing down the vile heretics who dare defile the natural order. In any case, it appears she needs a good wizard to end some sort of civil war being fought among the gnomes over who should be the gnome king. Well, despite my personal beliefs on intervention, I agreed to go help pacify things, I mean, I *am* a mercenary after all, I’m not exactly in the position to question moral decisions.

    In any case, after being plopped into the battlefields of Pelanon I get a feel for the game’s mechanics. This ain’t no ordinary strategy game, I can’t see a barracks or town center anywhere. Rather, I directly control Eldred and summon my forces with arcane magics. In addition I can run around and cast other wizardly spells such as firing magic missles (though they aren't called that) or healing my minions. More spells are gained every time your wizard levels up and are determined by whichever god you happen to be venerating at that particular time. The only resource is souls (in addition to the HP and mana of your wizard) which are needed for any form of creature summoning. I am given a few souls to start with and some critters to control, but in order to get more I need to go to war. When an enemy is killed their soul hovers above their body but is essentially useless because they follow a heathen god (ie the one who isn’t backing you) so they need to be “purified.” This is done by summoning a *ahem* “sac doctor” who performs the ritual necessary to harvest it. So there you have it, soul warfare.

    This entry has been edited 2 times. It was last edited on Feb 9th, 2008 at 02:04:29.

    add a comment Add comment  -  read this GameLog read

    Jan 26th, 2008 at 02:32:58     -    Kirby's Adventure (NES)

    GAMEPLAY

    Alright then, my second go with Kirby got me as far as the Fourth World. And no, that isn’t a reference to any sort of regional socio-economic measurement system. Rather, Dreamland appears to have provinces very much similar to those in Mario’s homeland of the Mushroom Kingdom. You have your Forest land, your magical kingdoms, subterranean areas, and airships. Which makes me wonder, Kirby’s world can have all this crazy crap in it because it’s Dreamland and, I assume, consists of people’s dreams, whereas the Mushroom Kingd- oh, yeah, I guess that one makes sense, too.

    So apparently King Dedede, for all his apparent regal malevolence, is an equal opportunity employer. The bosses you fight include, but are not limited to, a rollerskating artist whose paintings literally “come alive,” a sapient tree, a walrus, a beetle, the sun and the moon, and an alarm clock. I was particularly fond of dispatching the last of that list, and I think many of my fellows with early classes will agree that alarm clocks deserve nothing more than our collective scorn and rage. It was also nice that each mini-boss offered a nifty, rare power-up for Kirby. Among them is the ability to pile drive enemies, which is more fun than it should be.

    DESIGN

    The thing that amazed me most about the game was how good it looked. When I loaded up an NES game from the early nineties I did not expect what I saw. Kirby’s Adventure is wonderfully animated and quite colorful. The game graphics-wise is very much on par with Super Mario 4 for the Super Nintendo. Granted, today, that’s like saying, “This abacus is very much on par with the Apple IIe,” the achievement is still quite evident. That an 8-bit game can make me chuckle at its (intentional) silliness is a testament to how well it has aged.

    Of course Kirby’s defining mechanic is his ability to absorb the powers of the enemies he eats. Having only one power at a time also adds some elements of strategy in that you need to save powers gained from rare or boss enemies. The powers are quite noticeable although some are somewhat useless (turning into a ball) or redundant (Should I use ice breath or ice aura?). Still many are very nice to have around and affect areas in meaningful ways. In one instance I used Kirby’s fire breath to ignite a fuse to a nearby cannon which he could then leap into to be launched far into the Stratosphere. Which as any veteran of Mario knows is where all the best stuff is located.


    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Jan 26th, 2008 at 14:47:18.

    read comments (1) read comments  -  add a comment Add comment  -  read this GameLog read

    Jan 26th, 2008 at 01:53:56     -    Kirby's Adventure (NES)

    Kirby’s Adventure

    SUMMARY

    Kirby’s Adventure is a platformer for the Nintendo Entertainment System circa 1993. Game mechanics include the capability of jumping, hovering, inhaling enemies and stealing their powers, and exhaling enemies. As usual for games of the era it is divided up via levels although there is a lobby area to rest between adventures in Dreamland. The game centers on Kirby foiling the machinations of the birdlike King Dedede and his plot to destroy Dreamland.

    GAMEPLAY

    On Thursday, I had the profound honor of seeing the beginnings of a now famous face in Nintendo history, Kirby. For those of you unfamiliar with the character, Kirby is a small, pink, spheroid with two stubby fingerless arms, two red toeless feet, and an ever-smiling face with large, puppy dog eyes. But for most of us gamers, however, that’s all we know of the little guy, other than that he sucks. Not to slight Kirby or his games, but he literally inhales his enemies, consumes their powers, and vomits them out as high speed projectiles. The entire process is actually cuter than it sounds.

    So all is not well in Dreamland, in fact there are no dreams in Dreamland, thereby negating the existence of such a place as Dreamland. It does indeed appear that the avian monarch, King Dedede, has stolen the sacred Star Rod and shattered it into seven pieces for which are no doubt devious purposes. So it falls on Kirby, in all his round, vacuumous glory, to bring an end to such a dastardly villain and restore peace to sleepers everywhere.

    The game is very much a platformer in that there are platforms involved. These platforms, however, are entirely cosmetic in nature. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure they provide a number of uses in the Dreamland economic structure. But Kirby scoffs at such terrestrial objects with cool disdain – that is if Kirby did scoff at things rather than be a pink bubble of pure optimism. No, for Kirby is capable of flight and happily soars over such obstacles, only touching down for the errant power-up or to teach some upstart “boss,” what small, pink, round men are really made of. Fluff, I imagine.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Jan 26th, 2008 at 03:12:29.

    add a comment Add comment  -  read this GameLog read

    next   More Recent EntriesOlder Entries   next
     
    GameLogs
    Harman Necroskowitz's GameLogs
    Harman Necroskowitz has been with GameLog for 16 years, 1 month, and 13 days
    RSS Feed
    view feed xml
    Entries written to date: 10
      Game Status / Read GameLog
    1Deus Ex (PC)Finished playing
    2Final Fantasy (PSP)Stopped playing - Something better came along
    3Kirby's Adventure (NES)Finished playing
    4Sacrifice (PC)Finished playing
    5Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines (PC)Finished playing

     home

    games - logs - members - about - help - recent updates

    Copyright 2004-2014