Monday, June 4, 2012

No Rage Today

Strangest thing happened today around 11 AM. I was playing RAGE and I started to feel a little sick to the stomach. I thought that I must have not had enough to eat or I made my coffee too strong this morning, so I made some food and ate an early lunch. Still didn't feel better, so I literally had to lay down and sleep it off.

The rest of the day, I had to do some real work, but I came back to RAGE tonight.  I'd only been playing an hour and realized I was feeling sick again.

You guessed it, RAGE is giving me motion sickness. This is really surprising because I play lots of video games, FPS included, and I never get motion sickness. In fact I don' tget motion sickness ever, in real life or in movies or games. And I'd been playing RAGE before I got distracted by Amalur, and I hadn't ever gotten sick then.

So what has caused my sudden motion sickness? I really don't know. I did get a new monitor right around the time I stopped playing RAGE and started Amalur, so maybe the refresh rate of my screen combined with the frame rate of the game are affecting me.

I might try it on a different screen, if I can find one, because I enjoy the game. I have to admit, I am also suspicious that my brain is trying to force me back to Amalur or to an nth playthrough of Borderlands....

Raging again

Now that Amalur is out of my system, I'm back to Rage.

Ok, I lied. Amalur is not out of my system but three back-to-back playthroughs feels a little silly.

Anyway, it's good to be back in Rage. I thrive on Borderlands and Fallout3, so Rage is refreshing. The exception to that is the voice acting of Rage. I'd forgotten how bad it was. John Goodman's voice acting is good but it's over so soon. The mutants and bandit groups all sound like they were voiced by 18 year old boys who were pretty into the job but were afraid of shouting or emoting too much because they were recording all the work alone in their bedrooms at midnight.

That aside, the gameplay is solid. I'm still getting used to the build-system and finding enough ammo and bandages, but I'm getting there. The driving bits are still pretty difficult for me. I'm good in the races but not so much in the wasteland. I feel the need to practice that more, but the controls continue to confuse me.

More on Rage as I play through it.

winning amalur, Twice

since my last post, i have caught up on real life obligations, and also beat kingdoms of amalur! twice!

my first playthrough took a month or two, and i did nearly every side quest presented to was so much fun, i love the world of amalur. i played as a rogue/sorceror, using mostly daggers in stealth and combat, plus a healthy dose of a staff and lots and lots of potions.

i'm talking, a lot of potions. hardened shell, phasewalk, lightning storm, magebane, essence of fate, damage boost, damage deflection.

i retired a very powerful rogue mage, with two houses, lots of money, trophies, and credit for the mel senshir victory (yeah, i hated that disgraced general and gave her no love after her death!)

the game is such a pleasure to play, the minute i won the first playthrough, i started over with a new character. this time i played as an alfar wth the might/finesse destinies. for the record, i'd only done an immediate re-play with borderlands, previously, so that should put this into perspective.

i thought i'd seen everything and yet during my second playthrough" i discovered a whole new quest in the house of ballads! between a few new quests and the fact that i was playing as a warrior, it literally felt like a completely new game.

This time i didn't do many side quests aside from the house of ballads, so it only took me four or five days to finish.

The only "negative" feedback I have about Amalur is the storyline. The story is pretty standard, which is fine, but they try to stick on the Fate and Fate Weaver plot that makes no sense. I understand that it's my fate to defeat the supreme evil of Amalur, but it doesn't feel any different to me than any other game. It's nice that I can re-align my skill points (which they call my Fate) and specialize in different weapons, but do I really want to do that after I've invested so much gameplay into learning a set of skills already? Also, I don't feel anything about being able to defy Fate. Maybe if I had some special ability to move back or forward in time and alter Fate and really change the course of the story, that would make it hit home a little better.

I also felt like Amalur was the least interactive game, for conversations, that I've played in a long time. I know it's no Bioware game; it's not Dragons Age by any means. But I was painfully aware that nothing I would say would alter the course of the game, ironic for a game that is all about changing fate.

That aside, all in all, kingdom of amalur provided me with great art, a good fantasy tale (good, not great; they had a very well-structured world and back story), great play-style, a huge world with lots of side quests, and hours and hours and hours of fun.  Twice!