Tag Archives: non-wow

Good Games That Are Good: Deus Ex

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Deus Ex isn’t exactly  the easiest game in the world to get into.  The starter levels are kind of slow and as it’s an older game it can take a little bit to get used to it.  But persevere, and you’ll be treated to the best cyberpunk this side of Neuromancer– not to mention some of the best music, too.

Along with its immense depth of story, Deus Ex offers a lot of freedom to play the way you want to play.  You can be stealthy, you can be the “bad cop” who shoots first and asks questions later, or if you really want a challenge you can do what I did and attempt a kill-free run.  That’s right, you can beat the game without killing anyone except for a couple of characters whose deaths are vital to the story.

It’s tough to really say much else about this game except that if you like actiony RPGs and cyberpunk then this should be on your must-play list.  It’s long and somewhat unforgiving (I restarted halfway through my most recent playthrough because I didn’t like the way I’d set up my augs) but there’s a reason why it’s considered one of the all-time greats.  So go ahead and install it (or reinstall it!)

And then also play Human Revolution.  Because that one is also fantastic.

The Best Mission In Video Games

I seem to have come down with a nasty cold, so instead of an effort post, here’s some screenshot spam from my current game obsession, Warcraft III.

ITS HAPPENING TEN MINUTES final destination THE FINAL STAND ARCHIMONDE GET WISPED ON

If this story looks familiar to you, it’s because you’ve seen it before in the Mount Hyjal raid in Burning Crusade!  I think Blizz did a great job recreating this fantastic mission – one of the most tense in any video game – into an MMO raid.

Have I mentioned lately how fantastic Warcraft III is?  Because it’s fantastic.  Seriously.  Everyone should play it.

Good Games That Are Good: Morrowind

I’m not sure where to even begin talking about Morrowind.  To call it my favorite game of all time (tied with Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri) seems like a disservice.  It is, somehow, more than that.

morrowind-artRed Mountain by Lelek1980

The world of Morrowind doesn’t like you. Its creatures don’t like you, and its native inhabitants – the dunmer, or dark elves – also don’t like you. The emperor has a special feeling about you and has dumped you off here in the dreary marshes of Seyda Neen, and has let you loose there. He suggests you maybe go talk to a guy in a nearby town.

But that’s it. That’s all you’re told. There are quests, if you choose to do them. There’s even a main storyline you can beat. But that’s not the meat of the game, because the meat of the game is that the land of Vvardenfell is a living, breathing world, replete with competing religions, factions, cultures, and histories.

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Also Mesopotamian engineer elves who uploaded their soul into a giant robot. Canon lore btw. Art by Lelek1980 again.

Morrowind feels alive in a way that’s difficult to describe.  I can talk all day about how the lore is really deep and meaningful and inspired by Hindu mythology and this and that but ultimately no words I can say could begin to do it justice.

And that’s fine, because the only way to experience Morrowind is to play it alongside your character.  Just like your character, you have no idea why you’re here.  Just like your character, you’d rather not be here.  Just like your character, you don’t care for anyone here because they certainly don’t care for you.

But then, slowly, as the mysteries of Morrowind unravel, the place and its people start to grow on you and your character both.  And then by the end of the game when you have the chance to save them, you feel it.

That’s what makes Morrowind so special.

(also you can break the game by way of alchemy and enchanting, but that’s a whole ‘nother article.)

Good Games That Are Good: Archon

When I was a wee child, I cut my gaming teeth on this sucker:

C64_startup_animiertThere were a variety of fantastic games available on this thing, but today I’m going to talk about one that has been ported to Steam so you can play it even today.  I’m talking about ARCHON.

C64_ArchonI tell a lot of people about this game because it’s great, and the biggest and most common mistake people make when dismissing it is assuming that it’s chess.  I can assure you that beyond the superficial similarities they’re really nothing alike.  Pieces move differently, the goals are different, there’s magic spells involved, oh, and your pieces have to fight each other to the death in remarkably tense and fast-paced action battles.

The rules are simple: Either kill or capture all the other pieces or capture five power points on the board.  It’s a fantasy based game so if you want phoenixes fighting dragons and unicorns fighting golems then don’t worry, you’ll get a lot of it.  Oh also you can summon air elementals and stuff.

Remember when I said you can get it on Steam?  Yeah.  Get it here, play either a more modernized version or the classic mode, and enjoy one of the more overlooked games of the 80s.

Good Games That Are Good: Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is one of the greatest platform games of all time.  Yup.

It is also a game that (fortunately) a lot of people have played.  If you haven’t played it, you probably either didn’t game a whole lot growing up or were on the Nintendo side of the playground console wars.  If the former applies to you, then you have my sympathies, and if the latter applies to you, well, I can’t blame you, but you need to do yourself a favor and play this game.

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Sonic 2 is, for my money, the best of the original Genesis Sonic games.  That’s not to say that 1, 3&K and CD weren’t good, because those were all fantastic games.  Yes, even CD.  But what Sonic 2 did was take the formula from Sonic 1 and refine it without tilting dangerously close to Mario/DKC territory.  Nothing inherently wrong with that last bit, of course, but I prefer my Sonic experience to be pure and completely unlike anything else on the market.  And that’s what Sonic 2 does so very well.  It’s the perfect blend of speed and platforming, with levels designed to let you do what Sonic does best: go fast.

654If you have yet to play Sonic 2 then you are in for an absolute treat, because this game has not aged a day.  You can sit down with it and play it all through with a big smile on your face no matter how old you are.  Fortunately for us, SEGA likes money, and as such they have ported Sonic 2 to basically every modern system in existence, including mobile phones and Steam.   This means you should have no problems tracking this one down.

So find it.  Play it.  Enjoy it.  Go fast.

Good Games That Are Good: Rogue Legacy

I do not consider myself a WoW player – rather, I consider myself a video gamer who is currently playing WoW (among other games).  As such, Sundays are for posts about games that are not World of Warcraft.

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And today I’m going to talk about a game called Rogue Legacy which I became addicted to for a while last summer for a very simple reason: it’s great.

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Basically with Rogue Legacy you’re running around attacking furniture and monsters.  You will die.  That’s a given.  Permadeath is also (usually) a thing.

But!  Then you can play as one of your character’s heirs.  Heirs have unique traits that change the gameplay around a little, for better or for worse, and some of them are just there for flavor or to be silly.  But it’s certainly an interesting thing that I haven’t really seen before.

Probably the best way to describe Rogue Legacy is that it’s Dark Souls Lite™.  If you like that kind of thing, you should play it.  Even if you don’t like that kind of thing, you should play it anyway, because it’s fantastic and heck, I’m far from the world’s biggest fan of Dark Souls.  But Rogue Legacy is just a bucket of fun and it’s available on a variety of platforms.

You should get it!  And then promptly get addicted to it.  I’m not kidding, this game is like a can of Pringles.  Once you pop the fun don’t stop and all that.

An Announcement!

I’m not sure if anyone reads this blog anymore, but just in case a few of you do, I am happy to announce that the book I’ve been working on for years is complete and available in eBook format.

You can find the details and links to many different formats here.

I am working on getting a hard copy up for sale as well, and while I will probably not announce that at this blog, I’ll update the information post with details when it becomes available.

As a further reminder, I am still blogging, just not here. I blog about writing and things HERE and my boyfriend and I blog about video games HERE.

I hope you all look into my book (or blogs!) and do let me know what you think!

-Pike

Art, Life, and the End of the World

I want to thank the huge response my art commissions announcement got. It was so huge, in fact, that it warrants this second announcement, which is basically to say that if you are still waiting on your art, don’t worry, you’re in a queue.

You guys are lifesavers though, really.

In further good news I have secured myself a job… it’s part time, and seasonal, and a long drive away, but it’s something and I’m desperately hoping that it will turn into something more stable.

For being my faithful readers who have been here through thick and thin, you deserve nothing less than the truth, and the truth is as such: my personal life has been in pretty dire straights for about a year now. I won’t go into excruciating detail but suffice to say that anytime things start to pick up, they immediately take a nosedive again. Over the course of the last year, I’ve lost my apartment, lost my job, had to move to a remote corner of the world far from all my friends, watched my family fall apart, and been slammed with medical bills that I cannot pay. Really the only stability I’ve had, aside from the glorious escapism of writing, has been my online friends, including World of Warcraft and the various social networks I’ve made there, the blogging and Twitter community in particular.

I’m telling you all of this partly so you know what’s going on, and partly to explain the constant yo-yo “I’m hiatusing! I’m back for good! I’m not back for good!” etc. that has been happening here over the last several months.

And I’ll come right out and say it: I probably can’t afford Cataclysm. That’s fine; World of Warcraft is the first thing to get dropped in the priority queue any time crap hits the fan (which has been happening a lot lately) which is why I’ve been a dedicated “weekend casual” for a while now. I can scrape up enough for month-long subscriptions every now and again and I look forward to leveling a gnome priest and probably a tauren… paladin, I’m thinking. And so long as I am doing that, I will continue to blog as I can. I can’t guarantee a set schedule or theme, but I’ll still be posting. Not just for you guys, but for me. Because I love doing this.

Welp, that’s that. Much love for all, and see you when the world explodes <3

Merry Christmas From BabyPike

Long, long ago, in a galaxy far away, there was a BabyPike.

BabyPike had a computer.

BabyPike was playing on this thing before she could talk. If you opened up her “Baby Book” you could find a spot for “Baby’s Favorite Games”, and instead of “Patty-Cake” or “Peek-a-Boo”, it said things like “Dig-Dug, Donkey Kong, and Pac-Man”.

It also said “Christmas Game”. That one might not be so recognizable. See, “Christmas Game” wasn’t actually a game. I just called it that (when I finally put down the joystick long enough to start talking.) “Christmas Game” was actually a technical demo for the Commodore 64 and I loved it and would watch it over and over. I think it was because Frosty the Snowman dances at the end. (I distinctly remember that being my favorite part.)

Merry Christmas! <3 And NEVER FORGET: THE COMMODORE 64 64K MEMORY 16 COLORS HI-RES GRAPHICS SPRITE ANIMATION SOUND SYNTHESIS CP/M OPTION THE PERFECT HOLIDAY GIFT ONLY $595!

Once Upon a Time…

…Pike wrote a book.

PikeIsTheChampionMyFriends

I’ve mentioned it here offhandedly, and annoyed the heck out of my Twitter followers no doubt, but after four solid weeks of writing I have finished National Novel Writing Month. Not bad for someone who wasn’t planning on participating until basically the day before it started, and who was working from little more than a skeleton plot.

The novel itself isn’t finished– I’m not at the end yet, and once I’ve got it all edited up it’s gonna be longer than 50k words (I’m sorta aiming for 75k give or take, as a personal goal), but I just have to say that participating in this all of November, even to the point of hardly touching WoW and pretty much putting raiding on hiatus, and sorely neglecting the blog as a consequence… has been a truly amazing experience. On this blog, I write stories about a world that I love, but with this book I was able to write a story about a world that I love that I created. I like to say that I’m more of a storycrafter than a theorycrafter, and this little adventure nailed that home for me.

Anyways, I’m still trying to figure out where to go from here. As I said, the book isn’t finished, and finishing it as soon as I can and moving into editing is a major goal, although I already feel lost without the little word count chart. I would like to get back into WoW again but I’ll be frank, playing WoW right now– particularly because it’s basically just the same raid over and over at this point– really doesn’t feel quite nearly as heroic as guiding my novel’s characters through a quest to save their city. >.>

Some of you have expressed interest in reading my book, which is extremely flattering and is something I’d like to have happen at some point.* Currently I plan on finishing and editing the thing, then letting some friends and family read it and offer their suggestions, then I’ll go through and polish it up and maybe self-publish or something. But we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. Primarily this is my official “zomg I wrote a book” exhilaration post, which will be followed by ordering a celebratory pizza and listening to Men Without Hats on repeat. (Wait, I do that last part all the time anyway. Crap.)

Thanks for putting up with it being so quiet around these parts lately. <3 -- * You know you want to read it; it has airships and giant robots and dragons in it.