Transistor

Read more “Transistor”

Imagine if you took an isometric action RPG with a smattering of Robotron, changed the action to be mostly like V.A.T.S. from e.g. Fallout 4, added great Art Deco parallax graphics, a sword with staccato comments, and atmospheric music that often have singing on top as well – and you basically have Transistor.

It took me about 6 hours to complete this one but I was seriously considering abandoning it after an hour or two. The combat was innovative and polished but was still problematic for me. The gist of the game is a turn-based part where you stack “functions” (abilities) in a limited queue and them fire them off with super speed, making you feel like The Flash. Then comes the sour part. The queue needs some time to recharge itself and you are extremely vulnerable as things are now real-time. Because of the huddling nature of the confined combat areas, it’s easy to get pummeled left and right, even when zapping around with a teleport ability I earned early in the game. This goes back to me wanting to kill as many off fast as possible, and if my queue doesn’t deliver enough damage, I may take too much damage in the real-time part. Emptying the health bar temporarily burns out an ability slot, forcing me to use other means of attacking. Burning out all attacks of course means death.

For most of the game, this system just didn’t click with me.

Diary Games: Outcast

Read more “Diary Games: Outcast”

This is a post in a nostalgic series with transcriptions of my diary sessions of the many games I played from 2000 and onwards, translated and adapted from Danish.

All images are courtesy of MobyGames and shows the best 512×384 resolution.

April 19, 2001

I’ve had the original CD-ROM of Outcast for a while, but my DVD drive wouldn’t acknowledge it. Now I had a plan. First I installed a 317 MB alternative version from a “collection” and ran it. It started without problems but was very limited – no speech, no movies, no CD audio music. Then I renamed the folder and installed the original CD version. As usual it wouldn’t recognize my DVD drive. I then copied the executable file over from the limited version and hey presto; I now had an original that worked with my DVD drive with all music, movies and speech intact. Then I deleted the limited version.

Played a little bit of the game. I managed to get through the training level in the beginning where I had to sneak past my teacher Jan. The game had to be run in the penultimate resolution of 400×300. The best, which was 512×384 or something like that, was stuttering too much. Somewhat disappointing on a 1,2 GHz PC, but at least it ran reasonably well in 400×300 with all graphical details set to high. The game looks old fashioned today because of the low resolution, but I also know that it’s a long and challenging game. Some reviewers say 50+ hours – try comparing that to the 10-15 hours of Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.². There are also sub quests and even sub quests within sub quests. It might make the game confusing and introduce the non-linearity I’m not comfortable with yet.

Nevertheless I will now give it a chance and then we’ll see. I paid a lot of money for the original game.

Quote from Reddit

I asked my grandpa what it felt like to grow old. Grandpa is a man who will deliberate on which part of the newspaper to start with each morning, so I knew my question would take him some time to answer. I said nothing. I let him gather his thoughts.

When I was a boy, Grandpa had once complimented me on this habit. He told me it was good that I asked a question and gave a person silence. And being that any compliment from him was so few and far between, this habit soon became a part of my personality and one that served me well.

Grandpa stared out the window and looked at the empty bird feeder that hung from an overgrown tree next to the pond he built in the spring of 1993. For twenty years, Grandpa filled up the feeder each evening. But he stopped doing it last winter when walking became too difficult for him.

Without ever taking his eyes from the window, he asked me a question: “Have you ever been in a hot shower when the water ran cold?” I told him I had.

“That’s what aging feels like. In the beginning of your life it’s like you’re standing in a hot shower. At first the water is too warm, but you eventually grow used to the heat and begin enjoying it. But you take it for granted when you’re young and think it’s going to be this way forever. Life goes on like this for some time.”

Grandpa looked at me with those eyes that had seen so much change in this world. He smiled and winked at me.

“And if you’re lucky, a few good looking women will join you in the shower from time to time.”

We laughed. He looked out the window and continued on.

“You begin to feel it in your forties and fifties. The water temperature declines just the slightest bit. It’s almost imperceptible, but you know it happened and you know what it means. You try to pretend like you didn’t feel it, but you still turn the faucet up to stay warm. But the water keeps going lukewarm. One day you realize the faucet can’t go any further, and from here on out the temperature begins to drop. And everyday you feel the warmth gradually leaving your body.”

Grandpa cleared his throat and pulled a stained handkerchief from his flannel shirt pocket. He blew his nose, balled up the handkerchief, and put it back in his pocket.

“It’s a rather helpless feeling, truth told. The water is still pleasant, but you know it will soon become cold and there’s nothing you can do about it. This is the point when some people decide to leave the shower on their own terms. They know it’s never going to get warmer, so why prolong the inevitable? I was able to stay in because I contented myself recalling the showers of my youth. I lived a good life, but still wish I hadn’t taken my youth for granted. But it’s too late now. No matter how hard I try, I know I’ll never get the hot water back on again.”

He paused for a few moments and kept looking out the window with those eyes that had seen ninety-one years on this Earth. Those eyes that lived through the Great Depression, those eyes that beheld the Pacific Ocean in World War II, those eyes that saw the birth of his three children, five grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

He had indeed lived a good life, I thought to myself.

“And that’s what it feels like to grow old.”Sozaiix3, /r/AskReddit/

The post I got this from is here. Sozaiix3 is not the originator but the source has since vanished.

Diary Games: The Beginning of the Millennium

Read more “Diary Games: The Beginning of the Millennium”

This is a post in a nostalgic series with transcriptions of my diary sessions of the many games I played from 2000 and onwards, translated and adapted from Danish.

In fact, this is the very first one with the first play sessions in 2000. As is the case with so many hobbies just like this one, it started in a casual manner and only gradually became more serious. It wasn’t like hitting a switch and suddenly I was writing hundreds of lines in each session.

I started writing diaries about my life in 1996 and have kept it up since then. Games were rarely mentioned as something I played one evening. I wasn’t really into gaming until I had sort of an epiphany with Gunman Chronicles, as you can read here below. In the end of the 90’s, it was mostly about coding and composing. I did complete Rama, Sanitarium and the first three Tomb Raider games in the end of the 90’s, but their sessions were sometimes months apart and the comments very brief.

Although better for the following ten games, the descriptions are still plain and the details few. However, it gets a lot more interesting in later blog posts as I dig deeper into my diaries. Later I also started grabbing my own screenshots, but for this blog post they are all courtesy of MobyGames.