I’ve had a pretty lame couple of weeks. Struck with a sinus infection, I wasn’t able to enjoy Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Red Dead Redemption the day they both arrived at my front door. I know that for many, being sick is prime gaming time. But I’m not that guy. The congestion that I can feel all throughout my face and chest, like a Venom Symbiote trying to burst out of my body and take over; the demon DJ who uses my skull as a subwoofer, producing a constant, pounding bass rhythm of agony; the slow, vitriolic drip down the back of my throat that robs me of my voice and sends me running to the sink every 15 minutes to cough up horrors I dare not describe. Continue reading
Tag Archives: journal
Everything changed in the monastery.
Walking its halls as a bandit on a diplomatic mission was an endurance test. The monastery is the rogue’s wet-dream. The quarters are lined with the bunk rooms of the recruits, all of whom are busy with their daily tasks, and rich with chests and cupboards to raid; in the cemetery is a tomb, hosting only still-dead, non-animated skeletons buried with their possessions, ready for plundering; there’s a warehouse where the Inquisiton keeps its artefacts, guarded by a single old man who enjoys taking time off; and if that weren’t enough, a surprisingly thriving drug-trade makes the guards easy to bribe. It takes every bit of will I have to be a good envoy and not rob the fools blind. Continue reading
There’s something I have to take care of before I head out on my “diplomatic” mission. Remember those thieves I helped out of Harbour Town earlier? Well, I didn’t just do it out of the goodness of my heart. I’ve had this quest for a while now that I haven’t had time to tackle, to find the entrance to some ruined temple on the opposite side of the island and find three treasure seekers to go dig it up. Continue reading
The walk back to the swamp looks far more daunting on my map than it turns out to be. I haven’t been in the wild for a while now, but during my time in the city I invested good money and points into my skills and stats. For the first time I feel like I can survive out there on my own, without a tour guide or a mercenary mob by my side. Continue reading
I’ve finally found a way out of Harbour Town. During the rest of my time there, I engaged in numerous dirty deeds, all of which means to the justified end that is fighting the Inquisiton. Continue reading
The first (maybe only?) city in Risen doesn’t change much. Yeah, it’s a lot bigger than the Don’s camp, filled with more people and more things to do, but for the most part it’s more of the same. I’m still performing tasks for whichever factions I choose to ally myself, performing fetch-quests and proving myself in duels. Continue reading
Risen is a hard game for me to review in the traditional sense, at least while giving it any justice (especially the 360 port). Risen, like its spiritual predecessors of the Gothic series, is often criticized harshly for its technical shortcomings, including bugs, graphics, controls, and interface. In spite of such criticism, the Gothic series, and Risen in turn, maintain a strong cult following. The question I will attempt to answer by writing a multiple-article journal review is, why?
There’s no doubt that the criticisms of the game’s technical flaws are justified. The Xbox 360 port is especially crippled with drastically lower quality graphics than its PC counterpart, so much so that it could easily be mistaken for a mid-generation original Xbox game. By playing Risen at a more casual pace than I would for a typical review, taking the time to make myself see what the fans see, my hope is that I can more adequately convey the experience of a game whose value lies more in the feeling of playing it, rather than the formal qualities of the product itself. Personally, I believe that this is the case for all games.
Most of my reviews I write to convey the feeling of playing a game, rather than to explain the game itself, and make an attempt to reconcile both approaches to determine value. In the case of Risen, however, it’s my belief that even in my usual approach the game would be unfairly marred by its formal qualities and technical shortcomings.
Now that we have the background information out of the way, we can get on with the business at hand: my Risen journal.
(First, I should point out that I played the Xbox 360 version of the game. Many of these screens are from the PC version; what little I could find scouring the internet and NeoGAF. As a rule of thumb: Pretty shots = PC, ugly shots = 360.)
Ion Storm’s Deus Ex is one of my favorite games of all time. I don’t know where it rests, exactly, but it’s definitely in my top 3. Deus Ex also celebrated its tenth anniversary on June 22nd, 2010. Before all the resulting tributes and retrospectives, I got to think about why, exactly, Deus Ex is so important to me. Not just why I love it but why it really matters; how my life would be different, if only slightly, without it. I might do more of these, if my other ideas can turn into more articles. But for now, here’s Deus Ex Tribute #8576392 of the week.
They killed Paul; they killed my brother.
The relationship one has with their morning alarm is at odds with itself. It’s not a welcome interruption, when it violently pulls you from the throes of your natural and much-needed REM cycle. But at least it serves a purpose: waking you up in time in the morning. When you’re already awake, however, it’s no more than an annoying sound; a taunting reminder that you didn’t sleep that night. Continue reading
I went to bed ready to spring up at 8:00am and pop down to a nearby coffee shop. Since my motel’s wi-fi turned out to be less than reliable, I hoped to use the coffee shop’s wi-fi to send in the previews I had stayed up until 2:00AM writing. Sure, that admittedly large time-frame accounts for a lot of procrastination, but bear in mind I had been awake since 4:00AM the previous morning. My brain had dulled considerably by that night and my body wasn’t having me wake up that early.
Screw it. Continue reading