Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bad Heads

I'm playing NWN "2" now (I bought the "gold" editition and the "Storm of Whatever" expansion), and its okay, I guess.

I can see why it wasn't too popular, right off the bat, its got a huge selection of really really really really really fugly-looking heads that you are required to "customize" your character with during the painfully slow and pointlessly tedious and complicated Dungeons&Dragouts process of character creation.

Its like they started out with an ugly head and then squashed its features around in photoshop or something to make all the other heads.

And the "high resolution textures and lighting" makes their skin look all diseased and full of pockmarks and liverspots and slick and shiny patches of roleplay-inspiring mutton-grease or something.

Seriously, I haven't seen a collection of heads this bad since Morrowind first came out.

'Member that?

Haha those heads were so bad I remember laughing out loud when I first saw 'em.

And the women are just as bad as the male characters.

Anyways, it don't matter how good the rest of a game is if it starts out by confronting the player with a huge and unrelenting Array of Bad Heads, most people will never get past the Bad Head Syndrome, that's like a Rule of Game Design or something, you don't want to play a game where every character in the game reminds you of somebody you hate from work or your next door neighbor or whatever.

And its not like you need a ton of good heads, all you need is one decent-enough head to get past the Bad Head Syndrome, like that head with horns from the original NWN, or the bald one with the eye-patch, those were good enough, or even something over-generalized and simple, with two dots for eyes and a hole for the mouth, something without the huge nostrils and the crazy caterpillar eyebrows and bulging eyeballs and all the other Martin Short-looking details, that would be good enough for government work and get you a pass on the rest of it, that's the beauty of the UO-Style One Vague and Featureless Head Fits All Character Creation system ahaha.

So whatever, I finally broke down and picked this Swarthy Italian looking head, 'cause it didn't bother me too much, once I made him bald and turned his skin black so I couldn't see anything except for the whites of his eyes, and I started playing the game as a wizard instead of a fighter, which everybody knows is what you are supposed to play in a NWN game, but wizards are pretty powerful in this one and you don't have to run around so much like a little kid clicking on shit to make sure your dude stays within melee range of every damn thing in the game, you can just put the game on easy mode (so the fireballs won't kill your own team) and bomb the hell out of huge groups at once.

Plus, at least in the Original Campaign, you can pretty much rest after every fight and get all your spells back and do it again.

Plus, you can switch between all the different spells you got to keep yourself from getting bored, 'cause that's what Wizards do, y'know, keep a few fireballs in reserve and throw a Tasha's Infectious Laughter into the mix or something, just to keep yer shit fresh and see what the hell kinda spell effects they put in the game fer everything besides Web, Grease, Evard's Tentacles, Magic Missile and Fireball ahaha.

So I played about halfway through the Original Campaign, and got bored, even though it doesn't totally suck or anything.

I mean, its pretty fun if you get a jones for some old-timey Dungeons and Dragons Baldur's Gate-ish fireball throwing-around-a-map junk.

Especially if you extract stuff from the 2da zips and edit 'em so there's no casting-and-skill penalties for wearing full plate and remove that crap that makes a Air Elemental Guy level slower and you use all the cheat codes to give yourself all the cool feats and equipment and 18s in every stat.

And then I skipped the second expansion (which is supposed to be really great according to Roleplayers, which means its really annoying and hard) and tried the newest one, the Storm of Znake People, which is kinda like the game I wanted to make for the web a while back, where you run a trading empire or something, 'cept its kinda ponderous and I'm not exactly sure what I'm supposed to be doing.

What's funny is that I actually like the story-line in this one a lot, 'cause it doesn't remind me of the ten million Icewind Dale games I've played.

I mean, the dialogue and stuff is actually written really well, compared to the same old tired-ass rowdy scottish dwarves and lame roleplaying bonny-lass fair maiden dribble.

And its mixed with a little bit of Mount&Blade, 'cause you do all the overland battles like that, 'cept all that does is show off how brutally crappy the combat in NWN is compared to like, two lines of thirty dudes on horses thundering along and slamming into each other with a huge crash of lances and stuff ahaha.

But it is making me get a jones to build a decent D&D-ish city-and-fort-and-army-building beat-back-the-supernatural-wilderness trading-colonization-empire type of game again.

Which reminds me of all the cool junk Colbey and Squash Monster all them were talking about a while back.

I'm just about at that point where I know it'd be funner to make something than play something.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Strange Meat

Liam Neeson is your daddy.

And if it isn't Little Alex as the Bad Guy on the Radio playing crazy early synth versions of patriotic march tunes that match up perfectly with the crap in the mall scene from a Clockwork Orange.

And the next time I see Ex-B I gotta show him this Republic of Dave thing 'cause Ex-b's IS President Dave of the Republic of Dave (which would make me Bob, Second in Command of the Army of Dave, totally, down to the thing where I'd become the evil dictator of the Empire of Dave if I ever got elected and everything ahaha awhellyah).

I can see how, if you just played through the game and followed the main storyline, you'd be done with the thing in like, two hours.

But the best fun is just wandering all over hell, exploring one weird little post-apocalyptic scene after another with a Church of Bob Ward-Cleaver-looking guy in ghetto-ass raider-rags and horned-rimmed glasses listening to the Andrew Sisters and Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye on the radio while poking through trash bins full of radioactive zombie corpses for cans of pork-n-beans in the ruins of a pyschological experiment from the 50s with a sniper rifle and nine bullets, I think the main storyline actually takes the game down a notch (although the Big Explosions Killer Robots Hollywood Ending is pretty hilariously awesome) from the One Weird Episode After Another free-form style of things.

"There you are, Gary!"


Dude, seriously, the kewlie Dharma Project Stuff from Lost is pretty much straight-up-the-middle run-of-the-mill Fallout Junk, minus Zombies and Comedy and Explanation and Powered Armor and Post Apocalyptic Scenery ahaha.

Anyways, if you know what I'm talkin' 'bout so far and you haven't tried it and you could try it then mebbe you oughta try it heh.

My brother let his kids play it on my machine a couple weeks ago and it made me laugh to see how much they loved it (especially 'cause they really do look like little Gerber Baby Norman Rockwell Kids with Buzzcuts from the 50s, we were eating barbecue and they just wanted to get dinner over with so they could go back and play the game s'more so they were acting all nice and taking our dishes away for us and everything) but later on they had nightmares about zombies ahaha.

The funniest thing with that is that they had never played a WASD game before (and so, being kids, they picked it up in seconds), and the littlest one, the Brain, (he's seven) was on the keyboard, and he was getting chased by Vicious Dogs across the landscape, and I was telling him to turn around and shoot but he was too scared, so he just kept running without looking behind him with all this mad dog biting noise shit on his ass as he runs and then finally he manages to jump a fence that the dogs couldn't jump and he escaped and then the room exploded into cheers.

But after that he made his older brother (Pinkie) take the helm to do all the outdoor scenes and he just took over when they were in town.

Pinkie (who's nine) just puts his head down and charges into enemy fire swinging the Police Baton like a dude having a seizure AHAHA its ain't pretty but it got the job done and it made us all laugh.

Yah, mebbe I shouldn't have let 'em play the game, 'cause they're like, too little, and everybody should be Amish, or whatever, but screw that, I told their mother that the game was about clubbing cans of tomato sauce and babies open with a tire iron and she was fine with it.

And I gotta get 'em trained on WASD so they can team up with me and their dad in games y'know they got all these kickass coop games we could play.

The gore didn't actually bother 'em at all, it was the face of the friendly Ghoul Bartender they musta noticed (in passing) while they were playing, something I didn't even think about, that gave 'em zombie nightmares.

'Cause that was actually the only zombie we even came near, y'know?

Zombie nightmares are pretty awesome though y'know I mean I'd have to say that you prolly got a little ripped of in life if the package didn't come complete with the occasional kickass zombie nightmare every now and again y'know so I don't feel too bad about being responsible for that.

Oh yah, and then, for the Grand Finale of the night, we set off the nuke in Megaton and watched it explode from a hotel balcony miles away, which is not to be missed, so that was fun.

Tell me I'm not the awesomest Uncle to have ever ahaha.