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Showing posts from February, 2011

A gamer's unrequited yearning for a hobby

The train simulator Railworks 2 is often criticised for clogging up the pages of Steam with its many pieces of downloadable content. Those who don't understand add up the cost of all the add ons and complain that it would cost hundreds of Euro to own the full "game". I think I get it though. Rail works is not a game. It is a hobby. Collecting all those engines and rolling stock are part of the richness of that hobby. Don't take my word for it. Just check out fan sites to see how engrossed enthusiasts of this hobby can get. I watch this with some envy. I would love to immerse myself in such a hobby and spend  countless hours in blissful contemplation of boiler pressures and signal configurations. I suppose you could say that PC gaming is my hobby. I certainly spend a substantial amount of my time playing, reading about and writing about games. Unfortunately gaming is a mad cap, ill defined ever changing pursuit. There is no tranquillity in gaming. I have long

Note to Solbright

Hi Solbright I get an email notification of your comments even though they aren't appearing on the blog. I wonder if it is something to do with anonymous posting. I did check my settings and I have anonymous posting turned on however. 

What do you say to a Minecraft Griefer?

As a new recruit to Twitter I still have only a small number of followers and I check out each one personally. Some are just spammy link lists but others are interesting feeds that I am happy to subscribe to in return. Today I was somewhat taken aback to see that one of my latest followers was  a dedicated MineCraft griefer with their own Youtube channel advertising their destructive exploits. The whole concept of Minecraft griefing upsets and annoys me but mostly it just baffles me. Minecraft is a glorious game of creativity and greifing does nothing but hurt people by destroying their creations. Minecraft griefing is the computer equivalent of kicking over a child's sandcastle and I really don't understand how anyone with a modicum of intelligence could enjoy doing it. Anyway how to respond to this persons joining my Twitter feed? Should I: a) Give in to my immediate urge to give them a piece of my mind on both  Twitter and Youtube. b) Try to talk directly to them to t

A flirtation with twitter

I have actually had a Twitter account for several years but up until recently it had all of one tweet on it. I have decided to give it another go however so I started a new account under the tag: liambp (L ife I s A M ind B ending P uzzle, geddit?). My thinking goes like this: I love blogging but blogging can be slow. Even short posts can sometimes take an hour or more to write and re-write. Often I have thoughts I want to record but the effort involved in crafting a full blog post dissuades me. Twitter is going to be my instant blog. A place for unedited ideas dumped straight onto the interwebs. I don't know if this is how other people see or use Twitter but I am keen to experiment with it and see how it goes. There should be a link to my Twitter feed in the side panel. Feel free to join, add, invite or whatever it is twititererers do and I will be delighted to reciprocate. 

Hillarious Fan Made Magicka Sketch

Check out this YouTube video made by talented Magicka fan PulpitPower: It is probably funnier if you have actually played the game but even if you haven't (Why Not?) all you need to know is that new magicians in the game are more likely to kill themselves and their team mates than the enemy.

Each man kills the thing he loves, The coward does it with a Kindle.

Yesterday I dropped into a bookshop on my way home from work and it was wonderful. The shelves, the covers, the readers, the smell of paper, the tactile pleasure of picking up a book and riffling through the pages, all of these things seduced me once again. I have been in love with bookshops almost as long as I have been in love with reading. In my youthful poverty I spent days trawling the streets of Dublin looking for little known second hand bookshops. Regular book shops seduce with the magic of pristine new writings while second hand books shops lure with the promise of forgotten legends and ancient magics. My recent bookshop visit was wonderful but it was also traitorously bitter sweet. There on the shelf I found the next volume of the trilogy I am currently reading. It was new, it was beautiful, it beckoned. With head hung in shame I placed the tantalising volume back on the shelf and slunk out of the bookshop. I will buy the e-book later for my smartphone. Its not a matter

King Arthur - A Fresh Start

I am a sucker for atmosphere in games and King Arthur the Role playing wargame has tonnes of it so I am determined to overcome my initial setbacks and make some progress in the game.  In my first attempt I went bull headed for the main storyline quests and soon found myself with my only army in tatters and with no money to recruit a new one. Second time around I played a lot more slowly and cautiously. Before I tackled the challenging Lady of the Lake battle I did all the side quests I could find, recruiting heroes along the way. I managed to pick up a few giants of my own in one encounter without even fighting. Many encounters in King Arthur can it seems be solved through diplomacy rather than battle.  The main difficulty in this early part of the game is that you have only one opportunity to recruit new troops until you overcome the "Lady of the Lake encounter" this leaves you with the dilemma of whether to recruit early to help you in the pre Lady encounters or to recru

King Arthur the Role Playing Wargame: Its not like Total War at all

Steams Sale last weekend got me "King Arthur the Role Playing Wargame" for a pittance. A quick google at the reviews led me to expect something like a Total war game but with added fantasy. Some reviewers also mentioned balance problems. I am still only in the tutorial stages of the campaign but I can give a very early first impression. First off the game is beautiful. The music and the graphics are very evocative of a mythical Arthurian period when magic and Christianity vied for the hearts of the people. Second off - while it does look a bit like a total war game I am not sure the comparison is valid. Yes it has a campaign game played on a map and it has a battle game played out in real time 3D but the rules of both the campaign game and the battle game are totally different giving the whole thing a very different flavour. The campaign game seems to be very storyline driven with "morality choices" hard coded in. Sometimes this is done through dialogue tree cho

Magicka spoilers

SPOILER ALERT If you are starting Magicka I strongly advise you not to read this post and also to avoid google and try to figure stuff out for yourself. Figuring out new spell combinations really is a very enjoyable part of the game. With that out of the way I do want to share some of my discoveries before I dive into google myself and realise that everything I have used is pants. Most useful spell: Probably have to say the Rock Shield (D+E cast on self) . This absorbs a whole lot of damage, can be cast very quickly and can be recast endlessly. It is a real life saver. The one disadvantage is that casting any spell or magick will break the shield but you can very quickly drop a new one on yourself after you cast. So you can drop a rock shield on yourself, set up a powerful beam or aoe spell, unleash it and then drop a new shield. Rinse and repeat until all mobs are dead. Favourite Beam Spell: Any combination of Steam (Fire+Water), Lightning and Arcane gives a deadly beam but

Magicka - I Finished !!!

I finished Magicka's single player campaign last night. What a great great game. It is innovative and funny and challenging and chaotic. Most of all it is tremendous fun. The game really does need a mid level save facility though. The single player game is very challenging particularly when you start out. Having just finished I also really wish I could select a chapter to replay without having to start again from the very beginning. Happily I didn't encounter any serious bugs in the single player adventure but I did have two serious crashes in only an hour of multilayer. Apart from the crashes my brief foray into multiplayer was enjoyable. Pressing the instant game button, I joined a random group for two of the middle chapters. Even with an uncoordinated group of strangers the multiplayer game is a good bit easier than single player as long as every one remembers to use the spammable resurrect skill regularly. You can just nuke everything and rezz everyone after the inevita