The Slime goes HD! (Technolust)

May 27, 2008

A recent victim of the technolust inhabiting the gaming commune,
I finally caved in and upgraded to Full-HD. Turns out there was something severly wrong with it, or as the kind people at Samsung called the phenomenon; Dead on Arrival. So, with the new TV out and the DS (containing the wonderful Professor Layton) resting in someone else’s palms rather than my own at the moment, I decided to go deep into the forsaken realm of mobile gaming. Truly desperate, indeed.
I’ll report back soon…

Always coming in last

May 12, 2008

Sorry for the downtime. I’ll update soon. And comment on the comments. Keep visiting. It makes me happy. xoxo

I’m so sorry!

May 12, 2008

Just worked the evening shift with a guy who grew up in the same backwater town as I did, and I suddenly (and very distinctly) remember borrowing The Legend of Zelda (NES, 1987) from him, back in the day. For those who don’t know, this game was one of the first games that featured an internal battery to facilitate data saving – which, it turns out, was the reason I had to go into hiding for a couple of years… By mistake I deleted his progress, his character, and all his effort put into this classic game. He had the blue ring and the white sword, I remember that much. The blue ring cuts received damage in half and turns Link’s outfit, well, blue. The white sword is more powerful than the wooden sword, but less powerful than the magic sword. Having acquired these items seemed like a big deal to me, so I just left the game at his house without saying anything and avoided him for the next couple of years. That was almost 20 years ago. Now we have once again crossed paths. He doesn’t seem to remember it, though. Maybe he moved on. Anyway, I’m sorry Daniel. Really.

On character creation (and avatars)

April 25, 2008

I like men. I really do.

This post is nowhere near as academic or investigating as the title might suggest. Expectations lowered? Alright.

I’m getting pretty jaded with character design these days. For once,
I’d like to play a failed, unemployed guy in his mid-forties. Perhaps a heavyset man who tires quickly? In short, I want weaknesses and flaws – not muscle, beauty and competence. As I’ve understood it, Eternal Darkness (2003) lets you control an array of characters with no apparent skills nor good looks. I like that. It gives the characters a certain depth, unlike those soulless, muscle-flexing idiots you usually get to manoeuvre. Always so tough and able. I’m sick of it. Just give me a paraplegic in a wheelchair, or someone with racial issues and a drinking problem – a real bigot, a mediocre backpeddler. I’d like to take that journey, please.

On a more positive note, and as an example, the protagonist in upcoming Alan Wake features an author, who’s suffering from insomnia and writers block. Taking refuge in a backwater town, the monsters of his nightmares soon arrive to plague him. Which is believable and realistic in some aspects (not the monster part, right?). That title is perhaps where my hopes lie in 2008. Let’s hope it doesn’t slip into the fiery depths of 2009. The new Alone In the Dark will also feature one certain Edward Carnby, who’s supposedly not too handy with a gun. Ooh, I’m gonna enjoy dying over and over again! Also, Fahrenheit (Indigo Prophecy) tried a different route, and there’s always trusty old Gordon Freeman, the silent protagonist. I think things were better back when the avatars didn’t talk so much, as there was less attitude to put up with. Can you guys name a few other characters that felt inspirational and interesting instead of tired and shallow?

(Update: Rumours indicate that Alan Wake has indeed slipped into the fiery depths of 2009. Goddamn it.)

Confessions of a Spore whore

April 10, 2008

Omnivore. Carnivore. Herbivore. Sporewhore.

Chances are I would sell my body to get my hands on this game. That’s how bad I want to try it. Anyway, after gushing about Civ Rev (which also shares the curved world phenomenon, if you compare the screens), I thought I’d mention some other titles that are on my list for 2008, and Spore is certainly one of them. This game, if you somehow managed to avoid reading about it, lets you create a species and guide it from the origin of life through various stages of civilization and technology, all the way into the far reaches of outer space. To be more precise, your creation will start off in the Tidal Pool Phase as a tiny single celled organism and then progress as you continue to evolve, eventually crawling onto land. The last segment of the game is called the Space Phase, where you traverse the galaxy in flying saucers, visiting (attacking) other civilizations, exploring the solar system, perhaps with the intent to colonize and terraform, all in the name of galactic dominance.

Spore is due out this September. If you haven’t already, I urge you to take a look at the Eno/Wright seminar for more insight to the mechanics of the game, such as evolution and generative music. It’s also coming to the DS, but it will be watered down and sucky. Oh, and all my pictures have floating captions, in case you’ve missed it.

Slipping into Oblivion (Gaming and guilt)

March 16, 2008

Where art thou, Blackroot Lair?

I’m slipping into The Shivering Isles once again, and it scares the hell out of me. It’s that special place you don’t want to go, but you know you have to. I can have a thousand things to do one day, only to catch a glimpse of my console, and minutes later I trawl any given dungeon in search of some kind of meaning. At the time of writing, Oblivion has siphoned over 100 hours from my life, leaving me with at least two unfinished essays and countless of broken promises. Still, it lures me back to its continental sprawl of real-estate, caverns and angst.
The scale of this game is ever frightening, as it seems impenetrable even to the experienced explorer. In addition to the bewildering vastness, you’re constantly knee-deep in books and conversations covering everything from politics and religion to flora and fauna –
but you’ll learn how to ignore all that soon enough.

But I’m missing the point. I’m guessing you’re all very aware of what Oblivion is capable of. Which leads me to this: When did it become a chore to play games? Do you get the feeling that sitting down with your favourite RPG has become a serious undertaking, and often,
a guilt-inducing addiction? Do games demand too much effort these days, are they too expansive, or do you revel in gameplay ad infinitum? What game is responsible for your social ruin? Was it always like this? How am I supposed to manage my character and the real me at the same time? You know, go to work, have coffee with friends, finish off that essay and still have time to wander aimlessly through the realms of Dementia and Mania, which, I guess, isn’t too far from where I live anyway. Which reminds me, I really need to find Blackroot Lair…

Introduction, resurrection

March 1, 2008

Not me, actually.

My name is David. I was born in July 1980, which is only a few days before yesterday according to my inconsistent memory. I like music, games, books, and Lindsay Lohan. I have no pets.

When I started the previous version of A Slime Appears about a year (or decade) ago I wanted it to be more personal and unforgiving than other sites out there doing the same thing. I had my moments, but the reason I decided to go into hibernation was simple: I didn’t keep it personal enough. And if I want to contribute something, it should be me reflecting on things, not rehashing things already said. I will obviously write less, but hopefully with a more personal perspective on things. I will continue to post as long as it serves a purpose for me, and as long as people continue to visit. I will also continue to mention flash and internet games if I happen to stumble across anything good, but I will not do so on a weekly basis.

I will rant about games in general the way I perceive them. This will function only as therapy for my game-obsessed mind. I used to love games as a kid, but at the verge of 28, I’m not so much in love anymore, just obsessed and sexually warped. Like that freak who’s got hundreds of pictures of some girl in class on his wall, but can’t say a word around her. Who fantasies about her constantly, talks out loud when he’s by himself, and calls her a whore occasionally. It’s more of that kind of relationship. So, um, I’m emotional about games, let’s leave it to that. Games are an never ending source of disappointment for me, but I can’t stop caring or playing. That’s what I’m trying to communicate. And I also do not like myself as a gamer. Mediocre, obnoxious and unforgiving. There, I said it.

I also write about music and break every existent copyright law over at Ljud. Feel free to browse around there, too. And remember, feedback is always appreciated!