I have been up to quite a lot of stuff lately. I’ve picked up two new games and finished a few books. To recap what you already know:
- I purchased Pokemon and X-COM: ENEMY UNKNOWN
- I finished reading A Storm of Swords, Warm Bodies, Neverwhere, and At the End: A Post-Apocalyptic Novel
- I am finally going to get to read books alongside my book club, Bad Wolf Bookclub at Tumblr — The Night Circus
- I played actual PvP games in League of Legends and didn’t do so bad
With Pokemon White 2, I’ve beaten the 8th gym. I have to say, Pokemon has a great RPG plot going on. Its target audience aside, I am really enjoying the game. I traded up a bunch of my Pokemon from my Pokemon White game, so my main team consists of: Whimsicott, Galvantula, Braviary, Flygon, Krookodile, and Jellicent. I have quite a few Pokemon on reserve, such as Chandelure.
There was also a confrontation with Lord Dennis, as I call him, as well as other cameos. If the Pokemon trend continues, I hope the next generation has even more story elements added to the mix. Maybe even allow us to design our own character? Multiple story line trees? Elderscrolls: Pokemon Edition? I know I am wishing for a lot, but I hope that the writers for the game continue to flesh out the Pokemon world. Its completely possible to have deep subjects in children’s fiction, I know. Have you ever seen Avatar: The Last Airbender? Once I finally gave it a try, cause I was in the anime or bust group before, I came to love it. Such a full and rich world with real conflict. I can always wish!
X-COM: ENEMY UNKNOWN
I picked up X-COM last weekend too. Boy, is that game just SO MUCH fun. The micromanagement of research and equipment, the strategy of whom to take with me on a mission, the complete fear of losing any of my characters (whom are named after IRL loved ones), and, of course, missing a 99% shot while I am right in front of the alien — THAT’S X-COM, BABY! At first, I was totally worried about the remake, because the first thing we were shown was an FPS game. A complete betrayal, as Internet Personality Guy Spoony would say, but the Civilization guys got their hands on the game and worked to bring X-COM to 2012. X-COM was originally a game that came out in the early 1990’s. It was pretty much the best game ever made for the PC for that entire decade. Yeah, I played Doom, Duke Nukem, and other games, but X-COM was the only game that made me actually scared to make a single move.
The original X-COM had two core gameplay elements. The TBS and the spreadsheets.
The player could see all of X-COM’s expenses right down to what you paid everyone monthly including scientists and engineers. The player could also see which countries were contributing to the X-COM project and which ones seemed to be waning in support. The original X-COM also utilized a system of time units and every thing you did during battle aside from a few small actions cost time units. Some of your soldiers could have a lot of time units or could be totally restricted. Stats seemed to be generated at random, but usually you wanted to make your team have the best of the best. You could also have a squad as big as 20some people, but you could also get majorly boned if the game loaded your Skyranger in a bad place. For example, as soon as the map loads, an alien throws a grenade STRAIGHT into your plane. This causes panic sometimes, but mostly your soldiers are likely to die, because there is not enough room for all of them to make it out alive.
The X-COM remake takes the essence of all that, but streamlines it in a way that is both easy to get into and challenging. Instead of Time Units, there are 2 actions per turn (where attacking first will end your turn, so be wise). Instead of hiring and firing scientists and engineers, you must earn these personnel or build more laboratories/workshops. They also made it extremely clear, at all times, how countries felt about your operation around the world. There was also a reduction in the amount of units you could take with you on any given mission. From 22 to 6 total. WOW! Yet, the game is pretty balanced for the casualcore and diehard fans of the series. Playing on Ironman in any mode is likely to cause balding. Ironman is a mode in which you CANNOT revert to previous saves. Once that team member dies or that country leaves X-COM — its for good. This adds a whole new level of difficulty and drama to the game.
I am having a buttload of fun playing X-COM and trying to 100% every mission I encounter (or at least get away with 15/18 civilians in Terror Missions). I haven’t bothered to do priority missions yet, since I am too busy building enough Titan Armor to accommodate EVERY soldier in my barracks, but so far the combat seems pretty legit. Also, a minimeme has been born from the frustration and nerdrage this game has induced.
I have been reading so many books lately. My head is bubbling from all the fictional knowledge. I feel like I know WAY too much about the geography and history of the Song of Ice and Fire series (alternatively known as the Game of Thrones series). I know where the Twins are located and why its an important, strategic location. I know about how Rhaegar made Lysanna the Queen of Beauty and Love (I believe that was the title) and how it may have been the trigger for starting Robert’s rebellion. I also have a few theories about Jon Snow’s origin, because I have a lot of doubts about him being Eddard’s child.
I have also finished a charming book called Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. The story takes place from the POV of a zombie guy. His name is R, because he honestly can’t remember his entire name. He is lucky, though, because most zombies don’t even have that much to go on. He’s an average guy, married with kids, gets hungry and sometimes eats folks, and enjoys a good laugh with his buddy M from time to time. One of the driving forces behind the story is the REASON zombies eat people. Its not much of a spoiler, but zombies eat the brains of the living in order to feel alive and thrive on the devoured’s memory. Zombies don’t really have memories of being alive. They don’t recall their 8 to 5’s or family, but they can relive ALIVE moments by eating the brain of a living person. This stirs R into a journey of understanding as he rescues a living girl whose boyfriend’s brain he’d just eaten. Its a completely heart-touching story that was a breeze to read! I finished it in a single day, because I simply couldn’t put it down. I won’t tell you more except to buy it or check it out! Its worth your time if you love zombies or strange stories.
Neverwhere is everything I expected it would be. It seems like it could be a graphic novel on the same level as The Sandman. Its about common man Richard Mayhew. He’s got no spine, but he is fine with what his life is like. He does everything his girlfriend asks of him. Richard’s life is changed forever as he stumbles onto a dying girl — that apparently everyone around him just wants to ignore. Doing her a favor causes everything to go haywire for Richard, so he has to embark on a reluctant journey in order for things to be normal and samey again. People often accuse Neil Gaiman (the author) of writing the same story over and over, but honestly, its just that his style conveys the story of normal vs weird so well. I can’t wait to bite into Stardust.
At The End: A Post-Apocalyptic Novel was terrible. THE END.