Friday, April 12, 2013

Red Dead Redemption Xbox 360

I finished Red Dead Redemption. I liked it. I can't remember the last time I played an Old West video game, but the best Western game I've ever played. The look of the game is perfect. The glorious sunsets, the sun scorched deserts, the antique firearms, and flawless horse animation -- I can see why this game is so highly recomended!

I played on "hardcore" difficulty where combat is an enjoyably deadly affair and death is dealt with a single bullet (or two). I particularly enjoyed the challenge of ridin' an' shootin' but I didn't enjoy the "deadeye" slow motion and only used it as a crutch when I was outgunned.

My favorite memory was hunting mountain lions with a knife. Every once in a while, when I was playing RDR I'd hear a roar and then see a Mountain Lion kill my character, with no hope of retaliation. (On "Hardcore" difficulty mountain lions are deadly!) After a while I learned to anticipate their arrival. Horses whinny in fear whenever they sense a dangerous predator, but Mountain Lions are the only silent and invisible predator. Even so, all my Mountain Lion hunting trips ended with me as the prey. My first break was when I stumbled across a sleeping Mountain Lion. I had never seen one before and it was very helpful to get to see what it was that was hunting me. I tried to soften it up with some small arms fire, but it escaped.

After that I set out bait. I saw a lot of wolves and boar, but precious few mountain lions. Eventualy I encountered one by chance, wounded it and chased it on horseback. My plan was to kill it with my knife, but instead my horse trampled it to death and I was no closer to my goal. The big breakthrough for me, was when I finaly attracted a Mountain Lion to some bait. I was up on top of a tall hill looking down, and I got to observe it's sneeking pattern and most importantly how it moves. An RDR lion moves like a race car. It even fishtails when it accellerates. After that, hunting them was easy. One I hunted from horseback, and the other I was on foot.

I also enjoyed the battles on the river and the stage coach. Those were a lot of fun.

That said, I did not enjoy the third act. It's non-Western and the gameplay takes a turn for the worse. Whereas in the first two acts I was very happy to blaze away with my cowboy weapons in real time, act three has a bunch of cheap ambushes that can only be survived with "deadeye." The third part is full of Plot! History! and Acting! that is lamentably bad. Worst of all, everyting is played against type. The lawmen are unlawful, the villian is not a villian, the revolutionary is not revolutionary, the anthropologist is not an anthropologist and so forth. The effect is a disorienting nightmare and I was glad when the game ended.

RDR doesn't have the fun or lasting appeal of DDO, but I enjoyed it for a few weeks. My 6yo daughter thought the horse stuff was great, and was forever commanding me to lasso and break more wild stalions.

Red Dead Redemption is a solid game set in an exotic milie but don't listen to the actors or play Act III.

3/5 stars.

Hello World

This is my first Blogger post. All the posts previous to this one were imported from the now Dungeons and Dragons Online fan-site where I used to blog about my DDO hobby.

 Now that I'm on Blogger, I'm going to expand the focus to my gaming in general, and not just DDO. I also paint miniatures, play Xbox 360 and occasionaly get the time to do some real face-to-face gaming. I also do a bunch of "fun" stuff with my kids (6, 5, 2, 10mo) but that's generaly not blog worthy. (Although see the post where my Daughter slays the Church pinata with her jedi powers.)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Hello world

Hello world

That which is eternal offline is not dead...

Like Chthulu, I spring from my watery offlineness and devour 1d4 investigators!

I've got my computer back, my game back and MyDDO back. So how was it back in game?

Session 1: I was holding my little 10 month old and rocking her to sleep while onehandgaming. I did it successfully with my other three kids but my youngest is more rambunctious.

My first quest after my extended absence was that house K quest with the fire caves. It used to be a really tough quest, but now that I'm geared up (and have access to 30 fire resistance from the guild airship) it's really a cakewalk. And to make it even easier, I arrived late. So I ran through the entrance took a right, jumped over the lava...

...and my daughter kicked my mouse arm. My dwarf spun like a top, landed in the lava, and got hit with a fire trap. I was like "right click, G1, G9! G9! G9!" and DDO was like "DING!"

Luckily, someone else managed to drag me out of the lava and rez me. Then I tagged along and finished the quest.

Later on, I put the baby to bed. I got my nice chair, my quality earphones (which look yummy to a teething baby) and turned down the lights. Man, this is such a good game! The sounds are so full, the action is so engaging. I enjoy other games too but DDO is really outstanding.

Re: MyDDO. I'm sad to hear that MyDDO is going away. Writing about my experiences here has been a really fun part of the enjoyment cycle of playing DDO. I've enjoyed it so much I'm going to try to start up a new blog and salvage as much of my content as I can. I've enjoyed your comments here and look forward to seeing more in the internet!

Neener neener: I won a Chronicles comment Turbine Code!