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GAMETALK

21 January 2006

Games. Don't you just love them? There are about five games in my active life right now, that I play on and off at random times.

The first game is Collect Stuff 2, which is still addicting. In fact, I have never gotten so far as now. I'm playing in Nightmare now in Act 2 with my Cold Sorceress who is level 49. The highest until this was a Barbarian of forgotten make who reached 43. I just like the Sorceress I guess. Even though I know I won't be able to play in Hell mode because I only have Cold spells and not the strongest ones at that (but the most fun one; Frozen Orb), but I don't care. I enjoy the extra challenge Nightmare brings and look forward to spending a lot of time on Mount Arreat there just to level up and enjoy the well-crafted set-pieces and environments.

The second game is Morrowind, with its Tribunal and Bloodmoon expansions to be exact. Morrowind shares with the one above that it's a game I've been playing for years now. After my computer was formatted a few months ago I didn't have it installed anymore, but a few days ago I got The Urge again (amusingly because I saw roommate Jasper start a game of Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, which inspired me so much with its strong atmosphere that I had to play Morrowind again) and installed the game. Not much to say except I'm thoroughly enjoying it once more, picking up my old savegame to start off where I left last time. It's not really much of a challenge because I'm pretty strong and have savage weaponry and armour, but I like power-playing here. It's the atmosphere I want, not a difficult play-through. A sense of empowerment can be awesome at times.

The third game is Majora's Mask on the Gamecube. I'm actually not playing this a lot because there's something really weird going on: I have absolutely no motivation to play. Maybe it's the fault of the game's mechanic that everything resets when you quit, so you don't have the fullest idea that you've made much progress. Or maybe it's Zelda-tiredness. It's strange, because I really like the world they've constructed here. But it just comes across to me as a chore, a hassle, to pick the game up and play it. Maybe this game should look to the above two games and start incorporating some power-play. Make me feel I'm the man, damn it!

The fourth game is Mario Kart DS, which I actually haven't played for a while because I still mostly play on a handheld exclusively when I travelling. And since I'm at home all the time, my DS is safely stored in a plastic sealing to prevent it from gathering dust, which it otherwise would. Still, Mario Kart DS is terrific. I just have better and more rewarding things to play when I'm at home.

The fifth game is Crash Tag Team Racing, which I play when my girlfriend Mon is here. Both of us just really enjoy the characters and the stress-relieving carting. Blasting things up and crashing through the tracks. In every way it's an average game, but somehow the sum of its parts adds up to form something that's very special to us, while we also know that this type and genre of game would otherwise hold no appeal to either of us whatsoever. We're even already making fan-art of some of the bad guys. Maybe there'll be a link to that some day.

However, gaming is for the evenings, afternoons for working. So get back to work, you lazy scum, or I'll beat you with your own legs!

Roderick.