No Longer Relevant: Dungeon Keeper

Note: I wrote this last week before this was announced. As far as I can tell, this will be, for all intents and purposes, Dungeon Keeper 3. I figured I’d post it anyway.

Let me preface this with the confession that I have never actually completed Dungeon Keeper.

Then again, I’ve never had to.

There is no other game like Dungeon Keeper, except it’s sequel. Sure, you can see where bits of it came from; it has resource management like a Tycoon game and the building of your base and management of your army like an RTS. Where it differs from your average RTS is that you have no direct control over said army.

First, you have to attract them. Some creatures, like the lowly fly, just require your dungeon to exist. Ideally, they’d have a place to kip and something to eat, but they’re not too fussy. On the other end of the scale, you have the Mistress. She requires a Torture Chamber to be enticed into your lair, but to be kept happy, she has to spend some of her time torturing poor souls and part of it being tortured herself. Oh, and she has to be paid a high salary too.

A small interjection here – I was the tender age of 13 when I first played this game. Dungeon Keeper is, for lack of a better word, mature. To a point (there’s a lot of immature humour in there too). Between the BDSM queens, the disgusting bile demons, and good ol’ Horny himself, it was quite the wonder I came out the other side relatively uninfluenced. I do suspect, that if I were to go back and play it (supposing I had an old enough PC to run it), there would be a great deal of references that would shock me – “how could I ever have been allowed to play this?!”.

Like I said earlier, I never beat Dungeon Keeper. It got brutally hard later on, and all I wanted to do was get rich and train my dudes up to the max so I would have the ultimate dungeon, so I stayed on some of the earlier levels that had infinite gem supplies. (This is a trait that has haunted me my entire gaming career – “Must. Be. Perfect.” – I was the sad pathetic person who uprooted all the trees from the first level on Black and White to take to the next one.) So while I never saw the entire game, I don’t think I ever needed to – all the character and the joy and the humour is evident right from the very beginning; and what a character it is.

It saddens me every day that Dungeon Keeper 3 will never materialize. Out of every series on every platform that should have a sequel, this one is at the very top. There is nothing else like it in the entire world.

Challenge End

So this random game challenge this is probably going to end for me this Thursday. I was doing quite well, too! :(

I finished Colin McRae 2.0 pretty easily, it was fun, and I think I prefer it over V-Rally 2 now. The game after that was Supreme Commander which was tough going because goddamn is it slow, I had to work hard to keep interested in like every level, even the first one took me an hour to finish. But maybe that’s because I suck at RTS games.

The current one is my favourite one so far, but is also the longest. Secret of Mana, for SNES. It’s wonderful, I am really enjoying it. But it is also super, super long for an action RPG. From what I can gather, it’s about 40 hours, give or take a bit, which is a lot for me to put into a game full stop, never mind over just a week.

There is also the complication of, of course, Fallout: New Vegas. Been waiting for it ever since the very first teaser was released and it’s everything I hoped it would be. I can’t keep myself away from it. Yes, there are faults, it’s a bit glitchy and the character animations are still a bit pants, but the world is fantastic, the story is great, and it just feels like Fallout. It’s home.

I am going to fail my challenge, but what a sweet, sweet failure it is.

Adventures in a Backloggery

So I am ridiculous and organisatory and stuff. This lead to this a few months ago.

This backloggery is a chronicle of pretty much every game I can remember ever playing, as well as stuff I have downloaded currently sitting on my hard drive. It’s quite a lot (but not as much as one guy on my friends list).

Today, I decided to make a start on the masses of unbeaten games. There is a random generator which picks a game for you to play, and I am using that to pick the next game for me to beat. I have a week to beat each game, and the terms of ‘beaten’ are kind of loose; the end of the story, getting to the end of a championship on whatever difficulty, all levels etc.

I started this today, and I am quite pleased with my progress.

The first game was a game called Artist Colony, which is one of those gay little downloadable casual games, about two guys who are, shock horror, restoring an artist colony. It was really kind of short, only two or three hours, and it mostly played itself with a little bit of micromanagement from me to stop my dudes from storming out sometimes.

The second was a game from Midway Arcade Treasures 3, an arcade racing game called San Francisco Rush 2049. This was a goddamn slog. I only played it on beginner, but the championship was tough. I mostly came third in the races, with a couple of seconds, and a couple fourths. It wasn’t very good and it surprised me just how far racing games have come. The cars were very floaty and didn’t steer properly, and I had to brake hard in places where the opponents didn’t. And I tried pretty much all the cars. Not one I’ll be 100%ing I think.

And tonight’s last one, which I am still playing. Colin McRae Rally 2.0. Those who know me know I pretty much bum rally games. And this is a really very good one. Even today it holds up pretty well even if the graphics haven’t aged gracefully. I am enjoying it, but this one will probably take me a couple days because rally championships are loooong.

So far I think this has been good for me, but we’ll see how I feel in a week. Perhaps by the time I get to my first RPG, I’ll fail, because with RPGs I have real perfectionism issues. And hopefully the random generator will never pick Monster Hunter, haha.

Q3 of doom

If there’s one thing I hate about videogames (as an industry as opposed to individuals), it’s the rush of games in September, October and November. It’s crazy. Let me demonstrate:

22 Oct

  1. Professor Layton and the Lost Future
  2. Fallout New Vegas
  3. Lego Universe
  4. Harvest Moon: Hero of Leaf Valley
  5. Vanquish

29 Oct

  1. Super Scribblenauts
  2. Arcania: Gothic 4
  3. Patapon 3
  4. Fable 3
  5. Rock Band 3
  6. Star Wars Force Unleashed 2
  7. The Sims 3 (for consoles lol)

That’s 12 pretty big and/or interesting titles in a two week period. 12. How is a girl supposed to keep up anyway? How about releasing some of those games over the summer so my hours aren’t cut then eh?

NaNo

It’s almost that time of year again, where a bunch of crazies decide to write a 50,000 word novel over a month.

I’ve taken part the past three years (seriously, has it really been that long?) and am trying to decide whether to do it again.

On the one hand, it’s sort of a tradition of mine, but on the other? I have no ideas and I can’t be bothered to all truth be told.

I have a couple weeks to knock something out if I want to, I guess.

Left 2 Die

I have been playing Left 4 Dead 2 recently. I love it, but jesus christ it’s the most rage inducing thing I have played in a long long time.

I don’t have the attention span to go through the campaigns, for the most part, so the campaigns and versus are out for me. Scavenge and Survival is where it’s at.

But there’s virtually no games for them on the 360 version. I played 4 games of survival and not one person popped in for a bit. So I was stuck with the AI twats. Who fucking suck.

There I am, strangled by a Smoker, in a patch of Spitter acid, surrounded by half the bloody horde and what are they doing? Faffing about with a charger and hunter. IT’S NOT FUCKING HARD TO SHOOT THE SMOKER, CUNTS.

I then played it on PC for a little bit, and of course the games are on sale to celebrate the new DLC. So there’s a bunch of newbs who don’t know what they’re doing, are arseholes, and kick the competant players out!

This is why I don’t do multiplayer games.

Kid Racer

Any person who knows me ever more than a little knows that one of my favourite genres is the racing genre. I love getting a car and battling the other drivers to first place.

However, racing games are guilty of what is one of my most hated things for games. Filler. I am playing Forza 3, currently. The start of the game was fantastic. A slow build up of cars, lots of tracks to see, the AI getting progressively more challenging. Until now. I am level 35, and the races are now upwards of 20 minutes each. 20 minutes of going around the same track. It takes like, 5 minutes, tops, to get to first place. So 15 minutes of that is just seeing nobody, going around the same fucking dull track.

And they’re all guilty of it! Gran Turismo, Need for Speed, PGR, Burnout, even. The only series that gets a pass on it is Formula One, because that’s what Formula One enthusiasts want. For the rest of us? We don’t need to go round a track 45 times. We don’t want to.

Right now, I have Forza 3 playing itself. I have hired a driver, and he is racing for me because I cannot be fucked with the game at the moment, but I want it out of my humongous pile of shame. I’ve had enough.

Love

Sparky was a cockatiel I owned from the age of 9 to 13. She was hand-reared, and incredibly friendly. I have never bonded with another animal quite like I did with her. At a difficult period in my life she was my best friend.

She had to be put down after she developed breathing difficulties after falling into a sink full of water one day. I found out after coming home from school and I never got the chance to say goodbye.

Last night I dreamt she was alive, but dying from old age, and I couldn’t stay with her until she died because I had to go to work. Even now, several hours after waking, just thinking about it makes me cry.

A mere animal, a decade passed still has the ability to make me dissolve into tears.

Love kind of sucks sometimes.

RIP

Today, at 6pm, my DS hinge finally snapped.

The bit with the power supply light has come off, and the top screen now flaps around like a bare scrotum in high winds.

I got it for my 17th birthday, with Tetris, Brain Training, and Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Blue.

We had many happy memories.

Obsessions

I haven’t posted over the last week or so. Sorry about that. I do have an excuse though.

Minecraft.

Minecraft is the most compulsive game I have ever played. It starts you off with nothing, and from that, you have to build, explore and survive. Night-time brings the baddies – skeletons, zombies, spiders, and the worst of the worst, the exploding creepers that don’t die when morning comes. You have your first day to fashion some sort of shelter to hide from them, and then after that, go forth and kill some shit. Assuming you build some weapons and armour.

This mini-series explains the joys of Minecraft far better than I ever could, and it’s a lovely read to boot. You should go read it.

And then play it. Right now, Minecraft is free because the creator’s server went down. After that, it’s 10 euros, or you can play a plain creative mode for free on his website.

It will be the best £8.50 you will ever spend.

Trust me.

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