False advertising . . .

I’ve written several times in my blog about playing video games – and even a few online games.

I’ve also been rather candid about the fact that I’m picky about what I play.  I like role-playing games with good stories, and even when they are online I like to have lots of content that I can play solo (at least until I get to know enough other players that I feel comfortable grouping with them).

Last week, because there was a themed sale in the Playstation Store (Halloween) I was looking at the games they featured in the sale.  There was one game that looked interesting, so I bought it.

The game was DEAD ISLAND.  I don’t want to get into a lot of spoilers – but there was one MAJOR aspect of the game that was not advertised in any of the descriptions on the Playstation Store – this game has NO solo mode at all.  You pick one of 4 (or was it 5?) premade characters, get to do no customizing at all, and then you’re tossed into the game environment where you’re being told to assemble your team before you can leave the hotel room.

IMHO that is false advertising.  I needed to know about that condition to know I wasn’t going to like this game.  It was less than $10 USD, but I still feel that I wasted money.  No, I was cheated out of it.

Oh, and then there is this:  The online edition of The Atlantic recently reported that 59% of the tuna sold in America isn’t really tuna.



Real life lessons in video games . . .

As an adult person who admits to playing video games, I often see/hear criticism of games and those who play them. Somehow it is perceived as somewhere between juvenile and a total waste of time. Therefore, I’d like to offer some lessons I’ve seen taught within video games that are totally appropriate to apply to real life.

Every game has rules, playing fields, boundaries, players, and non-players. Some players are allies, others opponents.

Are you a non-player or a player? Or, to put it another way – who controls your actions? If not you, then who?

The fastest route to your destination might not be the most direct.

Don’t rely only on one skill. The more options you have, the greater your chances of success.

One person willing to try will always make more of a difference than 1000 people doing nothing.

The most powerful player doesn’t always win.

The villain most to be feared isn’t the insane wildcard who is unpredictable. No, the one to fear is the cold, calculating sane one who honestly believes his posturing and power-grabbing will be of benefit to everyone else.

Just because the majority deems something impossible, that does not guarantee that they are right.

Timing is key – something impossible today may be easy tomorrow.

Nothing succeeds like perseverance – except patience.

Every decision you make is a choice, and every choice defines both who you are and who others believe you to be.

Never attack, or undermine, your team mates.

Always give a fair exchange for goods/services you use. If possible, give more than what others perceive it to be worth. Wealth isn’t hoarded, it is shared. If you make sure everyone around you is prosperous, I guarantee you will be too.

What you call “real life” behaves entirely within the rules of advanced games theory.

For the video gamers . . .

Normally, I would put this on my LiveJournal blog, but there seems to be a technical problem keeping me from logging in – every time I try to pull up the site it crashes my browser.

Still – this is something exciting (at least for me, and like-minded gamers) that bears sharing.

Bethesda has released the first 3 games of The Elder Scrolls game series through the DRM-free distribution site GOG.com.  What makes this exciting is that the first 2 games in the series were not designed to be played on the PC – and emulators have struggled (mostly in vain, in my experience) to make them playable.  GOG has it’s own launch interface that seems to flawlessly make those games playable on my PC.  Right now, they have a bundle-sale going on where you can get all 3 – PLUS 2 spin-off parallel games related to the series – for a hair over $21 USD.  It IS worth a look!

Never happened before…

I have in my game collection 4 different chapters of the “Tomb Raider” franchise.  I’ve never finished one, let alone finished it before the next chapter was released.

Until now.  Well, technically I haven’t finished TOMB RAIDER 2014 – but I got to the final boss fight, and since Lara is now out of ammo and arrows, I doubt she’s going to finish off the armored ogre (with a 400 lb. club) she has to fight.  My gaming skills aren’t that good.

Still, I’m tickled pink that I got that close to finishing the game.  I have cussed it a lot, and never been able to play it longer than about one hour at a stretch before I had to take it out of the PS3 and de-stress, but the story was so engaging that I kept going back.


The Last Straw…

483px-SR-cover-Skyrim_Box_ArtOk, I knew when I bought The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for my PC last year that it was supposed to need some sort of authentication cycle with the online company called STEAM.  I had hoped (in vain, as it turns out) that I could at least install the game on the PC, even without some features.  Nope, it wouldn’t even complete the installation without me signing into a STEAM account that I didn’t have.  So, I took the disc out of my PC and put it on a shelf.

Now, boredom has overtaken me to a huge degree, and so I thought I’d give it another shot.  I was fully prepared to have to create a STEAM account just for the one action of authenticating my disc – that is how bored I am lately.  I even have Skyrim on my PS3 – I’m wanting it on the PC so I can use some mods that friends have shared with me.  Sony won’t allow you to install mods on PS3 games.

So, I put the disc into my NEW PC, and ………. nothing.  The computer treats it like a bad disc.  Just to make sure it wasn’t the drive, I installed The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion from another disc I had on the shelf.  It installed perfectly on the first try.  The only guess I have is that when I aborted the install on the old computer – somehow Bethesda had a kill-switch built into the software that ruined the disc so it can’t be used ever again.  I don’t even know how they would do that, but I haven’t any other ideas as to why that game won’t install on a brand new computer.

Now I’m so upset with Bethesda I am willing to boycott them.  I love the games they made in the past that I’ve played – but I will never play another of their games if they don’t trash the protectionist attitude BS.  They can afford to lose money on 2% of the games in circulation – I don’t enjoy wasting $65 on a game that I bought from a legal retail outlet.


The new laptop…

As I’m sitting here writing this, it is actually 5:45 am on Tuesday, but I prefer to only post one thing each day, so this is getting scheduled for Thursday.

I’m very happy with the new laptop, so far.  I said that I was getting it for use on the internet, and it will do that nicely – as soon as I get the WiFi access set up.  That should happen later today (Tuesday). {It did}

I’ve also previously said that the reason I got the laptop was because I didn’t want to have to keep using a desktop that randomly crashes at a frustrating frequency level.  The blog that posted Monday?  The desktop crashed 3 times while I was writing it.  The laptop arrived Saturday morning, and hasn’t crashed even once since I plugged it in.  THAT is the level of reliability I was looking for.

I just wish I could get the desktop to be that reliable.  I’m getting tired of playing games on the PS3 (there just aren’t that many that I have any interest in playing).

As for the laptop, there is only one thing left to do – kick Microsoft to the curb.  If anyone has a line on a reliable Linux distro that will just install and run everything on a Dell Lenovo D830, is as user-friendly as Ubuntu 8.04 was, but is as privacy oriented as TOR – I want a copy.  Thanks!