December 30, 2009

I Started Playing Dragon's Age video game

This was an email I wrote Susan talking about me playing the video game Dragon's Age.  Warning this is a spoiler!

I started playing Dragon's Age tonight and it took me one hour and 58 minutes to get started, plus a hour and a half fighting Playstation Network(which sucks balls).  OMG this game is epic in depth.  I created a poor dwarf (which his height blows me).  The local crime boss has my sister and me under wraps.  I'm his flunky and he's pimping my sister.  he is forcing my sister to whore herself to give a nobleman a child.  Only the noble's children are able to fight in the war with evil which we are losing.  the underground people live in this a strict caste system. you are what your parent and grandfathers were.  we are poor and had no caste, so that's I am a criminal who works for the crime boss.  While walking the streets people are so nasty to me, and talk down to me.  My mom in the game is a drunk bitch and she is so mean and negative, I can't fuck with her but I guess that comes living as an outcast.  However my sister is so nice and dwarf pretty (think porn star Pinky lol).

I want to save her from being a noble whore.  There a lot of options available, I can be nice, a complete dick, or a lame yes man.  My sister confesses she met a nobleman but didn't want to tell the crime boss. in talking with my sister I find out there is only two ways to raise my family from being outcasts.  one, she has child with a nobleman and he adds our family to his or, two, I do the impossible and go above ground save the race and comeback a legend like only one other person in dwarf history.

Well the boss sends me on mission to see if a guy is stealing, I tried being nice and it didn't work then I threaten to kill him and plant evidence and he fessed up.  He had a side job sale some expensive rock up to above ground humans.  He tried to make a deal with me to not kill him for stealing from the boss, he give us a cut.  I half agree and this shocks the dude the boss sent with me to do the job, I tell him we can split the money, he becomes cool with it. Then I think about it and if the boss finds out that A. we kept the money he will kill us and B. if don't kill this guy he will kill us.  So I decide to kill the guy who was stealing, we take the stolen goods back to the boss.  But I only gave the boss half and pocketed the other half.  There is so many options in this game.

The next job is to rig this local fight put on for an above ground legendary battle called Grey Wardens.  They are looking for a new member and the winner of the fight tournament gets a shot.  Boss man placed a ton of money on this underdog fighter to win.  He task me and my boy to go drug the other fighter so dude can win.  We get there I met the human guy from the Grey Wardens and start acting like a 8 yr old meeting Kobe Bryant.  Dude was real nice to me and didn't treat me like the scum of the other like the dwarfs do.  I lose my wording and he walks away.

We find the bum we are suppose to help win and he is passed out drunk before the fight.  So to save everyone's ass I dress up in the dude's armor and cover my face to pretend I am him.  I have the option to have my boy go drug the guy I am fighting but I decline, say I want to prove myself to the Grey Wardens...even though I can never show my true self because as a no-caste I'm not suppose be in the building and much less fight in a noble event. So I fight and win. and then wins some more all in mask.  then right before the championship is awarded this drunk fool comes out talk about I got his armor in the middle of the arena.  Why didn't my boy hold him back I don't know.  The Dwarf king gets upset and asks me to remove my mask, I refuse at first then the guards come and I do to the horror to everyone but the Grey Warden.  I get jumped by guards and locked up.  The Bossman pulls some strings to get me transfered from the jail to locked up in his hideout just so he can kill me himself instead of the guards who want to kill me for breaking the caste system.  Bossman wants me and my boy dead because we can finger him for rigging the fight.

There is a dumb guard watching us, I trick him into coming close and pick pocket him for the key.  my criminal background pays off.  I break me and homie out and fight our way to the bossman in his hideout.  I kill the boss, who was hard for me because I just started the game and still learning how to play and was only level one.  Soon as we step outside, the king and guards are waiting for us to lock us up for escaping.  I tell them I kill the crime boss, but it still didn't matter to the king because I broke the caste system laws.  The Grey Warden is impressed with my skill and will and offers me a job and protection from the king.  It's my only option verse death.  If I leave the Grey Warden side the guards will jump me.  I am forced to leave home.  My sister is there after the Grey Warden found her.  I ask if she will be ok and she said she found a nobleman to take of her.  I ask if she is sure, I still don't like the baby machine idea.  She says she will be proud to have a child that will raise the family and one day go fight for the race.  So I leave my family and people behind to join the Grey Wardens in the war with evil.  Ok only 98 more hours left.

December 29, 2009

Video Games are the Novels of the Non-Reader

For Christmas I got a PS3! Yay, I feel like a kid again.  As a long time Xbox user and avid gamer I don’t think I missed much in terms of gaming, because I try to keep up.  Anyway, my Xbox is still my primary gaming machine.  I but I don’t like the idea of my PS3 as only a Blu-Ray player, so I went looking for a game to play on it.  The keys I was looking for in games for my PS3 was:

  1. Single Player.  Xbox reigns supreme in multiplayer, and that’s where all my friends are to play with.  Also I have the Playstation in the bedroom so I can lay in bed and play until I get sleepy.
  2. Have an engaging story, part of the experience is I want to be entertained and not need to watch Netflix or Blu-rays.

I remember a friend saying the scariest game he ever played was Dead Space.  So I went to look it up.  It was survival horror game and available for both the PS3 and the Xbox.  I looked at the reviews(8.7 out of 10 with a good story).  They rated the graphics, scary mood lighting, and sound as really good.  That would be perfect for my bedroom set up too, finally get to make good usage of the surround sound set up I was pressed to put in the bedroom.  It doesn’t stop there, it was also up for a few yearly awards when first released and on many blog sites listed as one of the scariest games of all time. However they did say the Xbox version was slightly better( a trend I am noticing).  I did notice the price($20 verses $60) was greatly marked down for a PS3 game and they are in production of a sequel; sounded like a perfect game to start my PS3 gaming on.


I turned out the lights and cranked the surround sound up.  The game was engaging and visually stunning.  It took about 2 days and over 8 hours to finish the game.  I one thing I did not like about the game and I blame myself for reading too many reviews, is that I noticed exactly what the lady that wrote the only negative review about it had complained about it.  And it started to bother me too.  I don’t think I would of notice if I had not read that review either.  Fail on my part, for breaking my own guidelines of not looking too much at reviews.  But I took that negativity and used it as a reason to hurry up and beat the game so it would stop and I would be done with the game.

Normally when playing my games I don’t pay too much attention to story unless I know it or have a strong interest in it, like Star Wars games.  Ask me what the Gears of War or Halo stories were about, I couldn’t tell you even after completing all the games.  But this time I purposely tried to pay attention and listen and watch.  And it pays off so much!  I was amazed at how much I like the entire experience after they wrapped up the entire game at the end.  I thought back to scenes and info they presented earlier and it all made sense!  Shit the game play was average, the story just ok but the experience was amazing.  It was how everything came together, the mood (visuals and sounds) and the deep story (not a great story, but depth plus they had plot twist too like any good story with additional info you don’t think is important until the end).

So I was happy and entertained, because it’s was good game and I actually finished a game and knew what happened in it.

A couple of days later while surfing Netflix I stubble on an movie called Dead Space: Downfall.  From the description, it was a feature length prequel to the video game! And guess what, it was streaming too. FTW!!!  With a 3.4 stars best guess rating for me, 3.3 stars viewer rating (all out of 5), and having NOW beaten the game, I thought I should watch it.  It wasn’t bad at all, it was good even.  The best part was that: I knew what was going on into the movie, so there wasn’t any figuring out, just all story to entertain me. 


The entirety of this was an epic experience stemming from an average $20 video game.

This got me thinking.  The last novel I read was couple months ago it was long and I got kind of bored and didn’t think to pick up back up.  That happens with games too.  This said novel was the 5 in a series, I like the earlier books (great value for $8 packs of paper) and keep reading to see where it was going.  Each book took hours to read, was long, and could be great if paying attention and had depth.  This is very similar in concept to the experiences I have playing some video games.  A common question when looking at a story based game is “Around how many hours is it?”  Like looking at the number of pages or words in a novel.  Novels don’t have straight lines of stories, neither do video games.  They are the same.  Except on makes you feel like you are guiding the story, but let’s be honest, you aren’t, the writers/programmers designed it that way. So I say, video games are the novels to the non-reader that like to do instead of watch.  The difference is interaction.  Both are long winding stories, but some people don’t mind reading for hours on end while others prefer pushing buttons and other stimulations to get their story.

*sorry, wrote this at work and it’s too long for me to read over and fix grammar, spelling, and shit. If you follow me, you know good grammar is not a priority when it comes to get my message out.