Riven is a deceptive game with difficult puzzles. I can kind of see where it's in the same vein as Myst, but it is a different beast altogether. So different, that it's like an installment to The Elder Scrolls or Fallout. This is the first time I've ever played this game, despite having played its predecessor many times over the years. And what do I mean about deceptive? Let's start with that dark bulbous tree thing on the box. That's not in the main Riven age, and you can't even explore it! It doesn't come along until about halfway through, and you see it for about 5 seconds.
I remember when I first started playing Myst. I liked that it was pretty and its puzzles were straightforward logic (as opposed to timing based puzzles). But there was some wrinkle in it, aside from being incomplete, that made me keep going back to another point and click adventure game: King's Quest 6. Some would say because it's a rescue the princess story, or that it had player death (Myst is not violent), or that it had a narrator. Lots of games have those, but I'm not as fond of them. Today, I realize people lived in King's Quest, and that's why it appeals to me more. It was full of people, each with discernible personalities. By comparison, you see 3 people in Myst (not even the player is seen), and a few others are only mentioned.
Here we go again. Dead Space 2 is just like the last one: a gory corridor shooter. The mechanics, UI, etc. are the same as the first, with some additions. You play as Issac Clark again, but this time, Issac talks. Since that traumatic experience on the Ishimura, he has lots to say.
Torchlight is a game that reminds me of Diablo. It should, because the same people made both. Sometime after Diablo 2 released, there were some company politics happened in Blizzard North. Many important people left, which sowed the seeds for new ideas and companies. One group founded Flagship Studios, who eventually made Hellgate London. That game had demonic themes (because those people had been making Diablo games for a decade), but it had serious bugs. The Seattle division of Flagship founded Runic Games. Still having Blizzard pedigree, they decided to do a spiritual successor (of sorts) of Diablo.
Despite the fact that this blog does what it's supposed to do (I hope), I can't help but keep messing with it. I guess with my day job being mostly backend work on internet shopping websites, this is my way of venting. Sometimes, it gives me an idea of what is going on behind the abstractions beneath what I work on, like search indexes. Other times, I want to toy around doing visual design.
Back in the good old days, I realized that all my favorite racing games were old. So old, they were retro. There's nothing wrong with that, and they were and still are fun and great, but they were familiar, and ceased to provide wonder and discovery. I wanted something new. I had heard of the Need for Speed games, and heard that they were good. I saw some previews of Need for Speed Most Wanted that released with the 360, and it looked cool (racing around streets), so I bought.
Imagine that you're a loyal Google fanboy. You've had an Android phone in your pocket for as long as you can remember, and buy a new one every 8 months (at least). You believe that other search engines don't work. You died a bit when Buzz and Reader were killed, but you bought the rationale behind it. If a video isn't on YouTube, you don't watch it. You stood in line overnight for Google Glass, Google Home, and every Nexus device. You faithfully attend most Google conferences and product launches, live Plussing them on your Chromebook (to the annoyance of your friends), followed by an in-depth Blogger post. When you see a non-Google advertisement, or someone not using Chrome, you retreat to your brightly colored safe space.