the Andrew Bailey

a former Buckeye trying to figure things out

"Screenshot of Myst 3: Exile, in J'nanin"

Myst 3: Exile

Sometime in the dark ages (around 2003), I found Myst 3 in a discount bin at the local Big Lots. I was intrigued, so I ponied up the 10 bucks to buy it. Since I heard that Riven was so difficult, I wondered if skipping directly to 3 would spoil things. Over 15 years later, and after playing Riven, it is an absolute no; they might as well be separate.

"Screenshot of a golden dome"

Riven: The Sequel to Myst

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.

"Screenshot of Myst Island, showing the well and library."


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.

"Screenshot of Torchlight, with the Destroyer in the middle of a heated fight."


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.

"Screenshot of Need For Speed Most Wanted, during a race."

Need For Speed Most Wanted

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.