the Andrew Bailey

Screenshot of the Triton Flats area

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is a peculiar game. It fills an uninteresting gap between Borderlands (after its DLC) and its sequel. By playing Borderlands 2, you kinda know how it's going to end up, but this game fills in the details. The game is set on Elpis, the moon of Pandora (the planet where you've been fighting for the last two games). Because 2K Australia made The Pre-Sequel, Elpis is inhabited by people with Australian accents.

Screenshot from Borderlands 2, from the Highlands area

Borderlands 2

Sequels. In every form of media, there are sequels. Generally, the more of them there are in a series, the worse it is. Even the first sequel can come with numerous problems that make the original still hold value. Borderlands 2 is not one of them.

Borderlands screenshot from the Trash Coast area

Borderlands

It's about time that I went back and replayed a game I had, but play it differently. Recently, I realized that I had bought the DLC for the original Borderlands at some point, and decided that I should probably get to playing that. Even though the sequel has been out for some time, it's not that old of a game.

The Unassuming Docks of Potentially Little Importance, in Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep

Borderlands 2 DLC

Like most games anymore, Borderlands 2 has DLC. It is overflowing with it. Some games sort of give up; others have less but more substantial installments. I do not have all of the DLC for Borderlands 2, but I have most of the main points. It seems that most of the DLC centers around some character.

Screenshot from Borderlands 2 showing 70 Golden Keys

Borderlands 2 Golden Keys

Lest I be caught in the past, I have played some modern games on my modern PC. So while I was signing up for the Borderlands 2 Loot Hunt, I noticed that by linking that SHiFT account with my Steam account, I suddenly got another Golden Key. Yesterday, I was digging around to find out when (as in, what level) is the best time to use a key.

Screenshot from Sunken Sea, part of the General Knoxx DLC

Borderlands DLC

Hey, look! I just played Borderlands again! But wait! If I continued to play right now, I would get to the DLC! Which I did. They all had their own pace and personality. These are larger bits, sort of like mini-expansions, more along the lines of Dawnguard or Dragonborn than your usual map pack or me-too type quests. I played through half of these before I got really going in the main quest, so I'll try to recall this as straight as I can. I did that in order to level up ahead of the enemies encountered, so everything should be a little easier. And was it ever! It was really nice to have started a new character, since it is enjoyable to have enemies that aren't always at least a level above you. I will also go over these in order of story, not order played (which differs).

A screenshot of the Andrew Bailey as it is right now.

Welcome to the New Andrew Bailey

Hello and welcome to my blog. If you've been here before, things might look a little different, especially if you came in through the homepage. I have implemented a few things I have gathered by doing research for my podcast, and several hours of toying around.

Screenshot of the ghost at the wedding

The Witcher 3 DLC

During Christmas, my app stores (Steam, GOG) have insane sales. These sales are so big that you'd be forgiven for thinking they were going out of business. I'm not sure if I've mentioned my DLC policy, but here it is: I only buy DLC on sale, and only for games I've played and liked. These were on sale, and so were the Fallout 4 ones. I got them all. Fallout 4 will be my next RPG reviewed.

"A smart lock, displaying 'Welcome John'"

Insanity: Locked Out

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.

Screenshot of Firefox inspecting my homepage.

Multithreaded Rockstar AMP

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.

Screenshot of a messed up character model in Assassin's Creed Unity.

Don't Preorder Games

Hi! You probably just read a message telling you to not preorder games. The following is an incomplete list of games that were terrible on release, and many who preordered them regretted it. You might have been one of them. Thanks to patch culture, some of these might be OK now, but that is not to be counted on, because you already gave the man your money, so why should he care? To him, you're just another sale in the quarter. So in the interest of learning from the past, let me remind you in chronological order:

Screenshot of King

King's Quest 6

So after toying around with my Raspberry Pi, I discovered that ScummVM supports King's Quest 6. Good thing that I kept that disc from the very first computer that the family had. I imaged this disc a few years ago, so it should be saved from bit rot. So I copied the ISO over to my Pi and fired up ScummVM.

The Soul Cairn, one of the areas added by Dawnguard. A very dark and unwelcoming place.

Skyrim DLC

As I mentioned before, I played Skyrim. But... I didn't really stop. In the intervening time, a few DLCs have trickled out. And now that they have announced that the team is moving on to something else, it seems that the coast is clear. I got all of these for about half off on various sales, so I figured, why not.

A screenshot of New Pandorae in SimCity 2000

SimCity 2000

Turns out that I already had that sound card for Twentieth Century. It was in a tub of stuff my dad had brought over a few months ago. Even better, the card is from the actual 20th century. It even has good MIDI, too! I picked up a bunch of drive cables from home, so I was able to connect a floppy drive and flash the motherboard BIOS to accept bigger hard drives.

Screenshot from S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl, showing the wish granter

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl

Here's a THQ classic that I mentioned a while ago. This game is the absolute scariest game that I have ever played. The best part about it is that it does not present itself as such. There's no motif of murder, psycic eminations, or some crazy whacko, in neither its ads nor its environment.

Screenshot of the Silver Lining, showing the guillotine in Chessboardland

The Silver Lining Episodes 1-4

Once upon a time, I played King's Quest. About 20 years later, I did it again and made a blog post about it. Recently, news broke that the Sierra games brand is being brought back after 15 years. I think there was something about a new King's Quest game in there somewhere.

Screenshot from Fallout

Fallout

And now for another game from Twentieth Century. Fallout is a fairly old game that every other game nerd seems to be continually high on. And by "old game", I mean "game franchise". I wonder how many of them have actually played the first one.

Screenshot of Andrew Ryan, standing in a dark office playing mini-golf.

Bioshock

I remember when Bioshock came out. People kept raving about how it was such a good role-playing game. After realizing that in a month I would never be able to use a mall gift card, I had money to burn. Having come off of an RPG that I rather liked, I figured I might check Bioshock out. What happened made Bioshock the most disappointing game of all time for me.

Screenshot of SimCity 2000

State of the Videogame Industry, March 2015

Recently, Electronic Arts closed Maxis. Maxis made such games as SimCity and it's hugely successful spinoff, The Sims. People are going around being all sad about it. Yes, people are losing their jobs, and that is bad. But from the perspective of the gaming industry's health, I think it's a good thing. With the recent reveal of Electronic Access by Original Systems, I started thinking about this cycle. Survival of the fittest applies to the game industry too.

Screenshot illustrating the last paragraph.

Fallout 4

In a far future of the past, a man walks across the platform of a darkened auditorium. Having cleared the Veteran's Hall of its mutated inhabitants, this man decides to give the speech he was supposed to centuries ago. He steps behind the podium. "War. War never changes." The scars across this man's face tell that war is something he knows well. He helped liberate Anchorage, and watched the Great War erase his world with a mushroom cloud.

Screenshot of The Mechanist's lair.

Fallout 4 Season Pass

During the last Christmas Steam sale, I picked up the Fallout 4 Season Pass. I had considered getting it about a year prior before the price got jacked up to $50. But I had not played the game yet, so per my DLC policy, I passed. The season pass was on sale for $30 (its original price), and that seems about right for the regular price.

Screenshot of everyone ready for The Race to the End of the Race.

Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People

After spending hundreds of hours on open world RPGs, then their addons, and enjoying them, I wanted to play something very different: something light-hearted (and maybe a little shorter). You know, how games are supposed to be. I sorted through the hundreds of games that I have, mostly acquired through Humble Bundle, and quickly decided the next game(s) to play.

Screenshot of the rainbow road from Road Redemption

Road Redemption

Road Redemption is a sort-of spiritual successor to Road Rash. I say sort-of, because none of the original people involved in it made this. I backed this when it was on Kickstarter several years ago. It went on Steam Early Access not long after, and I've been playing it on and off since. It recently came out for real, and it's been a great ride!

Screenshot from Dead Space.

Dead Space

Dead Space is a third person linear sci-fi horror game. ("Linear" isn't derogatory!) You are Issac Clarke, a mute (but not amnesiac) ship engineer. The game begins as you approach Ishimura, a mining ship that has sent a distress signal. Once you land, things quickly go from the worst to... more worse. The inhabitants have mutated into zombies (called "necromorphs"), and your ride gets destroyed. The ship starts going through an asteroid field without defenses, and the air is slowly being poisoned. You discover that the planet that was being mined below struck an alien artifact of some kind. This was a beacon to a cult that believed the government was covering up alien life. They stole the artifact, started worshiping it, had hallucinations, and everything went to hell.

Screenshot of combat in Shadowrun Returns

Shadowrun Returns

CD Projekt Red (the people behind The Witcher series) recently turned on the hype machine about their next game, Cyberpunk 2077. Since they took me to the promised land, I'm watching their next game closely (the only game I'm watching outside of crowdfunded games). Even though I'm trying not to get sucked up in the hype, I wanted to satiate that desire. I looked in my Steam library and found some Shadowrun games (no doubt from the many Humble Bundles I've purchased). Recalling that it has a cyberpunk-like setting, I downloaded and started playing.

"Screenshot of Psychonauts, from the Milkman Conspiracy"

Psychonauts

This one has been a long time coming. Remember way back when I played Broken Age? Since that would be the first Tim Schafer game I've played, I wanted to do some research on how this guy does games. I started to play Psychonauts before the first part of Broken Age came out. The first time, I got a little ways into it. I restarted a few years later only to get distracted again, maybe because of some RPG or another. Two months ago, I started making a concerted effort to finish Psychonauts, so I restarted yet again. This time, I made it!