Saturday, June 25, 2011

Pool of Radiance and Duke...

I have officially started playing the old Pool of Radiance by SSI.  I loved this game when I was younger and wanted to play through it one more time before it likely gets shelved for a long time.  It was a great trip down nostalgia lane starting out, making characters, getting the initial tour, and the cold feel of the world I get from this game. 

The first person you meet in Phlan

After taking the hour or so to make some good characters, all a mix of classes, all multi-classed as well, I set off into the world to start clearing sections of the city so civilization can return and re-occupy the city.  Immediately I'm reminded that these old school RPGs were VERY unforgiving.  They didn't hold your hand.  They didn't make things easy as you gently learn the ropes and rules of the game as the newer titles usually do.  I was slaughtered first battle in...  unlucky enough to get caught off guard, surprised by the enemy, and my two casters with Sleep memorized taken out of battle almost instantly. 

After my very first battle...
I took a time out and re-rolled a few characters, changed up the order, made sure I could get the equipment I needed to survive, and fared a little better.  A few fights into the slums, and a character is killed outright, and a 5500 gold piece revival fee from the local priests...  had to replace him.  Its been a slow crawl, and I haven't mapped out even half of the slums.  I'll continue to take my time and I'll persevere.  I recall after clearing the slums and Sokal Keep, the game became significantly easier as you gained some experience and magical items.

In the meantime, I've also been working on a newer game... Duke Nukem Forever.  Just recently released and added to the backlog of games I have, I decided I wanted to not keep this one waiting.  I loved Duke Nukem back in the old DOS days, with his sidescroller adventures, and then into Duke 3D.  What came out now after 12 years of waiting for this 'longest running joke in gaming history' is just a mediocre shooter with little to set it apart from the other games in the genre. 

The one-liners, brainless women, and testosterone overloaded males are funny, for a bit.  If taken light hearted, and with the idea that this is supposed to show both extremes of chauvinism and machoism its easy to laugh at this game.  And so far, it hasn't taken itself too seriously either. 

Graphics are better, Duke is the same.
One thing I have to give this game though.  Through all of gaming in the last couple decades, at least in my humble opinion, nudity has been extremely taboo.  I can recall very few instances of mainstream games having any in it.  I'm open to people refreshing my memory on this one if you like.  The few games that did have nudity, or had cheat codes to allow nudity, were met with extremely harsh press.  Everyone was fine slaughtering thousands of aliens, or seeing human soldiers in a very realistic setting blown apart by whatever suited the story.  But the second that someone caught glimpse of a naked body, the whole world flew off the handle it seemed.  I'm glad that DNF blew it off and did it anyway.  Its not as if it really adds anything to the game, but at least it follows with the setting and the crudeness of the humor.

Whats he say?  He'd still hit it?  Be my guest...
So far, I'm enjoying the game for what it is.  I am glad that the developers finally finished this game, and hopefully we can all move on and leave the Duke Nukem Forever jokes in the past.  DNF is exactly what it advertises itself to be and I'm glad for that.

That's all for now, I'll be switching off the night shift at work here after the weekend, so hopefully I'll get more time to continue to play and check things off the backlog.

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