What happened this weekend? Not as much as last weekend. I’ll still try to make it interesting, though.
I started Iron Lore’s Titan Quest this weekend — well, started it again. I’ve own TQ and its expansion for years, but only played a few days before losing interest. Diablo III comes out in eight days, but I’m not picking that one up. I’ve never really gotten into action RPGs as a genre, but I know enough people who have that I wanted to give one a good try. The story’s forgettable, the environments are beautiful, the classes are entertaining, and I hit a centaur with a club so hard he went sailing at least fifty feet in the air, landing after I killed two other guys. That’s enough to warrant a second day.
I also started Magna Carta 2 this weekend, and it is also pretty engaging. While I’m not one to denigrate the storytelling in Japanese RPGs, I do understand that they tend to follow a lot of the same steps. My immediate counter to people who say that is to point out that 90% of Bioware games follow those same tropes, but I’m usually worked up into an unreasonable frustration at small-minded fanbases at that point and I don’t really handle it well. Regardless of my own personal damage, Magna Carta 2 is a serviceable JRPG with a pretty neat battle system and main characters voiced by Johnny Yong Bosch, Michelle Ruff, Jamieson Price, and Yuri Lowenthal, so that’s wonderful.
I also played about five more hours of Hakuoki, which means there’s an update due sometime this week once I finish up a route tonight and then sort through what will likely be 900+ screenshots.
Jaz Rignall at Eurogamer wrote a story about how important 1991 was in video gaming. I read about the Super Nintendo in Nintendo Power, and I remember how excited I got about this incredible machine that was just over the horizon. I did not come from a rich family by any stretch of the imagination; we had an 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System, but we only had four games for it. Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt, Super Mario Brothers 2, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Exodus, a Bible-themed knockoff of another game. My neighbor had tons of games, so it was at his house that I beat Super Mario Brothers 3 and a bunch of others, and I also rented a lot of games from a little local place called Doug’s Video. When I read about the SNES, I knew I wanted one, but I knew I’d never get one as a gift. It cost $200. $200! That might as well have been Monopoly money to my ten-year-old self.
I saved my money for a full year. I asked for money for my birthday, and I got about $80 in checks and the like. My grandmother asked me what I was going to get with my money, and I said a Super Nintendo, when it came out in a year. When Christmas came, I took the money I got as gifts there and put it into the same jar in my room. Any change I found around the house, any dollar bills that fell out of pockets in the dryer, that all went in the jar. I believe it took me over a full year to save enough money to get it, but I took my $200 in cash to KB Toys in the Staunton Mall and bought myself a Super Nintendo with Super Mario World packed in. It was worth every penny.
Let’s all be grateful they changed the final design from that thing on the right, though.