Star-Fired Beef


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Steam Challenge – BioShock 2

This is part of my Steam Challenge Series (the full list is here).

I have to say, I enjoyed BioShock 2 more than I did the first BioShock. I’m not sure why, though. Perhaps it’s that I was more familiar with the setting, maybe because the gameplay felt a little more streamlined, or it could be just that it was a shorter experience. Or a mix of those.

We return to the undersea city of Rapture, ten years after the events of the first game. You take the role of Subject Delta, a prototype Big Daddy that reawakens after…well, a fairly traumatic experience, which you see in the intro to the game. All through this game I couldn’t help but feel pity for Delta, a connection with the player character which I never felt in BioShock.

I both love and hate the setting of Rapture. I love the 50’s aesthetic and charm, but the whole under-the-sea thing really makes me uneasy in a way that other horror settings don’t. Speaking of uneasy, I remain quite disturbed by the language used to describe the relationships between the various protagonists – namely, Big Daddy, Little Sister, and Big Sister. It feels like a demented, twisted intimacy that makes my skin crawl, given the way it is immersed in violence and death.

In BioShock, we saw the fate of libertarianism gone mad, a Randian experiment turned nightmare. This time, we go to the opposite extreme – the attempt to create a Utopia, where everyone is taken care of and greed and selfishness is banished. Needless to say, the sacrifices made to achieve this ideal are rather horrific, and you (as Subject Delta) are an integral part of that story.

As I said at the start, BioShock 2 felt much more playable than the first one. Smoother level design, combat felt less clunky, and a tighter narrative all combined to make it quite enjoyable. I guess it is because the player is supposed to be more familiar with the broad strokes of the setting, thus the developers needed to provide less structural information. They could concentrate on moving the story along, rather than having to explain what splicers are, who the big players were and what they did, how plasmids and little sisters and ADAM fit into the world. 

Definitely recommend this game if you’ve played the first one. If not, well I don’t know how much you’ll get out of it, there is a lot of backstory you’d be missing so it would probably be rather confusing.

The Tea Party – Halcyon Days


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May in Review and June Goals

Aaaand the accountability train pulls in to another station. Choo choo!

Looking back at my May goals, I find that I just narrowly missed a clean sweep of failure. I found that it’s hard to do FFXIV goals when you don’t have a sub active, and the best I could get to in Hearthstone was rank 9, despite it being by far my most played game for the month.

At least I made progress in TSW! Kinda. I updated to the latest patch! >_<

I forgot about Long Live the Queen, unfortunately. Ah well, it is an evergreen goal anyway.

I did actually start playing Grim Fandango, but I got stuck in the Petrified Forest where the game locks up at a certain point every time. So, that was an abandoned project. However, on a whim I loaded up The Swapper and enjoyed it so much that I finished it in a few sessions. Just scraped in for my May goals!

The month to come

Let’s see if I can find the dolla dolla bills to renew my FFXIV sub. If I do, I’ll be looking to get my Arcanist to 30, get as far into the MSQ as I can, finish the Arcanist class quests, and do the hunts I need to be promoted in my Grand Company.

TSW goals remain unchanged: finish up in Shadowy Forest and tackle Carpathian Fangs.

Another tilt at Hearthstone legendary rank. Only in Standard, I dusted all my non-standard-legal cards so Wild is out.

I am reeeeeeally tempted by the current Humble Narrative Bundle, mainly due to Shadowrun: Hong Kong. If I pull the trigger on that, I might go Shadowrun crazy this month! Otherwise, I’ll be looking at finishing up at least 2 bigger games from my Steam list.

Oh yeah, LLtQ replays each week.

I am SOOOOO glad I don’t have a handheld or console to make the to-do list even longer!

Killing Heidi – Weir