This summer has been an enlightening one for me in terms of my career as a gamer. (1337 gamer that I am.) For this summer, I started playing Planescape – Torment.
Now I have trouble playing just about any other game. I blame it on WO’s quasi-experiment to determine what kind of gamer I am.
[tag]Wizardry 8[/tag], which I’d been playing since last fall (dear god, that’s a long game!), seemed boring and annoying after Torment. Turn-based combat doesn’t appeal to me, and never has, although I endured that annoyance for the sake of the character development (and decent plot) of Wizardry 8.
[tag]Diablo II[/tag]… well, honestly. WO and I started playing this cooperatively at the begininng of summer, and as much as I like some aspects of the game, it’s… well, it’s Diablo II. Click-click-clickclickclick! It doesn’t help that I’ve beat it quite a few times already, and that the game is lonely when playing single-player. (Mama always told me not to talk to strangers on the Internet.) What I do love about Diablo II, though, are the character skill trees. Wizardry 8 was the only other game I’ve played that could match or surpass Diablo II in character customization in that way, although Torment is fine in this regard.
[tag]Baldur’s Gate[/tag]… heh. Another one WO and I started playing this summer, and my first official [tag]D & D[/tag] game. First, I found the D & D races/jobs to be hard to pick from. None of them seemed very interesting. So I made a decent little fighter and got… 10 hit points. Whoo. Now don’t get in my way, ‘cuz here I come! No, really. Don’t get in my way, because I don’t wanna get hurt. *mutter* Ten damn hit points. And WO played a mage, and mages are just awful in D & D, evidently. Four hit points and one spell a day. It was shortly after the 10-ish hours of Baldur’s Gate that I started playing Planescape – Torment. Much more highly-powered.
Torment‘s got its flaws, though. I think your alignment should be a little more strongly affected by the things you choose to say and do. I’m having a hell of a time creating a lawful evil character in a second game I’ve started. Hell, I’m having a hard time getting my “real” game to become lawful (he’s already neutral good). The fighting system is better than any other RPG-ish game I’ve played, but still takes a while to get comfortable with.
Oh, and I just about give up on [tag]interactive fiction[/tag] (IF). It’s just not fun. It’s either written to show off the author’s puzzle-making abilities, or written to show off the author’s froo-froo literary skills. The former are boring and both usually include “guess the verb” puzzles, even to someone who knows their Inform verbs. Neither are fun. If I want a puzzle, I’ll play chess, and if I want literature, I’ll pick up a novel. I know how to progress the plot in a novel, and it doesn’t involve guessing any verbs or going through all available conversation options. If I want “pacing” (a magic word in IF), I’ll get up and go for a walk, not solve some poorly-clued puzzle put there just to make the game long enough for the IF Comp of the year.
…Sorry. I live with an IF writer. Sometimes I want to scream.
So I like higher-powered games. I like party-based games. I like games with plot. I like characters with backstory. I like games where my character development choices actually affect the progression and outcome of the game–like intelligence and wisdom factoring into conversation in Torment. I like games with choices, although I prefer that the pacing be rather under my control (which was my problem with [tag]The Sims 2[/tag]–I don’t like timers). I loathe meaningless puzzles. I like long games; I mean, hell, up until a couple of years ago, my favorite game was [tag]Sim City 2000[/tag]. Really.
So what am I left with now? [tag]Planescape – Torment[/tag] and chess. Yes, [tag]chess[/tag].