Games Torment me

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].



  • Imani

    So it certainly doesn’t fulfill all your requirements in a game, but you could always try WoW. If you join the Rose guild, you’ll even get to deal with intelligent people.

  • Lissa

    *laugh* I’m not sure that my desire for a non-lonely game is strong enough to send me towards WoW. 😛

    Plus, I’m not down with the monthly subscription idea yet.

  • Guy

    For some reason, I have to recommend the game “Beyond Good and Evil” to you. I can’t explain why or how, but I really think you will enjoy it. You should be able to pick it up in the bargain bin somewhere. It’s an outstanding adventure game with some RPG elements. Sadly, it’s just too short.

  • Lissa

    Guy: Beyond Good and Evil is actually on my list of games to try. The boyfriend tossed that and Grim Fandango on my desk and told me those are next after Torment.

  • Rob

    I hate the low levels of DnD the most since everyone is so fragile, spellcasters get a single spell per day, and so on. Try Baldur’s Gate II, where you start at a slightly higher level (or try Neverwinter Nights, which I think has better pacing for those low levels).