31 December 2015

Before you go 2015 ...

Guess I really should provide an update before yet another year is over!

Now where was I?  Finished off 2014 playing Dragon Age Inquisition intensively and making my way through most of the main quest ... but stopping to collect everything on the way of course (lovers included).  Beautiful game and so much fun.

Started 2015 by stumbling around in Elder Scrolls Online a bit with my main character now rocking some much fancier armour than when she started.  Haven't had much chance to get back to Tamriel but hope to do so soon. I love the world - another beautiful game - and enjoy the questing and lore.  But I prefer playing solo so not keen on the multi-player side of things (though I did join a couple of really good guilds which helped a bit).  

Messed about a bit in Borderlands The Pre-Sequel though got distracted by other games and didn't really get very far.  Another one for pile of shame.  Played a lot of Banished and discovered some really nice mods for it.  Also played a lot of Civ V but couldn't really get into Beyond Earth.  Decided to try out the Assassin's Creed games and got most of the way into the first game before ...

Started on The Witcher 3 and can definitely say it's my game of the year.  Yet another beautiful game and a great story too.  Have done every little quest so far and am still sitting at around half way (at just over 130 hours).  I stopped playing until all of the free DLC came out. Also because I'm in Team Triss and waiting on the promised patch that adds more to that side of story before I continue. 

But of course then got lead astray collecting junk and building settlements in Fallout 4 (one of the few games I've played where my character actually looks better in game than in the creator - or in screenshots) ...

I also ordered Batman Arkham Knight somewhere in the middle there but ended up returning my pc version for a refund.  Now juggling post-apocalyptic wastelands of Boston with Victorian London in Assassin's Creed Syndicate and itching to send Geralt of Rivia on to the Isle of Mists to continue his (and Ciri's) story. 

What about Sims you may ask?  I managed to get Mortimer Goth and Bella Bachelor together and off to university in Sims 3 ... until my game started to Error 12, leaving them in student hell.  Not sure how I managed it but their home world is gone so I'll have to go back and start over.  So high maintenance!  But still haven't been frustrated or even bored enough to try out Sims 4. 

That's about it for my year and a bit of games (though there are plenty more I've played but haven't mentioned ... and far too many still on my pile of shame).  Personally, it's been a bit of a crap year for various reasons (hence my longer than intended absence) but there's finally light at the end of the tunnel. 

So here's to 2016 being a fantastic year! 

11 November 2014

Mini Gherkin?

I can't be arsed voting but, if the Sims Teams should be trawling the interwebs in search of clues, here's my favourite "tacky holiday sweater".  My very favourite reindeer jumper in fact.  Just the perfect thing to wear to a turkey curry buffet!  

BTW I really like the way the reindeer and Mr Darcy have almost the same look in their eyes in this shot.  Poor Bridget ... doubly scorned. 

23 September 2014


I feel like I've been playing a lot of Viral Roulette lately.  Almost every week it's been a new set of symptoms, a day or so off work then feeling better by the end of the week, just to start all over again. Lucky I went for the free flu vac from work or I'd have really been in trouble.  Ah, the joys of late Winter and the change in seasons.  But, yay, now Spring has sprung!  Ah-choo!

Spent a lot of time playing Civilization V and Banished for the low key gameplay and the achievement hunting.  A teeny bit of building in The Sims 3 and a revisit of Skyrim.  Checking in with my hirelings and some crafting in Elder Scrolls Online.  Also, downloaded but haven't tried the CAS demo for The Sims 4.  Waiting for the next Civilization and Borderlands games out next month then Dragon Age and Pokemon in November.

Surprisingly, I find myself even less interested in The Sims 4 now that it has been released.  Mostly I think it's the EA porky-pie factor and the less than stellar handling of the whole thing so I'm going to give it a bit longer to settle in.  Anyway, I assume that, if sales had met or exceeded EA's expectations, we would've heard by now.

I don't normally enjoy watching other people play video games but this one is definitely worth the time (more for the commentary than for how the game plays since that's pretty much as you'd expect).  Also, go and check out NerdCubed plays... The Stanley Parable  when you get a chance.  

Lastly... 20,000!

29 August 2014

Caveat Emptor

You may have somehow missed all the palaver and still be considering getting Sims 4 next week.  All I can suggest is that you take some time to read a few blog posts or forum discussions (and that means at least 5 to 10 places to try to get a balanced view) before you hand over your cash.  The official site doesn't count (and neither does anywhere that is just a cut-and-paste of official press releases).  I could point out a few places but, meh, I'm over it.

28 June 2014

Who's Game?

Games can be expensive here, mostly due to the "Australia tax", so you often have to pick and choose what you pre-order or buy on release so you don't end up paying a lot for something that ends up gathering dust on the pile of shame.  

Since buying Sims 3, I've paid around the same price for a few base games, including Skyrim and Civilization V, that provided a complete experience in themselves and were nowhere near as high maintenance.  I didn't have to hang out for expansions to make the base game more interesting.  Mods enhanced gameplay and provided additional content, they weren't there primarily to fix the game.

It's not that I don't enjoy playing Sims 3.  I suspect I'll be playing for a long while now that modders have fixed most of the problems and my game is running surprisingly smoothly, even with almost all extra content added (aside from KPST and a few bits of store content).  I still have a lot more to try out in the game now that I can travel without it crashing or losing all of my Sim's friends or inventory.

But, looking back, I have to admit that Sims 3 was a lot of money for an almost empty box that needed a whole lot more spending to fill it up and make it a complete experience.  I feel reasonably comfortable with how much I spent on it but I can see Sims 4 being yet another cash cow for EA. I'm not at all keen to do it all over again.

Sims 4 is currently around AU$90 for the Limited Edition.  They seem to have left out some pretty key features from Sims 3 without adding anything to encourage me to take a chance on it.  And they seem to be rushing things just to get it out there, which in itself is enough to make me hold off on buying it.

So, I'll be spending my money elsewhere, at least until Sims 4 presents a better value proposition (ie. it works, is interesting, is about something more than EMOTIONS and costs a whole lot less).  I might even give SimCity a spin now that they've enabled offline play.  Anyway, this is my current big ticket shopping list:
  • Dragon Age - Inquisition (Oct 2014).
  • Borderlands - The Pre-Sequel (Oct 1014). 
  • Pokemon - Omega Ruby / Alpha Sapphire (Nov 2014).
  • Sid Meier's Civilization - Beyond Earth (2014).
  • The Witcher - Wild Hunt (Feb 2015).
  • Batman - Arkham Knight (2015).
  • Uncharted 4 - A Thief's End (2015). 

26 June 2014

La la la la la la la la la!

You've probably noticed a few objections around the place just lately about the lack of toddlers and pools in the Sims 4 base game.  Anybody read Azure's response... 

... and just know she meant this ...

Ever since my last post, I've had the Fugees "Ready or Not" stuck in my head so it's time for a new earworm.  This little number is dedicated to the Sims 4 team (because they love us so much)...

13 June 2014

Coming ... Ready or Not?

So it seems that the Sims team fronted up to E3 with a few Sims 4 animations and no actual gameplay preview.  Just under three months to go to release and it's looking like the gaming equivalent of a baby-cino... all froth and no substance.  Plenty of other games had actual gameplay on show (and a lot of those aren't out until next year).

I get the feeling they have really dumbed down simplified the coding this time.  Sims 3 was pretty ambitious I guess, with its open world and its customisation options (including CASt).  Probably too ambitious, since the Sims team didn't seem to be able to do anything to it without messing something else up.  Nothing ever seemed to work as intended.

From what I've seen, this new Sims 4 model with its "districts" and limited customisation should actually make the game more reliable (and, you'd think, easier to get right).  So, why can't they show us?  Shouldn't it be almost ready to release, with just some finishing touches to go?