I've been freed from work for the last 7 months. It's a fabulous thing to do when you are just above 40. Especially when the company pays 100% of your salary and I get my 10 years saved holiday pay too. I thought I would spend all the time with my old friend the toolset. But no. I have been working on our house, fixing the garden. Even meeting old friends in person. I've cooked a lot and done lots of things I'd forgot that I liked to do. Now the autumn comes and I'm surprised to find that I have a tiny little urge grown inside. I don't really know what to do with it, maybe I continue to work on my short adventure.
In two weeks I start my new job and it'll be a tough start. I start alone with a bag of gold pieces. I have to find at least four companions (or henchmen) and lead that little party to richness and fame. But first I have to find us a few good side-quests. Sounds familiar?
Okay too much personal stuff. Me and my gaming friends are still playing NWN2 OC. It takes so long to play it in MP. It's great that it is a many hours experience. Playing 4 hours every week and I think it's a better game than when I played through it myself. Me and my wife is going over SoZ squeezing every little XP out of it. Only chapter 3 left. With my other gaming group we play Chronicles of Charnia - Lanterna. I'm still not sure what to think about it. It feels a bit odd too me.
I've played through Masse ffect and Mass effect 2 on Xbox 360 and I really liked it. ME was good. ME2 was excellent. Those games were the first ActionRPG's I ever played to the end. AND playing ARPGs works on console! Who would guess? Then I picked up Fallout 3 to a really low price. It didn't do it for me. I don't like the gaming system and the stiff story. And I didn't like the GUI. so after playing a few hours I sold it for an even lower price.
Last week I picked up the console version of Alpha Protocol. The first impression was - Ohh, Ugly! It felt like an cheap Mass effect clone at first. Almost the same controls with the small differences making it slightly harder to use. The GUI has to many levels making it slow to use and such. The animations are really ugly compared to ME2 and even to DA. Then I started to play and after going through the intro part I started to wonder how much I'd get if I sold the game. An evening when a NWN2 session was canceled I sat down in the sofa and started to play my first mission in the middle east. Wow, great fun! I tried to be a sneaking, stealthy agent but turned out to have no talent at all and I became a brutal killing machine. Why sneak around when you can boost up your assault gun and fill your pockets with grenades and go berserk? Later on I had to learn how to take it easy. But I'm hooked on AP now.
The negative thing is that the focus is on Action. The RPG is more about being quick to chose alignment in conversations (there are a count down timer) and spreading the Skillpoints in a more or less random way. You are very limited in the character creation part. I would like to adjust my characters looks, stats, background AND GENDER! Why not a female agent? It's really a boy's stereotype game but why cut of a big part of the potential customers. ME2 have lots of female gamers. I suspect that AP have a lot fewer.
I have about 30% left but so far I can say that I give AP 9.2 of 10 compared to ME2's 9.8.
What's next? Oh how I wait for Mass effect 3. I'm also looking forward to try DA2 but more for the action parts of it as I suspect the RPG portion will be less than in DA. There's also rumors about Bioware hiring people to handle single-player to multiplayer conversion(?) and that is a good sign. Another rumor is that something is happening on the Neverwinter-scene. Atari (waving my dirty-finger) mumbles about something new after the lawsuit and has registered several new domain names: For examle Save-NeverWinter.com It could be smoke though.
Thanks for reading