Fall 2021 Gaming Dump

Okay, so I’ve been playing Hades lately, sort of. Quite a few things actually. Went for a spell without too much more than a few rounds of Spelunky 2 most days and a fair bit of effort into imtg but that’s settled a bit, in that the interface stuff I want to do next is bulky and I need to kind of gird myself to go into it a little bit.

Not bulky bad, like, really important. If there’s any entertainment in it the interface is the thing that will hide it the most.

This document was drafted a few weeks back as I struggled to think about the resistence I feel playing it. It’s not my style of game. It’s not an anti-style of game or whatever like, bad unenjoyable game types might be but I also am not sure I have crossed paths with any classification of video game that has no entries I would play. I’m sure it exists, I just haven’t crossed paths with it. Or I’ve forgotten about it.

But I think that as soon as there’s a enough games to be able to lump them together and slap a witty name on that collection of common attributes there’s got to be something in that group worth playing. Probably?

Hades is a procedurally generated game. I respect people who distinguish between roguelikes and -lites enough to not put either label on it because I haven’t thought enough about Berlin and I don’t want to look it up to make any kind of decision of my own. It’s RNG-based.

It is also a progression-style RNG-based game. On each run into the various realms of Hades, various items and currency and story unlocks are collected and can be spent or used or whatever to make the next run a little bit easier.

Hades does a really good job of maintaining pacing through the early progression. I am somewhere around 25 runs in and they have all been satisfactory from a progression perspective and every now and then there’s a big chunk of something or other allocated to me and it’s really impressive.

I’m sure there will be some boilerplate runs along the way and I don’t really know what my level of gaming ability is on the global scale but I am pretty good and so that might be why things haven’t gotten stale. There’s always something in the House of Hades that progresses.

I’ve only been using the sword so far, and today I made it to Elysium three times I think, and found the second and third fury, beating them both first try. Luck absolutely played a part, in the fights themselves and of course in the kit I had when I got there.

The thing about progression games that I don’t like is pretty boring and trite and I think probably one of the most frequent negative comments about progression games and that is that it is - maybe not impossible, people can do some pretty amazing things, so let’s just go with extraordinarily difficult - to complete it out of the box.

Spelunky 2 isn’t available on XBox, so when I do end up picking it up again I’m not going to make it super far but a top tier player like Twiggle or something like that can, from a fresh install, make it all the way through with the same likelihood as he gets on his own system. That’s just the nature of the game.

I took a break from Hades to play through Control finally. It was very enjoyable, but after finishing the game I didn’t go back to finish all the side quests, nor did I download the DLC. Perhaps someday? I’ll be very excited when a sequel arrives.

I decided to give The Bard’s Tale Trilogy a try, expecting to drop out of it after half an hour. 10 hours or so later, and I’m much further than I got when playing with a friend when we were children although I think we did better than I remembered us doing. I started with the A-Team, a pre-built party that has some high quality starting equipment, not a fresh party build and that’s probably a big part of it. A lot less punishing out of the gate. I have beaten all the statues, drank some wine, learned the Mad God’s name, and gotten kicked out of Magrin’s tower and I honestly think that we got that far way back then, too.

I’m not sure if I’ll go back in. I probably will, but I’m on the edge of abandoning it. There’s really good features like automapping but it’s a lot of go down go down go up go up, and I’m not sure if I screwed myself over getting one of my mages to Conjurer level 7 to get the teleporty spell. Maybe it’s available in other ways as well, I guess perhaps I’ll find out.