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Game on [Jan. 7th, 2014|01:53 pm]
(x-posted from Tumblr because I'm bored)

I have succumbed to peer pressure and tried FTL and am loving it, but for very small details.  This is the kind of thing I would’ve blown up a bus full of nuns for when I was in high school — tactical starship combat with systems being damaged/repaired.

Note that its terms are relative: “easy” means “you will die repeatedly until you learn how not to.”  “Normal,” I suppose, means “you will die repeatedly despite any action on your part.”

I think my favorite part of it is that it seems to create its own narrative, each runthrough being a unique little adventure.  Once I finished the game (read: when my ship was torn to shreds) with an entirely different crew that started, due to space spiders and a few problems with the circulation.  Once I got two sectors in before my crew was extinguished save one, and he bravely tromped through five more sectors solo before finding new friends with whom to die in flames.

XCOM: Enemy Within has that same feeling of each runthrough birthing its own unique adventure — doubly so if you’ve played through the original Enemy Unknown and are totally taken aback by the expansion/sequel’s twists, at least one of which is just cruel.  But if you never thought turn-based strategy could be frenetic, try escaping from Newfoundland.  (I’ve had bad trips to Newfoundland, but none quite that bad.)

And being a fan of the classic Hitman series, I’m intermittently poking through Hitman: Absolution.  My playthroughs are typically exercises in stealth fail, degenerating into long drawn-out shootouts and merciful restarts.  My first play of “The King of Chinatown” involved me scoping out the scene thoroughly, making two cursory runs of the perimeter, and then deciding to finally take action when I found the level exit.  At that moment, the titular king (and my target) walked right up to me, right on past, and started urinating in the corner right next to the level exit, out of sight of everyone else.  Easiest level ever: strangle, walk three feet, win.  But I still haven’t found a good substitute for the joy of throwing a pair of scissors twenty yards with lethal aim and force.  Last time I tried something like that in real life I got tetanus shots.


[User Picture]From: roseneko
2014-01-10 04:04 am (UTC)
I think it was XCOM Brian was playing when he dubbed his starting crew "Beef McLarge, Beef McBigger, Beef McHuge, and Girl." And then they all promptly got killed. He did seem to enjoy it, though I got the impression it was at least in part because he could continue thinking up "Beef Mc" names. My favorite was "Beef McFuckingMeatBus". I suspect he was Russian.
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[User Picture]From: sigma7
2014-01-10 03:16 pm (UTC)
I adore the naming feature of the new XCOM series. This is one of those things I'd hijack on the PC and replace the list of nicknames with something a bit less flattering, or at least inventive.

And I don't know about the mission name generator -- it seems like some of XCOM's procedurally-generated missions have random names given in the classic {adjective} {noun} format, like ELECTRIC WIND or DANGEROUS STORM or stuff like that. There was a once-classic gaming franchise called Harpoon whose second computer iteration introduced mission names generated thusly, and tweaking that was my first foray into completely random text generation. So I was sending sorties into Lebanon under the auspices of missions like BENT MOLLUSK or DEGENERATE CHICKEN. (Here's the whole list and a few sample results. The top of each list is straight from Harpoon 2, subsequent additions my own.)

And I love the Space-Mutiny-esque names, too. I rolled those into my nano-generator, but Beef McLargehuge should be in a hall of fame somewhere. (Also Thick McRunfast.)
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[User Picture]From: candidgamera
2014-01-13 02:38 pm (UTC)
FTL is merciless and random.
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