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Old 03-05-2017   #131
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Re: Video Games

paul b., oh yes, I am an obsessive Thief fan, in fact it was through those games that I discovered the System Shock series. The first two games are very good, the third not so much but it has its moments... the 4th game (the 2014 reboot) has almost no redeeming value and should be avoided at all cost!

Quote Originally Posted by paul b. View Post
@Frater_Tsalal

You played their Thief games? Ones developed by LGS use the very same engine as System Shock 2. Brosius' sound design is just as good, plus their subtle dark ambient soundtrack actually complements their atmosphere.
Also, original Thief game is perhaps the only game that managed to evoke th sort of supernatural weirdness one encounters in writers like Machen or Blackwood. (actually, third game even contained the direct reference to "The White People"... tho, it wasn't nearly as good a game as its predecessors were).

Oh, and dem cutscenes:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AAzkPkiImo

"The Outsider must find a direction and commit himself to it, not lie moping about the meaninglessness of the world."
-Colin Wilson, Religion and the Rebel
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Old 03-05-2017   #132
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Re: Video Games

Quote Originally Posted by Frater_Tsalal View Post
paul b., oh yes, I am an obsessive Thief fan, in fact it was through those games that I discovered the System Shock series. The first two games are very good, the third not so much but it has its moments... the 4th game (the 2014 reboot) has almost no redeeming value and should be avoided at all cost!

Quote Originally Posted by paul b. View Post
@Frater_Tsalal

You played their Thief games? Ones developed by LGS use the very same engine as System Shock 2. Brosius' sound design is just as good, plus their subtle dark ambient soundtrack actually complements their atmosphere.
Also, original Thief game is perhaps the only game that managed to evoke th sort of supernatural weirdness one encounters in writers like Machen or Blackwood. (actually, third game even contained the direct reference to "The White People"... tho, it wasn't nearly as good a game as its predecessors were).

Oh, and dem cutscenes:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AAzkPkiImo
Man, I loved the Thief game (3?) that came out on the original XBOX! The atmosphere was through the roof. I wish I could play it again.

"In a less scientific age, he would have been a devil-worshipper, a partaker in the abominations of the Black Mass; or would have given himself to the study and practice of sorcery. His was a religious soul that had failed to find good in the scheme of things; and lacking it, was impelled to make of evil itself an object of secret reverence."

~ Clark Ashton Smith, "The Devotee of Evil"
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Old 03-05-2017   #133
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Re: Video Games

I ordered Alien: Isolation. May as well watch the film for the 957th time as I wait for it to arrive.

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay
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Old 03-05-2017   #134
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Re: Video Games

Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
I ordered Alien: Isolation. May as well watch the film for the 957th time as I wait for it to arrive.
You will not regret it. Keep in mind that it's 20 hours long and the difficulty can take some time to get used to. It is a perfect recreation of the original film.

If you want a fair review of the game, read PCgamer's review.

"In a less scientific age, he would have been a devil-worshipper, a partaker in the abominations of the Black Mass; or would have given himself to the study and practice of sorcery. His was a religious soul that had failed to find good in the scheme of things; and lacking it, was impelled to make of evil itself an object of secret reverence."

~ Clark Ashton Smith, "The Devotee of Evil"
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Old 03-05-2017   #135
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Re: Video Games

This is a good video on Planescape: Torment:


It's more like "interactive literature".

An example of one of my favorite dialog passages in Planescape: Torment:

Quote
You see a man, standing stock still. He isn't moving a muscle. On closer examination, it appears that he isn't even breathing -- just standing. His eye sockets are empty holes in his face. Contained within their bounds is a flat gray light that seems to dance with possibility. Looking into the sockets, the eerie, empty feeling of a limitless void shivers through you, as if you had gazed into a sliver of eternity. The head slowly swivels toward you (you notice that no muscles appeared to move under his skin as he turns), and he speaks in a pure, bell-like tone: "Well met, wanderer. You have forgotten again, haven't you?"

"Do you know me, stranger?"

As he opens his mouth, you get that feeling of eternity again -- inside his mouth, you see no tongue, no teeth. It's almost as if this man were a shell surrounding an illimitable expanse. "I have spoken with you before, and always you forget. Your endless quest to discover yourself ends always in your amnesia. You draw close to the truth and recoil. Let us hope that you have the strength to endure your existence."

"What do you know of me? How do you know this?"

"I know that you, like a fly, rise up from the wreckage of your old shell, buzz about for a time, and curl up and die at the window of truth. You bumble about the pane, seeking the light without any plan to your actions, and fall exhausted when you fail. You alight on others to feed from them for a time, and move on with no regard to them. I have watched you come here and listened to your words, and watched you move away no wiser. Will you learn from your mistakes, seeker?"

"Who are you?"

"I am O." For some reason, when he speaks his name, it sounds like he's speaking of much more than a single letter -- as if the speaking of his name contained untold possibilities and nuances. No human tongue could ever create such a sound.

"What sort of a name is that?"

"It is my name. It is the name of a portion of eternity. I am a letter in the divine alphabet. Understanding me leads to understanding existence. I am writ in the true names of half of everything. My being encompasses truth. I am mathematic, organic, metaphysic."

"So what does that mean?"

"The divine alphabet is writ in the name of everything that exists, from the seed at the hearts of the elemental planes to the core of the Great Beyond. My brothers/sisters" (a single word translates into the two in your mind) "and I reach across all that is, was, or ever shall be. We are thought, and reality, and concept, and the unimaginable."

"Tell me about the Great Beyond."

"You would not understand. No mortal possibly could. It is beyond the powers of comprehension of all but the most powerful of powers, and once they understand, they move beyond the veil of mortal comprehension. I can explain it no more than that. Perhaps, sometime, you will understand."

"So what are you doing here?"

"Why, I am watching the ebb and flow of mortality."

"And what do you see?"

"You mortals are like wasps. You build your lives/nests from the slimmest of branches, and when the wind shakes your home/life free, you seek to sting the wind to death. Instead of realizing your foolish mistakes, attempting to repair the damage you have caused yourselves, and learning from your experience, you bring harm to any who have the misfortune to blunder near you in your time of pain and distress. My advice to you -- and to all mortals: Stop acting like an insect and start acting sentient."
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Old 03-05-2017   #136
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Re: Video Games

Quote Originally Posted by paul b. View Post
@Frater_Tsalal

You played their Thief games? Ones developed by LGS use the very same engine as System Shock 2. Brosius' sound design is just as good, plus their subtle dark ambient soundtrack actually complements their atmosphere.
Also, original Thief game is perhaps the only game that managed to evoke th sort of supernatural weirdness one encounters in writers like Machen or Blackwood. (actually, third game even contained the direct reference to "The White People"... tho, it wasn't nearly as good a game as its predecessors were).

Oh, and dem cutscenes:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AAzkPkiImo
The Thief trilogy contains three of the best games of all time, and count as weird fiction too.

Could you tell more about "The White People" reference? I don't remember that but that goes along very well with the game
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Old 03-06-2017   #137
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Re: Video Games

It's easy to miss, but it is there.
You remember that mission, early on, with you stealing that relic from the pagan camp? In one of those abandoned houses, you can find this old book hidden near or bellow a bed. Said book is a diary kept by a young girl that once lived there, where she wrote how she saw small, white people dancing outside of her window.

And yeah, those games are quite unlike anything else out there. Third one suffered a bit, mostly because they had to make some cuts to make it run well enough on original Xbox, but it is still fantastic. And heck, at least some of its more glaring issues can be fixed with minimal amount of tinkering. There is, for example, this mod from few years ago that removes loading zones from individual missions and does minimal amount of necessary redesign on 'em, so that each mission is now a single piece affair akin to those from first two games.

This is kinda embarrassing, actually, but I probably spent more time on Thief 2 than on any other game in the last ten or so years, just replaying it and playing all those player-made missions and campaigns. Some of that stuff is remarkably good, like say Bathory campaign or T2X, which is something of an attempt to make another full-length Thief game with plot being parallel to that of Thief 2.

And fans are still producing new content, to this day.
I barely even play games anymore, in general, but I keep going back to this stuff every now and then.
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Old 03-06-2017   #138
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Re: Video Games

Quote Originally Posted by paul b. View Post
It's easy to miss, but it is there.
You remember that mission, early on, with you stealing that relic from the pagan camp? In one of those abandoned houses, you can find this old book hidden near or bellow a bed. Said book is a diary kept by a young girl that once lived there, where she wrote how she saw small, white people dancing outside of her window.

wow that's great! yes, I rememer it being there now. Thank you!. great tip of the hat to Machen.

I wonder if she was poisoned... in time...
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Old 03-18-2017   #139
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Re: Video Games

I just played through Nier: Automata.

I don't like writing reviews, but it's now one of my favorite games. What is it? It's a JRPG explicitly about the pointlessness of existence, and how a pair of androids cope with this ugly truth. It has everything from suicidal machines who can't find meaning to their own pain to beautiful melancholy locales. There's hope at the end, but it's bittersweet.

I normally find JRPGs infantile, but N:A is something special. There's no rush, though. You can wait for the inevitable price drop. I was lucky enough to borrow a copy from a busy friend.

"In a less scientific age, he would have been a devil-worshipper, a partaker in the abominations of the Black Mass; or would have given himself to the study and practice of sorcery. His was a religious soul that had failed to find good in the scheme of things; and lacking it, was impelled to make of evil itself an object of secret reverence."

~ Clark Ashton Smith, "The Devotee of Evil"
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Old 03-18-2017   #140
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Re: Video Games

Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Veech View Post
I just played through Nier: Automata.

I don't like writing reviews, but it's now one of my favorite games. What is it? It's a JRPG explicitly about the pointlessness of existence, and how a pair of androids cope with this ugly truth. It has everything from suicidal machines who can't find meaning to their own pain to beautiful melancholy locales. There's hope at the end, but it's bittersweet.

I normally find JRPGs infantile, but N:A is something special. There's no rush, though. You can wait for the inevitable price drop. I was lucky enough to borrow a copy from a busy friend.
Is it better to play the original Nier on Ps3 before Automata? I've recently bought a Ps3 for cheap, so I'm trying to decide whether to play the original or its spiritual successor first.
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