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Final Spooktober Update

On 10/24/2014 at 08:31 PM by Michael117

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All-American Hot Dog pup has a message for you, "The end of Spooktober draws nigh, so hold onto your butts!"

The end of the month is near and your monarch returns. I've spent the last couple fortnights celebrating October by wearing a mask and slaughtering playing harmless games with the dirty paupers hard working citizens in the farming communities outside the fortress. Oh how they laugh. As it turns out, I also celebrated Halloween season with movies and games, so take a seat and enjoy.


I didn't get around to playing all the horror games and movies I listed in the previous update, but I did get some serious gaming done despite school eating away so much time. I started Resident Evil 6 but I'm only an hour in, and I haven't touched Resident Evil Revelations yet. I quit playing Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare for now, because the bugs I mentioned last time haven't fixed themselves and it's not fun to play at the moment, or very functional.


Very disappointed across the board. I'm a big fan of the first two games and the expansions. FEAR has always been a series that combines some of the best FPS action in the industry with creepy Japanese horror and good Half Life 2 style pacing throughout the design of it all by chopping up the action, the environmental puzzles, and story moments in the right proportions.

Not FEAR 3. The shooting is still mechanically solid, but the Half Life 2 inspiration has disappeared and the design now aggressively lifts the Call of Duty, and to some extent Battlefield, style of campaign design. In FEAR 3 the environmental puzzles are kept to a minimum, flow of action is kept to a maximum, end of chapter set pieces are common, Alma is no longer a threat, and the HP/Shield system has been scrapped in favor of regenerating health. The first level in FEAR 3 is set in a favela in Rio de Janeiro, which plays out much like the seventh mission in Modern Warfare 2, also set in a Rio slum. I like Call of Duty, but prior till now all the FEAR games had their own unique thing going on and it was fantastic. Sadly no longer.

As far as the story goes, FEAR 2 ended with the player (a male) getting ghost-raped by the woman Alma, the mysterious and dead-but-still-full-of-rage antagonist from the first two games. They set up the story in such a way that the end of the trilogy should have been bananas. Like, it should have been Goddamn bananas. Alma's rage was spreading to the entire city, and now a wildcard devil baby was growing in her belly. FEAR 2 was a dark and creepy game that, despite getting batshit bonkers by the end, still dealt with interesting subject matter and built a lot of context for all the major characters in the game.

FEAR 3 took all this weird momentum and sadly tried to bring it back on the rails to some degree, and delivered a boring story about uniting Alma with her sons (the protagonists of this game; this game is meant to be played co-op). Each mission builds to some visual set piece moment, but the player character ends up getting set back by the events and your time is wasted as a player. None of the story beats justify their existence, and each level is filler. You'll spend a whole mission trying to get to a big fancy tower where Alma is, then there's an explosion at the end, and the next mission begins with you far away from the tower (still alive somehow) and you get sidetracked onto a new objective, which inandofitself ends up being senseless and doesn't fit together.

The only reason I'm writing so much about it is because I love those first two games, and had higher hopes for the end of the trilogy. FEAR 3 is definitely a disservice to the prior games.

Saturn 9

Nothing too special. Only cost a dollar. Spooky sci-fi first person adventure on a space station. There are 4 puzzles in the whole game, two of them are okay, the other two are either silly or infuriating.

Alien Isolation

I plan to write a review of this because I have too much to say and the game deserves more attention that being a blurb in a blog. Super interesting game, the graphics are second to none, beautiful art design and atmosphere, fantastic core mechanics, but the game is WAY too long. THREE TIMES TOO LONG. And that's not hyperbole. It's not just an issue of length either, there are specific ways that they drag the play-time out that are frustrating; I will explain those in the review.

Still a great game overall though. I haven't written a review since Bioshock Infinite, not that that's suppose to mean anything or draw any comparisons, but I brought it up because I realized I don't do reviews very often. Alien was my most anticipated game of the year once I finished Dark Souls 2, and now that I'm done I'd like to get my thoughts on Alien out through a keyboard.

Slender: The Arrival

This is almost too intense for me. I started playing this and got through the first chapter just fine, where you're exploring a spooky house and you don't have Slender Man hunting you. But I'm stuck on the second chapter "8 Pages" in which you have to collect 8 pages while Slender Man hunts you, just like in the original Slender. I keep dying horribly, I can't find all the pages in the area, and I feel overwhelmed with dread. Too stressful and creepy. Taking a break from it, may come back some other time.

Silent Hill: Revelation

Sadly, very sadly, this is the only movie I've watched this month. Awful in every way. Five minutes into the film I pulled out my phone and played Tetris all the way till the movie ended. I could have turned the movie off but I had to make myself sit through it so that I knew how things played out. This movie is a bunch of senseless, albeit with decent special effects, action scenes hobbled together, and a terrible script to give you bad dialogue in between. What even happened in the plot of this movie? I don't know. Does the director even know?

What I'm playing now

Dragon Age: Origins 

This was on sale for $4 on XBL, so I got it and I'm playing through for the first time. I played Dragon Age 2 and liked a lot about it. There were a lot of reused environments and the level design for most areas wasn't very interesting to begin with, but all three acts of the story were great, the companions were fascinating, and I loved the combat by the end of the game.

I'm loving Origins so far too. The combat has the same problems that Dragon Age 2 has; none of the system's strengths are apparent in the early stages of the game. You only have a couple abilities and as many tactics slots, so you can't customize your party's AI routines, and once you've used up your two abilities you have to resort to mashing the attack button while they're in cooldown. But once you level up a bit you can eventually get at least one good sustained ability, a few strong activated abilities, and several tactic slots so that you can customize your party's combat style. And obviously as you level up you keep getting more and more flexibility.

The combat in Dragon Age 2 got much better the more you leveled up, and it was a fantastic tactical party-based system. It seems like the same is true for Origins so far. Right now I'm in Lothering, our party just got through the battle of Ostagar. We are all around level 8, so we are beginning to pick up some cool skills. I love the story and characters so far. The dialogue writing is fantastic, both for the player character choices and for NPCs.


We finished midterms last week and everything is going okay. For now I'm still managing A's in all three classes.

In our computer science class we are building the game Hang-Man where a random word is chosen, the user is presented with blank spaces and allowed to guess the correct letters to the word, and each time they guess wrong a single section of the stick-figure man will be drawn in place on screen, and if they guess wrong enough times the man will be hanging dead from the gallows, and it's game over, man. Game over.

I've built all the functions needed to call on the lines making up the gallows, the rope, and each section of the dead man's body. I have an array that is filled with words of varying lengths that will be chosen randomly, the length of the word is counted, and the appropriate number of lines is drawn on screen to show the user how many letters are in the word. This week I'm trying to figure out how to get the program to realize when a valid letter has been chosen and how to place the letter(s) in the proper spaces, and how to create a loop to allow the user to be able to keep guessing until the fail-state is reached, or the quit command is issued.

College Algebra is going fine, we have been working with logarithms the past couple weeks. The workload has lightened (which is why I've been playing games again), now we are just doing one section of the book per day instead of two or three per day like before.

Astronomy has been all about the physics of light and gravity the past couple weeks. It's been dense with terminology but our instructor is funny and does a great job helping us out with all the math in the homework.

What's on the horizon for your monarch?

This is labeled as my last Spooktober update, meaning I probably won't get around to any of the other horror themed stuff I bought. Especially now that I'm wrapped up in Dragon Age Origins. I'll be playing more of that for the foreseeable future.

The games I'm most excited about this holiday season are Dragon Age: Inquisition and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, so those will likely be the next games I buy. When our semester ends I'll sell my textbooks and hopefully be able to buy those two games, hopefully a new controller too. What about all of you? Have you made any plans for your November and December gaming yet?

Remember that Mastodon rules. Hot Dog pup says so.

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10/24/2014 at 09:16 PM

I wanted to like that second Silent Hill movie because I heard it was based on the SH 3 game but I lost interest early on too. I couldn't even tell you anything that happened.


10/24/2014 at 11:10 PM

Peter. I had this picture of two puppies in panda costumes, but I couldn't get it to format into my blog properly. Lol I found it and saved it just for you, but it ended up not being in the blog. Panda costumes!


10/24/2014 at 09:38 PM

Good to hear youre doing well in class, my liege! 

I want to play Alien Isolation after I get around to Colonial Marines.


10/24/2014 at 11:18 PM

Much abliged, King Jedi-Killer Smile

I decided to not try Colonial Marines after pretty much the whole internet panned it, but I've always wondered what it's really like. I've never gotten my hands on it to see for myself.


10/24/2014 at 09:42 PM

I would be interested in the Alien Isolation review as I've been putting it off after I heard about how long the game was. I was going to start it this weekend. 


10/24/2014 at 11:20 PM

Thanks, that's good to know. I'll try to get that review out sometime this weekend. Did you get the game already? What platform would you plan to play it on?


10/25/2014 at 12:31 AM

I have the PC version. I just started it. Lotta darkness. Lotta! Is there any gunplay or melee in this game or does the whole game play out the way it is in the beginning? It really does look like a movie though.

Super Step Contributing Writer

10/25/2014 at 01:54 AM

Looking forward to the Alien: Isolation review. Glad you're making As.


10/25/2014 at 02:13 PM

Thanks, Joe! Smile


10/25/2014 at 03:59 AM

Selling your books to buy video games? Ha ha. I never thought of that when I was in school. I was so attached to my books being a book worm and all. I wanted more of them.

My work friend and I were making a lot of Slender Man jokes one night. I didn't know there was a game. 


10/25/2014 at 02:18 PM

Lol, I understand what you mean. I never use to sell my books until now, I want those video games too much Smile 

My algebra book is pretty good, but unfortunately I'm renting it from the bookstore at the school, so I have to give it back once finals are over in December so I can't sell it or keep it either way. I probably would have kept that book around for future reference so that I can keep track of some of the formulas and concepts.


10/26/2014 at 02:46 AM

Ok, if I had Algebra books, I definitely would have sold those for video games. I was an English major though and you'd have to pry my Complete Works of Shakespeare from my cold dead hands before I'd let that go.

Blake Turner Staff Writer

10/25/2014 at 08:57 AM

Mastadon is great, but when that song started I thought I was listening to Meshuggah haha.

 Also, on my IGN games list FEAR 3 has the lowest rating with a 2.3. It's fucking dogshit.

 Also, if you want a really cool, underrated horror fps, pick up Cryostasis. It has some technical difficulties here and there, but it reminds me of a more horror focused Bioshock in the antarctic where the cold is used as a mechanic.

 Also, I look forward to your Alien review as well :D


10/25/2014 at 02:27 PM

The Mastodon album Call of the Mastodon has a lot of songs that sound a little bit like Meshugga for sure!

FEAR 3 was really bad. I'm sure it's a decent enough (for the $5 I paid for it) action game if you play it co-op, but I never tried. The single player experience was a huge let down on every front. I'll check out Cryostasis, I haven't heard of it till you mentioned it. A more horror focused Bioshock in the antarctic with exposure mechanics sounds really interesting.


10/27/2014 at 08:40 PM

I'm in the 1st Act of Dragon Age 2.  I trying to knock out a couple of side missions before I enter the Deep Roads.  I should have DA2 finished before DA3 releases.


10/28/2014 at 04:37 PM

Great to hear from our glorious 117 monarch.

Your description on playing Slender: The Arrival kinda mirrors my experience with horror games and most horror media in general. I'm trying to get over with it, since there's a lot of interesting Horror stuff I want to experience.

I also been unproducting for Halloween, with my only october blog contributions being my Limbo and music posts.

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