Fun, Camaraderie, And So Much Blood...Oh Yeah, And KEEP MOVING!

Happy Weekend TAY!

I’m looking forward to slightly milder weather this weekend. It will hopefully break up the icy crust on everything outside from a freezing rainstorm we had around here in the middle of last week. It is always a wonderful winter sight to see the trees encased in ice, but it makes everything else outside such a mess. I had to give my mailbox a beatdown to break up the ice just to get into it.

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I didn’t play a lot last week, it was one of those tired weeks with little spare time. My wife and I are starting to shop for a new car (the first in 12 years), so that’s been eating up a lot of time.

I did join everyone on the TAY Game Night for the first time which was a blast. A big thanks to Aikage for organizing it.

I’ve never played Left 4 Dead (1 or 2) and I wasn’t sure what to expect since I haven’t really played much in this genre of games. It was surprisingly fun and wonderfully chaotic. It was so nice to actually talk to many of the people I’ve written to for years around here and everyone made an inviting environment for a noob player by being extremely helpful and awesomely friendly.

We ended up playing some co-op missions and some versus. Both modes were great to play, though I didn’t have enough time to get a good understanding how the infected characters worked in the versus mode. I’d definitely be down to play more L4D2 on another TAY Game Night. Everyone should come out and join TAY Game Nights, it is nice relaxing and hilarious fun.

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I’m a serious night owl, so maybe we can also get some game nights going for those more in the Pacific Time Zone.

I also had a little time for more of The Witcher last week. I’ve just started in on chapter 4 which finds Geralt of Rivia in a new coastal area. I was getting so comfortable playing in and around the big city of Vizima for the past couple of chapters that it was feeling like home. I hadn’t exhausted exploring the city but suddenly found myself uprooted from my life and family and now appear to be exiled to my current coastal location. It is a testament to the amazing writing and game design that my sense of sudden dislocation as a player completely mirrors Geralt’s predicament in the story.

While a small number of characters have come from Vizima with Geralt, it almost feels like a new game with the new locations, new races, and a new town full of strangers. I’m definitely looking forward to exploring these new areas.

I am really digging the game’s inventory and financial system. I’m always broke from buying supplies and books to help me harvest monster and plant parts. I think I’m more than half way through the game and money is still not easy to come by. I love this! I hate when you end up in many RPGs with more money than you know what to do with. In The Witcher, this makes the well written side-quests not only fun to do, but somewhat of a necessity to keep you in funds to upgrade your weapons and knowledge. It is also a bonus that these side-quests have weight to them instead of the fluff often associated with side-missions in other games. I know many have praised the third Witcher game for having well thought out side-quests; I’m glad to hear CD Projekt Red have kept up this level of quality.

The inventory is equally sparse and wonderfully satisfying. Equipment is rare and alchemy (on Hard) becomes necessary but not overbearing. I often ignore alchemy in RPGs because it adds another layer on the game that I don’t want to fuss with. The alchemy system in The Witcher is easy to understand but will add complexity if you want to dig deep into the various potions. I’m content with my standard healing potions and various other basic recipes and thankful that I can choose how much or how little I want to delve into the alchemy system.

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I’m looking forward to a relaxing weekend with the family and some more Rock Band 4. The Witcher is definitely consuming my little free time on the solo side of gaming and I don’t expect that to change for a bit.

What are you playing this weekend?