Friday 19 May 2023

BloodNet – Grant's Tomb

Written by Will Moczarski

Finally I did it. I survived the fixed encounter in Grant’s Tomb and am free to explore the colourful world of BloodNet once more. Because it took me about 6.5 hours of pure game time (not counting thinking up new tactics, buying new weapons, recruiting new party members and generally bumbling about to find out if it's possible to skip the encounter altogether) just to win this one encounter you might rightfully say I’m pretty bad at RPGs. Still the spike in difficulty was unprecedented and quite surprising. None of the combat in the game up to this point had even been challenging. It just didn’t seem to matter where I placed my guys and which weapons I used as long as I used the expensive ones. Also, I had very good armour going into Grant’s Tomb, a rested party of six, freshly bonded and blessed soul blades, and some of the best recruits you can add to your party altogether. 

Saturday 13 May 2023

Homeworld - Two Birds, One Stone

Written by Reiko

Last time we triggered the auto-launch sequence for the Aquila, which is supposed to take the Ambassador to the mysterious artifact that showed up in the solar system recently. We escaped a hit squad at our apartment and arrived at the military base where the Aquila is ready to launch, only to find ourselves in the middle of a full-scale terrorist attack. How do we get out of here?
Mission Aquila is GO.

Sunday 7 May 2023

Homeworld - Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire

Written by Reiko

The game opened in our penthouse apartment in San Francisco, but almost immediately we are thrust into danger and intrigue as we receive two calls, one rather more mysterious than the other. The company that runs the Gateway station and its prospecting missions wants us to come right away to talk to their alternate ambassador to the mysterious Artifact that recently appeared in the solar system. But then I was warned by an anonymous undercover FBI agent that the fanatical Phoenix Sect, who killed the original ambassador, apparently has us in our sights as well. We have to escape!

A mysterious anonymous agent warns us that things are going to get hot.

Amid that tension, there are a few interesting things in the apartment. The TV (er, "PV console") has a description that includes this: "It is an old 2-D flatscreen model, devoid of the 3-D tank and the full Virtual Reality hook-ups that are common among the more sophisticated consoles. You specified the older model when you were having the place outfitted - you didn't want anything to do with full immersion VR after your last mission as a Gateway prospector." The whole endgame of the first Gateway was a lengthy puzzle to repeatedly break the Assassin AI's VR simulation, including a rather detailed simulation of hell, so I can understand the PC's aversion.

The bed is also described as "old fashioned" and "You never did get used to the new fangled, high-tech sleep cocoons that are considered standard in the year 2112." I don't think we ever get a visual of what those are supposed to look like, though. The reading light is even described as an anachronism. I guess that's an easy way to display an apartment that looks pretty normal to our eyes while painting a verbal picture of a culture with more advanced technology.