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Gaming The System

February 9th, 2009

One of the first things I did after getting my new laptop up and running was to load onto it pretty much every piece of computer game software I’ve bought in the past five years. Some were ones I’d just never finished, others were ones that I’d had to uninstall because of lack of hard drive space on my old desktop, and still others were ones that required a much more powerful processor than I had available. So it was that for the last week of January I played through the remainder of Doom 3…approximately five years after it came out.

I’ve also bought several new(ish) games, a couple of which came courtesy the closeout of the rapidly-dissolving Circuit City chain. Right now I’m messing with Spore. After a lot of hassle with its ridiculous digital rights management scheme, I was finally able to access the enormous online library of user-created content. But of course the real fun is rolling your own creations. Here’s a Dungeons & Dragons Beholder that I whipped up, thick in the throes of first love.

As many of the reviews have suggested, Spore the game isn’t half as interesting as Spore the thing maker. ┬áIt’s neat to put your creature through the evolutionary process, but the early stages of the game are rather uninvolving, and the Tribal stage in particular isn’t something I think I’d ever seek out a second time. My little guys are just entering the Civilization stage, and then it’s on to outer space, where I’m told the gameplay becomes a lot more fun. Still, the title has charm galore, and the content creators are amazing. I was lucky enough to snag a copy for twenty bucks, and I’ve gotten my money’s worth just fiddling with the editors.

One of the games that I picked up during the death rattle of Circuit City was Soulstorm, the most recent installment of Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War series, and I’m psyched about the addition of my beloved Sisters of Battle to the franchise. The other was Fallout 3. I know that certain fans of the older entries in that post-apocalyptic series are annoyed with the switch from pure role-playing game to first-person shooter, but having no exposure to Fallout outside of the Playstation 2 game, I don’t have much invested in it. The reviews have been very encouraging, and I’m looking forward to giving the disc a spin.

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