Random GOG Giveaway: MDK (1997)
I dreamt a little about Pokemon last night.
It's probably because I started playing again. Pokemon Black for DS.
The first couple hours of the game felt a bit familiar, so it's possible I've tried it before. Not sure if I just gave it a quick go without saving, or if that was Pokemon White, which I also have, and have a save file on pretty far in, but didn't think was mine because I bought both of these games second hand and haven't had much time for them since I did. Maybe it was though. I guess we'll see in due time.
Now that I've started you know how this'll go. It's addicting. But I've promised myself to really only play when I have time to spare: at night, during commuting, or when I'm sick. I tried the late state earlier, but I've been in the middle state a while now, so maybe I'll take some time to play some more before it's all first state sessions.
Probably better to play all day than stay up late night again and get hooked. My cold's not going away this way...
It's possible this will all be a very short gaming phase though, since I really don't have time to pick up anything as massive as this right now - if I have time to pick up anything at all - and it's usually the first, and most rewarding phase of the game, that's the most fun anyway. The one where progress is quick, incentives are all but few and far between, your Pokemon pretty much level up in every battle, and there's no way to get lost. Each new area you enter has an event trigger and is all new for you to explore. Every one you speak to has something new to say - whereas later on you get the same responses for half the characters, but still have to try them all because some convos change according to certain triggers in the game, and I'm a completionist like that.
Also new Pokemon get harder and harder to find, and level up, and everything both speeds up and slows down into one eternal grind.
Ah well. Might as well play a bit more while the hype's still high! Maybe it'll last this time. Maybe I'll actually catch' em all. I'll be back. It's time for... Pokemon Black.
The DOOM Lights
Plutonia 2 Shots
So I'm done with Plutonia 2, got rid of the game as promised, and last but not least: just gotta share some of these!
Pictures, that is. I took a few. Mainly of the architectural details, because the architecture's impressive, and especially the latter levels are a work of art not just design-wise, but in regards to what they accomplished with the editor. Like the final staircase. Considering DOOM is built in fake-3D - as the early, ahead-of-it's-time-epic game engine in the making that it was, and single layer, I'm really curious how they built those stairs.
If you haven't thought about it before: look carefully next time you play the game, and you'll notice that levels never have multiple levels, anywhere, only platforms of varying height/location. There's never a first floor directly under the second one, but more so beside it. The designers cleverly make levels in such a way that you never really think of this, though it does pose certain limitations on how a level can be made, and how you need to go about making it feel like it's truly dimensional. So those stairs where you actually walk around the center: really cool. Since it should be technically impossible. Could it be a ZDoom thing...?
Most seem to do a masterful job with this too. Maybe it's easier to work with than it sounds like it should be. One-layer multidimensionalism.
Not to mention the invisible bridges - I've seen some of those before though, the Cyberdemons suspended in the air, the gates that open inwards, the teleportation paths and what have you. Not impossible, but illusive, and clever. I love to find little tricks of the trade like that, and even more so actually figuring out how they did it. Invisible textures. Teleports. Custom animation to give the illusion of movement.
Sometimes it's easy to explain.
If you start looking at the game design as you play there's so much to be impressed with. It's on a whole other level compared to the original Plutonia - even if I enjoyed that one too - but still seems to follow a similar vein considering the arena-type levels with multiple Cyberdemons. The epic dual Cyberdemon gates. The hella difficult finale with three Cyberdemons and an icon of sin amidst them...
I actually cheated a bit with that last level. I had to. Just wasn't ready for it. Maybe I'll replay it again in the future and take on the challenge in full, but for now here's a little glimpse of those bits of design that I love.
Wish I'd taken more. Earlier on. Will do next time.