• The PaleoGamer Plays: The Longest Journey – Part 12

    April returns to Marcuria to clean up some loose ends; demonstrating to Captain Nebevay that she has restored the wind, finding navigator Tun Liac for the ship and getting herself fired from working for the map merchant. Then she has a conversation with Vestrum Tobias where he tells her she may be the next Guardian. Oh, and by the way, an army is about to invade. Good thing we’re leaving for Ailias. Too bad April is seasick. The latest episode of The Longest Journey.

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  • The PaleoGamer Plays: The Longest Journey – Part 11

    April finds the castle of the mad alchemist Rupert Klacks and gains entry via strategic use of hand lotion. She then negotiates a maze, discovers other uses for mathematics, teaches herself alchemy, reveals that classic Star Trek is still popular in the 23rd century and, oh yes, restores the wind with a bit of help from Crow. Yet one more step on The Longest Journey.

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  • The PaleoGamer Plays: The Precursors – Part 1

    The worst FPS player in the world takes on the game The Precursors. Watch Treece Crichton crash his starship, get his space marine colleagues killed by acid-spitting plants, make friends with the Empire by killing bugs then no longer be friends after playing tag with a rocket launcher, run from a giant robot then find out he’s in the Matrix and he’s the One. Or something. Welcome to The Precursors!

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  • Review – Afterfall: Insanity Edition

    In my continuing quest to clear The Pile™ this time around I played Afterfall: Insanity, a post-apocalyptic FPS from Polish developer Intoxicate Studios. It’s a game I wanted to like but in the end I felt it fell a bit short. Now stop me if you’ve heard this one. There was a global nuclear war and the only survivors were those who were able to get into one of a few underground vaults. People have lived for years in these vaults under the control of a general overseer, but now problems are appearing and one person must go up against the General in order to protect the vault. Or not. In Afterfall you play Dr. Albert Tokaj, the psychologist for the vault Glory. The inhabitants of Glory think they are the last survivors of the human race and they have been living here for years, long enough that Tokaj is seeing more and more cases of what he calls “Confinement Syndrome” and the number of patients he is having to treat are increasing. So much so that he even falls asleep during one session. Then he is sent by the General running Glory with a team to investigate a problem on a lower level. He gets there to find that a plague of some kind is breaking out. People are becoming mindlessly violent and attacking one another and even mutating into horrible creatures. Tokaj comes to discover that someone is behind the plague and violence but then finds that he

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  • The PaleoGamer Plays: The Longest Journey – Part 10

    April heads deeper into the forests north of Marcuria, makes contact with the Bandu and falls into a trap so obvious even Admiral Ackbar is facepalming. She also discusses eating birds with a talking bird, has an argument with herself and, oh yeah, finds the first part of the Guardian’s disc. Another day on The Longest Journey.

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  • Review – The Bureau: X-Com Declassified

    OK, I just finished this one. I don’t normally negatively review games as I finish them (because I usually just give up before finishing) but I wanted to talk about this one. Because by Cthulhu I hated it. I love any number of horribly broken games. I give a pass on any number of things as long as I am entertained. As long as a game has a story I find interesting I’ll put up with whatever janky mechanics you throw at me to get through it. By the end I hated everything about this game. I hated the mechanics. I hated the story. I hated the characters. I hated the world it created. I hated what it did to the X-Com name. I admit using a cheat code to get through the final battle just to see if it managed to redeem itself at the end and it still failed. It was bad. Really bad. Hugely, mindbogglingly bad. Bad beyond all possible conception of badness. OK, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but f’htagn it wasn’t good! I bought it plus the DLC in the Steam sale and regret it. I’m not even going to try the DLC because I really can’t bring myself to go back into it. Great Cthulhu, where to begin? I’ll start with the story, because that’s why I play games and why I got this one. (And I’m not going to spoiler anything because everyone needs to be warned of this one; it’s spoiled like

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  • The PaleoGamer Plays: The Longest Journey – Part 9

    Having found out all she can in Marcuria, April sets out to find a way to get to the island of Ailias. But to do so she has to convince Captain Nebevay to allow a woman on his ship, find a replacement navigator and somehow restore the wind, which has been captured by the improbably-named alchemist Rupert Klacks. So naturally she decides to take a walk in the woods instead. At least she has a companion now, the talking crow named Crow. Another step along the way of The Longest Journey.

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  • The PaleoGamer Plays: The Longest Journey – Part 8

    April Ryan goes through a mysterious portal in the back of her wardrobe, only to find herself back in Marcuria instead of Narnia. There she spends a lot of time walking and talking, finds someone with severe verb-tense issues and discovers that artists somehow end up with waitress jobs no matter what world they are in. Another step on The Longest Journey.

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  • Review – Lifeless Planet

    The Steam Sale is under way but I’ve been strangely unenthusiastic about it this time around. I’ve picked up a few things, but what I’ve been playing mostly this week is the game Lifeless Planet. It’s a science fiction game that is less about shooting things and more about exploration and story; in other words just what I usually look for. It’s a bit short and a bit wonky in places but overall was an interesting diversion. This time around Nameless Protagonist™ is an astronaut who has been sent on a 15 year mission to another planet that is around 20 or 30 light years away. Apparently they are using a not-much-faster-than-light drive. They arrive and promptly crash. Nameless Protagonist™ wakes up to find that his colleagues are missing and the supposedly lush world they were travelling to is barren and lifeless. Still, he sets out to explore what he can of the world before his oxygen runs out. You very soon finds that he isn’t the first person from Earth to arrive here; almost immediately you find a road that leads to an abandoned town that was apparently established by the Soviet Union in the 1970’s. The inhabitants are missing or dead, except for a mysterious woman who can somehow live in the toxic atmosphere and who seems to want you to follow her. The story becomes a mystery to find out how this colony came to be here, what happened to it and who this woman is. Strangely,

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  • Delta Phase

    The players in my Eclipse Phase campaign were a bit amused at the end of the first session when they were recruited into Firewall by a woman named Sonya Greene. The cause for their amusement was that in an earlier campaign, they had been recruited into Delta Green by a woman named Sonya Greene. They even asked if it was the same person and I assured them it was. It was a quick joke at the time, but some time later I thought about it a bit and realized that Firewall and Delta Green have a great deal in common. Perhaps enough that one could draw a line of connection from one to the other. Of course there are going to be similarities between the two organizations. Both are conspiracies operating under a cell structure and both are composed of people working to protect humanity from a hidden threat. And both must keep themselves and even the existence of the threat secret from the people they are protecting. Both know that their best-case scenario is only to break even; all they can really do is push the inevitable end away for a little longer. And of course both are from games that are equal parts conspiracy and horror. But is there more to it than that? I think there is. If you stop and look at it, there are quite a few elements of Lovecraftian horror in the world of Eclipse Phase. When most people think of the Cthulhu Mythos

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