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Changeling and Cthulhu

I am kind of amused (in a black humour sort of way) that the "don't rape her" meme (which I have only seen once, and it was something I had to actually looking for) has spawned an anti-meme - the people who post saying that they are NOT posting the "don't rape her" meme. Don't misundertand, I find the meme itself ill-informed and people's reasons for not posting it quite valid and reasonable... I just find the whole meme, anti-meme thing a bit funny, seperate from the subject matter.

Apparently, the Changeling 2nd Ed book I assumed was lost in the mail was infact not! I'm going to pick it up from the post office today. Which means that I'll end up with two copies of the 2nd ed core rules, but you know, I don't mind that much.

I've also been playing "Call of Cthulhu - the Dark Corners of the Earth" for the XBox. I must say, it's a pretty darn good game. It is done my Bethesda (of Morrowind fame) and, apparently, they had a whole bunch of gamer nerds come in to help. It is a really atmospheric game, and fills me with warm fuzzy nostalgia (I may have been nurtured by Changeling in my youth, but I cut my teeth on Call of Cthulhu). It reminds me how much I like Cthulhu.

I mean, the games and plots I am more comfortable running are more in line with the Cthulhu feel rather than the Exalted feel - investigation, shadowy horrors, and preferably indirect confrontion rather than running about hitting things and saying "look at me! I'm shiny and much better that you will ever be!!" Sure, each are valid and fun forms of gaming, but if given a choice I would prefer the former rather than the latter.

But I digress - back to the XBox game. It has a couple of really nifty features, and a couple of annoying/off-putting ones as well. The sanity loss system is great, and doesn't feel contrived at all. What's more, to a certain extent you can limit how much san you lose - for most people familiar with adevnture/rpgs, you develope the habit of looking/interacting with everything you come across. This is not such a good idea in this game if you want to stay sane, as looking at certain things closely can cause more san loss. For example, if you see a flicker of movement around a corner you can chose to a) not investigate or b) peer around the bend, only to be met with a horrifying sight which causes you to panic and lose san.

The san loss effects are really well done, from the camera going kind of swimmy and distorted, to auditory hallucinations. What can I say? It *feels* like you're playing Call of Cthulhu.

Now, the annoying features. I hate it when game designers say to themselves, "right, we want this bit to be hard - let's give them a long jumping puzzle! While they are being shot at!". Right now I am stuck in this sequence where I have to ride in the back of a truck being driven irratically while being shot at. While I have to shoot at others. Healing isn't an easy matter, either, as it takes time (the character literally sits down and bandages himself - noth something you can do in combat). I want to progress, but it is frustrating to have to keep reloading over and over again.

The other vaguely off-putting thing about the game is some of the voice acting. The game is set in Innsmouth, you see, and all of the (ahem) townsfolk sound like the voice of Nixon's head in Futurama. It's not exactly a flaw, I suppose, but it makes me giggle inappropriately in a horror game.

Anyway, it's a good game. Pick up a copy if you get a chance!


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 4th, 2005 10:25 pm (UTC)
I finished Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth about a week ago. And yes, it's a good game. However, I do agree that some of the puzzles were annoying. Not to mention having to backtrack and redo a whole section of the game (how was I supposed to know I had to use the crowbar to hit the guy over the head instead of popping a cap into his dome from behind!).

Anyways, great game all around, but not something I'd play again. I'm having a lot more fun with Prince of Persia 3: The Two Thrones, City of Heroes/Villains (when I can play them), and Shadow of the Colossus.
Dec. 4th, 2005 10:41 pm (UTC)
Have you heard of/played Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem? It's an early Gamecube title and one of the best Cthulhu games ever - the Sanity effects in that were awesome.
Dec. 4th, 2005 11:10 pm (UTC)
I've heard of it, but it's quite hard to get these days...
Dec. 4th, 2005 11:22 pm (UTC)
I can lend it to you - but someone else has borrowed it at the moment. I'll let you know once I have it back.
Dec. 4th, 2005 11:31 pm (UTC)
The silly minigames are what annoy me in things like Final Fantasy too. I suck at hand-eye coordination, so...
Dec. 4th, 2005 11:56 pm (UTC)
I really should go back and finish it.

I got frustrated by the escape from the hotel chase sequence.
The first few times it really felt like I was being chased and it was compellingly atmospheric, however it isn't really a chase sequence since the bad guys catch up with you at pre-defined points, and so after a while facade crumbles and it becomes a case of, I run into a room and need to do A to get to the next room, then I die while I am figuring out what to do next.
Then I do A, figure out I need to do B, and then die trying to figure out what C is...
repeat until you get to about J...

I thought we'd left that style of gameplay back in the early 90s where it belongs...

Anyway, having thrown the controller away in disgust after I finished that section and saved my game, I went off and played F.E.A.R. instead...
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )