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      16 Sep

    only true trekkies will notice the narrative links between star trek 3 the search for spock, star trek 6 undiscovered country, worf's tng/ds9 arc, and discovery's lrell arc with regards to cultural preservation narratives and ideologies.

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Recommended: Don't Starve

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I admit that I bought Don't Starve a while ago and tinkered around in the sandbox. I didn't realize how deep the game was until I watched a video of the developers discussing the creation of it and now that I've gone back to play I find it's quite a gem. As a survival horror game it features procedurally generated worlds, a well done sanity meter, seasons, crafting, characters with unique abilities, mysteries, and a total asshat named Maxwell. Find a footprint in the dirt and you may be on your first adventure to sight a mysteriously shy animal or go crazy killing too many rabbits and be hunted down for your sins by a mythical beast. There's a lot to do in this game and as it was released in 2013 it already has its first paid downloadable content expansion (from February) and it will have a free multiplayer expansion hopefully by the end of summer 2014. If you like Minecraft and survival games, it's a must have.

So what's the game like? You basically wake up in a new world at the start of the game with this suit dude named Maxwell making fun of you and disappearing. Unlike most games where you need to go through a story mode to unlock sandbox play, this one starts in the sandbox and you can later find Maxwell's door to head off on a 5 chapter/world adventure mode. I actually haven't made it all the way through adventure mode yet as you restart when you die and have to restart a new character when you die in sandbox mode, but I'm getting better at finding all the items I need to progress. I almost made it to level 3 in adventure mode, but went insane when all these frogs rained down on me and I was killed by a very nasty shadow.

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Now, dying and starting completely over in the game sounds like it would be horribly frustrating. I find it's very similar to most roguelikes in that you're meant to die in horrible and bizarre ways and it's a lot more fun to tell your friends how horrible the death was because of how horrible it was than it would be if you didn't have to start over. I highly recommend playing the game at first without looking at the wiki and I'm going to admit that my first 5 or so characters each lasted only a couple of days at most since I did this. That first death is simply charming and you're missing out on the nature of the experience if you plan your strategy ahead of time. Later you might need some strategy help, especially with which foods are the most efficient, but save your forays onto the wiki for those sorts of searches and you will enjoy the game more.

I actually don't mind dying in this game, because it's often hilariously funny. Go insane and get eaten by a shadow, get hit over the head by a tentacle in a swamp, or starve to death. There are so many different ways to die in this game. You do start over when you die, but it just means you'll get a completely new experience the next time. You actually don't progress and unlock character types until you die initially either. So have fun dying and playing new crazy characters.

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My favorite character is Willow. She gets nervous and "accidentally" sets things on fire. I like the crazy lighter and I'm hoping that I'll get to keep it for multiplayer and set my friends on fire. Don't tell my friends I'm thinking about that though. I prefer to tell them that it's just about not starving together and not that each character in the game is very messed up in their own right.

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You can buy Don't Starve on steam primarily with the expansion only costing a few dollars. It's actually a good expansion that introduces new gameplay options.

I enjoy the trailer as it has the feel of horrible death that I sometimes get while playing. BTW, I'm almost to day 100 in sandbox mode. Knock on wood that I'll stay alive and avoid starving in the near future.




Jun 26 2014 04:12 AM

The dying and having to restart sounds like a real pain xD

well, don't know if you've played rogues or not, but that's just the way they work. If you see it as starting over, then yeah that would get depressing after a while.


I look at it as leveling my knowledge of the world and becoming more efficient each time. So each new start is a new level and I'm going to attempt to do something better each time. Of course, sometimes it fails miserably, but that's usually because something I thought would work just fails miserably. Like when I decided to unlock lots of stuff on the swampland in adventure mode to make the other parts of adventure easier and winter hit and giant spiders spawned all over and it was like OMG OH NOOOOOOOOOOO! I'm not going to do that again...

Jun 27 2014 05:10 AM

Hmm well I guess it makes sense that they make a game around the restarting, I mean... you play and if u die u just do it again but better, but imagine in games where u play for weeks, months and then u die and lose it all :DD it would be like. /uninstall

yeah, I've got one of those. Tend to let them stay around and eventually I'll probably quit playing it because I'll be upset if it dies. But on the other hand that's my choice lol. And after all you could always cheat and save the file if you'd be upset if it went missing :P

Jun 27 2014 05:04 PM

reminds me of RuneScape,   Don't hate! It's my first mmorpg!  spend months gearing up... got lured to "wilderness" got pk'd, lost all my stuff... was like ... daheeeel...


I was a nubby but still.. first time stuff like that happens, ain't fun :D 

yeah, understood. I have fond memories of Shadowbane, but losing everything when you don't expect it can really suck. You become really paranoid in those types of games... which is probably why I like them a lot. I wonder if I should try Eve Online again... it's got the right type of environment in terms of pvp, but the amount of time to become viable is just a pain. Last few times I've tried to play it everybody I knew going into it got sucked into trying to make money by mining and I just fall asleep.

Jun 30 2014 10:46 AM

That was good in RuneScape, I got extremely rich through PvPing and going to arena and stake very rare's ... Got scammed a few times (it's a browser game so I got DDOS'd a few times) but I made an insane amount of money.. Whereas in AIon, you make money by killing mobs and hoping RNG is good for you, or do boring stuff like crafting :<<  in pvp u only lose money there

That's one of the ways you know whether a game was made with pvp at its core foundation or if pvp was just added on after the other systems. If you look at Aion in the beginning the end game was oriented around all the high money stuff from the Abyss (which was pvp-oriented). All paths led to that really. Some people still say that was the best version of Aion with the level cap at 45.

Jul 01 2014 07:57 AM

there was a level cap at 45? thought it was 50-55-60-65

Nope, original non-English Aion had a cap at 45. You would never have heard of it or experienced it if you didn't play on either Korean or Chinese servers (I don't even think it was in Russia at that point). The whole end game at that point was fort caps and it was a lot of fun.


Playing on chinese servers was a blast - they botted big time and you'd get these farming bot teams in the abyss that would go after you and you'd completely slam them. Stuff on auction was always cheap and plentiful because of the bots and so crafting wasn't that bad.


Ah... the memories...


Level 50 was really when the bad farming stuff started as they had that horribad heart crafting thing for the end game gear that a friend of mine failed 14 times before he quit the game.

Jul 01 2014 09:47 AM

saw a chinese siege ... was like 1000's ...

always wondered what it'd feel like to play in those regions 

I always liked it better in terms of gameplay (my playstyle is closer to both korean and chinese than it is to american), but of course the language issues were always huge.Believe it or not the koreans and chinese like pvp more than the americans do. The euros are somewhere in between them. And there are other differences that crop up too.
Jul 03 2014 04:33 PM

permadeath is all the rage these days. :P

Video of prototype multiplayer:


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