Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Blog-a-day, DAY 1!

So I had a fight with a vampire.

Allow me back up a bit.

I tell ya, there's nothing better to ease getting pissed by something than to switch to something else and to get pissed even more at that. I decided to take a quick blogging break and instead grade history notebook. The first was a 90. Out of 200. And then next three got lower, until the fourth was 25. Again, out of 200. Good times! I'm back to blog.

A couple weeks ago I finally went ahead and picked up an Xbox 360. I spent 25 minutes earlier typing up the long history behind this purchase. I typed Part I of this tale, with Part II set to come this weekend. For now, this is what was meant to be Part III, so someday perhaps I'll go back and retype the prequel.

As I CLEARLY explained in Part II, I only own a few games at this point. You now TOTALLY know why. One of the games is Oblivion. Several years ago, I picked up Morrowind for the PC. Morrowind was the game in the Elder Scrolls series before Oblivion. I had trouble getting into the game, but I appreciated it. Looking back after playing Oblivion, I think I now know why. There were some things that I must have missed which diminished how I enjoyed the game. So when Oblivion came out for the PC, I still gave it a try (in highly illegal torrent form). And I liked it, but things got busy and I forgot the game. So when I got the 360, I purchased it. (See? The torrent process works! I never would have bought it if I hadn't bought it! Suck on that, Metallica!)

Oblivion is a fantasy world type role player game. Think World of Warcraft but single player. Or if you have no clue what WoW is, think Orcs and Elves and swords and Nerds. It's a pretty involved game. There are tons and tons of quests, and nothing that is too impossible that you'll get stuck somewhere in the game. Or so I thought. Back to that in a moment.

What was it that started this sexification of Vampires? Was it Inteview With a Vampire? Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Or something earlier that I don't even know about? It seems like those blood suckers went from horrible monster to sexy beast. While I had an appreciation for Buffy and watched many episodes, I never caught on, or even understood, this Vampire lust thing. i tried out a couple episodes of the new HBO show about Vampires because of the Alan Ball & Six Feet Under connection. It didn't stick.

But this love of vampires trickled into Oblivion. Some designer thought that he or she or they would put vampires into the game. I can get behind that. There's even the possibility that your character can turn into a vampire. OK, still cool. But this sucked. Sucked ASS.

So I had a fight with a vampire. Of course, I kicked its ass, because I rule. But apparently I was bit during the battle. It flashed some message about how I might be infected. I checked my stats, and no sign of any problems. So I continued on my questing way. After saving and coming back to the game a few days later, I had forgotten about said message. There was another clue or two about the bite, but it didn't really register with me that my character was, in fact, turning into a vampire. once it got to the last part, though, where it actually became obvious, I ignored it. "Cool. I'll be a vampire for awhile." As it turns out, it sucks. And not just literally.

The designers of this game decided to throw their full vampire lust into the game. Obviously, you can't go outside at night. Slightly inconvenient. Even worse, the people won't talk to you since you're a vampire. Those two things mean that you can't really keep playing the normal game anymore until you're cured. The problem is that the cure quest is extremely long and tedious. And since you can't go outside at night or talk to people, nearly impossible.

Here's how frustrating it is. I had a save point from when I pretty much started that day many hours earlier. I played as a vampire for three hours, and the save point was three hours before that. I decided that it would be MORE FUN to go back to the save point from six hours ago and replay many of the quests INSTEAD of continuing and trying to finish the cure quest. Does that seem like good game design? Since the game auto-saves regularly, I don't even set save points that often, so I was lucky to have the point I did. Lousy game design. Should I protest and stop playing? No. Parts I and II clearly state why I won't, don't you think?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I played Oblivion on a PC, so I'm not sure what saving is like on the xbox, but you sure do seem to have problems with practicing good volatility hygiene. First you lost a half hour of blogging work for not saving, and now hours of gaming work. Maybe it’s something you’ll grow out of.

My real comment is about vampires. Having had a self proclaimed vampire as a college roommate, I feel like I have some (irrelevant) knowledge on the subject. Although my roommate wasn’t all that sexy to me, in the literary world, sex has always (or at least in ‘modern’ fiction) been a key theme around vampires. The bite on the neck is fairly straightforward, but given their origin in a Victorian age mindset, even things like the fact that the vampire (always male) attacked his victims (always young and female) at night was probably somewhat scandalous. I’m no expert on any of the involved subjects (history, literature, de-bloodening), but I think back in the day the vampire was supposed to be something of a scared straight program. Be a good girl (don’t have sex) or you’ll die. I’ve also heard talk of a connection with STDs and their interplay between sex and disease/death.

(already behind on reading blog-a-day posts)
- The Jakes