Let's Play Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 1, Part 8

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Dark Alliance has somehow morphed into Game of Dungeons: A Song of Slime and Fire. Plus, Saltanat goes shopping but it still somehow barely dressed. Women's armor is, as in most games, so impractical as to be ridiculous.

Let's Play Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 1, Part 7

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We burn some giant ice cube things, die a bit, and get ready for the next area.

Let's Play Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 1, Part 6

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We make our way through the sewer like drowned rats.

Lets Play Baldurs Gate Dark Alliance 1 Part 5

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A giant thing tells a bunch of smaller things to 'kill the intruders' (that's us) and we finally rescue Ethon!

Let's Play Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 1, Part 3

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Well, know we know for sure what's happened to Ethon, but we can't get to him because of all this damn steam...

Fine Model Minecraftsman: Beginner Railroading in Minecraft

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UPDATE

I've now got a midpoint station design that uses two tracks at a single level (although with some buried wiring) that can be strung together in a line, that uses simple flow control, so that main lines are restricted to one cart at a time heading in one direction, and multiple carts in the system can run simultaneously with an ideal number of carts being the total number of stations (terminals or midpoint) minus one.

Below is the original article, written before the above video was made.

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Model Railroading-- at least the construction, electrical, and operational aspects, if not the aesthetic ones-- lives on in spirit through the popular video game Minecraft.

What Is Minecraft?

A game for PCs, Macs and Microsoft's Xbox console, Minecraft's appearance is deliberately primitive. Players in Minecraft inhabit a world comprised of cubes that appear to be about a meter on each side. Each cube's appearance lets the player know what material they are composed of: earth, stone, sand, wood, water, etc. Many of these materials can be "mined" by the player for their constituent resources, and reformed into useful tools, building materials, and structures.

Each Minecraft world consists of randomly-generated terrain composed of these blocks, placed together to form plains, deserts, forests, oceans, rivers, lakes, mountains and underground caves.

In its basic mode, called survival, players are dropped into a world and must start from scratch, harvesting wood to make wooden tools, then moving on to harvesting stone and metal ores to make better and better tools in order to make larger and more complex structures. The motivation to make these structures is what happens when it gets dark: the world spawns monsters of various types in dark areas that will roam the world and attack the player if they see him. Torches produce light that stops monsters from appearing nearby, and discourages their approach; walls of earth, wood and stone will keep them out (don't forget the ceiling, some can climb walls!), door mechanisms will let you come and go while monsters are kept out, and weapons can be used to fight them and even harvest certain resources from them.

The game's name aptly points out its focus: mining in minecraft is how you acquire more resources that allow you to improve your tools, replace them when they wear out, and provide raw materials to build houses, towns, cities, or castles: whatever the player can dream up.

Let's Play Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 1, Part 2

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We debate the merits of running vs jumping, find a bottle of wine that we then completely forget to do anything with, and have chats with and about a fishy guy named Ethon, who may or may not be from LOST, but definitely gets lost.

Ars Reviews the 5th Gen iPod: Stiff Competition, Or None At All

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So Ars Technica has reviewed the new iPod Touch.

http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/10/the-price-of-progress-2012-ipod-tou...

The new iPod touch improves on its predecessor in every way, but at $299 it faces stiff competition.

[...]

Android-based alternatives like the Samsung Galaxy Player and the Sony Walkman F exist, but they haven't had the same impact as the touch. Most other companies don't seem interested in fighting Apple for the remains of the dwindling music player market.

I'm having trouble figuring out whether the new iPod is facing stiff competition, or none at all.

All of this is marred by one thing: fifth-generation iPods start at $300. This isn't too bad if you consider its 32GB starting capacity—a Nexus 7, for example, can be had for $200, but the 16GB price is $249 and a 32GB version isn't (yet) available.

Let's Play Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 1, Part 1

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Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance was the first Xbox game my wife and I played together. The xbox has been dominated by FPS and cover shooting games for awhile, but I do enjoy a good hack'n'slash dungeon creeper, and two-player local coop (a rare thing in the genre these days it seems) turns a pretty standard D&D-based RPG into something special.

With the game's release ten years ago this month on the Xbox, we decided to relive the game with this video Let's Play.

The first play session, about two hours, leads up to the second level sewer under Baldur's Gate. It's divided into five parts; these first five parts do have a problem with microphone input levels-- it's a bit too bright and harsh. This will be fixed from part 6 onwards.



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