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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!

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.

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.

OnLive Is Not The Future

OnLive

A story at The Verge offers up some surprise over the recent demise-reorganization of OnLive, most of which I can't tell if it's sincere or not.

"I was, as many others, quite shocked by the last news on OnLive."

You were shocked? You're the first person I've heard of who was. For my own part, I'm shocked this hasn't happened sooner. Is this sarcasm? I'm having trouble telling for sure.

"When it was first announced I was shocked that such a technical achievement was accomplished and I was waiting so long for having it available in the country I'm living (Ireland)"

You might have waited for them to actually accomplish something before being shocked. As for the idea of being able to deliver streamed gaming with reasonable quality and latency from the US to Ireland... never going to happen. The technology is barely usable at all, is never going to be usable intercontinentally, and would require local servers all over the world to be deployed outside the US. It was never going to happen.

Gears of War 3

gow3.jpg

I thought I'd just list a few things I liked and disliked about Gears of War 3. Warning: SPOILERS!

LIKED: The series finally spent more time outdoors than indoors or underground, and we got to see some color. I liked that. The near-monochromatic color scheme worked well in introducing the game world back in the first game, but as things moved faster and became more crowded, it became monotonous.

DISLIKED: GoW3 is only marginally less set-piece happy than GoW2 was, with plenty of sequences that turn the experience from a third-person shooter into a rail shooter.

LIKED: I liked how we got to see how the actions of two separate squads came together to result in the defeat of the game's first boss enemy, the Leviathan.

DISLIKED: I disliked how jarring the transition was, going from Marcus and Dom defending the ship, to Baird and Cole looking for groceries. Ultimately, though, the gameplay for the second team was more enjoyable.



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