August 09, 2006

PTD #10

by peterb

Issue number 10 of played.todeath is out. I have a few articles in this month's issue:

  • Retrograde: Nethack, my favorite rogue-like game, on page 19.
  • Indiescene: Styrateg, a nice little Fire Emblem clone. Page 23.
  • What might be the worst game of the year so far, NFL Head Coach, page 83.

...and there are, of course, hundreds of other articles by people who are almost as good looking as me. Download the magazine here (PDF, 20 Mb).

Posted by peterb at August 9, 2006 10:57 AM | Bookmark This

I assume that the PTD editorial and/or typesetting staff is the one screwing up your grammar and punctuation in those articles.

Posted by rlink at August 9, 2006 12:56 PM

It's probably all my fault.

Posted by peterb at August 9, 2006 03:43 PM

Interesting commentary on Nethack. There are two reasons I play Angband and its variants: the dungeon levels are bigger, and I don't have to worry about maintaining that damned dog. The dog drives me absolutely round the twist.

Personally, I've always found the graphical additions to roguelikes clumsy. The games already have a graphical scheme and while it's minimal, it's extremely information dense. I always feel constrained with one of the graphics schemes, probably because they always require sacrificing field of view for their images, and their images aren't sufficiently compelling to make me want to sacrifice my field of view. It's like playing an FPS and having this urge to turn my head and see if I can see outside of the side of the screen.

Posted by Mike Collins at August 9, 2006 07:29 PM

You don't have to keep the dog alive; I almost always callously let it die on the first level, and I've beaten the game twice. (The trick is to read every single spoiler you can get your hands on.)

Posted by Tierney at August 12, 2006 05:52 AM

Yeah; I know I don't have to keep the dog alive, but honestly, I hate killing the little bugger - I always hate injecting lose conditions like that.

It's up there with the reason I never finished Final Fantasy VIII - I would end up playing the card game, and any time I lost a card, I would reset. I ended up in the same location for about a month on and off simply because I wouldn't quit the damned card game.

Posted by Mike Collins at August 12, 2006 05:40 PM

I don't know if you've ever played Fire Emblem, Mike, but it sounds like it would drive you insane. I'm managing to get through it on the hardest difficulty level, but only by sending character after character to their dramatic and irreversible death.

Posted by Tierney at August 13, 2006 02:52 AM

Tierney, yeah - that would drive me nuts. There's a bit in Ultima V where you have to go through the villain's castle without magic, and one of the possibilities when you do so is getting captured, thrown in a dungeon, and getting one of your characters permanently killed - wiped off the disk killed.

It's probably actually the best open-ended scenario I've seen in a game: there's one route that involves joining the villain's side and getting a badge giving you free passage. The alternative route is a brutal and dirty slog, but it's actually winnable. The thing that made up for losing Sentri was getting the crown at the top of the castle, knocking out the anti-magic field and then cutting loose with all of my eighth circle spells on the guards behind me. I was laughing maniacally for two days.

Hrmmm...another reason I need to get out more often...

Posted by Mike Collins at August 13, 2006 01:20 PM

Heh, strange that the only three articles I bothered to read in this issue were the ones that you wrote.
Great job on the reviews, and it's definitely nice to see Nethack getting the credit it deserves.

I've been trying to get into Angband lately, but the shorter games and overall quirkiness is what's kept me with Nethack. I don't have the attention span to play several hours long games of Angband, and then lose all progress and have to start over.

Posted by Pb at August 16, 2006 10:35 PM

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