Just Finished: Another World

My back is broken, I can’t feel my legs and I will probably never find a way back home, but at least my only friend in this another world is here, and we’re riding towards the sunset on the back of a huge flying lizard. See you in the next episode.

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By a lucky coincidence, I played the original Another World at the same time as when I discovered the joys of reading classic SF books. The thing is that some of the old editions available at my school’s library had those fantastic illustrations made by masters like Frank Frazetta and others. Well, sometimes their art was too fantastic — I swear that I was too afraid to open my copy of Burroughs’ Princess of Mars — but it certainly helped me to appreciate the incredible vision of an alien reality in Eric Chahi‘s masterpiece.

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Too bad that I lacked the skill and resolve for fair play and used codes to skip some, let’s say, problematic sections, but as a kid I didn’t care about it. Now it’s time to return and do it the proper way.

First of all, playing the 25th anniversary edition made me understand why people on Steam and elsewhere keep complaining about remastered editions. In case of Another World, you don’t get much, just hi-res graphics and soundtrack. There’s no audio commentary from the maker, no concept art, no new levels. Maybe I shouldn’t complain, though, because I shamelessly pirated the Amiga original so it was the right thing to pay the money without any additional benefits.

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What are my thoughts after I finally finished the right way? Human memory is a fickle thing, but this might have been the first mature game in my life. In this case ‘mature’ means an ambition to reach beyond, transgress the borders and make a video game something more than just pure leisure.

One example of this revolutionary approach is Buddy, the NPC companion with whom you try to escape captivity. Being a native to this another world, he has a different set of skills and is able to operate alien technology, but also to fight the baddies hand-to-hand – something that our eggheaded protagonist isn’t capable to do. What’s even better, sometimes our former cell-mate acts in a different dimension, for example escaping pursuit right in front of the virtual camera while the hero moves in the background. A very interesting and unique approach whis reminds the player that this 2D game has an actual third dimension.

Of course, being almost two decades, I cannot ignore the game’s flaws now. First of all, there’s little interaction with the environment and virtually no dialogue at all. The combat mechanics, although surprisingly exciting, are too simplistic – a cover system like in Alcatraz or Blackthorne would make it much more interesting. Finally, my standard complaint is that it’s far too short, but it’s understandable given the technical limitations of home computers at the time Another World was released.

Still, does it all even matter when we’re talking about a work of a genius. Maybe one day I’ll make my personal shrine, a shelf with physical copies of the greatest games I’ve ever played. Another World will certainly be among them.

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Just Finished: Hotline Miami 2

That’s it. I’m not getting the 100% completion. The requirement for the last achievement is simply ridiculous: 50.000 dead bodies. I have already passed both Normal and Hard modes several times and the bodycount is still around 43. Time to uninstall HM2 and keep the good memories.

Besides, who likes to be called a whore?

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A badge of dishonour

Just Finished: Fallout 3

My second, and final, Fallout 3 playthrough is over. What I’ve learned is that I’m very bad at being bad. At the beginning, my Player Character named Hagen was supposed to be the evil incarnate, but at one moment, after a long period of stealing, murdering and enslaving, I felt unable to commit acts of evil anymore, because I realised that I liked the good people of the Capital Wasteland too much. Therefore, my remorseful character finishes his journey with Neutral Karma and the title of True Mortal — very appropriate for him.

That’s enough for a summary. Now I’ll just share some screenshots I collected during the playthrough. Just some of the most memorable (and sometimes bizarre) moments I’ve (or is it ‘we’?) experienced.

Beware! Spoilers ahead!

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Hybris. The 21st century Vitruvian Man at the gates of Rivet City.
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Into the Mouth of Madness. The journey to the Lovercraftian nightmare of Point Lookout begins here.
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Altars of Madness. The Ark&Dove Cathedral, Point Lookout.
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Where’s your saviour now? Lincoln Memorial.
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“If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever”. The Pitt.
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Kill the Xenos. The alien mothership has just lost the battle against me and me motley crew of abducted humans. Mothership Zeta.
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Paradise Lost. The Oasis, just about a minute before its inhabitants were slaughtered by Hagen.
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As the Good Book says.
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No More Heroes. It’s feels strange to find this monument in the Capital Wasteland after taking part in a VR simulation of the Operation Anchorage.
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The stones will cry out.
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Mother, do you think they’ll drop the bomb? The final moments of Megaton.
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The Legacy. Historical documents, including the U.S. Constitution, displayed in the Rivet City museum.
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Necessary Means. Just don’t call it a concentration camp, please.
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Beauty will save the world. One of my favourite guests has classical music as a reward.
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To the barricades! The rooftop of the Statesman Hotel, just a moment before Hagen and the Reilly’s Rangers make an attempt to break through the Supermutants.
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Harold’s corpse in the Oasis.
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A place of worship somewhere in the Wasteland.
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We’re a happy family. Hagen and Sidney enjoy the hospitality of the Reilly’s Rangers at their headquarters.
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No fancy vistas here, just our heroes enjoying a well-deserved rest.
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Hybris Punished. The Fallout’s backstory in a nutshell.