Friday, March 16, 2012

Video Games On The Radar 16Mar2012

Here is a brief post from me on what games I plan on frying my brain on playing over the weekend.  Sometimes I'm able to glean some spiritual insights from games.  Let's see if I can come up with any from the ones I plan on playing.


Skyrim is a game that took awhile to grab my attention.  I tend to enjoy playing a mage style character.  The first few hours of the game were difficult for me (reminded me a lot of playing a mage-style character on Oblivion).  After unlocking a certain 'perk' in the game, the game became easier.  Recently, I started giving my character some special gear and it's become almost ridiculously easy.  Maybe I'm just a bit over-leveled, or perhaps throwing around fireballs practically at will is just that powerful.

My first impression of Skyrim was that it was very beautiful.  The terrain in the game is very natural and I feel like the developers took a lot of effort to make the environment seem very realistic.  I've found after playing the game that I tend to pay a whole lot more attention to the environment around me.  Where I live, there is a very beautiful mountain range nearby.  I remember thinking once that the mountains had the best texture I'd ever seen before, only to realize I was looking at a actual mountains (that could probably be seen as an argument that video game players can't distinguish between the real world and games).  I've also noticed since playing the game that I've become a lot more aware of how things look around me, and the natural beauty that the world has.  I seem to appreciate and admire Heavenly Father's handiwork a lot more now.

One aspect of Skyrim that I enjoy is the fact that the characters tend to get better at what they work on.  It's a game playing feature that got me hooked on Wizardry 7 back in the game (a much older game).  Obviously in real life, I get better at things I practice.  One thing they are missing in Skyrim is skill degradation (which would annoy me as a player).  If I'm not practicing something, I tend to get worse at it.

That aside, Skyrim is a very engaging game.  I would place cautions around the language in the game, immodesty, and especially around the violence in the game.  There are some areas of the game that can have some gory/disturbing imagery.

Final Fantasy X

I know this is an older game, but a dear friend lent it to me, and it's one I've always wanted to play.  The Sphere leveling system has me hooked as well as the plot line of the game.  The ability to mold any character as I please is very interesting for me.  For all but one of the characters, I've been following the 'set' path more or less.

The plot line seems to revolve around one character trying to decide between doing what is best for them, and what is apparently best for the rest of the world.  I can't say a whole lot more because A) I haven't finished the game and B) I don't want to spoil anything.  The story has been pretty heart wrenching and shocking so far.

The warnings I would place for this came would be for some language and immodesty.  Overall, a relatively clean game.

World of Warcraft

In some ways, an old standby of mine.  I first started playing it in college when two of my room mate started playing.  I've been hooked on and off ever since.  Overall, probably not one of my favorite games, but the social aspect of the game can make it very addicting.  One thing that appeals to me about the game is that there seems to be a near endless supply of things to do.  Always more quests to do, places to explore, dungeons to delve, or achievements to reach for.  In my experience, it can be either a fun experience with friends or a mindless time sink.  Most of the time, the game can be very 'ho-hum' or regular.  It's the moments when things get mixed up that make the game more exciting.  Some of the later game content can be a lot of fun, but typically requires a team of 10 or 25 players to experience.

Finding a spiritual insight for this game is a bit of a stretch.  I guess the concept of each person having a set role to perform can be seen.  Each character excels at a certain niche in the game.  Another could be the concept of being able to be flexible and performing your best for the good of the team (a lot of the later game content requires teamwork).  Another insight I could see is that there is always work to do or improvements that can be made in my life.

Those are the planned games for the weekend.  I may end up dabbling with other games.  I've been itching to play Batman: Arkham City for awhile and I just got a copy of Final Fantasy XIII.  There's also been some updates to Terraria that I haven't played with yet.  Oh well, too many games and too little time, I guess.


  1. Oh, is THAT where my FFX went? I'd forgotten.

    I did like the Sphere system, but I thought the Materia system from VII was much more flexible. Each character in FFX has a very specific specialty and unlocked grids only give you a few extra abilities, but not combat role defining ones. Kimahri is the only one that's really customizable, and even then he has to follow another character's level path eventually. That's not saying it's bad, though.

    Since combat is now turn-based and you have in-combat party and equipment swap options, you can instantly bring in the specialist you need for the situation. When you're stuck at only three party members, you have to make sure each of them covers more than one role, which can be difficult.

    It's really a tossup between VII and X for my favorite Final Fantasy game. FFX has the better combat system, but the characters of VII have a special place with me thanks to nostalgia.

  2. WoW is dead now my friend, time to move on.

    Mass Effect 3 is a beautifully done game if you don't mind a few risque scenes about alien sex.

    That said, this sampling is limited! Nothing about Civ 5? Shogun Total War 2? No review on the ACTUAL Mormon game Helam? And what about Dota 2?

    1. Mass Effect 3: never played the first two games (although watching some 'Let's Plays' has lead to me to believe I'm missing out)

      Civ 5: Actually played it. I tend to get bored with it. Never played any of the Total War games.

      Helam: Never heard of it.

      DoTA 2: I think I played LoL, and DoTA both a few times. Never really got into them.