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First day of classes today. I don't think I'm used to two terms of classes in a row. Before waking up, I had a dream where I was late to my first day of work.

My Christmas holidays were largely dominated by Final Fantasy XII. On one hand, the characters practically do everything for you if you have the right gambit setup. On the other hand, if your actions can be replaced by the simplistic programming provided by the game, it probably wasn't all that involving or challenging. That said, I really enjoy the lack of random encounters. Those things are just annoying.

Still waiting for my marks in Concurrency and Algebraic Curves.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
daniel_ream
Jan. 3rd, 2007 04:05 pm (UTC)
On the other hand, if your actions can be replaced by the simplistic programming provided by the game, it probably wasn't all that involving or challenging.

I think this goes to "what do people want from a video game". I've noticed that console games are, more and more, displaying learning curves equal to that of PC games (where an hour or more to learn the game's UI is not uncommon, especially for strategy games).

Edgar Allen Poe once wrote a series of detective stories wherein the protagonist compares chess un-favourably to checkers. His thesis is that chess is only difficult to master insofar as it is complex, and being a better chess player is mostly a matter of being better able to handle branching decision trees and remember fancy gambits than one's opponent. Checkers, so the protagonist alleges, is a game of pure strategy because it is so simple; the better strategist wins because the complexity of the rules can't confuse the issue and experience with the game is irrelevant. (I imagine he would have felt the same way about Go).

The more I play console games, the more I find myself missing games like Metal Slug and 1942 and similar games that had three controls and no frills, yet were consistently entertaining because the game interface got out of the way and let you engage the game directly. I'm noticing that the games that "work" the best are ones that have a very simple interface and let the player get on with playing (Grand Theft Auto series, Super Mario series, Lego Star Wars series).
lambda_calculus
Jan. 3rd, 2007 07:46 pm (UTC)
My patience is locked, waiting for Quest to complete its task of revealing my Concurrency mark.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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