GerbilMechs 094 : Can't See Straight

08Jun04 (Monthenor): Oh man, is this what it feels like to work for a living? I was the first one into the office this morning (at 0905) and the last one out (at 1725). Dizamn.

See, I was all set to do some light XML work today, maybe knock off early and finish the comic. I woke up early (for me), had brekkist, and went off to the office. What I didn't know was that at 0002, literally two minutes after I went to bed, my boss assigned me to a revision on a 15-page grant proposal. Basically, "take this grant that worked for geology and make it economics". Oh, "by tomorrow at 1700".

It wasn't as hard as I make it sound. I left at 1730 because my revisions were pretty much done. There's less than 50% new material, and some of it is shifted around, but sssh! Don't tell the NSF!

09Jun04 (Monthenor): Lost Kingdoms 2: This game had all the components to become one of my favorite games ever. Given my past love affairs with Xenosaga's Xenocard minigame and CardMasters Conflict (link is down as of this typing), I'm all up ons the video game card battler. Why, then, did Lost Kingdoms 2 fail?

I'm not saying it's a bad game. Certainly, other people enjoyed it. It just lacked...urgency, I guess. I'm not opposed to playing the game, but I feel no compulsion to do so. I like to beat games just to see the end, but Lost Kingdoms 2 does not compel me in any way. I think most of this apathy stems from the types of cards available. Whether summoning little goblin helpers or "attacking" with summoned weapon creatures, your character feels a few steps removed from the combat. Everything is done through some sort of summoned monster. This fits into their mythology but removes the kind of direct interaction that I apparently need. Your character never casts a fireball, you always summon a creature that casts a fireball and then disappears. Does that make sense?

Given this reliance on creatures and the necessity to show the kiddies some eye candy, there are no "invisible effect" rule-warping cards that make you feel like you're doing something. I'm talking about cards like Article 4-13 from Xenosaga, that would detonate your own guys to hurt the opponent. Cards like the creatures from CardMasters Conflict, almost all of which had some sort of activated ability. In Lost Kingdoms 2, creatures either have an ability that they choose to use or none at all. Mostly the latter. It just felt flat compared to other games.

I didn't expect Magic complexity, but it wasn't even as deep as CMC. Xenocard is still the king, baby.