I’d hoped, one day, to buy a desktop PC to handle games and other graphics-intensive tasks, but never actually got around to it; hence, my laptop (which I bought to write and take with me on holidays) has to do double duty. Between paltry hardware and a paltry operating system (I’m looking at you, Vista), there aren’t too many games that I can play. Then again, I rarely do so, anyway; an RPG can take me well over a year to complete.

Thus, I just finished Dungeon Siege II (bar some minor mopping up), some five years after everyone else in the world. A few things have struck me.

Firstly, I much preferred the art in the first one; DSII aimed for “atmospheric” but ended up somewhere between “WoW-meets-hentai with all the naughty bits airbrushed out” and “too dark to see anything”. What’s with the archmages’ faces? And Valdis was all horns and shoulder pads, with a sword like a giant, cast-iron dildo—I was supposed to fear a guy in shoulder pads, who threatens the world with a dead god’s dick-proxy? “Oh, no, it’s Valdis the Giggleworthy! Quickly, let’s run and hide!”

Secondly, encounters should advance the story, not just hospitalise players with carpal tunnel syndrome. I’m sick to death of wave after wave of hold-the-button-down mooks, especially on the mountain at the end.

And how I am I supposed to get the eighth item in the “Lorethal’s Legacy” set, when all the items are randomly—but level-appropriately—assigned? Oh, and 86 gold is an appropriate reward for a seven-minute, 41st-level combat? That said, however, I think I spent more time trying to assess the relative values of rings and amulets than actually killing things. If I thought that was fun, then I’d get a job at Cash Converters.

And lastly, what’s with the freakin’ Aegis? I spend all game trying to assemble a kickarse shield, and then I don’t even get to use it?

Apparently, I can use my character to play the game again, at a higher difficulty. So, uh, I can do the same shit all over again, with the same mooks adjusted for my level? That’s replayability?

Um, no, thank you. I’ll pass.

Speaking of things I should’ve finished years ago, I’ve finally gotten around to reading Night Below, the AD&D 2e Underdark campaign box-set. It turns out that “Underdark” is a trademark. Never noticed that before.

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