Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2002-04-05 Entry: "Leave It Alone"

After a splashout at PC World, I've ended up with more computer games that I don't have time to play. Well, Thursday night, I made a stab at one of them to see if it was any good.

The game in question is "Magic And Mayhem" which came as a bonus with its sequel. As a big fan of "Lords of Chaos" which this seems to be based on, I was hoping for good things.

However, where Lords Of Chaos was a turn based strategy, this is real time. And I'm notoriously bad at realtime strategy. I can't react fast enough to keep up with everything that's going on and end up dying ignominiously in fairly short order. But I persevered through the first two missions.

The first mission was easy - just summon a couple of creatures and go and beat up the villain. Hitting him with about a zillion fireballs eventually drives him off and the mission is complete. It gives a chance to learn the controls at least.

Between missions you can spend experience on improving your wizard, or tinkering with new spells (much as Lords Of Chaos), but the spell selection, rather than building on what you already have, involves moving some ingredients around between a limited number of positions. As such, I tinkered before the second mission, trying to get some better spells.

And I goofed. The second mission was incredibly hard - whereas before I could just hit the bad guy with the fireball spell, this time I had to rely on monsters to take him out. Meanwhile, he had this spinny disk thing that decimated everything it came into contact with. And he managed to cast rather a lot of them...

So between poor spell selection, and the fact I couldn't control more than one creature at once to do anything important, I only barely survived. Fortunately, Buffy and Angel dragged me away from being beaten by the third mission.

Meanwhile, at work, I've noticed that Phoenix Virtual Television has had a makeover again. I thought the site had died when my previous bookmark was failing, but they've just dropped all the subpages and put everything on the main page. A couple of new series have appeared but the Babylon 5 one is still AWOL. Hopefully that'll make a reappearance at some point. Meanwhile, I've been reading the Kindred: The Embraced mini-series, which had a promising start at least. It lost its way a little with part two (at least one of the character decisions seemed totally wrong), but building a mythos all its own from the seeds in the eight episodes that the show lasted is still fairly admirable. Now all we need is the Highlander The Raven series to actually pick up...

As an addendum - I was being blind... Babylon 5 Season 6 is on there, I'd just missed it - and it still hasn't had an update since last May!

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