Friday, April 18, 2008

Following in my brother's footsteps

You know when you see something really odd that you just have to stop and check it out. I had that moment a couple of days ago. I saw dain playing Puzzle Quest. And he had achievements in it.

Now I had that game downloaded as a demo and tried to play it once but I just didn't understand it. Was it an RPG or a puzzle game? It was too confusing and I gave up after about 5 minutes. I didn't delete the demo because I thought one day I would take some time to really concentrate on the game and see what it was about before I officially and permanently threw in the towel.

So what's so strange about dain playing Puzzle Quest, and that he had achievements in it? Maybe because I don't think dain is much of a puzzle gamer. I've tried to get him to play Jewel Quest, but he's never seemed interested. He says he's played Hexic, but he seemed reluctant to admit that. Is this a guy thing? I don't think so.

What I do know is that he does like what I'll call "outfitting games". Games where you can change the outfitting of a character or vehicle to fight a certain way in a battle. He loves building hounds in Chromehounds. I can't tell you how many matches we had to sit and wait for him to "tweak" his hound for just a little more speed, or more ammo, or more range. He's got a hound for every occasion but he doesn't keep them for very long because he likes to fiddle with them. Even the ones that work for him. Outfitting a character is the same thing. Every time we start a Rainbow 6 match I have to stop and look at dain to see what he's changed on his character this time. It might only be his weapons, but it usually is his hat, or armor or maybe some new tattoos. It really doesn't surprise me that he likes to do this. As he was growing up he always liked to rearrange his bedroom every couple of months it seemed. He might not have liked to clean it but boy did he like to rearrange it.

Dain's also a thinker. He likes games where he can think and plan. Carcassone and Catan are good Arcade games for that. And the Rainbow 6 games suit him better than Call of Duty type games. He'll sit and wait. Thinking and strategizing about the enemy's moves. Last night I think he was always the last one left alive in our terrorist hunt missions. He's patient. And while he's patient, he's thinking.

So when I saw dain playing Puzzle Quest I thought it was a demo like what I had. When I realized he was earning achievements (I'm not worried about him passing me any time soon - hee hee) I figured there must be something in the game that appealed to him. I figured if he liked it I should give it another try. I played the demo again and it was a little better the second time (partly because I stopped to read the instructions and hints). So I decided to follow in his footstep and download the full game. I was surprised to find it was 1,200 ms points. That's pretty steep. I had points to spare so I unlocked the full game and started playing.

At first I was still hung up on the the 'is it an RPG or puzzle game' that got me the first time. Once I figured out how to battle and plan what I'm going to do instead of just moving same colored shapes around I started to like it. The more I've played it the move I've liked it. The dialogue scenes between missions still annoy me some what because their jarring to the flow of game play. But I can see why dain would like the game.

You have to think about your moves. What's the best one for you? What move would you make that might give your enemy an advantage? What move could hurt him? For me I just want to play. Like I want to run into a room guns a blazin'. Dain, on the other hand, will sit outside the doorway and repeatedly peek into the room picking off anyone he see. He's a sneaky little devil that way. Give him something to think about or outfit for a battle and he's a much better player than I ever could be.

I'm not one of those people who only like a certain type of game and I'm not going to try anything else, thank you very much. I like trying new things, but only if I trust the judgement from the person who recommends it to me. He might not have recommended Puzzle Quest to me personally, but looking through his recently played games and seeing him play it is enough for me. When it comes to trying new games I trust my brother dain. So I'm glad I followed in his footsteps with Puzzle Quest. Now if he'll just trust on on Jewel Quest we can call it even.

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