Brackish Waters

how my gaming and life coalesce.

Tabula Rasa – A video review

What an exciting title huh? I’m sorry as I really wanted to call this one “I brought you flowers” because of the blog guilt I’m feeling right now, but I just didn’t think it would explain the real content of the post.

I’ve been playing a lot of Tabula Rasa and I know I have already written a little review about the game but I just felt like it needed or deserved more. I’m not saying this is the epic game I have always been waiting for or that you should run out and grab it right now. I don’t do recommendations anymore.

What I will show you is exactly how the game is and maybe give you enough information to decide if TR is the game for you. Please enjoy as this was what has kept me away for the past couple days.

The Google Video Page

System Specifications
MSI 915p Neo2Platinum
2 gig PC2-4200 Kingston
MSI RX800XL ATI Raddeon PCIx16
2.8 Pentium 4


November 14, 2007 Posted by | Reviews, Tabula Rasa | | 18 Comments

A clean look at Tabula Rasa

TR_logoLast Friday I received my invitation to join the large number of players who are currently testing the new MMO Tabula Rasa. I had been following this game for some time because I got my first taste of gaming with FPS games and the thought of a good FPS-MMO would make my world complete. I occasionally find myself leaving MMORPGs for a spell to get my FPS fix because its just something that an RPG cannot provide: that rush and excitement of battle, the speed and exhiliration of war that I hope I never see in reality but my inner animal craves. What I had hoped Tabula Rasa would be is a great pairing of the systems I have come to love and become a game I would spend a lot of my future gaming with.

This is partially a submission I posted in the forums and also a bit of a review on the individual systems of the game. I hope that this gives those of you who are considering the game a small outlook of its current state and enough information to make a decision on whether to pickup this title on release. As with every MMO, its constantly changing and what I am currently playing will not actually be the form on release day.
Continue reading

October 22, 2007 Posted by | Reviews, Tabula Rasa | 4 Comments

Well its about time

What a pleasant surprise to log-in to my Google Reader account and see some very good and much needed changes. The full article can be found over at the Google Reader blog.  Two of the biggest changes are a search function and an unread article count that goes higher than 100.

[borat voice] Verrry Nice.

The lack of the search function was one of my major pet peeves with reader and I was dumbfounded as to why it was not something that was an innate part of the program. I mean this is Google we are talking about here.  What makes this function great though, is it has the ability to not only search through what you have read and tagged, but also the archives of the sites you have subscribed too.

The updated post count just made me realize that today is official house cleaning day. I think this should help keep me more in tune to what I want to read and what I can read.

Also, I’m going to throw in a tip for everyone else who happens to use Google Reader.  Are you having trouble remembering what site you posted that comment on last week?  If you areReader Tag like me, you probably make a variety of posts throughout the day but forget to follow-up on the topic the following day.

One way I have found to remind myself to look back is before I leave Google Reader to make a comment, I append an additional tag on the article I am going to post on.  This places that article in an additional folder for you to scroll through!  Its like a repository of every article you have made a comment on.

Hope that helps!

September 6, 2007 Posted by | Brainstorms, Reviews | 1 Comment

What are you, Chicken?

I really wanted to give a great rundown of the new session play for Lord of the Rings:  Lotro Chicken Online, but I haven’t had as much interest in playing through the quests as I previously thought I would.  This isn’t because the content is lacking or poorly done, it seems to be integrated fairly well into the game.  The major flaw I see with the “chicken-play” is the fact that you cannot group with anyone while playing.

Turbine should know that MMOs are all about players interacting with other players and facing challenges in the world together.  Why would they leave out this major component to play?  Session play looks fun!  The story and abilities the chicken gets are hilarious and make me want to keep going and doing more, just not alone.

I tried the quests as soon as my game finished updating and after spending an hour locating where in the Shire I needed to find the NPC to start the line, I called over some of my friends.  We all got there, finished what would appear to be the last quests in our hominid form and moved over to talk to the first chicken.  Before we zipped up our chicken suits, we planned where in the farm’s courtyard we would all meet and exchange our new chicken names.

It seemed obvious they would ask us to enter a new name because we had to do the same when creating our Creep (Monster Play).  Turbine took a much easier approach to this and inserted a ” ~ ” before every characters name.   I guess this is because chicken characters are not permanent like your monster play character, so I find no fault in this.

Like I mentioned before, we had no way of grouping with each other, so it became a massive web of /tells going back and forth between the group of us.  Very hectic.  We managed to stay together through the first couple quests, but once we were instructed to find various places in the Shire to talk to other chickens, there was little we could do to prevent us from becoming separated.

It was a good time while we were together.  I would look behind me at various times and see chickens popping up through the grass, each trying to get an extra step from the mouthes of the numerous wolves chasing us.  We searched for worms together, visited towns we had previously been to as hobbits,  and at one point tried to take on a boar.  I wouldn’t recommend doing that last one.

We will try to give this another shot using our guild’s ventrillo server and hopefully I can write more than a brief introduction and rant about the system next time.  Until then, I’ll work on some chicken puns.

August 29, 2007 Posted by | LOTRO, Reviews | Leave a comment