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Dakkster’s Top 300 Games, 30-21

12 September, 2010 2 comments

Time for some Sunday gaming goodness, getting this list down to 21. As usual, check out the Top 300 Games tag to look at older posts. Let’s go!

30: Soul Calibur 2 (GameCube) – We used to play endless matches in SC2 and this is my favorite beat ’em up of all time. What we did, usually we were four or five people playing together, was that we played a team game where we chose eight characters on each “side” and then we took turns playing until all eight on one side were defeated. I also plowed through the single player part of the game, which was more of a series of different challenges that you had to go through. Looking at the stats, I played about 1200 games with the character Yunsung. Link was a bit overpowered because he was the only one with long distance weapons, but if you just sidestepped, that was all taken care of. The extremely buxom girls in the game were… well, they had extremely large and bouncy boobs, so much so that it just became comical more than anything else. They’ve only gotten bigger in every sequel since then.

29: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (PC) – Whenever I think about this game, I think about atmosphere and a beautiful world to play in. The story is okay and the side quests are really good at times, but what kept me playing was the world I was playing in. It got me hooked from minute one with the beautiful music and the beautiful setting. Beautiful is really getting a lot of mileage here, but the game is truly beautiful in almost every single way. The only not-so-great part of it is the dialogue. The people look weird and there is a huge shortage of voice actors, so most of the people sound the same. It’s also a bit silly that in order to level up your athletics skill, you go around jumping constantly whenever you walk from one town to another. But all in all this is one of the best RPGs out there and I had so much fun with it.

28: Halo 2 (Xbox) – The game that got FPS multiplayer going on consoles. I played this two years ago or something on my Xbox 360, so I missed out on its release, but I really like the story part of the game and the time I’ve spent with it in local multiplayer has been a lot of fun too. The narrative in the single player story is interesting in how you switch between playing Master Chief and the Arbiter, giving you a better understanding of the enemy from the first game. I co-oped my way through it a couple of times and I think it’s interesting that they included a song by Breaking Benjamin at the end of the game. That felt like a gamble that, if it had paid off, we would see a lot of popular music in more games today, as opposed to just being the soundtrack in sports titles.

27: NHL 94 (SNES) – There was one pretty essential feature missing in this game that was added in later versions and that’s the season function. I promptly started playing my own season where I drew up a schedule on paper and counted goals and assists for all of my players. Most of the times I’ve played a season in the NHL games, I’ve played with the Detroit Red Wings since that’s my favorite team. Same thing here. Steve Yzerman ended up with something like 268 goals and 480 points in 84 games. As a reference for you normal people who aren’t complete hockey nuts like me, the most a player has ever scored in the real NHL is 215 points by the best player ever, Wayne Gretzky. In later years, me and my best friend have taken to playing Detroit vs Pittsburgh (his favorite team) in an endless stream of games. We’re so even and it’s a blast in every game. The games usually end up something like 9-8 to one of us.

26: Super Mario All Stars (SNES) – You can call this my cop out pick of the list because it’s a collection and I’ve been really really torn on where it should end up. We’ve pretty much all of us spent considerable amount of time with the Mario games, especially 1 and 3, but I don’t know… to me there’s something missing. I always preferred Mega Man to Super Mario back in the day if I could have my pick. Regardless, this is a collection of games that is almost second to none. SMB1 is THE video game, in my eyes the one that started it all (or restarted it all, if you started with Pong and those oldies). SMB2 is the black sheep of the family, but it’s still fun. SMB3 is one of the most impressive evolutions of a game series ever and then you have SMB The Lost Levels, which I’ve never actually finished. I will probably go back to it just to finish it one day, probably as both Mario and Luigi, but until then, it’ll have to remain that “too damn hard!” game I never managed to beat.

25: Resident Evil Remake (GameCube) – As good as RE4 and 5 are, they don’t hold a candle to the original game. It was the first game I got for the GameCube and today it’s the only one I haven’t wanted to sell. It is beautiful and sooooo damn creepy with atmosphere so thick you can slice through it with a knife. It’s a testament to some games really benefitting from remakes and it makes you think about how other games could be remade.

24: NHL 10 (Xbox 360) – At the time of writing this, it is four days until NHL 11 is released here in Sweden. I’m getting it on release and I’m trading in this sucker. Since I got it, I’ve played countless games, most of them online. It is THE hockey game to play and I hope that the next one takes it a step further. My friends and I have had endless fun playing together in the couch against random people on Xbox Live. The Be a Pro feature was fun at first but it didn’t hold up for long, especially when you started playing online. The center Thomas Johansson with the jersey number 36 was drafted by the Washington Capitals and quickly rose through the ranks, won the rookie of the year trophy and all that jazz. Then I stopped playing and forgot about that feature as soon as online matches caught my eye and I never looked back. At the end of summer my nephew was trashtalking about how he could beat me and I told him that he had no chance whatsoever. Finally we sat down and 12 straight wins (with a combined score of 80-23 or something like that) for me later, he wasn’t so cocky anymore. That was fun.

23: Half-Life 2 (PC) – I feel that this game is insanely overrated, much like Portal. Yeah, both are part of The Orange Box, but I felt there was such a difference between them, so I kept them as separate picks. I include in this pick, however, the “Episodes”. Writing this now, we are still waiting for Episode 3, so the story is not entirely finished, but it’s been years since Episode 2 was released, so fuck it. This game kept the narrative style from the first game and used more engaging supporting characters to tell a deeper story in HL2, for better or worse. Sure, Alyx Vance is a good female game character, but all too often I felt that she was leading me by the hand every step of the way. The pacing is one of the best things about this game and that’s an underrated thing. But the real star of the show is a weapon, just like in Portal. The Gravity Gun made this game what it is. Along with a solid set of vehicles and intriguing set pieces, the story has gotten deeper and deeper for every part, ending with a heartwrenching loss at the end of Episode 2. How it all ends in Episode 3 will be very interesting.

22: The Legend of Zelda (NES) – Link’s first adventure was awesome and it was also responsible for me looking up a word in the dictionary for the first time in my then short life. There’s a cave where an old man says something about a secret and a peninsula. I was seven or eight years old English wasn’t my first language, so peninsula was pure gibberish for me. Getting it translated didn’t help in making sense of the damn clue, but I finished the game anyway. One of the all-time classics. Not a lot more to say here, actually. Just give it a go if you haven’t already.

21: Mario Kart Double Dash (GameCube) – Another couch multiplayer favorite for the GameCube. We never tried connecting several GameCubes, although with hindsight I think we should’ve given it a shot. Then again, hindsight is always 20/20 and we still had loads of fun with this game. I never fell in love with the SNES or N64 versions and the Wii and DS versions are lackluster in comparison IMO. This is it when it comes to kart action. All the tracks are a lot of fun and the side games are also a really entertaining and that’s what this is supposed to be about. Pure goddamn fun.

Now I’m down to the top 20. From now on it’s nothing but slam dunks all the way to the top.

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NHL 10 tournament tonight

28 May, 2010 3 comments

Quickie post. Tonight I will be playing in an NHL 10 tournament. Some friends of mine will be among the other contestants and there will apparently be six or seven guys I don’t know who will also participate. We did this  a few weeks ago and I ended up finishing second that time, losing a game I feel I should’ve won, but I hit a whole bunch of posts and the bounces just didn’t go my way. Trying again tonight! The setup is that we play on two PS3s next to each other at a store owned by a guy I know. It was a lot of fun the last time, so we’ll see what happens this time. The guy arranging it was talking about doing some sort of mini world championship, but if we’re 10-12 players, then a matchup of Canada against Belarus isn’t really fair. I also don’t like playing on the big ice in those games.

I expect it to be a whole bunch of fun and I’m usually pretty upbeat regardless of how it goes. It was a bit weird getting used to playing it on the PS3 the last time, but that transition should go smoother tonight. Wish me luck! 🙂

My EA support adventure

7 April, 2010 Leave a comment

This is an experience I had with Electronic Arts’ online support people about two months ago when I was having trouble getting Dragon Age: Origins to work properly with the DLC I had bought online. I had also used a free gift voucher that I got in the game box. I had no problem buying them with my newly created Bioware/EA profile or downloading and installing them. Downloading patches worked fine too. Then I became swamped with work and other stuff and had no time to play until two weeks later. When I tried to reload my save the game told me that I was “Unauthorized” to use that DLC. I went back and forth trying a bunch of stuff to make it work and to make sense of it all. No such luck.

I wrote EA support about it and got a standard reply. Tweeted about it:

I love how EA says that I must use another account to access my Dragon Age DLC, when I only have one account. Fuckers.

I then wrote them this on their support correspondence page:

The game says that I’m unauthorized to use the DLC I’ve purchased and used my download code for. It claims that I’m not logged in with the correct account, when I have never used more than my current account. When I access my “Your registered game promotions” on the Bioware Social Network, it says that I’ve got Warden’s Keep and The Stone Prisoner, but the game will not let me use them. Since I cannot possibly log in with another account, what do you propose I do to remedy this? I fully expect to get access to the DLC I’ve paid for. When can I expect to be able to play what I’ve paid for?

Reply sent, the system told me that I would have a reply within 24 hours. My next tweets looked like this:

EA support said I should expect a response within 24 hours. 30 and counting, no response… Fuck you, EA.

EA douchebaggery update: Approaching 48 hours and still no response from them. “Expect a response within 24 hours” my ass!

EA update: Answer came after 60 hours, containing a solution that contradicted my situation and that actually was no solution. Retards.

The answer I got looked like this:

Hello,

Thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding your Dragon Age: Origins purchase. It is always a pleasure to assist our customers in any way that we can.

At first, please accept my apologies for any delay in addressing your issue. Please note that due to the release of this popular game, Dragon Age of Origins we are getting contacts in volumes comparing to normal flow. Though we are trying to get back to every one as soon as possible a little delay is inevitable.

I’m sorry to hear about the issue you are facing with Dragon Age: Origins download content. This happens when an account which does have access to these items downloads them at any point, and another account logs in (which does not have these entitlements. http://help.dragonage.com/cgi-bin/eadragonage.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_sid=tnVsziMj&p_accessibility=0&p_redirect=&p_lva=23666&p_faqid=23584.)

If there is anything else we can help you with please let us know. Additional support can be found on our help site located at http://dragonage.bioware.com/.

Sincerely,
Vincent
EA Customer Support – Dragon Age: Origins

Howdy Vincent! Now you’re my pal! Or not. Vincent managed to fuck up the URL to the solution, so I had to copy and paste myself. You’re not getting any brownie points here. Anyhow, that page told me that it’s a bad booboo to log in with another account when you’ve already downloaded DLC with a first one. Too bad for Vincent that I wrote in my original message that I’ve only used one account. After that I wrote another reply and attached two screenshots just to be overly clear. Here it is:

Dear Vincent. I am really, truly sorry if you (or whoever else reads this update) are offended by any frustration I might display in the coming lines.

In my original message I EXPLICITLY stated that I had “never used more than my current account”. That alone contradicts your “solution” of my problem. I put that in quotation marks because what you provided wasn’t a solution. So please, in the future, stop wasting my, your own and EA/BioWare’s time by trying to flip me a “solution” that you already, from the information given to you, KNOW will not do anything at all.

So let’s try this again, shall we? I have still paid money and spent a download code on this and I fully intend to get what I paid for. I will get painstakingly detailed here, so that you can’t possibly botch this.

After I installed the game, I got myself to the DLC part of the menu. This required that I log in. I logged in using my existing EA account which is tied to the email address dakka81@REMOVETHISgmail.com. I entered the DLC code for the Stone Prisoner that I got on the card that came with the game. I then purchased points so I could get Warden’s Keep. After that I downloaded and installed both of them. How is this possible? Because I marked the “Always log me in” box the first time I entered my log-in details. This was more than a week before I discovered that the game called my DLC unauthorized. I will now re-state what I wrote in my original question. I HAVE NEVER EVER USED ANY OTHER ACCOUNT THAN dakka81@REMOVETHISgmail.com WHEN PLAYING DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS. Is that clear enough? I always used the “Always log me in” function until the game started complaining and I tried a few different log-ins.

Thus far, it should be clear as goddamn day that there is something wrong here and the fault isn’t on my end. What with the “only using one, single account” thing, I mean. But then we get to part two. If I log in to http://social.bioware.com it says that my account has the following details:

Email Address: dakka81@REMOVETHISgmail.com
Xbox Gamertag(s): Dakkster
PSN Name(s): None

That’s all well and good, everything’s correct. I then click myself into Profile and then Your registered game promotions. On that page it quite clearly says that I have access to Warden’s Keep and The Stone Prisoner. I’ve included two screenshots. One of them shows this page. The other shows the menu in-game, showing that I’m logged in to the same account (dakka81@REMOVETHISgmail.com). Those two screenshots don’t mix. They contradict each other.

So again, I’ve paid for the content, I’m only using one single account, BioWare’s page RIGHTLY shows that I should have access to the content. But the game doesn’t allow me to. So what I want you guys at EA Support to do, is to fix this. If there is a glitch somewhere in the DRM server or whatever, you make sure that I get access to what I paid for in the game. I have done everything I can do and the fact that I didn’t even do anything wrong in the first place is a bit annoying. What’s even more annoying is that I have to spell things out to you guys like this. Is it really THAT hard to read and comprehend “I have never used more than my current account”?

I’m awaiting your SOLUTION.

After this someone other than Vincent replied, someone who actually possessed some technical know-how, and my problem was swiftly resolved. My dripping sarcasm wouldn’t have been necessary if EA didn’t assume that their customers are morons.