Woke up early this morning and decided to see if I could sneak in some gaming time without waking up my wife – and, since I have a really loud mechanical keyboard, that meant trying to find something in my Steam Library that I could play with mouse-only controls.
I love my really loud mechanical keyboard, by the way, and strongly recommend owning one if you do any significant amount of typing, but they do have some drawbacks.
Anyway, I first decided on 1C’s “King’s Bounty: Armored Princess”, which lets you play as a princess with a pet dragon. Seriously, that was all the incentive I needed to pick it up in a Steam sale a few years back, but it’s taken a while to bubble to the top of the queue.
…apparently too long, because launching it just resulted in the screen flickering a few times and the game crashing. I went to the Steam forums, found a few other people had a similar problem, tried the fixes they’d had work for them… it wasn’t working for me.
OK, sure, that’s a game from 2009. 8 years old. Lots of stuff has changed in 8 years, and it’s not too weird that a game from then might glitch out on a fully-updated modern OS.
Next up was The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing, which I bought a little more recently. No princesses in this one, but it looked like an interesting Diablo-alike loot-heavy action RPG, and it’s from 2013. Practically new, especially since I’m bad at playing games at release.
Launching THAT resulted in the computer just locking up, mouse pointer frozen in place. No memory dump, no error message, just a complete freeze of the sort I haven’t had in years and a realization that I didn’t actually know what I might have had running with documents open.
A hard power off and on got me back up and running, I went off to the forums and found someone who’d had similar issues, implemented their fix for it, made sure nothing was running, and hit the Play button again.
Results were unchanged.
I may have… well, I didn’t shout at the monitor because, again, sleeping wife, but I sure thought “ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?” in very large capital letters in my head.
So those two are off the backlog in disgrace.
The solution is probably “Keep a Windows 7 PC around”, which is the equivalent of keeping a PS3 around in case I ever want to play Demon’s Souls again, but right now I am too annoyed to think about this clearly.
Also dropped from the backlog recently: Lucy – The Eternity She Wished For, because I got about an hour into it before realizing that, while I’d loved Planetarian and Chobits and Mahoramatic, I was just a little too burned out on Sad-Sack-Falls-In-Love-With-Android stories, and HuniePop, just because there was way too much talking and not enough actual playing of the fun Match-3 game.
But neither of those actually, you know, crashed. So they get some points there.
I did finish a couple of short fun visual novels, however, “Space Live – Advent of the Net Idols” and “Highway Blossoms”
Space Live has a bizarre premise involving anthropomorphized web browsers facing off in an idol competition to determine which is the best, and your reaction to that premise will probably tell you whether it is your sort of game or not. It’s got an interesting quirk in that the character sprites actually seem to live on multiple planes and have different view angles, so you get characters on a background plane being talked to by characters in the foreground, who you see from the back. Also, there’s no first person narrator… this may, in fact, be the first entirely third-person VN I’ve ever played/read.
Highway Blossoms has a much less weird premise, being a romantic comedy involving a road trip across the American Southwest, a smidgen of angst, some wacky characters met along the way and treasure hunting for lost prospector gold. I liked it a lot – it didn’t overstay its welcome, it had some really memorable characters, and it had really good music to go with the sweet-but-not-cloying story.
And, I guess, neither of those is available for consoles. So I won’t be completely turning in my mouse and keyboard… just glaring at them a little bit as I walk past the computer to turn on the PS4.