Bioshock finished

i just finished playing Bioshock. There’s two alternate endings, I took the good route, and boy, the end film was really nice, at least this game doesn’t leave you with a sudden ending, a suitable climax, and the ending is really an ending that was worth it (at least to me).

(Spoiler alert) You can see the alternate ending at Youtube, if you want.

Overall score of this game : 9.8/10. Well recommended.

Gaming Windows

Bioshock – Frollick City

A smallish update for those readers who read with baited breath my Bioshock adventures – yes, you Kam !

Bioshock is really on par with Far Cry, nay, even better !!! It’s a combination of Far Cry and Deus Ex, leaving you plenty of option in how you want to kill your enemy. (By the way, you can now download an advert-sponsored free version of Far Cry and other Ubisoft titles !).

At the moment I’ve completed (I think) slightly more than half of game, I’m in Frollick City, and this is with just about every other night playing a couple of hours. Phew! It’s getting exhausting. But that’s probably also because I leave no trashcan unsearched, no machine unhacked (due to a tonic, successfully hacking something gets me extra EVE and Health) and no place unvisited; the map is really good for that, showing you stuff you haven’t visited yet. So YMMV and probably you could get a lot faster through the game if you wanted.

My psychic arsenal, because that’s what I have now, is really extensive, ranging from several plasmids (your main powers : telekinesis, wasps, ice, fire, enrage, etc) to a lot of tonics that you can use to improve your chances (more luck with hacking, armoured skin protection, a passive electric defense, etc, some 70 in all apparently, some of them improvements (version 2 so to speak)). I also bought a lot more slots to put plasmids in (you start out with 2 I have 5 now). Some of these tonics interact with the weapons you collect, there is even a whole range of tonics that you can combine to really keep up with the wrench for the more powerful enemies; I am actually hesitating in restarting (after I complete it first) and seeing how far I can get just using the wrench with the assorted tonics.

Coupled with the ‘real’ weapons that range from your trusty wrench to your flamethrower and my latest favorite, the crossbow, you have access to an extensive range of death-dealing, severely destructive means that you can combine in various interesting manners.

You know the game is good when you cuss yourself because you just used the flame-thrower to quickly finish off some splicer and then realize that you had a much more elegant manner of dealing with it (for example, you can freeze the splicer, photograph it to get some more research points -all the while hearing it chatter its teeth and complaining about the cold- and then switch to your pistol to give a coup-de-grace headshot which explodes it into pieces).Heh.

It’s still every bit as ‘dark’ as the game promises, and I still get the ‘frissons’ when I hear a spider splicer crawling on the roof and start looking for it. And Frolick City, where the mad ‘plaster-caster’ artist Cohen hangs out, is really not something for a minor… A very spine-tingling moment is when you go to a special room and
(SPOILER ALERT ! You do NOT want to read this if you haven’t played this level yet, trust me) then realize that all the statues that you passed by when entering the room are in fact splicers covered in plaster who appear in stop-motion.

Really, really scary moment there, yesterday around midnight.

Gaming Windows

Bioshock woes (2)

Tonight I planned an early start and finish on the Bioshock game, so I could get a decent nights sleep (I need it). When my bootcamped into Windows XP though, suddenly my Bioshock shortcut showed up as not linked (you know, the white square instead of the icon).

Whaddayanow, another problem running this game. Now my AVG antivirus (free 7.5 edition) says the bioshock.exe has a virus in it. This happened after it’s update today. Looking around on the 2K support forums I found one entry with lots of people having the same problems. It seems more to be an AVG problem then a Bioshock problem. Pressing ‘ignore’ does nothing, you still cannot start the game as the message pops up again.

The solution while AVG updates it’s virus list : open your AVG control center, and double-click your ‘Resident Shield’. De-select the ‘Turn on AVG Resident Shield selection’. Click on ‘Apply’. You can then start up Bioshock the normal way. Leave the window open so you get reminded to reactivate when done playing your game. This is very important, you don’t want to get hacked, now do you ?

Some more links

Oh and for those in the game : I just passed the Medical Pavillion and have just killed my third big daddy – fourth if you count the respawning one when going for the emergency access. It pays to search them, they always have a lot of dollars on them !


Bioshock does not contain a rootkit.

Good to know.

Blog News Gaming

Bioshock – Medical Pavillion (small spoiler)

I’ve just stopped playing Bioshock – it’s very entertaining, and very well thought out. I’m still in the Medical Pavilion, so not exactly very far into the game, but it’s good stuff. You get surprises all over the place, ranging from splicers hiding behind corners jumping you when you pass to collecting stuff and suddenly realizing that you can hear someone else !

That is the most deranging part of it – you see, in any other game I played when a new enemy appeared, he was either silent or bellowing. Here you hear those mad splicers muttering things, sane things that are so out of scene that they become totally weird, and they wander around, not necessarily looking for you.

The most scary part so far was when in the morgue, in a dark passage to a well lit place I saw a shadow of a man working on ‘something’. Stepping back, admiring his work… ignorant of you. So you rush up out of the water and just at that moment… the light goes out(select the white text on the left if you want to know).




For the moment my dual-booting iMac is single booting into Windows XP for the foreseeable time : after playing the demo of BioShock, today (launchday of Bioshock in Europe) I went out to the local fnac and bought it. I did waffle a bit about buying it at first as the game itself has a very, very dark atmosphere (little girls with big syringes extracting fluids from dead people for example) and I get influenced by stuff like that very easely, but the demo and the excellent reviews got me to hand over my cash…

Not the collectors edition, I’m not that crazy anymore.

So don’t expect any immediate email response for the following few weeks…

Gaming Links

So yes, I've got a Wii

A friend of mine sent me this link to a google video. It’s a spoof on the mac adverts, this time between the PS3 and the Wii.

And now you know why I have a Wii.

Gaming PSP

PSP Firmware 3.02 cracked – PSX games possible without needing a PS3

I don’t know if the people at Sony were lazy or if the people behind the cracks are that good, but for at least a week now the psp firmware 3.0 (first 3.0, then 3.01 and now 3.02) has been cracked.

This is great news for those of us who would like to use emulation software on our psp.

If you downgraded from firmware 2.71 (now even from 2.80) to firmware 1.5 or used a custom firmware like 2.72 SE-B or SE-C you could already emulate lots of other systems :

But so far, Playstation One games (also called PSX games) could not be emulated on the psp. There was an attempt made early this year by an independent coder, but that didn’t really get that far, although many wished for it.

But now, Sony officially allowed you to buy and download psx games – on your hugely expensive PS3. You know, the one that currently (dec 2006) is nowhere to be found ? That is hugely expensive ?

That’s right, in order to play your old games (that you might still have lying around) on your psp you need to buy a PS3. Of all the stupid hare-brained schemes, marrying the psp to the PS3 to get PSX games is a really STUPID way of getting attention for your psp business.

I really get the feeling that the psp is not exactly the center of attention at Sony Games. Here is a chance to let the psp system shine, and whoops! – you can only download from our servers if you have a ps3. It simply sucks.

No way am I going to buy a PS3 – I’ve got two kids with the eldest being five years old, so I’m going to buy a Wii so I can play games with them ! I like my PS2, but I’m still selling it for the Wii – there’s only room and time for one console in my living room.

So for Sony Games to allow us to purchase PSX games only via the PS3 means that they are missing out on a lot of the emulation market – people who have fond memories of them playing games in their youth and want to relive the experience on their psp and marvel at its ability to be able to play them – in the palm of their hands !

So that’s why this is great news for those of us (like me) who don’t own a PS3 and are not planning on buying one anytime soon, and by the time I might buy one my psp will likely have gone to its grave…

Xenogears (if I can find the discs again) here I come !

Gaming PSP

Killzone : Liberation

Killzone : Liberation

A new addition to my gaming collection… Killzone : Liberation

So far very nice, good for some quick action, the save checkpoints are reasonably to very well placed, and you actually need to think to advance ! I’m playing on ‘easy’ mode, and that is already hard enough !

Also, while the game is played from an isometric perspective, the animations are all very well done, when you go sailing through the air after an explosion your limbs flail about ! Gruesome, but a nice touch.

‘Playable by Dads’ rating : ‘Pick it up!’

Blog News Gaming

Interactive Fiction

I’ve been a bit quiet recentely – that’s because I’ve (re)discovered Interactive Fiction, what we used to call text adventure games in them (G)olden days.

For those of us who were already running around on the world in the eighties, with zits or not, this brings back fond memories of a prompt where you typed in lots of commands in a text window, few of which were accepted, to get another sparse room description. But you could do things to a story, you could decide what you wanted to do. Instead of just reading a book, you made the book.

Granted, some adventures were crap (especially those I played early on with my ZX Spectrum – I still remember beating my head against my wall trying to find the right command to move a log to a lake). Still loved ’em though, and once you’ve tasted the Infocom games, you’re lost.

Leather Goddesses of Phobos, hmmmm.

You can still play those games (if you can find them) using a modern day interpreter like WinFrotz for windows or Spatterlight for Mac that reads the z-code, which is the code that Infocom wrote it’s game in. One common platform to write to, with an interpreter on each OS – Avant-la-lettre future design !

Even though text adventures are officially dead, Interactive Fiction is not. A small community of readers and writers keeps experimenting and writing new compilers, new adventures, new ways of experiencing things…

Inform7 is now available, and let me tell you it’s a huge change. It lets you write your own text adventures in human-readable text which Inform7 translates to code. I’ve been plowing (actually, gliding) trough the manual and muttering to myself… I’m understanding this, that is not too hard, that makes sense…

I’m getting another creativity attack.

I’ll update this post later with more links and info.

For beginners, check out the Brass Lantern – a great site to start reading up on adventures. You can read more reviews and download adventures on the Baf site.