The Elder Thoughts

RPGs, miniatures, books and other rants

Status Update: October 2019

Diablo 3 screenshot

I'm going to try to keep doing a status update post each X months, as might be of interest to read some personal opinions of some videogames I play (my main hobby nowadays).

Switch videogames finished

  • Zelda Link's Awakening: I must confess I didn't played the GameBoy original, but this remake is a wonderful trip into imagination and cuteness. The game is not hard (although later dungeons and map portions are best played on one go to more easily memorize the layouts) but feels like real-life toys (in movement, of course), plus great music.
  • Oninaki: An action RPG published by Square Enix, more akin to an action Diablo 3 (combat has more depth) than a classic Final Fantasy, the game starts telling us the story of a Watcher, a kind of knight who can see and interact with the souls of the dead and travel between the normal world and the world of the dead. You also collect and "train" daemons who not only provide powerful magic attacks but also set your attack style (from swords, axes, or lances, to crossbows or a huge scythe). The gameplay might not be too varied but the story is quite interesting and you're encouraged to train all your daemons in order to unlock their hidden memories (tales of how they became a daemon).
  • Diablo 3: I keep playing this game from time to time. I already have 6 out of 7 characters at 70th level (only missing the Monk class) and my account has paragon level 403. I now play trying to get all the minions/pets (random loots) and doing the "secret" set dungeons, because seasons are too tiring for just a few aesthetics (or a set).

Zelda's Link Awakening screenshot

PC videogames finished

  • Dawn of War III: I finally finished the campaign. I had uninstalled the game out of fury due to a friggin' bug on the final boss, so I reinstalled it, restarted the level (hoping that after a few months the bug would be patched) and indeed it worked, I saw the souless, dull ending and whenever I have some spare time I'll reinstall the game for skirmishes and/or multiplayer games (the real core of the game). Campaign was terrible, clearly a patch to sell an otherwise clearly multiplayer-oriented title.
  • Dark Seed: Not an RPG or strategy game, but a really old AMIGA graphic adventure based on H. R. Giger's artwork and ideas. Quite hard without a walkthrough but I wanted to finish it no matter how as was a childhood memory.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus: A great turn-based strategy game with unit progression, about an Adeptus Mechanicus ship entering a remote system and awakening Necrons. I loved both the setting and the gameplay, I just don't totally enjoy that once you finish the game, everything starts over from scratch (including your unlocks, upgrades, etcetera).
  • Final Fantasy VII (currently playing): One of my long time desires, to play again my favourite FF game. Sadly I am older and less patient now, and both the endless random encounters and some really slow progression fragments make me wonder how did I managed to have so much free time when I was younger to spend so many hours in the fights. But I'm determined to finish it again. And then maybe give a try to FF X (2nd favourite) or FF VIII (3rd one).
  • Final Fantasy XII (on hold): I tried to play it. I really tried and have my savegame with more than 20 hours poured in. I love the gambits system, the pseudo-realtime attacks and strategy component of being able to see your enemies while walking, the progression system is so great and gives you a great degree of freedom... but the story is so dull and sometimes plain boring, and the English voices are bordering the a "bad" rank, that I've decided to stop it for a while.

Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus screenshot

Painting and Miniatures

I've done small bits of painting some necrons, but nothing relevant to show.

I've mainly spent time deciding which miniatures to get rid of and which ones to keep permanently, and then selling them. I still keep quite a few ones and have enough to paint for years, but at least I did this pending task and now can focus on painting.


Book Review: The Art of the Uncharted Trilogy

The Art of the Uncharted Trilogy book cover

Very recently I finally finished the original Uncharted Trilogy, so combining that with my recent read of The Art of Last of Us, grabbing The Art of the Uncharted Trilogy was a clear choice. And one I do not regret.

The review is pretty much like the aforementioned Last of Us title, but 3x. Tons of beautiful sketches, illustrations and drawings both seen in the game and never seen before (because they were conceptual, discarded, or simply evolved into other final versions). Lots of early designs of the main character Drake, but also of his close friends and many secondary characters from all three titles, and we're not talking just about bosses but NPCs, enemies, even the flora and types of trees.

Illumination tests, evolution of certain set pieces, tricks and non-realistic concessions they had to do to make the games either more visually appealing or gameplay-wise more enjoyable, and I was surprised to also see quite a few discarded scenarios (material that sometimes you don't even get to know about).

Covering three games in around 200 pages means it always feels brief, but I've you've played the games you will love the insane amount of detail, from how they decided which clothes enemies should wear at certain places to how Drake's diary pages should be built to feel natural and realistic.


Book Review: Horus Heresy: The Outcast Dead (book 17)

The Outcast Dead book cover

I skipped a few Horus Heresy books because I wanted to read about the Thunder Warriors and The Outcast Dead was the recommended source. The main story relates to a powerful astropath who, after surviving a warp accident on a spaceship, got almost mad and apparently incapable of performing his duties, and who by chance will party with some renegade Space Marines who were imprisoned on Terra, so not much about Thunder Warriors there... it is true that part of the later plot does involve them (I don't want to spoil anything), but I was hoping to know more details.

Still the main story is quite interesting, at first unfolds slowly but then takes pace and I read the last third of the book way faster, devouring the words and trying to learn what happened next. Another good Horus Heresy novella, and one that goes quite deep into astropaths, cryptopaths, navigators and related psykers.


Book Review: The Art of Last Of Us

The Art of Last Of Us book cover

Usually any art book contains concept art and character & enemy designs, but probably due to Naughty Dog's nature (the company responsible for the videogame), in The Art of Last Of Us there is an incredible amount of beautiful scenery, iterations of not only the main characters but also non-player characters and monsters, examples of different lighting tests on scenes...

I loved the videogame, and the book doesn't disappoints, showing sketches, different steps and iterations (including discarded ones), colouring... Special mention to the faces: You clearly feel how much effort was put on trying to find "the perfect match" for each character face, different expression tests, or details like hair color. And the same applies to enemies: Lots of iterations on the type, clothing and weaponry.

A nice collector's item indeed.


Moving more old miniatures

After moving some old miniatures, I've decided to move most of my remaining painted miniatures to my family's country-house. I mostly only keep painted from now on my Deathwing Terminators (+2 full squads) and some Genestealers including the big patriarch on the throne. I'll decide what to do when I finish painting other minis when I'm able to finish painting anything.

So, I've moved some really old miniatures, like the Rogue Trader Dark Angel Space Marines:

Rogue Trader Dark Angel Space Marines

And an old Land Raider:

Rogue Trader Dark Angel Space Marines Land Raider

But also some newer miniatures, like this plastic Dreadnought:

Dark Angels Space Marines Dreadnought

Or the Ork Stompa I had already photos of:

Ork Stompa

And non-Warhammer miniatures, like this (already pre-painted) Metal Gear Gray Fox ninja:

Metal Gear Gray Fox ninja

This small Aliens APC (also pre-painted):

Aliens APC

Or this old Aliens Queen:

Aliens Queen

As usual, you can see a few more photos and all the archives at the Warhammer 40k gallery and the Assorted gallery.


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