Site Menu
  Steve's XP Legacy Games Corner
  Game Walkthroughs
  Adventure Game Reviews
  Role-playing Game Reviews
  Editorials and Interviews
  Galleries (Private Area)
  RSS Feed
  About and Contact Details
Recent Articles
Riven Riven


 by Steve Metzler
Hadean Lands Hadean Lands


 by Steve Metzler
Tesla Effect Tesla Effect


 by Steve Metzler
Diablo II Diablo II


 by Steve Metzler
Dag Scheve Dag Scheve


 by Steve Metzler
Puritas Cordis Puritas Cordis


 by Steve Metzler
Gray Matter Gray Matter


 by Steve Metzler
Dark Fall: Lost Souls Lost Souls


 by Steve Metzler
Tex Murphy: Overseer Tex Murphy: Overseer

 by Steve Metzler
Fallout 3 Fallout 3


 by Steve Metzler
Dark Side of the Moon Dark Side of the Moon

 by Steve Metzler
Atlantis II Atlantis II


 by Steve Metzler
Overclocked Over-


 by Steve Ramsey
Seven Games of the Soul / Faust Faust


 by Steve Metzler
The Immortals of Terra Perry Rhodan


 by Steve Ramsey
Where Have All the Puzzles Gone? (Part II) Puzzles (Part II)


 by Steve Metzler
Where Have All the Puzzles Gone? (Part I) Puzzles (Part I)


 by Steve Metzler
Archived commentary

Sunday, 29th November, 2009

Holding pattern
And so I find myself in a strange situation, where after nearly 22 years as an avid computer gamer, I seem to have finally burnt out :-\ A few months ago I began playing A Vampyre Story with a view to reviewing it for the site, but ran into a show-stopping bug about halfway through that caused me to become disheartened to the extent that I never finished the game. More recently I picked up a copy of the RPG Risen (by the crowd that produced the Gothic games) because a few people over at one of the gaming sites I (used to) frequent thought highly of it. But I couldn't get into that one either.

Lately, I've become something of an active skeptic, and spend most of my time visiting science blogs where we debate with the likes of creationists, anti-vaxxers, homeopaths, etc. - in other words, science vs. junk science. It's a very interesting way to pass the time, but in the end you wind up with little of substance to show for your efforts, other than a fuzzy warm feeling that you might be helping to bring a few poor deluded souls over to the side of rationality.

So that leaves me in a situation where I just don't know what to do with my free time. Should I take up the guitar again? I was a keen player for about 30 years, before I gave that hobby up about 8 years back when I became too busy with the gaming journalism. On the other hand, maybe after a break of a few months I could get back into gaming again. I've got like 20 games sitting on my shelf that are either not started or partly finished (like The Witcher, Oblivion, Bioshock et. al.).

I suppose I'll get myself sorted sooner or later. In the meantime, just wanted to explain why was stagnating. Still get about 300 visitors a day, but that's mostly for the walkthroughs. Thank you for your support.



Monday, 29th June, 2009

The Project, realised
Well, it finally happened. But only thanks to a last minute intervention by The Doctor. Check it out, if you will:

The Project, a.k.a.



Monday, 15th June, 2009

Status report
The Project was due to go live this weekend. But I was down in the maintenance pit with a colleague running some critical last-minute checks, and to our horror we discovered that the levels were all wrong!

This is a rather serious setback, and it's likely something only The Doctor can fix. I'll keep you posted...



Sunday, 24th May, 2009

C'mon you Irish province!
So I grew up in New Jersey, and played American football, baseball, and basketball all through those formative years. But yesterday was one of those life-defining days for me, and it happened to be associated with a sport that I've only come to love in the past two years or so: rugby.

Ireland, my adopted country for the past 23 years, is not a big place. Between the north and the south, it amounts to all of 5 million people inhabiting an island that's just slightly larger than the state of New Jersey. But these people have heart. A lot of heart. And so it was that yesterday I had the good fortune to be sitting in a pub with a few of my good Irish friends watching Leinster (pronounced 'lenster'), one of the four Irish provinces, facing off against Leicester (it's pronounced 'lester', and that's an important observation as we'll see in a moment), a medium sized English city, in the Heineken Cup final.

They had to use four letter words to describe it
Unless you live in Europe and follow rugby, which is a minority sport here, you've probably got no idea what the Heineken Cup even is. Let's just say that it is to European rugby what the World Series is to American baseball. It's the club championship. In any case, they usually use three letters to represent each team up there in the info blurb on the television screen when a football (that's soccer to some of you) or rugby match is being broadcast. But because the two teams on this occasion are identical in the first three letters, the face off had to be represented as LEIC vs. LEIN. And so it was that LEIN was eventually victorious on the day, for the first time in history, by a score of 19 - 16 after 80 minutes of nail-biting agony. I have a silent chuckle to myself every time I hear the English sportscasters refer to Leinster as 'the Irish province'. But the explanation of why that is will have to wait for another day.

But Steve, what does this all have to do with video games?
You will have no doubt observed that has been dormant of late, this being the first blog entry in six weeks. But there's a good reason for this, and it's called: The Project. For those of you unfortunate enough to have a geek as your 'significant other', you will know that The Project eclipses all other things in life, as it must do in order to be successful. By definition, The Project never comes to fruition. But in this case, against all odds, it has. In about two weeks I shall reveal all. And then I will be able to get back to the games...



Sunday, 5th April, 2009

Finally, some adventure games to play with
I'm sure you've all noticed the decreasing shelf space that's been allocated to PC games of general lately, and to adventure games in particular (but hey, I'm not shouting conspiracy here. It's just that there are fewer adventure games being made nowadays than there were in the heydays). In any case, yesterday's experience proved to me that making a trip to a shop that only sells games, as opposed to DVDs, CDs, et. al. really does pay off. I was able to pick up two recent adventure titles of note, namely: A Vampyre Story and Ceville.

So I'll be loading them up and having a go. You've no doubt also noticed that we've been somewhat remiss here lately in providing reviews for topical adventure games. Well, hopefully that situation is about to change shortly...



Sunday, 22nd March, 2009

Fallout 3 guide updated with maps
Back from the hols and somewhat refreshed. I've begun adding World Map images to the guide as an aid to getting you to areas which may be difficult to find by just wandering:

Fallout 3 guide

Still a ways to go for both the mapping and the guide, but at least it's a start...



Thursday, 12th February, 2009

Taking a break in the sun for a few weeks, so this will be the last update for a while. Added some new content to the Fallout 3 guide, so you might want to check it out.

One thing I've come to realise that needs to be added to the guide when I return: a map. It's one thing when you're following the main quest and NPCs are putting map markers all over the place for you, but it's quite another thing if I tell you about a place that's "in the NE part of your World Map". Yes, it's a big, bad world out there in Fallout 3.



Sunday, 1st February, 2009

On a lighter note... well, sort of
Wouldn't be so presumptuous (there's that word again) as to keep a Fallout 3 diary, but there are those moments that you occasionally want to capture for posterity, clichés notwithstanding. Picked off this sniper by the name of Arkansas in Minefield from near the maximum range of a Hunting Rifle with a 30% chance to hit the head in V.A.T.S., Sneak skill about 35%. Then went up to collect all his gear.

Fallout 3 screenshot
Arkansas head shot

Who needs a Sniper Rifle? ;-)



Thursday, 29th January, 2009

"Information wants to be free." But this is ridiculous
It's tough on the little guy, and I know life isn't fair. But what I found up there on the web last night has me very disheartened. On what was heretofore (in my opinion anyway) a very respectable site, I found an extremely detailed Fallout 3 guide. The amount and level of detail was such that in my estimation you'd have to be playing the game for at least 6 months straight to amass that amount of info (in fact, that's what I'm in the middle of trying to do myself). And Fallout 3 was only released at the end of October. But then... on one of the pages there was a reference - inadvertent, I'm sure, because there were no credits given on any of the other pages - to... the Prima Guide!

So then the penny dropped. All that info must have been regurgitated from the official Fallout 3 Prima Strategy Guide. But wait... you have to pay for that, and it's copyrighted. I'm darn sure that Prima, who has some kind of inside track with the developers to get access to a ton of inside info on the game, don't give permission in their licensing agreement for end users to reproduce information contained in their strategy guides for free.

Anyway, this may sound like sour grapes, but when an indy writer like me who has been writing comprehensive RPG guides for the past 10 years is looking at spending the next 6 months of my evenings to even approach what's already up there, but up there as plagiarism... well, that's a bit soul destroying. But I'm not going to name any names here. Whistle-blowing isn't in my job description.

As a result of this discovery, I've decided nonetheless to persevere with my own guide, but to change tack. My usual approach is to try and document the whole game in one go, but Fallout 3 is so much bigger than anything I've tackled before that it doesn't lend itself to that approach. So instead of having a static copy of my guide in the database, I've put it in a file outside of the database so that I can modify it more easily (and more often). I'm including the date I last updated it at the top of the guide so you can tell if you're looking at the latest version or not. If you did bookmark the version of the guide that's currently in the database (article index = 861), here is the bookmark for the new, 'fluid' version: Fallout 3 guide: a work in progress

Well, that's the state of play for the time being. I'm not so presumptuous (or naïve) as to believe that my Fallout 3 guide is the only one people are going to look at. But I hope that if you do consult it, you will realise how much effort went into it, and that it is the genuine and earnest effort of a single person.



Sunday, 25th January, 2009

Fallout 3 guide v1.0 posted
Finished my second pass through the game, and have posted the guide. I'll need to play it through at least one more time with a high Charisma/Speech character to tease out more of the side quests, but as a first effort that gets you through the main quest, I think it will serve its purpose well. You can check it out here: Fallout 3 guide



Saturday, 17th January, 2009

Progress report, and finally some external links
The Fallout 3 guide is coming along quite well. Reckon it's about halfway done, so looking at another 2 weeks or so of effort to completion. Since this game was so much bigger than its predecessors, I've decided not to bite off the whole thing in one chunk like I did with the other Fallout guides. Instead, I'm just documenting the main quest and whatever side quests I happened to come across in my travels. I'll need to make another pass at it with a high charisma character to tie off some of the optional quests that require a very diplomatic approach.

Someone asked me if I would link to their site, and I said yes... not realising I had neglected to include a links page on Done.