Friday, 21 December 2012

And Yet I Got Further Than Neil / Aquaria s'alright

Its a double bill! And Yet It Moves and Aquaria!  Mainly because I've been a bit slack recently (wow its really over a month?!!) but also because I only lasted 6 minutes in And Yet It Moves...

Though that is still 3 minutes more than Neil did. I'm so pro.

Like Neil, I got both of these titles in one of the awesome humble bundle deals. However, I wasn't just after a specific title in the bundle - It's just that I'm a sucker for both indie games and deals, be it Steam or otherwise.

So what happened...

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Dead (x3 Bonus Multiplier) - Aliens vs. Predator

I thought the Aliens were supposed to  have some sort of overt sexuality about them?
I absolutely LOVE the first AvP game. As an experience the Alien campaign absolutely blew my mind. The fluidity of movement, the sense of completely owning a 3D space, the feeling of power and the fear you strike into your opponents was just incredible. I used to flow around the map with such alacrity and grace that I truly felt like the perfect killing machine, lopping off heads and savouring the kill as powerless opponents trembled and cried before me. So let's see how it goes this time around...

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Splishy Splishy Splash Splash - A Lovely Game About Swimming

What a pleasure it was for my next game, a little indie effort named Aquaria (humble bundle strikes again I think) to see it make such a stark contrast to the previous title in my collection, which failed pretty hard to take my affections out and buy them dinner. Where the opening of that game made me want to just be done with it, Aquaria does a hell of a lot of things right from the off, which makes me wonder why I've only ever spent about 5 minutes with it before. But hey, that's what this blog is for right?

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

And Yet It Bored Me - Neil Gets Mean!

After the embarrassment that was my Amnesia playthrough, it was with great excitement that I bounced onto my next title, the oddly titled 'And Yet It Moves'.

I have no idea where this came from. I honestly don't remember ever buying it, which usually means I got it in some kind of Humble Bundle sale, whilst angling for one of its bundle brothers. So here we go, its not scary, it's a nice little platformer by all accounts and I relish the chance to play something for this blog whilst sparing my shorts, so here we go!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Dead! - Age of Empires 2: Joan Quixote

If there is one thing I've learned on my journey through the 'A's it's that I'm really bad at computer games. I've put in well over my 10,000 hours, I work for a computer games company and I play literally every day. Literally. Every. Day.
An hour every lunchtime, and probably two hours every evening except on rare occasions when I leave the house to play Ultimate.
This began to become apparent when I started playing with Ben and Neil online, but I always had the fact that those other players - the ones who were spanking me all over the battlefield or topping the scoreboard on my team - were obviously LOSERS WHO HAD NO LIVES, unlike me, with my twice yearly gig attendance to distract me. But this project has removed that excuse...
So with that in mind here's the tale of Joan of Arc's final days.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Amnesia - A Love Story : Also, DEATH!


This has by far been the most agonising experience I have ever had with a computer game. I've never had a stronger urge to not play a game in my life, yet this experiment refused to let me bow to my cowardice. So finally, after lots and lots of procrastination, I sat down last night (NIGHT!!) and decided that I wasn't leaving my chair until this sucker was done.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Age of Empires 2 - The Cowardly Joan of Arc

This is the story of Joan of Arc, the simple farm maid who became a national hero by walking very slowly and carefully across France and then hiding in a castle.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Dead! - Amnesia: The Dark Descent

There's not much I can really add to what has already been said on this blog about Amnesia, so thought it best to dive straight in. I wouldn't really describe it as a game, more an interactive experience. An interactive experience that scares the hell out of Neil.

Whilst Neil takes the slow, methodical approach to Amnesia, immersing himself in its world, I decide it best to deal with Amnesia the way I deal with most horror related things in real life. To run through it, fingers in my ears, telling myself its okay, because it's not real.

It started off well, but as you can tell from the title of this post - it didn't end that way.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Competition Victors, Collect Your Spoils!

Winners are those who do not pity the weak, and spit in the face of the feeble, and thusly, with a massive entry pool of 8 (and one of which declared they had no interest in the prize at all) the winners of the Ninth Life's first Lame Competition (tm?) are:



If you send your email addresses to us as quickly as you can, I'll get your codes sent over. The email link for the blog is on the top right of the page. Thanks to the other entries, especially the guy who took the risky and very literal approach, and we hope to update more in the future. Stupid work! Why do we have to have jobs?! Somebody really ought to do something about that eh!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Competition Time! Wait....that's it?! Yes!

You heard the title in your central brains correctly when you read it, it's competition time here at The Ninth Life!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Age of Empires II: William Wallace - The Pirate King of Scandinavia

Just a quick update to treat you all to the glorious Scottish accent I've had to sit through for the Age of Empires 2 tutorial.
Are Scottish people just banned from entering America? Are there no Scottish voice actors in the world?

He's right though we really need to stop that "Idwar-r-r-r-r-r-rd Longshonks" and his 'Iffictiff' tactics.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Amnesia - Now, Where Was I...?

When I left you yesterday, I had progressed down a corridor. That's it. That was my entire journey through the game and into the warm embrace of cowardice. The video took longer to upload to YouTube than it did to record. However, bolstered by familiarity, I'm back, and ready to show the forces of darkness just exactly what I'm made.... OK, so, I last slightly longer this time.

Dead! - Age of Empires III

Woenstag 13th, Maart, 1642AD
Hallo Miss Claudia, I hope you are well. I cannot contain my excitement, as today, I set sail for the New World! We are to join MrBenn and a group of settlers in the town of Van Chubbs. I left the military academy in Amsterdam and travelled to Rotterdam to board the 'Grote Maan'. Would you believe that Bartel is also on board! He hasn't changed a bit! I sure am glad to see a familiar face, for this will be a long journey. I will continue to write to you, my love. I miss you dearly.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Amnesia & The Failed Art of Manning Up

So, here we are.

As some of you may know, I've been dreading my second game for quite some time. My first encounter with it was brief. Words were said, all of them I fully meant. However, for the purposes of this experiment I now have posterity spurring me on, so, here we go with Amnesia - Dark Descent!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Dead! - Age of Conan


Well, well, well.

Just as I'm starting to remember what I like about Conan, and thinking that it might be fun to get stuck into it again for a while, it's all over. I'm pretty embarrassed. It wasn't a boss or anything, just some guards that I stumbled across. I'm sadder than I expected to be too.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

The Empire Strikes Back: Age of Empires III

Another game, another Empire. Like all great civilisations, I can learn a lot from history (i.e the mistakes I made during Age of Empires 2). I now understand the importance of 'S' in RTS and that you cannot win the game by wood count alone.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Skyfall'd - This Is The Way The World Will End

Alarm! Alarm! Alarm!

Red bulbs all around me and flashing at full pelt, there's a dead guy on the floor, and I'm trapped in here with him, in what looks like some kind of fancy hospital. Things are looking dire, and I'm not even at the 60 second mark in my Alpha Protocol caper. Will Neil escape and set the world to rights? Or is there likely someone else who could have done it better?

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Haroldswife Rising - Age of Conan

Come on jugs - Let's do this!
Conan's story is incredibly imaginative. You are a slave who is in a shipwreck and loses their memory. You bear a 'mark' which you don't know the meaning of and you have to go on a lengthy quest to discover your hidden past.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Dead! - Age of Empires 2: Age of Kings

The dictionary defines Empire as "an extensive group of states or countries ruled over by a single monarch, an oligarchy, or a sovereign state". However, when I hear the word 'Empire' I can think of only one thing. Star Wars. The Empire in Star Wars was huge. Sure, they were evil and killed a lot of innocent people, but man...did they get stuff done.

The Empire would be remembered for many things. It's ruler, who fired lightning from his nails. A right hand man, who used to be good, but went evil, but then became good again (losing his right hand in the process). And it's difficult to forget blowing up a planet and generally causing terror around the universe. This particular empire lasted a whole three films before it was brought down by a farm hand, a smuggler and some teddy bears.

I hoped that my empire, the Britons, wouldn't share too many similarities to the evil empire of Star Wars, but instead, be remembered for many great things. And I think it was...though the historians might question the 10,693 spare wood in my possession, as my empire fell.

Friday, 26 October 2012


Here we go.

In my first not-Amnesia adventure, I'll be setting an end to global terror, preferably without being spotted, in my attempt to clock a game I barely scratched the first time round. Surely there will be bombs, nay, NUKES, foreigners with big angry face muscles, mysterious figure heads who smoke massive cigars, fast cars, and lady spies failing to cover up their undergarments. LETS ROCK!

'A' is for Procrastination


Thursday, 25 October 2012

Creationist - Age of Conan

I love a character creator.

We all do. It's such a compelling piece of PC culture that some games have a separate standalone launcher for theirs, and some even release them as the game's demo. How many glowing reviews were there of APB's technologically stunning character creator compared to the final game? However, more than just allowing you to have ownership over your story's lead character, it also opens up a world of possibilities for undermining the game's narrative and theme.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Age of Empires 2: The Age of Kings

Age of Empires 2: Age of Kings
Unlike my stalwart blog companions, Thom and Neil, I was actually quite looking forward to my first game play through. Age of Empires, as a series has always been one of my favourites. I have fond memories of staying up late with my brother and cousin, playing on the downstairs PC till the early hours.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

The First Hurdle - Age of Conan

It is with some trepidation that I install the first game in my catalogue - Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures, or Age of Conan: Unchained as it's now called.

There's a lot to be worried about. This blog is the first enterprise of this type that I've done and I'm concerned I won't follow it through all the way. I have no pedigree in following through on my good ideas and what the Gods of game-naming have delivered to me to help me on my way is an MMO.

Friday, 19 October 2012

'A' is for 'Alpha Protocol'


...was my first reaction to Alpha Protocol, as I'm pretty sure was the original pitch. As ever a victim of the Steam Daily Deals, yours truly grabbed it for the price of half a mild. No matter which way you swing it, that's a bargain. If I was to boot it up, loath it to its blackened soul, and stalk the developers stroking guns afterwards, that's still a form of entertainment in itself, so it was a no-brainer.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Quick Save / Quick Load

You were my friends. Always there. Every time I was to jump over a deceptively easy gap, you got my back, Quick Save. I knew that if I fumbled my steps or a game designer had stuck some  collision down and determined I shouldn't go there, you and your buddy Quick Load, would get me back to where I was.

If I saw a large enemy with obvious weak spots, we'd have a pep talk, then I would try and take him down. Sometimes it wasn't a problem, and the talk seemed like a waste of time, but more often than not, you picked me up when I fell.

If I said the wrong thing in a conversation, I could call on you to undo it all and make sure I got the best (read; correct) ending.

In fact, Quick Save and Quick Load, you are my best mates in the world of video games.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Tipping the hat, and slagging Deus Ex

"Well you can FUCK OFF!"

But I digress.

Aside from worrying about first impressions, the first thoughts to creep into my mind-brain when going over the idea were a) "Can I write worth a damn?" (short answer, not really!) and b) pure fear at having to replay some of my library that I haven't said hello to in years (if at all).

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

You only get one shot...

Do not miss your chance to flow, this opportunity comes pretty much any time you decide really. No big deal.

The boys and I have had a few schemes in our time, but none of them ever came to anything. Bands we were going to form, games we were going to make. Nice ideas but we didn't have the energy for them really. But when we started chatting about this over Steam (which I guess is the modern day equivalent of 'over tea' ) we all started to get strangely excited. This was an idea we could actually do! And all we had to do was play games and occasionally write a couple of hundred words! This scheme had LEGS.

Monday, 15 October 2012

The Rules

Games must be played alphabetically according to their title - No skipping ahead to the fun ones, or putting off the ones we're dreading. The title is either the name on the box's spine, or the default Steam library entry.

Games Catalogue includes all games purchased before 01/10/2012 - Any games acquired after this time will not be included in the catalogue.

Attempts will be made on 'Hard' difficulty - We don't want this to go on forever, we've all got literally 1000's of hours of games to get through. For games that use clever names for difficulty modes, it will be the mode above the one the game defaults to.

Fail criteria may alter per-game - You can't 'die' in some games so other fail criteria will have to be used. This will be made clear at the start of any articles for that game

Some games may be excluded - If a game basically can't be 'failed' - Championship Manager for example - then they may be excluded

Co-op and Multiplayer

Co-op and multiplayer will require some special rules. For some games, if we're all starting at roughly the same time then we'll do a co-op runthrough together, however, the attempt will fail if any one of us is killed.
For some games where dying and re-spawning is a common occurrence (Battlefield, League of Legends etc) then failure will be considered as losing the overall round.
We may decide to do multiplayer or co-op as a series of 'specials' outside of the alphabetical runthrough depending on how we feel it's going, so watch this space (or rather the space with the fun, interesting, non-bureaucratic posts in)