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Cuteness and cuggles

Mike and Liz Jeggo visited over the weekend. It was great to see them, and their daughter Hannah is absolutely adorable.

The first thing I said to her was "How are you, Hannah?" She looked up at me and answered seriously, "Two!" She's clearly more used to being asked "How old are you"... :)

When she visited last time, Pepsi and Tango were quite interested in this newcomer, and she found them rather scary. Now that they're all a little older, P&T are rather more cautious of her, and Hannah's still quite wary of the cats. It's interesting, watching two creatures who're both scared of each other.

Over the couple of hours they visited, Hannah was chatting animatedly about all sorts of things. She thought our garden shed was a house, and when it was established that nobody lived there except spiders, she happily proclaimed, "Spider house! Mummy spider, daddy spider, baby spider!" She was also delighted to see my fluffy Totoro stuffed toy, and spent quite a while playing with him. When her parents told her "Hannah, that's Alex's Totoro," she replied immediately "I'm borr'wing it". There followed lots of "Bounce!" as he jumped around, and "Cuggle!" as she grabbed him for a hug.

As woodpijn mentioned, I've been replaying the Starcraft single-player campaigns recently (partly to refamiliarise myself with the characters and plot for when Starcraft 2 comes out, which might be this year). The units make sounds when you select them: for Terran and Protoss units these are comments like "Gimme somethin' to shoot" or "Greetings, Command." The animalistic Zerg just make a variety of distinctive but incoherent noises when you click them, but I still find myself trying to make out words from them. Zerg Overlords say "Ree-enery?", which always sounds a bit like "The enemy?" (Which is odd for a creature that can't attack.) And the huge, hovering Guardians say something which I was startled last night to parse as "Cuggle." It's a pleasingly incongruous mental image to decide that the behemothine, acid-spitting siege weapons of the Zerg army really just want a cuddle.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 23rd, 2009 01:03 pm (UTC)
I found the single-player missions to be rather harder with a fully-patched SC than with the original - I think the re-balancing for multi-player has affected the balancing for single-player.
Jun. 23rd, 2009 01:13 pm (UTC)
Yes, I think that might be true. I think I remember it being the case when I played them before. It's entertainingly disconcerting when you play partway through single-player on a fresh install, then do the patch, and discover that the costs of several things have changed!

The single-player levels mostly aren't that much actual challenge, though, because "turtle up, build a huge fleet (or army of tanks), wipe the board" works as a solution to most of them. (Now Argentum's a RTS where the AI assaults come thick and fast enough that it can be quite hard to stabilise.) I do like the Brood War "puzzle" missions, though.
Jun. 23rd, 2009 02:03 pm (UTC)
The single-player levels mostly aren't that much actual challenge, though, because "turtle up, build a huge fleet (or army of tanks), wipe the board" works as a solution to most of them.

For some reason, you don't seem to view this as a critical failure of the game, despite the way it reduces nine-tenths of it to building more air or artillery units until you have sufficient. Why not?
Jun. 23rd, 2009 02:19 pm (UTC)
Heh. I was wondering if this post would prompt an argument between you and me about Starcraft's merits... :)

All I can say is, "I still find it fun". I can try to analyse why that is, but that's the basic reason.

Trying to analyse why... A number of the earlier levels in each of the six campaigns don't allow you to use the top-level units, requiring different strategies. There are subtleties of when to use the different special abilities and different available units. Occasionally the AI does attack a base of mine with sufficient strength to destroy it. Even executing the big "victory fleet" strategy you can still get wiped out if you're not careful, and you do need different subtleties of the strategy and you use different speciality units and abilities for each combination of played race against enemy race.

(By contrast, Argentum, the PDA RTS I alluded to earlier, has more aggressive enemy attacks, but *no* units with special abilities beyond "build" and "can/can't attack air/ground". That got kinda dull quite quickly.)

I think there's also an element of familiarity: it's the RTS I got most into, before playing more innovative ones like Homeworld, and so it feels comfortable, like an old coat.

I'm not going to claim it's the best RTS ever, by any means, but I do find it fun.
Jun. 23rd, 2009 03:12 pm (UTC)
Apopros of nothing much, some people playing the Zombie game said that it was very much like being a terran marine fighting off hoards of zerglings, which I thought was pretty appropriate.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )