Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Two things that REALLY annoy me

1) Drivers who give way when THEY have the right of way.

They think they're being polite. What they're actually doing is unnecessarily holding up traffic and increasing the likelihood of the driver being let through having an accident (making them liable for not obeying the right of way laws, to boot). If you have right of way, USE IT! If people on the road can't get out of side streets or from behind parked cars, that's THEIR problem.

2) Stupid environmental puzzles in RPGs.

I've nearly completed Hordes Of The Underdark now, getting to the same spot I did last time before I gave up/changed my hard drive. The Puzzler's Sepulchure is a lava filled room dotted with platforms that have levers to teleport you from one platform to another, and rotating arrows on the platforms to tell you which direction you will go when you pull the lever. Three of the platforms have second levers. At the opposite end of the lava pool is a doorway blocked off by lightning, in front of which are three 8-way rotatable gargoyle statues and yet another lever. Your only clue to solve the puzzle goes something like "Stone to Stone the stone must face, Lightning to lightning the lightning fades." Pretty fucking weak. How exactly are you meant to solve that by anything other than trial and error?

The solution, incidentally, is to use the floor levers on the lava platforms to light up the statues in blue (there being no indication at all that pulling the lever more than once changes the colour of the light) and have the three statues face the door, before pulling the final lever infront of the lightning filled doorway. The clue's pretty tenuous at best, and there are no real excuses for puzzles like this - it's simple time filler, frustrating and random time filler at that. It's within an hour of the end of the game - why bother putting it there at all? Why not just get straight to the conclusion? After sinking 15-20 hours into the campaign, who wants to be sat around frustrated for a couple of hours solving a puzzle by trial and error because you're not given an adequate enough a clue to solve it logically? I got the solution off GameFAQs this morning, because Sims 2 arrives on Friday, and I want to have the Neverwinter Nights trilogy of campaigns all completed beforehand, and puzzles like this one don't add anything to the experience of what's otherwise a very enjoyable game.

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