Sunday, 22 December 2013

'Tis the Season...

... to be quite stressed out.

Work's hell for me at the moment. You (hopefully) noticed that I haven't been uploading anything in the last few days/weeks. I do still have a few spare episodes lying around, it's just that I'm never at home. Lately it has been all 'Sleep - Work - Buy Presents - Sleep - Work - Meet Friends - Sleep - Work - More Bloody Presents'. I was planning on a special Christmas episode with me doing something traditional christmas-y in my usual awkward slowliness, but this project shared the same fate as my planned scary video for Halloween... meaning it has been delayed for next year, of course!

However, things will get back to normal somewhen after the holidays. Hope you're alright and have a great time! Merry Christmas!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Videos vs. Melancholy

I've had a pretty awful day. Watching funny videos on YouTube sometimes helps, but to be honest, my list of favourited videos that I keep consulting in such moments is rather small. So do you guys have any funny favourite videos that always cheer you up? If so, send them to me via YouTube or send me a link to!

Monday, 4 November 2013

November News

Some news regarding my channel:

1. I'm currently on vacation far from home. I was smart enough this time around to prepare some episodes and take them with me so as to upload them from my new location. However, I wasn't smart enough to take the correct episodes with me, so Gothic -72- will be skipped in favour of uploading the next one in line. No worries, that video will get online as soon as possible and nothing significant happened in those 15 minutes other than me trading items.

2. Therefore, there will only be an upload every other day or so... and no thumbnails for now. You may still contact me via comments, PM, Gmail, Twitter etc. In fact, please do so. I have a lot of spare time on my hands right now =P.

3. YouTube is changing its policy once more. The change comes with a heavy emphasis on copyright and apparently my partner programme (TGN) is quite anxious about it. Over the last few months I kept receiving copyright complaints regarding my Saboteur LP. I deleted the first few episodes in question and tried to summarise their content in the next videos' descriptions, but the complaints keep coming and I fear I would have to delete the majority of this LP eventually, anyway. Since I always thought that the Saboteur LP was my lamest one I am not sad to announce that I will now delete the entire bloody thing to avoid any future hustle with YT and EA.

Hope you people are alright.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013


I've got a little problem on my hands that I cannot solve on my own. Maybe one of you knows a solution?

As mentioned before, I got auto-connected with Google+ some months ago. G+ was kind enough to create a brand-new page for me that is essentially just mirroring everything I do on YouTube. Owner of this page is my old G+ account that I created with my real name back in the day when Google+ came out and some friends thought we should give it a chance. Since then, I haven't used G+ for anything. The account is just lying around like dead meat and same goes for the auto-created CptGreenbear-page.
Of course I could just ignore this waste of webspace, if it wasn't for the fact that this forced marriage significantly messed up my YouTube website appearance. My inbox was hidden in favour of half a dozen G+ features that I don't need or want.

Using Google (oh the irony!) to search for a solution shows me that I'm not the only one with this problem. 
The simple answer: disconnect the page via YouTube settings.
The tricky answer: this option only works within 14 days of the forced connection. Afterwards, it is permanent. This, of course, is nowhere mentioned on any Google support pages. Oh, and did you ever try to contact the Google support? They state on their feedback side that while they cannot answer any requests personally, they will make sure to mind the feedback in future updates. Yeah. Right...

I then thought I might be able to just delete the page itself. You know, since I'm the owner of the page and all. But no, G+ tells me (and this must have caused quite some laughter at their evil headquarter) to either delete my YouTube account or disconnect it first. The latter being a link that leads me nowhere.

So this is where I am now. I really want to get rid of this connection without sacrificing my YouTube account. I own the YouTube website, the Google+ CptGreenbear page and the old G+ account that funtions as owner to said page. The latter two may get deleted for all I care. Any ideas? Let me know on YouTube or via!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

No Conclusions

At the end of my Risen 2 LP, I told you about a special video I planned with my personal conclusion and review of the entire game. What I was planning was something like the 'Movie Sins' videos, with me listing all the things I liked and disliked about Risen 2 - Dark Waters and supporting my points with video material running in the background. While my spoken text was quickly done, it was quite difficult to collect video material for all the features mentioned. To be a bit more precise, I have been working on this for several weeks already and feel I'm not even half-way through. Now, with my work and the according lack of spare time, I really started dreading this project of mine, especially in regards to the fact that Risen 2 has been a rather unpopular LP of mine and I wasn't very happy with the game myself, either. Now who would like to hear me point out every single bug, glitch and logical error of a game you have already watched me play for over one-and-a-half years? You, sir? I don't think so. And where is the point in working on a video I do not enjoy making and you guys won't enjoy watching when I already have little time to do the videos I/you actually care about?
So why am I writing this and not just forget about my promised video? The main conflict for me here is this: on the one hand, I would like to show you as much of the game as possible (good and bad) and help you make up your mind about it. On the other hand, a video so full of negativity will only pull you down, would always be subjective and still fail to actually summarise the game in its entirety. And who didn't get a chance to make up their minds about this game after my overly lengthy LP, anyway?
So I decided this: I will abstain from adding individual reviews at the end of each LP and instead just state whether I liked the game or not and name the main positive and negative points. Should be sufficient to clear things up, right?

Friday, 16 August 2013


With me being really busy lately I'm even more forgetful about the messages I have to reply to on YouTube. And it has been pretty bad before, I can tell you! So sorry to all those still waiting for my answer. The thing is that YouTube has one of the worst messaging systems I've encountered so far and it got even worse lately with my new (involuntary) linking to Google+. I do not get any visible updates for new messages or comments at all anymore on the YouTube standard page, but have to click through three subcategories before seeing whether someone messaged me. Also, there's no option to mark messages as 'unread', so I have to reply at once... or never! It's ridiculous, really.
So please: if you want to ask me anything or want to discuss a game or just feel in the mood to chat, refer to this mail address instead:
Or, if you want to stalk me, check out my (rarely used) Twitter account:

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Working Bear

'Look at that lazy bear! Aspiring to be a proper LPer, but taking break after break from YouTube, not uploading anything ever! I WANT MA MONEY BACK!'

I probably just quoted about 90% of my viewers and you're right. Here's my apology to you. As you might know, I have been unemployed for quite some time, so I was able to upload every day despite my really crappy Internet speed. This has changed now. I finally found employment and am now working in an awesome book store, selling literature and sometimes actually talking English with tourists! This is amazing for me and quite exciting, but also incredibly exhausting after my long time of doing nothing at all. Plus even if I was in the mood to work on my YouTube apperarance after a long shift of dealing with customers, I wouldn't be able to... because an upload usually takes several hours, which I simply do not have. So here are the three options I have right now:

Option 1: I start an upload when going to work, which means my PC will run the entire day with no one around, wasting energy and possibly dying in the heat for nothing.

Option 2: I start an upload right when I come home, giving you the usual daily videos but in the late evening (around 10pm GMT or later), leading to me being unable to blow off some steam in online games because my ping is going through the bloody roof.

Option 3: Alternating uploads either in the morning or the evening right before and after work, which is really confusing and messy, so there will be days when I just forget about it.

Best one is probably number 3, however, there won't be any more uploads for a few more days. Reason being that I haven't edited any new episodes yet because of the same lack of time and energy.

Sorry about all the inconvenience. Veriax is still doing great LPs, so you might want to watch him while waiting for me to grow up and get used to work life.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Chivalry Noob Guide for Archers

Some years ago I was dreaming about an online FPS that involved medieval combat, including melee weapons as well as ranged ones, soldiers trying to get into a castle and others trying to defend it by all means necessary. Kind of like in Mount & Blade but with real players working together.

Now I found something very similar to this idea in ‘Chivalry – Medieval Warfare’. The game features a small amount of maps and game modes, as well as four different basic classes with a variety of weapons that can be unlocked by killing enemies. The tutorial is great and introduces all the classes, but still I decided to mainly focus on the only ranged class available and while there are both bows and crossbows in this game and I’m very well aware of the major difference between these two, all ranged combatants are always referred to as ‘archers’. I will now attempt to give you a brief summary of my experiences as a crossbowman in ‘Chivalry’.


Yep, I’m a crossbowman, alright. They are the weakest unit in the entire game in regards to their defence. They can be one-hit-killed even without head-shots, so it is essential to stay unnoticed, move around a lot and be aware of one’s surroundings. Bow users are just as vulnerable to attacks, but their great advantage is that they can move around while notching a new arrow (aka ‘reloading’), whereas the crossbowmen must stand absolutely still for the one or two seconds it takes to reload their crossbow. They also lose sight of their surroundings during this time, since they have to look down, so during the reloading process they are an easy target for any class. Best way to act for a crossbowman is to aim, crouch, fire at a target, then run for cover and reload. If an enemy is coming for you and is already closer than 15 metres, reloading becomes pointless and one should try to block all hits with the sidearm (short sword or dagger) and retreat, hoping for some team member to stop by and help out. Just turning and running away works only if an enemy knight or archer pursues you, since both the vanguard and the man-at-arms class have a jump attack that lets them kill an escaping target easily.

The great advantage of crossbowmen over bow users is their increased damage and range. Their bolts fly further before dropping/arching and they can therefore stay further behind the battle line, avoiding melee combat and bow men alike.

There is one more small detail making a crossbowman’s life unpleasant and I’m not yet sure whether it’s a bug or an intended feature. If a crossbowman gets hit by a ranged weapon (arrow, bolt or throwing weapons), there’s a certain chance of losing the already notched bolt in their own weapon, causing the character to automatically reload (which, as stated before, makes them completely vulnerable). It doesn’t happen all the time, but veteran fighters will use this to their advantage when approaching a ranged combatant, throwing their knives or axes at them, thereby stunning them into utter uselessness just to finish them off in close combat.

Speaking of melee, the ranged fighters are (obviously) quite useless in close combat. Their short swords or daggers have a much smaller range than any other weapon in the game, so exact timing and a whole lot of luck are required to take down any enemy. Best way of fighting in close combat is to support other ‘proper’ melee fighters by flanking enemies and casually stabbing at them.

You have probably noticed by now that the way of the archer is not the most honourable one and indeed basically any other class user hates archers. Few rounds go by without anyone complaining about ranged fighters and their noob way of fighting. Interestingly enough, some users claim all archers are over-powered and should be downgraded during the next patch of the game while others are sure that archers are way too weak for the game and should be removed because they don’t pose a threat but rather a nuisance. As an archer, one is constantly the target of insults, team kills and general hatred, while trying to cope with the classes actual problems (especially on laggy servers aiming is downright impossible while blindly slashing at enemies still works).


A good feature to help out troubled archers is the enabled kick vote option. One can initiate a vote to exclude any given player from the current game and all players will see a small pop-up indicating the player’s team kills in percentage as well as their idle time. This helps a lot to decide whether the user in question was misbehaving and is a burden to its team or whether the initiator of the kick vote was just frustrated or even confused him with someone else.


The bad thing about this type of kick vote is that people just glance at the percentage of team damage said player has committed so far and then decide about their fate. Let me use an example that happened to me not too long ago: I entered an ongoing game, ran forward close to the battle line and shot a few bolts at some enemy archers without hitting anything. Then I noticed multiple enemy melees pushing through our lines to the right, so I aimed at them, waiting for my own comrades to either step away or perish so that I had free line of sight. When this was the case, one of our own knights stepped in front of me, facing towards me and not the enemy, crouching down so as to be exactly in my way when aiming. This happened quite fast, so my one and only shot at the advancing troops hit him instead. Knights don’t die from a single shot to the chest and though I was sorry for the team damage, I decided not to apologise for it, since it was clearly his fault for trying to block me. However, once the enemies were down, he initiated a kick vote against me and then immediately started slashing at me with his sword. Since my team damage was stated at 100% at this point, I was kicked so quickly I couldn’t even explain my situation.


This was not an isolated incident. Melee troops often attack archers from their own team, claiming poor excuses like ‘They were standing in my way!’ or ‘He shot at me once!’. However, in a game where team damage is not only always enabled but an essential part of fighting and approaching opponents more tactical, the ill logic of their behaviour becomes obvious.


A unique gadget crossbowmen possess to benefit the team is their shield. It’s too heavy to carry around much, but one can place it anywhere and then hide behind it to reload and recover from wounds. Especially in the game mode ‘Protect the King’, this item becomes invaluable, shielding the king from enemy archers. Sadly, the crossbowman’s shield is also one of the most buggy items in the game, often crashing into nothingness when touched, so one mustn’t come too close when hiding behind it.


All in all, I’m sure there are lots of features that could be improved about the archer class in ‘Chivalry’, though the greatest downside of the game is still the other users’ inability to work together and appreciate class diversity.

Monday, 1 July 2013


I'm rather fed up with certain things regarding YouTube, LPing and other matters, so I will take some time off.

Sunday, 23 June 2013


A while ago I wrote a lengthy article here about my struggles to become a YouTube partner. When I was done with that several-pages-long piece of work, I realised that it was wholely about me whining and held no entertaining content whatsoever, so I deleted it again. Plus I actually did gain partnership shortly after. However, becoming a partner granted me only few of the promised advantages, the most important of them being: individual thumbails.
Seriously, people: this was the main reason for me to become a partner and it was absolutely worth it! Creating interesting, personalised thumbnails for each video has become one of my new favourite things related to my LPing career. It's so satisfying to have a little piece of art smile back at you, advertising for your videos instead of the random convoluted piles of mess YouTube offers non-partners as thumbnails. It looks a lot more professional (though the content of the videos certainly didn't improve) and attracts viewers much more efficiently than any exciting title ever could.
However, as Spiderman's uncle said: with great power comes great responsibility. Theoretically I could create any thumbnail I wanted. Of course, what comes to mind first are half-naked women pushing their various humps into the viewers face. Research has shown that YouTube viewers do indeed instinctively click on these videos more often than on others. And in fact I have done just that... twice now. Once for a Thief 2 episode named 'Hookers' because of a supposed hooker I knocked unconscious and then once more for my Gothic Erotica video, where I featured the in-game picture of a half-naked lady. So you see that - though I had the opportunity - I used this cheap trick only on videos where the thumbnail accurately descripted the content of the video... and not just to generate views and distract from my lack of humour/entertainment/general purpose in life. Don't want to point fingers here, but since you're all familiar with YouTube there's a good chance you know who I'm talking about. Gosh, how I dislike that guy. Goes to show that the path to the dark side is way easier to travel.
Another tricky thing about thumbnails is that you can't just march off into the depths of the Internet, grab any picture you like, drag it back home and then alter it for your purposes in order to create some fancy thumbnail. Generally speaking, EVERY picture is protected by copyright. Using it without the explicit permission of the owner is actually a crime. There are some ways around this problem, however. Of course you could just ask an artsy friend to draw all the thumbnails for you or give you permission to use their work and attribute them in the video for it. If you have an artsy friend, of course. And if they are willing to work for your benefit just like that. OR you could check out the huge database of royalty-free images available at various websites (wikimedia is my personal favourite so far). You still have to check every image you find there for its specific copyright status, but most of them are free to download, alter, distribute etc without having to credit anyone or being worried that the NSA sells your criminal arse to the local authorities. Or, in turn, uploads your private pictures on their website without your consent...

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Risen 2 Rises!

Good news everybody!

Nevermind that last blog entry! Turns out the simplest solution was the most effective one: just deleting and re-installing the game fixed the corrupted files. Huzzah!

Monday, 3 June 2013

Risen 2 Is Going Down

Just a heads-up: there is a definite possibility that I have to abandon my Risen 2 LP

This is quite a bummer, given that I think I was close to the end and I would have liked to see this project finished properly, but I can't get the game to work anymore. All save files appear to be corrupted, leaving the game frozen during loading screens and forcing me to crash down to desktop or even shut down my PC manually at times.
I will try out a few more approaches and keep you posted on my progress.

Thursday, 18 April 2013


Though I'm not a Christian, I have always been fascinated with the time of Lent. I thought it was an impressive way of demonstrating one's willpower and discipline to avoid eating something as delicious and elemental as meat.

Naturally, I tried it myself at some point. I have to add, though, that I initially started to fasten in order to impress a girl I liked and that happened to be a vegetarian. I managed to make it through all 40 days without a single bite of meat... and guess what? That girl became my girlfriend eventually. But that's a different story.

Two years later, I tried the same stunt again, but admittedly failed. I was a student at that time and I remember it to be a particularly stressful day. I was running about the city, trying to fetch important signatures on even more important papers and was growing more and more desperate by the minute. When I noticed a certain gnawing feeling in my stomach, I decided to quickly head for a popular fast-food restaurant and grab a burger, as I had done so often before when having little time. I didn't even think about it at that time and noticed only hours later that I had eaten meat and thereby broken my pledge.

So the year after, I actually wanted to figure out how long I could survive without meat. You have to know that coloured bears are carnivorous and I just love the taste of meat, so this was quite a challenge for me. Starting at New Year's Eve, I ate only fruits and vegetables, but mostly weird instant crap that was probably mainly plastic. I'm proud to say that I lasted 7 long months as a vegetarian before finally whispering 'Bring me meat!' to the people taking care of me during these dark times.

Back to the topic, this settled the question of how long I could stay without meat, so there wasn't really any point in trying again every Lent from now on. So instead, I chose to stay away from something else that I liked to do way too much but that was probably not all that healthy for me: playing video games. This was particularly tricky, because I had already started my YouTube career, so I settled for this compromise: I could play a video game (namely 'Thief Gold'), but only if I did a recording of it and uploaded it. Other than that: no video games.
I managed to get through this time, too, though it was quite boring, to be honest. I remember that I read a lot more than usual and watched any movie I own thrice.

How could I overcome this success during the next Lent, you ask? This time, I challenged myself to not lie anymore. Of course, this is impossible, with all the little lies we express everyday without even noticing. So the task was this: no intentional lies. If I knew the truth, I had to either speak it or be silent.
This was a really tough one and I'd advise any of you to try it just for a day. I made it almost through the entire duration of Lent, but then... well... let's just say losing this challenge against myself was the lesser evil.

And that leads us to this year's Lent, which is already over. This time, I settled for something unspectacular, but that was increasingly bothering me. I was not allowed to drink any soft drinks, like cola and lemonades. I managed this one with ease, so I have to come up with something more challenging for next year. Any ideas are welcome, so let's hear it!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Amsterdam, Mate!

This year, I spent my birthday in Amsterdam. I didn't expect too much of the trip and prepared as much as any other tourist would: by staring at the city map on Google for a while and quickly checking whether there are any weird laws one should abide by.
And I must tell you I was really surprised by the beauty of the city. I don't know much about architecture, but even to me the uniqueness of this city was remarkable. Especially the Red Light District at 'De Wallen' had so much more to offer than half-naked women behind glass doors. Tons of old churches, bridges, the canals, house boats, slim buildings, crooked houses, thousands of bicycles and all those spiral staircases... I truly enjoyed my stay. 
The one thing that pleased me the most, though, were the people. Not necessarily just the Dutch people, but also all the tourists. Coming from a spot where there are solely Caucasian folks running around speaking the same (native) language, it was oh-so refreshing for me to hear this multitude of different languages, accents and dialects. Not to mention all the different skin colours, ethnicities, traditional clothings and general behaviour of people who grew up in a completely different culture than me. Such a grand city! I recommend it to anyone who likes to travel and has an open mind when it comes to disputable topics like soft drugs and prostitution.

Monday, 25 February 2013

The Oscars

In preparation for the Oscars 2013, I did a little video with all my picks on who's probably going to win in each of the 24 categories. Then I challenged all my viewers to contradict me and put up a bet. If I win, they had to do one of these three punishments:

1. Draw a picture of Greenbear! 
2. Write and perform a poem about Greenbear! 
3. Write and perform a song about Greenbear!

The competitors could also offer a reward for themselves (punishment for me) in case they win... which I thought was very unlikely. I got a lot of great suggestions and ideas and accepted almost all of them as suitable stakes for the bet. Most people bet on one category only, for example on Best Picture or any of the other 'big categories'.

Now with the ceremony over, it turns out that exactly half of my predictions were accurate, which gave a lot of opportunities to my viewers. Let's have a look!
Here are all my predictions and the actual outcome:

Best Picture: "Zero Dark Thirty" (Argo)
Best Supporting Actor: Tommy Lee Jones, "Lincoln" (Christoph Waltz)
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, "Les Misérables"
Best Director: Steven Spielberg, "Lincoln" (Ang Lee)
Best Actor: Daniel Day Lewis, "Lincoln"
Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook"
Best Original Screenplay: "Django Unchained"
Best Adapted Screenplay: "Silver Linings Playbook" (Argo)
Best Animated Feature: "Paranorman" (Brave)
Best Foreign Feature: "Amour"
Best Visual Effects: "Life of Pi"
Best Cinematography: "Life of Pi"
Best Costume Design: "Les Misérables" (Anna Karenina)
Best Documentary Feature: "Searching for Sugar Man"
Best Documentary Short: "Open Heart" (Inocente)
Best Film Editing: "Argo"
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" (Les Misérables)
Best Music (Original Score): "Skyfall" (Life of Pie)
Best Music (Original Song): "Skyfall" from "Skyfall"
Best Production Design: "Anna Karenina" (Lincoln)
Best Short Film, Animated: "Head over Heels" (Paperman)
Best Short Film, Live Action: "Death of a Shadow" (Curfew)
Best Sound Editing: "Zero Dark Thirty"
Best Sound Mixing: "Les Misérables"

Now let's take a look at the users who challenged me and how they fared. Since a draw means both sides lose, both competitors have to do their punishment in case of a tie.

  • AlmostDomi - Best Picture: Argo, my punishment: subscribing to her channel
  • CnAFilmsandAnimation - Best Animated Feature: Brave, my punishment: subscribing to their channel
  • DevilMay Pie - Best Picture: Argo, Best Supporting Actor: Robert Deniro, Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, Best Director: Ang Lee, Best Actor: Daniel Day Lewis, Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, Best Original Screenplay: Amour, Best Adapted Screenplay: Argo, Best Animated Feature: Paranorman, Best Foreign Feature: Amour, Best Visual Effects: Life of Pi, Best Cinematography: Life of Pi, Best Costume Design: Anna Kerinina, Best Documentary Feature: Searching for Sugar Man, Best Documentary Short: Open Heart, Best Film Editing: Argo, Best Makeup and Hairstyling: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Best Music (Original Score): Life of Pi, Best Music (Original Song): "Skyfall" from "Skyfall", Best Production Design: Les Misérables, Best Short Film, Animated: Paperman, Best Short Film, Live Action: Curfew, Best Sound Editing: Zero Dark Thirty, Best Sound Mixing: Les Misérables, my punishment: thanking him in an Oscar acceptance speech
  • eevylcheekin - Best Picture: Argo, my punishment: subscribing to their channel
  • FilmAngel11 - Best Picture: Argo, my punishment: drawing her profile picture
  • shutinproductions - Best Picture: Argo, my punishment: subscribing to his channel and singing the Canadian anthem
  • TheRandomPasta1 - Best Picture: Argo, Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Best Animated Feature: Wreck-it Ralph, my punishment: pretending I won an Oscar and thanking everyone who wrote a comment beneath my Oscars predictions video
  • TiniestPrincess - Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Best Animated Feature: Brave, Best Music (Original Song): Les Misérables, Best Production Design: The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey, my punishment: doing a Let's Play of 'The Company of Myself'

  • GazzaPlays - Best Picture: Life of Pie, my punishment: choosing one of the three options I offered myself and doing it for his channel
  • Numring - Best Picture: Lincoln, my punishment: doing a little puppet show with an interesting plot and at least one bear as an actor
  • Nuttylamb - Best Animated Feature: Wreck-it Ralph, my punishment: doing a How-To video on baking cookies 

  • TheMisterJackles - Best Actress: Jessica Chastain, my punishment: letting him interview me and thuthfully answering 10 uncomfortably awkward questions 

I would like to thank all the participants in this little challenge. It was great fun for me and I'm looking forward to the pictures/poems/songs of and about me as well as all the weird little videos I have to do now myself.

Friday, 8 February 2013

The Witcher Is a B*tcher

With the third installment of the Witcher video game series being announced in the most teasing of all teasing trailers ever, Steam decided to put up the first two games for sale. I have bought and successfully played through the first Witcher game after seeing a highly entertaining Let's Play of it done by Veriax, but restrained from getting the second one straightaway after its release, mostly due to the high price but also because I was afraid my PC couldn't handle it.
However, 10 € for a two-year-old video game is not too shabby, so I bought the second adventure of Geralt in hopes of a dark and believable setting, mature characters and decisions that will influence the storyline. All these features made 'The Witcher' to one of the few RPGs other than the Gothic series that I truly enjoyed and had high hopes for the second one.

I'm not very far into the second game now but can already tell you that it is one of the toughest games I have ever played. Sure, it is fun and all, but despite the fact that I already played through its predecessor, I decided to go through the (very badly designed) tutorial with the result of me getting my buttocks kicked and the game advising me to go for 'difficulty level: easy' with a condescending digital smile. 'Easy' of course means 'noob', so I went for 'normal', which turned out to be a bad decision.
The game heavily relies on preparations for a fight, inexplicably forbidding players to drink potions while they are in a combat area. That means even if you manage to run away from the mob that almost killed you, you cannot save your sorry skin, because the game thinks it's not safe to drink a potion before you killed everyone around. Now potions can only be drunk while meditating. So please take the time to find a secure area, sit down in the mud, meditate for a bit, empty a bottle of your choice and then get back up again. Is there an easier solution to quenching your thirst? I don't think so.
But it's not just that. They overhauled the entire combat system as well as any interface in the game, Geralt's looks and every single voice actor I encountered so far. Geralt is invincible during the tutorial, but died at least TWO DOZEN TIMES in the prologue alone before I figured out that bunny-hopping is indeed a proper solution here. Now, that's all fine and well. I prefer challenging games over dumbed-down ones and like to feel rewarded when I finally get the hang of it... but 'The Witcher 2' doesn't reward you. Once you think you figured out how fights work, it throws you into a completely different scenario. For example a dragon attack right at the beginning of the game. Or a fist fight, which requires you to ignore anything you learned about the combat so far and press some random buttons as soon as they pop up on the screen. The term for this is 'Quick Time Event' and right after ladders, bugs and Adam Sandler, this is one of my personal archenemies. They even implemented it in some of the dialogues, making it impossible to actually read through all the available options before time is running out. 
Speaking of different buttons for different actions would suggest that this game was released for PC first, but it rather feels like a console import. Geralt might be the toughest witcher in the kingdom, but he simply cannot jump. Climbing is only possible in a very few, pre-designed spots with the advice to 'jump' or 'climb down' popping up whenever one gets close. Geralt can magically run on the spot at the edge of any cliff without the risk of falling off, but will never be able to commit suicide this way. Ah, well, he could just swallow some potions and intoxicate himself. But only if he finds a secure spot to sit down and meditate at.

Now, despite all my hatred against the difficulty level of this game, I quite enjoyed it so far and will definitely continue playing it. I just hope that they didn't get rid of the infamous girls cards from the first game...

Monday, 4 February 2013

Young Greenbear's Fooleries III: Sweet Sweden

As a little green cub, my parents travelled a lot with me. They were truly in love with the great country of Sweden and while I admit that the Swedes can count themselves lucky when it comes to landscapes, pizza and women, it might be that travelling there up to two times a year -every year- might have somewhat killed my passion for this admirable nation.

About the time when I started understanding the concept of countries, borders and governments, my parents and I were -surprise, surprise!- on vacation in Sweden. Back then, I still enjoyed climbing all over the rocks, pretending I'm a giant who is hunting his LEGO minions. So naturally I was desolate when we broke camp. My mother tried to calm things down by taking me to a local toy store, where she said I could pick one item of my choice and take it with me as a reminder of the fun times I had in Sweden. Little, simple me got really confused about this and memorised it as the fact that the fantastic nation of Sweden granted one toy to any leaving tourist as a token of the superiority of this country. How awesome is that, I ask you! An entire country caring so much for us foreigners they gave us a free toy! Any toy! How about that little car? Or the stuffed animal over there? Or the weird wooden game I don't quite understand yet? Haha!
My joy was turned into tears when I tried to claim my 'tourist toy' at the end of our next visit.

Young Greenbear's Fooleries II: Life Line

Triggered by my last post about my childhood attempt at collecting comics, I was reminded of some of the other rather foolish things I did or believed when I was younger. I thought about putting them all into one video, but it might be wiser to just write them down here for a smaller and possibly more private audience.

Now, before telling you about this first silliness of mine, all you guys and gals need to know that I am a person of mildly obsessive behaviour. Not 'locking the door fifty times' obsessive or 'spitting on the ground and spinning around myself counterclockwise every time someone mentions You-Know-Who's name' obsessive, but still... I like to check once or twice or three or four times before continuing in whatever it is I'm doing. There. I said it. By the way, I checked this text five times now for spelling mistakes, so this better be perfect. Six now. Carry on, Greenbear!
Keep that in mind when going over to judge my younger me and his weird little worldview.

Here we go then. When I was at about the age of five and probably still a proud member of my local kindergarten gang, I somehow talked myself into believing that there was an invisible and untouchable life line going out of every humans back. This life line was very flexible and long and led along all the places one has ever been at all the way back to the actual place where the owner was born. The life line could obviously not be felt or tripped over accidentally or cut by the neighbours lawn mower, so it was a very harmless theory... if it wasn't for my major concern that if a person twists around itself without twisting back the exact same number of twists it has done before, said person would strangle themselves with the bloody life line. Needless to say, the whole matter resulted in me trying to memorise the number of turns and twists I had done every day and then all of a sudden starting to spin around myself in the weirdest locations, trying to save my sorry green skin from a very mysterious death.
I eventually gave up on that theory when my friends kept surviving the merry-go-rounds.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Young Greenbear's Fooleries I: I'm Ruined!

When I was a child, I thought that every person had to collect something. Some kind of social norm. This bothered me a lot, because I couldn't quite figure out what I could collect. After several failed attempts, I finally settled for a specific type of comic books. I bought, read and then neatly stored about 60 of them month after month over the course of several years until finally someone told me that collectors are, often enough, considered weirdos and that I should reconsider wasting that much money. I did, but kept all those comic books, because... well, I'm not stupid, obviously! Those things are as valuable as gold nuggets if one just waits long enough. With a bit of luck, this childhood foolishness of mine would eventually pay for my early retirement, when I sell it to some other geek. So I waited and waited and waited. And now, with my life (optimistically speaking) half-way over, I decided to check on my reserves on eBay.
Imagine my shock when it turned out that the value of those bloody piles of coloured paper has, in fact, even managed to drop over those last years! All that money I spent on them and now I would have to pay people to get rid of them for me! I must make certain to never make such a mistake again. Thankfully, I invested all my remaining money in DVDs. Those will never get old, right? Right?