Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines

What is Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines? index You can always search the vast terrain of the world wide web but in a nutshell, VTM: Bloodlines is a first/third person computer role-playing game set in The World of Darkness, where you play a vampire of one of the vampiric clans that roam the modern world. It was developed by the now defunct Troika games and published by Activision in 2004.

Why it rocks:

  • The ambiance is amazing! It gives me a sense of dread while my character prowl the streets of L.A. There is a constant feeling that something big is about to happen, the calm before the storm.

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  • The soundtrack is simply superb. With songs like Smaller God by Darling Violetta, Isolated by Chiasm, Swamped by Lacuna Coil, the game is worth buying just for the soundtrack itself. Heck, even the ambiance music is catchy, especially the main theme.
  • It’s full of memorable NPCs like Jeanette, LaCroix, Jack, Nines, and Damsel. The dialogue ranges from serious, sarcastic to pure craziness.
  • The quests were not merely created to keep you busy but were significant. There were no menial fetch quests. If there were any, I didn’t feel like they were.
  • Deep and engaging storyline. It is set in The World of Darkness, where vampires have to abide by rules and laws in order not to be detected by human beings. Vampire politics and power struggles exists.
  • Fight with your fists, baseball bats, swords or shoot enemies with a range of firearms. Bluff, intimidate or seduce the denizens of the game world. Sneaking past security, picking locks and hacking computers are also at your disposal should you choose to spend points in those.

Why it sucks:

  • The game was released unfinished and full of bugs. The fans, though, released fixes and patches… for over ten years after its release. Talk about dedication!
  • Awkward character movements. Sometimes your character (and NPCs) move clumsily, unrealistically. Personally I don’t like the way male characters walk as they tend to move their hips like female ramp models. If you play a female vampire, this would probably be not a problem. Jumping on movable boxes them can also be problematic.
  • I think the stealth aspect is a bit inaccurate and incomplete in my opinion. The devs could have done better (but since they were plagued with problems during development, I guess this was the best they could do).
  • Character customization at the start isn’t much. You can only choose your clan and your gender.

The verdict:

If you don’t own a copy, buy it. Install it. Play it.

You won’t regret it. I didn’t. It even made me read Vampire The Masquerade novels.

 

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Hobo-phobic

I have been seeing this homeless man on the sidewalk every time I went to buy things at the supermarket. I fondly refer to him as Bob Marley due to his unkempt hair. He doesn’t have a roof bmarley1over his head, eats whatever food given to him by passersby, and drinks water from a filthy canal.

I normally didn’t give anything to beggars and homeless people as I didn’t want to encourage them in doing what they do. I believed they have to work and do something and not rely on other people’s charity. As I grew older (and hopefully wiser), I began experiencing things that were beyond my control and forced me to open my eyes. Now I understand why there are a lot of homeless people.

What is the point of this blog entry? The point is this. Not all homeless people and beggars are lazy bastards and just want charity. I don’t believe anyone would want to end up in the streets. There are a lot of reasons as to why people end up begging. It could be that they have disabilities and it prevents them from doing work. It could be that they were too poor to begin with to afford an education in a school. In some countries, like the Philippines, most companies choose candidates with a college degree. So if you haven’t finished college, you’re most likely to fail in getting a decent job. It could also just be plain bad luck. Just like when failing to meet a deadline, or performing poorly in sports, or failing to boost sales, there are hundreds of reasons why people end up in the streets. Some commit crime and some beg for money or sleep quietly in the sidewalk. Which do you prefer?

Another thing to remember is this: if you think your problems are ruining your life or you feel that you’re down on your luck, just think of these people. They barely have anything to eat and yet some of them are happier than most people with more than enough money. I’m guessing that your problems are petty compared to these financially challenged people… unless, of course, you’re in a life or death situation or immediate danger.

One more thing. Give a rich man a dollar and give a hobo the same amount. Who would most likely be happy? Poor people tend to be more grateful and value the little things most rich people take for granted. The less you have, the more you appreciate the little things in life.

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Have a cold one instead of filthy water.

Back to Bob Marley. I have been giving him food, safe drinking water and clothing whenever I pass by, but I don’t earn much myself and would really like to continue helping him. Seeing him write on notebooks and papers, and scribble on dozens of pages kind of touched me in an odd way. As  an aspiring novelist, it intrigued me as to what happened to him that made him end up in the streets. He might have been writer of some kind. Who knows. I am trying to slowly warm up to him and greeting him whenever I pass him by and hopefully he will remember me. But as of now, he has not once looked me in the eyes.

With that said, be thankful with what you have and stop whining about your problems. Be appreciative of the seemingly small things, and be nice to hobos! Don’t abuse or exploit them. If you find it in your heart to help them, I salute you! I wish I could do more for Bob Marley but my finances are barely enough to support myself. I would personally look after him if I have sufficient money and give him a shot at living a decent life. I will continue to do what I can for this man so wish me luck and pray to the deity you believe in for Bob to have a better life.

Note: This is my first blog entry so please bear with me.