Jul 28, 2010

[Games] My StarCraft II Day In Pikchurs

Being the net-enabled geek that I am, for some reason I ended up documenting how my StarCraft II Day unfolded from the moment I picked up my copy of the game. I sent all my photos to photo-sharing site Pikchur (for multiple social networking photo-spamming) and figured it would make a good starting point for today's blog entry. Pardon the quality of the photos - they were all taken with my Nokia E63, which isn't exactly designed for extensive photography.

It's too early for me to talk about the actual game just yet - give me more time to play through more of the missions before I post a more formal review of the game. I'm loving it so far, but of course that's a first impression still somewhat intermixed with my happiness that there's a StarCraft sequel, period.

So let's just jump into things, shall we?

The day started with me getting home from work and waking my partner up so we could head to the nearby Data Blitz where I had pre-ordered a standard edition copy of StarCraft more than a month ago. There was already a bit of a line when I arrived, but it wasn't too long a wait.

StarCraft II With Dog Tag

The benefits of pre-ordering the game other than ensuring one received a copy was the fact that it also came with a limited edition StarCraft dog tag and a T-shirt. Unfortunately, the store had run out of shirts in my size so I'll have to pick it up later on once they've sorted out the inventory problems.

StarCraft II Interior Box Art
The interior box art was just amazing.

So I set about the initial installation. My partner and I were a tad worried since it was showing that his AMD processor was below recommended requirements, but at the time we really didn't care and just wanted to see if we could still get the game to work. And so pressed on. While the installation was in-progress, I tried to focus on getting brunch prepared at the same time.

StarCraft II Installation

It's weird to set about cooking with the game playing a recap of the events in the original StarCraft and its expansion Brood Wars. Still, great story not matter how you look at it.

StarCraft II Patching

Once the install was completed, I got to meet Blizzards automatic patching applet that forcibly runs whenever you launch the game. So it looks like an internet connection is most definitely required, even if you're not playing an online game. Rather sneaky Blizzard.

Battle.net Setup Screen

And then there was the matter of actually creating a Battle.net account. Yes, yes, despite my geekiness, I had yet to setup an account on Battle.net. Can you blame me? It's not like I've really needed to go online for games much. I've always been an offline single player or at best a LAN player when among friends. This wasn't too complicated a process except for the challenges of interpreting the CAPTCHA correctly.

StarCraft II Activated

With my new Battle.net account handy, now it was just a matter of making sure the game was properly activated. Given I've managed to avoid the entire World of WarCraft phenomenon in recent years, this was my first exposure to Blizzard's online registration methodology. It's an effective enough solution that ensures the game is more or less secure from piracy plus allowing the user to be able to migrate the game to different computers as needed, provided only one instance of the Battle.net ID logs in.

StarCraft II Single Player Screen

With the account setup, the game activated and patched up to current standards, we were finally ready to enter the game for real. It was a tad sluggish, probably because of our insufficient processor, but it still managed to get through the game in time. I really liked the new menu interface, although it is a tad daunting at the beginning.

StarCraft II Mar Sara Loading Screen

I can't believe that I was freaking out just staring at the loading screen. It probably helped that the fanboy in me was enjoying the fact that game was starting on Mar Sara - the same place where the original StarCraft began as well.

StarCraft II Mission Briefing

And then it was time for the first mission briefing with a much cooler Adjutant. I was tempted to post photos of the initial video, but then I didn't want to post any kind of spoilers just yet.

And that was my StarCraft II Day in grainy, mobile phone photos posted to Pikchur, and thus all of my social networks. How'd your StarCraft day go?
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