Technically, Scrolls that are Elder are still involved.

I had fun playing Oblivion, while it lasted.

I got to… let’s see… A good ways into the Thief’s guild quests, and quite a distance into the Mage’s guild, and of course I “rescued” Kvatch, because who doesn’t love that new greeting everyone gives you?  But in the end I realized that I could still clearly remember nearly every quest in the game, which meant that nothing would end up surprising me much, no matter how many aspects of game play I changed.  No amount of graphical prettiness can make a game as long as Oblivion seem truly shiny and new.

I didn’t uninstall it, though.  Who wants to spend a whole week configuring plugins again?

Instead I installed Morrowind, the game Bethesda published before Oblivion.  It’s got a number of advantages over Oblivion:

  • It’s made for the PC, which means the interface isn’t nauseatingly stupid and infantile.
  • It was made in an era when RPGs were still intended to challenge your skill, not just your ability to play the game until you’re so powerful that you’ve broken it.
  • Based in the land of the Dark Elves (aka the Dunmer), the landscape is dry, harsh, and completely alien.  It’s a wonderful break from the usual forest-based fantasy you can find everywhere else.
  • The plot is wicked awesome.  I can’t find a better way to put that.

The only problem is, Morrowind is old.  Damn old.  It was published five years before Oblivion in 2002, which means while Oblivion might look like this:

The best Morrowind could manage is this:

Yikes.
However, of course, the mod community had my back.  Developments involving certain techniques normally reserved for more illicit activities, the mod community created the Morrowind Graphics Enhancer, which makes Morrowind look… well… rather a lot better:

Now, the MGE isn’t exactly plug and play; there’s a lot of tweaking involved before you get that quality of graphics.  And because everything is happening at the .dll level rather than directly in the game engine, there are a number of graphical anomalies and the usual loss of stability. But it’s been nearly nine years since I last played this game, and while some of it seems vaguely familiar, on the whole it’s an entirely new experience.

I suppose, in a way, that I’ve finally found the one and only advantage to a biologically impaired memory.


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