What can change the nature of a man?

From that title most of you would have easily guessed what this post is about. Yes, I finally played Planescape Torment and finally realized what a fool I had been for missing it all these years. Yes, I was late in playing the game, but I guess "Better late than never".

When I got the game from one of my cousins, he said he had never played it but heard many good things about it. In my experience here at GS and many other sites, most people considered it one of the greatest games of all time. So, I finally installed the game and was immediatly struck with the feeling that this would be something special as soon as I saw the opening movie.

About my character, I had not played many RPGs but in the ones I had played, I had always chosen to be a fighter so I wanted to be different. I decided I would be a Mage and it was a decision I would begin to regret until I finished the game. Some of the earlier parts were getting difficult but I finally found Dakkon who made things easier for me. I soon assemble my party and I thought it would get easier as the game progressed but I found myself running from most battles because I would get finished easily and respawning and trying to kill was too much for me.

Especially, some of the battles on Baator with the Abhishais and in the final level with the Greater Shadows (which most people would have run from), I found myself trembling with fear as to whether I would be able to finish the game or not. When I finally did see the Transcendent One, because I had such high intelligence (about 24 I think) and I had gotten the Blade of the Immortal from the Siege Tower (thanks to a FAQ), the end game was easy and when the final movie finally rolled on and I saw The Nameless One take the weapon to fight in the Blood War and the voice in the background said "What can change the nature of a man?", to my surprise I fould myself questioning every decision I had made in the game.

In the end, my experience playing Torment ranks with among the best gaming experiences I have ever had. I am almost sure I will definitely play it more than once again, try to be evil and finally meet the Lady of Pain (in my quest to complete the game, I didn't have time to meet The Lady in my first experience) and of course see whats all there is to see in the world of Planescape.

Finally, my full review can be found here.

Best Plot Twists - Part 1

In a few posts I will look into some of the best plot twists I have encountered in Movies, Games and Books. The first part will look at the movies. And just for good measure, I have not watched lots of movies or read lots of books or played lots of games with twists but I have encountered some of the best in what I have experienced. Be waned, this post may contain many spoilers, so proceed with caution.

The Sixth Sense
The mother of all plot twists and my favorite in all movies I have watched is The Sixth Sense. The best thing about the twist (as my sister pointed out to me) is that you don't make any accidental guesses because you don't know that there is a twist. The only time you realize there is a twist in the movie is when the twist actually unfolds. For me, it is not only the twist but the way it is revealed. The whole sequence where Bruce Willis realizes he is dead and thinks back what happened unfolds beautifully with brilliant subtle acting by Willis. So the honor of the best plot twist according to me goes to The Sixth Sense by M. Night Shyamalan.

The Usual Suspects
The twist in The Usual Suspects is slightly different than The Sixth Sense. The difference being you can accidentally guess that Verbal is in face Keyser Soze. But in my experience of watching the movie, I couldn't for one minuted guess that he was Soze. Throughout the movie, I made two guesses, it had to be either Keaton or somebody else but when the twist was actually revealed I was stunned because in no amount of guessing could I have guessed that Verbal was Soze. After it was revealed till the climax, I didn't remember anything that happened until I rewinded and saw it a second time. Again similar to The Sixth Sense, the actual revelation is picturized beautifully with Spacey's chilling voice and dialogues playing in the background and the cop's stunned face just adds up to a satisfying twist. Especially the broken china showing the name Kobayashi and Verbal's walk gradually becoming normal, where he places a cigarette in his mouth and lights up and the voice says "Poof! He's Gone" make this one of the best plot twist I have experienced.

The Shawshank Redemption
While not as satisfying and hard hitting as either The Sixth Sense or The Usual Suspects, The Shawshank Redemption does have a very well written plot and a good twist and it is one of those movies that made me feel very good and in a high mood when it finished. There is no major twist in the plot as such because most people would make guesses that Andy Duffresne will actually escape the jail but how he does and what happens later is the actual twist. When the only person who could prove that Andy is not the criminal is shot dead, I kept pondering at how he would actually pull off the escape. The unfolding here is again top class with Morgan's effective and subtle dialogues playing in the background, the whole scene that begins with the warden finding out the hole to Andy assuming the imaginary name and retrieving his cash at the bank is revealed wonderfully and you can't help but cheer when Freeman and Robbins hug near the boat at the end.

Honorable Mentions
Some of the other movies that have had good twists but I have never been captivated as much are Secret Window and Arlington Road. The minus about the twist in Secret Window is that it never hits you in the face like the previously mentioned movies and is actually very weakly picturized though Depp's acting somewhat makes up for it. My sister actually guessed the twist and told to me but still the revelation was never very satisfying but good nonetheless. Arlington Road didn't have much of a plot twist in the exact sense in my opinion. I did realize there had to be a bomb somewhere but the twist was that it is actually in Faraday's car and by the time he himself realizes that it explodes. It was a good movie with a good cast but never as strong as some others but it deserves an Honorable Mention anyway.

In part 2, I will look at some of the best twists I have encountered in games and books.