Monthly Archives: November 2012

Jarenth Plays XCOM: Enemy Unknown — Episode 11: When It Rains…

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays XCOM, I discovered that — through no apparent fault of my own — XCOM HQ is critically short on Engineers. I can’t craft any advanced weapons or armor, I can’t host more satellites, and I can’t create the Skeleton Key I need to assault the aliens’ ocean-floor base. Efforts to somehow train the ever-increasing group of Floaters my troops keep bringing home progress poorly, as the creatures seem unable to understand even the simplest Maxwellian theorems. Or anything besides ‘blind, unfocused rage’, really, and a seething hatred for the life and happiness of all human beings.

If XCOM had a Sales department, these guys would be perfect.

UNFOCUSED ZING of some description. Now, back to the game

Jarenth Plays XCOM: Enemy Unknown — Episode 10: Hiring Practices

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays XCOM, I finally successfully captured an Outsider alien. Or, well, I managed to retrieve the crystal it’s projected through without breaking it. Dr. Shen thinks we can use this crystal to trace the alien communications back to their source; with the combined might of our impressive Research and Engineering departments, we’ll know where the aliens are hiding before too long.

Of course my Research and Engineering departments are highly impressive! Why would you even question this?

Jarenth Plays XCOM: Enemy Unknown — Episode 9: The Plot Thickens

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays XCOM, I successfully repelled an alien Terror Attack on the city of Chongqing, China, more than adequately making up for the fact that I totally left them to their devices at the start of this campaign. I met the oft-dreaded Chryssalids, completely failed to see what the big deal was with them, and just generally all-around saved the day in the most spectacular fashion.

With that bit of nonsense all squared away, it’s time to refocus on our actual progression goals. What was I doing again?

‘Bumbling around and somehow not getting murdered by aliens’, you say? That’s mean.

Jarenth Plays XCOM: Enemy Unknown — Episode 8: Fearless

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays XCOM, I met and managed to capture a new species of alien, the Floater, which — and I never get tired of pointing this out — looks like a pair of jet engines stapled to arms and a face. Nabbed a second Sectoid, too, because what if the first one gets lonely? I’m really glad the game abstracts the notion of ‘living alien storage space’, because it’d be pretty crowded in that small container by now otherwise.

Now, the appearance of the Floater does signal one important thing: the aliens have started ramping up their invasion. The Sectoids were only a scouting force, and the Thin Men failed infiltrators, but the Floaters are the first sign of an actual offensive vanguard. This means I’d better step up my game, too; no telling what the aliens have in store for me next.

And by ‘no telling’ I mean ‘best read on to find out’. As I do.

Jarenth Plays XCOM: Enemy Unknown — Episode 7: Rocket Surgery

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays XCOM, ‘interrogating’ our captive Sectoid revealed that the strange crystalline Outsider aliens (for that is what they’re called, apparently) seem to serve as an important link in the alien command and communication hierarchies. Our next goal is clear: capture one of these Outsiders. But given that they only hang around crashed UFOs, and given that — so far — I’ve exclusively dealt with them by way of frag grenade, that might take a little while.

No, sorry, that’s not humorous foreshadowing. If you’re only interested in the plot, check back around episode 9.

Jarenth Plays XCOM: Enemy Unknown — Episode 6: I Know What You’re Thinking

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays XCOM, I finally managed to capture a living Sectoid. It’s true that the Arc Thrower is a short-ranged, poorly-designed, unwieldy piece of techno-junk, but when it does manage to knock an alien out, the sense of victory it gets you has little equal. The fact that you get free high-tech weapons from capturing aliens doesn’t hurt either.

Clearly, my course is set: I must capture every alien in the world. Well, *this* world. You know what I mean.

Jarenth Plays XCOM: Enemy Unknown — Episode 5: Smash And Grab

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays XCOM, I got a man killed. Rookie Tyler Clark, wide-eyed and innocent, cut down in the prime of his life by superheated globs of sizzling green death. Did he even know what he was getting into? Does XCOM sucker its soldiers in with propaganda, promising heroic fights against the alien invaders while obscuring the terrifying chance of death at every turn? I guess we’ll never know.

I take small solace in the fact that Clark died in his homeland of Australia: it will not take us long to bury him in his ancestral soil. Farewell, Tyler: may there be a shrimp on your barbie forever.

Sources tell me this is how Australians send off their honoured dead. Now, back to alien-fighting.

Jarenth Plays XCOM: Enemy Unknown — Episode 4: Fourth Blood

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays XCOM, I shot down a small UFO and sent a team out to assault the wreckage. I looted some valuable alien technology, met a new kind of alien and nearly get a lot of people killed. Nearly, again, being the operative word: so far, none of my actual personalized soldiers have died. I’m… I’m fairly okay with this. Hopefully things will stay great forever.

Dun dun dunnnnnnn.

Jarenth Plays XCOM: Enemy Unknown — Episode 3: Tango Down

In the last episode of Jarenth Plays XCOM, I did some research, bought some armor, and rescued a woman from alien captivity. Not a bad haul, if you ask me. I made a little crack at the end about how nobody cares what the aliens are thinking; little did I know, however, how ominous those words would sound in the context of today.

I mean, I guess technically I already know, given that I write these things out on beforehand. But — listen, you’re overthinking this.