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Star Wars Online, Warhammer 40k Online

Just a quick little post to log my shame into the history books...

Since Biowares Star Wars KoToR Online wont be out until 2011 and Warhammer 40k Online is just now getting a first look in June 2010, I find myself dying for a new mmo, but also not wanting to spend any money.

The solution? I am downloading the free trials for SWG and WO. Might be painful but I need a little Star Wars fix and well warhammer really isnt that bad, but I dont want to pay anything for it... next on the list might be DnDO but I doubt it.

Gona post more later once I give SWG and WO a fair trail shakedown, Im really not expecting much, so maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised...ha.

Quicknotes:

Primal for the ps2 is still as much fun as it was 7 years ago... its not great, but the story and the voice acting are wonderful, poor controls / combat system really hold it back.

Sim Animals is actually pretty fun, cute graphics, always something to click or move or do, the controls really arent the best and theres little to no expanation about how to do yourcurrent goal but as something I just poked around with when the super bowl half time show bored me to death, it was very nice.

Now Listening to:

Slumdog Millionare Soundtrack, Nine Inch Nails The Slip, Black Eyed Peas The E.N.D., Lily Allen Its not me it's you.

Geez cant get more diverse than that!

Peace out.


RAAM

Beat Gears of War (PC) on hardcore, had a couple rough spots here and there.... the upgraded bad guys with torque arrows and snipers... anything that one shots you.

Surprisingly had no problem with General RAAM.  The first time I faced him on casual I had no idea what was going on and it took about a million tries to down him.  I blame the success on Hardcore to my planning skills, I made sure that I had a full 12 shot torque bow, which one shots a boomer so its gotta do some nice damage.

Maybe about 8 successful shots with the bow, the other 4 just knocked away the krell, a few shots with the rifle, and 4 grenades, died with the last grenade right at his feat from a blind shot.

Hardcore (and im sure insanity) Gears of War teaches you a lot about cover mechanics and squad mechanics... or well at least that A you should stay IN cover and B you should keep your squad alive as a distraction.

Pretty sure on casual against both RAAM and the Brumack I just left dom dead, this time I found myself hustling around to get him back up to take some of fire off my back.

In an interesting progresion... Mass Effect 2 made me want to play Mass Effect 1 and then Mass effect 2 again, which then made me want to play Gears of war which has now made me want to play Fallout 3... never a dull moment. Maybe I'll just shoot some basketball on wii sports resort...

In real life news I've had to shovel our driveway 5 out of the past 7 days, this morning being the worst.  Its hard to describe but we arnt the first house on the corner but we are the first DRIVEWAY, so the plow comes around that corner building up and building up and it all gets slammed right into our driveway... so we get like 2 or 3 times as much snow as everyone else on the block. Ugh. I probably should really get a snowblower since this city is making a habit of at least 3 10+inch snow falls a year... which is back braking, but I just dont really want one... I think I hate things that are only useful part of the year.

Got our tax rebates... very nice, got a rebate for my new glasses, excellent, Amber got paid, Paid the last few bills that needed for Feb. So I dont need to set up any more bills until this time next month... always feels good. Probably should scoop out the litter boxes... naaah.

General RAAM on insanity here I come, unlikely but stranger things have happened.

might as well start somewhere

catch up:
married amber... have a 16 month old boy...

everything is different, except for ambers job is the same....
Different city, different house obviously.... different cars.... more cats.

Still lots of video games:

Mass effect 2
Replaying = Gears of War
Still playing = World of Warcraft
Not playing = Sim Animals

hooka chooka... lobster...

There I think that was a good first post.
Maybe I'll do it again in another three years.
Thinking about restarting a journal... but im sure I would just come to regret it...
oh wait...

damn

Hellgate London (PC Review)

Enter Hellgate London, made by people who were a part of the Diablo team, you fight against an infinite demon army taking over the world (well maybe just London, who knows).

 

You choose to play as one of six professions :

 

Blademaster, a melee warrior with high burst damage capabilities, but medium to low defense.

 

Guardsman, a melee warrior with extremely high defensive capabilities, decent healing abilities and the ability to taunt mobs.

 

Marksman, a ranged firearm specialist with high damage, good evasive skills and low defense.

 

Engineer, a ranged firearm specialist with medium damage, the ability to create and outfit "bots", also low defense.

 

Summoner, a spell slinger with the focus on creating minions to do most of the work for you, debuffer, extremely low defense.

 

Envoker, a spell slinger with the focus on casting, very high damage, very low defense.

 

Graphics -

 

The graphics in H:L are unfortunately 100% related to the power of your system, of course this is true of all computer games, but as we move into a new generation of game engines, physics, shaders ect... having a low end system means your really not playing the same game.

 

On my three year old computer (p4 3.0 1gig ram, PCI ATI x1300/1500 512mb) the game runs in good frame rates mostly only on low settings with maybe one medium here or there, no AA, it also looks terrible and there a endless shader/lighing glitches that really distract from the environment.

 

On my new budget computer (Duo 2 2.66 2 gig, vista 64, 2x NVIDIA 8600 GT 512) the game runs on high settings to a much better effect, playing on Very High or Extreme Modes (dx10 only) are possible but I receive bad frame rates, now this is my fault for my older - low to mid range graphics cards and while the game does look very nice at the high settings, it looks superb in DX10 Extreme-Very High settings. However graphical glitches again mostly shading and lighting abound.

 

Gameplay:

Very much the strong suit of the game, you run and gun (or hack and slash) as most of the classes, even caster's spells are very high rate of fire and it does have a good "Action" feel to it with demons constantly swarming you.

 

Some monsters are just annoying while some are tough and some are extremely tough and some of course are bosses. Learning how to deal with the different monster types is a big part of the strategy of the game, some monsters have high armor, some high attack strength, some are shielded and so on.

 

Most classes as I've said really do run an gun their whole live through hellgate, Guardsman is the notable difference as many of his skills encourage (or require) standing still.

 

The basics: you use guns/spells/skills/swords to kill monsters for xp, loot and cash. As you gain levels you get attribute points towards the 4 stats Accuracy, Strength, Stamina, Willpower. Each of which is pretty self explanatory but also in H:L your stats are required for equipment in example a new gun may require you be level 10 and have 30 accuracy to use, if you are lacking either, you cannot equip it. All equipment follows this pattern and at higher levels you may find yourself juggling equipment to get a good fit.

 

Also as you gain levels you get skill points (your first level 1 is chosen for you) each class has approx. 28 skills that can receive 7 to 10 points each, the level cap is 50 currently so you do need to make some good choices and try to put your skills where you need them as there is no undoing your choices.

 

Crafting is a good addition to the game, all loot can be broken down into materials, with quality of the materials received depending on the quality of the item you break down. Running out of space but not ready to head back to town? Sure you could summon a portal that saves your place in the dungeon (or just recall and not save your place) Or you could just clean away unwanted junk by breaking it town and letting it all stack up nice and neat. Later then in towns you can speak to crafter NPC's that randomly have items for creation, or use your pieces to upgrade your current equipment or sell it to NPC or player, what ever your style.

 

NPC merchants also are in each town selling necessities like health and focus (mana) items item identifying tools and PRD personal relocation devices. Also the NPC's do sell items, all random all the time.

 

Probably the most notable aspect of H:L is the randomness, all items, all maps, all non story bosses are totally random. Loot and monsters come in Standard, Enhanced (well only loot is enhanced), Rare, Epic, Legendary. Maps reload with monsters and randomize every time you log out, ala Diablo save and exit.

 

Sound:

Wonderful, from eerie screams to rock and roll kill 'em all anthems, I don’t think the sound could of been done any better, except for some weapon effects but that’s just being picky.

 

Story:

The story in Hellgate is unfortunately very weak, weaker than Diablo, weaker than... its just really weak. Your really only here to kick butt and collect sweet loot, but an excellent story would of made this into great game, instead of just a good game.

 

Other stuff:

Online is a good way to play being able to group up with people makes the game tougher which is probably the number one complaint with the first 20 hours of game play, however I urge people to stick with it because once you beat the game your original character starts the game over at level with all monsters at level 30 and up and you can begin a new game at level 1 on the increased difficulty mode: Elite.

 

But don’t get me wrong, offline is a great way to play too, this is not an mmorpg and does not play or feel like one. Offline players get more character slots than Online - Non Subscribers and still have access to things like Nightmare and Elite and Nightmare Elite.

 

At first elite was going to be subscription only (for 9.99 a month subscribers get more character slots, more bank slots, Hardcore mode, and any additional content still to be added) but now it is for everyone, and it is probably the right choice for most of those people calling the game boring or a snooze.

 

So in closing to this really long review that is probably still missing a lot of good information: HellGate London is a good game, held back by graphical bugs, a weak story, and an all too easy first 20+ hours. Fix those things and this would be up there with Halo 3 and Bioshock, but its too late now. However once you get into things like Elite mode and Nightmare Difficulty, the true action begins, unfortunately those modes are only available after beating the game once.

 
I give it a solid 8 out of 10

So get out there Demon-slaying, or go back to playing something else.

 

Cheers!

 

 

DnD Tactics (PSP) Review

Well... I'll be damnned it finally happend a new quality game on the PSP.

DnD tactics is just that, a thinking persons tactical turnbased fantasy RPG. This is what really RPG is, you build your characters from the ground up (you could pick pregenterated ones) and you control their every aspect from their stats, their skills, everything.

Sure DnD can be tough for those not comfortable with the rules. But I honestly feel the Help system in the game is wonderful giving good consise explanations on every item/action/spell ect...

The gameplay graphics could be better but their definatly forgiveable when you consider the scope of everything the game has to keep track of on and off screen. The "Cut Screen" sequences done ala Still Character Pictures and text are amazingly high pre-rendered stills and are mouth wateringly beautiful.

The sound I think is very enjoyable - a soothing song on the map screen as you move around between towns, buying equipment, checking out available adventures - and in-game battle and sound effects that at least dont make you crazy.

The gameplay controls are slow, but in a tactics game thats a good thing. Commands branch out into the many options of DnD. For example I think alot of people have been fooled into thinking theres just attacking... ho hum... attacking... well theres actually, Bluffing, Feinting, Intimidating, Charging, BullRushing, Defensive Attack, and more, just conserning melee combat.

Replay, Obviously the combination of this being DnD and being a great game make the replayabilty of this game off the charts.

I havnt gotten a real chance to play with multiplayer yet, but if its even half as good as the singleplayer mode... geeks everywhere will be PSP DnD-ing all over the place. 

Graphics - 8
Sound - 8
Gameplay - 10
Replay - 10
Total = 9/10

Dreamfall the Longest Journey Review

Finally finished playing through the 2005 adventure game and sequel to The Longest Journey.

Great graphics, great story, great music, great voice acting... no ending, but still more than worth playing, and Im not trying to say that there isnt a plot line that gets resolved, there is, but the game serves to open a huge plot line that doesnt get resolved.

Seriously Lord of the Rings: Two Towers looks like a stand alone movie compared to this game.

You play as the very lovely and smart Zoe Castillo the daughter of a rich Bio-Engineer, shes dropped out of school, moved home, and suddenly finds her best friend/Ex-Boyfriend in deep doggie doo-doo. She jumps, flies, sails and several other modes of transportation, to his rescue.

The main other faults to the game are a really lack luster combat system which is quite unnecessary to the game completely and while just as the previous game you travel between Stark, which could be Earth as we know it in the semi-distant future, and Arcadia, a magic world that is still in sort of a medieval / dark ages type setting, the reason why and why April Ryan is involved, and why she is such a bitch now, really isn't touched on in any detail.

I guess we'll just have to wait for the next game... err... its the middle of 2007 now and... what the hell?

Back to waiting I guess.

8/10

Snes Emulator

If anyone sees this and is interested in SNES Emulators I can recommend ZSNES the newest version is fantastic, I've tested and tried over 500 SNES Roms to near perfect results, in stunning resolutions, its amazing how awesome the Best SNES games are even to this day and with cool features like fast forward, you can play through a game in no time flat.

Just the other day I played through Chrono Trigger in about 3 days at 4 hours a day or so, the in game clock read almost 30 hours, but obviously I played only 12 or so, how cool is that?

And for a wonderful link to the best of the best games to play check out none other than gamespots own interactive list :

http://www.gamespot.com/games.html?type=games&platform=21

  

Dark Days Are Coming

Dark Days Are Coming

A GRIM, ODD, ARCANE SKY
ANY GOD, I MARK SACRED
A MASKED CRY ADORING
A DREAMY, SICK DRAGON

DARK DAYS ARE COMING

darkdaysarecoming.com

Kirby Squeek Squad Review

Gimmie that cake back, Now!
Almost everyone except the youngsters will know this cute and cuddly looking air puff, Kirby. He has been around since the earliest days of the gameboy as far as I know, and probably some before that.

The graphics are wonderful on the DS bright, crisp, refreshing.

The sound is catchy, traditional Kirby/Mario platform type stuff, not cheapo crazy annoying at all.

The game play is just straight up fun, the controls are extremely responsive, and in a lot of ways it plays like some of the Mega Man games, suck up a foe and capture his powers to make them your own.

There really is not a challenge at all to this game, so you probably wont ever be seeing the words game over, unless you try something crazy, like setting goals for your self to complete.

Regardless of the challenge thats not what this game is about, its about cutesy fun and a surprisingly large amount of freedom, freedom in how you choose to play, there are around 30 different Kirbys to become, 20 or so different colors you can change your Kirby and Tons of other unlockable or collectible things.

Ladies and Gentlemen... Some times, easy is fun. There couldn't be a better example than this great DS platformer.

7.5/10

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