Skip navigation

Category Archives: Pennies

For today, just watch this and contemplate your situation in life.

*update*

I have now finished Octodad. It’s about half an hour long, so instead of me reviewing it for you, try it yourself. Follow the link and download it. You won’t regret it. It was an experience.

Advertisements

I remember the release of Fable 1. Quite clearly, actually. You see, I am one of those people that sat in the Fable chat room on IRC discussing what we were hoping it would be, voting for titles to be implemented into the game and just generally annoying the poor dev assigned to sit in and take queues from us community freaks. I was, to say the least, quite invested in the game.

Then came the release, and it was nothing like the trailers and screenshots had hinted at. That’s not to say it wasn’t good, it just wasn’t what had been promised. Mr. Molyneux of Lionhead has a tendency to go overboard when talking about his games. This is as much a fact in the gaming world as that of Bobby Kotick being a dick. So, he promised a bit more than could be delivered. My main gripe was really always only the lack of an open world, like in Gothic. That was disappointing for me. The game itself was in my experience rather nice. Cozy even.

Lionhead has always been a company that produces games to my liking. They were an ofshoot off Bullfrog who had in their time produced some of my favorite games. This list including: Populous, Syndicate, Magic Carpet and Dungeon Keeper. After their breakaway they went on to create Black & White. A game that I still bloody love. A game that I have also in adult years found that not everyone likes. This always being related to some PC Gamer article and promises made by Mr. Promisemaker. I didn’t even know you couldn’t love it, because it was fucking awesome. I remember being especially in love with the creature vs. creature combat. Those were the days.

Lionhead has a certain tone to their games. B&W and its in my opinion swell sequel is humorous and cozy. Evil in these games, just like with Dungeon Keeper is done with a sense of humor. It’s not really EVIL at all. I mean, you get to kill people indiscriminately, but you’re never staking them through the eyesockets or hanging a father of in front of his child while spilling his guts out. It’s not that evil, it’s just really rude. I can appreciate this sense of humor, and this way of presenting evil. Especially in the way it carried over to Fable.

Fable, despite its shortcomings was always a nice experience. It was never the hardcore RPG I wanted it to be, instead it was sort of an action adventure like Zelda 64, with the addition of some RPG elements. You got to fight with your sword, shoot with your bow(or gun in the sequels) and cast some spells. Your character also mirrored your actions in the world, even if the choices always were quite binary. But it was an experience, and your character felt like it was really yours to play with. You could go all sims if you wanted to aswell. Buying houses, decorating them, marrying, etc. etc. All these elements included made it into a very cozy, immersive, sim like experience.

Running around town having everyone stand agape in awe at you is pretty funny. Barging in on someone sleeping because you own the house is also pretty funny. Fable was good at those moments while being bad at the RPG moments. Storywise they were never any table turners either. But you know, what can you expect from a game where you have the option to fart someone in the face?

4th of Lignite 1058, Age of Myths

I hear them knocking on the door.

They yell: “KOL COME OUT! WE NEED YOU TO DO SOME WORK!”

I know what they want. I know the score. They don’t want me to finish my baby.

They don’t want me to finish my beloved. But I tell them. I tell them. I tell them what I need.

But they won’t bring it. They have it stashed somewhere. There are storage rooms below where we don’t go.

They must bring it soon. I must make it soon. I see it so clearly.

 

6th of Lignite, 1058 Age of Endless Laughter

They say we don’t have it. They say we don’t have the bones.

But I need those bones. I need them now. I must finish my job.

I can’t silence the laughter if I can’t finish it. They must bring it. They must.

 

7? of Adamantium, Age of Treason

WHERE IS IT I MUST HAVE IT …

 


Today I turned in my essay. It’s been in writing for the last few months. So today, I will not be posting anything. Why? Because for the first time in a very long time I feel like I can relax. And since I finally have the opportunity to, I will do it. Hence no post today.

What the fuck.

Read here.

I hate the score 10. At least from reviewers that are supposed to have credibility. If I would say, “this is the best game, it is truly perfect. Then that is in itself a lie, probably, but it’s an opinion from a biased gamer. IGN, however, is a gaming site which is supposed to provide readers with some manner of professional opinion. But, here we have a game that strikes 10 in every fucking category. How is the sound PERFECT? How are the graphics PERFECT? How is the gameplay PERFECT?

I call bullshit. It’s probably a great game. But it just reeks of retardation. I don’t think it’s possible for a game to even be in the 9.5 category.

What the fuck.

Let’s hope they get something right out of this and end the Mario franchise on an upnote like a perfect score. It would truly be a grand day in gaming history if they’d just let the canon be, and try to come up with a new protagonist.

Information originally from here

Since the GamesRadar post has been removed I’ll sum up what I can remember.

First off though, a summary of the X-com franchise. The X-com games are basically turn-based strategy games. Aliens invade, you’re part of the x-com organization, and your goal is to repel them. So, in essence all you do is fight aliens. The kicker, though, is that you get to research, train and build. You research new armor and weapons, train your men and women into hardcore badasses and build yourself  a base. It’s all very rewarding(and time consuming).

So what about this new X-Com? Well, they tell us that all the features we’ve come to expect are there. Except …

… It’s first person. I was skeptical at first, but looking at the provided screens, and thinking back on X-Com enforcer (which was pretty neat) I decided it could be pretty good. The art-direction they’re going for is like.. I don’t know, 50’s? It’s kind of like the retro-type pre-war era that Fallout always references to. Idyllic suburbs, thick-rimmed glasses, men with shirts and ties. Looked cool.

The only thing that worries me up to date is the missions. The information provided stated that missions will be as following. You go to an investigation site, start collecting data and clues. Kind of like CSI, except with aliens and less semen. But as time progresses, alien activity in the area increases. And in the end you will be forced to retreat or die. In time your research will provide you with gear and armor to allow you to stay longer, but the general idea is that you go to a place, and then you’re forced to flee. It sounds interesting enough, to be sure, but I’m worried about execution.  The idea that you can’t complete a mission for real strikes me as odd. They didn’t hint yet if it was possible to eliminate all resistance. Generally neverending spawns of monsters are a bad thing.

Time will tell.

Many have forgotten, but I will always hold vigil. Over Shogun: Total War. One of the most awesome strategy games ever.

I remember getting one of those PC Gamer demo cds. It contained the demo of the above mentioned game. I spent hours upon hours replaying the same ol’ battle over and over again. It was simply put awesome. I hadn’t been very interested in samurai before that, but, Shogun probably laid the foundation for all of my Japan fanboyism. Samurai, ninja, seppuku, all that cool stuff became an interest because of this ol’ timer. Who knows, I might never have been interested in anime if not for Shogun.

What was Shogun: Total War then? It was change. It was strategy. It was flanking. It was deployment. It was awesome. At a time when all other strategy games’ strategy was basically turtle up, or amass the biggest army. It had a campaign map kind of like Heroes of Might & Magic 2, it had you building, upgrading troops, and sending them off to fight. It didn’t just put you in command of a battle, it put you in command of a war. And as the daimyo, you led your loyal men to victory, or death.

All of these elements were still rather basic in Shogun. But it didn’t draw from it being grand. First came Mongol Invasion, then came Medieval(which was also awesome), and then probably Medieval’s expansion, but THEN came Rome: Total War. Rome: Total War is one of the best strategy games ever(Though not in any way contending with Homeworld). Rome: Total War is a game I still play today at times. It has aged like fine wine, still being every bit as sweet as it was when it was released.

Medieval II was great. Empire I thought I’d hate. Because the 1800’s seemed to have a more lame kind of war than the good old sword meets bone kind of war. But I was proven wrong. It was also awesome.

Now I have Napoleon: Total War. It’s kind of like Medieval II’s Kingdoms. Kingdoms boiled the Total War formula down to a more focused campaign. Smaller scale on the map, but somehow grittier and more personal. This time around you get to be Napoleon. And I must say, I am pleased to be in his, presumably, small boots.

Read this if you haven’t already

I like EVE. Perhaps even more than playing it, which I found fairly satisfying, I like reading about it. It’s a great boon to an MMO where the developers are always trying to push the boundaries for what can be done. Where WoW rehashes old ideas to make them work better, EVE comes up with completely new stuff. I mean, EVE has a fully working economy created by players. We hardly have that in the real world.

The expansion Tyrannis seeks to further EVE’s climb to awesomeness by giving players the choice to colonize planets so they can start making profits from resource production. I picture the corporations  in zero-sec sectors fighting tooth and nail to secure systems so no other people can come to their planets and steal their resources. Pretty goddamned spiffy right?

I know you said yes. So I know you’ll agree with me that Dust 514 seems like helluva sweet idea aswell.  While the gameplay vids released to date have triggered lukewarm feelings inside of me, the potential of the game tickles my balls. I like online FPS games, and bigger is no doubt better. MAG sucked, but I mean, BF2BC is pretty awesome. So, the formula isn’t flawed, it’s just that they have have to nail the execution. And CCP is one of the few gaming industry devs that I have faith in. I look forward to seeing the future development of the EVE franchise.

So, what are your thoughts on the matter. RTS inspired FPS meets the huge dynamic world of EVE, bound to fail or bound for glory?

Today’s post will be a somber one. So if you’re in the mood for some cheerful reading you can head on over somewhere else.

Earlier in the day, when I was doing my morning web-browsing I saw a news report about the war in Iraq. More specifically the report detailed the murder of a number of civilians by an american Apache helicopter. I didn’t take much note of it, thinking to myself simply “goddamned hacks” and went about my business. Some time later during the day I decided to watch the clip.

It all begins from the perspective of the gunner cam of the helicopter. This being very familiar to anyone who has played Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Just as the war criminal was about to open fire I thought to myself; “Don’t shirk away, it’s probably pretty graphic, but it happens everyday.”. Seeing the civilians being gunned down didn’t even leave me with a note of remorse. I simply thought that the gung ho bravado the Air Force gunner displayed as he was commenting the murders was retarded. Even if they had been armed, one would hope that a soldier at least shows a modicum of respect for the fact that he’s just made sure someone’s family will never see their father, son or brother again.

So, at first I was simply not feeling anything, and after a while I felt rather sick about myself for not feeling anything. “Have I really become this jaded?” was the thought that popped into my head. Steeled by the gaming industry I watched on. And I must admit, what i saw from there made me feel awful. It turns out I’m not completely fucked in the head. Not even the black and white of the gunner cam could filter out the tragedy of the whole event. Rather than being a sudden pang of sadness for the fact that things like this happen, it crept up on me the more I watched. For those that don’t feel like watching the clip that can be found on Youtube, the summary is something like this:

Wounded man tries to crawl away. Gunner rants about how he wants him to pick up a gun so he can shoot him. Van comes to pick up wounded man. Fire at will is granted. Van and men trying to save the man is destroyed. Troops arrive. Two children are found wounded in the van.

There is no radio chatter from the chopper when the marines arrive, but I wonder what the gunner thought to himself when he sees the ground-team running the children to the medivac.

As horrible as this whole event is, it got me thinking about violence in games. The best of games can have you crying because a character dies. For me FFVII comes to mind. But however well the story delivers the impact of the death, I don’t think we ever compute the event as being anything related to the real thing. Death is never final in games. With Aeries all I have to do is start the game over again, and I can relive those happy moments for Cloud. There’s no such thing for real life, no quickload button to remove that bullet from your head.

Are we really becoming jaded about violence and death? I doubt it. Seeing a news reel showing off corpses and mayhem somewhere is likely to give little cause to raise your eyebrows. But when you face the real thing, in all its somber glory, I don’t think it matters how many civilians you shot in Moder Warfare 2. So, somehow I think the critics of violence in video games are missing the mark. We’re not really becoming jaded. We’re just playing, over and over again, bits and snippets of every day happenings around the world. Whether it be shooting “insurgents” or stabbing a man in the chest, it’s happening somewhere in the world. Maybe they should put their efforts there first.

So, just recently I got Mount & Blade: Warband. Warband is fantastic. It’s Mount & Blade, with some new tweaks AND multiplayer. And the multiplayer is just barrel-loads of fun. But ever since I got my hands on Mount & Blade I’ve been thinking…

Mount & Blade is made by Taleworlds. A company that’s so big you could probably fit it into a phonebooth. They’re basically two people, a guy and his wife, or a gal and her husband if you’re so inclined. These two people made this awesome, fantastic, superb game. So what if Mount & Blade 2 was actually made by a real dev-studio with the turkish couple as lead designers. In my secret wet dreams I imagine them backed up by Epic. Say what you will about Gears of War’s machismo attitude and script, but when you play and you sprint to cover you feel the  impact of your character against concrete in your chest. I imagine them making a brutal, realistic, bloody, gory, wonderful, game about riding horses and killing peasants.

Cliffy, it’s time you go indie.