Kerbal Space Program isn’t so much a game (yet) as it is a simulator. A simulator for people who
wanted to be astronauts when they were children want to know how stupid hard it is to get something into space.
I could shoot him in the balls with the fire-shotgun, severing the legs of the jerk behind him. I could thump that chump into the air and grenade-tether him towards that enormous fan. I could slide into the whole crowd, knocking them into the allegiance-shattering toxic plant dust and watch them mutilate each other as I sit idly by, sipping on a cool pop. Bulletstorm, by People Can Fly and Epic Games, presents all these options and a million more in a game that is amongst the most insane, over-the-top, and unforgettable shooters I have ever played. Continue reading
The most prevalent though that I have while playing Rogue Legacy is “#&$@ you, you #$%&ing @$&#”. I feel that this is a common mantra that spans many new (and veteran) Rogue Legacy players. It’s a difficult game, make no mistake, but it can be mastered.
Rogue Legacy is a roguelike, sides-scrolling, Metroidvania-esque game with Medieval themes. You play as a linage of warriors, all hellbent on conquering a mystical castle which somehow stole your king (father?) or whatever. Let’s be honest, the story isn’t really necessary.
You start with selecting your heir. This will be one of three warriors, each with different traits. These traits can be a myriad of issues, some more helpful than others. Examples of this are the “Dwarfism” trait, which makes your character smaller on screen shortens your weapon range; or the “I.B.S.” trait, which makes your character fart at random.
Upon selecting your next hero you are presented with your legacy’s castle (not to be confused with the bad, evil castle), which functions as a skill tree. Anything you upgrade here (with the currency found while playing) will remain, through death, with your lineage. These upgrades range from new character types to boosted stats. This way when you die, and you will, it (usually) won’t be for nothing as you will have at least a few gold to spend on upgrading your stats or gear.
Game play itself is a fairly standard affair. You have your basic attacks, as well as a random magic ability (throwing an axe, summoning a wall of flame, etc.), coupled with jumping and various abilities bestowed upon you through the skill tree. Your map maintains a general sense of direction: head to the right for the Forrest, up for the Tower, and down for the Basement. In each of these areas you will find a boss whose defeat will open up a series of locks on the final bosses door. You then proceed to kill everything you come across until you die. Rinse, repeat.
The game plays great; the controls are tight, the soundtrack is excellent, and the gameplay is compelling. That being said, this isn’t a game for everyone. It’s difficulty can be compared to games like Spelunky, La-Mulana, and FTL. The game can chew you up and spit you out. It’s differentiation from those games, however, comes with the ‘crutch’ that the skill tree and items provide. As they state, Rogue Legacy is “Rogue-“Lite. Even a less than skill player will, through time, gain the needed stamina or damage to conquer the game.
Back of Box Quote: “It’s everything I want from a lineage based roguelike sidescrolling Metroidvania hack-n-slash”
Wow, it has been quite awhile since our last post! All our contributors have been quite busy over the past few months, and unfortunately writing for pleasure has taken a bit of a backseat for all. I’m sure the others are with me in saying that we love to write about games, but we also want time to play games, a battle which the latter has been winning over the past year. That said, I’ve always wanted this site to serve as an outlet for us to write- whether its a review, an op-ed, or a rambling. A few folks have been asking me recently when we will begin contributing regularly to the site again. While I can’t speak for the other guys, I’ve been wanting to start writing again, if only on occasion. So in the spirit of beginning anew, here is a quick recap on what I’ve been up to recently in my gaming endeavors. Continue reading
Part of the reason why Minecraft has drawn so much acclaim is the addictive simplicity of it all. The game’s concept of risk and reward is so unassumingly basic. Without shelter, you will die. But without venturing forth, expending some risk in exploration and expansion, the player can take no forward step in colonizing the land or building their empire.
To some creation (classic) mode will be the big draw. In it, entire teams of players are creating large scale, complex projects. In the same mode, another play style has evolved on the other end of the spectrum, focused not on creation, but on destruction. While wearing the engineering hat from time to time can be enjoyable, It was the main Survival Mode (Alpha, as its currently referred to), that hooked me in to Minecraft. Construction of enormous structures and tunnel networks is certainly a part of this experience, but when the player must balance their creations with resource management and survival, well, that’s when things get interesting. Your first full day and night spent in Minecraft will teach you this balancing act very quickly. As soon as the sun begins to set, you had better have your shelter built if you hope to survive the night- whether it be a simple hole in the ground, a free standing cabin, or a Helm’s Deep. Similarly, as you begin to tunnel underground in search of better, and rarer resources, so grows the risk of zombie infested caverns, lava flows, and underground flooding. Each day, though, you grow to become a more capable adversary against the abominations of the night, and your colony continues to grow in size and scope.
Its an addictive yet simple formula. The whole experience though is made strange by the game’s spartan visuals and gameplay mechanics. These will improve, surely, but one cannot deny that even in this early version, Minecraft is already an utterly engrossing experience. Check it out.
I downloaded League of Legends by Riot Games, thinking that I would be bored out of my mind. About 30 hours of gameplay later and 10 levels earned, I need a support group to get me off of this damn game.
The best worst part about this game is the fact that it’s totally FREE. The production value of the game is amazing for that price. Of course, they offer plenty of incentives to spend money on it, but it’s not a requirement.
Reviewed after the jump. Continue reading
Sometimes a game can come out of nowhere and completely take you by surprise. These games tend to be the ones that you remember years in the future, because the experience they gave you was unprecedented and unexpected. Metro 2033 was heralded as such a game. Many reviewers cited its “incredible atmosphere” and its “solid single-player campaign.” Others, if you can believe it, dared to compare this game to Bioshock and Half-Life 2, arguably the two best first-person story-driven games ever. I hear you asking if Metro 2033 should be lifted to such great heights. I know I was yearning for a new, great first-person story. Does Metro 2033 deliver?
Anybody heard of Entropia Universe? It’s a competitor to Second Life, except with a real life currency exchange rate.
A few years back, an enterprising cyber-freak named Jon Jacobs mortgaged his house and bought an asteroid in Entropia for about $100k. Crazy right? Not so much. He has since made his money back 10 times over (at about 250k per year) with a marketplace, virtual manufacturing, and trade tax.
Now, in honor of the name he gave his virtual property (Club Neverdie), he’s started Neverdie Studios in Los Angeles, and created a new world in Entropia for us all to enjoy. Continue reading
A lot has changed since the days of Everquest, Asheron’s Call, and Ultima Online. The MMORPG market today is far larger, and yet, I would argue, far more homogenous than ever. World of Warcraft has certainly expanded the appeal for MMO’s, however its stranglehold on the MMO userbase has been unhealthy for the market, with almost every new IP struggling to survive. For most players, a large player population is the first sign of a healthy MMO. Some players are certainly satisfied with their niche titles, which appeal to player numbering in thousands, not millions. World of Warcraft, however, has proved that mainstream appeal for MMOs is possible.
Even if you don’t want to play WoW, the decision of which online timesink to play these days is largely dependent on which game is least likely to be on life support a year after launch. Many of the other MMOs have been released as “WoW killers”, featuring new IPs, new gameplay modes, etc, some of which have found great niche success, but never to the levels that WoW has enjoyed these past 5 years. I am referring of course to games like Guild Wars (no subscription), Warhammer: Age of Reckoning (PVP centric), and others. I tried several of these titles, yet most lacked much of a competitive advantage to WoW…simply no one can compete with the established userbase and widely recognizeable IP that Blizzard has….no one, except Star Wars: The Old Republic. Continue reading
I had never heard of Borderlands until the day I purchased it from Target. A great friend of mine called me up and said, “Zack, if you don’t go buy Borderlands right this minute, I will not be your friend anymore.” So I went out and bought it. Of course, the friend told me loads more about the game before he swayed me away from my money-consciousness. The conversation was indeed quite lengthy, but I will not bore you with all the gory details. I’ll merely try to sum up everything that my friend told me that made me interested in the game, and everything that I have experienced as I have played through the game.