Let’s Play Heroes of the Storm: 20-20 PVP Blackheart’s Bay


Fun match with JALaraque while I was using Raynor. Even though Raynor’s simple, he’s one of my favorite Heroes.

Dune II: Battle for Arrakis

[youtube id=”v-BUmM-x7eM” width=”633″ height=”356″]

Dune II: Battle for Arrakis

Plot: Arrakis, also known as Dune, is a planet rich in the valuable resource known as the spice melange, a rare resource that has caused 3 armies of the galaxy to battle for control over the planet. A challenge is set by the Emperor Frederick IV of the house Corrino to the other houses of Atreides, Harkonnen, and the Ordos to see who can harvest the most spice and therefore win control of the planet.

Dune II: Battle for Arrakis

Review: Dune II: Battle for Arrakis is a far cry from its predecessor; its only comparison is that it is a game based on Dune. This sequel is a completely different type of game sharing; no story-line or game play, but is in fact an RTS game released in 1992 by the legendary Westwood Studios who also brought us Command and Conquer.

Dune II: Battle for Arrakis

The player must select one of these 3 houses to begin playing. Each house is represented by a mentor who guides you through the basics of the game, structure building, placing, harvesting and building vehicles. Each mentor is characterized by its house, the creepy yet powerful Harkonnen, the noble and advanced Atreides, and, err, the Ordos (a race created for the game, the one no-one really likes to use).

Dune II: Battle for Arrakis

The game starts off easy at level 1 (as you would expect) and your mentor takes you through the basics with a few minor attacks for you to defend against. The game then progresses each time you defeat the enemy (or in the earlier levels have harvested the required amount of spice). Credits are accumulated through harvesting the orange spice field on the map and returning the full harvester to the refinery, credits can then be exchanged in the usual manner for new buildings, defenses and vehicles.

Dune II: Battle for Arrakis

The game is played over 9 levels, perhaps it doesn’t sound like much but the later levels require skill and patience to beat. Your enemies appear in the form of the 2 remaining armies you didn’t select at the start, later levels sees you pitted against both armies as they team up against you, the final twist coming in the last level when the 2 remaining houses and the forces of the Emperor’s Sardaukar (an unplayable elite force whose heavy infantry are particularly powerful) must all be defeated in one last epic battle.

Dune II: Battle for Arrakis

Even though the buildings style and appearance remain the same for each house (apart from the color) they each have their own special units, such as the Harkonnen heavy-duty Devastator tank, and the powerful Sonic Tank of the Atreides. The Ordos use the Deviator, a rocket launcher like tank that can change the alliance of any unit it hits for a limited period of time. Like modern RTS games you can take over buildings and build units of other armies as well as defend with walls, turrets and rocket turrets. As the game moves up through the levels you gain more advanced technologies, the final super weapon becoming available in the final levels through building the Palace. This provides the Harkonnen with a “nuke” type weapon known as the Death Hand, the Atreides can call on the help of the native warriors of Dune known as the Fremen and the Ordos rely on the Saboteurs to achieve their goals.

Dune II: Battle for Arrakis
Conclusion: Dune II: The Battle for Arrakis contains all those things we love in the modern RTS and can be seen as the father of all things war like and destructive. Take your combat tanks and siege tanks proudly into war (never mind how slow they’re moving) and watch out for sand worms (players claim the sand worms are not biased but I’ve lost more tanks to them in one level than the enemy). Dune II is one of Westwood’s greats and an inspiration for the beginning of the Command and Conquer series released by Westwood in 1995. Recent RTS games, (ignoring the heavy emphasis on graphics, movie style clips and network/internet gaming) still takes its basic style of game play of base and army building, unique super weapons and vehicles, and the collection of resources to fund this, from Westwood’s original classic.

Nexus 2: The Gods Awaken announced on Kickstarter

Nexus 2 - The Gods Awaken

Nexus 2: The Gods Awaken announced on Kickstarter

HD Interactive and Most Wanted Entertainment have announced the next stage in their quest to develop a sequel to their highly-rated Space RTS game Nexus: The Jupiter Incident, with the company launching a campaign on high-profile crowdfunding site Kickstarter to supplement their own financing.

“Nexus 2 is a very special project for the company”, said company director Mike Horneman,  “Nexus was our first game, and we still have many of the original team-members on board, with full plans in place for what we’d do for a sequel”.

Nexus 2 - The Gods Awaken

Launched in 2004, the game was highly acclaimed as one of the best spaceship battle games ever made, and continues to attract fans even to this day.

“We re-launched the original Nexus on Steam a while ago, and even now we see a substantial amount of new players buying the game each month”, said Horneman. “We have a very vocal fan base, and know that there’s a large number of people out there who would love to see a sequel made”.

 

HD and MWE are looking to finance the project with a mixture of their own funds supported by crowdfunding.

“We’re happy to put a large chunk of our own resources into making Nexus 2”, said Horneman, “but realistically we cannot fund the whole project ourselves. So, with Kickstarter, we can offer all our fans out there a chance to be part of the Nexus 2 project.”

Nexus 2 - The Gods Awaken

“The more you pledge, the more you will benefit; from thanks in the credits, through special boxed editions, right up to designing spaceships that will appear in the game. The largest donor will also receive a completely unique version of the game, where he or she is the hero, complete with facial likeness and voice over. We’re all very excited!”

You can find more info on the game as well as the funding details here

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhZQEvg1V0Y[/youtube]

About the Developer

Most Wanted Entertainment was formed when a band of Hungary’s hottest games talent joined forces with Dutch games company HD Interactive to create one of Central Europe’s longest-lived and most prolific game developers. We have launched games across many platforms, including PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Nintendo DS, iPhone/iPad in all sorts of genres.

Strategy and tactical games are our greatest love, however, with products like Joint Task Force and Nexus: The Jupiter Incident being some of the titles we are most proud of.

With our ranks still numbering most of the original Nexus development team, no other developer can match the experience, insight or love we have for this classic game.

www.mwent.hu

 

Panzer General

By the 1990′s, turn-based strategy war games had become highly specialized with a very thin customer base.  Most required a grognard’s ability to juggle multiple battle statistics at once, and had a limited visual appeal.  Then, in 1994, Strategic Simulations Incorporated (SSI) released Panzer General and the wargame genre transformed into a mass market product.

Panzer General game box

Panzer General game box.

Unlike real-time strategy (RTS) games, turn-based strategy games permit the user time to ponder their next move without having to press the pause button.  The drawback is that once you’ve committed your resources you must watch your turn – and your then your opponent’s – play out.  To state the obvious, chess is an example of turn-based strategy.

Typical combat screen in Panzer General

Typical combat screen in Panzer General.

Panzer General offered players both single scenario play, in which they could assume the role of an Allied or an Axis general, as well as a Campaign Mode, in which the player attempts to win World War II for Germany.  The campaign runs from 1939 to 1945, and as units gain battle experience, they become stronger, and the player (as general) gains access to upgrades and reinforcements – assuming they are victorious, that is.  If the player achieves their scenario objectives with five or more game turns to spare, it is considered a “Major Victory,” which unlocks further game elements.  Major Victories enable the player to alter history, such as invading Britain on the heels of victory in France, or even landing an invasion force in North America to capture Washington, D.C.

The invasion of Malta in Panzer General

The invasion of Malta in Panzer General

The game was published across several platform, including versions for the Panasonic 3D0 system, MS-DOS and Windows based computers, Sony PlayStation, and for the Macintosh.  It also spawned a plethora of sequels, including: the 5-Star Series (Allied General, Fantasy General, Pacific General, People’s General, and Star General), Panzer General II, Panzer General 3D Assault, Panzer General III: Scorched Earth, and Panzer General: Allied Assault.  Clearly gamers enjoyed wargames once again!

Furious combat in Panzer General.

Furious combat in Panzer General.

Panzer General was both well-reviewed and well-received by the gaming public.  Besides receiving high review scores from the critics, gamers just kept playing the game.  To this day, there are sites on the Internet devoted to this game, with hundreds of scenarios, new units, and even new features.  Mods are the fountain of youth for classic games, and Panzer General was no exception, as they managed to keep the game fresh and interesting years after its release.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2H6pnOZCUg[/youtube]

Ultimately, the game’s fabulous gameplay coupled with its genre-changing aspect make it a classic retro game that every retrogamer needs to play!

Empire Deluxe

Empire Deluxe (1993) title screen

If ever there was a game that could be pointed to and accredited for the “just one more turn” phenomenon in gaming, Empire Deluxe is it.  Released in 1993 by New World Computing, Empire Deluxe was an advanced and enhanced version of Empire: Wargame of the Century, which in turn was a version of Empire, first released in 1977 and coded in FORTRAN.  The early version of Empire was crude as the platforms it ran on, but was still addictive.  The 1987 Interstel Corporation release, Empire: Wargame of the Century, had the advantage of Mark Baldwin‘s graphic user interface, making it visual appealing, which helped the game garner “Game of the Year” honors from the influential Computer Gaming Magazine.  This success helped propel Empire Deluxe‘s sales forward, having the advantage of both a built-in user base as well as being a high quality game.  In fact, Empire Deluxe sold well, and remains a favorite game for many PC gamers, earning a spot on GameSpy.com’s “Top 50 Games of All Time” list.

Box art for Empire Deluxe

Box art for Empire Deluxe

Game play of Empire Deluxe is very familiar, as it should be considering it is the great-grandaddy of the entire RTS genre.  Each player starts with one city, and needs to develop his military strength to conquer the surrounding territory.  Military units are varied, and include infantry, armor, transports, destroyers, cruisers, submarines, battleships, aircraft carriers, fighters, and bombers.  Targets have differing defensive and offensive values, and not every city is easily conquered.  (In fact, conquering cities lowers their production capacity, and if a city changes hands often, it becomes almost useless as a source of production.)  Combat is straight-forward, with the winner moving into the loser’s square upon victory.  Exploration is key, and as players start on an island, building up a naval task force (with both exploratory and combat vessels) is necessary to achieve victory.

Empire Deluxe screen shot

Empire Deluxe screen shotEmpire Deluxe had three modes for aspiring world conquerors: Basic, Standard, and Advanced.  The Basic Mode was set up for beginners, with limits to the number and types of units available, simple production rules, and the elimination of the “fog-of-war” obscuration of the game map.  The Standard Mode used the “fog-of-war” feature, added a few more complications to the production rules, and permitted the use of a few more military units.  The Advanced Mode unlocked all the military units (from infantry to bomber!), added rules for terrain effects on movement and combat, presented the most complications for city production, and opened the game map to its largest size (200×200).

Rear box art for Empire Deluxe

Rear box art for Empire Deluxe

Some of the game industry’s brightest minds worked on custom maps for Empire Deluxe, including Will Wright (The Sims), Trevor Sorenson (Star Fleet), Don Gilman (Harpoon), and Noah Falstein (Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis).  It seems obvious that the game’s influence throughout the industry is noticeably vast!  If you’ve never played a game of Empire Deluxe, you’re missing out on a piece of retro gaming history.  Between its history significance and the happy memories it invokes, Empire Deluxe is a true retrogaming classic!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxgI9LfahK0[/youtube]

Free Stuff – Pure Pwnage

Pure Pwnage logo
Pure Pwnage logo

Pure Pwnage is the show about the “uber gamer”. If you don’t know Jeremy and his friends, you’ve been missing out. The show is about The Pwner, an uber gamer that has no life and is worse than a Korean Gamer. He owns at every kind of game but really shines in RTS games. The show is about Jeremy and his friends and how they deal with being hardcore gamers when all the normal people in the real world try to bring them down. Get a job? WTF. Cooking food, oh you mean crafting food… that kind of stuff.

The link to watch the entire show on hulu the show is http://www.hulu.com/pure-pwnage Click here for the main website of Pure Pwnage.

Kudos

Kudos - PC Game - Screenshot
Indy games. Absolutely refreshing and interesting, that’s what they are. Well, that, and sometimes flawed, but surely not more mindless copies of horribly boring and deathly uninteresting RTS or FPSs. Take Kudos for example. It’s 100% indy, it’s smart and it’s one of those games you wouldn’t understand how it plays, unless you actually tried it out, and that’s a quality I love.
Then again Kudos isn’t just quirky. It’s a bloody great game. A game that managed to make the TOP 10 indy games list of Game Tunnel, while also earning a 7/10 (!) from the illustrious Eurogamer site and a rather unique “I really, really like it, even though it depresses the hell out of me sometimes / 10” from Angry-Gamer. Then again (yes, again!) this is the only game that happily informs you -a mere 20 seconds after installation- that you “had a bad day at work today, which will not help your mood. Today, after bills and tax, you earned 15,88$“. Nice.

Kudos - PC Game - Screenshot

It’s also a life simulator, in case you were wondering, and it’s pretty much turn-based. More Jones in the Fast Lane or Alter Ego than The Sims really, as each day consists of two turns and you (well the in-game you) can do one thing each turn, be it working, shopping, socializing, drinking, studying, reading or anything else you’d fancy. There are quite literally hundreds of options. And believe me, you’ll try to explore them all. Kudos is really addictive. REALLY addictive. Adding insult to injury it’s also constantly reminding you how miserably your -actual and very real- life is being managed, especially while playing the addictive Kudos. Oh, and you can’t actually lead the life of Stalin or Cicciolina. Damn!

The eye-candy side of the game is definitely simple, but -face it- that’s also the case with Football Manager, and no one complained. Still, the graphics are simple, the few animations quite excellent (love the flies really -almost thought they were real for a moment) and the sound of the whole thing quite decent. Have a look at this lovely gameplay video/trailer and you’ll figure quite a few things out:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9-lIXwIiz8[/youtube]

That’s an (eight) out of (ten). And you should really try it. At least for a while. You’ll definitely be hooked.

Are Asians Good At All Games?


Quick answer: Nope! Where the hell did this stereotype come from? Where did this claim that Asians are the demigods of gaming originate? I don’t know and I’m sure a quick google search could answer that question for me, but you know what? I don’t feel like opening my browser for such productive means! Instead I’m going to rant while being entirely ill informed and uneducated! Are you ready because I am!

The claim that Asians are amazing at games probably started with Starcraft and not a day before that. Just look back at the epic story of The Wizard starring Fred Savage. Who won that tournament? Not an Asian. That alone is hardcore evidence that our allies in the Far whatever directions aren’t that adept at video games.

The only game that I can recall Asians faring well in would be RTS games. Everyone complains when they go against an Asian player in a Real Time Strategy because you know you’re going to die. RTS games in Korea are like the fucking Olympics or Soccer. It’s a pretty big fucking deal. Ungodly accuracy, impeccable multitasking, and the execution of unparalleled tactics lead them to victory. I guess it makes sense for them to do well considering Sun Tzu wrote The Art of War so close by!

The Unmoving Faces of Death
It doesn’t seem American born Asians have the same prowess as their homegrown cousins. It seems that the water in those lands are what grant them this advantage in RTS gaming. In the League of Legends championship USA placed third because they overcompensated the team with Asians and instead the Euros defeated us. Great job! You got stomped by wine drinking, rotten shark eating Europeans. Lets not even get into how poorly our US team spoke when they get the microphone handed to them from the cheerful Riot female interviewer.

Beyond the RTS realm where do they stand out? They can’t play racing games for obvious reasons. They’ll just drive slow, swerving side to side with their indicator on but never turning. You can’t win a race like that! This inability to perform well in vehicles then carries over into the realm of flying games. They’re going to just kamikaze into the ground since it’s all they know. Fun Fact: The Japanese claimed that being a Kamikaze was a tactic when in reality it was to avoid the embarrassment of being known as the worst pilots in the world.

Fighting games? What just happened a week or so ago? Famous gamer Daigo claimed in a video he could destroy America in Marvel Versus Capcom 3. I forgot what happened… Oh wait, no! I remember! He got completely thrashed about like a little bitch. Looks like the stereotype filled someone else with false pride.

Now I know you’re probably wondering why I even bothered to write this article. I wrote it in the hopes that you no longer feel fear when playing a game against an Asian gamer. They’re like anyone else, except for in an RTS. Don’t be afraid anymore. Fill your lungs with the vigor of hopefulness and victory to destroy these fools and free them from them by abolishing the stereotype with every defeat you liberate them with. Asian can be defeated and it is up to you to lead the charge.

The Alienware M11x r2 Review

Alienware M11x r2

Let me start by saying this review is more for the casual gamer meaning it will not be filled with charts and graphs and a ton of numbers that most would not understand. There are a ton of super technical reviews on the Alienware M11x r2 that provide every benchmark number and rating score you will ever need, this, is for the rest of us.

Why purchase a gaming laptop?

For the causal gamer one might wonder why you need a gaming laptop. My answer would be that you don’t, but the great thing about gaming laptops is they have the power for everything else you would need to do so why not have the ability to play games as well?

Far too often, we as computer shoppers select a low cost laptop to save money knowing we want one that we will not have to replace within a year and one we secretly wish we could play games on. Perhaps paying $1500 plus for a gaming laptop would not be for us, but at $1000 you are not too far away from laptops you find even on sites like Tech Bargains.

If you know you like to game and especially if you like MMO’s then having the ability to pull out a gaming laptop and play those games anywhere is well worth the price.

Alienware M11x r2

Price

Most reviews do not start with the price, but this is not like most reviews. The M11x can be purchased starting at $1000 on the Alienware website. At the price you can get more than enough to run most of the games a causal gamer would playing including FPS, RTS and MMO games.

The Outside

Do looks matter? Sure, they do just ask Apple, the Alienware M11x does look sleek, like a stealth bomber. The all black styling of the laptop goes well with almost any décor and let’s face it, it looks good either at home or out in public. I have had a number of people comment on the system specifically the neon-like light coming from all over it.

Speaking of lighting there are several zones of the computer that light up from the keyboard to the grills on the front and the little Alienware heads. The great this is using a program built in called Alienware FX, you can change all the colors to what suits you and you can even mix and match them for a funky clown look if you wish.

Outside Details

Let us go into some specifics about the outside. First off, the laptop weights about 4.4 pounds and while that may seem heavy to some in the day of the iPad it is still pretty light. There are three USB 2.0 ports, to connect things like mice, a HDMI and Display Port to connect a monitor, FireWire and a headphone jack for audio privacy. There is also a place for a special Kensington lock, which you buy separately so you can lock your laptop to a desk or somewhere else it cannot be stolen from.

Alienware M11x r2

The Inside

As said, there can be debates on which processor works best with this program or that game, but for the purpose of this review we will keep it simple. For the$1000 version of the M11x you get the Intel Core i5 1.4GHz processor. From what I have found using it, it does the job for the games I play and the programs I use, but I will go into that shortly.

Next you have the memory which at that price you receive 4GB’s. If you really get into gaming big time and you want the newest game on the highest setting then people will tell you to go with an 8GB or higher system. I personally do not have that on my desktop and do fine and with 4GB you have more than enough RAM for most any task you will be doing gaming or otherwise.

As for hard drive space, that decision is made based on how much you store and install. At the $1000 price, you get 320GB’s, which is a lot of space. Considering you have a desktop at home, you most likely do not need all this space.  Even if you do not and the laptop is your sole computer, unless you install every game and have a music and video collection out of this world then you should be fine. However, Alienware offers more hard drive options that offer more space.

Video is of course very important not only because of games, but everything visual on your system. Here it can get tricky because there are desktops and even some laptops that offer dual video cards in SLI and all kinds of options. The video card on the $1000 system is the NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M and I have found it works great for the games I play and for watching video in high def.

The rest

There are other things of note that come with the M11x like its wireless network card, which is necessary for gaming on the go. The system also has a standard network port to plug it in at home, the office, and school or where have you. The operating system is Windows 7 home premium 64-bit, which I have used on my desktop for quite some time. I personally think this is the third best O/S behind Win 95 SE and Win XP, so you should not have any trouble here.

Alienware M11x r2

Usage

This is what matters, but it is also, where it depends on what you do. First off, let us talk battery life, with the 8-cell battery under normal usage I have found you get a little over 5 hours of battery life, but if you are playing games, it will be less than that.

As for gaming itself, I tried the Alienware M11x in the game World of Warcraft in its native resolution of 1366×768 and was able to run the game with full graphical features with no issues even in heavy populated zones. Perhaps the key is the smaller screen, which is 11.6 inches, which can seem small when you have a user interface with a ton of icons, but I found I was able to get used to it.

In a game like Everquest 2 that uses more CPU power, I also received good frame rates even in open zones. Now I was not able to max everything out in EQ2 specially the shadows, but I was able to crank up the texture models and general graphics to make the game look great and playable even in a raid.

Other games I have played include Fallout 3, which ran fine, a number of Steam games and emulators since I am a classic gamer. I also played StarCraft 2, which ran fine. I also run various programs like Ventrilo for communication and Digsby, which is an all in one instant messaging client. I also run Firefox with four or more windows open at the same time to check websites and information, all while playing a game usually in windowed mode.

As for sound, it sounds much better than your normal laptop, but we have to be honest that even though it has internal Hi-Def 5.1 audio it does not match what you get out of a good pair of PC speakers. What I found that worked for me was the volume does get high which was an issue on other laptops. Music and games as well as movies will sound good coming out of the M11x and even in a loud room, the speakers are loud enough so you can hear it from the highs to the lows, bass and treble.

The keyboard feels good and types well even when you are slamming the keys crying for a heal. I never liked the touchpad, but this one is built well and does not easily activate when the heel of my hand brushes against it, still, I perfect a USB or wireless mouse.

As for warranty, you receive a 1-year plan, which provides hardware support, and of course phone tech support. I cannot say much here because I have not had a need to use it yet.

Overall

I personally like this system, I am sure there are things that could be better, but for most of us this system will perfectly fit your need for work, school and gaming. The laptop itself feels sturdy and well build and the cool look is a nice touch, but most important is the price and how it performance and it does both well.

I you have questions on the m11x r2 from Alienware leave a comment and I will answer them.

 

Music of Warcraft 2 Tides of Darkness

[youtube id=”6REBR_tflu8″ width=”633″ height=”356″]

Music of Warcraft 2 Tides of Darkness

The music to Warcraft 2 was as inpiring as MIDI music got. It made the complete Warcraft 2 RTS experience addicting even more as its constant high tempo medieval classical war-like style kept you concentrated and engaged in the ongoing human versus orc war!

WarCraft 2 Tides of Darkness cover
WarCraft 2 Tides of Darkness cover

The way I see history is although there were some minor games with RTS elements in the past the games that made it popular in order were Dune 2, Warcraft, Warcraft 2, Command & Conquer, and lastly Starcraft. Yes, there’s many games that came after them but those were the ones that set the bar for everybody else to try to copy.

The Warcraft 2 Tides of Darkness Soundtrack is so aggressive and so well written that it keep you playing and focused because every single song is great. Not just good, but totally great! I even use this music when I’m busy doing something and I need to be motivated, such as sometimes writing articles for this website. ;]

Now yes, today World of Warcraft became the dominant MMO but way before that Warcraft 2 became one of the top games to play in the mid to late 90s. I played it on a 486 and I can tell you that the DOS version ran a hell of a lot faster than the Windows 3.1 version ever did. It was stable as hell too! These, of course, were the days that required you to configure your PC’s sound card if you ever wanted to hear anything. Still, this is one of those days that actually made it worth it to have a CD-ROM because you could hear CD audio tracks for the music of games such as this one and Mechwarrior 2 as well.

As far as the Warcraft universe and this game goes, I have always favored the Orc (Horde) faction. What did piss me off is that I actually had bought this game and as I read the manual I got so into helping out the Horde that when I got to a mission where I had to kill the Ogre Mage that was the narrator in the manual, it broke my heart! I was rooting for him to be the absolute leader of the Horde!

Zug Zug! Listen up, you humie!

Jay Boor: Konami

Konami logo

Name: Jay Boor

Company: KONAMI

Profession: Head of Public Relations

Favorite Classic Game: HERZOG ZWEI

Quote: Herzog-Zwei is one of my all-time favorite titles for a number of reasons. It was the first-true real-time strategy game, and it debuted on the SEGA Genesis – it wasn’t even a PC title! At the time, Technosoft probably thought they had just developed a really fun two-player war-action game. Little did they know that they were the first to lay the foundation for all future RTS games to come.


The Obsolete Gamer Show: Episode 7

PVP vs non-pvp PVE
PVP vs non-pvp PVE

Player versus Player and Player versus Environment was the topic for this week’s show. We were happy to have our good friend Edwin in the studio with us and had a great conversation via Skype with longtime Obsolete Gamer fan, Liz Poisonkiss.

We started off with a recap of last week’s show which featured MMO’s and then moved into our Facebook fanpage question of the week which asked which our fans preferred to play PVE or PVP type games. From there we talked about our Insider Discussion question of the week which asked our panel which had a bigger impact on PC gaming RTS or FPS games.

From there we dove right into the main topic discussing the differences between a FPS mindset playing games such as Quake 2 and the strategy side of RTS games such as the original Warcraft game. Edwin also talked about his online Street Fighter games and said that he preferred to play again a human which we all agreed.

We premiered a new feature on OGS called Skype with a fan where we talk with people who have participated on our Facebook page and Forums and our first guest was longtime fan Liz. Who shared her thoughts on being a gamer girl, fps versus rts and pvp versus pve.

In our final segment Ignacio, Edwin and I discussed our various experiences in PVP from MMO’s to X-box live to arcades. Overall we had a good discussion about an important subject in the world of gaming. So give us a listen and we will be back next week with a brand new show.

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Episode 7

Which genre had a bigger impact to PC gaming RTS or FPS games?

Panel Discussion microphones
Panel Discussion microphones

What pulled you into PC gaming was it the fact that a new type of gameplay was created that just couldn’t be found on console systems? For many PC gaming took time to get into not only because of the cost of the systems, but that some of them took work to get running. However, the rewards were great for those who ventured into the world of PC gaming and through today some feel consoles are killing the PC gaming market (besides MMO’s) there are still millions of PC gamers out there.

If you look past the MMO’s and Flash games what would you find on these systems. Which would you find more of FPS, First Person Shooter Games or RTS, Real Time Strategy Games? Obviously with the recent release of Star Craft II I am sure you will see a Battlenet icon on many gamer’s task bars, but overall, who had the bigger impact on the PC gaming world?

In my opinion it is FPS games and this is coming from someone who loved to play RTS games and even turn based games. For me it was games like Wolfenstein, Rise of the Triad and of course Doom that had me going to Egghead software to slam three hundred dollars on the table for a Western Digital 750mb hard drive to build my first custom rig.

When I went to my first LAN party here in Florida it was the guys from Red-Eye that showed me how to use mouse look in order to properly use the hook in Lithium Quake 2. Now don’t get me wrong, StarCraft, Warcraft, Total Annihilation were also a big part of our LAN gaming, but it was games like Tribes, Duke Nukem, Shogo and Doom 2 that ruled our playtime.

We asked our panel of industry insiders their opinion on the question.

Aaron Hunter from Playtechtonics Inc wrote:

I would have to go with FPS. Granted in the PC platform, RTS is bigger than it is on other platforms like the consoles. But even so I’d go with FPS having a bigger impact.

Juan Gril from JoJu Games wrote:

In my opinion, Starcraft on RTS, and Quake on FPS.

Chris Skaggs from Soma Games wrote:

I’d say RTS. Where FPS had a huge impact on hardware and game design. I think RTS brought a ton of previous non-gamers to the table for the first time and kept them there.

Danny Greig from XGEN Studios wrote:

I would say the FPS has had a larger impact on PC gaming but not by much. Doom/Doom 2 and Quake had just too much impact on PC gaming to ignore; I don’t think any RTS has had the impact of those games.  Blizzard has basically owned and dominated the RTS genre which has had a very large impact on the PC gaming industry but falls just short of what the FPS has done in my opinion.

Jason Shankel from Stupid Fun Club wrote:

In terms of technology and broadening the appeal of the PC as a platform for gamers, I’d have to go with FPS.  In the early days, FPS highlighted the power of the PC as a gaming platform with superior performance to consoles.  There simply was no other way to play DOOM or Quake except on a PC.  The RTS on the other hand highlighted the power of the keyboard and mouse as an input control, but was not fundamentally limited to the PC.  It would have been possible to play Dune II on a console.

In terms of creating a genre that is uniquely PC, I’d have to go with RTS.  Today, consoles perform roughly as well as PCs and there are many shooters available on console.  And even though FPS controls are still superior on a PC, FPS is certainly no longer a PC-only genre.  Yet no one has really cracked the RTS nut on consoles.  With no technological barriers to clear,  RTS is a genre that’s simply best played sitting up with a keyboard and mouse, not reclining with a console controller.

If I have to pick one answer, I’m going with RTS.  The FPS made a bigger initial splash, but the RTS has endured as a uniquely PC genre and thus had a longer lasting impact on that platform.

David Warhol from Realtime Associates wrote:

I’d say first person shooters.  They survived longer as a genre, and people talk about Quake and Doom a lot more than they do Starcraft (I).   Me, I’m not a fan of the FPS genre.  I think there are more first person shooters as there are Phil Collins ballads… and they are largely just as indistinguishable from one another 🙂 .

Gary Manica from Smashing Ideas wrote:

Easy answer for me.  I want to say RTS games because I prefer them, but realistically they don’t come close to FPS games to me.

FPS games in general have been one of the (if not the biggest) pushers of hardware development on a PC for many years running.  Dev houses constantly refine massive engine libraries to push more and more polygons and maintain the minimum framerate that crazy FPS players demand.   Engines like CryEngine, Unreal, Source, idTech, etc provide a platform for, and push developers (hardware and software) to really go above and beyond while being able to use a mostly pre-built framework.  The tech they build in these engines has been filtering down to other gaming genres for decades now.  And there is a reason that other genres are adopting FPS aspects to them.

There are many instances of amazing RTS games out there, with a lot of really good ideas.  But I don’t think they affect the industry as a whole to the scale FPS games do.

So what is your take? Let us know your answer by posting in our forums below. See you next week.

Games Coming Out September 2010 for PC

Civilization 5 pre-release picture
Civilization 5 pre-release image

Games Coming Out September 2010 for PC by Honorabili

August had some nice releases but September looks like a heavy month for PC gaming as well!

Aion: Assault on Balaurea, September 7 2010

The anticipated expansion is released, which will appease this game’s many fans. Click here to see all our articles regarding this game.

R.U.S.E., September 7 2010

Interesting concept behind an RTS where you can deceive your enemy with imaginary armies. Let’s see how it does considering most people are still playing Starcraft 2.

Amnesia The Dark Descent, September 8 2010

The date had gotten pushed back for this game. Click here to see what I had to say about it last month.

The Patrician 4, September 14 2010

I used to play a lot of The Patrician on Amiga. It was a great sea-faring times trade and city management simulator. Check this one out if you’re into that sort of thing. ;-]

Civilization 5, September 21 2010

Whereas the release of Starcraft 2 was the apocalypse for Korea, this game is the same for me… Prepare for my disappearance as we will see yet another masterpiece in wargaming history.

F1 2010, September 21

Although I will be playing Civilization 5, this immersive Formula 1 game is being released the same day by Codemasters. It’s next on my list after Civ 5!

Final Fantasy XIV, September 22 (Collector’s Edition) and 30 (normal version) 2010

Another epic Final Fantasy… Let’s see how this one does. Click here for details as to what you will get with each copy.

Darksiders, September 23 2010

Looks like yet another God of War clone to me… If you buy it through Steam they give you Titan Quest Gold, a game we like to make fun of.

Front Mission Evolved, September 28 2010

Since MechWarrior is dead in the water, this game will pick up the slack in the meantime.

Dead Rising 2, September 28

This is one of those retardedly fun games that involves zombies and lots and lots of gore. Always a winner!

H.A.W.X. 2, September 30 2010

H.A.W.X. 1 has a special place in my heart and it’s probably the funnest game I played in December 2009. I look forward to this action packed sequel! Make more!

SteelSeries – Pro Gaming Laser Mouse & Pad

SteelSeries logo
SteelSeries logo

I’m going to change things up a bit. Everyone has a way of doing a review or talking about something they used or liked and though there is a formula for doing so I say the heck with that. I will just tell you what I got, how I used it and what I think, simple enough?

I got my hand on the Steelseries XAI laser mouse and the 9HD mouse pad or gaming surface. Now right off the bat I realized I liked the thin flat mouse pads better because I don’t feel as if my hand and wrist are any higher off the desk than it should be. Also for curved desks it can prevent you from being pinched by the mouse pad which for some reason has happened to me a bunch of times.

SteelSeries 9HD mousepad
SteelSeries 9HD mousepad

Even though the pad is very thin it is well constructed the hard plastic is smooth on the top and has great grip on the bottom. Now the 9HD has thousands of light reflecting points and what this does is insure that if you flail your mouse around like a child thrown into the pool for the first time you don’t lose your tracking on screen. Ever see some World of Warcraft plays spaz out while PVP’ing, this is why having that and a wide surface is important.

Now let’s talk about the mouse. First off like the mouse pad the XAI is constructed very well. The mouse has a good size and weight and feels like it can take a pounding. It has seven programmable buttons for you MMO and RTS gamers and you can even download profiles used by pro gamers so you can use their setup. The size is just about perfect so if you have large hands or small ones you can still use this mouse without issue and with its slip resistant covering you won’t have your mouse flying out of your hand in the middle of a battle.

Left or right handed it doesn’t matter thanks to the ambidextrous shape. It feels comfortable on the hand which is important for long gaming sessions. One of the really cool things is the LCD menu system on the bottom of the mouse. You can configure your XAI for aim, report rate, speed and even hardware acceleration. Right above the scroll wheel you can toggle between two customizable CPI settings for adjustments on the fly. Even the mouse cord is braded so it does not tangle and it’s long enough for those keeping their desktop under their desk.

Steelseries XAI laser mouse
Steelseries XAI laser mouse

In the real world, or at least in mine I found the XAI to work well be it surfing, FPS, RTS or MMO’s. I think the key is it functions well out of the box even if you don’t do any custom setting, but if you want to get specific it has the means to do so that makes it good for gamers of all sorts. I personally needed a mouse that moved fast and glided well across the pad and the XAI combined with the 9HD does just that. From twitch moves in first person shooters to click fests in W.O.W the combo worked well for me.

You can check out more on the XAI gaming mouse and 9HD mouse pad on the Steelseries website.

Here are the specs:

Specifications for SteelSeries Xai Laser:

– Frames per second: 12.000

– Inches per second: 150+

– Megapixels per second: 10.8

– Counts per inch: 100 – 5.001 (one CPI Steps)

– Max. Acceleration: 30 G

– Sensor data path: True 16 bit

– Lift distance: ~1mm (auto-adjusting)

– Buttons: 8

Steelseries XAI laser mouse
Steelseries XAI laser mouse

– Cord: 2 m / 6,5 ft (braided to improve durability)

– Polling: 125 – 1000 Hz (1Hz increments)

– Gold-plated USB connector

– Measurements: 125,5 x 68,3 x 38,7 mm / 4,94 x 2,69 x 1,52 in

– CPI high/low indicator

– SteelSeries FreeMove Technology

– SteelSeries ExactSens Technology

– SteelSeries ExactRate Technology

– SteelSeries ExactAim Technology

– On mouse acceleration Technology

– On mouse LCD display for tweaking above technologies thru menu system

– Large pressure points that reduce friction for optimized glide

– Driverless, plug-and-play feature for LAN gamers

– Built-in memory for 5 profiles

– Operating systems: Win 2000/XP/Vista/7 / Mac OSX

*Configuration software only available for Windows operating systems

Steelseries XAI laser mouse
Steelseries XAI laser mouse

– Material: Hard plastic

– Surface treatment: Heat

– Dimensions: 270 x 320 x 2 mm / 10,7 x 12,7 x 0,08 in

– Size: Medium

– Glide: Rough

– Compatibility: Optical, laser, ball

Heroes of Newerth – Open Beta

Heroes of Newerth logo
Heroes of Newerth logo

Heroes of Newerth has entered its open beta stage, to participate you will need to register for a free account here.

HON is a RTS made by S2 Games, if it has the look and feel of Warcraft III it is because it was based on one of Warcrafts most famous scenario’s Defense of the Ancients.

The game looks sweet and the different characters you can play as are pretty awesome. Check out their trailer from our Obsolete Gamer YouTube channel.

DOW2 Chaos Rising gameplay trailer

Dawn of War 2 logo
Dawn of War 2 logo

Simply put if you like sci-fi RTS games then Dawn of War has to be on your favorites list. With the build-up to DOW2 Obsolete Gamer brings you the DOW2 Chaos Rising gameplay trailer.

In Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising you will take command of the Blood Ravens and defend the sector against the Chaos Space Marines of the Black Legion. Purge the chaos filth and hold the chapter together as traitorous forces work from within to try bring down the Blood Ravens. Upgrade your squads with new legendary wargear and unlock new special abilities, as your squads advance to level 30. Will you remain steadfast to the Emperor or risk heresy to gain new dark and destructive powers? In multiplayer swear loyalty to the Chaos Gods and pit your bloodthirsty warband of Chaos Space Marines against the new units and reinforced armies of the Space Marines, Orks, Eldar, and Tyranids.

Old Games Versus New Games

Ms Pacman
Ms Pacman

Old Games Versus New Games by Honorabili

Games are like movies

A trend with games is that they behaves a lot in the sense how people watch movies. People will usually rush and go nuts over wanting to watch whatever the latest hit is, as it’s a very popular thing to do or if you’re like me you’ve seen almost everything else, so you might as well. However, there are people that wait until a movie is out on DVD or some even that download the pirated film. Pretty much the same thing happens with gaming (except that usually most games are available quickly within the launch as a pirated version).

New doesn’t necessarily mean good and old doesn’t necessarily mean that a game is a “classic”. A lot of innovations in gaming have happened throughout the years but there are games that were the first to implement such functions, and for that reason, they sometimes became classics. For example, check out Dune 2 as pretty much the first or one of the first real-time strategy (RTS) games that uses the RTS model that we’re used to. However, not all games do become a classic just because they are the first to implement a new technology or functionality. Just look at early CD-ROM full motion video games and you will see an example on how NOT to do a game. People wanted games, not interactive videos, basically.

Like movies, sometimes games get remade. Most movie remakes SUCK or are unnecessary. Some however are necessary or even better, especially when it comes to some sci-fi movies (for me, John Carpenter’s The Thing). The same happens to games but it’s even more necessary. The problem with most gamers is that they are like fans of action movies. Unless a movie has the latest and greatest CGI and shit blowing up and unless it’s relatively new, the typical action movie goer will quickly dismiss it. The same kind of reaction happens to games except that people do this with games unless they are hot that month and have good graphics and ridiculous reviews or every other person is playing it. This is why remakes are needed (and often why they get made).

Game remakes and sequels

The problem comes with remakes of old games is that they don’t just update the graphics. Rarely have I seen simply a graphic revamp of the game. What goes wrong is that they sometimes alter the gameplay that made the original game so great and they simply release something that is so different from the original game in gameplay that the original fans of the game will stay away from the new version and keep playing the old one (and think only noobs would play the new one).

I think a problem that game remakes have is that they decided to ignore the things that made the first one great and they made a new game with stuff that might look like the first game but that’s not really the same. Many studios ignore the innovations that fans made for the original games through mods that sometimes create a better game. I have a feeling that many of these companies don’t make these remakes get tested by loyal and actual fans to the original games.

Apart from remakes sometimes we run into sequels of some old classics. A problem for game companies with sequels is that will they target to make the game more for attracting new players to that franchise or will they decide to make it more for the old fan/purists? The game already is a sequel and some people will prefer to play the previous games first before tackling on the newest game in a series. However, some people will simply just not care. I’m pretty sure that most of the people who play Call of Duty 4 – Modern Warfare (1) might have not played the first Call of Duty games, especially with how many players for that game might be console gamers.

Comparisons

New games:

New games generally have better graphics. You will usually need the latest generation console or good enough PC parts/OS to be able to enjoy many new games running at the highest settings and with no hardware lag. The cost of new games is much higher than old games. If it’s an MMO that’s new expect to shell out full retail price for the game and then the inflated subscription fee since most MMO companies think their game is a godsend and everybody will pay up.

New games are usually what’s popular at the time. It’s like fashion, almost. The typical gamer will usually be ranting, raving, and bragging about how good the newest game is. Newer games usually have better multiplayer components, some with built in voice chat, friends lists, etc. New games are becoming more inmersive, taking away some of the imagination needed to play some older games.

Old games:
You will need an old gaming console (if you want to play a non-emulated version), an okay computer (to play an emulated version), or almost any old gaming PC to play an old computer game. The price for old games is either really low or free. As games get older, unless it’s a classic you might find yourself as one of the few active players out of the people you know who is playing that game right now. It’s harder to get multiplayer games going because the typical person will think that game is obsolete and will just brush it aside.

Depending on the game some people might find older games more indepth as far as hours you can get out of such a game, whether in the amount of content they have, or simply that they are actually much more replayable than the fast food generation content of new games.

Old games sometimes feel like you’re interacting with a piece of art, a piece of history.

Conclusion: so what’s my point?

Overall, I don’t really care what you play, so long as what you play is FUN, it makes you feel better about your life, it changes your life for the better, it hopefully teaches you something, and sometimes makes you better as a gamer (trains you to think better, react better, interact better with people).

We all play games for our own reasons. So long as you’re doing it for a good one and not making it feel like it’s a job for you (as some MMOs and grinding games make me feel) then it will be a worthwhile experience for you to have. There’s are so many games to play out there that if you start to feel like you’re just a cog in the machine, it’s usually a good idea for you to start playing something different. Stagnation is never a good thing. This can also go along with people who just play the same old games and will not grow as a gamer.

What will you prefer to play often? Old or new games? Leave your comments below or on our social sites as well! Let’s get some feedback!

Steam Sale: all of SpellForce for 75% off

SpellForce 2 Gold Edition
SpellForce 2 Gold Edition

Steam Sale: all of SpellForce for 75% off

The entire action-rpg, strategy games SpellForce, by the same people who made BattleForge are now on sale on Steam for 75% off.

The games are RPG/RTS and they allow single player and co-op play.

Click here for the link to the sale.

StarCraft 2 PC Beta client is live

StarCraft 2 login
StarCraft 2 login

So what are you reading this for? Go to Battle.net to grab the PC beta client for StarCraft 2! It doesn’t look as if a MAC client is available yet, yawl)

I hope you have fast internet or a good book to read because the client is pretty big. At 1.64GB it could take a while, perhaps a dungeon raid or two.

Here are the minimum system requirements for the beta:

Windows XP SP3/Vista SP1/Windows 7
2.2 Ghz Pentium IV or equivalent AMD Athlon processor
1 GB system RAM/1.5 GB for Vista and Windows 7
128 MB NVidia GeForce 6600 GT/ATI Radeon 9800 PRO video card
1024×768 minimum display resolution
4 GB free hard space (Beta)
Broadband connection

Dawn of War 2 Chaos Rising promotion

Dawn of War 2 Chaos Rising
DoW2 Chaos Rising promo

Dawn of War 2 Chaos Rising – Steam promotion

The expansion to Dawn of War 2 “Chaos Rising” is now for sale for $30 on Steam. If you get it, they give you a free copy of the GTA clone Saints Row 2 (which to me is a superior game).

Chaos Rising will be available on March 11th, 2010. This expansion to DoW 2 adds the Chaos faction. More stuff is added to the campaign, the ability to warp (or keep them from it) team members, a higher level cap for heroes in the campaign, new gear and toys, 2 new “heroes” for the Last Stand (Chaos and Tyranid), more expansions for multiplayer modes, etc.

Saints Row 2 is basically a much more fun version of GTA 4, except with better comedy and non-stop action and less micro managing stuff that makes GTA annoying now.

The link to get the DoW 2 expansion and Saints Row 2 (bundled) is: http://store.steampowered.com/app/20570/

Free Stuff – First 3 original Command & Conquer games

Command & Conquer free game
Command & Conquer free game

Free Stuff – First 3 original Command & Conquer games

Electronics Arts has released the original Command and Conquer game, Red Alert, and Tiberian Sun (and its expansion) for free. If you’ve never played these games now you can check them all out for free.

Of these, C&C and Red Alert are my favorite.

In C&C, you will love the obelisk of light and the commando unit. “Got a present for you!!!”

You will love the wacky alternate history in Red Alert.

You can get all 3 games at the following site: http://www.commandandconquer.com/classic

Games coming out February and March 2010

aliens vs predator new
aliens vs predator new

Games coming out February and March 2010

A lot of big games have been coming out this early 2010. More great games are coming out soon as well. The following are the ones that I like for the next 2 months:

Aliens vs Predator, February 16 for PC

Napoleon: Total War, February 23 for PC

Supreme Commander 2, March 2 for PC

Battlefield: Bad Company 2, March 2 for PC

Warhammer 40k Dawn of War 2 Chaos Rising, March 11 for PC

Assassin’s Creed 2, March 16 for PC

Metro 2033, March 16 for PC

Let’s talk a little bit about them.

Aliens vs Predator
The original AVP is one of my favorite FPS games of all time. It’s actually quite scary and FAST as all hell. The new game is a remake of that game and looks to be done as its spiritual successor.

Napoleon: Total War
The Total War series is always great for (most) war gamers. I look forward to yet another title to this great series.

Supreme Commander 2
Supreme Commander 1 among my friends is known for how badly it killed their systems. I hope 2 is optimized for performance and continues the brilliant interface that part 1 had for handling your big armies. I hope they kept the awesome zoom GUI.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2
I wonder how strong this game will be. Can it compete with everybody out there playing Modern Warfare 2?

Warhammer 40k Dawn of War 2 Chaos Rising
The Dawn of War series I always love. They are the RTS games I usually play the most. I’ve been looking forward to this expansion for a while. Now that more of my friends got DoW 2 I have more people to play with and the game needs more content/factions, so keep them coming Relic/THQ.

Assassin’s Creed 2
Finally! I keep hearing how good this is from my console gamers. (ahem) Well maybe it will be like with Mass Effect 1 where the PC version turns out to be superior later. Either way, I will still play the living hell out of this game, at least until I destroy it.

Metro 2033
This game reminds me of a mix of the game Stalker, the movie Fatherland, and the game Iron Storm. Looks nice!

Steam Sale – Total War series for $20

total war series sale
total war series sale

Steam Sale – Total War series for $20.39

If you like your RTS games to be mega games with a ton of units on the screen, the Total War series of games are for you. All the Total War games are on sale through Steam right now for $20.39 total.

You get Rome: Total War and it’s expansion, which are obviously about the Roman Empire, Medieval: Total War and it’s expansion, again self explanatory, and Empire: Total War, that takes place around the US Revolutionary War.

The link to the Steam Sale is the following: http://store.steampowered.com/sub/1348/

Steam Sale – Company of Heroes for $12.49

Company of Heroes header
Company of Heroes header

Steam Sale – Company of Heroes for $12.49

One of our favorite and hardest RTS games, Company of Heroes is on sale this weekend through Steam for only $12.49. The link to buy it is: http://store.steampowered.com/sub/1529/

You get the original game and both expansion packs included. They would all regularly sell for a combined price of $50.