You don’t get the show #26: Christmas in July


With all the sales on games, toys and electronics this summer we decide to celebrate Christmas in July by looking over the top Christmas toys from the 80’s to today. From Transformers to the BeyBlades, we reminisce about our favorite toys, watch some weird toy commercials and try to remember why some of these toys were popular.

Siege Breaker Sessions #4: Terrible Gamer Gifts

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Tis the Holiday season and were talking about some of the worst gifts we have received and what it took to pretend they didn’t suck. We began the show considering an intervention for our friend Arkion who has a serious addiction to buying skins in League of Legends.

After discussing our worst X-mas gifts we talked Star Wars and where you can find that girl or guy that loves Star Wars and is dateable with a top five list. DayZ made the discussion topic as they announced you can now monetize your private server which led into our conversation about Valve reporting that over 77,000 Steam accounts get hacked per month.

Finally we ended with our top ten list of excuses for losing in a video game and were surprise about where some of the excuses ranked up.

So give us a listen here or download the podcast for free from our multiple sites and listen later, but let us know what you think.

Warning: The Siege Breakers Sessions Podcast is NSFW and and contains adult language, seriously if you get easily offended stay out.

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Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy

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Nothing like dangling a storm trooper over the edge of cliff using force grip or throwing him halfway across the map! ~James Hare

Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy

[infobox color=”blue”]Released: Sep 2003 (PC) Developer: Raven Software Publisher: LucasArts & Activision Genre: 1st/3rd Person Action Shooter [/infobox]

Decided to dust off Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy and see who still played it online, I was surprised to see quite a few people still do so I thought why not play through from start to finish. By the time I gotten to my favorite part of the game (choosing between the light path and the dark path) I realized I’d never actually completed the ‘light path’ version of the storyline. All done but I still prefer the dark side ending.

Either way I realized how well this game has lasted for its age, the game play is still as fun and exciting and the lightsaber combat second to none. I’m still in awe of the amount of customization you were able to do (back in the day of course) on your character in a game that is a first/third-person shooter and not an RPG. It was developed by Raven Software and published, distributed and marketed by LucasArts in North America and by Activision in the rest of the world.

Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy

You play as Jaden Korr, (a character you can customize to be male/female, human, twi’lek etc) a padawan who is travelling to Luke Skywalker’s Jedi academy on Yavin IV, along with other new Jedi hopefuls. Kyle Katarn, (the reluctant Jedi you played as in Jedi Outcast) returns as a mentor at the Academy and becomes your master. However your ship is attacked and crashes into the planet, leaving Jaden and one other student, Rosh Penin, to make their way to the academy on foot.

Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy

 

Story

The storyline revolves around solving several questions related to this attack at the start of the game. From here you take on several missions, mostly with Kyle to begin with to find these answers and soon discover that a dark jedi called Tavion (Dessans apprentice in Jedi Outcast) is behind the attacks. Tavion is attempting to resurrect the spirit of dark sith lord Marka Ragnos by using his sceptre to drain dark force energy from locations across the galaxy. On each subsequent mission after the training you set about finding out more about the cult, battling with dark Jedi, the remnant and a few bounty hunters along the way.

Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy

The options of customizing your character does not end at physical appearance, you are able to specialize and train in a selection of different force abilities, light and dark. You start out with eight core force powers; pull, push etc which are automatically upgraded every time you return to the academy after missions. There are also eight advanced force powers to choose from (4 on the light side and 4 on the dark) the light side abilities are; absorb, protection, heal, and mind trick. The dark side powers include life drain, force lightning, force grip, and rage. You receive a point when you complete a mission (each power has three levels of improvement) and you can distribute it in any of these eight powers at the start of the next mission.

Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy

Personally force grip and heal are the powers of choice to get up to maximum level, and whether you choose the light or dark path nearer the end of the game (each with its own ending) you can have as many of the dark side powers as you like. Nothing like dangling a storm trooper over the edge of cliff using force grip or throwing him halfway across the map!

Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy

Jedi Academy captures the excitement of lightsaber combat perfectly and not to far into the game allows the player to select between single, dual or a staff lightsaber. The problem with Jedi Outcast was the amount of tedious levels you had to play before you got your lightsaber, in this game you have it from the start and can customize it to your liking. I tend to favor dual lightsabers in green and purple, I have no idea why. After completing the single player I was actually surprised when I logged into multiplayer to find servers still running and being played online.

Usually by now they’ve been taken over by bots and the odd nostalgic gamer but these were very full and active. Good times. The game itself is relatively easy to complete (mainly due to the lack of good AI in the enemy) and even has the option of avoiding harder missions if you choose too. Some of the better levels involve locations or characters from the movies. The Hoth mission is particularly good and the fight with Bobba Fett is awesome (although I feel they could have done more with this level).

Star-Wars-Jedi-Knight-Jedi-Academy

Jedi Academy is a great game and still worth revisiting. It is still highly playable in single and multiplayer mode and has plenty to offer in the way of character customization and mission/weapon selection. I love the choice of the light or dark path nearer the end of the game as it actually evokes real emotions in the player and for the situation the characters are in.

All I can say is the dark side path isn’t easier by a long way. The sound effects, music and voice acting really add a great atmosphere to the game and an extra dimension to the characters. Jeff Bennett returns to voice Kyle Katarn and Jennifer Hale and Philip Tanzini provide the female and male voices of Jaden Korr, with some great supporting voice artists Bob Bergen, Kath Soucie and Cam Clarke.

[You can find Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy on Stream]

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

knights-of-the-old-republic
The 2000’s were a disappointing decade for Star Wars fans. The old movies were just getting more old, the books were doing a little good, but the prequel movies failed to impress many fans of the older movies. However there was one shining light that might have been as good as the first time you got to see Empire Strikes Back. That game was Knights of the Old Republic.
knights-of-the-old-republic

The combat was probably the weakest thing about KOTOR, which isn’t probably a bad thing when the quest was so long, the characters so memorable, and a story that dragged on you for the ride. Republic solider Carth, Jedi Bastila, alien teenager Mission, her wookie Zaalbar, weird cat lady Juhani, and the evil droid HK-47 all have their deep but interesting back-stories, and provide memorable parts to the main plot. The Sith Lord Dark Malak made the first really great Star Wars villain since Darth Vader.

Star Wars - Knights of the Old Republic - xbox - gameplay screenshot - 2
You’re looking at a game they could easily give you 30-50 hours of gameplay without boredom or parts that you have to stomach so you can get to the goodness. That alone warrants itself a place on my list. However not only that, it helped revive the quality in the Star Wars franchise, put Bioware in the spotlight, and was so good that we couldn’t stand much of the 2nd game developed by Obsidian Entertainment even though it was a good game in itself but not compared to the original.

Star Wars: Battlefront II

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As a fan of Star Wars, there was no way I couldn’t get this game. It was like that Battlefield1942 game I heard about but with light-sabers and shit.  Basically that was the concept and it worked well. You could play as low level storm troopers, Jedi, Sith, even Wookies were fair play. Some more balanced than others, but lots of fan service especially the Jedi and Sith characters to play as. The single player mode was a decent affair. Lots of action, good variety in missions, and probably the better of the two modes when it came to ship combat.
The multi-player had it’s problems, but it was a blast. Being a Jedi, or Sith made you feel over-powered, but you had to earn it, and it was a real challenge to beat one of the juggernauts.  The connection speeds could’ve been a bit faster, and even after the game was super-old you still had to pay for a map pack that would kick you out of certain matchmaking’s  I’m sad to see that they haven’t made a real sequel yet I don’t believe, it could defiantly use some HD returning  tweaks, and improvements.

Star Wars the Old Republic: Free to Play Details

Star-Wars-The-Old-Republic

Sadly we all saw Old Republic barreling head first toward free-to-play a long time ago especially when we heard of the downsizing. Never a good sign. Now we have better details on what you will and will not have access to if you opt for F2P.

So for those who loved the storyline of the game and the single player aspects you are in luck because you get that for free. As far as other parts of the game they decided to put you on a three times a week program (kind of like how your wife might do you). This means things like Flashpoints, Warzone battles and Space Missions will only be accessible three times in a week.

Now no F2P worth its salt is without add on items you have to purchase and in SWTOR’s case you can purchase Weekly Passes to give you unlimited access to all the above restricted instances. The same goes for Operations, there is no 3-day pass for that so you will need to purchase a weekly one. The problem here is that most purple loot cannot be equipped so what is the point of running an Operation if you cannot wear the loot. I guess that is the point.

Star Wars the old republic - free to play - features list

Like other MMO’s before it namely Everquest and EQ2, you are have less Cargo Bay and Inventory space which can become an issue, but fear not because you can use Cartel Coins to purchase additional slots. Other things to make the F2P version a little less attractive and give subscribers a reason to keep paying includes priority login as far as the queues, a faster cool-down on Quick Travel and the ability to use the Emergency Fleet Pass. Finally you only get one Crew Skill slot with F2P, as well as a limited number of Field Revivals to use when you die.

So we all know why this is happening. Old Republic subscriptions has been dropping like zombies in The Walking Dead. The question is will this bring in new players or give subscribers a reason to go free-2-play instead. Only time will tell and speaking of which we still do not have a date when F2P will go live. The original word was “sometime this fall” and yet here we are. When SWTOR goes F2P will you start playing?

We Interview Chris Avellone From Obsidian Entertainment: Part 2

Chris Avellone metal

 Chris Avellone From Obsidian Entertainment

Be sure to read Part 1 here!

General Questions About Gaming And Game Design:

What do you think about games that are based around an alignment based system? Are they too limited? How would you enforce the alignment role-playing aspect?

I don’t always believe in a game imposing morality unless it’s part of a franchise (Star Wars). In Alpha Protocol we did away with a player morality bar because in the espionage world, it’s difficult to say whether you’re “good” or “bad,” you’re just out to accomplish your mission and your reasons are your own. I do feel it’s fair if you set up reputation bars for other people, companions, and factions because it’s easier to imagine how NPCs and communities would judge your actions that us trying to judge the player and slap a +/- on it.

I did dislike the alignment system in D&D because it always assumed the player should choose an alignment before adventuring in the world. So in Torment, we let the player be a blank slate and let the alignment evolve (and reverse) over time depending on your actions. We felt that this was a better interpretation of the alignment system and it made more sense in the context of the narrative.

What do you think about the trend that we see in modern gaming where people consider MMORPGs to be RPGs? Is this correct or have they simply not had then chance to play a real traditional RPG?

Advancement schemes are similar, and some of the cause and effect you experience in RPGs is there, and I’d argue the ability to form your own party from other players provides the equivalent of an RPG experience in many respects. You may not always be able to make your decisions and actions felt in the environment because you can’t disturb the MMORPG equilibrium to the same extent as you can in a single-player RPG, but some of the core elements are there, yes.

If you had to remake a classic RPG made by another studio, which one would you remake and why?

SSI Wizard’s Crown or Eternal Dagger because I loved the way they showcased the dungeons and allowed you to develop your character. Pool of Radiance would also be fun (the 1st Goldbox one) as would Dark Sun’s Shattered Lands (which I loved).

What is the most influential yet obscure game you have ever played and why do you find it so important in your gaming history?

Well, in terms of influential yet obscure, that cuts a lot of games out – I feel a lot of the more common games have had a big influence on my designs (Portal, Chronotrigger, Ultima Underworld). If I were to name some “obscure” ones, I’d probably say System Shock 2 is the top of the list (it’s basically a design doc for how to make a great game), Amnesia: The Dark Descent for introducing a challenge mechanism that could simultaneously terrify you, Bastion’s narration mechanics, and Wasteland for proving to me how you could use game mechanics in the context of a “conventional” RPG to make some truly brilliant levels if you took a step back and thought outside the box.

What was your favorite character from RPGs you have worked on and why?

That’s tough, and it varies. I liked most of the Torment cast for different reasons, even Ignus and Vhailor. If I had to choose one, it would probably be Fall-From-Grace, I always enjoyed the premise of a puritan succubus who’s simultaneously the nicest, wisest, and gentlest people you can meet on the Planes. Jennifer Hale did a great job with her voice.

Who is your favorite co-worker and why?

Brian Menze, our concept artist and the lead artist on South Park now. I’ve known Brian ever since the Black Isle days, and he’s been my friend for a very, very long time. We still try and do comic book Wednesdays every week, and the studio would be a sadder place without his presence. He’s brought a lot of characters in the studio to life, and he’s incredibly modest and humble about his pieces, which makes me like him all the more.

Who in computing or video game history has been your idol and why?

Tim Cain, Tom Hall, Richard Dansky, to name a few. Tim reimagined how RPG mechanics could work for me, Tom Hall reimagined how design aesthetics could be applied in unconventional ways (Anachronox), and Richard Dansky never stops being a great guy and helping people.

I couldn’t possibly name everyone, but those are the people that jump to mind. I have the good fortune to work with Tim Cain on this project, and that’s one of my life goals on my bucket list.

First Project Eternity Screenshot

What do you watch/play/listen-to/read while trying to get creative ideas for projects?

Mostly trance music. I can’t listen to anything with lyrics while writing a character, I find the words and inner speech of the character I’m writing gets all jumbled up.

Going to see a live show or play I’ve found is one of the best means to stir the creative pot up when I have writer’s block (or even if I don’t). I have a lot of friends in the theater or who play in bands, and watching them live is enthusiastically contagious.

Other times, I immerse myself in research. Often when tackling an area, concept, or type of game, I try to read as much literature and watch as much media relevant to it (example, for Fallout New Vegas: Lonesome Road, I re-read Damnation Alley again, watched The Road, etc, etc.). When I got back into Wasteland, I started listening to a lot more 80s music, watching 80s movies and even researching 80s commercials to get a feel for the era… I’m embarrassed to say my memories of the 80s have slipped away, so it’s a shock to remember some of the big moments and media of the decade.

Project Eternity Specific Questions:

I always loved the interaction between my party members in some of your previous games, especially in Planescape: Torment. I did not like how rare these interactions did happen though. Do you plan on implementing a more ongoing interaction between the party companions? Have you considered adding interactions that will only happen when you have certain companions in the party?

Yes and yes, we feel companion commentary with each other is a strong means of showing how alive and reactive your companions are – not just to the world and your actions, but to each other’s presence. Plus, they’re fun to write, I certainly enjoyed writing the ones in Torment and would have loved to have written more.

Are we going to be limited in party size? Yes, it would probably make the game a lot easier to be walking around with an army so what we are asking is, what would be the magic number and how can you logically limit the size? Have you considered implementing the hiring of mercenary NPCs?

Party size will be a single player character and up to five companions – or as you mentioned above with mercenaries, you can also round out your party with recruited allies (which you can customize and build in the Adventurer’s Hall).

How do you plan to sell the game once it is finished and live? Retail? Steam? Impulse? GOG?

GOG (DRM-free) and Steam are our digital distribution outlets. We are also going to see if we can work on distributing the boxed version at retail as well, but we have not specific plans on that yet.

Have you considered making certain parts of the game have a randomized value that would add to the replayability of the game? Have you considered randomizing major plot points or the true intentions of certain characters?

Right now, our efforts have been focused on the hand-crafted elements that will make up the spine of the game.

project eternity wallpaper

Will gear be generally usable by most characters or will it require a certain adjustment for use? By this I mean, can a mage wear at least some level of real armor. Also, a dwarf wouldn’t be able to wear a troll’s armor unless he had an armorer make a suit of armor from that troll’s armor. Do you plan to implement that kind of level of equipment realism in the game? Will gear have wear and tear? Will the game offer some level of crafting element?

We won’t restrict gear according to player race. If you find armor, any race can wear it.

Would somebody be able to simply play not caring what the game’s plot is trying to get us to do? What I mean is similar to what’s found in the game Mount & Blade, for which you can pick what you really want to do such as hire one-self out to work for the highest paying empire or faction.

Like an Infinity Engine title, there is a plot, and while we will have dungeons that respawn and events in the world that you can cause to happen through your actions (such as turning a town or city hostile), the game requires some interaction with the plot from the player to progress. That said, we do want the player to feel free in how they approach the plot and feel that they can make the choices they want to make.

Will you give players the option to dramatically change the world in the RPG such as by ending it or potentially creating utopia?

The story hasn’t been nailed down yet, we’re still crafting it. We do want the world to persist in some fashion after the first installment, and even if great changes occur in the first game, there’s still plenty of world to explore in future games.

Would we be able to have our character fall in love with other characters in the game? Do we get to choose this or what if the game chose for us? Would it be possible to start a family, such as in the Fable games or Europa 1400 The Guild?

There’ll be a variety of mature relationships in the game, and you can choose to interact with them as little or as much as you want.

How is time handled in the game? Will the game take the course of a year? Will it take many years with some of the effects from the earlier part of the game affecting the mid and end game?

We’re handling time in a similar fashion to the BG and IWD games. Events happen in more-or-less real-time (real game time, that is, not literally minute per real world minute) except for rest sequences. We probably won’t be advancing time artificially off screen (“Act 1 is over, so X years pass,” for example).

Will the game offer any kind of multiplayer, such as letting our friends take over our party members in combat?

We want to focus on the single-player experience and make sure that’s solid. We don’t have any multiplayer plans at this time.

Would you let players submit translated versions of the game in other languages that haven’t yet been scheduled for translation?

They would most likely be part of the translation efforts if they wanted to volunteer. We’d welcome the help, and we’ve already received a huge amount of support from international fans that would love to do the translations for us (and if you are one of them and you’re reading this –thanks again).

Do you plan on updating the game with expansions once the game is released? How often would this happen? Would players be able to make their own mods or expansions once the game is live and would an editor be made available eventually?

We would like to do this, although we’re still examining how the pipelines for expansions would work. We don’t want to promise something that we couldn’t do until we’d done more research. We recently released an update with our modding views – we like modding, we want to encourage it, but we don’t want to promise it unless we know we can do it, or else we’d do our players and backers a disservice.

Although I have asked about technology already, since this is such a game changer, I made it a separate question: Will this universe have guns or gunpowder?

It has both. Gunpowder weapons exist, though they are single-shot wheellock variety, and are primarily used to give mages an unprecedented run for their money.

Will all the major races be humanoids or will you implement at least one really weird non-humanoid races a major player in this world?

We’ve got a selection of races, both seemingly-traditional and ones that are more off the beaten path. Some of the concept pieces we’ve released (notably the female dwarf) should give some clues as to what to expect from the choices for race in the game.

What’s the major mode of transportation in this universe?

Foot travel is the primary mode of transportation, although occasionally players may find themselves magically transported somewhere. To speed up overland travel, we will implement a map UI so the player can quickly move their party to locations they’ve already discovered. Note that our map UI is similar to what’s been found in the Icewind Dale and Baldur’s Gate games, not Elder Scrolls or Fallout 3/New Vegas-style fast travel.

What kinds of religions will we see in the game?

This will fall on Josh Sawyer (our resident theologian). More to come on this as the world is fleshed out in future updates.

Star Wars: The Old Republic going free to play

star wars the old republic

I remember looking into our official Obsolete Gamer crystal ball and seeing that DC Superheroes Online was destined for the free 2 play route and it came true. After playing Star Wars, The Old Republic for a weeks, sadly, I knew it was headed that way as well. When we reported that SWTOR were downsizing and then offering free 2 play for up to level 15, it was inevitable.

EA sent word via a press release that The Old Republic will indeed go free to play this November. In addition, the game will cost only $15 starting next week and will come with a free month of gametime. Now as expected, there will still be a subscription service for SWTOR that grants you access to additional content and features of the game. For the free to play model you can level all the way up to 50 and enjoy most of the features of the game.

Here is a breakdown of the two options for Star Wars:

Subscription – A service designed for players who want unrestricted access to all the game features via ongoing subscription or by redeeming a Game Time Card. In addition to gaining access to all game content as our current subscribers do now, subscribers will receive ongoing monthly grants of Cartel Coins, the new virtual currency that will be introduced later this fall. Cartel Coins can be used to purchase valuable in-game items including customizable gear and convenience features that will enhance the game play experience.

Free-To-Play – The first 50 levels will be Free-to-Play, with restrictions on access to new content and advanced player features. Some restrictions can be “unlocked” with Cartel Coins.

Check out the chart as well:

star wars the old republic subscription vs free features

We will spare you the PR spin on the upcoming change. We all know the game had flaws and in today’s market gamers are not going to continue paying for something they feel should be free. Just like with DC heroes, the people left in mass droves after the first month and the spin began, but in the end it went free to play and SWTOR has followed suit.

Is this a failure for Bioware and EA, will you find yourself playing the game once it goes free to play?

The Old Republic Now Free Until Level 15

StarWars_TheOldRepublic

Sure one could say that adding a free-to-play till 15 component to an MMO is a good move. By doing this you get people to try the game and the changes you made and maybe people will subscribe. In the real world of MMO’s this means the first (or second) steps towards free-2-play.

BioWare’s , The Old Republic was to be the World of Warcraft-killer, but the only dying we have seen has been its own. We first saw the signs when people reached max level quickly and complained about endgame content. We saw more signs with bugs not fixed and features not implemented a true sign the game was rushed even more than other rushed MMO’s. There was the promise of patches that would fix everything, but as each patch came, more people became upset and left.

Subscription rates dropped faster than a greasy Huttball and the PR spin was in full force, but it was clear what was happening.  The game lost over 400,000 subscriptions, many leaving after the free month and now the EA backed company is following World of Warcraft in offering players to play for free until level 15.

We have seen the free trials and now the up to level 15 free play. With the release of coming titles like Tera Online, Guild Wars 2 and the Secret World, this is a march to free-2-play just like DC Universe Online and many before it.

Now with all that said I think Old Republic is worth a play through. The game has a good story and fun gameplay, just not really an MMO, at least not a monthly subscription MMO. You can try out Old Republic for yourself by signing up and downloading the game client at SW: TOR’s free trial page.

The Downsizing of Star Wars: The Old Republic

We all know from the Sony Online Entertainment spin of the mass exodus of DC Online Universe that the statement above translates into; we took a major hit and have to start cutting our losses. ~J.A. Laraque

The Downsizing of Star Wars: The Old Republic

Unfortunately, most of us who played and followed the latest Star Wars MMO knew that with the issues with the game and lack of positive changes that subscriptions would drop drastically after the first month. Regardless of the PR spin about an “active community” and how there were “millions of subscribers” we all knew that STOR would take a massive hit.

Star-Wars-The-Old-Republic-Trooper

Now word out of Austin is that there were mass layoffs at the studio that developed the game.  Some of the people from the studio were let go while a few others were moved to other projects, but the message was clear.

“We are bidding farewell to some talented, passionate and exceptionally hard-working people who helped make SWTOR a reality,” said Bioware co-founder, Greg Zeschuk. “We still have a very substantial development team working on supporting and growing the game,  and we feel we are in a strong position, with your continued involvement and feedback, to continue to build Star Wars: The Old Republic as one of the most compelling and successful online experiences in the world today.”

We all know from the Sony Online Entertainment spin of the mass exodus of DC Online Universe that the statement above translates into; we took a major hit and have to start cutting our losses.  EA itself in a statement just reinforced the rapid decline of The Old Republic.

“These are very difficult decisions, but it allows us to focus our staff to maintain and grow Star Wars: The Old Republic,”

I think almost everyone has been “refocused”, or know someone that has been and understands exactly what that means. With subscription rates dropping over 23%, most of us can see the coming storyline that will eventually lead to a free-2-play announcement.

Star Wars Old Republic: Free Weekend Trial

Back in the Everquest days whenever a new game would come out be it an MMO or not some people would cry doom for the game thinking people would quit and never come back. With SWTOR, there doom have been said for a while with people talking about cancelled subscriptions and low population servers. Next, we see the 1.2 update released and the ability to invite friends to play for free for a while. Now, there is a free weekend trial of the game. Oh, did I mention Star Wars the Old Republic was a big part of The Big Bang Theory this past week? So, is this doom?

star-wars-the-old-republic

Here is the full press release:

Now, even more gamers can experience the massively multiplayer online game that is taking the world by storm! Starting this Thursday, players around the world will be able to jump in and experienceStar Wars™: The Old Republic™ in the first Weekend Pass Free* Trial. This limited time opportunity will give individuals who don’t already have a previously-active Star Wars: The Old Republic account a chance to experience the groundbreaking, story-driven MMO from EA, BioWare and LucasArts for up to four days for free, with no payment method required.

Individuals who take part in the Weekend Pass will be able to experience the opening adventures of each of the eight character classes in the game, exploring both their Origin World and may even have the opportunity to visit their faction’s Capital World. Additionally, Weekend Pass players will have the chance to face off against other players in PvP Warzones, or join up with friends and play through a couple of early faction-specific Flashpoints in the game, The Esseles and The Black Talon.

Star Wars: The Old Republic is one of the most critically acclaimed MMOs of all time, having won MSNBC’s “Game of the Year” award, “Editor’s Choice” awards from IGN, PC Gamer and “Best MMO of 2011” awards from Game Informer, Gamespy.com, Massively, Ten Ton Hammer and more.  The game is set thousands of years before the classic Star Wars™ movies, with the Galactic Republic and Sith Empire locked in the middle of an epic, galactic war.  Players choose one of eight iconic Star Wars character classes, including the Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular, Smuggler, Trooper, Sith Warrior, Sith Inquisitor, Bounty Hunter and Imperial Agent, becoming the hero or villain of their own personal Star Wars saga.

The Weekend Pass Free Trial opens Thursday, March 15, 12:01AM CDT and ends on Monday, March 19th at 2:00AM CDT. To learn more, visitwww.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com/weekendpass. Players can begin registering and creating their accounts on March 15.

Legacy: Star Wars Update 1.2

star wars legacy patch notes 1.2

We finally get word that the legacy system will be launched in April and some new flashpoints and warzones. The funny thing is the talk about the free friend trial. Sure, every big MMO has it, but it is telling with the latest news about subscriptions to Star Wars TOR. Will these changes keep you playing or bring you back?

Here is the official press release:

Build your legacy in the Star Wars™ galaxy! Continuing to deliver compelling new content for eager Star Wars™: The Old Republic players, EA, BioWare and LucasArts today revealed Game Update 1.2 — Legacy. Going live in April 2012, Legacy will introduce new high level group content and community-requested features including PvP Warzone Rankings and Guild Banks, along with enhancements to the game’s innovative Legacy system. This update also provides improved UI customization as well as gameplay fixes and the latest optimizations to combat balance. Also today, BioWare announced Star Wars: The Old Republic’s “Friends Trial*” program, allowing subscribers to invite as many as three of their friends for a seven-day free game trial.

“Prior to release, our main priority for Star Wars: The Old Republic was to deliver a high quality game and service, right from day one,” said Dr. Greg Zeschuk, General Manager of the BioWare Label’s MMO Business Unit and Co-Founder of BioWare. “Now that we’ve achieved that, we have shifted our focus to adding more content to the game and improving and refining the experience for our fans. Legacy is our biggest update yet and a great example of the kind of content players can expect for the months and years ahead.”

Game Update 1.2 presents the next evolution of the Legacy system. Players can now link their different characters together into a single family tree, giving them the power to unlock and share special Legacy-only abilities. Players can further customize new characters by unlocking different species from any class in their family tree. The Legacy system also provides fun new convenience items for player ships, including an on-board mailbox and Galactic Trade Network terminal. Companion Character affection and moral alignment will also benefit from Legacy bonuses, giving players even more control over their crew mates.

Beyond the much-anticipated game features like improved UI customization, PvP Warzone Rankings, Guild Banks and valuable new in-game items, the Legacy update will introduce challenging new high-level content for both experienced and new players to enjoy: 

Game Update 1.2: New Content:

  • Flashpoint: Lost Island continues the Kaon Under Siege Flashpoint from Game Update 1.1 – Rise of the Rakghouls. Players must survive a menacing island of mystery on Ord Mantell as they hunt for clues to the Rakghoul virus outbreak that ravaged the Tion Hegemony. But the answers to this riddle may prove fatal!
  • Operation: Explosive Conflict sends groups of eight or sixteen Imperial or Republic players to a new zone on the planet of Denova, where traitors and mercenaries are selling the rare explosive mineral baradium to the highest bidder. Players will battle through hordes of Droids, mercenaries and deadly creatures all fighting for control of the planet and its valuable resources.
  • Warzone:  Novare Coast pits two teams in an epic battle to control multiple mortar locations and use them to bombard vulnerable enemy bases. Like the Huttball Warzone, Novare Coast can be played Republic vs. Empire or with players of the same faction fighting each other in a thrilling contest of wills to determine each side’s greatest champions.

Beginning tomorrow, March 6, current subscribers can start inviting their friends to join the galactic conflict as part of the Friends Trial* program for Star Wars: The Old Republic. For a limited time, current subscribers will have the opportunity to send an invitation to friends who have not played the game and who do not have an active, inactive or former Star Wars: The Old Republic game account. This trial experience will give new players seven days of free access to reach level 15 across all eight classes and experience the thrilling stories that make Star Wars: The Old Republic a unique MMO experience (some gameplay restrictions will apply). Trial members will also receive a limited time offer to purchase the digital version of Star Wars: The Old Republic on Origin.com at a special promotional price.

For more information on Game Update 1.2: Legacy and the Friends of Star Wars: The Old Republic Trial program please visit www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com.

I’m The Guy Who Reported You

No longer will we have to deal with the immature audience of today’s internet that shout “Fag!”, “Bitch why did you take my quest item?”, and “Suck my dick, you fat loser!”.~Umar Khan

I’m The Guy Who Reported You

Let me step out of the shadows and into the light so you can see clearly. Got a good look? Great! It took a lot on my part to build the confidence and reassurance that what I’m doing is right. I’m glad this day has finally come, though. What day might that be? The day where I reveal to you, nay, all of you that I am the orchestrator of your bans, warnings, and name changes! That’s true! It is I! The great Umar Khan! I am the bastard who spends most of his day opening customer support tickets to report you for saying dicks, asshole, and cunt whistle.

ILaN

But, Umar! Why?! Why would you do this? Have you no soul? No life?!

Correct on all accounts, reader! Correct on all accounts. In respect to your question I shall answer your whiny plea for the justification of my actions. Give me a moment to fill my wine glass with milk and lean back in my $35 ergonomic chair from Office Depot as I prepare to blow your mind.

I am doing it for you! Yes, you! All of this! All of it! For you! I am on a quest to weed out the unworthy of the online gaming landscape to make it a proper land for those who know how to follow rules and have the fortitude to fully understand and read the EULA that they agree to as they play their games. No longer will we have to deal with the immature audience of today’s internet that shout “Fag!”, “Bitch why did you take my quest item?”, and “Suck my dick, you fat loser!”. The EULA states that this kind of language is against its rules. Why you dare play with fire, I will never understand. The time has come though to turn the flame you rage against into a blistering inferno of bannings and suspensions! I am the harbinger of the soon to come MMO Utopia. For this who fight against my crusade, I am the vanguard of your destruction.

You can just turn on the profanity filter if it butt hurts you so much. lol!

I could or you could just not scoff at the agreement you accepted! Does my butt hurt when you refer to someone as a genital? Not at all. My butt doesn’t even get itchy! No, reader. Your words do not faze me. I learned a long time ago that words are simply glue and I… I am rubber! Your proclamations of rape, pussy, and motherfucker bounce from me and they stick to you. They will take root into your body and you will suffer the consequences they create! I will purge this foul mouthed community from my online gaming utopia and create an environment where a profanity filter is nonexistent. At last, the internet will have some class.

They don’t ban people for that! LOL The GM will just tell you to stfu! lolololol

That is so ridiculous. Since the beginning of the EULA’s existence, people have been banned for breaking the agreement that they willingly accepted in order to kill the giants rats of our yesteryears. Have you taken the time to read the EULA? They can ban you for this swashbuckling speech! If you haven’t heard of someone being banned or warned for this breach, you are blind, ignorant, and/or a liar.

What’s wrong, reader? Your face is red with what seems to be anger and chilled with the sweat of fright! You look like an animal backed into a corner; like an Obi-Wan who doesn’t want to believe Anakin would plunge the Jedi into darkness.

You’re a mad man! A mad man, I say! You can’t do this!

Oh, I can and I will! My rampage will not end with those who simply spew middle school vulgarity. I will prosecute the racists, xenophobic, farmers, exploiters, and scammers! When I’m through with this online world, parents won’t have to worry about their children getting on the computer. Unlike the world we currently live in, the internet will be a safe haven. Thanks to me. The MMO Jesus. That’s what they’ll call me.

We don’t want this utopia! This is a sick world you want for us! You can’t censor us, man!

Truly? Censorship? How am I censoring you? You can still voice your distaste for someone’s actions. You can still boast with a less vulgar choice of words. What censorship? I am instilling class and courtesy in your lives! Instead of voicing the hate I am looking to subdue, you should embrace my cause and open your customer service tickets and begin reporting those who would taint our internet games! The battle will be long and difficult, that is true. However, there will come a time where we can finally play our games and not have to spend our time weeding out the vile filth that plagues our communities. Look past our differences. Look past yourselves. Reader, you know what I say is true and the only one holding all this back is… well you.

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Star Wars - The Empire Strikes Back - NES - Gameplay Screenshot

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

In 1992, a follow-up to the original Star Wars NES video game was released, this time based on the next film in the series, The Empire Strikes Back. This entry in the Wars-related video gaming canon was notable for retaining some of the elements of its predecessor while departing in some significant ways as well.

Gameplay

Much like the first 8-bit Star Wars game on the Nintendo Entertainment System, Empire Strikes Back primarily follows the protagonist Luke Skywalker in his efforts against the evil Empire, while featuring some play appearances from other characters from the films as well

Star Wars - The Empire Strikes Back - NES - Gameplay Screenshot

This time, rather than starting in the sandy deserts of Tatooine, Luke begins in the icy expanses of the planet Hoth. Skywalker even begins riding a tauntaun, a kangaroo-like creature, just as in the movie, that you can choose to jettison at any point or continue as far as you wish with it beneath you. Play control remains similar to the first game, with the A button jumping, the B button firing, and Force Powers becoming eventually available via a selection menu screen brought up by pressing Start. One key addition in the controls is the capacity of the blaster weaponry to fire in any of the eight basic directional pad directions (the four cardinals plus diagonals), which although adds an intriguing element of firepower, also seems to give the game designers reason to include crazy-difficult enemies that ebb and dive in chaotic patterns and perhaps take too many shots to kill.

While navigating vast levels, enjoying the occasional cutscene and almost-cutscene, switching vehicles from beasts of burden to outright spaceships, engaging in precision jumping, and pressing the fire button as rapidly as possible, the player is working toward the ultimate goal of confronting Darth Vader in an epic lightsaber duel. In order to get there, crazy-awesome instincts, reaction time, intuition, and other gameplay gifts will be necessary, as this game offers a few less continues than the original and seems markedly more difficult.

Graphics

Star Wars - The Empire Strikes Back - NES - Gameplay Screenshot

The visuals of this game are of high quality, showcasing the true capabilities of the 8-bit NES home console as it neared the end of its supported run before being eclipsed by the 16-bit Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). As such, the animations are smooth, the enemies are daunting, and there are some noteworthy on-screen appearances that feature head shots of the major players in the Wars mythos. Within the first minute of playing, the player will encounter messages from Han Solo and Obi-Wan Kenobi. As the lasers fly and the space-oriented battles emerge into view, this video game makes it clear that it is aiming for a cinematic experience.

Sound

The music, though recognizable in portions, is hit-or-miss. The original score for the Star Wars films, including that for Empire Strikes Back, is among the best in cinema history, yet the digital translation here is thin. Had one not had any attachment to Star Wars, it would take a rather skilled ear to recognize anything special in the digitized tones. The sound effects, too, are a tad generic and overpowering each other at points, with one key exception: This game does feature some nice voice effects, impressive in their historic context of early video game lore.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Zc8Mi5insM[/youtube]

Originality

This was the second and final Star Wars game released on the NES, and for some reason, it feels like it takes a step backward. Maybe it is the slightly more linear gameplay, the seemingly increased challenge, or an intangible “feel” that separates it from the original, but this game is not as fun as the previous. As a two-dimensional platformer, it is decent at best, and eclipsed by many earlier titles from other developers. Some of the portions of the gameplay that are not taking place in a side-scrolling environment are nice, but do not detract from the title’s primary fault: Its immense difficulty. The characters die very easily, there are even more “cheap shots” than the previous Star Wars game, and some inexplicable quirks are in place. For example, in the Hoth ice cave, the wampa monsters (in the film, the wampa is a bigger-than-man, hulking, roaring, imposing Yeti-like animal) are smaller than Luke yet nonetheless pose a significant threat as they nimbly hop over to maul and claw at him. Taking down an AT-AT may be a great experience, but the film-turned-game nabs just two stars out of five.

Eric Bailey is a retro gamer on a crazy quest to write a quality review for every single American-released NES video game over at NintendoLegend.com.

Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Rakghouls

Rise of the Rakghouls

Well, some said it would be six months or more before we saw new content from Bioware, but it looks as if that is not the case. Today EA and Bioware announced the upcoming game update, here is the press release info:

Just one month after launching the fastest growing subscription MMO in history, EA, BioWare and LucasArts are prepared to release the first game update for the critically-acclaimed Star Wars™: The Old Republic™. . Launching next week on Tuesday, January 17, Rise of the Rakghouls will introduce new, higher level group content, game feature additions and continued balancing and bug fixes. As part of the commitment to the community, BioWare will continue to release game updates to subscribers throughout the year on a regular cadence. The next update is planned for March 2012 and will include new Flashpoints, Operations, WarZones and new game systems.

“A month ago when we launched the Early Game Access program for Star Wars: The Old Republic, we promised our fans that this would just be the beginning of our journey together,” said Dr. Greg Zeschuk, General Manager of the BioWare Label’s MMO Business Unit and Co-Founder of BioWare. “Rise of the Rakghouls adds a lot of the things our community has been asking for – additional higher level group content, features like anti-aliasing, PvP bracketing and more. In the future, game updates will be even more substantial, as we promise to continue to not only add to The Old Republic, but to also improve and refine the experience with the full Legacy System and new Guild features.”

Rise of the Rakghouls features a new Flashpoint and a new Operation as well as a number of changes made throughout the entire game, including level 50 bracketing for PvP WarZones, the addition of anti-aliasing and changes to Open World PvP on Ilum.

  • Flashpoint: Kaon Under Siege is a completely new and unique group combat experience located on Kaon, a planet in the Tion Hegemony, a strategically important sector of the galaxy that has remained neutral, Groups of up to four Republic or Imperial players must race to Kaon to eliminate the Rakghouls outbreak, securing the allegiance of the Tion Hegemony for their respective sides. This Flashpoint will be available for level 50 characters only and will feature Normal and Heroic modes.
  • Operation: Karagga’s Palace, is a continuation of the game’s second launch Operation. In the Operation, teams of 8 or 16 players will face off against Karagga and the Hutt Cartel after the Hutts abandon their famous neutrality and breach agreements with both the Republic and Empire. Concerned by the threat of another combatant in the war for galactic control, both factions send teams of their most powerful heroes to confront Karagga and determine his intentions. This Operation will feature Normal, Heroic and Nightmare difficulty modes.

For more information on Game Update 1.1: Rise of the Rakghouls, please visit www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com for the full details.

Star Wars: The Old Republic is set thousands of years before the classic Star Wars movies, with the Galactic Republic and Sith Empire locked in the middle of an epic, galactic war. Players choose one of eight iconic Star Wars characters, including the Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular, Smuggler, Trooper, Sith Warrior, Sith Inquisitor, Bounty Hunter and Imperial Agent, becoming the hero or villain of their own personal Star Wars saga. Players team up with friends online, fighting in heroic battles reminiscent of the films, immersing themselves in a galaxy full of vibrant characters and planets, while experiencing visceral Star Wars combat.

Star Wars: The Old Republic – 1.0.2 Patch Notes

wallpaper_star_wars_the_old_republic_

This week I am a happy player because Bioware fixed a number of bugs dealing with the cover system for Agents and Snipers and they fixed the annoying bug where if you select for “Show Sith Corruption” to be off it used to not stay that way. It also looks as if they made a number of other fixed to the game which should make it even more polished.

Here are the full notes:

 

General

  • Guilds that are currently leaderless will have an Officer chosen and promoted to Guild Leader.

Classes and Combat

 

Sith Inquisitor

      • The Darth title is now properly granted to Sith Inquisitors.

       

      Bug Fixes

        • Corrected an issue that could prevent players from taking cover when targeting large NPCs.
        • Fixed a bug that caused some abilities with activation times to be interrupted when used from cover.

        Crew Skills

         

        Gathering

          • Removed some high-level harvesting nodes from Tatooine, Corellia, and Ilum.

          Flashpoints and Operations

           

          Flashpoints

           

          Cademimu

                • General Ortol can no longer be pulled out of his room.

                 

                Maelstrom Prison

                      • Corrected an issue that could cause Kilran to behave incorrectly when defeated in cover.

                       

                      Taral V

                            • General Edikar now has the correct loot in Hard Mode and no longer enrages in Normal Mode.

                             

                            Operations

                             

                            Eternity Vault

                                  • Gharj can no longer be pulled out of his encounter room.

                                   

                                  Bug Fixes

                                    • Fixed an issue that could cause choosing Nightmare Mode to not set enemies to Nightmare difficulty.

                                    Items

                                     

                                    General

                                        • PvP lockboxes now cost 70 commendations, contain more consumables, and always contain an item.

                                         

                                        Bug Fixes

                                          • Corrected several PvP items that were Bind on Equip. They are now Bind on Pickup.
                                          • PvP vendors on Capital Planets now offer the correct PvP items.
                                          • Commendations received via in-game mail are now correctly added to the Currency tab.

                                          Missions and NPCs

                                           

                                          Missions

                                           

                                          Imperial

                                                • Number One with a Bullet: Players who choose dark side options now correctly receive the mission First Strike after completing this mission.
                                                • First Strike: Players who did not receive this mission will now receive it upon entering their personal starships.

                                                 

                                                Republic

                                                      • Death Cloud: Players can now complete the “Toxic Waste” bonus objective regardless of how quickly they complete this mission.

                                                       

                                                      Bug Fixes

                                                          • Corrected mission steps on several planets that could cause client instability.
                                                          • Fixed issues with some missions that could prevent pending rewards from being accepted.

                                                          Space Combat

                                                           

                                                          Bug Fixes

                                                            • Fixed an issue that caused a client crash if a space station was destroyed in Space Combat.

                                                            UI

                                                             

                                                            Maps

                                                                • Group members no longer appear on all planets on the Galaxy Map.
                                                                • Corrected an issue that could cause map notes to disappear after logging out and back into the game.
                                                                • Corrected some map notes that referenced the incorrect map.
                                                                • Updated map notes for “travel to planet” steps in class missions on Nar Shaddaa, Hoth, and Belsavis to indicate the planet’s space station.

                                                                 

                                                                Bug Fixes

                                                                  • Group members outside of a player’s phase are no longer prompted to roll on items.
                                                                  • The In-Game Customer Service Portal no longer appears to hang while the “updating” message is displayed.
                                                                  • The Guild interface now properly displays the guild member list when it is sorted.
                                                                  • The “Show Sith Corruption” option no longer toggles off when transitioning between areas.

                                                                   

                                                                  Miscellaneous Bug Fixes

                                                                  • Taxi rides are no longer occasionally interrupted, causing the player to be dropped from the taxi.
                                                                  • Using the /dismiss command now correctly dismisses a vanity pet.
                                                                  • Corrected some issues that could cause players to become stuck on the loading screen when logging into a character.
                                                                  • Players can now use emotes while riding a vehicle.
                                                                  • Fixed a bug that prevented some text-only mail messages from being received.
                                                                  • Graphics preferences in settings files are now consistent with actual settings in use.
                                                                  • Being in Do Not Disturb mode no longer prevents characters from being logged out for being away.
                                                                  • Corrected an issue that caused poor performance on some machines in indoor areas with shadows enabled.
                                                                  • Fixed an issue that could prevent players from being logged out for inactivity.

                                                                  Games: Most let down, Most hopeful

                                                                  The game should be ninety-nine cents on the App Store. The graphics are nothing special and the gameplay is all about jump kicking zombies and driving around an island never really feeling like you are in any danger. They also had to do what all zombie games do which is make all the zombies re-spawn which just kills the feel of the game.~J.A. Laraque

                                                                  Games: Most let down, Most hopeful

                                                                  The New Year is a time to look forward with all kinds of resolutions, most of them that you will not keep and it is also a time to look back on the year. When it comes to gaming there is always room for reflection and regret. There is also always that hope that the next game that’s coming is the one that will keep you enthralled for months or more.

                                                                  A post like this could be long, but for me it’s simple. There are two games that I thought about the most in 2011. One let me down worse a blind date setup by your grandmother and the other brings me hope like a wink from that girl across the room.

                                                                  Most let down: Dead Island

                                                                  Less we forget, let’s take a look at this video.

                                                                  [youtube id=”lZqrG1bdGtg&ob” width=”633″ height=”356″]

                                                                  Seriously, how did we get from that to the game that was launched? I guess we should have known the game would be bad when a beta copy was released to Stream instead of the real version. I remember wanting this game thinking it would be a great experience. In the end I only loved the intro and only because of that stupid song.

                                                                  The game should be ninety-nine cents on the App Store. The graphics are nothing special and the gameplay is all about jump kicking zombies and driving around an island never really feeling like you are in any danger. They also had to do what all zombie games do which is make all the zombies re-spawn which just kills the feel of the game.

                                                                  The voice acting was nothing great and you never cared about the characters or yourself. I also hate games where they put up barriers to keep you from places you want to go, but it’s something stupid like wooden planks in the water or the world’s largest and steepest hill.

                                                                  Totally let down by this game, I tried to do the boring missing and I even tried using weaker weapons for a challenge. However, in the end the game is just bad and it makes we wish I was that little girl.

                                                                  Most Hopeful: Star Wars: The Old Republic

                                                                  starwars-the old republic

                                                                  Sure, the game sold a lot and with backing from Bioware and EA I am sure it will do better than the last Star Wars MMO. I still had my doubts and did not read too much because I did not want to spoil the game one way or another and then I played it.

                                                                  First off, complete voice acting, good voice acting including multiple choices and side quests make a great RPG. For the first time in a long time I care about the story and can’t wait to see it unfold. I think about my decisions, how I act, what I do. I love the companion system that helps you solo or is great in a group and they talk and interact in the story as well.

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

                                                                  Old Republic even has great PVP within warzones and open world. Sure, there are bugs and if you read the forums you will see just as many complaints and whining as any other MMO, but if Bioware stays strong and adds more content, improves little by little and fixes bugs quickly this could be a game you will play for years to come.

                                                                  Your list

                                                                  So if you have one game to pick for biggest let down and most hopeful which would they be?

                                                                  Old Republic 1.0.1 Patch Notes

                                                                  Star wars the old republic mmo

                                                                  Since a ton of us at Obsolete Gamer are playing Star Wars and the MMO section is a little thin we will be bringing you updates and patch notes on The Old Republic. This is the first official patch notes and it looks to correct a lot of bugs and nerf slicing which I loved so much. I did notice they did not address a bug where it resets showing your Sith corruption whenever you zone. Another major change is making the rewards for losing a PVP Warzone much less, that should bring out some whiners.

                                                                  Here are the direct patch notes:

                                                                   

                                                                  Hello everyone!

                                                                  With this update, the first of many for Star Wars™: The Old Republic™, we have addressed several high-priority bugs. We’ve implemented fixes for those players affected by performance issues on Taris and have corrected the problem preventing some pending mission rewards from being accepted. Additionally, the issue that could cause some gathering nodes to appear unharvestable has been addressed, and you’ll notice several bug fixes relating to Flashpoint and Operation content.

                                                                  We’re committed providing the best possible MMO experience, and will continue releasing fixes and updates on a regular basis.

                                                                  Thank you for playing Star Wars: The Old Republic!

                                                                  1.0.1 Patch Notes 12/27/2011

                                                                   

                                                                  Classes and Combat

                                                                   

                                                                  Combat Bug Fixes

                                                                      • Fixed a bug that could cause the global cooldown to display incorrectly in the UI.
                                                                      • Abilities that require Companion Characters now always correctly require a companion.
                                                                      • NPCs no longer attempt to engage vanity pets in combat.

                                                                       

                                                                      Imperial Agent

                                                                       

                                                                      Operative

                                                                          • The tooltip for Acid Blade now displays the correct information.

                                                                          Companion Characters

                                                                           

                                                                          Companions

                                                                           

                                                                          Kira Carson

                                                                                • Fixed an issue that could cause Kira’s affection progression to become blocked.

                                                                                 

                                                                                Bug Fixes

                                                                                  • Companion Character dialogue now plays at the correct volume.

                                                                                  Crew Skills

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Gathering Skills

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Slicing

                                                                                        • Rewards from Slicing have been reduced to bring them into balance with other skills.
                                                                                        • Adjusted incorrect values for medium slicing boxes.

                                                                                         

                                                                                        Bug Fixes

                                                                                          • Corrected an issue that could cause some gathering nodes to appear as unharvestable.

                                                                                          Flashpoints and Operations

                                                                                           

                                                                                          Flashpoints

                                                                                           

                                                                                          Mandalorian Raiders

                                                                                                • Crowd control immunity has been removed from several members of the Enemy Boarding Party.

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                Colicoid War Game

                                                                                                      • An issue that prevented some players from mounting turrets in this Flashpoint has been corrected.

                                                                                                       

                                                                                                      The Red Reaper

                                                                                                            • Darth Ikoral now uses his abilities correctly.

                                                                                                             

                                                                                                            Directive 7

                                                                                                                  • Mentor now resets correctly if he defeats the player group.

                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                  Bug Fixes

                                                                                                                        • All players in a group who have a daily Flashpoint mission now get credit for completing that Flashpoint.

                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                        Operations

                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                        Eternity Vault

                                                                                                                              • Fixed an issue that could cause players to instantly die when affected by Soa’s knockback.
                                                                                                                              • Turrets in Normal Mode no longer behave as turrets from Hard Mode.
                                                                                                                              • Players are now able to properly obtain loot from chests.
                                                                                                                              • The Ancient Pylons now spawn enemies at the correct intervals.

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                              Karagga’s Palace

                                                                                                                                  • Players no longer need to reset this Operation if they do not defeat Bonethrasher.
                                                                                                                                  • Corrected an issue that caused some players to become stuck at the throne room door.

                                                                                                                                  Items

                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                  Bug Fixes

                                                                                                                                    • PvP lockboxes can no longer be sold for credits.
                                                                                                                                    • Fixed incorrect item rewards from PvP leveling lockboxes.

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                    Missions and NPCs

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                    Missions

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                    Imperial

                                                                                                                                          • A New Master: Defeating Teeno no longer causes him to surrender on top of Phyne, making him difficult to interact with.
                                                                                                                                          • General Faraire: All of Khourlet’s Elite Guards are now accessible by the player.

                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                          Bug Fixes

                                                                                                                                                • Fixed a mission-related issue that could cause poor performance and client crashes on Taris for some players.

                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                NPCs

                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                Bug Fixes

                                                                                                                                                    • Corrected several instances of non-interactive NPCs appearing and disappearing from the player’s view.

                                                                                                                                                    PvP

                                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                    Warzones

                                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                    General

                                                                                                                                                          • Rewards for winning Warzones have been increased.
                                                                                                                                                          • Warzone completion rewards have been decreased.

                                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                                          Bug Fixes

                                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                                          Voidstar

                                                                                                                                                              • Corrected an issue that could prevent some players from entering the Voidstar.
                                                                                                                                                              • Made adjustments to prevent attacking players from reaching the doors in the reactor core before bridges are extended.

                                                                                                                                                              UI

                                                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                                              Bug Fixes

                                                                                                                                                                • Fixed a bug that could prevent players from accepting pending mission rewards.
                                                                                                                                                                • Targeting a friendly player no longer occasionally displays incorrect text for the character’s name.
                                                                                                                                                                • Corrected an issue that could cause some auction expirations to behave incorrectly.
                                                                                                                                                                • The splash screen no longer displays longer than the “accept changes” dialogue when changing resolutions on some computers.
                                                                                                                                                                • Master Looter now works correctly for items being looted from chests.
                                                                                                                                                                • The server select screen no longer displays over the character select after being disconnected for being away.
                                                                                                                                                                • Corrected an issue that could cause mission mapnotes to disappear when a new mission is obtained.

                                                                                                                                                                Miscellaneous Bug Fixes

                                                                                                                                                                • Special characters no longer display incorrectly in the French credits.
                                                                                                                                                                • Remaining baby names have been added to the credits.
                                                                                                                                                                • Corrected a link that displayed in French and German versions when the servers are unavailable.

                                                                                                                                                                A little game called HuttBall

                                                                                                                                                                [youtube id=”UgHCYaN_V3Q” width=”633″ height=”356″]

                                                                                                                                                                The thing about games like theses is you can easily believe the goal is to kill people and sadly like many Battlegrounds in World of Warcraft people only care about their kill count.~J.A. Laraque

                                                                                                                                                                A little game called HuttBall

                                                                                                                                                                So this is not so much a full guide as it is a small explanation of one of the PVP battle zones in Star Wars the Old Republic. Hutt ball is kind of like Rugby with guns and light sabers. The overall goal is to take the ball that spawns in the center of the arena to the enemies end. This sounds simple enough except the enemy team can do anything to stop you.

                                                                                                                                                                huttball

                                                                                                                                                                The thing about games like theses is you can easily believe the goal is to kill people and sadly like many Battlegrounds in World of Warcraft people only care about their kill count. The arena has two main hazards that can be used to your advantage. One is several fire burners than are on a timer and if you get caught on top of one when they go off you are as good as dead. The second are two acid pits that when you fall in them kill your pretty quickly. Also, when you fall inside them you walk slowly so the chances of you getting out are slim.

                                                                                                                                                                Huttball_fire

                                                                                                                                                                Looking at the arena there are various platforms that can lead to the enemy goal line and many ways you can get knocked off pretty much guaranteeing you won’t score. This is where knockback abilities come in. Almost every class in SWTOR has some form of knockback and this can be used to knock you into fire, acid or off the platform.

                                                                                                                                                                Another very useful tool is stuns or things to slow you down. First off, everyone can sprint when not in combat so when fighting you walk slower. Pretty much all classes can slow you down or stop you in your tracks with an ability. Stopping or slowing an enemy can be used for people holding the ball and for those going after the person with the ball. To combat this you can pass the ball to people.

                                                                                                                                                                Unfortunately, most people don’t pass or even know you can. Passing is done by clicking the pass button and then moving the icon over to where you want to pass it. Keep in mind if the person moves or is killed then the ball falls and respawns in the center. An enemy player can also intercept the pass.

                                                                                                                                                                Huttball_arena

                                                                                                                                                                Passing is great if your team is split between defending the ball carrier and moving ahead in case the ball carrier gets trapped or slowed or caught in something. The winning teams learn to pass to the right people at the right time and when done right can mean a quick win.

                                                                                                                                                                There are a ton of different strategies to this game, however, most people just run around killing with only a few really trying to score or defend. Perhaps there is because the game is still new or because like in W.O.W some people really just suck at anything besides pressing a button to kill someone.

                                                                                                                                                                Overall, the game is fun with a good team and if you go in as a guild or with friends it can really be fun if you another good team. The best part is there are no ties, if the score is tied whoever has the ball when time expires wins.

                                                                                                                                                                Just one tiny part of Old Republic that makes it a really great MMO.

                                                                                                                                                                Tie Fighter

                                                                                                                                                                Serve the Emperor! Join the Imperial Navy and save the Galaxy!

                                                                                                                                                                The back cover blurb of one of 1994’s best PC games began with these words, and what an amazing game it was.  Star Wars TIE Fighter was the sequel to the amazing Star Wars: X-Wing Space Combat Simulator, and it gave players the chance to play for the other team:  The Empire.

                                                                                                                                                                1994's Star Wars TIE Fighter

                                                                                                                                                                1994’s Star Wars TIE Fighter

                                                                                                                                                                I loved the setup to this game: the Rebellion are called “terrorists” and a threat to peace and order in the galaxy.  But the game isn’t just about taking on the Rebellion; your rookie Imperial Pilot is tasked with wiping out pirates, ferreting out corruption in the Imperial Navy, and disposing of other criminal elements.  In all, there are around 50 missions you get to embark on.

                                                                                                                                                                Not only could you play fly various missions for your commanding officer, you could also choose to enter into a secret service for the Emperor.  A shadowy member of the Emperor’s Inner Circle gives the player further objectives to fulfill.  These optional briefings add more information to what’s going on in the game as they reveal more and more of the plot.  You don’t need to complete them to finish the game, but they’re fun!

                                                                                                                                                                While John Williams’ original soundtrack plays in the background, the player gets to fly a variety of space craft, which include: TIE fighters, TIE bombers, TIE Interceptors, TIE Advanced, TIE Defender (awesome!), and assault gunboats.  Personages you interact with include Emperor Palpatine, Grand Admiral Thrawn, Grand Admiral Zaarin, and, of course, Darth Vader.  If you complete the game and save the Emperor you can expect a closing ceremony reminiscent of the one at the end of the original Star Wars movie, except this time it’s all in the Imperial motif.

                                                                                                                                                                Tie Fighter - 1994 - Gameplay Screenshot - Lord Vader

                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                Lord Vader expresses his displeasure.

                                                                                                                                                                There was an expansion disk pack released for TIE Fighter called Defender of the Empire, which added a few more missions, but didn’t do much in advancing the storyline.  A second expansion pack called Enemies of the Empire was originally planned for an independent release, but ended up as an added bonus to the CD-ROM release of TIE Fighter, called – appropriately enough – Star Wars TIE Fighter Collector’s CD-ROM.  The CD version includes Defender of the Empire, and offers around 100 missions to fly.  This is retro gaming at its finest, so if you never played TIE Fighter, it’s time to suit up and restore order to the galaxy – your Emperor commands it!

                                                                                                                                                                [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffh65UsBQvM[/youtube]

                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                Star Wars: Dark Forces

                                                                                                                                                                With the release of DOOM in 1993, the gaming industry went into overdrive in coming up with similar games using the first-person perspective.  Some games, such a as Heretic and Hexen, simply licensed id Software’s game engine.  Others choose to build their own 3-D first-person shooters from the ground up.  LucasArts Entertainment was one of the latter companies, and Star Wars: Dark Forces was their first stab at the genre.

                                                                                                                                                                Star Wars - Dark Forces - Box

                                                                                                                                                                Box cover for the 1995 game Star Wars: Dark Forces

                                                                                                                                                                Released in 1995, Dark Forces was the first Jedi Knight game, though the original release did not use the “Jedi Knight: Dark Forces” tagline.  Later re-releases would, however. The story revolves around a mercenary called Kyle Katarn, an ex-soldier of the Empire who now works freelance for the Rebel Alliance.  After a minor interlude wherein Kyle steals the plans for some obscure new Imperial weapon called the “Death Star”, our hero is tasked with investigating General Rom Mohc and his plans for creating a new weapon for the Empire: the Dark Troopers.

                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                Star Wars - Dark Forces - Gameplay Screenshot

                                                                                                                                                                The game plays out over 14 levels in which Kyle takes on a variety of low-level enemies, such as stormtroopers, Imperial Officers, Gamorrean guards.  Kyle visits famous locales from the Star Wars universe, such as the Imperial capital, Corsucant, the “Smuggler’s Moon”, Nar Shaddaa, and the Imperial Super Star DestroyerExecutor, and interacts with classic characters such as Jabba the Hutt and Mon Mothma.  There are the obligatory cameos by Darth Vader and Boba Fett, but there’s no interaction between Kyle and them.  (Which is probably a good idea, as any of the heavy-hitters of the Star Wars universe would be able to use him as a mop at this point in his fictional career).

                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                Star Wars - Dark Forces - Gameplay Screenshot

                                                                                                                                                                The action is in the first-person perspective, and unlike DOOM, you can look up and down for your enemies, all the better to locate and eliminate them.  Although later in the game series Kyle hears the call of the Jedi, there’s no lightsaber action in this game.  However, there are plenty of other weapons to keep you interested, including the Bryar pistol, the standard stormtrooper E-11 blaster rifle, thermal detonators, the absolutely awesome Stouker concussion rifle, and the Dark Trooper assault cannon (the best way to take those bad boys out).

                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                Star Wars - Dark Forces - Gameplay Screenshot

                                                                                                                                                                Dark Forces was released on three platforms, all CD-based.  Its initial release came in MS-DOS format (PC), followed quickly by a Macintosh version, and finally a Sony PlayStation (PS1) version a year later.  Both the MS-DOS and Macintosh versions are similar to each other, and play well, but the PS1 version suffers from the translation, and is an inferior game.

                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                Star Wars - Dark Forces - Gameplay Screenshot - Playstation

                                                                                                                                                                The game was a tremendous hit for LucasArts, generating close to a million units sold, and ranking one of the top-selling games of the 1990s.  The critical reviews were also very favourable, with many comparing Dark Forces to id Software’s masterpiece, DOOM.  Of course, with both critical and financial success came the sequel parade, and LucasArts knew a good property when they saw one.  Dark Forces spawned Jedi Knight, which was an even better game than its predecessor (and which begat its own sequel and an expansion pack!).

                                                                                                                                                                Star Wars - Dark Forces - Gameplay Screenshot - Mac

                                                                                                                                                                Box front for the Macintosh version of Dark Forces

                                                                                                                                                                All in all, Dark Forces is a very good game and should be on any retro gamer’s resume. If you haven’t played it before, consider giving it a little time in your retrogaming play list and help Kyle Katarn stop the threat of the Dark Trooper program once and for all!

                                                                                                                                                                [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RR1qrAi3gL0[/youtube]

                                                                                                                                                                Jedi Kittens Strike Back

                                                                                                                                                                Jedi Kittens Strike Back

                                                                                                                                                                Seriously, this video short was made for Youtube. What goes together better than Star Wars and Kittens, I mean really.

                                                                                                                                                                [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z3r9X8OahA[/youtube]

                                                                                                                                                                Video Info:

                                                                                                                                                                Tweet: http://bit.ly/JediKittensStrikeBack
                                                                                                                                                                The Jedi Kittens are striking back with with an action packed adventure. Who can resist the X-Wing and Tie Fighting kittens!

                                                                                                                                                                Join my facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/thefinalcutking

                                                                                                                                                                Music composed by Andrew Gerlicher –http://www.youtube.com/user/ForgeTrackAudio1024

                                                                                                                                                                Special thanks to Aaron Benitez for helping me shoot.http://www.youtube.com/thevfxbro

                                                                                                                                                                Behind the scenes are coming tomorrow on the second channel.
                                                                                                                                                                No Cats were harmed – in fact they were rescued. Meow

                                                                                                                                                                The Clone Wars – Season 4 – Extended Trailer

                                                                                                                                                                Star-Wars-The-Clone-Wars

                                                                                                                                                                Following the excitement of a thrilling Season Three finale that brought back one of the most beloved characters in the Star Wars universe, Cartoon Network today announced that Star Wars: The Clone Wars will premiere 22 all-new episodes for Season Four of the critically acclaimed CG-animated series from creator George Lucas and Lucasfilm Animation. The special, one-hour Season Four premiere event of Star Wars: The Clone Wars airs Friday, September 16, at 8 p.m. (et/pt).

                                                                                                                                                                [youtube width=”600″ height=”480″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9A9C1S1QCGU[/youtube]

                                                                                                                                                                The Fresh Prince of the Dark Side Pranks Christian TV

                                                                                                                                                                The Fresh Prince of the Dark Side Pranks Christian TV

                                                                                                                                                                Anyone remember old phone pranks, I guess not, but this is today’s version of that. This is a video from a guy who sent in an e-mail to a Christian call in television show. Just watch as the guy begins to read it before he figures out what it is.

                                                                                                                                                                [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZUB0kLLBUA[/youtube]

                                                                                                                                                                Here is the full e-mail:

                                                                                                                                                                Thought you all might be interested in the rest of the text he didn’t read out. Here is the original email:
                                                                                                                                                                I am a newly born-again Christian and would like to share my story of salvation with you.

                                                                                                                                                                I was born in West Philadelphia and also raised there. I spent most of my days playing basketball on a playground – but also chilling out and relaxing. But then one day a couple of guys who were up to no good starting making trouble in my living area. I ended up getting into a fight, which terrified my mother. As a result she sent me away from West Philadelphia to the most peaceful area of Bel Air to live with my Auntie. On my journey to Bel Air, I whistled for a cab but it was noticable that the cab driver was not licensed. I ignored my concerns and told him to make haste to Bel Air. We arrived at the house some time between seven and eight pm and I was glad to see the back of the cab driver. I looked at the house and I was very impressed with the quality of living that my auntie possessed. I realised that I could get used to this lifestyle.

                                                                                                                                                                However, whatever was missing in my life when I lived in West Philadelphia was still there. I felt no happier, although everything was indicating that I should. My auntie took me to church that sunday. I hadn’t been for several years. And I had a wonderful chat with so many beautfiul people. For the first time in my life I felt complete. I was finally there. To sit next to Jesus on his throne as the prince of heaven.

                                                                                                                                                                God Bless,
                                                                                                                                                                Keira

                                                                                                                                                                A Long Time Ago, In A Galaxy Far Far Away A World Came To An End


                                                                                                                                                                It fills me with great sadness to deliver this message to those of you who enjoyed the hell out of Star Wars Galaxies before it turned into a shade of its former glory, but SOE has decided to pull the plug.

                                                                                                                                                                Dear Star Wars Galaxies™ Community Member,

                                                                                                                                                                We write to you today to inform you that on December 15, 2011, Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) and LucasArts will end all services (MMO and Trading Card Game) for Star Wars Galaxies (SWG). The shutdown of SWG is a very difficult decision, but SOE and LucasArts have mutually agreed that the end of 2011 is the appropriate time to end the game.
                                                                                                                                                                We are extremely grateful to all of the SWG fans. We have had the rare opportunity to host one of the most dedicated and passionate online gaming communities and we truly appreciate the support we’ve received from each and every one of you over the course of the past eight years.

                                                                                                                                                                In recognition of your incredible loyalty, we are extending special Fan Appreciation offers to the current SWG community. We also plan to go out with a bang with a galaxy-ending in-game event in December and hope to see you all there. The details relating to these offers and events as well as the timeline and specifics regarding the discontinuation of the service, are provided below.
                                                                                                                                                                Again, we want to extend our heartfelt thanks to our player community for making SWG one of the best online communities in gaming history.
                                                                                                                                                                Sincerely,
                                                                                                                                                                Sony Online Entertainment & LucasArts

                                                                                                                                                                The Fine Details:

                                                                                                                                                                Discontinuation of Services:
                                                                                                                                                                As of September 15, 2011, the SWG MMO and Trading Card Game will no longer be available for sale or subscription at both retail and all online digital retailers. All billing for active subscribers with accounts in good standing, except for Station Access subscribers, will end on October 15, 2011.

                                                                                                                                                                If you are an active subscriber in good standing as of September 15, 2011, then you can play for free for the final months. Players wishing to play through the end of the game and participate in the galaxy-ending event planned for the last week of live service in December will need to re-activate or join the game on or before September 15th. No new or reactivated accounts will be accepted after September 15, 2011.
                                                                                                                                                                As of today, June 24, 2011, we are discontinuing the 12, 6, and 3-month subscription plans, meaning these subscription options will no longer be offered for newly created SWG accounts. SWG subscribers who have prepaid six (6) or twelve (12)-month game time plans that extend their subscription period past October 15, 2011 will receive a pro-rated refund for any such pre-paid excess subscription payments*. Such refunds are expected to be issued within 90-days after the game ends.
                                                                                                                                                                In addition, we will be discontinuing the sale of all Star Wars Galaxies™ Trading Card Game (TCG) digital card packs as of today, June 24, 2011. Loot cards will not be redeemable in the SWG MMO after September 15, 2011. The TCG will continue to operate until the final service closure on December 15, 2011.

                                                                                                                                                                Galaxy-Ending Event – Be Part of this Historic Event
                                                                                                                                                                During the last week that SWG is available, we’re inviting the community to participate in a galaxy-ending event. We’re going to end with a bang and we want the final chapter of the galaxy to be written in part by the dedicated and passionate SWG community. Details will be announced at a later date.

                                                                                                                                                                Fan Appreciation Offers
                                                                                                                                                                We welcome those active SWG subscribers in good standing to play one or all of the below SOE massively-multiplayer online PC games at a fully-paid subscriber status (or “membership” status where relevant) at no cost between October 15, 2011 and December 31, 2011 (subject to the terms and conditions described below). To activate these special offers, use the same Station Account you use now to subscribe to SWG** and simply click on the game you would like to try to download the game software. We are offering the following SOE games: Free Realms®, Star Wars®: Clone Wars Adventures™, EverQuest®, EverQuest® II and DC Universe™ Online. The game software will all be made available for download on a link accessible from the StarWarsGalaxies.com web site beginning on October 15, 2011.

                                                                                                                                                                Marvel Video: Little Thor

                                                                                                                                                                Little-Thor

                                                                                                                                                                Remember the Star Wars Volkswagon commercial where the little kid is dressed as Darth Vader and tries to command his dog? Well, it appears Marvel loved that and decided to whip up a little video using a little Thor.

                                                                                                                                                                httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPNjWWQqWCA

                                                                                                                                                                There are also a ton of Marvel related Easter Eggs within the video, can you find them all?

                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                Iron Man 2 Review

                                                                                                                                                                Iron Man 2 - Movie Poster

                                                                                                                                                                Iron Man 2 (2010)
                                                                                                                                                                Director: Jon Favreau Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Samuel L Jackson

                                                                                                                                                                Certificate: 12 Running Time: 124 Minutes

                                                                                                                                                                I don’t think too many people would argue that the first Iron Man was a surprise hit. It had all the right ingredients to be one, but was still a gamble – rookie director, risky casting, unproven draw power of character – but happily it payed off; Iron Man proved to be one of the most enjoyable comic-book adpations to date, thanks in no small part to Jon Favreau’s sublime direction and the irresistable charisma of Robert Downey Jr. Thankfully, they both return in this well-timed sequel. But herein lies the problem… The first film ended up such a hit, Iron Man 2, unlike its predecessor, had a lot to live up to. The weight of expectation has killed many a film, but did it kill this one?

                                                                                                                                                                Iron Man 2 - Movie Screenshot 1
                                                                                                                                                                Picking up six months after the first film, Tony is fresh from his revelatory press conference and is soon being hounded by the Government to hand his Iron Man suit technology over to them for mass production. However, between outsmarting them in court, humilating his newly prevalent competitors (including Rockwell on top form as Justin Hammer), and of course, continuing the good fight against bad guys, Tony is also starting to suffer – use of the arc-reactor keeping him alive is also slowly poisoning him. As a result he is becoming despondent and acting more and more recklessly, including handing Pepper the job of CEO of Stark Industries (filling her former position with Natalie, played by Johansson), while he entertains revellers at his newly ressurected Expo, larking about at the Monaco Grand Prix, and getting drunk in the Iron Man suit at what he believes to be his last birthday party.
                                                                                                                                                                Iron Man 2 - Movie Screenshot 3
                                                                                                                                                                While all this is going on, a former close colleague of Tony’s father, Anton Vanko, is spending his final few days in poverty in Russia, leaving his son, Ivan (Rourke), to seek revenge against wrongs apparently committed by Stark Snr. Turning up in the middle of a race at the aforementioned race circuit, it’s soon apparent that Ivan has a few tricks of his own, resulting in possibly the movie’s grandest set-piece. Despite barely scraping through this first encounter, Tony’s reckless behaviour continues, to the increasing concern of Pepper (Paltrow) and Rhodey (Cheadle), culminating in a house-destroying rumble with the latter whilst wearing the silver Mark II suit. Before long, however, Nick Fury arrives, expanding on his cameo from the first film, to give Tony a good hard kick in the behind! Newly invigorated and with a fresh sense of purpose, Tony sets out to stop a similarly determined, not to mention Justin Hammer-assisted, Vanko once and for all.
                                                                                                                                                                Iron Man 2 - Movie Screenshot 5
                                                                                                                                                                For a film driven by a tale of revenge, Iron Man 2 had the potential to be much darker than its predecessor, much like Empire Strikes Back was to Star Wars, but it’s surprisingly bereft of negative emotions, instead presenting most scenes in a light-hearted, sometimes comedic way. Fair enough, the first film did this too, but the effect is more noticable here due in no small part to Rourke’s imposing performance as scruffy, tattooed Vanko (an amalgamation of two villians from the comics), a.k.a. the aptly-named Whiplash. Downey Jr is once again on top form as Stark, especially when he’s out of the armour, verbally sparring with all and sundry, and Cheadle takes over from Terrence Howard as Rhodey. Whilst both are great actors, I personally always find it annoying when different actors play the same character (except for older and younger versions or something). Nonetheless, Rhodey remains as likeble as ever, although also somewhat more conflicted than in the last film too.
                                                                                                                                                                Iron Man 2 - Movie Screenshot 2
                                                                                                                                                                Iron Man 2 is pretty much more of the same. It gives our hero more to do, introduces a few new characters like the slimy Justin Hammer and the mysterious Natalie, expands some existing characters (Favreau’s own Happy Hogan, for example, gets a lot more screen time, as does Sam Jackson’s Nick Fury), and even adds a dollop or romance. Overall, it could’ve been a very different kind of movie than it is, in different hands, but would that’ve made it better or worse? It’s hard to say, but as it stands, despite a slightly disappointing final battle, it’s a good film and a good sequel, and I’m not sure you can really ask for much more.

                                                                                                                                                                RKS Score: 7/10

                                                                                                                                                                Star Wars Battlefront II

                                                                                                                                                                Star Wars Battlefront II - PC Box
                                                                                                                                                                The pc gaming genre I appreciate the most has always been the Adventure Game. I simply can’t stress enough, how much I enjoyed the vintage classics of Lucasarts and Sierra. How carelessly I danced around them wearing only a green wig and chanting ecstatically ‘Oi, oi, that’s life. Ei, ei, I love adventures’ etc. How I gloriously spent my money on them. How I desperately searched for walkthroughs. How many of them I actually missed. Pah. Those were the days.

                                                                                                                                                                On the other hand, I can neither stress how disappointed in Lucasarts I currently am. Not only have they dumped adventures, but also rejected any kind of creativity and/or originality by producing a torrent of mediocre and/or lackluster Star Wars action and(/or) ‘strategy’ games. Star Wars Battlefront was a prime example of this trend. A desperate clone of Battlefield 1942 with Star Wars models and textures, featuring awful gameplay.

                                                                                                                                                                Enter Star Wars Battlefront II.

                                                                                                                                                                Star Wars Battlefront II - Gameplay Screenshot

                                                                                                                                                                It is not an original concept. It is a Lucasarts product. It is a Star Wars game. It’s not an adventure. It is a First Person Shooter with a strong multiplayer aspect. I honestly enjoyed it.

                                                                                                                                                                SWBFII is such an improvement over its predecessor it totally surprised me and reminded me how fond of Star Wars games (TIE Fighter is what I am actually referring to) I once used to be. There are lots of excellent maps, vastly improved game mechanics, four different factions, many weapons and classes to choose from, playable characters (Darth Vader and co.) that can be used in multiplayer battles, a decent single player campaign, driveable vehicles and even a small but interesting strategic mode called Galactic Conquest (unfortunately only for the single player mode). By far though, the most interesting new feature is the inclusion of space battles. X-Wings, B-Wings, Y-Wings, TIE Fighters and the rest are all there in a highly enjoyable space flight sim in the style of X-Wing versus TIE Fighter. You can even land inside enemy motherships and fight for tyranny or freedom on foot. You can even play capture the flag in space! Joy. Lots and lots of hours of joy actually, since this is a game that really has dozens of hours worth of gameplay to offer.
                                                                                                                                                                Star Wars Battlefront II - Gameplay Screenshot 1

                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                Obviously and unfortunately all is not perfect. The 3d engine seems a bit dated, a lack of overall polish is evident, there are some minor bot A.I. problems, no in-mission save points in the campaign and you get to play Princess Leia. On the multiplayer front you wont have any trouble finding people to play against, but you will have lag trouble in some of the larger maps.
                                                                                                                                                                And it definitely isn’t the most original or artistic game I have ever seen…

                                                                                                                                                                That’s a (seven) out of (ten).

                                                                                                                                                                DCUO: Qualms With The Game And A Plea For Fixes

                                                                                                                                                                Bat Family DCUO screenshot
                                                                                                                                                                Bat Family DCUO screenshot

                                                                                                                                                                DCUO: Qualms With The Game And A Plea For Fixes

                                                                                                                                                                This is a copy/pasta of a post I made on the DCUO official forums.

                                                                                                                                                                I am writing this in hopes that SOE sees this and takes the time to actually start some sort of plan to save their latest MMO DC Universe Online. I am not calling in the apocalypse of this game but I am simply stating that right now it has been poisoned by bugs. I have played many MMORPGs and since World of Warcraft’s release there haven’t been many AAA MMO launches. Many games falter in their idea to cash in on the WoW craze and create clones and other games try mechanics that just seem to fall flat because they failed to fix game breaking bugs before release. I don’t have much faith in many of the MMO’s coming out in 2011 but I did feel and still do feel that DCUO was going to be the one to stand with the greatest potential.

                                                                                                                                                                Lawl? Did u not hear of Star Wars TOR, newb?

                                                                                                                                                                Okay, fellow forum readers. Yes I’ve heard of Star Wars but I do not have high hopes for that game as I generally don’t see things with rose tinted glasses. But this is besides the point. I don’t want to banter SOE with “IM GUNNA QUIT AND GO TO ” bull. I don’t want to put out an angry, unproductive statement out that does nothing but sound like another QQ fest. I want to state what I think they need to fix in order to prevent this game to going into a crippling decline.

                                                                                                                                                                People in my guild r already leaving, newb! Dis gaem is a failure.

                                                                                                                                                                I understand that people are leaving but people always leave MMO’s in their first month. It’s a common thing to see a mass exodus of people leave one game, talk highly of the new toy, and then pinch a loaf all over that toy, and go back to another game that presents the same grind or what not. That isn’t a great argument at this point as it is a common thing amongst MMO gamers.

                                                                                                                                                                Now that I have the generic forum responses out of the way, let me get into my issues with the game and why they are stunting to its growth.

                                                                                                                                                                League Chat Breaking

                                                                                                                                                                Never have I played a game where a chat is broken. Shout is never broken, yet somehow, some way, League chat breaks. How are groups of people supposed to connect to enjoy the game together? No one plays an MMO to play it in solidarity for everlasting months. The thing that keeps people playing is 1) Yes, content, but we’ll get into that later and 2) the ability to form bonds with fellow server mates for an enjoyable experience.

                                                                                                                                                                Those of you who have spent time with guildies or leaguers and just goofed off racing around cities, griefing someone as a group, or just doing something pointless can attest to the good times that can be had with friends and clansmen. Even without additional content, good friends can make a game last awhile, probably not as long as a game with constant content, but they’ll last longer than the average solo king player.

                                                                                                                                                                League Chat breaking over and over seems like an easy bug to fix as most MMO’s don’t seem to screw up their chat systems. This is the first time I’ve ever witnessed this kind of issue in anything ever. Without League chat, what’s the point of a League? How can people communicate or introduce themselves to one another? No bonds are made thus no establishment is set into the game’s community causing a rift of players to either leave to where they came from or hold out until the next MMO that will save them.

                                                                                                                                                                Queues Breaking

                                                                                                                                                                I can see how this is an issue that can take awhile to resolve but it should have been resolved early on towards the end of beta. Some sort of contingency plan should have been brought up to fix the issue if queuing loads being too dramatically hectic is causing them to shatter. If it isn’t the load of players using the queuing system that is breaking it, then what is it? What is so difficult to fix that it has taken two weeks for someone to still not figure out?

                                                                                                                                                                A lot of games have a ton of levels for you to grind through so it takes awhile for major sums of their player base to hit the endgame cap. DCUO makes you super right away by making hitting 30  a quick and easy thing to do. This is mostly because most of the content is for level 30 characters. That is great but when most of this content is governed by the queue system, well that is where the main focal point of the game’s design seems to get blinded.

                                                                                                                                                                How is a game that promotes fast leveling and quick end game experience supposed to last when their main method of entering these adventures is blocked by a queue system that breaks too often. PvP queues, Duo queues, Alert queues, all broken. The only queue that seems to work is The Vault and that is completely aside from anything else as it just teleports you to a single player map.

                                                                                                                                                                But OP! You can run to Arkham, Containment Facilities, and many more!

                                                                                                                                                                That’s true, poster. You could run to those instances. I, for one, have been. I refuse to allow a broken queue to stop me but when I can’t do my duos or get into certain instances, I feel like I’m being cheated. I’m not saying that SOE owes me Marks of Triumph (though, that’d be pretty nice.) but I do feel like I’m paying $15 a month to be blocked out of content I was able to play earlier in the week.

                                                                                                                                                                Watchtower Crashes

                                                                                                                                                                This bug personally hasn’t affected me but I can see where the issue can bother some people. In WoW, when Eastern Kingdoms or Kalimdor crashed, you couldn’t get on your character in that continent. However, there was another continent always available for both factions.

                                                                                                                                                                When Watchtower is down, you’re locking out a good chunk of one faction while the other isn’t hindered at all. This is an increasingly difficult issue because if queues aren’t working, and Watchtower is down, so goes your cross city travel system.

                                                                                                                                                                Bugs I Can Deal WIth For Now

                                                                                                                                                                There are certain bugs I can handle right now because there are work arounds for them, but that doesn’t mean to ignore them.

                                                                                                                                                                I can deal with the platform in Star Labs arena being exploited by flying enemies contesting the node from underneath since I’m a pro and took grounding abilities.

                                                                                                                                                                I can deal with the loot bug at the end of an alert where if I hit L before seeing the “overall data” chart  I won’t get to roll on the item. I already know to wait but I can see where a ton of people would be having an issue over this. (Protip: Leave the instance and you can still hit need out of the alert and the item will go to you and show up in your bag.)

                                                                                                                                                                You Sound Mad, Bro! Do You Like Anything About This Game?

                                                                                                                                                                Yes, I like this game and unlike many people I have faith in SOE. I know EQ2 was a pile of garbage but they really turned that game around. If it released maybe 2-3 years ago instead of 6 it could have been a contender, it could have been a somebody! They dish out content in that game constantly and it’s great to see a company throwing resources into a dying game like that (though they probably wouldn’t admit EQ2 is suffering.).

                                                                                                                                                                Of the MMO’s I’ve played at release, this game is pretty solid and enjoyable. I know they’ll keep pushing out content because they understand how big DC is right now with Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, the upcoming Green Lantern,  the role DC heroes play in children’s media, the announcement of the new Superman flick, and the success of Smallville.

                                                                                                                                                                The combat system isn’t something you find in any MMORPG to date and it works out for the action packed fluidity of the comic book genre. I never thought the class system in this game would work because class systems tend to fail in most Super Hero MMO attempts but I think this is probably one of the best implementations out there and I have no issues with the balance of paper, rock, scissors. I enjoy the three class trinity synergy and the ability for anyone to DPS.

                                                                                                                                                                The excitement of being able to fight side by side with notable characters, heroes and villains alike, adds to the feel of the game. The voice work is grand and I hope they can keep it up, unlike in EQ2 where they stopped their voice acting in newer installments of content. With Time Warner having some role over the development of this game, though, and their ability to profit from it as well, I can see the voice acting remaining relevant  if the game remains a standing contender in the current 2011 MMO battle.

                                                                                                                                                                So as you can see, I am satisfied with the game. I am still hyped up and enjoying everything I possibly can right now with DCUO. It’s fresh, different, and exciting especially with friends. I would like to keep it that way.

                                                                                                                                                                I know that SOE is planning a huge update of content in February but please do try to fix the bugs as well first or simultaneously. Additional content is useless with a dwindling player base.

                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                MMO’s Coming Out In 2011 Are Already Behind The Curve

                                                                                                                                                                2011 sure seemed like a year that would be promising us some exciting upcoming titles in the MMORPG world. With Star Wars: The Old Republic, Rifts of Telara, and DC Universe Online it appeared at first glance that there finally would be some promising games out there which fought back against the monster known as World of Warcraft. I, for one, was in this crowd of believers looking forward to something fresh and a chance to move onto to greener fields.

                                                                                                                                                                Rift MMO plant
                                                                                                                                                                Rift MMO plant

                                                                                                                                                                Unfortunately, from my time playing the beta for some of these games and then also playing World of Warcraft’s latest expansion Cataclysm, I have to say that World of Warcraft has trumped the genre yet again.

                                                                                                                                                                But Umar, how can you say that? Those games are in beta and things always change!

                                                                                                                                                                Yeah, okay. People said that about Final Fantasy XIV, Age Of Conan, Warhammer Online, and Champions Online. Where are they now? Age of Conan is struggling to show some respectable numbers while being considered another tally of fuck ups by Funcom, discussions about putting FFXIV on a free to play model are on the table with Square-Enix already boasting a whopping 2 million active characters (look closely at the bolded word), Mythic is essentially dissolving with employee blogs ranting about the horribly typical EA experience they are suffering from (WAR really needs a F2P model if it’s going to stand up ever again), and Champions is already on a F2P market and is shitting bricks from the upcoming DC title.

                                                                                                                                                                Beta did not change those games. They have remained garbage and will never be something worth a purchase.

                                                                                                                                                                It’s time to take off those rosy glasses of hope and look at reality for a minute. Nothing has come to close to taking a slice of this market no matter how much you whine.
                                                                                                                                                                For the longest time, you’d hear me complaining about World of Warcraft and its flaws and its lack of this and that, but those were the days of Burning Crusade. The game has progressed leaps and bounds from release. I honestly have no qualms about it. What were the typical issues people had with WoW?
                                                                                                                                                                It’s too easy, Umar!

                                                                                                                                                                Okay, you nerdy Sephiroth cosplaying queer. Have you played Cataclysm? A PUG can barely clear a heroic now if most of the people you group with have downs. Oh, and don’t say “The WoW community is filled with bad players.” That’s easy to say. Most people I know that say that and then either play WoW or another MMO with me are usually just as bad as any other idiot I could PUG with.

                                                                                                                                                                WoW’s graphics are out of date!

                                                                                                                                                                Yeah, they are but it works with their art style. You need things to look pretty to have fun? Plants VS Zombies wasn’t enjoyable? Mario Kart isn’t fun? Let’s go play something pretty like Final Fantasy XIV. I’m sure that’ll be a great experience. Or let’s play Age of Conan where even the most high end computers at the time were struggling to display some of the graphics. Graphics shouldn’t be on the top of your list for playability as opposed to the actual style of the game.

                                                                                                                                                                I think you’re stupid and gay, Umar! Star Wars is going to be awesome!

                                                                                                                                                                Thanks, asshole. Enjoy Star Wars then. I’m not telling people to not play it as much as I’m saying that future upcoming MMORPGs are already behind what Cataclysm has presented. Star Wars will have what? Epic dialogue and a story? That is fantastic. Cataclysm already makes your character feel like they were part of a story, maybe not on the scale of Star Wars with all the cinematics, camera angles, and voice acting, but they did make your character more involved in the storyline.

                                                                                                                                                                Bioware already claimed that they won’t have much endgame and that they encourage people to roll alts to see the story from a different perspective. This is a “Choose your destiny” book in virtual form. All you’re getting is a story and not many innovative mechanics. They barely ever talk about actual gameplay and mechanics as much as they talk about the story portion of the game and the classes. “Hey guys we’ve got spaceships and Jedi! Cool shit, huh?” This is a niche game and once your story is over that’s it. Bioware isn’t known for making difficult games that require strategy and skill. Putting Mass Effect 2 on harder difficulties just meant you took more damage. Wowzers!

                                                                                                                                                                Rifts of Telara has already thrown in the towel by conceding the fact their game is more like Vanilla WoW than WoW in its current state. Vanilla WoW was one of the most raw and broken starts to an MMO. Gamers today are crying for innovation and polish. Not a throwback to olden times. Rifts is going to be what Vanguard was to Everquest 1. An old school reincarnation that will fall flat in the present.

                                                                                                                                                                The only game I think that can even grab a slice of the MMO market is DCUO. I’m not talking about a game that will take subs from World of Warcraft but a game that can fill that super hero niche that Champions failed to quench. City of Heroes is already too old school and bland even with all their amazing patches. DCUO has that opportunity to grab the market from those games and even pull in more people who cream to “Smallville” and “The Dark Knight”. It isn’t competing against the elephant in the room but against the carrion dogs roaming about.

                                                                                                                                                                If you don’t agree with me, that’s fine. You can think what you want and I can still think you’re a bag of dicks. What am I saying is going to come to true because my word is not only correct but absolute. These MMOs will fall flat with the exception of DCUO if Sony actually markets a game this time. Time will allow you to see the truth and your bottled-up, unbridled nerd pride will nourish me when you fail to accept my prophecy.

                                                                                                                                                                What is the best classic space shooter and why?

                                                                                                                                                                Space Shooter arcade
                                                                                                                                                                Space Shooter arcade

                                                                                                                                                                There are a ton of great space shooters from console to PC and it started with a simple premise, invaders from space. Something as simple as shooting down attacking aliens became one of the most played shooters in history. I guess technically since the ship is on earth it is not a space shooter, but you get the point. In years since we have fired off shots at everything from Asteroids to Intergalactic warlords and had a ton of fun doing it.

                                                                                                                                                                We are beginning a new season with the Insider Discussion and will be focusing more on ranking, commenting and comparing classic games and what better place to start than with the space shooter. I personally loved the space shooter from Galaga to Tie Fighter to Descent, but honestly there was one game I really got into overall.

                                                                                                                                                                Freelancer

                                                                                                                                                                I loved this game because it was the first that felt really open ended to me. You started off as a jack-of-all trade’s character and from there you could decide what you wanted to do. There was an overall storyline, but you could go off on your own and fight against various factions. You could be a good guy or a bad guy, a pirate or an agent of the law, a miner, a broker or a thief, there were tons of choices.

                                                                                                                                                                There were also tons of areas with wide open space areas full of other ships and hazards. What I really enjoyed was that events happened in each area regardless of storyline or even your presence. You could warp into an area of space and right into a war between two factions and choose to either get involved or run for your life and if you did get involved it would affect your faction.

                                                                                                                                                                As you gained money you could upgrade your shipping and become a real badass. Honestly, once you got a few key upgrades you could own pretty much anyone, but it did take time to do that. The controls were pretty easy to use and standard for open space shooters like a Decent Free Space. In addition the battles could get really intense and there was a strategy to winning as well as avoiding battles.

                                                                                                                                                                One of my favorite things were the warp gates, especially when you were being chased and had to wait to be able to go through, made for some exciting times. Overall this was a fun game and you could even play with others online with one group on one side of the galaxy and another on the other side. Perhaps it was not the best space shooter of all time, but it was true enjoyment for me and a game I will remember for a long time to come.

                                                                                                                                                                Panel Choices

                                                                                                                                                                Defender

                                                                                                                                                                Chris Skaggs from Soma Games wrote: Does Defender count? (and Stargate) I think that game was a fantastic and unique vision of the space shooter that did something really unique.

                                                                                                                                                                Life Force

                                                                                                                                                                Justin Melendez from Lan Slide PC’s wrote: Life Force for the Super Nintendo was one of the coolest space shooters ever made. Not only did it have awesome power ups and a two player mode, but the entire game takes place inside the guts of a giant alien. If that isn’t awesome I don’t know what is.

                                                                                                                                                                Xevious

                                                                                                                                                                Juan Gril from JoJu Games wrote: If you include Shoot’Em Ups, I think that would be Xevious for me.

                                                                                                                                                                Asteroids

                                                                                                                                                                Aaron Hunter from Playtechtonics Inc wrote: All I can think of as an answer is ASTEROIDS! But that’s probably because everyone says the control system in Starport is very similar. So if you like asteroids, check out Starport.

                                                                                                                                                                David Warhol from Realtime Associates wrote: I like Asteroids.  The mechanics of the rocks getting smaller and more dangerous is great, and the physics of the ship really good too.  Space ballet.

                                                                                                                                                                StarWars: X-Wing

                                                                                                                                                                Mike Jorgensen from Zombie Studios wrote: Back at the dawn of time (which I like to call the early 90’s), there was a surge of crappy Flight Sims (including Space Flight Sims). From the chaos, there would arise 2 predators to sit atop the food chain, namely the Wing Commander Series, and the X-Wing Series. These two would embody the very ideals of Survival of the Fittest, with each iteration getting stronger and better than the last (not to mention stealing ideas). Watching the two grow and evolve was like watching Lions and Tigers (and we all secretly hoped for a Li-Ger, which would finally occur in Wing Commander 3 with the talents of Mark Hamill and Ginger Lynn).

                                                                                                                                                                In the end, the crown of King Of the Jungle would go to the Xwing Series (and specifically the first Xwing title).

                                                                                                                                                                Ok, so let’s strip away the sheer awesomeness of StarWars. You are still left with an engine that;

                                                                                                                                                                1. Runs in 640×480 in 16bit color on 486 hardware (and is VERY versatile for scaling up or down on a relatively wide variety of hardware)
                                                                                                                                                                2. Includes a full suite of gameplay related functionality (such as in-game movie recording and playback, character progression and awards, and those mission prep and planning screens)
                                                                                                                                                                3. Includes an editor for making your own missions, scenarios, decals, textures, and modifying ships.

                                                                                                                                                                I can’t help but to re-iterate how significant the first accomplishment was. This was in the days before DirectX, before any abstraction layers, back when Men were Men & Women were Women & game programmers had to write universal binaries for what hardware MIGHT be running their code. That feat is the equivalent of walking into the UN Building and trying each language until you’re talking to everyone.

                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                Separate from the capabilities of the engine, the game itself was a near masterpiece. Several missions included a pre-rendered intro. The audio and music was fantastic (but really, what else would you expect from LucasArts audio division). Nearly every actionable piece was animated, and I really do mean nearly everything. The user feedback on committing and completing an action, still stands out today. The beeps on the target lock, the HUD color change when within range, the end dots indicating which guns could probably hit the target. The actual gameplay was easy enough to get your feet wet in the first five minutes, but could take a couple days to master. You could spend days perfecting the little things like when to “set your deflector shields to double front”, or selecting in which pattern your lasers fired, or selecting what type of craft you were flying and what armaments it had.

                                                                                                                                                                In the end, the Xwing Series concluded with the Xwing Alliance, which included full 16 player support (OVER DIALUP NO LESS), frigate combat (with Turret and AI support), and more realistic physics (which are perfected in titles such as Freespace 2).

                                                                                                                                                                If you haven’t played anything from the Xwing Series before, grab the oldest PC you have in the house, throw the demo on, and enjoy the finer points of the 90’s.

                                                                                                                                                                Galaga

                                                                                                                                                                Grace Snoke from EOGamer wrote: Galaga.  Because it was fun and frustrating to me as a kid.  Okay, I’ll be honest, it’s still frustrating to me now.  It was one of the games that required a lot of thought, planning and quick reactions.  I reacted, just sometimes not quick enough, or not agilely enough and would end up dead so quick.  I admire the folks who have set world records in that game.  It would drive me insane to attempt that.  I just don’t have the patience required for it.

                                                                                                                                                                What is your vote for best classic space shooter?

                                                                                                                                                                GAMES COMING OUT FOR CONSOLES: OCT 26TH 2010

                                                                                                                                                                Video Game store
                                                                                                                                                                Video Game store

                                                                                                                                                                There are way too many good games coming out this month. Next week the pain continues so head over to Goggle and search for “Dollar Grocery Store”, cancel the Direct TV subscription and open a window because this is gaming season and we’re just getting started.

                                                                                                                                                                Fable III

                                                                                                                                                                The revolution will not be televised, but you can be part of it in Fable 3. This time the hero’s goal is to overthrow the evil King Logan who rules with an iron fist. How bad is this guy? Well he taxes people to hell, makes kids work in factories and kills people who don’t agree with him (sounds like the Bush administration am I right folks?) I kid, I kid.

                                                                                                                                                                You may be offspring of a great family, but that doesn’t mean you can effect change on your own. You need followers and you do this by completing missions and getting people to join you. Now you can go good or evil and your weapon changes depending on which path you choose. In the end will you be a kind and giving king or will your rule make Logan’s look like a day at Candyland?

                                                                                                                                                                Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II

                                                                                                                                                                What happens when a cloned Jedi with incredible force abilities lets loose? You get one hell of a game. Star Wars, the force unleashed 2 takes place right where part one left off. Starkiller betrayed Vader and tried to off the emperor but was killed. Vader created another clone of Starkiller and locked him away.

                                                                                                                                                                Starkiller is plagued by visions of his former self to which Vader explains it is just a side effect of the cloning process. However, Starkiller doesn’t accept that and breaks out and from there the real adventure and revenge begins.

                                                                                                                                                                WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011

                                                                                                                                                                It’s all about the gameplay when it comes to wrestling games and every game will be compared to the N64 title which is heralded by fans as the best of the best. This year SvR returns with a brand new physics engine that boasts to be the most realistic ever. This means the chair shots will look more real. The tables will break properly and they are unlimited and the ladders collapse as they should.

                                                                                                                                                                It is also about presentation and with the updated character models and grapple moves your focus will remain on the fun not a glitch in the game. Add to that the largest roster on a SvR game and we might just have a contender.

                                                                                                                                                                Overdraft Incoming

                                                                                                                                                                Now don’t go complaining that I didn’t mention Rock Band 3 or Sim’s 3. Yes, these are fun games, but how much more can be said. We know they have their market and will do will. Also, we don’t want you to go too far into debt there are more games coming out with week of Nov 2nd.

                                                                                                                                                                Final Fantasy XIV: A Fantasy I Want No Part Of

                                                                                                                                                                FFXIV online logo
                                                                                                                                                                FFXIV online logo

                                                                                                                                                                E3 2009 took us by surprise when Square-Enix opened up with the trailer for Final Fantasy XIV. It wasn’t expected to be announced and was rather hush-hush until the presentation. What really blew people away, in my opinion, was its suggested release date. When an MMO is normally announced to be in production you expect 2-3 years from that date or more for the game to be complete and released. Releasing such a big brand name in such a short time made me insinuate that this project must have been in works for quite some time in silence. As with most utterings of a Final Fantasy game being released, high expectations are hoped to be met by their fan base. Can Square-Enix bring out a AAA title in such a short time frame? The company certainly has not released anything close to AAA quality in quite some time and this MMORPG must have occupied many of the company’s resources for its production.

                                                                                                                                                                Final Fantasy XI was a highly acclaimed MMORPG in Japan and did moderately successful worldwide. With the juggernaut that is World of Warcraft, a company like Square-Enix seemed like the most powerful competitor to steal some WoW’s players. The time to capitalize on the market of people waiting for the next big MMO was netted in by this announcement. With Star Wars: The Old Republic not ready to debut until Spring 2011, Final Fantasy XIV had a chance to pull in a strong player base of MMO nomads.

                                                                                                                                                                As the release date began to draw near, open beta was announced and it was time to check out what Square-Enix was hiding behind the curtain. After getting my beta invite email I decided to follow the instructions. I was taken to a link that I had assumed would have a registration key and login section to get this fixation underway. Instead, the link took me to a portal with the “requirements” to play the beta. There were no links to sign into my Square-Enix account and the page was outright inadequate. Their “System Requirements” section on the page just directs you to another page with the information on the minimum system requirements. This portal page was completely and utterly useless and vague at best.

                                                                                                                                                                I finally decided to just go to the Final Fantasy XIV official page to login and see if I can find a registration code. Finding any reference to this code in my account page was impossible and adding Final Fantasy XIV to my service only asked me for a code anyway. When I finally did find the code page, they had closed registration codes for the time being and will release more at a later date. After spamming the refresh button a million times I eventually did get this code for my wife and myself to play.

                                                                                                                                                                Finding the download section for the game was another hassle as it wouldn’t open up the torrent file at all. I eventually had to find it off another site to begin the patch. My download time for this nearly 8GB file was 5 weeks. My wife’s download time was an hour and thirty minutes. After some surfing on the internet I saw a ton of people were having a problem with the game patching in a reasonable time frame. I guess we got lucky my wife’s download was speedy. When her download finished I just transferred a copy of the completed files to my computer so we could get started.
                                                                                                                                                                Now, onto the meat of this review. The game itself.

                                                                                                                                                                Performance: My machine is fairly new so I’m not even going to rate the performance based on that. My wife’s unit is older and has an Intel quad-core clocked at 2.40GHZ, 4GB of DDR2 memory, and an ATI 5870. The game ran beautifully. There was little to no chopping even in the populated cities with the settings set to max. Particle effects offered zero lag and the game probably ran the smoothest out of any next-gen MMORPG we’ve played in the past 3 years. For an open beta, this was highly impressive. Any midrange computer can handle this game at full settings with just a bit of tweaking if a hitch ever came up.

                                                                                                                                                                Controls: Developers of this game came out straight and said this game was designed to have the UI revolve around the use of a controller. Just like in Final Fantasy XI, this unrelated sequel of sorts incorporates the use of a controller even for the PC. It is not keyboard and mouse friendly at all. For God’s sake, you can’t even hotkey anything. For some of the most simple tasks you have to take a journey through a plethora of menus for miniscule options. It is ridiculous, cumbersome, and ill planned. Yes, the game is releasing for the PS3 and these controls must be comfortable for them but guess what? They aren’t releasing the PS3 version until sometime next year. What is the purpose of releasing the PC version with this horrid UI and control scheme if the focus of its movement isn’t even releasing until the following year? It makes little to no sense. It seems to me they are releasing this version of the game just to make the deadline “promise” they made at E3 2009.

                                                                                                                                                                LOL Wut Pirate Final Fantasy XIV
                                                                                                                                                                LOL Wut Pirate Final Fantasy XIV

                                                                                                                                                                Sound: Classic Final Fantasy sounds make their appearance in this game. It is clear and sounds great. The music really puts you in that role-playing mood if you’re into that sort of thing. It shoves you into this world and makes it come to life. As always, Nobuo Uematsu knows how to compose some grand and fantastical musical choices. Unfortunately, all this goes to hell the moment the voice-overs pop in. The studio that handled the voice acting must have hired the student’s from Ms.Spifz’s High School English Class. The actors sounded as though they were involuntarily picked to read aloud to the class the next section of The Great Gatsby. The voices are uninspired, bland, and lacking any emotion. The music sets you up for this grand adventure and then the actors from Twilight decide to make an appearance as voice actors and ruin the entire mood. I felt blue balled.

                                                                                                                                                                Gameplay: I know this is what you all have been waiting to hear, so here it is. The game immediately tosses you into this adventure to go kill whatever furry monstrosity is waiting for you in the newbie area, the inauguration for every great RPG adventure. If it isn’t stomping on giant rats, its killing boars or bunnies. After going through a thousand clicks to accept the quest, I opened my map to see where I should begin my journey. The newbie zone was right on the edge of town. Guess where they started me? At the OTHER side of this 5 mile city! Not only was it difficult to find my way around but I couldn’t leap down staircases to make shortcuts. And with that we bring up my biggest peeve in anything ever!
                                                                                                                                                                I hate games that don’t let me jump.

                                                                                                                                                                I don’t care how good it is.

                                                                                                                                                                I hate not jumping.

                                                                                                                                                                Walls that were two feet high were preventing me from crossing the fastest way possible. I had to trek all the way across the wall just to get around. I can shoot fireballs from my hands and cleave through the sturdy flesh of an Orc but I can’t hop over a small bump in the ground. I hate being bored in groups and not being able to prance around the dungeon as we continue onward. I hate not being able to cancel my spells with a small little hop. The lack of a jumping feature takes away from the gaming experience for me. I can’t even vault over the damn thing like in Gears of War.

                                                                                                                                                                Go To Hell Taru Final Fantasy XIV
                                                                                                                                                                Go To Hell Taru Final Fantasy XIV

                                                                                                                                                                Finally reaching the newbie area was probably the most frustrating part of the game. The mob I needed to kill sparsely speckled the newbie zone and the amount of new players looking to kill this mob were outnumbering its spawn rate. The hotbar techniques only correspond to the number on your NUMPAD. I couldn’t find any other way to map it elsewhere for more convenience. After spending maybe an hour searching for three of these mobs without any luck I decided to uppercut a Dodo bird which kept running by me constantly. Instead of considering its level, I shoved my lancer’s spear into his face and I was quickly dismembered in only a few seconds. As I laid dead on the ground I began to wonder when my release timer would come up so I could respawn. After a minute of waiting I began to realize why I saw so many dead players that hadn’t released their corpse earlier in my adventure. There is no release button. You have to excavate through your menu and find a “Return” button to get released to a spawn point. Nicely done, Square-Enix. Your vague manner really helped me there.

                                                                                                                                                                After calming down and letting my heart rate return to a safe set of beating, I decided to return to town and try out the crafting professions. I always liked fishing in an MMO so I decided to take up Fishing as my career choice. I needed some money to buy some of the equipment needed to pursue my profession so I sold some vendor trash and went ahead on my new path. After equipping my pole and bait I went ahead to begin the process of being a bad ass fisherman. After spending 4 minutes wondering how to even begin fishing since the keyboard controls were complete garbage, I got on my way. The whole fishing endeavor was much more complicated than I thought. I had to choose my depth, the quality of the water I was fishing from, and the casting point. When the message that something had bit my line appeared, I had to begin a struggle with the fish to drag it out of the water. You have to constantly “Jig” with the fish back and worth as it tries to take the line till the fish is too tired to struggle and you capture him. It’s basically the combat mechanics of a Pokemon battle. I found fishing way more enjoyable than the actual game’s combat since I spent most of the time running around with my spear trying to find rats to poke. I could easily see someone making their crafting profession their main source of entertainment in the game as it is rather enthralling.

                                                                                                                                                                The fatigue system was something I didn’t really experience as I gave up just way too soon on this game from sheer lack of enjoyment. From what I’ve been told by friends and from other sources, you can’t barrel through the game. Powergamers will not find any euphoria in this game as the fatigue system penalizes you for using one class for too long. After 8 hours of gameplay, your character will hit a block in progression that will offer them no experience points. They will have to change classes and try something else for another eight hours. Each week the debuff is cleansed and you are allowed to continue on with the class that was previously penalized. What does this sound like to me? It sounds like this game is probably two-thirds complete and they are putting roadblocks so they can successfully complete their endgame. By the time the PS3 version of the game releases, I prophesize that this system will be scrapped since the game will be officially completed.

                                                                                                                                                                Final Verdict: This game falls short in so many places. It is beautiful and quite breathtaking. It isn’t as user friendly as one would hope. Newer gamers to the Final Fantasy Online universe can easily get lost in the complexity of its interface and mechanics. It does require a bit more patience than most MMOs and getting the hang of it right out of the box isn’t something that will come easily. A small fraction of brain power is needed to solve the puzzles of the menu and to get used to some of the mechanics for the crafting professions. If you’re looking for something to dive into right away, this isn’t the game for you. If you’re looking for a powergaming experience, this game isn’t for you. If you enjoy excelling in one area, this isn’t the game for you. If you’re looking for beautiful graphics and dream inspired settings with an enjoyable RPG experience filled with the wonder and adventure of killing large rats and Dodo birds, this is the game you’re looking for! Overall, the game failed to grasp my attention for longer than five hours.

                                                                                                                                                                For something that was expected to take the MMORPG genre a step forward, this title took two steps backs and one step forward. What was expected to be a monsoon of intrigue and JRPG adventure ended up becoming nothing more than a minor swell lost in a sea of upcoming MMOs.

                                                                                                                                                                Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Public Beta

                                                                                                                                                                Star Wars Clone Wars Adventures logo
                                                                                                                                                                Star Wars Clone Wars Adventures logo

                                                                                                                                                                While at E3 earlier this year I got a chance to play Clone Wars Adventures and while it is true the game was made for a younger audience it was a fun play. Currently you can give it a try by heading over to their Public Beta page and signing up.

                                                                                                                                                                Here is their press release:

                                                                                                                                                                Sony Online Entertainment and LucasArts are looking for video game enthusiasts of all ages and fans of the Star Wars®: The Clone WarsTM animated television series on Cartoon Network to be the first to get hands-on in the open BETA testing that begins today for Star Wars®: Clone Wars AdventuresTM. Get a sneak peak of the highly anticipated free-to-play online virtual world and provide feedback to help put the finishing touches on the final game scheduled to be released later this year on September 15th.

                                                                                                                                                                The ultimate virtual destination for a new generation of Star Wars fans, Clone Wars Adventures is an action-packed virtual world where players can go online to experience fun minigames, daily activities, events, rewards, lively social environments and competition. Clone Wars Adventures lets players duel iconic adversaries with their own custom Lightsaber, speed through the galaxy in a custom Starfighter, defeat enemies and take down starships.

                                                                                                                                                                Clone Wars Adventures is a free-to-play game, but players who want to take the galactic action to the next level can purchase a monthly Membership subscription for $5.99, while a variety of epic items can also be purchased through Station Cash® micro-transactions. The Clone Wars Adventures Galactic Passport is scheduled to be available at thousands of retail locations in North America later this fall and will include a 90-day membership, 500 Station Cash, the ability to unlock the Togruta playable character, a Yoda monitor topper, and more.

                                                                                                                                                                The Obsolete Gamers – Vol 1

                                                                                                                                                                Obsolete Gamer favicon
                                                                                                                                                                Obsolete Gamer favicon

                                                                                                                                                                The Obsolete Gamers covers the various events experience by Ignacio/honorabili and J.A. Laraque. In Vol one J.A. Laraque and Mark test out the FC Twin which plays NES and NES games.

                                                                                                                                                                In Part one we introduce Mark and his new toy the FC Twin

                                                                                                                                                                In Part 2 Mark demos some more classic games.

                                                                                                                                                                The Bonus footage covers Mark playing the classic F-Zero!

                                                                                                                                                                What’s going on with Star Wars: The Old Republic?

                                                                                                                                                                Star Wars The Old Republic logo
                                                                                                                                                                Star Wars The Old Republic logo

                                                                                                                                                                Plenty, Jake Neri gave an interview to MMORPG in it he began talking about the development process and how they know there are a lot of expectations for the release of SWTOR. One of their main goals, he said, is keeping balance between the classes and it is something they understand is an ongoing process. He also stated one of the things they want to continue to improve on is the animation and cinematic quality of combat to make sure that overall you get the full Star Wars cinematic experience when playing the game.

                                                                                                                                                                On lore Jake talked about the benefits and challenges to having their own timeline. They are working closely with continuity experts to make sure they are moving in the right direction and not breaking any cannon.

                                                                                                                                                                As for how the game will impact the playerbase Mr. Neri said the following:

                                                                                                                                                                “We always start with the element of story and intertwining that into every mechanic that you have an expectation for. There are certain things in the MMO space that are important to deliver on because if you don’t you will alienate a player base. There are certain things that we won’t try to revolutionize, we’ll try to do to a AAA level, but we’re not going to impress your readers with a new amazing auction mechanic. Laughs. Those things are already done well in MMOs. So we are making sure we focus our time on areas that are compelling to the player base and reader base. Things like, hardcore folks want to know how the combat is going to be? Is it going to be epic? Will it feel interesting? We are putting a lot of emphasis on making sure people have a compelling experience from beginning to end. Also, that they have reasons to continue playing at the end, because of the fact that the classes are balanced and interesting and that they are Star Wars. That is one of the things I cannot impress enough upon people. With our classes we are trying to deliver the Star Wars fantasy of those classes. We think that has been ultimately successful in the movies. People have fantasized and dreamed about and created their own fan fiction and fan lifestyles around those classic archetypes and we want to deliver that in the game. We think if we do, that is something that no other MMO can have. So right there we have a huge pillar to stand on.

                                                                                                                                                                We understand that for some hardcore MMO fans they may or may not like the story, but we do feel like that is something that will be compelling and interesting that we will continue to work on to give players reasons to go through it and benefit from it with your character and your story. I think those are things that we are looking to do. We are looking to create the Star Wars fantasy at a high level in the end game for players. That is something we really want to do. We want to have activities that keep you interested, keep you coming back, keep you busy that feel like experiences in a Star Wars movie. That is a huge goal. It is set in a different era, you know we’re not in the movie time line, but it is reminiscent in what you know and that is a huge benefit for us. We’re going to try and do that and do it really well.”

                                                                                                                                                                You can read the full interview here.

                                                                                                                                                                In other news it was first reported on Eurogamer that Star Wars: The Old Republic is the largest most expensive project EA has ever tackled. Eric Brown, EA’s chief banker stated that most games cost around thirty million dollars to make, but said that any MMO costs significantly more.

                                                                                                                                                                For an example of cost Blizzard spent more than $100 million to ship World of Warcraft in 2004 and brings in about $100 million a month from subscriptions today. This gives you an idea of what EA is looking towards. While they may not say they are looking to directly compete against W.O.W I am certain they hope to bring in similar profit.

                                                                                                                                                                This brings us the topic three. Industry Gamer reported that EA hopes to bring in at least two million subscribers. Arvind Bhatia, a Sterne Agee analyst had a meeting with EA and said that;

                                                                                                                                                                “Earnings are somewhat depressed due to ongoing expenses of the Star Wars MMO (but), management has high hopes for this and believes 2M+ subs is possible.”

                                                                                                                                                                He went on to say that a little over one million subscribers are needed to break even. Well, we know that no company just wants to break even, the goal is several million subscribers the question is will they reach that goal.

                                                                                                                                                                Star Wars Old Republic: Return to Taris trailer

                                                                                                                                                                Star Wars The Old Republic
                                                                                                                                                                Star Wars The Old Republic

                                                                                                                                                                If there is one game that deserves to be the first trailer in our new category it’s Star Wars, Old Republic. Check out this trailer on the return to Taris from the folks over at Bioware.

                                                                                                                                                                Once home to a sprawling planet-wide city, Taris was razed long ago by the Sith Lord Darth Malak while seeking to eliminate the Jedi Knight Bastila Shan. Now, a post-apocalyptic Taris is being realized in Star Wars™: The Old Republic™. After 300 years, Republic and Jedi leaders are moving forward with the efforts at colonization.

                                                                                                                                                                Watch insights from James Ohlen, Drew Karpyshyn, Scott Carpenter, and Mark How about the new environments – and adventures – awaiting players in our latest Developer Dispatch: Returning to Taris!