Warsong

Warsong

Okay, there is a chance you played it – but I would guess it’s unlikely.  This gem of a game came out for the Sega Genesis (and was called Langrisser overseas).  I am not sure what inspired me to pick it up at the time.  I had heard nothing about this game in any of the magazines I read, none of my friends had played it, but something about it caught my eye when I was mulling what game to purchase next.

Warsong-Sega-Genesis

But something about the back of that box must have sparked my interest, because I took the game home, put it and and began to play.  The define what Warsong is, I would say it was a fantasy strategy/RPG hybrid – maybe the first I had ever played quite like it.

I immediately loved the game’s art style.  The graphics had a colorful, anime feel to them when showing character portraits.  The actual battles that took place were actually pretty active as soldiers kill each other off.  The backdrops and map designs were actually pretty well detailed also.

Warsong-Sega-Genesis

The sound and music get the job done.  There was nothing terribly memorable about it, but this was a game that was more about the tactics.  It would have been nice to have a bit more variety in the music, but I don’t recall it ever particularly bothering me either.

So how did the game play?  Well, there were two aspects to it.  There are the leader characters, and they are the most important.  Hints of Fire Emblem here, as when a leader dies, he or she is gone for good.  I recall saving often to prevent that from happening.  Shades of Dragonforce follow, as each of these main characters had soldiers units they could control.  Each character has a range or aura of influence and if their soldier units fight within that range, they got bonuses to their stats.  Each leader can hire different kinds of soldiers at the start of each level, and there is a sort of rock/paper/scissors mechanic to which soldier units perform best against one another.

Warsong-Sega-Genesis

There are other factors as well, such as terrain and if your leader characters have any gear equipped (at the start of each level, a scenario is given to you and you have a chance to spend your hard earned gold on different kinds and quantities of soldiers, and that is also when you can choose to put a piece of equipment on a leader character).  I recall getting so good at the game that I could go through the first couple of levels or so without buying any soldier units, to conserve money for when I would need it more in subsequent levels.

Warsong-Sega-Genesis

When a leader character dies (the enemy units are made up of these as well), their support soldiers will perish as well.  Some levels also have assorted neutral characters who will go after anyone who gets to o close.  Some missions are designed for certain types of soldiers as well – for example one of your heroes can hire mermen and they are almost essential for water combat – but useless in levels without water to cross.

The game is made up of twenty levels, which may not sound like much, but each stage can take quite some time to get through.  The menu and controls are very simple to navigate and while it is easy to learn – there is are so many different tactics and unit strategies to apply that there is perfectly valid reason to come back and play again once you beat the game.

Warsong-Sega-Genesis
The story itself is nothing new – good guys are put on the run for attacking bad guys.  Good guys regroup after getting smacked around a bit in the first level, and rally a force to defeat not only the known bad guys, but the evil controlling them behind the scenes.  It is all really well presented though, with story pieces between levels and dialog scenes from characters on maps.  While you have no options to change the storyline itself, it was actually one that I found fairly interesting.

The RPG elements come in the form of gold, equipment, experience and levels.  In fact, this game was the inspiration to a leveling system I implimented on my MUD over a decade ago that I called a Tier system.  Your characters start off a specific class, level up to a point, and then choose one of two.  Level up some more, and you can again choose one more new class from a new set of branching options.  Some characters were so similar that their later tiers became the same thing, like Magic Knight, but there were unique ones too.  For example your lead character Garrett can become a King class, and no one else can.  Each tier brings new skills and powerful stat boosts and adds a good deal of replay value to the mix.

Warsong-Sega-Genesis

And replay I did – I can recall beating this game at least three times – maybe more.  And it was a hit among my friends who initially asked: Warsong?  What’s that?

But these were the same friends I had gotten hooked on strategy games on the NES years before too (Nobunaga’s Ambition, Bandit Kings of Ancient China and Romance of the Three Kingdoms to name a few) – so they gave it a shot and not a single one disliked it.  Most of them borrowed it long enough to beat the game once if not twice (and one other friend borrowed my copy for a day and a half.  I was a bit surprised when he handed it back to me and said I could have it back.  I asked if he had not liked it – turned out he simply went out and bought his own copy afterward).

Warsong-Sega-Genesis

To this day, this ranks as one of my favorite all-time video games, and influenced my opinion on what a strategy game could be.  It also had clear effects on my own game design years later for my MUD, Kingdoms of the Lost.  I played it again recently and feel that it holds up pretty well today still.  If I bring it up in conversation with most gamers though, none seem to have ever heard of, let alone played this under-appreciated classic.

[youtube width=”560″ height=”315″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDcZlC3oZWc[/youtube]

If you are interested in how it plays?  Here is a quick video down below that really shows off a lot of the game as you start off in a scenario where you and your troops are under heavy attack right off of the bat.

A Valley Without Wind

A Valley Without Wind
Arcen Games, the creators of the amazing AI War, have never been afraid to try radical new ideas and wildly innovate while offering deep gameplay and unique visuals. Their latest offering though, the brilliantly named A Valley Without Wind, does indeed surpass anything they have dared to dream, and even more impressively actually create, so far. Now, the best way to describe AVWWwould be as the spaced-out spawn of MidwinterTerraria and Lords of Midnight after a chemically altered night everyone is trying to forget everything about, but I simply can’t see how anyone besides me would be able to comprehend a description of this sort.
That’s why I’ve wisely come up with an alternate description too: it is a procedurally generated, side-scrolling, 2D arcade adventure, with strong exploration, RPG and strategic elements, that is sort of infinite. Is this better? Does it make sense? Well, I sure hope so, for I have only entered the still-in-BETA world of AVWW for a couple of hours and am incredibly impressed. I’m also pretty certain that it’s only by playing AVWW that one can properly understand and  fully appreciate the thing, but here’s another try:

A Valley Without Wind

Did the picture help at all? Right. Better provide you with the developer’s description then:
Environ has been shattered in the wake of an unknown cataclysm, with only small pockets of humanity left in its wake… What will you do in this strange new world? 
The creators of AI War bring you a procedurally-generated 2D side-scrolling adventure of limitless proportions. Survive and explore a vast persistent world filled with dangerous creatures, powerful magic, and ancient technology. Do so while helping other survivors establish settlements, gathering resources to craft, fending off evil invaders, and more.

Intrigued? Excellent. On to the news bits then, as you too can now have a taste of A Valley Without Wind by downloading a pretty fantastic AVWW demo. What’s more and for a mere $10 (that’s a hefty 50% discount on the launch price, that is) you can also pre-order the game and gain instant access to its current version, which, incidentally, is getting constant updates. As for me, well, I’ll be playing said BETA and will soon let you know all about my slightly more coherent thoughts on AVWWAVWW is available both for Mac and PC. You can purchase the full version for $14.99.

Alpha Mission

Alpha Mission

Alpha Mission was originally an arcade cabinet, produced in 1985, before being released on the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) home console by SNK in 1987. Cribbing from the earlier shoot-’em-up mechanics of Xevious, this title is perhaps best remembered as a cartridge for shooter purists only.

alpha mission-nes-gameplay-screenshot-1

Gameplay

Alpha Mission is a vertically scrolling shoot-’em-up with the typical science fiction flavoring of alien landscapes, starfield backdrops in space, big alien bosses, and starships sporting formidable firepower. Like Xevious, the player can fire at airborne enemies or ones affixed to the ground. The B button fires the laser that hits fellow aircraft (spacecraft?), while the A button launches missiles for fixed ground targets. The environment automatically scrolls, and the player is given free reign to fly about the entire screen.

There are twelve stages, which repeat in true arcade style toward the goal of just getting a high score, and loosely grow more difficult, beginning with new flight-tracking enemies in Area 2 and proceeding toward the eventual all-out madness of double-digit stages. The end of a level has a juicy fight with a big, bad alien boss.

alpha mission

Power-ups can be gained via colored letters found on the battlefield, primarily by destroying ground targets. These can provide upgrades such as increasing the strength of the laser, increasing the strength of the missiles, and enabling faster movement speed.

Along with the score, there is also an energy meter, which grows by increments of 2 each time the letter “E” is gathered. Increasing the energy meter total unlocks additional types of weapons and other options which, when can be afforded, are selected by entering a selection screen with the Select button. Examples include an eight-way shot and a short-range-but-constant flamethrower.

These elements, in and of themselves, do not necessarily comprise bad game design. A very workable, playable shooter can be formed from these components. In fact, ingredients such as power-ups and differing weapons have been combined to create some of the greatest shooters of all time. However, rather than content to introduce these items and merely tweak them closer to perfection, Alpha Mission instead tears itself off the hinges with some poor choices along the way.

alpha mission

Case in point: There are power-downs; in other words, not all of the gainable items are beneficial. There are items that decrease weapons power, items that decrease movement speed, and even a letter just to throw the player back to an earlier point in the level. This only makes the game less possible to enjoy, to a potentially downright irritating extent, and takes quite the imaginative stretch to defend as a good idea.

Furthermore, the mechanic for weapon selection is maddening. It can be admirable to make this a player choice, rather than simply shift the weapon as the protagonist ship passes over a power-up. But the mechanic used here is terrible: Pressing the Select button opens up a black background, onto which are pased icons for different power-up, depending on what the player can afford. There is, too, the icon of the ship itself. The player actually has to take the time to maneuver the ship over to an icon and, once over it, press Select again. The effect is not always smooth; during a boss fight, this can cause the boss to reappear. Also, pressing Select again will suddenly cancel the power-up out and return to that selection screen, which can be dubious depending on the weapon being used, since different ones use up the energy meter at different rates and may not be immediately available again. This method of choosing weaponry is slow, clunky, buggy, and just plain bad.

alpha mission

Alpha Mission already suffers a blow in being ported to a television setting, since vertically scrolling shooters are much more apt to their original arcade screens, oriented to provide an optimal perspective and taller screen. With so much working against it, and forcing the player to deal with a ship that begins so slowly and existing under the constant threat of downgrades (which, by the way, actually serves to discourage quickly going after power-ups, which seems outrageously philosophically counter-intuitive of shooter design), this video game is just not good. Even worse, it is not fun.

Graphics

Aside from decent production values and the nifty way missiles accelerate to full speed a moment after being fired, not only is Alpha Mission graphically unimpressive, but even has some noteworthy issues. The flickering and slowdown problems in this game are atrocious. Enemies constantly blink in and out of existence, some projectiles cannot exist on-screen at the same time as others, and the slowdown happens often enough to truly be a drag. Even if some of the boss designs are interesting and the backgrounds crafted with pixel-precise skill to an extent, these potential visual treats are muddied and muffled by the display problems.

alpha mission

Sound

The background music is too repetitive to be considered high-quality, and the sound effects lack any sort of crunch, punch, power, gravity, or oomph. What more needs to be say? This is a video game that provides only a bland little snack for the ears, and does not manage any aural feats worth mentioning, despite the best efforts of those who composed the basic tracks. In fact, if you hate the music, you are completely out of luck, since it even plays when the game is paused.

Originality

At first glance, Alpha Mission seems like the average 8-bit shoot-’em-up with a generic premise and arcade-style gameplay. At its core, the formula presented is not completely awful. The lesson to be learned here is that execution is everything, and the execution here misses the mark. This game is not original, visionary, or innovative in any discernible way, save for maybe its stupid weapon-selection screen mechanic.

This is an example of a game where nothing about it seems great and everything about it seems to have a problem. There are worthy complaints to air about Alpha Mission. For its crimes against the shmup genre, arcade ports, and the act of gaming in general, this mess gets one and a half stars out of five.

Overall score: 1.5/5 stars.

Independent GAMER: ALEX ARIS

Here at Obsolete Gamer we like to check out games no matter if the developer is a huge global company, or just a single programming working away in his bed room. Definitely in the second category is Alex Aris, here are some of the games he has developed.

Check out his main site here.

 

Bugsy

01 - Bugsy - In Game

Confused in an insect world, Bugsy must travel his way through four seasons, 16 levels in total. So that he can reach the comfort of his own domain. Life is not that simple though, before an exit to the next level is opened, Bugsy must collect all Coins to open it. Others Insects will try and stop him, only food can sustain his energy levels to progress forward.

 

Elastic Band Warrior

02 - Elastic Band Warrior - In Game02 - Elastic Band Warrior - Title

The aim of the game is to collect all of the Karma Crystals, whilst trying to avoid, Ghosts, Zombies and Bouncing Balls ! If you study the level, you will notice that the Ghosts are one of the keys to the Game. Shooting an Elastic Band at them will cause a replication reaction, producing more Enemies and the chance of a Karma Crystal in being dropped. You may also move off the screen and appear on the other side, e.g. move right and appear on the left. Useful, but be careful not to bump into an unsuspecting Enemy !

 

Office Worker

03 - Office Worker - In Game03 - Office Worker - Title

Office Worker Greg grew tired of the daily grind and needed a change, help him collect various items and solve the ultimate puzzle to get through the week and find devine happiness.

 

Light Bulb Luke

04 - Lightbulb Luke - In Game04 - Lightbulb Luke - Title

Jobs are second nature to Luke, with thanks to his varied talents at everyday jobs. No task undertaken is difficult to him ! Rock ‘n’ Roll is his favourite musical preference and likes to listen to it, whenever he can. With your guidance, you will be able to help Luke in his quest for great achievement, by completing a job and gaining a most respected reputation, no matter how big or small a task is !

 

Phantom Millennium

05 - Phantom Millennium - In Game05 - Phantom Millennium - Title

Shoot your way through five action packed levels, whilst trying to avoid the enemy at all costs. During your mission, you will come under attack from Submarines, Dome Gunners, Missile Launchers, Jet and Propelled Aircraft, and terrifying Fireballs being spat from nearby Volcanoes etc. You must head for the Nuclear and Fuel installations based at the end of Level five to achieve and complete your mission.

 

Coin Mania Remix

06 - Coin Mania Remix - In Game06 - Coin Mania Remix - Title

Bounce your way through 25 puzzle packed levels, whilst collecting Coins against the Clock in order to reach the end Tile. On route, you will encounter obstacles along your path, like Glue – giving you a delay in penalty Time. Although, you will have Directional Arrows and Teleport Pads to put you on the right route with Bonus Extra Lives as well. Each level will have it’s own route and sometimes there will be more than one route to complete a Level. There are two types of Tile, Non-Solid and Solid. Non-Solid Tiles will last for three seconds before they break up and Solid Tiles are there to serve as a firmer base. Watch out for the Extra Time Clocks to give you more Time to complete a level.

The top non-slutty female characters in video games

Claire Redfield

The top non-slutty female characters in video games

It’s always a Top 10, a Top 5 or a Top 100. Not this time though. This is a Top 7, and it’s about the Female Game Character; an endangered and usually stripped down to its panties species. This is different, as this post will not be about Lula, Lara or any other two-syllable named bimbo. It will be about interesting characters, that even a woman (gasp!) could enjoy…

 

Ms. Pac-Man

Number 7: The legendary Ms. Pacman. Not a proper female, I know, but she …er… does dress like one. If you’re into round, yellow, pill-poppers you’ll just love the old lady.

Princess Peach

Number 6: Princess Peach, ruler of Mushroom Kingdom and Mario’s personal fetish. Childish, but also a part of video gaming history. Definitely not a slut.

elaine_marley-monkey-island

Number 5: Elaine Marley from the Monkey Island series. Funny, spirited, Ron Gilbert’s creation and a governor. Good looking and old fashioned. Won’t strip for you, let alone make a naked public appearance.

shodan - system shock

Number 4: Shodan, from System Shock (and apparently SS2). Call her a slut and she’ll fry you; perhaps even destroy earth. An amazing piece of homicidal AI, if I ever saw one and a perfect match for Wintermute.

Sarah Kerrigan - Starcraft

Number 3: Kerrigan, another villain, and not 100% human either. Great looks (for a Zerg hybrid at least), a member of the order of the abominably nasty and key figure in the best RTS expansion ever: Starcraft Brood War.

April Ryan - Longest Journey - Dreamfoil

Number 2: April Ryan from the Longest Journey and Dreamfall. Uniter of worlds and magically inclined, April is also a talented and rather ‘alternative’ girl from the future, who just so happens to star in adventure games. Recently into hot arcade action too.

Beyond_Good_and_Evil_Jade

Number 1: Jade, the star of the amazing Beyond Good and Evil action-adventure game. She has style, flair, good looks and a kind heart (Ooooh! that’s sweet). She’s also a revolutionary. Like Rosa Luxembourg only with green lips. Just have a look at this great game. Control each and every Jade‘s action. Follow the link.

Dear Video Game Manuals, I’m Just Writing To Say I Miss You

Video game manuals. If you’re over the age of 19 you know what they are and what they used to be like. For those younglings who are reading this who have yet to have had their balls drop, video game manuals consisted of more than “THIS BUTTON SHOOTS AND THIS BUTTON JUMPS!” and the repetitive warnings of “Hey just to let you know, you could have a seizure playing this game.”Read More

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.

Villian Spotlight: Kefka Palazzo

Insanity Kefka Palazzo demotivational poster
Insanity Kefka Palazzo demotivational poster

Kefka Palazzo

Since the dawn of video game culture, there have been a lot of subjects you don’t bring up unless you want some greasy, unhygienic, nerd frothing from the mouth with a rabid induced rage. One of these subjects that is commonly brought up by RPG geeks which ends up in a heated debate is who is the greatest Final Fantasy villain? Normally, the debate is stomped by a wave of Sephiroth loving assholes. For some reason, long white hair, trench coats, and absurdly gigantic katanas are cool. Not just that, this guy’s freaking theme song is an orchestra chiming in death and destruction. The problem a lot of people seem to not realize is that the question asked who is the GREATEST villain in Final Fantasy. People seem to confuse cool with greatness.

I’m unsure if the sway towards Sephiroth is because a lot of people played FF VII as their first real RPG and considered anything before that garbage or mediocre. I do agree that Final Fantasy VII was a fantastic game and that Sephiroth was indeed a cool villain. The thing is, he didn’t accomplish much and his role as a villain was rather one dimensional. His creativity for slaughter was usually left with a sword swing and some fire. His actual development as a character was rather bland and nonexistent.

I know. I know.

Take a deep breath.

It hurts to hear this kind of criticism about the One Winged Angel but I’m about to open your eyes to a true villain. Someone who’s appearance was comical but their lust for destruction was their only drive in life. There wasn’t a waking moment where this monster didn’t think about the end of the world. Many villains feel this way but he isn’t a Cobra Commander or Doctor Claw replica. Where many villains fail and constantly try again, Kefka succeeds. Here’s a look into the devilish antics performed by the supernatural sociopath known as Kefka Palazzo.

As the game begins, Kefka Palazzo is only known as the Emperor’s Court Wizard and doesn’t seem to be more than just some queer looking clown. The Emperor decides to begin a process of infusing Magitek into humans. Kefka decides to volunteer for this process and is able to wield magic. Come to think of it… how was this guy the Court Wizard if he couldn’t control magic to begin with? Anyway, an obvious homage to Captain America occurs and Kefka becomes Captain Magitek and stops the World War that is plaguing the planet and is pronounced the savior of the world.

The End.

Things didn’t work out that way, sadly, for Kefka and he turned into a psychopath who deemed that everything ever in the entire world had to die. He became the Joker with magic. He forces Terra, the main character in the story, to wear a slave crown and attack a town that claims to have an Esper in their mines. Terra manages to escape the enslavement and runs off. Kefka, obviously angered by this decides to burn down an ENTIRE fucking castle just to kill a bitch. Pretty hardcore right? Sephiroth lit up a small secluded town but Kefka razed a whole castle.

Final Fantasy 6 Kefka Palazzo – poison
Final Fantasy 6 Kefka Palazzo – poison

After burning down a castle what else should you do? Grow impatient obviously! The Empire decides to attack the Kingdom of Doma and begins a long and drawn out siege. What does Kefka do to make things move a long faster? Does he impale a girl in the back with a sword? Hell no. Kefka poisons the kingdom’s water supply killing everyone inside, including Cyan’s, one of your party members, wife and his children. I don’t remember any Final Fantasy villains poisoning the innocent because they were consuming too much of their schedule.

When you’ve poisoned an entire kingdom what else can you do at the end of the day? Drink a cold beer and watch some TV? Take a hot shower and go to bed? Or freeze all your enemies in place and order one of them to prove their loyalty and kill their friends? The latter sounds like the best idea for this bad ass motherfucker. Unfortunately, the character he ordered to prove their loyalty stabbed him instead. But guess what? Big whoop. Instead of getting medical treatment he kills his king and draws in the powers of a couple of magical statues to become a God.

Looks like your team fucked up, huh? This guy is God and you know what his first order of business is? He isn’t going to hang a meteor over your most populated city. He reshaped the entire planet pushing it into a post apocalyptic world and then demanded people to worship him. You know what happened to the millions of people who said “Fuck that!” collectively? Independence Day. He burned them down with enough force to carve scars into the planet’s surface.

He became a God and forced people into his worship and still that isn’t good enough. This cum dumpster decides it’s a damn good idea to just end life since that shit is meaningless to him. Sure he’s defeated by the heroes of the story but that’s the point! He didn’t care if he died. In reality, he probably let them win because he was too much of a bad ass to die. He figured he was way to cool for the world of the living anyway. His death was his final “F U” to the world since he already fucked it up and now he’s dead and doesn’t have to bother to clean that shit up.

By now, I’m hoping your frothing has ended and you realize the error of your ways. I know it’s going to be hard to put away your Sephiroth figurines and wall posters but you have finally been educated or rather re-educated in the makings of a true monster and villain. You may subconsciously still blurt out Sephiroth’s name like a slutty wife screaming out her secret lover’s name when the question arises as to who is the greatest Final Fantasy antagonist but you will feel that itching in the back of your mind. You know you’re wrong and some day you can even accept that.

Blizzard’s New World of Warcraft Expansion Targeting Their Original Player-base?

WoW Kobold
WoW Kobold

Warcraft Expansion Targeting Their Original Player-base

Rumors have been coming down the grapevine that Blizzard is moving away from the traditional attitude of making each expansion easier than the last. The audience that they garnered in during Wrath of the Lich King seem to be involuntarily entering a new “old” era of World of Warcraft. Not only is the expansion revamping the old vanilla zones but it seems that old combat rule sets are about to follow in. Are they attempting to isolate their WOTLK Ez-Mode audience that has been showered in epic loots for sneezing in the right direction? It sure seems so.

Some Beta contestants have been mentioning that level 81 greens in Cataclysm are stronger than epics that drop off of Arthas in WOTLK. Sound a bit familiar? The same formula was used in Burning Crusade where you could replace your entire Tier 3 set and weapons by level 64 with vastly more powerful “uncommon” gear. On top of this change, they are putting the “epic” back into purple by making blues a much more common drop. Testimonials from people in Beta have been mentioning they have yet to have seen a purple item. They are mentioning that the abundance of blues are the equivalent of seeing a warrior in Valor Armor with a purple from Stratholme or UBRS before Molten Core came out. In Vanilla WoW, when you saw someone with an epic, even just one, it really meant that item was purely epic because of the miniscule chance something like that would drop. Is there a reason Blizzard is reverting to this style of loot dropping? Some players are so upset about this they have even vented their rage on the forums how there will be more blues in Cataclysm than in WOTLK. One possible troll stated even if the blues have stats that are equivalent to a purple they refuse to have to raid to get purple colors now. A bit immature? Well, that’s WoW’s community for you.

Another homage to the old school playing style of World of Warcraft will be the return of Crowd Control! That’s right, Mages! You can start Polymorphing again! It had seemed that during WOTLK, CC had become a thing of the past and players would do the simple thing and just body pull and use Area-Of-Effect spells to burn everything down quickly. Healers would just spam their fastest heal and keep the tank up constantly. In Cataclysm, Blizzard (and something beta tester can attest to) mentions that combat difficulty has increased significantly and just nuking everything that is still moving isn’t going to work anymore. Players are going to actually have to use their crowd controlling abilities to keep pulls safe.

Tanks are also going to have a bit more of a problem now because healers are being forced to use more than one heal to keep them alive. Yes, they are making healers have actual heal rotations because they are making their spells more mana hungry. Tanks hit points won’t be able to keep up with massive bombardment from 9 mobs at once any longer. It looks like Blizzard is trying to make all players fill a more important and diverse role in a group even in lowly dungeons.

Is Blizzard looking to bring back players that have left and also bring in new players that haven’t been spoiled by WOTLK easy handouts with the new Team Jacob race? If this is the case, how is their majority audience in WOTLK going to fair when Cataclysm releases? The expansion still has awhile to go before their release date and there are always more features and additions to throw in but if this is the course that they are going how negatively could this impact their current population?

Limbo Review

Limbo screenshot
Welcome to Limbo

“Some days, you’re just screwed from the moment you wake up, till the moment you lay back down”

(Author’s note: I do give games a score, but I use a different system than most. It’s simple really. I give the score based on the price of the game. For example if a game is $60 but pretty decent, I’d give it a $30/$60, and recommend that you should buy it for $30. With MS Points, it’s the same thing.)

Limbo, released July 21st at the beginning of Summer of Arcade on Xbox Live, had a lot to live up to when I first heard about it. It reminded me of Braid from 2008’s Summer of Arcade launch at first glance, however as I played through it, I realized that this is not like Braid at all, it triumphantly surpasses Braid and every other game on Xbox Live Arcade, be it puzzle or otherwise.

Limbo screenshot
This is not a happy place

Limbo’s minimalist art style is striking enough at first glance to warrant immediate attention. The small boy’s only distinguishing feature being his two hauntingly glowing eyes. He wakes up on the floor, clueless and without guidance, and immediately embarks on an adventure that would (and has) made grown men shudder with fear.

While Limbo may look like a simple “artsy” puzzle game, here lies the main difference between Limbo and Braid: Limbo is completely terrifying. Despite the boy being a “silent protagonist” who we know absolutely nothing about other than he kind of looks like Ness from Earthbound, I felt absolutely compelled to try to keep him out of as much danger as humanly possible.

Danger however, is everywhere. Bear Traps, Giant Spiders, Automated Turrets, even things as simple as a flaming tire become absolutely petrifying in Limbo. As I played through, knowing that the game was designed to terrify you and kept my guard, the people watching me play were screaming and cringing in absolute terror. Limbo is painful. Limbo is unrelenting. Most importantly, Limbo is completely unforgiving.

Limbo screenshot spiders
The Spiders are a formidable foe

While we’re on the topic, let’s talk about the deaths in Limbo. “Limbo is unforgiving” is a complete understatement. It’s more than unforgiving, it makes you look like a pathetic fool as well, should you make a mistake. Run too far without paying attention? Bear Trap has now turned your body into an Ocarina. Happen to be in a calm state of mind? Limbo sends a giant spider to impale you and then shake you off as if it stepped in something. Didn’t jump down at the right spot? Limbo forgot to show you that spinning buzz-saw blade waiting to turn you into meat shuffleboard pieces.

Whereas Braid was about using one mechanic, time travel, in many different and mind-detonating ways, Limbo takes the opposite approach. Limbo throws everything at you it can possibly think up. While gameplay consists mainly approaching the puzzle, solving it and moving on without getting turned into cannon-fodder, these puzzles are simple, yet elegant in design and are amazingly difficult to figure out. Towards the middle of the game however, I seemed to get better at solving them, but almost as if the game was recognizing that I was getting better at surviving, it shifted dynamic and the puzzles began to take a much more sinister turn. However none of the deaths seem unwarranted. I was never playing a part of the game and screamed “OH COME ON I SHOULD HAVE MADE THAT!” as we all do when we’re playing these puzzle games. It’s almost as if Limbo has a life of its own. If you are accurate, you are rewarded for your accuracy, but if you aren’t flawless, you most certainly will pay. Greatly.

Uncommon with most art games is Limbo’s “story.” There isn’t any progression however, this isn’t a true story, but as you progress further in the game, you start to figure out why you’re in this horrible, horrible place. However unlike Braid, the story is woven during playtime, not through some awkward text at the beginning of the level. More importantly, this story is one that is simple enough to understand, but satisfying enough to digest. All without any speech or text of any kind.

Limbo is easy to classify, difficult to master, but most certainly one of the best of it’s kind. As long as you are willing to continue forward and figure out the puzzles, Limbo will easily be one of the most (if not the most) satisfying arcade game you will play this summer.

Score: 1200/1200 (MS Points)

Stirge’s QuakeCON Diary – 4 days of glory!

QuakeCON 2010 logo

Obsoletegamer.com Coverage of QuakeCON 2010

Once again, for the 6th time (99-2004 and now 2010), I have made the trek to Dallas, TX for the one and only QuakeCON. Arriving in Texas I remember why we refer to it as Africa hot, I live in south florida but dry texas heat is something to be experienced. Regardless, we pressed on and made our way around the convention attempting to reconnect with friends from years past. After collecting a reasonable running crew we did the QuakeCON crawl and partied away the night before the convention. I found a couple guys that I haven’t seen in years, some of you may remember them…

Todd H. – Terrance A. – Melinko – Marty S. – QuakeCON
Todd H. – Terrance A. – Melinko – Marty S. – QuakeCON

Day two it was ready for the actual CON to start. We went upstairs to receive our badges and they were very happy to give them to us, we entered the vendor area and started looking around. In my time working for Alienware I had helped create some amazing convention setups, but mainly with pc’s. When I looked over at the Alienware booth this year they had a hummer, that you could sit in the back of and play on, that was kind of cool. There was not much room overall for people to get their Quake on but the set was very pretty so a congratulations to Claudina, a stay over from my days at Alienware, she is still doing a great job at the shows.

After checking out the Alienware stuff I stopped over by the Asus booth to speak with Origin PC’s very own Richard ‘DarthBeavis’ Surroz. He had some really impressive custom built rigs which can be seen below. He was nice enough to do an interview with us on the show floor and for that we give him a big Obsoletegamer.com thank you! Check out his blog here!

On Friday I got to do a hands on with Fallout: New Vegas, it was a bit short since as you know, if you have ever played Fallout, it’s going to take you an hour just to get through the beginning of the game so I more or less got to the point where I acquired a gun and started to diffuse some issues inside of a nice little western town. The story was instantly compelling and actually made me want to speak with the NPC’s, so that was definitly a plus. There is still the same targeting system, which for me personally being a huge FPS fan is a bit of a turn off, you don’t have to use it, but on an XBOX 360 controller I have 0 accuracy so I had to use it if I wanted to kill anything. Regardless without dwelling on that too much, it looks like it will be a fantastic game, I will buy it for the PC and I’m sure I will enjoy it. Thanks again to Bethesda for inviting me to play and a special thanks to Angela Ramsey for setting it up, she did a hell of a job!

False Start

ps3 slim
The race to the next generation of consoles may have already started, but how certain are the predictions? First it was David Reeves of Capcom with his suggestion of two to three years. Now Murray Pannel, head of marketing for Ubisoft has predicted a similar time scale.

To a large extent this would make sense. Previous hardware generations have been about five years, and there has often been an advantage for the machine to launch first. However, once the design of a new machine has been started, technology can overtake what has been put together.

There is a very large counter-argument that the next generation is further away, and that is the strategy of both Sony and Microsoft to produce new add-ons for their current consoles. The “slim” SKU’s for both were a stop-gap, a way of improving the quality of the base machine, although for Sony fans the removal of backwards compatibility is a sharp pain that can only be eased by the rumoured “HD Classics” range. But Kinect and Move are both aimed at expanding the potential audience and creating a new wave of software that will last for years.

Sony confidently predicted a ten-year lifespan for the PS2, and that has come to pass. They are now suggesting a similar tenure for the PS3, and it could be to their advantage. This year has been a strong one for Sony with exclusives and good sales on the back of the PS3 Slim, and another good Christmas with interest in Move could push it further. Meanwhile, Kinect is going after the Wii’s audience to a large extent. Microsoft still has the edge in online gaming for many with Live, but the gap has narrowed. Moving on from the 360 may not suit Microsoft either, now that is making good profit and building its user base.

So where does Nintendo fit into this? The 3DS is clearly one important part of its strategy, but rumours of an HD Wii or Wii 2 refuse to go away. Could the big N once again pull a surprise out of its sleeve, continuing its “disruptive” policy? And will the familiar franchises keep the hardcore gamers satisfied alongside the new and expanded audience?

There is another joker in the form of the cloud gaming systems, OnLive and Gaikai. While OnLive has now launched in the USA to a mixed response, the news that games from Electronic Arts will be available on Gaikai is a major coup. These devices will, however almost certainly be fixed technology with frequent updates of the firmware, relying on a fast broadband connection to provide both the data and much of the processing power. It remains to be seen how they cope under the huge stresses of multiplayer gaming.

Whatever, the outcome will be good for gamers. Competition promotes development and innovation, whether it’s the mobile games on the touchscreen of an iPhone or the complexities of a PC strategy game. Next year, or maybe the year after, the real race will start.

Obscure Gamer – False Start

Playstation 3
The race to the next generation of consoles may have already started, but how certain are the predictions? First it was David Reeves of Capcom with his suggestion of two to three years. Now Murray Pannel, head of marketing for Ubisoft has predicted a similar time scale.

To a large extent this would make sense. Previous hardware generations have been about five years, and there has often been an advantage for the machine to launch first. However, once the design of a new machine has been started, technology can overtake what has been put together.

There is a very large counter-argument that the next generation is further away, and that is the strategy of both Sony and Microsoft to produce new add-ons for their current consoles. The “slim” SKU’s for both were a stop-gap, a way of improving the quality of the base machine, although for Sony fans the removal of backwards compatibility is a sharp pain that can only be eased by the rumoured “HD Classics” range. But Kinect and Move are both aimed at expanding the potential audience and creating a new wave of software that will last for years.

Sony confidently predicted a ten-year lifespan for the PS2, and that has come to pass. They are now suggesting a similar tenure for the PS3, and it could be to their advantage. This year has been a strong one for Sony with exclusives and good sales on the back of the PS3 Slim, and another good Christmas with interest in Move could push it further. Meanwhile, Kinect is going after the Wii’s audience to a large extent. Microsoft still has the edge in online gaming for many with Live, but the gap has narrowed. Moving on from the 360 may not suit Microsoft either, now that is making good profit and building its user base.

So where does Nintendo fit into this? The 3DS is clearly one important part of its strategy, but rumours of an HD Wii or Wii 2 refuse to go away. Could the big N once again pull a surprise out of its sleeve, continuing its “disruptive” policy? And will the familiar franchises keep the hardcore gamers satisfied alongside the new and expanded audience?

There is another joker in the form of the cloud gaming systems, OnLive and Gaikai. While OnLive has now launched in the USA to a mixed response, the news that games from Electronic Arts will be available on Gaikai is a major coup. These devices will, however almost certainly be fixed technology with frequent updates of the firmware, relying on a fast broadband connection to provide both the data and much of the processing power. It remains to be seen how they cope under the huge stresses of multiplayer gaming.

Whatever, the outcome will be good for gamers. Competition promotes development and innovation, whether it’s the mobile games on the touchscreen of an iPhone or the complexities of a PC strategy game. Next year, or maybe the year after, the real race will start.

Spider-Man: The Video Game

[youtube id=”t3-MGcWinU4″ width=”633″ height=”356″]

While playing the “far-away” mode I wondered why Spider-man didn’t just use his webbing like this all the time. When you are in “close-up” mode you can use a web spray attack that hits multiple enemies, but it uses some of your health. You can also jump and swing on a web to kick the bad guys in the face which I admit is cool. ~J.A. Laraque

Spider-Man: The Video Game

You know how some things from your childhood just don’t live up to your memory once you relive it as an adult? This is exactly what happened when I played Spider-Man the video game. When I first played this game in the arcades in the early 90’s it was the best thing ever. Today it is just strange and honestly not all that fun.

Spider-Man - The Video Game

Spider-Man the video game was developed by Sega in 1991. It was released to the arcades where you could play as Spider-Man, the Black Cat, prince Namor the Sub-Mariner, and the Avengers Hawkeye. On the arcade cabinet you could play with up to four people which was really popular at the time. The style of the game was similar to Captain America and the Avengers which was made by the same company and released earlier that year.

Pretty much the story is to defeat a large rogue gallery of Spider-Man foes including Venom, Kingpin, Doctor Octopus, Electro, Lizard, Scorpion, Sandman, Green Goblin, Hobgoblin, and ultimately Doctor Doom.

Spider-Man - The Video Game

When I first played it I believed it was so cool to fight all these bad guys from the Marvel comics, but honestly you spend most of the time fighting these random bad guys that look like a cross between the foot soldiers from TMNT and the shy guys from Super Mario 2. Worst of all they make this yelping and screaming sound all the time which gets super annoying.

Spider-Man - The Video Game

There are five chapters in the game and at the end of each you face a boss. However, along the way you can end up fighting mini-bosses like Electro and Doctor Octopus. The gameplay is pretty much two fold. One is your standard side scrolling beat ‘em up where you try not to get surrounded by bad guys and use a lot of throws and jump kicks, kind of like you would if playing Final Fight. The second mode has the camera zoom away to where you become like one fourth the size. When this happens you can climb on walls and just shoot giant globs of webbing to take down enemies.

Spider-Man - The Video Game

While playing the “far-away” mode I wondered why Spider-man didn’t just use his webbing like this all the time. When you are in “close-up” mode you can use a web spray attack that hits multiple enemies, but it uses some of your health. You can also jump and swing on a web to kick the bad guys in the face which I admit is cool.

Spider-Man - The Video Game

There is a small cut scene before each level with a bit of voiceover work and some of the bosses have a line or two as well, but not much else. What’s funny is Captain America and the Avengers is the older game, but I liked that one much better. Honestly the Punisher beat ‘em up arcade game is the best in my opinion.

As far as I can tell the game was never ported to anything and even in many M.A.M.E packs you won’t find this game, but it is worth a go if you do find it. If nothing else you get to play as Black Cat.

Spider-Man - The Video Game arcade cabinet
Spider-Man – The Video Game arcade cabinet
Spider-Man - The Video Game box
Spider-Man – The Video Game box
Spider-Man - The Video Game logo
Spider-Man – The Video Game logo

For this game I played it all the way through so check out our YouTube Channel for the rest of the videos.

I Want This Motherf#$^in’ 3D Out of My Motherf%$@in’ Games!

3D Blood Gaming
3D Blood Gaming

I’m one of those guys that can look at a piece of technology and already label its longevity either positively or negatively. For example, I don’t see Tablet PCs going anywhere for real household use. It plays a useful role in business for IT professionals but I don’t see Little Annie and her brother Marcus finding any pivotal use in one three years from now. The practicality of tablets being used every day is nil, in my opinion. My disgust for tablets and their strong marketing push is dwarfed, however, by the tsunami of shit encompassing visual media in the form of 3D. Never have I seen such a strong push in new media as I have for 3D. As a matter of fact, I think aside from the use of motion sensor technology, E3’s main hailstorm of shit pellets came from the boisterous and unrelenting gimmick of 3D in games. I know a lot of people are now looking forward to wearing fake sunglasses indoors so they can feel like a member of the Cure while playing Gran Turismo in their sweaty Ed Hardy shirts. Good job! You’re still a douche.

When I saw Avatar was being marketed as a 3D movie I was fine with that because it said from the get-go that it was slating to be a 3D movie. It was specifically made to enhance this experience and there wasn’t enough 3D in movies around that time. Then this “Fern Gully” rip off got huge and popular and now every movie that was made for 2D is quickly adding a 3D experience. I admit though, I am a bit of a hypocrite and have seen plenty of movies in 3D since then. Alice in Wonderland had to have been the worst use of the technology thus far next to Toy Story 3 (was there even anything popping out in this movie?). I constantly vow to myself to never buy a 3D movie ticket, a 3D television, and now a 3D video game.

Do they really need to push 3D into household use? Isn’t it bad enough it already strains your eyes in the theater. If I wanted shit to come flying at me I’d go outside and have someone throw a rock at my face. There’s no need for the Blades of Athena to swirl and twirl by the nape of my nose while Kratos dismembers a God. A grenade shooting shrapnel near my eye in Call of Duty won’t enhance my experience. The last thing I want in a video game is to pause the game and drool at the beauty of the objects hovering around me (in certain viewing angles only please!). One cannot even begin to fathom the strain put onto a gamer’s eyes after a 4-5 hour Halo binge. 3D does not increase the experience of anything. It isn’t stimulating whatsoever and doesn’t need to be put into interactive media. It is a gimmick of smoke and mirrors. It’s like showing your friend what happens when you put a Mentos in Diet Coke. Sure it’s cool the first 4 bottles then you realize things get pricey and it isn’t as cool past the third bottle. I hope this addition to gaming ends as swiftly as the Virtual Game Boy.

I proposed by hacking Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger Wedding
Chrono Trigger Wedding

The video game wedding or proposal is not new, but when it’s done in a cool way it’s worth noting and what cooler way is there to propose than in an awesome classic game like Chrono Trigger? Phil wanted to propose to his (now wife) Anna and after going through a few ideas he decided to hack the video game she was currently playing.

Here’s what was said on the YouTube page.

On October 17th, 2008, I proposed to my (now) Fiancé. Originally I wanted to return to the site of our first date, Mount Baker, near Bellingham Washington. Sadly, there was no discrete way to get her out there. So I turned to the next best thing, digitally recreating the mountain!

But why stop there? I figured I’d try and recreate many of our other favorite memories — stargazing, dancing, even her favorite song lyrics (from the Princess Bride). I’m a college student who is studying Computer Science, and I wanted to do something unique that used my talents, so I did some research on Rom hacking, as she was playing through Chrono Trigger. (A perennial favorite of mine, I can’t wait to buy it for my DS.) I even put in her cat, Cleo!

I had several goals in mind:
First) Keep the area in the context of the original game, the proposal should be a surprise.
Second) Get it done quick! I had the ring, I had the Father’s blessing, and you can’t sit on either of those for too long. You’ll notice some of the NPC collision information is missing (the cat runs through a lot of weird places) and I didn’t have time to properly debug every tile.
Third) Place memories that might be poignant enough to remind her of our relationship, while not inadvertently giving away that this was somehow hacked.(See goal #1.)

Overall, it was a resounding success. She had no idea that this wasn’t part of the original. She asked, “Hey, are those the Princess Bride lyrics? Do the Japanese really love that movie?” to which I responded, “Yeah! That’s probably it! Either that or a bored translator slipping in an Easter egg.”

When her name appeared on screen (blurred in this video), she glanced over to me (on one knee, with the ring out), wondering, “How did they get my name in this game?” When she saw the ring, she reread the proposal, nodded yes, and said, “You are such a huge nerd! I love this!”

I spent a long time debating whether or not this proposal was awesome or incredibly stupid. Her friends, and my friends helped talk me into it, and it was a huge success!

I built the area by fusing a pre-existing area (Denodoro Mountains) with concepts I had in my mind. Each NPC in the area (save the cat, and the young girl at the beginning) is supposed to be either myself or my fiancé.

Chrono Trigger Wedding Proposal
Chrono Trigger Wedding Proposal

Just a small commentary, some might feel doing something like this is stupid or nerdy, well its nerdy, but not stupid at all. We have all kinds of strange proposals, strange to us, but not to the people involved. With shows like Bride Wars and Bridezilla I think finding two people who love video games get together in a video game is fitting. Besides, dude she plays Chrono trigger, she’s a keeper!

Bump N Jump

Sometimes there are games out there that you play just because it’s a little different than the norm, for me Bump ‘n’ Jump was that game, released by Data East in 1982 this action racing game mixed Mario bros. style jumps with Spy Hunter-style driving.

Bump N Jump cover

Now I did not know this at the time but there is actually a reason you are racing down a sometimes horribly shaped highway knocking cars off the road and jumping over broken bridges. The drivers girlfriend was kidnapped by a group called the Black Army Corps. (No relation to Black Water)

Again we have another case of a simple goal that is not so simple to execute. Your mission is to get from one level to another by racing down the highway to hell playing extreme bumper cars with everyone on the road. To add to the fun the road looks to have been constructed by my three year-old self because the road is only sometimes straight. Most of the time the road resembles mountain tops with peaks and jagged edges sticking out and if you run into these you are dead.

Bump-n-jump-gameplay-screenshot

Luckily your car is equipped with the mother of all hydraulics that would make Snoop Dog go Snig-a-de-dig-a-de. Your car is able to take to the skies with a super jump and come crashing down on your enemies.

The game has a top down or “bird’s eyes” view so as you race you encounter a variety of enemy cars and trucks. These cars you can bump off the road to take them out, the trucks you cannot and sometimes the trucks will drops boulders or other items in your path that if you crash into will kill you.

Jumping does not just crush cars and trucks it is also to jump over the numerous broken bridges in the game. (I told you the stimulus package was necessary) It is also a good way to get out of a sticky situation. For instance when you bump into a enemy car it will give a little push back and if you are coming up fast on one of the out-sticking jagged edges on the road you can use your jump to safely navigate back to the middle of the road where you mainly want to be.

Bump-n-jump-gameplay-screenshot-1

Bump ‘n’ Jump was simply designed but the gameplay was what made it fun. It had a Spy Hunter feel to the road design using simple colors and shapes and since it was also published by Bally Midway it makes sense where the 1983 Spy Hunter got its level design from.

As you go through the levels you are also going through the season. (How long did it take this guy to get his girl back anyway?) The changes in level design are small mostly consisting of color changes. The exception was the winter stage which sported a snow covered design and slippery icy roads.

Unfortunately Bump ‘n’ Jump was another game I wasn’t very good at. Sometimes when that yellow exclamation point would begin flashing on screen and making that beeping noise I would become traumatized and crash. Like Spy Hunter I only made it to the winter level once. (I notice a pattern here)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uaql2YDZCPU[/youtube]

BNJ was ported to a number of console and computer systems such as the Atari 2600, the Commodore 64 and the NES and has been released under different names such as Burnin Rubber and Buggy Popper.Simple design and fun gameplay was the theme of the 80’s and that is why games like Bump ‘n’ Jump are still played today. Like many games of the 80’s you can find flash versions of them on websites or there is of course M.A.M.E, but I have no idea what that is. =)

Bungie’s New Trademark

You may or may not know this but a lot of times people can figure out what a company is working on or going to release by what website domains they purchase or what trademarks they register.

Attackofthefanboy.com came across a new trademark for Bungie called Bungie Aerospace what does this mean? Well it could be for Bungie’s next game or a new video game engine. Under the trademark info it lists BA being associated with:

“Computer game software downloadable from a global computer network; Computer game software for personal computers and home video game consoles; Computer game software for use on mobile and cellular phones; Computer software, namely, game engine software for video game development and operation; Interactive game software; Video game software”

Unfortunately that’s all we got at the moment, but we will be keeping an eye on this to see what Team Bungie is up to and let you know.

Bungie Aerospace
Bungie Aerospace

Civilization 5 coming Fall 2010

Civilization 5 Coming Soon
Civilization 5 Coming Soon

Civilization 5 coming Fall 2010

The latest installment of one of the best strategy games of all time, if not the best one will be out Fall 2010.

The Civilization games are the ultimate empire game strategy simulation games ever made. I have probably played these games more than anything ever. I can’t wait for Civilization 5 to make me lose sleep and make me forget to eat all over again. 😀

Sid Meier is an (evil) genius! 😀

UPDATE: This game sucked. Read the review here.

Steam Sale – Quantz for $3

Quantz
Quantz

Steam Sale – Quantz for $3

If you enjoy inexpensive puzzle games that you can replay often over and over then you will like Quantz (especially at $2.99).

The game consists of making combinations of marbles on a rotatable cube get together to create an explosive reaction and making the rest of the marbles disappear as soon as possible. There are other game modes as well that play similar yet differently.

Steam Sale – Total War series for $20

total war series sale
total war series sale

Steam Sale – Total War series for $20.39

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

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

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

Why I can’t stand the Wii

Wii Sucks
Wii Sucks

I completely expect to catch flack for this, but I am tired of being silent. I can’t stand the Wii console from Nintendo. I understand it has some good games like the new Mario, but the hype over the system and the fact that it’s not much more than a glorified accessory machine doesn’t help. We all know it has sold. I was not one who bought one, but I have played it. Now here is my reasoning.

The IMAC for a new generation

Remember the Apple iMac? Everyone had one, it was shown on almost every sitcom, but nobody ever used it. The Wii is the new IMAC, everyone got it because it was new and shiny, but in the end it sits unused like your treadmill.

When it was first released everyone talked about how fun it was. Funny thing is every time someone wanted to play it they were intoxicated on something. I guess the reason is nobody could have that much fun swinging wildly into the air unless you are drunk.

Now most of the people I know who have one have it sitting under a pile of accessories unused. We now play Rock Band when drunk.

Old people like it

You ever heard the saying that something is no longer cool once your parents like it? Now I don’t want to get in trouble with the AARP, but did you know there is a Wii bowling league for senior citizens?

Old Woman Wii
Old Woman Wii

Yes, that ultra hip piece of technology is the favorite plaything for the baby boomers. It narrowly beat out checkers and shuffle board. Wii Tennis has beat out not only Wolf Blitzer from CNN for things to watch after 5pm, but even Matlock gets TIVO’ed so grandpa Joe can get in a game of Tiger Woods-free Wii golf.

I have this thing called an Emulator

You know what is the number one response when I insult the Wii? “We’ll you can play old games like Excite Bike” Oh really? Well, it’s not like I ever had a chance to play that since ’85. I guess people never heard of something called M.A.M.E. or ZNES. Perhaps I am not supposed to speak about those to the public, kind of like Fight Club.

Even the so called new games like the sports pack are nothing more than glorified Yahoo games with an add-on so you can chuck hard plastic at your television.

Thanks to Dumpbase.net for the video

Hey Wii, the Game Cube called it, wants its graphics back!

Worst yet it reminds me of the console wars back in the Sega, Nintendo days except this time it’s PS3 and XBOX 360 fighting it out and the Wii getting the scraps. My question is how many Mario games can you look forward too? I love Mario, but damn. Speaking of Mario, is it just me or is it an abomination to see Sonic and Mario together in a game? I liked the back and forth of which was the better franchise. It’s like Coke and Pepsi coming out with a drink together. Well Coke tried that with New Coke and you remember what happened there.

Wii
Wii

My opinion doesn’t count

Nintendo could care less with the cash it is raking in and in the age of the ipod we know people like overpriced pretty colored devices so the Wii fits in perfectly. Between the Everybody Votes channel and the Mii’s Nintendo has the winning combination for our American Idol’d world. All Nintendo has to do now is add Farmville to the Wii and the final sign of the apocalypse will be upon us.

Happy Gaming!

Master of Orion

Master of Orion box cover
Master of Orion box cover

Master of Orion 1 (MS-DOS) Review by Honorabili

One Sentence Review:

“The original explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate space mega empire game.”

Overall Score:

10 out of 10

Overview:

This is the grand daddy, 5000 lb gorilla of space empire games. From the now dead Microprose, this is one of those games, among XCOM and Master of Magic and Civilization that made that company a gaming legend.

You take the role of the immortal emperor of one of many emerging races that just discovered the ability to travel to other star systems and begin the competition for colonization, later leading to war, and galaxywide politics as to who will win the war for supremacy or the votes of all nations as the race to unify the galaxy as the leader of a mega empire (ending the game).

The game consists of you taking turns (non-simultaneous) with your rivals, managing your planets’ development, research directions (allows multiple research projects at a time vs 1 in later space empire games, which I think that’s unrealistic), your spy projects (they can sabotage, steal tech, be sleepers), your diplomacy (make alliances, actually never do almost, and trade tech, start trade deals, threaten and demand tribute, end and start wars), and conquer conquer conquer. You can orbitally bombard planets to dust basically or be smart about your killing (because later the weapons can literally scorch all populations out of existence, even one ship) and enslave, I mean welcome the conquered population to your empire.

There are different races that each has an advantage, whether a bonus in diplomacy or faster production or research or better combat skills (space or ground combat, which is good for taking over planets) or spying or their people breed like rabbits or some don’t require any terraforming whatsoever (which is a major part of the game, being able to actually claim and live on planets aka breathing is a major technology).

The game is won be either eliminating all rivals or becoming the new emperor of a unified star empire.

This is the game that inspired most future space empire games such as Space Empires, Galactic Civilizations, Sword of the Stars, Sins of a Solar Empire, etc.

Fun Factor:

This game is like crack. If you love micromanagement and having to defend 6 fronts at a time, this is the turn based strategy game for you. Since the game is turn based, you can take your time planning where to attack next or who to try to start a war with (or make them fight each other by making your spies start a fake terrorist attack vs each other). The game makes you feel as though you are using your brain and even to this day, over 15 years of me playing it, I’m always finding out new little secret strategies to deploy. If you’re a war gamer, you will agree that this game has a Fun Factor of 9 out of 10. It’s a game for thinkers.

Difficulty Versatility:

The game has like 5 difficulty settings and it becomes really brutal the higher you go. You can scale the size of the galaxy so that you can play a long or REALLY long game. This sometimes has a harsher effect on how hard it is. Imagine having to fight a fleet of 20 war planets producing full time vs one of 4 planets. It requires you to have the logistical foresight to be able to take on such an onslaught. I give the Difficulty Versality a score of 10 out of 10.

Value:

Well, Microprose is dead and basically so this game is now free. You can get it from sites such as http://www.abandonia.com/ or http://www.homeoftheunderdogs.net/ and run it on DOSBox for free. You can also opt to buy Master of Orion 1 + 2 together for $5.99 from Good Old Games. Since this game is amazing and it’s free or very cheap, the score for Value is maxed out at 10 out of 10.

Replayability:

I’ve been playing it at least 2-3 times a year since the mid 90s. It’s one of those games that is on a permanent list to play each year. Like Civilization, once I start playing this game it’s hard for me to do anything but that for a good 2-4 weeks, each time. Replayability gets a 10 out of 10.

Sound:

I usually have the sound off, but the sounds are okay for an early 90s DOS strategy game. I give the Sound a score of 6 out of 10.

Music:

The music is alright but I usually shut it off and play some classical or epic music in the background. Keeps the game play strong and my concentration on maxing out planets and blowing up enemy fleets. The Music that comes with the game gets a 6 out of 10.

Graphics:

Of course, the graphics are now way dated, but for it’s time they were pretty great for a war game. The weapon beam effects look great for DOS and even the homing missiles look threatening although it’s just a grey arrow almost. Considering the style behind the Microprose games of this time and that it’s a war game, Graphics get a 9 out of 10.

Stability/Reliability:

The game never, ever crashes, itself. Sometimes DOSBox has some issues when you ALT-TAB but that’s a problem with DOSBox, not the game itself. I give Stability/Reliability a score of 10 out of 10.

Controls:

The controls are simply point and click with a few hotkeys integrated. The hotkeys however are not necessarily shown in game and you’d have to read the manual or look them up online. Some are essential like B for scrapping your missile bases in case they are too obsolete or your war front has moved up from that location and you’re wasting resources maintaining them. I give controls a 7 out of 10 because although some are hidden, they do what they’re meant to do properly and keep the game playable.

Performance:

This game will run godlike on any computer, maybe even a mobile phone. Performance instantly gets a 10 out of 10.

My history with this game:

This is actually one of the first PC games I’ve ever bought and it was well worth it as it has given me literally over 1000 hours of gameplay. I played it first on a 486 so you have an idea how much of a place in my gaming history this game has. Because of it’s turn based nature I’ve even played this game while working and that’s very doable so long as you have good multitasking skills and a good memory as to your strategems. I hope you will all start playing this classic even as a new gamer, you will learn new ways to think and that’s always, always rewarding in itself.

Master of Orion manual
Master of Orion manual

Free Stuff – Play Value, the history of video games

Play Value Logo
Play Value Logo

If you want to learn in general about the history of video games, check out this web mini show made by On Networks called Play Value. From the 50s to Atari to Nintendo to Commodore to Sega to Sony and Microsoft, it covers pretty much most major events.

http://www.onnetworks.com/videos/play-value

The music of CoLD SToRAGE aka Tim Wright

CoLD SToRAGE aka Tim Wright
CoLD SToRAGE aka Tim Wright

http://www.coldstorage.org.uk/

Tim Wright aka CoLD SToRAGE has been a significant musical influence in the gaming world. Now… enjoy much of his music for free! Check out this link. He is mainly known for his work on the soundtrack of many of the Wipeout racing games that are classic racing games on Playstation. His intense music works well with these fast racing games.

Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War 2

Space Marines from Dawn of War 2
Space Marines from Dawn of War 2

Warhammer 40K – Dawn of War 2 Review by Honorabili

 

One Sentence Review:

“Challenging squad combat level based RTS based on the Warhammer 40K universe but based on the game style of Company of Heroes.”

Overall Score:
8 out of 10

If you want to read my review & strategy guide for the campaign of the expansion Chaos Rising, click here.

Overview:

This is the ambitious and different sequel to what is considered (by the computer game industry) the 2004 strategy game of the year. The first game was similar to Starcraft but this one chooses a different route. For the multiplayer aspect/connectivity the game decided to use Games For Windows Live as the backbone. If you have a microphone you will appreciate that the game has a built in voice chat that is used via Games For Windows Live. In general over some older RTS games and introduced in Company of Heroes, the game makes use of cover in the terrain to give defensive bonuses to units.

There are different game modes: single player and co-op storyline campaign, skirmish which you can set to PVE or play with a combination of other players together or against each other in the tradition of online pvp play that’s now commonplace, and the recently added mode of The Last Stand. The campaign consists of you or your gaming partner following a series of linear and also randomly generated conquer and defend missions with your squad of hero units which have leveling through combat/objectives (also a level cap) and the acquisition of relics (wargear) that modify the combat characteristics/tactics of each squad. You can only play as the human Space Marine faction in the campaign. The difficulty is variable. As far as fighting goes, the campaign mainly consists of completing objectives and taking optional ones. As far as skirmish goes, you can opt out to practice against the computer or either do traditional 1 vs 1 and up in groupings of players. For skirmish you can be human Space Marines, Eldar, Tyranids, or Orks. The game includes a ladder system for this mode. In the skirmish mode, this plays out more like a regular RTS with two resources available, power and requisition. You can set the objective to either wipe out the player or hold the most strategic points for x amount of time and so forth. This is a lot like Unreal Tournament 3/Company of Heroes. The newest game mode The Last Stand groups you up with two other human players in a series of levels, each in increasing difficulty, in a game of survival. You get a higher score multiplier for killing all enemies quicker than normal groups, not dying, holding the defense points capped, with all your multiplier being resetted to 1X if any team member dies. There is a high score/ladder system with this mode and the game also keeps track of your best scores for each of the characters you get, those being the Space Marine, Eldar, and Ork.

Fun Factor:

The campaign keeps you playing until you beat it and it’s worth replaying with another player, usually at the highest difficulty. It’s worth also playing alone in the max difficulty as having another player can (sometimes) make it easier. The skirmish mode can be a lot of fun as the game plays out more like a traditional RTS game rather than the storyline hero system that people will get used to playing if they play the campaign a lot. The Last Stand is probably the funnest game more as it creates a good feeling of teamwork, although it can be disappointing to get paired up with a bunch of noobs that will get you killed faster than you think. If you play the game with a good group of friends the game can be a lot funner as you can start to dominate the ladders and scoreboards. Overall the game will keep you entertained for days, maybe weeks and it’s good to go back to it and visit it once in a while especially if they released new maps for it or modified minor parts of the game. For fun factor I give DoW2 an 8 out of 10.

Difficulty Versatility:

As far as the campaign goes, I find it rather easy even at the highest difficulty setting. I’ve tested this and made people who never played the game play it at that difficulty right from the start and they found it easy to dominate, even with non-experienced RTS players. I started to play the game with non-favorite/favorable characters and it’s still easy. Still, it’s worth playing through at least once.

The skirmish mode is much more challenging as you are dealing with human players that most likely have been playing the game already in this mode kicking ass and will school you until you get the hang of it. Don’t be discouraged as this is often the case in RTS games online and if you are a good player and played the tutorial, I mean campaign, you will quickly get used to the units, although the campaign only lets one play Space Marines and skirmish allows more races, so one will need to learn all about them from scratch. If you put in the time and effort, you will find skirmish to be the most rewarding as far as a challenge goes. My advice is that you memorize all the cover points in all maps so optimize defense tactics/cover. Don’t worry most other players you will fight already have done this. 😀

The Last Stand is a lot of fun but make sure that you are grouped with great players that know what you are doing and you make a good team effort to make it to the last stages/top of the ladder. The difficulty can be impossible if you play with noobs but don’t feel bad as the game will soon be over. ;-] With my friends we played the hell out of this mode easily for 1-2 weeks nonstop so it can be exciting for a while. In the final stages of the mode when you are fighting the entire screen filled with enemies the difficulty is literally impossible but that’s the point of the mode. It’s really well done in that sense.

The tutorial (campaign) is a cakewalk so I will punish the game for that. Skirmish is great if you put in your time getting used to it so that’s flawless. The Last Stand is what it is and it works as advertised. Overall I give DoW 2 an 8 out of 10 for this category.

Value:

I bought the game when it first came out for $50 on Steam. The game is currently sold for about $40 on there as of the time of this writing and if you buy a bundle of THQ/Relic games you can get it for partially cheaper cost. It is also sometimes sold on sale via Steam as the game did not sell as well as they anticipated and they are trying to get more people to play it. Since the expansion pack is a few months away as of now it will probably be on sale again often as they might also bundle the game and expansion together when that’s available. Since the game is not that popular right now, I would say that they should sell it for $30 all the time as the base price to encourage more players to get it. Since the game provides many many hours/days of entertainment and it can become a permanent game to keep playing, I give it a 7 out of 10 in value.

UPDATE: (from my DoW2 Chaos Rising review)

On Steam, they sell DoW2 Gold which has the original game and expansion for $40. The link to the Steam sale is the following. If you were like me and already owned DoW2 then for $30 Steam sells the expansion here.

If you never played DoW2, for $40 both the original and expansion for that price is an amazing value because that’s like a month or more worth of gaming right there, easily. $30 for just the expansion is a bit more steep but if you’re a fan of DoW2 and/or Warhammer 40k then you will probably buy it anyways.

Replayability:

The campaign can be played a good 2-3 times before you never want to see it again. The Last Stand can be very entertaining especially if you have a great team going. Since you have 3 heroes which you level up and unlock special abilities/wargear for, you would have to play many (and I mean MANY) matches to unlock all their powers. You don’t necessarily have to do that to get ranked super high in the scoreboard so long as you are good and your team mates play like a well-coordinated military unit. The skirmish mode will have unlimited replayability depending on much much you liked the game already in general and how you approach ladder pvp RTS games in general. I give the replayability a score of 8 out of 10.

Sound:

Most of the voice actors from DoW 1 which are professionals are back and you will quickly recognize them. They are well picked, especially units like the Dreadnought (undead human Robocop ED209 unit of an almost dead human soldier stuck in a killing machine that will forever “live to serve”). The sound effects themselves are great especially hearing the explosions and sounds of machineguns letting loose and Eldar weapons flying through the air (shurikens, etc.). I give the sounds of DoW 2 an 8 out of 10.

Music:

The music for DoW 1 and its expansions are all epic and may be some of the best soundtracks for a war game in the RTS genre. Relic continues this tradition with DoW 2 and they are to be commended. The music of DoW 2 gets a 9 out of 10.

You can download the entire the Dawn of War 2 OST from this link.

Graphics:

This game looks simply wonderful even in Windows XP running DirectX 9. It improves on the graphics of the first game and you will enjoy the spectacular display of combat and gore of the units. One of my favorites is seeing how effective Assault Space Marines can be on a group of unsuspecting targets/victims. ;-] The graphics get an 8 out of 10. They are pretty enough for an RTS but they’re no Assassin’s Creed.

Stability/Reliability:

Overall the game runs pretty well although the netcode can sometimes be laggy. Some people will experience port/NAT errors because of the Games for Windows Live and I researched this and Relic is yet to provide a real fix for it. One might be able to fix this by finding all ports used by Games for Windows Live and forcing them open but I have yet to test this. I found this problem when trying to invite players to co-op campaign and The Last Stand and the game will give a generic NAT routing error message. The game itself is stable as a rock and I haven’t seen the game itself crash to desktop on my hardware. Because of how annoying the NAT error is, and the lag in the netcode, although the game itself is stable, I give this game a 4 out of 10.

Controls:

The controls are pretty standard for RTS games with abilities hotkeyed and CTRL + number to group/remap unit groupings. The camera control, panning, zooming is standard. Since Supreme Commander has much better zooming capabilities and Battle Forge has better, faster scrolling I give the controls a 6 out of 10. No real innovation there but no annoying attempts to try new control methods that are a failure.

Performance:

On a modern machine the game runs decently. My brother bought the game but he was not able to get it running on his old machine which uses an ATI X800 video card so make sure you have a video card that supports enough technology in shader models to even run the game. They recommend having at least an ATI X1600 or nVidia GeForce 6600 GT to just be able to run it. I’ve seen the game run kind of laggy on the machine of a friend of mine that had the latest video drivers, a faster CPU than mine and this was at 1600×1200. Even when I scaled it down to 1024×768 it still ran slower than my older machine so I guess the game is kind of a fickle beast. I give the performance of the game a 7 out of 10 for its lack of support of older machines and unpredictable performance (a faster machine should run the game better but in reality didn’t).

My history with this game:

My friends used to have LAN parties every weekend for 2 years nonstop playing mainly DoW 1 as out favorite RTS game and all its incarnations of expansion packs and patch updates. I bought this game when it first came out for 50 bucks hoping that we could continue playing and since the game had a better online client (Games for Windows Live vs GameSpy which was a pain in part 1 to play online because of port issues) but pretty much I was the only one of my friends that bought this game when it first came out since the game got mixed reviews when it came out and fanboys crying like bitches in forums about how they “ruined” the DoW legacy since they went away from the Starcraft roots. About 5-6 months later a few of my friends finally got the game and it’s been a lot of fun to finally be able to play with them again. 😀

About us in general

Obsolete Gamer Title Picture

A group of us decided to get together to create a website that would have honest, down-to-earth no-nonsense reviews on new and old games for PC and all other systems.Read More