Archive for January, 2011
This past weekend I apparently really wanted to spend some money as I spent roughly 500 euro on games or gaming related stuff… kind of crazy but I guess the heart wants what it wants. It’s the discussions on the giant bombcast that led me to be enthusiastic about the 3DS and seeing how hard it tends to be to get one post-launch… I figured I’d dive in early. I was very interested in Homefront initially and definitely a game I kept my eye on but the podcast BASH made me want it enough to actually pre-order it. I’m expecting it to be a sleeper hit, though I’m frankly not sure how well-known it really is at this point.
So here’s the quick’n'dirty rundown:
- Black 3DS
- Playstation Move
- Pokemon White
- Lost Horizon
- Penny Arcade episode 1+2
Monday Night Combat
During the 2010 Steam-sales there was a sale on Monday Night Combat, a game I previously saw gameplay of on XBLA, it looked like a lot of fun honestly and I then wished it would release for PC. And so it did, I bought it on the sale which gave me access roughly a month early to the beta. So I had my access and tried to play a round or two and… honestly? It just kept freezing and crashing every some minutes. I had plenty of games to play so I just left it be, just before release though I gave it another shot and had a blast with it.
The game is a sort of mix between team fortress and day of the ancients- type games. There’s 2 teams with 6 players each with different classes who each have 3 abilities each. There’s also robots spawning all the time that have to reach the opponent’s base and do damage. When you kill the robots or players they’ll drop and/or give you money. This money you can then spend on upgrading your class abilities or build turrets to defend your base. This makes for a very active and quick-paced game which is right up my alley and I advice you to give it a look at least.
Mount & Blade
I’ve not been playing as much Mount & Blade as I did previously, partly because I know that to get anything done in Prophesy of Pendor it’ll take many many hours. Now I still like the game of course, but I want the LP to continue in a meaningful way, aka – being able to take on a castle, but the amount of troops is just crazy high and honestly I’ve never had as big of an army as I have in the let’s play’s savefile. So instead of continuing that I was looking at some other mods and came across Brytenwalda (Bryten – Britain, Walda – Ruler).
Brytenwalda is a mod based upon what we now know as the United Kingdom, around the year 600. It’s supposed to be highly historically accurate but I honestly wouldn’t know if that’s true or not. But it makes some big changes to the world and factions and even the character generation. For example when you kill some bandits you can decide to loot, bury or leave them… doing anything other than burying the corpses makes you lose honor which is a nice feat. This makes fighting in enemy lands very dangerous as burying and looting the corpses takes some time, in which you may be ambushed yourself.
There are also 20+ small factions with each different “Major Cities”. I also really like the fact that you may get ambushed yourself, there’s random events on the worldmap and that all the camps around the world have an authentic and unique layout. I saw some wooden forts with small wooden walls on top of some small hills with small cottages inside, much how I’d expect a settlement to look. It’s really a very interesting mod that I’m looking forward to playing more of in the future, I might also be tempted to show some of it.
Dead Space 2
I initially didn’t buy Dead Space 2 as I really loved Dead Space but expected it to feel like a forced sequel just to milk some more money out of the dead space name. That was until I saw the video reviews. It made me realise that it is in fact a real game and a very good one at that. After looking around a bit more to make sure I decided to buy it as I really liked to play more Dead Space. Now it could’ve been a game to let’s play but… I didn’t do the first and simply wanted to be greedy and enjoy it for myself.
So far I’ve only played roughly 3 to 4 hours and got to chapter 7, which I’m assuming must be roughly halfway of the story. A big change is that Isaac actually speaks now and has a face, this changes a lot from the first game but I’d say it’s a positive change as it certainly helps with the storytelling which has become a significant part of the game. There’s several characters I’ve interacted with and it all seemed to work well and it really helps you immerse into the game. A lot of people found Dead Space to be scary and I’m going to say that’s still the case. It has some creepy moments and 2 or 3 jump-scares so far, but nothing really unique there. It’s the darkness and excellent sound design that sets the atmosphere and therefore is really a game that needs to be played with headphones at night.
I figured I’d write a small post about something I encountered while doing some normal reading, I saw a video post with the name Path of Go. Immediately surprised I clicked to see what it was and it turned out to be… a Go game for Xbox Live Arcade. It actually seems quite good as far as a board game can be good on a console of course. But the video shows the first 15 minutes and it seems to explain things well for people unknown to the game (which will be the majority I’m sure).
So I did a quick search and came up with some articles and an interview with information on multiplayer and “Message Play” and the rules used and found out that it’s been out for some weeks at this point and it’s hard to even know of it’s existence. I was curious to see what they’re pricing for it and it’s 400 microsoft points.
Website stuff I want to do in the near future:
1. Improve upon the tutorial
With that I mean is that I feel like I ought to re-write some parts and add in a fix for the black screen problem which of course is excellent. I haven’t received any feedback on it so I suppose I shouldn’t mess with it too much.
2. Properly list and maintain let’s play statuses and info
I need to do something with the let’s plays as I currently just have images of the games’ logo’s or titles linked to the playlist on youtube, now I’d like to add more info on that but I really need a friendly way of doing that. I also am thinking of just moving that part over to the forums within a link directory of sorts, but I’m not certain on that yet. With that though I would have cleanly separated the blog and forum which currently is a bit of a mix. Of course the blog will have some let’s play related stuff on it, but I’ll just do announcements and all on the forum and make the blog just about me.
3. Make a better about me page
I’m simply not really happy with the page right now, sure it has the info and all written hastily but… it doesn’t ”work”. I need to figure out a way to better do this. I have no clue how but I’ll try and have a peek around for ideas.
Anything else you guys would really like to see changed/added? On a sidenote, I’ll be rolling out a forum update in the coming days and might add in a link directory to the forums to see if I like it or not.
Over the past weeks(or possibly months) I have watched Firefly, a series that is rather unusual for me as I’m not generally a space/sci-fi kind of guy. I saw it getting mentioned on forums a lot as a series people wished would continue so I got intrigued and gave it a shot.
This series is about a a crew of people on a small spaceship called the Serenity. There’s an interesting group of people collected on it which all have very well worked out characters which I love to see. It tells an ongoing story of the adventures this crew get themselves tangled up in as their line of work isn’t especially safe or legal. This creates a unique setting as it really focuses on what’s right and what’s wrong and of course sets itself up for legal troubles for the group.
I’m actually surprised to see how much I enjoyed the episodes seeing the setting and the only real drawback or perhaps oddity is the action. There’s plenty of shooting happening and it to me seems that they didn’t quite know what they really wanted to do with it. There’s plenty of revolvers, shotguns and other old rifles, but on the other hand there’s some sci-fi weapons too such as lasers. During action scenes you’ll see them shoot old rifles and yet there’s that classic ‘space laser’ sound… that doesn’t really work for me, I know it’s the setting as there’s a lot of “wild west” in there which I don’t mind, it’s just the shooting.
Overall I just have to say that it’s a really enjoyable series that very quickly makes you care for the characters and keeps you guessing as to what is going to happen, it doesn’t seem predictable unlike a lot of other series. Especially the final episode which…. was out there.I really enjoyed watching it and like many others, I’d happily see a second season. I’ll probably watch the movie follow-up to it soon that’s called Serenity.
So a while ago I was looking through the top apps for my iPhone and stumbled upon Sleep Cycle, what it said to do is basically wake you at a pleasant moment in the morning. Considering we all hate that standard hard beeping alarm, I figured I’d give it a go and with only costing 99cents, there’s not much to lose.
So what you have to do is disable the phone from going off, or locking and then turning up the volume so you’ll be sure you’ll wake up. So what the app really does is use the iPhone’s ability to sense motion so it can feel when you move when it’s placed on the bed. On the first 2 nights it’s said it’s just making a baseline for you, but it worked perfectly from the get-go. What you do is you set an ultimate waking time and the 30min(by default) before that, you might get waken up. In my case this is between 7 and 7.30am, during this time if you move enough so that you’re in a light sleep state, the alarm will go off, which I’ve set to some of the very soothing default sounds.
I have to say that after using it for 6weeks now, I love this app. It’s continuously waking me up at a pleasant moment and very gently, yet never failing to do so despite me being a heavy sleeper. The only drawbacks to it are that because the sound is on, you’ll hear notifications which to me is e-mails which come in during the night and the fact that you probably need to sleep alone for it to work properly, but I’m not sure on the latter.
The other thing I wanted to talk about in this blog is… Golden Sun: Dark Dawn. I previously played through the GBA’s Golden Sun games and absolutely loved them. They had such character and were solid rpg’s with some puzzle elements, it really simply worked. Now I’ve started playing the new DS game and after the initial 6 hours I can say that it certainly sets itself aside as a Golden Sun game, the dialog, expressions, puzzles and solid fighting are all there and it’s very entertaining to figure out how to get chests or djinn that you’ll see around. If you’re wondering if it’s a worthy successor, I feel pretty confident to say that it is.
So I recently got that Total War itch again after watching a rome total war lets play, but I didn’t feel like playing Napoleon: Total War really. I decided to go back to Empire: Total War which I played roughly 200 hours of before, but decided I’d play with a different mod.
Previously I’d play with Imperial Splendour, which has really high cost for troops and improvements, making every action you take very costly and more careful. This I would usually combine with a mod that would allow you to play with all the minor factions, which I found to be far more interesting. I usually played as Genoa or Georgia, which found themselves surrounded by major factions which was always very tricky.
This time around I decided to play with Darthmod, Ultimate Commander edition, which is basically is a compilation pack of other mods on top of Darthmod, which is the most known mod there is for Empire. It basically focuses on enhancing the original experience, giving you more money to start out with and mostly AI-enhancements, as well as some technology tweaks and raising the number of troops per unit. So you end up with bigger battles a lot quicker.
So this time I started to play with Georgia which meant I was crammed in between Russia, the Ottomans and the Persians. I soon noticed that the Persians were amassing an army near my border which meant that they were going to attack me or the minor faction next to me. I then persuaded my way into a military alliance with a big wad of cash and military access to my land(s). This was actually a huge deal as the Russians weren’t really bothered with me so I could focus my expansion on the Ottomans.
I quickly took over Armenia as it really wasn’t defended at all and after training some more units I had the choice of which land I was going to attack; Syria or Turkey. After some scouting it turned out that Turkey was well defended and Syria was almost left open after wars with Persia, so I managed to get a big town with almost no cost. At that point I could barely hold on to it, fought off a rebellion and skirmishing Ottoman raiders but held on to the town. This was a big move as I had essentially crippled the Ottoman economy by cutting off trade from Egypt and Israel. Then I marched on to Egypt and sieged 2 moderately-defended cities and while this was going on I got declared war on by… United Provinces?
At this point I had stretched my military so thin that I could barely hold on to anything at all, but I still wanted Turkey, and with those cities I could get a great economy going later, so I moved some of my units up north and encountered the Persians losing a siege, after which I saw my golden opportunity to snatch up that huge chunk of land, which luckily worked marvelously as I had a better general. Then I really had to stop my expansion and get an economy going. So then started a slow part of the game, but I had nice income and built up a full stack of units.
I loaded my stack of units on a fleet and loaded them off at Brussels and quickly took the town since it was weakly defended. Most of the United Provinces’ units were in Cologne, so the next step was to quickly take Amsterdam by surprise and that’s exactly what I did. I then soon charged for Cologne and managed to defeat the enemy due to my experienced troops and general. Soon after that, and while still fighting off a rebellion in Amsterdam, Hannover and Wurttemburg, 2 minor nations declared war on me and started attacking me. This war went on for roughly 5 years, but I came out victorious.
After this campaign and with seemingly all the warmongers in western Europe taken care of, I noticed that several settlements/islands in the Americas had rebelled/were being run by pirates, so I saw my chance to score easy resources, and with that a strong foothold and a lot of trade in that part of the world. I loaded up a stack of units (Fresh ones, keeping the veteran units in Europe to protect my lands there), and took Dutch- and French Guyana, Curacao, Trinidad & Tobago and some other islands while fighting off fleets of pirates and established some trade routes.
This all took roughly 5 hours and in these 5 hours I had such enormous amounts of fun, I simply love these Total War games, especially Empire.