PDA

View Full Version : Shawarma's Video Game Review Thread



Shawarma
30th August 08, 04:24 AM
Hello. I am still on vacation and has currently run out of interesting things to do but read, enjoy the remaining sun of the summer and play video games. Therefore, I create this thread as kind of a personal diary of video games I played and (mostly) liked. I am a big whore for unconventional and indie games as well as old emulated shit, so I'll be sure to review a few of these if this keeps my interest.

I'll begin by postwhoring and copy-pasting an old review of City of Heroes, the excellent MMORPG, I posted a while ago.

Feel free to post comments and insults, but please be funny.

Shawarma
30th August 08, 04:27 AM
City of Heroes MMORPG and how it compares to WoW

I recently started playing City of Heroes, the now semi-old MMORPG about being a comic-book superhero in the fictional Paragon City and am finding it to be a very enjoyable timekiller along with the expansion pack City of Villains that you get at no extra charge, which allows you to play a supervillain and fight said heroes.
In this review, I will compare the game to Wow, which I played for about 3 months and which most people will be more familiar with.

1. Graphics:
CoH/CoV has better graphics, the characters are better modeled and the effects are prettier. It does, however, also have a lot of fairly drab locales, especially the villain cities which are mostly dark and nasty slums that you get tired of looking at after a while. WoW has much more colourful and interesting locations, but it has a natural advantage on account of being a fantasy game.

2. Character Creation
In WoW, you have the choice between 10 races and six classes. The looks of your characters can be customised by chosing some 10 different hairstyles, 10 different faces and 10 different beards for each character along with hair colour. In CoH/V, you can choose between 10 hero or villain archetypes along with 2 "trees" of superpowers to play with, giving you more of a possibility to create unique characters that WoW does. CoH/V also has the most extensive character appearance customisation system I've ever seen. First of all, you can alter the look of your characters face and body through a useful slider syste. Secondly, there are literally hundreds of different options for customising your characters headgear, masks, gloves, shirt, pants, belt and more. Generally, if you can imagine a character concept, you can create it. CoH/V wins the character creation section hands down.

The character types are pretty standard fare for RPGs and some are WoW ripoffs. The hero archetypes are:

Tanker: Defensive melee fighter. Duh! Designed to take the punishment. WoW fighter.
Scrapper: Offensive melee fighter. Fragile, but deals good damage.
Defender: Healbitch. Think WoW priest.
Controller: Crowd control specialist. Useless out of a team.
Blaster: Ranged nuker. Think WoW mage.

The villain archetypes:
Brute: Tank. More offensive than Tanker.
Stalker: Stealth unit. Think WoW rogue. Backstab!
Corruptor: Long range damage + healing/buffs.
Dominator: Crowd control + some ranged damage.
Mastermind: Has pets. Total WoW warlock ripoff.

3. Gameplay mechanics
Nearly identical as far as interface is concerned. CoH has the same toolbar with all the spells and skills of your character assessible by pressing the 1-0 keys, you move your character with WASD and jump with space. There is no autoattack, though, which is really not a bother, since you will stop using your basic attack power (called brawl) at lvl 5 or so in favour of better superpowers.
The biggest difference is probably that you have no "inventory" as such in CoH/V. You can't drop the ubersword of leetness and equip it. Instead you drop salvage items, which can be combined at a worktable to craft enhancements, which can be equipped to certain superpowers in order to boost their power. CoH is really not about t3h phat lewtz but about action and teamwork.
A major difference in the mechanics is how you move. In WoW, you have to walk everywhere, taking a long time, unless you can find a gryphon or wyvern and fly, also taking a long time. In CoH/V, almost everyone choses a power such as super speed, flight, teleporting or superjumping, making travel quick and relatively painless, aided by the fact that the CoH gameworld is MUCH smaller than that of WoW.

4. Teamwork
The most important aspect of MMORPGs. CoH has few players because it's semi-old and not Warcraft. The people who do play it are usually friendly and mature, as far as MMORPG nerds go, and there is a low number of 12 year olds talking l337. The big advantage CoH has over WoW is that it's easier to pick up groups for quests. All quests in CoH take place inside instances which take a short time to complete (10-20 minutes depending on team and quest) and there's a cool "random mission generator" that means you can log on for an hour, do 4-6 random missions and leave. It's easy getting even a full group of 8 to run around with and easy to find replacements for people who drop out. In WoW, you need fucking HOURS to get a suitable team together and do just ONE goddamn instance and if your healer suddenly decides to drop out halfway through, that's it, you're fucked. CoH has a lot more dynamic and fast-paced teamwork.
Which leads us to what I feel is maybe the greatest aspect of CoH: The sidekick system. Basically, it means that you can take any teammate and make him your sidekick, meaning you raise his level to one below yours. So if your good friend's lvl 10 character wants to come along on your lvl 24 quest, you just sidekick him to lvl 23 and he's good to go. You can also artificially lower your own level to play with lower level groups. No more of this "sry, ur 2 low" business you get in all other MMORPGs.

I like City of Heroes. It's less of a grind than WoW, has more fun customisation options, has fewer dumb kids playing, has a setting devoid of faggot elves and fairies and has the awesome lackeying system. I can recommend picking the free trial up if you're a nerd with too much time on your hands or if you just plain like comic books.

Aaranar
31st August 08, 07:40 PM
I'll give a little support for City of Heros. They recently announced issue 13, details of which can be found below.

Mission Architect:
First the City of Heroes Character Creator set a new standard for player creation and customization. Now, Issue 13 takes another giant step, allowing players to design their own missions and story arcs to share with the entire City of Heroes community. Using an intuitive interface similar to the game’s detailed Character Creator, players can create missions from the ground up. Players will determine details ranging from environments, mission objectives, and enemies, to written fiction and character dialogue; giving their stories nearly infinite depth and personalization.

Among other rewards, authors and architects who create the most extraordinary content will garner acclaim and reputation. Community feedback will be paramount and some missions will elevate in status unlocking new rewards and benefits for their creators.

Day Jobs (Offline Character Progression)
Scholar? Caregiver? City Official? Now when players log out of City of Heroes / Villains they’re just getting started! A character’s day job is determined by the actual in-game location from which he or she logs out. If players log out from a University their day job is considered to be a Scholar. If they log out from City Hall they're a City Official. The benefits are thematically appropriate to the location. For example, a City Official earns extra Influence, a Scholar is granted Salvage, a Caregiver is granted Health Regeneration Buffs, etc.

Once characters have accumulated the required amount of time for each Day Job, they are rewarded with the appropriate Day Job Badge and Title, increasing their “earnings” for that job. Multiple Badges can be combined to unlock Accolades and the ability to accumulate additional new rewards. Almost every location within Paragon City and the Rogue Isles has an associated Day Job, resulting in a wide selection of jobs and rewards!

New Powersets
Shields – Heft a Shield for Heroic or Villainous Ends! This new powerset brings a classic power to City of Heroes: Shields! Now, you can arm Tankers, Scrappers and Brutes with a powerful shield to protect themselves and their allies.
Pain Domination – Villains can now bend the power of pain to serve their own ends! Those playing a Corruptor or Mastermind have access to this new powerset. The antithesis of the Hero healing powerset “Empathy,” Pain Domination brings parity between Heroes and Villains with a distinctively evil flair.
New Cimerora Missions
New Hero and Villain story arcs expand upon the history and lore, and delve into the players and politics of Cimerora.

The Merit Rewards System
A new game system that allows players to earn tokens by completing Trials, Task Forces, Strike Forces, Raids, etc. The most challenging and time consuming tasks grant the most reward tokens, which can be redeemed throughout Hero and Villain zones for recipes, enhancements, salvage, costume pieces, badges, inspirations and other game items.

Other features
New Invention Origin Sets, new Costume Sets, a Patron Power Respec, Zone Refinements, and more!

Source : http://www.cityofheroes.com/game_update13.html

Shawarma
1st September 08, 09:34 PM
American McGee's Alice

2001, Electronic Arts.

Playing Alice is an experience that's hard to describe, but to make one thing clear: This is one weird-ass game.

The background story is as follows: Alice returned to her family after her adventures in Wonderland. Some time later, her family was killed in an accident when their home caught fire, leaving Alice alone in the world and wracked with survivors guilt. Mentally unstable, she was institutionalised in an insane asylum. Now, a decade later, Alice is as batty as ever, and hallucinates herself back to Wonderland where she must save the realm from the Red Queen and in the process restore her sanity.

Since the entire game takes place in the mind of a mentally unstable young woman, Wonderland has become a dark, hellish place inhabited by decidedly non-Disney twisted abominations and with ever-shifting psychedelic skies, and it's damned effective in establishing the creepy feeling of foetid insanity that permeates the game. Your guide through Wonderland is the Cheshire Cat, and it looks and sounds deliciously twisted:http://dl9.glitter-graphics.net/pub/224/224329npzfwp3j55.jpg

All of the happy and harmless creatures you know from Disney have been twisted by Alice's mental state into dark, evil beings that Alice must fight through on her way to reach the Red Queen, all explode in quite satisfying showers of blood when killed.

Alice is at heart an action-platformer in the spirit of Tomb Raider, fighting monsters with a variety of weapons, solving physical puzzles and jumping chasms and such. The gameplay is straightforward and works, for the most part, although a number of the early platforming sequences can be frustrating in their difficulty.

The monsters you face are interesting and so is your armoury. Wonderland, being the imaginary creation of a little girl, will allow Alice to arm herself initially with a Vorpal Blade (lol) and later a variety of lethal childs toys, such as razor-edged playing cards, an exploding jack-in-the-box, homing toy jacks which shred enemies to pieces, a magic croquet mallet and so on. Combat itself is very visceral and strangely satisfying, especially once you get the better weapons. Making the Queens card-soldiers explode in a shower of blood by throwing bombs at them or cutting them in half with the vorpal blade is a nice fuck-you to Disney's version of Alice.

Voice acting is generally good, with the standout naturally being the Cheshire Cat who also has the most lines.

I like American McGees Alice. Although its gameplay has been seen before, the weird setting throws many surprises at you both with regards to puzzles, enemies and weapons and the gameworld is compelling enough to make you want to go on to see what the developer can think of next.

I give it 70-75%.

Shawarma
2nd September 08, 04:39 AM
I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream

Cyberdreams, 1995.

While I'm on the topic of twisted and disturbing video games, I feel that I should give mention to the king of the genre, I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream.

Based on a short story by Harlan Ellison, IHNMAIMS is a classic style point-and-click adventure game. The game loosely follows the shortstory's plot. In a near future, the military of the world is being put under the direct control of sentient military supercomputers for improved efficiency. As Terminator has shown us, this is rarely a good idea, and the American Mastercomputer A.M did naturally go insane and nuked humanity off the face of the planet. Filled with an insane hatred for humanity, it decided to keep five humans alive as playthings and has at the game's beginning been tormenting them for 109 years. As the player, you take control of each of the five humans and guide them through sick "quests" that A.M set up for you for his own amusement, the completion of each individual quest opening up the final chapter.

You can play through the chapters in any order you like, and as each of them involves a different character they involve very different settings. A.M tortures each main protagonist by exposing them to their former sins, repressed memories and personal shortcomings, trying to degrade and destroy them as humans. It gets evil, psychedelic and really, really twisted. You will have to deal with multiple moral choices involving unfaithfulness, theft, murder, torture, cannibalism, rape, abandonment and genocide and this game has the most mature handling of such issues ever seen in a video game. Each character has a Morality counter showing the karmic value of his or her moral choices in-game. As A.M is trying to break down your humanity with his sick games, it is possible to give in to your darker instincts and cheat, lie and murder your way through the game, which is entirely possible, but will give you the bad ending cinematic at the end of the game. Or you can try to preserve your humanity in the face of A.M's perverse tempting and achieve a more satisfying conclusion. IHNMAIMS is therefore one of those excellent games where beating the game is not all that difficult getting the best ending is, and you'll likely have to replay each characters chapter a few times to achieve the best morality rating.

Voicework, music and graphics are so-so. The strength of the game is in its twisted environments and strong writing rather than its presentation. Of note is Harlan Ellison, who voices A.M himself.

IHVNMAIMS is a milestone in adventure gaming and one that hasn't ever been replicated successfully. The moral choices and gruesome setting set it apart from just about all other adventure games and has made it a true classic.

Finally, a video of the game intro, with Harlan Ellison reading A.M's opening monologue from the shortstory.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssZrHBqVtzg

Sirc
2nd September 08, 11:50 AM
I never heard of I have no mouth and I must scream, but I'm going to download it right now.

Shawarma
9th September 08, 10:09 AM
Pirates of the Burning Sea

Yarr, thar she blows! The game, I mean.

Years ago, Sid Meier released Pirates!, an excellent light action game about being a pirate in the Carribean seas during the golden age of piracy. Pirates! had you engage in a number of piratey activites, raiding coastal villages, engage in glorious sea battles against wicked Spaniards, fight vicious duels against enemy captains on the decks of your ships during boarding actions and court wenches in harbour. All in all, it was good fun, and was only made better when Meier released an updated version of the game with better graphics a decade later.

As a pirate fan in general and actual 3rd generation pirate, I was intrigued by the promise of a pirate-themed MMORPG. It is a great setting and offers lots of room for exploration and grand adventures along with other players.

What POTBS does instead is shamelessly rip off Sid Meier's Pirates! and remove all the fun bits. The interface is classic WoW, got your tool bar with attacks on etc. The fun bit is, you get to keep your tool bar in ship-to-ship combat, meaning you can press "1" to switch to agressive sailing mode, "2" for evasive sailing mode, "3" to use a healing potion, sorry, ship repair tool etc. No big issues with the interface itself, except that the items, character stats and quest windows are horrible to navigate and figure out.

Now, for the actual meat of the game, the swashbucking, it's naturally divided in sea combat and land combat. First, we'll focus on land combat. It sucks. It's WoW made ten times more confusing and less intuitive. POTBS tried to be intuitive by introducing a "balance" meter, meaning you can only launch especially deadly attacks when your opponent is off-balance and you have good balance and several special moves to increase your meter and decrease that of your opponent. While this sounds good in theory, it's just not easy to use at all and doesn't add much to gameplay either, which invariably turns into just another WoW hackfest with you spamming the same attacks in each swordfight you get into, and it becomes downright horrible when faced with multiple enemies. How are you supposed to keep track of the balance of both you and several other guys when the gameplay is as fastly paced as it is? It's more frustrating than fun since there are really not many fights that don't have at least 8 participants, making it devolve into a mindless hackfest rather than the strategic game it is advertised as.

Next, on to the sea combat. Now, this is a pirate game, so sea combat should be great, right? Wrong. It's blatantly lifted from Pirates! and ten times less intuitive, clumsy and slow. Where the ship controls in Pirates! were easy and fun to use, POTBS ship controls are overly complicated and require too much mouseclicking by half. Set sails, lower sails, reload guns, change sailing type, change shot type, use ship healing potions etc. Still, I guess you need something to do while you wait for your slow-ass ship to actually GET anywhere.
Of course, being a pirate, you can also board ships. This would be great, right? Wrong again. First of all, you need to really carefully align your ship along your target to even be able to shoot grappling hooks at it, and even then, it's a good 50 percent chance you'll fail, meaning you'll have to wait a long while for your grappling attack to recharge. It's not fun having it be that random, feels unrewarding after carefully aligning your ship.
And finally, the worst part of the game: The deck combat. You and your crew square off against the crew of the enemy captain. This had every chance of being epic, but once again fails miserably. When the enemy captain is killed, you win instantly, meaning that strategy is limited to simply telling your crew to target him exclusively and ignore all other enemy crewmen. So if you manage to kill him, it doesn't matter if there are 3 times more enemies than you, you still win. Boarding combats are usually over in about 15 seconds for this reason and it is completely unsatisfying. This is where they SHOULD have blatantly stolen the simple but fun combat model from Sid Meier's Pirates! and didn't.

I played this game for about 5 hours total and want them back. I found nothing to like about this game even though I really, really wanted to love it. For anyone wanting a pirate game, Sid Meier's Pirates! is still the benchmark. Oh, and Tropico 2, in case you want to play Sim Pirate.

2.5/10, and only because the wave graphics look really, really awesome.

AAAhmed46
9th September 08, 06:03 PM
I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream

Cyberdreams, 1995.

While I'm on the topic of twisted and disturbing video games, I feel that I should give mention to the king of the genre, I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream.

Based on a short story by Harlan Ellison, IHNMAIMS is a classic style point-and-click adventure game. The game loosely follows the shortstory's plot. In a near future, the military of the world is being put under the direct control of sentient military supercomputers for improved efficiency. As Terminator has shown us, this is rarely a good idea, and the American Mastercomputer A.M did naturally go insane and nuked humanity off the face of the planet. Filled with an insane hatred for humanity, it decided to keep five humans alive as playthings and has at the game's beginning been tormenting them for 109 years. As the player, you take control of each of the five humans and guide them through sick "quests" that A.M set up for you for his own amusement, the completion of each individual quest opening up the final chapter.

You can play through the chapters in any order you like, and as each of them involves a different character they involve very different settings. A.M tortures each main protagonist by exposing them to their former sins, repressed memories and personal shortcomings, trying to degrade and destroy them as humans. It gets evil, psychedelic and really, really twisted. You will have to deal with multiple moral choices involving unfaithfulness, theft, murder, torture, cannibalism, rape, abandonment and genocide and this game has the most mature handling of such issues ever seen in a video game. Each character has a Morality counter showing the karmic value of his or her moral choices in-game. As A.M is trying to break down your humanity with his sick games, it is possible to give in to your darker instincts and cheat, lie and murder your way through the game, which is entirely possible, but will give you the bad ending cinematic at the end of the game. Or you can try to preserve your humanity in the face of A.M's perverse tempting and achieve a more satisfying conclusion. IHNMAIMS is therefore one of those excellent games where beating the game is not all that difficult getting the best ending is, and you'll likely have to replay each characters chapter a few times to achieve the best morality rating.

Voicework, music and graphics are so-so. The strength of the game is in its twisted environments and strong writing rather than its presentation. Of note is Harlan Ellison, who voices A.M himself.

IHVNMAIMS is a milestone in adventure gaming and one that hasn't ever been replicated successfully. The moral choices and gruesome setting set it apart from just about all other adventure games and has made it a true classic.

Finally, a video of the game intro, with Harlan Ellison reading A.M's opening monologue from the shortstory.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssZrHBqVtzg


Where do i download this? Andi know this will probably come up, how do i make it work on XP?

AAAhmed46
9th September 08, 06:16 PM
Read a description of the story on wikipedia.


Damn that is TWISTED.

AAAhmed46
9th September 08, 06:30 PM
Found it on pirate bay.

Any other copies though? Something that you know for sure will actually work?

Shawarma
9th September 08, 06:33 PM
Seem to remember getting mine using Emule. That worked fine.

Gonna do a writeup for S.T.A.L.K.E.R next.

Shawarma
10th September 08, 08:54 AM
S.T.A.L.K.E.R - Shadow of Chernobyl

2007, GSC Game World

Mad Max Does Ukraine!

I'm really not much of an FPS man, but I really loved the Fallout series, so when I saw a post-apocalyptic survival-horror FPS with RPG elements advertised, I wasted no time in getting it. And I can't say that I've regretted it yet.

STALKER is set in an alternate history world where the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine suffered a second, much more serious meltdown 3 years after the initial one, horribly mutating and killing everything in a thirty kilometer radius and creating the radioactive hellhole called The Zone, which became cordoned off from the rest of the world. This would normally be a place to avoid at all costs, but the double meltdowns have somehow resulted in pockets of unpredictably distorted physics called Anomalies. These anomalies somehow spawn weird Artifacts that alter reality around them and are therefore of intense interest to collectors, governments and scientists around the world, causing soldiers of fortune and thieves to sneak into The Zone, hoping to make a fortune selling Artifacts. They became known as Stalkers.
You play as one of these Stalkers, with the added plot device of being amnesiac on account of a blow to the head. Only thing you remember is the name of a man you need to find, and so you set out to find him. Corny and cliched, yeah, but it gives you a reason to start scavenging the wasteland. And that's actually really good fun.
The Zone is one of the more interesting game worlds I've seen. All the buildings are run-down and crumbling, gruesomely mutated animals run wild, there are pockets of radiation that you only notice by the beeping of your geiger counter and your decreasing health and there are the Anomalies. The Anomalies are the most interesting aspect of the game world and they're all lethal. They can be seen only as a shimmer in the air, a strange gleam or a small whirlwind. They are essentially magical traps that fuck you up when you step into them, making blind rushing around as inadvisable as running in a minefield.

For a nuclear wasteland, The Zone is also pretty damn heavily populated, with several different factions trying to fuck each other over for reasons of ideology of plain greed. You can join a faction or stay independent, it's up to you. The world is very non-linear and sandboxy.

Next, the combat. It's very entertaining and intense. Enemies have excellent AI, ducking behind cover and trying to encircle your position. They are also crack shots, making staying in the open a recipe for sucide. Sadly, the guns of the game are much too weak for my tastes, only putting down enemies after 7-10 shots with your starting pistol, so I play with a mod making weapon damage realistic. Minus points for that. Weapons are your average, standard fare FPS stuff, with the AK74 having a predominant role. Hey, it's in Ukraine. Your accuracy also sucks without careful aiming, making circle-strafing tactics obsolete.

One enormous plus is how brilliant the mutant AI is. Packs of mutated dogs roam everywhere, will only attack you if in large numbers and can then be scattered if you shoot close to them as regular dogs might. One thing that really impressed me about wildlife AI is how carnivores won't just flock to corpses to eat, they'll also attempt to drag them away to their lair. Several times I've had to fire warning shots at mutie-dogs to get them away from lootable corpses. This really adds to the immersion and feeling of being in a radioactive war zone.

STALKER also has a fatigue and hunger system plus bleeding wounds, meaning you need to lug around not just guns n' bullets but also food, a sleeping bag and bandaids. While I normally detest games forcing you to eat, it works in STALKER. Whipping out your scoped AK and taking down some unsuspecting mutated wolves because your stomach is growling adds to the feeling of being alone in a strange, hostile land.

As for the RPG elements: Well, there really aren't any as such. No STR, DEX or CHA ratings and no experience points. There are a large number of sidequests which you can complete for extra cash. There ARE however a large number of pseudo-magical Artifacts created by the weird reality of The Zone which you can equip for boosts to your HP regeneration, running stamina, resistance vs various types of damage etc. If you like the tinkering with gear setups that's a staple of all RPGs, you'll like this feature. I did.

Overall, STALKER is an excellent game with a lot of atmosphere and good visuals. If I had to summarise it in a sentence, I'd say it's Oblivion with an AK. Recommended.

Sirc
11th September 08, 04:15 PM
I downloaded and played I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream, and it was fucking insane. What twisted fucking shit.

AAAhmed46
13th September 08, 09:45 PM
where did you get yours?

Im trying to make " SYNDICATE WARS" work, but can't, all the files were in a 'rar' file.

When i extracted it, everything like the audio and shit were seperate.

How do i get everything together and play it?

AAAhmed46
13th September 08, 09:46 PM
I have no ass and i must poo.

AAAhmed46
13th September 08, 10:37 PM
I have no skin and i must sweat

AAAhmed46
14th September 08, 03:42 AM
I have no eyes and I must cry.

Shawarma
14th September 08, 03:43 AM
Skip Syndicate Wars. It's inferior in every way to Syndicate 1. Replay that instead.

Neildo
14th September 08, 03:47 AM
Wasn't syndicate on SNES? That shit as awesome.

Shawarma
14th September 08, 03:51 AM
Shame on you, Syndicate was one of the best Bullfrog games for PC. It was the first game that allowed you to run through town with a trench coat and shoot civilians, coppers and enemy agents with a minigun. It SUCKED on the SNES - worse graphics, awful controls, bad sound, everything was terrible about it.

Neildo
14th September 08, 03:53 AM
except the shooting people part. that part was tits.

Shawarma
14th September 08, 04:57 AM
Tropico

Sim Castro

Being dictator of a small middle-American or Carribbean island nation is great. You live a life Eazy-E would approve of: You got ho's, a sizeable Swiss bank account with money siphoned by public projects and you get to bust a cap in the ass of anyone disagreeing with you. Naturally, this makes a wonderful setting for a Sim City like game where YOU become ruler of the small island nation of Tropico and run it however you see fit.

The game begins with you selecting your alter ego. You can create one from scratch or simply grab one of the pre-generated presidentes like Castro, Che, Papa Doc, Noriega and so on, each coming with their own flaws and strengths, such as being popular with communists, being popular with the US, alcoholism, womanising etc. Your character skills do of course have an impact on gameplay, mainly determining your initial relationship with the various factions of the game.

You begin with a small, uneducated population of Hispanic island dwellers divided into different ideological factions (capitalists, communists, militants, religious, intellectuals and ecologists) and then have to decide where to go from there. There are many options. Try to industrialise and suck up to the capitalists by creating an industrial hellhole with great wealth for the upper classes and poverty for the masses, give everybody equal pay and social security to cater to the communists, outlaw contraception and hold book burning rallies to make the religious happy, build schools and colleges to make intellectuals happy or any combination of the above. You can also turn your island into a tourist paradise and fill your pockets that way.

There are many things to do in Tropico, but the two most important things are, naturally, filling your Swiss bank retirement fund and staying in power. The first is done by skimming money off public projects and is more or less done by itself, the second is more involving and fun. Your subjects, ungrateful dicks that they are, will every five years demand that you hold a free election. You can agree to this like a good little elected representative and then rig the shit out of the elections, have your opposing candidate arrested or murdered and bribe your populace into letting you stay in power. Your smarter subjects are gonna catch on to this sooner or later, however, in which case your only choice may be to declare yourself Presidente 4 Life, which will naturally lead to a guerilla movement against you, in which case you have no choice but to declare martial law, shoot, jail and torture your political opponents. Just be careful about them rebels in the hills, or they might oust you.

As Tropico is set during the cold war, another way to lose the game is to piss off the US or USSR too much, causing them to invade and boot your ass out. You generally want to buddy up to one of them so you can get delicious foreign aid money.

Tropico is a game that has a lot to offer management/Sim City freaks as well as ample opportunities for virtual sadism and cruelty and it is as such an excellent and most underrated game.

There is also a sequel, Tropico 2, in which you play a pirate king over a pirate haven like Tortuga during the golden age of piracy and has to keep your drunken pirates in check, kidnap slaves and send out ships to raid the trade routes. It's good fun as well, but severely dumbed down compared to Tropico 1 and therefore an inferior game.

AAAhmed46
15th September 08, 01:43 AM
How did you get these to work?

Shawarma
15th September 08, 04:25 AM
For really old shit, use Dosbox as a rule. Otherwise, this is an excellent forum for getting old games to run. Search or ask here: http://vogons.zetafleet.com/

AAAhmed46
15th September 08, 06:05 PM
Through bittorrent i got syndacate wars but it's in RAR form, everything inside the rar is all seperate and crap.

So how do i get it to run?

Do i just get dox box and run it through there?

Halfrican
15th September 08, 07:20 PM
use winrar to extract one of the files, and it will extract them all.

Shawarma
5th October 08, 06:37 AM
Heroes of Might and Magic 5: Tribes of the East expansion pack

http://www.maps4heroes.com/heroes5/pictures/tribes_of_the_east/tribes_of_the_east_boxshot.jpg

Nival, 2007

From Russia with love.

First, some background.

The HOMM series was always the leader of the turn-based fantasy strategy genre. In fact, HOMM WAS the turn-based fantasy strategy genre until other companies caught on to the fact that it was a good thing and started making copycat games, some good, like the Age of Wonder series, some bad like Disciples. Homm1, 2 and 3 were all excellent games that were far ahead of their time, mixing strong strategic elements with tactical turn-based battles, a well-implemented RPG elements and an interesting fantasy world with a lot of variety in the monsters and treasures you could encounter or find. Sadly, after HOMM3, the lead developers must have been abducted by aliens or something, because HOMM4 was SHIT, taking out everything that made HOMM3 great and adding unneccesary and useless new features. The company then went bankrupt and sold off the rights to a Russian developer, Nival, who proceded to make HOMM5. While this was a return to the better mechanics of HOMM3 over the atrocious HOMM4, this game was unpolished, unbalanced, lacked some of the good features of 4 and didn't offer that many factions to play. An expansion pack added an additional faction, but didn't fix the problems with the game.

Then, a year later, a second expansion pack was released, and HOMM5: Tribes of the East has now taken its rightful place as the crown jewel of the series. More spells, more factions, almost twice as many creatues and an improved interface.

Gameplay:

HOMM5 revolves, as the name implies, around Heroes, army commanders with RPG statistics that determine how well their armies fight, how far they can walk in a single turn, what spells they can cast and so on. You guide your heroes around the world map, picking up resources, magical items and fights with the monsters guarding said goodies. When encountering a wandering mob or enemy player, the game view shifts to a tactical screen where you pit your fantasy army against the enemy. Key to winning these fights is to use the special abilities of your creatures and heroes correctly, and since there are approximately 170 different creatures in TOTE and a large number of spells and skills, there is a lot of different combinations of creatures and skills that can bring you victory.

Each won battle earns you experience points and eventually levelups, which will become neccesary if you are to keep up with the enemy heroes. The leveling system is simple, yet complext. A hero has 4 main statistics, attack, defense, knowledge and spell power, the first two adding to the power of the creatures in his army and the last two used for spellcasting. Each hero can also learn a number of secondary skills to allow them to move faster, use stronger magic, improve the morale or luck of their armies and so on.

The armies in the game are divided into 5 suitably fantasy-themed town types which can be conquered and upgraded to provide more income, better defenses and more powerful creatures. They are as follows:

Castle: Standard good human knight faction, archers, pikemen, knights and angels.

Sylvan: Wood city full of gay elves, treants, fairies, unicorns and other assorted faggotry.

Dungeon: Underground city full of bondage-themed dark elves, minotaurs, dragons and various reptiles.

Inferno: Hell-town full of demons, devils and hellspawn. Fun to play, yet kind of weak.

Necropolis: Braaaainz themed faction, zombies, skeletons, liches and vampires, oh my. Has the potential to raise killed troops in battle, making for very big armies of critters in the late game.

Academy: Wizard town populated by magical and mechanical creatures like gremlins, golems, gargoyles, sorcerors and titans.

Tribes of the East also adds two extra towns:

Fortress: Dwarf city, use magic runes rather than spells, ride bears into battle.

and

Stronghold: Orcs, goblins, cyclopses. All units have a rage bar similar to WoW that makes them do more damage as they do damage.

Although you generally pick one faction to begin with, there's nothing preventing you from mixing troops from the different factions and ending up with unique armies.

Graphics are meh. Look a lot like Warcraft 3. Not neccesarily a bad thing, but not really top notch. And as is the case with several Nival titles, it's also ineffieciently coded, meaning it takes longer to load than it ought to for a game without top of the line graphics.

With HOMM5: TOTE, Nival has managed to salvage a great series from obscurity and added a great deal to it as well in terms of game complexity. I heartily recommend this title for anyone liking turn-based "light" wargames and the exploration period of Civilization.

Shawarma
28th October 08, 05:29 PM
http://www.scubb.com/images/products/PC%20the%20suffering%20ties%20that%20bind_box.jpg
The Suffering

Midway, 2004

Survival horror for people who don't like the entire "survival" thing.

Game developer Midway (known for its Mortal Kombat series) did a decent thing the other day - It released several of its titles for free download on the intarweb in order to improve its image with the general public. One of these titles is The Suffering, a survival horror title in the spirit of Resident Evil, only with less zombies and more profanity.

In The Suffering, you take the role of Torque, an inmate on death row. Torque is a silent protagonist, sports awesome sideburns and has periodic blackouts, under which he supposedly murdered his wife and kids. After a short introduction by his cellmates, all motherfucking hell breaks loose as Hellraiser-like critters overrun the prison and turns it into a slaughterhouse with guards, inmates and demons each fighting in an enormous free for all. Now it is up to Torque to escape in the confusion while trying to solve the mystery behind the appearance of the monsters and his own periodic insanity.

Torque is a man haunted by his own, personal demons and dark past, manifesting itself in the several ethical choices you get to make during the game. When faced with an ethical situation (helping a guard fight the monsters vs killing him for his weapon, helping a fellow inmate escape vs letting the monsters eat him etc.) the ghostly voice of your late wife urges you to do the right thing while an evil, otherworldly snarl makes comments like "Fuck him, he's weak!", "Shoot him in the back, shoot him!", "Make him suffer!" and the like. Your course of action during these ethical scenes determine your moral compass and influence some cutscenes and the ending of the game as well, making The Suffering good for at least one replay after you finish it, which you will in four or five hours. This function is well implemented and emphasises the insanity of the situation well.

As Torque has a DARK PAST (oooh), he is somehow able to build up a "rage" meter the more enemies he kills, eventually allowing him to trigger rage mode, transforming him into a subhuman monstrosity for a short period of time and take enemies down with a huge steel claw. How this fits into the storyline is only explained much later in the game, which sort of pissed me off at first, but running around as a giant freak is useful and fun.

What sets The Suffering apart from other survival horror titles is that, while it has the horror thing down pat, it has trouble with the survival bit. In the first room, you find a shiv, thinking "Ok, this being a survival horror, I need to cut down tons of monsters with this as ammo will be scarce." After killing literally one enemy with the shiv, I managed to scavenge a Magnum .44 from a dead guard and find about fifty rounds of ammo in a convenient locker. I never used the shiv again, and did in fact have to blast countless numbers of mutilated bondage freak looking baddies with handguns, dynamite, shotguns and molotov cocktails, ammo happens to be lying all around the fucking place as do medikits and flashlight batteries.

Although The Suffering tries to pass itself off as survival horror in the spirit of Resident Evil, it's actually more like Clive Barker's Undying. Lots of gunplay and physical puzzles, less cowering in fear of having your flashlight run out of batteries while you only have 5 shots left in your wimpy pistol and the freaks are getting closer in the dark. The Suffering is therefore never really scary. One thing is running from a monster when you're a little unarmed girl like in Clock Tower, another thing is facing it down armed with a backpack of dynamite and 300+ rounds of buckshot.

Overall, The Suffering gets about 6.5/10 from me. Interesting prison setting, good voice acting and the ethical choices all add to the game, the repeitiveness and short length detract from it. Still, it's a FREE DOWNLOAD, so if you enjoyed Resident Evil and Undying, you might enjoy this as well.

Download link: http://megagames.com/news/html/freegames/thesufferingfreefullgame.shtml

Steve
28th October 08, 07:10 PM
Sweet, that actually sounds pretty fun. Good for those of us with short attention spans too.

Shawarma
5th January 09, 07:57 AM
http://www.digitalstrips.com/wp-content/penny-arcade-adventures-wallpaper.jpg
Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness

2008, Hothead Games

First, a disclaimer: Penny Arcade is not funny. No, Poop Loops, it is not. There is absolutely nothing slightly funny about their inane, poorly written video game jokes, poor artwork and overuse of profanity. Stillborn puppies are funnier than Penny Arcade. Genocide is funnier than Penny Arcade. SirC is funnier than Penny Arcade, and coming from me, that gives you an idea of just how unfunny and faggoty Penny Arcade is.

That being said, I have actually found Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness to be a very enjoyable series of console-style RPGs. Sure, the so-called humour is full of fail and gay, but it looks great and cartoony, the sound effects and music are very effective, the combat refreshingly old-school and the plot is stupid enough to drag you along.

An episodic series of games, PAA: Episode 1 starts with your main character (whose appearance can be customised, by the way) quietly raking the garden of his/her serene, suburban home in New Arcade, anno 1922. All this bliss is violently disrupted about 3 seconds later when a sixty foot robot (one of the Fruit Fuckers allegedly from the comic) stomps your home to splinters and wanders off, closely followed by PA main characters Gabe & Tycho intent on catching it. Naturally, this pisses you off to no end, and you grab your trusty rake and head off to get an explanation from either of the assholes, beating down the Fruit Fucker robots in your path with your trusty rake. You later team up with Gabe and Tycho who've formed a paranormal investigative agency, forming a trio of asskickery and shit jokes and embark on an epic quest involving hobos, Fruit Fuckers, evil mimes and Lovecraftian elder gods, Lovecraftian elder gods being some kind of staple of nerdery these days.

And the asskickery is what makes the game enjoyable - It's standard fare Chrono Trigger style combat, with twists. Your turn bars fill up over time, filling your three turn orbs, the first which allows you to use items, the second being your basic attack and the 3rd allows you to use your special moves. Using your special moves starts small mini games, DDR-style and such, different for each character, determining how much damage you'll do. Blocking is different as well - Just before an enemy hits you, you can hit the space bar to attempt to block. Depending on how good your timing is, you can either block some of the damage, most of the damage or all of the damage and get a free counterattack to boot.

This inclusion of some button-mashing skill in a console RPG makes combat more involving and is a refreshing break from the attack-wait-get-hit-attack-get-hit-LIMIT BREAK! standard console RPG fare.

All in all, I like this series. If you enjoy the webcomic, I suppose this would be the best thing since sliced bread for you. If you have an actual sense of humour, on the other hand, you'll still get an enjoyable game out of it if you fast-click past all the nonjokes. 7/10, worth pirating.

Shawarma
14th March 09, 04:45 PM
http://www.scfworks.com/art/ef_large.jpg
Exit Fate

SCFworks, 2009 (indie)

The world of indie RPG games is generally a mixed bag. Unknown gems like Mount & Blade, Evil Islands and Restricted Area have to rub shoulders with utter pieces of shit like Metalheart, and nowhere is this more true than within the RPGmaker community.
RPGmaker is an easy to use software that allows you to craft your own JRPGs in the style of Chrono Trigger or Final Fantasy. Understandably, a large number of wapanese Final Fantasy Faggots flood the game dev community, churning out Final Fantasy 7, Naruto and Pokemon ripoffs. These games make up about 95% of RPGmaker projects and all look and play like shit. The remaining 5% is what redeems the entire community, and Exit Fate is perhaps the best of that 5%.

Exit Fate is set on your average everyday Fantasy World At War, where the latest war between the ancient enemy nations of Kirgard and The Zelmony State Union is just about to start. You play the role of Daniel Vinyard, a Kirgard army colonel and pacifist, Daniel opposes the war and only fights out of obligation to his friends. This makes him unpopular in the army, and he is soon set up as a traitor, having to flee for his life from his former allies. Daniel now has to embark on an epic quest to clear his name, discover who set him up and restore peace between the two pointlessly warring nations.
http://www.scfworks.com/images/EF1.jpg

Exit Fate is very much inspired by Suikoden. You start out initially with only a small party, but can during the game recruit up to 75! additional characters spread out across the huge gameworld, six of which can be in your active team at once. This allows for an almost infinite number of different parties you can potentially create. Many of the characers are funny and most are well-written beyond a free indie RPG, including a feminaze mercenary, a cockney zombie, a hilariously gothick female enchanter, a snobbish talking cat, an alcoholic ninja master, a lawyer, a gangster, a mad scientist, a McDojo artist, a Bruce Lee clone etc. Characters also like or dislike other characters, making it possible to form buddy teams that give each other stat bonuses or putting archenemies together for stat penalties.

Battles are also inspired by Suikoden, with the 6 party system making terms like "formation", "tanks" and "support characters" actually meaningful. What sets the combat engine apart from most RPGs is the magic system. Individual spells are bought or found and can then be cast by all characters and each character starts out with only a few MP but gains some every turn, amount depending on their magic ability. This adds to some nice strategic thinking - should I cast a cheap spell now or wait a few turns for my MP to build up so I can cast a bigger spell? Should I spend MP healing my tank or hope he survives another round and cast fireball instead?
Fights are therefore nice and tactical and generally not too hard, which I like.
http://www.scfworks.com/images/EF2.jpg
The best part about the battle system is that there's very little grinding involved. Both money and XP is reasonably plentiful, so unless you want to powergame beyond what is really needed, you don't really HAVE to grind. And best of all, if you bring a low-level character along with your high-level group, he levels to about 5 levels below you in one battle due to a nifty XP scaling system. My lvl 1 recruit thus leveled to 25 in one, easy battle, making new characters actually useful and minimising grind.

As it's a JRPG, our old friend Random Encounters make an appearance, only in Exit Fate you don't actually have to fight a single one of them. Every time you hit a random encounter, you get the opportunity to pay 1/4th of the money that encounter would yield and get away without fighting. A great idea that should be implemented in more RPGs as random encounters really break the flow of JRPGs.

As the story takes place during a war, there are also some Final Fantasy Tactics-y large battles. They're very well done, considering the engine, but ultimately not my cup of tea. Might be yours.
http://www.scfworks.com/images/EF3.jpg

All important characters have a handdrawn full-size portrait and well-written personalities, adding tons of depth to the story.

And the story is fucking LONG. I just finished this after playing for a couple weeks, it took me a total of 35 hours to finish. It's also pretty good - while starting out simple, there are more twists in the plot than in a pile of garden hoses, it's well written and features a lot of hidden content. You gotta be really obsessed to find all 75 hidden characters.

One major complaint, though: All music has been blatantly ripped from other console RPGs like Suikoden, Chrono Trigger, Xenogears and so on. While the Chrono Trigger victory theme is nice to listen to after beating a difficult boss, you get REALLY fucking tired of hearing Frog's theme every time you return to your home base for a cutscene. Could have been more creative here.

Overall, Exit Fate is the cream of the crop of FREE indie RPGs and can easily match most commercial console RPG titles as far as gameplay and story
are concerned. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes late nineties JRPGs, beautiful hand-drawn portrats and don't want too harsh a challenge.

8.5/10

Virus
18th March 09, 12:38 AM
Review: Rock and Roll Racing (SNES).

Yeah it's pretty good.

8/10.

http://www.teamteabag.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/rocknrollracing_001_450x360.jpg

SoulMechanic
18th March 09, 02:12 PM
I never beat Megaman one because I could never time my jumps properly in the rock man level. This may haunt me to my grave.

elipson
19th March 09, 12:57 AM
Frogs theme was the best song in all of Chrono Trigger. All your judgements are now suspect.

Shawarma
20th March 09, 12:25 PM
While that is true, I think I've heard it for maybe 3 hours out of the 35 hours I spent finishing the game. I now want to boot Frog in his amphibian ass.

Anyway, moving on...
http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/bigboxshots/2/197592_15189_front.jpg
Hybrid Heaven
Konami, 1999 (Nintendo 64)
Wonderfully retarded MMA/puroresu JRPG

Picture this: You're a secret agent on a secret mission to save the US from evil cockgobblers and have to fight your way through a vast underground complex full of flesh-eating mutants, clones and scary MIBs. You have a laser gun at your disposal.

Now, what do you do when an 8 foot tall satyr/vulture hybrid mutant jumps out of nowhere and attacks you?
Do you run? No.

Do you pull out your laser gun and zap it? No.

You challenge it to a SHOOTWRESTLING MATCH, cripple it with thai kicks, outbox it with hooks and uppercuts and finish it off with a piledriver. Pig-faced mutant in your way? BRAAAAINNN BUSTER! Fungus-looking humanoid getting in your face? Front suplex-armbar combination! And they will all fight you the same way. This concept, while amazingly stupid, totally fucking rules.
I don't know why semi-humanoid toad demons decide to bodyslam, low kick and seionage me rather than just eat me, but it really isn't a video game you should think too hard about when playing.

The story is....fuck it, I can't even be bothered to go into the story. It's lame, retarded and clearly written by a person from Japan, the nation who also brought you tentacle rape and Pokemon. What you play the game for is the regular one-on-one shootfights with mutants, an example of which can be seen here:
Ds16eYHSU84
Fights are thus kind of a weird combination between Chrono Trigger and a wrestling game and it works really well, apart from easily exploitable AI. There's a huge number of both kickboxing and wrestling moves and your ability to perform each move levels up with every use as does your physical stats. Throw lots of low kicks, your leg stats increases, punch a lot, better arm powwah, defend lots of head kicks, better head defensive statistic. Flexible and functional system, and best of all, your character's stance changed depending on the moves you've used through the game. Use mainly punches and you will adopt a boxers stance, suplex and armbar your way through the game and you will crouch like a wrestler. An amusing detail.

In between the fights, there's some run-of-the-mill Tomb Raider type platformy runny stuff. This should be played through as quickly as possible to get to the next ridiculous fistfight and isn't especially difficult anyway.

I highly recommend HH to anyone who wish there are more games about having MMA fights between mutants and can't wait for UFC 2080: Post Apocalyptic to come out. The ROM is 11 MB and can be downloaded from here, as can the emulator needed to run it: http://www.emuparadise.org/roms/n64/h/

SoulMechanic
20th March 09, 02:54 PM
Balloon Fight. Greatest game of 1984.
http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g197/bedtimebear423/Games_I_Dont_Own/BalloonFight.jpg
Objective of game. Pop bad guys balloons before they pop yours with their beak masks. Then make sure to kick them in the parachute for bonus points. Your guy wears a baseball helmet and has 2 balloons.

Watch out for. Lightning bolts, and spinning doodads. Oh and dont get too close to the water. Big fish will eat you. Pop both your bubbles.

2 player mode. Your friend gets a red baseball helmet and blue balloons. I prefer to be player two for the same reasons I liked to play as Luigi apposed to Mario. I just enjoy the color scheme.

Best part. I have a 19 year old pen pall from South Korea who has been playing this game every day for 11 years. The game never ends, and nor does the fun fun fun!

Buy balloon fight. You gonna love it baby.
2Nuk3AXVEJc

fanger123
22nd March 09, 01:34 PM
this thread rocks.

i got the suffering by the link (thanks shawarma), was very impressed by it and even got the sequel from rarepcgames.com.

so the Exit Fate is a free game?

is there a good source to download from?

and thanks for that emu link... gotta try that to!!

Shawarma
22nd March 09, 05:00 PM
I are moron, forgot the link. Link for the totally and utterly free download of Exit Fate: http://www.scfworks.com/

Also available on the site is Last Scenario, a similarly elabore RPG which I haven't played but is supposed to be just as good as EF.

Gonna do a writeup of Arx Fatalis next, I think. Short version: Get it, it's awesome. And cheap. http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/arx_fatalis

Shawarma
23rd March 09, 06:13 PM
Okay, change of plans:
http://i16.tinypic.com/4z9jebn.jpg
Judge Dredd - Dredd vs Death
2003, Rebellion Developments
Futuristic fascism, FUCK YEAH!

Dredd vs Death is a man's game, a Republican's game, a game that encourages you to ignore cries of "Don't taze me bro!" and exact Rodney King-style justice on lawbreakers for minor transgressions. This game would make Equipose and KeinHaar spring twelve foot boners and would make Kracker take up minority-beating as a hobby. It makes police brutality THAT awesome!

You play the part of Judge Joe Dredd, baddest motherfucking lawman in the universe, patrolling the mean streets of Mega-City One in the year 2130, a city of 1 billion people, rampant crime, unemployment and pollution. Judges like Dredd are an elite police force, patrolling the streets with absolute authority, being judge, jury and executioner with a license to kill.

You know a game's gonna be cool when the first line spoken is "Bleeding heart liberals! Time to dispense some JUSTICE!" followed by police brutality and ridiculously harsh sentencing of participants in a peaceful protest against police brutality and fascism. Joe Dredd then hits the street, busting perpetrators (perps) as he goes and stomping ass in general. Heavy shit starts happening when Dredd carries out a routine massacre of bank robbers and genetically engineered vampires start overrunning the city, murdering civilians. Turns out Judge Death and his Dark Judges, essentially the four horsemen of the apocalypse with badges and bad attitudes, have busted out of jail and are raising all kinds of hell. Dredd now has to shoot and arrest his way through hordes of gangbangers, vampires and undead to stop Judge Death once and for all!

Dredd vs Death is a rather old-school FPS in which you take control of Judge Dredd himself. Dredd, being a happy old fascist, interacts with the world in three ways - By screaming at people, causing them to drop quivering in fear, arresting people already quivering in fear or shooting people until they drop their weapons and begin quivering in fear or die. Each arrest is accompanied by a popup detailing the crimes of the perp and Dredd snarling a hard-ass oneliner. Following the satirical nature of the comic, the sentences are ridiculously harsh and often for frivolous crimes. Notably, after stunning a perp with a gas grenade, Dredd sentences him to life in prison for smoking in public.

While you CAN go through the game without arresting anyone, arresting criminals earns you points and boosts your Law Meter, a gauge of how badass a copper you are, while shooting innocent bystanders or failing mission objectives lowers your Law Meter. Get it too low and it's Mission Failed and Internal Affairs coming to cap you. Precise shooting is thus crucial as civilians are everywhere.

The game's weaponry is not terribly exciting. You got your standard issue Judge Lawgiver pistol, maybe a shotgun or an assault/sniper rifle hybrid along with some civilian weapons you can get from busted perps. The Lawgiver is brilliantly done in the spirit of the comics, though, and is easily the most versatile weapon in the game. It fires six different types of shot: Standard, armour piercing, heat seeker, incendiary, ricochet and high explosive, all selectable by scrolling the mouse wheel. As you'll be using the Lawgiver for most of the game, picking the correct ammunition type for the situation is crucial. Facing vampires? Armour piercing to the face. Regular gangbangers? Standard rounds to their kneecaps or gun hand. Roomfull of heavily armed goons? Ricochet or heatseeker around the corner. Very much in line with the comic series and well integrated into gameplay.

Dredd also has a personal shield generator which can absorb the first 4 bullets or so in a burst and recharges quickly when out of the line of fire. I personally like this implementation - Dredd himself can't take too many shots once his shields are down, and having such a shield encourages being careful and ducking behind cover without being too punishing with one-hit kills for looking around the wrong corner at the wrong time.

Graphics are colourful, sorta neonlike and generally good. The detail on the Judge's uniform in particular is very good and people of 2130 dress as stupidly as in the comics. Sound is nothing spectacular, rock and techno music and a badass snarl for Judge Dredd himself, pretty standard fare without being outstanding.

One major gripe I DO have with this game is really about the main storyline - While each video game needs a major villain for a big end boss fight and Judge Death is easily the most dangerous enemy of Dredd's, I feel that the large amount of sadly non-arrestable vampires and zombies detract from the feeling of being a lawman and turns the game into just another FPS with zombies at times. This is sad, as trying to take perps alive is easily the most interesting aspect of gameplay and should have been more important, IMO.
The game could also have been funnier than it is - While there are several satirical references and jokes in the game, it's nowhere near as tongue-in-cheek as its source material, opting for general run-of-the-mill action hero badassery rather than the ironic humour present in the comic books.

Still, Dredd vs Death is an enjoyable game for fans of the comic, neo-nazis and Republicans who hate zombies.

7/10.

Oh, and video:
CL69MS7lE-A

fanger123
24th March 09, 10:28 PM
hmmm interesting FPS, but it seems like there's a lot of empty space, as well as being too easy? maybe it's just the vid though...

Shawarma
25th May 09, 06:39 PM
This is a review I've been meaning to write for some time since it's a game dear to my heart. Bear with me, for it will be long.
http://i15.tinypic.com/43csvwl.jpg
Restricted Area
Master Creating, 2005

Shadowrun meets Diablo

Made by a small German team of developers, Restricted Area was a title that did not get much attention at the time of its release but attracted a fair amount of ridicule, such as in this review by somethingawful: http://www.somethingawful.com/d/game-reviews/restricted-area.php where it is essentially held down on a pinball machine and raped.

Well, let me tell you that this review is a load of donkeyshit. The reviewer failed to grasp the true appeal of the game and ignored the aspects of brilliant design in it to exaggerate the many faults for cheap laughs.

Restricted Area is a post-apocalyptic cyberpunk game in which humanity lives in polluted urban hellholes a la Judge Dredd's Megacities, surrounded by vast expanses of radioactive desert crawling with mutants, cannibals, LoTech tribals and rogue androids. Also located in the desert are a number of abandoned research stations, military bases and genetic labs. You play the role of a shadowrunner, called a Freelancer in-game, and throughtout the game you will be taking jobs from shady megacorporations to attack these bunkers, murder the defenders with an arsenal of hi-explosives, bullets, blades, lasers or psionic powers and get away with the data/microchips/hostage and so on.

You begin by picking your freelancer, from one of four candidates depicted below.
http://pcmedia.gamespy.com/pc/image/article/635/635961/restricted-area-20050722042508371-000.jpg
From left to right, we have:
Johnson the street samurai, kind of an Arhnuld/Neo hybrid with big guns, flamethrowers, grenades and plasma rifles.

Jessica the hacker/rigger with impossibly pink hair. Sucks in combat but has a flying laser pet to help her and is able to hack into the computer systems of any installment, allowing her to summon turrets and landmines, control enemy robots and so on. A very original character concept.

Kenji the yakuza ninja. Knows Kung Fu, wears no shirt, kills bad guys with a katana, a nekode or flying kicks. Only character with melee capability.

Victoria the psionic. Essentially a mage in a slutty outfit, throws psiballs, psibolts, psilightning and psiclones.

Gameplay is essentially Diablo With Guns. Kill baddies, get XP, baddies drop items, ding, assign skill points and character points, standard D2 fare.
You get a mission in the main town hub, get your pilot buddy to fly you to the abandoned bunker in question and fight your way to the lowest level and the mission objective. Isometric view, right mouse button moves and attacks, left mouse button uses special skills, C is character screen, S is skill screen and so on. Works well, but nothing outstanding.
http://www.fileshack.com/images/finclude/images/041105_restricted.jpg
Graphics are good, dark and gritty, although many of the indoor bunkers tend to overdo the Silent Hill rust/gore decor.

As can be seen from the archetypes, Restricted Area borrows heavily from the AWESOME old RPG for the Sega Genesis, Shadowrun, from which it also takes its random mission system.

While you can choose to simply focus on the main storyline from the main questgiver, there is a shady character in a corner of the main hub named "Mr. Jones" (lol) who can give you randomly generated missions for money and XP. If you want to have any chance of surviving the later story missions, you need to spend at least some time in the random missions to be able to optimise your gear.

And gear and skill optimisation is where this game truly shines - The item system is generally ripped off from Diablo 2, all items have basic stats and then 1 or 2 bonus properties, +10% damage, +5% running speed and so on. All weapons can also be upgraded to boost their damage up to 10 times, which is what most of your aquired money will go to as later upgrades are VERY expensive.
As for the armour - Well, there isn't any. Your character will be wearing the same trenchcoat for the entire game. All equippable items come in the form of cyberware or limb augmentations and work just as armour does in D2. An excellent gimmick, the system is also very well balanced, and you can spend lots of time playing around with different implants trying to achieve optimal stats.

An additional bonus is that it's fairly hilarious running around with a backpack full of dismembered body parts like a demented butcher: http://steelgolem.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/restrictedareass200802021259.png

The large amount of variety in equipment and the joy of tampering with gear setups is one of the greatest things about the game.

But perhaps the most unique feature of the game is the character of Jessica. Being a hacker in a cyberpunk universe, she is able to hack into the mainframe of any base she is in if she can find it. Doing so will transport you to a Matrix-like sublevel with everything rendered in luminescent blue where you can run around hacking nodes to empty bank accounts, deactivate base defense systems, download level maps and so on while combating pyramid-shaped Black Ice. Half of Jessica's skills are therefore designed to improve cyberspace combat.
This is a brilliant addition to the game and really sets it apart from the host of other Diablo 2 ripoffs.

HOWEVER: Despite having many great features, Restricted Area also suffers from many HUGE and GLARING flaws that sadly prevented it from being Best Game Evar.

Firstly, there are only about 15 different kinds of monsters and then a bunch of retextures. The monster design is also pretty crappy in many cases. Why is this bunker overrun with fat shirtless guys with knives and why do I need to kill them?
And there are very few ranged enemies in the game, making a lot of combat mainly about running backwards and shooting the pitifully slow melee mutants.
The monster balance is also pretty weird - At times you'll be blowing away lvl 15 mutants outside the bunker, but when you enter the bunker, they will be lvl 23. Unless you powergame, this will be next to impossible to deal with, and it's made all the weirder by the fact that there will be lvl 8's running alongside the 23s for no apparent reason. The game suffers from serious balance issues for this reason.

Secondly, some of the random missions make no goddamn sense - Most likely because the game shipped unifinished, you sometimes get a job to kidnap or kill a rival corp scientist, pretty much a Shadowrun cliche. Except in this game, he'll be hiding at the bottom level of a mutant infected tech bunker in the middle of the desert instead of a Renraku corp office. What the FUCK is he doing there? On vacation?

Thirdly, there is very little variety in the missions. Few tilesets are available and the more interesting original ones are used in only a few story missions when they could easily have been used in randoms as well. Most missions look exactly the same and feature the same monsters, just with different room layouts.

All of these faults can be attributed to far too lofty goals on the part of the developing team - Playing RA, you get the feeling that so much more content was been planned and left out because of time and budget contraints, leaving the released game unpolished even after the only patch released was applied. It therefore bombed in a bad way, most likely due to significant piracy and really shitty marketing, and the developers went on to create uninspired fantasy RPGs instead.

Which is truly a shame, as I feel that Restricted Area is the closest anyone has been to capturing the awesome combination of stat building, gear collecting, cyberspace combat and magic that made Shadowrun for Genesis the best console RPG ever made. Restricted Area 2 would have been the greatest game ever created.

As it is, Restricted Area gets an 8/10 from me, despite its multitude of flaws.

Download the demo: http://www.gamershell.com/download_8865.shtml
And buy it for 10 bucks from Gamersgate: http://gamersgate.com/DD-REST/restricted-area

MaverickZ
26th May 09, 11:08 AM
I would highly suggest giving Chrome a try. It got very little attention, but I found it very engaging both from a gameplay perspective and a story perspective.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrome_(game)
http://www.gamespot.com/pc/action/chrome/review.html?om_act=convert&om_clk=gssummary&tag=summary;read-review

Shawarma
9th June 09, 03:49 PM
http://img4.immage.de/edit_2905629051.jpg
Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper
Frogwares, 2009, Adventure Game.
The fantastic adventures of the world's most famous asexual investigator and his medical manbitch

When Guy Ritchie dies, the powers that be will be at a loss about where to send him. True, he has created masterpieces such as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch and lately RocknRolla, but he has also been involved in making utter pieces of shit such as the assrapery of the beloved character Sherlock Holmes in his upcoming shitfest.

Well, the Sherlock Holmes in Frogware's adventure game series is thankfully of a more classical kind - lanky, brilliant, arrogant, sophisticated and snobbish, speaking in an excellently cast nasal drawl with just a hint of faggotry, the Holmes of Frogware oozes class and general Holmesness. Best line in the game: "Although I am somewhat lacking in practical experience, I do know what a vagina is for."

The same can be said for Dr. Watson. His solid moustached Victorian Britishness is a great counterweight to the airy-fairy snobbery of Holmes throughout the game, although you gotta wonder why the Watson puts up with the condescending virgin, as Holmes continues to treat him as his manbitch and gofer throughout the game. Dude must have some real good opium or something.
Line of the game: "That, Sir, is no way to address a lady!" Which is only funny considering he growls it at a man in a brothel with a whore on his knee.

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_-0dh_1qD6CU/SfFuNsjeUZI/AAAAAAAAU_I/qdLlmSZrAZQ/s800/sherlock_holmes_jack_the_ripper_02.jpg
You will get the chance to control both Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in their quest to track down, as the title suggests, the notorious serial killer Jack the Ripper. At the start of the game, Jack the Ripper has just claimed his first victim and with the police being a bunch of ineffective pansies, it is naturally up to Holmes to find the killer.
http://www.dignews.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/holmes-v-ripper-11.jpg

The atmosphere of the game is great - Whitechapel looks like the filthy tuberculosis-ridden shithole that it was, whores, thieves, Jews and drunks litter the street and the London fog is thick and icy. Everyone is terrified of the unknown murderer, anti-semitism is rampant and everybody looks dirty and syphilitic. Holmes and Watson must comb Whitechapel for clues, interview shady characters, play CSI at horrifically gory crime scenes and finally deduce the true identity of the killer.
http://static4.filefront.com/images/emlesstlpn.jpg

The game differs from most adventure games in that you can choose to play it from a first-person perspective like in the previous games or you can switch to a classic 3d point and click interface at any time by hitting R. This is very useful, as you can switch to 3rd person to scan scenes for clues you might miss in first person.

The puzzles are fairly standard adventure game fare. Pick up key, use key on door, fellate unicorn and so on. Most of the item based puzzles are pretty easy and easy to figure out as there aren't really a lot of different items to use and most of the puzzles are logical. The game is also dotted with a lot of logical thinking puzzles that often present nice challenges even if their insertion seems contrived. At one point, Holmes needs to aquire an essential book from a bookseller only to discover that he has to use the overly complicated indexing system to find it, another scene sees Watson looking for evidence of an organ legging ring, except it's hidden inside a box with a completely unneccesary anatomy related puzzle lock.

Random insertion of puzzles that don't seem connected to the overall storyline break gameflow, and flow is indeed the major problem with Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper. While the overall theme of Holmes vs Ripper is brilliant, you get the impression that the writers couldn't come up with enough shit for Holmes to do without changing the story of JTR radically, so Holmes has to do a bunch of completely unrelated stuff in order to progress the story, everybody has a favour to ask of Holmes, he basically gets to play gofer to a bunch of cockney retards.
One of the early conversations go:
"Hello, I am Sherlock Holmes, master detective, could you please give me relevant information regarding the recent murders?"
"YES I COULD BUT I NEED YOU TO FIND MY BAG I DROPPED SOMEWHERE AROUND HERE LOL"
"Righto, bag, here I come!"

Why the does Sherlock Motherfucking Holmes run around looking for bags dropped by retards? Makes no sense and only serves as an arbitrary game lengthener.

The bits of story where Holmes isn't running around doing favours for the douchebag du jour are pretty good, though. The story closely follows the Jack the Ripper case and includes many historical facts, locations and real characters. Looking at old photos from the JTR murders, it's remarkable how faithfully Frogware has managed to recreate the original massacres. The game is therefore very grisly at times and not for kids at all.

Voice acting is very good, although the voice actors sometime seem to miss the context of their lines, making Watson's cry of "Really, Holmes!" when Holmes is an asshole towards him for the 3000th time sounds like an inquiry. "Really, Holmes?"

Some people may take issue with the ending. Holmes eventually discovers the true identity of Jack the Ripper to be one of the historical suspects for the murders and the story ends in a very believable way that explains Jack's behaviour ties up all loose ends. I found this to be somewhat disappointing - JTR's a mythical mass murderer, having a human face put to him somewhat cheapens the myth, IMO, although I admire the way Frogware tied the story together with historical facts.

All in all, I enjoyed Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper. It has good atmosphere, good voice acting, an interesting historical perspective and Sherlock Fucking Holmes. If only there'd been less unrelated fucking around.

7/10, get it from http://www.sherlockholmes-thegame.com , where you can also get its two prequels, The Awakened (essentially Sherlock Holmes vs Cthulhu) and Holmes vs Arsene Lupin, the first of which is excellent and the second I haven't played.

resolve
29th June 09, 08:00 PM
Shawarma, have you ever played the PC game "Harbinger"?

I personally loved it. While it didn't get bad reviews it got just "mediocre" reviews and that killed its press.

It had that desperation kind of feeling to it... small glimmers of hope that pale in comparison to the brevity of the entire story.

Shawarma
30th June 09, 06:47 AM
Funny you mention it, I actually have the demo lying on my desktop. Unfortunately, I can't run it with Vista.

I'll try playing it in a week or so when I'm near a proper computer. It looks similar to Restricted Area, which is a good thing.

resolve
30th June 09, 11:17 AM
It is similar. It's like post-post-post apocalyptic though. Basically a world-eating ship has already destroyed our solar system and there's just a few survivors left on that ship who are trying to avoid the alien races who run the ship. Although "run the ship" is kind of an anachronism... more like the ship has become a world in itself and different factions are warring against each other for control.

I won't give anything away but the game's storyline definitely has some small delightful twists and just has that "even if we succeed in what we try to do, we're probably going to die anyways" feeling to it.

The characters in the game are bizarre, but funny :)

Shawarma
4th July 09, 08:00 PM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/c/c3/Arx-fatalis_box.jpg/256px-Arx-fatalis_box.jpg
Arx Fatalis
Arkane Studios, 2002

Spellcasters Heaven

Any RPG fan worth his salt will remember Ultima Underworld 1 and 2 from the early nineties.
The UU games were essentially first-person dungeon crawlers with a uniquely interactive and living gameworld -

Everything could be picked up, turned around and moved, you'd come across many different factions in the dungeon depths to befriend or massacre, the gameworld was expansive with tons of nooks and crannies to explore and the classless game system and large number of skills made it possible to diversify into many different kinds of character.
Sadly, Looking Glass Studios went belly-up sometime in the late nineties, effectively killing the franchise.

Then, 8 years after UU2 was released, Arkane Studios released Arx Fatalis, the spiritual successor to the Underworld series and I must say they managed to capture both the atmosphere and gameplay of the originals wonderfully.

While UU 1 and 2 were set in a standard fantasy world where the storyline just happened to make all the action take place in enclosed spaces, the world of Arx Fatalis is a frozen wasteland with an extinguished sun, forcing the humans, dwarves, trolls, goblins and rat-people to take refuge in huge many-leveled underground fortresses. This sets the stage for the linear but highly sophisticated dungeon crawling storyine. The game begins with you customising your main character, choosing a face, starting stats and skills, using an effective classless character development system.
You then materialise, mysteriously, in a blue magical flash in the goblin controlled part of the city of Arx. You are, of course, amnesiac, as it's against the laws of RPG gaming to have a non-amnesiac main character. Your task is to find a way out of Goblinland and then discover your true identity and purpose for being in Arx.

The story is nothing special and full of cliches, apart from a bit of interesting mid-game intrigue, but the goals are clearly defined and the story keeps the game moving smoothly - And the gameworld is very interesting, interactive and full of homages to the Ultima Underworld series. Many inventory items can be combined to form new ones, use a knife on a stick to form stakes to stick into vampires, use rope on a stick to make a fishing rod, use water on flour to make yeast to bake into bread over fires. The immersion into the game world is excllent.

Like in UU1, each level of Arx has a specific theme, lvl 1 belonging to goblins, lvl 2 being home to the human settlement, lvl 3 being the troll mines and so on and exploring it is really, really fun. The gameworld is very interactive, most things you find can be picked up and moved around, there are lots of little nooks and crannies to explore, a couple of well-written quests and several different ways of solving them, usually by stealth, diplomacy or violence.
Veterans of Ultima Underworld will feel right at home here as there are a few puzzles that are strongly inspired by UU puzzles - I found myself instantly realising the solution to one lever-based puzzle because the exact same puzzle was used in UU2. Great nostalgia.

Graphics are good and character design is excellent. Goblins look dimwitted and devious, trolls rugged and tough and zombies sufficiently smelly. The ambient sounds of running water and faraway echoes add to the feeling of exploring a vast complex of caves and catacombs and is very well done in general.
http://news.softpedia.com/images/extra/GAMES/large/arxfpc_002-large.jpg

The combat is OK - You draw your weapon, a coloured gem at the bottom of the screen depicts the power of your attacks, another homage to UU, you attack with the left mouse button and...that's pretty much it. Hit enemy, try not to get hit through sidestrafing and backpedaling. Pretty much like Oblivion, not too much to say here.
http://static1.filefront.com/images/ldlwqhsbha.jpg

There is much to be said about the magic system of Arx Fatalis, however, simply because it's the best magic system ever seen in a CPRG. Like in Ultima Underworld, magical spells consist of 2-5 magic words or "runes" strung together to form a sentence. Stringing together the runes for "create" and "fire" will ignite torches and campfires, "negate fire" extinguishes them, "create fire projectile" creates a fireball, "improve vision" grants night vision and so on. You string the runes together by holding ctrl and then drawing the magical symbols with your mouse, tracing magic sparks with your finger. You can experiment with drawing runes as well, as there are a few hidden spells not listed in the game manual which can be figured out by guessing the right sequence of runes.
An few examples of offensive spells can be seen here:
LueGiUasvFk

Magic is very powerful and is what makes Arx Fatalis a truly great game. Walking down a corridor when a charging monster suddenly appears, you frantically try to remember the rune combination for fireball and struggle to draw the runes correctly. This leads to very exciting and involved gameplay. One of the best boss fights I've seen in a video game is when you're locked in a small room with a demon capable of killing you in one hit. Sidestrafing, ducking and jumping over obstacles to avoid getting killed while trying to keep focused on drawing magic runes is awesome and challenging.

The awesomeity of the magic system does expose one of the two big flaws of Arx Fatalis: The unbalanced character development. It's a hallmark of a truly good RPG that it should be possible to complete it as a diplomat, magician, thief or straight out fighter. In Arx, playing as a magician is by far the easiest, playing a fighter is hard as hell and playing as a thief is unplayable - Investing too many skillpoints in thieving related skills like stealth and lockpicking may land you in a situation where you simply don't pack enough punch to kill the stronger monsters and backstabbing is underpowered, considering how many skillpoints you need to dump in stealth to make it worthwhile and completely worthless in boss fights.

Being a straight fighter only using magic for healing and powering up is hard too, as the game takes a steep jump in difficulty around mid-game once heavily armoured devil worshippers begin appearing who can take 3000+ hits and can kill you in two. It's simply easier to just blow them the fuck away with lightning bolts than letting them get close enough to hit.

Arx Fatalis is therefore not that well balanced and lacks replayability for that reason. But hey, when magic is so much fun, why would you want to play anything but a mage?

The other big problem with Arx is that it's fairly short. Maybe 15 hours or so of total gameplay, less on your second run. The gameworld, while very atmospheric and well designed, simply isn't that big. For a game built on as solid basics as Arx, it would be nice to have a longer game to experience them in.

A third minor irritation is that the voice acting sucks dick, but as it's a French game later translated, that's excusable.

Arx Fatalis is a fantastic update of the Ultima Underworld games and is criminally underrated by RPG lovers - Provided you play as a magic user. If you opt out of using magic, what you have is a pretty average dungeon crawler with shitty voice acting, great looking environments and a linear storyline.

Final score: 8.5/10 if playing a sorcerer, 6/10 if trying to tough it out as a warrior.

Get it from here for a paltry six dollars: http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/arx_fatalis
With that price tag, you simply can't pass it up.

Shawarma
12th September 09, 09:53 AM
http://biobreak.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/cobox.jpg
Champions Online

2009, Cryptic Studios, Superhero Themed MMORPG

The bastard offspring of City of Heroes and WoW

This is gonna be kinda long, so here is the TLDR version: Good base mechanics, teaming needs work, wait 5 months for devs to iron out kinks and make it totally awesome.

I have played both World of Warcraft and City of Heroes, WoW for about 3 months, COH for a year.
I found WoW to be initially enjoyable, but ultimately a pointless grindfest with far too much time dedicated to traveling and an overabundance of annoying children online.
I found CoH to be amazing with it's massive character customisation options, excellent teaming mechanics, easy, cool and fast traveling abilities like flight and super speed being available as early as lvl 14 and near complete lack of neccesity to grind gold and run the same bosses constantly in order to drop the Magic Dildo of Cthulhu +10 so you could brag to the other kids about your phat lewt.

Now just over a week ago, the spiritual sequel to CoH, Champions Online, was released upon the unsuspecting public, and to sum it up in one sentence, it's City of Heroes 2, WoW edition - It takes a lot of what makes City of Heroes fantastic, then throws in shitty, shitty WoW aspects to entice players away from Azeroth.

Graphics: Champions Online looks pleasing to the eye even at low settings, with graphics being bright, cheerful and cartoony. The comic book nature of the setting is emphasised by cell-shading giving characters comic book style outlines and shininess, and the overall effect is really good, as it was in other games using the same graphical gimmick such as XIII and Bad Day LA.
http://www.blogcdn.com/www.massively.com/media/2008/08/champions2352onlinee.jpg

One of the most notable aspects about CoH was the character costume creation tool, and that has transitioned wonderfully into Champions Online, now with even more costume options, meaning you can recreate practically any character you can care to imagine. Video of the character creation tool in action:
xrHXm0d7MXw
Sadly, this huge flexibility in costumes also ensures that there are tons of Marvel/DC ripoffs running around as well as an overabundance of fucking furries, but that's a small price to pay for such amazing flexibility. Every character thus looks completely unique, being a wonderful change from the 5 hairstyles and 3 facial settings for each race in WoW.


Gameplay mechanics:
It plays like pretty much any other MMORPG on the market at the moment - WASD moves, space jumps, 1-0 keys use assigned spells/powers/abilities and so on. The only new innovation with regards to control that I can see is the fact that you can now hold attack buttons with several powers to charge your metaphorical lazors, doing more damage, healing more damage and so on, and some powers, like automatic weapons, require you to hold the button pressed to maintain DPS.
This is a good idea in that the only difference between your weak basic energy blast and your strong energy blast is the amount of time you hold the button, making picking powers for weak, medium and strong attacks somewhat obsolete for many character builds.

Gameplay video from the end of the tutorial:
3Moil_fe4ZE

The character stat and power system is also unique in that it is completely classless and doesn't confine you to any one role depending on how you created your character. Every character starts with 2 basic powers of their own choosing and can learn any power in the game later on, given their level is high enough, without being restricted by concept. Want a gunslinging sorcerer? An angel with robot combat minions? A teleporting swordsman with telepathic powers, magic shields and a minigun? No problem, everything is possible with the Champions engine.

Travel powers also make a return from City of Heroes, except you now get your travel power as soon as you exit the tutorial at about lvl 6, meaning you never have to go anywhere on foot again, and new powers have even been added. In addition to the ability to fly, leap tall buildings and run at super speed, you are now able to burrow unseen through the ground at high speed, swing from the buildings like Spiderman, fly on a block of ice or rock or simply parkour your way across town. My personal favourite is the swinging, due to the awesome acrobatic visuals. My only gripe is that there isn't a Motorbike travel power yet, but maybe that will come in later updates.

An interesting thing to note about CO is that there really is very little emphasis on buffing and debuffing and that designated healer characters are rare and underappreciated - This is because most of the content is heavily geared towards small groups or soloing and the game mechanics are thus heavily biased towards DPS heavy classes and not support. I personally hate this about Champions Online and hope they make playing a buffbitch or a healwhore a viable and fun alternative with later updates.

Gear and crafting:
Whereas City of Heroes had no actual "gear" you could "equip", Champions Online uses the WoW model. Baddies drop equippable gear that doesn't alter your physical looks but gives you stat increases and sometimes additional useable powers. Not my cup of tea, but it ties in very nicely with the crafting system.
Essentially, you can break down your obsolete gear for crafting materials and crafting skillpoints, allowing you to learn more advanced recipes and craft better gear for you to use. I really like this function, as it gives you a reason to keep all the useless gear drops you get rather than just dumping them.

Materials and crafting skillpoints can also be aquired by running around the countryside collecting caches in the form of arms crates, voodoo bags or scientific blueprints, depending on your crafting specialisation. As somebody who enjoys scavenger hunting, I approve.

Questing mechanics:
City of Heroes has an interesting setup for quests - nearly all quests are instanced, meaning you gather a team, go to the instance door and then play through a fun 15 minute instance with a number of spawns that scale to your team leaders level, number of teammates and selected difficulty level. This worked excellently and made for great teaming fun.

However, in order to please WoW kiddies, Cryptic decided to rip off WoW's mission system - go to location A, kill B amount of baddies of type C, gather D amount of droppable items from said enemy.
I personally much prefer CoH's system since it firstly avoids assholes from stealing my kills on the overworld map and secondly gives XP to everybody who've contributed to finishing the instanced mission. In CO, questing with others often seem erratic since helping others with their missions gives you no XP or gear, thus not really giving people much INCENTIVE to team, in my opinion a ridiculous thing for an MMORPG.

There are also random missions you can get, with citizens running up to you on the street and giving you a randomly generated mission for XP and money. This is fine in concept, but the missions are fairly short and dull and, again, give no XP to your teammates for completing along with you.
These factors along with the lack of emphasis on support characters make teaming the most glaring flaw in Champions Online, which I hope the developers will address soon, hopefully by completely ripping off the CoH model.

Open Missions
A mission type I do quite like in CO are the open missions, essentially map locations where different PvE minigames take place for the whole map to join in on and try to complete for rewards. One open mission involves protecting the mayor from hordes of charging assassins, another is about fighting back and alien invasion and assembling a huge cannon to down the mothership, a third is about stopping a jailbreak and so on. Although open missions are cooperative missions, there are special rewards for the player who performed the best on the mission, encouraging competitiveness within a teaming environment. A good addition to the game, IMO, although many of the open missions are currently bugged.

Player vs Player:
Cryptic announced that CO should be a very PvP friendly game, and speaking as somebody who hates PvP in MMORPGs, I must admit that they succeeded. PvP is actually....FUN!
There is no physical arena in the game, instead you simply click the PvP button on your HUD, which then teleports you to one of several PvP arena instances depending on your personal tastes. From there, you can beat the shit out of other players to your heart's content, aquiring unique PvP money in the process. Some powers are wildly imbalanced for PvP, but that's another thing the devs are looking into. PvP gets a thumbs-up from me, PvP hater.

The Arch Nemesis:
What is a superhero without an arch-nemesis? What would Batman be without the Joker, Reed Richards without Dr. Doom or Dr. X without Magneto? Starting at lvl 25, Champions Online allows you to design your arch-nemesis, costume, superpowers and henchmen and all, and will allow you to do battle with him in a series of missions for the remainder of the game. I must admit that I have not yet tested this feature, but it is a cool concept and one which I have high hopes for.

Conclusion:
The basic game mechanics of Champions Online are great, easily the most enjoyable I've seen in an MMORPG - However, it is still in the very early stages of its development, and there are many bugs and imbalances to be corrected, especially with regards to the aforementioned crappy teaming mechanics. As it is, City of Heroes is still the superior superhero game and MMORPG, unless you really like WoW and enjoy soloing. However, give it a few months to mature, and CO will become a truly amazing MMORPG, knocking City of Heroes off its throne as the king of online nerdery.

Final score: 7/10, likely to rise to 9.5/10 in a year's time, depending on whether they move the gameplay towards the glory of CoH or the grindfest of WoW.

Get it here: www.champions-online.com (sorry, no free trial yet.)

resolve
12th September 09, 08:05 PM
From what I've seen in that game from the vids and your review...

I like:

the graphics... ultimate customizability always makes me happy! and attractive use of cel shading is another huge hit with me.

the sound.... extremely well done

the fighting.... looks very nice for an MMO


What I don't like:

all the same "instance" bs that has been going on since Everquest/Guild Wars/WoW all came out with it at the same time. I like my worlds seamless like Oblivion or Dungeon Siege thx...

the static NPCs... Everquest when it first came out had introduced roaming NPCs with their own schedules like going to the pub or wandering around town or closing up shop at night, which was new to an MMO though not RPGs. Enough people complained they couldn't find their NPCs so from then on in each expansion and each new MMO that would come out after it they just made them sit there like idiots twiddling their thumbs all day long. Loses major immersion points with me.

The dialogue boxes... why can't games have interactive dialogue? Why does it always have to come up with a box and selections? It's another big interface break to me that destroys immersion and something I can't get over in MMOs these days.

resolve
12th September 09, 10:40 PM
Also, did you ever try Harbinger?

Shawarma
13th September 09, 06:51 AM
Have to disagree with you there, I thought the instance part of CoH was great and should have been more part of CO. Instead, the devs opted for a WoW open world approach, with just occasional missions being instanced for team challenges.

And I did try Harbinger, and was very unimpressed, sadly. Played clunkily, looked ugly and didn't captivate in any way. Restricted Area beats it in all aspects, IMO.

resolve
13th September 09, 11:28 AM
I'll have to try Restricted Area sometime then.

Shawarma
28th October 09, 08:38 PM
http://www.blogcdn.com/www.massively.com/media/2009/09/torchlightlaunchannouncementpax580.jpg
Torchlight
2009, Runic Games, hack n' slash action RPG
Return of the Son of Diablo

Looking back, Diablo 1 was a fantastic game, perfect in its simplicity - You arrive in a medieval village as a warrior/archer/wizard and descend into the huge dungeon situated conveniently in the center of town, killing monsters, solving quests, leveling and occasionally using a scroll of town portal to return to town to upgrade your gear and get new quests, rinse and repeat until end of game. And it was damned entertaining - solid gameplay along with great atmosphere and music has made Diablo 1 a true classic, and while D2 is also a fantastic game, it simply lacks the style of Diablo 1.

So what happens when a couple of former Blizzard employees team up in 2009 and decide to make an updated version of Diablo 1 with state of the art cartoon graphics, an updated interface based on Diablo 2 and music by the same guy who scored D1 and D2? Why, you get Torchlight, the just released cheap-o indie game from Runic Games, and I must say that it is a gloriously nostalgic experience.

The game begins in the medieval/steampunky town of Torchlight, a town built on top of a great mine where a magical metal called Ember is mined. Unfortunately, evil hordes of dark creatures have started emerging from the underground, threatening the city and corrupting the Ember. It is now up to you to descend into the depths of the earth and solve the mystery of the corruption threatening to engulf Torchlight.

In a throwback to D1, there are three character classes: The destroyer, vanquisher and alchemist, who are really just the three D1 classes by another name - The destroyer is your basic warrior/barbarian, heavy plate mails and battleaxes galore, as well as shadow magic abilities, the vanquisher is an archer/gunfighter trapper with a variety of different kinds of shot types, traps and dual-wielding maneuvers and the alchemist is a spellcaster with heals, buffs and summons. Pretty bare-bones class selection, but hey, it is a D1 remake of sorts.
http://www.tentonhammer.com/system/files/images/Torchlight_Classes.preview.jpg

Gameplay is essentially Diablo 1 with improved graphics and interface - there is a huge, randomly generated dungeon of 30+ levels to be explored, nicely rendered villains to kill, sidequests to solve and phat lewts to be collected. The dungeon is strictly linear - the only way to go is down, with a different tileset and set of monsters appearing roughly every five or six levels, similar to how Diablo 1 did it.
Your character handles much like Diablo 2 - left mouse button moves and attacks, right mouse button uses spells and special skills, number keys drinks potions and uses special abilities. All in all, the core game of Torchlight is a D1 ripoff - but it's the little things Runic added that makes it stand out as an excellent dungeon crawler.

First of all, your pet - At character creation, you also get to choose between a cat or a dog pet to accompany you on your mission. While I initially thought it was fairly retarded having to bring a dog or cat along with me into the dungeon, I've really come to appreciate my doggy companion (named "Handbanana, naturally) - Not only does he help you out in fights with his claws, he can also carry stuff around for you when your own backpack gets full and if you give your pet spell scrolls, they can cast those spells indefinitely, including heals, buffs and summons. There's something oddly satisfying about being followed around by a fireball-throwing dog that summons skeleton archers when in trouble.

As an amusing but largely useless feature, if you find a fishing hole, you can catch fish in a small minigame sequence, which you can then feed to your pet, transforming him into different monsters for a short period of time. While amusing in concept, the fishing minigame is not much fun and the transformations are too short lived to really be useful, so apart from feeding your pet a "turn into trogdor" fish every once in a while for a bossfight, you will hardly be using this feature.

And last and most importantly, you can send your pet back to town at the click of a button to sell the gear you've given him. Remember how annoying it was in Diablo to take breaks from killing every five minutes to teleport back to town to sell your stuff? No need for that here, Fido takes care of that for you, disappearing for a set amount of time depending on how deep into the dungeon you are and then returning with the money from the sales. Very cool innovation on Runic's part.

The RPG elements are ripped off from Diablo 2 - each levelup, you gain 5 characteristic points and 1 skillpoints to invest in 4 different characteristics and 3 skill trees for each character, making many different builds possible. More interesting is the inclusion of spell scrolls you can use to learn additional non-class restricted spells, a throwback to Diablo 1. Sadly, a lot of the spells are fairly useless, but it's cool having the option to buy or find new spells instead of only having to grind XP for them.
http://blog.weflyspitfires.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/image002.jpg

You also don't need to return to town to repair your weapons as they don't have durability, another good design decision. Having to repair your weapons and armour was never anything more than an irritation factor. However, that doesn't mean you have nothing to spend your money on, as each item in the game can be enchanted repeatedly for progressively increasing costs, adding random magical modifiers. So instead of constantly having to replace your trusty Sword of Suck- 4 with less sucky swords, you can simply enchant it to become a Sword of Suck -3 instead, and maybe even -2 if you got the cash! This was a mechanism also used in Restricted Area, which I've previously reviewed, and it really gives you an incentive to keep hoarding gold and prevents money from becoming largely worthless by the end game as it was in Diablo 1 and 2.

Another thing taken from Restricted Area is the Random Mission Generator Guy standing around in town. He gives out random missions which always feature monsters of your level, making him a useful friend if you find yourself outgunned by the enemies in the storyline dungeon and need grind experience and gold for a bit.

Being outgunned is not likely to happen, however, which brings me to my first criticism of the game: Balance. Simply put, the game is waaaaay too easy. I started my first character on "normal" difficulty and found simply NO CHALLENGE in plowing through the hordes of goblins, zombies and giant spiders and even without powergaming or grinding in the slightest found myself three levels higher than the enemies I faced by the time I hit the midgame. My second character I started on hard mode with the same results - I still plow through enemies easily,even act bosses, except I now die once an hour or something. And I suck at video games.

Another criticism of the game is loading times. I'm playing it on a fairly decent laptop far exceeding the game requirements and it takes the game sometimes 40 seconds to load a dungeon, which is excessive for a game of relatively low sophistication. Negative marks for inefficient coding, hope for it to be optimised later.

Lastly, the atmosphere. Diablo 1 was creepy as hell, so you would assume that a remake would be too, yeah? Wrong - Torchlight's graphical side is great, but it really looks more like Warcraft 3 style than Diablo style, cartoony characters, cartoon gore, bright colours and a complete absence of piles of dismembered heads, crucified mutilated corpses or satanic imagery. Torchlight is therefore nowhere near as atmospheric and spooky as D1 was and D2 tried to be, but it doesn't try to be either.

So, the question is: Is Torchlight a worthy descendant of the Diablo bloodline? I would say yes. True, it lacks the great atmosphere and grittiness, but the storyline is fairly compelling, the dungeon huge and beautiful, the controls great and it is overall very accessible and fun to play.

Finally, the game is advertised as having been designed with modders in mind, and modding tools are due to be released at the end of next week, allowing players to add or modify classes, levels, monsters, items, pets or graphics. What will come of this feature is yet to be seen and depends entirely on the game community, but it looks very interesting in theory. Maybe somebody will add some piles of decapitated heads, just to make me feel at home.

Final score: 7.5 out of 10 - An excellent little action-packed dungeon crawler for casual gaming nerds like me who still replay Diablo 1 and 2 every once in a while.

Get it from www.torchlightgame.com , for a measly 20 dollars. At this price, you really can't go wrong, and it should satisfy your grindfest needs until Diablo 3 is released, which will doubtlessly feature MILLIONS of decapitated heads. Recommended.

Finally, the trailer:
ghQBj6Gfn10

Ajamil
29th October 09, 09:48 AM
Ever see the game Fate? Was put out by Wild Tangent, and is incredibly similar to Torchlight - even down to the abilities of the pets.

Shawarma
29th October 09, 10:53 AM
Supposedly, Torchlight is kind of a sequel to Fate. Never played Fate, though.

Ajamil
29th October 09, 11:25 AM
I didn't really like the lack of a skill tree in Fate, so maybe Torchlight fixes that. Magic was also a complete waste of time in the game.

AAAhmed46
11th November 09, 12:50 AM
SHining force: Awesom, but soooo tedious when your waiting for the computer to take it's turn.

Maximum carnage: GOod game, but too difficult, and the ending is so damn anti-climatic after so much hard and retarded gameplay.

Wounded Ronin
15th November 09, 12:45 PM
I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream

Cyberdreams, 1995.

While I'm on the topic of twisted and disturbing video games, I feel that I should give mention to the king of the genre, I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream.

Based on a short story by Harlan Ellison, IHNMAIMS is a classic style point-and-click adventure game. The game loosely follows the shortstory's plot. In a near future, the military of the world is being put under the direct control of sentient military supercomputers for improved efficiency. As Terminator has shown us, this is rarely a good idea, and the American Mastercomputer A.M did naturally go insane and nuked humanity off the face of the planet. Filled with an insane hatred for humanity, it decided to keep five humans alive as playthings and has at the game's beginning been tormenting them for 109 years. As the player, you take control of each of the five humans and guide them through sick "quests" that A.M set up for you for his own amusement, the completion of each individual quest opening up the final chapter.

You can play through the chapters in any order you like, and as each of them involves a different character they involve very different settings. A.M tortures each main protagonist by exposing them to their former sins, repressed memories and personal shortcomings, trying to degrade and destroy them as humans. It gets evil, psychedelic and really, really twisted. You will have to deal with multiple moral choices involving unfaithfulness, theft, murder, torture, cannibalism, rape, abandonment and genocide and this game has the most mature handling of such issues ever seen in a video game. Each character has a Morality counter showing the karmic value of his or her moral choices in-game. As A.M is trying to break down your humanity with his sick games, it is possible to give in to your darker instincts and cheat, lie and murder your way through the game, which is entirely possible, but will give you the bad ending cinematic at the end of the game. Or you can try to preserve your humanity in the face of A.M's perverse tempting and achieve a more satisfying conclusion. IHNMAIMS is therefore one of those excellent games where beating the game is not all that difficult getting the best ending is, and you'll likely have to replay each characters chapter a few times to achieve the best morality rating.

Voicework, music and graphics are so-so. The strength of the game is in its twisted environments and strong writing rather than its presentation. Of note is Harlan Ellison, who voices A.M himself.

IHVNMAIMS is a milestone in adventure gaming and one that hasn't ever been replicated successfully. The moral choices and gruesome setting set it apart from just about all other adventure games and has made it a true classic.

Finally, a video of the game intro, with Harlan Ellison reading A.M's opening monologue from the shortstory.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssZrHBqVtzg


Gamespot disagrees with you. I'm not sure whether or not I should pay t he $50 for a used copy from amazon.com and then try to run that under DosBox.



This interactive sequel to Harlan Ellison's famous short story of the same name was the subject of much ado before its release. Most of this hype came from the notorious curmudgeon himself, who criticized the state of computer entertainment while promising that his foray into gaming would provide players with a new experience.

Unfortunately, Ellison was only partly right. Computer gaming, and the graphic adventure genre in particular, may be in serious need of innovation, but this run-of-the-mill adventure doesn't provide it. I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream is replete with all of the shortcomings of its genre. There are numerous dead ends and illogical puzzles—for example, you must flush a toilet three times to access a hidden room. There are also many programming bugs; characters will walk backwards across the screen and even vanish without warning.

To be fair, I Have No Mouth… does experiment with some interesting concepts, and the dark tone of the original short story is maintained with bleak artwork and depressing situations. But the so-called “ethical decisions” these five imprisoned souls must face are no more than red herrings, providing only stopping blocks to progress or disturbing scenes with no tangible purpose. More disturbing is Ellison as the voice of AM (the evil supercomputer which has imprisoned the five protagonists), which may as well be renamed HAM after his over-enthusiastic performance.

Die-hard adventurers will certainly find a challenge (especially during the incomprehensible end-game) and Ellison aficionados may be intrigued by this extension of his work, but I Have No Mouth… doesn't prove to be a worthy translation of the sci-fi classic. Instead, this title relies on the frustrating cliches and roadblocks that have plagued the adventure game genre since its inception


http://www.gamespot.com/pc/adventure/ihavenomouthandims/review.html?om_act=convert&om_clk=gsupdates&tag=updates;title;1

Shawarma
15th November 09, 01:12 PM
Gamespot are well-known to be useless faggots. The ethics part works well, although better in some chapters than others and the sheer horror of some of the situations is extremely original. What other adventure game has "cannibalise your former friends" as a viable option?

The game is far better than the shortstory.

I recommend piracy - the developer has been bankrupt for ages, you're ripping off nobody.

"Which of you five...would like to PLAY my little game?"'

OR you could head over to Good Old Games and get yourself a copy of Sanitarium, which is another excellent and very disturbing adventure game. 10 bucks, a fucking steal. Don't worry that you don't understand a thing initially - things make more sense later on. http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/sanitarium

Should actual put up a proper review of Sanitarium since it's a gruesomely overlooked classic, but I haven't played it in years. Maybe later.

resolve
16th November 09, 06:37 PM
You know what would be funny? If I powered up one of my accounts and let you review EverQuest. :P

Neildo
18th November 09, 02:45 AM
finally got a copy of s.t.a.l.k.e.r. and i'm installing it now. i'm psyched.

edit: runs choppy, but it runs. dialed down the settings but still lags. i'll figure it out.

Neildo
18th November 09, 04:51 AM
playing torchlight now. nice graphics!

Shawarma
18th November 09, 09:59 AM
Get a damage realism mod for STALKER. It's irritating having bad guys keep fighting after five shots to the body. Other than that, it is the best survival-horror/FPS hybrids around.

Wounded Ronin
20th November 09, 10:10 PM
Gamespot are well-known to be useless faggots. The ethics part works well, although better in some chapters than others and the sheer horror of some of the situations is extremely original. What other adventure game has "cannibalise your former friends" as a viable option?

The game is far better than the shortstory.

I recommend piracy - the developer has been bankrupt for ages, you're ripping off nobody.

"Which of you five...would like to PLAY my little game?"'

OR you could head over to Good Old Games and get yourself a copy of Sanitarium, which is another excellent and very disturbing adventure game. 10 bucks, a fucking steal. Don't worry that you don't understand a thing initially - things make more sense later on. http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/sanitarium

Should actual put up a proper review of Sanitarium since it's a gruesomely overlooked classic, but I haven't played it in years. Maybe later.

Good idea, Sanitarium is one of those things I've been meaning to check out.

In general though I actually hate "adventure" games because the puzzles usually frustrate me. My game of Silent Hill came to a screeching halt and uinstall when I hit the first puzzle.

Wounded Ronin
20th November 09, 10:11 PM
Get a damage realism mod for STALKER. It's irritating having bad guys keep fighting after five shots to the body. Other than that, it is the best survival-horror/FPS hybrids around.

Can you recommend one? I have STALKER. I actually got bored and quit near the beginning and it's been sitting on my computer for a long time. I might like it more if the damage was more realistic.

SFGOON
21st November 09, 03:38 AM
I have Assassin's Creed 2. And you homos don't.

I have Mario Brothers Wii. And you homos don't.

Assassin's Creed 2 is fucking awesome. Everything the first one tried to be.

Mario Brothers Wii is an excercise in frustration when played in two player mode. But it's still fuckin' awesome. And, it's not as hard as Nintendo said it would be. I'm already in world 3, and Mario Bros is a side project for me during breaks from Assassin's Creed 2.

Also, my wife is fucking awesome. I hate that guy!

Ajamil
21st November 09, 03:54 AM
And, it's not as hard as Nintendo said it would be. I'm already in world 3, and Mario Bros is a side project for me during breaks from Assassin's Creed 2.

In the original Mario, getting to the last world took under a minute. Sounds like they've amped it up quite a bit.

Neildo
21st November 09, 03:59 AM
Also, my wife is fucking awesome. I hate that guy!

wtf


s.t.a.l.k.e.r. is kinda weird. i keep looting bodies, but hauling all that gear back to the trader is getting tedious and annoying. do i even need to bother hoarding cash? i've hardly bought anything, i find all the first aid kits and bandages i've needed so far on the bodies of dudes i've killed.

not having any problems with damage either, i just shoot everyone in the head. they wanted me to go through a tunnel full of anomalies to bypass the half-dozen soldiers guarding the pass. i said fuck that, crept up the embankment where the broken train bridge is, and shot them all from there. now i have a machine gun, ho ho ho.

socratic
22nd November 09, 08:41 PM
wtf


s.t.a.l.k.e.r. is kinda weird. i keep looting bodies, but hauling all that gear back to the trader is getting tedious and annoying. do i even need to bother hoarding cash? i've hardly bought anything, i find all the first aid kits and bandages i've needed so far on the bodies of dudes i've killed.

not having any problems with damage either, i just shoot everyone in the head. they wanted me to go through a tunnel full of anomalies to bypass the half-dozen soldiers guarding the pass. i said fuck that, crept up the embankment where the broken train bridge is, and shot them all from there. now i have a machine gun, ho ho ho.You'll amass a huge amount of cash in the game. By the second half you won't need to buy anything.

I'm surprised you could kill the Russian army. Usually they'll WTFown you if you get caught.

You probably should have gone through the tunnel, there's probably equipment in them. Have you entered the psychic territories yet?

AAAhmed46
12th December 09, 03:27 AM
Shame on you, Syndicate was one of the best Bullfrog games for PC. It was the first game that allowed you to run through town with a trench coat and shoot civilians, coppers and enemy agents with a minigun. It SUCKED on the SNES - worse graphics, awful controls, bad sound, everything was terrible about it.

I can't get syndicate wars to work on this new windows. BLAAAAh

AAAhmed46
12th December 09, 03:42 AM
Tropico

Sim Castro

Being dictator of a small middle-American or Carribbean island nation is great. You live a life Eazy-E would approve of: You got ho's, a sizeable Swiss bank account with money siphoned by public projects and you get to bust a cap in the ass of anyone disagreeing with you. Naturally, this makes a wonderful setting for a Sim City like game where YOU become ruler of the small island nation of Tropico and run it however you see fit.

The game begins with you selecting your alter ego. You can create one from scratch or simply grab one of the pre-generated presidentes like Castro, Che, Papa Doc, Noriega and so on, each coming with their own flaws and strengths, such as being popular with communists, being popular with the US, alcoholism, womanising etc. Your character skills do of course have an impact on gameplay, mainly determining your initial relationship with the various factions of the game.

You begin with a small, uneducated population of Hispanic island dwellers divided into different ideological factions (capitalists, communists, militants, religious, intellectuals and ecologists) and then have to decide where to go from there. There are many options. Try to industrialise and suck up to the capitalists by creating an industrial hellhole with great wealth for the upper classes and poverty for the masses, give everybody equal pay and social security to cater to the communists, outlaw contraception and hold book burning rallies to make the religious happy, build schools and colleges to make intellectuals happy or any combination of the above. You can also turn your island into a tourist paradise and fill your pockets that way.

There are many things to do in Tropico, but the two most important things are, naturally, filling your Swiss bank retirement fund and staying in power. The first is done by skimming money off public projects and is more or less done by itself, the second is more involving and fun. Your subjects, ungrateful dicks that they are, will every five years demand that you hold a free election. You can agree to this like a good little elected representative and then rig the shit out of the elections, have your opposing candidate arrested or murdered and bribe your populace into letting you stay in power. Your smarter subjects are gonna catch on to this sooner or later, however, in which case your only choice may be to declare yourself Presidente 4 Life, which will naturally lead to a guerilla movement against you, in which case you have no choice but to declare martial law, shoot, jail and torture your political opponents. Just be careful about them rebels in the hills, or they might oust you.

As Tropico is set during the cold war, another way to lose the game is to piss off the US or USSR too much, causing them to invade and boot your ass out. You generally want to buddy up to one of them so you can get delicious foreign aid money.

Tropico is a game that has a lot to offer management/Sim City freaks as well as ample opportunities for virtual sadism and cruelty and it is as such an excellent and most underrated game.

There is also a sequel, Tropico 2, in which you play a pirate king over a pirate haven like Tortuga during the golden age of piracy and has to keep your drunken pirates in check, kidnap slaves and send out ships to raid the trade routes. It's good fun as well, but severely dumbed down compared to Tropico 1 and therefore an inferior game.

Did you buy this?

Neildo
12th December 09, 06:44 AM
Have you entered the psychic territories yet?

don't think so. closest thing i can think of was encountering some kind of weird mutant thing that fucks my shit up with a weird zooming camera trick. few grenades made it stop.

Shawarma
12th December 09, 03:10 PM
For Syndicate Wars, use Dosbox to run it.

For Tropico: I own Tropico 1 and 2 and recently bought Tropico 3 as well. T3 is still fun and charming but way, waaaay too easy to hold your interest for an extended period of time. T1 is still the best game in the series.

socratic
13th December 09, 01:26 AM
don't think so. closest thing i can think of was encountering some kind of weird mutant thing that fucks my shit up with a weird zooming camera trick. few grenades made it stop.Haha, that's the FIRST psychic mutant. There's more where that came from.

AAAhmed46
13th December 09, 03:26 AM
I can't get a working copy of that game.

You got Msn shawarma? maybe you can send it to me or something.

TheMightyMcClaw
27th December 09, 10:04 PM
I've started playing I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream. That game is amaaaazing.
<input id="gwProxy" type="hidden"><!--Session data--><input onclick="jsCall();" id="jsProxy" type="hidden">

AAAhmed46
30th December 09, 03:19 AM
Everyone who played it seems to like it, but the reviews for it are horrible.

Shawarma
30th December 09, 10:22 AM
As previously stated, Gamespot are useless faggots, and anybody who dislikes IHNMAIMS is obviously a closet coprophage. It has no equal in its handling of gruesome themes and situations and is therefore a spectacular game.

Now, as promised:
http://www.aeropause.com/wordpress/archives/images/2009/11/1e67ab99b57597bf197ded7b62025e791048b5e3.jpg
Sanitarium
ASC Games, 1998
Psychological horror adventure game
ALL ABOOOOOOOARD THE CRAZY TRAIN! MUAHAHAHAHA

Ah, amnesia - such a wonderful, hackneyed plot device. Corny as it is, it has had a special place in my heart since playing Planescape: Torment (incidentally the best game in history), so after playing the demo of Sanitarium back in 1998 featuring an amnesiac main character waking up in a filthy hellhole of a mental institution, I had to get the game. I got it, played it through the first chapter - didn't understand a fucking thing that was going on after that. But in a good way.
http://www.juegomania.org/Sanitarium/foto/pc/1/1238/1238_t.jpg/Foto+Sanitarium.jpg

Sanitarium, as the name implies, is an adventure game about mental illness and delusions. You play the part of a patient with no recollections about his past and a bandaged face and must attempt to discover the truth about who he is and why he's in the nuthouse, solving puzzles, chatting to other insane patients, uncaring doctors and brutal wardens and suffering the occasional crazy hallucination, transporting you to various weird and horrifying realms, sometimes transforming your avatar into another character entirely. A few of the things you will encounter in your strange fantasies are:

-A town full of deformed children
-The world's most disturbing circus
-A religious cult worshipping a broom
-A rhyming cannibal
-Elvis Presley
-Necromancy and tarot reading
-Red herrings
-A firebreathing little girl battling a squid/man hybrid
-The god Quetzalcoatl terrorising an Olmec village
-Dr. Mengele-type medical experiments
-A war between two races of sentient cyborg-insects and four-armed cyclopses.
-A strange fixation on pumpkins
-Repressed memories from your own childhood
-The truth

Confused yet? I sure as fuck was until the mid-game. Although the horrific dream-realms you traverse during the course of the game seem random and confusing, just about everything in them gives you clues to who you really are and what the truth behind your incarceration is. This does not become evident until later in the game when the pieces begin to fall into place, and finally discovering the secret behind yourself is one of the best "aaah, so THAT'S what it meant!" moments I've had in a video game. Sanitarium is therefore a game you want to replay at least once, to spot all the hidden meanings you've missed during your first playthrough. What, for instance, is up with the game's odd fascination with pumpkins? What significance do the deformed children have? How is trauma from your own childhood related to the things you see? Discovering these things makes finishing Sanitarium a very satisfying experience and the game therefore gets great marks for story.
http://www.gamershell.com/static/screenshots/794/19460_full.jpg

To balance the above praise and dicksucking of the game, Sanitarium also has several ugly flaws that keep it from being as big a psychological horror classic as IHNMAIMS. Firstly, it's ugly. This may sound strange coming from a mid-nineties game snob such as myself, but the art style of the game is simply unappealing to the eye and could have been much more disturbing. The game graphically looks like Fallout 1 and the grey-green-brown shades just don't work as well inside your own twisted mind as it did in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Secondly, it SOUNDS ugly. The musical side is very unimpressive and several of the voice actors are phoning it in horribly, including the main character who alternates between sounding confused and bored stiff, even when coming across scenes of carnage.

Thirdly, the interface is clunky and the player character moves like a pregnant yak - click spot, waaaait for him to get there, click spot, waaait for him to get there, repeat ad inifitum. In some of the larger maps, this becomes annoying after a while, although it does give you time to think over possible puzzle solutions while you wait for your slow-as-molasses PC to get to the right place.

All in all, Sanitarium is a good game for people who like an interesting, disturbing story and don't mind not really knowing what's going on for a large part of the game while trying to piece together the truth. Poor presentation prevents it from being one of my favourites, but it's pretty solid, all the same.

7/10. Download it from http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/sanitarium for 7.50$.

Ajamil
30th December 09, 12:55 PM
You mention slow char movement, but does this help lower graphics card reqs.?

Shawarma
30th December 09, 01:48 PM
Not related to PC speed at all - the developers simply intended for your character to walk slowly. And if your PC can't run Sanitarium perfectly, I think it's time to upgrade your pre-2000 rig. It's from 1998, dammit.

Haven't found any utilities increasing character speed either.

socratic
5th January 10, 05:25 AM
I've seen a pretty good LP of the game. It's pretty out there, but looks like a lot of fun.

I played a demo way back in like 1999. For those who want to know what the game is like, the first noise you hear when you start the game is thump thump thump. that's the guy standing above you smashing his face into a wall repeatedly.

Narrator: "Diagnosis? Psycho!"

fanger123
21st March 10, 02:28 AM
I got to try Restricted Area. Found it some time ago from a bargain bin after reading about it in this thread.

I started with the hacker character right off the bat, since Shawarma wrote that she was the most interesting character. And I agree. It's fun to go into cyberspace and get money/increased damage/control points (needed to activate mines and other abilities).

I played a few hours so far, leveled up to 18.

It was fun at first, but now i'm getting sick of it.

First of all, the enemy AI is horrible. They very often get stuck in doorways and it becomes like shooting fish in a barrel. not fun.

The gameplay is way too repetitive. Most monsters charge at you blindly so all you end up doing is runaway/stopnshoot/runaway/stopnshoot. This become very tedious.

My biggest beef is that the save function sucks. You can only have one save file for the character, and it automatically saves when you exit the game. It wouldn't be such a bad thing, but the game is known to have bugs/glitches which can make completing quests impossible.

I read up on Gamefaqs and it's suggested to manually copy a "safe" save file in a different directory in case the game becomes buggy. wtf i shouldn't have to go to this extent to finish a game, especially a game that become boring after a few hours.

I played up to a point where a side quest is not completable . It's not a big deal for side quests, but i read that it can also happen for a main quest. At this point, i'm not sure if i'm going to keep playing this game.

i give it a 5/10 based on tedious gameplay and broken save function. It's a shame because the game definitely feels unfinished.

Neildo
14th September 10, 11:27 PM
i'm playing Restricted Area now. no pause button? What. the. fuck.

Loving Torchlight btw. good-ol dungeon-crawling-point-n-click hack-n-slash treasure-huntin goodness. some of the unique armor pieces make your character look fucking awesome.

gonna have to track down a copy of fate now teehee

Ajamil
15th September 10, 07:16 PM
Don't. Torchlight was miles ahead of Fate. Just play it again.

Neildo
15th September 10, 11:04 PM
the copy of fate i downloaded crashed my computer. the main screen was visible but i couldn't click on anything, or close the program and return to the desktop. hard reset, deleted file.

Robstafarian
7th October 10, 02:08 AM
Shawarma, mind updating this thread with more great shit I've never heard of?

Neildo
7th October 10, 02:49 AM
s.t.a.l.k.e.r. pwns moar plz k thx

resolve
16th October 10, 09:08 PM
I'm playing through Dark Void right now.

I had to turn down the settings to low to get it to run on my dual core/2gig ddr2/Radeon HD3650 rig which made me seriously sadface :-/. Even though it doesn't say I think the game is intended to be played on quad-core/4gig ddr2/and current graphics cards.

Even on low settings the game looks really nice though! When I'm done playing it I'll give it a review. It plays like a Tribes 2/gears of war mixup set in a Crimson Skies/Rocketeer styled fantasy-history which I am thoroughly enjoying. There's some bugs I've noticed but it might be due to my rig again. I'd have to play it on a high end PC to see if they go away or not.

Steve
16th October 10, 09:12 PM
Shawarma, mind updating this thread with more great shit I've never heard of?

Good luck with that.

resolve
18th October 10, 07:54 AM
I finished Dark Void.

I actually typed up a long review, but everytime I would post "quick reply" my browser would disconnect me from the site... so you guys should just watch the Zero Punctuation review on it:

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/1433-Dark-Void

* "And I was like: 'Shit up my nose. What right does this game have to suddenly start kicking ass?'"
* "Dark Void started out pretty rocky but between the rocks I caught a glimpse of something beautiful with a cleavage that could hold up a fucking christmas tree. But once I caught up with it and we started making out all it's teeth fell out into my mouth and it gave me scurvy."

All in all: it was worth $20 to get Rocketman/Tribes action in a new shooter with amazing physX induced vertigo and all the new gameplay bells and whistles, even if the storyline was shit-tastic. The gameplay is just plain fun as hell. I wouldn't pay the console prices for it though due to the story and that it's rather short. Also, this game juiced the hell out of my system... at least I know if I want to play it again in a while it will look sharp as hell as I'd have probably upgraded by then (I had to play on lowest settings and a low resolution to even get it to run).

Neildo
20th October 10, 06:12 PM
just finished s.t.a.l.k.e.r. got the greedy ending. apparently that's the most common.

if you want to know the rest, here's a spoiler link
http://stalker.wikia.com/wiki/S.T.A.L.K.E.R:_Shadow_of_Chernobyl_Endings

WarPhalange
20th October 10, 06:41 PM
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. was an amazing game. I wasn't expecting much going into it, but it really sucked me in. I kinda wanna play the second one, but I hear it's a prequel? If so, then screw it. I really don't like prequels.

partyboy
27th October 10, 01:57 PM
Loving Torchlight btw. good-ol dungeon-crawling-point-n-click hack-n-slash treasure-huntin goodness. some of the unique armor pieces make your character look fucking awesome.

i'm really digging my steampunk necromancer. glad I finally got around to playing this