Blog Archives

Battlefield 3 at E3 (EA conference)

So EA just finished their live show, to be honest I’m not a huge fan, I don’t like sports game, and because of that I feel a bit “meh” most of the time, going through so many different sports games.

Anyway.

A thing I want to mention before going into Battlefield 3 and how that will kick the ass out of MW3 (my opinion) let’s talk about some shit talk from EA. They start by saying that they will keep it simple, their show will be all about the games and game developers, unlike certain other companies that bring celebrities on to the stage. Being a hint towards Microsoft for bringing out ICE-T during the showing of Gears of War 3. And after a while… there they go bringing in American football all-stars on to the stage. When that happened… well let’s just say my jaw dropped.

BATTLEFIELD 3
This is the shit right here! The demo EA just showed for the game was stunning, looked great, and made you feel like this is an actual FPS trying to stimulate a somewhat more realistic warzone. It made me drool and long for this game so bad.

If Modern warfare 3 is the arcade game of war.
Battlefield 3 is the war simulator.

IMPORTANT DATES AND INFO ON BF3
They also announced a few other important things. To begin with: RELEASE DATE OCTOBER 25. This if I remember correctly a date not earlier revealed.
OPEN BETA in September. Online stats and community will be free! They mentioned to send a message to MW3, we do the same thing for our players, but free. Let’s see how they will react to this fact, will the new MW3 Elite online thingy also become free within time to fight against BF3?

Advertisements

10 Minutes Of Starcraft 2 – Heart Of The Swarm

Well it’s not really 10 minutes, but it’s a 10 minute long video with comments and in game photage. It’s looking awesome I tell ya.

Yu Gi Oh – Coming to xbox live.

Believe it or not, the Yu Gi Oh card game is coming to xbox live! A game that is currently one of the biggest trading card games in the world, and it was just a matter of time til they moved a step beyond the PSP and NDS. What I dont like at this moment is the fact that you will have to buy packs with microsoft points to get more and new cards? Maybe there is a ingame function to get new cards as well, otherwise I see alot of players just sticking with what they start of with, if they will get it all knowing this.

Maybe it works more like a bonus pack, that gives you thoese extra and better cards. We’ll just have to wait and see about that. Here is the quoted info on the game, followed by a few pictures:

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Decade Duels

Features
Complete with the most robust card offering and the opportunity to purchase additional card packs through XBOX Live Arcade Marketplace to expand your deck
Includes cards from Classic Yu-Gi-Oh!, GX and 5D’s
Complete against the most popular Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s characters during the finals
Battle through Single player or compete in 4 player tag duels with text and voice chat ability
Includes 3 modes of play:
Rank Match- Compete against Yu-Gi-Oh! fans of the same rank and ability
Quick Match- Jump right into the action and compete against any Yu-Gi-Oh! fan
Custom Match- Battle your friends and completely customize the rules of play
Complete with live leader boards to track your rank as well as your friends

/Nurgle
@Start And Select
https://startandselect.wordpress.com

X-Com “remake” in the making!

X-Com is a good old strategy game that was released back in 1994, it’s one of thoese games that strategy fans loved. It was a good mix between building bases, air battles, researching and devoloping and ofcourse turn-based battles around the globe. Now 2K Games are working on a reamake of this good old classic, but instead of the turn based battles, the game will take place in a FPS mode and you as a player will play as ONE FBI agent. It also sounds like there will be strategy invovled, how this will work we dont know yet. The game will be released fox Xbox 360 and PC.

This is what we can find on the website: http://www.xcom.com

XCOM is the re-imagining of the classic tale of humanity’s struggle against an unknown enemy that puts players directly into the shoes of an FBI agent tasked with identifying and eliminating the growing threat. True to the roots of the franchise, players will be placed in charge of overcoming high-stake odds through risky strategic gambits coupled with heart-stopping combat experiences that pit human ingenuity – and frailty – against a foe beyond comprehension. By setting the game in a first-person perspective, players will be able to feel the tension and fear that comes with combating a faceless enemy that is violently probing and plotting its way into our world.

We can also find a single screen from the new game in OXM, its also posted here if you want the see the magazine covers and such go here: http://www.gamesradar.com/xbox360/xbox-360/news/new-xcom-revealed-by-oxm-first-screen-inside/a-2010041317556922006/g-20060321132945404017

To make it easy for you, here is the single screen from the game:

I know what you’re thinking. FPS? Play a single character and go around shooting your enemies? It is a step in a weird direction. We’ve already seen games that copies X-Com; the UFO series. The UFO series were fun and interesting if you liked the old classic, the old classic always won if discussed though. What I dont understand is how they will tie it together with calling it X-Com (acctualy Xcom)? What parts will be remebered from the old classic? The look of the aliens? It’s hard to imagine this childhood classic of mine taking such a turn, but I will follow it and if it ends up looking good, hell I might even get it. But, I will still stick to the old classic for now.

/Nurgle
@Start And Select
https://startandselect.wordpress.com

BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger Review (xbox 360)


If you don’t understand it by now, I love this game. BlazBlue is what I always wanted in a fighting game. It got a great and vast story, good character design (visually and unique when it comes to abilities and basic attack), 2D and well pretty much everything.
I was one to miss out on what guilty gear was, mostly cause I was never really in to Beat Em’ Up games back in the day and once I tried it, BlazBlue was also there and caught my eye and attention a lot more. My love for BlazBlue started when me and a couple of friends had an all out gaming night, of course a lot of Vs. was being played and this was one of them. I’ve never been great at these kinds of games but seeing the colorful design work and the fact that it’s 2D really dragged me in. At the time the game hadn’t been released in Europe yet and as soon as I found it was coming, I pre-ordered.

Okay enough of my short but very (not so) interesting story, and let’s get to the game itself.

THE STORY
What really drags me in to the BlazBlue universe is how they created a great story and a story mode to play it out. Every character got a storyline that adds up to a great big picture that will be revealed piece by piece. You can even decide to go different paths throughout the story and it will change the outcome of it, and every character got one “real” ending that you’re supposed to find. Finding every possible path and dialog in the story will also reward you in the end.

It doesn’t end there though, every character have about 110 different dialog pieces each, that is used within battles, this is huge, and it changes depending on who they fight, so it’s always interesting to see what they will say, and it’s most often connected to the story and the characters relation within it.

For people that enjoy the more classis type of game play (arcade) where you battle your way through different opponents, that’s always available, and even here you will be given short story related talks between characters. They are not as detailed and deep, but it will give you a basic understanding of the story (if you play it through with all characters).

Why I decided to talk so much about the story and depth around it, is because it is something that is lacking in so many other games like it. When I play this game I don’t understand why other game creators don’t work as much on the story and character design around it, it’s something that should be done more often, cause it’s not only more of the game, but it’s also very rewarding for players that sit down with a beat em up just to play it for fun. I can honestly say I’ve never spent as much time in front of a fighting game that I have with BlazBlue.

THE FIGHTING
When it comes to the fighting, I’m honestly going to admit that I’m not the best fitting person to review it. I’m not very skilled (working on it though), and I can only tell you how it is from a more casual view, which isn’t bad in itself I guess.

The characters all have different play styles, and as a new player you will quickly realize which of them needs a bit more combo work and which of them which simply needs button mashing (Noel being a great example). Even the characters that are considered beginner heroes have a lot of combos and abilities that can be worked with for more experienced players.

It’s a real joy to learn about each character in the game and trying to master them is not only rewarding but fun! For more on the battle system, I’m going to give IGN some credit for a quick and easy review on it:

ONLINE
The network mode that’s put into this game is great. The ranked matchmaking sadly won’t match you against players your own level (not what I’ve noticed anyway), but you can easily host game rooms where up to six people can join in the fun. The room can have several different settings such as number or rounds, round time, rotation set up etc. The way it works is that two players fight each other while the whole room can still chat with each other discussing the action. After the current battle new players will be picked to battle depending on the room set up.
You as a player can also level up, by winning games and completing different requirements like not being damaged and such.

GOOD
+ Great Story
+ Character Design
+ Much to find and unlock
+ 2D

BAD
– Few playable characters
– 2D

/Nurgle
@Start And Select
https://startandselect.wordpress.com

Command & Conquer 4 – Review

I’ve been a huge fan of C&C all since it was first released. My preferable story was the one surrounding the Tiberian universe, it was sci-fi filled, interesting and gave us the evil leader Kane. The conflict between GDI and NOD was something that always pushed me forward and wanting to see who gets the upper hand, lately I’ve followed the games mostly for the story, and C&C 4 is supposed to be the conclusion of that story.

Though this is the end, it’s also complete new. There is no base building and the unit cap is very low, at a max you can have 20 units out at the same time. Yet the game has moved away from base building and squads, and now gives you a single walker/building, a crawler, this is your base, construction yard, and at the same time a unit that can aid units around it. Together with this you also have abilities and upgrades for your units overall.

I’ve haven’t been playing multiplayer that much so this review will be mostly around the single player of the game. The storytelling is what it’s always been, using actors between missions to tell you the story that unfolds. Some of them are worse, some of them are better, but it really feels like C&C, so this is just more of the old goodies. Sadly for a game conclusion is a bit short, only 7 missions for each campaign.

Instead of having the option so pick your side right away, you’re given the option after the third tutorial mission that lets you use all the different crawlers, there are three different classes. There is offense, defense and support, all of them giving you the type of game play that it sounds like. A class may work better or worse at certain missions and so on. You also earn XP for both sides, GDI and NOD, this unlocks new units and abilities and lets you use them in both single player and multiplayer.

The campaign can also be played in Co-Op so that you and a buddy can earn XP together or just enjoy the campaign. A sweet edition, but as it is, you also need a constant online connection to be able to play (yes the single player).

The units follow the good old paper-scissor-rock type of game play, a good mix is always best to complete a mission. For some people, me included, it feels as though there is almost too many different units, there are three classes and having a good set up for each would have been enough for me. Of course this gives for more option and such so I guess it’s good, but it will take you a while to see what works and what not. One reason I feel that there should been a bit less units, is because of the online play. As most games with only one building to build from, team play always works best, more players give for more strategies and cooperation. With fewer units with each class, every player could have a more specific role to the bigger games. Anyway. Moving on.

The graphics are alright, if you zoom in too much you may feel it’s a bit pixely but in full view it looks great, combined with all the explosions and different types of units and weapon fire. It won’t stun you, but it will do what’s needed of a RTS game.

The controls are pretty standard; you can even choose to use classic C&C controls, why I’m not sure since it only changes the mouse click button. So nothing big and surprising here, you can still use all the hotkeys in the game and a reference sheet comes with the game for all of you that wants to learn them completely. But even if you learn to use them it doesn’t mean that your units will do as you wish, I’ve noticed several path findings bugs in the game. If you select all your units across the screen and tell them to go somewhere, sometimes they simply stop, or don’t try, it seems as though they just don’t know how to get there, if you maneuver them forward a bit, than they will be able to go to the location. A bit annoying when you’re doing an important push, but nothing that will lose you the game per say.

So the game gives you a story conclusion, not the best story ever in a C&C game but acceptable, the controls are okay but with some bugs that needs fixing it’s not at its max yet. The multiplayer is interesting, with a focus around team play, it’s quite interesting, and feels fresh. For an old school C&C fan this may not be for you, but for people that enjoys RTS games overall this will be accepted in to your game collection

GOOD
+ A new style of C&C
+ Teamwork
+ Kane

BAD
– A new style of C&C
– A few irritating bugs
– Very ,very short.

/Nurgle
@Start And Select
https://startandselect.wordpress.com

Final Fantasy XIII – Review


Welcome to Final Fantasy XIII, the game that has been out for a short while now, and most people that have wanted to play through it, already done so, and the rest still struggles with the first part of the game and it’s very straightforward story.

Final Fantasy XIII, brings us to the modern age consoles, PS3 and Xbox360, this really shows when you start the game for the first time. The graphics of the game are stunning, you will literally drop your jaw in awe for some of the great cut scenes and in game graphics. The character design is stunning and they all have their own little perks and wit about them, shortly followed by the buildings and vehicles, and plants, and animals. The real question is if this will carry the game through it, or if it’s also filled with great story telling, battle systems and controls. Let’s take a look…

BATTLE SYSTEM

The battle system in the game is still nothing like the older Final Fantasy games, it’s now more of a classic RPG battle system, mixed with some of elements from Real Time ones. You’re character have a Time Bar (as I like to call it), that fills up and lets you use different actions, the bar empties for every action you do and you will have to wait for it to load up again, between this you can also use items and some abilities that let you see monsters weaknesses and such.

Every character that joins with you also has different classes, Command, Ravager and Medic and so on. In the battle you can switch your teams set up or Paradigms, so that you can get the most of them in different situation. Maybe you want to heal up and switch to a paradigm that has more medics and so on. To call the system Real Time is an overstatement, I would really prefer a more classis style of battle. But why isn’t this used? Well I think I know the answer.

THE FIRST HALF OF THE GAME

This is the answer to the more “action” like battle play. For if it wasen’t for more movement and sparkling things in the battles, the game would have been at an incredibly slow pace. The game really starts of extremely linear, you have no options when it comes to left or right, it’s only the straight road ahead. This really becomes the weakness of the game. Dungeon crawling in dungeons without any puzzles or options makes for a less than interesting game. At moments I even prefer to get a long cut scene than walking straightforward to see the next one.

The story in the game is great, and you feel very connected with the characters and what’s happening to them. They’re lovable and mixed with some great voice work.

GAMEPLAY

Gameplay is always something that’s very important with a game, a game like final fantasy and other RPG’s often lack any advance controls, since most of things you do is walking around and clicking your way forward in menus and interactions. Final Fantasy XIII isn’t any different, except when it comes to combat. There are indeed some actions you can do in there to change the way battle works out, and it works well, I’ve never had a problem with it and it flows on great. Even if I’m not a big fan of it, it does what it supposed to do, keep you straying forward to more advanced battles. And it’s really in the later parts of the game (past the first half of it) when the battles feels more fun to play, other than just clicking the auto attack button (really all you need for the first half).

To buy items in the game you use save points to get on to online stores and buy what you need, it works, but I still miss the whole thing of walking around a town and going to different stores and such. The save point is something that should also be talked about, they are everywhere, after every ten steps or cut scene there will be a save point. There are even some points of the game were you defeat a boss, saves, walk a bit to a short cut scene, save, long cut scene, save again. It’s silly at times.

THE VERDICT

The game is great when it comes to graphics, storytelling and overall feel, the game is great, and it really carries this game a long way. But the fact that you sometimes just long for the next cut scene and it’s basically a very straight game, it lowers the game a lot. It’s sad to see but with some towns or places to visit in between “dungeons” this game could have gone further; even it if only would have added a small portion of freedom.

GOOD
+ Great graphics and overall design
+ Great storytelling
+ A game you will finish because of the mix of all game components

BAD
– Linear
– Awkward moments between cut scenes
– “Do you wish to save?”

/Nurgle
@Start And Select
https://startandselect.wordpress.com

Dawn Of War 2 Chaos Rising – Review


Finally we get the expansion for this great strategy game! It seems as though they picked a rough month to release it though, together with Final Fantasy XIII, Command & Conquer 4 and several other good titles. Never the less I’ve completed the game one and half times and played a little multiplayer and feel ready to review the strategy beast. Be aware that this review is for single player only!

Let’s start with what’s been added, that we really don’t have to discuss that much, the lvl cap of your units is now 30, and several new items and types of items have been added. Compared to before when selling items would only give you XP, it now also give you better stats and new weapons and such to use, a sweet little addition to make the item handling more important. Some of the new items include different kind of ammunition, psychic power for the new added Librarian and of course more of the good old weapons, armor and equipment.

Another new feature is “Corruption”, in the main story of the game you will fight the ultimate Warhammer 40k antagonist: the Chaos Space Marines. These are marines possessed by evil, and they fight alongside daemons and heretics. In the campaign you will have the option to different actions that will either remove corruption or add corruption. At a first glance there seems to be nothing but a positive thing to be possessed, you get to use great equipment, new universal abilities during missions (example: reviving all units with full strength). There are also items that will give or remove corruption if you send your units to mission equipped with them.

So what does it change other than giving your units awesome abilities? This will be for you to find out yourselves. It’s not mind-blowing, but why spoil the game?

Then we have the new added unit, or hero if you so wish; The Librarian. For all players enjoying abilities and using boosts and special attack to get through the levels, this will be very fun for you. The Librarian uses different equipment to give him different powers, and even his weapons and armor do the same thing, reminding a lot of what a Final Stand hero would be like. Not even the Commander or “yourself” have the same kind of options, which is a bit sad in my opinion. Being able to switch your character with the Librarian would have been sweet, of course he would need somewhat of a boost to be a standalone hero.

The story was much better than I expected it to be. With more comments from your fellow soldiers in-between missions and even comments during the briefing, make it feel less straight (even though it is). You can also ask questions before the missions’ starts, sadly there are no multiple options so it doesn’t add much more than some interaction.

The units and missions still work the same way they did before, and even though the missions have become much better when it comes to story and difference between them, there seems to be several bugs in the unit handling. They don’t react properly to the enemy at times, and will not follow orders correctly. Depending on the stance you give them (Close combat or range combat), they can turn from killing machines to scarecrows. If too far away and in close combat stance, they won’t even move towards the enemy, if to close and in the range combat stance, they will sometimes try to runaway to create a distance so they can shoot. Another thing that I’ve noticed is the sound of the game, it really twitchy in the voice work, some lines seems a lot louder than others and it will make you tweak the sound a few times. This is only between missions though, in the actual missions its not really clear or at least not as annoying.

With the bugs aside, the missions are still solid and with several new ideas like a tank mission it feels fresh. Several of the bosses are better designed when it comes to what’s going on. Yet my biggest complaint is the few bosses that reminds us to much of the stock bosses in the first game, you basically just have to wait them out, removing the self healing ability from the bosses with more health could have been a good idea.

I should really talk about the new additions to the multiplayer and the new two Final Stand heroes, but I feel I will have to cover them in another review or article all together.

GOOD
+ A great new campaign
+ A new race for multiplayer and two new heroes for Last Stand
+ New features and unit in the single player

BAD
– Control and sound bugs really bring some of the moments down
– A bit short, but not surprising for an RTS expansion

/Nurgle
@Start And Select
https://startandselect.wordpress.com

Heroes Of Newerth – A “review”

Most gamers… I should say all gamers that play computer games, know about the phenomena known as DoTA. For all of you that just went: hum what’s that?
Here is a short about it:

“Defense of the Ancients (DotA) is a custom scenario for the real-time strategy video game Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and its expansion, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, based on the “Aeon of Strife” map for StarCraft. The objective of the scenario is for each team to destroy the opponents’ Ancients, heavily guarded structures at opposing corners of the map. Players use powerful units known as heroes, and are assisted by allied heroes and AI-controlled fighters called “creeps”. As in role-playing games, players level up their hero and use gold to buy equipment during the mission.” – Wikipedia.

Dota:

Lets go on shall we!

Once upon a time, I tried DoTA, I played it, i failed at it, I played it some more and never really liked it. I understand the beauty of it, being a very cooperative game means that friends can easily get together and play. Fighting for a common goal or to slash each other. Two or so months ago, a friend of min told me about game called Heroes Of Newerth (HoN). It’s basically polished version of DoTA, making it look better, flow better and making the menus allot less confusing (kudos on that one). The item and hero picking was something that really took a long time for me to learn in the DoTA, annoying people in game about my lacking skill.
In HoN you pick the hero you’re bringing to the game, before the actual games starts. You can also see what characters the opponents are going in with. This also makes strategic choices a part of the game. “Does our team have enough counters for what they have?” Of course I’m still in the N00b games, learning and evolving my skills, but I can see this being very important in actual matches or for pro players.

The graphics also helps allot when it comes to items, skills and any other type of management you have in your HUD. Huge problem for me in DoTA aswell. The game comes with several game modes and settings, including Single draft (pick between 3 heroes only), easy mode (more gold and weaker units) and much more. Going in with this game with a friend is probably one of the reasons I have enjoyed this so much more as well. The team work REALLY helps when playing the game. Teamwork is key, and with people you know it just becomes so much easier to do.

The graphics are better; a lot better, the game seems to have a better flow in general. The creators are really quick when it comes to balance. They update often and listen to the community of the game. As you’ve noticed, I may have been a bit bias in the review, starting off with a disliking of DoTA. Seeing as the games are very much alike and how much more I loved HoN, should speak its own language though.

If you get the chance, try it, and if you don’t, try and find somebody with a invite and try it! It’s worth it even for the ones not being huge fans of this type of game.

For more info on Heroes Of Newerth go to:
http://www.heroesofnewerth.com/

/Nurgleprobe
@Start And Select
https://startandselect.wordpress.com

Star Ocean: Last Hope special edition!

Star Ocean: The Second Story is my favourite game of all time. Thee game. Atleast ranked top and at the moment im not sure if there is any game that beats it. This is ofcourse a personal thing, how I feel for the game.

Star Oceah: Last Hope is the next game in this game series and I just found pictures of the special edition release of the game. Ofcourse I had to share!

It includes:
• Limited edition STAR OCEAN: THE LAST HOPE Box: Unique ‘digistack’ packaging with dual gatefold, inside a special collector’s sleeve.
• STAR OCEAN Soundtrack Compilation CD:
• Five STAR OCEAN: THE LAST HOPE Character Cards:
Collectable prints of lead characters from the game, using rare artwork not officially released in Europe and other PAL countries.
• Official Miniguide:
• Three STAR OCEAN: THE LAST HOPE Game Discs:
Expansive galactic adventuring goes across three game discs, accompanied by full colour play manual.

Stort screenshot

Stort screenshot
/Alex
@Start And Select
https://startandselect.wordpress.com