16 November 2015

Tower Defence with Friends

Hmm.  Not enough Dakka.
Ive made only a few memorable moments in video games, things that made everyone cheer me on for hours afterwards.  Like one time at The Bunker the boys and I were playing Dawn of War.  It was a map designed for an all out brawl over a Relic Point (I think thats right?) in the centre, with everyones base in each corner.  Scoot and Chase were against Aaron and I for the simple reason that Aaron and I played Orks, and Scoot and Chase played Space Morons and Imperial Gumbys.

Aaron was doing his best to fend off both Scoot and Chase, he was calling out to me, saying he was losing ground and needed more help than the one or two units of sluggas I had started the game with. It all changed when I waded into the fight to the immediate cry of "IS THAT A KILLA KAN?!"

The game ended quickly when there were a couple of Rage Quits, so while I may be very proud of my achievement, I didnt get to revelle in it by razing their base to the ground to the chant of ORKS ORKS ORKS!

The other big one I remember is Gears of War 3's Horde 2.0.  The boys and I again, fighting the fight of the century (REALLY), and we reached either wave 30 or 40, i cant remember.  What I can remember was the Lambent Berserker and the Ensuing Carnage.  We had all this gear set up, Scotty had gotten himself a Silverback and was mowing everything down with glee, Grubs were slogging through laser fences, and anyone who wasn't shooting straight into the spread eagled bastards was mounted up on turrets, pummelling everyone else.

Through poor situational awareness, or just picking the wrong guy to fight, everyone died and I was left alone.  Just me... And the big, glowy, tentacled, practically invulnerable, rock monster.

I ran and ran and dodgerolled and cried like a little bitch over the microphone as i took poorly timed, yet specifically planned, potshots at the She-Hulk as the frustration grew and grew on her until through either pure exhaustion, or an invisible health bar that was whittled down to nothing, she fell like a sack of bricks and victory was mine.  I put one foot on that gigantic glowing corpse and waited for the bulbs to flash, commemorating me into history.

Those were the glory days.  Then came Gears of War Judgement, a Spinoff following one of Gear's biggest douchebags, Baird, and the king of the ball game, the locomotive with the most-ive (come on, Meds), Cole Train.

It was a good story, and the gameplay changed a bit and turned it into a much more manic game than what it originally was.  Then there's the multiplayer.  They changed from the base defence style, to a class based survival called Overrun.

I played it a couple of times, running around like a chook with my head cut off, and didn't like it.  I felt it missed that feeling of being an enormous pillar against a torrential storm that I loved in Gears 3.  I'm not one to be against class based characters, but I don't want to rely on a Soldier dropping all the ammunition next to me while I'm scrambling away from some giant centipede nipping around my feet.

So looking ahead, I wonder what Gears 4 will accomplish when it comes to their Coop Survival mode.  Will they go back to the Horde 2.0?  Or will they bring back Overrun with some new Chemistry?  Because I'm really hoping to be able to save the day again.

30 September 2015

The Wolf, the Hunter, and the Soldier

It's true!  Red Bull gives you wings!  And Cyberpowers!
I've heard nothing but good things about Wolfenstein: The New Order since it came out.  From great advertising to reviews with little criticisms on it.  But eventually the hype died out and that's usually the time I get my hands on such gems, because like every joke about Australia, I am a few years behind on "the times".

It was one of my Numerous Birthday presents and I was excited to crack it open, but I did what was sensible and said I would play all the other games that are on my Xbox 360 first so that I may one day put that away and focus on my PS4.

So I played a bunch of Terraria, half heartedly since I want to get it on Playstation now, and unwrapped the Nazi killing Bastard from his airtight plastic cage and entered him into the vague, featureless Brick that is apparently called a Playstation 4.

After the initial hazing normally involved with putting a game into your console these days I was finally thrown into the frying pan, or at least a big plane with a Pom and a bunch of other soldiers headed towards a new enemy: General Deathshead.

He's a creepy bastard.  My first encounter with Herr General had me staring at him through wire glass as he closed the walls in on me and my comrades.  I stared into his unflinching, smiling, scarred face as he watched everyone else panic, not even bothering to help them try and get out of this predicament.

I played on, shooting and slashing up Nazi's between avoiding Panzerhunds and pissing off Cyborgs.  It was a good time.  And the more I went on the more I got into the setting, reading news articles about the fall of Britain, the surrender of the United States, and the treatment of citizens and their 'impurities'.

Then, as I was exploring around the secret headquarters of the Resistance, I found a mattress tucked away in a high corner with a little interactive option saying "Nightmare!"

Lo and Behold, I was transported back to Wolfenstein 3D.  I was still Blazkowicz, pistol detailed as ever, but everything else was exactly as it was back in 1992.  It was fun and it made me think how much the game has changed since when ID software first made it.

And every time I think of ID Software, I think about two other games.  Doom and Quake, their two other flagship games.  I have Doom and Wolfenstein 3D on my Xbox 360 and spent so many hours collecting achievements and completing them as a whole.  Especially Doom since as soon as you finished the game you got the Doomguy outfit for your Xbox Avatar which I have accessorised and kept ever since.

With all the fun I've had with Classic Doom I cant wait for New Doom (TM) coming from Bethesda who, conveniently, had a hand in Wolfenstein: The New Order, something Im reminded of every time I load the game.  And every video I've watched of New Doom (TM) has been a fantastic and entertaining bloodbath of gunfire, action kills, and frantic running about.  Frankly only one step up from Classic Doom, because they didn't have action kills that involve pushing in Imp eyes until the skull explodes.

But Doom isn't my favourite.  And neither is Wolfenstein.  My favourite is Quake II, and I can't really tell you why.  It could be that I feel like a God running around dodging everything and exploring these long, dirty, rusted, grimy corridors shooting down strange Alien Cyborgs on their home planet.  I worked alone, finding comrades driven to madness from experimentation and torture; discovering strange works of art in grandiose cathedral fortresses; destroying strange machinations determined to do one thing: Kill You.

So I am going to really enjoy Wolfenstein: The New Order because not only is it a fun game, it is a deep game.  You find news articles about how the tide remained in the Nazi's favour and they continued the tidal wave across the world, and then fifteen years on they were settled everywhere with an Iron Grip.

And in knowing that I look forward to the possibility of a New Quake whether it continues the war against the Strogg, throwing you straight back into the midst of it, or just creating a whole new story with you forming an entire new front against this horrific enemy.

Inappropriate Kanye is Inappropriate

23 September 2015

Blood sin is too explicit for Disney I'm guessing?

When I was doing the Backward Compatibility post the other week I kept thinking back to a game that I come back to occasionally: Vagrant Story.

It's one of the coolest games I've ever played.  The themes, the art, the style, the gameplay... it was all fantastic, and difficult, and complicated.  For the longest time, I couldn't get through it.  Only person I knew who did was my friend Ben, who subsequently played the game until it broke.

Now it's going to be difficult to get back into that because PS4 shenanigans, but the need will find a way.  I can only imagine that I would get a taste of it somehow, like in the biggest crossover game I enjoy: Kingdom Hearts.

The third iteration is coming.  When, I don't know.  I've been waiting patiently for it and though a general date has been released, I'm ignoring it and sticking with the "It'll happen when it happens".

But the main premise of Kingdom Hearts is that it's a crossover of Disney and Final Fantasy characters and themes.  You've got Donald and Goofy fighting alongside Sora, the main character, then Cloud and Sephiroth across the bar waiting for their arena challenges to come on.

Vagrant Story has a loose connection to Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy Tactics, buried in amongst the lore with some vague mentions of Lea Monde and Riskbreakers.  So while it's only vague, it would be amazing to see Ashley Riot, the protagonist, the Rood Inverse tattoo'd/scarred into his back and running around with his Fandango, chain attacking enemies while casting dark, evil spells, and generally being the badass I remember him being as I reclaimed the city of Lea Monde.

02 September 2015

Still Talking Aesthetics

Please wait; Shader loading
The more I play games, the more I find superfluous features.  Take my latest obsession, Destiny.  There are more Aesthetics than there really needs to be in a Halo MMO that focuses on grinding out your equipment, and the developers saw that.
They looked at it all and said "why dont we actually do something about this junk and give it purpose?"  Or, more likely, the players said that and Bungie said "Oh, yeah, alright."
Ghosts will be getting a bunch of ShelÅ‚s that will provide subtle bonuses, for example.  Thats pretty huge on its own, especially if youre getting a bit more dosh as you pound your way through the cut and past characters you repeatedly mow down day after day.
Same witth Class Marks, usually only having the purpose of looking pretty, or showing your faction allegiance as you gain reputation with them.
But what will never change is shaders.  They will always be as simple as they sound, only changing by being removed as an Inventory Item and placed in a Kiosk for you to select at your choice.  What would be cool though is having a random option.  I mean that every time your character loads into a game, they are wearing a different shader.  One stroll through Venus will have you working for the Future War Cult, and then when you reach Mars you'll be Dead Orbit's personal mascot.
But why stop there?  That's not the only thing you have that serves little purpose no matter how different it is.  You also have your Ships and Sparrows!  So why not throw them in the random mix?!
I don't know if they'll be removed as an inventory Item like the Shaders, but damnit I don't see why they shouldn't be.  One doesn't find any difference in Ships, and sparrows have little differences in them in any case, so shove them all in the Kiosk, I say!  Let the shit sort itself out, and let me transmat onto any vehicle that the vendor decides!
Just like the Matrix it's all digital anyway, right?
Additional: I found that there is a new function called Emotes in Destiny.  Tack that on the list of random things when triggered. 

27 August 2015

Dear Playstation

Seems Legit.
Guess who's back.
Back again.
B.C.'s Back.
Tell a Friend.
It's the age old romance, spanning generations of consoles and leading up to the E3 conference in June, the month of my birth, where I got a surprise present of Backwards Compati-fucking-bility.
That's right, bitches.  It's back on the Xbox One!
Well, mostly.
Apparently their method of "place disc A into tray B and allow download C to play disc A on console D" demands the rights from different publishers/developers before they can just go batshit letting everyone get all the games.  Which is a shame because I would like to immediately be able to fob off my Xbox 360 for the upgrade knowing full well that any of the Games For Gold I downloaded over the past year would be perfectly fine for play.
Sadly, I missed the opportunity to trade in my 360 for $150 credit and get an extremely cheap Xbone because of my insecurities.
That, and money.  Who has $200 sitting in their bank when they're saving for 5k tickets across some water?!
But fingers crossed the offer will come again when the list has expanded and I can know at least the Majority of my games will be freely playable.  That and that the console will get a bigger harddrive than a single Terabyte.
My history with Xbox has been short though.  I've only been around for a single generation, and while I've enjoyed the hell out of it I've got a longer history with Playstation.
That is what irks me.  While I like the fact that I have a Playstation 4, and that the games coming for it will be fucking phenomenal, I can't help but wish that I could have a throwback week when I load up a PSOne game that I wanted to revive.
Like Vagrant Story.  I've spent days playing through that, finding new things that I had overlooked before, or just did not know about.  Even just levelling up my Halberd (My favourite weapon in the game) was spent over the course of a day or two just whacking dummies until all stats were at 100.
I can only wonder what that game would look like if they remade it, boosted it up to the visual effects of todays games.
I guess we could use Final Fantasy VII Remake as a standard of excellence once it's finished up and shipped out.  I might actually finish that game after all.
I still have my problem though.  I have a console that is capable of so much more, but nobody will let it.
I may never get to play some downloadable games that I have had my eye on because of it.
All I ever wish is for a console to replace its predecessor, and be interactable with it's siblings.  Is that so much to ask?  To get a Playstation to play everything?  From PSOne to PSP?  Maybe to PSVita?
Please Sony Playstation.  Give me the all father.  Or All Son.  Fob off the PSTV, and just let me play my Games.

19 August 2015

I fixed Destiny

There are many things i would like to see more of in Destiny 2. But I got to thinking today as I was playing the demo on my PS4 (Still debating on getting The Taken King) was how I would have liked things different.

And I don't just mean like minor differences, I mean a completely different game. Destiny: the Playstation/Xbox Editions. Have their similarities, like fighting on Earth and Chad (Commonly known as Moon) and Mars and Venus, Etc etc, but have completely different locations. The Cabal Landed on Venus in the Playstation version; the Hive have an entire fortress hidden on Mars for the Xbox Version; The Vex and Fallen have been fighting at another Space Station on one or the other. Either way, really mix up the different games.

Then there's the classes. You have 3 classes, so why not give them unique stories? A different set of missions you can play exclusively for them? And the only way you can have others play with you is if you're leading the Fireteam! You can have the same team three times, hopping between Fireteam leaders, and have differing experiences altogether. Or better yet, those who have all three classes can go around and play through whatever story missions on their own! That adds story to the game by threefold! Each character doing their own thing and all culminating into Strikes that anyone can attend!

And then double that again for the differing consoles!

I fixed Destiny. Thank you, I'll be here all week.

10 June 2015

Why i miss Demolition: EU

"You did what to Gary?"
I remember the first time I played Demolition. It was about June and I was starting to get the ball rolling at the base with everything running quite smoothly, all my little ant people running around assigned their jobs of researching one thing or another, or building satellites and constructing work rooms deeper in the base.

Suddenly, Aliens were detected in Russia, China and Argentina. So I loaded up the Skyranger and flew in to Russia because SCIENTS was available there. And i needed whatever the goddamn research was.

My four soldiers, one of each Class because thats how I always roll, were deployed with their Lasers and Carapace Armour, and were ready for a fight as they climbed out of our favourite VTOL and waited for orders outside the gated demolition site.

I made my moves sensibly, moving to either side of the lanes leading into the workspace, down both sides of the digger. Then i threw my Support forward, his additional move making him the perfect scout, and found more than i expected with two pods of Three Mutons, outfitted pretty typically with their Plasma Rifles and Grenades. I was in strife, but fuck me if i didnt want to give em the raw prawn.

Back my scout came and took position for an ambush. Surely, waiting a turn or two in overwatch would result in them walking face first into laser pointers and dropping like a sack of potatoes.

We waited a turn, everyone in overwatch, ready to drop the first spud as he saunters. The anticipation was riveting.

Another turn passed.

Huh. I know theyre there, i can see the little noise marker go off in that direction. Why are they just repositioning? Damnit, are they waiting to ambush me? Well im no fool, i can beat them at my own game! Everyone on Overwatch, and i want to see cataracts when they reveal themselves!

And there he was, the sacrificial Lamb. He padded his way down into my line of sight, triggering my sniper and heavy, who with a PEW-PEW-PEW-FREEM (thats what their weapons sound like) he fell over.

Ah, one down and five to go. See? I knew this would work. Give it time and theyll just walk into the disco lights and do the job for us! Oh, whats this? A muton is... Flanking... Everyone. Shit.

That was when with a thunk-thunk-thunksss (plasma rifle, that is) my poor little legman flew through the air and landed dead on the floor, with nothing but a 12 and a yellow star rising from his place.

I have never seen a group of flies scarper so quickly, let alone people. We fell back behind the high rise fence, and recouped our losses, reloading and hoping the panic doesn't set in quite yet.

But i said to myself "Fuckit. Let's turn the tables" and took the offensive, careening around the corner with my assault soldier, and getting into kissing distance before pumping his disco shotgun straight into his face. A hillbillys kiss goodbye, if you will.

Then there were the remaining mutons to sort out. Four of them faffing around out of sight, trying to think about what is going to happen.

I went on the hunt, prowling around corners, soldiers aiming down their sights for their next kill.

I found a pair cowering behind walls at the very end of the map. I laughed at their futility as I lobbed a grenade and watched their cover disintegrate, giving free aim to my heavy and sniper.

It was the last two that gave me strife. I followed the noises, I checked every room, every level, and I even blew out a wall to check out the closed in room therein.

There was only one place left and it was behind the outside walls. So i formulate a plan. The ol' Pincer strike! If they were going to put themselves into a spot where they almost literally can't escape, then they're going to get what's coming to them. Cheeky devils, probably trying to outflank me when I was parked near the entrance.

So Heavy down the bottom, Sniper up the top, and Assault in Reserve since he was a higher rank, and we found those last two mutons and just ploughed into them from both sides like some sort of Pornographic innuendo.

Commander Bradford thanked me for a job pretty well done, sad that not everyone will be able to come back to base, but all well. Things happen.

But that was Demolition: EU for me. I had fun. It was close quarters and you just can't cover every angle easily. Except those outside walls, of course, that's where you just get screwed.