Monthly Archives: October 2012

Toy Soldiers Gameplay Video

What is Toy Soldiers? A tower defense game. In theory that is all that there is to it, but in turn we would then ignore the fact that we can take direct control of our turrets and (during some missions) also take control of tanks or planes. Depending on the campaign you choose you might play as the Germans, British, French or “Somewhat Sci-Fi Germans”. The two main campaigns (German and British) have 12 maps each, while the French and Sci-Fi campaigns have only three each (which is a bummer, I wish the French one was longer).

The Power of Music

Music in Video Games appears in many different forms. A lot depended on the game genre, the set tempo and of course the context. A lot of the time it seems that a Video Game cannot exist without music, but is that always the case? Sometimes, especially when playing Stealth-style video games you prefer to switch off the music. This is not because the music is bad, but because you prefer to hear every sound around you, and music might distort that. However at the same time the very same games that are easier to play without music can lose a bit of their charm. In the end, how big is the role of Music in Video Games? I would go so far as to say that without music the vast majority of Video Games would not be as popular as they are now. I would like to name a few cases where music really pulled some emotional cords for me, while also stating a few examples of games that did not have music, or were more fun without it.

Resident Evil 6: All These Years and Still Rotting

Your pulse is pounding, sweat chilled on burning skin that still prickles from the branches and brambles. It was just a few seconds ago, but your head is miles away. Your mind is trying to protect you from the things you’ve seen, from the snarling of dogs and screaming of the victims that were once your friends and comrades-in-arms.

The emergency call. Your downed chopper. The mad dash through the woods.

The old mansion seemed a godsent protection from the hellhounds. But now the door has slammed shut, snapping off the pandemonium behind you as if someone flipped a switch. And you’re starting to wonder if the dogs weren’t preferable. The foyer is empty. Your calls seem sucked away into the void. No help is coming.

All other doors locked, you check the dining hall. A crackling fire in the hearth at the far end adds a random counterpoint to the monotony of an ancient grandfather clock slicing fine the seconds of your life. A knot of anxiety forms in your gut. The house is dead, but you can feel presences all around. You pace down the length of the old mahogany dining table spanning the room, your flak-heavy tread muffled by years of dust covering the marble tiles.

You redouble your cold, clammy grip on your Beretta at the realization that the crackling fire is covering an all too familiar noise: the guttural crunch and squelching of something feeding. It’s just beyond the high-backed chair heading the table.

A pool of steaming red comes into site as you advance. You take a moment to steel your nerve. You swallow the acid scorching its way up your throat. Then you spin past the chair, gun braced, expecting one of those damned dogs.

And what you behold is a sight that has changed video gaming since 1996.

Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome Released

Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome was released on the 15th of October, together with Patch 1.07. The big question, why buy and download Legacy of Rome? Is it worth the £4 (6$)? Is it like Sword of Islam? A lot of questions, and we will attempt to tackle all of them.

Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome aims at providing you with an enhanced Orthodox experience. Now when you play as the Byzantine Empire (or any nation following the Orthodox  faith) you will have a few more options, differently looking models for your Council, and in general more things to do if you got bored with the Catholic and Islamic faiths. There are two big scoops of “joy” for you however. One of them is focused around the Byzantine Empire itself, while the other is focused on the things that are added to the game, together with Legacy of Rome. So even if you do not like playing as an Orthodox nation the other additions to the game might greatly appeal to you.

Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome

It’s all a bit sketchy…

SWTOR: This IS the game you’re looking for

“Chrysophase, you towering paragon of intellectual fecundity and hirsute masculinity,” those of you suffering from severe cranial trauma might say. “Don’t you know Star Wars: The Old Republic was released for public consumption way back in December of 2011? Why are you bothering to review this now? It’s practically a fossil by game industry standards.”

“Well, my surprisingly articulate friends,” I say to you, preparing to heave the second brick, “In an age when the average attention span is no longer than it takes to read a caption on a humorous picture of an exploited cat, SWTOR is indeed dated. But other MMORPGs far older are still alive and kicking. World of Warcraft: Kung Fu Panda edition is raking in players hand over fist, and it was first launched in the days before known history, when ancient gamers were reduced to sitting at their tower PCs and logging onto the internet using a hardline. Imagine the depravity of paying for one’s own internet. Dinosaurs roamed the earth. People were smart and phones were dumb, rather than vice versa, back in the halcyon days of 2004. And now that SWTOR is offering free trials and is implementing a real-cash for game tokens system, examining the light side, dark side, and long-term viability of the game may be in order.”

Rocksmith – Revolution for the electric guitar?

I played different Console games, but none of the “Hero” games appealed to me. I was not a DJ Hero, or Guitar Hero. The only instrument I ever learned to play on was the Piano, and although my brother became a very skilled musician on a number of instruments, and I tried dabbling a bit here and there I was never dragged into being a Guitarist. Guitar Hero is a “Party Game”, good when challenging your finger dexterity but nothing else. You would never learn to play the guitar with it, it was pure fun and entertainment. That view changed somewhat, today. Here I was, prowling through the internet and suddenly one of “those” ads showed up. The sort that stop you from watching your clip on youtube. I moved my mouse, ready to skip it when  I realised that I was looking at electric guitars being prepared to be play some rock tune. I held my hand back and decide to watch it through. To my astonishment it was not just a tricky Guitar Hero commercial but something completely different, something called Rocksmith.

Zafehouse: Diaries – 10 Tips – To survive those 10 seconds longer

Zafehouse: Diaries is similar, in certain respects, to FTL: Faster Than Light. There are numerous ways of tackling a problem, and although you victory or loss depends on countless factors (one of the major ones being luck) it pays to know the game, its mechanics and often what is the best thing to do, and why. In this short Tip List I aim at providing such knowledge, so that whenever you give Zafehouse: Diaries a try you might feel slightly more confident. This will not always let you survive that much longer, but maybe bring you an inch closer to the Choppah.

Zafehouse: Diaries

How do you turn five angry survivors with barely any equipment into “winners”?

Zafehouse: Diaries Review

If zombie movies taught me something about the zombie apocalypses it’s that an equal foe to the zombies will be other people. The guy you just rescued from the zombies might kill you a minute later, just to take your gear. You group might be assaulted by bandits, forced into hiding or even slavery. Zombies seems like such a petty problem when you think of all the rivalries people can have among themselves, it seems almost absurd. Shouldn’t there be a feeling of unity? Working together? In theory, yes, in practice? Why should that guy have a gun and me not? Why should she be in charge, when I know better? It all comes down to a truth (not the truth) that people tend to be complete asses. Zombie Survival Games show that, from time to time, but the one example that will sting my mind for a long time is Zafehouse: Diaries.

Zafehouse: Diaries is a Zombie Survival Management Game. Your task is to manage your survival group, composed of five random individuals, and get to da choppah. The problem? You have no idea where or when it lands. To make matters worse, you lost your radio and frequency to reach the chopper on. So, you are stuck in a house with five people who tend to hate each other’s guts, and you have to not only organise them, but survive and gather the necessary scraps of information to escape. Sounds like a bucket of fun, doesn’t it?

Zafehouse: Diaries

Game Title

Zafehouse: Diaries Review

If you were hoping for fancy 3D graphics you will be disappointed with Zafehouse: Diaries. Is it ugly? Not at all. Of course, some would argue that in terms of “looks” it is as complex as a flash game, but I welcome this graphic layout. Its simple and pleasing to the eyes. Moving around pebbles denoting your survivors on a roughly drawn town map feels climatic. Although there is some music and sounds I do not feel they influence the overall state of the game. They add to it, but it’s not as if the Music has a couple hour soundtrack to keep us going. It’s enough and does the job right (the sounds that is).

Your controls involve the use of your mouse, however there are a number of very handy keyboard shortcuts that help you scroll between different menus and survivors. It can be a bit confusing at times, and even though there is a manual available on-line an up-start gamer might find everything a bit unintuitive. Is the game tough? The controls, once you realise what they are, make it simpler, however the game itself is hard. This is not a walk in the park, and you will often be shocked how a perfectly planned out safehouse is turned into a ruin.

Let us talk about the mechanics a bit. Your survivors each have different traits. These traits influence such things like Combat, Cooking, Medical Care, Searching or Barricading and Upgrading. Aside from these practical traits each character will have a huge Negative Trait, resulting in him or her, for example, not liking a specific Social Class or Gender. So, even though you have a team of qualified survivors you could end up having half the group disliking the other half, because on one end you have the “Poor” and on the other the “Rich”. What is wrong about people disliking each other? At the very least they will scoff at each other, while working. Then, as things escalate, they could get into fights, resulting in crippling injuries. Even worse some individuals might plot against specific members of your group. So, instead of a big family you end up with different cliques of backstabbers. Even though there are zombies banging at their doors you are bound to discover somebody smashed a laptop on somebody else’s head.

Zafehouse: Diaries

Almost like in a Soap Opera people like or hate each other. Throughout your adventures your survivors could have sudden mood swings turn their backs on one another… Almost like in real life.

This “Social” aspect of the game is the most troublesome (in a good way). A well working group (it is possible to make them work together, trust me on that) will achieve great things, and if you are lucky/experienced enough your entire group might even escape! However, it takes one rotten apple for the entire group to dissolve into chaos. Certain events, and your own management can create bonds between people, which will then create a web. Thanks to this web you can unite your group, but if you neglect this, you might have a big problem winning the game.

Aside from the Social element you also have all the other “tid bits”. Combat, Medical Care, Food, Safehouse building, and so on, and so forth. Firstly let’s talk about Safehouses. You can, in essence, take over and fortify any building you like. Your survivors, can perform different tasks within the building, depending on the available resources. Their effectiveness in specific tasks depends on their available tools and traits. Of course, assigning multiple survivors to the same task should speed things up, but it could cause the opposite, especially if the survivors dislike each other. A Safehouse can be Secured, then Fortified, using furniture available within that specific location. If you feel you need even more protection you can set traps. Once your Safehouse is indeed safe you can perform other actions. For example, hand one of the survivors a Rifle and tell him to clear zombies from surrounding buildings and streets. Order another survivor to produce edible meals. Maybe, if you feel the need to, tell your survivors to purge the area around the Safehouse?

Slender: The Arrival Announced

In case you did not hear, you will hear it from us. The Creator of Slender (yes, the game of which you might had read the review or even played) is working on another installment of the game, Slender: The Arrival. It is once again Slender Man, it is once again a creepy forest. Although there is very little information about the game itself we can expect two things: 1) It will be terrifying, 2) You will have no sleep, at all, and will need regular visits to a psychiatrist. So far we have only two pics to go on but as far as I can tell this is no longer a little child lost in the woods. Armed with a Camera and flashlight we might be looking at somebody mad enough to expose who the Slender Man is.

There is currently a IndieDB and Official Site, both of which do not provide any fresh news or views on what will Slender: The Arrival be like, but if it’s an improved Slender Man… well…

Killing Floor Firebug Guide

The Firebug… What is there to know about a Class that walks around with a selection of weapons aimed at turning your enemies into crisp? More than you could imagine. The Firebug is not just a TF2 Pyro (this is Killing Floor after all). Your task is a challenging one, and you are one of those useful pillars your team might rely on, in order to win. Although you could summarise the Firebug as a “Crowd Control” Class there is more to it then just wasting hordes of Clots with your flamethrower. It is about knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your weapons and how to best utilize them, even against far more powerful foes. This Guide is dedicated to the Firebug, so that you, or anybody else, will have an easier time setting the World on Fire.

Killing Floor

Who said working in questionable Bio-Engineering companies is boring?