Category Archives: Article

War Thunder: I Love This Game

Another day, another Free to Play MMO… Although is this technically an MMO? Hard to tell. War Thunder is what one could call “World of Tanks”, but with Planes instead of tanks. Both War Thunder and War of Warplanes were announced more or less at the same time and I had the pleasure of playing both games. Now, I know it will be very hard not to compare World of Warplanes and War Thunder, especially since both are in their respective Betas. While I enjoyed World of Warplanes I enjoy War Thunder much more and in this article I will tell you why.

War Thunder

Somebody is about to get a nasty surprise…

Neverwinter: Undead, Rats, Orcs…

In my mad “Free MMO” spree this time I would like to talk about Neverwinter. The name Neverwinter is that of a city in the world of Faerun, in the Forgotten Realms setting. The Pen and Paper game, Dungeons and Dragons, is what people typically see when playing any game set in this universe (Dungeons and Dragons Online was set in a different setting). I am the “old-fashioned” fan of the 3rd and 3.5 Edition of Dungeons and Dragons, while Neverwinter is set in the 4th Edition. My first reaction when playing a mage in Neverwinter was that they deliberately made the Wizard more action oriented. Turns out, at least so my friends told me, this is what a 4th Edition Mage is meant to be… But before I spill the beans, let’s talk a bit about Neverwinter first.

Neverwinter

Spoiler: You kill this guy, very, very early on.

League of Legends: I am a Predator!

There are a few games that I did not play when they were popular (at least, when there seemed to be a craze around them). With LoL this was the case as well. I had so many other things to do and the game mode did not appeal to me the same way an ordinary RTS or RPG normally would. Over the past few weeks I have been jumping into the world of Free to Play MMOs and among them was League of Legends. League of Legends is what I would call an RPG/RTS Hybrid. From what I read it was initially a Custom Game Mod for Warcraft 3 that has evolved into two major titles, League of Legends and Dota 2. I opted for the options that I was more familiar with (a lot of my friends were playing League of Legends). So, what was it like?

League of Legends

Even a a creature of the Void needs to dress the part.

Project Zomboid RC 2.9: What Has Changed?

CR 2.9 is a long awaited release (though not as long as RC 3.0, though we take what we get). Since the last stable version of Project Zomboid numerous things have been changed, added and reworked. One example is that of combat. In the Stable Project Zomboid Build you could take on an entire HORDE of undead with a spiked baseball bat and win. In Project Zomboid RC 2.9 you will die to hordes, a lot, even when armed with the best possible equipment. You have Thirst, Perishable food, Illness, Temperature and of course the Zombie Infection waiting around the corner. This is, by no stretch, the once easy and friendly game that people might had once knew. It is going in the direction of a proper, full-fledged Zombie Apocalypse Simulation, and so far it has kept me hanging on the edge of my seat.

Project Zomboid

I am a terrible survivor…

Don’t Starve: A Survivor’s Journal

I decided to give Don’t Starve a crack, after a longer pause, to see just how much has changed since my last game (the date of this playthrough would be the 23rd of April, 2013). To do that I decided to start a new game and see how long I can survive, noting down key events that happened to me, throughout. Some things were similar, I found, but it felt like an entirely new experience on different levels. More items, the Winter, drying (and perishable) food… … Walruses, and even a more “Physical” Magic element… including Madness. Compared to what I had about four months ago this felt like Don’t Starve 2.0, and I am glad the game has evolved so much. Although I only made it to day 23 in this playthrough I rather enjoyed it! What, in the end, was my downfall is lack of knowledge of the game (as it currently is) and a complete lack of preparations for the Winter. If you want a lengthy story on me attempting (and failing) to survive, read on! Just so you know, I played on “Default” world Settings, and with Wilson. The substantial lack of images was caused by my software deciding it does not want to cooperate… so I only include the screenies that I had.

Don't Starve

That is more or less how I felt throughout this playthrough.

Choice-Based RPGs: Are They Overrated?

I’ve just been recently cycling back through some of the “classic” titles on the PS3 before the new console generation is upon us, and I’m about 44 hours into Dragon Age: Origins, rife with choices and consequences left and right. While this obviously adds an interactive element to both storytelling and player immersion, I must say that I felt slighted on several occasions once caught in crucial moments of the game. Least to say I raged pretty hard, so hard I thought my brain had exploded from the built-up pressure in my skull. Listen to this story, then you’ll see why DA:O and other similar choice-based RPGS really get on my nerves.

If I’m going to waste away two days of my life in front of my TV screen, mashing buttons and the like, there’s a good chance I probably will invest some personal attachment in most of the characters. Allistar—a mildly charming, yet buffoonish Templar who really is at the center of this controversy—wasn’t an exception as my female Warden swooned over him, coddling the man-child all whilst slaughtering the darkspawn. I expected the Landsmeet in Denerium to proceed without a hitch, though I had more than one surprise in store that made me want to slap a few, pixaled faces upside the head.

Well, well Dragon Age. What do you have to say for yourself?

Well, well Dragon Age. What do you have to say for yourself?

On Health, Life and Death in Video Games

Health Systems… Many games follow a very simple “HP” system. You lose a few points, you find a Med Kit, you get back the lost Hit Points. Or you just hide in the corner while you genetically modified DNA grows back your limbs after suffering a direct hit from an RPG. Maybe it’s a mix of both, a shield that regenerates and health that does not. These are the most brutal basics. Even RPGs follow a very, very similar rule. There might be status effects, but they are very rarely “permanent”. When you are blind it’s because somebody cast a Blindness spell on you, and not because a Goblin poked your eyes out with a rusty dagger. Even if a Giant pummels you into a bloody pulp, leaving you at one “HP” a health potion will fix you right up! Internal Damage? What is that? Fractures? Disease? Don’t make me laugh! Health is not a complex addition to most games, not because the Developers are lazy, but because most games would become overly complicated because of it. Can you imagine just how short a lot of Zombie games would be over in the first few minutes if there was a realistic disease/damage system? What of Modern Shooters, where you can take countless direct hits without bleeding out on the side walk? If such mechanics were implemented most games would simply be too hard. That is not to say there are no games without such mechanics…

Health

I hope you brought a lot of Ointment… Dragons tend to breathe an awful lot of fire.

Mount and Blade: Five Mods You Should Try

I recently wrote a short list of Mods for Mount and Blade: Warband, and now I desire to do the same for Mount and Blade. The difference between the two games is that Warband has Multiplayer while the first Mount and Blade will offer only a core Single-player experience. It will not be a bad one, trust me. I have found a lot of Mods for the first Mount and Blade that I enjoy returning to, because of how detailed and feature rich some of them are. I did not play every single Mod out there, so this is my personal list of favorites. You can search for more Mods on ModDB and on TaleWorlds where all the Mods are still stored and available for use. If you are looking for Mods to Mount and Blade: Warband we have a list for that as well!

Mount and Blade

Sometimes you just want to ride giant eyeball monster… things… (Solid and Shade)

Heroes, Damsels, and Morality

The roles of females in our culture, specifically in video games, has long been discussed and debated. There’s no denying the fact that Princess Peach sat up in a tower on her lonesome much like Helen of Troy, passing the time until a certain plumber would come to make a daring rescue.

I could count the numerous feminine characters who’ve been portrayed to be helpless, weak, merely a hazy silhouette stewing in the shadows of a shining male protagonist, though this article isn’t a rant about feminism more than it is an exposition, just some ramblings upon a subject others might rather push aside instead of pick apart. Strong women resonate deeply within gaming’s picturesque lineage, that’s not the point – where does this desire to save a victim stem from? Sure, it’s nice to parade around slicing and dicing as the ravishing Lara Croft…. the problem lies in the fact that this doesn’t always compare to the full-bodied thrill of unchaining your companion and exhuming him or her out of a dingy prison cell.

Oh, Peach...When will you learn?

Oh, Peach…When will you learn?

And what about the lovely painted and decorated men who save these women? I think I can vouch for the collective whole of our society when I say how much people adore not only heroic characters, but drool over the idea of a superhero. Good looks, amazing abilities, indisputable vitality and stamina, these are the fictional gods that conduct our universe. What’s curious is how, even if we step back in history, maybe to Ancient Greece or Rome, the notion of heroes and damsels still conjured much affection in the populous, mere mortals in awe of Hercules, Persues, and, but of course, Achilles.

Is there something biological that draws us to this complex, a carnal chromosome woven into our DNA, or do we just enjoy watching a normal human suddenly find themselves shoulders-deep in power and immortality? It’s a very interesting theme, one clearly visible in some of the most popular IPs of the generation.

Bioshock gave us the remarkable opportunity to explore Rapture and the possibilities of either becoming a hero or a villain through various plot-driven choices; Infamous put us in the shoes of Cole MacGrath, a man who valiantly saved Empire City in some playthroughs, while in others, did not; finally, we come to Corvo Attano, a bodyguard turned juggernaut caught between a lethal or stealth-driven journey through Dunwall. Although each of these entries are different in a number of ways, they all meander back to one common thread: morality. Do I take the life of this Little Sister to make myself stronger? Do I forgo the shadows to massacre everyone in my path?

Heroes, damsels, and morality are like scalding tea, tar, and feathers from revolutionary times; even if you have one, it’s just not the same without the other two.

I implore you to post any comments, concerns, thoughts, and questions down below in the comment section. Mostly importantly, have an oh-so-Happy Easter!

Rebecca

Mount and Blade: Warband – Five Mods You Should Try

There are countless great Mount and Blade: Warband Mods. Some of the best ones are total conversion Mods but some only add specific items or functions to the core game, allowing for a deeper experience, and countless hour of fun, depending on the type of Mode you chose. While this list is based around Mods that I personally tried and enjoyed there are many more out there that can be found on the TaleWorlds forums. Trust me, each of them is worthwhile to try, at least once. Some of the Mods will be associated with different Franchises, others will be focused on a specific time period, and some introduce their own world (or a version of the original). If you are after a list of Mods for the first Mount and Blade we have one now!

One last disclaimer. Most of these Mods are focused on a Single-player experience. I simply prefer Empire building to intense short field battles!

Mount and Blade: Warband

The Red Keep from A Clash of Kings Mod. A stunning creation, and not something you would find in the core Mount and Blade game at all.