Thursday 31 October 2013

Buckets Full of Worms

Have you ever wanted a crap ton of Worms games?


        You're in luck.                                                                              You must be playing Worms already.
Team 17 (the developers of the franchise if you didn't know)
are up on the Humble Bundle Weekly Sale. This is a big sale
that happens, weekly. As you might imagine. Usually themed
similar to this sale; with a developer or type of game.

There are more games to this bundle than just worms games but that would probably be anybodies reason for getting the bundle. The game known as Worms Revolution is the gold edition (you get all the DLC) which is on Steam for 25 dollars. There are several other Worms games which are great for mulitplayer because a lot of them support hot-seat local multiplayer so you don't have to crowed around one keyboard.

This is a humble bundle sale so it is all pay what you want for 5 Worms games and a platformer titled SuperFrog HD. The gold edition game I just mentioned is in the bonus content along side their Alien Breed series (games 1-3). The bonus content comes form paying more than or equal to 6 bucks. Though no need to be cheap here. As much of the money as you like will go to the developers or to charity. As well you can allocate a portion of your payment to The Humble Bundle themselves. Why not?

5 soundtracks are also included. 2 extra of which (making a total of 7) are attained through the bonus content.

Unfortunately all of these games are only available through Steam. Which for the most part is okay but it needs annoying DRM that is obligated to follow every Steam game. Keep in mind this is pretty much just a neat deal if your a Windows user. Only Worms Crazy Golf and Superfrog HD are available for Mac and ONLY Superfrog HD comes for Linux.

Have fun if you do end up picking this up. I've been thinking of hooking up on PS1 and popping in Worms World Party and now I finally have the motivation to do so. Worms are in the air! Now blow the heck out of your friends!

Photographing Ghosts For Fun

Fatal Frame III has been released for Playstation Network!

A series that has a lot of unique jump scare elements to it. Too often have I heard that jump scares are a waste of time or not valid forms of approaching the horror genre but there is no denying it; they work. The Fatal Frame series is a great example of that. Requiring you to use a camera to defeat ghosts. You walk around as if your a photographer in a haunted area. The main mechanic is while you have your camera in front of you can see the ghosts. Otherwise you're totally blind to them. This makes the experience constantly nerve racking.

It would be great if one of these games was produced for the WiiU or an older version was updated for the console. For now you have more access on modern consoles with this release for the PS3.


Cancelled RTS, LoL and DOTA too popular?

Command and Conquer has been cancelled. A sad story for the future of a popular franchise. 

The game was still in alpha when it got cancelled. EA made a statement; 
"Your feedback from the alpha trial is clear: We are not making the game you want to play. That is why, after much difficult deliberation, we have decided to cease production of this version of the game."
Which is odd because for the most part it seemed like a great game. I was actually sort of excited for some modern RTS (real time strategy game). Something that I could turn toward that wasn't SC2 (StarCraft 2).

Don't get me wrong SC2 is a great game but I got the game and haven't had too much time to devote to the whole experience. It's a game with a massive learning curve. It requires you to play a lot to get to a decent level. I've had the desire to pick it up again and play a little more, though I'm not going to even have the same access as everyone else due to a lack of the expansion that was released while I was on hiatus. 

The saddest part is that the team who was making this game seems to all be out of a job now. 

Some complaints I heard from RTS players were that the game seemed to be ripping off of SC2 too much. Though when I look at the updates I noticed they did indeed have two resources you needed to gather just like in SC2; after another update they changed this back to the classic one resource. There were a lot of trial and error occurrences happening within the alpha. I would assume that's fair; the very early stages of the game still need to learn it's base structure. 

The art style and the maps seemed well thought out. The structure of the game was no ever really totally clear but again, that should have been decided by the end of the alpha. Beta is for tweaking, alpha is for building. 

A common complaint was the idea of the generals being too similar to LoL (League of Legends) style characters. They all had special abilities but they didn't want to go down the same path as LoL and make the game run on micro-transactions (at least so it seems). Though the way this worked in an RTS was a bit odd.
Since in LoL you focus on your own character and the way those abilities work in regards to everyone else on your team is up to each player. Everyone needs to be working together for coherent teamwork. In Command and Conquer the generals were just one member of the entire army YOU controlled. As a result the ability when making your choices for each army was almost the same every time. So many more units to control than just the one general meant that such a 'hero' with unique characteristics gave barely any variety too the match. 

It's possible that games like DOTA and LoL have taken a lot of the competitive gaming market by storm to the point where RTS is going to have some real trouble to get traction. As stated prior SC2 is not really a game that has much competition right now. In the competitive scene it could really use a challenger like this. I for one have a hard time getting into SC2 because it isn't that accessible. It does have a starter version people can play for free but it's not very well advertised and too be tair it's a little too limiting to really let someone get a feel for the game. 

LoL and DOTA allows someone so much choice for free. The game deals solely which asking money of you if you so desire these extra features in the game after you already own it. They assume if their game is good enough you'll keep playing and want more and more out of it. This strategy seems to have become the biggest boom in the gaming industry in a while. It also grew the competitive scene which draws in players and spectators. Having games to watch and with good commentary is a legitimate form of gaming. This has been true from the days of watching over your friends shoulder as they played a Zelda game and you told them to "go that way." There is a sense of involvement.

Art by spacecoyote (download it at the original post)

Here is hoping they all get jobs soon and good RTSs will not stop production after the towering popularity of the DOTA style games.

Monday 28 October 2013

UNDERRATED: Platinum Games


Indie developers need to some more representation. This has been happening more frequently with more indie developers coming into the industry. With more of them existing there are more of their games popping up in the different markets like Steam or GOG. Journalist have been emerging to give a voice to these publisherless games. I suppose I'm trying to do that sort of work. On a non-professional level at least. Great example of a person who give a voice to these underdogs of the industry include people like Josh Matting from Indie Statik.

Now there are developers who certainly do have some funding by publisher but are seriously underrated compared to some of the big dogs in the market.

Platinum Games is probably the best example I know of. Clover Studios made very notable games such as God Hand which didn't get much traction at all. A title that has had a great reviews for the most part (check out this review, this article, and avoid IGN at all costs, obviously). The same developer of Viewtiful Joe, and Ōkami which has had some decent traction recently. The games of Clover have been praised quite a bit and even with these well constructed games, their marketing must have just been abysmal. They produced great products but no one bought them.

An indie developer that was funded by Capcom. After not making the sales figures Capcom had set out for Clover, they scrapped all funding. As a result Clover was destroyed (Capcom is insane when it comes to making good sales goals by the way). Though with this destruction, came a the birth of a great new studio that arose from the remnants of its predecessor. Platinum Games.

Platinum have made games such as:
  1. MadWorld
  2. Bayonetta
  3. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
  4. And the newest game in this collection The Wonderful 101.

These games have lots of intense combat which deal a lot with spectacles. Bayonetta was remarked as one of the best spectacle fighters when it emerged. It has a very well constructed battle system of attacks and dodges that deal a lot with the environment. These can get a bit boring if played over and over but the game does offer more and more excitement in the enemies as you progress. Though this progression does also have a sense of obfuscation. While playing there might be a little too much happening on the screen to really understand WTF is going on. With great mechanics that might get a bit repetaive and stunning visualize that might physically stun you from oversaturation the game has a lot of great stuff to offer but obviously has room to improve.

Platinum has this in most of their games. Lots to applaud but never a lack of complaint. I certainly don't think that these games are a 50/ 50 split for good and bad parts. The elements that make up the fun and immersive experience their games convey are usually great at what they do but there is always room for critique. Perhaps with Bayonetta two they will have fixed a lot of this.

I think Platinum Games have been improving in their quality over time and have a pretty great library that isn't too big that is not to hard to check out. I look forward to reviewing their next game... that comes out for PC since I am in no position to afford a new console. Take the time to at least try out one of the games I listed above or check out some of their other titles if you want to do your research. The content speaks for itself, unless your Clover Studios. Don't let a lot of skilled designers, artists, and programmers lose their well deserved place in the industry. Platinum games, currently working on Bayonetta 2!

Sunday 27 October 2013

AMD > Nividia

My I introduce the AMD Radeon R9 290X!

AMD my heroes of the computer hardware industry have done it again. They have released a product to knock the competitors into a tornado and they have no clue how to escape.

AMD has released there new GPU. I mean it! It's actually a new GPU. Many of their older graphics cards where just rehashed hardware (such as R9 280X = HD7970). This on the other hand is loaded with state of the art (not totally new technology but you know what I mean) Hawaii XT GPU. 

Nivida has been in the lead for a long time in terms of top of the line performance. Of course most people don't have the money for the absolute best performance. There are so many other markets to appeal to. For instance if someone was look for a quite PC and wanted to do a lot of video editing than this card may pose some problems. I'll elaborate on that in a moment.

Price for performance has always been AMD's lead in the market but with Nividia's Titan it's difficult to match top performance. Now we somehow from the wizards of AMD engineering we have awoken the blazing power of the R9 290X. Its architecture has had a noticeable improvement from the last GPU in first place. We are now looking at a spanking 2,816 cores, instead of 2,048 cores like was seen in the R9 280X.

AMD has been working on Mantle. It's supposed to be a low level API that allows developers the chance to create software that can take a greater advantage of hardware their GPUs can produce. It will make it's entrance into the market in a patch for Battlefield 4 (which clearly has enough traction already). This will be giving DirectX a run for it's moeny. Long has Nividia controlled the software market by having this ability for games to be more integrated into their products allowing for more stream line experience. AMD are at it too. With this kind of competition we are more likely to see less of a monopoly on the industry and a reason for these big companies to give us the consumers something better (to make us stray from the competitor).

Blazing as I stated before. This card has a lot more tech shoved into it but it doesn't preform without any issues. The machine is apparently supposed to run fine at a temperature of 95ºC. AMD states it will run fine and can run at different temperatures based on the amount of performance you are trying to dish out of this machine. The most attainable performance at a safe temperature is 95ºC. This is 'safe temperature' for the graphics card itself. There is a need to realize that the other components of the PC are a somewhat of a risk taking on that much heat. 

As well it will get rather noisy. This is what I mean by issues for other types of users who aren't in it for the games but perhaps are recording and editing audio. The noise is quite a big deal. As a result one might have to adopt a new cooling system and case fro sound proofing. 

Now some of these issues may seem like a deterrent but realize the price. AMD as I stated prior is always got Nividia beat when it comes to price for performance. It is being released at a price of 550 US dollars. Now compare that to the Nivida's counterpart which is a grand.

When testing the two behemoths, 
"in my graphics benchmarks, with the Titan at stock speeds and the R9 290X in ‘Über mode’, the Radeon card wins four out of the six tests. That’s pretty convincing, especially when you take into account the wins in the minimum frame rates too."

PCGamer stated in their review of the machine.

It may not be the best of all time but it's certainly high up. Depending on what money you have there is a lot to consider based on this new hardware. Since it is much less pricey than the competitor it still requires some possible noise dampening and some cooling for a less stressful performance for many people. I would recommend it over the Titan of course because I am sane or at least enough to say that. 

Tuesday 22 October 2013

Failure — Dark Matter

Yesterday I wrote about the GOG sales they had going on. For a while they had one game up for sale which just came out called Dark Matter. This was a game that was put on Kickstarter in the hopes of raising enough money to pay the development team. The team, unfortunately did not make their goal. They were not funded and as a result had a difficult task to resolve. They did not resolve this difficult task of scrapping the game or putting it on hiatus.

Instead InterWave Studios decided it would be a better idea to make a game half as long and abruptly end the campagin with a black screen and white text. The game is not early access or beta as such an ending may inspire you to think. Due to lack of funding this company has decided it would be best to secretly develop a shorter game with no ending and try to make some money off what they could.

Video footage thanks to, Jay Xan

Currently GOG is offering refunds for anyone who bought the game. People who made the unfortunate mistake of buying the game on Steam are even more screwed over. Steam has a very anti-consumer policy of not wanting to give refunds for games because they don't sell you anything you can actually give back unlike old fashioned stores like EB Games or Gamestop.

In a post made by GOG officials on the their forms wrote,


It's come to our attention that the gamecard for Dark Matter was not quite specific enough about the nature of the game and, as a result, it may be that some people bought the title with some misapprehensions as to how the game's story would end. Since we don't ever want to sell a game to someone because they believe it is something that it is not, we wanted to let you know about this and let you know what we're doing to make it right.

If you bought Dark Matter before 21 October 2013 at 15:00 GMT (when we updated the description to where we feel it adequately reflects the game) and you feel that the game wasn't as promised to you, please contact Support and they'll be happy to offer you full refund to your card or, if you''d prefer, games of equal or lesser value to the sale price of Dark Matter (which is $13.49).

We're sorry if anyone who bought the game isn't happy with the way it was represented, and we hope this makes it right for you guys.

If you've got any questions, hit me up and I'll try to answer 'em for you."

A shame since many people were supporting the game in development and wanted to see it succeed. For the company to go around and pull a move like this pretty much tarnishes every member of the development team.

This incident also really begs the question how much responsibility do the retailers have for selling bad products? Steam really doesn't have that many games published per day (new games especially).
The reason they don't play through their releases before hand is due to the uninformed loyal fan base who trusts Valve and everything they do. Buying based off metacritic scores instead of trusted sources giving
reviews. Consumers need to take a step back and really understand they know what they are buying but for a brand new release indie title with no covered of the final product? There is really no one after the developer to blame other than the retailer you supplied the defective product.

Steam and GOG are liable. They should have a system in place to stop these events from happening. Though I will give GOG some credit for refunding you as any retailer would. Though don't expect that same treatment from Steam.

Kickstarter — Scale, It's A Big Deal

I found another one! ♥

Free roaming puzzle? Yes! Manipulate the world by stepping all over it or making it tower over you!  



 Puzzle games are notorious for frustration. Mechanics that take a little quirk and focus the game around that. SCALE is a game that take the full 180 of that experience. Taking the word 'silly' and cranking it up has high as it can go. I'm referring to The SCALE device. This machine uses 'Size Juice' which you have a limited amount of to spray anything in sight. Spraying things with the juice will make them HUGE while reversing the effect to retain/ collect more juice will turn them itty-bitty. The game has no real narrative as I can tell. The game is in very early alpha but the mechanics are clearly set up. The fine tuning of it is never ending since there is so much left to build.

From the tiny bit of voice-over I heard in that trailer I'll admit I did like the tone of the game. A bit serious, in a whimsical world. The irony is a  nice touch. Without much insight into the game I can't say I'm hooked but I'm intrigued enough to keep an eye on this project.

The Kickstarter has raised half of it's funding in just 5 days! A budget of less than 100K is actually pretty impressive. The complexity of the game is not too high but the physics and the way it plays out seems pretty neat. I really can't make out much from the game at such an early stage so I can't say it's good but the premise is worth paying attention too.


The 10 dollars required to get the game is probably worth it. There are 24 more days to wait for updates and see if it catches your eye in that span. There are of course many good perks such as the soundtrack, a CD of the soundtrack, and get this... a vinyl of the soundtrack. If you're really generous and have lots of money you get to do so in style. The soundtrack is also not bad at all. On the Kickstarter you'll find the song used in the trailer which is alone worth your time. 

Now put in a little more cash and you'll notice that some pretty reputable devs have given their support of this title. At this price you'll also be getting "STEAM KEYS for Noitu Love 2, Electronic Super Joy, Incredipede, and Osmos" as stated on the Kickstarter page. Now if one indie game with crazy mechanics isn't your thing... why stop at one?

There has been one video update address the games initial design and ideas behind it if your interested in some behind the scenes work. This video is designed to show you what the state of the game is as of the current state of the Kickstater.
Lots of updates just regard some text of some people talking but not here. Here we get actual game-play, and you'll likely be seeing it evolve over time with more updates coming out. Hopefully you'll see with the time they  have left a product worth backing and a concept that has been taken full advantage of.

All Credit to Steve Swink for all the assets used here. They all come from the Kickstarter page.

Monday 21 October 2013

Game Sales - 20 Game Sale On GOG

GOG has 20 great deals going on.

Many of which are the games GOG is known for. Classics, remastered for your current operating systems. This means for only a few dollars you can enjoy the adventures many have thought been long lost.
For further info on GOG check out my review for all you need to know.

Aside from that we also have a great deal on indie titles that deserve you attention. An example of which is the splendid point-and-click Machinarium by Aminata. If you want info on them and their kinds of games you can go ahead and check out my review of their very unique Botanicula.
I hope you give it a try. Wonderful music, whimsical characters, an art style that really stands out and a the charm of an old fashion fable.

 As a collectors addition you'll be purchasing a lot more for a lot less than I with this deal. It comes with the music, and lots of artwork, behind the scenes as more.

This is all part of the Weekend Promo: Point-and-click-a-thon!

BE WARNED: Dark Matter is a new release that also has it's name in the sales charts. A third person action horror game. From the reviews I saw on the website this game is NOT finished. The developers rushed the ending and make the experience not worth your time. As it stands those who reviewed it stated it's not a complete product. You would be wiser to buy a different game during this bundle of sales.

Check out the discussion on Dark Matter here for more detail on why you should be extra cautious if this is a game that interests you. The gist of the issue,
"Hello, just to answer all these questions.

No, the full story is indeed not complete yet because originally we wanted a longer game (12-16 hours) but couldnt finish it completely due to time and money (and Kickstarter failing). So, we choose to go with a 6-8 hour game instead to bring something out to the world and show everyone the world of Dark Matter. We are going to change the "to be continued" text to something else, to make sure this will be the end of the game as is in a clear msg to everyone..."
As stated by the devs.

70% off the Desperado Series. A bunch of RTS titles That take place over a hundred years ago putting you in the place of a strange outlaw.  Take advantage of $4.78 in the next 24 hours for both of these games.

The Desperado games
For Wanted Dead or Alive you bonus content with the game is,
  • manual
  • 9 wallpapers
  • soundtrack
  • avatars
For Cooper's Revenge,
  • manual
  • 9 wallpapers
  • 8 avatars
 I suggest looking at the reviews. Always a good idea to make critical and informed choices about your purchases. Most of the time you'll be lucky with GOG and the user reviews will be high and if not they will clear show in the score. Rarely do I find a game in the middle. You either have a great one of the devs have just done something really wrong and everyone will warn you of the issue.

Sunday 20 October 2013

Kickstarter — Obduction by Cyan Inc

Myst and Riven are golden examples of innovation in the gaming industry. The makers of these legends: Cyan Inc has arisen once more to bring you the opportunity to kickstart a brand new title:


This game is a bit obscure. In the style of Myst and Riven it attempts to place you in a world of mystery. Similar to when players first tried out Myst all those years ago starting on a dock. The world this game depicts is supposed to be beautiful and fun to explore.

The idea is that they don't want to create a sequel to Myst. In their Kickstater video they state, "that would be easy" so they are focusing to make a 'spiritual successor to the experience.' Aspiring to bring people the same sense of excitement and wonder they felt while moving forward in Myst.

The technology they have today can allow for that and so much more. Limited with what their software and old fashioned computer hardware could do; Myst was still able to put the player in a situation they never imagined a game could take them. With the Unreal 4 engine, Cyan hopes to create a more immursive experience, taking full advantage of what this generation of technology has to offer.

Cyan has made it pretty clear they want transparency. By creating forums online for all the bakers to access. Explaining what is being worked on, where they are in development, what the money is being allocated towards, and interaction with the developers though the forums. Funding will be spent solely on the games production,
"We already have a team here - a few who've been here since the Myst days, and some who are more recent. We'll be adding to the team after we get funding, so we can flesh out our design and then get started on all the new art, modeling, texturing, sounds, music, lighting, characters, interface, technology, and more."
In a statement on the official Kickstarter page.

The game has some neat artwork already available on their Kickstarter page (I'm forward you there because I won't steal their traffic, I want you to go pledge after all).

As a game on Kickstarter it has some of the best types of perks I've seen. Every perk at the $25 tier and above allows you to feel like you're a real producer. One who supported this project and actually has a role to play. The $25 tier gives you a digital copy of the game, a digital manual, a high resolution concept art painted by, Stephan Martiniere, access to the forms, and you'll be listed in the backer's section of the game credits and their website. All of this for one tier! The following tiers add so much as well. From the soundtrack, to an art book, physical copies of the game, t-shirts, the ability to allow you to design an item in the game or an Easter egg, and a bunch more! One person (as of this writing this post) actually backed at the $10,000 level. This gives access to so much that it would take too long to read. Most significantly they will actually experience the development process with the team, communicate with them, and visit the Cyan studios.


Claiming they want the story that feels natural. One where you get a chance to experience it through interaction and exploration. Not necessarily through cinematic experience. I believe they are trying to show the power in story telling a game has apart from a movie by focusing on this part.

It's quite difficult to marry mechanics and narrative into a game. Mostly this has been to the fact that video games are still very new media. Only recently have games come to the point where you can really feel like the game play is part of the story. Most of the time games that try to have a more thought out storyline are met with a lot of dissonance. The way to interact with the game in an intuitive manner while still feeling like the story is answering all it needs to for total immersion is the greatest challenge a video game can have I think.

Here is hoping that Obduction has what we have been waiting for and helps take the industry a bit closer with a story that takes advantage of being in a game.

Back it now!

Saturday 19 October 2013

LEAKED: Windows 9 and 10!

Someone leaked that Microsoft has a new

Microsoft has unveiled their next operating system. And another one after that.

The new OS!

With Microsoft it seems there is a bit of a hit and miss with the OS (operating system) products. By this I mean it seems that every second OS to come out seems to get totally destroyed buy the PC market and shunned like the unoptimized, GUI heavy, monster Vista. Now after the success of Windows 7 , everyone has been dreading using the touch screen oriented Window 8. To be fair Windows 8 optimized better than Windows 7 but is so contrived it's gimmicks almost scream "LOOK AT ME I'M SHINY!"

The Windows 9 release date is still speculative. Though not confirmed, the notorious leaks that emerge from the apparently reputable (or so every source on the matter I have found states), WZor has claimed that it is said to release in 2014. It's apparently going to look similar to Windows 7 with the original Vista Aero layout. This seems like a step back in the right direction. Though a concern for Microsoft's direction is normal, "at present it is unclear whether Windows 9 will more resemble Windows 7 tailored for a touch-screen, or Windows 8 fixed for classical usage" said, Anton Shilov from X-bit labs.

Though the confusion (which is fair since this is all due to rumour) about Windows 9 is not the end of Microsoft's antics. Windows 10 has been mentioned as well. The date of which is assumed to be around 2015-2016, since it's unclear what will be done with Windows 9 and it's updates. Similar to Window 8 having the 8.1 release coming out. Though (not to make this post and less legitimate) rumours do state that there are plans to stop creating service packs for operating systems and just come out with fully new and better operating systems. Another one of Microsoft's plans to take as much money out of your pocket as they can.

Windows 10 is allegedly claimed to be a cloud based OS. I say that with some uncertainty (even though I'm unsure about all of this) because it's probably the weirdest piece of news to come out from all of this. Understanding why Microsoft thinks that making a totally cloud integrated system will be effective in the current market baffles me.

Google has actually done the same thing. With all of their advertisements on their own services like YouTube, I've seen loads of commercials talking about the 'Chromebook.' This crazy thing is supposed to have no offline features to it (or that could be just them informing me too vaguely through their ads). Everything is supposed to be internet concentrated. This could just be saving data. Meaning less parts (such as inner storage) needed. Allowing you to access everything online through applications like Google Drive, for storing documents, pictures, presentations, and more.

The idea sounds neat, only it assumes the global market has had some sort of massive upgrade in it's internet infrastructure. Sure there are some very rich people who can afford to have fibre optic internet connection delivered through FTTH technology but what happens when that rich person leaves their neighbourhood? On the other hand I was running on 0.1Mb/s connection last year!
All because I had an outdated modem. The services provided (to be fair I'm in Canada which has some of the worst telecom companies known to Earth) for most people do not allow for that much cloud computing. The bandwidth limits are too low for the time being and can't support it. Unless you're in Korea.If so, 안녕하세요!

The infrastructure required to maintain such an endeavour is enormous.The amount of power require to build an internet connected world is on a level such as this I can't even imagine. Since Microsoft isn't a telecom company, I don't know where they think all this extra bandwidth is coming from. Google on the other hand has made Google Fibre and is sort of trying to be a part of every technological industry possible. So they're another story.

Microsoft seems to be getting the message that Windows 8 is not what people wanted and trying to fix that in Windows 9 while trying some insane idea for Windows 10.

I'm interested in finding out what the logo for Windows 10 will be after seeing the strikingly similar logo Windows 8 had to Windows 1.

Friday 18 October 2013

Upcoming Games - Star Citizen

A shift in technology. Ambitious to levels not ever reached before. A space sim with more information than can be scaled on any Excel spreadsheet.

I'm talking of course of Star Citizen !

Brought to you by Chris Roberts who is responsible for the memorable Wing Commander. A game that is going to try and bring to life the world everyone has imagined living in while watching Star Wars or Star Trek. The possibility of a game the marries extremely dynamic and accurate physics with a massive multiplayer experience would mean a great new step forward for the MMO world. 

A common problem with MMOs is that they all seem to be a never ending amount of derivatives. One after another the mechanics and style seem to repeat each other. A special exception of this is Eve Online.
Eve allows you to pilot a spaceship among a large player base all doing the same thing. The premise is somewhat similar but there are some issues with Eve I would be very glad to see rid of. In Eve if you don't have what is the equivalent of a tutor to make any progress. The learning curve is massive (no pun intended). I played for a couple hours once. I found one set of pirate ships to battle. That lasted for about 5-6 minutes. In total the beginning of the game wasn't immersive. It really only catered to the extreme. Those willing to devote all their time are the only ones who have an chance of immersion.

ANYWAY. Star Citizen holds some promise for a more mechanically refined spaceship simulator. With Oculus Rift supporting a first person view through the customized cockpit of your ship, the game offers a much bigger sense of immersion with it's aesthetics. Here they explain how important applying the most accurate type of physics they can to the game play a pivotal role:

All videos are from the official YouTube channel. They are also produced using in game rendered graphics.

Military tours at the start give an introduction to the game and function as a sort of story line that allow you to branch off later on and explore the galaxy. The game does allow you to ignore that campaign. You can can enter the world and just explore or become a pirate. Whatever your heart designs.

You  can improve the ships and their design. This sort of reminds me of the idea of customizing your characters in a MMORPG like World of Warcraft (WoW). Since the game is allow about the ships and the gameplay is done through them as a medium it would make sense that they would be the main focus for visual customizations. Though Roberts did say that there are "100,000 faces" in game. Where most open world diverse worlds have no more than 10,000 faces for unique appearance among characters. This also indicates an increase of detailed suits and apparel. It takes the personal elements of an RPG but then applies that to the simulation aspects of the game to include you more in the self initiated narrative.

Robert has a goal to push current PC technology to boundaries never before crossed. The release of Star Citizen will be either a disappointment from the hype surrounding it or there will be a game to finally take advantage of the current generation of hardware at our disposal on the PC. A sci-fi game to break the repetition of the MMO curse and free us from the never ending line up of WoW derivatives?

Lots of features have been revealed through trailers such as the ones used in this article. The only quarrel with that is there is a lot more being focused on the pieces of the game which would compliment the gameplay. Without gameplay there is nothing that can be said about the value of those assets.

More on this story as updates on the game are released. Game is still under much development and has much more to offer for the future.

Wednesday 16 October 2013

Sales - GOG: Puzzles, Simulators, & a Silly Lilly

GOG is one of my favourite sites related to video games. The master minds at CDProjekt who developed the Witcher series bring you wonderful deals on games!

I'm here to fill you in on why you might care about these.

These games are fun for their own unique ideas. I'll elaborate on each soon.

If you're looking for something ground breaking, such games exist on the site but that's not what's on sale right now.

GOG has a fun puzzle platformer that takes platforms in a new direction. You'll be literally spinning platforms to move around in Fez. Fez is this little blocky character you control who is stylish enough to have a red fez (like me!) but no other clothing (strangely enough). The world you platform your way through is 3D but you only ever play in 2D. The intrinsic mechanic that this game has to make it stand out is being able to rotate in a third dimension onto another 2D plane adjacent to the other plain you were just on. This is like rotating a cube and viewing each side flat faced in front of you, one at a time. You can pick it up for $4.99. Also with this or any other purchase on GOG get a copy of The Witcher for FREE! This is limited for only a couple days. Don't let this chance slip away!

You'll be laughing as you play the (not very serious) Surgeon Simulator 2013. Now, the goal (supposedly) is to preform a surgery carefully and not damage the organs in need of operation. Then, you realize nothing is functioning more accurately than a rage doll. With no accuracy, blood and body parts fill the screen. As a medical simulator, one may assume there is some level or realism and accuracy but be warned, this is a silly game. It does not take itself seriously at all. If you're in for a laugh this will probably serve you well.

Lastly there is a sale for a game called Lilly Looking Through. I know nothing about it, and that's fair because it's not available to purchase, by anyone, because it hasn't been released yet. It's a pre-order bonus is what I'm saying. I suggest you don't take this deal. I LOVE GOG and I want you to support them but not like this. If you don't know what your putting your money into why take the risk when you can buy something you're informed about. The purpose of this blog is to help you make better decisions when it comes to games (AKA not impulsive purchases). Buying Lilly is silly. 

When you see pre-orders, just say....

If you want some real thought out reasoning for not pre-ordering games, TotalBiscuit has already explained the subject well.

Enjoy, play, rage! Circle of life.

Tuesday 15 October 2013

Game Sale - Okami

If you like REALLY good and creative games that are absolutely beautiful, oh... and have Playstation Plus, check out Okami for $6.99!
Normally it has a $9.99 price tag. That's a 43 per cent decrease. Not bad stats. Not bad at all.
If you want a review, Destructoid has one.
A game that has a unique art style that incorporates that into the mechanics is rare.


Video source: Chuggaaconroy


New Game - The Stanley Parable

While browsing the web at a friends place I came across this very peculiar game. If you can call it that.

Image Source:

Exploring the internet for information on this subject is a bit of a waste. The game is so confusing and avant garde that descriptions are very vague. Since all official information that has been release by developers Galactic Cafe are just going to leave you with questions.

The game is called The Stanley Parable for one reason I can deduce. This maybe wrong but it's all I can think of.
The game is very heavily narrated. The narrator gives you direction on how to play. Where to go. Though it never seems to progress in any logical way. The narrator I believe is the famous Stanley. I say this because the whole game is a parable. Consistently talking about what has, is, and should be happening. You as a character may make decisions, interact and move around as you will but, as many games portray their main character you are a silent protagonist.

The Steam Train show from Game Grumps fame got access to a specially design demo of the game for them. The abnormality of the event sequences is explained well within this one video.

By now you're probably really confused. Well I believe that's the idea. The game seems to be holding one purpose. That would be to satirically express a massage about games and the arbitrary elements among them. Taking all the aspects of games that seem to be tropes in the industry about poor design quality or tedious mechanics, and fusing them into one sentient being named Stanley.

Another sneak peak includes Stanley talking about the critique of another player and his response to that.


Developed by Davey Wreden in 2011 as a mod for Half-Life 2. It has been taken to a whole new level and is being released in two days as of writing this post, on the 17th of October, 2013. The mod is very similar in game play and story. A lot of plot elements and experiences were added for this new remastered high definition stand-alone title. 

The main reason behind this game's unique design was based of a Wreden's perception that a lot of tripe-A titles make lots of assumptions about the people playing their games. If a player would like to try and figure out different variations to event sequences, games don't actually offer a way to answer those questions. Wreden stated, 
"That came from having played games my entire life, from asking "what if" over and over while playing" in an interview with Shacknews.
Galactic Cafe has also developed other interestingly strange titles that seem like totally satiracal pieces. This includes a Kanye West Twitter simulator. Where in this game you can tweet for Kanye but whatever you type, the game just causes a predeclared tweet to emerge. Theses are also satirical. You can follow people. You gain points for doing so which is probably some sort of a statement on value people put on having followers and Kanye's aggressive marketing for popularity.

In all, Wreden has developed a truly bizarre game which could do us all a service about informing us on better interactive/ immersive game design. The way this message will be received is for you to decide when this game comes out on the 17th of October on Steam.

Monday 14 October 2013

New Game - Rain

Play Station Network (PSN) has a new downloadable title. It sort of came out of no where. Quite literally, the characters are usually invisible.

Image source: GiantBomb

Rain is a puzzle platformer, action-adventure game. It deals with trying to get through a city as a little boy.
The trick to it is that the boy I'm talking about has a peculiar event occur upon him. He sees a little girl in the rain. Only an outline formed by the rain. Without drops falling down she fades away. She is almost like a ghost. The game deals with evading monsters and trying to make your way to safety. After seeing the girl, you yourself are also only visible in the rain. The goal as I presume is to find her again. and then the mystery to all of this will be revealed.

This begs an interesting premise. If you yourself are only visible in the rain and are vulnerable to monsters at this particular time, you may want to stay hidden. THOUGH, if you want to have any chance of find the girl and finding out what has transpired there is only one option. You must face the world and survive this journey in hopes of reuniting with this lost girl (or at least I assume it's a girl).

It has been out for 12 days so far in the Americas. The Euro releases was within a couple days of that as well.

 It's being sold for the $14.99, £9.99 and €12.99.

Trailer from Gamescom 2013

Every so often a little gem pops up on the PSN store. Not having played it I can't judge but I am very intrigued to see some game play and how it'll function. The mechanics based around the rain could certainly be used in a very unique was to take advantage of all the different genres it's representing. Though it could also be a bit of a gimic that just adds for some very limited puzzles. 

An interview and behind the scenes, brought to you by the great journalists at Joystiq.

I'll be on the look out for more info on the game later on. Let me know if any of you decide to pick it up. I'd like to read some reviews.

Sunday 13 October 2013

Kickstarter - GoD Factory: Wingmen

This game needs your help! It's not close to being backed but has so much potential!

GoD Factory: Wingmen is a multiplayer spaceship shooter. Cross-platform, co-op, tactical strategy. You play in groups of up to three other people. Prior to entering battle a player must first construct their ship or upgrade if they have been playing a lot. This is done by using the in game currency you collect. This means the more money you have (the more you play) the longer and more you will be on the battlefield. The main objective is to destroy the enemy ship that holds all of them before and during the game while they repair. Orders can be placed by other players and your team-mates can then confirm if they will follow through with the plan. The match deals with destroying the enemy carrier but also protecting your own. While you repair inside your own and refill on ammo you might be getting destroyed outside. There is a lot of tactics that are involved.

It has a wonderful soundtrack which you can hear here in their trailer:

Okay, now that you have listened to that and experience the spectacular visuals, are you hooked?
Not yet? Fine.

It will also support the Oculus Rift! That means a virtual reality simulator of piloting a spaceship in interplanetary space!

The KickStarter is giving it away for 15 dollars if you can hurry for early bird access! This means beta access too.
The next tear for a copy of the game with some little bonuses start from 20 and so on (including more bonuses).

Here is some first hand game-play of the game by Jesse Cox and Josh from Indiestatik:

If you want to back this wonderful game just click here for the KickStarter page and
here for the Steam Greenlight.

For further information check out the IndieDb report on the game.

Saturday 12 October 2013

New Games - The Wolf Among Us

Telltale Games has released a new game!

Similar looking to the Walk Dead. Similar to the style of a comic book there are lots of textures that deal with a lot of hand drawn looking details. 

Lots of dialogue. The game does not try to overwhelm you with mechanics. They are all very simple. It knows what to do to make the story progress in a way that isn't frustrating and allows the narrative to become a lot more immerse. It's rare to find a point-and-click that has a very structured story line but it's a medium that can really take advantage of plot development.

Great voice acting, interesting characters, and a wonderful art style.

Check out these links. 

Here is @TotalBiscuit's WTF Is of the game:

Buy it!
Here is the Steam release.

Check out Reviews

Polygon's Review.


Joystiq's Review.

Free Game — The Witcher

Free game with sales going on at GOG!

GOG always does something to make me love them even more.

Since GOG is run by the fellas from CDProjekt, they can do things like the current deal:
The Witcher Free with ANY purchase! 

It's a great RPG. I have my own digital copy that I got as a gift off Steam and my father bought the Polish physical copy I still have sealed away, prized in my collection.
It looks amazing. The story is well thought out and I should probably just do a review and stop rambling. 

Here is their announcement on the matter on YouTube:

And here is their post on

Yeah! It's really happening. You should buy it! Or just, you know, buy anything else and get it as a result.

With many great games on sale you could get two great games for the price of  <1!

Friday 11 October 2013

Free Games — Tactical Intervention

Free FPS.

Now that may be enough for a lot of people but there are some cons worth pointing out. 

It turns out that the original publisher OGPlanet dropped the game some months ago but it has been picked up by 1337 Games who got it up on steam. This not totally finished looking end result has it's ups/ downs. I'll run down of what I think based on the information I've read so far.

  1. As you will see in the video provided there is some serious extremely amplified recoil to what anyone is used to.
  2. The texture quality is amusingly bad.  
  3. The game is full of glitches and doesn't seem to be polished. 
  4. The game is free-to-play but it also asks you to pay if you want to get different weapons. You can do this through one time payments or rentals. The argument on whether theses upgrades unbalance the game is open. Worth discovering. Hopefully the game itself offers enough diversity without paying extra.
The game is ridiculous enough that such aspects might be easily overlooked since it's a bit of chaos at any moment. The spas style of game-play makes it hard to really be analytical on the subject. 

Now for the other side of this spectrum:


  1. The mechanics seem to work fairly well. The idea behind the game was apparently for it to be a successor to Counter Strike. I would say that a game which attempts that is focusing a lot on mechanics and the enjoyment out of the game-play. Graphics are not very important in my opinion. Art style and creative expression are but when they are not the focus I don't really mind. If a team decides they want to focus their time on one aspect and then implement that well and not charge for it then I'm fine with it. If anything the quality reminds me of Golden Eye or Perfect Dark which just adds the humour.
  2. The game has many modes that are featured. They are all worth trying out. It almost seems comes prepacked with a lot of mods. They don't seem to be cleanly executed but the ideas are neat. Glitches aside, the variety can make for a lot of fun. 
  3. Team and solo matches.
  4. Introduces unique mechanics such as rolling to evade. 
  5. Lots of different stuff to use (if you can get your hands on it).
If you don't take it seriously there is a lot to enjoy. Minh Le (developer from Counter Strike) really helped along with this project. It's clear that people are easily picking the mechanics up and having a good time. 

Here is a great first impression look by @TotalBiscuit :

Take what you will from this title but it seems like it has some potential for a fun time but critically it's a bit of a challenge because it induces many laughs on the subject. 

Links to purchase and learn more about the games are below:

  1. The Official Game Website.
  2. Purchase The Game On Steam.
  3. Developer Website.
  4. Publisher website unidentifiable...
  5. Rock, Paper, Shotgun: Last trailer and info on the dev team.

  6. Euro Gamer's Review.
  7. Destructoid Review.