Modeled after a pizza pie with a single slice removed, Pac-Man could be considered gaming’s first Survival Horror star. Think about it, he spends most of his time fleeing from the undead while collecting items in a maze-like environment. Sure, every once in a while he found a power pellet that allowed him to kill a ghost but they never stayed dead. Nom-Nom-Nom.
Posts Tagged ‘gaming’
Reviews are often lengthy, convoluted, and unmistakably bias. Instead of being told what to think about a game, I believe in trying one out for yourself. However, the price of a game usually makes reading a review a necessity. In place of a long, opinionated review, try out the 250 word rundown. These terse reviews offer up a quick glimpse into the game and whether or not it’s worth buying for several types of people.
Age of Empires Online is a free-to-play, always online version of the popular RTS. Although most of the AoE staples are there, including a few new and welcome additions, the game isn’t where it needs to be yet.
Two civilizations are available; Greek and Egypt. These civs have their unique elements but nothing that changes the game outright. Gamers can choose to upgrade their civs to Premium civs which gives them bonuses at higher levels, new units, bigger storage, and the ability to wear rare/epic gear. There’s nothing that makes playing AoE Online as a free player disappointing, but Premium players will be stronger. Not to mention, prices for the Premium civs might seem excessive ($20/civ).
Content is currently available to purchase in the form of a booster pack called The Defense of Crete. This match is a horde mode forcing the player to build quickly, turtle up, and defend for as long as s/he can. A preview of the map is available in the game, a great idea considering buying maps will be a challenge for some.
In the wake of Gamescom and PAX, there is one MMO that I’m anticipating more than any other. Surprisingly, that MMO is Guild Wars 2. I wasn’t really on board for the MMO through most of the announcements over the last year or so. There was nothing really catching my eye. For every positive thing I heard, a developer would debunk it or make it sound less than it actually was. Fortunately, ArenaNet’s showing at Gamescom has completely changed my mind about Guild Wars 2. Here are the nine things that convinced me to support the title, and they’re something every MMO-lover needs to know about Guild Wars 2.
Personal story is paramount in Guild Wars 2. Several, if not most, MMORPGs rely on the gimmick of being “massive” rather than being an RPG. That doesn’t sustain a lot of players. Some players are looking for more than a crowded space, and some want to care about the virtual world in which they play. The personal storyline in Guild Wars 2 aims to remedy that.
A gamer’s personal story begins with character creation and never lets up in GW2. Every character begins a biography at creation based on their race and profession. A personality type is selected and can be altered through actions and decisions in the game. Not to mention, each character’s story will change depending on those actions and decisions creating a unique story where the character is the protagonist. This story is told through personal story quests; usually instanced progress. Characters even get a home city instance to shape through their decisions.
This doesn’t have to be done solo either. Friends can be invited along for a personal storyline quest. He or she will earn karma for the journey, and, if applicable, can choose to use the choices made by the instance owner as their own. A friend inside of another’s personal storyline quest can’t make decisions while in the instance, but the instance will scale for the additional number of players.
Fortunately, there are no traditional quests in this game aside from a gamer’s personal story quests. It sounds odd; an MMO with no quests, but GW2 takes what’s horrible about MMO questing and just gets rid of it. Players won’t compete over mob kills, camp a certain mob to complete a quest, or steal experience from those around them. As long as a player contributes to a kill, he or she gets full experience for the kill and a personal loot roll for the kill. All of this is possible thanks to the dynamic events system.
Dynamic events are the quests of GW2. Instead of running up to an NPC and being told that a town is under attack, players will just see that a town is under attack. The UI will notify them that an event is nearby and players will have the opportunity to save the day. Considering players are supposed to be heroes in the world, it didn’t make much sense to wait to be told to save the day. With dynamic events, it’s almost automatic. The player sees what’s going on and participates. If a player contributes to the fight, he or she is rewarded when the event concludes. Players are never in competition with each other and can help each other without feeling like they are getting in the way.
Gathering and crafting in Guild Wars 2
Players that each others’ company at different levels won’t be bored while one of them gathers for their crafting discipline either. Everyone can gather anything, even from the same node. Unlike other games, where there’s a race to a node or a fight on top of it, GW2 gives the same node to all players. A huge horde of people can collect from the same node because all the node does is lock out to each individual player opposed to being removed from the world when harvested. Not to mention, no skill is required to gather. Everyone just knows how to gather all types of materials in the world. This makes a harvesting node a quick stop that’s beneficial for everyone.
But what does gathering everything in sight afford the player? Luckily, players are not restricted to one crafting profession or discipline. Although crafting is usually labeled as an alternative to questing, it’s always very restricting in its own way. In several MMOs, the player picks a crafting profession (or two) and is stuck with them. Sure, the gamer can “unlearn” those skills to pick up new ones but the old profession is completely lost. In GW2, characters can freely switch between crafting disciplines while retaining what they’ve learned for non-active disciplines. Gamers can make new weapons, armor, accessories, and foods with their disciplines. Nothing crafted is any better than anything found in the game. Letting players retain their recipes and knowledge for disciplines they’re not currently using is a fine way to encourage crafting. With everyone able to gather anything, prices should stay low, and crafting items should become profitable for those with the patience to learn new recipes.
No gear gap in PvP
With all of that in mind, what does that mean for PvP? PvP, in theory, is balanced from the start of the game through the max level of the game. Taking part in PvP in GW2 means being bolstered to the highest level possible, seeing all types of skills even if you don’t have them yet, and standing a chance against your opponents. There’s no gear gap because there’s no PvP leveling. Some might see this as a downside. What’s the point in PvPing then? Players can still earn gear that looks special and the PvP, in theory, should actually be fun if everyone plays on even ground.
Hot Join PvP and Tournament Play are GW2’s structured PvP examples. Hot Join is very much like joining a battleground, scenario, or warfront. However, players have a little more control over the match they’re entering. Gamers can actually view a list of matches currently open and see details like the number of players in the match. They’re easy to get into and easy to leave. Hot Join matches can include anywhere from 1v1 to 10v10. Tournament play is a little different, though. Tournament play uses the same maps as Hot Join PvP, but is much more structured. These matches are always 5v5 and come in a variety of types. There are Pickup Tournaments used to win qualifier points, Monthly Tournaments which require qualifier points to join, Yearly Tournaments that include the winners from the Monthly Tournaments, and Player-run Tournaments that folks set up themselves.
Upon beating Dragon Age II, a post-game save file is created. One would assume this is to allow players the chance to continue their adventures as the Champion of Kirkwall after finishing up the main story. The problem, however, is the only thing gamers can do post-game is run around their mansion (or shop the Black Emporium if they have access). This will finally change late July when the game receives story-driven DLCthat will finally allow players to venture outside of the Hawke Estate after completing the main quest.
What if gaming’s famed plumber was as important to other forms of media as he has been to video games. The famous Italian has been portrayed as other gaming stars, rendered in classically painted portrait form, and now shown as movie stand-in.