Warhammer Online: A Quick Review
September 18, 2012
Warhammer Online is a popular online multiplayer roleplaying game. This game wasn’t developed by a big company like Blizzard or Ubisoft. It started small and over the years it grew to a popular online game. It has a huge following of passionate players that periodically take this game to the next level.
The game was launched before World of Warcraft. Over time, it developed a huge franchise of related games. The most popular Warhammer related games are: Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine and Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes.
The game has a free to play option for people to try it for free. Soon after the launch, the free to play option was expanded so more people could play it. The free to play offer attracted quite a lot of people and the game started to flourish yet again.
The game is all about war, strategy and tactics. It’s a fantasy based game where your character can be part of the Order or Destruction factions. The Order faction includes the following races: Dwarf, Empire Humans and High Elf. The Destruction phase has the following races: Greenskins, Chaos Humans and Dark Elves.
The character will level up and with each level you will unlock new cool features, spells and abilities. The commands are easy to learn and you will quickly and easily feel at home.
The levels of the players are divided into 4 tiers. The first tier comprises of the first 10 levels from 1 to 10. The second one includes 10 levels from 11 to 20. The same rule applies for the last 2 tiers.
Everything you are doing in the game has an impact on your increasing your skill levels. In this sense, the game has to offer and it rewards you anytime you accomplish something. The game has a great feature called the Tome of Knowledge which is a place where you can find everything that you’ve accomplished so far in the game.
You can also team up with other players and achieve together different public quests. Their purpose is to help your characters gain experience that will be useful in the later stages of the game. One of their drawbacks is that it takes awhile to find enough players to team up with.
Probably the most interesting aspect of the game is to play against other players. The feature is called PvP and it lets you destroy the characters of other players, including newbies. The fights are action packed and you will have plenty of them. The only problem with the PvP fights is that there are very few characters in the Tier 2 and 3. As the game becomes more popular, there will be plenty of advanced players.
The game becomes more interesting as your character levels up. You will unlock new quests and different factions that will make the game more challenging and dynamic.
Like in World of Warcraft, you will be able to choose among many career paths. There are 24 careers to choose from. Like in the real world, each of the careers is different and you might not be suited for most of them. Choose wisely your career path.
The Warhammer Online game is social from the ground up. The public quest feature is social by definition. The population of the game is also growing and more and more players will soon join its ranks. When this will happens, the social aspect of the game will become much more important.
The free to play lets you play the first tier of the game. For a small monthly fee, you can unlock all the features of the game. It’s definitely worth the price. The only drawback for paying for the game is the relative low number of people who actually play at these advanced levels.
All in all, this game is a great alternative to World of Warcraft. The best thing you could do is to try it out. Learn first hand how much you enjoy the game. Go right now, sign up for the free to play version and give it a try.
Almost Vegan: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game
August 6, 2012
Almost Vegan: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Video Game
Scott Pilgrim vs The World is a phenomenon in the entertainment industry. In the beginning, there were a few successful graphic novels that featured this Almost Vegan character. Then in 2010, a movie with the same title was produced by Hollywood.
The video game version was released after the movie became a success. The movie got a 7.6 mark on the imdb.com website. The game was released in a timely manner and attracted quite a crowd of people. The game’s producers waited to see how everyone will blog about the movie before promoting heavily the game. Like the game? You’ll love the soundtrack. Click here to preview it.
The price was $10 and the game was programmed and designed by two teams from the game company Ubisoft. This Almost Vegan game doesn’t impress through graphics. But it’s still impressive to the hard core fans that read the graphic novels and watched the movie. This leads me to believe that the game was especially made for the hard core fans who are big time into the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World phenomenon.
Just by playing the game you will realize that the people who created it are hard core gamers who like both to code great games and to also play them. This is why the new Scott Pilgrim vs. The World can be easily compared with Batman Arkham Asylum which was also released after the Batman movie came out.
This is the type of game that lets you play a hero with which you can beat all the bad guys that you can find. Other similar games that I can remember are Double Dragon and River City Ransom. All of these games have the same characteristics: simple graphics, roleplaying game, many bad guys and buildings from 80s.
There’s an entire school dedicated to how to make these types of games. The makers of this game had an entire school of similar games to be inspired by. Ubisoft Montreal and Ubisoft Chengdu took the challenge of creating the Almost Vegan Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. I used to blog about their challenges that most people who do not create games do not understand.
I believe that anyone should write a few posts on their website about this game. This is an addictive game especially if you’ve played many other similar games years ago. It doesn’t impress through state of the art graphics but it impresses through the heart that was put into the making of the game. I can’t really describe it to you, you have to experience it for yourself. It’s like experiencing something for the first time. Scott Pilgrim Vs The World (the movie) is available at iTunes fro $9.99.
Scott Pilgrim is a high school kid who falls in love with his sweety Ramona Flowers. To get her love, he has to overcome the seven axes of evil. Just by knowing this piece of information, it’s quite easy to come up with an idea for a successful game. You will have seven levels in the game. Each level will take place in a Toronto street and each street will be different in some ways from every other street. The bad guys will be different on each street and the last levels will be quite a challenge.
I recommend this game to you and I urge you to blog about it as soon as you play it. Buy to your friends a few copies because it’s just ten bucks. Go right now, get your hands on this well-made game and start playing it.
Game is available on XBox Live and PlayStation Network.
Mass Effect: Kinect Controls Review
January 19, 2012
There’s no question that Mass Effect 3 is one of the most highly anticipated games this year. But now there’s a major advantage to getting the Xbox 360 version – Kinect integration. And we don’t mean the kind of cheap integration with shoddy motion controls and the kind of targeting that makes it feel like a second-rate Child of Eden. Bioware wouldn’t dare take such a second-rate route. Instead, it has put together a system that blends vocal commands with the traditional gameplay that fans have come to know and love. At a recent event this past week during the Consumer Electronics Show, Bioware showed us just how easy it is. It’s the same demo we saw back at San Diego Comic-Con, taking place in an outdoor base during an enemy invasion, but it was still cool to try it with a different play style.
So here’s how it works. There are various sets of commands you can say when you’re in the middle of a game, divided into categories. Some are directed at Shepard, depending whether they’re exploration commands, combat commands or soldier class abilities. Others will require you to call for your teammates to do something, requiring you to say their name and then the action you want them to perform.
For instance, let’s say you want Shepard to change weapons. You can either say “Switch weapons!” and have him go to the default that’s provided as his secondary, or you can actually say the weapon you want him to switch to, and he goes right to it. You can also activate special abilities, such as “Cryo ammo”, and, provided they haven’t been overused, they’ll activate automatically, without the need to tap a bunch of buttons or go into a sub-menu to set them up. (You can also say “Activate” to hit panels or open doors, rather than pressing the A button – you know, in case you’re feeling lazy.)
As for directing your parties, you’ll simply say the name of whoever you want to perform the action, followed by the command. You won’t need to do it rapid fire like “LIARISUBMACHINEGUN”, but rather like you would talking to a regular teammate. So, if you want James to throw a frag grenade at a targeted enemy, line them up in your sights and say, “James, frag grenade!” and he’ll throw it with great success. Likewise, if you want to use Liara’s Stasis, say, “Liara, stasis!” and the enemy will be floating a second later, leaving them open for attack. On a side note, if you’re issuing a non-attack command, like “move” or “follow me”, they’ll acknowledge your request by saying something back, so you know they’re listening.
We were surprised by the responsiveness of the Kinect when it came to receiving commands. We even tried different vocal volumes (first saying, them screaming, then quieter) and found all of our sayings read accurately. What’s more, the game will support multiple languages, including English, French, Italian, German, and British/Australian English. And though the game will have a pre-set list of commands (which should either be included with the Xbox 360 game, or released on Bioware’s site), you can always try shouting stuff out for Easter Egg effect. Who knows, maybe if you say, “Garrus, take a missile to the face!” he might just laugh it off.
One thing we should mention, though – the Kinect integration will only work with the single player Mass Effect 3 mission, and not with online co-op missions. But, really, you don’t need friends screaming back and forth trying to follow commands, do you?
Want to try out these features for yourself? Well, you won’t have to wait long. Bioware also confirmed that it would be releasing a demo for Xbox Live Marketplace on Valentine’s Day, February 14, where you can test out the features for yourself. (Don’t worry, PS3 owners, you’ll get a demo as well, though obviously without the nifty voice features.)
While some of you may see Kinect integration as a novelty rather than a useful gameplay device, Bioware has included it to great effect with Mass Effect 3, and we’re eager to see how the final game holds up with it. Be sure to check back for more impressions and the final review over the next few weeks. Shepard’s saga may be coming to an end, but it’s definitely one worth speaking up about.
Nintendo DS Review: Moshi Monsters Moshling Zoo
January 16, 2012
Moshi Monsters is an online social networking gaming platform much like Facebook that is geared toward children ages seven to twelve. In this game, children adopt and take care of a pet monster. They can buy clothes, food and home decor items for the monster they’ve adopted. There are also books, toys, trading cards, a magazine and now a Nintendo DS game that are available. Moshi Monsters Moshling Zoo is from Activision and was created by Mind Candy.
In Moshi Monsters Moshling Zoo, you are actually caring for the Moshi Monsters’ pets who are called Moshlings. In Moshi Monsters Moshling Zoo, you are the caretaker of the zoo. Your job is to adopt Moshlings and make the zoo the best zoo the world has ever seen.
To play Moshi Monsters Moshling Zoo, you use the stylus to press an arrow left or right to move through each area of the game. Alternately, you can also use the directional key. As you scroll through each area of the game, you will use the stylus to tap on items you find to either collect points or add the item to your inventory. Travelling through the game, you will be told you need some of the items to accomplish something – like an iron to iron napkins or a paintbrush to paint a picture. You will also find things that some of the Moshlings want like a crown for Priscilla Pony. You’ll be given hints throughout the game to help and there is a Monstropedia book with information about each of the Moshlings that can help give you ideas of how to get them to come with you.
Hints appear on the top screen along with how much money you have to spend, how many Moshlings you’ve collected and how many collections you’ve completed. You access your inventory on the bottom screen by tapping the backpack to open it.
As you give the Moshlings what they’re looking for, you are told they would love to be added to your zoo. Once they are added to the zoo, you can visit them there and feed them, clean them up in the pool or play games with them. Each adult Moshling also has a baby Moshling that can be hatched from eggs you find in the game. You put the egg in the daycare and when it’s ready, it hatches and you have more Moshlings in your zoo.
There are 52 different Moshlings to collect in the game and a bunch of fun games and puzzles. Moshi Monsters Moshling Zoo is ideal for someone who is new to video games because the options for movement are limited and the hints are fairly good. Older kids might feel limited by the available options. This game is also a great tie in for kids who are already enjoying Moshi Monsters online. The game even includes an exclusive in game Moshling. There is a card inside with a code to claim it in the online game. Definitely a great starter game for anyone entranced by collecting cute, cuddly animals!
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 Game Review
January 7, 2012
It is the Holiday Season once again, which can mean only one thing: another installment in the Call of Duty series. This year brings us back to Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare series with Modern Warfare 3 (MW3). It’s been 2 years since we left off on the story of Task Force 141 and their mission to take down Russian ultranationalist Vladimir Makarov. This time around developer Infinity Ward has teamed up with Sledgehammer Games to bring the story arc of Soap, Price, and World War III to a close.
If you have played either of the previous Modern Warfare games, then you pretty much know what to expect in this package. If you are expecting anything more, then you will be sadly disappointed. MW3 brings together three distinct modes for the experience. A brief, albeit action-packed, campaign mode, the traditional and overly robust Call of Duty multiplayer offering, and the return of MW2‘s cooperative Spec Ops mode. None of these individual modes really break new ground in their respective genres but rather prove to be refinements of the series’ previous offerings. Considering how much the gaming world seemed to love the previous games, is that necessarily a bad thing?
Buy Modern Warfare 3 for the XBox 360
The campaign portion of the game picks up right where Modern Warfare 2 left off, literally. Just hours after Soap and Price took out General Shepherd, Nikolai has taken them to a safe house in India so that Soap can receive the medical attention that he so direly needs. Meanwhile, the third World War is in full effect and the Russian forces are invading New York City. As you would expect, the adventure will have you jet-setting across the world visiting numerous iconic locales on a variety of missions and exploits.
As expected, each of the missions is set up like the go-home sequence of a summer Hollywood blockbuster; the action is non stop and the pacing is relentless. You will start off the game dodging the falling debris from collapsing skyscrapers on Wall Street and finish by tearing a lush hotel in the Arabian Peninsula down to its core. There are enough huge explosions and catastrophic events in the campaign to make Michael Bay jealous. Unfortunately though, all of the tricks and premises are things that you have seen before. The tricks of the trade are starting to show their age and aren’t nearly as effective as they once were and I am not sure that they will hold up for future games.
This doesn’t mean that the formula doesn’t work this time around. Despite being a familiar experience, it is an exciting and enjoyable one. The game looks and plays as good as any in the series; their expertise with the engine driving the game shows through in every aspect of the game. Experienced players will be able to drive through the campaign experience in about 4 to 5 hours and it is enjoyable enough to warrant subsequent play-throughs on higher difficulty levels. The only real “extra” included this time around is the perennial “intel collection” that is present in most Call of Duty games. There are a variety of laptops and documents hidden throughout the various stages and “completionists” will be spending plenty of extra time tracking each and every one of them down.
Let’s be honest though, this is a Call of Duty game are we aren’t really here for the campaign mode. Multiplayer is where the true fun is to be had in the franchise and that is no different with MW3. You have two options in this game, the standard, full-scale multiplayer option which we will be discussing shortly, and the returning Spec Ops mode(s) which debuted in MW2. The Spec Ops mode allows you and a friend to venture through a variety of missions-based on set pieces from the game’s campaign or to partake in the all new survival mode. You can play through most of the missions by yourself but the true fun is had when you bring in a partner either locally or online to partake in the fun.
Each mission will award you stars for completing them, depending on your difficulty level of choice. Taking them on using the hardest setting will net you the max value of 3 stars while completing them on normal earns you only 1. The more stars that you accumulate, the more missions that you open up for play. While nearly all of the missions will take place on familiar ground if you have completed the campaign, the development team has done a nice job in mixing up the gameplay to keep them from being complete rehashes of the game’s story. For example, during the campaign of the game one mission has you defending the Russian President aboard his private plane as a member of his security team during a hijacking; in the Spec Ops version, you will take on the role of the hijackers and launch an assault on the plane and take the President hostage. It is pretty entertaining to see things from the other side of the tale and keeps things fresh even though the same source material is being used.
The Survival mode, while nothing new to the shooter genre, is a lot of fun and can provide endless entertainment for you and a friend. You can think of it as Infinity Ward’s answer to either Gears of War’s Horde mode or perhaps the Black Ops zombie mode. Players are placed in the middle of a map and subjected to wave after wave of enemy attacks. The variation in the enemies is mixed up as you go along in order to keep things fresh as theoretically this mode is never-ending. You will start off facing simple packs of pistol-packing thugs and eventually face onslaughts from suited Juggernauts, tactical insurgents, and even airstrikes and attack helicopters. Plus, when you think that you have seen enough of all of those things on their own, you will start getting combinations of them simultaneously.
There is an added element of strategy involved too as you will gain access to up to three computers which you can use to purchase upgrades using money you earn from your performance in each round. Money is gained not only from killing enemies, but by performing feats such as rapid-kill-streaks and speed bonuses for completing the round. You start off with a simple pistol and whatever rifles your opponents drop; after the first wave is completed the first PC opens up which gives you access to ammunition refills and various firearms. After that, a PC is earned with explosive options such as grenades and C4 as well as defensive offerings like armor upgrades and sentry guns.
The final PC that you will unlock gives you the ability to purchase various airstrikes and support offerings to be used during battle. Each PC is placed in a different location on the map and it becomes a balancing game in order to strategically move your self around the map within the brief break times between rounds. There is little time to purchase upgrades during the heat of battle so you will need to make the best out of the few seconds you have between waves in order to purchase what you need.
My only complaint about the Spec Ops mode, Survival in particular, is that you are limited to only 2 players for cooperative play. It would have really strengthened the experience if you could play with at least 4, especially considering that is the amount of players supported in the zombie modes of other Call of Duty titles. It isn’t an option though and what is here is super-entertaining, it just could have been so much more.
Last, but certainly not least, is the competitive multiplayer suite that each Call of Duty title brings. The offerings of MW3 may be the most robust and refined yet in the entire franchise. All of the expected modes are back: deathmatch, team deathmatch, and domination, as well as a few new variations. The most notable new addition is a mode entitled “Kill Confirmed” . This team based variation of team deathmatch sees downed players dropping a pair of dog tags onto the map when they die. The kill itself doesn’t register for a team though until those dog tags are collected. This gives players a chance to collect the dog tags of their fallen comrades and deny points for kills earned by the other team. Kill Confirmed is a fun variation on the standard deathmatch formula and one that will likely become very popular with MW3.
Another new mode is called Team Defender and provides a variation on the typical capture the flag formula. In this mode, teams are awarded points for capturing and holding onto a flag planted in the middle of the map. There is only one flag though and you don’t return it to your base to earn points; instead, points rack up the longer that your team manages to maintain possession of the flag. When your team has possession of the flag, kills are worth twice the amount of points as the team who doesn’t have the flag. Once a gain, this is a nice variation on a multiplayer staple (mode) that could easily become a standard in the series.
Infinity Ward has gone to great lengths to refine the killstreak and leveling system of the game which makes for a re-freshened multiplayer experience. Gone on the days when the person who can rack up the most kill sis the only player awarded with bonuses and power ups. Killstreaks in general are a thing of the past and the new concept used in the game is referred to as the point-streak. Point streaks can be earned in a variety of ways, including but not limited to killing opponents. Now, you earn points and subsequent bonus streaks for things such as accumulated assists, flag captures, and even planting the bomb in the Search and Destroy mode. Depending on the streak classification that you have chosen for a given class, the rewards will range vary in their type. There are 3 classes of reward streaks, which are referred to as Strike Packages, that you can select: Assault, Support, and Specialist.
The Assault package is pretty much the same killstreak style package that players will recognize from previous games. You will be given offensive rewards for racking up consecutive kills during a game. These include things such as UAV drones, airstrikes, and attack choppers. These are accumulated up until you are killed and will reset with each respawn that you incur. The Support package on the other hand accumulates over the course of the entire match and isn’t reset upon your death. You can earn points in this category for not just killing opponents, but completing the various actions listed above such as assists and flag captures. The final package is the Specialist grouping which awards you player perks for every 2 kills that you accumulate consecutively. If you can manage to rack up 8 consecutive kills without dying, you will be equipped with every perk in the game.
The new streak system makes the game more enjoyable for players such as myself who aren’t always at the top of the leaderboard within multiplayer matches. It is beneficial for newer and less-experienced players to set their strike package to Support in order to get their selves a tactical advantage during the matches and help them keep up with the competition. There is nothing worse than never getting the edge in a heated multiplayer match while your opponents are nailing you with airstrike after airstrike and predator missile after predator missile. Thanks to the varied options now available, you can help ensure that doesn’t happen and stengthen your gameplay abilities over time to the point where you too can earn repeated airstrikes and missiles.
The leveling system of the game has gone back to the Modern Warfare standard of weapon unlocks coming from simply achieving new levels. Those who became fond of the Black Ops system of currency and the purchasing of unlocks are going to be saddened as that entire system is gone. Players are awarded new weapons at each new level earned within the multiplayer mode. You are also given a new option in terms of leveling your individual weapons as well which is how you will gain access to things such as sights and weapon perks. It is a nice feature to be rewarded for increasing your proficiency with a specific weapon and it really helps to encourage players to focus on the guns that they like. It used to be that you could simply bank a ton of money and completely “deck out” a powerful weapon and gain an advantage on the battlefield, but now you have to not only earn the right to use a weapon, but prove that you can use it before you are given a chance to power it up.
All things considered, I am very happy with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The game doesn’t break any new ground, which will upset some people, but it does prove as a near perfect refinement of the Modern Warfare formula and shows that Infinity Ward knows how to make a Call of Duty game. They made the best World War II era shooters and now they make the best modern era shooters. Perhaps it is time that they set their sites on another era for their next game though. The truth is, you know what you are going to get in this package before you even buy it and it you liked the previous offerings, you are sure to like this one as well.