A long wait almost over.


So you guys who read my blog may have noticed that for almost two months, nothing new has come out. I missed epic content like GW2 and TL2 just to name a few. The reason for that is a lack of internet in my new apartment. However, as of the 17th I will be back in business and releasing new content again. I might even try my hand at some new stuff like Vlogs/ other video content to spice it up a little. Anyways, this was just a polite note to remind you that I’m still here and that you shouldn’t unfollow me just yet! 😛

As always, keep gaming!
Cale

Disappointment.


*Sighing* Hey guys.

I’m in a bad mood this week, thanks to a crappy weekend of failure. As I’m sure most of you know, Guild Wars 2 hosted its final open Beta weekend before the release of the game. I had hoped to have some juicy pictures and stuff to show you all, as well as a better idea of the game itself, since I’ve not played any of the previous beta’s. Unfortunately this did not occur, as you may have guessed.  It started off so well, Friday night, creating my avatar, running around the starting zones and generally getting a feel for the game. Then, catastrophe! My internet was down ALL WEEKEND. I had less than an hour of gameplay before life decided that GW2 was too good for me and that I could not have nice things.

So yeah. Pissed off. At least there is still the Planetside 2 beta I suppose. I have priority beta access for that, but I just can’t get excited about non-fantasy MMO’s. No matter how good they are. It just isn’t a setting I have much interest in. Having said that, The Secret World was entertaining, so there is hope yet.

Hopefully you guys had a better experience than I did, I would love to hear from you all about how amazing the game is that I did not get to play. I might strangle you after, but hey, it’s all good.

Keep gaming folks, see you next post.

Cale.

Creative Assembly, not so creative?


Hey guys!

So yesterday, Total War: Rome II was announced for release by Creative Assembly, following their trend of re-making all of their previous games. Much like Medieval II and Shogun II, the game will improve on the original and add extra dimensions to the gameplay. Obviously the game will include better graphics and animations, as well as (hopefully) a more intelligent AI to make battles feel more realistic. That is great, but really, must they re-make every game? Why can’t you just move on to something new and leave the classics alone?

…Oh wait, they tried that, they called it Empire Total War and Napoleon Total War. They weren’t all that good, I remember now.

I have to say I am not at all surprised by this news, as they say themselves in an interview with PCGamer; “it’s the most asked for sequel on the forums.” So why would they not want to do a re-make? Personally I would rather see them move into new territory, I think there is huge scope for Middle east games in several era’s, as well as in China. One could even go so far as to suggest a more modern version, though Paradox might have that nailed with their Hearts of Iron series.

Anyway, I will leave you to make your own minds up about this one. See the videos below for PCGamer interviews with Creative Assembly:

As always, keep gaming!

Cale.

3DS XL: Shipping without an AC


Hey guys!

So Nintendo have anounced that the 3DS XL will be shipped without an AC adaptor, or charger for lay folk. This does only apply to Europe and Japan, Americans will get one.

The reason behind this is to cut the cost of buying the console as many people will have a DS already and thus a working AC to use. That is all well and good, but I know for a fact that on release people will trade in their DS which needs the charger to be included in order to reduce the cost of the new console, so how will they use the thing?

What about those people who didn’t buy the 3DS because it was too small or too awkward to use? They have to buy an accessory on top of the console, which you need in order to use it and should have been with the console in the first place. You cannot work off the assumption that most people have your product, its bad customer service and it is bad business. If I had to buy a console AND then pay even more for something that should be included as standard, then I just would not buy either one. Instead of taking bits out to reduce costs, include everything but still lower the price. Consoles sell at a loss on release anyway, but giving a good deal could increase your sales figues substantially.

Finally, why do Americans get one? I fail to understand why they alone get an AC adaptor… But hey, what do I know?

Let me know your thoughts below!
As ever, keep gaming. 🙂

Cale.

Steam: Change is in the wind


Hey guys!

Another bit of news for you. According to PCGamer, Valve have announced changes to their platform known to us common folk as ‘Steam’. These changes concern both the application and update processes which Steam hosted games go through.

No longer will Steam choose which games they allow on their service! It will be up to you to vote for the games you want to play. Could this put an end to the quality assurance we currently have from them? Most big titles end up on Steam and a lot of those are less than good, so did we have quality assurance anyway? Regardless, this will mean that games are voted for based on their trailers, which I’m sure you all agree, in no way indicates how good a game will be.

The second change is a hands off approach to updating games on Steam. Content will no longer need approval from Valve before it is released, allowing for more updates to fix issues at a faster rate. Less red tape sounds like an excellent idea to keep people happy. The downside is that Steam is not responsible for any issues that occur as a result of the updates, though big issues would be forwarded to the producers on your behalf.

That is about the sum of it, time will tell if the change is a positive one, though I think it has an equal share of pro’s and con’s.

Let me know what you think!
As always, keep gaming.

Cale.

Guild Wars 2 Beta key Give-away!


Hey guys,

A bit of news for you today, Curse.com are giving away weekend beta access keys for the Guild Wars 2 Beta weekend on the 20th of July. All you have to do is sign up for free to their website. If you haven’t had a chance to play any of the previous beta’s and are still curious as to how this game will work on launch, why not head over now and grab a key? The link to the give-away is here.

Get on it fast though, there were only 20,000 keys to be given out as of the start point at midnight pacific time so there may not be many left!

Best of luck and enjoy the beta!

Cale

Long time, no see…Witchers and Religions


Hey guys!

I know it has been a while since my last post, but I promise I haven’t forgotten you all! I’ve been really busy with RL stuff as well as completely absorbed in a few games that I have been playing. I will try to return to a more regular level of posting but in the run up to August the RL stuff is going to consume more and more of my time so I can’t promise anything.

So you may be wondering what games have stolen me away from blogging for all this time. Even if you aren’t, I’m going to tell you anyway… I finally managed to get my hands on The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, albeit for the Xbox 360 as I still do not have my own pc to play on. This game blew me away with amazement, it has everything it should have and more.

The story is compelling and filled with decisions which lead to one of several outcomes, each with their own end scenes which lead to a dramatic cliff hanger. Very rarely is control taken from the player when it comes to decision-making. Though you are following the story of a set character, Geralt, he is yours to mould as you see fit. He can either be a murdering jackass with no scruples, a troubled soul with a chivalrous heart, or something in between. His disposition has no effect on the game as in titles like Mass Effect, only his actions decide the outcome. Obviously if you are playing as a murdering jackass, you would kill people rather than be merciful, which affects the game, but you get my point I’m sure.

The animation in the game is pretty good, people move pretty much as they should and monsters feel like monsters. The combat in the game is fairly basic with two weapon types and three moves, but it works well. You can dodge and block to negate damage, and you have a fast and a powerful attack that you can use on different types of enemy or use them together to create special combo attacks. The basic level of combat really did not bother me, as I have said before, combat is a tool to further tell the story of the game. I don’t play an RPG for the challenge, if I want that I will play an RTS.

The voice acting was also quite impressive, as it was in the first game. The speech felt natural, the voices suited the characters pretty well, though some of the dwarves were a little over the top I felt. The lip synching was reasonable as well, keeping me immersed rather than getting frustrated.

All in all this was a great game which made up for my awful experience with Dragon’s Dogma. It’s a shame that my list of good RPG’s to play has run dry though since I enjoy them the most. Perhaps I shall replay Geralt again and try to uncover as many endings as I can.

The second game I have been playing a lot is the expansion for Civilization V, Gods and Kings. Like many people I was disappointed with Civ V on release, having bought it on day one and finding that there were no religions or offline multiplayer functions and they had changed the way culture worked. I had other problems with the game too, the main one being the uselessness of the city states. With the arrival of Gods and Kings a lot of my issues were resolved, and as such Civ V has actually become enjoyable, much to the delight of my girlfriend who really wanted something for us to play together.  The offline multiplayer had been fixed in a patch previous to the expansion’s release, so if you have been stuck with your head in the sand, you can now LAN and hot seat, so get on that!

The new expansion at a basic level has made Civ V into a prettier and more streamlined Civ IV, putting religion back into the game as well as adding spies and new rulers. At a mechanical level though, the religions and spies are totally different to what we saw in Civ IV. In the past you would research a technology which would unlock a religion for the first to discover it, giving you no legitimate bonuses aside from more culture and cultural buildings, as well as enabling a more advanced player to sweep up several religions and become a cultural superpower. It works out differently in Gods and Kings. This time you have “Faith” which you earn as you would culture, through buildings or leader bonuses or even social policies. At a certain amount of points (which varies depending on your game speed and who has acquired one before you) you can create a “Pantheon” which allows you to pick a bonus from a list which will eventually become the core of your religion. At a later point when you have enough faith you can found a religion. You can use preset icons of real world faiths but you can name your faith what ever you like if you would rather not be Christian, Taoist etc. You can then pick two more bonuses for your civilization, allowing you to adapt a religion to your style of gameplay. Are you going for a cultural victory? Get culture bonuses. A domination victory? Happiness and offense/defense bonuses are key for you. It really adds another level to the gameplay and I think it works pretty well. Finally you can enhance your religion with a great prophet, which gives you one final bonus. This may sound like a way to power through the game, but the faith required for each step increases dramatically, spacing out your bonus acquisition. I’ve found that by the Medieval – Renaissance era I have founded my religion and enhanced it.

There have also been some AI upgrades, making it smarter and thus more challenging and more responsive to your own strategies. The early modern era has been expanded, as has naval combat, for which you can now gain Great Admirals to aid your sea warfare and some melee naval units to complement your traditional ranged sea warfare. Three new scenarios have also been added centred around the Fall of Rome, the Renaissance and the Victorian period if that is your kind of thing. If you like achievements, you will also be happy to know that Civ V: Gods and Kings adds another 52 to steam, so get busy!

Additionally, nine new leaders have been introduced to the game:

Well that’s all from me folks, hopefully you are all getting your gaming hats on in the run up to summer vacations and the like.

Until next time!

Cale.