Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Set me a challenge!

So I've been thinking recently, maybe the games I'm looking at aren't to your liking. That's cool. If they're not maybe give me some idea as to what you want me to look at. It could be anything, whether it be Hello Kitty on the Playstation 2 or even Lylat Wars on the Nintendo 64. Any game, any console. If I can get my hands on it, I'll play it and tell you about it.

This is not a cry of a desperate man, but a call out to anyone wanting to make their opinions known. I will play anything. ANYTHING!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Diary of an MMORPG player: Flyff, Day 4

This game is broken.

The quest asked me to collect 15 'Mia Dolls' from the enemy 'Mia' which are little girls with a ball and chain who are...life-like dolls?

So I get to my 15th Mia Doll after about an hour of killing them off and I go to pick it up and...it's...floating?

I know the screenshot shows a bag of Penya (the currency) but the same thing happened on a hard-to-get quest item. Get over yourself you Flyff-freaks.

Okay, so it's floating. No big deal. Yeah, I can tell myself that, but when my character runs back and forth underneath it travelling 4 pixels each way, you know you're never going to pick up that item. Ever.


So now that's out of the way, I'd like to speak to you about the best combo to ever be seen by me at such my low level (which when writing this, is roughly 30). Since my job is an acrobat and I use bows and arrows or a pair of yo-yos (which I only use if I run out of arrows) I've found the best action combo to date. First, some backstory on what the action moves are.

Action moves are like your special hotkey moves, except that the key you press is "C" and you can have between 1 and 5 moves in the action bar, whether they're 5 different moves or 5 of the same. They're your job-specific special attacks, in other words. They mostly use up FP (Fighting Points or Fatigue Points), which is that green bar you see in the screenshots, but they can also use MP (Magic Points) which is the blue bar. However, it's not something you can spam, as every time you use your designated actions the bar decreases by half a slot before slowly recharging. There are ways around this though, which brings me to my favourite combination at the present time.

Here's the status bar. Green = FP bar and Blue = MP bar.

This potion is one of the best I've used so far. Unlimited MP use for 20 minutes. You can get these from quests.

This is your Action Bar. See the black bar on the side? That's the cooldown and whatever's got the black on it can't be used until the cooldown recharges/goes away.

This give you unlimited use for your action bar, getting rid of the cooldown.

For my combination, you need to first use a Refresher Hold, which not only refills your MP bar but gives you infinite MP for 20 minutes. Then I would use an Enhanced Activition which allows infinite actions to take place for 30 minutes. After filling in your action bar with 5 slots of "Rapid Shot", which sends down 3 arrows at a time, four times (in other words it's 4(3x) where x = an arrow, for the math-savvy and for those who failed maths, it sends 12 arrows) you spam "C". This makes quick work of nearly every enemy under level 35, which for someone under level 30, is pretty good. It cuts through them so quickly, my mercenary friend was jelly. Flavour? Raspberry.

Before I finish this post for today, I'd like to show you a second quest from one of the NPCs.

If you look at the writing at the bottom, she seems so sweet. Especially after giving me 100,000 Penya.

Oh no, the knives are rusty! Maybe she should go over to the food shop and see if he has any cooking utensils. I'm sure you have something else pre-prepared in the fridge.

Look, I'm pretty sure you'll be fine without some knives. Maybe use your hands? It's not like there's a problem with your mothering...

"Once again be a fit mother"? That's a bit harsh. But anyway, Sharp Edges aye? I'm sure I can find like an old piece of machinery and pull off some non-rusty parts. That should be fine, right?

Wait what?! Pulling off their legs?? A 'little' vicious?! And I said that this game was for a younger audience, how wrong I was. This game is for serial killers and those with an addiction to pull things off other living beings!

This is the part where over-protective parents say "Protect the kids! Ban this game!". They are idiots. It's not going to stop me questing, whether it be this quest telling me to rip the legs off Mantis' to make knives or to slay countless pumpkins to find the right amount of matches (I think it's a Halloween reference). Either way, let's see what kind of black magic this game can throw at me now that I'm a level 30. Flyff, SHOW ME YOUR WORST!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Review: Just Cause

Have you ever seen a game and thought to yourself "That is going to be the best game ever! OMG!"? Chances are you've seen a preview or a review in a magazine, on the internet or from a friend and your expectations are really high for when you get the game. You're told:

• A massive amount of space to explore.
• A huge gallery of weapons.
• Lots of vehicles to use.
• You can do tricks and stuff on the vehicles and jump from one to the other!
• You can fly helicopters and it is SIK BRO!

Sometimes it's only one of the above, sometimes it's two. When I first heard about Just Cause my expectations included all five.


The game map is around 1000km squared alone, which is a hell of a lot of travelling time on foot. I suppose that's why they have a large selection of vehicles including tanks, tractors, jet skis, speedboats, helicopters, fighter jets and even huge passenger jets. Sounds pretty cool right? Then you have the weapons which include pistols, machine guns, shotguns, grenade launchers and the obligatory rocket launcher. It even has a grappling hook, which is an integral part of the game. As I said; from the information above, expectations were pretty high.

After playing the game and beating it's very small campaign of 22 missions (which can be completed in a couple of hours), the game feels bare. It feels repetitive. It feels as though they tried to fit all these cool ideas in and then tripled their appearances. Quite frankly, I was pretty disappointed. The game promised so much and left me feeling like I played something empty. I had no joy for the most part. I didn't connect with the characters. Rico, the protagonist and your character, has very few lines which are only in the script because of his European accent. Your so-called "guide" Tom is probably the better character, but he talks way too much. The characters just don't feel balances enough in the right areas.

Stolen, but oh so true.

Now onto those points; the selling points for the game.

Most vehicles are useless. You may think you're cool stealing a car and running over a few motorists on their motorbikes, but once you unlock the ability to call in a little gyrocopter to wherever you are, there's no point using a vehicle. This is nowhere near Grand Theft Auto, yet it tried so hard. And it's selling point of the helicopters? There are some like the gyrocopter which are alright to use. The rest? Utterly hopeless. You may think it's easy to either go up or down, side to side, forward and back but the way it does it, which I'm guessing is trying to be as life-like as possible, is annoying as hell. If I needed to travel to one side of the massive map, I'd use a helicopter, but I usually ended up getting it to top speed, aiming it to where I wanted to go and then jump out and holding on to the back. Doing a "trick" such as this locks the vehicles speed and altitude, so you could put the controller down and go make yourself a cup of tea while you're travelling from North-East to South-West.

Pictured: Cheating.

Speaking about the map, it is big. Not quite as big as something like The Elder Scrolls III: Morowind but it's big enough to take 20 minutes to get from one side to the other. Most of it has nothing in it as well. Once I finished the main campaign I set a task for myself to go around the whole map clockwise and liberate every government-controlled or Mendoza-controlled town, army base or city. This, so far, has taken longer than the campaign itself. Then there are the collection items, which may sound like a lot when you consider there's over 100 across the entire map but compared to the feathers in Assassin's Creed II, it's super-easy. They appear as black dots on your map anyway, so the challenge to find them is replaced by the challenge of which direction to collect them from in relation to the whereabouts of the next closest one.

For reference:
GTA III: 8 sq.km
GTA VC: 10 sq.km
GTA SA: 36 sq.km
GTA IV: 8 sq.km
Oblivion: 41 sq.km
Fallout 3: 41 sq.km
Farcry 2: 50 sq.km
Just Cause: 1,000 sq.km

There's not much to say about the weapons except that they all lock on to the enemies (except the grenade launcher, which is fairly awesome once acquired). They all also follow the similar routine of:

1. Cast your view across the battlefield
2. Lock onto enemy
3. Spray bullets until the enemy is dead
4. Repeat steps 1-3 until all enemies are dead
5. ???
6. Profit!

One thing about Just Cause which I believed worked to their advantage was the grappling hook. Just lock onto the vehicle you want to use and pull the trigger. Once grappled, you can parasail after them, travel toward them and drive or release the grapple, lock onto another vehicle and grapple onto that vehicle. When starting off, this is generally the best way to move around unless you find a really fast car and an empty, eight-lane freeway. The other thing which I found myself doing was getting a helicopter and going up. Forever. Well, eventually the game's invisible walls stopped you, but once you got high enough you can get out of the vehicle and skydive down to the islands below. The views here are pretty good. Then you can release your parachute whenever you want and travel down slowly, wasting your endless time to end the government's rule and help the revolution. It's best to do this during the day as at night, contrary to popular belief, there are hardly any lights and a plane can run into you.

From such a height, you can put the controller down for a bit and rest your hands. Not like you would've played long enough for that, but the opportunity's there.

I haven't really touched on the story in this review and my reasoning for that it that it's empty. They had an opportunity to explore everything about a revolution yet instead chose to make the game more about flying around in helicopters. Plus the whole revolution thing doesn't sound like it's working when you're doing the same fetch-quest side mission for the fifth time, stealing the same tank from the same place. It just feels like it's all a game to them…

Oh wait.


Platform Used: Xbox 360

Score: 6/10

Recommendation: Try, but stay frosty.

Avalanche Studios tried really hard with this (you'd like to think so) and they had such a good idea. It's repetitive. A secret opperative trying to help overthrow a government in an open-world setting is golden, but they didn't quite pull it off. It's repetitive. I think I've got to try Just Cause 2 to see if they've improved.

Also, it's repetitive.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Diary of an MMORPG player: Flyff, Day 3

Ding! Level 15 Reached!

It may not be an achievement in Borderlands but it's the truth about my character in Flyff. Level 15 is pretty much the next stage in your life; just like your seedy adolescence, it is the time to get your first job. And let me tell you that they pay really good too, better than the $1.10 you can make elsewhere.

You have four jobs to choose from at level 15 and these branch out into subcategories, but we'll focus on these first jobs...first. It is also the time where you have to consider joining a party as some quests will require a party for completion and the jobs sort of compliment each other in a sense. However, I'll get to that a bit later.

We'll be going through this 100%...if I play for that long.

Acrobat: The Acrobats are the types to stand back with a bow and arrow (or even an over-sized double yo-yo) and use their speed to attack quickly from a distance, run away for a bit and continue the attacking. In a party they can sit back while a Mercenary tanks (see: Mercenary) and continue firing from a distance, meaning that assists can usually ignore them as they'll be the last ones to get attacked.

Assist: Assists to just that: assist. They're like the white mage of the group, the healers. Their job by themselves is to use a two-handed stick and hope that they don't die while repeatedly healing themselves. In a party, they heal everyone else and bring them back from the dead. Against tougher enemies such as bosses or monsters in the Colosseum, an Assist is a must. The downside? You barely see any around as you're not the one killing the monsters. It's sort of an "in the background" job if you ask me.

Magician: There are no balloon animals from the magicians (as far as I know. That would be SO cool if there was). These guys (or gals) are your stock black magic characters. Using your trusty staff, you're there to FSU with some magic. To be honest, I know the least about this class. Maybe time to get one in my party for a game of 20 questions...

Mercenary: Do you like big-ass swords? Are you a fan of small creatures with a red ball on their head that follow you around and sell you items? If so, you'll love Kingdom Hearts or Final Fantasy. For those of you who like buffing up their health, healing items such as potions and food at the ready and the ability to make an aggressive monsters think "I want to make him tomorrow afternoon's pate", then the Mercenary is for you! The Mercenary is your primary attacker and your tank. If you don't know what a tank is in the terms I'm using, it's the player who has the high defence and high health who takes the attacks of the enemy while everyone else gets off scot-free. This is pretty much my definition of the Mercenary.

After looking at all the jobs, I decided on choosing the Acrobat job, mainly because I'm not a magic sort of person (unless it's fireballs at the start of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion) and my friend who got me to play Flyff chose the Mercenary. I thought that sitting back shooting arrows sounded pretty cool anyway, compared to healing everyone else while they get the experience. So I get a little present in my inventory, I open it up and get new armour including boots, chest armour, gauntlets and a hat. After looking at the nearest weapons shop at all the new stuff I could buy, I realised that the armour I was given was better than the best armour the shop had, which I couldn't buy until I was level 24. Broken armour is broken?

So that's the first tier of jobs right there. I'm going to try and look at a couple of individual quests next time I get around to playing, as I've done some so far which would fit under the category of ''weird'' and I'm sure there's going to be even worse. I'll also try and get a couple more screens of the actual game world instead of the usual stock photos. =P

Friday, January 20, 2012

Diary of an MMORPG player: Flyff, Day 2

Okay, I admit it. That previous post probably didn't help my cause about playing Flyff. But you know what? Neither do I, that's why I'm asking. >.>

So anyway, I started off my adventure in a little town called Flarine. Now you might expect the town to be the size of a town like, say, Pallet Town? Well, it's larger than that. In fact, it's so big it has a Flarine Central, Flarine East and a Flarine North. Nope, no West or South. Not cool enough methinks.

Is it just me, or does it look like an ax on it's side?

So you start in Central Flarine and you accustom yourself to many of the different stalls. I'm one of those impatient people when it comes to some games, so I didn't read much of the text as I went through all of the introductory quests. However, it got to a stage where I was told to go to the Shield Shop. Me, being the brute that I am, didn't necessarily want a shield...

(Weapons) Boboku: "Now you're ready to look at shields."

[Quest Declined]

(Weapons) Boboku: "Look, I know it's not as exciting as axes and swords, but you'll need one just the same. Plus he's got plenty of other stuff for sale, so pay him a visit."

[Quest Declined]

(Weapons) Boboku: "Go see Luda next door at the Shield Shop and he'll take care of you (otherwise I will)."

That hammer isn't just for show...

The NPC was bigger than me and I'm pretty sure was also invincible, so I didn't like my chances. I ended up getting some pissy shield, because no-one cares about a Level 1 when you have to go and kill the easiest enemies around: an Aibatt.

It's like a cross between a Zubat and a Gastly while equally as common.

Anyway, a couple of hours pass (because I can say that SO casually) and I return to the Flarine's historian Martinyc after finishing one of her quests, ready to start a new one. This is where the game really shines. Well, I shouldn't really say that, but the following situation will bring to light exactly what these NPCs actually expect of me:

[Historian] Martinyc: “I received plenty of money to study history thanks to you.”

[From previous exchanges, I've found out that most of the history books are corrupt, with fake entries and whatnot.]

[Historian] Martinyc: “The other day I was almost killed by renegade Blades but I cannot stop now. No matter what the History Society wants.”

[Um...what? You survived an attempted assassination by the...History Society? You are a ditsy NPC, how the hell did you survive??]

[Historian] Martinyc: “I will found out the true history of Madrigal, I have to. Would you please help me? The danger for you could be great however.”

[I'm pretty sure you meant "find". As for the danger being great? It can't be too much harder than some level 12 Lawolves.]

[Historian] Martinyc: “Will you help me regardless of the danger?”

[Hang on a second here. Regardless? This could be a trick. You might be the Devil Incarnate ready to bring forth a volcano from where I stand with the click of your fingers. I could be captured, mutilated horribly and then tortured for whatever information I hold, which is practically nothing because I've skipped most of the game's dialogue. TL;DR: I'm having second thoughts here...]

Pictured: Danger.

So anyway, I'm reaching level 15 soon, which means that I can get rid of the label "Vagrant" and I can choose my first job. Hopefully these jobs have a better pay rate than some fast food outlets and service stations...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Diary of an MMORPG player: Flyff, Day 1

So a friend came to me today and said "Hey, I found this MMO while looking for something besides Puzzle Pirates. You may like this.". Yes, I realise that the first line of this entry makes it sound like my friend plays games directed at little kids, but who's to say it can't be played by older gamers? Anyway, he pointed me towards this game called Flyff. It looks like a spelling error, doesn't it? Yeah, well, it's not. It stands for "Fly for Fun". Either way, I'm open to play any game, so I booted it up and gave it a try. Once I did, I realised a few problems within the first few minutes.

Firstly, I opened up the program and after the obligatory patches and whatnot, I was presented with a window of white. Windows then decided to pop on over after having too much Chrome and said

"Oh hai! Looks like Flyff is not responding. Shut everything down? =)"

"No, I just want the game to work. Maybe if I gave it some time..."


"I think I can wait it out. I'm not in a rush or anything-"


I was *this* close to being mad, but I'm good now. The monitor? Not so much...

So after clicking "Restart Later" lo and behold, Flyff started to work! After signing in and clicking my preferred server, which my friend was positive is one of the best servers, I was told yet again that the program was not responding. However, this didn't stop it from actually signing in to the server and working like it should.

Okay, before we go any further, here's the back story on Flyff. I'll try and make it as simple as possible (not that it needs to get any simpler) and break each chapter down into dot points. Quick tip: there are 4 chapters. The last one is two sentences long. Here we go!

Chapter 1:
- There were 5 big, awesome dudes called the "Creators" who ruled just about everything.
- They got bored.
- They decided to create a world of magic because, well, I don't know, they were bored?
- The elements used were Water, Earth, Wind, Fire and...Lightning?
- They called it Roika, probably because "Metropolis" is over-used.

Chapter 2:
- Humans were the dominant species because ants weren't around.
- The Humans grew lonely and wanted companions. I'm guessing for the same reason sheep are found in New Zealand. (I may assume incorrectly and I apologise if I do)
- Dwarpets were born because 'why have a pet, when it can be a Dwarpet?' (Dwarpets are "skilled humanoids" that possess secrets, because what's a game without secrets?)
- Dwarpets and Humans ran the world for generations. I'm guessing not long enough for sharks to start growing legs and begin their conquest on land.
- The Creators grew bored of the new world they created, so like a child in a zoo, moved on to something better.
- Because the Humans and Dwarpets begged and asked really nicely, the Creators left a protector to...protect?
- The protector got lonely because they didn't have a sexy secretary named Lily.

Chapter 3:
- The protector made three "Clown Gods" because IT isn't scary enough, so you need three.
- One represented joy and purity. Another represented fear and anger (so wait, they actually made IT? What's more, a female one??) and the third represented apathy and neutrality. Yes, that's right, make an apathetic Clown God. I can see how that goes down. Let me guess, he's not convinced to doing the shows because he can't be bothered walking around in shoes 10 sizes too big. That's probably it.
- So then IT decides it would be best to "create disorder" and so she breaks off a part of Roika so that she could see all the mortals on the newly floating block slowly wither and die. Painfully. This soon-to-be-dead rock became known as Madrigal.
- The Humans and Dwarpets on Madrigal proceeded to give IT the single digit salute and rebuilt their cities, mocking their Clown God.
- IT got pissy, called cheat and then created her own race called the Masquerpets to destroy Madrigal.
- The joy and purity Clown God suddenly became non-joyous and Falcon Punched Madrigal into 3 separate continents.
- The apathetic Clown God did nothing. At all. Like a boss.
- There were apparently 8 or so Heroes who then opened up a can of Shaq-Fu on IT, saving Madrigal, but nobody really cares any more. It was SO long ago...

Chapter 4:
- Everybody on Madrigal starts training for the day IT decided it's time for Round 2.
- ...that's it. I fit both sentences into the one dot point. There is nothing else to add.

This is what makes a clown apathetic. Treat them nice kids!

So yeah, that's the ingenious back story behind Flyff. I have one comment to make about all of that: everyone's bloody forever alone, aren't they? Geez, the Humans, the protector, just everyone. So alone. I'm sick of that 'alone' crap. Couldn't they think of some better reasons? Also, an apathetic clown? Really? Sounds more like the writers couldn't be bothered thinking of something better...

I'll come back to a point I briefly mentioned in the intro: "is this really a game for kids, or is it a childish game for adults?" Me? I don't know personally, which is why I'll play and find out.

Finally, into the game we go...next post. =P

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Review: Gravity Bone

Where to start with this one? Labelled a marvel, the best 'art-house' game of 2008 (by Game Tunnel) and loved by those who played it. Brandon Chung may have just found his 15 seconds of fame, or more realistically, 15 minutes.

Gravity Bone is different. It's not an A-grade game. It doesn't have a 20 hour campaign or hundreds of side quests. It has 2 levels. Two. It feels as though it was either a large-scale project ended prematurely or a big idea with only a small taste to show what it was. It's more like a portfolio piece; it's only a little side-project and only used to show off it's wares. That's what I got from it anyway.

The first thing you notice when you start Gravity Bone is the way it puts you straight into the...whatever it is. I was going to say action, but it's not really action, or is it? I guess that's one of the details the game has; it doesn't have a lot of anything but it has bucket-loads of everything else. Anyway, you start off by descending on an elevator into what looks like a party of some description. The game expects you to assume that moving the mouse allows you to look around. To your right, you see a sign explaining how to move. You're also carrying a card which tells you to go to the "Furnace Room". Why? You're not told until after the level but even then, it leaves you pondering the exact nature of what you do and your 'clients'.

As you can probably tell, I'm trying my best not to spoil the game. I know you'll be saying "but it's only two levels, why not?" but the truth is that you need to experience it for yourself and interpret it the way you want to. You don't need to depend on what I think of the story except that the way the story plays out leaves a lot to be known. It's mysteriousness is probably the best thing about the game besides the graphics, which I haven't even touched on yet. The graphics show that you don't need the most sophisticated game engine churning out the best photo-realistic graphics money can buy. The heads of the people are cubes. Deal with it. It reminds me of Minecraft left in the 70's; the psychedelic colour palette will just stay in your mind.

Some games are just that: games. There are those which are different and somehow hit a nerve with the player. They stay with you. Gravity Bone, even for it's short length, does that. I still get that feeling when I play it and I've played it a good 30 times.


Platform Used: PC

Score: 8/10

Recommendation: Definitely try. Now.

It's free to download. It lasts 15 minutes. It doesn't require the best computer this side of Russia.

You have no excuse.

Find it here: http://gravity-bone.en.softonic.com/

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Review: Bionicle Heroes

If you've ever played the LEGO games, more specifically the Harry Potter, Indiana Jones and Batman spin-offs, you'll remember them for their humour, construction and the collection of LEGO pieces or studs. The first LEGO game I owned was LEGO Racers and although that isn't very recent, I loved it to death and still do. The game which got me hooked to the adventure LEGO games however was LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game. It had everything: constructing and de-constructing with LEGO pieces, an array of different characters, re-playability and the massive amount of collectables to reach 100% game completion.

I can mess around here for hours. Oh how I love LEGO Racers.

To actually unlock and collect everything in the game you needed to first complete the game and then go back during 'Free Play' mode once you had other characters unlocked so you could go through pathways you originally couldn't. The Drop-in, Drop-out function was also a really good idea if the second player needed to leave every 5 minutes (perhaps to check on their baking muffins). All in all, I loved the game and the recent LEGO games are no different. Their system seems to work well with many different games and one such game is Bionicle Heroes.

Released on the same day as Eragon the game and a week after the release of the Playstation 3 and the Nintendo Wii, Bionicle Heroes went through to little fanfare. Face it, a new console will win over a LEGO game any day (So far. Please let this change in the future.) and it was Bionicle Heroes' turn. It was released on the PlayStation 2, Gamecube, Wii, PC and the Xbox 360 while a different game under the same name was release on the Gameboy Advance and the Nintendo DS. You might be thinking "I don't care about this game, why are you bothering to look at it?". My answer? It cost me $9 and because I can. Moving on...

From a distance, the game is repetitive. It is. You walk through the corridors, occasionally finding secrets to the sides, before reaching the boss or waves of enemies at the end of the level. However, although the gameplay is practically the same for every level, which game isn't? Anyway, if a game had completely different levels with different ways to play each one, it's reception would be horrible as it didn't follow the same mechanics throughout. But I suppose that it's meant for the 8-12 year old male demographic and they're stereotyped as just kids who don't really care. I may disagree with that (you find them on Call of Duty like bubbles in Coca-Cola) but that doesn't mean that it's not generally accepted as fact. One of my Xbox LIVE "friends" sent me a message while playing it saying "REALLY". Yeah, considering deletion.

I found a couple of bugs with this game. I have the Xbox 360 version and I'm going to take a wild stab in the dark and say that it's almost entirely a port from the PlayStation 2 or something. For example, no less than five times out of six on the level Shattered Wreck did I get up to the end-of-level boss when all of a sudden he jumped up and away. Forever. Minions did not spawn and I was left waiting, which allowed me to see the details in the game the developers DID include, like a few different animations for the characters when you sit around idle waiting for a GLITCH TO FIX ITSELF. I was disappointed. I am yet to re-visit the level again to finish it and record me getting the gold and silver canisters.

I am sick of climbing up here to get to the boss, only for him to piss off and never return.

There was also one big peeve about this game. Now I loved the music to some of the levels. The Piraka Playground track is a fairly decent dance track and sounds like one of those remixes you'd find on YouTube of some movie's epic music and bass. However, every time you collected enough LEGO pieces to fill your Hero Bar and activate 'Hero Mode', the music changed to the Hero Mode music. I got sick of it and I'm one to listen to a song I like 500 times in a row. Also, Hero Mode is so cheap as it makes you invincible and trust me when I say: it's too easy! All you have to do is, at the start of each level, blow everything up and use your Bionicle powers and in about 2 minutes of clearing everything and killing what enemies decide to ruin your afternoon, you're invincible. You don't need it unless you're in a boss level or you're farming for LEGO pieces.

However, the bosses are derps. I find it humorous that the inhabitants of Mata Nui (the island the game takes place on) are scared to death of the Piraka (the main bosses besides their leader Vezon, who's some dude who rides some massive dog-thing which breathes fire. Mmmyep). Apart from the introduction movie, the Piraka are stupid and appear incompetent to run even a ticketing booth, let alone an entire island. Some of the unlockables for the Piraka Playground show this off as well, with the Piraka failing at working out, serving drinks and DJ-ing. LEGO humour is some of the best non-spoken humour in games.

They may look nasty, but the Piraka bosses are clumsy and absolutely hopeless. Joy will be taken from watching their failures in cut-scenes.


Platform Used: Xbox 360

Score: 5/10

Recommendation: Try, but stay frosty.

Depending on what side of the fence you're on, you'll either like it or find it mind-numbingly boring. I thought it was alright and perfect if you were whoring for achievements. If Shattered Wreck works for me and I manage to defeat the boss, I'll have got every achievement in the game. =)

[EDIT]: Shattered Wreck managed to work for me when a friend was watching so now that's 100% completion. Fairly easy if you ask me. All you need to do is go through the game, then upgrade your characters and then go through each level again to get the canisters and kills you need. Simple really. =)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Preview: Castle Story

Everybody knows Minecraft right? Indie game of the year? One of the major pushers towards Indie gaming this past 2 years? Anyway, it was big. Like, REALLY big for a game that wasn't even officially released at the time and was releasing a patch every three months or so. Anyway, this was followed by another game, Terraria. Terraria was 2D, not 3D like Minecraft, but allowed you to craft and build things in a similar fashion. However, it also included more enemies, an (arguably) better system of tunnels which eventually led you to hell and different weapons besides the sword or bow and arrow found in Minecraft. Either way, I enjoyed both games, playing solo or with friends, which makes the next game I'm about to mention intriguing.

Castle Story is built by two Canadians in Montréal and follows a similar vein to Minecraft with building castles, collecting resources and defending our wares. It reminds me a bit of Dwarf Fortress in a sense that you use little helpers called "Bricktrons" who collect stone, cut down trees and build your buildings for you. It's made with the Unity engine, if you have any idea what that is. Here's an 11 minute introduction to the game. I suggest you watch it:


It looks intriguing so far and it will be interesting to see what it develops into. Some of the things it uses is how notably RTS it is, with some "other elements" and the physics of the game. In the video they blow up a tower connected to their castle with explosive barrels and the physics of each brick looked really cool. The dynamic landscape over the 'blocks' that make up the world is impressive as well.

The dynamic landscape gives it a smoother looks to Minecraft.

Some people have said that it's the "Minecraft Killer" and I have to tell you that it won't be. However, that's not to say it won't be enjoyable and I'm positive it can work alongside Minecraft to be the benchmark for a new genre in creative games.


This is definitely one to watch. Although only in early stages, this looks like a fairly solid idea and a game you'll enjoy in 2012 if you liked Minecraft.

The official site can be found here: http://www.sauropodstudio.com