Sunday, September 14, 2014

No Review This Week

   However, I did put together a fancy new review database to make it a little easier to browse my site. Check it out by clicking Review Database on the top right of the page. It's alphabetized!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Simplistic - Ballistic Review

   Ballistic is a first-person shooter created by Rumble Entertainment and available on Facebook. Yep, Facebook. I felt like I was spending too much time on Steam, so I opted to look around different platforms to see if there was anything worth playing. Turns out there is.

   Browser games have come a long way since I last looked at them, many of them advertising themselves as being "console-quality" and a select few come pretty close. Being Facebook games, they tend to be aggressively newb-friendly and Ballistic isn't any different, so if you are experienced with multiplayer shooters this game will be very easy for you. Is it worth your time, though? Perhaps.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Hobocraft - Robocraft Review

   Robocraft is a tank shooter/creator developed and hosted by Freejam and available on Steam in Early Access. It is frequently described as "Minecraft meets World of Tanks", but it's probably best to ignore that reference, especially if you hold any ill-will towards those games.

    In this game you get a selection of blocks, the most basic blocks being free, and you build yourself a tank. How well your tank is built determines how well you do in battle, though there's nothing stopping you from just building whatever you want. Well, nothing besides the obvious. Parts need to be unlocked and bought, which takes time. Is it all worth it, though? Read on to find out.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

No Brain Left... - Unturned Miniview

   Welcome to a new occasional article type I call the "miniview"! These will sometimes pop up between my normal reviews for games that seem like they're going somewhere. These are a lot shorter and won't be rated or scored. If the game sounds interesting, make sure to check it out!

   Unturned is a survival sandbox game created by a guy named Nelson Sexton and is available on Steam. The zombie apocalypse has happened, and you are the sole survivor. You and maybe a few of your friends. And perhaps over 50,000 other people.

   But don't lose hope! The zombies currently aren't all that dangerous. You can kill them with your bare hands if you want to. The real objective is simply to survive. Unturned is basically a little Don't Starve, a little Minecraft, and a little DayZ mixed together. You have to manage your nutrition and sickness levels by looting while looking at blocky graphics, dealing with an inane crafting system and occasionally driving a car.

   The game does support multiplayer, but doesn't have an in-game server browser. Instead, you look up servers on the Steam discussions board for the game and then connect manually. Before jumping into multiplayer, though, you might want to do some reading. Check out tips and guides, because there is very little direction given, and the game can get pretty deep if you have the patience. Fancy guns and big houses can be yours if you can only figure out how to make them.

   Unturned seems to be in good hands. The single developer updates very often and the future of the game looks brighter than the games it took inspiration from.

   If you're interested in a survival game that doesn't demand your money, except for an optional Gold subscription, then this might be the game for you. You can't dig underground, but you also don't have to deal with creepers. Just be careful around your "friends", okay?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Seventh Thought - Matchmaking

   I really wonder why matchmaking has become so popular in games that don't need them. It's good for MOBAs since it would be difficult to set the game up in a way where people could join and leave a match whenever they wanted. It's alright for console games, too, since console players probably don't want to be bothered with searching through a lobby list with a gamepad.

   But then we get to games like Nosgoth and GunZ 2. Why do these games have matchmaking? These games wouldn't break if someone left and another person entered in their place. They are also exclusive to PC. What's the point of this?

   Some people may wonder why I think this is a problem. It's a problem because the presence of matchmaking automatically creates one problem and contributes to another.
   The problem it creates is the often-raged "bad matchmaking". You're level 1, you get matched against level 50s. You're level 50, you get matched against level 1s. This problem is always explained away as being caused by a small community and will improve as soon as the game gets more people.
   Which is the problem it contributes to. Aside from people joining the game and getting hazed by players far above them, there's also the lack of custom rooms meaning you can't just jump right in. No more instant access, you just click a big Play button and then proceed to not Play. Not everyone is willing to stand for this, and the smaller the community is the bigger the problem is.

   Some people may like clicking a button and then alt-tabbing to do something else while the game takes 5+ minutes to find and load a match, but I prefer to actually play my games.