Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Zeroes & Venerables - Heroes & Generals Review

   (Note: This review will primarily be over the lower level "action" game. The strategic, "generals" part of the game requires either a higher level or buying a General from the academy, which is expensive.)

   Heroes & Generals is a WWII FPS with a strategy end-game, developed and published by Reto-Moto, and available on Steam. It's a very interesting concept, where Generals command "assault teams" in order to win the overarching war that the Heroes are fighting on the ground. If they win, the general wins.

   Of course, interesting concepts have to be backed up by gameplay. Despite already mentioning this in the above Note, I'm mentioning again that this review is only over the ground game, and not the high level ground game with fighter jets and paratroopers. H&G has incredibly slow progression if you don't pay cash, and I simply didn't have the time or patience to put my site back on hiatus for a few months just so I can experience the entire game. Nope, we're doing this review now. On with it!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Off Topic - Unique Experiences

   There's a game up on Steam called Superhot. It's a first-person shooter where time only moves when you move and the action is intense, so you must carefully plan out each action before you take it. You can punch a guy, snatch his weapon out of mid-air, shoot him with it, and throw that weapon at someone else within the span of a couple of seconds because most of the game is in bullet-time.

   This game also costs $25 for what is roughly 2-3 hours of actual content. "But it's worth it because it's a great, unique experience you can't get anywhere else!" No it's not. Hear me out. 

   Most games offer unique experiences. I'm putting that before the page break, since if you can't understand that, there's no point in reading on. Though I encourage you to do so anyway!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Eighth Thought - Class-Based Shooters

   Class-based games in general love to make you pay for characters, but I have a specific problem with it when it comes to shooters. I believe that all classes, or one character of each class, should always be free in a class-based game.

   Yes, I understand they have to make money. There are so many other ways of making it than preying on new players, which is what this is. MMOs these days won't make it so classes can only be bought with cash, since that throws up the Pay-to-Win red flag, so you get systems where you can unlock the characters with in-game currency. Everyone who plays the game for a long time eventually gets all of the characters, so the people getting screwed are almost entirely newbies. This leads me to my big, blunt ultimatum: locking classes out like that dooms the game.

   Much like any game that doesn't take the newb experience seriously. By "newb experience", I'm talking about what your first impression of a game is when you start playing it. This applies to every game, but is particularly dangerous when it comes to MMOs since it can be directly influenced by other players. An MMO can be really nice, but if the community is toxic enough people will still uninstall the game. This is exasperated if the game's mechanics are also there, testing your patience and reaching for your wallet. I would rather my shooters just not be class-based and go hard on customization instead, but apparently that's just me. Not that it would solve anything, since they would just lock the customization, therefore locking you out of creating your own potential classes anyway.

   "Why pick on shooters in particular? This sounds like it applies to lots of F2P games."
   I'm picking on shooters because they have the least defense. People seem to think shooters have an end-game that must be protected and blocked off for as long as possible, lest people become disinterested while the devs starve from their lack of funding, wallowing in their own filth and drowning in alcohol. Multiplayer shooters don't have an end-game. Player interest is sustained due to a high skill ceiling and the sheer enjoyment of shooting people/zombies/whatever in the face. Anything blocking them from achieving that end to the best of their ability is just a hassle.

   For example, you start with a basic soldier class, but you want to be a sniper (let's just assume you're the best sniper that ever was and ever will be). You can't buy a sniper rifle because it costs five billion gold, but you also don't want to drop 5 bucks, probably because you don't want to support the game that forced you to pay 5 bucks to use your favorite weapon. You decide to farm the gold, but you're not having much fun, because you're not doing what you want to do. The mere fact that you didn't immediately uninstall the game and play something else means you would have still played the game even if you didn't need to work to unlock something so essential, since the game was fun enough to keep your attention. So why? Why.

   For clarification, this isn't saying "everything must be free, always". I'm simply asking the developers of my favorite genre to understand who plays their games. Sell me costumes, boosters, trinkets, anything you want. Just not classes.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Salty Balm - Dirty Bomb Review

   Dirty Bomb is a class-based FPS developed by Splash Damage, published by Nexon, and available on Steam. You take control of up to three dangerous mercenaries and try to complete objectives in spite of the enemy team.

   This game is very objective-based, meaning there is no deathmatch mode and your kill/death ratio isn't the most important thing in the world. Though you can probably act as if it is, since killing is essential and you're still going to lose if you can't do that. But hey, it doesn't all have to be mindless bloodshed, right? does? Okay. Well, this game has that and more as you escort EVs, blow up pylons, and deliver... "objectives". However, let's delve into whether or not it's worth your time to do so.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Fall? Ha ha! - Brawlhalla Review

   Brawlhalla is a party fighting game developed by Blue Mammoth Games, published by Xaviant Games, and available on Steam as Early Access. It's essentially a Smash Bros. clone on PC. Pick a "legend", step into a fight with 2-4 players, and duke it out in a two-dimensional arena of cartoony violence.

   One thing is certain, the game is just as addictive as Smash Bros. which is nice considering it's still in beta. Brawlhalla's gameplay is interesting and differentiates itself from other fighters in various ways, especially the game everyone is going to immediately compare it to. In fact, let's just get on with what this game really is and stop mentioning Smash.