Monday, October 13, 2014

Temporary Hiatus

    I recently succeeded in getting my first job, and my attention has been shifted to console and pay games more than usual. As a result, I've been spending much less time on free-to-play games which is bad for reviewing and worse for my schedule. Therefore, I'm putting the site on hiatus for a couple of months. This will free up my time and let me enjoy life for a while without worrying about blowing off my readers.
   Don't worry, eventually I will again yearn to grind loot amidst an online community and share my opinions of the experience here. That's not something that goes away. But right now, my focus is on other things, one of which is using my newly acquired income to get a new laptop. That will greatly expand the amount of newer and more popular MMOs I can play, while also allowing me to take screenshots at higher graphics settings. Higher quality fun for me, higher quality articles for everyone else.
   So don't fret, o' few readers. I shall return!

   (I should be back a little after New Year's)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Snappy Gores - Happy Wars Review

   (Note: This review is over the Steam version. The Xbox version has been around longer and may have more stuff.)

   Happy Wars is a cartoony action-strategy game developed by Toylogic and available on Steam and XBLA (Xbox Live Arcade). More action than strategy since 15 vs 15 takes some getting used to, but it's so cute you may just dismiss the strategy part of the game altogether for a while.

If you can hardly tell what's going on, then you're playing Happy Wars.
   There is only one game mode, in which you take control of towers in a linear path to your opponent's castle in an effort to take control of it as well. It's a casual game and kid-friendly, so most of your time will be spent repeatedly stabbing people rather than devising some kind of master plan. However, it does have a bit more depth than it appears to on the surface. Keep reading to find out.

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.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Most Goth - Nosgoth Preview

   (Note: At the time of writing this article, Nosgoth has a very small population. Therefore, I couldn't play Siege mode because I couldn't find a match for it. Here's a Youtube video, courtesy of onrpg, showing Siege mode along with general Nosgoth gameplay.)

   Nosgoth is a third-person action shooter game developed by Psyonix, published by Square Enix, available on Steam, and currently in Closed Beta. It has everything you could expect from a multiplayer spin-off of the Legacy of Kain franchise, and is every bit as serious.

   You are placed on one side of a war between humans and vampires for control of the land. Shoot down the vampires with cunning and teamwork, or crush the humans with brute strength and superpowers. You're going to have to learn how to do both, because you switch sides at half-time. Do you have what it takes? Are you willing to ruthlessly rip out a human's jugular directly after swearing to wipe the land of bloodsuckers? Try not to think about it too hard.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Zombies Monsters Robots - ZMR Review

   Zombies Monsters Robots (ZMR) is a third-person shooter developed by Yingpei Games and published by En Masse Entertainment for it's North American release. Currently in Open Beta.

   Following the commands of an overenthusiastic commander, you and your elite team of mercenaries fight against various entities for fun and money. As the name implies, you will be fighting various zombies, monsters, and perhaps even a few robots.

   The gameplay is very heavily PvE-based and plays similarly to a game series called Gears of War. You control a character from an over-the-shoulder perspective and can squash against walls and barriers for cover. Once there, you can blindfire from behind the wall at the expense of accuracy. There are also PvP modes if you get tired of shooting AI. More on that later. First...

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Should I Write Shorter Reviews?

  This is an honest question. My reviews are different than what you would normally read for a given game since they tend to be extremely detailed. But is it that necessary? Could I still bring up all of the relevant information on the pros and cons in less words?

   Probably not, and I don't plan to shorten most of my reviews. But I do want to post more often. I'm thinking of writing shorter, "mini" reviews for some games. Good idea or bad idea?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Bryce Island - Dead Island: Epidemic Preview

   (Note: The game will be a bit prettier than it appears here. I have shadows turned off.)

   Dead Island: Epidemic (or DI:E) is an action-MOBA and zombie-killing game developed by Stunlock Studios, published by Deep Silver, and currently in Closed Beta. It should be noted that the original Dead Island developers, Techland, stopped working on the series after Dead Island: Riptide. Stunlock Studios is the team responsible for Bloodline Champions. DI:E will be a very different game than what Dead Island fans will be used to and Stunlock's previous game never got too popular before fading into obscurity. Despite all this, DI:E is an interesting game and should attract a healthy amount of players.

   There are currently two modes. Horde Mode for killing zombies and trying to clear a map with the best time, and Scavenger Mode for PvP. What sets DI:E apart is that Scavenger is played with three teams, 4 vs. 4 vs. 4. Each team attempts to capture flags and collect supplies while stopping the other two teams from completing the same objective. Of course, zombies attack you during all of this, and zombies are neutral. Basically, imagine playing Left 4 Dead but the other survivors are trying to kill you, too. That is Dead Island: Epidemic. But let's discuss the deeper details...

Monday, March 17, 2014

Postpone - Hearthstone Review

   Hearthstone is a virtual collectible card game (CCG) developed and hosted by Blizzard, and planned to be available on iOS and Android devices.

Totally staged screenshot, I'll admit it.
   There are currently nine heroes, each of which has a special skill they can use once per turn along with a set of cards unique to them. Pick a hero, make a deck, draw your cards, and destroy your enemy as efficiently as possible. Hearthstone has the same premise as most TCGs, whoever reaches zero health first loses, but is designed to be more accessible to new and casual players. There are less phases and steps than you may be used to and games are short, but there are some extra features to keep you playing time after time.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Patient Screech - SCP: Containment Breach Review

   (version 0.9.3)

   SCP: Containment Breach is a  free, indie, horror-exploration game developed by a small team of people led by Joonas Rikkonen. It's based on a website called SCP Foundation, a collection of thousands of fictional stories about paranormal objects and organisms. You should check it out if you have a few days to spend locked to a computer monitor.

Your full dossier.
   You play the part of a lucky death-row inmate that has been transferred to the SCP facility. Your classification number is D-9341 and you are promised freedom if you cooperate during your stay. You are led into a test room by a few guards to take place in an experiment with SCP-173, a strange concrete statue that only moves when no one is looking at it. The door to the testing area won't close, the lights flicker off, and SCP-173 kills everyone in the room except you. You lucky devil. You are now free to move about the facility, collecting keycards and evading death as you interact with different SCPs and attempt to escape the facility.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Branching Out - Minipost

   I am very aware of the "blogfade" that's been going on around here, so I'm going to branch out into a couple other areas. I will still be doing MMOs, but I'm planning to start also doing free single-player games. Not random flash games I found off Newgrounds, but cool projects you might not of heard of before. The format of the reviews won't change, so don't worry. The show must go on.

   On a side note, I want to do videos. However, if I made the entire video myself I don't think it would turn out very good. If someone can help me, even if it's only through advice, I would be very grateful!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Rollin' Blunts - Soldier Front 2 Review

   (Note: Some of the screenshots used here are also used on an MMOsite review for this game. The reason I don't attribute or source the images are because I'm the one that made them, hence why the images here don't have the MMOsite watermark. Net and myself are the same person.)

   Soldier Front 2 is an FPS developed by Dragonfly and published by Aeria Games for it's North American release, also available on Steam. According to the game's background, the world is in a state of constant but secret war, with all nations fighting each other while also fighting aliens named "xanthids". Normal people such as you and I are kept in the dark as all of the world's special forces teams shoot each other in the face over a worldwide power struggle. And aliens.

And aliens.
   Of course, the background story isn't really necessary as no one cares. You are a member of an elite special forces team and your objective ranges everything from eliminating enemies to stopping alien infestations. To simplify, you have a gun! Shoot things! However, there's more here than meets the eye; the developers did a good job of conveying how little they care about "logic". From the whimsical Shatter mode to the recently-added Snowball Fight mode, you probably won't get bored here.

   I should also mention that if you played Soldier Front 1 and/or have a personal vendetta against Aeria, try to hold your disgust until at least the end of the review. Now then, let's get down to the nitty-gritty...