Thursday, July 31, 2014

Game Review: Saints Row IV

By Nydia Tungsten and Brandi Tungsten

   Like the first three games, you are a gang leader. But there is a twist. You save the world and become the President of the U.S.A. after the opening “how to” phase of the game. You freefall through the White House roof and POOF, next thing you know, you’re the “Prez."

    Then comes the Alien invasion….. and The Matrix Rip offs, i.e. all of humanity is in a “simulation” of the real world and once out, you try and free other past enemies whom become allies  as you hack the “simulation."  Then you get into the Tron rip offs, being thrown into a game to beat the Boss to get what you need. Saints Row 2 started with this one but I didn’t really notice it (bad Nydia, no biscuit).

    But to be honest, the rip offs in no way detract from the game other than slapping you in the face with it. Other than the blatant movie rip offs, I do applaud the creativity around the rip offs and how the story develops for each character, if ONLY they put some of that creativity towards your character when you chose female.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I was raised as a redneck tomboy, and I can shoot with the best of them. But if you choose to be female, you come across as a male with boobs with the same lines and same swagger that could have been a lot better in all four games.

   I know I have been bagging on this game pretty hard but let’s get to the positive side. Even with all these flaws, I have mentioned it is a lot of fun. Some of the lines given and interactions between you and the other characters are just priceless.

     When you get the chance to “romance” Kinsy, whether you are male or female, DO IT! I had to stop playing for at least 5 minutes to get myself under control, I was laughing so hard.

    Normally, I like to include a few clips of the game as I am playing it, and I recorded a few of the “romance” scenes. But this is a "workplace safe" paper and there is a lot of coarse language throughout the game, and I know Bix is tired of cleaning up my stories (smiles and waves to her editor).

   When it is all said and done, I really have to give this game an enthusiastic thumbs up. I have not finished it yet, but I am having fun with it and I will let you know how it turns out.

Until then,

Images: Wikipedia, 

Nydia Tungsten

Friday, July 11, 2014

Game Review: Robocraft

By Xymbers Slade

I haven't been in-world much (less so once I heard Linden Labs is making a second SL, so to speak) but I haven't forgotten about Bixyl and the gang, and when I was browsing Steam the other day and found something worthy of writing about (which is very very rare for me these days) I just had to bring it up here.

 The game is called Robocraft. released July 8 on Steam Early Access. It's effectively World of Tanks smashed together with Minecraft (well, in the extent that it uses cubes to build your tanks with) and there's real physics thrown in the mix (which surprised me), so if you make your tank top heavy or too light, you'll flip over and be powerless to move. Too many guns makes you heavy and slow; too few guns and you'll be blasted to bits.

It's a deathmatch; you are paired with others of the same "tier' (you advance tier by unlocking more powerful weapons/armor cubes and putting them on your tank) and the goal at the moment seems to be capturing the opponent's control point, like in Team Fortress 2 Control Point maps. There are only two levels right now (Mars and an ice planet) but as it's VERY Early Access (I did say it was just released on the 8th), I do expect things to be added to.

There are two methods of movement... flying machines (with "hover" platforms you attach, like wheels) and tanks (that use wheels).

The game is free to play (with microtransactions, unfortunately, if you want more cubes to build with without earning "robopoints" to spend; robopoints are earned via multiplayer battles), but there are -no- tutorials yet and the controls are unintuitive (right click removes a block instead of placing a block and left click places a block, controls I'd have expected to be vice versa). You can only have one kind of weapon (no paring submachineguns with plasma cannons) and weapon selection is limited (submachine guns for short range, plasma cannons for explosive, and rail launchers for long range)

I'm going to give Robocraft a rating of three dragon hoards out of five; it stands to be an exceptional game if done -RIGHT-, but there's a lot of features lacking at the moment. Microtransactions don't help any; as usual it's just a lure to get cash (though it probably goes right back into game development).

Xymbers Slade

Friday, July 4, 2014

Steam Summer Sales

By Nydia Tungsten and Brandi Streusel Tungsten

         You’ve seen talk about Steam and their sales all over the web and how Valve sucks us dry of every penny they can get, but let’s look at what they are doing for the gaming industry. With their sales, they are making is possible for many, (myself included) that are on a fixed income to be able to afford great games at a great price. Yes…some not so great to me, BUT fantastic to others.

    Here’s the draw back that I think makes everyone jump on the sale bashing band wagon. It is VERY easy to get caught up in sales and just start buying, after all, that game you want is only five bucks, or ten, or fifteen… Where you can get into trouble is not paying attention to how many you get. After all, even the great pyramids start with a single brick, and then just…..grew.

    At the time of this article, I have over 75 games just in Steam alone. Some have been bought for me to review but 99.9% of them I got on sale through Steam, and most I’ve enjoyed. But, we all have bought games thinking we will enjoy them and then have it turned out it just wasn’t what we were hoping for. But, at least if you got it on sale from Steam, you know you really didn’t spend too much on it. Out of all my games I have from Steam, I think about a quarter of them are no longer installed on my system for several reasons but none of them do I feel I wasted my money or was cheated on.

For those of you that don’t know what Steam is and have no clue as to what I am talking about, but want cheap and free games….oh yes, they have PLENTY of free games as well, here is the link. 

  I remember who “inflicted” steam onto me, Treminari. I can’t thank her enough and I have since inflected many others for the simple reason I like playing with my friends and loved ones. It is a great way to keep in touch with those distant friends. I play with my son, who is stationed at FT. Carson, Co. as well as with other friends from around this globe we all live on.

   I know of no other site or service that offers this at such a scale and affordability. So, while they offer these sales at prices that make them almost impossible to resist, they also allow us to have some truly great fun with those we care about and that to me is priceless. You can also find likeminded groups that share your passion for a certain style of games as well from Star Trek and Star Wars, to the D&D flavored games.

So if you haven’t tried Steam yet, I cannot recommend them enough and hope you try it soon. After all, the price is right and they have some of the best deals out there.

Hope to see you there soon….who knows, maybe we like the same games, but as always, until next time GOOD GAMING TO YOU!

Nydia Tungsten