Category: Articles

Ah, Watch Dogs.

If you’ve been watching video game review sites other then mine, you more then likely saw trailers similar to the one above. If you have, you may also be aware that Watch Dogs was scheduled originally for last Christmas but was delayed up until its current release on May 27th this year. That may be a good thing, since it might mean that Ubisoft is going the extra mile to polish off bugs and nuances in the game before its finished. Then again, it could also be due to the fact that they found something that broke the game and they needed a deadline push to get it sorted out. That would imply the original beta was a horrid abomination and we will get to see the stitches popping out right before summer. Or worse yet, someone with a lot of weight to throw around at Ubisoft wanted to make some “last minute changes” and Watch Dogs was pushed back to accommodate his or her wishes. This is the worst case scenario, since it implies that instead of fixing the game, they needed more time to ruin it. To extend the previous analogy, it would be like taking another six months to let the lead doctor jam in some weird and unworkable contraption after the game’s open heart surgery. Take it from a game dev; stupid ideas that don’t work kill a game faster then anything else. That’s why companies like EA have such a good reputation (word to the wise; they don’t).

Cynicism aside, Watch Dogs does look like an interesting game, despite flaws already popping up. Fun fact; unlike most game journalists who salivate over the upcoming game trailers and fall for their publisher’s PR campaigns like a Halo game on a stick, I tend to try and find flaws first and then save any potential butt kissing that’s left for when the game is already out. That way if a game really is good, it’s a pleasant surprise, and if it’s bad, no one’s disappointed. As much as I want a press past for next years E3, I would be dishonest to say they didn’t cater to this kind of pandering that most game reviewers fall into, and only greats like “Yahtzee” from the Escapist seem to have the guts to go against it. I like to think I provide a more balanced view by putting my Cynicism toward the hype and my praise toward the game. After all, which matters more? The Watch Dogs promo pieces, or the quality of the game itself? I beg to differ.

Instead of bombarding you with excitement, fanboy drool, and biased favoritism, I will instead give you a look at two other trailers straight from the Watch Dogs youtube channel that depict the game itself in action, followed quickly by my analysis.

If you can describe to me where you’ve seen this kind of talk before, kudos to your game rep. If not, be warned that this is the same kind of push trailer released for:

  • Red Dead Redemption
  • LA Noir
  • Assassin’s Creed 3
  • Fallout 3
  • Skyrim
  • and Grand Theft Auto from 3 all the way up to 5 and beyond

The only game on the list actually made by Ubisoft is, at least from that list, the worst. People constantly criticize the poor character quality of its star lead, the gameplay was more then a little stilted, and the “Open World” concept didn’t venture very far AT ALL. These are the guys making Watch Dogs. Yikes. These trailers are harder to find then I first thought, and in the interest of being topical, I will post them in a later Update of this post.

Moving on; While the “Open World” angle has easily become the new cliche’, One thing I will give Ubisoft credit for is approaching the concept differently-at least in a purely mechanical game design capacity. Instead of merely stealing cars and blowing the police away in between network hacks, you actually play in a dynamic environment that has as much people traffic as it does for vehicles. What’s more is that everyone seems to have a computer and/or a smart phone, and you can hack their Wi-Fi space to actively profile them, track them, steal from them, or rescue them. This is really interesting, since it makes the world a lot more detailed, and has the capacity to tell not just one story, but tens of thousands. It tends to oversimplify the actual act of hacking by basically giving you access to CTOS, which is basically the chief surveillance program of “the man”. In short, you become a surrogate big brother every time you tap their systems.

The Way you do tap into their systems is obviously inaccurate, and the dev team missed an opportunity to put a great character from real life into their story, but to get into that is an article in and of itself. To see what I mean directly, here is an extend gameplay trailer that might illustrate a few of my points.

To be clear, the idea of government surveillance and loss of privacy to digital distribution is an awesome high concept. It is the zeitgeist of our times, the thing that is most controversial today in the decades following 9/11. Watch Dogs seems to be grasping feverishly at this concept, making you both a vigilante taking on the system, and a hacker who can be a surrogate big brother unto himself. The stories that come from simply peering into other peoples lives is staggering, and no doubt players will spend just as much time exploring the inside of peoples homes as they will the streets of near-future Chicago.

Thing that worries me thought is that not only would you need a high number of writers to make the narrative of all the NPCs work, but a high number of good writers. Writers who know their craft almost as much as the medium they are writing for. Unless you work for a great company like 2K games or Naughty Dog, both of which have games that are legends in Video Game Narration, you are likely to see a very limited number of writing talent in your studio, and most of them will be hired from outside mediums. While Ubisoft has a fairly good history of making interesting backstories and decent enough writing, as far as character writing goes, I will remind you again that they invented Connor. People hate Conner, mostly because he’s as bland and as boring as you can get. If you watched the trailer I started this article with, you’ll see what amounts to a less moral, much more trigger happy Batman. Batman is a good character, but they seem to be cutting out most of his redeeming qualities and to be frank, his character archetype has been done TO DEATH! If you think I’m wrong, name ten video games that have a vigilante as a main character. Now name ten movie characters that are also vigilantes, and also dark and brooding. Case closed. The fact that they already stuck with such an overused and increasingly unredeemable character makes it hard to care about him. Plus, if they botched the center piece of their story that badly, I shutter to think what would happen when they need to write voice acting or text messages for the 10,000+ minor characters whose privacy we will be invading. If I see more then 100 lols and ttyls with little to no context in between, I wouldn’t be surprised.

To end this first look with a silver lining, I will merely list a number of things it did right. Very right. I look forward to reviewing this game intensely, and will either skewer it for what it’s worth, or be pleasantly surprised. I hope you are too.

List of Good things

  • Excellent Cinematography. That scene with the shopkeep sounding the alarm over you had the perfect camera angle. Lets hope they keep up the good work
  • Awesome Graphics-Not surprising, since it has such a high budget and powerful platforms.
  • Cool reactionary  karma system- having the consequences affect your actions as directly as they did was something that could only be carefully planned.
  • Again, awesome high concept-If indie devs don’t follow the same rabbit hole these guys did, I will be dissappointed.
  • Intuitive hacking system-this is almost a flaw, since it might not challenge some gamers enough, but its perfect for the casual market
  • Good exploration of choice-I can be a gung ho shooter or an unseen hacker. Awesome
  • Interesting upgrade possibilities-I think this will appeal to me more then anyone, since I’m a sucker for RPG stats. Might seem too “skinner box” for some.
  • And Finally, the idea of “tapping” into someone elses game online to hack them is a stroke of genius. That system alone is worth the 70 bucks you will have to drop for this game. I guess online multiplayer is the new playground for AAA games

That’t it for now. I will be updating this post yet again when the Active Critique, review, and adjoining articles are done. Look for the links below during the next two months.

 

Screenshot 2014-04-07 14.37.42

Yes, that is a picture straight from my Macbook. Yes that is Google Chrome. ANd yes… I am reviewing a game on Newgrounds that you can play for free.

Why?

Because if you are the kind of person who reads my reviews, then you know that they deserve the traffic. If you haven’t heard of Newgrounds.com and you like computer games, you are missing out. Go to it. I will wait.

You back from Newgrounds.com? Good. If you are confused as to what it is, it is a website made exclusively for flash animations. Many of which are interactive to one degree or another. It was essentially the pet project of Tom Fulp, the same guy who helped make Castle Crashers. If you haven’t heard of Castle Crashers don’t worry; I’m here to help.

The above game on the above desktop screenshot did not have a fullscreen version, so please forgive me if you happen to see my url among other things. Truth is, though, I won’t have to many screenshots. Mostly due to the fact that technically, this game doesn’t even need a screen. The Blind Swordsman lives up to its title.

Screenshot 2014-04-07 14.37.50

That’s not a botched screenshot; Blackness is literally all you see. You hear plenty though;  the sound of laughter, footsteps trotting along, your enemies taunting you, and even the twirling of a spinning flail. You really are the blind swordsman, and you have to fight blind.

The plot is pretty straightforward; you are a renowned sword master who lost his sight, and seeks the aid of a mysterious warlock who could heal your blindness. But you reputation precedes you, and you have a number of armed assailants who stand in your way. Each level is essentially an armed duel to the death between you and a ever growing number of opponents. You can’t see them, but you can hear them, and you cunningly let them come to you. You use the arrow keys to turn, block, and attack. If you don’t time your attack or parry well enough, you die. You will never see it coming.

Best way to play this game is either with surround sound that you probably have hooked up to your TV and not your laptop, or just use headphones. I tried playing it with my Macbook speakers, and I could barely get past the first level.

This review will not be for the purpose of whether or not you should buy this game. There is no buying; its free on the internet. Rather, I am reviewing the concept, how well it is executed, and why you should be as impressed with this game as I was. Yes, I am pandering to indie devs yet again, but why not? Evil-Dog Studios and Sick Death Fiend (really) had the balls to do something new and exciting. Lets give them a review that they will remember, and you will to.

Here it goes

Simply Revolutionary

It’s a crime that no dust has been raised over this game. IGN should be doing an exclusive interview. Only website I seen that seems to promote it is Newgrounds itself. For the first few days, it was a banner on the front page. One of the biggest things holding this game back isn’t even a part of the game itself, but the medium that has to carry it.

You could program this game on an Ipod. One of the little nano-ones without a screen. Just replace the arrow buttons with the ipod buttons and your good to go. This game could be an MP3. You can hear a lets play over the freakin radio. Yeah, this is my budding game designer talking more then my inner gamer, but when you create something that only needs a pair of headphones and a controller, you are not just thinking outside the box. You are making the box obsolete. That is a direct analogy for the TV monitor of course.

Not that it wouldn’t work just as well for console gaming. The game proves that the screen can be useful even when you don’t use it directly. They put some instructions on theres. What if we had a menu on a blind swordsman Xbox game that affected your inventory or allowed you to map out your course. A visual metaphor for the non-visual memory. Heck, you saw my Thief video; with a vibrating controller, I can feel the lock pick with my eyes closed. Imagine having a similar mechanic for a blind man’s walking stick? You feel a slight stutter of the controls every step you take. Your stick bangs into something, the controller shakes fiercely. You then feel the object with your stick. Is is a friend? A wall? Or a monster? Survival horror gold!

I could rant and speculate on the possible mechanics for days. Hell, this game gave me an idea for a Daredevil franchise that wouldn’t suck. When I get Ryan’s Video Game Prototypes up and running (coming soon!), I’ll have to fire up Unity and see what I can crank out.

But until then, I should also consider the game itself rather then just praising the absolutely brilliant high concept behind it. How does the actual game play.

Well… to be frank, it plays out more like a

Prototype Phase

game then anything ironed and finished. I hate to give such a brave and industrious indie project a bad rap, but one needs not look past the Newgrounds Reviews to see where I’m coming from.

Screenshot 2014-04-08 00.41.31

 

Save for the one 0 stars that is obviously a troll, they all seem to be on the same fence post I am; they love the concept, but feel the game needs tweaking.  The parry and attack system requires too much timing, there is no tutorial to help you adjust to its radical differences, and quite often, the voice acting tries too hard to announce where the bad guys are. I can hear footprints, and mad women cackle rather quietly. The obnoxious sword guy saying “die Blind Swordsman!” is just redundant.

In my last review of the game Thief, I compared the game’s flaws to that of the Disney movie John Carter, both of which defined their mediums but made the mistake of sticking to their original and overused formulas. I liken this game to the movie The Purge, in the sense that it takes a brilliant high concept but doesn’t run with it as far as they could have. To be fair, the Purge movie was a multimillion dollar hollywood project, and Blind Swordsman was programmed by one guy. Most games need at least two or three. Plus the game, at least in my opinion, seems to have the best excuse a developer could have for screwing anything up.

It’s Experimental.

The game dev community has a special saying. One that becomes Game Design 101 to all but the least experienced game designers. Fail Faster. Blind Swordsman was a cautious step into the dark with no torch and barely any footing. Now that it gained some publicity (and some press :3), we are likely to see these two guys charge forward with gusto once Blind Swordsman 2 comes out. I will be there to review it.

So overall, it basically plays like a…

Combat Audio Game

Pop quiz ladies and gents; what’s the difference between a computer game and a video game? Answer; computer games are on the computer, and the other on the TV console. You know, like a video that you play. Remove that big Plasma box, and you only got sound. Music. Speech. Like an audio file.

Audio games could become our future. Games are getting smaller and smaller as it is. Take out the visuals, and you got little more then an interactive MP3. Small, portable, easily downloaded on your phone. And the fact that someone made the most generic and common type of game with it-action/adventure-means that it has potential to pierce the industry. Even with its quirks, the game is a great challenge for experienced gamers who need to try something different. For the low low price of nothing.

The ironic part by far is that even though the current game isn’t completely workable as such yet, it caters to the same demographic it perpetuates. The last clientele you would ever consider for an electronic program. That’s right; with verbal instructions and a braille keyboard, this is the first game that can actually be played by the blind.

I actually have more fun and an easier time playing with my eyes closed. It’s a process of hearing the distance of enemies. You even have to anticipate arrows coming your way at one point. The whoosh of a flying projectile is your only indicator to react. Your blind cousin would feel like a ninja playing this game.

In fact, screw it. I am throwing down the gauntlet.

If you have a blind friend or family member, show him this game. It’s called Blind Swordsman, its online, and its free. In the comments below, post a link of a youtube video of said loved one playing this game, and I will post the video right under this text.

I mean it too. I wanna show the world myself the possibility for good games have, and what a little innovation and hard work can do not just for an industry, but for humanity. I wanna see more games like this. Make a game with no sound for deaf people. Have a game for austic savants that help sooth their nerves and  develop their social skills. Make a game for PTSD patients who need closure for the horrors they were forced to face over seas. Games aren’t just about entertainment; they are about the people who play them.

This is a good as place as any to end this piece. I leave you with the Synopsis.

Blind Swordsman

Simply Revolutionary

Prototype Phase

Combat Audio Game

I’ll see you around. So to speak 0_0

 

Thieg Logo

Almost seems redundant writing a review I made a two hour video on. But not everyone has a super fast computer to run youtube videos on, and I feel that the game’s lackluster performance warrents further observation. Especially since it’s somewhat of a trend lately.

If you didn’t see the Active Critique I had yesterday, I’ll break it down for you quick and dirty; It was a game that took Stealth games into the FPS zone in the 90s, had three games before this one, and is about a Thief in a weird alternate renaissance that clashes with both medieval Europe and steampunk. You are of course a thief; more specifically an ex-rebel turned klepto who steals from the rich for his fence and with his portage’. Spoiler Alert; she doesn’t stick with you for long, and I’m pretty sure if I played all the way through, I’d have to rescue her. You and her basically spring in on a magic ritual that blasts her into oblivion and you into a coma in which you wake with “flow” vision. Basically gives you superpowers not unlike the one’s in Dishonored. You then go right back into doing jobs while unraveling the mystery behind what happened to you and your partner. If I ever play this game again, I’ll have another broadcast for it. Update on that another day.

I won’t waste your time and convince you not to waste your money with my review. As always, we start with the good.

Faithfully Adapted

 

Thief-Game-2014

I won’t lie to you folks; I had a hard time coming up with positive things to say. If you saw my video (seriously, see the video!) you probably saw this coming. By reading this, you might also see a bad review coming. Before you put Thief back on the shelf, I suggest you keep reading and hear me out on this. There is a silver lining that I was pretty oblivious to that took a small bit of research to confirm After looking up the history of the game and only watching ten minutes of someone’s documentary, two big things occurred to me.

  1. Thief, while revolutionary at the time, was not the first stealth game. Metal Gear was. Thief was published in the 90s while Metal Gear was an old MSX2 game from 1987. MSX2 was a failed console that competed with NES. If you knew that, wear your indie hat with pride. If not, rest assured, cuz I didn’t know that either until I Googled it.
  2. That many of the features I labeled “unoriginal” and “hackneyed” started with Thief to begin with. Loss of visibility in the darkness? Thief started it. Pick pocketing? Thief Started it. Shooting a light source to create darkness? Picking lock mini game? All Thief’s original idea. Splinter Cell didn’t start with these things; Ubisoft just adapted them to their own game. For it’s name, the Thief series is a standup original game that is only affect by age and not much else.

So yeah; if you are a fan of the Thief series as a whole and have followed it since it’s inception or soon after, there is something for you hear. Playing the game and seeing how Thief: the Dark Project plays, it’s obvious that they took almost all the mechanics from that game which works and gave the rest of the game a much needed upgrade. Fanboys, rejoice!

Now that I gave you something to chew on that didn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth, let’s address the issues that will no doubt affect those of you who, like me, didn’t play Thief since the beginning. Here is the Bad.

Boorishly Cliche’

John Carter

 

I am feverishly entrenched to the idea that video games are not only comparable to but must exceed the standard of blockbuster movies in terms of narrative and presentation. When they don’t, they prove to all the idiot pundits who ostracize our medium that not only are they right, but they are better for being right. That is why game devs need to stress the quality of their games more then anything, and stop using stuff that was only revolutionary in the 90s.

Okay, stepping off of my soapbox for a minute, I can safely say that Thief is a victim of its age. To go back to the movie analogy, I would compare the game Thief to the recent live action Disney movie John Carter. For those of you unfamiliar, it was originally a pulp novel about an astronaut who went to mars and saved the planet due to being immortal, plus stronger and faster due to low gravity. Superman 0.1, basically. It was because of this that the long awaited movie adaptation didn’t do so well at the box office. Even though John Carter was the original Superman, Superman and others like him have been repeated through the Hollywood business so many times that the original no longer outshines the competition. They say imitation is the best sort of flattery, but it sure doesn’t make you stand out.  Thief encounters the exact same problem; the traditions it started have been adapted throughout the medium. Splinter Cell took it’s Darkness mechanic, Dishonored had a dark Steampunk vibe, FallOut 3 had the lock-picking mini-game, and knocking people out from behind is almost a universal standard not just for stealth games, but games period. Plus, the only things that come into the Thief game that it didn’t invent decades ago was things like Mirror’s Edge parkour system and Dishonored and Batman: Arkham series’ detector vision. So even when they try to catch up with the modern world, the lack of originality shows. I like the classics as much as any nintendo generation nerd, but game mechanics do not age like fine whine. They grow stagnant like sour milk, and Thief is a walking testament.

Now let’s wrap things up here.

Lame Franchise Reboot

Thief-Game-Indoor

You might be a little surprise to see a negative word placed in the Summary. But the truth is, where this game failed to tow in the mechanics and systems and gameplay that made Thief a legend to begin with, it makes all the same mistakes all games make when they don’t take risks. Uninspired cutscenes, lame voice acting, juvenile plot, laughably one-sided perspective, wooden character models, and to boot even a poorly choreographed music score. Square Enix wasn’t trying to resurrect the series, they were using the brand name to make another quick buck. Its the kind of thing that makes schlock like Transformers 3 and the new RoboCop movie in the movie business, but it happens all too often in the game business with little to no one batting an eye. Even guys like me didn’t look twice until games like Uncharted 2 showed us what the industry now was capable of in terms of narrative.

Thief had potential to pick up the slack its outdated mechanics left us with by giving us a fresh look. It’s about as fresh as a rotted corpse with the gloom. While I firmly believe you can teach an old dog new tricks, it seems like our corporate masters in game land didn’t even bother to try. Unless you are a DIE HARD fan of Thief, and want to play a game that hasn’t collected dust in your basement for that fix of Thief’s original greatness, this might be worth at least renting. To anyone who wants to see what video games are capable of being, I recommend Bioshock:Infinite instead. Way better everything, plus its cheaper since it came out a while ago.

To recap:

thief-4-logo

Thief: $25(PC)

 

Faithfully Adapted

 

Boorishly Cliche

 

Lame Franchise Reboot

 

Since I am thoroughly pissed at the video game industry, it is time for me to review something original. This game should fit the bill just nicely. Next review is for a game called

Blind Swordsman

it doesn’t have the best graphics, and it never needed them. It is something you have never seen before! Pun intended 🙂

Screenshot 2014-04-05 00.17.40

How many of you guys and gals have at least heard of the book “Lord of the Flies”? I never read the book myself, although I did pick up the basic plot strokes on sparknote.

If you’d rather just read ahead then click on the link, I’ll break it down for you quick and dirty; its about kids who get stranded on a deserted island and in the process of trying to survive kill each other. Grim stuff. What’s even grimmer is that there were actual experiments done with 12 year olds where limited resources were competed over by two separate teams from two sides of a wooded area. The two teams ended up attacking members of the other team savagely, and if they didn’t end the experiment then and there, someone would have gotten seriously hurt. Rust is a lot like that experiment, only instead of twelve year olds hunting pigs, you got the same guys you’d meet on Battlefield 4 running around naked trying to hit you with a rock. Not kidding.

The basic premise is that you start out literally stripped bare, armed with nothing more then a torch, some bandages, and a really big rock. The rock is a decent melee weapon, but slow as molasses. You can, however, use it to kill animals and chip away the wood off of trees and break down huge boulders. With enough wood you can make a fire, and with some stone in the mix you can make a stone hatchet. Animals produce food in the form of “chicken” items (tastes like chicken!) and also provide animal fat and cloth. You can turn cloth into much needed pants and other clothes, mix it with animal fat to make fuel for your torch, and mix it with wood from your bow. You can construct a number of things like this with the resources you collect, ranging from hatchets and wooden shacks to towers, workbenches, ammo, and even guns. If you want to really expand your arsenal, you’ll have to venture into the abandoned military camps near the roads and irradiate yourself in the process.

Your not the only one who does this, and unless your on a strict non-pvp server, there is nothing stopping the other guy from killing you and taking your stuff. Alliances are strictly voluntary, and you can be betrayed at any time. So naturally, your bound to meet a few nice people.

Screenshot 2014-04-05 00.43.25

Or not.

In either case, it certainly makes for an interesting experience. Kinda like Unreal Tournament in “survival” mode. This kind of experience isn’t for everyone, and should be approached delicately by those with weak stomachs, nosy parents, or sensitive children who might wanna play this game. Here is my review.

As always, we’ll start with the good.

Dynamically Expansive

Screenshot 2014-04-05 00.46.17

 To be clear, the game is still in alpha. Judging by how well that alpha is selling on Steam, and how little has been added so far, it might be a long time until it breaks out of alpha. Nonetheless, the dev team seem to be updating regularly about it, and if they aren’t lying on their blog, it does appear they are coding new things. Still, there is only one map, and even if you wiki the map and learn its ins and outs, your going to do a whole lot of exploring in this game before you put it away. Like a hiker who forget his camping gear and unmentionables, you will see a world almost barren of life, save for the few sociopaths who settled near you and the wildlife that wanders through the woods. It is very easy to get lost in this game, and is not for those of you who get simulation sickness from first person games. But if you can handle the cursing tween and the wide open world, you will be wandering through the woods like Lewis trying to find Clark after the fallout. What’s interesting is that the mechanics of building and finding new recipes to build with encourages you to explore every nook and cranny rather then just “settle in”. That picture above is of a city built entirely from other players, and I gotta feeling you can stack them higher then that. If any of you are starting to get a minecraft vibe from this game, keep in mind that unless you get a mod for said game, you will not be able to compare it to rust. Like I said earlier, you can make guns in this game. You can build a revolver, a bow and arrow, a pipe shotgun, or a hand cannon at the beginning of the game. you need to find metal and cloth and whatnot, but that’s only a matter of time and effort. Both of which you will have plenty of. If your the kind of gamer who likes to delve deep into the rabbit hole of a game’s intricate details, you need to play this game, and keep playing up until they finally finish the beta. If that kind of thing bores or intimidates you, see my review of Reaper of Souls.

That was some of the good, now for the bad.

Anarchic, Unbalanced.

Screenshot 2014-04-05 00.47.17

I do believe you saw what the screen up above said. You know, the one saying I AM DEAD. That was from a guy who pistol whipped me with a gun I didn’t even know existed in the game. I was camping with nothing more then a bow and arrow. This is all too common in a game where you start off with a rock and can move on to make automatic weapons. You get noob hunters. Merciless, pwn hungry noob hunters. If you do not know what the words noob and pwn mean, you are not going to have a happy time with this game unless you pick a server that is mostly abandoned. Even then, survival is not guaranteed.

Screenshot 2014-04-05 00.23.44

While many of these issues range outside of both the anarchy and unbalance this game has to offer, they are worth noting. To start, the animation is not perfect by even a substandard stretch of the imagination. Even for an online computer game, the movements of characters are laggy, the people sometimes act like robots, and the A I seems to get confused for no reason at all. I was able to kill a wolf naked with nothing more then a stone hatchet. You normally can’t do that without some kind of armor, but this wolf seemed to forget how to bite once it passed through me. These are bugs that need to be addressed before the beta to be sure, but there is no point in ignoring them now. The lack of an aiming reticle makes starting off the game without a gun even MORE frustrating then it already is, and it seems like hacking is a national pastime in the land of Rust. I will be launching another review when and if a Beta or Gold version is released, and hope to find them address these issues then.

Lets wrap things up here

Sandbox Survival Shooter

Screenshot 2014-04-05 00.16.27

Three words that rarely appear in the same sentence. Yes, this game seems to appeal to try for the GTA crowd, the Minecraft crowd, and the old fashioned Quake Arena Types all in one move. I’m not sure they succeeded the way they wanted to. We got cyberbullies and hackers in the same level as people who want to build stuff. We got players who stockpiled ammo, armor, and weapons out the wazoo hanging out in the same server that newcomers are just starting in. This is less of an Alpha and more like a free for all. If you ever wondered what it was like to live in an unmanaged zoo made for people as well as radioactive animals, Rust is the perfect simulator. Pray you don’t run into any hackers who can run at 65mph with a shotgun in their hands. And if your a newcomer, try for the less populated servers and look for one that says “NoPvP”. Trust me on this one.

Rust Image

Rust:$19.99

 

Dynamically Expansive

 

Anarchic, Unbalanced.

 

Sandbox Survival Shooter

 

 

That’s it for the review. Next game is right below me. See ya.

 

thief-4-logo

If you are not somebody I know, ignore this; I KNOW WHERE YOU WORK TYLER!

photo 1

Okay, I’m back. To be clear, this is the VERY first Iphone game review. It is the app of someone I know, but I do not work for him and I plainly do not care about offending him in any way, so this is as objective as its going to get.

Queen of space is a basic tap and move game where you touch the screen and slide your finger across to move a colored triangle in a position to catch circles of the same color with the same symbol. Easy to pick up, not so easy to master. Like geometric wars and the like, you are navigating through a rejected Pink Floyd concert version of space complete with weird geometic shapes, odd symbols, and pop rock music in the background. You can turn the music off if you like, and if the premise seems too simple, you can switch it to hard mode. Plus it keeps track of high scores. I dare you to beat the dev team.

photo 2

I could easily end the review then and there, but to give you an idea of weather or not you want to download it (I’d say buy it, but its free as dirt) I will give this game a proper seven word synopsis. If nothing else, I do belive that the new medium on our smartphones is just as good a platform for gaming as your nintendo DS, minus the hefty price of a DS cartridge.

As always, we start with the good.

Simple, Relaxing

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Few games on any system can claim to the description above. Some can be simple, but very few manage to actually relax players into a state of trance. Those that do can barely even be called games. Queen of space, through its bright colors, strangely soothing rock melodies, and progressive flow of gameplay elements, playing Queen of Space is right up there with laying in bed with a pair of head phones listening to the rock group Queen. Even on hard, the game does little to punish you at all, and its easy to restart without problem and having a high score you can compare to the developers put this in place for both the most and least competitive gamer out there. For the low low price of free.

There are some drawbacks.

Shallow, Repetitive

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If you get bored easily, or need something that engages you in more then one way, you might wanna spend some money on something else. One thing that Iphone apps lack that mainstream games do not is depth and complexity of gameplay. This is due mostly to the simple touch screen. This game has the same problem for the same reasons, and can easily become the kind of thing you clear off your Iphone desktop when you need storage space. Unless you want something you can waste time with when you are burnt out past the point of intellectual reasoning, you might wanna play something else. IF you don’t care, play this game and remember why its free.

Free Abnegation App

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I might have mentioned this before, but to reiterate Abnegation means that you basically need to spend time on something relaxing, simple, and unobtrusive. There are two ways to do this with electronic games; one is to grind levels in an RPG like Diablo 3. The other is to move a spaceship past obstacles. If you don’t mind replacing a spaceship with a color changing triangle, this app is worth downloading. Island Officials makes money off the adds here, so its free as Evernote. I will list your name in this review if you can get the hight score. Not kidding

Queen of Space App Review

Queen of Space App Review

Queen of Space

 

Simple Relaxing

 

Shallow Repetitive

 

Free Abnegation App

Next Item will be

Rust Image

Promise this time 🙂