Filled Under: Video Games

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

XCOM is a turn based strategy game made by Firaxis Games published by 2K Games. It was released for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. I played it on the Xbox 360. The game is very solid and holds true to its predecessors. The storyline of the game is essentially starts out with alien “pods” landing on Earth and a group of Delta Squad XCOM soldiers are sent to investigate: Enter mission 1. Granted I played the past XCOM games when I was much younger and I held a moment of pride when I was able to beat more than the first couple missions. Possibly the most frustrating thing I found was not being able to pick who my starting soldiers were and their ability lines. The game sets you up with a balanced group but you can rearrange this as you play and level more soldiers. The game play is very well done and hitting your target is based on a percentage chance to hit. This means even on rare occasion a 90% chance to hit can miss and YES you will yell at your screen when it happens. The enemies seem to at least miss just as much as I did though, so overall it had a nice balance. That didn’t stop me from screaming at the game when my first character died, turned off the Xbox, and threw my controller aside.

 

Now if you excuse me I have to continue saving Earth from the alien menace.

Gameplay
Graphics
Sound
Lasting Appeal
Storyline
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

SimCity 2013 / 5

I’ve always been an avid fan of the Sim series so I was especially excited to see this new SimCity come out especially since it was integrating multiplayer support. I love being able to go in and build a city, but being able to do it, and have friends join is icing on the cake. The gameplay is very familiar if you have played any of the SimCity series before and I especially like how they have removed the micro management of electrical, water, and sewer issues and instead opted to have every road carry all the utilities automatically. RCI (Residential / Commercial / Industrial) zones no longer need to be exactly plotted on a graph to maximize space, but instead each area can be drawn with curves and filled in as building values grow. This should be an incredible addition to anyone who likes to artistically crafty their cities to look like actual cities instead of efficient squares. I was surprised when I found that I could not alter the terrain to suit my perfectly flat city, but the land automatically adjusted as you built around it. As you place fixed structures the land changes to “fit” them but, at least what I’ve seen, there isn’t an ability to alter the terrain independently of structure placement.

 

When starting the game you have the option to select several region sizes that determine how many cities you can build or share with friends. You can choose to not invite anyone and keep your region private so you can create all the cities yourself. You can invite friends and let everyone create however many cities they want, or you can open it up to the public and let anyone join. The cool part about this is it gives you the ability to completely fly solo, invite friends and benefit from their creative design and resources, or make it public so anyone can join and you get the pros and cons that come with that. You might get someone that had no clue what they are doing and require your help with resources, or you’ll have someone who knows how to play this game inside and out and can possibly support you. Either way you can either benefit by selling your extra resources to them, or by buying resources that you can’t attain on your own. It gives you a lot of freedom to explore new combinations and specialize cities without having to worry about building self sustaining cities. For example, one area could skip on worrying about utilities and focus on tourism, or have another area build an industry heavy city to support the commercially driven neighbor. All areas can be built with a different focus to support the towns around it with their craft, while the neighboring towns support it’s specialization.

 

Release day seems to work fine for me, but on the second day during peak playtime after people got off work, I did have issues logging into the servers to play. It is a bummer that they require an internet connection to play, as this removes anyone being able to play on their own when they don’t have an internet connection, but also shows that if they have not allocated the correct amount of server resources that people who want to play the game, can’t because the servers are down. I really hope that they can fix this, and wishing upon a star, I hope they allow offline play. Maybe you won’t be able to play your offline cities with friends online, but still there should be an option for offline play. I know the server issues put quite a few people off and I don’t blame them. I got to participate in all three closed beta’s and was surprised that the last one was not an open stress test beta. I really think they could have gotten an idea on how overloaded the servers really could have been before the game was released and people who paid for the game got locked out of playing. Besides this error I’m still a fan of the game and as I said before, would be even more of a happy fan if they allowed offline play. I do understand that the point of having a game check into online servers is to prevent, or at least reduce piracy, but it really hurts a company’s image and reputation when people can’t play a game because they don’t have the internet.

 

All in all, if you are a fan of the Sim style games, and loved the SimCity series, definitely take a look.

Gameplay
Graphics
Sound
Lasting Appeal
Storyline
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Bungie’s Destiny

Bungie’s new Destiny
Check out this preview for Bungie’s Latest project and we will discuss…

Let’s face it Bungie. Your story tells of a golden age long ago, when your REACH spanned the gaming system. It was a bright and hopeful time…but it didn’t last. Something hit you, tried to knock you down and stamp you out. And everyone knows it was 343 industries.
 
I don’t know about you but in the preview I see a Halo-esque sphere hovering in the distance. The armor looks like something out of a Spartan apocalypse. And the story seems quite similar to well…(insert your opinion here) Halo was your halo Bungie, a glimmering golden arc upon your gaming head that made you a meteor casting Behemoth.
 
You will notice some fresh ideas though. I love the new studio digs and the direction you guys are taking the company. Please note that Iphone or Android apps are welcome if they actually do something other than change your in-game load outs or appearance. I think we are all very interested on this “living world” concept. On another note Activision has signed on for 10 years of this franchise, that is a lot of ground to cover! Can this be your Pathway out of Darkness? Can anything be bigger than the Halo franchise? I guess we will find out…when you set a release date.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Playstation 3 3/4 Teaser???

So the ever secretive Playstation has released this new promo for 2013. There is much speculation as to what it all means…

Notice the sleek lines and the powerful strikes of color? Perhaps it’s a much needed upgrade to the playstaion move device. Compared to the Xbox Kinect it’s kind of cumbersome and awkward design. Not to discount the fun factor of the Move. We actually had a blast playing disc golf and bocce ball on it just the other night!
 
The big rumor is that it hints at a powerfull new system being activated. Dare I say, the Orbis Playstation 4!!! More than likely there will be one more re-skin to the system. The super slim was just introduced that is smaller and quieter. Speaking of quiet, the usual Playstation bing isn’t heard and there is 4 seconds of silence after the promo, hmmm. Whatever it is it’s slated for a February 20th release. If you follow anything in the gaming world you know E3 isn’t until June of this year. So we doubt they would release any word of the Playstation 4 before then… or would they???
 
We will let you know when we find out next month!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Diablo III Mindnight Launch!

This morning at 12:01 AM Blizzard Entertainment opened the floodgates for Diablo III! I don’t know about all of you but I’ve been looking forward to this since 2009 before I went to Blizzcon, which at, I got to play it. At 11:45 PM Monday night I got myself prepped and ready. I had my drink, some snacks, and a fully patched and installed client. I was ready to go! At 12:00 AM Tuesday I started hitting the servers. I had several friends that were doing the same thing so I kept in contact with them on how their night was going. At 12:12 AM I got in!! I got to the character selection screen where I kept fighting the server errors of client creation timing out. Eventually at 12:40 PM I got booted out of character creation! I asked my friends if the same had happened to them but it had not, and at 12:49 my friends made their characters and logged in. I ended up spending the next 41 minutes hammering the server continually getting the frustration from the picture shown below.

This brought so much pain to gamers!

Every gamer that experienced this early this morning knows my pain! Finally at 1:30 AM I was able to log in, secure my character name and play Diablo III long into the early morning hours! As I was with my review of the open beta I am thoroughly impressed with how they handled the functionality of this game. I have yet to play it completely through, real life does call, but from what I’ve seen it’s going to as as captivating of a game as the original Diablo was, and with the data being hosted on their servers, we “should” be able to count on the game keeping its purity without the illicit duping.

That was my experience, how was yours?

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Diablo III Open Beta

Diablo III Open Beta was this past weekend and oh what a glorious weekend it was!

Everything fun that you loved from Diablo and Diablo 2 are part of this game and everything that was a nuisance has been removed. No more scrolls for identifying objects or opening portals. No more loot problems with players stealing all your hard earned items while you fight the enemy, instead loot is done individually by the server. What you see on your screen is for you and they will see what is for them! Remember when you would level up something only to find out that’s not the route you wanted to go or that you accidentally clicked the wrong skill? No problem! You can go back in and change how your class functions with no penalty! Instead as you level up you unlock runes that allow you to do different things at different times. Want to have serious damage against one target? We’ve got a build for you! Want to be able to crowd control a bunch of mobs? There’s a build for you! Everything is reversible, save for salvaging an item at the blacksmith. Each class is enjoyable to play, the only thing you need to do is decide what type of play-style fits you. Magic users will want to use the Wizard or Witch Doctor with Wizards being heavy damage and Witch Doctors summoning companions to fight for them. Demon Hunters use bows and have some magic-like abilities to slow enemies with crowd control. Monks and Barbarians are more front line fighters with monks having spiritual power where Barbarians have carnage outbursts of fury!

All in all it was an amazing weekend of gaming, one that makes me completely excited for the release of the game on May 15th. If you’ve ever been a fan of the Diablo series make sure you pick this one up! It’s going to be golden!

For more information check out these pages:

  1. Diablo 3.com
  2. Diablo Wiki
  3. Diablo III on Wikia
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)