Friday, March 25, 2011

Stalkin' Saturday

Time for another bizarre foreign game. This time it's a shooter by GSC Game World called STALKER:Shadow of Chernobyl.

The game's plot revolves around an alternate history where the Chernobyl reactor had a second nuclear disaster that creates a hazard area around it known as "the zone". Nothing ever goes right here ever. Across the zone are anomalies where physics goes out the window. Step into one by accident and you could ripped apart in a sudden bast of energy/melted in a pool of acid/ or many other very, very unpleasant things! One very nice thing though is you can find "artifacts" inside of these anomalies that pass on some of the crazy effects to you. These can serve as little buffs or you can sell them for loads o money. Another thing to watch out for are the spots of intense radiation that can kill you in a couple seconds unless you drink delicious...

The drink of irradiated champions!

Then we have all the joyful inhabitants of the zone to deal with such as hordes of mutated wildlife like dogs or the seven foot tall bigass invisible bloodsucker mutants.

No sparkling here!
The gameplay is a really nice mix of genres. You get everything from shootan, survivalan, and horroran. The firefights are really intense since one good hit can possibly kill you. It doesn't help that the AI will actively try to flank you,suppress you, and throw grenades to get you out of cover. The starting mission really sets the tone for the game difficulty wise. The first real mission has you go clear a town of bandits in close quarters fighting. That doesn't sound bad right? All you have is a shitty starter pistol and a couple redshirt NPCs helping you against an angry bunch of fortified bandits with sawn off shotguns that can one-shot your ass.  The spooky segments also deserve an honorable mention.

The graphics were good for their time, and mods packs over the years have improved them to the point where they can rival modern games. The soundtrack is nice and atmosphericy and adds to the mood. Ingame controls feel nice. The vast majority of the bugs have been removed with the official patches and unofficial mods.

To wrap this big post up. Try STALKER:Shadow of Chernobyl out if liked anything that you liked reading about it above. It's available for really cheap now, and buying it on steam will give you a discount on the third game if you want it too.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Not-Dead-Yet Friday!

We almost lasted a week!

Sorry everyone for the sudden drop in the posts.  A bad case of the flu/grey death/ black plague/dieing and my desktop frying on me when playing a certain new RTS kinda put me out of action for a couple weeks.

Not pointing any fingers!

I have a new PC in the works so I'm finally able to go back to rambling about video games / 2 AM drunken commenting sprees soon!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wizard Wednesday!

Late post since I've been playing it all day, but now it's time for

A Tale of Four Gandalfs

Magicka is a great new(ish) indie game by Arrowhead Game Studios. I'm just now getting around to it, and damn this game is great fun with friends. You and up to three other buddies can dick around together playing a bunch of wizards sent to save the world. You have 8 elements of magic to mix and match to make your spells. I'm still learning new combos every time I play. You can even combine work with your friends to create giant death beams that can murder everything onscreen.

Wizards gonna wizard
The gameplay is kind Diabloey, but you don't have any mana limit, so you can can spam magic to your heart's content.  The art style is really charming, and it definitely adds to the experience. The soundtrack is pleasant. They recently released the soundtrack for free on their website.

The humor is where the game really shines.
You'll see jokes/references on everything from Warhammer to Star Trek.
All of the characters ingame talk like the Swedish chef from the muppets.
At one point, you can even get a ye olde M60.

Yes, that kind of M60

If the original game wasn't enough wizard action for you, the upcoming expansion looks great.

The only bad thing I've encountered so far with the game is that it's pretty buggy.

I've been stuck in cutscenes, had the game freeze to the point of having to pull up task manager just to kill it, crashed to the desktop, and many other issues in just the first day of playing. Getting four people in one game without anyone crashing/disconnecting/etc could be a herculean level task.
A wizard did it

If you can get past the bugginess, Magicka really is a great game, and it's hard to beat the ten dollar cost of admission(You can even get a four pack on Steam for thirty and save ten!).

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Terror Tuesday!

Now with 50% more corny lines

 Are you ready for one of the best zambie games ever?

Didn't think so

Resident Evil gets credit for being one of the best games in the Survival-Horror genre. These focused more on evading enemies you encounter, being vulnerable to nearly everything, and puzzles than running around and killing every single monster you see.

The game's plot is that you're part of a rescue squad sent to find out what happened to the first team sent in to discover why people are disappearing in the nearby mountains. Of course, shit hits the fan in record time in the form of hordes of zembie dogs attacking, and your chickenshit helicopter pilot gets scared and leaves you for dead in the woods near a big spooky mansion. Guess where you get to spend the night!

Looks legit

You make it to the mansion, and you get split up from the rest of your group within the first five minutes. Now you get to investigate the spooky house on the spooky mountain.

It's a survival horror so the gameplay can turn ruin the game for you if it's not your thing. It has the notorious tank controls that can be an absolute pain in the ass when trying to run away from monsters. The camera will also kill you a couple times. Running away from a zumbie? Time for a CAMERA TRANSITION! Now you're running at the zimbie! It's near impossible to kill every single monster encountered unless you are a god of conserving ammo, but you can thankfully avoid fighting nearly everything. The puzzles are neat, but almost all of them are around first grader level difficulty.

The graphics and the soundtrack are pretty good. Nothing amazing, but definitely not bad. The spooky, ambient music can help immerse you.

Now why is this ambient horror game on a manly game blog?


The game also is credited with some of the most QUALITY voice acting in gaming.

The bosses in the game and RE series in general have one of my favorite video game cliches of all time.

There was a Gamecube remake a couple years back that has a great Wii port now, and the director's cut of the original PS1 version is also on the PSN now if you want to try it on your PS3.

If you'd love a corny zombie game, I can't recommend this game any higher.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Monday Minecraft Mini

Stronger than any diamond

Minecraft Tip of the Day

Ice will end your ass faster than lava if you give it a chance.

but but

You can shatter ice easy!

This frozen lake doesn't look too deep, and I see some gold at the bottom!

What can go wrong!


and then begins the mad dash to the surface where you can easily break the ice and escape right?


The inspiration because I was bored and got greedy with my pimped out guy(full diamond armor and diamond sword like a boss), and saw some shiny shiny gold at the bottom. I finally checked my air after mining the all delicious gold. Guess who never made it back to the surface in time!

Rest in peace Diorf #247, you will be missed!

Artist's depiction of the tragedy

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Manly Scrolls III: Morrowind

Wake up!

Next up in the game series is The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind!

Made by Bethesda in 2002, this game is guilty of stealing about 200ish hours of my life I'll never see again. It's another great sandboxy game, where you can easily spend hours wandering around and discovering new places, things, and running from flying angry birds that will follow you for ten years in pursuit.

The game starts off pretty well. You're a prisoner set free and given a package to run to a guy in a nearby city(which you never have to do). You pick from a list of premade classes, create your own class, or answer a personality quiz to make a class for you.
Okay, so how did you defend your sweetroll again?

 Gameplay is fun exploring with RPG Combat every now and then. The actual combat is either a love or hate. Fighting in Morrowind is based around dice rolls, so you can hit a rat up to 10 times with a sword before you actually hit it. The balance between the three archtypes(Magic, Strength, or Stealth) is pretty dismal, but they can all easily beat the game. The strength based soldier and the sneaky archer will never be able to reach the ridiculousness of the mage(who can eventually nuke the entire continent you play upon with a single spell).

The ingame world is HUGE (about 16 square miles to explore). The landscape is beautiful and varied. Most of the time you will be walking/running around, but if you're a mage you can teleport to locations eventually or use magic to superjump across the entire continent. Everyone else gets to pay and ride the bug-bus if they don't want to walk.
Gets 60 Miles Per Gallon
 The ingame soundtrack is a nice, ambient soundtrack composed by Jeremy Soule, but only 30 minutes of total music in a game that can potentially last for hundreds of hours is a bit disappointing. The graphics were absolutely beautiful for its time. The water effects still look great even by today's standards, and recent high level graphic mods can make it stand up to modern games.
Crysis of 2002!
Manly wise, it forever earned a place in my Big List of Good Manly Games for letting me enchant myself, jump across the ingame world, and punch a guy so hard with my magic fists that my game crashed and corrupted my save data. That's not a bug, that's a damn feature!

Not even Minecraft lets you build an entire fort out of pillows(get to work Notch!). 

Overall. I'd highly recommend anyone wanting a good RPG to at least try Morrowind, and it would hopefully at least hype you to play the badass looking Skyrim coming up later this year(The upcoming Elder Scrolls 5 game where you can have shouting matches with DRAGONS).

Have any comments, criticisms, or requests? Just drop me a message in the comment box!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Minecraft Intro

It's really hard to not have heard about Minecraft by this point. Minecraft is an HUGELY SUCCESSFUL open ended sandbox video game created by Notch(Marcus Persson). The game was originally inspired by Infiniminer, and Notch improved upon the already manly concept(DIG DEEP AND AVOID LAVA, MINE ROCKS, AND BEAT UP THE OTHER TEAM) in a huge variety of ways. You play as person suddenly thrust into an wild world that wants to destroy you, and what you decide to do after that is completely up to you. Some people have a great time building incredible structures that take weeks of work to create and others get their fun from spelunking down into the dark depths in hope of finding riches. The game uses a charming art style that really looks great.

Okay I know what you're thinking.

But how is this baby looking game manly????

The first thing you're pretty much required to do at the start of every single Minecraft is take down a tree by punching that bastard down.

Playing as a Lumberjack that punches his trees down not manly enough for you?(It should be, even Paul  Bunyan used an axe)

What other game lets you beat a pig with a flower so hard he explodes into delicious porkchops?

No really try to name one oh wait you can't because no other game has such INNOVATION.

Waggling a remote?

Super special camera that tracks my movements???

Another glowing magic wand to throw away playing the 2 awful shovelware games it launches with?

Screw that shit, I want more game where I can use a flower as my weapon of choice.

Forget the pansy-ass guns modern  games vomit on you every five feet or the SUPER HARDCORE MELEE WEAPONS (Gears of War's chainsaw bayonet is excluded from this however,  because holy shit that thing is a CHAINSAW BAYONET. The bastard that made it didn't want to just poke the other guy with a half assed spear, no, he wanted to run over and rip the other bastard into meat confetti when he could just shoot him in less than half the time.)

I can sit here and rant about flower chainsaws for hours, but just go try out Minecraft.