Sunday, November 14, 2010

Advice is good, like rice.

Hello my small legion of followers. Any review you wanna see on here? I'm dry for ideas, I don't wanna go cliche and just do a new game... so something old. Thoughts?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Game Review #6: Vindictus

At long last, my quick Vindictus review is ready to hit the site! What is Vindictus and what is all the hype about exactly? I'll tell it to you from my unbiased viewpoint. Let's get started...

Vindictus is a hack and slash RPG developed by devCAT and produced by Nexon. It was released to North Americans on October 27, 2010. It is the prequel to the MMORPG Mabinogi (Vindictus's code name is Mabinogi Heroes for this reason). It is the original growing storyline to lead up to the events depicted in Mabinogi. The thing that seperates Vindictus from other RPG/Hack and Slash games is its unique style of gameplay,  and the fact that it utilizes the Valve physics engine. To give a really easy summary, I would simply say, this is comparable to a modern Diablo 2, with a third person 3d perspective. Let's talk about the gameplay for a moment.

I can't even get a max graphics screenshot because of how hardcore this game lags even the most modern computers.

As you can see, the character creation screen is very comparable to that of Oblivion, the open world RPG. Now, this game is free to play, but of course any free to play game has its perks if you pay into it. For example, all the things marked above with a * mean you need a premium character card. That unlocks unique looking hair, colors, and sometimes equipment (but the game is balanced around not giving players an equipment advantage for such services). 

Combat is extremely similar to Diablo 2, as I stated earlier, in the sense that you are in complete control of your actions. You can left click to execute basic slashes, thrusts, parries, etc. or you can right click to deliver a final combo attack, or simply block/parry attacks. I would compare this to the system  coming up in TERRA Online. A lot of people will tell you it's like the game Monster Hunter, but I personally never got to play that.

A big upside to the game is the realistic environment. For one, the game uses a real physics engine, enabling players to actually get a feel for the environment and the impact you have on it. For example, I come across a large bundle of wood blocking my path. In any other RPG you have to cry about it and go around, in this, you can destroy it. Anything wood or weak material can be destroyed by you, if not, some machines can destroy larger, more durable things.

So at this point you're probably thinking "It's just another korean hack and slash with no story, though it does sound decent". As I said earlier, the game is the prequel to Mabinogi. It is hundreds of years before the land of Erinn is reached. The people of this war torn world believe that by destroying the "Fomors" (monsters) of their land, they will be taken to Erinn (the promised land, if you will) by the goddess Morrighan. But the people of the world are losing faith and don't believe this is accomplishable. That's where you, the hero, step in.

Now, something I feel can be praised, or criticized, is the fact that you play as one of five various premade characters. By premade, I simply mean their appearance and nothing more. There are five characters playable in the world: Lann, the boy who dual wields swords and has very fast, medium attacks. Fiona, the girl who is built for sword and board play (sword and shield). Evie, the all around mage (at a certain level she gains the ability to use scythes, making her somewhat ok at melee). And lastly, a character to be implemented soon, Kai. Kai is an archer class who deals with leather items and deadly, long ranged, accurate attacks. If you're afraid it's going to not give you variety and everyones the same, do not fret. You level up the character and look very unique depending on your item preference (It's not like certain large MMO's that make all endgame players look the same... *ahem* though I needn't say more). 

There is a very fun dungeon system, similar to that of Mabinogi. Basically, to get to a dungeon you gather up to 6 people (maybe more, I haven't played too far in)  and you board a boat and travel to the location. The dungeons consist of you going through corridors and eliminating monsters in waves, until you reach the end and have to fight a very strong boss.

Vindictus was extremely well recieved, gaining average votes of 4/5 and 5/5 by many top gaming sites. It also was nominated for MMO of the year at E3 2010. The last note I need to make is this: When you aren't in a dungeon, the game can get REALLY laggy. Make sure you're on a 512 MB  card with gddr3 memory or equivalent, and have a dual core at 2.6 GHz or higher, because in my honest opinion, this is the most graphically demanding MMORPG to date. Now, to finalize this review.

Plot: 8/10

When playing Vindictus, it feels like I'm playing a real console RPG. It's very involving and interactive for the most part. Not much else to say, it's just a well written game.

Graphics (for their time): 10/10

 This game takes my 10/10 vote because of how ridiculously good it looks.
Other MMORPG games on the market nowadays tone their game graphics down for stupid reasons, or just laziness, but this game is so visually impressive I'd be astounded to see a 2560x1900 player on full graphics give me screenshots. If you are one of those gamers who wants graphics to be a priority *cough console fanboys* then you've got it.

Controls: 7.5/10

Really responsive controls, the game can be played with either mouse and keyboard, keyboard, or joypad (if you configure it properly). Any way you play it, it feels really, really smooth. Not much else to say besides that. 

Replay Value: 8/10

A very replayable game, as you can play as any of the other heroes if you feel your current one is getting boring. They all play quite differently, especially the mages, since they incorporate melee with their spellcasting sometimes. It is also a genuinely challenging game if you like "hard mode" style content.

Price / Where to get it: IT'S FREE! I mean come on, what more did you want? Even if you're playing World of Warcraft or Aion (like me) you can hop on this and have just as much fun as a guy who pays for gimmicky items on it. No subscription fee, no credit card, no catch. It's free.

Final Mark: 9/10 (free to play market)
8.0 (Overall gaming)

If your computer can handle it, this is a title you shouldn't pass up on. As I said earlier, if you enjoy Diablo or any game similar to that, this is going to be VERY satisfying. It does reward skill at higher levels, and the gear in the game can be very unique as opposed to a generic set of items. The game is beautiful, and an all around treat for the free to play gamer in us all. I hope you enjoyed my review, sorry it took so dang long to do. I leave you today with more screenshots. :)


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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Important Announcement

This is in regards to the serious lack of reviews lately. I've decided to lay back a bit while I deal with more important real life matters. I had hoped that maybe I would become known enough to maybe achieve known status, but at this rate, I hope my loyal followers still appreciate what I'm trying to do.

tl;dr: I'm going to try and do weekly reviews rather than every 2-3 days. Thank you for continuing to follow me, I appreciate it greatly!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Next Review Delayed

Well I'd hate to do this since it will cause a lot of people to forget about me, but I need to indefinitely put my next review off for a few days. I have a lot of RL things to deal with and I just can't make the time to get a Vindictus review out. Not only that, my main hard drive kicked the can and doesn't run any large file now. I have no idea why, but it makes a squeaking noise when it's going to fail. Sucks. Anyway, hopefully you guys stay around while I use my creative genius to fix the situation. Stay tuned!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Random Blog

Well, I was given the random task of babysitting, so I'll be out of commission for about a day or two. Hopefully will have my Vindictus review done for the 1st of November. Anyway, stay tuned for moar!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Important Update

Hey guys, just letting you know I'm currently taking advantage of my Vindictus Beta codes (even though It's now officially open) and I'm going to take a quick review of it once I get settled in and experience it. Stay tuned for more. Nexon don't fail me now!

Developed by devCat, produced by Nexon using the Valve Source engine!
*Yup I'm playing Lann for sure. :>

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Game Review #5: Tibia

One of the oldest MMORPG's on the planet, Tibia is still alive and kicking today. Made in 1997, Tibia is a 2d MMORPG created by Cipsoft GmbH. It is still pulling it's own weight even after the explosion of 3d games for the past 10 years. So what can you expect getting into Tibia? Let's take a look...

My screenshots glitch with fraps. Curse you!

CipSoft was founded by four men in Germany back in 1997, though the game was in very early closed beta development during late 1995/early 1996. The game can be described as a sandbox RPG, because you can do whatever you want whenever you want wherever you with nearly no restriction. The world is your oyster. Of course having levels on your back certainly helps! So first let me describe the leveling and skill system in the game. 

To be brutally honest upfront, if you do not like grinding RPG's (games where you level through killing monsters rather than quests) you're best disregarding the game now, because that's how the game functions. The idea is to hunt certain locations to level up, rather than do quests. I wouldn't say the leveling is hard in tibia, you gain a level in about an hour until about level 40. Being premium greatly increases leveling rate aswell. Each level, depending vocation, gives you 5-15 health and/or mana. I'll give you guys an example with a picture of my character :).

Level 123 Elite Knight with end-game tanking items. My normal shield isn't on!

The game uses a square-by-square movement system, rather than 3d movement in the 9 directions. The skill system in the game consists of the following: magic level, fist fighting, club fighting, sword fighting, axe fighting, distance fighting, shielding and fishing. All melee weapon training increase at the same rate. Knights gain significantly faster training to their melee weapons than other. Paladins are the games distance fighters (strangely enough seeing as they're 'paladins'). Druids are the games healers, but are just as strong as a sorcerer for the most part. Sorcerers are kind of like the low survivability but heavy damage/AoE (Area of Effect) damagers. Higher skills will give you much better average damages (this applies to magic level aswell). The games melee fights consist of no animation, which often deters player's interests. Instead, you and the monster attack every 2 seconds, and depending on your Armor and Defense value will decide if you hit, miss, be blocked, or be armor hit. Think of the fight mechanics as "to hit" rolls in dungeons and dragons. Magic users though have fairly nice looking spells at their disposal, but they mainly rely on wands and rods at lower levels.

Another aspect of the game is the use of their outfit systems. You do not see other players armors on their bodies, nor can you inspect them. This is because on PvP and enforced PvP servers, players would simply murder players who have good armor, because there is a certain percentage that you can drop your backpack and a piece of gear on you (which is heavily criticized). So anyway, there are several outfits acquired throughout the game. If you are a free account player, you may get up to 5 of them. If you are premium however there are much, much more. 

 Some examples of outfits, you can change the colors to anything you want.

 The community in Tibia may be one of it's worst components however. Because the game actually respects keeping rarity of items, in correlation to how much gold it costs to do a successful hunt, players are almost never going to help you in a financial situation. There is a large element of greed to the game, basically. That is why I am going to say, if you are going to play this game, play it with friends because unless you get a strong friendly guild, you won't have any for a long time. Low level players are quite discriminated in terms of trustworthiness, and higher levels will find it amusing to try and get you killed.  Another downside to the game is their death penalty. If you die in Tibia, depending on your level and blessings, you will lose a set amount of experience and items (generally, it is 2% max exp loss, which at level 100+ is devastating). Though recently, patches have been making the death loss MUCH lower. And of course, the grinding can be quite boring if not tedious. But that's where there is reward. 

One of the more rewarding things about Tibia is it's rarity/loot system. Basically, every game has a certain percentage an item will drop. But in Tibia, there are basically valuable rewards to most mid-endgame monsters. They have extremely low drop rates, so when you loot them you do feel a great sense of accomplishment. This kind of negates the boredom of grinding for some players. For example, let's run a situation with me and a friend of mine. We go down to a place called Demona, where you can hunt Warlocks. Warlocks can drop very very expensive and rare items, but of course Warlocks are extremely deadly and can kill an unskilled player very quickly. So after about one to two hours of hunting, we may walk out of a hunt like this: we spend about 50,000 gold collectively on our hunt, but walk out with... 

Three skulls staffs (30,000 gold)
One ring of the sky (60,000 gold)
One golden armor (20,000 gold)

 That would be considered a fantastic hunt for us, as we would net a 60,000 gold profit overall (after the gold we spent on potions/runes etc).

So now, onto my final rating!

Storyline: 6/10

Should you be expecting to be following a storyline in this game? Yes, and no. Tibia of course has a very large backstory which can be found on their website ( But when you are actually in-game, not so much. The only time you deal with the storyline is on their quests. Not much else to say, fairly typical of an MMORPG to deter from their plot.

Graphics (for their time): 6/10

 In terms of a 2d games graphics, it looks very good, not much pixelation to their images as the sprites are 64x64. But, because this is 2010, I cannot give this game over a 6. I also cannot criticize them for not going 3d, because if you play this game you will understand how hard it would be to change to 3d. Playing this game is like... playing an online super nintendo game basically. It's for the nostalgic gamer, and the free to play veteran.

Controls: 7.5/10

 The controls of the game are fairly solid, simple four direction movement (though you can side step in the other four directions). All gameplay is on a square-by-square grid, which is fairly simple to navigate, and plays a massive roll in the elements of the game. The controls are responsive, assuming you aren't laggy or have bad internet of course.

Replay Value: 4~8 (6)/10

 This rating can fluctuate between 4 and 8 because, if you like the game of course you can respect it for what it is and play it everyday, and for some you may find you're playing it casually or hardly at all. The more hardcore gamer will be satisfied in the higher levels, whereas the beginning levels can feel like a chore and be quite boring. This all depends on your desire to come back and play!

Price/Where to get it

 The game is free to play! Hooray! There are of course premium features, like better outfits, better hunting areas, quests, monsters, etc. The game does not suffer from a level cap though, which is a HUGE plus. You can infinitely level so there is no maximum, free account or premium. Premium accounts are the same as most mmos, roughly 10-15 dollars a month, country depending.

Final Mark: 6.5/10

While it is a fairly good play from time to time, this isn't really a game where you should play for 20 minutes at a time. Most of the hunting elements require you to hunt for at least 1-2 hours or you may not reap a reward. But, if you are a nostalgic gamer who wants an MMORPG without next gen requirements, this is it. The game isn't crowded, and if you are a role player (people who like to act out literally as they go along) you may really respect this game. Free to play gamer or premium player, both have their ups and downs. A lot of the judgement to this game will also depend on your perspective on 2d gaming. So I leave you with this basic review for you to reflect upon. If anyone needs help in the game, you can reach me on the No-PvP gameworld Pacera, on my knight Lethium. Thanks for reading and enjoy! Here's a video of some mid to high level hunting: Tibia Hunting (2 players)

*I will attach more screenshots in the future. Use for any future help.

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Last update before review

I'm planning on just releasing a quick review tomorrow, going to brief over an mmorpg (no not WoW) that's fairly nostalgic to me even though I play it on and off. So yeah, sorry for the lack of updates! Just been busy irl. Stay tuned my pretties.

Just because it makes me laugh