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

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Random Blog... again

Does anyone else know of other advertising companies besides adBrite and Adsense/Linkbucks? I'm looking to find one that has interactive ads and ones that I can post relative content since my companies don't seem to most of the time. Thanks! Also, random screenshots.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Random Blog of interest

Incase you didn't know, I am a WoW player (inb4 hate). And as such, I don't play the game to raid or do that repetitive grinding of content, I'm in it for the PvP. Anyway, since patch 4.0.1, PvP is so ... crazy unbalanced it hurts. So, to anyone out there who can relate, what classes do you despise now? What's good about your class? Let me know! As always, screenshots for your pleasure... and my confusion. Oh yeah, I also scored the Rival title *again*. Booyah!

You'll have to click to see the scores on the below screenies.

Paladin Healing is balanced... he was afk half the match!

Alliance, in a rare win situation. We suck.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Random Blog

I actually am seeking some help. Does anyone know of any screenshot programs that don't sacrifice quality/compress the images? I'm looking to get 1080p quality screenshots from now on, I just need the right program. I use fraps for video/screenshots but it just doesn't cut it right now. I am willing to pay for it aswell, so if you know, hit me up in the comments. PEACE!

Game Review #4: Mirror's Edge

What happens when you take the concept of modern parkour and fuse it with platforming action? You'd get a very underrated game! It was hardly known upon release, and very little word had spread about it. Probably because it was so hard to describe. But why? Let's take an in-depth look at Mirror's Edge by EA Digital Illusions CE (DICE).

Mirror's Edge is an Action/Adventure/Platforming First-Person Shooter. That's a lot to take in! How exactly did they blend all those genres into one game? The game starts by introducing us to our main character, Faith Connors. Faith is part of a group of people called "Runners". Runners are people who risk life and limb performing parkour through the cities rooftops to deliver important packages to various locations and people. The Runners have always been looked down upon by the city, and Mayor Callaghan has always urged the Runners are a no good rebel society, bred to be nothing more than smugglers. This of course isn't the case, as they only carry out what seemingly are legal objectives. Faith has always had a deep seeded hatred to their Totalitarian government. Her parents were part of the riot's to fight for the cities freedom, and not that it was said, but we can assume they died for it.  Now let's move on and cover the beginning of the game shall we?

The story begins as Faith Connors is running through some practice training with her friend and fellow Runner, Celeste. Celeste is ordered to go do a job, and proceeds on ahead. Now, this walk through is a little hard to explain as most of it is just getting from location to location, so I'll try to clarify key moments. 

Depicted above is Celeste running Faith through exercises. Click image to see full size.
Cutscenes are rendered through use of comic imagery. Usually.
In the first level, Faith is hurrying through some various rooftops to deliver a bag to Celeste (The bags themselves are called Runner Bags, they are yellow and resemble a metal briefcase and have Faith's eye tattoo imprinted on them, more on those later). Faith's instructor Merc, informs her after the job was done to get home and relax. Though, shortly after Faith returns to her home, she finds out that her sister might be in trouble at Pope's office (Pope was to be running for mayor, promising to turn the city into the beautiful place it should be). 


Faith proceeds into the building and heads up towards her sister Kate (Kate is a police officer). The police and SWAT team (nicknamed Blues) are then tipped off by a news chopper that Faith was spotted entering the building. Being a Runner, they want her nowhere near that building and proceed to cut her off. Faith then has to dash her way up to her sister, where when they finally meet up, have a bad situation in their hands. It turns out Pope is murdered and Kate is next to him. Kate explains that someone knocked her out and when she came to, Pope had been murdered with her own gun. Both of them believe it to be a setup, by who though, we do not know.

The SWAT team shows up and the situation gets out of control, as Faith is now believed to be an accomplice in Pope's murder. Faith now has to get out of the building before it's too late. 

            This scene is amazing, you're bolting out of the building while being fired at through the glass by choppers. If you're on PC, turn on Nvidia PhysX to see incredible detail.

The next objective: get to safety by going through a mall complex.

Just beautiful. But keep running!
The police are around every corner.
At this point in the game, it gives you the option to fight or run. That's what diversified this game from other shooters. I remember reading a quote saying that the game "Is probably the only shooter where you'd rather kick a guys ass with your feet than shoot him point blank". Mirror's Edge also introduced a fighting system, where the player has "runner's vision". Runner's vision is basically the concept of slowing down time to do precise movements and have easier disarms. It also provides the player with red outlines of important areas and objects to progress further.

Sometimes drains don't allows have fat Italian plumbers.
Now you find yourself out of the mall and rushing across race tracks. Once you're through that area, you find yourself at a very large storm drain/maintenance acess area. All is not over yet though, as snipers end up down in the drains.

Impressive lighting effects are strewn throughout the game.
Another important thing I should note, is the importance of the Runner's Bags. Runner's Bags are kind of like an extra objective. There are 3-4 of them hidden in each mission. They unlock extra artwork, and various other things. You'll know one is near you if you see the markings like in my screen shot. Now it's time to rate the game overall. I apologize if I didn't cover certain aspects, as there is too much detail to the overall system of the game to write in a good sitting.

Plot: 7.5/10

 Most of the missions you find in this game are fluent with the plot, the only issue I see is you pretty much just go out and run rather than doing some solid objective. Although, the storyline and backing for each mission is really, really good. One thing I really like is how the cutscenes between most missions are animated, in the same style as the comic books.

Graphics (for their time): 8.5/10

When this bad boy hit shelves in 2008, it definitely pushed you to the limit. Finally using the latest Nvidia PhysX engine really shone in this game. The screenshots I gave were on low graphics settings, let alone all highest with 16x AA or 8x Anisotropic filtering. Even today the game holds up quite well graphic wise. This is also a title that fully supports Nvidia 3D engine, which supports almost all different types of 3D. Some scenes where you're tip-toe to an edge of a skyscraper are also really good visually, and will probably scare those of us who are terrified of heights.  

Controls: 8/10

The PC controls of the game are the only ones I will give an 8 to. I haven't personally seen the other consoles, and honestly am a little baffled at how well they may play. Because the game is solidly first person, with very realistic motion and fluidity, it's hard to imagine the controls on a console game. If you would like to rate it, drop me a comment below!  So anyway, the controls are very basic, but can be used together to create either really impressive parkour across rooftops, or make nice combos

Replay Value: 6.5/10

While it is a very impressive game that plays well and has many memorable things, I find it hard to say playing this game again is on a gamers mind. While you probably will play it again in the future, it doesn't really beg for a replay, unless you are an achievement junky or are wanting to collect all the runner's bags for unlockables.  Now I personally replayed this again on a harder difficulty, but that's because I really truly enjoy this genre and this new found type of gameplay Mirror's Edge brought to the table, at the time anyway.

Price /Where to get it: still seems to have the best overall price, though if you're really lucky you may find this game at Wal-Mart on sale for slightly cheaper. I provided a link to each version of the game below.


Final Mark: 8/10

Another great title that sadly went under appreciated. Did you know this game has sold 2 millions copies worldwide? And this is the development team who backed the Battlefield franchise! I would blame the marketing honestly, when they created the ad campaigns (no commercials to my knowledge) through e3 and other sources, they really didn't say much about it. Infact most people I speak to about the game will simply say "Isn't that a parkour simulator"? In which I will quickly say no and slap them. The strange part is, reading the numbers for their sales, was this game even marketed to Japan and surrounding Asia? Anyway, overall this game really stands out as a unique new experience for platform gamers, shooter lovers, and action/adventure junkies. Having that gratifying feeling of running as fast as you can from a shootout and leaping across massive skyscrapers is exhilarating to say the least.  The story was also impressive, and on a special note, if you can get your hands on an online or real life copy of the Mirror's Edge comic, it will really feel like a nice addition to the back story (I believe this comic was only given out if you attended the 2007 e3 event). I hope you enjoyed my review on Mirror's Edge, and if you like what you see, go buy it! Once again I leave you with some closing screen shots. Have a good day.

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