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!