Thursday, February 24, 2011

It's news like this..

..That make me happy!
Unofficial NGP Price.

The unofficial leaked prices from Sony , for the new NGP Gaming system. It's not confirmed yet , but it'll moisten my dreams for sure :) .

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A test of skill and patience

I recently stumbled upon this site , and all sorts of things started to pop up in my mind. Some pleasant memories, some of them not. Okay most of them pleasant, or pleasantly rewarding i should say :) .

So to sum it up , i'll write a tribute to some of the moments that filled my rage meter . The ones that i can remember that is.

The first one i can think of , is Chapter 3 in Betrayal at Krondor . I've been roaming the area for about 3-4 days unable to find the entrance to the nighthawks hideout, until a friend of mine told me that you had to use the chess piece on some well and solved that for me. Yeah I know it's lame but i wasn't much into reading "the boring text", of course this changed that for me. :)

The second one , is Ming Xiao (Vampire : Bloodlines ), some sort of serpent/hydra creature. I spent more than 2 days of continuous save/load routine and the closest i got to beating it(her?!), i think is around 20% of his health before he got me. One of my two rage-uninstalls :)

The third one is the Lich in the Baldur's gate II : Shadows of Amn . The one that appears after completing the golden skeleton set armor. Man i was resolved to beat that mother fucker. I spent 2 days trying all the approaches i could think of , only to recently discover , that i was underleveled/underequipped for that battle . Such a relief , i thought it was me (which it was a way) :)

When i stop and think about it the appearance of a problem in the beginning ( 16 years ago ) presented more of a challenge , than it does now. That was just how i perceive it anyway. Now the effect it has on me is rage. I guess through all these years , i'm starting to lose it . Oh curse you super tough bosses and uber weird puzzles!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Fate: The Traitor Soul

This is the game that made me realize what a “loot whore” means :) Or maybe it’s just my girly point of view, instead of fighting the monsters, I enjoyed better having lots of shining gems, a couple charms in my pocket and of course one big battle axe that can do fire and electrical damage simultaneously and chop everyone heads off in one move :)

This is an action rpg, a second expansion of the original Fate game, and the gameplay is mostly the same, crawling deep into dungeons of a couple cities and finishing quests, the option to select from different characters (Human, Ork, Cogger and Shadow Elf) and five different kinds of pets.

The graphics is fine, which is not a small thing for a 400mb game with 2.1 billion dungeons to go in. And there is a nice increase in difficulty as you go down, so if you upgrade your weapons and magic often there is no risk of making a mission too easy or too hard. This helps of not loosing interest of the game for some time, what on the other hand can easily happen for many because all in all it’s a mouse-clicking game with no real strategy other than kill, loot and sell and then buy more.

Speaking of the loot, here comes the first problem, as you go deeper and find better (and bigger items) if you want to sell them (because it’s rare to find and item that’s better than the ones you can buy) you have to send your pet to the town in every 5 min, or just buy lots of town portals and go for yourself.
And the second thing that really made me turn off this game, is when I finished the master quest in one town, then going to another town and starting from the beginning, it was just too easy. I can just walk around and let my minions to do all the fight while I collect new fancy clothing and jewels :) (just like a princess) and that's not fun at all :P

All in all it’s a sweet, addictive, never-ending game :)


Monday, February 7, 2011

Final Fantasy 13

Final fantasy 13 . Gotta appreciate the irony. :)

Anyway , Final fantasy is surely a brand in the jRPG genre with a lifespan of 3 consoles and maybe even more . This last sequel got a lot of divided reviews especially about the storyline and character depth , one of the primary selling points for a jRPG.

I decided to make a jump of faith and still buy the game and see for myself. I’m afraid that I must agree with the negative reviews more than the positive. The story is classic fantasy setting , futuristic society , conflicts arise from several main fractions , and all the classics. That in itself is a good thing , I mean I already mentioned that I like jRPGs so I don’t mind the linearity and the final fantasy setting.

But what's a dealbraker for me is as soon as the character's memories are relayed to the player , they hold no (or very little) value and play no part in building the connection with the characters. I mean characters who have not even spoken 3 lines of dialogue suddenly talk of each other like they’re soulmates or w/e , sections consisted of just walking (like , you watch animation - you walk 1 minute - another animation starts), COME ON!

The game mechanics is nothing out of the ordinary , team members are assigned positions according to the role they play in combat. The team building is an interesting option , but you’ll have access to it only after you complete 75% of the game . That's about the only positive thing about this game, and it's just sad.
Also the story doesn't get any more linear than this.
This game is an insult to the franchise and also the entire genre.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mathematicians guide to alchemy.

(disclaimer : if you're a masochist, or a farmville junkie , please consult your doctor before reading this.On second thought , fuck you!)

"Heed this , Alchemists , crafter and weapon enchanters , in all the fantasy worlds out there!"

I've seen many games boast about their crafting/alchemy part of the game mechanism , and how much fun it is to explore the limitless potential of creating your own weapons and potions, but let's be frank here , i never , like n.e.v.e.r. had fun exploring that part of the game. And i assure you , i've played my fair share of RPG's.

Let's bring out the calculator for a moment.
Let's say the game has 30 base ingredients . Using them , you can craft 10 more .Let's say that you have to use 3 different components to craft a new one. Combining these 40 , you can produce 10 extra-super-ultra potions. So , mathematically speaking , you'd use 40 base components in crafting the extra-super-ultra potions.

So , we have the base ingredients , we use unique combination of 3 (the order is not important) of them to make a new one.
The first phase ,
30 base components
combinations of 3

----------- = 4060 .

So , you'll have to click/drag and drop 3 items , 4060 times . Oh , the sheer joy! (I saw that , Farmville junkies.)

But that's not all . With all the new ingredients (10 new ones) You'll have to get back to more of it. Let's say that in order to not repeat youreself , you'll combine 2 of the base ingredients , with each one of the 10 new ones.
So the formula is now

------------ x 10 = 1450.

There we have it. 5510 experiments of joy. Hmm , speaking of joy , you'll fail during crafting , which is roughly about 95% of the time. Your fun sense is (still) tingling?

And that's just this simple scenario , real life examples offer more of the fun .. khm ... I mean more base/cross ingredients , and a combination of potion making AND weapon-gem enchanting AND ingredients for weapon-making. My statistical analysis point out that Japanese RPG's have more of this , than other games , but there are exceptions.

I can honestly say for myself that i ALWAYS look for crafting guides on the net, and sincerely advise you to do the same, and skip all the "fun".